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enemy's country, the capital of that country, and the manner of the prophet's address on the approach of the vision : but I must repeat, I am wholly at a loss what he can intend when he would insinuate that God's declaration of anger and fury intends good will to sinners, or how what is here threatened points out salvation to the party threatened. Who, I should be glad to know, does this gentleman suppose is speaking, and to whom? or of whom, when he says, “I will trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments ;' and again, 'I will tread down the the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in fury.' Who, I desire to know, is intended by these characters? who is it that thus threatened, and who is to stain his garments ? I wish to understand what Mr. Murray would be at, and what he conceives of treading them as in a winepress?”
M. There is nothing I more ardently wish than to be understood I do not wish to darken counsel by words without knowledge, and that I may be fully understood not only by Mr. L- but by every individual present, I will first consider the character of our Saviour Jesus Christ himself, as held forth to us in the sacred records. He is styled the root and the offspring of David : Revelations v. 5. Isaiah xi. 10. and also by the Psalmist. The root, as in the fore cited passages, the offspring, as in Isaiah xi. 1. “ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. Jeremiah xxiii. 5. “Behold the days come, saith the -Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, behold I will bring forth my servant the branch.” But the Holy Ghost, in Isaiah chap. 9, verse 6, exhibits a perfect character of the God man, “ A child born and a Son given ; the government upon his shoulders his name Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Or as Jude, in the conclusion of his Epistle, expresses himself, « The only wise God our Saviour."
From all these testimonies of sacred writ, and sundry others which might be produced, it is manifest that our Saviour Jesus Cbrist, is both God and man. All fulness dwelleth in him. He was the God with us. The fulness of the God-head dwelling in him was the offended Being; the fulness of our humanity in him was the offending nature. From the fulness of the God-head came the law by Moses; through the fulness of the humanity came grace and truth. Sometimes the divine nature appeareth as a severely just and sin avenging God, and in his holy law the divine vengeance is de Vol. I.
nounced against every child of man that doeth evil, with every other calamity which the ministration of condemnation contains. Nor is this sentence of condemnation delivered by a partial judge, in a partial manner; assuredly not, it extended to every son and daughter of Adam, and this is its language : Galatians iii. 10. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Deuteronomy xxvii. 26. “And heaven and earth shall pass away before one jot or one tittle of this law shall fail.” Now that our God might be a just God and a Saviour, (Isaiah xlv. 21,) that he might according to his sacred word take vengeance on the offender, and yet at the same time prove, that from the beginning his thoughts concerning this offender, were thoughts of peace, and not of evil (Jeremiah, xxix. 115) and that he might abundantly manifest his love to the world, against which all these soul-appalling threats were denounced, he bowed his heavens and came down, the everlasting Father appeared in the nature of the offending Creature, the holy undefiled immaculate God assumed the likeness of sinful flesh, was made under his own law. Galatians iv. 4. Wherefore ? be astonished, O Heavens ! to redeem them who were under the law s Gal. iv. 5. Thus Jesus being God and man, and it being the choice of the Father that in him all fulness should dwell. Colossians i. 19. The just God can speak in righteousness, and yet be mighty to save; he can manifest the day of his vengeance in the same moment that he announceth the year of his redeemed; he can tread down the people in his anger, and make them drunk in his fury till he brings down their strength, while his own arm obtaineth salvation. Thus the figure In order to save mankind, and continue inflexibly just, our God is represented as gathering the sinners as grapes are collected in a winepress, and the vengeance of God falls upon them there, in the second Adam, that the word might be fulfilled which is written in the prophet Isaiah xxvi. “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise ;” or as in Hosea vi. 2. “After two days will he revive us: in the third day will he raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
Mr. L is desirious of being informed, who I conceive is speaking in the passage before us. “I pray thee,” said an inquirer reading in the prophecies of Isaiah, to Philip one of our Lord's disciples, Acts viii. 34, “I pray thee of whom speaketh the prophet this ; of himself, or of some other man 7" verse 35, “then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture, and preachcd
unto him Jesus.” The complex character of Deity frequently includes the created, as well as the Creator. It can be no other than Emmanuel, the God man; who is thus represented as treading the winepress. Many parts of scripture may be termed sacred Dramas. The portion to which our attention is called, may be considered of this description. Jesus, of whom the apostles, as well as the prophets, bore testimony issues forth; his sword is said to be on his thigh, and, in Zachariah xiii. 7, by a beautiful prosopoeia, this sword is called upon to awake against the man who is God's fellow ! Paul saith in his epistle to the Romans vii. 9, 10, 11. “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” And the commandment “which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” John beheld, Revelations xix. “Him who sat on the white horse, the faithful and true, who judgeth righteously. And out of his mouth proceeded a sharp sword, that with it he might smite the nations.” Surely no being, save this King of kings, and Lord of lords, was able to tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. “The word of God,” says the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, iii. 12, “is quick and powerful, sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” In consequence of the complete redemption, the “price, all price beyond,” paid by him who trod the winepress alone. Paul submitted to, and was slain by this same two edged sword. “I kill and I make alive,” saith God, ‘I wound and I heal,” Deuteronomy, chap. iii. verse 39. Observe, first our Creator wounds, first he kills, afterwards he heals and makes alive. This is in other words visiting transgression with a rod, and iniquity with stripes; but, blessed be God who assures us, his loving kindness he will not utterly take away, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. Psalm Xxxix. But what logic can reconcile the idea of continued destruction; destruction from an everlasting Father; destruction of the creatures he had called into existence, and whom by his omnipotent flower he could have upheld ; what reasoning, I say, can reconcile such views with the character of an august Being, who is described by the pen of inspiration as love in the abstract? Our adversary indeed is said to be a roaring lion seeking to destroy. But the Redeemer of men assuresus he came not to destroy the world, but that the world may have life. Yet, in order that we may have life we must first have death, and
in this arrangement mercy and truth meet together; righteousness. and peace embrace each other. An anecdote in the annals of China this moment presses upon my recollection, and I never recur to it without experiencing ineffable satisfaction. The empire is large, the provinces numerous A sanguinary minister informed his imperial Majesty, that one of his distant provinces revolting from his dominion, was in an actual state of rebellion. The Emperor immediately gave orders for embodying and equipping a large and powerful army, declared a resolution to head it in person, and lifting up his hand he swore by the Almighty Architect of all worlds, that not a single rebel should be spared. Eager to execute judgment in all the magnificence of Asiatic grandeur, he commence ed his journey of extirpation. Mounted on an elephant upon which was elevated a throne of ivory and gold, studded with orient pearl, and accompanied by the swift ministers of his wrath, he reached with all possible dispatch the frontier of the revolted province. His offending subjects were apprised of his advance, and clad in robes of mou rning advanced to meet him, when prostrating themselves on their faces to the earth, they momently expected the death which they felt they had merited. But what language can describe their astonishment on hearing the Emperor, who raising himself from his throne, and bending over them pronounced with a loud voice the soul animating word, “ Live!” Rendered nearly breathe less by wonder and surprise, they dared not credit the testimony of their senses until their sovereign again repeated the renovating sound, Live, when they were restored to life, to obedience, and to liberty. The disappointed minister approached, “Sire, what becomes of your oath! did you not sware by the great God of heaven and carth, that not a single rebel should be spared ?" True, returned the Emperor, most true, assuredly I did, and show me the rebel, and he dies this instant. But, alas ! for this poor disappointed vindictive man, not a rebel was to be found ; the rebels were already dead.Perhaps this digression may not appear altogether foreign to our purpose, when it is remembered that ministers of a disposition similar to this revengeful Chinese are to be found in sacred writ. The prophet Jonah lamented the preservation of Nineveh, in which city were more than six score thousand persons, that could not discern between their right hand and their left. Elijah called for fire from heaven, and the immediate disciples of our Lord would have followed his example; but the master rebuked them and said,
fYe know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” 'Tis thus I read, and I have confidence in confessing that I believe every scripture is fulfilled in Christ Jesus, for he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
1. “ According to Mr. Murray's way of treating scripture, it would seem as if he conceived of God, as having more love and compassion for the rebellious part of mankind than for his own Son who was his delight, and the language of God on his plan seems to be, O ye obstinate rebels, though I have declared I will punish you as you deserve, yet I don't intend it. I love you so well that I shall not punish you as I promised; on the contrary I will treat my innocent Son who always doeth the things that please me, with the utmost severity ; I will greatly afflict him that never displeased me, but you that have been going on in wickedness, in a course of transgression, I never will injure you. This seems to be the language we have been attending to, and that when God threatens to gather them as grapes in a winepress, and to trample them in his fury, sprinkling their blood on his garments, staining all his raiment, treading them down in bis anger, and making them drunk in his fury; all this means nothing respecting them, there is nothing for them to fear: it is not with them as sinners he is angry, it is with his holy immaculate San! I should be glad to know whether this is what Mr. Murray means, and whether he supposes God never punishes sinners?”
M. Mr. Lhas represented me in a very obnoxious point of view, perhaps without design. It is a little unfortunate for us, that we do not understand one another. We are not accustomed to each other's dialect. If it is believed I conceive of things as this gentleman seems to understand, I must be considered as a maniac. Suffer me to explain myself. I do not believe that God so loved the world as sinners, as to embrace them in the arms of his mercy.
I do not believe that he punishes his Son, in consequence of not having so much affection for him, as for the offender. God forbid I should thus speak, thus think. On the contrary I believe God loves no one for sin, or as a sinner ; sin is ever the object of divine displeasure, of divine hatred and the punishment inflicted on the Son of his love renders this fundamental truth incontrovertible. But the surrendering this Son from eternity so dearly beloved, completely evinces his love for the human nature, that was found lying in the wicked