Imatges de pÓgina

has been pleased to give us of his Son. But happy the man whose delight is in the law of his God! He has sure direction in every difficulty, certain comfort in every distress. The beauty of the precepts are preferable in his eye to "thousands of gold and silver," Ps. cxix. The comforts of the promises are sweeter to his taste, "than honey or the honey comb," Ps. xix. He is happy in life; for the word of God is to him as a "fountain of living water." He shall be happy in death; the promises of his God shall support him through that dark valley; and he shall be happy for ever in the presence and love of him for whose sake he now searches the Scripture: "whom having not seen," 1 Pet. i. yet, from the testimony there given of him, "he loves; in whom, though now he sees him not, yet "believing, he rejoices with joy unspeakable and full "of glory."

Pleraque autem, (si detur liberè loquendi venia,) quæ etiam in Thologicis scholis tractantur, et magno cum apparatu et strepitu docentur et disputantur, spinosum fortè acumen habent, sed simul certè spinosam sterilitatem: lacerare et pungere possunt, animos pascere non possunt: "Nemo enim ex spinis uvas col"ligit unquam, aut ex tribulis ficus." "Quorsum alta, (in"quit quidam,) de Trinitate disputare, si careas humilitate, et "sic Trinitati displiceas?" Et aptè St. Augustinus ad illud Esaiæ, "Ego Deus tuus docens te utilia;" " utilia, (inquit,) ❝ docens, non subtilia." Et hoc est quod opto et oro; ut nobis pro modulo nostro subdocentibus, ille efficaciter vos perdoceat, qui cathedram in cœlo habens, corda docet in terris. Archief. Leighton. Pralect. Theol. pag. 4. edit. Lond. 1693. 4to.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal

life: and they are they which testify of me. IN a former discourse on these words, I mentioned four things as highly requisite, if we would acquire a useful knowledge of the Scripture ; sincerity with respect to the end, diligence in the use of means, a humble sense of our own weakness, and earnest prayer to God for the assistance of his grace and Spirit. To engage us to this practice, and perseverance therein, I next considered how the Scriptures, when properly searched into and compared, do clearly and in every part testify of Christ, that he is the end of the law, the sum of the prophets, the completion of the promises, the scope of the types and ceremonies, and the great object of the whole Old Testament dispensation. I am now to say something to the third point I proposed ;

III. Concerning the import of the testimony the Scriptures bear to Christ.

The principal difficulties on this head are, where to begin on a subject absolutely boundless; and what to select that may be most suitable and useful to this assembly, from the immense variety of topics that offer. For this being the great end and design of the Scripture, to proclaim the excellency of Christ Jesus our Lord, " that we through him may have strong consolation,” Heb. xii. it is inculcated in so many places, set in such a diversity of views, and couched under such deep and comprehensive expressions, that not only our present opportunity, but my whole future life, would be too short, if I would collect, state, and explain, all that properly belongs to this single article. For order's sake, I shall reduce the little I must say at this time to three or four distinct particulars, what the Scripture testifies of Christ, as to his person, his offices, his power, and his love.

When we hear of some great undertaking to be performed, we inquire of course about the person who is ehiefly concerned in it; so, when we are told of the mighty works Jesus Christ engaged to perform, to redeem a lost world; to satisfy divine justice, to make an end of sin, to abolish death, and to bring life and immortality to light; the first question that occurs is, Who is he? “ Search the Scriptures, and you will have a clear and decisive answer. The prophet Isaiah, rapt into future times, describes him thus : “ Unto us a " child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the govern“ment shall be upon his shoulder; and he shall be

called, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the “ Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,” Isa. ix. 6. The union of the divine and human natures in the Mes. siah is so strongly asserted, the names and attributes of God are so clearly ascribed, in this passage, to one who should be born into the world, that" he who runs may “ read; the wayfaring man, though a fool,” must understand it; and it requires a considerable share of unhappy ingenuity, to wrest the words to any other than their obvious meaning. This text, if it stood alone in the Bible, (supposing the Scriptures to be a revelation from God,) would be a full warrant, and a firm foundation, for that great point of Christian faith and doctrine, That Jesus Christ is very God, and very man;

or, as the apostle better expresses it, "God manifest in "the flesh." But it is not alone: on the contrary, the Messiah is seldom mentioned, but something is either said of him, or referred to him, which teaches us the same important truth. "Behold the days come," (saith the Lord by Jeremiah, chap. xxiii.) "that I will raise "unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign "and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice "in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and "Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGH"TEOUSNESS." Isaiah in general styles him, "A "child to be born;" Jeremiah more particularly, "A "branch of David." Isaiah ascribes to him the name of "The Mighty God;" Jeremiah says, he shall be called, "The Lord our Righteousness." You have the word LORD in capital letters here, as in other places where it is in the original JEHOVAH. Some of the names of God are occasionally applied to inferior subjects, to angels, to magistrates, and sometimes to idols. But Jehovah is allowed by all to signify the essential and incommunicable name of the Most High God. Yet this is not the only place where it is expressly and directly applied to the Messiah. David himself speaks to the same purpose: "The Lord said unto my Lord, "Sit thou at my right hand," Psal. cx. That the Messiah was to be David's son, was known and acknowledged by the Jews in our Saviour's time; but how he could be the Son of David, and yet his Lord, was a difficulty that utterly posed and silenced the most learned Rabbies and Scribes among them; because, being destitute of that sincerity and humility we have before spoken of, they could not understand the Scriptures, which were read in their synagogues every day.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »