« EelmineJätka »
remembers whereof we are made, and considers that we are but dust.
THE same, reasoning will hold good in that cardinal, that most astonishing work, that utmost effort of the deity, the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; in which he glorified his father on earth and redeemed a lost race. These two important points are happily united in the angelical chorus just read in your hearing, in which a choir of angels sing, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will to mer, Charming language! Sweet incouragement to the needy children of men! It is not necessary that I should expatiate upon the circumstances with which the text is connected, these can be read at leisure. My business must be to consider,
FIRST, that the coming of our Saviour into the world brings glory to God.
SECONDLY, peace, and good will to the needy children of men.
FIRST, then, I am to consider that the coming of our Saviour into the world brings glory to God,
IT is a glorious display of his wisdom., When the royal psalmist was contemplating the works of creation, he says, In wisdom hast thou made them all. (a) It is a
glorious truth, though frequently overlooked by men. The same may be said of the providence of God. Indeed these are stars in the right hand of the deity ; but redemption, the glorious redemption of Sinners, is like the Sun shining in his meridian strength; this is creation more sublime, it is the labour of the skies! Here is wisdom in a mystery, a mystery of bleeding love, God manifest in the flesh; such a mystery, such wisdom as the angels desire to look into, called by the apostle, emphatically, the wisdom of God; (a) yea, the manifold wisdom of God manifested in the church to principalities and powers. (b) And yet such is the stupid ignorance of man, with all the refinements of human learning, that this supreme wisdom is deemed foolishness; yea, the preaching of the cross, in which this wisdom is set forth, is foolishness to the unbelieving world. Indeed it was such as none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Man is a presumptuous creature, precipitate and rash, and is mighty apt to condemn what he does not know. Time was when it was deemed a heresy to assert that there are antipodes, and hence it was that Galileo was put into the inquisition for maintaining so dreadful
(a) 1 Cor. i. 24.
(b) Eph. iii. 10,
a heresy, and obliged to renounce his tremendous error to regain his liberty! Such is human infatuation. And no wonder that the wisdom of God manifested in the advent of the Saviour should be treated as folly. But in the mean time angels, who know the immaculate nature of the deity, are astonished to see the wisdom of God in his justice, being rendered inviolable and the sinner saved from everlasting damnation by the incarnation of God made manifest in the flesh, and dying an accursed death on the cross.
2. This wonderful transaction both demonstrates and satisfies the justice of God, This awful attribute in the deity, stands engaged for the honour of all the rest, and cannot, must not be violated. Therefore angels were driven out of heaven; when they sinned, they could not remain there; their place knew them no more. The first transgressors in paradise were driven thence, because they had sinned; the old world was swept away; and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were turned into ashes. And therefore Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, that he might be the propitiation, or covering for our offences. Therefore he was made a sin offering for us, though he knew no sin, that we might be made the righte
ousness of God in him. He suffered the Just for the unjust to bring us to God.
“ The Lord in the day of his anger, did lay
Therefore we can say, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. To attempt bringing this great point to the bar of our shallow reason is folly. There are many things in common life which far surpass the limits of our short sighted reason. Our reason cannot comprehend how the four elements combine to form a grain of sand, or a blade of grass, and yet it is so. In this divine transaction we see the will of God, and in this will we see the happiness of the human race, and let us adore the author of our happiness and be thankful. Let us not invade the rights of the deity, nor stand to dispute his prerogative; but let the grateful language of our hearts be, Just and true are thy ways, O King of Saints.
3. This stupendous scene unfolds unto us the amazing love of God. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have eternal life. Indeed God is love, and in this his love is manifested, that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might wash away its filthiness in his own blood. 0 trace this love, from whence it originates, deep in the Father's bosom, even from eternity; see the divine streams, not only spreading abroad in unnumbered worlds, but forming an amazing current down to the stable and manger at Bethlehem ! Wonderful mystery! God manifest in human flesh! the ancient of days an infant of years! The eyes which are as flames of fire, wrapped or sealed up in an infant's slumber! The hands which spread the starry plains abroad, are become an infant's, whose grasp is soft and unsteady. The feet that walked upon the wings of the wind became the objects of a crea. tor's care. Lord, I cannot comprehend this, but I humbly adore thy wisdom, thy love to fallen man! Ah! what is man that thou art mindful of him, or the Son of man, that thou shouldest, in so strange a manner, visit him!
" Wrapt in swathes the immortal stranger,
O may that love which urged the bleed. ing reconciler through that life of poverty, pain, shame, labour, toil and death, find its way to each of our hearst.
4. By the coming of Jesus into the world the power of God is displayed; and displayed in a manner that astonishes all heaven and confounds all hell, displayed in human weakness. In creation and providence, the wonderful arm of God has often