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What a magnificent view do we thus obtain of the antiquity, dignity, importance, and universality of the scheme of salvation through Christ! That Christianity is the spring, by which all things that exist are regulated and directed; that it is the pillar, upon which the whole fabric of the universe rests; that it is the end for which all things were designed, the goal whither all things tend; that it is a scheme which embraces, not only that speck in the creation which we inhabit, but all those worlds which are scattered throughout boundless space; that all the operations of nature are silently and resistlessly advancing toward the accomplishment of this scheme; that the whole economy of this globe, the rise, progress, and downfall of nations, all the leading events in the annals of mankind, have been, and still are, so ordered and directed, as to afford illustration, and to contribute toward the designs, of this universal scheme; that all things which exist in heaven and in earth, form but one Whole, upon which the stamp of Christianity is impressed; that the Creator and Upholder of the universe, the Life of nature, has glorified humanity by assuming its condition, and, by so doing, has reconciled all things to the GODHEAD; that feeble, sinful man, is included in the benefits of that scheme, to the establishment and fulfilment of which, the creative energies of Almighty Power have
been (as far as our imperfect senses can discern) exclusively directed; that every individual of this earth is, in his ultimate destiny, connected with the destinies of countless myriads whose abodes are dispersed throughout infinite space; that our own globe, in concert with that host of worlds, in uninterrupted harmony proclaims the mighty majesty of the Christian scheme, by which their existence is upheld, and by which it is limited these, these are the glorious, the inconceivable, the incomprehensible views, which the Holy Scriptures present, of the nature, extent, and economy of that majestic and mysterious SCHEME which is denoted by the term CHRISTIANITY.
It is impossible to read attentively the brief history of the creation, as given by Moses in the first chapter of Genesis, without discovering in it strong and remarkable traces of the Christian dispensation. The expressions made use of in that chapter, occur in other parts of the sacred writings as figurative expressions illustrative of the religious history of man.
As "the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep," until "GOD said, Let there be light, and there
was light;" so "the earth was without form and void, and the heavens they had no light"," "darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the peoplem," until "GOD who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of GoD in the face of Jesus Christ"." "The glorious light of the gospel of Christ" shone "to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of deathP;" Christ "the light of the world," "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world"," came "to lighten the Gentiles," that they might "be the children of light."
"And God called the light, day; and the darkness called He night." So the absence of the light of the Gospel is called night, and the presence of that "light" is called day. "Ye are all," says St. Paul to his Thessalonian brethren," the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night nor of dark"The night is far spent, the day is at
"And God said, Let there be lights in the
firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night;" "and God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. [He made] the stars also"." So did the Deity cause two great spiritual lights "to give light upon the earth;" whereof "the lesser light" (or the Mosaic dispensation) was "to rule the night," and "the greater light" ("the glorious light of the Gospel"), " to rule the day. The "lesser light" in the firmament, possessed no light of its own, it served but to reflect the glory of "the greater light;" so the "lesser light" of the Mosaic dispensation possessed no light in itself, but the light which it communicated was a portion of the glorious light of that " greater light," the Gospel. And they, upon whom neither of these lights hath shined, who have not enjoyed any light of revelation, have still had glimmering lights to guide them; namely, the lights of nature and reason, and they have established for themselves religious creeds, founded upon " the law written in their hearts." Thus, there is one glory of "the greater light," the Gospel; another glory of "the lesser light" which preceded it; and another glory of natural religions; and one natural religion differs from another natural religion, in
* Gen. i. 14.
z Rom. ii. 15.
point of excellence, as to the degree of that glimmering light which it displays. Or, as St. Paul expresses it, "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory." And, as in each division of the periods occupied in the creation, the evening is spoken of as preceding the morning, so did the twilight of the Mosaic dispensation precede the full manifestation of "the day-spring from on high," when "the Sun of Righteousness" appeared," with healing in His wings"."
"GOD said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters"." "And GoD called the firmament (or expansion) heaven.-And GoD said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear; and it was so. And GoD called the dry [land] earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He seas f." We have seen, that the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea afforded a figure of the salvation imparted by baptism through the blood of Christ; and that the sea is a figure representing the heathen and infidel world, from which sea "the Israel of