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Father in Psalm xvi. 9 : “ Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope : for thou wilt not leave my. soul in hell : neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption." And the words of our text are directly prophetical of the same, “ He shall lift up the head.” He was “ declared to be the son of God with power, according to the spirit, by bis resurrection from the dead." In his death and burial he was brought low, laid very low. In his death he bowed his head; but in his burial bis head was laid down by others. John xix. 41. What an interesting yet comfortable thought, that the believer can look to the grave, and say, “ this is the place where my Lord lay." His blessed head, which is as “the most fine gold,” was brought so low that it lay in the grave. But it was only for a very short time that he was to be the tenant of the tomb. Early on the morning of the third day he “ awoke and bebeld, and his sleep was sweet unto him.” His friends who laid him down were not employed or honoured to lift him up. He did not need their help, and he could not make use of it ; but as be bimself “ laid down his own life," so “ he took it again.”
4. That as Christ was faithful to him that appointed him, in performing the service of his state of humility, so was God the Father to him in bis exaltation. The text is to be considered as the promise of Jehovah, that our Redeemer should go through all his work successfully, and, fur. ther, that his head should be lifted up triumphantly. “ He shall drink of the brook that runneth in the way, and, therefore, shall be lift up the head." So that his exaltation was here secured on the infallible promise of his Father : and his lifting up the head was not without the special agency of the Father.
Acts ii. 24, “ Whom God hath raised up.". The Father was under an obligation, by covenant engagement, to raise him
up, and exalt bim, upon his finishing his mediatory service on earth. Our Lord, indeed, could not be said properly to merit his resurrection by his purchase, for his purchase was by satisfaction, and he could not be said to satisfy for himself, having never incurred the divine displea
But his exaltation was secured to him by covenant agreement between the Father and him. Psalm lxxxix. 24: “In my name shall his horn be exalted, also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth." According to these and other promises, Jehovah, the father, was active in lifting up his head,-in raising him from the dead, and crowning him with glory and honour. Thus he is to bring him again from the dead; Heb. xiii. 21. The power of God the father concurred in bis resurrection, as well pleased with all he had done in his humble state. Ephes. i. 19: “ According to the mighty working of his power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead ;" and the Father's lifting up his head was an act of justice due to our surety. The Father acted as a just and sin-avenging judge, in inflicting on him all the penal evil due on account of our sins, and it became him no less to act as a righteous and an appeased judge in liberating him from the bands of death, and raising him up to glory. If justice brought his head so low it became justice to lift it up, be having fulfilled all that he undertook. Therefore is he called him " whom God hath raised up."
5. That our Lord Jesus Christ was active in bis own resurrection. This the text asserts, “ He shall lift up the head;" and Romans xiv. 9 :
“ For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived." His head was indeed lifted up by the sentence, and by the power of the Father, as we have already said, and he was raised by the concurring efficacy of the Holy Ghost, Romans i. 4, “and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” But he is also to be considered as lifting up the head by his own power, that same power belonging to him which belongs to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. In short, the one omnipotence, and glorious trinity of persons, was displayed in the lifting up of his head. So the power by which he rose from the dead was bis own power. He was like a person awaking out of sleep; he rose up: “ Christ died and rose again, and revived." He had an all-sufficiency in himself for this. John X. 18: “ I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." He did not need help like Lazarus, who must lie still in the grave till a power not at all bis own raised him up. Our Lord Christ had a power and authority to take life to himself, having laid it down to satisfy justice. And he had a power of ability in his Godhead to resume that life which be bad only laid down for a short time. His persecutors and murderers had no apprehension of this, that they had God-man among their hands, and that he whom they condemned and crucified was the God who made the worlds out of nothing, and, therefore, an all-sufficient saviour, and infinitely able to lift up his own head, however low it might be brought.
6. In the last place, That Christ was the same person in his resurrection that he had been in his humiliation. The same bead that was bowed down in death was lifted up again: the same Jesus who had bowed his head lifted up the same head. The human nature which he assumed, in all the parts of it, was to continue in a personal and indissoluble union with him to all eternity, nothing of it could possibly be lost. The risen Saviour, and no other, bound beneath suffering, a dying Saviour, and he that suffered and died was the same that rose from the dead. Luke xxiv. 39: “Behold my hands and feel that it is I myself, handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me bave." John xx. 20 : “ And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and bis side ; then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” When one of the disciples refused to believe that he was risen, he demonstrated it to their bodily senses ; John xx. 25. The wounds he received, it would appear, were not closed. He was, therefore, undeniably the same person, and in the same mediatory office and capacity in which he had bowed the head.
OLIVER CROMWELL'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES,
WITH ELUCIDATIONS BY THOMAS CARLYLE. 2 vols.
D'AUBIGNE, D.D., Oliver Cromwell was born in Cambridgeshire, in the year 1599. By maternal descent, Scotland, if ambitious of the honour, may claim him as a son ; his mother was Margaret Steward, the daughter of a Scottish family which had settled in England some generations before. Through his paternal ancestors he was connected with the noble family of Essex.
The above are the latest of the many works in which the attempt has been made to elucidate his character, his principles of action, and the memorable events of his time; they may be said to constitute the first serious effort to bespeak, almost even to claim for him the fervent and united homage of the kingdoms which, two centuries ago, he first vanquish. ed and then ruled.
The work of Mr Carlyle is neither history nor biography-but, as the title imports, a collection of materials brought together for the use of labourers in either department; it performs for Cromwell and his period the office of the pioneers which precede an army; some crooked paths are made straight, and some rough places plain— a mount is cast up from which the historical province in which he is the most conspicuous object may be surveyed; the positions and aims of the belligerent parties marked, and from the summit of which, hereafter, some sagacious eye may look, and reveal to England and to Europe the true character and bearings of the controversies and conflicts of ibat age, and indicate to intelligent listeners the uses to which, in more favourable circumstances, they should be turned. The work of Dr Merle D'Aubigné may be characterised as an abridgment and running commentary on the volumes of Carlyle, and as an eloquent but not always discriminating panygeric of the great Protector-both authors lay themselves considerably open to the charge of hero-worship.
As neither these works themselves nor the numerous reviews of them may have come into the hands of the majority of our readers, we propose to lay before them, in this article, a few of the leading events in the private and public life of the remarkable individual of whom they treat, with such notices of the passions, principles and aims of his more illustrious contemporaries as the space allotted to us will allow.
As Napoleon Bonaparte has been called the heir of the first revolution in France, Cromwell may, with similar propriety, be named the heir of the English Reformation Thrust forward from comparative obscurity to fight the battle which it was compelled to wage for its existence, he speedily rose to the chief command, wrested the sceptre from the bands of his sovereign, and wielded it, but far more beneficiently than Napoleon, to the end of his life.
In continental Europe the Reformation gave rise to more than a century of sanguinary wars ; but the aspect of the contest was widely different from that which it assumed in England; there it was an assault of the Popish kingdoms of Austria, Spain, and France, on the Protestant states; and victory would have at once gratified the zeal of superstition and the ambition of conquest. In the British Islands the stability of the Reformation was exposed to similar attacks ; but here the assailants were not foreign but domestic—the attack, not open but vailed under the guise of zeal for its advancement. The house of Stewart appeared from the very opening of the great drama of the Reformation to have formed a settled determination that the protest emited by the British Kingdoms against Rome should be as mild as possible, and that the exterior form of the new ecclesiastical edifice should differ as little as might be from the Romist aspect of the Church, for which latter they seemed to have cherished a bereditary fondness and veneration. At his death in 1628 James VI. left to his successor, Charles I., the task of completing the establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland, and of reducing to subjection the free and Puritan spirit of England. To this task the new sovereign brought more courage indeed, but less caution and less cunning than his predecessor ; and his rash, illegal, and ill-conceived measures, ended in the temporary suspension of the monarchy, and the triumph of the principles he had resolved to suppress. It was in the English Parliament, which met in 1628, that the parties in the impending conflict first took their distinct and antagonist positions. Almost all the men who figured in the memorable events which followed were members of that Assembly, -Cromwell, Hampden, Selden, &c. The state of religion and the Church occupied a prominent place in the attention of the Legislature; the management of ecclesiastical affairs had already fallen into the hands of Laud, then Bishop of London. The Romish tendencies of this Prelate were so notorious that the Pontiff bad offered to invest him with the dignity of Cardinal ; an honour which, it would appear, prudential reasons alone induced him to decline. At his dictation the pulpits and Episcopal stalls of the English Establishment were filled by men pledged to his own views ; and it became daily more manifest that bis aim was to raise the royal prerogative above the law, and to place the feet of a semi-Popish priesthood on the neck of the faith, and the conscience of Protestant England. Soon after its meeting the attention of the House of Commons had been called to the published statements of two ministers of the Establishment, understood to express Arminian and Popish views ; this was complained of, and the individuals censured with some severity; but the King and his ecclesiastical counsellors, to show how lightly they regarded the opinions or the censures of the representatives of the people, placed one of these delinquents in a position of greater honour in the Church, and elevated the other to the Episcopal bench. This circumstance gave occasion to the first appearance of Cromwell as a speaker and actor in public affairs.
“ He had heard,” he said, “that Dr Alablaster had preached flat Popery at Paul's cross, and that the Bishop of Winchester had commanded him as his diocesan that be should preach nothing to the contrary. Mainwaring," continued Cromwell " so justly censured in tbis House for his sermons, was, by the same Bishop's means, preferred to a rich living If these are the steps to Church preferment, what are we to expect ?"
Of Cromwell's private history before this period almost nothing is known, except that between the year of his marriage, 1621, and the time of bis appearance in Parliament, he had ceased to be a formal, and had become an earnest professor of religion. His own allusion to this change, in a letter to a friend, is deeply affecting :-" Truly," he says “no poor creature bath more cause to put himself forth in the cause of his God than 1. I have had plentiful wages beforehand, and I am sure I shall never earn the least mite. Blessed be his name for shining on so dark a heart as mine! You know what my manner of life hath been. Oh! I lived in, and loved darkness, and hated light ; I was a chief, the chief of sinners. This is true. I hated godliness, yet God had mercy on me. O the riches of his mercy ! Praise him for me. Pray for me that he who hath begun a good work would perfect it in the day of Christ.”
To what extent he had complied with the fashionable dissipations of his time is not ascertained. Gambling was one of the seductions of sin to which be bad yielded : he had won from different individuals the sums to the extent of L. 120 and L.80; one of the first effects of his awakened and enlightened conscience was to return these to the persons whose property be considered them to be. Of the means employed to effect this change no record remains ; that it was not through the recognised ministry of the Established Church may be inferred from his own words, in apparent allusion to the barren and unacceptable services of the incumbent of the parish where he resided :—" Truly then this I find, that he giveth springs in a dry barren wilderness, where no water is. I live, you know where, in Meshech, which they say signifies prolonging : in Kedar, which signifies blackness, yet God forsaketh me not. Though he do prolong, yet he will, I trust, bring me to his tabernacle-to his resting place." A probable conjecture may be bazarded on this subject.
The strength of the Puritan cause lay, at that period, in the trading classes of London and other large cities, and considerable sums were expended in supporting itinerant or stated lecturers in the more populous rural districts. One of these had been set up in Cromwell's neighbourhood, as will afterwards be noticed, and it is probably to this circumstance that England is indebted for whatever is valuable in the character and career of Cromwell. The Parliament at which the above memorable words had been uttered,—the first “authentic utterance of Oliver," as the collector of his letters names it,—was allowed to exist only a few weeks more. It had manifested a fixed but calm determination to examine and redress the numerous and flagrant abuses of the State and of the Church. Charles had summoned it for no such end, and in the midst of its business it was dissolved in great and imprudent wrath ; but not until it bad framed and passed three emphatic resolutions, containing a protest against Arminianism, Popery and illegal taxation ; some of the leading members detaining the Speaker forcibly in the chair till the resolutions were drawn up and voted. Eleven years elapsed before the parties again confronted each other in Westminster ; but they were not years of inaction on either side. The King, and Laud, who soon after became Primate of all England, proceeded in their own way to work out their destinies. Released from the opposition of a Puritan Parliament Charles levied the public revenues, and conducted the government in the spirit and forms of an undisguised despotism. Laud prosecuted, mutilated, banished, and silenced the Puritan writers and preachers, Leighton, Prynne, Bestwick, Burton and others, and, cap in hand, thanked God and the Star-chamber for the sentences they gave forth ; but both bad miscalculated their own resources, and the strength and prevalence of the principles they wished to trample out. The Reformation had taken strong possession of the intelligent and rising middle classes of England, -had acquired a firin standing among the humbler classes, and counted among its devoted adherents a large minority of the peers and landed proprietors. These, during the suspension of Parliament, did not oppose