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menting facilities of eternity; for God only can the mind of God fully fathom. And what are the Scriptures but the transcript of the Divine mind? Here and there ocean-depths which no line can measure; or mountain height transcending the reach of finite gaze; “pinnacled in clouds sublime; throned in eternity.”
On such a theme (without hyberbole) the world itself could not contain the books that might be written ; for if fully presented, it must necessarily embrace all the hidden purposes and emotions, as well as the manifold disclosures of infinite love, infinite wisdom, and infinite power, as connected with man's redemption, to say nothing of the work of creation, and the schemes of Providence, so inconceivably vast in their design, interminable in their range, and endless in their operations and results. Yea, only to write the love of God to man,
“ Would drain an ocean dry,
Nor would a scroll contain the plan,
Tho' stretched from sky to sky." So, then, to the loving and earnest seeker of divine truth, the Scriptures will ever be making new and continually enlarging discoveries in their heavenly doctrines; and thus to him what seemed at first but a light vaporous cloud, will, upon a closer gaze, to his armed eye resolve itself into a world of stars. The farther he advances the more will he be aware that what lies before him is far more than what lies behind; the readier will he be to take up the hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and wonder, with the Apostle, at the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, which are displayed at once in his works and in his word, but far more in his word than in his works. Hence saith David, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth, for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name,” preferring farthfulness to its promises, to the attributes of in. finite power
and wisdom wherein Jehovah has proved himself ineffably great. Verily, oh God, thy word is truth, firmly rooted in the attributes of all thy name, and will endure forever. Its birth is divine, its destiny eternal. It cannot be extinguished, for God is its light. It cannot die, for God is its life. Thrones may totter, and powerful sceptres be shivered, “ but the word of our God shall stand forever.” By divine power has it been borne over the storms of ages and sheltered amid the wreck of nations and of systems. It has bid defiance to the political, religious and intellectual convulsions of three thousand years. It has laughed at the impotent rage of its enemies of every age, and name, and dye. The power of kings, the pride of nobles, the prejudices of priests, and whatever learning could snatch from the arsenals of the past, or wit invent, or wickedness wield, have been hurled against it, and all have recoiled broken, and lie as trophies at its feet. It has successfully resisted the persecution of kings and conquerors. It has sustained the burden of many centuries, and survived the shock of many. a disaster. In every conflict it has triumphed, and all who have dared to assail it have perished from the earth in deserved discomfiture. By the breath of its power it has dissipated the mists of error, as from time to time they have risen up in the form of Essays on the Miracles. Ages of Reason, Theories of Creation, of the Races, &c. Yes, it has defied the sophisms of Hume, the eloquence of Gibbon, the vituperations of Voltaire, the inuendoes of Rousseau, the blasphemics of Paine, the terrible atheism of Hobbes and his immoderate pupils, the pantheism of Spinosa, the worse than heathenish philosophy of Shaftesbury, the deeply impure and blighting immorality of Bolingbroke, the strange, monstrous, and ridiculous theories of Kant, the dreamy and bootless idealism of Fitch, the vague absolutism of Schelling, the childish entities of Kezel, the quibbling, contradictory infidelity of Strauss, and a thousand more of every class of 6 isms,” which, in their sad delusions and wild perversions of a system which claims to be Christian, are as truly and as fearfully opposed to the principles of the Bible as the arch enemy himself might desire, who would “ have all men to believe a lie that they may be damned.” Though in theory they teach with divers tongues, and charm with a thousand artful plausibilities, yet they all practically destroy the same hopes, and inflict the same ruin-quenching the only torch of truth which throws its rays upon the gloom which broods so heavily over this fallen creation. Yet blessed be God! in despite of all those wide-spread, multiform, injurious, fatal systems of unbelief; in despite of all the direct, malicious assaults of desperately wicked men and devils ; in despite of all the earthly tempests that have beaten upon it, the word of our God still remains, the strong defence of the truth, the frontier bulwark of the Church, and the noblest and most precious boon which heaven has bestowed on this, our apostate and orphaned world, which is its great mission
ary field, and whose nations are its pupils. And in its august train, science and art, commerce and agriculture, delight to follow, while the demons of war fly appalled at its approach, amid the acclamations of redeemed millions, made joyful by its divine teachings.
To this end-securing the best interests of man for time and eternity—God first gave it; and from its earliest career to the present moment he has guarded, watched over, and preserved it, as the authorized herald and organ of his divine will. « The final conflagration of the earth may destroy the material depository of its truths, but the truths themselves will survive in the records of heaven, mirrored in the mind of the great I Am, engraved on the hearts of the redeemed, and will become the eternally revered text-book of the children of God." Here, then, brethren, stand ye fast, and the gates of hell shall never prevail against you. On this moveless, everabiding rock we may plant our feet, and upon it we may wage the last mortal strugle with the embattling hosts of error ; and, if need be, there would we fall, and there only. We need not fear. This mighty tower of our God, round whose base the angry waters rage and foam and fret, shall ever stand, calmly and strongly secure. We may hear again, as indeed we have often heard, from the ranks of the enemy, premature hymns of an imaginary triumph, but let us ever, my brethren, resort to this impregnable fortress of our defence, and make it a sanctuary till all the calamities of life beqoverpast, which surely and shortly they will ; and especially let us ever have at hand, that immediate syllogism of the heart, against which no argument is good—that is, ever to be able to say, “ These words, we have them to be words of healing, words of comfort and joy.” This is our sole security: to have tasted the good word of God, to have known the powers of the world to come. And what if theology may not be able, on the instant, to solve every difficulty, yet faith will not therefore abandon one jot or tittle of that which she holds, for she has it on another and a surer tenure—she holds it directly from her God, “the Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit” that verily they are the words, the entrance of which giveth and revealeth to the renewed soul, with divine power and distinctness, the blessed truth that in them we “have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me”-of Christ, the annointed, the “sent of God," full of grace and truth, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge _" the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must
be saved;" the name of Jesus, at which every knee must bow that is in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth, and which every tongue must confess to the glory of God the Father—the image of the invisible God, by whom were all things created*—whose words are spirit and life, and whom to know is eternal life, since he is the author of eternal salvation. In a word, the truth is in Jesus, and he is all and in all. Out of Christ, not only is God a consuming fire, but the great truths of creation and providence become confused and perplexed, and shrouded in vague conjecture. When, however, we fix our mind on the great fact that all things were created by Christ, and for Christ, and that he upholds all things by the word of his power, making known thereby the manifold wisdom of God, according to his eternal purpose, we learn, and not till then, that the gorgeous structure of materialism spreading itself interminably above us and around us, that sups and planets, angels and men, serve but to constitute one vast apparatus for effecting a mighty enthronement of Jesus of Nazareth. Hence, from every field of immensity, crowded with admiring spectators, there rolls in the ecstatic acknowledgment, “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb.”
Yes, it is unequivocally proved, by sundry declarations of the Scriptures, that each star, each system, each human, each celestial being, fills some place in a mecbamism which is working out the noble result of the coronation of Christ as Lord of all; and, as such, he is all and in all. Every part of the Scriptures is inlaid with Christ-the historical, prophetic, promissory, ceremonial, doctrinal, and practical. Remove Him, and we are at once “ without God and without hope in the world”-no sun, no star, to shine forth in the moral firmament, to guide and enlighten the lost and benighted of earth in their sad, dark pilgrimage in search of rest in some peaceful abode. Blessed be God, we have a sun in the spiritual heavens, and of such glorious and redundant brightness that no mirror is large enough to take in all his beams—the Sun of Righteousness. Blessed be God, we have a star, which twinkles with undimmed lustre in the world's moral night, and which, if faithfully observed, will avail to lead humble and devout hearts from far-off regions.of superstition and error, till, kneeling as the eastern sages, beside the babe in the manger, they will see all their weary wanderings repaid in a moment, and all their desires finding a perfect fulfilment in Him—the Star of Bethlehem.
. Col. i, 16.
Search, then, the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of that radiant sun, that brilliant star, that clear, true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world :
“ For like the dawn, its cheering rays
On rich and poor are seen to fall,
la lowly cot and lordly hall.” Again, let all search the Scriptures ; search them deeply, closely, thoroughly, constantly, faithfully, honestly, unweariedly, earnestly, prayerfully; yea, dig into them, scrutinize them, sift them, and weigh their import accurately, comparing Scripture with Scripture: the best and truest method, the simplest and surest exponent, of its own revelation. In a word, read, read the Scriptures, till you love to read, and pray over them till you love to pray; and thus continue to read and pray, never resting till you have imbibed their spirit into the very frame and constitution of your soul, and with their spirit transcribed the precepts and examples of Jesus into every part of your daily walk in life. Were I giving my last advice in death's fearful hour, to the dearest friend I have on earth, it would be “ Read your Bible.” So said Dr. Johnson to his friend Joshua Reynolds; and so sings Dr. Young, “ Read your Bible and be gay.” There truths abound of sovereign aid to peace.
Ah, do not prize it less because inspired, but indeed on that account, prize it the more; and if on thy soul, as thou dost read, a ray of purer light break in, give it full scope ; admitted, it will break the clouds which long have dimmed thy sight, and lead thee till at last convictions, like the sun's meridian beams, illuminate thy inind. Prize it as an immortal being, for it guides to the New Jerusalem; prize it, as an intellectual being, for it giveth understanding to the simple ; prize it, as the only perfect standard of truth known among men, and which nothing else can supersede or substitute ; before whose majesty science must bow, councils fall, and fathers veil their heads, and one text of which outweighs all the opinions and traditions of all Christendom. Prize it, as that which was written for our learning; reproof, correction, instruction, in righteousness, that we, through patience and comfort thereof, might have hope, by faith which is in Christ Jesus. Prize it, as that which alone has the power of awakening intense moral feelings in man, under every variety of character-learned or ignorant, civilized or