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for? The following considerations may furnish a satisfactory reply. 1. It was only in accordance with his own arrangements and predictions that it should be so. Hence, he foretold that his first disciples should do greater works than he did ; that their success should be greater; and that it was reserved for the Spirit to lead them into all truth. 2. The very limited and gross apprehensions of the disciples imposed a restraint on the teaching of Christ, and determined the measure of his divine communications. Though he had many things to say to them, he pronounced them unable to bear the disclosure. And what would be the things whịch, under these circumstances, he would necessarily withhold—what, but the more spiritual truths and peculiar doctrines of salvation? 3. The object and limit of his instructions appear to have been, to inculcate the nature and necessity of that moral excellence which God and heaven require; in order that he might make us feel the want of it, preparatory to the offer of his Holy Spirit to produce it. The full and explicit exposition of the evangelical system, therefore, did not_come within the pre-determined scope of his teaching. For, 4.

. He came less to preach salvation than to procure it; to make known redemption, not by a verbal and detailed announcement of its plan, but by the visible accomplishment of its conditions; to be the gospel, and to make it. He came to supply the facts out of which the evangelical doctrines are deduced, and which must philosophically precede them. For what is the doctrinal part of the gospel but the exposition of these facts ? their transplantation out of the historical or external world, into the intellectual or spiritual? 5. It might, however, be easily shown, that whatever is essential to the christian system is to be found, in semine, in our Lord's teaching. His divinity, his atonement, the influence of his Spirit, and all the leading doctrines of grace are to be found there in a condensed state, in a quintessence. If the principles of christianity, as taught by the apostles, form a chain of evangelical truth, the first link, the very staple ring, is to be found in the teaching of Christ. The humble incrustation cannot conceal from the eye of the mineralogist the precious gem that dwells within, and a single blow, properly given, will lay bare its peculiar primitive or fundamental form : many



of our Lord's sayings have a signification and a value far beyond their unpretending appearance; nor is it difficult for the christian disciple to discover in them the first forms, the simple elements of evangelical truth, of which the teaching of the apostles was only the lamine, the natural accretions afterwards formed. His sayings are texts ; their writings are only the necessary amplification and comment. Their instructions are not so properly a new revelation, as the result of the opening of their eyes to behold the wonderful things contained in his teaching. 6. And, finally, the uniform mode of divine revelation, in all ages, required that the doctrines of grace should be gradually developed ; proceeding from the obscurity of dawn in our Lord's teaching, to the radiance of noon-day in that of the apostles.

Since writing the preceding paragraph, I have been surprised at meeting with the following remarks, bearing on the same subject: which, as they occur in a popular work of the present day, Abbott's Corner Stone, deserve a moment's attention. Others are embarrassed when they think on this subject : ' (that is, on the greater prominence given to the object and efficacy of our Lord's death in the epistles compared with the gospels ;) 'they do not know how to reconcile the seeming inconsistency, though they endeavor to diminish it, as far as possible, by exaggerating and emphasizing the little which Jesus Christ did say, in regard to his sufferings and death.... He who cannot take the directions which Christ or John gave, for beginning a life of piety by simple repentance for the past, without adding something from his own theological stores, or forcing the language to express what never could have been understood by those who originally heard it, he cannot be studying the gospel in the right spirit.' To put a forced and mystical construction on any part of the oracles of God, is an act of irreverence which cannot be sufficiently deprecated. But it is one thing to put them to the torture, compelling them to utter what they never meant; to turn from them, or to drown their voice with our own, before they have uttered all the mind of the Spirit, is another.

The statements cited appear at least to be unconsidered and unguarded; and, on the principle which they seem to involve,-namely, that the understanding of our Lord's

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original hearers was the measure of his meaning,—I will venture to remark; First, that, in direct contradiction to this proposition, it is a well-known canon of scripture interpretation, that the sayings of our Savior are to be apprehended, not merely in that sense to which the views of

his hearers at the time could reach, but in the sense which ► he himself attached to them. Second, his own practice

contains a warrant for this canon; for how often do we find him applying it to the interpretation of the Old Testament: expounding some of its truths in a sense more spiritual and profound, than even the original propounders themselves conceived. Third, his express declarations, and the confessions of his apostles, harmonize with it. They frankly acknowledge, that when he adverted to the nature and necessity of his sufferings, they understood not his meaning. He reproached them with their slowness of apprehension. He promised his Spirit to recall his sayings to their minds as so many lost truths. He intimated that he had left in their possession truths of which they little suspected the value. And after his resurrection, 'he said unto them, these are the things which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you..... Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures ;? -obviously implying, that, up to that moment, they had not understood his evangelical expositions of them. Fourth, it seems to be necessary for the moral developement of our nature, that the truth employed should be such as is itself capable of constant expansion and new developements ;that, like its Divine original, it should brighten while we are looking at it; heighten while we are aspiring to reach it; and thus elevate us to itself, the standard of perfection.

Accordingly, all the first lessons set us by God in nature and providence, appear to be constructed on this principle. He who becomes a student of nature soon finds that he is bending over a fountain which deepens beneath his gaze. And what is the Jewish economy, if we desire to reach its interior truths, but a vast, profound, elaborated enigma,to which the gospel indeed brings us the key,--but the opening and exploration of which is yet incomplete : excusing, if not justifying the opinion of Origen, that clear understanding of the reasons of the Israelitic econo

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my, and of all the Levitical laws, belongs to the privileges of the future life. And the teaching of Christ seems to possess the same profound and comprehensive character. Comparative anatomy informs us, not only that animated nature forms an ascending series of beings, beginning with few organs, and increasing in number, complexity, and finish, up to man; but that in some of the earliest and simplest links of the living chain, there is traceable a promise, a mute prophecy of all the rest, a rough outline of all that is to follow; that many processes are sketched in the lower animals, the completion of which is reserved for the composition of man. In like manner, the entire system of Judaism was one compacted prophecy of the gospel, a presentiment of Christianity; in which the great doctrines and virtues, which it is the province of the new dispensation to develope and mature, may be found in the embryos and elements. And on the same principle, in the sayings

. of Christ, the gospel may be found thrown out in its rudiments. 'For Christ,' saith Milton, 'gives no full comments, or continued discourses, but speaks oft in monosyllables, like a master scattering the heavenly grain of his doctrine like pearls here and there, which requires a skilful and laborious gatherer. His teaching is the seed-plot in which the great doctrines of grace were first sown, to be afterwards transplanted and cultivated in the inspired ministry of the apostles, where they have room to luxuriate and yield in perfection the fruit of life.

Considerations like these embolden us to suppose, not merely that the whole evangelical system as developed by the apostles, lies, in its germ, in the teaching of Christ, out that such is the fullness, the seminal character of his teaching, that even their epistles do not exhaust it. That they have put us in possession of every essential truth, we admit; that any fundamental doctrine remains to be discovered, cannot for a moment be imagined; but it may be suggested, that even with their inspired epistles in our band, and regarding those epistles in the light of commentaries on the sayings of our Lord, there yet remain to be discovered in his teaching new aspects of some truths, the immeasurable compass of others, and harmonies subsisting between them all, beyond the perception of ordinary vision; and the developement of which is reserved to reward the pious industry of the devout and vigorous mind.

The church of God has been too generally content with the great surface-truths of revelation,—those which we have only to stoop for in order to possess,—but which are made so obvious and placed so near, not as a premium to indolence, but in accommodation to our moral' incuriousness and necessities; not as a dispensation from diligent investigation, but as an allurement to it where it can be made, and to render it unnecessary where it cannot. • The kingdom of heaven'-in the sense of celestial truth-'is like treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth; and, for joy thereof, goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field;' and buyeth it in order that he may ransack, and turn up every part of it, and make himself master of all its treasures. And further, it is as if the same man, while digging for more coins and concealed jewels, should unexpectedly happen on a vein of precious ore. Hitherto, we have done little more than collect, estimate, and classify the more accessible treasures. But let the shaft which is already begun, be sunk deep enough, and the labors of the mine be properly conducted, and the discovery of many a rich and precious lode will demonstrate that the great globe itself is not more interlaced with golden veins, and filled with precious things, than the field of revelation: the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of Christ.

This, indeed, is predicable of every part of Scripture; but, for the reasons already glanced at, it applies especially to the teaching of Christ; and if there be one part of his teaching to which it applies more emphatically than to another, I would venture to suggest that it is to what he taught on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. He shall not speak of himself,' said Christ; and, as if to supply the deficiency, to reward and provide for that disinterested and emphatic silence of the Divine Spirit concerning himself, our Lord made him the great theme of his own last discourses and promises. And when was he more original and explicit ihan when dwelling on this subject? What a vast tract of new truth did he add to the domains of faith, all fertilized and enriched with the effluence of the Spirit !

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