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were wont to pull up one of the fern tribe, and, having cut its root across, gaze with boyish wonder on the initials of Jesus Christ printed there, black as with ink on the pale wounded stem. Nor are these the only objects in nature that have been associated in some way with our Lord. When the mariner, leaving our northern latitudes, pushes southward to plough a sunnier ocean, he sees a starry cross emerging from the deep; and as his course tends further southward, it rises and continues to rise higher in the heavens, till, when the pole-star has dipped beneath the wave, he gazes with feelings of awe and wonder on the sign of salvation blazing above his head—its body and arms formed of brilliant stars.
In these things a devout superstition, that loved perhaps more fondly than wisely, sought to gratify its affections. Nor do we despise, but rather respect the feelings which prompted ancient piety even in this way to identify our Lord with the wonderful works of God. It is not, however, in these devout and poetic fancies that we either seek or see our Lord's connection with that kingdom. But as, with the genius that aspires to immortality, and anticipates the admiration of future ages, the painter leaves his name on a corner of the canvas, so Inspiration, dipping her pen in indelible truth, has inscribed the name of Jesus upon all we see —on sun and stars, flower and tree, rock and mountain, the unstable waters and the firm land; and also on what we do not see, nor shall till death has removed the veil, angels and spirits, the city and heavens of the eternal world. This is no matter of fancy. It is a fact. It is a blessed fact. No voice ever sounded more distinctly to my ear than that of revealed truth, proclaiming Jesus, Lord of all. How plainly is that great truth written on the face of my text! He who runs may read it there. And to the same effect the Scriptures have precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. In seeking examples of this, we are embarrassed, not by the scantiness, but by the abundance of them. And as two or three competent and in every way credible witnesses are held in a court of law to be worth as many as would crowd the court-house, let me adduce two or three passages which ascribe the work of creation to our Lord in language plain as facts, and clear as noonday.
1. In 1 Corinthians viii. 6, Paul says, " there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
2. In Bphesians iii. 9, Paul also says, " to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."
3. When our Lord was on his trial, and stood before his judges and false accusers, as a sheep before her shearers, he was dumb, opening not his mouth. He heard them as if he heard them not. Eager, yet afraid to strike, the high-priest at length rose from his throne, and, fixing his eye on the prisoner, said, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the son of God. Whereupon—the first time he broke silence—our Saviour replied, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then, as we are 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 without 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 was not anything made that icas 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. Well might dying Stephen, gazing through the opened heavens, behold Jesus at the right hand of God. Where else should he see him—the man of sorrows whom Paul here, to our joy, and comfort, and triumph, exalts to the throne of an adoring universe? In the person of Jesus Christ, the Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice. Take, believers, the full comfort of a doctrine which is so fraught with honor to God and salvation to man. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Rejoice in the Lord alway ; and again I say, rejoice. Are you afraid? Are you in trouble about anything whatever? Are you racked with cares? Do earthly or spiritual fears disturb your peace, and cast a cold dark shadow on your soul? Does your faith faint, stagger? Rise from your knees; go forth this night; leave the cross, that affecting monument of his love, to contemplate the glorious monuments of his power; stand beneath heaven's resplendent arch; and when, led on by the pale evening star, Orion, and Arcturus, and the sweet Pleiades, and all the heavenly host in harmonious order, as to the music of higher spheres, come marching on across the field of darkness, list to the noble utterance of the old Hebrew prophet. In what lofty strains he speaks of your Lord and Saviour! What courage his words inspire, as, raising his arm to the starry skies, he exclaims, "Behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? He giveth power to the faint. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary ; and they shall walk, and not faint."