« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
argument founded on their own principle and practice; reasons thus: “ What shall they do, who are baptized [υπερ των
TWV vengaiv] for, or “ instead of, the dead?” i. e. What can be the design of them, who act in this manner, but to benefit (as they fondly suppose) the persons who died unbaptized ? But, if these persons so died, as not to live again, your imaginary labour of love can answer no valuable end whatever. Ye are, therefore, o Corinthians, selfconvicted of the grossest absurdity, as many of you as are baptized for your departed friends, and yet doubt the future resurrection of your friends departed.
DECLARATION OF THE APOSTLE.
1 Cor. xv. 5.
WHERE it is said, that our Lord, after his resurrection, was seen of Cephas, and then of the twelve, it is enquired, “ How is this explained ? Seeing Judas had put an end to his own existence long before; could he then be called one of the twelve ?" Certainly not. The late Dr. Guyse, in his
most valuable paraphrase and notes on the New Testament, has given this matter a very satisfactory explication. “ It is no uncommon thing for a society, body, or college of men, to retain their original name, when one or more of them be absent, or dead. Jacob's sons called themselves twelve brethren, after they supposed that Joseph was lost or dead; Gen. xlii. 13. 32. The triumviri, septemviri and decemviri, among the Romans, were respectively so called, whether they were all living, or were present in their assemblies, or not. And we commonly speak of points of law being referred to the twelve judges, though several of them may be absent, and some of them dead. In like manner, Christ having originally appointed twelve apostles, to be in a peculiar manner his witnesses; they were called by that name, after Judas was dead, and before Matthias was chosen in his place to make up the number again; John xx. 24. Yea, and they continued to be spoken of as twelve, after Paul and Barnabas
were added to their number; Rev. xxi. 14.Thus far, the excellent Dr. Guyse : correspondently with whose just remarks, it may be further observed, that, if only forty members of parliament assemble, they are termed the house of commons; though the entire number, if all were present, amounts to 558,
CANT. viii. 14.
“ Make haste my beloved ; and be thou like to a roe,
or to a young hart on the mountains of spices." Every serious and sensible Christian considers the book of Canticles as a storehouse of inward religion, and a treasury of holy experiences. In no part of the scriptures is the work of the blessed Spirit, on the souls of men, more strikingly and more exactly delineated. If some unhappy persons consider this sacred poem in any other view, it is because they are unacquainted with the power of godliness, and have not experienced that renewal in the spirit of their minds, which can alone qualify lost sinners to contemplate, with advantage, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
The church addresses the passage quoted above to the Saviour, who has redeemed her by his blood. She styles him, her beloved; the object of her supreme affection, and the meritorious procurer of all her happiness. She prays for the manifestations of his spiritual presence; and that those manifestations may be speedy: “ Make haste, my beloved! and be thou,” in the swiftness of thy approach, “ like to a roe, or to a young hart, on the mountains of spices !” Rapidly as those lively, expeditious animals spring from hill to hill; nimbly as they bound, instantaneously as they leap, on the fragrant moun. tains of the east; so swiftly do thou lift up the light of thy countenance on thy waiting people, and cheer
them with such tokens of thy grace and favour, as are more reviving to the soul, than all the odours of the spicy mountains are to the fainting traveller. On the other hand, a formal professor does not look upon
ordinances as means of inward religion, and as steps to communion with God, through the Spirit : but having skimmed the surface of outward duties, he sits down satisfied with externals, and aims at nothing higher.
Not so are the conduct and views of one, wbose heart God bath touched. The truly awakened soul considers all the exterior means of grace but as channels, through which grace itself, and the comforts of it, are (in a way of sovereignty and freeness) communicated to them that hunger and thirst after the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And as it is not the mere channel of conveyance, but the water conveyed, which can satisfy thirst; so the Christian is sensible, that, not a bare attendance on outward duties, but the presence of God enjoyed under those duties, is that which nourishes the believing soul, and renews the believer's strength. Hence his heart's desire and prayer are similar to the verse immediately preceding the text. " Thou that dwellest in the gardens,” thou who condescendest to be constantly present in the hearts and assemblies of thy people, “ the companions hearken to thy voice; the church above, and the church below, with whom thou hast vouchsafed to contract a gracious intimacy, are delighted with hearkening to thy voice of love : O cause me to hear it! make me also glad with the joy of thy salvation! give me to see the felicity of thy chosen, and to drink deep of that river, to experience much of that unspeakable fellowship with thyself, which makes glad the city of God both in earth and heaven.". Then follows the supplication, “ Make haste, my beloved,” &c. with which we began; from all which it appears, that Jesus is the object of his people's love.