« PreviousContinue »
Interpretation of all the Old-Testament Prophecies quoted in the New Tes-
......55, 287, 529, 777
of Dr. Pye Smith on the Principles of Interpretation as applied to the
6 The Binder will cause the Plate of the Laver in Solomon's Temple to face p. 193;
and the Plan of Ezekiel's Temple to face p. 669.
THE GOSPEL; CREATION PREPARED FOR, PROVIDENCÉ
UNFOLDS IT. GOD LOD and man, the creature and the Creator, reciprocally
answer to each other. God made man in his own image, and man in every stage of his being shews forth some attribute of God. It is the greatest proof of fallen man's degradation, that he has lost the sense of his own dignity, and that it should need any effort to rouse his dormant faculties to the apprehension of their high endowments, and to the glorious prerogatives held out in prospect for him in the ages to come. Man is the interpreter of the counsels of God--a glorious dignity! higher than that of angels, higher than any other created being. The scheme of redemption, transacted in man's nature and on man's account, is that wondrous mystery which angels desired to look into, because it manifested the surpassing love of God. At its opening, in the first advent, a multitude of the heavenly host sang “glory to God in the highest;” and by its full development, at the second advent, “ unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places is made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."
God is infinite and unchangeable in his attributes as well as in his nature: the creatures are changeable, and limited in their comprehension as well as in their nature3. Whence it follows, that any revelation of the infinite God must to them be by degrees, and progressive, both that the successive steps may be followed, and that the comprehension may have time to expand, and receive truths in detail which are too vast for its immediate grasp. In the first and most obvious degree, the inanimate works of creation tell out the attributes of the Creator : “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth
his handy work :" " For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power and Godhead.” These things, external and without himself, lead the mind of man to the knowledge of God; but in the world within himself, that microcosm, that epitome of the creation of God, man may best learn of his Creator: he is himself the image of the invisible God, and is destined in the coming time to manifest the glory of God, as his vicegerent over the whole creation. “ Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour: Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things under his feet. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth !” (Psal. viii.; 1 Cor. xv. 27.) But man cannot manifest God to other intelligent beings unless he first know God as his God, and become the exemplar as well as the teacher of worship; blessed himself, and directing others to their blessed
For this end he must extend his view beyond the present aspect of things, looking back to his origin and forward' to his ultimate destination ; that he may fulfil the purpose for which he was brought into being; be renewed after the image of Him that created him; make known that “the Lord reigneth ; let the heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.” (Psal. xcvii. 6.)
To understand any work, either at its commencement or in its progress, the purposed end must be known; and this end must be kept in view during every stage of its advancement, as the controuling principle which regulates every single movement. Not that every one who plies the machine and urges on its course does necessarily understand its principles : on the contrary, vain man is in his ignorance continually saying in his heart, “ By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom ; for I am prudent;" though every thing around him proclaims, in the name of Jehovah, “Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it? and of ancient times that I have formed it? Now have I brought it to pass.... Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith ? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood.” But he who desires the knowledge of God, and who delights in doing his Master's will, is offered also a participation of his counsels, and may know the glorious end, which is even now nearly attained by the secret wonderworking operations of Providence. This end is, in one word, The Gospel, the “good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.” This is the end of all creation, the sum of all revelation, ihe purpose of all providence: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give