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dices which abound in it, to the more illu- | Christian can now read the very first prominated region of the New Testament-mise in the book of Genesis, that the and, by sending us forward to that region, by pointing our way to Christ and to the apostles, by barely informing us where we are to get the wisdom that we are in quest of even though it should not convey it to us by its own direct announcements, it may be said to be able to make wise unto salvation.
The quotation taken in all its completeness is in full harmony, with the statement which we have now given. From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through the faith that is in Christ Jesus.'
seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent,' which only served to light up a vague and general expectation in the minds of our first parents he can now read it with the same full intelligence and comfort, wherewith he reads in the book of the Romans that the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.'
But there is still more in it than this. If there be any truth in the process whereby the Holy Spirit adds to the power of discernment, as well as to the truths which are to be discerned-then this increased power will enable us to see more-not merely in the later, but also in the earlier truths of revelation, than we would otherwise have done. It is like a blind man, in full and open day, gradually recovering his sight as he stands by the margin of a variegated parterre. Without any augmentation whatever of the external light, is there a progress of revelation to his senses, as to all the beauty and richness and multiplicity of the objects which are before him. What he sees at first, may be no more than a kind of dazzling uniformity, over the whole length and breadth of that space which is inscribed with so many visible glories; and, afterwards, may plants and flowers
But there is more in it than this. The same light from heaven by which the doctrine of the New Testament has been made visible, has also made more visible the same doctrine, which in the Old lay disguised under the veil of a still unfinished revelation. In the first blush of morning, there is much of the landscape that we cannot see at all-and much that we do see, but see imperfectly. The same ascending luminary which reveals to us those more distant tracts that were utterly unobserved, causes to start out into greater beauty and distinctness, the fields and the paths and the varied forms of nature or of art that are imme-stand out in their individuality to his nodiately around us-till we come to perceive an extended impress of the character and the goodness of the Divinity, over the whole range of our mid-day contemplation. It is thus with the Bible. That light, in virtue of which the pages of the New Testament have been disclosed to observation, has shed both a direct and a reflected splendour on the pages of the Old-insomuch that from certain chapters of Isaiah, which lay shrouded in mystery both from the prophet himself and from all his countrymen-as in reading of Him who bore the chastisement of our peace, and by whose stripes we are healed, and who poured out His soul unto the death, and made intercession for transgressorswe now draw all the refreshing comfort that beams upon the heart, from an intelligent view of our Redeemer's work of mediation; and behold plainly standing out, that which lay wrapt, in a kind of hieroglyphic mantle, from the discernment of the wisest and most righteous of men under a former dispensation This power of illumination reaches upward, beyond the confines of the letter of the New Testament; and throws an evangelical light upon the remotest parts of an economy which has now passed away. The rays of our brightest gun have fallen in a flood of glory over the oldest and most distant of our recorded intimations; and a
tice; and then may the distinctive colours of each come to be recognized; and then may the tints of minuter delicacy call forth his admiration-till all which it is competent for man to perceive, of what has been so profusely lavished by the hand of the great Artist, either in one general blush of loveliness, or in those nicer and more exquisite streaks of beauty which He hath pencilled in more hidden characters, on the specimens of flowers and foliage taken singly, shall all be perceived and all be rapturously enjoyed by the man, whose eyes have just been opened into a full capacity for beholding the wondrous things, which lie a spread and a finished spectacle before him. And it is the same with the Bible. That book which stands before the eye of many an accomplished disciple in this world's literature, as transfused throughout all its extent with one pervading and indiscriminate character of mysticism, gradually opens up to the eye of him who is rescued from the power of the god of this world, and whose office it is to blind the minds of them who believe not; and he beholds one general impress both of wisdom and of moral beauty upon the whole; and he forms a growing and more special intimacy with its individual passages; and feels a weight of significancy in many of them, which he never felt before; and he is touched
with the discernment of a precious adaptation in this one and that other verse to his own wants and his own circumstances; and this more minute and microscopic acquaintance with the truths, and perception of the excellencies of revelation, apply as much to the verses of the Old as it does to the verses of the New Testament -so that if he just grow in spiritual clearsightedness, he will have as growing a relish and observation fee the one part of Scripture as he has for the other: And thus it is, that, unlike to any human composition, an advancing Christian ever reads the Bible and the whole Bible, with a new light upon his understanding, and a new impression upon the affections and the principles of his nature. The books of the former dispensation never stand to him in place of the rudiments of a school, boy, which he may now abandon. But written as they are for our admonition on whom the latter ends of the world have come; and maintaining to this very hour the high functions and authority of a teacher, all whose sayings are given by inspiration from God, and all are profitable; and still instrumental, in the hands of the Spirit for conveying the whole light and power of His demonstrations into the understanding-let us rest assured that the Old Testament is one of the two olive trees planted in the house of God, and which is never to be removed; one of the two golden candlesticks lighted up for the church of Christ upon earth, and which while that church has being, will never be taken away.
they could offer their vows and their thanksgivings in the courts of the Lord's house, and in the midst of thee, oh Jerusalem'-in all this, a Jew might express the desires of a fainting and an affectionate heart, after that ceremonial in which he had been trained, and that service of the temple which he loved; and yet in all this, there is enough to sustain the loftiest flights of devotion in the mind of a Christian. There is a weight of expres sion, altogether commensurate to the feelings and the ardours and the extacies of a soul exercised unto godliness. There is a something to meet the whole varied experience of the spiritual life, in these ages of a later and more refined dispensation. And such is the divine skilfulness of these compositions, that, while so framed as to suit and to satisfy the disciples of a ritual and less enlightened worship, there is not a holy and heavenly disciple of Jesus in our day, who will not perceive in the effusions of the Psalmist, a counterpart to all the alternations of his own religious history-who will not find in his very words, the fittest vehicles for all the wishes and sorrows and agitations to which his own heart is liable-and thus be taught by a writer far less advanced in spirituality than himself, the best utterance of desire for the manifestation of God's countenance, the best utterance of gratitude for the visitations of spiritual joy, the best and most expressive prayers under the distress and darkness of spiritual abandonment.
Let us read over without any comment the whole of the 84th Psalm-and just simply ask you to consider how those very materials which form a most congenial piece of devotion for a Jew, admit of being so impregnated with the life and spirit of a higher economy, that they are able to sustain all the views, and to express all the aspirations of the most spiritual and exercised Christian.
It may illustrate this whole matter, if we look to the book of Psalms, and just think of the various degrees of spirituality and enlargement with which the same composition may be regarded by Jewish and by Christian eyes-how in the praise which waiteth for God in Zion-and in the pleasure which His servants took in her stones, so that her very dust to them was dear-and in the preference which "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O they made of one day in His courts to a Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, housand elsewhere-and in the thirsting even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; of their souls to appear before God-and my heart and my flesh crieth out for the in their remembrance of that time when living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found they went to His house with the voice of an house, and the swallow a nest for herjoy and praise, and with the multitude self, where she may lay her young, even that kept holiday-and when exiles from thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, the holy city, they were cast down in spi- and my God. Blessed are they that dwell rit, and cried from the depths of their in thy house: they will be still praising banishment in the land of Jordan-and thee. Blessed is the man whose strength when longing for God, in a dry and thirsty is in thee; in whose heart are the ways land where no water was, they followed of them, who passing through the valley hard after the privilege of again seeing of Baca make it a well; the rain also fillHis power and His glory in the sanctuary eth the pools. They go from strength to -and in the songs of deliverance with strength; every one of them in Zion apwhich they celebrated their own restora-peareth before God. O Lord God of tion, when their bands were loosed, and Hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God their feet were set in a sure place, and of Jacob. Behold, Ŏ God our shield, and
look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
We think it necessary to say thus much -lest the Old Testament should ever be degraded below its rightful place in your estimation-lest any of you should turn away from it, as not fitted to augment the faith and the holiness of those, who lie under a better and a brighter dispensation -lest you should abstain from the habit of reading that letter of the Old Testament, which is abundantly capable of being infused with the same evangelical spirit, that gives all its power to the letter of the New Testament. And be assured, that, if you want to catch in all its height and in all its celestial purity the raptures of a sustained and spiritual intercourse with Him who sitteth upon the throne, we know nothing fitter to guide your ascending way, than those psalms and those prophecies, which shone at one time in a dark place; but may now, upon the earnest heed of him who attentively regards them, cause the day to dawn and the day-star to arise in his heart.
In turning now to one of the fullest expositions of Christian doctrine which is to be found in the New Testament; and which was drawn up for the edification of the most interesting of the early churches; and where, in the conduct of his argument, Paul seems to have been fully aware of all those elements both of intolerance and philosophy which were in array against him; and where, as his manner was, he suits and manages his reasoning, with the full consciousness of the kind and metal of resistance that were opposed to him; and where he had to steer his dexterous way through a heterogeneous assemblage of Gentiles on the one hand, enlightened up to the whole literature and theology of the times, and of Jews on the other, most fiercely and proudly tenacious of that sectarianism
which they regarded as their national glory-in such an epistle, written in such circumstances by the accomplished Paul, when we may be sure he would bring up his efforts to the greatness of the occasion, it is natural to look for all the conviction and all the light that such an able and intellectual champion is fitted to throw over the cause which he has undertaken. And yet what would be the result in a discussion of science or politics or law, we will not find to be the result in a discussion of Christianity, without such a preparation and such an accompaniment as are not essential to our progress in this world's scholarship. To be a disciple in the school of Christ, there must be an affectionate embracing of truth with the heart; and there must be a knowledge which puffeth not up, but humbles and edifies; and there must be a teaching of the Spirit of God, distinct from all those unsanctified acquirements, which we labour to win and to defend, in the strife it may be of logical contention. For, let it be observed, that the wisdom of the New Testament is characterized by moral attributes. It is pure and peaceable and gentle, and easy to be entreated, and full of mercy and good fruits, and without partiality and without hypocrisy. Let us not confound the illumination of natural argument, with that which warms the heart as well as informs the understanding-for it is a very truth, that the whole demonstration of orthodoxy may be assented to by him, who is not spiritual but carnal. And while we are yet on the threshold of by far the mightiest and closest of those demonstrations, that ever were offered to the world, let us "bow the knee to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He would grant us according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that, being rooted and grounded in love, we may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of God."
ROMANS i, 1-7.
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: by whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name: among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome beloved of God: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
ize the heart, but merely to set apart to an employment; and thus bears application to the apostle Christ, as to the apostles whom he was addressing.
We now enter upon the work of expo- | held, in the language of the ceremonial sition. law, to be synonymous. And it is thus that People, in reading the Bible, are often the devoting, or setting apart of an aposnot conscious of the extreme listlessness tle to his office, is expressed by the conwith which they pass along the familiar secration of him to it; and even, in one and oft repeated words of Scripture, with- part of the New Testament, by the sanctiout the impression of their meaning being fying of him to it. This explains a pasat all present with the thoughts-and how, sage that might be otherwise difficult, during the mechanical currency of the John xvii, 17-20. “ Sanctify them through verses through their lips, the thinking thy truth: thy word is truth." To sanctify power is often asleep for whole passages here is not applied to the personal, but together. And you will therefore allow the official character. It is not to moralme, at least at the commencement of this lectureship, first to read over a paragraph; and then to fasten the import of certain of its particular phrases upon your attention, even though these phrases may heretofore have been regarded as so intelligible, that you never thought of bestowing an effort or dwelling one moment upon their signification; and then of reading the passage over again, in such extended or such substituted language, as may give us another chance of the sense of it at least being rivetted on your understandings. We shall generally endeavour to press home upon you, in the way of application, some leading truth or argument which may occur in any such portion of the epistle as we may have been enabled to overtake.
V. 1. "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle separated unto the gospel of God.”
An apostle-one who is sent, one who obtains, not a commision to do, but a commission to go-Go and preach the gospel unto every creature.' Jesus Christ is an apostle-because sent-and is therefore called not merely the High Priest, but the Apostle of our profession. God sent his Son unto the world. The call of Paul you read of several times in the Acts, both in the direct narrative of that book, and in his own account of it. And it is to be remarked that as he got his commission in a peculiar way, so he evidently feels himself more called upon than the other apostles, to assert and to vindicate its authenticity. Separated unto'-set apart to a particular work. You know that holiness, in its original meaning, just signifies separation from the mass. It is thus that the vessels of the temple are holy-it is thus that the terms, common and unclean, are
'Gospel,' a message of good news. V. 2. "Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures." Which' refers to gospel-which gospel he had promised.
V. 3. " Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."
This verse gives us the subject of the message, or what the message is about— or, omitting the second verse as a parenthesis, separated unto the work of promulgating God's message of good news about His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.' The phrase which was made' might have been rendered which became' of the seed of David in respect of His flesh, or His human nature. He took it upon Him. He received from this descent all that other men receive of natural faculty--or, in other words, the term flesh comprehends the human soul as well as the human body of our Redeemer. According to,' is, in respect of.'
V. 4. "And declared to be the Son of God with power according the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead."
'Declared,' or determinately marked out to be the Son of God and with power. The thing was demonstrated by an evidence, the exhibition of which required a putting forth of power, which Paul in another place represents as a very great and strenuous exertion. According to the working of His mighty power when He raised Him from the dead." "The spirit of holiness'-or the Holy Spirit. It was through the operation of the Holy
Spirit, that the divine nature was infused into the human at the birth of Jesus Christ; and the very same agent, it is remarkable, was employed in the work of the resurrection. Put to death in the flesh,' says Peter, and quickened by the Spirit.' We have only to do with the facts of the case. He was demonstrated to be the Son of God, by the power of the Spirit having been put forth in raising Him from the dead.
V. 5. "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name." 'Grace,' sometimes signifies the kindness which prompts a gift, and sometimes the gift itself. We say that we receive kindness from a man, when, in fact, all that we can personally and bodily lay hold of, is the fruit of his kindness. Here it signifies the fruit-a spiritual giftability, in fact, to discharge the office of an apostleship, or other duties attached to an apostle's commission. He laboured with success at this vocation, because he could strive mightily according to His working that wrought in him mightily. This commission was granted to him for the purpose of producing an obedience unto the faith among all nations, for the purpose of rendering all nations obedient unto the faith-and all this for the further purpose of magnifying His name.
V. 6. "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ."
Called' externally-if addressing the whole church, of whom it is very possible that some may not have been called effectually. Or if restricted as in the following verse, only the latter-though he might presume to address all in visible communion with the church as beloved of God and as called to be saints.
V. 7. "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Loving kindness to you is manifested in those peculiar influences which the Spirit confers on believers; and either real peace, or a sense of it in your hearts, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
So minute an exposition may not be called for afterwards: we may not therefore persevere in it long. We have now gone in detail over the words that seemed to require it, to prepare the way for repeating the whole passage to you, either in extended or in substituted language. But before we do so, we would bid you remark a peculiarity, which we often meet with in the compositions of this apostle. He deals very much in what might be called the excursive style. One word often suggests to him a train of
digression from the main current of his argument; and a single word of that train often suggests to him another; and thus does he accumulate one subsequent clause of an episode upon a foregoing; and branches out in so many successive departures, till, after a period of indulgence in this way of it, he recalls himself and falls in again to the capital stream of his observations. The interval between the first and seventh verses may be looked to, as filled up with a set of parentheses; and they will read therefore very well in succession. Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, to all that be in Rome beloved of God called to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." In like manner, several of the intermediate verses are capable of being omitted, without breaking the line of continuity. But the occurrence of the term Gospel at the end of the first verse, is followed up in the second by his mention of the antiquity of it, and in the third by his mention of the subject of it; and in this verse the single introduction of our Saviour's name, leads him to assert in this and the following verse His divine and human natures, and to state in the fifth verse that from Him he had received a commission to preach unto all nations, and to instance in the sixth verse the people whom he was addressing as one of these nations. And it is not till after he has completed this circle of deviations, but at the same time enriched the whole of its course with the effusions of a mind stored in the truths of revelation, that he resumes in the seventh that rectilineal track, by which the writer who announced himself in the first verse, sends in the seventh his Christian salutations to the correspondents whom he is addressing.
We conclude with the following paraphrase.
'Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, and set apart to the work of conveying God's message of good tidings-which message He had promised before in His holy scriptures, and which message relates to His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who in respect of His human nature, was descended of David-but was evinced to be descended of God in respect of that divine nature with which the Holy Spirit impregnated His humanity at the first; and which He afterwards, by His power, still associated with His humanity, in raising Him from the dead. By this Jesus Christ have I received the favour to be an apostle, and ability for the office of spreading obedience unto the faith among all nations for the glory of Hist