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book of Genesis, we have only to learn of him, taking our place beside him in the clift of the rock, and then the Glory of God, that is, his GOODNESS, will pass before us, and the name of the Lord will be proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands ; forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin.” Exod. xxxiii. 18– 23; and xxxiv. 5—7. The purpose, then, of the Lord towards man, is a purpose of loving-kindness, and when he purposes by means of his creature, to illostrate his own praise, it is “the praise of the glory of his grace" that is to be illustrated. Eph. i. 6. And so re-assured by this disclosure of the divine will in man's creation, we take courage, and are prepared to behold the sad eclipse of our first father's glory, in the confidence that the glory of the Lord will again arise upon him, and also upon us his fallen offspring; and in the sad thought that Adam soon lost that image of God in wbich he was created, and that we all with him have been despoiled of that image, we are yet comforted in the knowledge of that divine predestination of an elect people onto holiness, which took place before the foundation of the world, and which therefore secures unto that people, the restoration of the image and likeness of God. Eph. i. 3-5. But does nothing else suggest itself to our minds, when we look into that part of the eternal scheme of the divine providence, which has especial reference to the illustration of the Glory of God upon this earth? Sarely when we contemplate the dealings of God with man, with the church, with the people whom he formed for himself that they should shew forth his praise, (Isa. xliii. 21.) “ the praise of the Glory of his grace,” we are reminded of him who is emphatically " the man,” (John xix. 5.)-of him, who because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death ; that is, the devil; (Heb. ii. 6–14.) of him, “ who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man,” even of him, who, being in the form of God, and equal with God, made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and who, being found in fashion as a man, bumbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the
Phil. ij. 6, 8. We behold then a mighty theatre, that of this earth, prepared for the exhibition of a stupendous drama, (the exhibition of the glory of God,) in which Adam and his children are indeed to perform a part, but not the chief part, for that was assigned, according to the eternal purpose of God, to his own Son, to “the man Christ Jesus,” “the second Adam, the Lord from heaven," — to him who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, who is before all things, and by whom all things consist, who is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence : for it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell.” Col. i. 15—19. And is it not most satisfactory, most consolatory to the believer who has come to the knowledge of what man was, and ever is, and ever must be in Himself, even in His best estate, that is vanity, (Psalm xxxix. 5.)to know
that bis shadowy, vain, mortal life is united, and that by an eternal counsel of God with the true life of his eternal Son, even as an apostle bas said, our life is hid with Christ in God," so that, in beholding our first father Adam, and ourselves in him, we may confidently look back to Adam's Maker, the Son of God,) and discern ourselves in him, "preserved in Jesos Christ,” (Jude i.) secure amidst all the varying scenes of human weakness, amidst all the vanity to which the human creature is by its very nature liable, and to wbich God, for wise reasons, has allowed it to be sabjected for a time. Rom, viii. 20, 21. From the first Adam then we look off to the second Adam; from the feeting glory, the shadowy likeness of God given os in our first earthly father, which glory we also lost in him, we turn to the unchanging glory of the only-begotten of the Father, which glory he imparts to his people ; (John i. 14–16; x. 10; xvii. 5, 22. 2 Cor. iii. 18. 1 Peter iv. 14.) and then we find that “if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious ;” that if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Rom. v. 17.
At a time when so much stress is laid o on the necessity of apostolical descent, and of the mysterious power which is conferred by the laying on of hands duly authorized, it becomes a duty to point out such evidence as the word of God contains, bearing upon the matter under discussion. Upon this subject the scriptures are not wholly silent, and the utility of such lineal descent, or its utter worthlessness, may be ascertained by studying the history of the Christian church as given by St. John in the book of Revelations.
In the xiith Chapter, the apostle describes a vision, which he saw, relating to the church of Christ daring its conflict with paganism. Under the emblem of * a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” the true church is signified. The stars are described in the 1st Chapter, as the “angels” or ministers over the churches. Therefore, we may conclude that when applied to Christianity, or the universal church of Christ-the twelve stars are the twelve apostles of the Lamb. This church, clothed with the true light of the “Son of Righteousness," the Gospel of Christ, standing upon the moon, the types and shadows of the Jewish dispensation, and having on her head as a crown, the twelve apostles
of the Lamb, is represented as overcoming the imperial dragon-the high priestor representative of Satan, “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives onto the death." Persecution purified the early church, but now we have to notice it under another aspect. Satan being cast down by the overthrow of paganism, endeavours if possible to destroy both nominal and vital Christianity, and to sweep it from off the whole earth. In order to accomplish this design ; he stirred up the multitudes dwelling in the northern parts of Asia, and from the confines of China to the shores of the Atlantic he poured in the pagan hordes as a flood upon the Western Roman Empire. As soon, however, as these barbarians settled, they assumed Christianity, and Satan was frustrated. The whole is thus described by the apostle, “and when the dragon saw that he was cast upon the earth, he persecuted the woman,” “and the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood, after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the food, and the earth,” (the Roman Empire) "helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dra. gon cast out of his mouth, and the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the rempant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev. xii. 13, 15, 17. In the 17th Chapter it is explained that "the waters are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.” Satan having failed in his design of destroying the Christian name, the church is elevated from its lowly state, and by the decrees of the Western and Eastern Emperors finally