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eth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” John viii. 12. Is not this sufficient to assure us, in the fullest manner, that Jesus came to direct sinners in the way of salvation by his word and Spirit; and that in consequence of this his office, whoever depends for teaching and guidance upon him, shall not continue in ignorance and error; but shall have the saving light of truth surrounding his path, and making the way plain before him, from earth to heaven, from peace to glory?
To these testimonies I shall only add what St. Paul was inspired to teach us upon the same subject. He declares that Christ Jesus is made of God unto us, not only
righteousness and sanctification,” but “wisdom;" because, through him, as a teacher sent from God, we may know all things necessary for our pardon, comfort, and salvation, 1 Cor. i. 30. 'In another place, that divine illumination which the church receives from Christ Jesus the Lord, and the clear discoveries of God's glorious being and perfection, is thus emphatically expressed:
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” -2 Cor. iv. 6. “In Christ," he saith again, as proposed and manifested to us in the gospel,
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;" in him they are covered, under the veil of his humanity and deep humiliation. Observe the fulness of the expression; the apostle does not say treasure in the singular number, though this must have implied both the excellency and abundance of that knowledge, but “ treasures.” He doth not say many treasures, though this would have greatly enlarged our conceptions: but he saith, “ in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Nothing pertaining to spiritual life and godliness can be imagined, nothing in the least degree profitable for a poor, weak, helpless, sinful creature to know, which is not to be found in Christ Jesus, as an inexhaustible magazine, which the bounty of the God of glory has provided for the supply of our necessities.
Col. ii. 3.
Nor can it be thought that any or all of these Scriptures ascribe too much to the teaching of the Lord Jesus
Christ, when it is considered that the very end of his appearance was to manifest the name of God, and to give a complete revelation of his will and designs concerning
Jesus not only spake the words of pure truth and righteousness, as the prophets before him, but with an infinite superiority to them all, exhibited a perfect model in his own example, both of faith and practice. And whilst other deceased prophets retain no influence to impress their words, this prophet of the world declares, "I will send unto you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth ;-he shall lead you into all truth.—It is written, all his children shall be taught of God.”
Do you therefore painfully feel your ignorance in the things of God? Do you bewail the dulness of your intellectual faculties to apprehend spiritual objects? Are you grieved to find so much weariness in fixing your attention upon the Bible, when you behold that invaluable book? Behold your relief and remedy! See with joy what a foundation there is for your dependence on Jesus Christ, to be taught all you need to understand. When you hear this representation of his character, that he left the bosom of his father to declare him unto us; when you hear, that for this purpose he has not only given to his church his written word, to point out the way of life; but has also promised to give it efficacy by the power of the Holy Ghost,
wish for more? Are you grieved
you that you
know God no better, are you athirst for instruction in righteousness? What can induce you to make application to the Lord Jesus Christ, if this encouragement from St. John fails? “We know,” says he, “ that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true.” 1 John v. 20. He has given us not only that intellectual faculty, which distinguishes us from the animal world, for this was ever common to all men; he has given us not only the external revelation, which false pretenders to the faith have as well as ourselves; but he has given us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God: a gift confined to those alone who depend upon Jesus as the truth and the life. Are you then crying out in that humble manner which
your necessitous condition requires: “O! that God would shew me the secrets of wisdom:—what I know
in all things.
not, teach Thou me. You see on whom your help is laid: you see in this case your application to Christ must be daily and persevering. It is he only who can say, “ Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength.” When blind Bartimeus cried, " Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me,-that I may receive my sight;" they that stood by said, “Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee,” Mark x. 49. The same compassionate call is addressed to you from Jesus enthroned in glory. “I counsel thee,” says he to every one in whose mind darkness and ignorance prevail, “ to anoint thine eyes with eye-salve,” that is, to apply to my word and Spirit, “ that thou mayest see;" that thy understanding may be enlightened, that thou mayest be filled with the knowledge of God, and have a right judgment
Further: As you stand in need of wisdom and teaching, that you may know the truth of God, so you in the same degree want light to discover and baffie the devices of the devil. To whom then should you go to obtain such light but unto Jesus, before whom we are assured all things are open and naked, even the deepest counsels of the destroyer, and all his snares of cruelty? Jesus knows how, with equal ease and certainty, to confound his numberless contrivances, and infatuate even the spirit of all subtilly and malice. For this reason the
first name given to the Redeemer was this; The Bruiser of the serpent's head. He is the glorious Deliverer, who came to ruin his schemes, and disappoint his contrivances to hurt and destroy the faithful. Hence it must follow, that Jesus knows how to deliver the godly out of every temptation, and to preserve them unto his own kingdom. Who then, if not this all-sufficient Person, is worthy to be relied on with unshaken confidence, by the children of ignorance and blindness."
* See Prayer the 6th.
THE FOUNDATION OF DEPENDENCE ON CHRIST FOR VICTORY
We have considered the fulness of help which is laid up in Christ for man, as subject to the curse of the Law and blindness of understanding; but a further exertion of divine power is absolutely necessary to make him partaker of complete salvation. Man is naturally a slave to earthly, sensual, and devilish tempers. Covetousness or lewdness, envy or pride, command in his heart as on their throne. When indeed their dominion is manifested by Mit shame, loss, or inward vexation of mind, their natural and necessary effects; he wishes himself free: he determines, confident of his own strength, no more to be overcome. But behold! the very next temptation adapted to stir up the evil which is in him, as easily prevails as did the former; so that soon disheartened by such repeated foils, and ashamed to confess his own vileness; he gives up the all-important contest, and begins to palliate that ignominious slavery, from which he knows not how to be delivered. Now observation concurs with Scripture to prove,
that superiority of wit, or an extraordinary share of natural abilities, though even improved by the advantages of polite education, do not enable men to stand before the power of their corrupted nature any more than savage ignorance: they can only gild those shackles which they cannot burst asunder, and slightly conceal from the stranger's superficial eye what still defiles and galls the inner man.
This spiritual bondage must always become exceedingly grievous to endure, wherever there is a right judg. ment of God and the nature of sin. Then will there be an earnest desire to obtain deliverance at the hands of one“ Mighty to save" from such tyrannical oppression. For this deliverance God commands us to depend on the Lord Jesus Christ. And to engage our utmost confidence, such a full display of his power is laid before us, as makes the suspicion of miscarriage to the last degree
unreasonable. The ancient prophets, declaring the extent and irresistible force of his government, call him, "The Lord of hosts, the Lord mighty in battle; whose throne is heaven, and whose footstool is earth; who has the light for his.garment, the clouds for his chariot, the thunder for his voice, and all the legions of angels for his servants.”
And lest the humiliation of the Redeemer should diminish our conceptions of his power to save, the glory he manifested in the days of his fesh is most particularly related. Innumerable multitudes of the wretched and diseased crowded round his divine Person, and instantly by him they were made whole. The dumb, the deaf, the lame, the blind, the dead, were all restored by his divine power, to the blessing of life, or to the enjoyment of all their faculties. His authority over the whole creation is marked in the strongest colours. For though the winds and storms are mighty, yet Jesus, in his low estate, only rebuked them, and they were hushed in silence. The waves of the sea rage horribly, yet at his word they sank into a perfect calm. Death and the grave, though inexorable to, and invincible by mortals,
were not able for a moment to detain their prey when Jesus only spake;
Lazarus, come forth.” The powers of darkness, and the strength of hell, -though mightier far than diseases, storms, or death, crouch before him, and intreat his favour, as their irresistible, though offended, Lord and Sovereign.
Further; for the greater encouragement of our faith and hope in Jesus, as a complete deliverer, through his Spirit, from the tyranny of our sinful tempers, let it be duly pondered, that Jesus exhibited, when on earth, specimens of his saving power. Publicans, accounted the worst of men, and harlots, the worst of women; these he delivered from the captivity of their lusts; and by these instances proclaimed that none can be so enslaved by sin, but he can make them free indeed. And to demonstrate this most transporting truth, which he preached with his own mouth, and confirmed by numerous instances during his ministry; at the very hour of his death he still more gloriously displayed the same almighty power to destroy the dominion of sin in one of the most hopeless