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effect: as, in this sense especially, "no man can redeem his brother, or give unto God [noa, his atonement or] ransom," Psalm xlix, 7; so every branch of the salvation wherewith Christ came to save sinners, manifests its author to be more than a mere man, or mere creature. According to the Scriptures, he is "the Light of the world," and enlightens the amazing darkness of millions of minds: he is the "Life of the world," and softens the extreme hardness of myriads of hearts: he is "the Sun of righteousness," and arises upon multitudes of cold, benighted, bewildered, desponding mortals, with "healing in his wings," so that they "go forth and grow up as calves of the stall," as Malachi has it: he is the Physician of souls, and while he pardons the aggravated guilt, he renews and heals the fallen and disordered nature of all that apply to him. He is present with his people, all in general, and each individual in particular, at all times, and in all places throughout the whole earth; protecting them against all their enemies, ghostly and bodily, succouring them in all their temptations, comforting them in all their troubles, and supplying all their wants: he watches over them by night and by day, wherever they are, at home or abroad, in town or country, by sea or land, in Britain or in China, as the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, feeding them "in green pastures," leading them "beside the still waters," and restoring their souls: he "preserves them from falling," keeps them "by his power through faith unto salvation, and presents them faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
11. Now let these various branches of the salvation wherewith Christ came to save sinners be considered, and then let it be determined whether he must not be more than a mere man or mere creature? Surely to save sinners with so great a salvation, must be a work of equal difficulty with that of the creation or preservation of all things. Accordingly, the apostle joins them all together in the passage quoted from Col. i. For after he has spoken of Christ as the Maker, Upholder, and Lord of all, he goes on to tell us that he is "the Head of his body, the Church; the beginning, the first born from the dead also, that in all things [in those of grace as well as those of nature] he might have the pre-eminence." For, adds he, "it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell," viz. all the fulness of wisdom, power, and love: all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, (nothing short of this being sufficient for such a mighty undertaking,) "and having made peace through the blood of the cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself,—by him [I say,] whether they be things in earth or things in heaven."
12. Hence the apostle assures us, that "God is in Christ, [the Divine nature in the human,] reconciling the world to himself;" and the Prophet Isaiah having a prophetical view of Emmanuel, "God with us, God manifest in the flesh," for the redemption and salvation of lost man, exhorts us as follows :—" O! thou that bringest good tidings to Zion, [see Bishop Lowth's translation,] get thee up into the high mountain: O ! thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Behold,"— a mere man? No:—" Behold your God! Behold, (adds he,) the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm will rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and
, OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH. 451carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young," Isaiah xl, 9—11.
13. And to the same purpose, in the 35th chapter, speaking of the happy effects of this manifestation of Jehovah in our nature, he declares, verse 2, " They shall see the glory of Jehovah, the excellency of our God," and exhorts,—" Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the. **f feeble knees. Say to them that are of a feeble heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God, with a recompense: he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped: then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing," ver. 3, 4. All this, it is well known, was literally fulfilled, when the "Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and men beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Then were all these miracles, and many others, really and continually performed. Day by day the "blind received their sight, the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, the deaf heard, the dead were raised up, and the poor had the Gospel preached unto them."
14. And these mighty works were done in a way and manner that manifestly showed that the person performing them was more than man. Man he was undoubtedly, but not man only: Jehovah, by his eternal Word, dwelt in that man, and did the works by him. Hence, in doing this mighty work, Christ spake, and acted with an authority and power, such as neither Moses nor Elijah, nor any of the prophets or apostles ever manifested. "Lord, if thou wilt," said the leper, "thou canst make me clean: Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean. Speak the word only, (said the centurion,) and my servant shall be healed. Jesus said, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." When Peter's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, he only "touched her hand, and the fever left her." When the "devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go into the herd of swine; he said unto them, Go: and they went into the herd of swine. When the people were put forth, he went in and took her by the hand, and the maid arose," Matt, ix, 25; see Mark v, 29; Matt, xiv, 34-30; Luke vi, 17, 19. "When they came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she a widow: and much people of the city with her: and when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not: and he came and touched the bier, and said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise: and he that was dead sat up, and began to speak: and he delivered him to his mother," Luke vii, 12.
15. Now was it thus that the prophets and apostles wrought miracles? Did they speak in this authoritative manner, as having life and power in themselves to raise the dead, and do cures? Quite the reverse. "In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk. I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to come out of her. Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. And Elijah cried unto the Lord his God, and said,
0 Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom
1 sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard tho voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived." See a similar instance concerning Elisha, 2 Kings iv, 18-36.
16. But these works of mercy done by the Lord Jesus upon the bodies of men, were nothing in comparison of those done for men's souls. See one or two instances among a thousand. "Behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay: and when Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God only? And Jesus knowing their thoughts, [and was he who knew their thoughts a mere man ?] said, Wherefore think ye evil in your heart? For whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed and go thy way into thine own house; and immediately he arose, and took up the bed, and went forth before them all, insomuch that they were amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion," Mark ii, 3-12.
17. We see him performing another work of still greater mercy, a relation of which is given us by an eye witness, who was also the subject of it, in the following words: "I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth; which things I also did. But as I went to Damascus, at midday, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me: and when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persccutest thou me 1 It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks; and I said, Who art thou, Lord? and he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me," Acts xxvi, 9-19. And is this lustre, exceeding the brightness of the sun, the glory of a mere man? Is this voice, "Why persecutest thou me? I am Jesus whom thou persecutest;" the voice of a mere man? Is it a mere man that here appears to make a minister, and promises to deliver him "from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom he sends him?" And is it by faith in a mere man that they receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among the sanctified?
18. Let us attend to this wonderful story a little farther. Because the amazing splendour of Divine glory that had surrounded Saul, upon the appearance of this august personage, had so dazzled his eyes as to deprive him of sight; the same gracious Lord, who arrested him in his mad career to shed the blood of the saints, and of a blasphemer and persecutor made him a preacher and an apostle, commanded Ananias to go to him to restore him: and when Ananias hesitated, saying, "Lord, I have heard from many of this man how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem, and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name; the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Mark these expressions, "Thy saints that call on thy name; a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles; how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Are the saints the property of a mere man? Do they call on a mere man for salvation? Is it the name of a mere man that apostles are constituted chosen vessels to bear? And is it for the sake of a mere man that they suffer such great things 1
19. Now, as it is certainly the sole prerogative of God to forgive sins, and receive guilty sinners to mercy, so our Lord manifested himself to be God, by exercising this power, .not only in these instances, but in a great many others recorded in the Gospel. Indeed, all believers are represented in the Scriptures, not only as having "redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins, and being accepted in Christ the beloved," but as being actually forgiven, and accepted by him. "Forgiving one another, (says the apostle, Col. iii, 13,) even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Receive ye one another, Rom. xv, 7, as Christ also hath received us to the glory of God." And as for illumination, regeneration, sanctification, consolation, and the whole work of grace upon the soul, we have already seen he is represented as the author thereof, conjointly with the Father; and accordingly he is addressed as such in the beginning of almost all St. Paul's epistles, and in divers other places. He is " full of truth and grace," and out of his fulness all true believers "receive, and grace upon grace." It is his grace that is "sufficient for them," 2 Cor. xii, 9; and through him " strengthening them, they can do all things," Phil, iv, 13. He is the author and finisher of their faith," Heb. xii, 2; the source and object of their love, Eph. iii, 17-19; the spring and end of their obedience, 2 Cor. v, 14, 15; Rom. xiv, 8, 9. They are "more than conquerors through him who hath loved them," Rom. viii, 37. "He delivers them from every evil work, and preserves them unto his heavenly kingdom," 2 Tim. iv, 18; and confers upon them eternal life. "I give unto my sheep (says he, John x, 28) eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand."
1. FROM works of grace and mercy proceed we to those of justice and judgment. "Who is this that cometh from Edom? with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like unto him that treadeth in the wine fat? I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with me; and I trod them in mine anger, and trampled them in my fury, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment: for the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my zeal it upheld me. And I trod down the people in mine anger, and made them drunk in my fury, and brought down their strength to Jhe ground."
2. Do we wish to see another description of this godlike personage, this captain of the Lord's host? This generalissimo (shall I call him ?) of the armies of heaven? or rather, this Jehovah Sabaoth, this Lord of armies? Then let us open the 19th chapter of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, by his servant John, and if the eyes of our understanding be not enlightened to see the glorious sight; if "he that commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath not shined in our hearts to show us the light of the glory of God, in the face (ev irj>aliwirw, in the person) of Christ Jesus;" let us at least attend to the highly-favoured disciple, who learned to know his Master by leaning on his bosom, and hearing the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. "I saw heaven opened, (says he,) and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and,,[N. B.] Hk Had A Name Written That No Man Knew But HimSelf: and he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word Of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God: and he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords."
3. Such is the person who says, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." And who that considers these descriptions of his glory given by Isaiah and St. John, the most evangelical prophet, and the most enlightened apostle, can forbear to comply with the heavenly injunction, and honour him "even as they honour the Father," by submitting to him, falling at his footstool, supplicating his mercy unto eternal life, and fleeing for refuge to him, the only hope set before lost and perishing sinners? And O! how necessary it is to do this without delay! How necessary to "kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and we perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled, yea, but a little!" how much more, when it burns with unabating fury! and the "great day of his wrath is come!" For then who shall be able to stand?
4. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, even so, Amen?" Rev. i, 7. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel,