« PreviousContinue »
does not co-extend with his oth- of holiness, could have been er eternal attributes ; but his in- sought by the Deity, only in an finite holiness began after the inferior degree, or so far only, work of creation commenced, or as it was consistent with the in time. It, therefore, appears chief end, or with a supreme rethat the Deity hath, from eter- gard to himself. nity, exercised a holy disinter- The nature of holiness, in the ested love towards himself, and creature, is the same, in kind, that he hath, likewise, exercised with that in the Creator. It is the same love towards the crea- his moral image, or the tranture, in a degree proportional to script of this glorious perfection the worth of the creature, and of God; and is that to the morin a manner perfectly consistent al world which gravitation is to with the glory of the infinite the material world. If these Creator.
two grand uniting principles, Further ; exercising love tow- which, jointly, uphold the uniards but a small part of rational verse, are incapable of complete being; that is, treating all finite explanation by any ; yet all from creatures, according to their their effects, must admit their moral character, and excluding existence ; and the existence of the infinite Creator from all that, which unites the moral consideration, cannot properly | world, as readily, as the existbe said to constitute holiness. | ence of the other. Which must follow as a neces. As it is the nature of all masary consequence, unless the terial bodies to be attracted towDeity aims, ultimately, at his ards some common centre, by a own glory.
gravitating principle; inherent That God had, from eternity, in all matter ; so it is the nature a supreme regard to his own of holiness, to unite the moral honor and glory, as the ultimate, world, by its attracting princi. and chief end, in his creation of ple of universal benevolence. the universe ; and regarded the To illustrate the nature of hohappiness of the creature, only liness, by analogy between as a subordinate, and inferior, the natural and moral world. end ; further appears, from the The former of which would be absurdity of a different hypoth useless, considered, aside from esis. Independently on the ul the ends which it subserves, by timate end, or the glory of God; the relation which it bears to the the subordinate end, or the hap- latter. Suppose the sun, the piness of the creature'; would | centre of gravity, to be infinitely have been unworthy of the seek- the noblest part of this material ing of the divine being. For system, to which we belong. this would be supposing, that the View him, as independent on all Deity, preferred, a less good, to creation for his, natural, brighta greater. That is, he preferred ness. As shining in his own the happiness of finite being, to strength. Himself a fountain that of infinite being. This of material light. Irradiating would be ascribing consummate all opaque bodies within the folly, to the all wise Jehovah. sphere of his influence. The Therefore, the happiness of the primary planets may be consid. creature, considering the naturel ered as next in worth. Then
the secondary-And finally, ev- the whole intelligent creation ery portion of matter, may be may be compared to the various estimated, according to its re | smaller bodies of the material spective place, or nearness to the system. common centre. According to Holiness, in its nature, tends the hypothesis, the sun is the to produce an order in the moral centre of gravity, and of infinitely world similar to that which apmore worth than all the rest of pears in the natural world. the systems. It derives its ex- | Each holy being attracts others cellence, and keeps its station, towards himself ; and all are from an inherent principle, which drawn towards the fountain of constitutes its nature, indepen- being and blessedness. Those dently on all created external flaming spirits, nearest the causes. All the other planets throne of God, like the bodies are attracted towards this cen- | nearest the sun, are most pow. tre of gravity ; borrow their erfully attracted towards God light from it, and perform their himself; and of course, towards revolutions round it. At the | the holy part of his creation.same time the secondary are at- | Were this divine principle uni. tracted towards their primary ; , versal it would unite and bring and each smaller portion of mat- in to one, every created intelliter is attracted towards the cen- gent. All, thus united, would be tre of its respective planet.- 1 attracted towards the fountain of Each particle of matter, exerts a holiness, and be made one, in force proportional to its near interest, and affection, with the ness to the sun, or common cen Deity. Each individual, by protre; as it respects both the moting his own happiness, would common centre, and also the do it, consistently with the good body to which it belongs- of all others, and the glory of Consequently harmony prevail; God. What was the joy of one, throughout the material system. would be equally the joy of all.
To apply this to the moral A happy gradation would exworld. And for the want of bet- tend from God himself through ter helps, to compare things spi- | all the angelic hosts and saints ritual with things temporal in heaven, to the lowest saint on view the Deity like the sun, in- earth. Then would exist happy dependent on the material sys- | individuals ; happy families; tem for his holy brightness.- happy neighborhoods ; happy As also independent on the mor societies; happy worlds. The al system. As strictly and ab- universe itself would be happy. solutely independent on all cau Some reflections which natuses which imply the least de- rally suggest themselves, from gree of imperfection. Himself, | what has been already observed, a fountain of moral light. Es will only be noticed, without enmitting beams of light to bodies larging. of moral darkness. The high 1 1. Disinterested benevolence, est order of created intelligences as it has been considered, has may take the place of the pri- been confined, wholly, to the inmary planets. The next high- telligent or rational part of creaest the place of the secondary. ' tion. Which can, by none, be And those less noble, including properly viewed as a limitation. from this consideration. The to the hands of God who gave it. supposition that perfect disinter 1 5. Joy beams upon the afflicte ested benevolence can be consist ed and desponding soul, whilst ent with the least degree of ma- it realizes its immortality, and levolence, would be absurd. The 1 pensively counts the fleeting benevolent man will regard eve- moments which rapidly waft it ry beast and insect; all things to its immortal inheritance. that have animal life, as the crea- 6. Especially, considering the tures of God. He will view nature of holiness, in the view them, as fashioned and preserv- | which has been already taken of ed by that same Almighty pow it; the subject is peculiarly caler which gave himself existence; culated to clothe the creature as formed to answer the end of with humility. With humility their creation ; and therefore he because he is a creature; but will not abuse the goodness of more particularly, because he is God.
a sinful creature. 2. Whatever disorder exists 1 7. The last reflection which in the moral world, may be seen will here be noticed, is, that reato be the effect of sin. Sin has son points us to the scriptures, separated moral agents from the for full and complete satisface centre of happiness. Storms in tion on the nature of holiness ; the natural world, by displacing and in this case, as well as in all bodies, and removing them from others, directs to them, as our their common centre may pro- | infallible guide in all things duce disorder. Hence, the pe which respect our belief and culiar force, in the prophet's practice. striking comparison, “The wick II. Accordingly, by adverting ed are like the troubled sea when to them, as was proposed in the it cannot rest."
second place, and comparing 3. One obvious truth, and one the view which reason gives of too, which ought to afford com- | the nature of holiness, with the fort to every rational being, is, scriptures; we shall be enabled that an infinitely wise and bene- to discover, how far, what has volent God, in having an ulti- been already suggested, harmate and chief regard to his monizes with the word of God. own honor and glory, has it in a The scriptures, evidently, manner perfectly consistent with speak of two kinds of love. the greatest possible good of the | One of which is sinful ; and the creature. He hath made the other holy. Of the former kind path of duty the direct road to is that spoken of in 2 Chron. happiness.
xix. 2.-1 John ii. 15-and 2 4. The worth of the immor- Tim. iii. 2. where mention is tal soul is brought into view, by made of some who love those considering it, in the relation that hate the Lord; who love which it bears to other intelli- themselves, the world and the gences, and especially to God things of the world. The Aposhimself. It has an interest in tle Peter, in saying, “ men sliall what was transacted before it be lovers of their own selves," was united with this body even evidently means by it that they in the councils of eternity; and shall be wholly selfish or that patiently waits till it may return they shall show an unreasona
ble partiality towards self. Of, termed, in scripture, brotherly this kind of love, though mani- love, or love of the brethren; festing great friendship, was that and is incntioned as being of which was reproved by our bles- such a nature as to be an infallised Saviour. Such as induced ble evidence of having " passed some to love others, because from death unto life.” And the they loved them ; to lend, hop- great Apostle of the Gentiles, ing to receive, and to do other speaking of those to whom we kind ofhces, expecting a fuil ought to do good, denotes those compensation. The scriptures of this character, by saying, place the sum and essence of “especially unto them who are this kind of love in selfishness of the household of faith ;" as
if more worthy, on account of It is not inconsistent with
what Christ had done for them, the nature of holiness, to show a
and on account of their moral proper and becoming regard to
character, than those who were one's self; but what is in scrip
in a state of nature. ture required, appears from the
I Finally, the scriptures incule command given by our Saviour, 1
cate a spirit of universal, disin. to love our neighbor as our
terested benevolence, as the naselves. If the love which we |
ture of holiness, and the sum of bear towards ourselves, is to be
all moral virtue, and Christian the measure of that to be exer
duties. They invite to it, from cised towards our neighbor, the
the example of Christ ; from former is as evidently required la as the latter. As if it had been
the dying love of a crucified Sa
viour; and from a sense of our said, consider your neighbor as
own need of divine mercy and a brother. You are both the
sovereign grace. They urge to creatures of God, and deserve to
it, from the mercy of our heavenbe treated exactly according to
ly Father, who indiscriminately your moral characters. All the
and with a liberal hand dispeninvitations, exhortations and
seth the blessings of his comcommands of the gospel, imply
| mon providence among the this supposition. When they |
evil and the good; among the are complied with, God and the
just and among the unjust. We Saviour are glorified. The crea
are commanded to bless and ture is happy. There is joy in
curse not; to love our enemies ; heaven. Love is the bond of
I to pray for them that hate us ; perfectness. There is mutual joy in heaven and earth. A ho
and to do good to all. But we
are to love the Lord our God ly universe participates. We
with all our faculties to the are expressly commanded to be holy, from
Begreatest possible degree. the example of an
cause he is an infinite being, holy God. To bring direct
and because God is love.” scripture passages to show that God has an ultimate and chief
His name is holy. He dwellregard to his own glory in all
eth in the holy place. With his works, would only be quot- |
vailed faces the holy Angels ing the obvious sense of erery |
:worship him in ascriptions of sacred page.
The love of complacence is
: H :
| phecy, consists of three general An explanation of the Prophecy
parts. A definitive period pre
fixed-effects to be produced in of Daniel.
the conclusion of it—and scenes [Conclu. from vo. iv. pag. 302.] to succeed it-An illustration of Daniel's vision of the seventy
these, it is hoped, will exhibit
| the contents of the vision in weeks, chap. ix. 24–29.
their true import. THE Prophet, informed by I. The period prefixed, severe
1 the prophecy of Jeremiah, \ ty weeks. These weeks accordthat the captivity of the Jews in | ing to the mode of computation Babylon was about to expire, and | adopted by this Prophet, are applying himself to the devout prophetic weeks; each week exercises of humiliation, fasting containing seven days, and each and prayer, was instructed by | day denoting a year ; accordan holy Angel in the following ing to which, the seventy weeks manner :-Seventy weeks are de- are 490 years. For the comtermined upon thy people, and un- putation of these weeks a certain on thy holy city, to finish the trans- period is fixed, or date given ; gression, and to make an end of from the going forth of the comsins, and to make reconciliation for mandment to restore and build iniquity, and to bring in everlast | Jerusalem. This could not be ing righteousness, and to seal up the decree of Cyrus for the libthe vision and prophecy, and to eration of the Jews from the anoint the most holy. Know, Babylonish captivity, as these therefore, and understand, that weeks, computed from that pefrom the going forth of the com- | riod, would expire about eighty mandment to restore and to build years before the existence of Jerusalem, unto Messiah the those events, which by all exposPrince, shall be seven weeks, and itors, are acknowledged to be threescore and two weeks : the the important subjects of this street and the wall shall be built | prophecy. But they are to be in troublous times. And afier computed from the celebrated threescore and two weeks shall decree of Artaxerxes LongimaMessiah be cut off, but not for l nus given to Ezra, to go up to himself; and the people of the Jerusalem and restore God's frince that shall come shall de worship according to its primistroy the city and the sanctuary ; tive institution. The occasion and the end thereof shall be with appears to have been this. Cy· a flood, and unto the end of the rus proclaimed liberty to the war desolations are determined. Jews, saying to Jerusalem, Thou And he shall confirm the cove shalt be built, and to the temple, nant with many for one week ; | Thy foundation shall be laid. To and in the midst of the week he this work the Jews applied themshall cause the sacrifice and the selves with great ardor on their oblation to cease, and for the over- return to Judea ; but it was emspreading of abomination he shall | barrassed and retarded by the armake it desolate, even until the tifices of their inveterate eneconsummation, and thut deter- | mies, the Samaritans, Ammomined shall be poured upon the nites and Moabites, through the desolate. This vision or pro- / reigns of Cyrus and his son Cam