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Speak to them, therefore, of the incarnation, the mediation, the obedience and death of the Son of God. Speak to them of the sufficiency of his atonement and righteousness; of his glory ; his grace; his wonderful love ; his exaltation to the right hand of the Father; his coming again, to judge the world and take his people to himself. Lift up the rod of the stem of Jesse as an ensign to the people, that to it the Gentiles may seek, and partake of his glorious rest. Call off the poor Hindoos from all confidence in the efficacy of their ablutions, their self-tortures, and useless austerities; to look unto Jesus, whose blood cleanses from all sin. Therefore is his mediation infallibly successful, because it is calculated to exalt the government and grace of God; to condemn sin to the uttermost, while it saves sinners to the uttermost; to release from an obligation to punishment, and confirm and increase our obligations to obedience.

Speak to them also of the grace of the Holy Spirit; the necessity of being born again ; renewed in the spirit of their mind; dying to sin; living to righteousness; of their obligations to holiness and mortification; and encouragements to both. Nothing is required to be mortified, but what is sinful; and submission to providence will be amply compensated by all working for good.

Speak to them of the glories of heaven. A heaven worthy of God to bestow, and which may be enjoyed by millions of every cast, and every tribe, and the happiness of each shall be enjoyed by all, and every one make some addition to the bliss of the rest. All holy pleasure, and endless, uncloying, and eternally increasing. How superior to all that Pagans or Mahometans ever thought of, or indeed any carnal hcart of man !

CXXX.
JESUS SEEN OF ANGELS,

1 Tim. iii. 16.

Seen of angels. A PRESUMPTUOUS infidel has represented the extent of the universe as a strong objection to the great mystery of

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redemption, and suggests that it is incredible that the same mind which admits the probable existence of a multitude of habitable globes, should believe Christianity: since this would imply the necessity of repeating the incarnation and sufferings of the Son of God, times without number. But does it necessarily follow, from the supposition of other worlds being filled with rational creatures, that they must be fallen, and stand in need of redemption ? or does it follow from divine wisdom's choosing this world to be the theatre on which redeeming love should be displayed, that the benefits of that stupendous work are confined to its immediate objects ? No, surely.

I admire the silence of scripture on subjects of mere curiosity. God's wisdom appears, in thus confining our attention, in this short state of probation, to our own concerns. We are assured of the existence of other intelligences, who excel in strength ; and that some of the same species kept not their first estate ; whose chief seduced our first parents, and who are still active in tempting men to sin : while others were kept, through God's gracious election, and are employed among mankind as ministering spirits. So much it is an advantage to know : but other particulars are wisely concealed. We have room, however, to hope, that no whole species of rational creatures were suffered to fall, except our own race. While we are sure, that those holy beings, who never sinned themselves, receive much instruction, pleasure, and benefit, from the redemption of mankind. Eph. iii. 10. 1 Pet. i. 12. And so here, in this beautiful summary of the mystery of godliness, it is emphatically said, that God manifest in the flesh, was seen of angels,

First, Notice the object of their attention. The Son of God in his incarnate state : God who was manifested in the flesh, to destroy the mischievous works of the devil. 1 John i, 1-3.

The grand design was not wholly unknown to them from the beginning. Some of them attended their Lord, when he made a temporary appearance to the patriarchs, as a prelude to his coming in the flesh. No doubt, they waited with

Let us,

eager expectation, to see the mystery explained, how Satan should be baffled, and man's felicity be rendered consistent with the support of the divine government, and the honor of the law. At length, the Word is made flesh; he appears at Bethlehem ; one of them is commissioned to make it known to the shepherds, and the multitude unite in rapturous songs of joy. Luke ii. 13, 14. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” They saw these shepherds praising and glorifying God, as well as the eastern sages,

while Herod and all Jerusalem were troubled. They saw his flight into Egypt, and his return to Nazareth. They saw all his private life, when he was distinguished from other peasants, by nothing but purity and devotion. They watched him night and day. They had never seen a sinless child, a sinless youth, a sinless man before, among all the descendants of Adam. In this, his humble retirement, even before he entered on his public work, he appeared more glorious in their eyes than any thing they could see at Rome, in the court of Augustus; or even at Jerusalem, in the temple made with hands. No ark there now ! and none needed! All through life they beheld him, and never thought the less of him for his appearing in such a strange disguise. Disguise! He was not disguised to them. They could discern, in all his acts, the beauty of holiness, outshining all their own! Gold and silver, and purple robes, a palace, a throne, grander than Cæsar's or Solomon's, would have added nothing to him. Nor would it have increased his glory, if he had fought battles, and obtained victories, over the Romans, and all other nations. They could have done such things themselves. One of them, it is probable, slew seventy thousand in a day, in David's time; and one certainly slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in a night, in Hezekiah's time. But to save one soul was a far greater work than to destroy a million sinners. And this was the chief errand on which he came. He was seen of angels at his baptism, when immersed by John; and when he came up out of the water, he was acknowledged by a voice from

soon

heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” They saw them in the wilderness, among wild beasts and devils; they beheld his conflict with Satan, and were glad to minister to him after his glorious victory, when he conquered that arch fiend with our sword, not with his own omnipotence. Matt. iv. 11. They saw all his miraculous works, and were less amazed at then, than at the invincible incredulity of the Jews, who disregarded them. They saw how he endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, and wondered at his unexhausted patience. And they learned to imitate it too, or would his enemies have felt their commissioned indignation, They saw him transfigured, and rejoiced at his approaching glory, when he should reside in the midst of heaven. He was seen of angels in Gethsemane, overwhelmed with distress, when no man's hand was upon him; and when to show how low he was reduced, one of them was commissioned to strengthen him. They saw him betrayed, apprehended, arraigned, accused, insulted, blindfolded, spit upon, dragged from court to court, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned, conducted to Calvary, laid on the cross, transfixed with nails, raised up for a gazing stock to the outrageous populace, inhumanly derided in his dying agonies, by rulers, by a mob, by thieves. They beheld him snatch one malefactor from Abaddon. They heard him cry, “It is finished !” They saw him expire. They saw him laid in the tomb. They, as well as the soldiers, kept a watch over his lifeless body. And as soon as the third day began to dawn, one of them appeared to the Roman guard, rolled away the stone, and sat upon it; and for fear of him the guards did shake, and became as dead men, Matt, xxviii. 4, They saw him rise from the dead. And more than one waited to tell his disciples the joyful news. Luke xxiv, 4, They saw him, forty days afterward, received up into glory. And two of them stopped to console his mourning disciples, with an assurance of his second coming. Acts i. 11. While others sang, “Lift up your heads ye gates : ye everlasting doors give way, and let the king of glory in.” Psalm xxiv. Now they join the redeemed, in celebrating his

his grace.

praises. Though they have the sweetest line of our song out of theirs, yet they desire to look into and subserve the completion of his plan.

SECONDLY: Trace the grounds of their regard.

He that is now manifested in the flesh, was their Creator; for he is the Word, without whom not one was made that is made. And when he was brought into the world, they received commandment to worship him. Heb. i. 6. He is, in human nature, placed at the head of the whole creation. Eph. i. 10.

The holy angels cannot be indifferent to any of God's works, or to any of the manifestations of his glorious perfections; much less to this, which is the greatest and brightest of all. Herein God has taken occasion, from the greatest instance of evil which he ever permitted to take place, to illustrate his own wisdom and all-sufficiency, and to display at once the glory of his justice, and the riches of

Angels are benevolent beings; and therefore the greatest display of benevolence that ever was, must needs attract their attention ; by which myriads are recovered from the deepest misery to eternal happiness. Angels are holy beings; and therefore it must be very delightful to them to see myriads, who were totally defiled with sin, washed, sanctified, and restored to perfect purity. God manifest in the flesh, by taking hold of the lowest link in the chain of rational existence, has brought the whole intelligent creation, (final impenitents excepted,) into closer union with himself. Holy angels expect an immense increase of holy associates, to replenish the vacant mansions of their former companions, and to unite with them to eternity in the sacred pleasures of celestial devotion. Isa. li. 16. The incarnation of Jesus, and his triumph on the cross, is the certain pledge of the happy issue of all the events of time ; and the eternal security of the empire of God.

THIRDLY: Consider some of the impressions which this sight must make on their holy minds.

It must fill them with unbounded admiration of the manifold wisdom of God, of his condescension, his love, his grace, truth, justice, and all his perfections.

It must

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