Page images
PDF
EPUB

blessed inhabitants of the new earth will be crowned with unmixed honour, holiness, and joy.

The sacred penman assigns a cause, adequate to these great effects. And He, that sat upon the throne, said, Behold, I make all things new. It will be a new formation indeed. Dr. Watts paraphrases the passage with great beauty and justness, in those admired lines :

Attend, while God's Eternal Son

Doth his own glory shew!
Behold, I sit upon my throne,

Creating all things new.
Nature and sin are past away,

And the old Adam dies :
My hands a new foundation lay:

See a new world arise!” On what throne does the adored Immanuel sit? On the throne of nature : for without him was not any thing made that is made.-On the throne of providence: for all things are upheld by the word of his power, and governed by the counsel of his will. -On the throne of grace, as Mediator of the covenant; and as the Saviour of all who recline on his blood and righteousness. On the throne of his converted people's hearts: inspiring them with good, and restraining them from evil; sanctifying them by his presence, and cheering them with the smiles of his love :-He will occupy the millennial throne; as head of all principality and power.--He will also sit on the throne of universal judgment: assigning the heavenly inheritance to the saints on his right hand; and denouncing the sentence of condemnation against the unholy, on his left.—He will, for ever and for ever, sit on the throne of glory; encom. passed by the angels he created, and by the people be redeemed. A cross was once his humble throne; and his crown was a diadem of thorns. A reed once served him for a mock sceptre ; and insulting ridicule was the homage he received. But his humiliation ended, when he rose from the dead. He is sat down at the Father's right hand : and, though a lamb (for he still wears the human nature in which he was sacrificed for our salvation), is in the midst of the throne, and the immortal inheritor of endless honour, and glory, and blessing.

Reader, dost thou say within thyself? Happy the people, who are washed in the blood of him that sitteth upon the throne, and are arrayed in the righteousness of him that maketh all things new !" I can give you one sign, whereby to know, whether this happiness is evidentially yours. Has Christ, by the power of his Spirit, made thy soul anew ? Has hę begun to introduce his new creation there? God forbid that we should enter upon a new year, without seriously inquiring, Whether he, who maketh all things new, has given us a new nature and a

You may read the character of those, who shall be excluded from the New Jerusalem state, in the chapter which has supplied us with the above remarks. The fearful, who deny Christ, or his truths, from worldly motives; and the unbelieving, who depend on their own repentance in the room of Christ's blood, and on their own works, in the room of, or conjointly with, Christ's righteousness; and the abominable, i. e. in general, all who are grossly and daringly immoral; more parti. cularly, murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

In like manner spake Isaiah, many centuries before, in his xxxvth chapter; where, referring to the millenniary dispensation, he thus proceeds: The unclean shall not pass over it; no sinner, that is unjustified and unsanctified, shall have any share in the blessings of that holy state: No lion shall be there; no unregenerate person, none who is a stranger to

new name.

1

the meekness and gentleness of Christ : nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon: no man, in his natural state, no avaricious harpies, or sensualized worldlings, who die unchanged by grace, shall participate in the first resurrection, or attain to the glory which is reserved for the sons of God; but the redeemed shall walk there; the redeemed from sin, who are ransomed by the atonement, and made holy by the Spirit of Christ.

What shall I say farther, to the reader? Shall I wish him joy of the new year, into which the good hand of providence has brought us? I do: and, chiefly, I wish him to be a partaker of that joy, which cometh from above. I wish as the apostle did, that the God of hope may fill you with all joy and peace in believing, and cause you to abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. If thou art already a believer, the Lord crown the new year with his goodness, by giving thee a fresh outpouring of faith, holiness, and liveliness - If you are not a believer, God confer on you the best new-year's gift, by granting you to experience the new birth unto faith and good works! What will become of you, if you die without that experience learned from Christ's own mouth ? He, who sitteth upon the throne ; he, who maketh all things new; has, himself, most solemnly and irrevocably averred, that, unless you are made anew, unless you are born again of the Holy Ghost, you shall not so much as see, much less inherit, the kingdom of God.

O, pray to him for faith ; and be, who prepares your heart to call upon him, will hearken to your cry. Throw yourself, for eternal life, on the merits of Jesus; and then, whether you believe the doctrine of the millennium, or not, you will certainly have a part in the blessedness of the state itself, and the second death shall have no power over you.

DESCRIPTION OF ANTINOMIANISM.

Rom. vii. 22.

For I delight in the law of God, after the inward

man.

STRICTLY speaking, an Antinomian is one, who is “ an enemy to the revealed law of God,” which is two-fold; moral and ceremonial.

Our obligation to observe the ceremonial law was superseded by the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ. The Sun of righteousness himself being risen, the ritual stars, which pre-typified his approach, were thrown into shades never to appear again, except descriptively and historically in the records of the Old Testament. Hence it was prophesied concerning Christ, that he should “ cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," Dan. ix. 27. And St. Paul declares, that “the hand-writing of the Levitical ordinances is blotted out," Col. ii. 14. yea, that it

abolished, 2 Cor. iii. 13. and disannulled, because of the weakness and [avwos7.05] uselessness thereof,” Heb. vii. 18. Even while the Jewish dispensation obtained, the ceremonial law was always intrinsically weak, as not being able (nor indeed was it ever designed) to make the comers thereunto perfect, or to be a real expiation of sin, Heb. x. 1. 4. All its value and virtue consisted in its prefiguring the person by whom, and shadowing forth the way, in which sin is expiated, and sinners saved. Thus these emblematic services were at best weak, though extremely significant in

is 66

their import, and for the time being enjoined by the authority of God. But ever since the Messiah's actual sacrifice of himself, they are likewise become useless, in point of practical observance. The end of their institution is completely answered, and we are become dead to the Aaronic law in particular by the body of Christ, Rom. vii. 4. The question, therefore, now depending, has no kind of reference to the ceremonial appointments under the old administration, since it is universally agreed that a man may assert the total disuse of these, and yet be no Antinomian, according to the proper sense of that term.

Men are or are not, to be styled Antinomians, with relation to the moral law: consequently the general definition given above may be reduced to a yet narrower compass; and the term Antinomian will be found strictly to import, one who is an enemy to the moral law of God, revealed in the holy scriptures ; and this Antinomianism, or enmity to the moral law, may be distinguished into speculative and practical.

1. Speculative Antinomianism is predicable of any man, and of every man, whose scheme of religious principles is such, as either directly, or by unavoidable consequence, tends to set aside the necessity of personal and social morality..

2. Practical Antinomianism is the babitual, allowed, and persevering violation of those precepts, which God hath prescribed for the adjustment of our outward conduct; whether those rules regard our demeanour toward him, toward our neighbour, or toward ourselves. Let a person's ideas be ever so orthodox, yet, if his life be immoral, he is, to all intents and purposes, a practical Antinomian, and unless the effectual grace of the holy Spirit in-tervene, to retrieve him from the dominion of his sins, he must after death be one of those, to whom

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »