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ited to a certain denominations or nations, and have nothing in them which compares with the wisdom and goodness of the divine Being. But the universality of the hope of a future, happy existence, very fitly compares with the impartial goodness of God, from which circumstance it acquires no small share of its natural evidence.
But one of the principal objects of the gospel of Jesus Christ seems to have been, to present us with full and adequate proof of the doctrine of a future happy state for all mankind.
Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle says; “Who hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
The hearer is cautioned against the notion, that our Saviour was sent into the world to go through a process in order to purchase, or procure life and immortality for man ; for he came to suffer, die, and rise from the dead, that he might bring life and immortality to light; that is, that he might make that manifest which the creature groaned and travailed for, and which God had given unto us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
This glorious liberty of the sons of God, in hope of which the whole creation groans and travails in pain, is the inheritance of which we are joint-heirs with Christ. Jesus our fore-runner hath entered into glory, and being the head of every man,
is “ the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. in Adam all die, even so in Christ: shall all be made alive.”
From the doctrine of our text may be drawn the following inferences :
1st. The opinion which has long maintained that the first temptation which led to the introduction of sin into our world, was the instigation of a fallen Angel, appears to be without foundation or authority in the scriptures, which plainly indicate that the constitutional infirmities of flesh and blood are in fact the source from whence all sinful temptations rise.
2d. That the common notion which christian people entertain and cultivate in the minds of their children, of an invisible agent, who was once a holy angel in heaven, that now continually accompanies people wherever they go, and is all the time tempting them to sin, is nothing more than an invention of the wisdom of the flesh, and is supported by no other means than superstition. Is there even a child, who has come to the years of discretion, that cannot see, that in order for this evil agent to do all that is attributed to him, he must be every where at the same time ? It seems reasonable that we should be rightly informed on this subject, because if we have enemies to contend with, it is surely necessary to know them and to know their strength. Our appetites and passions are at all times with us; and though they are all good in the place for which they were made, and for the use for which they were created, yet as they are blind in proportion to their strength, they will surely lead us into sin if they are not
governed by wisdom and prudence. 3d. There appears no authority for the common opinion, that the first transgression produced a radical change in the moral constitution of man, or that in consequence of this first sin, man became totally depraved and altogether opposed to all good, and inclined wholly to all evil. Nor does it appear that there was any such change effected in the physical constitution of the creature, as to communicate any taint to posterity. If even Cain had been wholly inclined to evil by nature, he would have been as likely to take the life of Abel without the occasion mentioned in the Scriptures as with it.-And if Abel had been wholly inclined to evil, he would have been as likely to take the life of Cain, and even that of Adam and Eve, as Cain to take his life. Before sin took place it required a temptation to produce it, and since the first transgression the case has always been the same; every crime is preceded by temptation, which would not be required if man was naturally altogether inclined to evil.
4th. The religion of Jesus affords us divine evidences in support of that glorious hope of life and immor
tality in which the whole created humanity was made subject to vanity. How infinitely rich is this blessed hope! This is the “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, entering into that within the vail where our fore-runner hath for us entered.” Calmly leaning on this, Faith casts her longing eyes beyond the proud swellings of the Jordan of death, sees the inviting lana of promise, lays hold of the earnest of the inheritance, and sings the triumphant song; “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
SALVATION IMPARTIAL AND UNIVERSAL.
ISAIAH xxv. 6, 7, 8.
And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall be take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.”
The first subject of inquiry found in this portion of divine truth is to ascertain what the inspired author means by the mountain of which he speaks in our text.
The same Prophet in his ad chapter speaks as follows; “ And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established upon the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall flow unto it." As the prophet here speaks of the establishment of the mountain of the Lord's house upon the top of the mountains, it seems to indicate the setting up of the divine power and government over the powers and polities of this world ; the exalting of the mountain of the Lord's house above the hills signifies the exaltation of the divine economy and government over all the powers of the earth. The same in substance is found in the 2d chapter of Daniel, where the four great empires of the world are particularly characterised, their dissolution represented, and the kingdom of God set up and established. “ Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors ; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth " This is explained as follows ; “ And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
The gospel covenant is represented by mount Sion, in the epistle to the Hebrews; “ But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem," &c. Here the same which is called a mountain is called the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. In the epistle to the Galatians the two covenants are represented by the allegory of Sarah and Hagar; “For this Agar is mount Sina, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage, with her children. But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all.” This is the same Jerusalem of which mention is made in the 21st of Revelations, as follows : “ And I John saw the holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband." This mount Sion, this heavenly, new Jerusalem, this city of the living God is the mountain of the Lord's house which is to be established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, and unto which all nations are to flow. All nations will finally submit to the laws and government of the gospel, and be willing subjects of him who "shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth, of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end."
As the prophet informs us, that all nations shall flow to this mountain of the Lord's house, so in our text he
says ; " In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things,” which invites us to the consideration of the universality of the grace of the gospel.
The divinity of this testimony is visible on the face of it. It is like every thing which belongs to the wis
in and goodness of God. There is no partiality in