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man will be gathered around the throne of God, when every eye will cease to weep, and death and the grave be destroyed forevermore. O transporting hour! My soul longs for its approach. "There never will be a point, even through unlimited eternity, when Jesus will cease to be, or will be less the source of my felicity. I shall behold in his eternity the perpetuity of my own existence and my own joys.'
Dr. Watts must have felt the power of the great truth, here revealed, when he presented the whole language in the glowing strains of poetry :
These titles denote the completeness of the Saviour. Jesus is the beginning and the end of the christian dispensation or of man's salvation; the author and finisher,' the first and the last.' He has commenced the great work of redemption, and he will never leave it till the whole human race stand perfected before the throne of Him who sent him. Then will he say, Here am I and the children which thou hast given me.' How grand ! how glorious! With such transporting views of the Saviour, we may look forward with great joy to that blissful period, everywhere presented by prophets and angels, when tears shall be wiped from all faces, and pain cease forever throughout the whole moral universe of God.
We cannot close this number more appropriately, than by presenting the following paragraph from a writer, whose language would seem to denote that he felt the love of the Redeemer in his inmost soul:
'Is the Lord Jesus Christ then, the Alpha and Omega of my soul ? Does he hold precedency in my affections! Is he the more than magic circle drawn around my heart, which meets me and is most welcome wherever I turn my eyes? Is he at once the centre and circumference of my happiness—the point to which all my desires tend, and the limit beyond which they would never stray? If so, I am blest indeed.'
. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These
things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.'
Rev. iii. 14.
AMEN, in Hebrew, signifies true, faithful, certain. It is used likewise in affirmation; and was often thus used by our Saviour: Amen, Amen, verily, verily. It is understood as expressing a wish, Amen! so be it! or an affirmation, Amen, yes: I believe' it. Numb. v. 22, She shall answer, Amen! Amen! Deut. xxvii. 15, 16, 17, &c., All the people shall answer, Amen! 1 Cor. xiv. 16, How shall he who occupieth the place of the unlearned say, Amen! at thy giving of thanks? seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest. The promises of God are Amen in Christ; i. e. certain, confirmed, GRANTED, 2 Cor. i. 20. The Hebrews end the five books of Psalms, according to their distribution of them, with Amen, Amen; which the Septuagint translate Γένοιτο, γένοιτο, and the Latins Fiat, fiat. The gospels, &c. are ended with AMEN. The Greek, Latin, and other churches, preserve this word in their prayers, as well as alleluia and hosanna. At the conclusion of the public prayers, the people anciently answered with a loud voice, Amen! and Jerome says, that, at Rome, when the people answered, Amen! the sound was like a clap of thunder. Præf. in Lib. ii. Ep. ad Galet.'
This is the only instance where Jesus is thus distinguished, though the word occurs frequently in the
sacred writings, and much oftener in the Greek than in the common version. Where our translators have put verily, the original is Amen. In Isa. Ixv. 16, we have the God of truth, Heb. God of Amen. In its adverbial use, it means certainly, truly, surely. At the end of prayer, it signifies, so let it be, so be it.* Clarke observes that the word is explained by the phrase immediately following the word in the motto: the faithful and true witness.'
When we consider the great plan embraced in the mission of Jesus, we must respond Amen; for no other work will bear any comparison to it, no; not even the creation of the universe. It is glorious to create, and glorious to preserve, but the fulness of divine glory can only be displayed in the great work of redemption.
"T was great to speak a world from nought,
The vast plan will be finished to the glory of God, and all the people will say Amen; ‘for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him, Amen, unto the glory of God.' Amen and Amen.
* The Jews say that the gates of heaven are open to him who answers Amen! with all his might!
•The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel
together against the Lord, and against his anointed.' Psalm ü. 2.
CHRIST, as the anointed, seems to be referred to in several instances in the Scriptures. Thus, we read in Psalm xlv. 7, Thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity, therefore, God thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' See Heb. i. 9; also, Isa. lxi. 1. Dan. ix. 24. Luke iv. 13. Acts iv. 25–27. x. 38. The motto was understood by the Targum to apply to the Messiah.
The word has the same signification as Messiah. It is applied to Cyrus, Isa. xlv. 1, and to rulers generally. The custom was to anoint kings, priests, and prophets, and it is kept up even to this day in the East. The same practice prevailed among the Greeks and Romans. *
The term and the application are so very obvious, that we think it unnecessary to dwell upon it at great length. We simply remark that Jesus was anointed to do a special work, which from the whole tenor of Scripture appears to be to restore our race to purity and happiness. This work will be accomplished : for God and angels and all good men desire it. True, there will be much opposition. The motto declares
* See Potter's Grec. Ant., ii. p. 385. Adam's Rom. Ant., p. 444. Hor., Ode ii. 7; ii. 11 ; iii. 29. Joseph. Antiq., xix. 4, 1 and 9, 1. Iliad xiv. 171.