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all, that is, that you really need. All children. He may see his pains and are equal in the grave. Though the instructions wasted, his anxious admoimperial crown or the lordly coronet nitions disregarded, bis natural influence be laid on the coffin it matters not; the set at nought-he may behold his sons dust within is not less loathsome, nor pursuing the opposite path to that in is the departed spirit of higher estima- which he would fain guide their steps ; tion in the sight of Him who made it. or he may feel within himself the seeds There is to all one judgment—there of disease, the symptonis of mortality, will be to all one Saviour, one ac- the indications of premature death. quittal, and one condemnation.” He may find cause to doubt whether
But there are some towards whom he shall survive to reap the profit of Divine Providence operates in a different all his labour which he hath laboured manner. Their exertions have not under the sun. In all such cases it been thus unsuccessful—no such blight will be his wisdom to ask, “ What is has withered their budding hopes—no this that God hath done to me?" For such cloud has rested upon their dawn- we are assured by God himself, that ing prospects—their success, if not me- He does not willingly afflict or prove morable or excessive, has been all that the children of men; but that like a they could reasonably expect, and wise physician, He administers, where. quite proportionate to their own exer- ever needed, the efficacious, though bittions, and with the prosperity of those ter medicine that shall be for the heal. around them. They have not been ing of the soul. Any path, though it wholly free from disappointment, per. lead through thorns and briars, is good, haps, (who upon earth can be ?) but which conducts the soul to Him. the blow has fallen lightly upon their And to consider our disappointments heads. They are not free from so- and the drawbacks to our happiness licitudes as to worldly things ; but with a view to his mysterious yet these have been only sufficient to ruffle merciful design in their allotment, is the smoothness of their pillow, and the readiest and surest way to ultimate not to plant it with thorns. In the concurrence in the blessed experience case of these persons, however, though of the Psalmist—" Before I was af. all seems tranquil and smiling with Alicted I went astray; but now have I out, there may be storm and tempest kept thy word.”. within : though their worldly affairs Others there are, again, who come prosper, there may be those domestic under neither of the characters I have trials which fully counterbalance the described ; whose situation, since they pleasure of increasing wealth. The are dependant on the exertions of anhusband may experience in the wife of other, or, humanly speaking, exhis bosom, tempests, or propensities, empt from all dependance, frees them or desires, which mar their mutual from solicitude and secures them from happiness; the sharp arrows of the disappointment as to worldly things. wicked, even bitter words may be in. While there is nothing calculated to terchanged between those who are disquiet them in their domestic relamost solemnly bound to love one an- tions, they enjoy the esteem and reother ;-her extravagance may dissi- gard of those with whom they are pate his substance-her negligence im- connected and conversant; they are pair his comfort—her coolness and satisfied with the present and hopeestrangement may excite his jealousy. ful for the future, so far at least as So, the Father may have reason to look the present life is concerned. Yet with with sorrow and sad foreboding on his all outward appliances and means of comfort, they are not easy and tran- not suffer me to rest satisfied with quil—with all that is considered by ought on this side the grave.” those around them essential to happi- There is yet one more character to ness, they are not happy, they are whom we are bound to apply the quesnot even contented; a weariness, a las- tion of the text, and whom the Holy situde, a disgust, mingles with and Spirit must ere this have taught to impairs all their enjoyments. They feel apply it for himself. I allude to the that worldly pleasures are insufficient believer who is really deserving of the to confer solid gratification, partly be- name; who has in time past bowed cause they perish in the using, and beneath the weight of sin, and sought partly because they leave, at least in a pardon and relief at the foot of the majority of instances, a bitter memo- cross-who has been renewed unto rial behind them. In the still hour of salvation by the regenerating influence night, when stretched upon the rest- of the Holy Spirit-who has felt that less couch, conscience seems to unfold God is gracious, and tasted that Christ before the mental eye a register of is precious—and who fondly hoped follies, inconsistencies, and transgres- that the Sun of Righteousness, which sions, which excite, along with dissa- shone out at his entrance on the nartisfaction for the present, alarm and row path, would never again with apprehension for the future. There draw its radiant and cheering beamsare more persons to whom this descrip. would never again be intercepted by tion applies than the world are aware the clouds of error, or obscured by of; for it is realised by many who the mists of unbelief-to whom prayer have never betrayed their feelings, not was not only a privilege but a pleaeven in the ear of friendship and under sure, and who took so lively an inthe seal of secrecy, much less bla- terest in the means of grace, and the zoned them to the world around; but services of the sabbath, that he could wherever such is the case, we may say with the Psalmist,
“I was glad and should call on the individual, with when they said unto me we will go out making confession to us, or to any unto the house of the Lord-one day fellow sinner, to ask of his, or of her in thy courts is better than a thousand. own heart, “What is this that God hath O, how amiable are thy tabernacles, done to me? Why hath He excited in me thou Lord of Hosts !” But now all is this dissatisfaction with worldly enjoy- changed ; the light of life is eclipsed or ments, this lively concern and solici- withdrawn; hescarcely knows whether tude after a more enduring portion ? he is advancing in the path or not, and Why has He precluded me from fully if he be, his soul is sore discouraged enjoying the temporal benefits that his because of the way. The words of own bountiful hand has liberally be- prayer, once so copious, so fluent, so stowed ? Is there not in this a pur- spontaneous, are slow and reluctant in pose of mercy? Does He not design their utterance. The more he strives to show me the intrinsic vanity and to lift his heart to God, the heavier nothingness of all that man deems seems the weight that presses it down most desirable ? Would he deprive to earth. The services of public me of present gratification unless He worship, once so eagerly sought, so intended to confer on me a better and heartily enjoyed, are now, though not more enduring gift—to lead me in a wholly abandoned, tolerated rather more excellent way-to endow me than desired. His feet are drawn to with riches that are less perishable- the house of God by an impulse which to delight me with pleasures that are far he would, if he could, counteract and more permanent and satisfactory? Let overcome ; but his attendance there is me not refuse, therefore, to hear the little more than the service of the lips, voice that speaks in mercy, though it the hearing of the ear; his heart no speak through the medium of anxiety, longer ascends, his whole soul is now and apprehension, and disquietude; no longer, as it once was, filled, enand let me lay hold of eternal life unto grossed, and absorbed by the riches of which I am called, that so I may salvation. Such a person has pecufind everlasting reason to adore the liar reason to enquire, “What is this mercy of my God, who, being deter- that God hath done to me?” What mined to bring me to Himself, would error have I committed to draw down
such an expression of his displeasure? |ing how much it will reveal to you of Have I been pure in my own eyes, or the goodness of GoD, of his care, yea, righteous in my own sight? Have II may say, of his anxiety for your salfelt a secret satisfaction when I com- vation. You will feel the force of pared myself with others who were what is said in Scripture. "God less forward than I hoped to be in the calleth once, yea twice, but man reChristian course? Have I been negli- gardeth it not;" you will apprehend and gent of that restraint which I ought to appreciate the full significance of that have imposed upon my desires and in- expressive figure, when Christ says, clinations? Have I forgotten my sole "Behold, I stand at the door and dependance on divine grace for all that knock." You will see how often GoD I need, whether of pardon for the has called and you have not regarded past, or strength and deliverance for the future? Have I allowed fleshly lusts to revive within me, and thus been seduced into the pursuits or pleasures that ought to have been utterly renounced? Have I conceded too much in practice or in principle to the world around me? If the GoD whom I serve is not changeable or capricious, He will not causelessly obscure His loving kindness in displeasure-His very chastisements are designed in mercy. Let me then pray earnestly and ceaselessly till I am apprized, what is this that He hath done to me, and what I am to do that I may again be as in months past, when the candle of the Lord shone upon me, when the love of Christ was shed abroad in my heart, and when the Spirit of GOD daily led me by the hand, and made straight paths for my feet, and opened a passage through the things that are seen and temporal, to those which are not seen and eternal."
how often Christ has knocked and you have not opened to him—how often the Spirit has spoken by his ministers and by conscience, and spoken in vain. It is the revelation of this that will constitute one bitter ingredient in the cup of misery which must be drained by the eternally lost; they will see how often they have been invited— how often admonished:-how near they have been to salvation-how they have omitted to grasp it when ready to their hands-and how fully will they then acquit their God—how bitterly and hopelessly condemn themselves! But will not also the experience of the happy souls that are redeemed and purified by the blood of Christ be something similar to this? O, if anything can enhance their transport and delight in finding themselves in that blessed place, it will be to trace the means by which God hath brought them thither-to see how all things worked together for good to them that loved him-how he brought them, though blind, by a way that they knew not, and led them in paths they had not known-how he made darkness light before them and crooked things straight, until he led them out of the labyrinth into a large place, out of the desert into a land flowing with milk and honey-out of the troubled waters of sin and misery to a haven of eternal rest. It will be their first theme of praise that He hath DONE it at all-their second, that He hath done it THUS.
Be persuaded then, men and brethren, to observe the workings of God's Providence, yea, rather of His Grace, in the common affairs of life; recognize alike His vigilant, constant, unfailing superintendence, whether you are prosperous or adverse in your circumstances; whether honoured or disregarded, happy or unhappy in your private and domestic relations; ask yourselves at every turn the question," What is this GOD hath done to us?" Regard every event as one part of a complete system, one link of a mighty chain; and it is astonish
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There are three questions asked in in every thing above us and beneath this chapter. The Sadducees put an The world which we see with the interrogatory to Christ, and the Pha- naked eye opens mysteries to us that risees put another interrogatory to
never grapple with successChrist, and they were not able to en- fully. The world which we see with tangle him by their questions; but he the microscope opens mysteries to us put a question to them which con- which our minds are not able to confounded them, and that is the question template. The world which we see which I have chosen for your consi- with the telescope opens similar mysderation this morning.
teries. The world before the naked There are four propositions of Scrip- eye—the world that comes under the ture connected with God, which a be- cognizance of the microscope-and the liever in the Christian revelation ought world that expands its glories before to be prepared to maintain. First, the telescope, all contain mysteries that the Father is God. Second, that that man cannot grapple with. And if the Son is God. Third, that the Holy there be mystery through the whole Ghost is God. Fourth, that God is line of the creation, up to the very One. These propositions are all con- throne of our God, shall mystery cease tained in the Scriptures ; and although when it reaches the foot of the throne? there is a great and unfathomable mys- Shall we find it from the smallest atom tery in these propositions, and although | up through all the grades of creation, in we cannot reconcile all the difficulties the works which are greatest, and in that are in the mystery which these those which are most minute; and propositions involve, yet still, since shall the Almighty Worker himself be the Bible has come from God, and divested of all mystery and be perfectly since the Bible contains these propo- intelligible to the finite capacities of his sitions, we ought to receive them, creatures? No such thing. The analogy to cherish them, and delight in the of Nature seems to demand that there comfort which the knowledge of them should be a great mystery in revelation ; communicates. We ought not to re- and men who object to the doctrine of the ject them because there is mystery in Trinity, who object to the doctrine of them. My friends, there is mystery Christ's Gospel, who object to the
doctrine contained in those propositions I have adverted to, because they are mysterious; these men manifest as great an ignorance of nature as they do of revelation.
The proposition to which I desire to confine myself this day and to discourse upon, as closely according to Scripture as I can, dismissing philosophy, and vain deceit, and metaphysics from my mind as much as possible, is the second of those propositions-THAT THE SON IS GOD. And I feel my mind pressed to consider this point particularly, because it is perhaps the hinging doctrine of the Trinity. It is the nucleus proposition of those four propositions I mentioned before, and also because certain movements, in the Christian world, in our own times, press upon my mind the consideration of this truth, more peculiarly, just at this time.
My friends, I shall propose to you nothing new, for who can say any thing new on this glorious subject? but I shall endeavour to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, in bringing before you the things which can be maintained, and which are maintained, in the words of Holy Writ, respecting Jesus Christ as GOD; and then, if time permit, I shall say a word or two respecting the atonement of Jesus; and have a word of application at the close. May the Lord's Spirit enable us to speak according to the oracles of God!
of those sublime and abrupt sentences is-"the Word was GOD." It was a remark of one of the old fathers, that the name of the Son of thunder belonged to John, not so much on account of any violence in the manner of his ministration, but principally on account of the thunder-like sublimity and grandeur of the sentences he announces respecting the ministers of the Gospel, and respecting the union of the Church with its living head-the Lord Jesus Christ. When John comes before you, when he breaks on you with such a sublime sentence as this—“ In the beginning was the Word"—and carries you back to ages that are past, to a period before the creation had sprung into existence when John comes before you with such a proposition as this, "the Word was with GOD"-when he says that "He that hath the Son hath life"-when he brings before you these sentences, teeming with mighty thoughts that cannot be expressed, he proves himself the Son of thunder, for he breaks upon your attention with all the blaze of the lightning, and with all the awe which the sound of thunder is calculated to produce.
In the first chapter of John, it is said that "the Word was GOD;" and the Socinian's objection here, is a frivolous one, which you will consider. The Socinian contends that the word "GOD," in the first verse, is used in a subordinate and minor sense; because the article, the Greek article, is not given to the substantive "GOD" in the text. He says, that if it were meant to be taken in its primary sense, its supreme sense, then the article would be given. But to say nothing of other passages of Scripture which militate against his criticism, in this very chapter before us his criticism is proved to be of no effect; because in the sixth verse of the first chapter of John, GOD, supremely, is spoken
The first thing to be proved respecting Jesus Christ is, THAT TO HIM BELONGS THE NAME OF DEITY. Now, first, the name of GOD-the name of GOD is applied to Jesus Christ, especially in that first chapter of St. John's Gospel -"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word was GOD." These are sublime sentences-here are sublime and abrupt sentences uttered by John; and one