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And if from this fact, daily passing before our eyes, you turn to the page written by inspiration of God, it is impossible to remain ignorant of the excellency of the soul.
What can be imagined more grand than the account of its creation? Look up to the Heavens; immensely high, immeasurably wide as they are, God only spake, and instantly, with all their host, they had their being. The earth, the sea, the air, with all their millions of beasts, birds, and fishes, were formed instantaneously by the breath of his mouth. But, behold! before the human soul is formed, a council of the Eternal Trinity is held. “God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.”* He formed his soul in its moral faculties and powers, a sinless, immortal transcript of himself.
To deface this image, and ruin a creature which the love of God had so highly exalted, was an attempt equal to the execrable malice Satan bore against God and against the favourite work of his hand. But no sooner did the devil, by his accursed subtilty, bring on the soul an injury, tending to its utter destruction, than the most high God, by the method used to recover it, declared a second time still more loudly the exceeding greatness of its worth. For take a just survey of the majesty of him, who only of all in Heaven, was able or sufficient to restore the soul to the favour and fruition of God. Before him the depth of the unfathomable seas, the height of the loftiest mountains, the vast dimensions of the earth, and the immense circuit of the skies, are as the small dust of the balance. Before him the vast multitudes which people the whole earth, with all their pomp, are less than nothing and vanity. This is he, behold him!t This is he who takes upon himself a work
Gen. i. 26, 27. + The reader is desired, as he would not wish to dishonour and injure the Redeemer by mean and unworthy thoughts of him, to medi. tate deeply on the grand and divine things which are written of him. In the evangelical prophet Isaiah, you will find his majesty set forth in the most lofty and affecting manner, and by a variety of such glorious images as will more exalt your apprehensions of him than any train of abstract reasoning. In the xlth chapter, from whence the above description of his grandeur is taken, there is enough declared both of his grace and divinity to make him appear altogether glorious,
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the offspring of the God of glory, and impressed as Lis own image; then the purchase of the blood olis sce; and now the pupil of the Holy Ghost. When su stoops to the office of teaching, no one of less ok. ties the heir of a kingdom must be the scholar. Hos gua then must be the excellency of the soul, whick basse Spirit of God for its appointed instructor and occara guide.
It will still further prove the worth of the soul, to 03sider that amazing elevation of glory to wait be advanced, or that dire extremity of woe in Test be plunged, hereafter. Soon as the fez years at its education and trial here on earth expire, it ceai the offers of salvation have been duly accepted a.s. proved, it will gain admission into the city of the lits? God; where shines an everlasting day; where every tisz is removed for ever that might but tend to excite lear, or for a moment to impair the completeness of felicity. 4:1 whilst the soul possesses a magnificent habitation, eternal in the Heavens, the company with which it will be assis ciated, in excellency far surpass all the glories of its p22 of abode. Man, by revolting from God, was banished from any commerce with the glorious spirits that persze the invisible world. But when the designs of grace de accomplished in the soul, it becomes a partaker of all be invaluable privileges and dignities of the angels. It 3 clothed with a brightness of glory refulgent as the sot is raised to such degrees of excellency as exceed our h-23est reach of thought; every defect and blemish inhere in its present condition is done away, and its moral per. fections surpass in splendour the outward beauty with which it is arrayed. Now, if we estimate the grandeur cf person from the exalted station he is born to bers, ad ossessions he shall one day call his own, how great worth of the soul be judged, which, unless rute
incorrigible sinfulness, is to inherit the reta to stand before the throne of Jehovah on a le to drink of rivers of pleasure which are impossible for angels to effect, the redemption of the soul. He undertakes to replace it in the favour of God—not by the word of his mouth, as in the day that he made the heavens and the earth; but by a contrivance infinitely costly and painful; by a process of many steps, each of them mysterious to angels as well as to men. To redeem the soul, he lays aside his glory. He is born poor
strong, of the Sancholy and
and mean. He lives afficted, insulted, oppressed. In his death he is made a sin-offering and a curse, presenting to the Father a divine obedience, and a death fully satisfactory to his broken law.-Pause then awhile, and duly consider who the Redeemer is, and what he hath done. Then will you necessarily conclude, that whatever the world admires as excellent, and extols as most valuable, is unspeakably mean when put in the balance against the worth of the soul.
It is indeed a matter of the utmost difficulty, to believe that one in every perfection equal with the Eternal Father should abase himself to the cross, and shed his blood on it to ransom the soul. Here reason with all its efforts is lost in the unfathomable depth of mystery; and, if left to itself, would lead into perpetual cavil, if not to a flat denial of the reality of the fact. The method used to prevent such a denial, which would be blasphemy against God and perdition to ourselves, still more forcibly adds evidence to the worth of the soul. For the same Eternal Spirit which in the beginning brought light out of darkness, and order and beauty out of chaos, comes down from Heaven to bear witness of redemption. “He shall glorify me,” saith the Redeemer, “ for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew
In other words, it is his office so to display the glory of the person, righteousness and salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, that those truths, which are foolishness to the reason of the natural man, may be discerned in all their excellency. This Eternal Spirit (called the Spirit of Truth, because the only effectual Teacher of Divine truth) is continually present with the Church of Christ, by his illumination to make known the things which are freely given us of God.
Judge then, what must be the excellency of that immortal principle within you, which in its original birth is
* John xvi. 14.
it unto you.
the offspring of the God of glory, and impressed with his own image; then the purchase of the blood of his Son; and now the pupil of the Holy Ghost. When nobility stoops to the office of teaching, no one of less dignity than the heir of a kingdom must be the scholar. How great then must be the excellency of the soul, which has the Spirit of God for its appointed instructor and continual guide.
It will still further prove the worth of the soul, to consider that amazing elevation of glory to which it will be advanced, or that dire extremity of woe in which it will be plunged, hereafter. Soon as the few years
allotted for its education and trial here on earth expire, if grace and the offers of salvation have been duly accepted and improved, it will gain admission into the city of the living God; where shines an everlasting day; where every thing is removed for ever that might but tend to excite fear, or for a moment to impair the completeness of felicity. And whilst the soul possesses a magnificent habitation, eternal in the Heavens, the company with which it will be associated, in excellency far surpass all the glories of its place of abode. Man, by revolting from God, was banished from any commerce with the glorious spirits that people the invisible world. But when the designs of grace are accomplished in the soul, it becomes a partaker of all the invaluable privileges and dignities of the angels. It is clothed with a brightness of glory refulgent as the sun, it is raised to such degrees of excellency as exceed our highest reach of thought; every defect and blemish inherent in its present condition is done away, and its moral perfections surpass in splendour the outward beauty with which it is arrayed. Now, if we estimate the grandeur of a person from the exalted station he is born to bear, and the possessions he shall one day call his own, how great must the worth of the soul be judged, which, unless ruined by its own incorrigible sinfulness, is to inherit the riches of eternity; to stand before the throne of Jehovah on a rank with angels; to drink of rivers of pleasure which are at his right hand for evermore.
It is, on the other hand, evidence equally strong, of the value of the soul, though, alas! of a very melancholy and