Sivut kuvina

willing, is not able to deliver my sonl from the pit of destruction ! Indeed there seems a manifest impropriety in calling him a Saviour, unless he possesses power to rescue perishing sinners from the most imminent danger and degrading. bondage. In the Scriptures we see his omnipotence abundantly displayed. How many precious souls, by his outstretched arm, have been snatched back from the opening gulph of despair? And is his hand now shortened that it cannot save, or his ear heavy that it cannot hear? No, having all power in heaven and earth, he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him." Jesus Christ, as the anointed King of Zion, governs his church with a sceptre of power and righteousness. On his almighty arm, how securely may the believer rely! The apostle Paul found the comfort of such a dependence amidst all the fires of persecution, saying, “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day," 2 Tim. i, 22.

3. In Christ we behold matchless condecension and kindness.

Earthly princes are only feeble worms, their loftiest elevation is a mole-hill, and their brightest splendour a vain show. Yet how rarely do they descend from their thrones to visit and relieve

those who languish in the abodes of poverty and wretchedness! In our low and lost estate Jesus Christ not only saw and pitied us, but also hastened on the wings of love to bring salvation. “ He was eternally rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” He was clothed with light, and surrounded with hosts of happy adoring spirits, yet he submitted to put on our nature, and sojourn among guilty, worthless mortals. Herein is love ! love without a parallel, love that exceeds description and passes knowledge ! The incarnation of the only begotten Son of God is a mystery of wisdom and love, in which all our thoughts ought to be absorbed, with which all our hearts should be enraptured. The wonders of the vast universe, could they be collected and presented to us in one view, would lose all their attraction, and dwindle into insignificance, were we stedfastly to contemplate the marvellous condescension of the Redeemer, manifested in the humiliation to which he submitted on our account. When he exchanged his throne for the manger of Bethlehem, the shining host of heaven burst into that sublime song, “ Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good will to men.”

How can a Christian more effectually learn to abhor pride, and cultivate unaffected humility, than by keeping his eye fixed on the adorable Redeemer. Thus Paul exhorts the Philippians, “ Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God : but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men ; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," Phil. i, 6 8. Here is condescension, which we could not have believed possible, had it not been so clearly and amply revealed. The kindness and love of God our Saviour towards men appeared with pre-eminent lustre, in the whole of that great work, which he undertook to perform for their salvation.

4. Christ is distinguished for faithfulness and immutability.

We have in the Gospel exceeding great and precious promises, but what certainty is there that they shall be fulfilled? We must direct our eyes with cheerful confidence to Jesus, who is the faithful and true witness. All the great, and good, and glorious things which he has spoken concerning the prosperity of his church in general, and the happiness of every believer in particular, shall be assuredly accomplished. All the

promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, to the glory of God by us.

Ministers are called watchmen, stewards, ambassadors. However eminent their gifts, however extensive and useful their labours, they are not suffered long to continue. They fill their sphere, serve their day, and are called away to give place to others, who in their turn are mingled with the dead. - The fathers, where are they, and the prophets, do they live for ever?Every thing on earth is frail and changeable, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Here is a refuge that never fails," a rock that never decays, a vine that never withers. Some men obtain extensive dominions, and highsounding names, and in a few years they are forgotten. It is not so with Christ. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion throughout all generations. His wisdom, power, love, and faithfulness, are as suitable grounds for our dependence as they were for the first Christians. Hence that sublime language which is applied to him, Psal. lxxii, 17, 18, " His name shall endure for ever : his name shall be continued as long as the sun ; and men shall be blessed in him : all nations shall call him blessed."? We may justly infer,

1. If all perfections and excellencies dwell in

Christ, it is the duty, and ought to be the delight of believers to love, honour, and obey him.

Divine love is the purest and strongest principle that actuates the soul. It is the perpetual fire that burns on the altar of the renewed heart. And what object is so worthy of our warmest and best affection as that Saviour, in whom all perfections and glories essentially reside?

Do I, says the Christian, regard a friend who notices me in obscurity, pities and partakes my sorrows, and at all times directs me by his counsel, as well as cheers me with the light of his countenance ? And shall I not more ardently love that great friend of sinners, who with the tenderest sympathy alleviates all my sufferings, and with the firmest constancy stands at my right hand, that I may not be greatly moved ? Yes, blessed Jesus, I love thee above all! Thou didst notice me when I deserved to be cast off for ever; thou dost stoop to hold communion with me in ordinances; “ thou only art a friend at all times, that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Do I regard with affection a surety who becomes answerable for my debt, when the stern demands of justice fill me with apprehension, alarm, and anguish ? And shall I not love that heavenly Surety, who, when I owed more than ten thousand talents, and had nothing to pay, un

« EdellinenJatka »