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knowing whither he went; but waiting for the fullness of confirmation, and the promised rest.
Here our author takes occasion, by a very natural transition, to descant on the danger of separating the primeval theology from the christian dispensation, on the advantage thus afforded to the cavils of infidelity, and on the series of crimes and miseries which have resulted to the world in general, and to one nation in particular, from the erroneous practice, grounded on unsound principles; from systems of morality, patched together from broken fragments of revelation, in order to disprove the exercise of God's will as the neceflity of his law. [The manner in which the argument is managed, we shall attempt in our next review to lay before our readers.] Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever; is the Lord, who in Eden comforted our progenitors; he is the angel of the old covenant and the messenger of the new--the Jehovah of Israel, as well as the incarnate fon of God the Lord of Hosts, the Prince of Peace, who hall hereafter appear as the King of Glory—the eternal Mediator, for ever promised to and for ever looked for by the faithful. The evidences of this important truth are proposed as the subject of meditation, during the whole course of a folemn feafon ; so as to concentrate every name by which the Redeemer has been called-every appellation by which he has been known to his people-every relation in which he stands to them----in that one, which is in itself so comprehensive, and so endearing, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,
In the second discourse (Genesis xxvi. 5.) Dr. Randolph selects the mot striking and prominent features in the character of Abraham, the head of ihe patriarchal dispensation, on whom the promised blesfing was entailed. He speaks of the covenant into which God condefcended to enter with his chosen servant, a confirmation of the promise originally made to Adam, and afterwards continued to Noah, on terms which, as they never could apply to a finite accomplishment,' and
never could be fulfilled in an earthly Canaan, must therefore of neçelity point out to some future inheritance. He adduces the strong testimony of our Saviour in his declaration to the Jews, that he was himself the great object of hope and dependance to their venerable progenitor, accompanied with the folemn affertion of his uncreated and continued existence. But, as is very juftly observed by the learned preacher, the point admits of being fairly argued on its own internal evidence, independently of extraneous illustration : and he proceeds to do so, in a manner which, as it would only suffer by abridgment, we leave the reader to examine in the work itself. We wish to awaken ą becoming degree of attention to a most interesting performance, and to excite, not to fatiate, curiosity,
Returning to the eventful records of the patriarchal dispensation, from its earliest period, Dr. R. traces the promise of redemption by means of atonement, through the oracles delivered to our first parents, the acceptance of Abel's facrifice (doubtlefs offered according to some ørdained mode of worship) the tranflation of Enoch, and the miraculous circumstances attendant on the preservation of Noah and his family, He dwells, with the utmost force of reasoning, and the most complete fuccefs, on the argument resulting from the form and act of worship with which Noah began the renewed duties of life upon his quitting the ark: while in the history of Abraham, he views the typical history of all true believers, who, in full assurance of faith, fojourn in the land of promise as in a ftrange country, looking for a better, that is an heavenly, habitation. From the root of Abraham, arose the visible church: its heavenly nature, its progressive growth, its blefled fruit, were fully disclosed io him. It was not only made known to him that Christ should be of his feed, but the calling of the Gentiles by which all the families of the earth should be blefled, was a subject of distinct revelation from God. Through the whole patriarchal age, the fame guardian power watched over his servants, leading them by type, figure, and prophetic direction, to just apprehensions of the true God, aid to the perforinance of such worship as would procure his favour and acceptance. Such was the religion of the patriarchal church, in the purity of which the ancient fathers of our faith lived and died, the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Mofes---of the church in Judea, of the captivity in Babylon—the religion which by tradition was communicated to the Gentile world. And thus do we contemplate the Jehovah of the old covenant in the Redeemer of the new, and in the founder of christianity, the God of Abraham, of Ifaac, and of Jacob, who had declared, that besides him there was no Saviour. The notes on this second discourse, in proof and in vindication of the true and found philosophy and physiology of the book of Genesis, are uncommonly relevant and pertinent. We anticipate the fatisfaction which the reader will experience in their perufal. It was not in vain that Dr. Randolph enjoyed the friendship, and listened to the wisdom, of that excellent man to whom he proudly confesses himself indebted for several valuable hints connected with his argument.
To the third fermon (on Hebrews xi. 7.) we do not scruple to give the palm of excellence. It is evidently written in our author's
. best manner, with full knowledge of and deep reflection on his subject, and con amore. To attempt an abstract or analysis of this masterly composition, would be to disfigure and misrepresent it. It is somewhat retrospective, .in point of chronological exactness, from the hiftorical facts difcurled in the preceding discourse, but it takes its place, with inanite propriety and justness, before the examen of the Mosaic dispensation, which is the subject of the fourth sermon.
The object of this intereiting composition will beit be explained in the words of Dr. Randolph :-“ Whatever,” says he, “ may have been the mode or degree of divine communications, the tendency of them has been the fame-the revelation, the prophecy, and the miracle, all conspire to promote one heavenly purpose--they are only the different part of a building unto God, Chiist being the chief corner" tone, and the work of redemption which neither the pasions of men
have frustrated, nor any convulsions of nature alteret, will remain form and immovable upon the rock of our salvation, till the whole be completed in the final deliverance of the faithful. If we lofe fight of this grand and gracious design, every thing which has passed, or is now passing, in the world, becomes a confused revolution of events, which, like the waves of the sea, beat upon the shore of time with a momentary noise, and soon sink into the calm of oblivion. The Christian may err in some prophetic allusion; he may force a comparison into fome remote junctures and dependencies, but he cannot fail to comprehend the lesson of righteousness, and to know his only
But we must not anticipate on our own design in the conduct of this critique, and therefore we reluctantly forbear to insert a splendid and dignified application of the events immediately preceding the deluge to the awful circumitances of the present moment, and to the times in which we are now placed. It is a pleasure, however, which we reserve to the ensuing month for ourselves and our readers.
In the mean time it will suffice to say, that the discourse now before us relates to the destruction and renovation of the old world, to the faith of Noah, and the consequences of that faith, to the consecrated ark, the type, the figure, and the instrument of salvation; to the inAiction of severe but just visitation, when the all-powerful word, which at the commencement of time had called the jarring and discordant elements into order, now commanded their decomposition and diflolution, when the rains defcended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the fabric of the world; when it fell, and great was the fall of it. These stupendous events are considered as applicable to a future dredful consummation, which will be fully and finally accomplished at Christ's second coming to judgment, at the approaching dissolution of the world by fire, and the preservation of the family of the faithful in the ark of his Church.
We should here close our remarks on Serm. 3, were we not particularly struck and pleased with the observation on Genesis.
In this passage is a remark, which we believe to be perfectly original, and eminently just. The preacher observes, that when the threatened vengeance was ready to fall, the hand of God, which had conducted the patriarch- and his family into the hallowed fabric, there miraculously closed them in ; but the irruption of the mighty waters fhould prevail against all the powers of human art which had been exercised in its construction, and perhaps, but in the last crisis of danger, the multitudes condemned to die should attempt, by desperate violence, to obtain admission into the place of refuge which God had appointed for his faithful servants only.
On our examination of the notes and illustrations in the appendix, connected with this excellent sermon, we find one grateful and honourable remark, which in justice both to living and to departed excellence, ought not to be suppressed or overlooked, « It is with pride, though with painful remembrance, that I attribute the form and manner of
treating this subject, to some notes of the late Lord Bishop of Norwich, Dr. Horne. Could he have left his spirit with them, it haj, indeed, been a legacy to the Christian world, which at his death was robbed of one of its brigliti ft ornaments. I could almost say, as Cicero did of Archias, - fi quid fit in me ingenii, quod fentio quam sit exiguum, I owe that little to his friendthif, his conversation, and his writings.” p. 234.
Onentering into an examination of the fourth sermon, on the Mosaic dispensations, we feel ourselves haif disposed to retract the unqualihed praise given to the antecedent discourse. If it be entitled to preeminence, it is only the pre-eminence which in cases of almost equal excellence is duc to the prima inter pares. There is not any feeling of the human mind which can be proof against the potency of the discourse now under confideration. Text, Deut. iv. 11. 12. " And ye came near and food under the mountain, and the mountain hurned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire.” The author is by this time arrived at the full dignity and interest of his subject. --Jam in fummo divinæ fublimitatis fastigio versatur. Hitherto the triumph of the Church of God and the destruction of its enemies have been seen, amidst blessings and deliverances, in judgments and in mercy.
To the period of the Exodus no human record pretends to reach ; but we have the ample and accurate testimony of the Scriptures of God; by them the defign and scheme of PROVIDENCE is developed, the trials and rewards of expecting and patient faith before the law are detailed, the promulgation of that facred institute, with the concomitant fanctions and miracles that confirm it, together with the prophecies which testify its purpose, and the glory that should foilow, are all revealed, and all coincide to forn one great preparation to that most merciful and glorious event, wherein the feed of the woman was to bruise the serpent's head, and all the families of the earth were to be blefred.
Our author now proceeds to the history of the people of God, the marvellous instances of intervening Providence, and the miraculous train of events which accompanied their rescue trom the Egyptian bondage, and supported and directed them for a series of years in the barren and pathless wilderness. Here particularly he descants on one of the most awsul and tremendous appearances that ever was exhibited to the eyes of pan, the manifestation of divine glory on Mount Sinai at the moment of the promulgation of the law, when the sanctions of the first covenant, as preparatory to the second, were confirmed in the word and in the presence of the deity. It had reference to a future Mediator, invested with divine prerogatives, and, through the legal difpenfation, known under the exalted titles of the Lord, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Saviour and Redeemer, the Angel of the Covenant, the Strength of Israel, a Prophet, Priest, and King, the Portion of Jacob, the Light of his People, and the Rock of their Salvation. The ceremonial law was an emblem of Christianity; and we kave seen enough of accomplished prediction to prove that Our Sa
viour is the end of the law and the prophets; that he is the Alpha and Omega of his own revelations, and that they are a book sealed without
It is with regret that we forbear to follow our author iniutely into the admirable series of arguments with which this dis ourse is continued and concluded, on the questions, “Why the Mosaic law was promulgated ?” and “Why in so public, fo terrible a way?” In re
a ferring our readers to the original work, we promise them the most complete satisfaction as to these interesting subjects; where they will alto find a masterly, and, in our opinion, unanswerable ftatement of the case with respect to the spiritual nature of the rewards and punishments implied and involved in those temporal ones annexed to the performance or non-performance of the law.
The conclusion of Discourse 4, in which the evidence is suinmed up, and practically applied to our own sination and circumstances, is full of energy and sublimity. It is impossible not to add!, that it was delivered with the utmost effect and mot feasonable propriety as an advent sermon, on the Sunday iinmediately preceding the feltival of our Lord's nativity.
“Toconfirm the message of mercy to fallen man, and with every predicted mark of the heavenly visit, to give fulfilment to pronhecy, at the appointed period of time, came the promised REDEEMER.” This great event is the subject of the discourse next in succession Text John i. u.) to which we are now about to introduce our readers, and with respect to which we would point out, as a proof of genuine taste, the measured dignity and equable tenor of the ityle and language, happily difcriminated from the elevated diction of the two preceding discourses, on subjects connected with circumstances of terror. We are now led to commemorate and to welcome the advent of our infant Saviour: to consider the mysteries of his birth, the dignity of his character, and the blessedness of his commiffion. Through every dispensation the original promise of redemption moved onward to is final accomplishment. The hope which Adam was taught to encourage, renewed to Noah, and confirmed to Abraham ; the fuccession foretold by Mofes, the prefigurations of the Temple, the spirit of prophecy, and the expectation of ages, are all carried forward without a single defect of testimnony, to center in Jesus Christ the same yesterday and to-day, and for ever. Under so many descriptions and characters, and with much attesting pledges, has the Almighty guarded this covenanted truth, that unless it be admitted, facred history has no reality, and prophecy no interpretation. The million of Christ, the caules which influenced the Jews in their too general rejection of him, the nature of the evidence which they refilled, their own discomfiture and ruin which followed, and the unexampled national punishments which have fallen upon them, are all urged with irrefiltible force of argument; and ac the same time with pious deference to the unfearchable and myfterious will of God, which in many instances cannot be measured by the ftandard of finite intellet, against which there lies no appeal, concerning which to dispute is to rebel. With those impreffions,