Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righ· teously and godly, in this present world; look

ing for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Selden with all his learning, therefore, was obliged to seek for a true knowledge of God in the volume of his own heart; and, agree. ably to the direction of an outward revelation, to look for the appearance of that grace which it promised, in a place which his genius had not yet explored, and which never could have been revealed to his outward eye. He had no doubt heard of God by the hearing of the ear, and could have accurately demonstrated his existence and attributes; but till that blessed moment his eye had never seen him.

“ Thus all those fine literary accomplishments which feed the pride of the scholar, though when properly applied they have their uses, and great uses too, must nevertheless be sacrificed when they prove, as they frequently do, very great impediments to a spiritual knowledge of God. The most towering genius on earth can never gain admittance into the kingdom of heaven, till he condescends to the simplicity of a little child, and with faith and humility opens his heart to his heavenly Father for that true wisdom

which can only come immediately from him.sg Duché.

Most persons who call themselves Christians are taught to believe it their duty “ to love God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul, and with all their strengih; 10 put their u bole trust in him, and to serve him truly all the days of their lives,”—a great and desirable · attainment indeed! But it is one thing to express this as a duty, and another thing to act conformably thereto. Many pretend to this high attainment, and enforce it as a duty on others; when, were they to look within themselves, they would discover they had known very little of this heavenly disposition; and, indeed, that it could not be obtained but by the fallen nature of man giving way to the divine nature or grace of God, which is alone capable of leading us to a true sense, feeling, and knowledge of himself or his attributes. It is altogether vain to conceive that we can love him with all our mind, soul, and strength, and put our whole trust in him, un. less we have received a previous communication, revelation, or manifestation of himself in our hearts.

It would be a great happiness, and certainly would lend to the true exaltation of the humble Christian, were he to turn his attention reves rently and awfully to the internal and spiritual knowledge of his Creator. Indeed, were he more inclined to seek divine instruction for himself, both God and his mysteries would be more known to him, and those serious divisions many times avoided, which, it is but too obvious, rend the Christian Church. Neither God nor his Christ are divided; nor is the truth, were it sought after in humility, through the medium only of the God of all truth. Thus, if God can only be known spiritually by seeking him in the hidden sanctuary of the soul, how in any other way are we to attain to a still greater mystery, the spiritual knowledge of his Son? It would appear unreasonable to charge any with wilful obstinacy, or to almost anatheniatize them, because they cannot by their natural understanding comprehend those things of a divine nature which can only be unfolded by Eternal Wisdom himself. Yet it is certain that man may be acquainted with Jesus Christ and his attributes, were he to resign the faculties of his mind to divine disposal: but, as before said, he must submit to be taught of God, if ever he attain to the knowledge of the things of God.

While the Jews suffered themselves to be under à theocracy, or divine government, the Scriptures testify throughout, that in no instance were they deceived. It was only when they neglected to make God their refuge and their strength that they were permitted to fall; and it was from this circumstance alone that they became the despised and forlorn people they have now been for many centuries. · Oh, that mankind, in this day of great outward profession, would but make the comparison between the practice of the Jews, who avowedly sought instruction from the Lord himself, and their own present practice! Do professing Christians so far humble themselves, as to seek his counsel, even in matters of the greatest importance, when there is no doubt, if patiently waited for, it might be obtained? But it is obvious that too many live as without God in the world; and they seem as though they chose it should be so, by contemptuously passing by, nay sometimes ridiculing, the very means whereby their salvation and knowledge of divine things must be experienced, if ever they are attained to.

But if the theocracy of the Jews was so singularly effectual, by the Lord himself speaking to them in the holy sanctuary through Urim and Thummim, or outward oracle, by making known his divine decrees; we may justly infer that the Christian dispensation, which we are told is a more perfect one than that of the outward law,

15

is also more than equally capable of instructing mankind in the knowledge of God.

Those who bend to divine instruction will find that “ the kingdom of heaven is within;" and that the height of all human attainment, in. deed of true wisdom and happiness, is to know and to feel that the Lord alone does indeed reign in the heart.

There are many mysteries in the Christian religion which the most subtle reasoning cannot comprehend or define, and which can only be known by the divine intelligence in the mind of what is the true knowledge of God, so as effectually to recognize him as Abba Father; or of his son Jesus Christ as one with the Father, as Saviour, Redeemer, and Mediator. Neither can the grace of Jesus Christ, nor the manner of its operation on the mind, be known, without this same divine assistance. The true abased and humble Christian knows these things from living experience; also the truth of these words of our Redeemer, “ That this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” Luke xvii. 3 : as also what he says in another place, “ Without me ye can do nothing.” It is only through this divine power, in Scripture called the grace of God, that man can be kept from evil: when pas.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »