« PreviousContinue »
designate him, to be the Jehovah who was in the cloud, conducting the Israelites through the wilderness, who often spake to Moses face to face ; and, in short, they all do their utmost to convince us that CHRIST is the “ True GOD."
V. 55.-Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.
Dan. Ch. vii. V. 13.—Daniel saw in the night visions, and behold 'One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Through the influence of the Holy Ghost, St. Stephen was enabled to bear martyrdom, and let us carefully peruse his long address to his persecutors, and learn what was the doctrine he maintained, and for which he was suffering. He certainly did not die, because he merely said that Jesus Christ had been on earth. No! it was for maintaining the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, which greatly militated against the prejudices and obstinacy of the Jews. The force of his reasoning and consistency of conduct might make converts, and therefore effectually to silence his persuasive eloquence, they stoned him.
V. 32.-And the place of the Scriptures which he (Philip) read was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.
Isa. Ch. liii. V. 7.—He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his moutlı.
Here, as in innumerable other places, we have no choice in the selection of the reference to the Old Testament, for St. Philip unhesitatingly applies this very interesting prophecy to CHRIST.
V. 3.—As (St. Paul) journeyed, he came near to Damascus; and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven; 4. And he fell on the earth, and he heard a voice saying unto him, Saul ! Saul! why persecutest thou me?" 7. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Dan. Ch. x. V. 9.—Yet I heard the voice of his words, and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep.
This miraculous conversion of St. Paul should be seriously reflected on. The vision granted him was to arrest his persecution of the Christians, and to make him a chosen vessel to carry the name of Christ among the Gentiles.
V. 20.—And straightway he (Paul) preached Christ in the synagogues,
“ That he is the Son of God.” I have so often called the reader's attention to the Jews' interpretation of the true import of the phrases Son of Man and Son of God, that I think it must be superfluous to do more, in this instance, than to refer him to the remarks on St. Mark, chap. xiv. v. 61, and St. Luke, chap. i. v. 35.
V. 22.-And Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
This assertion conveys to us the faith both of Saul and of St. Luke, who report the fact.
« The very
CHRIST,” must be considered as expressing the faith which they and the other apostles and disciples had adopted, and that is, that Jesus CHRIST was, as Thomas elsewhere exclaims, both LORD and God.
V. 34.-Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter
36. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus CHRIST. He is Lord of all.
Isa. Ch. lvii. V. 19.-I create the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith JEHOVAH, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
St. Peter, in this instance, declares his belief in JESUS to be, that “ He is Lord of all.” I have so often proved that the term Lord is used by the writers of the New Testament as synonymous with the Jehovah in the Old, that I think it must be superfluous to enlarge upon that fact again.
V. 43.-Peter saith, To him (CHRIST) give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Micah, Ch. vii. V. 18.—Who is God, like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage. He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth
St. Peter, in the preceding quotation, declared his faith to be,
" That he was Lord over all.” In this he teaches us where we must seek for the confirmation of the truth of this belief. This, then, is the faith he enforces, and which, he declares, will procure us remission of sins.
V. 15.-(Peter saith) Then as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water, but
ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Isa. Ch. xliv. V. 3. I will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.
These two Scriptures show that the same HOLY Spirit was granted to the apostles as was promised to the prophet by Jehovah; and remark, I beg, how beautifully Isaiah explains the metaphor he has used in the former part of the verse.
V. 21.–And upon a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a God, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory; and he was eaten of worms, and gave up
Ezek. Ch. xxviii. V. 1.-—The word of Jehovah came again unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith ADONI JEHOVAH. Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God; I sit in the seat of ELOHIM, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of Elohim. 9. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am Elohim? but thou shalt be a man, and no God. 10. Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised, by the hand of strangers; for I have spoken it, saith Adoni God.
God's judgment against the prince of Tyrus is very severe for the very act, which resembles that thus related of Herod. But JESUS CHRIST, it has been seen, frequently assumed equality with God; and
yet he was not visited by the angel of the Lord in wrath ;" whereas Herod, for merely allowing his subbeen in gradual progress, and nation after nation of the Gentiles have been added to his kingdom, and have felt the divine influence of his peculiar protection.
V. 21.-These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can á devil open
of the blind? Isa. Ch. xxxv. V. 4.–Say to them that be of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not, behold your God will come with vengeance, even Elohim, with a recompense he will come, and save you. 5. Then the
eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, &c.
The prophecy just quoted is peculiarly appropriate to the preceding extract, for it says Elohim will come to save you, and then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, &c.
Our Blessed Saviour did appear on earth, he did open the eyes of the blind, &c., and thus did he openly manifest himself to be Elohim who was for to come.
V. 34.—We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever, and how sayest thou that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man ?
Our Saviour did not think proper to reply to this question, “Who is the Son of Man?” He had often told them to search the Scriptures, for they testified of him; and as humble piety did not dictate the inquiry, he would not satisfy mere inquisitiveness. This should teach us with what spirit we should study holy writ, if we would hope to receive the aid of the Holy Ghost, for we are told that it is “ the meek who are to inherit the kingdom of God."