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to remain in their error, as to live by faith, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God, which is hastening on as fast as time moves?
Would it not be very proper to say to the people, who in consequence of this gloomy unbelief, were making no preparations to improve the lovely season of seed time, repent of your errors, see to your concerns, be ready with all your means, for the spring is at hand, the days grow longer, it will be but a short time before the flowers shall appear and the time of the singing of birds will come ?
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of Aesh and blood, he also hiinself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;—And deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
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The first inquiry, to which the attention of the hearer is invited, will be directed to ascertain some particulars relative to the children mentioned in our text.
We shall see, by the context, that these children comprehend the whole human family. In reference to a passage in the 8th Psalm, the Apostle says ; “ But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man that thou art mindful of him ? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands : Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him : But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
By man, it is evident, the Apostle meant the whole humanity, as did the prophet also in the passage referred to; and by every man, he meant the same thing in a distributive view.
The Apostle's argument evidently amounts to this; the glory and honor to which man was originally destined by his Creator, we now see complete in Jesus, who tasted death for every man, and in him only.
Immediately following what we have just quoted from our context, the author, in giving the reason for the sufferings of Jesus calls the whole human nature, taken in the distributive sense before noticed, sons ; “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Here it is important that we notice distinctly that the Apostle designed to speak of the Creator when he spake of him, “ for whom are all things, and by whom are all things;" and when he spake of many sons, he meant the same as he did by every man; and when he spake of bringing many sons to glory, he meant the bringing of every man to the glory which we see in Jesus, of which he had just spoken.
Directly following our last quotation, the author calls these many sons, who are to be brought unto glory, the brethren of him who is their sanctifier, and says that they are one with him. “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren: saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”
By him who sanctifieth, the author means Jesus, who is the captain of our salvation; by those who are sanctified, he means every man or the many sons, of whom he had just spoken, and by brethren he means the same thing, and furthermore he calls them the church.
Our author introduces our glorified Saviour, as saying; “Behold I, and the children which God hath given me.” These children are the same as expressed dy the Apostle in the following words which have been quoted ;
“ What is man?” meaning the whole
human nature. “Every man," meaning the same. “Many sons," comprehending the same." Brethren" of the great sanctifier ; “ The church.” These are the children mentioned in our text, who are partakers of flesh and blood.
Having ascertained in the first section of our inquiry, that the children mentioned in our text comprehend the whole human family, we may attempt
2dly, To show who is the Father of these children. This question is settled at once by the author in the context, in the following words which have been noticed; “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. These many sons, who are brought unto glory, are the children mentioned in our text, and he for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, is the Father of these children.
If it seem incorrect to the hearer, to call all men the children of God, and if any objection be made to this doctrine on account of the sinfulness of man's character, our argument may be supported by the following considerations.
St. Luke in tracing the genealogy of Jesus carries it ap to the creation of man, and says;
“ Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adarn, which was the son of God.” If it be proper to call Adam the son of God, it seems also to be proper to call all the descendants of this first man, the children of God.
If the objection be urged on account of the sinful character of man, we reply, that the children do not destroy this relation by disobedience. For as the relation of parent and child certainly exists before the child becomes active in obedience, or disobedience; it would be false reasoning to argue that obedience could constitute this relation, or that disobedience would disannul it. The Lord says, by the prophet Jeremiah;
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you." Thus the divine Being ad
dresses the wicked by the endearing appellation of children.
That it is consistent with the doctrine of Jesus to allow that sinners are the children of God, this divine teacher fully shows where he teaches us to pray, and say;
“Our father which art in heaven-forgive us our sins." Here Jesus teaches the sinner to call God his Father
St. Paul, speaking to the Athenians, as recorded in the 17th Acts, said; “God that made the world, and all things therein,--hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation ; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us ; for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring.”. According to this declaration, “ all nations of men” are the offspring of God. Let us inquire,
3dly. What this relation of all men to the divine Being consists in ?
It seems that the simple fact of man's being created, or formed of the dust of the ground by the hand of God, is not altogether a sufficient cause to account for his being called his offspring; for it is evident that all other creatures and things were equally the production of the divine Power, but the beasts of the field, the fowl of heaven, the fish of the sea are not called the offspring and children of God.
who is a mechanic, contrive and make never so curious or valuable a piece of machinery, it would not justify our calling him the father of this production of his skill, nor would it justify our calling this machine the son, child, or offspring of him who made it. But if a man have born to him a child, this child
partakes of the very nature of the parent, and it is this participation which constitutes the relation of father and child. So if the “ Father of spirits” has so constituted man, that he is a partaker of his nature, he
If a man,