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of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and of whose agony in the garden, and tragical death upon Mount Calvary, they had been witnesses,—and whom, therefore, they now rejoice to see upon a throne of glory, judging his judges, and passing sentence upon all the enemies of his government.
For lo! now, twice ten thousand gates thrown wide, 'Four forth their myriads, potentates, and powers,
Of light, of darkness; in a middle field,
As for his own brethren of mankind, as he condescended to call them, they acknowledge the reasonableness, and praise the wisdom of the appointment, whereby he who bore their sins, acquits their persons, who preserved them from falling, presents them faultless before the presence of his glory, and who purchased heaven for them with its various mansions, determines their happiness, and assigns each individual his proper and proportionate reward. They were under his government on earth, and he was always present with them, searching their hearts, observing their works, affording them aid, and exactly marking all their advantages and disadvantages, their helps and hinderances: they own, therefore, that he is perfectly qualified to be their judge, and applaud the righteous and equitable appointment, acknowledging that God is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works! Indeed, assembled worlds will see and confess the equity of his proceedings, and men and angels unite in one great burst of universal praise!
O! how sublime the chorus of the skies!O! how sublime these shouts of joy that shake The whole ethereal! how the concave rings!To see creation's god-like aim and end So well accomplish'd! so Divinely closed!To see the mighty dramatist's last act (As meet) in glory rising o'er the rest.
Nn fancied God, a God, indeed, descends, To solve atl knots—to strike the moral home- To throw full day on darkest scenes of time— To clear, commend, exalt, and crown the whole. Hence, in one peal of loud, eternal praise, The charm'd spectators thunder their applause;And the vast void beyond applause resounds!
16. "And I heard a voice of much people in heaven, saying, Hallelujah, salvation and glory, and honour and power unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments, for he hath judged the earth, and avenged the blood of his servants; and again they said, Hallelujah! and the four and twenty elders, and the four living creatures, fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen! Hallelujah! And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard, ai it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipoteth reigneth! Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her it was granted, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: now the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he saith unto me, write, Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship; and he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God," Rev. xix,l-10.
17. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people: and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new: and he said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh, shall inherit all things: I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
18. "And he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God, and of the Lamb, shall be in it, [the city,] and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads: and there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. And I John saw these things, and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things. Then he saith unto me, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant; worship God. Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen! even so. Come Lord Jesus!"
1. Ln two passages quoted from the 19th and 22d chapter of the Revelation by St. John, at the conclusion of the last chapter, we saw a glorious angel absolutely refusing to be worshipped. "I fell down at his feet to worship him, and he said to me, See thou do it not, I am thy fellow servant." And again: "I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel,—and he said, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant; worship God." Instances of a similar kind occur in divers parts of Scripture. Thus, Acts x, 25, 26," As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him: but Peter took him up, saying, Stand up, I myself also am a man." And again, chap. xiv, when the inhabitants of Lystra were about to offer sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas, " they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, Sirs, why do ye those things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein."
2. Well did these holy men and holy angels understand that Jehovah alone is the proper object of religious worship, according to what is repeatedly commanded in the Holy Scriptures. As, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exod. xx, 3. "Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord," Deut. vi, 4. "Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, (for the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you,) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth," ver. 13. Again: "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God: him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God," chap, x, 20. To these and such like passages, the Lord Jesus undoubtedly referred, when he said, " It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve,"-Matt. iv, 10.
3. Now, notwithstanding this, it is certain, first, that the same God who gave the above precepts concerning the proper objects of Divine worship, hath commanded his Son to be worshipped: secondly, that he hath accordingly been worshipped, and that both before and after his incarnation, both while he was on earth, and after his ascension into heaven; and, thirdly, that not one instance can be produced in which he hath ever refused the worship addressed to him.
First, God hath commanded him to be worshipped: as by David in the 45th Psalm: "He is thy Lord, and worship thou him." "Worship him all ye gods," Psalm xcvii: or as it is expressed, "when he bringeth his first begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him," Heb. i, 6. But this is still more clearly and fully declared by our Lord himself, John v, 19, in a passage which is the more remarkable, as it contains an answer to the Jews, who, the historian tells us, "sought the more to kill our Lord, because he had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his own (ioiov, proper) Father, making himself equal with God." Even to them upon such an occasion as this, among other things, Jesus said, "What things soever the Father doth, these doth the Son likewise. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will: for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father: he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him." See also to the same purpose, Phil, ii, 9-11, compared with Rom. xiv, 11.
4. Now that this was a proper religious worship and honour, which was commanded to be given to the Son of God, is plain, secondly, from this consideration,—that such a worship and honour was actually paid to him by those who undoubtedly understood the meaning of the Divine command. This appears from innumerable passages, both of the Old Testament and the New. It has been proved, that all the appearances of God made in days of old to the patriarchs and prophets, were made in his person, "no man ever having seen the Father at any time." Now, it is certain, they all worshipped the person that appeared to them. Jacob worshipped him at Bethel, "Jehovah is in this place, (said he,) and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And he took the stone which he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it: [an act this of religious worship.] And he called the name of that place Bethel, [that is, the house of God.] And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me and keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace,—then shall the Lord be my God, and this stone which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee," Genesis xxviii, 12-19. Here again, in this prayer and vow, and promise, is every mark of religious worship. In like manner, he worshipped him at Peniel. For he "said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me," Genesis xxxii, 25; which certainly implied prayer, with faith in his power, and love, and faithfulness. Moses worshipped him at the bush, and put off the shoes from off his feet, in token of his respect for the very place where so glorious a person had manifested his presence, hiding his face also in sign of the holy shame and confusion he felt. Isaiah worshipped him, (compare Isaiah vi, 5, with John xii, 13,) and said, " Wo is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Nay, and what is more, he assures us, he saw and heard the seraphim also worshipping him, and crying one to another," Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory!"
5. And as Divine worship was paid to him before his incarnation, when he appeared as the angel, or envoy Jehovah, or the "angel of God's presence," in whom his name, that is, his nature, is, so also, after his manifestation in the flesh, when he was God-man. Many instances of this occur in the Gospels: as, "Jesus heard that they had cast him out, [viz. the blind man, whom he had restored to sight,] and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? And he answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him," John ix, 35. Now this act of worship was grounded on his faith in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, the promised Messiah, and was attended with a confession of it; and, therefore, must imply more than such homage and respect as may be paid to men of high rank and character. It must imply religious worship, in which grateful and devout affections, to the benevolent author of so great a mercy as he had received, were felt in his heart, and manifested by the prostration of his body at the feet of Jesus. This appears from the case of the lame man healed at the beautiful gate of the temple, who, though suddenly and wonderfully restored by Peter and John, and full of joy and gratitude for so extraordinary a deliverance, yet did not attempt to worship them on the account. The reason of this plainly was, he knew Peter and John were but mere men, and had not healed him by their own power or holiness, having heard them say, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Hence though, no doubt, he was thankful to them as the instruments of the cure, and, in token of this, held them, (as we are told,) yet knowing that they were not the proper authors thereof, instead of worshipping them, the sacred historian informs us, he praised God.
6. Nor is that the only instance of Christ's being worshipped because of his mighty works. Many more occur in the history the evangelists have given us of his life. Thus, "When the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with the waves, the wind being contrary, in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid. And when they [viz. Christ and Peter] were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God," Matt, xiv, 22, 23. It seems, from these instances, that their ideas of the Son of God, or true Messiah, included something Divine, as immediately upon their discovering that Jesus was he, they worshipped him.
7. Sometimes he was worshipped by those that applied to him before the cure was wrought, as by the ruler, " who came and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is now dead; but come and lay thine hand on her, and she shall live," Matt, ix, 18. And by the woman of Canaan, who "came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me," Matt, xv, 25. And, methinks, when it is considered that these outward acts of prostration of the body were accompanied with petitions for that help which God alone can afford, it can hardly be doubted whether they implied proper religious worship: "Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David," verse 22, "Lord, help me," verse 25, "Lord, save me!" chap, xiv, 30. But if this be doubted, surely, when there arose "a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves, and the disciples came to him and said, Lord, save us, we perish, and he arose, and rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm;" surely (I say) on this occasion, prayer was addressed to him for such deliverance as God alone can give. And, as the persons who applied to him, by making such a request, manifested that they believed our Lord to be more than a mere man; so by his granting their request, he gave full proof that he was indeed the God of nature as well as grace, having sove