Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

reach of all beings in the universe. It is no mote possible for God to destroy the difference between right and wrong, which is the ground of truth itself, than it is, that he should annihilate his own existence. It is the glory of God that he cannot lie, and it is his glory that he cannot destroy the nature of things, and hence truth is eternally and unalterably independent. I add,

6thly. That truth is searching and penetrating: It is like the refiner's fire, it will take out every par. ticle of alloy from the pure metal.

. It is like the fuller's soap, it will wipe off and expunge every minutia of filth and uncleanness. The nature of the truth, as we have it from the Lord God, is to hew away all the trash that comes in its way. It will go down into the hiding place of the forger of lies, and bring him out and lead him bound hand and foot to a tribunal, from which there is no escape. The co-worker with Satan, who denies that there is danger in sinning, is to be pierced right through, with the truth. Error is vulnerable in every part, and truth will follow it. It will seek it out, from all the mazes and labyrinths of hellish secrecy. It will so 'cut away root and branch as to leave the enemy of truth nothing on which to rest. It will leave him hopeless and defenceless, goaded by the stings of conscience and sunk under a sense of his own guilt. God's sove. reignty, his absolute decrees, the final ruin of the im. penetent, the permanency of Jesus' throne will cut up modern error, and make its avowers revolt with horror even at existence, and wish that they had never been born. Truth will have its way; Jesus will ride by its side conquering and to conquer. It will do all its work: it will palsy every tongue, that moves to its prejudice, and kindle a fire upon hellish festiv- . ity, that shall never be quenched. Truth is not confined by limits ; it runs up to the Judgment seat.-It is Jesus' Throne...it is eternal and unalterable, and the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

same in all worlds, and forever and ever. O blessed redeemer, wilt thou enrich us with the knowledge of thy truth.

7thly. Truth is humiliating:

Whenever truth is made efficacious to the heart, it empties the creature of self exaltation and glorying and postrates him in the dust. Truth always gives God the throne and the creature the footstool. Noth. ing stirs up the enmity of the carnal mind like truth seen in its connexion; and nothing makes the creature humble like truth made eficacious by the sove. reign act of God. While through a deluded heart, proud man would fain conceive God to be such another as himself; yet when brought cordially to receive the truth, it is his chief joy that the Lord reigns. Having by sovereign grace become willing that God should be God, the creature wants no other heaven than to be in his hand and to see him act. As the renewed man progresses in the knowledge of the truth, he loses in self-esteem and increases in humility. As God magnifies more and more in the eye of the be. liever, so he will find himself disposed to take a lower seat, and will fell himself lost in Jehovah's glory. Humility increases in proportion as truth is seen and relished. Truth will never have completed all its humiliating work. In the triumphant state, when truth shall shine in unsullied radiance, the glorified will veil their faces. One truth upon the back of another will rise in quick and eternal succession, and the mysteries of the Redeemer's character and work will so eclipse all finite excellence, as to produce the very perfection of humility in the myriads of God's elect in the world of eternal glory. Would any ask respecting the ground of increasing humility in the blessed ; l'answer, the ground is truth seen and loved, and showing a contrast between the creature and the creator. The more perfectly this contrast is made visible between the redeemer and the redeemed, the

1

[ocr errors]

lower will the creature choose to lie, and the more will he exalt God. It is the tendency of truth received, and admired to humble the creature more and more, and this will be its increasing effect, in heaven, to all eternity.

Sthly. Truth is harmonious.

In some minerals there are substances of divers na. tures and qualities. From the same strata the chymist will extract a variety of substances, each of which has a nature peculiar to itself. When he has done this, he will reduce them back to their original composition. With truth it is different. It has only one simple nature. It is conformable to a rule which is eternal. It is, therefore, harmonious. in its parts, and indivisible. In the whole disclosure of truth made by Jesus, there is not a symptom of discordance. The bible is a perfect whole consisting of parts, each: bearing the signature of the one infinite God who cannot err.

Truth is linked together in its nature, is so perfectly consistent with itself, that it is as easy to destroy its existence as its harmony. This golden chain unites in one common bond a kingdom of ten thousand time ten thousand, including 1100 a dissenter from truth, not a discord in praise, who unceasingly exclaim before the redeenrer's throne, · Saying, great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. A few inferences will conclude. And

1. We may infer, that all moral beings, in the uni:verse will finally agree in religious sentiments. The diversity of opinion on religious subjects, so prevalent in the world, is not owing to any defect in the understandings of men. Let a thousand men have an equal degree of conviction of any truth, and they will perfectly concur in opinion respecting that truth. Five hundred may be delighted, and the other five hundred totally displeased, with the object, but with an equal degree of conviction; opposition of moral feeling will never produce opposition of senti

6

pients. And for this reason, conscience is the facul: ty which receives conviction, and over this the heart has no control. If the heart has no control over the conscience, then nothing prevents men from uniformity in religious sentiments, except an equal de. gree of conviction, and this they will ultimately have. For since truth is unchangeably the same and inde pendent, and tends in its very nature to produce conviction, it is impossible for conscience when enlight. ened to view truth otherwise than it is; and when the moral universe shall be brought to this issue, there will be no more disagreement in religious opinions henceforward forever. We may reason thus with great safety, because we know from fact, that the vilest men, even thieves and murderers, have exactly the same opinions of right and wrong, so far as they are enlightened, as the best men living. So soon as Pharaoh, king of Egypt, became convicted, he concurred in opinion with Moses and Aaron respecting his own vileness and God's goodness. From numerous instances it is easy to see, that the result will be a perfect agreement in religious opinions, between moral beings, even from beelzebub up to the highest seraph before God's throne. Hence 2. Truth is complete master of natural consci.

Conscience is a power in man of accusing and execusing according to rectitude and not a power of controling the positions of virtue and vice. Conscience is obliged to report correctly, even though it reports against us. If truth were not master of conscience, it would be impossible for us to feel guilt. A sense of guilt however small, is certain evidence, that conscience is under the government of truth. It is true, conscience may be blunted for a while, it

may not accuse at the very instant of sinning, but it will act in due time. It will

it must of necessity witness for Jesus, that his work is perfect. It is in vain for the wicked to make attempts to destroy conscience or keep it down. The business between truth and conscience must of necessity be done. The heart may

ence.

nor.

revolt at it, but truth will find its way to the sinner's retreat and sue up its demand, exacting the uttermost farthing; neither will conscience dispute the account. The wicked will as one, be brought to a spot of which they little dream. In an hour, when they think not, the inward monitor will make a report completeJy ruinous to the ungodly. They have the ingredi. ents of a dreadful hell in their own minds.

3. We may infer that God's goodness will be as conspicious în punishing the wicked, as in saving the

in righteous. Some suppose that God's goodness will shield them from his vindictiye wrath, and hence that there is no danger in sinning. This is making God

' the servant of their wishes, at the expense of his ho.

A greater insult cannot be offered to God than this. It aims destruction against his throne. For the same reason God will save the redeemed, he will cast off the wicked. ' He will save the righteous because it is for the honor of his name, and he will damn the wicked for the same end.'' It is as right to punish the rebellous as to reward the obedient, and thus God, from his very nature, is bound to do. Should God depart from this rule of acting, and reward promiscuously, virtue and vice would stand on a level as viewed by him. 'But such procedure is incompa. table with infinite goodness, and a violation of the eternal rule of rectitude as it exists in the nature of things. The very quarter from which the wicked are expecting peace and safety, is the place of alarm. God's goodness signs the doom of the incorrigibly wicked, and makes their ruin inevitable. The vindica tive displeasure of God at sin, has been too often witnessed in the world to be disputed. His good- . ness and truth will cut short the sinner's vain expectations to his overthrow.

4. We may see the reason why Christ's kingdom has stood and cannot be destroyed. It is a kingdom of truth, and therefore permanent of itself. Nothing is so weak, but is capable of being held up by exteri- .

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »