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bears Him in triumph to Jerusalem. A raven restrains its own appetite to feed his hungry prophet. The heavens pour down their waters, and the fountains of the great deep break up to drown his enemies. Fires descend from heaven to consume the wicked, and the earth opens her mouth to devour the rebellious. The sea retires to make a way for his chosen ones; and windows in heaven are open to give them food; and the solid rock pours out for them rivers of water. The opened eye, that was once blind, rejoices in Him who is the light. The listening ear, once deaf, is gladdened chiefly by the music of his voice. The nimble feet of the lame hasten to do his will. The withered arm is once more stretched out, and lifted up in adoration of his name; and the leper, healed, returns to give Him praise. "The Friend of sinners dies" and earth's deep foundations shake the parting veil, the rending rocks, the darkened sun, and a mourning, trembling world, confess the presence of their Maker, and significantly indicate for whom they had been made. Thus, fish, fowl, and animal, the ocean and the land, the solid rock and the flowing stream, the earth and the heavens, the living and the dead, yea life and death and even him who has the power of death, are subject to Christ and virtually confess that he is ALL. When Christ as our Redeemer spake and acted, He summoned the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, as witnesses and cooperating agents, which he had prepared from the beginning for this very purpose, the highest, noblest purpose they ever an
Thirdly, the idea of the text is confirmed by a careful investigation of the analogies of things. Among all classes of birds; there is one of highest flight, the Eagle. Among the finny tribes of the deep, there is one of mightiest form and strength, Leviathan. Among the animals of the forest, there is one of loudest roar, the Lion. Over all the animals of earth, man was made to rule as their lord. In all forms of society, domestic, civil, and religious, there is one exalted by divine appointment above the rest; there is a highest office and an officer to fill it. In natural philosophy, one law, Gravitation, has an importance greater than every other idea which it developes. In moral philosophy, one idea, Love, seems to involve in itself every idea of the whole subject. Of all parts of our physical frames, the head is most important. Of our vital organs, the heart seems all in all. Among the faculties of the mind, none are of so great importance as conscience. Among the elements of christian experience, nothing is so important as Faith. In the heavens, one star differs from another in brightness, but the sun outshines them all. What, we ask, do these analogies teach? All things are found in climateric order, and related to each other, as lower, higher, highest. This is seen when the individuals of a single class are compared with each other; it is seen also, in comparing one en
tire class with another. Every class, and every individual of each class, seems formed by nature, with the arm stretched out, and the finger pointed upward. But the great question is, to what object do they point? A question often asked by the worldly wise and great, and as often unanswered, or answered in such a way as to make darkness darker, and ignorance more profound. But with the Bible open and believed, easily solved by the simplest child. The Lamb of God-behold the Lamb, they cry! He is the Beginning and the End. For Him are all things. He is all, and in all; the first-born of every creature; Head over all things to the church.
Christ is called The Word. In the beginning was the Word. All language is simply a means of transferring the thoughts of one mind into another mind! When God from eternity wished to convey his thoughts to man by language, it was necessary that a language should be created. The chief end answered by what has been created, is evidently the great purpose for which it was made; and since the ideas communicated to man by Christ and of Christ, are infinitely more important than all other ideas that language ever uttered, it is not too much to say, that to answer this purpose by the analogy of its nature and the use of its terms, is the great object for which language was constructed. Thus Christ is the Word, the great idea of all language, the revealer of the counsels of eternity, and of the light of immortality. Every act of our minds in receiving ideas through the medium of language, is only a disciplinary exercise to prepare us, in a more perfect manner, to learn of Christ, the mysteries of his kingdom, and the glory of heaven. Language fails to answer its noblest end, when it utters nothing of Christ crucified, and reflects nothing of the radiance of Him who is the brightness of the Father's glory and the exact image of his person.
But is it in reality to Christ, the crucified one, to whom the analogies of nature point us? That God is revealed in nature's works, and seen in history, is no new thought. This is taught by Natural Theology. But is this all? To divorce the work of creation and providence from the glory of the cross, seems to be the essence of Deism, and a denial of Christianity. Carefully surveying the cross, what do we behold? Vicarious suffering. Voluntary substitution. Sorrows and death freely endured by the innocent, to save from sorrows and death, the guilty. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and by his stripes we are healed. Here is laid the foundation of the great work of mediation. Thus Christ becomes our redemption and salvation. What are the specific analogies that point to this idea? In the nature of the family institution, ordained by God to direct our thoughts, to form and develop our characters, they are daily seen. The sleep of the sick is obtained by the agency of those who give up sleep; rest to the infant, by the
weariness of its mother; and food for the family, by the sweat of the father's brow. A Benjamin is born, but in order to give him life, a Rachel must die. A young man commences business, fails, and sinks in discouragement. But a father, or brother, or friend, comes to his relief, and by some sacrifice, takes his burden, restores his courage, and saves him. When a fatal accident is falling upon the head of those we love, quick as thought we interpose between them and the blow, and by voluntarily suffering the pain of a broken arm, we save our friend from death. This is the law of mediation. The love that prompts to deeds like these, is the very foundation of all domestic happiness. Better far that the family relations had never existed, if each does not consider it both a duty and privilege to bear the other's burden. Why were our domestic relations formed thus, but to keep in our minds, by our daily experience, correct ideas of Him by whose wounds we are made whole; whose love prompted Him to die on the cross that we might be saved from death eternal; who laid aside his robes and crown of glory and became a servant, that he might raise us to thrones, and crown us kings and priests unto God. Did the family institution ever answer a nobler purpose than thus to point to the cross, and illustrate the fundamental principle on which Christ is gathering around Himself the whole family of the redeemed in heaven and earth?
It is provided by nature's law that vegetable life must die, to give animals food; and animals must die to become food and clothing for man. Rivers of animal blood daily flow to save the life of man from starvation and death. The cattle upon a thousand hills are the Lord's, and offered in sacrifice or as common food, they are in their nature and use significant analogies of that great and glorious Being, who died that we might live. The lamb to slaughter led, by his nature, his meek submission and design, still points to Christ as clearly as when on Jewish altars slain.
It was because these analogies exist in all things, that Christ so often used things, rather than words, as illustrations of his own truth and his own works. To his eye every material thing, every law in nature, every custom of society, seemed but a metaphor, a simile, or comparison, through which his own light might be made to penetrate the darkness of the human mind. Day and night, summer and winter, seed time and harvest-the rain, the dew, winds, thunders, lightnings, the ocean, the land, the sun, moon, and stars, good seed and tares, sowing and reaping, in short, all things in nature, all events of Providence, were made to speak directly of Himself, as though the very heavens had been formed from the beginning for the glory of the Redeemer, and the earth to show forth the work of his cross.
Again, fourthly, the Holy Ghost bears witness to the truth in the text, in the experience of every one who is truly regenerated. It is one of the offices of the Holy Ghost, to take the things of
Christ and show them unto us in their true relations. "He shall take of mine," says Christ," and show it unto you." When one is truly regenerated, he esteems Christ as very precious, the chiefest among ten thousand, altogether lovely, yea, as ALL, and in all. The love of Christ is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost, and has become the leading element of his soul, his ruling passion! In what light do all things appear to a soul that is under the influence of love as a ruling passion? It is obviously the nature of a ruling passion, to concentrate the whole power of the soul upon a single idea, and to behold an image of that idea reflected from every object which may chance to gain the attention. When avarice becomes the ruling passion, the soul lives and moves and has its being in plans to gain wealth. Every thing means money received, or, money lost. To such a soul, the pale countenance of a dying child would be but little else than an index of pecuniary loss; and, in the dying groans of his aged father, he would hear but the signal for dividing the estate. If revenge were the ruling passion of the soul, it would see in every implement of husbandry, a weapon of death: raging winds, flashing lightnings, and rattling thunders, would be to such a one but signals for striking the fatal blow! When envy is the ruling passion of the soul, then it sees nothing in another's prosperity, but the means of disadvantage and mischief to itself. When benevolence and pity are ruling passions, then the whole world seems to have become little else, but scenes of distress and means of relief. Winds seem to echo sighs of anguish, and the thunders speak of groans which cannot be uttered; and dews and rains are but the tears which heaven weeps in sympathy with the suffering. When love becomes the ruling passion, then love and goodness seem to be the all-pervading principles of a created world. As a perfect mirror reflects a perfect likeness, so perfect love sees love reflected from every object on which it looks. The love of Christ in the heart as its ruling passion, sees the love of Christ in every shining star, and singing bird, and flowing stream, yea, in every insect as it dances in the sunbeams, and in planets and systems as they revolve in their orbits. Now it is absolutely required, both by the law and the Gospel, that love to Christ should thus be our ruling passion. The heart of man is never right until it be thus controlled. And into this state the Holy Ghost brings the soul by regeneration. Can the Christian ever forget the days of his first love to Christ, when one idea and one only seemed to fill the whole horizon of his mental vision, and of the vision of faith; and that idea was Christ crucified, to save his guilty, trembling soul? Long had he rode on the raging sea of passion and rebellion; at length a storm came on; the storm of God's justice and indignation against his sins, was loud and fearful; dark was the night of guilt and despair; like the foundering bark, he trembled in the
gale; and eternity, like the yawning ocean, seemed opening to receive him.
"Deep horror then his vitals froze,
Death struck, he ceased the tide to stem."
The commandment came, sin revived, and he died;
"Then suddenly one star arose,
It was the star of Bethlehem.
It was his guide, his light, his ALL.”
It was, and is, and ever shall be,
"His light in darkness, and his life in death,
His boast through time, bliss through Eternity,
Or fathom thy profound of love to man."
In this state of mind, when love to Christ, the crucified one, is the ruling passion, and love is seen inscribed upon every thing animate and inanimate; and waving fields of ripening grain, and bending forests, seem to be bowing in worship of the Lamb; and singing birds and murmuring brooks, the roaring ocean, and the deep-toned thunder, seem to vie with each other, to swell the new song, and every creature in heaven and on earth seems to say, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto the Lamb, then things appear as they really are, as they are seen by those in Heaven; for Christ IS ALL, and in all.
And here I must discontinue the discussion of the subject, deeply conscious that I apprehend only a very little of what it contains, and that all I have said or can say falls infinitely below. the full measure of the idea which the text declares. If any apology be necessary for selecting a subject so much beyond my ability to comprehend and develope, I will only say that even a child may be allowed to dip an urn full of water from the ocean, with which to bathe and refresh his own weary limbs, and may earnestly recommend it to others, though of the ocean's depth and extent he has no adequate idea.
In conclusion we remark,
1. That if Christ be in all things, it is our duty and privilege to be sensible of his presence. God is not in the thoughts of the wicked, and this is their state of darkness and death. Shall we also forget our Redeemer, or only think of Him as of one afar off? What must the heart of a father be, who looks upon the portrait of an absent child, and observes only the color of the paint, the beauty of the picture, or its elegant frame, but sees not the image of his child! My mother sat in the old arm chair. There she read her Bible, the old fashioned Bible, as it