Minister of Argyle Square Church, Kings Cross, London.







THE Discourses on the Paradoxes which follow, were delivered to aid sincere seekers after Christian Truth. I am profoundly convinced that the number is very large in all denominations of those who desire to be right; who wish to serve the Lord, and live for heaven, but who at the same time, have many difficulties which they would gladly have unraveled. They need helping, and they desire to be helped. True Christian work is, in love, to help each other; not to reproach, or to denounce each other. In this spirit these Discourses were delivered; in the same spirit they are issued from the press, with the prayer that, they may be blessed to the good of many, by Him who is the Light of the Word.




CHANGE                                                               1

2       THE GRAND ATTRIBUTE OF JUSTICE                                          15

3       GODS APPARENT ANGER AND REAL LOVE                                   27



UPON THE GUILTY                                                        51


AND THE MOTHER TO BE HATED                                          63


AND ITS REALIZATION IN ALL WHO LOVE HIM.                            75

8       MARRIAGE; ITS SANCTITY, DIGNITY, AND USE                            87

9       THE ONE GOD: HIS UNITY AND TRINITY                                   102

10       THE ATONEMENT. MAN RECONCILES TO GOD                            113

11       MANS RESURRECTION IN HIS SPIRITUAL BODY                            127



Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 2


Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish.Psalm cii. 25, 26.


Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.Psalm civ. 5.

EVERY patient student of science knows that nature is constantly presenting PARADOXES. Nature has few straight lines. There are complications, and what appears to superficial minds to be contradictions, everywhere.

How small the sun appears, yet how vast it is! How large the earth seems, yet in comparison with the universe how small it really is. How fixed do we conceive the rocks on which we build to be, yet are they as parts of the earth, in most rapid motion. Solid things are usually regarded as heavier than liquid, yet ice is lighter than water. Cold commonly makes objects shrink into less compass, yet frozen water expands and will burst rocks and even cannon. So, throughout every domain of nature and of life, there are found paradoxes apparently inconsistent with law, yet they are not really so. Patient study shows that the apparent contradiction points to some deeper law, some wider, grander view of things, and when this larger generalization is obtained the seeming perplexity disappears.

This characteristic of the works of God prevails also in the Word of God. Things there, as in nature, are not always what they seem; and probably for the same reason the difficulties in nature excite enquiry, call forth exertion, and make man a far nobler being than he would be if his whole life were one of ease and smoothness.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 3 The wrestler, whose muscles have been trained in thousands of vigorous efforts, obtains a body well prepared to do its work in life. Is it not worthy of the wisdom of God to require the mental exertion, the spiritual labor from us all, which will fit us to grasp sublimer truths than those which lie upon the surface? The gems of earth are seldom found lying exposed to the careless traveler. The noblest ores lie deep. Goodly pearls must be sought. Of our Lord it is said, Without a parable spake he not; and they who dwell in the outsides of things, who expect to run and read with hasty observation, and yet to acquire the spirit and life of Divine Wisdom will assuredly be disappointed. They will miss the pearl of great price. The law is as true now as when it was uttered by the Savior, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but not to them which are without.

Let us then, while we study the Paradoxes of the Bible, the seeming contradictions which are presented on the surface of Divine Wisdom, pray to Him who is the way, the truth, and the life, to warm our hearts with a devoted love of truth, and to open our eyes, that we may behold wondrous things in His law, (Ps. cxix, 18,) which discloses the Divine and gracious lessons of everlasting life.

The first PARADOX upon which we venture to ask your consideration is the statement in the Psalm we have quoted, that the earth and the heavens SHALL PERISHa statement several times made in the Scripturescompared with declarations equally positive and really more numerous, that the earth and the heavens SHALL ENDURE FOR EVER. We have selected this instance of apparent contradiction in the Sacred Volume, because the subjects dependent on a right understanding of it are numerous and important, and are especially so at the present time, when many are expecting the kingdom of God to come with outward observation. We would earnestly deprecate the course pursued by many diligent readers of the Bible, who are aware that statements of an opposite kind exist in the Sacred Volume, but are content, as they read, to notice with favor the declarations which echo the sentiments, right or wrong, in which they have been educated, and suffer the others to make no impression on their minds.

The Word of God is doubtless correct, but if we understand its teaching, so as not to know what to do with one-half of its declarations we have certainly not yet embraced the whole counsel of God.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 4 He who only sees one side of an object, has no clear and satisfactory notion even of that side.

If we would be faithful to our Divine Teacher, we must listen devoutly to all he has to say, and especially consider what appears contrary to our previous prepossessions. We are in no danger of giving too little weight to them; there is great likelihood of our giving too much. Let us, in the spirit of loving trust in the Lord, accept all His counsel on the subject before us, and doubtless, we shall find that he will, as ever, guide the meek in judgment: the meek will he teach his way.

It is not altogether unworthy of notice, that this passage is the first in the Bible which seems to declare that the outward universe will some time perish. There are others in pages of the Old Testament, and also in the New, but this is the first. Half the Bible had been given before any such expression is to be found. The passages which announce but they are very distinct. The Lord says, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.Matt. xxiv., 35. Again, Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not giver her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.Matt. xxiv., 29.

The Apostle Peter furnishes a very positive declaration; But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.2 Pet. iii., 10-13. John also, in the book of the Revelation, says, I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth, were passed away; and there was no more sea.xxi. 1.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 5

Were these declarations alone, and unqualified by expressions which manifestly modify them, every faithful believer in the Bible would undoubtedly accept them as teaching that our magnificent universe would at some period absolutely perish, leaving not a wreck behind.

But they are not alone; they are paralleled and accompanied by declarations very numerous and of the most definite character, that the EARTH, the SUN, the MOON, the STARS, in fact, all GODS UNIVERSE having been created by Infinite Wisdom to accomplish the ends of Infinite Love, will never cease to be. Let us notice the most positive of theseHe built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the EARTH which he hath established FOR EVER.Ps. lxxviii., 69. Who laid the foundations of the EARTH, that it should not be removed FOR EVER.Ps. Civ., 5. The WORLD also is established that it cannot be MOVED.Ps. xciii., 1. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the WORLD also shall be established that it cannot be MOVED: he shall judge the people righteously.Ps. xcvi. 10. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the EARTH abideth FOR EVER.Eccles. i., 4.

Of the sun, moon, and stars, we readThey shall fear thee as long as the SUN and MOON endure, throughout ALL GENERATIONS.Ps. lxxii., 5. His name shall endure FOR EVER: his name shall be continued as long as the sun.ver. 17. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise ye him, all ye stars of light. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created he hath established them FOR EVER AND EVER: he hath made a decree which SHALL NOT PASS.Ps. cxlviii., 3, 5, 6. These and many other declarations, in the most emphatic manner declare the Divine intention, that the Universe shall not cease to exist, but continue to answer the great purpose of Divine Love in its creation, and furnish continued generations of immortal beings who shall people with innumerable myriads, the ever-increasing abodes of bliss. There is also a large class of prophetic passages which teaches that the designs of Divine Providence will eventually be accomplished; and through the gradual improvements which seem to us so slow in their operation, will yet issue in the full universal diffusion of knowledge, wisdom, justice, and peace over all the earth.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 6 And this blessed result once fully brought about shall last FOR EVER.

But how could this be realized if the sun, moon, and stars, and earth were to be dissolved and pass away, especially were to do this soon? No such state of universal love and light has yet been experienced among the nations of the earth, and if the material earth and heavens were shortly to be annihilated, such prophecies, and there are many of them, would be incapable of fulfillment. That part of the Word of God, and it is a large and important portion, would utterly have failed; yet our Lord says, not one jot or tittle shall pass from His Word until all be fulfilled.

A glance at some of the prophetic declarations of the kind we mean will repay our careful notice. It is too frequently the case that Christians never suspect their early impressions, that according to the Scriptures the world is to become worse until Divine patience can tolerate it no longer, and then it will be delivered to judgment and destruction. But let us examine the prophecies of Scripture for ourselves, and we shall find the very reverse of this to be true. They teach indeed that after the early triumphs of Christianity there will be a falling away. The love of many would wax cold, and iniquity would abound.Matt. xxiv., 12. There would come a time when there would be very little true faith in the earth.Luke xviii., 8. But, after that, there would be a new opening of Divine things, that knowledges of the Lord would be revealed afresh, ignorance be banished, and intelligence diffused. His kingdom would be brought nearer to men, and His will would be done on earth, through all its kingdoms, as it is done in heaven. Let any one peruse the sixtieth and following chapters of Isaiah, or those of the greater part of Zechariah, or the leading prophecies of Daniel, or the two last chapters of the Revelations, and ask himself if the magnificent things there predicted have been realized as to a hundredth part, or could possibly ever be so if the end of the universe were near.

We are speaking not of a few isolated passages, but of whole chapters. We will notice some few parts, however, which will distinctly place this truth before usIt shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lords house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 7 And, many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go froth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword, against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.Isa. ii., 2-4. Again, they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.xi., 9.

How could these passages, which show us an enlightened and regenerated state of all the nations of the earth be fulfilled, if ere long the outward universe were to be burnt, dissolved, and disappear? And if this world were brought to the enlightenment and happiness these prophecies foretell, and the Lords kingdom were really come, why then should the earth be destroyed? Let us examine some few similar declarations. In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall NEVER BE DESTROYED: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand FOR EVER.Dan. ii., 44. Once more in Daniel: I saw in the night, visions, and behold, one like unto the son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given, him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.vii., 13, 14.

No such universal dominion has yet been given to our Lord who is at once both Ancient of days and Son of Man, and when it is given, and all worship Him, then it is never to be taken away.

The prophet Zechariah proclaims the same thing.And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name One.xiv., 9. Again, may we not ask from the thoughtful Christian, has this ever been? It is not to be? And when it has come to pass will not he truth be fulfilling its purpose for too gloriously to be then burnt and cast away?


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 8

In the New Testament similar declarations are made. The time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in parables, but I will shew you plainly of the Father.John xvi. 25. I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot hear them now.John xvi., 12. The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign FOR EVER AND EVER.Rev. xi., 15. And with death taken in the meaning of the apostle Paul who said, to be carnally minded is death, how glorious a passage is that in the twenty-first of RevelationsBehold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God shall be with them, and be their God, and there shall be no more death (carnal-mindedness), neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.ver. 3, 4. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

Again, let us ask ourselves how is all this to be accomplished if the earth is to perish, and the universe as a whole is to be burnt and pass away? We might indefinitely pursue similar inquiries, but we trust enough has been said, combined with the numerous declarations respecting the perpetual duration of the universe which we have presented from the Scriptures themselves, to induce the enquiry, in what way can the Scripture testimony be reconciled? How can the Paradox that the heavens and the earth shall perish, and yet the heavens and earth shall endure, be harmonized together?

We must harmonize Scripture by Scripture. If we read the Psalms and the Prophets carefully, we shall see that earth is used not with reference to the material earth, but to society--to the Church upon earth. The heavens mean the inner principles and states of the Church; and the earth or world its outer manifestationsthe institutions and life to which it gives rise. Heaven and earth are then equivalent to a dispensation.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 9 A former heaven and earth, which pass away mean a dispensation, which has accomplished its end, and being corrupted is removed; new heavens and earth which are created mean a New Dispensation, which Divine providence has brought into being. The Jewish Dispensation was the Jewish heavens and earth. It made the commandments of God of none effect by its traditions; and when the Lord came, its end was accomplished, and the Christian heavens and earth, or the Christian Dispensation was formed.

This interpretation is so clearly suggested, we may indeed say almost stated, that there will be no difficulty in its admission by the thoughtful student of Divine things. The Scriptures press it upon the mind, and it is wonderful it has so long been overlooked. Read the third verse of the seventh-fifth Psalmthe earth, and all the inhabitants are dissolved; I bear up the pillars of it.Ps. lxxv., 3. These words would not be intelligible at all, except we regard the earth and its inhabitants as meaning the Jewish Church and its members. These are spoken of by David as in dissolution, because no doubt the Psalm was written at a time of general dissoluteness and decay, probably when Saul was persecuting David to death, and the whole land was a prey to wickedness. A perishing earth is used as corresponding to a perishing Church; in Psalm eighty-two, it is written, They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are out of course.ver. 5. Nor can we conceive of any other earth than the Church, when we read, Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righteousness shall look down from heaven, (Ps. lxxxv., 11); or when the prophet Jeremiah describes the state of things he so pathetically laments in those remarkable words: For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have no understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.iv., 22, 23. Here we have manifestly the disorder and evil of the people described by the disorder of the earth, the darkness of their minds by the darkness of the heavens. In Isaiah, many striking examples of this language are given. We will select one or two.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 10 The prophet is describing the complete decay of virtue and religion among the people, and these are the words He employs: The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant; therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.xxiv., 4-6. And a little longer down in the chapter he says in words to which those of the Apostle Peter are the exact parallels. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is CLEAN DISSOLVED, the earth is moved exceedingly.--ver. 19.

In these statements of the prophet Isaiah, we have not only the image of the dissolved earth as the representative of the dissolved Church, but also the prevalence of fire is asserted as in Peter. The inhabitants of the earth are BURNED, and few men left.

The inhabitants of the earth are burned, when the overthrow of religion leaves men a prey to their selfish and violent passions. What burns like hate? How often do malice and revenge like slumbering firs keep up hidden flames in wicked hearts, until some sudden occasion makes them burst out with volcano-like energy, scattering destruction on all sides. The inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

The destruction of one Church, however, by gradual decay, consummated at last by more or less of violent animosities and the prevalence of direful lusts, is always followed by the establishment of another, and this formation of a New Church is described by the same prophet in the following terms: I have put my words into thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say onto Zion, Thou art my people.--li., 16.

What can be clearer from both these descriptions, than that the destruction and removal of one dispensation of religion, and the institution of another, is expressed in the Divine Word by a former heaven and earth passing away, and a new heaven and earth being introduced. There is another striking instance of this in the same prophecy of Isaiah, For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 11 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.lxv., 17, 18. Here the change from the shadows of the Jewish religion to the spiritual realities of the Christian is described by a change from an old creation to a new one. The apostle Paul describes it in essentially the same manner: If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: or, as expressed in the margin, a NEW CREATION. Old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.2 Cor. vi., 17.

There is a very clear and manifest illustration of the Divine rule of using the outward universe as a grand symbol of the universe of mind in the prophecy in Joel ii., 27-32, and its fulfillment related in the Acts of the Apostles, ii., 16-20.

The words of the prophet are a prediction of the coming of the Lord, the Redeemer, into the world; and the consequent end of the Jewish Church, and the commencement of the Christian; and he thus expresses himself, and yet shall know that I am in the minds of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and one else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants, and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. In the succeeding chapter, and at the fifteenth verse, but relating to the same time as stated at the beginning of the chapter, it is declared The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

Now, this language is precisely similar to that used by our Lord Himself, in Matt. xxiv., 29, 30, respecting what has been commonly understood to be the end of the world;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 12 the sun and moon are darkened in both, the stars in the one case withdraw their shining, and in the other fall from heaven. But every reflecting person will perceive that the resemblance between the two is so close, that whatever is the meaning of the one prophecy, similar must be the meaning of the other. But of the prophecy if Joel, the apostle Peter declares that at the day of Pentecost it was fulfilled. This, he said IS THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHET JOEL., and then he quotes the whole.

And, when by the sun we understand the LOVE of the Lord, the Sun of Righteousness (Isa. lx. 20, Mal. i., 4); by the moon, the Lords Wisdom accommodated to our mental nights, (Isa. lx., 20, Rev. xii., 1); by the stars, the bright lights of heavenly knowledge, which are al darkened when selfishness, folly, and superstition take the place of love, light, and the true science of Divine things, which is ever the case where a Church has been grossly corrupted, then we can clearly perceive that what Joel foretold was fulfilled when the apostle Peter declared it to be so.

From our Lords parables, it is evident that by the kingdom heaven He meant His Church and kingdom upon earth as to its inward state and principles, which is His heaven upon earth; hence He said, The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like unto a man who sowed seed in his field.--Matt. xiii., 24. The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.--ver. 31. The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like unto heaven.--ver. 33. The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like unto treasure hid in a field.--ver. 44. The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls.ver. 45. The kingdom of heaven (the heavens) is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.--ver. 47.

The Church, then, constitutes the Lords heavens among men; the state and everything of social life form the world among men. These come and go, as great changes take place in the human mind, By the Word of the Lord are the heavens made, and all the host; of them by the breath of his mouth.Ps. xxxiii., 6. Heaven and earth pass away, but the Word of the Lord does not pass away; and from that Word new heavens and earth are formed.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 13

In the earliest ages, among our first parents and their descendants, the Adamic heavens and earth were formed in six great spiritual stages or days; these continued down to the flood, one great cycle of dispensation; then came the Noetic heavens and earth, continuing for many ages, and through many changes, over many nations, and ending in darkness and idolatry all over the East, and probably much farther into western lands than is commonly supposed. This was followed by the Jewish heavens and earth, the shadow only of Divine things, the pattern of the true; and these continued until the Great Savior came to bring in once more the great spiritual truths of Christianity, and to declare the kingdom of God is within you.Luke xvii., 21.

These were all in their times the systems of which the Lord had laid the foundations, and their heavens were the work of His hands; they were the garments, the clothing of His Eternal Spirit; yet of all of them it could be said, THEY SHALL PERISH. They all waxed old like a garment, and then as a vesture Divine Providence changed them, and they were changed. But He, the Eternal Creator and Ruler, remains the sameHis years have no end.

We have now all the elements for clearly reconciling our apparent PARADOX. The heavens and earth that do not pass away, but are established for ever and ever, are what may be called strictly Gods heavens and earth; those which are Gods work independent of man, the heavens of angels, the starry heavens and Gods earth as the groundwork of mans training-place for everlasting bliss; these will endure, world without end.

But the heavens, or the Church, which God forms through man, and the world formed out of the principles of the Church, these have changed; these will change until they issue in the grand CHURCH OF THE FUTURE: a Church of universal science, light, love, justice, and peace, with the Lord Jesus Christ as its glorious Head and Center, with a Bible seen to be all spiritual wisdom and beauty, and a life in church and state altogether in harmony with the Divine Will.

In short, then, we may say, Mans world changes, Gods universe remains. May we not exclaim with the poet,--

       Gods world is worthy better men.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 14

When the end of the world is contemplated, it is not the end of Gods glorious universe of innumerable systems and suns at which astronomy stands aghast, but the end of the present old world of ignorance, slavery, superstition, selfishness, and sin; and the introduction of education for all, scientific aid, mutual help, universal kindness, and the universal reign of love. The Scriptures proclaim this, the hearts of good men year for it, and Providence is manifestly preparing the way. We look, said the apostle Peter, for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; not wherein dwelleth new sun, moon, stars, and soil. The prophecies announcing the close of the Divine operations of providence in such a kingdom of universal knowledge, intelligence, affection, and virtue, all manifestly radiating from the Lord Jesus, as its center, are very numerous and very clear.

We will notice a few. But then, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.Dan. xii., 4. There the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams: wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.Isa. xxxiii., 21, 22, 24. There shall be one king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.Zech. xiv., 9. And there shall be no more curse: but the THRONE of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and HIS servants shall serve HIM. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there: and they need no candle, neither light of the sun: for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.Rev. xxii., 3, 4, 5. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and the morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.Rev. xxii., 16, 17.

The earnest and attentive reader cannot fail to observe in these cheering declarations the promise of an age, a new golden age on the earth, of abundant knowledgean age of an immense increase of spiritual intelligence meant by the broad rivers and streamsof the abolition of sin as the curse of mankind, and of that self-government by which men reign over themselves and the powers of nature.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 15 They, themselves, shall be under the one great King, the one Lord, the Lord Jesus, who will reign over all the earth by the universal light of truth shining from Himself.

Nor can the observant mind omit to notice that these changes are now dawning upon us. In all the dispensations of the past, the old ages have gradually subsided and dissolved into the new and rising one, which Divine Providence has by degrees introduced to mankind. Like darkness fading into day, so error, gradually disappears before the light of truth.

What an advance has been made in new and better things during the past fifty years! How has science increased that power of locomotion by which men can run to and fro, as Daniel said, and knowledge be increased! The dark corners of the earth are now penetrated by holy light in a way which is marvelous in our eyes. How do books multiply! How wondrously they are cheapened and brought to every hand! And we may safely say that their quality is equally improved with their quantity. Mark, also, the rapid increase of benevolent institutions. How nobly now does wealth pour out of its abundance to supply the helps which charity craves for sorrow. But greatest, and best of all, there is everywhere acquiring strength, and increasing immensely, though checkered by selfishness and ignorance, the remnants of past error and neglect, the appreciation of man as man:the dignity of humanity in all its forms, the dignity of labor as well as of literature, of work as well as of mind. Humanity is evidently emerging once more from chaos and darkness, to order, wisdom, and peace. Let us hail the sacred morning of a new day, and labor for the realization, however distant that realization may seem to be, of the era in which there shall be neither idler nor slave. Then, none shall be ignorant of the great lights of eternal truth and justice, and all from the highest to the lowest livingly know that righteousness can bless the world, and make it like heaven. Then will the kingdoms of THIS WORLD become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 16


He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?Micah vi. 8.


And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.Luke xvi. 8.

IN the first of these texts it is stated, What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Thy God! And in the second we read that the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; or, as we may as well state now at the commencement of our observations, according to the correct translation, because he had acted prudently! In the first passage the Lord sets before us that which the ancients well called the center and soul of every virtue, the essence of all Divine works, the Divine principle of justice. They called it the center and soul of every virtue, because if there be not justice as the ground for everything else, it will be found that however fair a virtue may seem, it will be hollow and rotten within. It was not only a perception of the ancient Greeks that justice is the very soul of all goodness, but it is likewise the constant doctrine of the Sacred Volume. Unhappily that does not appear so completely throughout the Bible as it would if the word justice had been rendered from the original biblical languages directly as it is. It occurs frequently in them, but generally it is covered by the word righteousness. Righteousness, in the English Bible, is always the representative of the word justice; righteous, is always the word which renders the word just.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 17 It has been an unhappy thing for religion that righteousness, with its derivatives, has gradually, like many other words, been altered in its use and signification. The word itself speaks directly enough its meaning;--righteousness really is rightness, fitness, uprightness in all things. This is righteousness, and it is absolutely the same as justice; but in the ordinary language of the people, nay, in the ordinary teaching of religion, people do not think of justice when they speak of righteousness; they think of religiousness, of piety, of attention to the services and observances of religion. And hence it is that the Word, though it speaks everywhere of the great aim of religion, which is to make man justas our text says, What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly?--of the aim of religion, to make man right; to regenerate him, to bring him up to that state in which he loves to be right and to do right as the supreme object of his life, is less powerful to make men just than it would otherwise be. Although the Word of God incessantly brings this before us as very gem of Christian life, people generally overlook this great object, and think its only aim is to make a man religious, and to get him into heaven.

Hence, when we read in the Sacred Volume, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, we do ordinarily conceive the idea, blessed are they that hunger and thirst after being right, but it rather suggests the thought, blessed are they that hunger and thirst after being pious. To be pious is, undoubtedly, a good thing; but only when justice is in the heart of our piety. All prayers, all praises, all religious observances that have not in them the earnest desire to be good and do brood, are rather odious in the sight of God than well-pleasing to Him. Cease to do evil learn to do well. Be constantly aiming to become more and more like your blessed Lord and Savior, who is the very fountain of justice and righteousness. When this is the case, then will you pray, not simply to escape punishment and to get happiness; but you will pray to become heavenly, pray to become right-minded, pray to overcome every evil and falsity within you. What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly!

In the Sacred Volume there are constantly declarations that show the essential character of the Divine principle of justice;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 18 and it is a sad thing that the tone of religion is often so much lowered that the great aim by which religion is oftentimes recommended to people is, that it manages to get them to heaven, without their being just. With this the religion of the Word of God has nothing to do; it absolutely repudiates everything of the kind. The aim of the Word of God is to make a bad man become a good man. Whereas he had loved what was iniquitous, he must love what is good; whereas he had loved what was false, he must be elevated to love what is true; whereas he was a pestilent troubler of the happiness of others, to bring him into the loving desire to do all the good he can, and to promote the Lords kingdom in every act of life. What doth the Lord require of thee, the prophet puts it, but to do justly! Not to do justly in the may of simply executing what is hard; but to do justice lovingly, to strive from the spirit of good-will to be righteous, and to spread the principles of right. Light is sown for the righteous, the Psalmist says; that is, light is sown for the just; and gladness for the upright in heart. Blessed are they that do his commandments. Blessed are they. If men would aim, from love to the Lord Jesus, at overcoming all that is impure and corrupt in their own hearts, they would find a blessing there directly. Religion would not be as it so often is, a thing of fear, and terror, and cringing. Religious men would find heaven descending into themselves. Blessed are they. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. And he who prayerfully follows the Divine Savior, he who years to become a better man, strives to love the Lord with all his heart, and his neighbors as himself, will find that heaven will diffuse itself into him, and form in him a little paradise. Blessed are they that do his commandments.

Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne.--Ps. lxxxix., 14. The Lords throne is heaven. Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.--Isa. lxvi., 1. We are taught by the declaration that justice is the habitation of the Lords throne, that HEAVEN is the land of perfect justice--the land of perfect law. Justice is love clothing itself with law Love can only accomplish its blessed ends by orderly and wise arrangements. Such are the laws, such are the arrangements of heaven.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 19 In this world the same laws exist, but they are opposed, avoided, and perverted in ten thousand ways, hence the ten thousand forms of sorrow. Here justice asserts itself in the woes which come from violated right, and in the pangs of conscience, and the agonies of remorse when wrong has been done.

But in heaven justice reigns as love to the Lord, joyously yielding Him the whole heart with its glowing thanksgiving, adoration, and obedience; the whole atmosphere is an atmosphere of love. Justice reigns in heaven as the ministration of right, of good-will, and of all the manifestations of affection, of beauty, and of use justice reigns in forms of grace, loveliness, and perfection unknown on earth. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit.--1 Cor. ii., 9. Heaven will repel the impure as light repels the owl. True religion is the embodiment of justice; it insists that Gods will should be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Through repentance, faith, and love, true religion regenerates man, and makes him fit for heaven by making him heavenly, loving, and just.

But the question then comes--how does it happen that the Lord Jesus, on one occasion, commended the man who had not done justly? How did it come to pass that there should be such an anomaly as that He should commend the unjust steward because he had acted prudently. Let us now, endeavor to see this Divine lesson in the light intended by the Lord. Let us regard the parable in its entire range, and I trust we shall find that in every part of it most edifying and consolatory lessons will appear.

We should never forget that the parables of our Lord--and in fact all His teachings--have their chief application to spiritual things, and not to things of earth. My words, He says, are spirit, and they are life.

The parable commences by stating that a certain rich man had a steward who was reported to him as having wasted his substance. This certain rich man is that Glorious Being who is, properly speaking, the only rich man in the whole universe,--the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the eternal Divine Man. He is described very beautifully by one of the apostles, who said, Though rich, yet for oar sakes he became poor.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 20 It is only by may of ordinary speech that any human being can be called rich, because, as the apostle Paul said What have we that we have not received? The angels, who receive the most, have the deepest sense of their own nothingness and the grandest feeling of the Divine richness; hence, the Lord commences the parable by placing before us Himself, the Great Savior, our Glorious God, our Heavenly Father, and Eternal Friend, as the Author of all things, and especially of our regeneration. He is the rich man how rich, words fail altogether to convey! He is the Lord of this world, and of all worlds--of soul and body, of all that is natural, and of all that is spiritual, within and around man. From Him we receive all the blessings of time--every breath we draw, every faculty of our organization, from head to foot. there is not a wonder of mercy and love--and our bodies and souls are full of them--but what we have from this Glorious Father. We are every moment sustained by Him. How rich is he? Why this world, with all its nations and multitudes, with its kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral thronged with astonishing and beautiful objects, and with all its spheres of love and mercy within, is but as a grain of sand, when we think of the universe which owes the Creator for its Lord. How rich is He? Why, astronomers tell us that a universe as large as all the worlds put together connected with all the suns we see as so many glittering stars on a brilliant night, that all these stars--those suns and worlds put together, when seen from the depths of distant space, would only seem like a handbreadth in the sky, and the sky is in every handbreadth full of these wondrous bodies. The glorious rich man, then, who is spoken of here, is the Lord of innumerable worlds; He is the King of kings, He is the Lord of lords; yet so high as He is, The high and lofty one who inhabiteth eternity, the one to whom all angels bow, and whose behests are done by suns and systems throughout the universe--this glorious rich man is Jesus, our God and Savior who cares as much for every one of us as if He had no other charge in the universe, no myriads of myriads of angels to claim His care, but only just one of us to love. This is the rich man of the parable.

Who is the steward? Who is not a steward? God imparts to us our varied faculties, powers, and possessions that we may minister to one another.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 21 They are His goods. He gives us, as stewards, the powers of speech, the powers of thought, the activities of the body, all the talents we possess, all the thousand ministrations of love, kindness, and usefulness; they are all the gifts of our Heavenly Father, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, in order that we may use them for Him. Who, then, is not a steward? What talents have you? what powers have you? what capability of benefiting men, either in soul or body, that is not the gift of our Lord to you? He regards you as His steward. And how true it is; has it not been true with every one of us, as well as; with this steward in the parable, when it was reported he had wasted his masters goods! Have we not wasted our masters goods? Have we not neglected opportunities, misused powers, used our wealth, our treasures of mind, body, and talent in a variety of ways that have not only been useless, but pernicious? From babyhood until now we have enjoyed a thousand treasures of wealth; for such is the lot even of the present! How grand is the wealth which is comprised in the gift to every man:--the wealth of life, the wealth of thought, the wealth of talent, the air we breathe, the glorious sky that pours forth its continual beauties, the lovely things of earth, the air, the fruits, and flowers, given in such plenty to allmay, there are advantages in some respects possessed by the poorest over the wealthiest. By means of the grand faculty of sight the many can observe the beauties of the carpeted earth upon which men walk, without the anxiety of spending money to take care of them. The Divine Mercy provides that the rich fields of blessing should be enjoyed by is all, and His wish is that they should be more and more, a thousand times enjoyed. Such is the rich man, the great proprietor of this glorious universe before us, and such are we. We have wasted--how often!--that little treasure-house in every one of us that was given us for God Himself to dwell in. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man will open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. How often have we kept Him out of this little house! how often have we neglected this Glorious God and Savior, who desires to bless us always! He wishes to sup with us, to feast with us, to interchange, as it were, joys with us; that we should give Him joy by accepting Him to make us happy.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 22 God is happy when man is blest. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Yet we might have had no avenue into our souls, no little palace for our God; we might have had no thoughts of Divine things, no power of thinking as angels think, nor of loving as angels love,we have wasted them; we wasted also those lower talents and powers, both of mind and body, which ought only to be employed in a virtuous life. It is reported to our Lord that we have wasted His goods in riotous living. The truth is so. The Lord discerns everything.

The Gospel here is the description of what happens when the soul begins to feel that there has been a report against it. When a man begins to be concerned about his eternal condition, when he begins to enquire in himself, and conscience brings home Divine Truth to his condition. At such times a man asks himself, for what am I living? How have I spent my past life? What bearing has it had upon my future condition? Am I, who was made to live for ever, just like a thing that perishes, like an animal that devours its meat, and lies down and cares for nothing until the pangs of hunger awake it again? Have I been living thus? I, who was born for a nobler and higher existence, for grander, that is, for celestial things? There are everlasting habitations. Have I, as the heir of an immortal kingdom, been claiming the wealth of this glorious inheritance, or have I been wasting my goods? Such is the state represented by the stewards consciousness that there are accusations against him. Evil spirits take great pleasure in bringing these charges home to a mans conscience; they would gladly dishearten him altogether. They are called in the Sacred Volume, the accusers of the brethren. Angels do not accuse man; they excuse. Evil spirits accuse and condemn. They seek to throw a man into despair. This steward is represented as saying, I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I feel helpless to earn wealth for myself, even to think; I am thoroughly ashamed. God be merciful, he cries, to me a sinner! I cannot do anything else. I can only mourn. I sink down, and feel how thoroughly I am worthless, and how much I have wasted. But after a little time, when this feeling of discouragement and despair has somewhat softened, the messengers of heaven come, and they say, Yes, you can do something better than this. Call up your masters debtors;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 23 take some steps for a better life; explore yourself. The steward having at first declared that be could not do anything, then says, I know what I will do; not simply what he will think, but what he will do. He calls every one of his masters debtors. But when they came, there were only two--one that owed oil, and one that owed wheat. They represent the two grand faculties in the human soul--the will and the understanding. The will which is made for the reception of Divine love, represented by the oil, is the grand faculty, the grand debtor of our Heavenly Father in every one of us. This chief part of man, the faculty into which Gods love ought to descend like holy oil inducing us to love what He loves, is the first debtor. The second faculty is the intellect, which is for the reception of truth. It is represented here as the receiver of the wheat; because wheat, in the Word of God represents truth when introduced as knowledge into the human mind. It is the wheat that the Lord speaks of in the Gospel which the sower went out to sow, and which was received into various kinds of ground. The seed is the Word of God. When we receive the gifts of our Lord rightly, although we are debtors, yet He is pleased to give us constantly an ever-increasing supply. He only accounts us debtors when we do not use His blessings rightly. The whole universe consists of His debtors. Angels will be more and more His debtors throughout eternity. He is more pleased the more we take; nay, not only so, but He pays us for having it. Dont you remember the parable of the talents, where the man that had used two, got other two; the man that had five, got other five. In the wonderful intercourse that is carried on between God and His loving creatures, they get all the blessing. You remember when Josephs brethren were sent into Egypt, they got all the wheat they went for, and their money also, which they found again in their sacks. It is just so with us in all our dealings with the Lord. When we come to church to praise the Lord, because we have received mercies from Him before, it is His opportunity of imbuing us with fresh mercies and blessings. But when a man does not use His mercies, or perverts them to a bad use, then the Lord accounts him a debtor,--he has not put his goods; of which he was appointed steward, to their true purposes.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 24 He can only be a debtor in these two classes of things: things of goodness, and things of truth. All mans faculties have relation to these; therefore, there are only two debtors.

And the steward said to the first, What owest thou to my Lord? And the debtor answered, A hundred measures of oil; or, as it might be rendered from the original, a hundred baths of oil. The bath was a liquid measure among the Hebrews, containing over seven gallons. And to the other, How much owest thou--a hundred measures (or a hundred cors) of wheat? The cor contained about sixteen gallons. The hundred, which is it complete number, is to represent all that we receive from the Lord; it is not that in spiritual things it is to signify any particular measure, but only to express the whole. You will find one hundred, one thousand, and ten sometimes, used in that sense. Therefore by the hundred measures of oil and the hundred measures of wheat are meant our entire indebtedness for all we have received, both of goodness and truth. We owe the Lord for all.

Oil, we have said, is the symbol in the Sacred Scriptures, of heavenly love, because that has precisely the same effect on the soul that oil has on the body: oil softens it, soothes it, heals it. It is represented oftentimes in the Sacred Word, in such passages as this in Psalm xxiii., where David says, Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over, the words evidently signify,--thou hast filled my heart with love. I am altogether receptive of celestial blessing and joy.

In Isaiah lxxii., 2, it is said, The Lord will comfort those that mourn in Zion; he will give them the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It is this blessed oil which, when it descends into the heart, softens all its asperity, and sweetens all our intercourse with each other. At all times when we deal harshly, it is a little oil we want;--the Lord gives it, but we waste it. If we pray to the Lord, oil will come down into the heart. Whenever we are disposed to exercise animosity, and be bitter, let us just try this blessed healing balsam from the King of kings, and it will be found that it blesses, like mercy, him that gives, and him that takes. It is, then, heavenly love in all its applications, from the earliest dawn of life to the latest age, that is represented by the hundred measures of oil.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 25

The wheat, as I said, is representative, in the Sacred Scriptures, of truth, especially of the truths which teach charity and goodness. It is a seed. It is that clearly which the Divine Word represents by wheat, Psalm lxxxi., 15. If the haters of the Lord would have submitted themselves to Him, He would have fed them with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock He would have satisfied them. It is that same kind of wheat of which it is said, in Matthew xiii., speaking of the Lord coming to human minds. That which fell upon good ground is he that heareth the Word and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth some a hundred fold, some sixty some thirty; where a hundred represents the same as here, the full giving out of instruction, and a full reception of Divine Truth from the Lord. Here, then, to teach us that all we have, either of truth or love, is given from the Lord our Heavenly Father, the debtors are described as both receiving these full measures and of acknowledging such reception.

The steward said, Take thy bill and write fifty, in relation to the oil; and Take thy bill and write eighty, in relation to the wheat. If a hundred that had been received implied all that the Lord imparts during the whole of life, and a great part of life had been already wasted, there could only be an acknowledgment now of that which should be received in future, of that which could still be rightly used. The sacred lesson depicts the determination of him who feels that he has wasted his time. He has wasted his powers, and he cannot pay in full. He is not what he ought to have been, but he is determined that he will now seek to apply his Lords goods aright. Now he will acknowledge and rightly use the fifty that remain, or the eighty that he still has. He will do the best under the circumstances. This is what our Heavenly Father is pleased to commend.

O, how many have supposed that God is a being strict to mark and swift to punish! But this parable and many others are given for the purpose of teaching that it is not so. Divine Love is desirous always of receiving man when he is willing to come, and helping him to do better for the future. With infinite tenderness, Mercy says, Come, now, if you cannot pay one hundred, pay what you can. And when man determines that henceforward he will pay what he can, he will use the fifty, he will use the eighty, he will use every opportunity that he has in the remainder of his time wisely in his masters service, the Lord commands the unjust steward, and says he has acted prudently.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 26

I mentioned that the word prudently is here what is rendered wisely, because it is so in the original language, and it is properly so. Where a person begins first of all to endeavor to live for heaven, he has not yet got up to that state of heavenly perception and heavenly usefulness which the Lord calls wisdom. Wisdom means the highest kind of interior thought; it is the flame which shines from heavenly fire. The Word never calls a man a wise man until he has passed above mere knowledge, and above the intelligence which comes from reasoning When goodness has become his highest nature and loving law, and he says, Yea, yes, without hesitation to all that is right, and Nay, nay, to all that is wrong, without listening to selfish persuasions at all, he is called wise. He that heareth my words and doeth them, the Lord says, I will tell you to whom he is like; he is like a wise man which built his house upon a rock. Here, because the steward represents the soul malting its first efforts to do right, it is called prudent. In time perhaps, but not yet, he will be accounted wise.

It is a wonderful thing of infinite mercy and love, that the Lord will commend us while we are yet very imperfect, when we are striving to improve. He takes us by the hand and gives us truth and love, and calls on heaven to rejoice with us, and He does all this because of His infinite affliction. This, then, is meant, when it is said that He commended the unjust steward; the man who had hitherto been unjust, but now determines to use rightly all that remains of what he has and is.

And so with the Divine blessings which follow. And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. The mammon of unrighteousness means all that we have acquired while we were in an unrighteous state. Mammon is the Hebrew word for riches, translated into Greek, and thence into English. When we are converted, and come to the Lord Jesus Christ we have got acquisitions more or less. It may be, we have not very much earthly wealth, hut we have life, we have talents, we have knowledge; especially the knowledge of the Word of God.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 27 These have been acquired and possessed while our motives have been selfish and corrupt. They are our mammon of unrighteousness. Our spiritual riches are frequently our tormentors for a time; they am as enemies like Elijah was to Ahab, because we are in states in which they will not let us rest. The Lord says, Make friends of them, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of up righteousness, use them for a heavenly purpose. Do as they tell you; throw away your evils, that all heavenly virtues maybe brought down within you. When the Lord calls you to forsake your sins and follow after righteousness, do it. Let heavenly things be all applied to a heavenly purpose, then they will form heaven within you; they will form principles of hope, of faith, of love, of innocence, and peace in which you can dwell. They will receive you into everlasting habitationsthey make everlasting habitations for you. When we make a new heart and right spirit within us, we make a little heaven within our own souls in harmony with the laws and the bliss of the grand heaven of the angels. When outward things fail and die, the brightness, and blessedness of these inner riches will come forth with a power and splendor over increasing, both on earth and in heaven. Make to yourselves friends of what once was the mammon of up righteousness. These friends will go with you to the bed of death; they will be with you in the resurrection and at judgment; and they will rejoice with you in heaven.       


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 28


Fury is not in me.Isaiah xxvii., 4.


God is angry with the wicked every day.Psalm vii., 11.

IT will easily be seen by a mind that reflects upon itself, and upon Divine things, that it is of the very highest importance that we should have a clear and consistent conviction of the nature of the God we serve. Religion being that which concerns the very inmost of our characters, entering more deeply than any other subject as the foundation of our whole lifes sentiments, affections, and habits, a mistake upon this most important part of religions truth cannot fail to have the effect, of weakening us for good. Error leaves us in many respects open to mistakes and delusions, fears, and phrensies, which we should altogether escape if we had early fixed in our hearts, fixed not by a mere fleeting sentiment, but by the steady bulwarks of sound reason, united to the instruction of the Word of God, what, in the beautiful language of the Psalm we have read for a lesson, The Lord is good to all, and is tender mercies are over all his works.

I have often looked over those sad asylums of insanity and disease, which are peopled by numbers who have carried out some of the delusions of the soul to an extreme. Some time ago having to pay a visit to one who was under a temporary affliction of that kind, and then in a state of recovery, he told me that the saddest companion he had was one who from narrow conceptions of God, although a preacher, had sunk into despair. He was unceasingly clenching his fist, and stretching upwards his arm at the supposed dreadful God; whose terrible fiats filled him with horror.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 29 It is not always we meet with cases so extreme; but the lives of millions are often saddened by the want of an inward love for God, which can only exist when He is presented to them as the best of beings. Millions have either no clear conception of God at all, or they have a conception of Him as a Being to be adored, because He is feared;--feared not from reverence, but from terror. One half of the lives of such persons is poisoned because they have not the sweet consolations that would come if they had an entire conviction of the adorable goodness of Him who is God our Savior. It is my earnest prayer to our Good Lord that He may strengthen this conviction in you tonight; this one solid foundation of your lifes hope, and your eternal prospects. Pray you, my beloved hearers, that you may learn to see with clearness that God is in very deed the highest and the best, the holiest and the kindest of all beings, God is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.

The truth that GOD IS LOVE is really the teaching of the whole of Divine revelation, when direct teaching respecting God is given. There are incidental references, there are accounts of the state of the evil, there are in various parts of the Word allusions which represent God differently--which we shall consider more at length as we pass on in this discoursebut the direct and simple teaching of the Word is, that God is goodness itself, love itself, unswerving kindness and compassion. We have already referred to the declaration in the Psalms. We might have multiplied the references to these Divine poems to a great extent, for in those sacred pieces the declarations of the infinite goodness of the Lord are extremely numerous. Allow me, however, before passing away from this point to remind you especially of Psalm cxxxvi., which commences with the declaration, O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for His mercy endureth for ever, which goes through all the different parts of the Israelitish pilgrimagewhere there are events mentioned such as the slaying of kings, the overcoming of nations, the subduing of armies things which the parties concerned probably would not perceive to be the outbirths of Divine Mercy but yet in each case it is attributed to the infinite mercy of the Most High. Thirty-six times over in that Psalm it is declared His mercy endureth for ever;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 30 and then there is the finish at last, O give thanks unto the God of heaven, for his mercy endureth forever.

The first part of our text declares, Fury is not in me. Let us for a moment notice what is implied in the declaration, Fury is not in me. It does not state that there is not occasionally the appearance of fury attributed to the Lord; what it states is, that there is no fury in Him. There may be what to the wicked man seems fury; there may be operations that are attributed to that passion; but the Lord states, and this is the Divine Truth of the text, that anger, fury, and passions of that kind, do not dwell in Him.

Let us think for a moment of the possibility of the reverse being the case. If the Lord were furious, reason will easily enable us to see that the very destruction of the universe would follow. The Lord is an infinite Being; whatever He is, He is infinitely. And if He by any possibility could be furious, He would be infinitely furious. The whole world would at once feel the tremendous character of almighty wrath, and would perish before Him. But, according to the ideas of many who do not very closely think upon Divine things, God, is supposed to be both angry and gentle at the same time: angry with one man, gentle with, another, furious with one neighbor, all peaceful and gracious with the next; land so on all through the world. The Divine Being would be in incessant agitation if such ideas were true. He would be the most agitated Being in the whole universe; not only constantly changing His mind, but being in ten thousand humors at the same moment, which is in reality quite inconceivable. Fury is not in me.

We will enquire at a later portion of the discourse, how it is that fury is sometimes attributed to the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah said, Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good.Jer. iii., 38. In fact, it cannot be so. If from the same Being there were to proceed both anger and the opposite, fury and peace, it would be quite clear that the first cause was divided at its very origin,--the Divine Being was half disposed to bless and half to curse. But if such were really the case, there could not then proceed any creative or providential. Influence, from God at all. If the Divine Being were half disposed to one thing and half disposed to an opposite, there would be in Him, two powers equal to each other contending in opposite directions, and there would never be anything done.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 31 If there were opposite dispositions in God, they must exist unequally or equally. The disposition to bless might be supreme, and the disposition to punish be less powerful; but in that case the most powerful would overcome the other, for evil and good are opposites; and we should know nothing of the disposition to punish. If, on the other hand, the disposition to punish were the most powerful, it would overcome the goodness, and there would never be any blessing coming from God. The only other possible case would be, as I said, to have the two dispositions equal; and then there would be no action at all. So that there can only be one sound thought for reason on the subject of the Divine Being, and that is, that He is infinitely good--all good; or, as St. James puts it in the way of a question, Doth a fountain send for that the same place sweet and bitter? intimating that it cannot be so.

If we come to the New Testament, we shall find there the Lords teaching in the most express manner, shewing us what our Heavenly Father really is. Take, for instance, Luke vi., 35, 36,Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest, for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Now, here we have the Teacher of teachers, the Divine Being Himself in the flesh, telling us that the real nature of our Heavenly Father is such, that he is kind even to the unthankful and to the evil. It is perfectly true, as we are told in Psalm cxxxix., that the Lord is present everywhere, present in the highest heaven to bless, present on earth to create and to do good to us all. If we fly even to make our bed in hell, He is there. But He is there, not as harsh souls have supposed, to increase the miseries of the wicked. He is there as the infinitely good; even to assuage the horrors of the evil He is there in His own glorious character; He is kind to the unthankful and the evil.

Hence, as we go on in the New Testament, we find the tenderest declarations. In the New Testament times the Lord Jesus had made God manifest more clearly in His true nature. So in James i., 17, you will find it thus written,


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 32 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,not from the Father of frowns, not from the Father of terrors, but the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. This is essentially the same declaration that our Heavenly Father makes in the Old TestamentFor I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed; where we see the very thought that we mentioned in an earlier part of these observations,--that if the Divine Being were to be wrathful, He would be infinitely wrathful, and that if that were to happen, even for a single moment, the whole universe would sink before Him. I am Jehovah, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. If He were to change for a single moment from what He is, destruction would pass through the universe. And hence, how beautiful is that teaching of the apostle, where, in 1 John iv., 8, and again at the 16th verse, the same great truth is repeated,--He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love; and God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. We have here, too, a clue to those apparent differences of teaching even in the Word. He that loveth knoweth God. The apostle says, He that loveth, thus teaching that it is needful, in order to understand God, to have somewhat of Gods nature in ourselves. The human mind is of such a character that all its perceptions partake of its own sympathies and idiosyncrasies. We know that this is true throughout life. The jaundiced eye still makes everything look yellow. Let there come into the heart the green-eyed monster, jealousy, that fancies something inconsistent with its own lordliness, and it gradually gives a color to the whole mind and perceptions. The foul mind sees everything distorted, everything according to its own foul nature. We have a very notable illustration of this in the gospel--all life indeed is full of it. In Matthew xxv., the Lord describes the way in which He bestows His various gifts, when He says that He is like a certain nobleman who called His servants before Him, and delivered to them His goods, giving to every man something to trade with, while He was away. He gave to every man according to his several ability.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 33 There have been some who have imagined that even here, and elsewhere in the Word, there is a mark of caprice presented in Gods dealing--in His giving more to some and less to others. But notice the Divine Word--He gave to every man according to his several ability. God gives to us all according as we have the appetite for receiving. The gifts in this case were talents of silver. Silver is the symbol in the Sacred Volume of the Spirit of the Word of God: Thy Word is like silver purified in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. The Lord gives silver to each person according to his ability to receive it. And so He gave to one five talents, and to another, two, and to a third one and when He returned, descriptive of the Lords coming again to judgment, these parties presented themselves. Two who had made good use of their talents came quite gratefully and thankfully, giving the account of what they had done with their talents, how they had traded, and how they had been blessed.. They were in a state of gratitude to the Divine Giver. But the one who had not made use of his talent, came, and he said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and laid thy talent in the earth: lo, there then hast that is thine. None of the others knew that the Lord was a hard and austere man; it was only this one individual who knew, as he said, that the Lord was a hard man. Thus we learn how it happens, that with the soul, as well as with the body, there are appearances of truth resulting from our own states of mind. This is illustrated in every part of nature. Nearly all of the so-called facts of outward nature, as are first discern them, are mere appearances. We consider them more profoundly, and after a while we come to the conclusion that a thing is the very opposite of what it seemed to us. When the train is hurrying along its path, it seems to the passengers quietly seated in the carriages, as if banks actually ran away in the opposite direction. It is so even with the common circumstances of vision. It seems to us as if we saw all the wonders of nature around us; in reality it is the pictures that nature by light throws into the eye that we see. We do not absolutely go out and observe these objects at all. It is the world, as it were, thrown into our sphere of vision that we behold, and it is just so in every one of the departments of real life.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 34 We talk of the sun being murky and red; it is the atmosphere through which it shines that gives it that aspect. The sun is shining as brightly as ever, and so it is with the Divine Sun as it comes into our souls; it is our owe states that shadow it and distort it. In Himself God is Love. He is our friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Our second test says, God is angry with the wicked every day. Yes, with the wicked, not angry in Himself every day, but angry as lie appears to them His ways and laws are all opposed to the evil, or rather the wicked are opposed to them. He is good in all things; but the wicked have wrought such a perversion of their very nature, that to them darkness is light, goodness is evil, heaven is hell, virtue is hateful. They have so entirely distorted every part of their being, that what would have given them happiness gives them pain. How beautiful is the suns light! It comes upon earth which is provided with an atmosphere that diffuses its friendly glow over all things around. It pours beauty over hill and dale, over river and mountain, tree and green herb. When the sun rises all is covered with beauty, the flowers are all lovely in their varied hues, and all orderly nature rejoices in the light. But how is it with the owl? When light appears the owl retreats to some dark corner in a barn. Its eyes are out of harmony with the suns brightness. Now, it is just so with evil spirits. The mental condition of a bad man becomes unfitted to goodness, love, brightness, and blessing; and hence, what would have given peace gives pain. In the gospel, we read when our Lord approached the man who was infested with evil spirits, before He had once spoken, the unclean spirits cried out, Oh, Jesus, art thou come hither to torment us before the timer His very presence gave to their maddened souls the utmost pain. Jesus had done nothing to them, had said nothing to them, but they cried out, Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And no doubt such is the constitution of heaven, truth being its light, love its warmth, the Lord Himself being reflected in all its spheres, and order reigning in all its glorious arrangements; a spirit utterly unfit for those celestial abodes would be tortured by all it saw by all it heard, by all it felt--tortured by its own sensations.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 35 Such a soul would fly out of the blessed abodes, and feel that it was a more terrible hell than any other it could imagine. Thus, you may see how it is that occasionally in the Scripture the Lord is represented as being angry, as being furious. It is the state of the wicked that is described, who feel. His presence, and His power, and His principles, to be tormenting and oppressive. It punishes them because of their distorted condition.

But how about hell? Is there such a place as hell? and if so, what is its condition, and its origin? Alas! it is undoubtedly true there are both states and places that are described by that terrible word. And, how shout hell fire? There are places which in some of their terrible aspects have been felt to be rightly designated, even in this metropolis of ours, as the hells of London, places were they assemble who are agitated by terrible passions. To these, laws human or Divine are alike hateful.

The hells of London enable us to understand the hells of the infernal world. The evil gravitate together. Those who are especially in evil dispositions similar to each other gravitate together. There are hells of the proud, hells of the cruel, hells of the self-conceited, hells of the unclean, hells of the vain, hells of the covetous, hells of the avaricious.

There are three things that form the threefold sources of the infernal condition and the infernal state of torment.

First, we have said pride, giving rise to haughtiness, to grasping, to ambition. This passion desires to subject all to itself; it increases in consequence of being fed, and gradually grows until it acquires so unbounded a lust that, if possible, it would dethrone the Deity. Nebuchadnezzar was a spirit of this kind--and the Babylonish spirit generally is a lust of a similar disposition--it will reign or destroy.

In our insane asylums there are great numbers of those who are mentally and morally wrecked by insane pride. They have gone on from step to step until they imagine they are as great, or greater, than God. Let us suppose ten thousand such like beings gathered together, and then imagine what a hell would be the result. Their fiendish malignity would perpetually desire to destroy all who refuse to obey their insane fancies.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 36 Each one desires to trample on the others, to torture, to destroy, to have all the mild revenge of a savage nature gratified. Think, and you will see the origin of the hells. The Lord never made hell; mens evils make hell. They torture one another. Infernals, more vivid by being freed from the body, actuated by passions intensified, make hell. Evil shall slay the wicked, it is said. The Lord says in Isaiah l., 11, Behold all ye that kindle a fire, and walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. It is men who kindles the fire, not God. Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled, this shall ye have of my hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. Yes, it is mad ambition, terrible lust, maddening passion, that burn within the soul, and would destroy everything. This is the central fire of hell. It burns in each heart, kindled and fed on earth by the unhappy habit of striving to have its own selfish way, until self possesses the whole darkened, yet burning and miserable being.

Another great class is composed of the worshipers of self-conceit, who confirm themselves in self-derived intelligence. These will not obey the Word of God; they will not listen to truth; they love darkness rather than light; their own false way rather than Divine Wisdom. The more they can do to make it appear that falsehood is truth, and truth is falsehood, the more they become insane, and their insanity is the outer darkness of the evil.

The third terrible source of the misery of the hells is uncleanness. In the Sacred Volume the infernal spirits are commonly characterized by the word unclean. Thou unclean spirit, the Lord says, come out of the man. When our Lord is speaking of the condition of the unhappy, He says, as you will read in Rev. xxii., 11, He which is filthy let him be filthy still. Many thoughtlessly suppose that if wickedness were not condemned it would be a thing far more delightful than goodness; but the truth is, sin is itself so horrible and hateful a thing, that were it left to itself, were it allowed to have its own way it would still be its own bitter curse. Evil pollutes all things, pollutes itself, and destroys the very capability of enjoyment. You remember the prodigal son, he at last came into the condition that he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 37 This class of the evil are like some of those. filthy savages in Central America who are said to live upon dirt. They thus pollute themselves who form to themselves an infernal nature.

The Lord describes the hells as where their worm dieth not. It is not His worm that does not die, but theirs; it is the worm of selfish craving lust, of pride, and hateful feeling, of an utter desire to grasp everything, and to make it subservient to self seeking indulgence. It is this which constitutes hell, and brings torment from its very nature. It forms unhappy abodes here, like hell upon earth. When souls go into the other life they sink downwards and crowd together, drawn by the terrible attractions of infernal spheres into the lower abodes of the spiritual world, where evil is their good, where darkness is their right, where each is a living hell to each, where each carries his hell with him wherever he goes. But, even the punishments there, which they inflict upon one another, are to prevent them from incurring deeper guilt and a deeper hell.

Let us now for a few moments survey the position of every man in this world of probation. He stands between the powers of good and the powers of evil. God, heaven,--and good men are on the one side; hell, evil spirits, and bad men on the other. Let us look up and contemplate our Heavenly Father, and the infinitude of mercies He grants to every one of us. Who can number the miracles of goodness which have been imparted to each of us from the earliest hour of our existence up to the present moment? Every power of soul and body is in reality a faculty of enjoyment given from our Lord. What is each man but an aggregation of faculties and abilities for the reception of blessings with two universes about him--the universe of mind from which streams truth, love, virtue, pleasure, sad peace; the true light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world; are ideas and sentiments of hope and joy flowing as a Divine river from the throne of God. Ten thousand mercies, graces, and delights press in and take up their abodes with us. Then, in the outward world, all the beautiful scenes of the universe surround us on every side. The stars pass over us by night, and the sun by day, the panorama of clouds, ever changing and ever lovely, woos our notice, and all the beautiful surroundings of nature are given to every one of us by our Heavenly Father.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 38 The senses are so many doors by which the soul communicates with nature, for the entrance through each door, by hearing, smell, sight, taste and touch, of ten thousand thousand pleasures and delights. All that is needed to enjoy them is the heart which feels that the Lord is good to all; his tender mercies are over all his works, and He is especially good to me. Oh, let us each pray to be enabled to exclaim, I should feel deeply His mercy over all mankind and me. His mercy endureth for ever.

Let us now regard the other side of the picture and ask the Divine question, Why will ye die, O house of Israel? It is said, With the wicked He is angry, not because He really is so but because what is mercy in itself is felt as anger by them. All the Divine laws must be against the evil, and they cannot fancy anything to be against them except from anger. When the selfish man resists or punishes any one, it is from anger--he is furious and acts wildly from revenge. When his sins have brought pain upon him, he attributes anger to the Divine Being, and crouches before what he conceives to be the result of Divine vengeance. The Lord, out of mercy, to him permits him to think so, because his fears rouse him to a better life. He is startled out of his selfish way even by selfishness itself; and the dread of punishment leads him to repentance, or deters him from sin. He is allowed to think that God is angry with him, if by fear he may be startled to try and become a better man--live better, labor better, and look up to the Lord--to pray for something better. The ark of Noah was covered with pitch; so the ark that saves souls now is pitched with appeals, appeals to fear, intimations that the sinner must flee from wrath; a gulf is before him; terrors are around him; he must rise and flee for his life, for the whole land is polluted. When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.--Ezekiel xviii., 27. The Lord, his Heavenly Father, out of mercy permits him thus to be terrified; but when he treads the path of the Divine commandments, the Lord takes the blindness from his eyes, the hardness and pollution from his heart, the deafness from his ears, and he sees that his pains, and his specters were the echoes and phantasies of his perverted nature.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 39 God is love, God is light, and in Him is no fury, no darkness. The mans soul was jaundiced, and all seemed yellow; his soul is purified, and all now seems bright. The Lord will receive and comfort him and ultimately take away from him every fear; for perfect love casteth out fear. The Savior will we him now a foretaste of heaven, and then raise him to that glorious home;--there all are happy, because all are good. The Lord thus suffers Himself to be seen by the forward, as it is said in Psalm xviii., 25, 26., as if He were forward; but to the merciful He always appears as a true, a merciful, and a gracious God. His tender mercies are over all His works, in heaven, earth, and even in hell. To Him be glory for ever and ever.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 40


And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.--Genesis vi., 6.


God is not a man, that he should He; neither the son of men, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?--Numbers xxiii., 10.

IN dwelling upon the varied statements which Divine Truth assumed on the subject to which your attention was invited we endeavored to point out that in all circumstances of human life, both literal and spiritual, two classes of impressions are experienced--those which are thorough truths, and those which are only apparent truths. You will find that this view of things has an important bearing also upon the subject to which we must address ourselves on this occasion,--real truths and apparent truths. Different classes of sensations and statements meet us, and must necessarily meet us at all times. We are all familiar with a very common illustration,--though illustrations occur on every hand,--I allude to the one we notice every day, the apparent rising of the sun, its course through the heavens, and its nightly setting. We can scarcely avoid stating what happens in the language in which I have delivered it, and it is not necessary to try to avoid it; yet it is not the real fact. The sun does not rise, the sun does not set, the sun does not move from its place; yet there is no reason for speaking otherwise than we do. The every-day language is understood. We are using the language of convenience and not the language of philosophic truth. No one is deceived. There is not the slightest injury done; convenience of language and intelligibility to all are attained.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 41 It is just the same in a thousand other casesindeed in every case. Things are never exactly as they first appear to us, nor as they are commonly referred to in human language. We speak, for instance, (to take a case that will cover truly a very vast field) of seeing the various objects that are around us, at the several distances that they stand in; yet the real truth is, that all we do see is the small reflection that these objects make upon the retina of the eye. It is only an appearance that we see them outside of us. Seeing is one thing, being is always really another. We must not, therefore, be astonished, if we find this same law apply to mental phenomena its well as to those of nature. It is a law that results from the creation of the One Creator, God, who made both body and mind. The law exists in the Word as well as in the world. The two texts we have submitted to your attention, are only pattern tests, as it were, of a large number. In the first we are told that the Lord repented that He had made man; in the second, it is declared that God is not a man that He should repent, and that He does not repent. Here are two distinct statements, apparently point-blank, opposed to one another. But it is only APPEARANCE and not REALITY.

Let as never forget that in strict truth the Lord is unchangeable. He is the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all His works. These texts state the truth as it really is; as it really must be; it cannot be otherwise than that God is unchangeably goodHe must be infinitely good. Take in all that revelation teaches respecting Him, weigh it carefully, and you will find the sum of it all to be, that He has shown Himself unswervingly merciful from the very beginning of time to the present. His mercy endureth for ever.

At the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, it was the worst period of mankinds history. The world was so detestably bad, and infernal spirits had got such power over men, that the whole of mankind was as it were in an infernal prison-house; mens souls were so corrupted, that even their bodies were to an enormous extent possessed by evil spirits; and no power but one could break this bondage.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 42 At that very time, instead of the Lord visiting the earth with wrath and vengeance, He Himself became a man to redeem us. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people. He Himself took our nature, the lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, because no power or love but His, no succor but His, no means but the means He took of entering into our nature, and in that nature combating and overcoming all the powers of hell, could redeem men. He overcame them in the way that religion teaches us to overcome, that is, by stooping to conquer. He manifested His love Divine in Divine human form, as a conquer of human passions, conqueror of human miseries, conqueror of the powers of hell, and as Divine Love incarnate He said, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I live for evermore. This was what Divine Love did when mankind was at its worst. Divine Love appeared in the form of Divine virtue; man nailed that embodied virtue to the cross; yet the same love streamed out in pity, and said, Forgive them for they know not what they do. This unconquerable LOVE brought a new state of heavenly virtue into the world, which has made the world capable ever since of being transformed into the glorious liberty of the children of light. Is it not clear, then, that the whole of revelation teaches the simple Divine truth--in this our Heavenly Father changes not? I am Jehovah, I change not, He says, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. If it had been possible for God to change, when the world was at, its worst, there was iniquity enough to have induced such a change. There was no form of diabolic madness, no corruption, nor vileness of any kind that was left unpracticed. Iniquity was filled up to its fullest height. But hell was to be overcome, and was overcome; God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. Reconciliation with God was begun. All who in love would respond to the Divine Love by obedience were reconciled; still the reconciliation goes on, and still it will go on, until every nation, every class, and every color of mankind shall be assembled under the sacred banners of Eternal Love and Wisdom, under Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords. In that day here shall be one king over all the earth; in that day there shall be One Lord, and His name One.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 43 The real truth of the Sacred Scripture is, that God never changes, nor repents, nor alters. He is infinitely good. He is the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning, (James i., 17). Indeed in the nature of things, this must be so. Reason teaches that change in God could only be to make Him better or to make Him worse. But He who is infinitely good, cannot become better; and I suppose there is no reverent soul who would pretend that He could be made worse. The consequence must follow, that He cannot change at all.

But then comes a question which involves many other important questions. What is the meaning of such a declaration as the one in the first text we have read over, it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. There was a decision made that the human race, so far as the grand mass of men was concerned, should be brought to an end. Now, we most consider the matter a little more deeply than the surface. Let us first inquire if God is infinitely good, and if He never changes; if, as is undoubtedly true, we know Him most and best by the innumerable blessings that we receive from Him; whence come the evils which do certainly exist and afflict the human race? These evils are usually attributed to Him, and sometimes even in the sacred text. In the dark ages a very simple answer would have been given to a question such as this, since men attributed everything to God, knowing nothing of the inner causes of things. They had an indefinite idea of God. They regarded. Him as the author of everything, and therefore of all unhappiness and wrong in the world, as well as of all good.

It is a new thing to some people to tell them their blessings are many and their griefs few. We ponder so much over our comparatively few sorrows, and think so little of the multiplied blessings we enjoy, that to many it is anew thing to tell them that they ought to feel life as a great miracle of infinite goodness. A person who hugs self-love unduly, and carries self about with him always will ask, perhaps, because he has some little anxiety, why is he troubled? People are attached to their anxieties, they often trouble themselves with needless cares, and hug their fears and fancies. When there is little room for present distress, many people anticipate events, and perplex themselves with thinking how they will be situated three years hence, or ten years hence.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 44 They hail far off miseries, and annoy themselves with sorrows that will never come, and so they poison the pleasant hours of life. Men would have few griefs if they were in union with their Heavenly Father, and content with their present mercies. But, in reality, all persons carry their unregenerate nature with them, and although they receive ten thousand thousand mercies from head to foot, yet too often the memory of these is shaded by some little sadness, as a speck shuts out the sun. I remember once going through a large hospital in Vienna, which contained about 3,000 patients. As I passed from bed to bed, and noticed the different diseases that afflicted the poor sufferers, I saw there was scarcely a point in the whole body from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot that was not liable to some special disease. The thought pressed home, what mercy is it that has preserved me and the vast mass of mankind from all these ailments! We all might suffer if it were not for that loving-kindness which protects us day and night. We might be assailed with excruciating pains in every part of the body. We might be tortured with pangs in every faculty of the mind. Yet how vastly in excess are the hours and days, the months and years for all of us in which, protected by Divine Mercy, we are preserved to the enjoyment of unnumbered blessings, both from the world without and the world within. Let us never forget these, but say, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

What, let us ask, are the sources of those sorrows which have been in the world in days gone by, and still exist in the purlieus, and even in the parlors of London? The common saying is, if anyone is suffering, that God has been pleased to afflict him with this or that disease or sorrow. If a person has been indulging in exciting drinks the greater part of his life, and brought on gout and rheumatism, and the many sorrows engendered by indulgence, he says, The Lord has been pleased to afflict me. If a person has been living in bad air or deleterious gas half his life time, inhaling over and over again his own breath tainted and defiled, and becomes exhausted and consumptive, he says, It has pleased the Lord to afflict me.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 45 If he has been in the habit of gluttonizing, if he has been constantly sending the blood careering through the vessels of his body, widening and expanding them, until his thick neck has told everybody else that he is producing congestion of the brain, and he fall a victim to a greedy appetite, it is paid he dies by the visitation of God. All these are grievous errors. These victims die against the will of God. They are slain by their sins. Their deaths are the visitations of disorder, of passion, lust, and care, of gluttony, of drink, of bad air, of the thousand vices, many of them based on ignorance, which afflict mankind.

What we wish to do in relation to the great truth we have now before us is to establish the firm conviction, to lay down as a foundation doctrine, from which we should never depart under any circumstances, that God is goodness itself. He never causes pain to any one. He is good to the angels, good to man, and good to the evil. He is good today, and good forever.

Do not suppose that we have simply in view on this occasion the idea of giving you an intellectual treat, by shewing you how to reconcile two texts of Scripture. It is, indeed, so important thing that we should understand the beauty, power, and harmony of the Divine Volume. It is a treasury of truth. But our aim is beyond that, and our wish is to establish a conviction in every mind as far as we can do it, that wherever there is disorder, there is something wrong in man. It is not Gods doing. If we have discomfort of mind, disease of body, if we are troubled by misery, pain, and loss, we must not look to God as the source of it. All men should examine and see in what it is that the pest, or misery, or disease originates. Just as we should not think of going to the sun to seek the cause that darkens his splendor on a gloomy day, knowing the cause to exist in the smoke and fogs of the atmosphere, so in relation to all spiritual ailments, and indeed to every sorrow that human beings have, we are convinced they arise either from mens actual sins, or the sins of their forefathers. Their origin is much lower than God. God is unchangeable, everlastingly good,--good to all. His tender mercies are over all his works.

Give a close examination to Scripture and to nature, and you will find that there are only two sources of disorder, and miseryIGNORANCE and WICKEDNESS.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 46 There are hereditary causes of disease which affect children very seriously during the whole course of their lives. These origins of sorrow are not to be overlooked. They have originated in their forefathers, either in ignorance or in evil.

Secondly, let us consider that when we are in evils we associate ourselves with evil spirits. These increase the dispositions to wrong, and are the causes of a vast number of pains both to mind and body. How fully this is shewn in the Gospel! When the Lord came into the world, the human race was so far subject to the powers of darkness that there were inflictions from them of multiplied miseries. Every reader of the Gospel, when his attention is called to it, will observe how numerous are the accounts there given of afflictions of this class. Our Lord is almost every instance where He is brought face to face with wretchedness attributes it to infernal agency. In the case of the poor man, mad amongst the tombs, He said to the evil spirits infesting him, What is thy name? My name is legion, for we are many was the answer, for they spoke as a mass. The Lord said, Come out of him thou unclean spirit, and then the man was restored to his right mind, and sat at the feet of Jesus, or deafness it is frequently mentioned that the Lord Jesus said, Thou deaf or dumb spirit come out of him, and immediate relief was the consequence. When the sanctimonious pretenders to religion, who were really enough to set the commandments of God aside by their traditions, were indignant at the Lords healing a poor woman and said, Then shalt not do these things on the Sabbath day, the Lord said, Shall not this daughter of Abraham, whom SATAN HATH BOUND, lo, these eighteen years, be set at liberty on the Sabbath day? The truth is, we are associated with the sublime spiritual universe, both as to its good side and its evil side. Within this great world of nature there is a world of spirits, animating and filling it; the cause of all its motions, of all its beauty and fertility. Just as the soul fills the body, so the spiritual world fills the natural world. All orderly and beautiful arrangements in nature are the result of the Divine power flowing through the heavenly side of the spiritual world. Its storms, earthquakes, wild beasts, thorns and thistles, and all things of hideous and venomous life are from the Divine Life, perverted by flowing through the infernal world.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 47 These perversions produce miseries. Every man who departs from heavenly order, and thus becomes selfish and fiendish, associates himself with spirits like himself. Thenceforward he becomes a channel through which plagues and pestilence are injected into him, and into the world. These are the true causes of misery, mischief, and sorrow. The plagues of the soul, associated with infernal powers, are the causes of the plagues of the world. The way to remove both is to eradicate sin. We should stay plagues by closing up the channels through which sin embodies itself in the world. That dreadful spiritual kingdom, the kingdom of selfishness and vice, in the other life, which is called hell, and which is the abode of misery, is a tremendous force for mischief. It stretches itself through the world of nature, but especially about man, exactly like all the other powers of the universe. Electricity is diffused throughout all nature, and as soon as you produce the outward conditions in which electricity will act, that instant there is a, stroke of electric power produced. So soon as the means in which chemical laws will act exist, instantly they produce their effect. So soon as the disorder and dirt into which evil power can act, whether in our towns, in our homes, or in our bodies, are produced, infernal force bursts forth instantly and produces mischief. The reason why we are not incessantly afflicted with ten thousand times more misery than we feel is that Infinite Love preserves and shields us. Providence preserves us from numerous ills; but as pain is a remedial power, and evil can only be shunned by being manifested, it may be restrained, but not extinguished. Evils are repressed and moderated by Divine Wisdom, but sometimes an extravagance of sin is reached in which all real humanity perishes, and man can no longer be sustained.

Our first text is an account of mankind so terribly corrupted that large numbers could no longer continue to live. This fact is declared in the language of appearances. It is said God had repented. The reality was, man had utterly changed, and creation in him could not go on. In the earlier parts of the chapter it is said the people had arrived at a state of unwonted vice. Ordinary sin is the evil of neglecting the Divine laws from ignorance, defying them from wantonness, or passing them by from inexperience.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 48 These states are such that after a while one may hope to have the sinner reclaimed. But there are depths of vice, abominations of sin, terrible monstrosities of guilt, which come from horrible mixtures of religion and lust. These give rise to depths of iniquity so profound that we have but little conception ordinarily even of what they are. In the chapter from which our first text is taken we read that the sons of God went in unto the daughters of men, and there were children born who were giants in those days. We cannot dwell on all the particulars connected with this state of things, but the intimation we have given will enable us to understand it a little.

In the Divine allegories of the early parts of the Bible, the sons of God represent the truths of religion, the daughters of men, carnal lusts; the blending of the two produce gigantic wickedness. We know what has resulted by a commingling of religion and lust, in the case of Mormonism. In that system persons are induced to live in adultery in its worst and most incestuous forms for religions sake; and under the pretense of revelation they pronounce Gods sanction on enormities of passion and crime. It was abominations of this class, only still deeper, still more horrible because far more of spiritual intelligence was known then, that were represented by the sons of God and daughters of men becoming united and thus giving birth to a progeny of giants. These were giants not of form, but of lust. They were giants in mischief and passion, monsters of wretchedness and crime, continuing to generate such abominations that the race could no longer be perpetuated. Their principles, their lusts, their passions, their enormities, were so diabolic as to bring death. They associated with infernal spirits as gods. To them evil became divine, and awful lusts a species of worship. Evil spirits have been men like ourselves, but they have entered into a spiritual state. When human beings enter the eternal world all that is good becomes better, and all that is vicious becomes worse. When evil men, by open intercourse with evil spirits, confirm their vices by what they vaunt as a Divine sanction, their sins are incurable, and death is at hand. The wages of sin are ever death, but in such a case almost immediate death. Their own lusts were destroying them;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 49 their own tremendous passions and their powerful giant sins, the fiendish sources of mischief and misery made it impossible for life with them to continue. This was announced in the words of the test in the only way they could understand it. In the language of appearances God is said to do what will inevitably take place.

The Lord is said to repent and to change, because man has changed the Lords life in himself. We say the sun has set, when the truth is the earth has turned from him. The warm and glorious beams which, when poured over beds of roses, fill the air with perfume, only stimulate polluted marshes to send out malaria, laden with death. The same warmth that softens wax hardens clay, not because the beams are different, but because the objects which receive those beams are varied. The sunlight which cheers and animates the graceful lamb, excites the dead carcass only to increased putridity and corruption. In like manner, the soul dead in trespasses and sins changes the Divine life that flows into it until it becomes hatred, lust, and impurity. This is done to such an extent at last that humanity in its true acceptation no longer exists there, and life, is transformed into death. Man has destroyed himself; but he thinks he is destroyed by the Lord. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, said the Lord, but in me is thy help.Hosea xiii., 9. When this change is coming over man, the Lord is said to repent and to grieve. Our first test, then, announces mans ruin in the way it appears to him; the second test declares what is really the truth. The Spirit of our Heavenly Father, when received by angels and good men, is the source of blessing and beauty; but when men have become so monstrous as that everything coming from the Lord is changed to its opposite, God is said to repent. The reality is that man destroys himself, and will no longer continue in the Lord. This awful state is altogether contrary to the Lords love;hence it is said, it grieved Him at His heart.

Let us take this sacred truth to heartthe Lord is infinitely good. If I am in sorrow, what is there that is its origin in others or in me? God is not a men that He should repent; He has not repented. Let me look around and see in what I have changed; let me pray to the Lord to give me light to discern in what I am doing wrong. God cannot repent. His laws cannot change.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 50 Hence, if I am to be saved, I must repent. Except ye repent, the Savior said, ye, shall all likewise perish.

There is no half-way possible; and sad indeed would it be if it were. An evil heart full of selfish dispositions is like a den of wild beasts. Until they are destroyed there is no peace. He who persists in opposing Gods laws will find them inflexible. There is no changing them. The light in which the dove rejoices is hard and blinding to the bat. The fish gasps and dies in the air, which to myriads of other creatures forms the very balm of life. Each creature that lives in the order Gods laws have provided for it will find enjoyment and progress: let it be led into opposition to the laws of its nature and it will suffer agony and death. Yet Gods laws are all beneficial, they cannot be altered. The pains they induce are protective and remedial. The laws both of mind and matter are the results of eternal love and infinite wisdom. GOD CANNOT REPENT. God is not a man that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent. He cannot give the rewards of truth to falsehood, the blessings of virtue to vice. He hath said, and will do it; He hath spoken, and He will make it good.

Man can repent, God cannot. Do we find ourselves unhappy then? We must change. Nothing else will do. Prayers that lead to repentance, will be all-prevailing; prayers which are wailings only, and leave the heart unchanged, are idle wind. Faith which brings us to OBEY our Savior is saving faith. Faith which overcomes our sins, and is seen in our new lives, is it victorious faith, blessed by the Lord Jesus. Faith which makes us altered men, molding our nature, renewing our hearts, changing our lives, opening the eye of the soul to its Savior, and making the inner ear of conscience quick to regard the voice of the Divine Master, and at each intimation of His blessed will to respond, Speak Lord for thy servant heareth; this is the faith which, grounded in love, is manifested in virtuous works and saves the soul alive, bringing it into the image of heaven.

If then, we are unhappy, restless, sad, having tried expedient after expedient, but still feeling far from peace, and full of forebodings, let us not continue the vain endeavor. Let us repent. Let us not deceive ourselves with the vain delusion, that God will alter, and to an unchanged nature impart the blessedness of heaven.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 51 It cannot be. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? O turn to the Savior, as the earth turns to the sun. And, as she is hatred in his radiance with light and warmth, fertility and loveliness, so will your changed souls gradually resume the blessedness of Eden, and glow with the glory of heaven. Seek eternal bliss no other way. He has set before you life and death, good and evil, blessing and cursing. Choose life that ye may live. Try no other way, for God is not the son of man, that He should repent. Take up the devout language of humble prayer and say,May His sacred Spirit help me to become daily more and more like Himself, my God and Savior, and my heart like the heaven He fills and blesses. As men change by regeneration into the likeness of the immutable God, they will become models of purity, order, and good; life in this home here below will prepare them at last for the bliss of that home above, and the life everlasting beyond the grave. Amen.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 52


I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.--Exodus xx., 6.


The soul that sinneth it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shah the father bear the iniquity of the son.--Ezekiel xviii., 20

PERHAPS there are few more profitable, and to ingenuous minds, few more interesting inquiries than those upon which we are at present intent from Sunday evening to Sunday evening. There are few more profitable, as I trust we have hitherto found. We shall, let us hope, hereafter find that what has seemed to be difficult, and in some cases apparently contradictory in the Divine Word, really consists only of different sides of the same truth. It is with the Word as it is with the world. It has many sides. Remember the celebrated ancient story of the shield, which was gold at one side and silver at the other. Two travelers coming up from different sides, one asserted the shield was gold, and the other that it was silver. It is said they fought and wounded each other. But at length one happened to catch a glimpse of the other side; and then they found that both had been right, and both had been wrong. It is exactly so with the varied forms in which truth often presents itself to the soul. If we would endeavor to see our neighbors side; if we would endeavor not to forget what others see and try to help us to understand, we should discover that truth has more sides than one, and that each one is a supplement and a complement to the other. Probably many of the religious differences of mankind would be found to resolve themselves into the same thing.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 53 An error is often nothing but an exaggerated truth, a statement quite right in itself, but which has probably been dwelt upon to the exclusion of many other views equally true. Thus there has been formed a contorted idea in the mind. Many things that are required in order that all may have their just proportion are shut out, and a hindrance is thus formed in the way of our advancement in truth and goodness. With this fact in view we would ask you to consider the two sides of Divine Truth presented to us in the differing declarations of the texts before us.

In the first declaration we are assured that the iniquity of the father is visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation,--or, as it might be better rendered, to thirds and fourths; for you will find that the word generation is really not in the text, but is printed in italics. The Divine language continues, that mercy shall be visited on the thousandths of them that love the Lord. It is clear from the most general acceptance of the words how the Divine Benevolence is manifested. You see how infinitely mercy and love abound over this visitation of iniquity. Let us, however, attend to the language of the Divine Word more closely. In pursuing our inquiries into heavenly wisdom it is important to notice exactly what that wisdom teaches. This is illustrated is the case before us in relation to the word iniquity. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children. By a very curious transformation of mind in relation to this passage and some others, the word iniquity is read as if it were punishment. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children is understood to mean, by those who hear, and those who read very often, (because the idea unhappily got into the theological creeds of past ages,) that the Lord punishes children on account of what their fathers have done.

But the passage does not say, Visiting the punishment but iniquity of the fathers upon the children. Such is the Divine statement. The same thing is attendant upon another famous declaration one that is very commonly used in relation to another very solemn subject of theology, I mean that in Isaiah liii., 5, where it is said, The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 54 This also has been understood to mean, and by a large number of individuals is still understood to mean, The Lord hath laid on him the punishment of us all. Such a declaration, however, would be quite another thing.

The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity, of us all. And in the passage before us the iniquity of the fathers is visited upon the children. Nothing is said about punishment. Iniquity means depravity of nature. We are born in iniquity. Iniquity is not-equity.

Thus by iniquity in the passage before us is meant depravity. The depravity of our nature is transmitted hereditarily from parents to children. Just as the nature of the parents is, just so it must necessarily be with the children. The fruit cannot be different form the tree, the effect cannot be otherwise than the result of the cause. And in this case the result of that degradation of our nature which is caused by evil must be exactly that which it is described to be in the Sacred Volume. The pages of Revelation, and the teachings of experience agree in this, like parents, like children.

We are told, with an extreme suggestiveness, in the earliest Divine Records, that man was made in the image and likeness of God. But after the fall of man, when the children of Adam are described, it is said that Seth was made in the likeness of Adam. Adam had a son in his own likeness, (Gen. v., 3,) and so it must necessarily be. Inasmuch as God creates children through parents, how could it be otherwise than that they should partake of the character of the would in which they are formed. This law then, unfolded in the language of our text is that sublime law of hereditary transmission--that law by which all the human race are connected in one grand series of links from the beginning onwards, and will ever form one grand network of immortal beings. Each new being is formed by the Lord through the nature that has gone before; and, hence, humanity is one grand chain of being. This law is one of the most weighty character. A similar law exists in every department of creation. In the case of every plant, of every tree, of every transmission of animals, just what the seed is such will the results be. Cause and effect go through the universe. There is a regular consecutive derivation of one generation of beings from another; and so it is that the Divine creation goes on. From the operation of this law in outward nature, we find the grandest results possible.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 55 Geology enables us to trace through immense periods of millions of years, the progress of the earth. The Almighty created the worlds through the son as their parent; and since his grand influences were crystallized and formed into worlds as the suns children, as part of the vast family of God, He still supports them as He created them, through title sustaining sun. Each earth was a vast congeries of rocks bare and naked. But by rain, and air, and time, these rocks were pulverized, or as the word in geology is, disintegrated, and soil bare and thin was formed. In this soil the Divine Wisdom deposited seeds, from these seeds grew plants. From the decay of these plants a better soil was formed, and then more and more by repeated decay, change, and progression through indefinite ages, each stratum coming from that which was less perfect below, and becoming more perfect by the action of life, at length this glorious world of ours, as it is, was formed. Through this grand chain of existence, with the law of successive development and progression, instead of rude bare rocks a world is formed as we have it, so lovely, and so good, so capable of blessing its inhabitants. The splendid marbles that acid magnificence to palaces, and adorn our homes, are the result of shells deposited myriads of ages ago. The rich harvests of today, all that is lovely in flower, and good in fruit, and those grand old growths which form majestic forests, come from deposits of ages long before. The materials of art, by means of which forms of beauty are multiplied are entirely the result of the workings of Providence, through ages astounding in their vast duration, but all connected together.

There is beauty oer all this delectable world,

Which wakes at the first golden touch of the light,

There is beauty when morn hath her banner unfurled,

Or stars twinkle out from the depths of the night.

Now, this chain through which creation has acted for an indefinite period of time, producing so noble a result, from the hand of Divine Providence, is precisely no image of what has taken place with the world of man. The Lord made man at; first innocent, but ignorant; yet with this power of progression in him. There was this capability of advancement from the gentle but loving state in which he was when first produced. He was tender and inexperienced, yet with all the germs of no angelic nature is him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 56 With this capability of progression, every quality, every excellence, every attainment, made by any part of the human race would give the proneness to the next succeeding child, to start from a higher plane than that from which his parent started. This was the object of the grand law before uscontinual progression, continual elevation; what the parents have won, to be continued and imparted to the children, with the tendency to greater perfection in, and the greater elevation of, the whole race. If man had not perverted this law by his disobedience and fall, the whole race would have been a constantly increasing power of ever-perfecting human love, with all its energies of happiness and perfection.

Even with our rebellion, and the tendency to wrong which has been introduced into our being, this same grand law has yet been so developed, that wonderful talents and powers, stores of knowledge, of philosophic thought, stores of good in society, have still been realized through infinite mercy. Every one may easily see the grandeur of this law as far as the good side is concerned. How much better it is that the Divine Being should have created us in accordance with this law of hereditary transmission, rather than to have made us all like grains of sand, each one independent of all the rest. If each child had been a severed creation, standing by itself, with no father, no mother, no relatives, none of those attachments which group us into families and nations, how inconceivably weak would each have been. Each child would have been a new production, with no relation to what had gone before, and no relation to what was coming alter. There would have been a sort of limitedness, a monotony, a puny being wanting pith and power would have been presented, very different from what is actually produced as a result of this Divine law. It would have been just as if in external society, when a person died, his house, his property, his estate, everything belonging to him, had sunk into the earth and disappeared, instead of being carried on to his children. There would have been no realized mental wealth carried on. But we know what a grand advantage wealth is. Take as an instance this glorious land of ours. What a grand heritage it is! What a mass of riches, fame, power, good of every kind now exists in this country, which has been realizing for a thousand years, advancement of every sort.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 57 That is just the result of the law we are considering, the transmission from generation to generation of everything that has been acquired by our forefathers to their successors.

But evil, although it never creates anything, always perverts what God gives. Hence, the very law of transmission which is so wonderfully merciful and good in itself, becomes by transgression the law by which the iniquity of the father is transmitted to the children. But, even then, it passes on, not in the way of punishment, not in the way of actual sin even, but in the way of impulse; in the way of transmission of nature, as the power of temptation, that is all. Even the perversion of a grand law to a mischievous end, is an act of mercy. The ship that has gone upon a sunken rock, hidden before, and becomes itself a shipwreck, by remaining there and pointing out the mischief, becomes a beacon of mercy to all others. It is just so with the perversions which occur in our nature and bring in evil and punishment. The very disposition which is transmitted onward, tells the child of the mischief that comes from sin. Oh! how I wish that I could stamp this truth upon every soul before me, and especially upon all the young. There are a thousand reasons why we should walk in the path of virtue, a thousand warnings why we should quit, why we should avoid every touch of vice of every kind. But, to all other reasons, to all other cautions and warnings, let me add this,--when you are about to pass into the perversity of sin; when you are trembling and tottering, as it were, upon the path that may lead you to engulf yourselves in wrong, bear this in mind, it is not yourselves only but your children that will suffer. The time will come when the corruption of nature that comes from actual sin, (there is none from mere temptation,) will defile your offspring. When evil has tainted heart and mind, and life, and becomes actual sin, that is transmitted to our children. Until that point there is nothing that goes on. There is nothing which entering into him call defile a man, the Lord Jesus said, but the things which come out. We may be tempted, lured, our lusts excited to wrong of various kinds, but nothing is corrupted until we do that which is sin in the sight of God; then the iniquity is fixed in our nature and is visited on our children.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 58 Hence the apostle James says in these two striking verses, And lust when it is conceived bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.--James i., 14, 15. But, in the form of instigation only, of proneness only, of temptation only, of which the Apostle speaks when he says, A man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed; in that form, so long as we resist the temptation, it is really a purifying influence, and calls out new virtues. It is just like the leaven that is put among the flour, it helps to get rid of the impurity that is stirred up by the fermentation. It is that which cometh out of the man that defileth a man. For from within, out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.

Let us remember this great law, remember it to our eternal good; that the iniquity which has been DONE, passes on to our children, the iniquity that is thought of, but resisted, helps to purify ourselves. So surely as the faces of children are like the faces of parents, so surely are tempers, tendencies, impulses, dualities in parental minds all presented again with some variations, but substantially the same, in the minds of children. Children are reflections of the characters of father and mother, and various blendings of each. An old proverb speaks this truth gathered from observation, He is just a chip of the old block. We shall take no harm from receiving the instigations to do evil, but much good from bringing all the good dispositions me receive from our parents, into play. Iniquity exists in us just as it existed in the nature which our Lord took: from Mary, for that is the signification of what is said by the Prophet, The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all;--not the punishment of us all, not the guilt of us all, but the iniquity. He took into His human nature all the impulses by means of which He could be tempted, but because of His Divine virtue and inherent infinite goodness He always resisted those impulses, and glorified, and perfected His nature until it was Divinely good, even in body, as well as Divinely good in soul.

Allow me, next, to ask your attention to our second text, The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, which I trust we may now see is only an illustration of all that me have been saying before. A son has in his nature the faulty dispositions of his parents, but he is not to bear them so long as they lie simply in the form of impulses, of proneness, of instigations.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 59

He has not to bear them when a, child. Every child has in him these tendencies to evil, and every child, as far as his inner nature goes, is provided from the Lord with germs of good. These are implanted as a center in his little heart. In every child there is a little heaven. Our Lord Jesus said, Of such is the kingdom of heaven. There is every impulse to virtue there, every holy tendency, everything in germ, that if carried out, will become a character virtuous, beautiful, and angelic.

In the middle ages, our ancestors got into some very sad notions about children. They had a strange way of thinking about almost everything. They speculated much on what they called Gods justice, but which if used in relation to anything else, would have been called the most monstrous injustice that ever existed in the world. They said that God was so very just, that on account of Adam and Eve sinning by taking a forbidden apple, He determined to punish all their posterity then unborn, and many of whom for thousands of years would not be born, by charging them with having done this very thing that Adam and Eve had done. This was said to he the result of Gods justice. He was so very just, that little children were all born under Gods displeasure.

But the Scriptures do not rep resent little children under this ban of infinite wrath, or as it is sometimes called, vindictive justice. On the contrary, every child is represented in the Sacred Volume as being one of that class of which our blessed Lord says, It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. In the old councils indeed many strange judgments were arrived at. They seemed to have an especial spite against little children; they hardly ever met or separated without declaring that all little children were eternally condemned from their birth. They declared that it was impossible for them to go to heaven if they died, especially if they had not been baptized. For little children there was no hope, only by some of them getting faith, and it was supposed that God would only give faith to a few. When He gave faith to those few, Adams sin was entirely removed, and for those few there was hope on earth, sad happiness in heaven.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 60 Up to the seventeenth century these councils and synods hardly ever separated without passing some resolutions embodying these astounding sentiments respecting little children. How different is that language to the language from our Divine Master. He taught that little children are under the especial guardianship of our Heavenly Father. Their angels, He says, do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven; take heed that ye offend not one of these little ones; suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. He puts a little kingdom of God into every immortal soul, which we feel, and call conscience. It is always to be found in the human breast. Its presence is very troublesome to one who is becoming really wicked. When a young man or a young maiden slips aside from the path of virtue, this inner, better nature will speak. They will have to labor to stifle many a heavenly sentiment, many a tender idea, many a call of mercy. It is indeed a very troublesome thing for a person to make himself a fiend. Horrible thought! And how much less trouble would he have if he would live a simple, straightforward, virtuous life. What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God? The straight course is not a hard one. But when a man breaks the path of right, one violation is not enough, he must go on from day to day, month to month, year to year. Conscience will rise up and assert its prerogative; the voice of truth will come again, and again, and again. The call of heaven will whisper by night and by day, Return to thy fathers house, and learn to be wise, and good, and happy. And as soon as ever the soul in the midst of its sins will really say, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants, for they have bread enough and to spare, as soon as this state comes, our Heavenly Father sees it, even while yet we are very far off, and runs and falls upon his neck and kisses the returning penitent, and says, Bring hither the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring upon his hand, the golden token of that love between the soul and its Savior which is the essence of eternal life. The ring on his hand, and shoes of ready obedience upon his feet; such is the welcome that Infinite Mercy gives and intends for every child of man.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 61 Of such is the kingdom of heaven.

There is, then, a center of good implanted, as there is a center of evil transmitted. There is the upper region where heaven reigns, a little heaven; and there is the lower region where disorder reigns, a little hell. Out of the heart are the issues of life and death. Out of the good and heavenly part of the heart, provided by the Lord, are the issues of life and heaven. Out of the mischievous part of the heart, derived from our forefathers, are the lower passions and impulses, the issues of evil and hell. There is a little heaven and a little hell in the same human being.

In early life, the Lord holds this evil part of man in abeyance. It is early seen. The iniquity is there, but the child does not bear it.

If children are perfectly well, they are good. When they complain, it is because they suffer. When children are in good health, and see only good examples, they are little forms of heaven. What softness, tenderness, gentleness, love, appear in the thousand little ways of childhood! They embody all the charms of endearment and loving-kindness. A little child will pour out all its affections on those whom it knows it can trust and love. It has in it the imperfections and degradations of our nature, but it does not BEAR them. The Lord bears them. As age advances, times come when temptations arise, yet even then the Lord holds our iniquities in check, and we are not tempted more than we can bear. But our characters must be formed. Heaven and hell both operate upon us; we stand between. Character is obtained by the resolution to act with the one or with the other. We stand between; yet even then we do not BEAR the iniquity until our sin makes it our own. Hell presents its incitements, heaven presents its hopes. The bliss, the peace, and the wisdom of angels, and of the Lord Jesus, the God of angels, acting through them and by them, are on the one side; demons are on the other, stirring up the souls passions, and provoking to wrong. Heaven and hell are the two great forces. The human soul is between them, and must say, Here I take my stand, I will be an angel and not a fiend; of these two things I will choose the good. Behold, I place before you, says the Lord, Life and death, blessing and cursing, choose life that you may live.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 62 And every one who becomes an angel, every one that becomes really a man, chooses life, perseveres in choosing life, and out of that life comes out that which is in his character all which is beautiful, glorious, and happy; a continually increasing heavenly state, and at last heaven itself. The soul has not borne the weight of his iniquity; the Lord has borne it for him. Yet he must will that his evil be subdued; his little hell must be checked, beaten down, trodden under foot, and covered up. It is a wonderful conquest. Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, the Lord Jesus says, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. In Psalm xci., 13, how strikingly the Divine Word speaks when it says, Then shalt tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. The passions, the hates, the animosities, the evil instigations of sins are the worst of all lions, the worst of all dragons, the worst of all serpents. We are brought into actual contact with these evils, but when we turn from them, the Lord smites them down. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your pence. How beautiful those words are to me, The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father. The son shall not bear the sins of the father; the Lord bears them; and when we resist and hate them, He entirely takes them away.

In that beautiful allegory the Pilgrims Progress, I dare say many of my friends will remember that when Greatheart and others were going up to the temple Beautiful, they were afraid because they saw the raging lions in the way, but Greatheart pointed out that there was an invisible string that held every lion fast, and he could not go beyond the permitted bounds, so even women and children were able to pass in safety. This is just the representation of what our evils and passions are, when they are simply hereditary. Until we have chosen them and carried them out, and thus made them our own, they are all secretly chained by Divine Mercy. They are all kept in abeyance by the Lord. He bears them and controls them. When we are suffered to be tempted by them, He sustains us in the temptation. And when we conquer, He bears them away altogether.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 63 When the Israelites came in sight of the Red Sea, and found their enemies the Egyptians behind them, they were filled with alarm. They had arrived at a spot where they were shut in between the Red Sea before, and the Egyptians behind. They did not then know what they afterwards learned, that every one of those enemies was under Divine control. To every human foe, as to the raging sea, Divine Providence says, Thus far and no farther shalt thou go. There are invisible cords, controlling them, in every direction. The Lord said to Moses, Speak unto the children, of Israel, that they ye shall see them again no more for ever. Exactly thus is it when we are in the trials of spiritual life. Temptations and dangers are always held back until we are strong enough to sustain them. The Lord has borne our iniquity, he has been our shield, our help, and strength, so that the greater part of our lives we did not know that we had these iniquities within us. It is only now and then they come up, and we behold their dark and dreadful nature. But, even then, if we stand firm, resting upon the same God that Moses rested upon, looking up to the great Savior for help,
and never making our sin actual, then the Lord will say, The enemies ye see today, ye shall see them no more far ever. Combat, fight with patience against them. Conquer today, and tomorrow you shall have peace, a never-ending peace. You have received the iniquities of your fathers, but you have not had to bear them. The Lord has borne them all the way along, and at length He removes them forever. They shall trouble you no more. You shall be forever free, in the land, where,

The wicked cease from troubling,

And the weary are at rest.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 64


Honor thy father and thy mother.--Exodus xx. 12.


If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.Luke xiv. 26.

OUR blessed Lord said the truth shall make you free, and in the new state of things, gradually acquiring new and more real power amongst mankind, this saving power of truth is being more and more fully acknowledged. Let us have truth is the yearning cry of multitudes of earnest hearts. Truth, not opinions, not decrees of despotism, but truth, clearly seen and understood, truth from the Word of God; that will make us free.

During ages past, long antecedent to the feudal times, mankind became, unhappily, divided into two great classes; despotic, cruel governors, and crushed-down and enslaved populations. After Roman times this state of things was modified to a considerable extent, and what we call the feudal system was introduced, in which mankind were divided and ruled by classifications of a very ramified and varied kind. Strong minds ruled weaker ones. There was an entire servitude of the general mass, some under one ruler and some under another. But the Divine Mercy now is evidently moving in the sublime steps of His order and providence to introduce a freer and grander state of things. Mankind have gradually acquired the discipline which through past ages required the drilling of despotic power, and are becoming ready for that broader reception of heavenly blessings which comes with freedom, for that richer heritage of mans glorious and immortal lot, in which each man stands up in the inherent sense of his God-given privileges, feels himself a man, and works out that glorious law of the Divine Savior, If the truth shall make ye free, ye shall be free indeed.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 65

The grandest source of all true government is the sublime truth that is given to as in the Word of God. It is the counsel of God. In studying His Word we confer with the All-Wise. We seek to realize all that God has promised in days gone by, The knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and None shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. We venture to hope for the fulfillment of what the Savior uttered, The time cometh when I shall show you plainly of the Father. I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. He has taught that the sublime scene which is mentioned in Rev. xix. should be brought about. St. Johns says, as the representation of what should occur in the Church hereafter, I beheld the heavens opened, and lo! a white horse, and he that sat upon him and many crowns, his vesture was dipped in blood, and he had on his thigh a name written that no man knew but he himself, and his name is called the WORD OF GOD. It is the Divine revelation of the time that would come, in which man should understand the Word of God as what it really is, the fountain of wisdom to angels and men, the fountain of wise thought, of pure and glorious sentiment, the fountain which even in heaven itself is never exhausted, Thy Word, O Lord, is for ever settled in the heavens. The Word shall teach men that one great thing is required of them by their Heavenly Father and Savior which is, that they should indeed become men. This can only be effected by instructing their minds; by opening their understandings; by penetrating through the seemings of earth to the realities of heaven; by determining that the Divine Wisdom shall be their law; by asking, what does the Word of the Lord teach me, and all men? and when this is ascertained to do it. Thus may we indeed know that one is our Father who is in heaven, and all of us are brethren. Thus will be realized that glorious prophecy, Is that day there shall be one? king over ALL THE EARTH,--that glorious Sovereign who is TRUTH ITSELF, the way, the truth, and the life.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 66 In that day there shall be one Lord. He who is King of kings, and Lord of lords.

To this end it is requisite not only that we should feel assured that God has spoken to men, that we should have no doubt that He who has provided its leaf for the lowliest worm has not forgotten His food to the immortal soul; that He who has given the laws of its being to the poorest insect that lives, has not so forgotten His Fatherhood, has not so forgotten His glorious name of Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, as to have given no counsel to man. It is not unusual at this day to hear it asked, has God in very deed given any word, has He really spoken to man? This is equivalent to saying, has God left His gloriously-gifted children orphans in the world, not knowing whither they are going, or how to tread the path that leads to life and happiness?

Our object in these discourses is to remove difficulties out of the way of sincere minds, and to assist them intelligently to perceive that God has given His Word. In the beginning was the Word. The counsel of the Eternal is the very center of all things. The very first outgoing from Infinite Love was Infinite Wisdom. In the beginning was the Word. That Word, the loving Word incarnated, came down to man. That WORD in the book form, has been given for human understanding, enlightenment, and happiness. This glorious Volume, the Bible, is the Word adapted to all the varied states of human minds, and to quicken them. My words, said the Lord, they are spirit and they are life.

We have made these preliminary observations that we may all feel the end that in had in view in our treatment of these spiritual paradoxes. We wish to help, if possible, earnest souls to clearer vision. If there be any here who have had their minds dimmed by the difficulties presented in these apparent contradictions in the Sacred Volume, we would aid such minds to see that those apparent obscurities are not only provocative to enquiry, but they are depths of a Divine Wisdom, which when truly understood will magnify the Word in their esteem. In the perplexities which arise in nature, science finds them difficult to understand at first, till she gets to the hidden law that runs underneath.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 67 When we fully understand what that is, we see that the, apparent darkness is only the provocative to deeper understanding, and to a grander revelation of Divine things than we should otherwise have attained.

Let us now turn to what seems to be not only a contradiction, but a strange, contradiction too, is the apparent contrast in the texts before us. Firstly we have, Honor thy father and thy mother, and secondly, If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also he cannot be my disciple.

The first law is one, of course, to which all will be delighted to respond. The wisdom of the institution by Divine Providence of that beautiful arrangement of the human family, which leads to the command, Honor thy father and thy mother is manifest. Everyone will confess at once its beauty, and a good mother. It is a grand thing to have a noble ancestry that has acquired virtue after virtue, just like the possessions of the earth are acquired or multiplied by generation after generation. We are the children of a long line of goodly parents, dotted, no doubt, with inglorious and corrupt ones too, yet still each human being comes into a splendid heritage. Britons are especially blessed in this respect. We inherit the possessions of freedom. The blessings we have received from our ancestors are a noble instance of this law. Guarded as our hand has been century after century, it now contains the comforts and advantages of a vast heritage, of art, literature, and well-being, which no good, no wise man will undervalue or despise. The intention of the Most High evidently is, that each child upon earth should have its father and mother and home.

Father, mother, and home, are the representatives to each immortal being of God the Infinite Father, of the Church the sublime mother, and heaven our lasting home. The Eternal Father, the Lord, who is the parent of all good, the Provider of every mercy for soul and body, the One who has become to us a Father for ever, the spring of progress, the source of blessing, the eternal origin of further and further progress and advancement, this Glorious Father, this Everlasting Father commits to each parent of a child, as soon as the baby is born, the noble position of standing to that child, as He stands to the universe.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 68 This is the very meaning of providing us with a father.

If there be a father before me who has not thought before of this great law in this respect, allow me most earnestly to bring, it under his attention now. You are expected by the Lord to be His representative to your little one. You are expected to be to your child what the Lord is to you, to angels, and to all men. Father is Gods most glorious title. He very often expresses Himself by two names to us. The Apostles, and the great men of old looked to Him and spoke of Him as Our God and Father. He is God to the whole universe, the eternal power,for that is what the word God expresses in the original language. To all creation He is God the Omnipotent. But only to immortal man is He Father. Only to immortal man does He give the capability of understanding Him as Father; only in immortal man does He implant the capacity which can look up to Him as the all-perfect creation, My Father made it all. How should my heart go up in love to Him, and bless Him, that He is not simply all infinite architect, an infinite engineer, an infinite mover of all the wheels of the universe, but that He is my Father;a Being that wishes me to love Him because H wishes to bless me. The only way He can bless me is by helping me to feel to Him as my Heavenly Father, as the Father of all that is great and good. Loving Him for the mercies that I enjoy, from the sleep that recruits my body, the food that supplies my table, the strength that enables me to do my duty, for all the graces of soul and body, I ought to bless Him for these His gifts.

The Lord enriches me with His mercies because He is my father, and I am His child. He intends me to be happy as His son or daughter on earth, and then to be His angel-child, and to be immeasurably happy, everlastingly happy in heaven. Well, our parents on earth have to initiate each little child into this sublime affection, to help the child to feel that there is a hand that is always administering to its good, that there is a Providence that is always caring for it, and always has ready what is wanted, that there is a face above the heavens which smiles upon it in love, that there is one who cares for each of His children, and strives to develop in it the faculties of being good and doing good.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 69 The earthly parent ought to be the Lords representative to the child, and to initiate it into the greatest of all great principles, and of all good things. By the love of its earthly father, which it daily learns, it would be aided to love its Heavenly Father, the supreme God, who from that love can bless it both in time and in eternity. For this purpose, than, is the, command given Honor thy father. Our earthly father is placed before us with these grand duties and these great possibilities, and then the Lord says to every child, honor this representative of myself. Respect this father, who stands in my place to you. Let him be to you what I am, and you be to him what he should be to me. Honor thy father and thy mother, with the reason which we have, I trust, seen for the Divine arrangement, involves two classes of responsibilities;--those which regard our earthly father and mother, and those which regard our Heavenly Father and Mother. The same law is equally applicable to both. Honor as children your earthly father and mother. And as you look up in riper years of intelligence and wisdom, then honor your Heavenly Father and Mother.

The Church is a nursing mother. Very often the Church upon earth has not worthily carried out this intention of the Divine Being. In old and bad times when people were for over churlish upon others, the Church upon earth was a harsh and cruel mother. But the intention of the Lord in founding His Church, His Divine design is, that angels in heaven and the Church upon earth should be, as it were, a nursing mother to all the young, to teach them how to walk; that is to say, how to live. The ministers and members of the church should be kindly, genial at all times to instruct the young, to give them a hint when they are going astray, and help them on in the right way. The angels ever do their part, being ministering spirits they help within, and thus do the hallowed word of the grand mother, enabling us to honor with a true heart and earnest love our spiritual Father and Mother. Then the Lord will prolong our days, He says. How long do you think? Why He makes them everlasting. Thy days (thy states of good) shall be prolonged upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 70 Your Heavenly Father and Mother will be your Father and Mother while eternity rolls on. Hence the Divine command is one that is applicable both to earth and heaven.

Literally, those who obey this command will have good health, and live long on earth, as a rule. As a law, belonging to the land of Israel, it was especially and literally true, that he who honored his father and mother would live in that land longer than he who dishonored them. In certain circumstances if a son carried his dishonor to certain lengths it was the, law that he should be put to death. A man who cursed his father and mother was punished with death itself.

In the spiritual sense days signify states, for states in the soul pass like days. Those who love the Lord and His Church, supremely, have their happy days prolonged, for they carry them with them as inner daysever-recurring states of light, of joy, and peace, and then they are prolonged for ages and ages in heaven.

We have spoken of the two universal applications of the Divine words before us; supremely to our Heavenly Father and Mother; and secondarily, to our human father and mother. There is it third for which the other two exist. This is, that each mind should be so trained and regenerated, that the Lord and the Church within one soul, should be a father and mother there of holy affections and wise thoughts, forming a family within. Love to the Lord, derived from the Lord, should be the father in the soul; and the affection for truth the mother of holy sentiments and holy feelings in each heart and mind. When the soul has become so far matured that it has outgrown the necessity for guidance by the human father and mother, it has a father and mother within, which it can still honor and reverence. The arrangements of each mind are like the arrangements of a family. There are governing principles and subordinate ones. The wish is father to the thought, said one of our poets. The child is father of the man, said another. There is a similar relationship between the higher and inner powers of the soul and the subordinate powers, as between father and mother, and sons and daughters. There are, indeed, many generations of sentiments and thoughts in the same mind. Each mind is a little kingdom. Every person may indeed say with Sir Walter Raleigh,

       My mind to me a kingdom is.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 71

When true principle is in the heart, and a regard for sound wisdom in the mind, they engender a family of mental sons daughters, formed of holy sentiments, and there is a happy household there. This is the third kind of fatherhood and motherhooda little generation in ones own spirit. Every good act and word helps the outbirth of the holy brotherhood within; a little family of goodness and truth, and principles which proceed from both. Such a mind forms a little heaven, crowded with hopes and joys, a seraphic generation. There is a small likeness of the grand heaven,the glorious home where the Lord reigns, the sublimest household of the universe, the sacred home of the true and the good.

But in this third class of fatherhood land motherhood, the family in each breast, there often occurs a failure. When the human father and mother have not been diligent in doing their duty thoughtfully, lovingly, and well, the child is left to its hereditary selfishness, uncared for, unprovided for. He finds society teeming with examples of self-love, self-seeking, and falsehood, which rather pamper than check the seeds of pride, and opposition to the Divine Will. He grows up with a habit of neglecting the law of God, and caring nothing about the principles that constitute true heavenly work.

With fallen man exists the universal tendency in our nature to have the lower part of the human mind governed by infernal principles. Self is the head of the family. And this father it is which is brought before us prominently in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus came into the world really to undo the evil which had arise from mans fall and degeneracy. Hence, taking the Jewish nation as a specimen of the worst depravity in the world, He took the Jewish nature, and combated sin there. He came down to the very lowest of mankind, and conquered sin in its most debased state, in order that having conquered it there, he might conquer it everywhere. He did conquer sin in every condition. It was of this ruling selfishness of theirs, the lord said, Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.John viii., 44. This is the father that we have in view in our second text. It was this father of whom the Lord spake when he said, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 72

It was not the orderly Father, not the Divine Father, it was the disorderly and infernal father, the father of all those wicked schemes by which they sought to destroy even virtue itself. There is an infernal family formed in the human heart when it is in its unregenerated state, and of this family self-love is the father, self-derived intelligence is the mother. Self-love desires to dominate over everybody in the world, the conceit of mans own cleverness is its help-meet. And from this lust and this folly, fancied to be wisdom, are born a brood of evil thoughts and feelings, words and actions, a family of sin. They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity.Job xv., 35. They hatch mischief, and weave the spiders web.Isa. lix., 5. The unregenerate mind filled with this impure family is what the pilgrim for heaven must leave. Hence it is written, Thou shalt leave thine own kindred and thy fathers house, so shall the Lord greatly desire thy beauty. He is thy Lord and worship thou him.Ps. xlv. 13. Every man who wishes to receive a new nature from his Heavenly Father, and thus be built up for heaven, must leave his natural state; he must leave his hereditary evils and falsities; he must leave his own kindred and his fathers house. King David, in an advanced period of his age, referred to the same sort of father and mother when he said, When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.Psalm xxvii. He was a full grown man at the time, and could have suffered no particular calamity even if his father Jesse had been dead or had forsaken him. When these impure and vicious principleswhich have been father and mother of our words and worksforsake us, the Lord will take us up.

But, many a harassed soul will say, they wont forsake us; they adhere to, and wear, and vex us, and we cannot be rid of them, though we abominate them. Turn your mind from them and follow the Lord. A very important lesson upon this subject is given by our Lord in a passage quite as mysterious as the one before us, and to be made clear only by a similar law. A young man who felt moved to follow Him, said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. The Savior replied, Follow me, let the dead bury their dead.Matt. viii., 22. The dead father is self-love renounced and rejected. To bury this father is to remove him from sight, to forget him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 73 The wish expressed by the young man is often the weary wish of the novitiate Christian with his leading sin. But the Lord knows best the times and seasons.

While the presence of evil is borne impatiently, and we lack submission to the Divine Wisdom, we must still be troubled by it. We are tortured with temptation. Again, and again, and again, the hated evil is there. We struggle against it. We would fain cut it out of us. We pray and fret. It is of no avail. Do right and let it alone. Let the dead bury their dead. The devil, said Luther, is a proud spirit. While he keeps your attention he will stay. Care nothing for him. Take no notice of him, and he will go away. So with all evil spirits. Turn from them and their devices, and they will depart.       Let the dead bury their dead. Dead souls will take their dead spheres, and bury them and themselves, in their own abysses, out of sight.

When our Lord was in the midst of His disciples on one occasion, some came to them in the house and said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without and seek thee. The Lord replied, Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? A question that appears very strange unless we consider it from the point of view to which we are endeavoring to lead you this evening. The Savior then added, Whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven the same is my mother, and sister, and brother. When the Lord is born in the soul, the affection for Divine Truth is His mother, admiration for His wisdom is His sister, and charity is His brother. Those inner relationships are most profound and instructive. When Peter was avowing his determination to follow the Redeemer even to death, his Master said, Whosoever shall follow me is the regeneration, and shall forsake father, and mother, and household, and sisters, and brethren, yea, and his own life also, he shall have a hundred fold in this life. Certainly a man cannot have a hundred literal fathers instead one, a hundred mothers instead of one mother, or a hundred times more of houses and lands, which he must have if we confined our view of the Divine words to their letter. But, if we understand their spiritual bearing and know that the family without represents the family within, we learn that when we quit a wicked state we leave the inward father and mother,--the evil and false thought, and the whole family of sin.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 74 The Lord gives us instead abundant inner virtues, filling the soul with a whole generation of hopes and joys and peace. Now, may we not look again at our latter test, If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Some think they might alter the test a little, and suppose that hating means loving less. This is a very dubious way of treating the Word of God. Far better to turn to the Divine rule of the spiritual sense. Bear in mind the Saviors teaching, My words they are spirit, and they are life. Let us apply it in the present case, and how grand an opening there is! When a man is unregenerate, his mind is a house in which selfishness is the leading principle, the father of all his thoughts. The mother is the love of his own cleverness, his various schemes are sons and daughters. He who has self-love for a father and self-conceit for a mother has also a terrible family. To this the Lord refers when He says, I am not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword. The sword of His truth is needed to cut right into that infernal household, and cast it out, root and branch. It was the sword of truth, the two-edged sword that came out of His mouth says St. John. It was this that He came to send, to destroy, not to save such a family as that, of which it is said, None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth, they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice eggs, and weave the spiders web; he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.--Isaiah lix., 4, 5. It is concerning these, then, that the Lord says, If a man does not hate his father and mother, if he does not abhor his selfish will, and selfish fancy, if he does not really hate them, (it is not love them less; here is no room for courtesy and policy) the really religious man must hate this father and mother, he must abhor himself and his worldly schemes, and all their brothers, mid sisters, and begin a new life. Life is the Scripture word for love; heavenly life is heavenly love. The life of the selfish man has been one of selfish love, if he does not hate this, his own life, along with the whole of that infernal family, he cannot be the Lords disciple. Say not yon must say a prayer and believe something just before you die, and believe something they tell you to believe, and you will be all right.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 75 Nothing of the kind. This is the old mother we mentioned, an old scheme to help you to go on sinning. It is change of nature that is wanted, and it is a great thing to do. Selfish things we must hate, father, mother, and the whole stream of selfish thoughts we must abhor. It will be hard for us to do; but let us take up our cross. Cross yourselves with the Divine Truth, never mind crosses on your necks, or garments, but let the cross come into your heart by crossing all your high tempers, and putting them down, pride and selfish vanities, never mind how the conflict pains you, it will end, in a little time, is triumph. When you take up the cross do not drag it along, but take it up saying, This is my Lords will, this is what I ought to do to be an angel, and I will do it, and you will find this cross, as you work on, will begin first to have a crown on the top, and then there will gradually appear a rove here and a rose there, and in a little time the whole cross will dissolve into roses, and form a bower of bliss. Ultimately, the Lord will say to us, For he that hath wrought us for this self same thing is God, when he welcomes us to our eternal home, Come and be my disciple for ever and ever.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 76


Even so it is not the will of your rather which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.--Matt. xviii., 14.


For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the lungs of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. over whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.Rom. viii., 29, 30.

THE two declarations before us appear to be contradictory. The appearance has been supposed to exist by a great number of persons who seem to have mistaken the character of the Divine Being. They think that the teaching of the apostle Paul in the words, Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, was that a peculiar few, as compared with the whole number of the human race, were destined in the sight of God to hear the gospel, become angels, and be everlastingly happy. Then he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified. The idea that there had been set aside a peculiar few, a certain number, who were thus supposed to have been pre-arranged for by the Divine Being; while all the rest were passed over, and that they would certainly go to heaven, is certainly not in harmony with the fundamental teaching of Scripture. Our Divine Lord, and He was God manifest in the flesh, assures us in the first text that every child created by our Heavenly Father is created for eternal happiness. It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Allow me to direct your attention, first, to the important points that are unveiled to us in the first declaration.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 77 We will then endeavor to understand what the Apostle means, and see if, when it is lightly considered, it does not accord with the teaching of our Lord.

If we had to consider the form of a tree, especially if it happened to be one of the great Banyan trees of Asia, and instead of going right to the central trunk, and then from that central trunk surveying the branches, and thus getting a command of the whole, we went peeping in here and peeping in there, but never going right to the main stem and taking our stand there, so as to command the central view we should never understand the tree; we should never know its real form.

Now, it is exactly so with sound views on all great subjects. If we seize the strong, and central truths, and then from these look at all the rest, we shall find all will take their proper places, and we shall comprehend a beautiful whole. In the matter before us, the great central principle is the eternal purpose and will of God, and it is placed before us here and elsewhere in the most striking and emphatic manner: It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. It was a strange and terrible phase of human infatuation that set in with Augustine, and was largely spread by Calvin, in which, by strange, cold, hard metaphysics, men concluded that Christian theology seemed especially to point to the necessity of never letting little children, especially if unbaptized, go to heaven. Synod after synod, council after council, almost all the great meetings of the Church in those times endorsed these views about little children. Now, as we read Church history we wonder what they were about. We look upon little children--those beautiful creatures of the Eternal, the sweet glorious images of Himself, the very embodiment of His love and wisdom,--and are delighted as we gaze on such miracles of wondrous perfection and beauty. Each little child is itself a universe in miniature! The Divine Being has prepared its heart and mind for the reception of His love and wisdom in the most astonishing manner. There is nothing so beautiful on earth as a little child. Take even its very framework; it consists of more than four hundred bones, so beautifully fashioned, so exactly constructed that you cannot put one in the place of another throughout the whole framework.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 78 No architect, no mechanic, no human shall of any kind can really solve the same problems that are solved in relation even to one little human being. Take the vertebral column; two things are realized there which are never so perfectly accomplished in any human work. It is for its weight, the firmest of all things and it is the most flexible of all things. The perfections of a pillar and a chain in the most admirable manner are found in the human vertebral column of every healthy child. And then it is so wondrously constructed, that the most finely organized matter is arranged for to go down the center, to carry life from the brain to every part of the whole body. There are also little apertures made for the nerves, all fall of life, to come out where they are wanted, and to give light to the eyes, hearing to the ears, taste to the tongue, smell to the nose, and sensation to every part of the body. The power of moving, the power of perceiving, and the power of receiving all the glorious blessings that the Almighty imparts through the beautiful universe, are all provided for in the central column. And this is as nothing. In the system of the little child there is the most perfect arrangement for moistening every part, for removing the redundant material, for creating oil needed for giving suppleness to all the joints. There is the most remarkable ramification of parts for doing what so human chemistry can do, but which the Divine chemistry accomplishes in every child. Where is the chemistry that can turn bread and water into flesh and bone, into brain, into eyes, and ears, into nervous matter, into little feet and hands, and arms? Why, all the chemists in the world cannot make a single hair. Crystallizations can be performed in dead matter, but none of the living crystallizations that take place in the human form can be effected elsewhere than in that wondrous frame. Who then that looks upon this body, even the threshold of the immortal being, which God has given to every one of us, and then remembers that this is but the house that man has given him to live in, and that within this there is the immortal man possessed of higher faculties and grander powers, can fail to see that each child is the object of Gods love? Man call imitate God and walk with Him. He has talents, powers, and faculties by which he can measure suns, and stars, and worlds; and go with the Most High, as it were, through the universe, and say My Father made them all.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 79 Well, then, can any man with manly thought and manly heart do otherwise than look upon the loving eye of a young immortal, and say, Oh certainly, it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

But the same lesson is given us all through the Scriptures; in the Old Testament as in the New, in the gospels as in the apostolic writings. These are some few appearances of different teaching, but they only require us to get, as it were, to the center of things, and then look at the various branches to see that it is the sublime purpose of Gods eternal will, that every child should become happy on earth, and then be happy in heaven. If we turn to the Old Testament what magnificent declarations are there of this glorious purpose! Take, for instance, Deu. xxx., 14, 15, But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that then mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this clay life and death, and good and evil; and then the Divine Mercy goes on to say, I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days. Divine Mercy requires us to choose life, or love, for that is what life means in the Divine Word, heavenly love; because it is only by choosing this that it becomes our own; that we can live upon it, that it becomes wrought up into our spiritual being. Choose life. Life that is not chosen will not make us happy; if the Lord forces life upon us, we should be slaves in golden fetters; and, therefore, His will is that we should by choice lay hold of what is loving and good, that we should determine that we will live for heaven, strive for heaven, work for heaven. Choose life that then mayest live. And then acting from a freedom like His own, (for He is infinitely free, compelled by nothing to love but loving infinitely because goodness is good, because truth is true, because virtue is divinely excellent of itself.) He desires that we should imitate him: that we should choose life, that we may live the life of angels and be happy in doing good, for heaven is then within us.


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Further on in the Sacred Word we read, The Lord is good to all, his tender mercies are over all his works.--Ps. cxliv., 1. Never suppose that the Divine Mercy is exhausted, never imagine that infinite tenderness comes to an end. Men or devils reject Him, He never ceases to care for them.
He blesses the highest angel; He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good; and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. His Spirit retains its own merciful character, even down to the lowest hell.

The Divine Mercy extends to the infernals to rule them and to make their miseries less than they otherwise would be. It is not to punish, but to preserve and to moderate, that the Divine Being is present in the realms of darkness. Just an the authority of a merciful sovereign governs the hells upon earth, preventing them from being so utterly miserable as they otherwise would be, so the Divine Mercy extends to the lowest and the worst. His tender mercies are over all his works.

Such, then, is our God and Father. At this glorious season we commemorate the wondrous act of God becoming a man for us. And what did the angels proclaim when this strange but marvelously loving work was undertaken? I bring you glad tidings of great joy that shall be to all people, not glad tidings of great joy that shall be to this man or that man, to this nation or to that nation, but shall be to all people. Unto you is born in the city of David, a Savior, Christ the Lord; and then the heavenly host came and sang, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good-will towards men When the Lord Jesus was approaching the end of His ministry, He said, How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not.Luke xiii., 33. I would and ye would not. Obstacles were not with Him, but with them. And He then ended His sublime work of redemption on the cross, as the same apostle declares in the second chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus took our flesh that by the grace of God He might taste death for every man. For every man! Although a man might reject Gods goodness; although he might repel his own happiness and safety, although he might choose hatred, instead of love, falsehood instead of truth, vice instead of virtue, misery instead of bliss, yet even for that man the Lord Jesus died: for, He tasted death for every man.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 81 And, then, showing all the sublime attributes and tenderness of the Godhead at work, the Apostle has add in his epistle to Timothy, This is good and acceptable to God our Savior, who will have every man to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. In the last chapter of the Bible, this glorious invitation is given, And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And lot him that heareth, say come. All heaven, all the Church, every individual man of the Church, is exhorted to ask men to come and he made happy, And whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely. This is the will of God, our Father and our Savior.

But I have stated that when our Lord says, This is the will of your Father who is in heaven, me may take it quite for granted that that is a correct expression, because He was Himself our Father who is in heaven; He is, now our Father who is in heaven. This is a circumstance that oftentimes has not been fairly learned from the Sacred Volume. There has not been an exact perception of the teaching of Holy Writ as to God manifested to us; Emmanuel, God with us. Our Father who is in heaven has been frequently thought to be an expression for a Father who reigns over the eternal world, distinct from the Son. But there is a nice fitness of expression everywhere in the Sacred Volume that should never be forgotten. When there is anything appended to a phrase, it is for a certain reason. Our Father who is in heaven. God in His own unmanifested nature is so far above all that is finite, that until He manifested Himself in Jesus Christ, He was the Father above the heavens, that is, in the inmost of all things, He was an unknown essence, such as our Lord speaks of when He says, Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father at any time nor seen his shape.--John v., 37. God, before the incarnation, manifested Himself through an angel, whom He filled with His presence at the time, and thus spoke to men. When Moses requested that he might see God, the law was given in Jehovahs answer, thou canst not see my face and live. The infinite ardor of love, eternal love such as it is in its uncreated, unfinited essence; is the Father, the inmost of all things, but not yet manifested even in heaven. He humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 82 The essence of God is beyond all finite thought, but when the Divine Mercy descended to finite existence, and humanized Himself, He became to angels the Father in the heavens, and when He descended still lower and came upon earth He was then the Father in the world, and said, He that seeth Me hath seen the Father.--John xiv., 9. So little accustomed are many persons to think about God, and ancient creeds have tended so remarkably to narrow and confuse, instead of to open and expand the mind, that frequently when they speak of the Lord Jesus Christ being God manifested in the flesh, and God upon earth, it is concluded that God left heaven in order to come down upon earth. Many think of God as a finite person, and as though to be present here He would have to be absent everywhere else. But that is not the Divine idea of God. Am I a God at hand, the Lord says, and not a God afar off. Do not I fill heaven and earth. When the Lord appeared upon earth, He did not quit heaven. He is present now on earth although He is present with the angels, as the God whom they see and adore. He is present here, in this church, with all the sincerely minded. Wherever two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them. He comes to every heart, Behold I stand at the door and knock, He says, if any man will open the door I will come into him and sup with him, and he with me. But to come to that one man whom He is teaching, and inviting to open the door of his heart, He does not leave everybody else. He is presently manifestly in the Son of Heaven. He is present by His Holy Spirit in the heavens themselves. He can manifest Himself anywhere when He pleases, and wherever He manifests Himself there is all the majesty of the Godhead present; and therefore when it is said, Our Father who is in the heavens, and when we are asked to pray to our Father who is in the heavens, in the common prayer which the Lord taught to all, our Father who is in the heavens is the ford Jesus Christ. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father.--Isaiah ix., 6. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Father who is in the heavens; the Father who is on earth; He is the only Father with whom we have to do.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 83 I in them, the Lord says, and thou Father in me.

Well, then, when He says that It is not the will of our Father who is in the heavens that one of these little ones should perish, we say that we may well take it to be the very truth, for He was that very Father in the heavens, as well as the Father in the Son on earth. He is the very Father in the heavens now, and hence He says in another place, If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.--John xiv., 13. If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it. When men pray devoutly and sincerely, Jesus hears and answers whether they know Him rightly or not. The Lord Jesus is the only Father there is in the heavens. All power is given unto me, He says, in heaven and on earth. If we come to the Being then who has the power and the will to help us, it is Jesus. Come unto me, He says, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Whosoever cometh unto me I will in so wise cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. He is the Infinite Lover of every soul of man. Such is the purport of our first text.

Well, then, what is the doctrine of the second part of these teachings? The Apostle says, For whom he did foreknow, them He also did predestinate. Allow me to suggest to every one who has not very deeply considered this passage, to read it carefully. The common way in which men went wrong in relation to this verse, was by really transposing its parts in their minds. The Apostle says, Whom he did foreknow, them he did predestinate. But in the minds of the persons who thought there was some testimony in it: for a partial God, they really read it mentally, Whom he did predestinate, them he did foreknow, reversing the passage, as if God predestinated first and then knew that they would come to heaven, for He had settled it that they should. The passage, however, puts it the other way, Whom he did foreknow, them he did predestinate.

If we take it just on the surface, simply as a merely natural man would do, without any further investigation, it would mean that everybody was to be saved. God, undoubtedly, foreknows every one;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 84 and if whom He did foreknow them He did predestinate, and whom He did predestinate were called, and they who mere called were justified, and they who were justified mere glorified, it would just mean that everybody would be saved, because everybody was foreknown by God. But that also is certainly not the meaning of the text. In the Scriptures, when used both by the Lord and by the Apostle, by the term knowing is meant to be IN SYMPATHY WITH FROM LOVE.

God is said to know those who are like Himself, and they are said to know Him.

Hence in the seventh of Matthew our Lord says to the wicked ones that still wished to go to heaven, I know you not, whence you are, depart from me ye workers of iniquity.--ver. 93. But the Lord was acquainted with them, and He knew all their circumstances, for of course He would not have known that they were workers of iniquity unless He had known all about them. We have the same meaning for the word knowing when we are speaking concerning human friends. The cold-hearted and selfish do not know the generous, loving, and the good. The coward does not know the brave man, the corrupt man does not know the virtuous and the pure. You often know the outside of a man; you know what he seems to be, but you feel that there is no community of heart and mind between you. You may live with a person for years, and yet may not know him, and he does not truly know you. He attributes perhaps a hundred things to you that are not true, because he has no sympathy with your nature, and therefore cannot come to know you. The apostle Paul plainly teaches this, when he says, He that loveth God knoweth God.--l Cor., viii. 12. Now, here you have the simple explanation of the whole passage--he that knows God loves God. The apostle John utters the same thing where he says, Whosoever knoweth God loveth. God, for God is love. And a man who does not love, a man that is not endeavoring to become more loving every day, does not know God. He walks about like a blind person, and supposes he knows something when he is altogether wrapt up in his own selfish thoughts, both respecting God and man. He has not yet got the knowing faculty developed in him, for that is really the loving faculty. Now, the Apostle is teaching that where a person is good, where he has a loving heart, and desires to be set right, he will sooner or later get the Gospel, and this will make him like unto the Lord Jesus.


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Whom God did foreknow, that is, those who by love were in communion with God in the best way known unto them before the Gospel came to them, to them the Gospel was given. The Apostle says, in the verse immediately preceding, all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD. There is the groundwork. It is the same truth that our blessed Lord gave, when He said, Every one that doeth truth cometh to the light.--John iii., 21. Now, there were they that God foreknew. God foreknows every such soul now. When a person is in the love of what is good, when he has been earnestly striving to be right, when he has got the good ground of an honest and good heart, the seed of heaven will come to him some day; he will be brought within the range of heavenly teaching. He whom God foreknows, by whom His Spirit is received, and who looks to Him, will be brought under the sphere and teaching of Divine Truth, either by a book, or a minister, or a friend, or by some circumstance; and then the love that is in his heart will just serve like a heavenly magnet. It will say to him when the truth comes, This is the truth; this is the very lesson of heaven; this is the real teaching. There is a union between love and wisdom, between affection and thought. God foreknew me, and now he has predestinated me. Of those who are thus declared to be FOREKNOWN, that is, who had a sympathy with the DIVINE LOVE before the truth of the Gospel reached them, the Apostle says, in the verse immediately preceding, We know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD: to them who are the called according to His purpose. No others are savingly called. Love is the only ground in which TRUTH can become rooted, can flourish, and bear fruit.

But these LOVING ones must by truth be delivered from errors of doctrine, of temper, and of life, and led to a Christ-like conformity with the Lord. Them He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. His Divine Humanity was to be their pattern as well as their head; that He might he the first-bell among many brethren. What a sublime and magnificent view is opened to us in these simple words!


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 86

It was predestinated (that is defined, determined) that a spiritual universe should be formed from men of love, of which His own Divine Humanity, the Son, should be the Head, the Pattern and Center, the Father in Him, and He in them. From His glorious Manhood, angels and men, conformed to His Spirit, should form a vast and ever-increasing kingdom, in which He should be the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords. This is the fixed Divine order from which the Lord never swerves. Men of loving dispositions form His children, and He leads them into a full spiritual likeness unto Himself in His Divine Humanity; like Him, they become self-denying, pure, intelligent, merciful, just, meek, and good.

As He was High Priest to the Eternal Love, and offered Himself a whole burnt-offering to the Divinity within, and then received all power in heaven and on earth, (Matt. xxviii., 18); so they must become priests to offer living sacrifices to Him, and kings to rule their own spirits in entire obedience to the Lord Jesus, who is Lord of all--Acts x., 36.

These are the called according to His purpose. The Lord foreknew these souls with whom He has communicated; them, then, He calls from ignorance to wisdom, from fear to child-like trust and reverence, from superstitious trifles to living virtue. He calls them to grander aims, to wider sympathies, to better and nobler acts and principles of life; and them He justifies. He makes them just, and declares them just. There is a wide-spread conviction in the present day, and it is the snare of the age, that man cannot be just; that justice is something too pure for mortals; yet almost all our sorrows come from injustice. The voice of the Savior is easy, and His burden is light. Would men venture to be just, each in his sphere and avocation, and be satisfied with the modest awards which justice supplies, how soon both the heart and the face of the world would change. Thus only can any man come into happiness.

God always sees every one and all things, just as they are.--Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? He justifies a man by making him just. He will show a man his weakness, and fortify him by lending him to feel how blessed it is to be just and good.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 87 Every time he prays, and every time he is thinking of Being to heaven, the Spirit of the Lord will whisper, What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk. humbly with thy God. And He will thus make men just. Their lives become daily more useful, pure, and innocent; they do nothing that would harm their neighbor or would sully the glory of their Lord. He imparts justice to them. He makes them angel-like. They become heavenly, and thus they become justified; they have a beauty imparted to their characters, they not only become lovelier themselves, but they surround themselves with things lovely and becoming, so far as their means permit, so that beauty conjoined with mercy make their homes types, though imperfect types of heaven. They become glorified, not with outward glory, but with the glory of being wise, humble, and good. Their glory is to say, I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness. Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; establish thou the work of our hands, yea the work of our hands establish thou it. Let us say this my beloved friends. So shall me go on from being foreknown by love, to be predestinated and called by truth, justified, glorified; until at length we form part of the glorious company of the angels, who are eternally happy because they are eternally good.


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For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.St. Matthew xix., 5, 6.


So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well: but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.1 Cor. vii., 38.

THE theme upon which we have this evening to speak is undoubtedly of the very highest importance, and ought to have the fullest and deepest regard from all who respect religion. It has been one of the unhappy consequences at all times of a decaying religion that it has led to a decay in the esteem of men for marriage. It is recorded in the history of early Rome, that in the centuries of her pristine virtues she held marriage sacred. During her first 500 years there was no public offense against the laws of marriage. Only as she declined in this respect did she sink into weakness, and into all that is impure and bad.

Christianity in her early centuries held simply and sacredly the doctrine of our first text. But when she began to decay, after the third century, marriage became with her a sort of secondary state of being, a kind of subordinate condition of life, permitted and sanctioned, but celibacy was the highest form of Christian virtue. This latter notion was sometimes connected with what the Apostle is supposed to have taught in the words of oar second text, that although giving in marriage is good, yet that not giving in marriage is better.

Allow me to ask you this evening to give the best attention you can to both sides of this important subject. Notice the commencement of our first text, FOR THIS CAUSE, shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife. For what cause? Why, because, as the Lord has just previously stated, God in creation has made man, male and female.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 89 FOR THIS CAUSE. IT IS THE DIVINE INTENTION. It is the glorious purpose of the Divine Being from first to last in creation. For this cause, that man and woman might be in all respects united in heavenly union. It is the Creators will and purpose as evinced throughout His creation. Can there be a holier sanction? In marriage there is an image, of the Creator Himself, for He is love and wisdom in infinite union. There is an image of Him in all things that He has made, and it must be so. In the very circumstance of the relation between maker and work there is always an image in the object made, of the excellencies or otherwise of the person who makes it. An ignorant workman makes bad work, a superior workman makes superior work. Always when you properly know and understand the work, you will be able to know and understand the workman.

It is of necessity that there must be an image of the Creator in all things--and this image is in all things double. In the Creator there are these two infinite things--infinite love and infinite wisdom. If there had not been infinite love there would have been no energy in the Creator, no desire, no purpose, no motive, especially no motive that could have produced so grand a universe as that which surrounds us in all its greatness, and in all its wilderness. There must be in the Creator the infinite purpose to bless others out Himself, for this is the nature of love. Love is the desire to give to others the highest degree of satisfaction out of ourselves. And unless there had been this infinitely in the Creator, He never would have made this glorious universe out of Himself. In Himself there must have been infinite happiness, infinite enjoyment, and infinite possession of all things, because all things that are, or have been, have been produced out of Him. There can never be any happiness experienced out of Him, but which has first been in Him, and is poured forth out of His fullness. And, so in Himself He must have been infinitely blessed, there was nothing to add to Him, nothing from which to obtain new selfish gratification, nothing of which He was deficient, for if He had lacked anything, the Being that possessed it and who could impart it to His insufficiency and imperfection, would have been the original creator.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 90 It is evident therefore that in the Divine Creator Himself there must have been infinite energy resulting from love to bless; and therefore He has created others out of Himself that He might bless them. And, just think for a moment, how vast, how indefinitely vast, is the glorious out-birth of this infinite love. We are told that there could be numbered thousands of apparently fixed stars, even in what appears to be only a very small space in the sky. Thousands of fixed stars, and these are known to be suns. If we multiply their number by the space they occupy, they become millions of millions of suns. And if it be true, as there is every reason to believe, that comets are merely bodies given off from the sun in the form of gas, that afterwards become condensed into worlds, God, by this mode, is still creating millions upon millions more. And why? Because the capacity of His desire to bless others is infinite, and therefore can never be filled up--God is love. The unutterable myriads of glorious beings that He has formed in all these worlds are such that we may well say--

All thought is lost and reason drowned

       In this immense survey:

We cannot fathom the profound,

       Nor trace Jehovahs way.

But this we can trace, that vast and infinite as is His glorious love, even so vast and infinite is also His wondrous wisdom. In the beginning was the Word. While there are love and infinite energy to create worlds, and suns, and systems, there is also wisdom to ordain, to regulate, and arrange. Wisdom contrives all the wonders of Divine order and beauty, so that the glorious universe is stable in all its parts. While these moving worlds and moving suns, as it is now clearly known they all are, are in motion, there is no confusion. All creation is one vast field of infinite order. All the wondrous bodies are in motion round a vast central point, like a central sun, which represents Him who is the Sun of all things. The Lord God our Savior is the glorious light of eternity. All is wisely arranged, all is wonderfully perfect, all is beautiful in order and harmony. Not only is this vast whole sustained, but it is sustained so that according to the very highest mathematical minds, which have applied themselves to the astonishing problem and have solved it, the result of the profoundest calculations is, that every motion of every known power and force in the universe tends to stability only, none to destruction.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 91 If a planetary body approaches a little nearer to the sun at one time than at another, that very power which has brought it a little nearer makes it move a little faster, and that increased rapidity takes it back again to the distance it came from in continuing its journey; and so the whole goes on with perfect order, harmony, and variety; harmony in every little variation, stability in all things. me may not only from devotion but from intelligence say, All thy works, O Lord, praise thee, all thy works are done in truth. Well, then, this is the result. In the Lord Himself there is an infinite union of love and wisdom. He is as loving as He is wise. He is infinite in His understanding as He is infinite in His goodness. Therefore out of this two-fold perfection as is expressed in a variety of ways in the Sacred Volume, there conies this, that every child of man may say, The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? The Lord is not light only, He is light and salvation. The Lord is not love only, but He is wisdom equal to His love.

Such, then, is the glorious essence of the Divinity. Such is the Divine presented to the minds eye from Scripture. Our God, our Creator and Savior, is infinite love and wisdom, in all perfect union. In all creation there is this image of Him, an image of His love and wisdom. Let us take a few illustrations. One of the most beautiful thoughts that I am aware of in connection with science, is this, that a vast number of the great stars which we discern at night are double stars. Although for hundreds, and even thousands of years, they were supposed to be single lights, they are now known by an accurate observation through our improved instruments to be double lights, and the colors of the two are different but complementary to each. other. One star is of one colored light, the other is of another colored light, the two colors always being such as will blend, as blue and yellow make green to the eye of the observer. They are never discordant or repulsive colors, whatever the one wants the other has. The light blends together and forms only one stream of radiance. Here is an image of the Creator, in this first presentation of His Divine Majesty.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 92 When we come to the center of our own systemthe sun, you know that the streams which flow from him are always two-fold, light and heat. The light is occasionally divided from the heat. We are now, in this season of winter, feeling the effect of this division, which arises from the oblique position in which the portion of the earth we inhabit is to the sun. We, at present, get more light than heat, and, consequently the earth ceases to be productive or to present her ordinarily beautiful appearance. There are comparative coldness and barrenness. But, if not that there is anything of this in the influences from the sun; those influences are the same as ever, are poured out the same as ever. Always from this grand object in the center of our system the same effulgence comes. Light and heat are poured out, beautifying and fertilizing the whole creation. We receive it one-sidedly, and have winter barrenness. As we come round to other parts of our orbit and receive as much heat as we do light, the blessed radiance multiplies the flowers, covers the earth with grasses, brings out the leaves of the trees, makes them bloom and bear and give forth a plentiful harvest. Then we receive these gracious gifts, as God, through the sun, presents them. Here, again, there is presented the resemblance of the Creator in the union of two things into one. We know that as we come down into the Church on earth there is the same Divine tendency presented everywhere. Just as it is with the earth in winter, so when men get into a wintry state, do they come into the same sort of one-sided reception of Divine things in the Church. When men accept truth alone instead of opening heart and mind to the Lord, who, like a Divine Sun, sends out His love and wisdom, always united, they become cold. The Lord presents these Divine gifts ever through His Holy Spirit as one; but when men become carnal and cold, they receive the light only. They may be willing enough to talk about religion, to talk about having faith in religion, but in such case it is just as it is with the earth; such a religion is a barren thing. Where there is no charity, people walk about chilling and condemning one another, rather than warming, cheering, and blessing one another. They are in a wintry state. When they are brought into a true condition of religion then they receive the Lords love and wisdom together.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 93 The moment they see the truth, they love it ; they hold it in their best affections, and carry it out. They feel warm and happy, everything becomes like a little paradise to them. Then, there is that fullness of religion, of which our Lord Himself speaks when He says, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one towards another. He that loveth me keepeth my commandments, and I will come to him, and make my abode with him. What a glorious condition of things that is, when man has not only ideas about the Lord, but the Lord Himself,the Divine love and wisdom entering into his heart and blessing it, He abiding in us, and we abiding in Him. Then is religion in its power, its worth, and its grandeur. In the Church, then, just as in the world, the Lord presents this image of Himself; two Divine things blended together making a third. In material and in mental creation it is the same: all is union, all is marriage. FOR THIS CAUSE God made them male and female, and therefore shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife. In the subordinate spheres of nature it is ever the same. There are two things, which, to be complete, need each other. In the animal kingdom it is so. The botanist also will tell us that either on the same plant, or else by different plants, there are presented the same resemblances of male and female, and there must be a union of these two before there is any fresh seed or fruit. It is just the same with minerals. There are warm metals and the cold metals, the white ones and the red ones, gold and silver, iron and copper, and so on all the way down. All material substances are solvable into gases, and metals. Gases with their round fluidity, metals with their sharpness and hardness. Here you have again represented the gentleness of the female, and the sharpness and firmness of the male. Take man himself. Each single human being is twofold. We have the two hemispheres of the brain; in the chest, the heart and lungs; the two sides, the right and the left; the two arms, the two hands, two feet, everything is thus two-fold, complementary to each other. Not two of the same sort of things, but two things which are varied yet essential to help one another. They combine together and make a grander whole than could be made by any other conceivable character of creation.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 94 FOR THIS CAUSE the Lord made man, male and female, and therefore shall a man leave father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.

In minds this duality exists as well as in bodies. There is the double condition of heart and mind in the soul; the heart of man is created to receive the Divine love, and the mind of man or his intellectual part, to receive the Divine wisdom. The results of these are exhibited is all the affections which are connected with the will, and all the ideas that are connected with the understanding. When these are united by regeneration, and in the practice of a noble life, then is a true man or true woman formed. But there is this peculiar diversity of character to be noticed in each; everything connected with man, as separated from woman, is more intellectual than affectionate. In woman, everything from the inmost soul to tender. A man must be intellectual and strong in all things, or he causes to be a man. A woman who aims at keenness and hundreds of character like a man, does not become a more perfect being, but a woman spoiled. The real work of a man, is to develop in himself there principles which constitute true manliness of character. He ought to use his reflective powers to that he may perceive everything in relation to truth, so that he can be help and strength, a guide and a blessing to that lovelier portion of the creation which feels a yearning towards him, and which desires to be strengthened by his strength. No man that is not manly is respected by his fellow men or by the gentler six. There is nothing that a true woman desires more than that the person whom she loves she can also esteem for being a true man. She desires to feel that her husband is the wisest man, in her little world at least. No woman is satisfied if this is not the case; she years, she hopes, she longs and prays for this. She shows in these yearnings that the Creator has placed in her the disposition to be a true woman, and the help of a true man.

If a woman tries to be a man, forgetting feminine delicacy, and endeavoring to intrude herself into that province of life, where thought, strength, and masculine investigation are required she does become a better being. She may unsex herself to some extent, but she does not become a man thereby. She only becomes a spoiled wreck of the noblest vase for holding the Divine love below, a gentle loving woman.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 95 Woman was created that the Divine love might be in its sweetest and most graceful form; that she might overflow with pure, and heavenly feeling, making an atmosphere of softness, gentleness, and blessing around her. The Creator made her woman that she should have such a sphere of holy purity about her that it might hallow her home, hallow her walk, be always a stimulant to her husband to become a truer and nobler being. God made them a male and a female.

We have sometimes endeavored to explain, and we can never do it too much, that beautiful law of the Divine Mercy which permits His love and wisdom to be presented in these two separate forms, and in unequal proportions, not both equally in one being. If all the graces of womanhood, and all the powers of manhood had been presented in one being instead of two, there would have been the greatest possible tendency in that being to become a self-idolater. All the admiration which a good man feels for a good woman he would then have felt for himself. The admiration which a good woman feels for a good man would have been also felt for himself, and thus he would have grown in selfishness instead of growing in humanity and disinterestedness. As creation is, all the graces of the Divine love, presented in the form of a loving woman, draw her husband out of himself, lead him to become more unselfish, to adore in her all the gentleness, beauty, sweetness, and attractiveness, which the Divine Mercy has bestowed on her. On the other hand, as a good wife enjoys her husbands noble qualities she is drawn out of herself. She is thus led to thing of her husband as great, good, noble, strong, and thus to bless the Lord for him. For this cause, are they made male and female. And, therefore, because these two streams of Divine life are separated, but yet desiring to come together; because these two streams of Divine life in different hearts and souls are complementary, yearning to have their deficiencies supplied by the graces the other possesses, and form thus a fuller image of the Divine perfection, a more glorious likeness of the Supreme Good, becoming thus the center of a little heaven in their circle of life, imaging the great heaven, of which the Divine love and wisdom are the center; therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 96

The conjunction of two persons in true marriage is an ever-increasing union. They become, by the cares and duties of life, daily more and more united. Hence, the Lord says, therefore they shall he no more twain but one flesh. The union of two souls commences in its first incipiency when they first become acquainted with each other. They feel the mutual attraction stronger as they become more fully known to each other. When they publicly pledge themselves to mutual succor, under the sanction of religion their union is still more deeply strengthened. But the marriage union should go on through life becoming perfected and completed its days and years pass on. So it is with those whom God has joined together. The only unions that can endure are those which are joined together by God; where Gods wisdom in the man is united to Gods love in the woman, and where there is a constant removal from each other of everything that tends to disturb their harmony, their peace, their purity, and to retard their progress towards the kingdom of heaven.

Whom God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

But, now, let us consider what the Apostle teaches in our second text. It has by some been the occasion of very anxious perplexity, and in others of very strange perversions of the Divine law upon which we have been discoursing. The words, Therefore he that giveth her in marriage doeth well, and he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better, do not allude to being married, or not being married, at all. So far as the persons themselves are concerned, it is not that he that marrieth doeth well, and he that does not marry doeth better.

The question relates to the duty of a father with respect to his daughter, in the times of which the Apostle was speaking. These times are adverted to in the twenty-sixth verse, where St. Paul says, It is good for the present distress, for a man so to be, and then he begins to give this counsel in verse thirty-four. Marriage in the Jewish Church was esteemed so sublime a representation of Gods love and mercy, that it was considered a disgrace equal almost to the prostitution of a daughter, not to let her get married. One of the greatest calamities of the worst times, spoken of in the Scriptures, was where it is said, that in consequence of their wretched sins their maidens were not given in marriage.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 97 For this cause, was the constant law that acted upon all true churches, that there ought to be a union, a united state, a representation of the Lord in heaven on earth, presented by human beings getting married. Yet always on true principles, always God joining them together, not passion, nor wealth, nor the admiration of the outward appearance, but the virtues in each other leading them to feel and see that their souls when conjoined are united by God. Because the apostle Paul is speaking of the sad and terrible persecutions that Christianity was receiving at that time, he states that his words had relation to that present time, when Christian men had to flee from city to city, when they had scarcely a safe home for a week or a month, when they had in tribulation and in anguish to suffer as he himself was suffering, he says, that at this time, and under the present circumstances, it is far better that we should withhold ourselves from any steady and fixed occupation or continuing city; only for a little time however. In the present distress I deem it good for it so to be, that a man who has a daughter to be married, and who strongly wishes that she should be married, yet until these sad times pass, should let her wait. If, however, they cannot wait, let them marry. If they marry, there is no sin; but for the PRESENT DISTRESS, and for the present time, I judge that they had better not. This is all the counsel of the Apostle. To understand it a little better allow me to draw your attention to what he himself says in this same epistle, and in 2 Cor. iv., 11, 12, For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesuss sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. He says, in this present distress, it is good for us that we have no continuing city. While we have to flee about in this way it is good for us not to be married, or to give our daughters in marriage. In the same way, chap. xi. 23, and following verses, he says, Are they not ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 98 in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. While Christians had to suffer persecutions of this kind, one can easily understand that for the present distress it is good that marriage should not be contracted. If we look a little at the outward concerns of the Church, as they are presented in secular history, we shall see still more fully how completely this advice was given for the present distress. The present distress might not continue for more than two or three years; for persecution was not continuous. But from time to time, during the first two hundred years of Christianity, such advice was needful. In the year 53, that is to say, about twenty years after Christianity began to be preached, there is a notice of Christianity in the writings of Tacitus, who speaks of the Emperor Claudius banishing a set of Jews, (for Jews and Christians were at first in the Roman empire mixed up together, and Christians were regarded in those days as only a set of Jews,) in consequence of their making disturbances; instigated he says, by one Chrestus. In the year 54, there is a still more marked account in the annals of the celebrated historian, Suetonius, where, in the 15th Book, he tells of the Emperor Nero, who in the diabolical madness of his depraved heart, not only perpetrated almost every manner of sensual and brutal outrage, but this extraordinary one of setting fire to his own capital, the great city of Rome. He then, as a very refinement of villainy issued a decree charging the fire upon the Christians, and ordering them to be put to death in every form, for the crime he had himself perpetrated. The Roman historian of the time, says, a great multitude were in this way destroyed. Some were crucified, others sewn up in the skins of wild beasts and exposed to be torn to pieces by dogs; others, again, had their garments filled with pitch and then set on fire to illuminate the public gardens at night. In the year 110 there is a much more detailed account of Christian persecution given in a letter of the celebrated philosopher Pliny, who was made Governor of Bithynia and Pontus, viz., that part of Asia Minor just opposite Constantinople, on the shore of the Black Sea.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 99 This was about 70 years after Christianity began, and yet, he informs us, it had so spread that in this very distant portion of the empire, that is nearly a thousand miles from Jerusalem, there were many Christians in the cities, in the towns, and also, he says, in the country places around. He says that he wished to find out the real truth of the allegations that were made respecting the Christians, and for the following purposewhich will enable us practically to see the necessity of this caution against encouraging marriage in these severe times of persecution. Pliny says, I applied the torture to two female slaves, who held the office of deaconesses in the Christian community, for the purpose of extorting from them the truth. You perceive the Christians were chiefly persecuted in the persons of their daughters, or their wives. While they could not be got to submit to the writs and decrees of the barbarians among whom they lived, in their own persons, if possible they were to be reached through their wives and daughters. And here is the case put by one of the best man in old Rome, this was the mode on which he proceeded. He says, All that I could learn was that the Christians met on a certain stated day (Sunday) before it was light, and addressed themselves to Christ as God, binding themselves by a solemn oath never to commit any fraud, theft, or adultery; never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. After which, it was their custom to separate, and then re-assemble to eat in common, a harmless meal. So that here you have an account of the state of things, and of the peculiar necessity for this kind of caution in relation to entering into marriage, while the bitterness of such a time continued. For two hundred years after Christianity began, history tells of many female martyrs. The story of their suffering presents many a beautiful trait, exhibiting the Christian faith combined with Christian tenderness and feeling. Such then, was the condition of the Church at that time, and such the reason why, though marriage in general was good, at that time, of the present distress, it was better that they should abstain from it.

Allow me, then, to direct your attention, in closing these remarks, to the great law that evidently pervades all the Divine works, and which in human beings takes the exalted form of true conjugial affection. It joins those together who are mutually disposed to adore their Lord, and to honor the graces He gives in each other;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 100 the only true motive, the only principle that ought to introduce immortal souls into this grandest of all unions, the union of marriage. It is from the Divine Being that the graces of both are derived, and when these yearnings of mutually harmonized natures for a more complete union of heart and mind lead them to come together, they are led by God. That especial and peculiar preference of heart to heart, and soul to soul, arises from what God has sent forth. He is present in the two, bringing them together. When this is done, then the sublimest act which can be effected upon earth is done. What is there in earths gaudiest gatherings to be compared to a happy home? But, as a preliminary of the happy home there must be hearts confiding in each other on true principles. There is no possibility of there being an atmosphere of happiness without them. There must be inward truth, inward love, inward confidence, inward desire of each to promote the highest bliss of the other. Not the man seeking how much of selfish advantage he can get in the bargain of a nuptial scheme, not the woman seeking how much of selfish advantage she can get, but each heart seeking to bless the other. They must strive for mutual help to pray together, to praise together, to offer up their worship like the mingled flames of ancient altars, ascending and combining together. This is what makes the golden atmosphere. Such is true happiness. Out of blessed homes so formed will rise properly trained children, manly sons and daughters, helpers for the advancement of all that is good. Happiness will grow while partners of this class live a life only inferior to the life of angels, and add to the number of the blessed in heaven. Schools, cities, all the vast uses of multiplied life; commerce, everything that tends to unite man to man, spring out of the marriage circle. And, hence, he who strikes at this, he who before marriage taints this sacred communion of sentiments, hearts, and feelings, commits the very worst of all crimes. That which depraves the soul is the worst of all robberies, worst of all murders. When the Church has returned to her pristine wisdom, power, and purity, many of those crimes that so sadly defile human society will utterly cease, as something inconceivable, abominable. Children will be prepared to form happy unions. These circles of happiness, will make this world more and more like the glorious world on high, a married land.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 101 Everything in union, harmony, beauty, and blessing; the words of Divine promise will be realized, The Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 102


Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.--Deut. iv., 30.


Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.Matt. xxviii., 18.

THE first observation that I would beg to make in considering the Divine words before us is, that it is obvious from the text that man can know God. The first expression which is given in this hallowed declaration is know therefore, and it is followed by a still more emphatic utterance of the same lesson, and consider it in thine heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else.

One of the great hindrances to having a clear conception of our God and Savior, is the prevalent idea that has for ages been fostered amongst men, that God cannot be known. There is a something so infinitely impossible to be understood, a something so pre-eminently above our comprehension in the nature of God, that in the words of a well-known creed, The Father is incomprehensible, and the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

It is indeed passing strange that Christian men should have such an idea, and make a declaration of that character, in spite of the continual teaching of Holy Writ,--not only that God can reveal Himself, but that the knowledge of God is the very highest of all knowledge. And this is not only declared in passages like that before us, where we are invited to know this subject, but in reiterated teachings throughout the Sacred Volume.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 103 Take, for instance, Jeremiah ix., 23, 24, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let Him that glorieth glory in this, that understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord, who exerciseth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight saith the Lord. Thus, you perceive that to know, yes, and to understand the Lord, and not simply to know in the way of being informed, but to know so as to clearly comprehend, to understand, to see God as to His very nature and quality; this is what the Scriptures declare. Beyond all other glory; is this comprehension of God, beyond riches, beyond power, beyond all earthly wisdom, Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he knoweth and understandeth me, saith the Lord. And so it is; for if a person has got any real and true conception of God, he will know God far better than he knows his neighbor, far better even than he knows himself; for in all other beings there is a certain amount of concealment, a certain amount of covering felt to be necessary. Every one knows this in relation to himself. It is one of the most laborious of all things for a man to know himself, to know really what ho is, what progress he is really making, what is his real character. How often even the most honest of men is perplexed? He finds himself one day perhaps earnest and warm, delighting in all that is true and good, delighting in his opportunities to serve and bless his fellow-creatures. Another day he finds himself depressed, with purposes for good of a very faint, weak, and wavering character, and he begins to think that all the progress he supposes he had made is a mistake, he is really deceiving himself. He does not know himself, does not half know himself. And so with a mans neighbor. There is, from Divine Providence, the provision that every man is protected in his freedom by being surrounded with an earthly body. We are all covered up. The Lord has taken care that we shall have the capability of weighing, judging, and determining our faith from day to day, with no one to interfere with us, unless we permit. Therefore He has made it impossible for any man to know any other man except so far as that other man is disposed. So that we have hindrances in the way of knowing men, we have hindrances in the way of knowing ourselves.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 104 But God is pure love, and pure wisdom, He is infinite goodness and infinite truth. He desires constantly to manifest Himself to the soul that seeks to know Him; and, hence, a man that really opens his heart to know Him, that really worships in sincerity and truth, and single-heartedly desires to embrace his God and Savior, he can know Him. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, says the Apostle, dwelleth in God, for God is love. He who knows the spirit of love, and with single eye and single heart seeks to join himself with his God and Savior, will know Him. There can be no mistake. A man can know God it great deal better than he can know himself, or know his fellow man. The Sacred Word declares, God is known when heavenly love is known. The Sacred Volume presents the matter before us. It tells us that God can be known, it tells us that He desires to be known, it tells us that whosoever seeks shall find, that whosoever knocks shall have it opened to him, whosoever asks in sincerity shall receive an answer. Know therefore, the Lord says, and consider it in thine heart, do not let it be a transient acquaintance; do not think now and then and lightly turn away from the subject, but consider, stop, ponder, weigh it well, keep at it till you have a clear knowledge concerning it. In the New Testament sometimes we have the same true thought in language such as this: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength. In another gospel we are told that we are to love the Lord with heart, and mind, and strength, thus teaching us that we are not to exercise one faculty of the soul only upon God. Some have thought that God could be known by the heart; could be grasped by the affections, but not by the intellect. These have come nearer to the Lord than others have. But it is equally a mistake to suppose that the intellect cannot know God. The fact is, that man as to his whole nature is made in the image of God. In order that his whole nature may receive the spirit flowing from God into him, his heart is formed in order that Gods love may descend into it, bless it, and make it a likeness of Himself. His intellect is formed in order that Gods wisdom may descend into it, illuminate it, making it wise, and an image of Himself.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 105 Mans other powers are given in order that these two sacred principles may determine the whole of the morning operations of soul and body, determine them to living rightly, walking rightly, doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Our Lord says, Abide in me, and I in you. We are taught that we can be conjoined with our God and Savior, and know Him, love Him, serve Him, become like Him, and in this way be prepared at last to inherit His glorious kingdom. Know therefore, the Word says in our text, and consider it in thine heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath; there is none else.

Before passing on to such other truths as may offer themselves for our attention during the evening, allow me just to engage your attention further to this declaration. These things are really so manifest, that unless we are called upon to dwell a little and to consider them, as the Word says here, we are apt not to receive the full impression they are intended to convey. A person would naturally say,--Well, of course, He who is God in heaven above is also God of the earth beneath, there is none else, but upon the subject of knowing the Lord, and worshiping Him in a glorious Divine Person, when we come to the details, we often find that there has been so much apathy, so much want of real comprehension of God, that the most astonishing questions are often asked. For instance, it is often said,--When the Lord Jesus was on earth, if He were God, who was governing the angels, or, what became of them in the meanwhile? As if the same Being that was God of heaven was not God of earth at all times, and conversely, that He who was Lord of the earth beneath was not also the Lord of heaven above. Do not I fill, as the Lord says, heaven and earth. It is a great truth that we should endeavor to realize, that the Lord fills all things, and is everywhere; manifests Himself or not in any particular part of His universe as His providence deems best. But He is always present. Thou God seest me is everyones best guard. The Christian pilgrim takes that truth to his heart, when he learns from what the Lord says in the Revelation, I stand at the door and knock,--speaking to every one at the present day, to you and to me, the Lord says, Behold I stand at the door and knock. He stands at the door of every heart, but He is not less the Lord of angels, the God of heaven. Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man will open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 106 So that it is verily and indeed tree in every respect, that the Lord is God of heaven above; all the heavens are under His government, and are blessed by Him. His usual place of manifestation, if we may use the term, is in the Sun of the eternal world. The true light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, there it is high above all heavens, where He manifests Himself in His glory, but He is present by His Holy Spirit everywhere. Just as it is with all other things when we rightly understand them,whatever they are in the greatest, so they are in the least. The sun in his greatest is that glorious globe which we behold, and which gives us light and heat. But, also, every my that comes from him and that enters the human eye is a little sun. Every crystal, whatever it is in its greatest fond, five-sided or ten-sided, so is it in its smallest portion; in the minute as in the large. So is it with our glorious God, our Father and Savior. In greatest and in least things He is a Divine Man, present with all His omnipotence in every past of the universe. The Lord he is God of heaven above and in the earth beneath; there is none else.

Not only so, but still more rigidly, He who governs heaven, governs the earth. The outward universe depends upon the sun, the heat, the light, and other influences which descend from Him. In this respect the Lord of earth must be Lord of heaven. The whole material universe depends upon the whole spiritual universe. It is so in relation to the Church and the world. The Church is the Lords heaven upon earth; the world is the Lords earth around the Church. And just as religion is in the Church, just that become all the institutions and arrangements of society in the world. He who would have the earth right must have heaven right. The Lord, he is God of heaven above and of the earth beneath. A bad Church makes a bad world. You may depend upon it, if there were not so many, (you must pardon me for saying so,) fraudulent doctrines in the Church, there would not be so many fraudulent practices in the world. It is because the teachings of religion are too often mere make-believes, that make-believes abound in every other department of society. Gods commandments are set aside by doctrines of substitution; our sins will not be punished, for Christ has been punished for them;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 107 righteous works are of no account with us, for we are to claim Christs infinite righteousness. This doctrine and other similar statements which lull the soul with illusory securities and make-believes, really lie at the bottom of all the frauds which in so many forms desolate society. The heaven--the church, being wrong, the earth becomes wrong. The Lord governs heaven, and through heaven the earth. To have a better earth, we must have a better heaven, a better world, a better church. Circumferences come from centers, its center, The Lord he is God of heaven above, and of the earth beneath; there is none else. We may pretend to deceive ourselves and our neighbors, and then somehow to get good out of fraud; to neglect to obey the Divine laws and hope to get good out of it, but it is a decided mistake. It will never succeed. We may conceive that there is some way of being happy, other than by being obedient and good. There is no way by which the soul can be made happy, but the way of goodness and truth; obeying God in nature, obeying Him in mind, obeying Him in thought and affection, and in word and work. The Lord he is God; and we shall find out more and more in practice, God of heaven above, and of the earth beneath; there is none else.

This great doctrine then is the one that we should first firmly establish in the mind. This is right. Let other lessons, as they come, conform to this as a first principle. But, let there be no mistake about embracing this, know and. consider in thine heart. Do not let it be buried in the memory or in the intellect, but let it go on till it gets into the heart, and determine that you will obey the Lord there, in the heart, in the intellect, and in the life, and you will find that then it will prepare you for the heaven above, whence the Divine laws spring; it will prepare you for happiness on the earth beneath, where the same laws are perpetually executed.

But are we then required to say that because there is this infinite unity of God, the same glorious Person ruling heaven and ruling earth, that me are not to believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? By no means. You are only called upon to understand how they are embraced in the same glorious Being who is God, and there is none else.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 108

In inviting your attention to the second test, allow me to ask you to notice the commencement of it. Go ye THEREFORE. This therefore is frequently not judged of weight sufficient to bring the mind precisely to what is implied in it. The therefore, of course, refers to something that has gone before, and that which has gone before you will find to be this, All power is given unto me, in heaven and on earth. Therefore in language very similar to that we had in our first test, in which the Lord proclaims that He is Jehovah, God of the heavens above and the earth beneath. Here our blessed Lord says, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth. He intends to teach that He is now God manifest, who had previously been God unmanifest,--God, of whom it is said, No man hath seen God at any time, had condescended to our weakness, and made Himself known as a man. The Creator had become our Redeemer. He had brought; His Divine excellence down into the very valley of human wants and requirements; and the same God, who from eternity was the Everlasting Father, veiled Himself in our nature and appeared on our earth in a Humanity called the Son. He lived a life on earth the very antetype in all things of the life His Spirit lives over again in us. Christ in us is the hope of glory.

The Divine Wisdom, when it enters the soul, is born as it were an infant Christ in yon is the hope of glory. He grows up and dwells and walks in us.--2 Cor. vi., 16. In all our perplexities, our faults, and our follies, He bears with us. Evils at length arise, and states of weakness in which we spiritually crucify Him afresh, but if there be also real affections for goodness and truth within us when we have come to this crisis of our being, we shall see how awfully we have offended against our Lord. A period of darkness, penitence, and despair will come over us, and in our prostration and agony we shall turn to our Lord whom we have slighted with all-adoring love. We shall lift up our God and Savior, and glorify Him in ourselves as He is glorified in the universe. Our Lords life upon earth is spiritually realized by His life in the regenerate. When He became our Redeemer, He had therefore to live just such a life as He did, until the whole of His humanity became glorified, and then the embodied God-head filled it completely, and made it like itself, and he said, all power is given unto me in heaven and on earth,


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 109 All the blessedness that angels receive will be poured into them from me; all power is given unto me in heaven and on earth, THEREFORE, because all the God-head was thus embodied in the Divine Man, because everything that was merely infirm was removed, and down to His visible presence He was God manifest in the flesh; as He was all perfect; perfect in His Divine beauty as He was perfect in His everlasting soul, therefore He says, whatever is meant by Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, you behold in me, I have all power. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the
world (age).

Just notice exactly every part of the teaching of this and you will see how beautifully it harmonizes with the teaching of the other, Baptizing them in the name off the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. What was that name? The name that the disciples did baptize in, and which you will find, wherever baptism is mentioned in the subsequent, parts of Sacred Writ, is either the Lord Jesus, or simply the Lord. You will find it very often referred to, as we said, sometimes as the Lord, simply because the Lord especially means in the New Testament, God manifest in the Savior. No man, it is said there, can call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Spirit. To this end Christ both died and revived, and rose again that He might be Lord of the dead and the living, said the Apostle. Of Jesus, again it is said, He is Lord of all. So that when we read of people being baptized in the name of the Lord, it was to tell us that then men were able to understand that God had been manifested in all the fullness of His God-head bodily in the Lord Jesus Christ. God was not now a distant, undefined, awful power, but a present God. Human beings could adore in the language of the Te Deum, which soon embodied their heartfelt worship: We praise thee O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord! all the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting. Now the Savior God said, Come unto me all ye that are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. He that eateth me shall live by me. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 110 He that cometh unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst. God, in this way brought down to us and presented in all fullness and beauty, was Divine Mercy in human form. This is the God that men were to see, know, love, and follow, because they were sure that He would do everything for them. He had lived for them, died for them, risen again for them. The Holy Spirit from Him came down to every man of them. Therefore knowing that Jesus had all power in heaven and on earth, they would never fear either that He would not receive them, or that they could not understand Him, or that He had not power to help them. Go and baptize all nations then into this name, Jesus Christ, the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

But this name, and these three definitions, are not now repetitions of the same idea. In the Lord the Father means one thing, the Son means another thing, and Holy Spirit means a third; but all in One glorious Divine Person. The Father means the Divine love of God, that is, at the very bottom of the attributes of Deity, the very core of all the essential majesty of the God-head. The Divine love is the father of everything, it is the father in God. The ruling love in a man is father of his ideas, words, and works. You will remember the words of the poet,

The wish is father to the thought.

Well, the infinite love of God is the Father of all He does; and hence the Lord Jesus said, The Father who is in me, He doeth the works. Go forth and baptize in the name of the Father. We are to think of the Divine love, the infinite Divine affection that is in our glorious Master, the very heart of the God-head, as it were; that which not only was the Father of the universe, but Father of the great work of Redemption. For in his love and in his pity he redeemed us. Divine love was Father of redemption. In the name of the Savior. No man cometh unto the Father, He says, but by me. I am the may, the truth, and the life. Well, then, when it is said, Baptize them in the name of the Father, it means, baptize them in the name of that infinite LOVE, that is the source and spring of every blessing.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 111 And of the Son, because love manifests itself in order to bless men; and hence, the TRUTH that manifests love is the highest idea, that we can have of the SON. Unless love were to manifest itself in the may of wisdom, love would remain alone and never do anything. In the Eternal Being of the God-head, then, there is first, as we said, the Father, infinite love, let us suppose it to be the very esse and bottom of Divinity, to be conceived of as existing before creation. We cannot easily understand that. But this is the Father. If nothing came out, no wisdom, no manifestation of Divine thought, as it were no Word; if this were not put forth there would be no creation. Just as finite love can only effect its operations by finite thought, so infinite love can only effect its operations by infinite thought. The essence of this Son, then, is the Divine Wisdom or Word of the Eternal, which as Divine Wisdom was in the beginning with God and was God; that Word was made flesh when it proceeded to come down, as it were, to take the hand of human creatures. The Word, the Divine reason, Divine thought, enclosed itself in human finite forms, even to the flesh, that men is their then low state might learn to know and love Him, and be conjoined with God again. This Divine Wisdom embodied in the flesh is the Son. Just as light is born from fire, just as the branch is born from the tree, just so Divine thought, the Divine light of heaven, the Divine truth, is born from this Divine love, and therefore it is called the Son.

In the Hebrew language, that which is produced from anything is called its son. The name for arrow is, son of the bow; the word for a branch is, son of the tree, the word for a spark, the son of the fire; the phrase for a bad man, is the son of wickedness. Therefore, the Humanity that was produced from God, when He condescended to become our Redeemer and Savior is called, His only begotten Son. Not that it was another distinct person from Him, but because it was His own Divine Wisdom embodied in the human form, and clothing itself so that men might know and love Him. So it is said, All power is given unto me in heaven, and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and baptize in the name of the Father. For all that the Father hath is mine, as the Lord said on another occasion. Baptize them in the name of the Son, for I am the Son, God manifest in the flesh;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 112 and baptize them in the name of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is mine, all power is mine, all God-head is mine, and therefore baptize them in my name, and that is the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just as the charge began with Himself, so it closed with Himself, And lo! I am with you always. Thus you see, taking the whole three again into the one single expression, I, For lo! I am with you. If there had been three people in the Divine Trinity, if there were divisions in the Godhead, and repetitions, as it were, it could hardly be that the Divine charge would have closed without saying, and lo! we will be with you always. If there are three distinct omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient beings, they must have special attributes, we should need them all three. If we do not want them all three, if really one will do, what necessity to think about any more. It is quite evident from this closing language that the Lord Jesus taught His people that He was all-sufficient for all their wants. Lo! I am with you always. Then, wherever you, I am omnipresent, and therefore I shall be with you, and you want no one else; whatever you have to suffer, I am omnipotent; all power is given unto me in heaven, and on earth. Oh yes, given. A friend who has not fully discussed all these things may say, given; mind that, Given mite me, all power? How could it be given? Why only in one way. By God giving Himself to the Humanity, and making it perfect, as the Divinity was perfect, that is the only way. For power is not a thing that can be separated from substance. There are some people who do not enter very closely and narrowly into matters of this kind, who imagine for instance that power is like a staff, and that it can be handed from one person to another, and thus there might have been all power in the hands of the Father, just as we said like a scepter, and be handed over. Cut this can hardly be conceived. Power always follows substance, you will have no power to burn separate from the fire; you will have no power to quench thirst separate from a fluid. If the power to do anything is given, the thing itself that has power to do it will be given also. If, therefore, omnipotence is given to the Lords Humanity, the God-head itself that has omnipotence must be given to the Humanity. In no other way could all power be given unto Him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 113 And, thus we understand what is said in another place, All that the Father hath is mine, and All mine are thine, and thine are mine. All that the Father hath; the Fathers life, the love, the Fathers substance, all that the Father hath and is, must be so blended with the Humanity, that God was man and man was God in the same glorious Divine Person. Therefore when God gave Himself, He gave all His power along with it, and the Humanity when it became Divine, received all the powers of the God-head, and exercised them. And so states that other passage in the Old testament that seems so completely correlative to this. You will see the subject is treated precisely in the same way, Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, (Isaiah ix.) and the government shall he upon his shoulder,the glorified Son exercising all the powers of the God-head, just as the spiritualized lower nature of a man, when it becomes truly regenerated, receives and displays all the tempers and everything connected with his angelic nature within; so that he becomes one spiritual man, one angelic man. So, with the Lord, when His Humanity became fully glorified, then the government rests for ever on His shoulder. All power for ever is given unto Him in heaven and on earth. And his name shall be called Wonderful, because He is beyond all measure wonderful in the infinitude of His love. His name is called Counselor, because all Wisdom is His, all good counsels flow from Him. The Mighty God, not a Mighty God, but the Mighty God, the very Father of all power is there; The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Thus showing us that when the Lords Humanity was glorified, the Father in the Son, and the Holy Spirit flowing from both, these are the same God manifest to men, that according to our first text had ruled in the Old Dispensation in the heaven above and on the earth beneath. We can still further say, that now and for ever--for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and for evernow and for ever; there is none else.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 114


I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.--Isaiah xliii, 25.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

THERE two texts open to us two important features of the great doctrine of the atonement. It will be in the recollection of many of my beloved auditory, that on Sunday lust, we endeavored to understand that the glorious God we worship, and whom it is the highest blessing to know, is really the triune God in the Lord Jesus Christ. In him, as the Apostle has it, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When, consequently, we are led to adore the Father, it is not the Father as an incomprehensible Being above all thought, not as the Lord Jesus described the Jewish idea of the Father, Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father at any time, nor seen his shape, but as the Father embodied in the Savior. We love the Father as presented to us in the adorable Divine man, who said, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, show us the Father? The soul that can so regard his God and Savior feels that he can really obey the Divine commandments. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. The one glorious center of all help for him, is the Everlasting Father as our Creator; the Divine Redeemer as our Savior; the Giver of His Holy Spirit as our Regenerator.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 115 We can close all our affections around Him, embrace Him with all our hearts, and thus delightedly feel assured that when we are worshiping the Lord we are worshiping the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

But satisfactory as this view is, when regarded in relation to sound reason, it is entirely based statements of Holy Scripture. Look very carefully, and you will always find, just as I have assured you in relation to God, that from the beginning of Scripture to the end there is only One glorious Divine Person held forth for the souls adoration. Before the Incarnation this glorious Divine person was called Jehovah, after the Incarnation this glorious Divine person was called Jesus. Jesus is both Lord and Christ. In Jesus, as the Apostle says, God is all, and in all; or, as He Himself declares in the very last chapter of the Book of Revelations, I, Jesus, have sent my angel to declare these things to the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and the morning star. In Him is that Divine love that is the root of all being; is Him is the Divine human form that is the offspring of David; in Him is the bright shining forth of the Spirit, that like a star dawns upon our mental night and draws us towards Himself until as we advance from state to state we find that the little star becomes a grand sun, the glorious Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. Hear O Israel then may be asserted again at the close of Revelation as at its beginning, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.

But, although a soul often learns this great truth and delights in it, although it may be discovered that it takes in all the teaching respecting God we have, when we truly understand the Lords life in the world, and His life now as filling all things, yet many a time will come up this anxious thought,But how about the atonement? Many are deeply impressed with the idea that, the doctrine of the atonement requires that God should be regarded as being exceedingly angry with us on account of the sin of our first parents in the garden of Eden, so angry that He determined that all the human race should suffer everlasting perdition in consequence; and, inasmuch as God does not change, unless some substitute had been found that could receive all this dreadful punishment on Himself, all the human race would have perished.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 116 Such a soul thinks I shall perish unless I believe all this punishment has been sustained by Christ, as my substitute. He stood and paid for me, and consequently my debt having been fully paid to the Divine Father, I claim the benefit of it by faith; and God, who had been so awfully offended, is reconciled to me. If there is only One Divine person, and that One Divine person became man, to redeem man from sin, although Christ suffered, there is no other Divine person to accept the punishment that is due and pardon me. If so, all the terrible calamity of everlasting perdition seems to be right against me, if there is only One Divine person. It, therefore, comes very natural to us to inquire how the real doctrine of the atonement is to be understood, combined with the real doctrine of there being only One God, the ruler of heaven and earth.

In the first place allow me to reiterate what was said in relation to the doctrine of the Lord, that the true doctrine will be really found to be the simple teaching of Scripture upon the subject. In the Scriptural doctrine we are not led to suppose that two Divine beings of different minds are to be regarded as essential to the atonement. There is nothing whatever in the Sacred Scripture anywhere, or in the nature of things, which implies, that, when man fell from God, God also fell from His perfections. For that is what really must have happened if God got into a passion, became vindictive, and determined to punish eternally the creatures whom He made to be everlastingly happy. The Scripture tells us much about the fall of man, but not a word about the fall of God. But, God, in the very necessities of the case, from the evidence of creation, and from His own nature, must be regarded as LOVE ITSELF AS GOODNESS ITSELF. Only from love and goodness, beyond all thought and estimation of ours, could there have been formed a glorious universe like the present, and men created as immortal denizens of it. For what end but that of infinite love could God have brought into existence beings like you and me, who never could add anything to Him ; never could give any selfish increase to His glory, or His happiness, or to anything. We are but recipients of His bounty, By the grace of God we are what we are, and even the highest angel in heaven will still only be a greater receiver than we, while eternity goes on; more blessed, that is all.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 117 When man becomes good he does not do anything to God, or recompense Him; it is only that he receives more good than he did before. God does not require worship for His sake, but for ours. He wishes us to be pure, in order that we may receive blessing into ourselves, and be made happy. He wishes us to made wise, because wisdom is His inestimable riches. He wishes us to become loving, for love is heaven itself. The more we receive and the more we are blessed, the more we are His debtors. All our faculties are vessels formed to receive some glory, some beauty, some excellence from God, and reflect them. Man may be truly described as a concentration of faculties innumerable, placed in the center of the world, in order that all Gods glorious creation may throw its rays about him, and bless him. The eye is an organ by which all the beauties of color and form may come upon us from everything around and everything above. The ear is formed so that the music of the human voice and all the harmonies of creation, from the glorious bass of the ocean to the thrilling song of the lark, and all the innumerable sounds in which harmony expresses itself, may enter and delight us. So, every faculty is a means by which the Divine bounties may strike upon us on every side, and we be infinite receivers. To receive is mans privilege and mans nature, and God desires that it should be so more and more while eternal ages roll on. Such is the love of God, the very moving spring of all the Divine attributes. This it was that caused the universe to exist, and you and me to be
brought into being, and if God became an inflictor of agony, if He desired to punish, especially to punish everlastingly, and to punish children unborn, who had had no conscious part in Adams sin, then God must have totally changed His character. He must have fallen when man felt. But the Scriptures say nothing of that. They tell us that man fell, In the day thou eatest thereof, it was said concerning man, thou shalt surely die. And when this is viewed in the light of Scripture we see it realized. Man did die--not literally--that day, but spiritually he died. For what really is death? Not that separation from time which we usually call death, but which is only rising to higher life.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 118 The decay of holiness, of purity, of tenderness, of affection, of goodness, and of truth, of angelic life. This is death! Thus the apostle Paul expresses it, To be carnally minded is death; to be spiritually minded is life and peace. And when men turned away from God, which they preferred their own conceits instead of Divine wisdom, which were of the tree of their own knowledge of Good and evil, instead of taking Gods lessons of love and wisdom, they then died, and every man who imitates this folly dies mentally to this day. He dies more and more every day that he lives in sin. A life of sin is his death. There is no other death worth speaking of. Every other kind of death than this is only apparent; is no real death at all. He that liveth and believeth in me said the Savior, shall never die. Believest thou this?

Well, then, we take it just as Scripture teaches it, that the Lord never changed from His Divine disposition to bless, that, although man turned from him, God did not turn from His own love, He still continued good to all. His tender mercies are over all his works. When the earth turns away from the sun, the sun still continues to shine. We say the sun has gone down; but we know that it is only an appearance. Just so it is an appearance with man that God has turned from him. The sun never moves and never ceases to shine, and when the earth comes round again she finds the sun shining as brightly and as warmly as ever. So it is with God. He is the Father of Lights, and in Him there is no variableness neither shadow of turning. When men died, God still lived, still loved, still burned with more than a mothers affection, with more than a fathers glow of tenderest feelings; still breathed over all His children a desire that they should come back to Him, and be made wise, and good, and happy. This is just what our text says, I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake. It is said a little earlier in the chapter, I, even I, am the Lord, and besides me there is no Savior. There is no other Savior, there is none other wanted. He Himself was powerful enough; He was our Father, our Father with infinite affection, with omnipotent power.

There was no other Savior needed, and no other Savior possible. There is no other Savior that an earnest humble man could want.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 119 If I am in danger, and my father was capable of saving me, I would rather be saved by him than by anybody else. And, when mankind were in danger, the Scriptures teach us that our heavenly Father desired to save us, and was able to do it. Thou, O Lord art our Redeemer, our Father, thy name is from everlasting.Isaiah lxiii., 16. Therefore we read in the words of our first text, I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake. The peculiar phrase that the dark ages added to our prayers, for Christs sake, has no warranty in Holy Scripture. It is true that we are saved for Christs sake, but not for Christs sake as another from God. We are saved for Christs sake because Christ is God Himself I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake. He could not possibly do it for the sake of any one that was more merciful than Himself, for He is infinitely merciful. He blots out our transgressions for His own sake. The phrase for Christs sake, as uttered in prayer to God is unscriptural one. It never occurs in a prayer in the Sacred Volume. It only occurs in an exhortation once, where the apostle Paul says, as you will find in the last verse of the 4th of his Epistle to the Ephesians, Forgive ye one another, as God, for Christs sake, hath forgiven you. And, then, as you will see in the margin, and read in the observations of any learned interpreter that you may please to look at it ought to be As God in Christ hath forgiven you. There is nothing about sake in the passage. It is simply Forgive one another as God in Christ hath forgiven you. In the Sacred Volume there are many examples of prayers. There are many prayers in the Book of Psalms, but they conclude, Do this for thy tender mercys sake, For thy goodness sake, For thy loving kindness sake. Never for the sake of anybody else; and so it is said here.The Lord blotteth out our transgressions for His own sake, and will not remember our sins.

It is dishonoring to our Divine Creator, and has had a most painful effect upon the human race to regard God as stern and unmerciful, as only pardoning, when He is paid in anguish, which is in fact no pardon at all. Those who are paid do not forgive a debtor--they get their due. To prey to God for Christs sake is doing the very reverse of what God directs as the souls duty in prayer. It is going to the invisible Deity, and mentioning Christs name. We are commanded to go to Christ Himself, that He may grant our petitions, and the souls duty in prayer.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 120 It is going to the invisible Deity, and mentioning Christs name. We are commanded to go to Christ Himself, that He may grant our petitions, and the Father be glorified in the Son.--John xiv., 13.

There are those, who, to avoid the distressing idea that there are three Divine persons, have turned away from the belief of the Lord Jesus being God at all. They have thought that they would pray to the incomprehensible God the Father alone, and when attempting to explain this philosophically, have often said that the Father has no form, no body, nor parts, nor passions. Such a being, however, is only a name. But minds of that kind, who are sincere, dont do what they think they do. They commence their prayers O Father of heaven. They adore Him as one who is merciful, bountiful, piteous. He, what do you mean by He? He is a person, He has a form, He has feelings. You say you are appealing to a being who has no parts, or passions, or anything of that kind, but that is not He. The moment you use He you have a Divine person before you. You may not call him Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ is the only glorious person who is the Everlasting Father, and you are adoring Him under another name. You cannot get at God without Him, and it is useless trying to do so. All the thoughts of human beings, when they become practical, when they are directly offered up to God, all aspire to a Being who is a glorious Divine man. Although persons may call Him by a variety of names, there is only One glorious Divine Man. All, therefore, who are enlightened, all who are blessed, all who are comforted, all who are saved, receive these gracious workings from the Lord Jesus Christ, though possibly under many other titles. There is no other Savior. No man cometh unto the Father but by Him. This is the stone set at nought of the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.--Acts iv., 11, 13. Those who inwardly worship God do really come unto Jesus, as He invites them, and happy will it be when they are wise enough to understand themselves. He says Come unto me all ye that are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 121 He is the glorious one, who for His own sake accepts as for there is no better;--for His own mercys sake, for there is no mercy equal to His--for His own loving kindness sake, because He infinitely desires to bless every one of His children. He cares for each one as much as if He had no other child but that one in the whole universe. He desires infinitely to remove that immortal childs sins from him, and give him goodness and happiness.

Our second test says God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son; and so far at least it is evidently in harmony with our previous passage. Allow me to suggest that you do not go over the passage too fast.

The idea commonly entertained is, that God was angry with the world, and the Son agreed to come and to bear all the punishment due to men, and that God allowed it to be so. But this passage does not say anything of that kind. It says God himself so loved the world. He was not going to curse the world, He was desirous of blessing the world. He still loved the world, although the world was in a state of hatred and opposition to Him. Still, from love He regarded them, or He had not followed them all the way down with various means by which they might be associated with Himself and if possible led back to Him. He had sent angels, He had seat messengers, He had sent His Word, He had used ten thousand means by which He might draw men back again to order and to heaven. Many had been saved, but many had continued to sink into greater and greater degradation. In order to reach them down in this their lowest state, God
from love formed a Humanity, His only begotten Son, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that they might believe in Him, and He might give life, that is love to them.

In this passage it is said He gave His only begotten Son, but you will find other passages in which it is said He gave Himself for us. The Apostle says for the coming of the great God and our Savior, who gave himself for us. Is there a difference between the two, when it is said He gave His Son and He gave Himself? Are these varying statements? Certainly not. Because, His Son, is God Himself as to His Humanity. When men could be reached in no other saving manner, then God formed by means of the Virgin Mary His Human nature, which He could fill infinitely with His own Spirit.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 122 But God gave not the Spirit by measure unto Him.John iii, 34. This Humanity He could make perfect through sufferings, glorify and unite fully with Himself, and shine upon mankind with a milder, dearer, glory than before.

The intention in all was to call men hack to Himself God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. This is the teaching of Scripture, and is taught everywhere in Scripture. Some Christians think when the simple emphatic language of Scripture is uttered which declares that man has to be reconciled to God, not God to man, that there are other passages which declare the contrary. We believe this side, and you believe the other. But that is not really the case. On doctrinal subjects, the whole of the Scripture always teaches the same great principle, expressed in clear and striking language. It is never said the atonement was to bring God to be merciful towards man--NEVER. It is ALWAYS said it was for bringing man back to God; ALWAYS. There is no exception. I have mentioned the saying of the Apostle, God was in Christ, reconciling the world onto himself. He suffered, the just for the unjust, TO BRING US TO GOD. And how? First, men had so far departed from God that they had not only blinded and deluded themselves; as must necessarily happen, but they had suffered the infernal host to gather round them. Evil men become in the other world evil spirits, evil spirits in the other world unite with evil spirits in this world. Like is joined with like mentally, and so men became spiritually in prison. They were imprisoned in the prison-houses of sin, of falsity and darkness. When Christ came, men sat in darkness and the shadow of death, a darkness too dense for them to disperse. If the Lord had not descended to render them help, there they must forever have remained. Man, unaided against evil spirits must be defeated. A spiritual being out of the flesh is more powerful either for good or for evil, than he was in the flesh. Besides all the evil are gathered together in the eternal world, and their force is like the force of the ocean, as exerted against a human being.

It is bad to be a slave to another human being; it is bad to be a slave even to the best man that lives, for a slave has not power of free progress and elevation; but to be a slave to infernal spirits, to be a slave to the monsters of hell, this is a slavery far beyond all other degradation, and this is the state in which the human race existed when the Lord became our Redeemer.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 123 Men strayed from God, but He saw the results, and announced by His prophets that He would become a Savior. He could come and save to the uttermost. The seed of the woman should bruise the serpents head, sin in its center and source. That was the object for which the Lord came into the world. It was God Himself coming by the womans seed, the only begotten Son, and breaking mans fetters. That holy thing, the angel said to the Virgin Mary, that shall be born of thee shall he called the Son of God. All other sons had human fathers as well as human mothers, but here was an only begotten Son. The power of the Highest overshadowed the Virgin, and formed a Divine Human nature, that through this Divine Human nature hell might be subdued. When the Lord came into the world was written--Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for He hath visited and redeemed his people; and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; that me being delivered from the hand of our enemies, that is from the powers of darkness, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. The human nature is called A horn of salvation, because the animals that have horns exercise power by that means, and so the human nature of the Lord was, as it were, His horn, His means of exercising omnipotence against the powers of evil. When the Lord Jesus began His ministry He said The spirit of Jehovah is upon me: I am come to proclaim liberty to the captives; the opening of the prisons to them that are bound, to bind up the broken-hearted. Such was the great purpose for which the Lord our Savior became a man. He was the eternal Jehovah, and there was no Savior besides Him.

But secondly, when men were thus set free from the trammels of the powers of darkness, there was then another object to be accomplished, Gods love was to be manifested in His Humanity. God was to be manifested love itself, pity itself, tenderness itself. Gods love in Christ must shine so purely and so beautifully, that every heart which could be touched by love would be attracted to love Him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 124 To bring men to God, was so to manifest the Divine Being, that through the eyes of Christ, from His heart, by His tender acts, by His infinite charity, there might be a constantly attractive force to win men to Himself. Such was the SECOND purpose for which the only begotten Son was given. If it had not been God Himself to do this, supposing men had been won to Christ, they would not have been won to God. He gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.Titus iii., 14.

Many have distressed themselves with the thought that they could love Christ, but God seemed so awful a Being they could not love Him. Theology in the dark ages really attributed everything terrible to God. Every quality that man could attribute to on infinitely malignant being they attributed to God. When war and waste had induced famine it was ascribed to the Divine Being. When gluttony and drunkenness had induced apoplexy, they believed themselves struck by a Divine visitation. To correct these and thousands of similar conceptions, and to win their love, God brought Himself near to His creatures, as He said--I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. God manifest in the flesh might be seen to be so loving, so tender, so affectionate, so thoroughly disposed to do everything for His creatures, and yet infinite in purity and majesty, that every heart that could be attracted would be drawn to Him. From Him, God manifest, the Lord Jesus Christ has constantly radiated ever since the Incarnation the disposition to spread charity and goodwill. No one thinks of attributing anything revengeful to Christ. Men always give Him credit for loving them, and if they hope to be saved from the high awful majesty whom they dread, they trust it will be through the Lord Jesus Christ.

But there is no other God. When you have got to the Lord Jesus Christ, you need not go any further He came that you might not go any further. He said, Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON. He that eateth me shall live by me. The great doctrine of the Sacred Word is, that God was manifest in the flesh, overcame our spiritual enemies, then exhibited His Divine love and mercy to His creatures, and thus reconciled them to Himself.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 125 He turned their hearts and minds to Him, made them one with Him, and this is meant by the Atonement.

The word atonement is made up of three syllables, at-one-ment. Ment, the old Latin word, means, signifying mind, added to our Saxon words, at one;at-one-ment. Men had sunk into a different mind from God. God was drawing them back again and making them of one mind with Him. This is what is meant by atonement. The word atonement is only once mentioned in the New Testament. We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom me have received the atonement.Rom. V., 11. Through the Lords Humanity, man could receive the light of His wisdom, the power of His love, the tenderness of His affection. They receive it through Him, and are thus brought into harmony with Him, and so it is said, Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement.

The third object presented in the Scriptures as the work of the Lord Jesus is, that the Lord glorified this Humanity and eternally united it to Himself. From the Lords glorified Humanity proceeds His Holy Spirit. He is thus the Divine Giver of spiritual light and life. Just look at the text again, He gave his only begotten Son. He first of all formed an ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, and then gave Him to be a center of salvation and blessing. He did this for the sake of the human race. He gave Himself in His Humanity that all who believed in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. The notion too often is that men should strive to believe in the Father on account of what our Lord Jesus Christ had done. But no. That all who believe in him. They do not need to go any further. Come to Him and believe in Him. Believe in what He did, believe is what He said, and believe in what He now is--the loving Savior, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Believe that what He says is true, believe that what He did was good, believe that He is as He says, our Divine Savior, our Redeemer, our all in all, believe that He lived and died, and rose again for us. Believe this and you will not perish, you will not become wicked, you will not become carnally-minded, you will not become selfish, worthless and dead in trespasses and sins. Believe, believe, in Him. What did He say that we are to believe? Whoso cometh after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 126 Believing in Him is doing that. That is the one great thing that men have to do. Deny self, follow the Lord, when it is a cross to do so. Many alas, speak much of believing, but they believe that the little prayer which they hope to make at lifes end, is to five them everlasting life. This is not believing in Him. He said, If ye will enter into life keep the commandments. To believe in Him is really to do so. He said, They that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life. Believing in Him is coming forth from the grave of our corruptions and rising to a life of love. Believing in Him is believing in His teachings, believing what He says to be true, and actually bringing it into our lives.

If men thus believe in the Divine Savior, the result is, They shall have everlasting life. What does this mean? In the Scriptures, life means love. He is said to be living who is loving, and all are dead besides. The man of hate, the man of selfishness, the man of pride, the man of worthlessness of soul and habit, he is not, in the Scriptures regarded as living at all; he is dead, because he is dead to all that ennobles men, that sanctifies them, and gives them happiness. On the other hand, when a person really comes in heart and life and conjoins himself to the Lord Jesus, then those words are fulfilled, My son who was dead is alive again, who was lost is found. A really good man who is animated by the love of the Lord Jesus, with love derived from the Lord Jesus is said to live. Awake thou that sleepest, the Apostle exclaims, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. The light of Christ is the light of life. A man who is really animated by love to God, and love to man, who really loves all that is noble, and sacred, and true, this man lives and he that believes the Lord Jesus, and in heart worships Him, lives from Him, he lives the life of heaven. This is everlasting life. A man who has thus risen from carnal-mindedness to spiritual-mindedness; who has risen from what is mean, worthless, sordid, and selfish to what is truly noble and good, he has a life that will never die; it is everlasting life. The Scriptures speak generally of Christians having this life NOW. He that believeth in me is no longer under condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 127 Oh if men were glowing with love, if seeing what the Holy Savior is, and what the Holy Spirit is, if we would open our hearts and minds to receive the quickening impulse of this heaven-giving love, and live the Divine life of doing good, of making heaven upon earth, live with a desire to become more and more angel-like the longer we live, and the more blessed should we become. It is pitiable to see a person who has kept himself severed from his Savior God, the resurrection and the life; to see such a person sinking in age and helplessness, sinking into sordid, selfish, obstinate stupidity, at length, into imbecility, and even into dark insanity. Oh! Immeasurably sad is it to see one bright light of heaven going out after another in the soul, until all is blank and dark, because the man has refused everlasting life.

But if a person is determined that he will not be hells bond-slave, that he will not be a victim of pride, selfishness, and insanity; that because God has given him power to break away from the atmosphere of hell, and to rise into the light of heaven, he will not stay in darkness but will follow the Savior God in the regeneration, he then has everlasting life. The older he grows the younger he becomes. He lives on, and lives upward. When the time of earthly dissolution comes, and the earthly house of this tabernacle perishes, the inner house, the soul, in all the beauty of angelic love lives on and enters into open association with its angelic friends in heavens eternal land, there to live, there to be blessed, and to bless in everlasting life,--that is, everlasting love. He owes it all, and adoringly confesses he owes it all, to the Father in the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.


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For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.Job, xiv., 25, 26.


Now this I say, brethren, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.1 Corinthians, xv., 50.

THE real Christian has no fear of death. But I venture to assume if the question were put to the first ten thousand persons whom we should meet who bear the Christian name, we should find that with nine thousand nine hundred and nine-nine of the number the fear of death is one of the most serious of fears they hive. It would seem to follow from this, that we are in a condition exceedingly distant from that which was intended to be brought about by real Christianity.

The fear of death may perhaps arise not altogether from a sense of sin. There is a fear always of that which is mysterious and unknown. That of which we have no clear conception we contemplate with uneasy feelings. It is quite possible that many thoughtful and earnest souls would fear death less, if they but understood better the real character of both life and death. They would have more trust, more of that sense of security which our Lord evidently intends to give to us all when He says Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.John xi., 26.

Let me ask, what is death? According to the ordinary conception it is a cessation of life, followed by man knows not what. It is regarded in a state of most anxious apprehension, as a condition from which most persons shrink. The legislators of this and most other countries act on the conviction that death is the most terrible punishment which the law can inflict.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 129 They put their worst criminals to death. Yet nothing can be truer than the declaration which our Lord made from time to time, that in reality, the true man, the real Christian, the angel-minded man, never does die at all. Whosoever keepeth my sayings, the Lord Jesus says, shall never see death. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood shall never die, but shall have eternal life, and so in a great variety of other declarations. The truth which is unveiled to us in the Sacred Scriptures, is, that although we are changing our mortal covering every moment, and at length we throw it off altogether, the man never dies. He passes from this sense below to a higher and nobler sense in the eternal world, to live more, not to live less. That this is really the doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures, you will find from end to end of the hallowed Book. At the commencement of Revelation it is true that Adam was told Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return, but this is evidently spoken only of that which is dust, the body. The outward form is dust, and returns to dust. The same idea is given in another part of the Scripture when it is saidthat the dust shall return to the earth whence it was, and the spirit to God who gave it. This is the doctrine of the whole Scripture.

We pass from this intimation to the first of whom death is predicated at all, and we come to that declaration to which our Lord refers when speaking of the Resurrection, namely, the declaration that was made to Moses in the wonderful scene at the bush. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for He is not a God of the dead but of the living, for all live unto him. The very language in which death is applied to patriarch after patriarch in the early histories of the Divine Word would evidently give this idea. It is said of very few of them that they died; if the term death be mentioned in relation to one it is immediately added He was gathered to his people. Abraham, it is said, was gathered to his people, the same is said of Isaac, and the same is said of JacobHe was gathered to his people. Thus only taking notice of the real man, of that which consisted of affections, and thoughts, and energies;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 130 that which gave life to the body, for the body never was the man, never was the real being, but only his covering useful for this world, but incapable of entering the other. When you come to the book of Job you will find that the same idea, is recognized from time to time, throughout the Book. There is a very early instance of it in the 7th chapter, where it is said in the 19th verse:--How shall they do that live in houses of clay. Where the description of the immortal man is not that he is a house of clay, but that he lives in a house of clay. A little higher up in the chapter it is written As the cloud is consumed and vanished away. So he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more, he shall no more return to his house; he shall no more be found in his field. That which goes down to the grave was merely the cast off covering of the man; merely the house of clay in which he lived; a house that hid been perpetually renewed, but was now left behind. Job elsewhere teaches that it is the real man, the immortal soul in a spiritual form that quits the body at death to enter a world new to us, but from which he will never return. Thus he refers to his departure. Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death.Job xi., 21. Again, when a few years are come then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.--Job xvi., 22.

Of the body, he says again As the waters fall from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up so man lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more. They shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.Job xiv., 11, 12.

Till the heavens be no more, was a Hebraism for that which should never happen.

So that Jobs full doctrine, was, that when the spiritual man left his body, he entered into another world, whence he would never come back and his bodily form would mingle with his native dust, never to rise again, for him.

It is one of the interesting facts of mans physiology that every moment--not every day or month, or year only, but every moment--active changes are going on in the human body. At the beginning of each year a mans body is far different from what it was at the beginning of the year before.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 131 Every breath we draw, every portion of food we eat, every hour we live, there is a certain change going on, so that when we all separate this evening after our discourse is completed, we shall none of us go away with precisely the same body with which we entered this church. There is a curious little fact that tends to illustrate this. It may not have been remarked by every one, at least of the younger portion of my auditory. It is this. The pauses between one breath and another are different in length. When we breathe in, we almost immediately breathe out again, having made a very slight pause. But, before we take another breath, we pause twice as long. The reason of this is evident. The breath comes out loaded with cast off material which has been turned out of the blood in the lungs, and by this beautiful law of Divine Providence we wait after the breath has gone one, until this poisoned air has passed away, then we breathe in fresh air again, and so we proceed every moment. Every breath is thus a medium of continual change, so that this house of clay, this material structure in which we live, uses a vast stock of matter. If all were gathered together that we have made our own, and then put off from the first breath of childhood down to our expiring breath, we should have accumulated a mass equal to more than twenty bodies. This makes no difficulty to one who believes Job, that he who goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. But to one who thinks that the body must rise again, the difficulty is serious, indeed. Is all that has been a mans body to be raised up. If all, what a mass he will be? If only some, which part, and why a part only. Will it be the first complete body, or the second, or the middle one, or the last? The last, we must remember, is the most imperfect of all. Nay, the fact is, some people never have had a complete to body during their whole life. They are born without eyes, without arms, or without legs: they have only an incomplete body. Although they have change going on, there is never a complete form during the whole period of their existence. If the resurrection body is to be as the old writers used to express it, precisely the same body, such a parson as I described would have to remain a mutilated man to all eternity. All these difficulties come from confounding between the body and the man, between the bark and the tree. All nature, however, as well as all Scripture, illustrates the true doctrine of the resurrection.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 132 Take the caterpillar and the butterfly. Every one knows that the caterpillar leads its little obscure life on its leaf. There it creeps and eats, lives and dies to all appearance. But it is only the outside case that dies, It breaks open in the spring, then comes forth in far more beautiful form, the representative of the risen soul. This higher being was within the other. Thus, too, with a seed; there is the outer part, and the inner life. The Apostle Paul puts it thus, and expressly likens it to man and his body. The body thou sowest is not the body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.--1 Corinthians, xv., 37, 38. From all this, we learn that man is an immortal being, tenanting for a time moral body. Divine Providence places him here, and when he has finished his career, he goes into the more perfect world with a more perfect body, never to return.

But then comes the question, what then does Job mean in the language of our first test, language which is familiarized to every one by its being used at the ordinary funeral-service. Yet, as we have seen, the doctrine of the Book of Job appears to be exceeding different from what the passage expresses. In fact, we venture upon the bold assertion that when the Book of Job was written, there was no one in the whole world that thought even of such a thing as the earthly body being raised into the eternal world. This Book of Job is believed by many, perhaps by most learned commentators, to be one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, in the sacred Scriptures. The early parts of the Book of Genesis are, doubtless older but this book is far earlier than the time of Moses. It was a book of the church, that existed before the Israelitish dispensation. And, at the time of the ancient church, before the patriarchal times, no one thought of the resurrection of the body. Even, at the present day by far the largest portion of the inhabitants of the world never dream of the resurrection of the earthly body. Indeed if we bear in mind that this book relates to a period of a very ancient time, and that such a thing had never been mentioned in any revelation, or hinted even in the hieroglyphics of Egypt;


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 133 that this passage in the Book of Job is the first in which people suppose anything was said of the resurrection of the material body, it would be for thoughtful men to ask, whether they think such a doctrine would be introduced in this particular language and at that particular time in the worlds history, not as a revelation, but as an incidental expression!

But no! Job in reality said nothing about the resurrection of the body. Regard the passage attentively. The words worms and body make us think of the grave, where the body is associated with the worms. But worms is not properly in the test at all. It is in italics. And you know those words were placed in italics by the translators, which were not in the original test, and do not properly belong to the Bible. Destroy this bodyyes body a person may say body is there. But it is not. Body is in italics also. The passage has nothing to do either with worms or body. But then perhaps a person may think it has some relationship to the supposed last day in which bodies are to be raised again, because in the verse going before, it says I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he will stand at the latter day upon the earth. But day is in italics. Thus you perceive that all those words which seem to imply that after the body has been buried it will be raised at some period; all these words are really in italics, they are not in the Scripture at all. And, to read the passage correctly, you must read it without them. You will find then that all the passage states is, that Job was in the greatest possible distress. He lied been suffering with great anguish in a body worn by ulcers and almost wasted away with great anxiety of mind. He was permitted by Divine Providence to be tried to the utmost in order that it might be seen how man could be purified and chastened by sorrow and affliction, and be prepared for a higher life and for greater blessing. This is the object of the whole Book of Job, and what he announces is this, that he had now scarcely anything left but his skin, nay, he says a little earlier that he has only escaped by the skin of his teeth. But yet he had faith in the Lord, and hope that after his skin was bone, he would still be safe. Destroy this, he says, whatever was under the skin, and yet in my flesh I shall see God. That is to say, before I die, I shall see God. God will appear, and vindicate, and deliver me, yet, while I am in my flesh.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 134 The latter day, that is spoken of, does not mean latter end of the earth, but the latter end of Job, the latter end of his trial. This hope of his was fulfilled. The Almighty appeared to him. At the xlii. Chapter, the 5th verse, we have these remarkable words, after Job held submitted himself and acknowledged the Divine mercy in every way:I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. The very thing that he said would come to pass had been realized. He was able to see God as his deliverer while he was yet alive. And, in a subsequent verse, it is said, God blessed his latter end more than his beginning, for He gave him twice as much as he had before, and thus manifested that the Divine benediction was upon him.

In this way you will perceive there is no strange doctrine introduced here. The strange words of the translators are alone responsible for a doctrine which has no warrant in eternal truth.

In the New Testament, the teaching both of our Lord and His Apostles, is in harmony with the plain declaration of our second text:Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We say. How can it? The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom; it is a kingdom of thought, of mind, of principle; it is the life-word, and how can flesh and blood enter into a world of mind? You might just as well suppose that the arm may enter into the thought. Matter cannot enter into mind.

It will be well also to notice the word inherit; it is not said cannot go into the kingdom of God. The teaching of Scripture is, that the man is raisedthe immortal man, when we put off our outward fleshly covering, advancing to the brighter and better world. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. We have said, mark the word inherit, for the notion to which I have been referring is, that the bodies are to be brought up again, and then they are to be made spiritual, and they are to go then into the kingdom of heaven. But man has a spiritual body now, and if the material body were to be raised up, and then to be made spiritual, he would have two spiritual bodies.

The earthly body is to be changed, it is said, at the resurrection day.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 135 What is meant by changing? When I change sixpence I mean that I put away the piece that I had, and I not six other pieces instead. But if a body is to be brought up and then to be changed, why that is only bringing it up and then putting it away again; putting it away and getting another instead. Why not have the other at first? Why bring this body up, and then change it? Bring it up, and put it down.

Besides, if the body attained the privilege of entering heaven in its changed state, that would be inheriting the kingdom of God. When we say a person inherits something, me mean that he had it not before, but that he comes into possession of it. The Apostle does not say that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he sags it cannot INHERIT the kingdom of heaven. Thus, it is not only not immortal now, but it cannot ATTAIN immortality. It not only cannot go into the kingdom of heaven as it is, but cannot in its own nature be made to inherit the kingdom of God. Besides, why go the roundabout way of getting the material body up out of the grave, and then dissolving it, and getting another--a spiritual body--instead, when we have a spiritual body now? The spiritual body, before regeneration, is the same as the carnal mind, and is the body dead in trespasses and sins, which has to be quickened.Eph. ii., 1, 5. It is the body of sin, the old man;Roman vi., 6, the body of death,Rom. Vii., 24; the body dead, because of sin,Rom. viii., 10; the vile body, to be made into the likeness of the Lords glorious body.--Phil. iii., 25. The resurrection of this body, is its transformation by the power of the Word, and the co-operation of faith and love, into the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.Eph. iv., 24. The corrupt mind (ver. 33.) is the corruptible which shall put on incorruption, the mortal (or deathly) which shall put on immortality. And, if we have done this, at the last, when nature ceases with us, the voice of heaven like a trumpet call will raise us to life, as in the twinkling of an eye, full of immortality and blessedness. Death is swallowed up in victory.

The Apostle said he died daily,--l Cor. xv., 13; and so must we die daily to sin if like him, by any means me may attain to the resurrection of the dead.--Phil. iii., 11.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 136

The death and resurrection to be attained during our life in the world, are the things indispensable to us all. He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not came into condemnation, but is PASSED from DEATH TO LIFE.--John v., 24.

The great philosopher Locke remarked to Bishop Stillingfleet, (against whom he maintained the doctrine which we are now setting forth, that the resurrection of the same body was never asserted in Scripture), It does seem to be impossible for anything to come out of the that was not in it. But, earthly bodies, when the souls) have left them, are immediately subjected to the operation of the general laws of nature, and are very rapidly disorganized, and ultimately take their place in the general elements of nature. The gases composing them, pass into new forms, so that the same matter becomes part of vegetables, animals, human bodies again, and again and again. They enter into our harvests, and then into our food, and then into bodies, afterwards into the earth, and so on. So, that in a century after death, speaking in general terms, the whole mass of human bodies, is dispersed into its essential elements. The bodies as a rule are no longer in the graves at all. And if they are not in the graves they cannot be brought out of the graves.

And, so we may see how clearly the Divine Providence, in His wondrous laws of nature, has shown that the matter of dead bodies is not wanted, out of which to make spiritual bodies. And why? Because spiritual things have their own body. There is a spiritual body. The soul itself is in a spiritual body now.

The apostle Paul so clearly and directly teaches the whole doctrine of mans spiritual resurrection, in the chapter before us, that it is wonderful that any Christian should have overlooked it. In fact, it never would have been overlooked, only that some nations, in the decline of their spiritual nature, turned all spiritual views into carnal things.

The Babylonians, who had been fond of spiritual and symbolic teaching in their early days, a few centuries before Christ, became carnal and natural, changing their heavenly ideas into earthly ones. They had known that love in the early and pure times of their church was a spiritual fire, and that the Lord Himself was a spiritual sun. But as they became carnal they turned the idea of the spiritual sun into that of the earthly sun, and became sun-worshipers.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 137 They turned the idea of spiritual fire into that of natural fire; and so they made flames in t heir temples, thought these were holy, and kept them constantly burning. So, likewise, they turned spiritual bodies into natural bodies when they again, first had its rise among these people, the ancient Babylonians, in their period of degeneration. The Jews, when they went as exiles into Babylonia, learned it from them, as they learned many other carnal and idolatrous notions from other Gentile nations. It was not from Divine revelation, but from Babylonish tradition, and Babylonish superstition, that the doctrine had its rise.

The apostle Paul went through the whole doctrine again. Beginning at the 33rd verse of this chapter, he said, after speaking about the resurrection of man and showing that the Lord in this, as well as in everything else, led the way to renewed certainly on this subject, by his own triumph over death, he observes, Some men, will say how are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? Here, you see, he clearly distinguishes between the dead themselves, and the bodies of the dead. How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? To talk of wanting the earthly body up again, at some future time, was so very strange a notion, one that the Apostle evidently thinks so extravagant, that he applies to it very vigorous language. He says Thou fool, to a person asking what body a man is to have? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is NOT THE BODY THAT SHALL BE. Well, but that is the very idea that many persons have been so anxious to maintain. The body they now have is the body that shall be. The Apostle says, IT IS NOT.

Indeed, if that which we sow, that which we put into the earth were the body that shall be, why put it into the earth at all? Why not take it with us? The Apostle states the analogy thus, Thou fool, the body then sowest is not the body that shall be, but bare grain; it may chance of wheat or of some other grain; and God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. That is to say, the human soul is precisely like the life in the seed. You place a seed in the ground, there is the life, and there is a body that covers it. The body, the outside substance of the seed, begins to corrupt and not directly.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 138 But, within, the life clothes itself with a new form. The outward husk dies off, and becomes a part of the earth around, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him. It is just the same with man. There is the soul in the body. The body is its clothing. It is the husk of the man. The husk perishes. The man himself rises in his own body, that is to say, THE SPIRITUAL BODY;the embodiment of his love, his thoughts, his purposes, his virtues, if he has been a good man; and thus he is as beautiful as he has been good. He is ugly as his vices if he has been a bad man. God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. It is the mans own form; what he has been making himself to be from the time when he began to determine his character. If he has been a noble, thoughtful, wise, loving man, then within the outward covering there has been induced a noble, heavenly, gentle, loving form. This inner form has gradually shone more and more through the covering of clay, and at length stands out when that covering is put away in all the beauty of an angel, God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

And, then, supposing some person to ask, But how is this? The Apostle goes on to illustrate it. He says it is not a matter for wonder. There are different kinds of bodies. There are terrestrial bodies, he says, i. e., earthly bodies; and bodies celestial, i. e., heavenly bodies. There are different kinds of flesh, even in this world. There is one flesh, he says, of birds, another of beasts, another flesh of fishes. He says, there are different kinds of glory; there is one glory o the sun, there is another glory of the moon, and there is another glory of the stars. So is the resurrection of the dead. When we pass into the eternal world, we take a body fitted for that world; we leave the outward body that is no longer needful, but we have a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.ver. 44.

The Apostle teaches the same doctrine in the second epistle to the same people, the Corinthians. At the beginning of the fifth chapter, you will find he takes up the subject again, and says, We know that if the earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, WE HAVE a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.--ver. 1. Not, we shall have, but WE HAVE.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 139 If the earthly house, that is, the earthly body, be dissolved, we have a heavenly body. And he says that he desires to be clothed upon with his body that is from heaven; he wishes no longer to be cabined and confined by this earthly matter; he longs to go into the world where his spirit can ultimate all that he loves. Here, although the body serves a glorious purpose upon earth, yet we are just like people that live in small cottages, we have to do our work and to bring forth the various purposes of our constant life, but under limited conditions. This is only the place of our training and experimentalizing. The same wise Providence that ordained us to be born little babies, ordained us to be born in earthly, confined bodies. Every one will see what an extremely awkward thing it would be if, with our inexperience and unwisdom, we had been born six feet high. If, with the waywardnesses of the child, we had the strength of the man, how little should we have been able to acquire genially and kindly all those laws of heavenly wisdom and goodness which our mothers teach us, and which help us to be gradually trained to be more thoughtful, as men, before we have the power of men. It is just the same with us in our spiritual being. We are here in order that we may learn to be angels first, in all the little, comparatively little, exercises of human life. We should learn to love God and to love our neighbor, and bring ourselves into obedience to the laws of order, and then pass into the eternal world. We are to live in a world of mind; where every love can go out and find its words and its works, and all its circumstances in complete harmony with itself. Here we all feel that we are confined by the laws and circumstances of the body. The mind is always far beyond what the body is. Who is there that has not found a hundred and a thousand times that while he has had a strong wish to bring out some truths that have glanced into his mind, and which he perceives, he has not got words wherewith to express himself. He can think a grand idea, but he cannot yet utter it. It is just the same with purposes. We can intend great things; we can earnestly desire them; but as yet we cannot bring them into act; we can neither express nor do the hundredth part of what we wish. We are here in training; and if we are trained to have an angels love and an angels thought when we pass into the other world, we shall have an angels power, an angels wisdom, and an angels form, and not till then.


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The bad man is cabined also by various hindrances that keep him bound in various ways. He cannot bring out half or a thousandth part of the vice that is in him.       Hence the importance of taking care that this life witnesses his conversion and regeneration.

The angel has no thought but what he can express, no purpose but what he can work out, no object but what he can ultimate and diffuses around. The Lord will say to every good man, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. The good man has, by the Lords help, been faithful over a few things. He has been faithful as far as he could over the inward motives and purposes of his heart and mind; he has complained when he has desired to do good that he has had so little power. He has not had money, not had influence enough. But in the other life, world of mind, all these things will be in perfect order. His face, his form, his hands, his home, his whole circumstances, everything, will express the real character of his disposition. He will have a palace, just the representative of himself, as beautiful as he is good. All around him, his thoughts and affections will be represented in forms of loveliness. He will be able to do whatever he wants to do. There, other minds will be responsive to his mind; there, substance will be plastic to his will and thought; he will be made ruler over many things; all things, in fact, will be given him by the Lord richly to enjoy, so that he will be perfect without, as well as perfect within.

Let us, then, take this glorious doctrine, and animate one another with the feeling that when we pass away from earth, we are not going to non-existence, nor half-existence. We are not going to inhabit the clay of the grave, to be food for worms, it is only what we cast off that does this.

When Socrates was about to die, and he had many of his friends around him, great numbers of them spoke of the sorrow that they would experience, but of the great care that they would take of him after death, he said, Oh, but you must catch me first. The great law respecting the good is that proclaimed by the angels at the Lords grave, He is not here, he is risen. The flesh and blood left behind,--the outward form, are not the man. He is not here, he is risen.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 141 You look, it may be, at the graves of those you value, because the body is there in which your loved ones dwelt, but do not suppose that they are there now. They are not here, they are risen. Angels have been near you all your life; never fear when death comes, they will not forsake you. There is only one death you need to fear, and that is, dying to goodness, to wisdom, to faith, and to love. Be careful that righteousness does not die with you.As to everything else, we never do die. We live more and more by every glorious purpose, by every advance in the regenerate life. Our youth is renewed like the eagles. The appearance of decay in old age is not a decay in anything of a heavenly character. We decay in the remembrance of words sometimes, for words are losing their value to us: we are rising to ideas. We decay in the knowledge of outward facts, in the power of doing many physical things, because our life is drawing inwards.       We are soon coming to have nothing to do with the world in any way. It is with us as it is with corn. As its blade grows up at first young in the field, it has the outside full of vigor; the stem stands upright, but there is little in it. As the plant ripens, the pith and substance gather within, and form a bulb in the center, full of nutriment and full of use. The outside becomes shriveled, weak, and dry, ready to be put away as chaff. Well, let it be put away,--the ripened corn is gathered into the barn, and goes to feed, to comfort, and to bless mankind. So is life in us. In youth our outside life is vigorous, in age the hair may whiten, the cheek may be wrinkled, the outward form be less and less, but if we have been going on in real love to God and love to man, in true effort constantly to become more and more heavenly, our youth is renewed, real wisdom, real faith, real firmness in what is good, real angelic beauty, become more and more developed within us until the time comes that our companion angels beckon us hence. The death we thought was a skeleton about to strike us with his spear, is really a herald of heaven about to touch us with his scepter. He says, Come up hither. Like the Lord to His dying companion on the cross, it will be said to you, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.Luke xxiii., 43. The dim atmosphere of nature opens, and we behold angelic faces, we enter angelic company, and hear the angelic song, Oh death where is thy sting? oh grave where is thy victory?


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Therefore me conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.--Romans iii., 28.


Ye see then how that by works a men is justified, and not by faith only.--2 James ii., 24.

FAITH is a living heart-felt confidence in God, and in Divine truth from Him. With the heart, says the Apostle, a man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth makes confession unto salvation. Faith lights up the human soul with rays from heaven. It is the shining of an inward fire. It is the flame of holy love. Faith illumines the dark passages of life with a flash of radiance which sustains hope, and steadies virtue. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for.

While faith points out the path to heaven,

       It firmly trusts Immanuels love,

By whom alone all power is given

       To reach the realms of bliss above.

To judge by the important position this grace has awarded to it in the pulpit, in treatises, and in conversation among Christians, who speak constantly of salvation by faith, of every blessing depending upon faith, and FAITH ONLY, we might easily conclude that the whole mind and atmosphere of the world about us, were made up of and extremely favorable to this Divine virtue. But if we go a little below the surface, if we inquire really what is meant by the faith which is set forth, and ask whether there really is so much faith in truth, in God, and in doing His holy will, as the profession would imply, it is very much to be feared we shall find that the Lords inquiry applies to the present time, at least, as powerfully as to any past epoch, And when the Son of Man shall come, shall he find faith in the earth?


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What is faith? for faith can scarcely be a contested matter. If we really simply look at it in its own native character it is firm and loving truth in the truth. No one can surely contend that real faith is confidence in falsehood. A man may have a persuasion of what is false, and call it faith. But, superstition is not faith; irrationality is not faith; stupidity is not faith. Faith, says the Apostle, is the EVIDENCE of things unseen, the substance of things hoped for. Faith is itself an EVIDENCE. It is an acknowledgment of the heart that, what is true is TO BE BELIEVED AND DONE.

There is a harmony between goodness in the heart and truth in the intellect. When these two, like companions that have been separated, and yet are dearly attached to one another, come warmly together and are united, their union forms faith. It is truth in the intellect joined with love in the heart. If either of these two be wanting there is no faith. Charity, or Christian love, it is written, believeth all things. It is love that believes. It is love which believes on every subject. No child trusts the person whom it does not love. Let a stranger offer a child the fairest promises it will shrink from him, and take no heed until it has learned to love. Let the mother, let one whom the child has learned to trust come, and a ready belief is given. What the child shrank from as dangerous it will then dare to do, because it trusts where it loves. The basis of all faith is affection. Think of it in reference to any of the relationships of life; of friend with friend, of lover with lover, of husband with wife, of child with parent, you will find that just in proportion to the love, are the power and fervency of the faith.

In that grand old story of ancient times which relates the trial of Damon and Pythias, how strikingly is this proposition shown. Pythias took the place of the condemned Damon in the prison of a tyrant, that his friend might go and bid farewell to his wife, and arrange the affairs of his home. Pythias declared himself prepared to suffer in his friends stead, if he did not come back, because he valued, loved, and trusted him.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 144 The crowd of his countrymen thought the conduct of Pythias was extravagant and absurd, and would be sure to be attended by the loss of his life. But no! the heart that could do such a thing would also understand that another would do it for him. He was calm and thankful. The days passed by and no Damon returned. At length he was brought out on the scaffold, and every one was expecting that the axe would now. have its victim, and that the confidence of friendship would torn out to be the direst folly. Pythias was trustful, he was quite sure that if his friend did not come back it would be because some accident, not to be overcome, had stayed him. He was thankful to be privileged to suffer in the loved Damons place. But before he could fall a victim to his generous confidence, the huzzas of the crowd in the distance wore heard, a rider was seen driving with all haste his foaming steed. Damon hurried to throw himself where death would prove his faithfulness, and justify the trust of his generous friend. Such was faith with them; a faith founded on love, and powerful enough to melt the tyrants heart, and procure pardon for them both. There is no such thing really as FAITH ONLY. Where there is faith only, there is not faith. There is only a profession of faith, only some talk of faith. Such a thing as FAITH ONLY is a non-entity; it cannot exist at all. Faith is trust, is confidence, is a steady reliance upon the truth which has been unfolded to us, and which we understand. The apostle Paul in the first text we have to consider, is really speaking in perfect harmony with this great truth, because faith, as he uses it, includes love, and implies Good works. We are justified by Christian faith, without Judaism, that is without the deeds of the law. It is not said, We are justified by FAITH ALONE without the deeds of the law.

Luther in translating this passage for his German Bible, ventured to introduce the word alone into the text, although that very circumstance ought to have suggested that he did not understand it rightly, or it would have suited him as it was. When a man finds that the Scriptures do not state what he wants them to state, he should conceive not that the Scriptures are wrong, but that he himself is mistaken. If he cannot get the Scriptures to say what he wants them to say, he should correct his impressions and bow to the sacred volume.


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Let us examine the passage before us a little closely. We are justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Faith is simply mentioned. It is a word, however, that implies something else associated with it. Faith in what? We have mentally to answer that question from other parts of Scripture. We are justified by faith, that is trust, confidence. But as we said before, in what? The answer, which is perfectly unimpeachable, is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in what He teaches.

We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and what He teaches. What does He teach? He teaches that God is good to all, and that His tender mercies over all His works. He teaches He that in His love and in His pity He redeemed us. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him, and has promised to give them rest unto their souls. He is the Good Shepherd who came to lay down His life for His sheep, and He did die and rise again for every man, that He might be Lord of the dead and the living. True faith is to believe all this as an undoubting evidence of the love of God, and His desire to regenerate and thus to save every one of us. To be justified we must have faith in this.

But the Lord Jesus teaches more than this, and true faith is to believe that also. He teaches that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil the law Himself, and thus to magnify it and make it honorable, and then to give us power to keep His commandments from a spirit of love.

Whosoever, He says, shall break one of the least of these commandments and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. That is what we have to believe. He declares If ye love me, keep my commandments. Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. If we live this heavenly life, our Savior teaches, we shall never die. We are justified, that is made just, if we have faith in these Divine lessons; and we have faith in them, when we carry them out. True faith is not opinions about doctrines, but confidence in the truth which changes the life, and embodies the Divine will.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 146 The man who does this, has faith in what the Lord teaches.

Merely to talk, however earnestly and persuasively, about what the Lord teaches, is not having faith in it; it is only having talk about it.

In the early part of this discourse me mentioned that, people measure belief by practice in all the other ways and purposes of life. For instance, we hear a person say the way to Charing-cross is in a certain direction, and he has to go there immediately. But the moment he leaves our presence he goes quite in another direction; you conclude he does not believe what he said. So, if a person professes to have a great regard for you and declares it will be the greatest pleasure on the earliest opportunity to recommend you, and be of use to you in life; but you know the opportunity has been offered, and he does nothing or does you harm. You pay no attention to his talk, you believe what he does. So it is really in religion. Hence the apostle James puts it precisely upon that ground, Show me thy faith without thy works. He says, show it me. How is the person thus addressed to show it? By profession only, he can only show that he talks. Unless he does the thing that he professes to believe there is no evidence that he does really believe. Show me thy
faith without thy works, the Apostle says, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Hence, Scripture always declares that, judgment in the eternal world is to be pronounced upon what each man does. No notice will be taken of what he professed to believe, what he argued, what he wrangled about. What he really believed was what HE DID. There are few persons who will not profess to believe in doing rightly. Ask any one. Now is it your faith that a person ought to do right? Do you not believe he ought to do to others as he would have others do to him? Ought he not to act in accordance with love to God and his neighbor? There is scarcely any person to be found who would not say, Yes, that is certainly right. I can believe in that at any rate. If however our professor is constantly in his life seeking only selfish objects, seeking to get ten times as much as he will ever need, by dishonest, unfair, and over-reaching means, is it not clear that, in his heart he despises kindness and honesty, and believes in cheating.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 147 He believes in lying; he believes in grasping; he believes in covetously getting as much as he can. His life shews what he really believes in. Hence it is, as we have said before, that when the present age is judged by what we know to exist in public and in private life, the answer to the Divine question, When the Son of Man shall come, shall he find faith in the earth? must be, if in accordance with the truth, Lord help us to be stronger, for we are men of little faith.

The teachings of the Sacred Volume respecting faith are three-fold. First, TRUE FAITH is real confidence and heart-felt trust in the Lord Jesus Christ; in what the Scriptures declare Him to be, and what He really is. Secondly TRUE FAITH is heart-felt trust and confidence in the Lords commands, as being essential to happiness and salvation. And thirdly, TRUE FAITH is heart-felt trust and confidence in the Lords promises, as opening to us happiness and heaven.

Allow me, in the first place, to call your attention when considering what is the real character of faith, to its first part,--the belief in the Lord Jesus, as the Apostle has it in another place, that he is GOD MANIFEST. And as the Lord Himself expresses it, ye believe in God, believe also in me. Ye believe in God as the Creator, believe in Him now as your Redeemer. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Real heart-felt faith is a confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, as to what the Sacred Volume teaches Him to be, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Regenerator,--the Everlasting Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,---the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Jehovah who would come into the world, and who did come, yet how little faith there is in this, in the world. Yet Scripture teaches this, plainly. He Himself declares, whosoever sees the Lord Jesus Christ, sees the Father, All things that the Father hath are mine. All mine are thine, He says, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. The Lord Jesus Christ is the present God everywhere; the Regenerator of human souls everywhere.: Behold, I stand at the door and knock, He says, if any man will open the door I will come into him, and sup with him, and he with me. Abide in me, and I in you. I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy. But who believes this?


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The Scriptures teach, and in the plainest, simplest, directest manner, that the Lord Jesus Christ is ALL IN ALL to the real Christian. In him, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him, who is bend of all principality and power; not one in a million believes that. Where then is your faith? Faith is to believe the Lord Jesus Christ, when He tells us that He and the Father are one. It is to believe that He is all sufficient. He tells us that not only without Him we can do nothing, but that with Him we can do all things:--that ALL POWER is His in heaven, and on earth. The greatest mass of men do not think that He is half as powerful as self-love, as treachery, or lust, as the instigations and impulses of passion in our fallen natures. How common is it to talk as if sin were a thing that could not be conquered, as if each particular evil, our bad temper, our impatience, our insolence to others, our covetousness, or our contempt of right was omnipotent. We excuse ourselves, by saying these cannot be overcome; they are such terrible things. We are men of little faith. We are poor weak creatures. The Son of Man has come, but has He found faith in the earth?

Had we faith we should take His Word, depend upon it, live upon it, and act from it. When He says, Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, we should believe that it is so, go to Him and receive the peace that passeth all understanding.

Secondly, true faith is a heart-felt confidence in the Lords commandments; and these are of the most simple and direct kind. Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate yen, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. Thus it is not only the teaching of the Lord, but the teaching of the whole Word. It is the grand unfolding of Divine truth from first to last. Oh, that there were such a heart in them, it is said by the Lord in the Book of Deuteronomy, that they would fear me and keep my commandments always, that it would be well with them and with their children for ever. When the Lord Jesus came into the world He reiterated the same sacred truth; only He taught that His commandments were to be kept from a deeper ground than they heel been regarded before. Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall IN NO CASE enter into the kingdom of heaven, IN NO CASE.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 149 There are no exceptions; there cannot be.

No one can be warmed without fire, no one can see without light. Only fish can live in water, and they cannot live in air. It is quite impossible that any but those who have become heavenly, can go to heaven. If a person whose heart was ingrained in lust were to go to heaven it would be no heaven to him. To him the highest heaven would be the most terrible of hells. Yet, although the Lord so simply and so strikingly teaches us, that me are so to obey His Divine commandments, and thus to become heavenly, the infidelity of the evil heart constantly puts forth the strange phantasy that, the Lords commandments are something too hard to be kept. What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. All misery comes from breaking the commandments, not from keeping them. It is a mere darkening phantasy in the soul that we cannot obey those blessed laws. The only translation of that phrase is that we are not disposed. That is all. There is no cannot in the business; a person might just as well pretend that he cannot walk, although the Lord has given him excellent legs: that he cannot work, although the Lord has given him two excellent hands. Our whole being has been created to find happiness in obeying the Divine will. The astonishment is, that a man will try to avoid keeping the commandments.

What is the very first command? Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul, and mind and strength. If any human being were to do one-millionth part for us that the Lord does for every one of us, we should deem ourselves the most ungrateful persons in the world if we did not glow towards that individual with love and respect. Suppose that we had only one non, and some admirable physician were to come and be able to give us another, should we not take good care that that no one should see on our part anything but affection towards so excellent a benefactor. But the Lord has given to every ordinary human being two arms, two eyes, two hands, and so with all the rest of our bodies, and all the faculties of our soul. Ho has given us two worlds, the world of matter and the world of mind, to poor out their blessings upon us and around us.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 150 And, all is given without charge. All that Divine Love desires is, that we should live obediently, and to allow Him to give us something more, in continual progression. When we come to worship the Lord, it is only that me may open our minds and hearts, that He may flow in and bless us more. He wishes to give us more virtue, more intelligence, more heavenly-mindedness. Is it then hard to love this Gracious Being? How can we do anything else? We ought to detest the selfishness that holds us back from adoring this Glorious One with all our hearts. What should we have thought of Josephs brethren, when they not only got all the corn they asked for, but every time they went they got their money back at the same time, if they had been ungrateful and insolent to him? But this is precisely what happens, though immeasurably aggravated, when we withhold our grateful homage to the God of love, from whom we are every moment receiving mercies. Oh no! let us on the contrary rejoicingly confess Oh give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever.

So with every other commandment. They are all LAWS OF HAPPINESS. It is the breach of these commandments that has made all the miseries that exist in the world. Neither disease nor sorrow would have existed had not sin preceded them. Our own follies, or the follies of those who have gone before us, have sown the seeds of sickness. Disease, war, poverty, do not belong to the creation in its true order. Everything from God is made according to justice and truth. Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. All his works are done in truth. A heart-felt faith in the Lords commandments as being the laws of happiness and the laws of heaven, is the FAITH THAT JUSTIFIES, or makes man just.

But, thirdly, real faith is a similar heart-felt confidence in the Lords promises. The Apostle teaches, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to deliver from the fear of death those who had been all their life time in bondage.Heb. ii., 13. Has the Christian world been delivered horn the fear of death? Is there one in a million now that has no fear of death? Yet one true and proper result of our Lords coming into the world is the deliverance of us from the fear of death. Now, real heart-felt faith is such a confidence in the Lord that we have no fear of death, but a triumphant assurance of heaven.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 151 True faith trusts in the fact that death is really nothing but the step to a higher life. There is no death for any one in whom sin is conquered. He that believes His Word, the Lord says, is no longer under condemnation, but HAS PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE. What we ordinarily call death, is not death. He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die. The real man does not die. The immortal being does not die, he merely puts off the outward case. He rises a more noble being than he was before. The just man becomes a just man made perfect. He who has been an angelic man in his life has the beauty of intelligence, the beauty of goodness in him, the sublimest beauty of all. When a person has loved the Lord, and walked in the sacred steps of right, the beauty of goodness becomes more and more perfect; and, like those trees which strip their bark but magnify their strength, the trees of righteousness peel off their outer coats but bloom with a Divine delicacy, more beautifully than ever. He that liveth and believeth in me shall never die, the Lord says. God giveth them bodies as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Now true faith is to be confident that this is so. We are not to have fellowship with worms. Earth goes to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but the real man rises to his immortal friends. He is not here, he is risen, said the angels of the Lord. They are not here, they have risen, we say of all the good who have gone to their rest. They are in a nobler and a higher state of being. True faith has no fear, no anxiety, no doubt, but rather the confiding, unswerving hope, that says, For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain. This world has been a good world, but that is a grander and a happier one. This is faith, to smile at the approach of death and feel it to be the touch of an angels scepter; the palm in the hand of the herald of everlasting life. It is to feel as if our Lord were bending over us and saying, Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of everlasting life. With a regenerate soul like this, there is no death, nor fear of death, but a smile of confidence that expresses, I have no concern whether I stay here a little longer, or go to the better home; my only desire is to he a ministering servant of my Master, either here or there. Now, with such a faith we may well say, therefore a man is justified by faith--not faith alone, but faith grounded in love, faith, shining with the light of many truths, faith doing the Lords works.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 152 By such a faith in the Lord, and what He teaches, we are justified without the deeds of the law.

But what are the deeds of the law? They were Judaism. The apostolic age of the church was the transition age from Judaism to Christianity. Jewish righteousness, of meritorious deservings; circumcision and Jewish customs--these were the deeds of the law. And of course we are justified by faith, without the deeds of the law. These deeds of the law now are scarcely mentioned, but they were a terrible stumbling block to Christians then. Refer to the early accounts of the Church, and mark the views and feelings which prevailed then, and you will understand this phrase, the deeds of the law. In the twenty-first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, you will find from the 20th to the 24th verse the very best exposition of what is meant by the deeds of the law. It was the age of transition, in which there were great numbers who received Christianity, and who nevertheless believed it was a sort of addition to Judaism. These maintained, Christians would still need to be circumcised, to practice the washings, the shavings, the outward sacrifices, and the rituals belonging to Judaism. The apostle Paul, and a large number of those who were single-hearted in their reception of Christianity said,--Christianity is complete in itself. The Christian faith involves love, and produces virtue. Christianity is a new dispensation, it has nothing at all to do with the old outward observances. We have left the old Church, we have entered the new. The Church of faith in the Lord Jesus is complete. Ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.

The apostle Paul was understood to be the chief leader of those who taught that Christianity was itself sufficient for everyone, and the Jews were extremely exasperated at their fellow-countryman for taking such a position. At length, after some fourteen years of absence and labor in different parts of the world, the apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem, which he had left as a persecutor. Such was the bitter state of excitement that prevailed there the Apostles met together, and considered what they should do. They were afraid that Pauls life would be in danger. They sent messengers to meet Paul, and requested he would conform himself to some extent to these people, who were so zealous for keeping the law.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 153 And they said, This thing would we advise thee to do--take four men and let them shave their beads and wash themselves, and do according to the customs, and so will they know that thou art faithful and keepest the law. Here, you have this very expression, all this washing and shaving and the rest of the changes as it was said, all these were to be done, and then he would be considered all right, and to keep the law.Acts xxi., 20 to 24. The Apostle did so. He felt it to be necessary at the time, and complied. Yet Paul was like Galileo, who, to avoid continual imprisonment, signed a declaration that the earth did not move, although he had proved fully that the earth moved diurnally and the sun stood still. He signed his retraction, compelled by the bigoted Pope and theologians of his time; and then threw his pen on the floor, and said It moves yet! So when the apostle Paul was compelled to submit to these trivial accommodations to the prejudices of the Jews at the time, he still declared But faith is quite enough, without any of these deeds of the law. Faith in the Lord Jesus, faith in doing His will, faith in the grand principles of truth and right, the righteousness which. existed from Gods eternal nature before circumcision, before Sinai. Justice existed in the very nature of things, before the law, under the law, and would continue to exist for ever. Faith in the Lords righteousness, truth, and mercy; this will do without the deeds of the law. So he preached, and so he wrote.

This is the purport of the text, and the very essence of Christianity.

When, therefore, the apostle James says, A man is justified by works and not by FAITH ONLY, he is speaking in perfect harmony with what Paul taught; for James by works means Christian, the works of faith, the works of love, the works of real righteousness and truth. What St. James means, as essential proofs of faith, are the works of true Christianity, and Paul teaches the same thing.

The deeds of the law, were the outward washings, the trifling observances, and the circumcision of the Jewish law, or even obedience to the ten commandments, if kept from a desire for merit or gain, that is, from Jewish notions; for this is only self-love masquerading in the form of religion.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 154

If a man keep the commandment Thou shalt not steal, or every other commandment, only to make God his debtor, or for fame or gain, it is a deed of the law, self-righteousness, it is not a solid Christian virtue. Such righteousness is corrupt and selfish. n selfish men, however fair his life, is inwardly impure. The true principle, from which we ought ever to act, is to love the Lord because He is the fountain of love; to do good because it is good; to have faith in right, to shun evil, because it is sin; to ask nothing further when the truth shows us what we ought to do, but to do it. This is Christian faith.

What doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to do justly--be very strict with thyself, but be very gentle and forbearing with others: love mercy--do not be hard and harsh and premature, but be gentle, excusatory, consolatory, and loving: love mercy, and then, do not give thyself airs, but walk humbly with thy God. This is that faith that encloses love, that lives in heavenly works, and of which the apostle James says, a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. The apostle Paul is just as plain and as emphatic. God he says, will render to every man according to his deeds. To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. You will read in the last chapter of the same epistle He that loveth fulfilleth the law. Owe no man anything but love, for love worketh no ill to his neighbor, but whether it be thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not hill, or whatever else it be, it is briefly comprehended in this saying: Love thy neighbor as thyself. Love is the fulfilling of the law. To the Corinthians he said, Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing; but keeping the commandments of God.--l Cor. vii., 10. The faith that WORKETH by love, is, with this Apostle equally as with James, the only faith that avails in the sight of God; and the Christian who works out his salvation with fear and trembling the only true Christian.


Scripture Paradoxes - Their True Explanation p. 155 The fruit of the Spirit, he says, is love, joy, pence, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law.--Galatians v., 22, 23.

Work then while it is day. Work against the evils of temper, of avarice, of passion, and of lust, until you have finally overthrown them. Work in the ministrations of tenderness and mercy to mitigate human sorrow, and to multiply human comforts. Work in your daily duty, whatever your office or employment, for the sake of the God of order and use. Be sure He will sustain you. Then will your wilderness become like Eden, and your desert like the Garden of God.

Never forget, that the very essence of life, the very soul of purity and order, the very spirit of all that is happy on earth, or heavenly in the eternal world, is to love the Lord our God with all the heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Upon these two commandments hangs all the law and the prophets. Believe these and do them, from the love of Him who created you, died for you, and who every moment gives you power; to overcome evil, and walk in the path of purity and heaven.