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God of wisdom: let temperance guide his zeal: let a desire for God's glory prompt his efforts; let charity rule his tongue; and let justice be the measure of his actions. And such a man shall neither mislead others, nor himself miscarry he shall find a satisfaction in thus labouring to do good for others as well as himself, which the triumph of faction can never reach, to which mere party success is a stranger, and which a selfish policy can never find; living, heaven-instructed, not for himself, but for his country, his religion, and his God, the work of his righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of his righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
THOUGHTS ON MATT XXII. 45*.
He adds that, if the Pharisees had held the divinity of the Messiah, they might easily have solved the proposed enigma, by replying that Christ was truly David's Son as regarded the flesh, bnt his Lord as regarded his divine nature. David, accordingly, in spirit, calleth him Lord: "one, indeed, that should come after him, as his offspring according to the flesh; but one, in dignity of person and greatness of power, far superior to him, and to every earthly potentate; King of kings, and Lord of lords; God and man united in one person" (bp. Horne).
the various passages which relate to him, this important position being once established, we may rejoice and triumph, inasmuch as it lays a secure and immoveable foundation for our hope towards God.
To us of the present day the same important question may be addressed; and, if we admit that Christ is very God as well as very man, the seeming contradiction is at once removed. If, on the other hand, we represent him as no more than a creature like unto ourselves, and as having no higher original than earthly parents, the question BY THE REV. BEAVER H. BLACKER, M.A. must still recur, and cannot be answered," How "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son ?" doth David in spirit call him Lord ?" But, if we abide by the plain and express declarations of the ALREADY had our Saviour baffled the insidious bible, and trust not to man's ingenuity more than devices of his enemies, and exposed their igno- to the word of God, we shall readily allow that rance and hypocrisy, so much so that "he had Jesus is Immanuel, "God manifested in the put the Sadducees to silence." Yet, since the self-flesh;" and, since no other doctrine can reconcile righteous Pharisess, as if sure of success, still gathered around him, in order the more completely to confound them, in their endeavours to "entangle him in his talk," he proposed a question, in which he called upon them to declare their opinion concerning the descent of their expected Messiah. In doing so he started a difficulty from their own scriptures, which they were unable to resolve. They were agreed that the Christ, the promised Saviour, must be "the Son of David ;" and they could not deny that David, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, speaks of him in the character of his Lord or governor. When urged, therefore, to explain in what sense he could be the Son, and yet the Lord of David, they were unable to reply. "No man," says the evangelist (ver. 46), was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask him any more questions." They felt themselves overpowered, and relinquished their vain disputations. Their malevolence, however, was in nowise changed.
I have said that, if we represent the Saviour as no more than a creature like unto ourselves, the difficulty which would in that case embarrass us, as it embarrassed the Pharisees, remains unanswered; because, if he were to be a mere human creature, who would have no existence for many ages after the time of David, with what propriety could his ancestor call him Lord? pendent monarch, such as David was, acknowledged no lord or master save God; much less would he bestow that title upon a son or descendant, to whom he could not in any way owe subjection. If, indeed, his father Jesse had lived till he was established upon the throne, he might, in some good sense, have been called the lord of Jesse, and yet his son; but could he be called the lord of Abraham, or of any other of his ancestors? and yet it would be in every respect as reasonable to call him the lord of Abraham, or of Adam, as to
The question, as being one that would involve them in an inextricable difficulty, was proposed by our Lord, to show the Pharisees how little they understood the true nature and dignity of the Messiah, call the Messiah the lord of David, if he had no and how, blinded by carnal prejudices, they had existence till a thousand years after David's overlooked all that had been said of Immanuel, death (Scott). We know that the word adon or and of "the mighty God" becoming "a child hurios, signifying lord or master, was a term imborn," and had expected a mere man, and a tem- plying an acknowledgment of superiority in the poral deliverer, instead of a divine and spiritual Re- person to whom it was addressed. Since, theredecmer. This was exactly the case; for, as bishop fore, it has been addressed by David to his deBull has remarked (Jud. Eccl. Cath. i. 12), "al-scendant, when he said, "The Lord said unto my though the prophets had not obscurely intimated that Christ would be God as well as man, and though the wiser few of the Jews saw that, yet the generality embraced the abject notion that he would be a mighty conqueror and a glorious monarch (like Cyrus, Alexander, or Cæsar), who would subdue all the nations of the earth, and make Jerusalem the metropolis of the world."
The substance of this paper, which lays claim to little originality of sentiment, appeared some years since, as an anonymous communication, in an Irish periodical. It is now reprinted, with alterations.
Lord" (Jehovah said unto Adon), the Messiah, who was so called by him, and acknowledged as his superior, must be divine, must be truly and properly the Son of God, and equally with the Father must have been David's Lord, when his ancestor thus spake of him.
But our Lord's argument being drawn from Ps. cx., and the modern Jews, like those of old, being unable to reconcile with their views the well-known application of the prophecy to the Messiah, and seeing the advantage gained from it to the Christian cause, it can by no means be
matter of surprise that attempts have been made to pervert its meaning, and thus to destroy at least this proof of Christ's divinity. Some, accordingly, have made the person to whom God speaks in the first verse of the psalm, to be Hezekiah, some Abraham, some David, and some the people of Israel; but so divided are they in their opinions, and so rash in their attempts to wrest the psalm from its proper meaning ("speaking inconsistent things," says St. Chrysostom, "like drunken men, or rather," as he adds, "like men in the dark, running against one another") that from thence alone we may, with bishop Patrick, be satisfied that they are in the wrong, and have their eyes blinded. Those, moreover, to whom Jesus spake, even the Pharisees, the most accurate and skilful of all the Jews, attempted no such evasion, but by their silence gave consent to what was the prevailing opinion at the time, and what the ancient Jewish church and the ancient commentators, with very few exceptions, have declared-that the adon of David and the Messiah, "the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star," are one and the same. That this psalm therefore, from which St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews has drawn his decisive proof that the Messiah is far exalted above all the angelic host, alludes to no other than Christ, we can have no doubt; or that its author was the son of Jesse. For, had a different application prevailed, or even been entertained respecting its author; had the Pharisees conceived the prophecy to refer not to Christ, but to Abraham or to David, or to any other individual, how eagerly would they have availed themselves of its shelter, to evade the convincing force of our Saviour's reasoning, and have at once replied that this belonged not to the son of David! Or, could they have used the refuge of some modern commentators, that of making David its primary object, how easily might they have denied its secondary meaning (Bloomfield)!
We have seen that, in the general opinion of the ancient Jews, whose testimony in such matters is particularly valuable, "because that unto them were committed the oracles of God," David's prophecy referred exclusively to the Messiah; and this interpretation is still further established by multiplied quotations from the psalm throughout the New Testament, with the most express application of them to the kingdom of Christ. And yet the modern Socinian in his anxiety to reduce the Messiah to the level of the human race, refuses to hear these simple declarations of God's word, and opposes to them his own arrogant decisions; and, so far is he from considering our blessed Lord as a proper object of religious address, that he can look upon him only as "the most excellent of human characters, the most eminent of all the prophets of God." Thus, according to Mr. Belsham, the redoubtable champion of what is called unitarianism, our Saviour was "a man in all respects like to his brethren ;" and, though he could not deny that he "is indeed now alive, and employed in offices the most honourable and benevolent,' he nevertheless maintains that "there can be no proper foundation for religious addresses to him, nor of gratitude for favours now received, nor yet for confidence in his future interposition in our behalf:" he reveres his me
mory, but yet considers him no more than man. All such like persons we may unhesitatingly, and with every feeling of charity, address in the words of Jesus: Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." They refuse to hear the word of God: they oppose to it their own fallible decisions: they seek to exalt themselves above their Maker; and (such must be the doom of the proud deceiver) they shall perish in the vanity of their own imaginations (See abp. Magee's Strictures on Belsham's Account of the Unitarian Scheme").
"Salvation! O, the joyful sound!
THE CHRISTIAN'S INTEREST IN HIS
BY THE REV. RICHARD HARVEY, M.A.,
JOHN i. 42.
"He brought him to Jesus."
THE religion of the bible is very significantly opposed to the natural disposition of man. It was intended to convert the heart, and to change the habits of its professors in this world, as it has been provided to raise their hopes and elevate their prospects in the next. Instead of self-indulgence, it recommends selfdenial: instead of indifference to the wellbeing of others, it infuses an interest in all our fellow-creatures.
Man is naturally a selfish being, and indisposed to look beyond his own immediate advantage. He may be led to pity those who are in trouble: he may be induced to relieve those who are in distress: he may be inclined to " weep with them that weep." But he is not apt to take pleasure in the prosperity of others, as if it were his own: he is not necessarily pleased at the good fortune of his brethren: he is not of himself disposed to " rejoice with them that do rejoice."
Christianity, however, essentially changes the character: it imparts a principle of general good-will: it excites in the breasts of its professors an interest in the common salvation. The gospel is intrinsically expansive. Like its divine Author, it is "no respecter of persons." It considers all nations and all ranks alike. In a matter of life or death it
knows no partiality: it is without any ex-, clusive spirit. The very persons who understand and regard it are only made more eager to impart it. It is precious, like "treasure hid in a field ;" invaluable, so that a man would part with all else to secure it. But, the more highly the possessor prizes it, the more he studies to extend and proclaim it. The field is not bought that the treasure may continue hidden, but that it may be used and shared; and he who has found true peace, instead of seeking to keep others from partaking of it, is only made the more desirous to dispense it.
Such would seem to have been the spirit which actuated him who was the first called by our Lord to be an apostle, and to whom, as the early and ready follower of Christ, our attention may be very usefully directed. The evangelist is recording, with considerable care, the circumstances which preceded the acceptance of the truth by Andrew. He informs us that the Baptist, who had been sent to prepare the way for the due reception of the gospel, was pointing out the Saviour of the world. He, who came to usher in the Redeemer of mankind, was honoured as the instrument of bringing the first apostle to confess him.
Andrew was already one of John's disciples; he knew, therefore, the way of the Lord, although imperfectly; and he and another were in company with the Baptist when Jesus chanced to pass by. There had never been any jealousy of Christ on the part of his illustrious forerunner: instead of that, he had always declared his own infinite inferiority. He had ever spoken of the great Personage who was expected as one, 66 the latchet of whose shoes he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose;" and very shortly before the close of his ministry his language "He must increase; but I must decrease." 99 On the present occasion he directed the attention of his two disciples to the Deliverer who was then expected, and for the reception of whom he had come to prepare them: "Looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" Behold him, “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write;" him "who should come," and whom "God hath sent to bless you; a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." A testimony so disinterested and decisive could hardly fail to be successful; and accordingly we are informed that "the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus."
In ordinary circumstances, no particular notice might have been taken; but the acknowledgment of him who was the first called
of the apostles deserved to be specially remarked. Our Lord, therefore, questioned them distinctly as to the object of their pursuit: "Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye?" It would seem that their desire was to learn of him, to receive his instructions, and to become his disciples; for they addressed him as "Master," and intimated a wish to accompany him: "They said unto him, Rabbi, where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day." The evangelist has not recorded the particulars of the conversation which ensued; but so satisfied was Andrew of the truth of John's declaration, that he lost no time in assuring Peter of the divine character of the Redeemer: "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus."
This is the short and simple account which St. John has given of the way in which the heart of Andrew was gradually opened by the grace of God, and prepared for the reception of the gospel. He heard the testimony of the Baptist, whom he followed, to the purity of Christ's character and the purpose of his coming: "Behold the Lamb of God!" The saying was carefully observed by him, and sank deep into the mind of himself and another: "the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus." Thus, by the most simple means, was the humble fisherman of Galilee converted into a "fisher of men," and brought to acknowledge him who was the Saviour of the world. On a later occasion the woman of Samaria was led to receive him, from the knowledge which he displayed of the heart; but here his earliest follower confessed him from the intimation of his great precursor: "We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ."
With the particulars of Andrew's call, which are more fully related by St. Matthew, we are not at present mainly concerned. His readiness to follow Christ when he was bidden, and his willing renunciation of his worldly calling, that he might choose the "good part,' cannot be too much commended. Our attention at this time is rather directed to one feature in the conduct of the apostle-his interest in the welfare of his brother: "He brought him to Jesus." This must ever be a topic deserving our most serious consideration; but especially must it commend itself to our notice when our thoughts are more particularly directed to the first coming of our Lord*,
* The season of Advent.
and we are invited to inquire seriously into | of trouble, or rescued him from the miseries the nature of our preparation for the second. of want. But there are higher and better Various ways might be adverted to in things which the Christian will desire to which men are able and accustomed to show effect for him whom he would serve. He the interest which they take in the good of will not be satisfied with exhibiting an inothers. They may be willing to assist them terest in his well-being on earth: he will when they are in need, to rescue them when study to show that he is anxious that he may they are in danger, to comfort them when be prepared for heaven. He will not be they are in trouble; and so they may prove content with helping him in regard to those their regard by being prompt in supplying things which perish with the using: he will help, as every one may seem to require it. seek to stir him up to lay up his treasure in They bear one another's burdens, and thus those heavenly possessions which shall endure fulfil a very essential part of the law of for ever: Christ. The prisoner is gone to, the sick is visited, the hungry is fed, the naked is clothed; and in such ways to a certain extent the royal law is fulfilled, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
"Our craving spirits feel
We shall live on, though fancy die,
Of love, to last eternally."
"He brought him to Jesus." Here, after all, is the great test of the advantage which men find in religion, and the real worth at which they prize it. It is not with Cbristianity as it is with worldly treasures, that one man has much at the expense of his neighbour who has little, or that the love of what he possesses makes him often anxious to retain it. There are no bounds to the treasures of heaven: like the mercy which bestows them, they are infinite; and he who values and has received them is eager to see every one supplied. He, who does not gain them, has nothing, whatever may be his
But the advantages which are so communicated are of a transitory and temporary character. The dungeon cannot retain its occupant long: the sickness unto death cannot be very distant: the meat that perisheth, and the garments that wax old, will soon cease to be required. "Riches make to themselves wings, and fly away;" and nothing which relates only to this life will stand men in stead at the last. There is a great enemy to be conquered, a great prison to be escaped, a great end to be attained; and there is but one great and effectual door through which we can enter for the achieve-earthly acquirements: he has nothing to give ment. A real sense of religion, a knowledge of God as a reconciled Father in Jesus Christ, a full acquaintance with him who has overcome the last enemy, and set the prisoners free-this can alone keep men from falling, and enable them, amid all the trials of earth, to look with confidence, and without wavering, to heaven. What Andrew did for Peter, men who are in earnest will do for each other, and it must be done for all whom we desire effectually to serve: " He brought him to Jesus."
There are many things on which, in later years, those who have taken counsel together in youth may be able to reflect with pleasure. The remembrance of prosperous hours which they have passed with one another, or even of pleasing fancies which they may have indulged together, may not be without its comfort. To think that we administered to our brother's wants, that we were allowed to share his joys or partake his sorrows, that we once mutually helped and instructed each other, may often be remembered with gratitude when we are parted in riper age. At no time can we have cause to regret companionship in any thing but vice. We must ever be thankful in the reflection, that we have brought up a fellow-creature from the depths
peace to à troubled soul, or comfort in a
"First seek thy Saviour out, and dwell
And known him for the Christ by proof.
This was the habit of him who was first called to be an apostle of our Lord; and this, we may rest assured, will be the practice of those who have been made sensible of their sins, and have come to the Saviour for pardon. No men can really value the great salvation provided, no men can be fully con scious of the great interest at stake, if they are not anxious for the good of others, if they omit any occasion of promoting it. Neither the importance of the first advent, nor the solemnity of the second, can be duly estimated by those who do not think of them in regard to their brethren. The deliverance which has been effected for them, and the destruction which has been averted, cannot be viewed aright by any who are indifferent with respect to those who may be affected. What, then, let every one inquire, has been the effect of religion upon himself? what has been its influence on his heart; what its bearing on his practice? Has it weaned him from the world and from sin? Has it enabled him to overcome temptation, and to direct his attention to heavenly things? Has it brought him, like Andrew, to acknowledge and to follow Christ, and so convinced him of the worth of religion, that he studies to impress all men with its value?
We must, indeed, fear that this point in Andrew's history is too little regarded among ourselves. We would hope, we are indeed persuaded, that many are fully awakened to a due sense of their high and holy calling. We trust that most see the vanity of this life, and the value of the life to come, in their true and scriptural light. We are assured that many have turned to God in earnest, and are putting their trust in Christ, and are seeking to be daily renewed by the Holy Spirit. But, still, the cry of a large proportion is, "Am I my brother's keeper?" "I am thankful for the mercy that I have experienced, but I am not responsible for its acceptance by others." Alas! there must be something sadly deficient in our religion, if we can so regard its obligations. We are all accountable for the good which it might be in our power to effect to any one: we are responsible for the counsel we might have given, the example we might have set, the prayers we might have offered.
answerable for the influence which we might exert, in public or private, to restrain from evil or to withdraw from temptation. The first thought of the new convert, the last act of the aged saint, in regard to every brother, will be to bring him to Jesus, to give him an interest in the first advent, to induce him to get ready for the second.
How different would be the aspect of the
world if this principle were acted on throughout! if every sincere and right-minded Christian would call to mind his obligations to improve and benefit his fellow, and, conscious that he had freely received, would give as freely to his neighbour! How great would be the improvement in our own circle, if our first object with regard to our fellow-creatures was to bring them to that Saviour, whom through mercy, we have been led to receive; if each parent looked to this first for his child; if each master regarded this most for his servant! We may provide outward means for the instruction of the young, and the edification of the more advanced. But means are nothing if the end is not attained; and, while we supply ordinances for leading men to Christ, we ought at least to discountenance what will draw them away from him.
Let every Christian urge his brother, and each master call on his dependents, and all who know the Lord bestir themselves, to make others acquainted with him. Let each disciple of Christ remember that he is a "city set on a hill," the salt to season and purify the mass. We should then employ ourselves to do real good to those among whom our lot is cast. We should study to bring them to our common Saviour; to lead them to hallow his day, repair to his house, become his people. We should speak a word in season, and speak it in love; but out of the abundance of our hearts we should be constrained to speak. We should have our conversation in heaven, albeit we are dwellers upon earth: we should bear in mind that we are citizens of that blessed abode where neither rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where alone true joy is to be found. Having been graciously led to him who is "full of grace and truth," we should be careful to live to him ourselves. The prayer which we offer for others, the example which we set them, the advice which we give them, would be all directed to the promotion of their best interests, and the furtherance of God's eternal glory, to bring them to Jesus.
THE GOD OF LOVE AND HOPE*.
In the first epistle of St. John (iii. 8), the apostle tells us that "God is love." And I dare say that the little boy or girl who has been a regular Sunday-scholar has very often heard this both, at school and at church; but did my dear young friends ever consider that, if God is love to us, we ought to be love to one another? that, if the great God, who fills heaven with his glory and earth From the " Church of England Sunday Scholar's Magazine."