Page images
PDF
EPUB

him meet for the inheritance of he tells them that he needs rest, the saints in light. Whether and especially after medical men Christ will literally appear in Je- have testified it.” He adds, that rusalem, either in the year 1847 after his ordination as priest, he or at any other date; whether the applied to Sir John Hobhouse to promises respecting the deliverance be sent as chaplain to the Him. of the Jews, relate to a temporal maleh mountains, where he might emancipation or to infinitely higher have prosecuted his missionary blessings ; whether heaven means labours; but he failed in obtain. heaven, or whether, as some have ing the appointment. In reply to said, it is only another name for the suggestion that he ought then earth; in a word, whatever may to have preached through England be the interpretations of men re- to the Jews, and in behalf of their specting points of unfulfilled pro- cause, he says, “ Those who give phecy; the preaching of the Gos- such advice are not aware that pel includes far more than specu- receiving Orders in one diocese lations upon such subjects; and and preaching in others, without deeply were it to be regretted, if having a stated charge, is against either missionaries to the heathen, all good churchmanship; and or ministers in Christian lands, having promised obedience to the were to spend their invaluable Canons and Articles of the Church time in puzzling themselves or of England, I hope, by God's others upon questions of doubtful grace, not to deviate from them disputation, instead of setting be- until my dying hour.” fore men

" the whole counsel of If any persons are inclined to God.” Many persons, whether smile or to frown at due order Jews, Turks, infidels, or heretics, and “good churchmanship," we would eagerly listen to a curious are not of the number; though disquisition as to when or how we may smile at Dr. Wolff's warm Christ shall appear; who would advocacy of them, when we renot be equally gratified with a member his former proceedings, pointed scriptural address, as to and his panegyrist Way's declara. their own preparation to meet tion that he knew of “no church him.

but his heart.” The principle The preface to the work before of order which his friend prous states that its author has been nounced him incapable of underreproached for giving up his mis- standing is scriptural; and how sionary journeys,and settling down would his other excellent friend upon an English cure of souls. Mr. Simeon, who wrote to us from lle justly and affectingly replies Cambridge in May 1835, that he to those who bring this not very was coming to the meeting of the reasonable or feeling accusation, Jews' Society in London expressly that “ A person who has traversed “to serve as a keeper to the Wolff," the most barbarous countries for have been delighted to find that eighteen years, without protection he could at length be bound by of any European authority what the chains of rule, which Mr. Way soever, and having been sold as pronounced impossible. But the a slave, thrice condemned to death, best principles may be overstrained attacked with cholera and typhus or misapplied; and we think that fever, and almost every Asiatic Dr. Wolf, in his submission to fever in existence, and bastinadoed "authority,” is in danger of makand starved, deserves at least the ing that to be authority which is confidence of his Christian breth- not so. Whether be has been ren that he speaks the truth, when looking over some of his old notes

[blocks in formation]

ST.
NT. MATTHEW, in the very first sentence of the New Testament,

entitles his gospel “ The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David.” St. Mark introduces his gospel with this preface, “ The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The angel of the Lord, in the very first chapter of St. Matthew's gospel, declares to Joseph, while he feared to take unto him Mary his wife, “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS : for he shall save his people from their sins." These solemn announcements of the angel, and of the evangelists, made upon the very threshold of the kingdom of heaven, invite us to consider the name of Jesus-a subject in itself of deep and vital importance, because “ there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” A name indeed, like the glorious Being who bare it, once “ despised and rejected of men;" once, like him, a by-word and proverb of reproach,-a name still unknown by many, blasphemed by more, venerated and loved by too few: yet a name before which,even now, angels veil their faces; and, prostrate in adoration, cry Holy, Holy, Holy: and which, ere long, shall ring throughout the vault of a blazing universe, sounded " by the voice of the archangel and the trump of God," as "the dead, small and great,” are summoned to " appear before the judgment-seat of Christ :" and before which, at the grand consummation, and “the end,” “every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Nor is the name of Jesus, that " name which is above every name," and which God himself hath given to his co-equal and incarnate Son, merely a curious and interesting, but an unfruitful theme. The name of Jesus contains, wrapped up within it, the whole gospel. It proclaims, with the authority of that God, who, by his angelic messenger, bestowed it upon his beloved Son, the guilty and polluted nature of man. For man would not have needed, unless perishing, a Christ. OBSERV. No. 24.

4 X

Saviour ; unless diseased, a Physician ; unless in bondage, a Deliverer. It proclaims the nature and characler of God. It tells that “ God is love :” for “ herein is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” It tells, too, of his holiness, his justice, his truth; for if these, his own infinite and opposing attributes (an obstacle otherwise insuperable) had not interposed between God's love and our perishing souls, why was a price thus infinite paid for our redemption ? why were we “redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ ?" It proclaims the nature of Christ. It tells that Christ was

“ the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person," in that which is the essential characteristic of Deity; for “ God is love," and JESUS, as the name proclaims, “ loved us, and gave himself for us :” and “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Still more, the very name of Jesus carries with it, as we shall see, an intimation of his Deity. It proclaims the nature of salvation, and of that heaven which Christ, by his atoning sacrifice, has purchased for his people, and for which, by his sanctifying Spirit, he prepares them. He came, as the angel tells us his name declares, to save his people from their sins; to rescue them not only from the guilt, and penalty, and future consequences of sin, but also from its present power and pollution : to “redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

The name of Jesus in the New Testament is the same with that of Joshua in the old. Both have precisely the same signification. One, in fact, is the Greek name, of which the other is the Hebrew. Hence the name Jesus is twice, in the New Testament, substituted for that of Joshua, by the writers of the acts, and of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who thus quote it from the Septuagint : and unless this were adverted to, the passages in which it occurs would be wholly unintelligible. Stephen, in his concise but comprehensive and lumi. nous epitome of Jewish history, speaking of “the tabernacle of witness," says, “which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles :" here evidently speaking of Joshua, the son of Nun, who brought the ark, with the children of Israel, into the land of promise. Again : the Apostle to the Hebrews, when he would prove, that in the gospel “there remaineth a rest unto the people of God,” argues, that neither the rest of the Sabbath, nor the rest of Canaan, though types of it, could be the promised rest ; because that God, after they had entered upon those, swore in his wrath that some should not enter into his rest. This rest therefore could not be that of the Sabbath, because this rest had been already entered upon-for his “works were finished,” and the rest of the seventh day established, “ from the foundation of the world.” Nor could it be the rest of Canaan, because that after they had entered upon that rest also, God calls upon them, “To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." For if Jesus (evidently meaning Joshua) had given them rest (that is if Canaan were the promised rest,)“ then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” And hence the Apostle concludes, " There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God :"-a rest manifestly diverse from that of the Sabbath, or of Canaan; because that, after they had entered upon these, a solemn warning was given to them, which the

ܙܙ

Apostle repeats to us, take heed“ lest, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any should seem to come short of it.”

There are two Joshuas in the Old Testament, who are remarkable types of Christ, in his kingly and priestly characters. One, as the great Captain of our salvation : the other, as the great Iligh Priest of our profession. And, by both types, he is represented as the great Deliverer of his people. One, Joshua the son of Nun, who brought Israel from Egypt into Canaan; from the land of bondage into the land of promise. The other, Joshua the son of Josedah, the highpriest, who brought back Israel into their own land from captivity, when “ by the waters of Babylon they sat down and wept, and remembered Zion.” Moses, the lawgiver of the Jews, and

representative of the law, was not permitted to bring them into the promised land. This office was reserved for Joshua, the type of Christ; to indicate that "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified :' that, as in the case of Moses, exclusion must be the consequence of a single offence against that law, which said, “ Do this, and thou shalt live;” but “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them :" and hence, that “ whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all :" but that “what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God" did, by “sending his own Son,” the true Joshua, “in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering " for sin,"—that is, he “condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” · Some remarkable circumstances, connected with this typical character and office, are recorded of each of these Joshuas. In the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Numbers, where the sacred historian gives a catalogue of the persons sent to spy out the promised land, we find selected “ of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.” This son of Nun was now about to enter upon that portion of his course in which he typified the Lord Jesus: and hence, we find the list of the spies closed with this abrupt announcement, These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea, the son of Nun, Jehoshua :" that is, he prefixed to his name Jah, the name of God, indicating that the glorious Being, of whom he was henceforth to be a type, was not only a Deliverer of his people, but a Divine Deliverer: not only man but God-God manifest in flesh. There is also a striking passage in Zechariah, respecting the other Joshua, when the prophet, by Divine commission, designates Joshua, the son of Josedech, as a representative of Christ, in his kingly and priestly characters: and predicts, in type, the universal sovereignty of the Lord Jesus. " The word of the Lord,” Zechariah tells us, came unto me, saying, Take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high-priest ; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man, whose name is The Branch : and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord : even he shall build the temple of the Lord ; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both....And they that are afar off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord.” (Zechariah vi. 9-15.)

[ocr errors]

But the name of Jesus not only intimates the Divine nature of our Blessed Lord: not only his kingly and priestly characters; but it intimates also, as I have suggested, the nature of man: for if universal man were not born in sin, and the child of wrath, he would not have needed Jesus, a Divine Saviour: "we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." If man were not in helpless, hopeless captivity to the strong man armed, he would not have needed Jesus, a Divine and Omnipotent Deliverer. If man were not afflicted with a mortal disease, a sickness unto death eternal, he would not have needed Jesus, a Divine and Infallible Physician. Thus the very name of Jesus is the testimony of God himself who gave it, to that great and fundamental truth, upon which the whole superstructure of the gospel is based, that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

And who will deny or doubt this awful truth? Let him read it, legibly written, around him, and within him, in its melancholy effects. Walk abroad amid the fields of nature-look around upon a palace in ruins; its royal race of inmates wretched and degraded ; and say whether any key but that which revelation furnishes can disclose the mystery, and reconcile the phenomena of nature with the character of God; whether any other clue can guide bewildered reason through this perplexed labyrinth. See the far greater portion of the human family bowed down with poverty, and incessantly struggling against destitution : doomed, as their daily task,

* To force a stubborn soil for scanty bread :" their wearied spirits and exhausted strength recruited by sleep, only that they may return with the day to their interminable toil: and all this drudgery merely to procure the means of continuing this wretched and degraded existence; all this servile labour merely to satisfy the cravings of that portion of their nature which they possess in common with the lowest animals : and, like them, in too many instances, without a single elevated look-without a single thought or feeling that would rise above the cares or pleasures of this transitory scene. Contrast the circumstances and actual attainments with the capabilities of

Contrast the sensualized mass, whose reason and affections are straitly bounded by the circle of their animal wants, with an intellectual Newton, competent to "understand all mysteries, and all knowledge :" grasping space all but infinite, in the firm hold of a strong and vigorous apprehension : spanning the heavens in philosophical speculation : rapidly shooting from star to star in the outbeamings of sublime thought : fathoming the profound secret by which God hung the earth upon nothing, and upholds and regulates the complicated mechanism of the material universe : or, still more, contrast it with a spiritual Paul, overstepping, in his first stride of moral speculation, the bounds of the material universe ; thence caught up into the third heaven, and landed in the paradise of God: or, by spiritual introversion, retiring into the microcosm within his own bosom; and there, in the experiences of his own soul, renewed in righteousness after the image of Him that created it, in the several traits and lineaments traced upon his own soul by the Divine Spirit, beholding, as in a glass, the reflected image of the Invisible God!

Sce too the havoc which pining sickness or racking pain makes amid

man.

« PreviousContinue »