صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

A SERMON,

BY THE REV. J. H. EVANS, M.A.

PREACHED IN JOHN STREET CHAPEL, KING'S ROAD, BEDFORD ROW, ON SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 2, 1846.

"I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."-John xvii. 26.

THESE words must be read in connection with the former verse, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it." It is as if our Lord did say, 'Though the world knows Thee not, these have known Thee; for they have known Me, and they have known Thyself in Me-Me the sent One, Thyself the sender; Me the salvation-Thyself the giver of it; Me the stream-Thyself the fountain; Me the unspeakable gift-Thyself the gracious bestower.'

And how was it that they knew Him? They have known Me in Thee.' "And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Here are two points, beloved, for our consideration. First of all, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the great revealer of God. He has been so, He is so, and, I am inclined to believe, will be so to all eternity. Let that be our first point. Secondly, let us consider the end wherefore He reveals Him: "that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

I. That Jesus Christ is the great revealer of God, is quite manifest, if you consider merely His name, "the Word of God;" for as the word of a man reveals to me what that man is, so the "Word"

VOL. XIII.-No 460.-October 22, 1846.

2 F

of God reveals what God is. He is "the Image of God;" and as the image of a man reveals to me what the man is, so the "Image" of the invisible God is the revealer of God-who ever will be, as I believe, invisible. And He is called "the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person."

Before the world was, it seems as if the holy and eternal God, the triune God, was unrevealed, dwelling in His own glory. There we stop; where elephants can be lost, how silly it is for lambs to lose themselves! No sooner was earth created, and Adam formed, than that earth became a glass, in which he saw God; and no doubt the very prohibition given to Adam was another glass to him, and the forbidding to eat of the fruit of the tree was another glass to him. As if God had said, 'I demand all from My creatures; I have indisputable authority over all, I demand all; there is not a single thing but what is Mine.' Therefore the Socinian argument, that "it was but an apple," just shows how the man of reason may be taken in his own net; because the lower the demand, the greater the guilt. Then, when Adam transgressed the commands of God, great darkness must have come into his mind; because sin is always a cause of darkness; and but for grace, mere grace, that darkness must have been the prelude to eternal darkness, everlasting darkness, and banishment from the presence of God for ever. But oh! admire the wondrous mercy of God, that at that time, when the greatest insult had been given to Him, when His authority had been thrown off, and the most daring rebellion manifested, without one signal of repentance upon the part of Adam, then came forth the promise.

And

And who was the promise? It was the Lord Jesus Christ. who was the great Promiser? I believe, that He who was the substance of the promise, was the giver of the promise; having no doubt in my own mind, that all the appearances in the Old Testament were the appearance of "the Word," anticipating that which should be; though not yet revealed as the Son, yet anticipating what should be. Sometimes in the appearance of a man, sometimes of an angelic being, (it might always have been in the appearance of a man, notwithstanding,) He did, as it were, forestate His own coming into the world, when He should be "made under the law," to redeem them that should be "under the law."

But if we turn to the Sinai covenant, still we see the Lord Jesus

Christ, as the great revealer of God. In the moral law, there was a wondrous unfolding of God's sovereignty, of God's holiness, of His great, terrible, and fearful majesty; but in the gasping, groaning, bleeding death of those victims, what do we see? We see Christ. The spiritual Jew, rising above his dispensation, saw the future Messiah. Rising above the outward things, he had testimony of the inward thing: but he saw more than that; he had some view of a holy and forgiving God; he had some view of a sin-hating and a sin-pardoning God. Thus it was in that dispensation, that it was the Lord Jesus Christ who was the great revealer of God, even to the Jew.

My dear hearers, He is, and ever has been so. If I look at His person, He is the glorious revealer of Him there; if I look at the `miracles that He wrought, He is the glorious revealer of Him there; if I look at the doctrines that He taught, He is the glorious revealer of Him there; if I look at the holy sinlessness of His life, He is the glorious revealer of Him there; and if I look at his ignominious death, I see there the most glorious development of God, for I see every attribute glorified, and all in perfect harmony.

Let us look at this part of our subject for a few minutes; let us consider for a few moments the patience of God. There was in the sin of Adam the greatest scorn, reproach, contumely, and rebellion, that ever could have been displayed by a creature. What hindered the Lord God Almighty from his instant destruction? Nothing but His wondrous and infinite patience; His patience as displayed in Jesus. And look at all Adam's posterity-what is the whole life of his posterity? It is but one act of disobedience against God. Why did the Lord wait for so many thousands of years, and wink at the ignorance of the Gentile world? Why did He bear with all the rebellions of His ancient people? Why was their abolition so long delayed? Oh! it was the display of God's patience. And are we before them, as a nation? Here we are, a people professing godliness. I dare to say, if ever we were the means of converting any, we should hang down our heads as we went through the streets of this Christian England, and told him that God was always attending when His name was profaned. Go through our streets, and see the derision of the scorner; mark every precept disregarded, and utter rebellion manifested. You say, 'We have no proof of a national system of idolatry.' Have we no proof

of a system that makes a fallen woman to be put upon a par with the incarnate God? Do we not assist a system, and maintain a system, that exalts the merit of the creature? Do we not support a system, that exhorts men to pray to the dead as if they could hear? Oh! the wondrous patience of God! Yet at this moment there stands the tract distributor. Go with him into the vilest parts of Gray's-inn-lane; hear him unfolding the infinite worth of Jesus to sinners; declaring, that "whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Oh! the wondrous patience of God!-displaying Jesus for the chiefest of sinners! So that one can say to the vilest of men, the most unworthy of men, and the greatest of all transgressors, that "whosoever believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

Look at the mercy of God. One might suppose, that if anything could stop up the channels of mercy, it must have been that sin that pervades the nations, that pervades the whole life of man. Yet it hath appeared, in the wonder-working display of God's love in Jesus, as if He had said, 'Nothing shall ever stop the tenderness of God.' Is there a perfection in God that is more set at nought by the world than His justice? Ah! it is the touchstone of unregeneracy. The unregenerate man admires God's goodness; he will talk of His wisdom, he will acknowledge His power, he will not deny His faithfulness; but touch upon His justice, and you will see in one moment that he hates a just God. But if there are any here that will not bow before the justice of God, let me say, it is the attribute that belongs essentially to Him. He cannot part with it. Awful are the displays that are seen of it in His own Word; and awful the display of it in this broad world! If we look at Adam's sin, we see a whole world involved in death because of his one sin. Is that sin nothing, that causes thy dear friend to die -that causes thy children to die-and that brings the last wrench that severs friend from friend? Is it nothing, I ask, to see all these effects of Adam's sin at this moment? Look at the awful development of God's justice in the world; read it in the flood; look at it, and see how God marks out the traces of His hatred of sin to the uttermost. But all seems to sink beneath that bowing of the head upon the accursed tree. "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" Could we look beyond the precincts of this place of worship, and descend to the very border of hell, and could we hear

those who have mingled with us in our praises and joined with us in our prayers-stood up with us with their Bibles in their hands-could we see them in the bottomless pit, just because they rested in forms, and knew not that change of heart, without which no man can see God-could we see that place of unutterable misery, that would' come infinitely short of the great development of God's justice as displayed in His dear Son.

Oh! look at Him! He was a holy man; He did no sin, He knew no sin; no thought of sinfulness ever came into His mind. He was God's "righteous Servant," whose whole life was obedience. He was God's "beloved Son," His "only begotten," and His "best beloved." And yet in the very act of the most consummate obedience, the hand of God was laid upon Him. Why did His friends desert Him? Why did His enemies mock Him? Why did Satan triumph? Not an angel was sent to help Him. Why did God hide His face from Him? "" My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?" It was because sin was imputed to Him-only imputedlaid to His charge; and He bare it willingly, and died the accursed death for us.

Oh! wondrous exercise of justice !-because sin was imputed, therefore vengeance must be consummated. Oh! you that trifle with your souls, that neglect the salvation of your souls, who are living without God, see the awful vestiges of the wrath of a sinhating God! Oh! who shall describe what developments there have been of it in the Lord Jesus Christ? Oh! the unutterable love that has borne with us! "Not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Well might the apostle say, "He spared not His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all." Ah! beloved, God is a holy God. That secret shall soon be known by an unholy world. He hates sin, and He loathes it, as the one thing that He abhors. Is there no unfolding of it? Look at this, when not even Jesus, His own Son, could escape; but, having sin imputed to Him and charged upon Him, a holy God must sheath His sword in His bosom !

"I have declared Thy name," says the Lord Jesus Christ; and He says, "I will declare it." He will go on to declare it. As He has declared it by His Word, so He will declare it by His works; and so will He declare it, too, by His Spirit, yet more and more.t He declared it by His resurrection, and He will go on to declare i

« السابقةمتابعة »