« PreviousContinue »
told, the high-priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? And now, in seeking to crown Christ with the honors which they there foully denied him how may I borrow the last words from that murderer's mouth, saying, after Paul, in these passages from Corinthians and from Ephesians, has so clearly attributed the work of creation to Jesus, What further need have we of witnesses? But call in the apostle John. Ask him what he has to say on this great subject, what evidence he has to give, what testimony he can bear? How full, distinct, and clear his answer! Speaking by inspiration, and with his finger pointed at Christ, he says, " All things were made by him; and tvithoid him was not anything made that was made." And thus he writes concerning the very same person of whom, in the same chapter, he says, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
Did these holy men anticipate, did they foresee a day when, walking in the light of their own fire, and, in the sparks which they had kindled, presumptuous men would rise up in the church to deny the divinity of our Lord ; and, with that precious doctrine, to deny, in course of time, all the doctrines to which it is the key-stone? It would seem so. Their anxious care to make plain statements still more plain, looks like it. To make assurance doubly sure, to place our faith on a foundation secure against all assaults, I pray you to observe how the evangelist is not content with simply saying that all things were made by Christ but adds, as if to double-lock the door against the approaching heresy, " without him teas not anything made that was made." Wonderful news to tell in a sinner's ear! the stupendous fabric of creation, yon starry vault, this magnificent world, were the work of the hands by which, in love of you, he hung, a mangled form, on the cross of Calvary!
No two harps out of heaven or in it ever sounded in more perfect harmony than the words of John and the language of Paul in my text. My text is the statement of John expanded—the bud blown out into a flower—the indestructible precious gold beaten out over a broader surface. And see how the same anxiety appears here also that there shall be no mistake! What care is taken of your faith! Paul would prevent the shadow of a doubt crossing your mind about our Lord having a right to the divine honors of Creator! "By him," he says, "all things were created. Did an angel, standing at his side when he penned these words, stoop down, and whisper in his ear that in coming days men would rise to throw doubt over the truth, and, explaining it away, attempt to rob Jesus of his honor? I know not; but to make the truth still more plain, he adds, "that are in heaven and in earth." Not content with that, he uses yet more comprehensive terms, and to embrace all the regions of God's universe above the earth, and beyond the starry bounds of heaven, he adds, "visible and invisible." Nor leaves his noble task till he has swept the highest and the lowest things, men and worms, angels and insects, all into Christ's hand—adding, "whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers."
Thanks be to God that a doctrine so precious ig written in language so plain. As soon may the puny arm of a mortal man pluck the sun from the heavens, as pluck our Lord's divinity out of this text. Wejl might dying Stephen, gazing through the opened hea All things were created for Him.—Colossians i. 16.
When Ulysses returned with fond anticipations to his home in Ithaca, his family did not recognize him. Even the wife of his bosom denied her husband—so changed was he by an absence of twenty years, and the hardships of a long-protracted war. It was thus true of the vexed and astonished Greek as of a nobler King, that he came unto his own, and his own received him not. In this painful position of affairs he called for a bow which he had left at home, when, embarking for the seige of Troy, he bade farewell to the orangegroves and vine-clad hills of Ithaca. With characteristic sagacity, he saw how a bow, so stout and tough that none but himself could draw it, might be made to bear witness on his behalf. He seized it. To their surprise and joy, like a green wand lopped from a willow tree, it yields to his arms; it bends till the bowstring touches his ear. His wife, now sure that he is her long lost and long lamented husband, throws herself into his fond embraces, and his household confess him the true Ulysses.
If I may compare small things with great, our Lord gave such proofs of his divinity when he too stood a stranger in his own house, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.