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which He is still the living cen- it draws its life. So that strictly tre. Politics, Science, Philosophy, speaking the word in question de Churches, Creeds, Business, Home scribes the united effort of honest and Personal Questions, must all be men to detach themselves from the brought to the judgment seat of the slightest complicity with falsehood, Son of God. We acknowledge Him to state, defend, and propagate the to be the Lord, and cannot consider truth, and to retain untarnished the anything success which falls short of priceless jewel of their sincerity. promoting His righteous kingdom And such were the godly men who in the earth.
established this periodical in 1798, Nor may any be “offended” with and appointed Mr. Dan Taylor as the " denominationalism” of this Editor. They were separatists for magazine, as though it were not in the love of God and souls: men who keeping with such a purpose. For could not “bend with the willow what is the fact denoted by this and flow with the stream,” but were somewhat repellant word? We are firm as adamant in their adherence in danger of mistaking its true to the word of God.
Truth was nature, and failing in our duty to precious in those days, and they God and men through our error. would not let it fail in the earth for The rage for the repression of indi- lack of free expression and bold deviduality runs so high, and the fence. We are their children, and craving for unity is so intense, that to us is this grace given of continuwe are strongly tempted to ignore ing their work for a generation that the real value of separate and or- needs us not less than they were ganized action for the defence and required then. Whilst, therefore, this maintenance of the truth. Denomi- serial is a register of the progress of nationalism is, historically, the name the churches, and an organ for the of the new and heroical virtue of discussion of questions affecting our testifying to the truth; or, in cur- condition and duties, it must also be rent English, preferring convictions a “magazine," or store of arms and to interests, imperishable principles ammunition for the defence and disto fleeting pleasures. The ancient semination of the truths most surely world had no place for it; but it believed amongst us. And since this sprang into vigorous life in the is our “Centenary Year," and one very footprints of Him who "came that ought to become a memorable to bear witness to the truth,” and landmark in our history, special took definite shape soon after He pains should be given not only to sent His disciples to be His wit- plough and sow for new harvests,
the uttermost parts of the but also to collect and guard the earth. “They that believed came legacies of the past hundred years. together.” The magnetism of com- Thou shalt remember all the way mon convictions held them in an in- which the Lord thy God hath led dissoluble union. Certain persons
thee.” in Antioch, moved by a common im
But I must close these words, pulse, separated themselves from
adding only a brief selection from their fellow-worshippers, and devoted the minor rules to be put in sertheir lives to the service of Christ, vice in conducting this magazine : and they were called, i.e., denomi- (1.) “Eph. iv. 15 to be strictly nated, named, and marked off as, followed. (2.) No departure on Christians. The principle, though any account from the law in Eph. oft abused, is the same now as then. iv. 27. (3.) Anonymous correspondEarnest loyalty to Christ is the ence, whilst not universally reground on which the practice of jected, strenuously discouraged. (4.) separation is based, and from which Written wrath never to be printed.
(5.) As all the correspondents are gentlemen as well as Christians, any personalities, discourtesies, or questioning of motives, to be regarded as slips of the pen, and erased immediately. (6.) The well-being of the people is the supreme law,' and if either contributor or readers must suffer, the election to be in favour of the readers ;” etc., etc.
Now, dear friends, my closing wish is, that it may come to pass with us, as with those two disciples
who went to Emmaus, "that while
THE WORD MADE FLESH.
A Christmas Homily.
BY THE REV. W. LANDELS, D.D. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."-John i. 14. THE Divinity and Eternity of Him family—“To as many as received who is here called the Word is de- Him, gave He power to become the clared in the first verse of the chap- sons of God, even to them that beter, “In the beginning was the lieve on His name : who were born, Word, and the Word was with God, not of blood, nor of the will of the and the Word was God.” Creation flesh, nor of the will of man, but of is ascribed to Him—“All things God." were made by Him, and without Such is the exalted personage of Him was not anything made that whom the evangelist here speaks was made.” Life dwells in Him as under the designation of the Word, its source- - life of which other beings and to whose incarnation he thus partake as they draw water from a bears testimony—" And the Word fountain, and by the life that is in was made flesh.” Him the duty and destiny of men
I. THE WORD. are revealed, albeit the world in its blindness may not understand the We stand here in presence of a revelation—"In Him was life; and mysterious subject, on which it bethe life was the light of men. And hoves us to speak with great diffithe light shineth in darkness; and dence, as unable to understand it: the darkness comprehended it not.” on which it behoves us also to speak With all His attractions He appeared with great care, lest our words should among a people who rejected Him, mislead. And indeed they will not “He was in the world, and the world fail to mislead if it be not borne in was made by Him, and the world mind that any words we can use do knew Him not. He came unto His not express all the truth-that in own, and His own received Him not.”
consequence of the nature of the But on the few who did receive Him, theme they can only make a more or He conferred extraordinary privi- less distant approach to it. leges, making them sons of God by This much, however, we may say a new birth, in which they were en- that the Word, or Logos, is, as the dowed with new spiritual qualities, term itself indicates, the expression and introduced into the Divine of God, or God in manifestation. We cannot understand the mode of of what God is except through Him. the Divine existence, or the essence All that we have learned of God's of the Divine nature. The Absolute attributes, His mercy, and goodness, and Infinite One, we can form no and faithfulness, and holiness, and adequate conception of. But in the justice—all His moral perfections person of the Word, the Absolute is have been communicated by the conditioned—the Divine comes forth, Eternal Word. To the fathers He and is revealed to us in form, in made known the one living and true speech, and in action. The Word God— the I Am—the Almighty. existed in the beginning, and has And in the days of His humiliation, existed throughout all ages, as the He in our nature which He had Divine power in exercise-the Divine assumed, gave the fullest revelation mind in utterance the Divine of the Divine, in form and manner character in manifestation.
best adapted to our comprehension ; The Divine power in exercise. For so that He could
man hath the Word is the Author of all events. seen God at any time; the only be“ All things were made by Him, and gotten Son who is in the bosom of without Him was not anything made the Father, He hath declared Him.” that was made.” The Divine mind As proceeding from God, He is God's in utterance. For all Divine commu- Son; ushered into the world as such; nications are made by the Word. declared to be such with power by He spake to Adam in Paradise. He His resurrection from the dead. visited Abraham in Mamre, when he And though we are at a loss, even sat in his tent door in the cool of when He is so described, to underthe day, and, receiving
human guests, stand the relation which He sustains as he thought, found that he had to the Father, this much we know, been entertaining not only angels that, being the term employed to unawares, but the God whom angels denote that relation, the word Son adore—who condescended to enter gives us the best conception of it into covenant with His servant, and which we are able to form. He was to reveal to him His purpose, and the Son of God in a sense which hear his pleading concerning the involved equality with the Fatherdoomed city. He was the angel of the one Being who, without presumpthe covenant who redeemed Jacob tion, and without exaggeration, could from all evil. He appeared to Moses say, “I and my Father are one.” in Horeb and Sinai, and spake to him from the burning bush, and the II. THE WORD BECOMING INCARmountain which shook and trembled NATE is unquestionably the greatest beneath his tread. He went before event in the history of the human Joshua as the captain of the Lord's race, probably in the history of the hosts, and appeared with the three universe; as there does not seem youths in the fiery furnace. He gave any reason to believe that the Divine inspiration to the prophets, and Being has ever been enshrined in any sanctity to the priests, and all divine other creature's form, or has ever favours to the chosen race. And far before shewn such condescension in beyond their limits, to all races of His dealings with a rebel race. When men, He is the source of whatever Solomon asked, “But will God in illumination men possess.
All in- very deed dwell with men on the tellectual light comes from Him who earth ?” his language shews that the is the effluence of the Divine mind. very possibility filled him with amaze“He is the true light that lighteth ment, and that such condescension every man that cometh into the on the part of the Divine Being world." The Divine character in seemed to him scarcely credible. manifestation. For we know nothing But the condescension displayed in the Word being made flesh, was And now that He has come, greater even than anything which the general rejoicing with which, Solomon's wonder contemplated. throughout Christendom, the event Had he lived in the days of our is celebrated at this season of the Lord, he would have seen that not year is but a prophecy of the purer only did God in very deed dwell and more intelligent joy with which with men, but in men on the earth! it will yet be regarded by men in all The Word—the Eternal Word-the parts of the world. By those who Word who was in the beginning with feel sensible of their need, by sincere God, and was God—was made flesh; and earnest souls in every land, the not only drew near to man, and allied message which tells of His advent himself with man, but in very deed will be welcome when understoodbecame man-bone of our bone, and welcome as cold water to the thirsty flesh of our flesh-our brother, albeit ground, and the gratitude with which the Creator of all things-truly hu- it is received will show how eagerly man as well as truly Divine. The it was desired, and how generally Infinite One, by a mysterious union, looked for, and how well it answers subjected Himself to human condi- to the cravings of mankind. tions-became a sharer in our human frailities-occupied the meanest III. THE INCARNATE WORD position in which our humanity is DWELLING AMONG US, while it is the found-appeared in the form of a natural corollary of His incarnation, servant the very voice of God pro- is a noticeable fact as attesting the ceeding in that form from human genuineness of His humanity. He lips, and the works of God being, was no myth, as has been alleged-a in that form, wrought by human character involved in obscurity-a hands!
mere name around which certain Such is the marvellous nature of tales have gathered. Whatever else this event that men hear of it with may be, that is certainly not, the exfar more than the incredulity with planation which meets the requirewhich Solomon anticipated the lesser ments of the Scripture narrative. fact. They flatly and positively deny Neither was He a man who kept where he only wonderingly inquired Himself, in the main, aloof from if so it could be. Unable to com- His fellows, working mostly in secret, prehend, they are unwilling to credit startling them now by the suddenwhat is so strangely illustrative of ness of His appearances, and now the Divine condescension. And yet, by the abruptness of His departures, notwithstanding this incredulity, it causing His followers to circulate exwas so much in harmony with, as to traordinary reports concerning Him, be a fulfilment of, the desires and the accuracy of which, owing to His expectations of humanity in all ages seclusion, men had no opportunity and nations. Men everywhere have of testing, and thus surrounding longed and yearned for such an event, Himself with an air of romance as if God, where He withheld His which in course of time has consolifuller revelation, still gave His crea- dated into accepted though unveratures some dim prophecy of that
cious history. Neither does that which was to be. The turning point theory accord with the narratives of of history—the climax of Divine His life. He was a real historical dispensations—the wonder of the
personage-a man who associated universe, did not come without cast- with His neighbours on familiar ing a prophetic shadow over the
terms; openly performed His acts, minds of men, even as it has not delivered His discourses so that all taken place without affecting their who heard of Him might for themcondition and their destiny.
selves verify or disprove reports, and thus judge of what He was. He Galilee, joining in and contributing lived among His fellow-townsmen of to the festivities of the occasion. So Nazareth, and was in regard to all social was He in His habits that the circumstances of His outer life while the Jews charged His abstelike one of themselves.
mious forerunner with having a subject to His parents like any other devil, they said of the Son of Man, human child. He associated with His because He came eating and drinkbrethren so much in the ordinary man- ing, “Behold a gluttonous man and ner, eating with them and working a winebibber, a friend of publicans with them and conversing with them, and sinners.” He dwelt among us. and being in all outward respects So truly and intensely human was so much one of them, that His kins- He-human in His affections and men and townspeople were among sinless passions-human in His the last to acknowledge that a hu- bodily infirmities and wants, that manity so real and true was the tem- He felt as we feel, and required to ple of a superhuman guest, and to fare even as we fare. Having allied recognise His divine claims. And Himself to us, He accepted of all though His divinity becomes more the liabilities which the relation inmanifest when He enters on His volved-sought to exempt Himself public ministry, He still associates from no obligation, claimed no pecuwith His disciples in the same human liar privilege. He placed Himself fashion, and continues, though He on our level, and in everything but exercises His divine power for the sin was one of us. And, O! when fulfilment of His ministry, subject in I see the Eternal thus subjecting the same manner, as regards the Himself to all the conditions of our mode and circumstances of His life, humanity, and sojourning in the to the same human conditions. He abodes, and faring after the manner, is no dweller in the wilderness, like of men, and freely mingling with His forerunner, but eats and sleeps them, while I regard the fact as an in the ordinary abodes of men. La- attestation of His true humanity, bour wastes, and food recruits, His and learn from it how literally the strength. The springs of energy, narrative of His life is to be interwhich are exhausted by long con- preted, and how trustworthy is the tinued activity, are replenished by evangelists' record of what He did refreshing sleep. He weeps from and saidI behold in it a display of sympathy, and delights in friendship, Divine condescension of which the and groans under suffering, and in- soul stands in awe. Its degree is stinctively seeks relief. He has His such as the mind cannot grasp. It bosom friends among the twelve dis- can only wonder and adore in preciples whom He more especially sence of the awful mystery. With commissions to be the founders of Solomon we exclaim, in deep amazeHis kingdom, and His favourite ment-Will God in very deed dwell place among the wider circles of His with men on the earth ? Has He, friends. Bethany was dear to Him in very deed, been a sojourner in because it contained the home of human homes-sleeping under the Lazarus and his sisters ; and often roof, and sitting at the tables of His when wearied with His day's labours sinful creatures ? Behold heaven in Jerusalem, He spent the evening and the heaven of heavens cannot there in their congenial society. He contain Thee, how much less any lodged with Zaccheus the publican, house of man's rearing!“Without dined with Simon the Pharisee, controversy, great is the mystery of visited the house of Jairus, asked godliness : God was manifest in the drink from the woman of Samaria, flesh.” “ The Word was made flesh attended the marriage at Cana of and dwelt among us.”