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the Jews, have performed his mighty works through the agency of Beelzebub. But the perfect harmony of nature, proves its author to be a Being of truth, and none but He can break in upon that harmony, by causing miracles to be wrought, and when he does break in upon that harmony, he still remains the same Being of truth, since he does so for special purpo333, for which he ever assigns his reasons. We are therefore, brought to the conclusion that the miracles wrought by Christ, prove him to be a teacher sent from God.

LECTURE XI.

THE MESSIAH AS A TEACHER.

NEVER MAN SPAKE LIKE THIS MAN -John 7; 46.

Three great teachers, whose characters, somewhat resemble each other, have made their appearance in this world-Moses, Socrates and Jesus Christ. The former two were true representatives of the systems under which they lived. They were the highest types of humanity that could have been developed by the influences that surrounded them.

Moses was favored with a revelation from God, though given, it is true, in the midst of clouds and darkness; and Socrates appears to have gone to the utmost limits of unaided reason, in his discoveries of moral truth. Perhaps it may be said of him that he felt after God and found him. Jesus Christ came not as a developement of any system, but he appeared as a perfect ORIGINAL. His like, as a moral teacher, had never previously existed.

All three of these teachers were far in advance of the ages in which they lived. Moscs often incurred the displeasure of the Jews, and nothing short of Divine interposition saved him from their murderous resentment; Socrates was poisoned; and Jesus was crucified.

In two respects Jesus Christ was a perfectly origiral teacher. First—He greatly excelled in those character istics which he possessed in common with his predecessors, and 2nd-He possessed new characteristics, as a teacher, which had never been possessed before bim. Let us then notice:

I. Jesus Christ greatly excelled in all those characteristics as a teacher, which he possessed in common with his predecessors.

Christ was no ultraist, who looked upon the past as a mere blank. His system gathered up all the past that was worth preserving. He was willing to acknowledge his connection with M3303 and the Prophets, and it was of a Gentile he spake when he said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." We do violence to the language of the New Testament writers, when we take their condemnation of all worldly knowledye in a superlative sense, making it amount to absolute foolishness. The vast amount of it was undoubtedly such, though wo apprehend that the writers' intention was to intimate that compared with the superior system of Jesus, all others sunk into comparative insignificance or nothingness. Such strong expressions are quite natural, and they abound in all languages, and every candid person, acquainted with the true genius of language, has no difficulty in taking such expressions, as they occur in the Bible, in a comparative sense. That the dispensation of Judaism was not all foolishness is evident from the fact that its law was holy, just and good; that the dispensation of nature was not absolute foolishness, is clear from the fact that under that dispensation, some thing might" be known of God," his "eternal power and

Godhead” could be seen from his creation, and “his judgment” was known by evil doers. But the improvement men almost universally made, both under Judaism and nature, meets with the almost unqualified censure of the New Testament writers. All were concluded in unbelief and sin. A few men like Moses and the prophets had been redeemed under Judaism, and the feebler rays of nature had directed a Socrates to a spiritual worship, and to a life of virtue. But in accomplishing what they did, these systems had done their best. The example afforded by the latter system, especially, shows what was hardly possible, and not what was probable or to be expected, under such a dispensation. But just so far as Socrates followed the greatest light of his age, he was a true man, an apostle of nature, and his mission was, in an impoi tant sense, Divine. His teaching3, just so far as they conform to the teachings of Jesu3, substantiate the latter as emanating from the very God of nature. It will not be thought irrelevant, then, to compare Christ and Socrates. By such comparison we shall find many characteristics in which there is a striking resemblance, though, in every one of these features, Christ is infinitely the superior.

1. Socrates was a teacher of morals. Duty and virtue were his great themes. He taught the superiority of virtuo over riches, and the importance of bringing the animal, under the subjection of the spiritual nature. Temperance or self-control, in the government of the appetites and passions,” he held, to be the “ foundation of all personal excellence."'* But Socrates is ever confessing his ignor

• Bibliotheca Sacra. fur 1853, page 26.

ance of the grand system he taught. He knew so little that he was accustomed to say he knew nothing.

Christ was also a moralist. His theme was also duty and virtue ; but his ethical system, how deep, severe, searching and spiritual! With him, the thought was the essence of the act. Anger, was the germ of murder; and an unchaste desire, adultery; two mites, with purity of motive, were worth more than vast treasures, with ostentation; the broken cries of the publican, more valuable than the eloquent prayers of the pharisee; and a work of mercy, was of more importance than a strictly literal observance of religious forms. In short, all sin, however secret, and in whomsoever found, received his severest censure; and all virtue, however obscure the individual who practiced it, received his approbation ; and the climax of his requisitions was, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

But with this high and severe standard of morality, how lenient, approachable, kind and forgiving was he to the repenting offender! With the Samaritan adultress, he could sit and converse, and proffer to her the living water; to another, who was the subject of pharasaic censure, he

"Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more;” and his faithless disciples who forsook him in his great trial, he received again to his favor; and even Peter, who denied him with an oath, received only the rebuke of one kind look, and the question, repeated three times, " lovest thou me, more than these ?'' Neither in Socrates, or any of his disciples, do we find such an extensive and severe morality, at the same time, being mingled

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