Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.
I. THE MOUNTAINS DROPPING WINE SYMBOLIZE THE SPIRITUAL JOYS OF CHRIST'S CHURCH. The Scriptures speak of wine as "making glad the heart of man." The "new wine" of the gospel is for the enjoyment of the elect. The wine of the kingdom is of celestial vintage; they who partake of it are "filled with the Spirit." The joy of the new covenant, the joy of the Lord, is the portion of the rescued, emancipated, and consecrated Israel.
II. THE HILLS FLOWING WITH MILK SYMBOLIZE THE SPIRITUAL NUTRIMENT OF CHRIST'S CHURCH. We are taught by the apostle to "desire the sincere milk of the Word, that we may grow thereby." Even the babes in Christ can partake of this nourishing spiritual diet; but the strong men do not disdain the food. As Canaan was "a land flowing with milk and honey," so the Church of the blessed Saviour abounds with all that can enrich and nourish and bless the people of God. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more."
III. THE RIVERS FLOWING WITH WATERS SYMBOLIZE THE REVIVAL AND REFRESHMENT OF CHRIST'S CHURCH, Several of the prophets, expatiating (as they loved to do) upon the glorious prospect afforded them by inspiration of the future of the Church, describe one element of that happy future by the figure of a river flowing from its source in the Lord's house at Jerusalem, and fertilizing the soil until it should enter the Dead Sea or the Mediterranean. And the Apostle John beheld the river of the water of life, flowing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. How exact is the correspondence between the prediction and the reality! It was in Jerusalem that Jesus was condemned, and hard by that he suffered; and his cross was the source of a river of spiritual blessing to mankind. Wherever his Spirit penetrates, there life is revived, souls are saved, society is purified, weariness is refreshed. Not earth only, but heaven, is fertilized and cheered by the water which Christ gives in a sweet, unceasing stream. - T.
All things were made by Him.I. THE PURIFICATION OF THE HEATHEN DOCTRINE: obviating the eternity of matter.
II. THE DEEPENING OF THE JEWISH DOCTRINE of the Shekinah: clearly pronouncing the personal life of love in God as it enters into the world.
III. THE GLORIFICATION OF THE SOUND DOCTRINE of scientific investigation: man the final cause of things; the God Man the final cause of man.
IV. THE VERDICT OF THE SPIRIT respecting the derivation of the world from a non-spiritual source: materialism.
(Lange.)I. The CREATURELY instinct of dependence, as an impulse towards the upholding Word.
II. The NATURAL, SELF-UNFOLDING instinct, as the impulse towards freedom (Romans 8.).
III. The COSMICAL, WORLD-FORMING instinct, as an impulse towards unity.
IV. The SPIRITUAL instinct, as the impulse to rise in the service of the Spirit.
(Lange.)I. As He is the efficient cause of all.
II. As He is the pattern by which all were made.
III. As all things are created by the Godhead, and the Word was God.
(Cornelius a Lapide.)I. ASSOCIATES HIS NAME WITH ALL EXISTENCE, PAST AND PRESENT.
1. It furnishes the key to the dark problems of nature and providence.
2. It gives to science and Christianity a common foundation.(1) Science reveals the eternal power and Godhead of the Word.(2) Christianity the means of mercy to fallen man through the Word.(3) Each a compartment of one great fabric reared to the glory of God. Science the outer court: admire and adore. Christianity the holy place: kneel, pray, praise (Hebrews 4:16).
II. AFFORDS TO FAITH THE GREATEST ASSURANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT. "His every word of grace is strong," etc.
IV. IRRADIATES THE FUTURE WITH A GLORIOUS HOPE (Revelation 21:1, 5).
I. IN Him. All archetypal forms and sources of creative life eternally reside in Him.
II. BY Him. He is the one Producer and Sustainer of all created existence.
III. FOR Him. He is the end of created things. Living for Him the explanation and law of every creature.
(Van Doren.)1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2. Observe —
1. God revealed Himself through His Son before the Incarnation.
2. To be a Creator the Word had to be God.
3. Matter is not eternal: the universe has an intelligent personality back of it, as architect, builder, and sustainer.
4. The stars are a manifestation of Christ, as well as the Bible: we see Him in natural as in revealed religion.
5. The Being who made all things is worthy of being trusted with the absolute work of making and sustaining our characters.
(A. H. Moment.)
(J. Culross, D. D.)
(H. W. Beecher.)
(H. W. Beecher.)
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
(D. Thomas, D. D.)1. We look around us upon the infinite variety of productions which the earth brings forth — their use, their goodness, their beauty; we sweep the eye of imagination over ocean and continent, hill and plain, lake and stream, corn-land and forest, sahara and paradise; we mark the changes produced by day and night, and the succession of the seasons; we listen to the music of nature — the boom of ocean dashing on the shore, the wind in the forest, the tinkling of the hidden moorland rill; we think of the countless tribes of living and sentient beings that inhabit earth along with us; we think of man with his marvellous endowments; we think of the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places; we listen to all that science can tell us of the subtle agencies that pervade creation and the laws which bind all beings together.
2. Then, standing on earth as on a promontory, we look upwards and outwards. Beneath the nether sky, with its cloud and scenery, and its sunrise and sunset hues of beauty, there are illimitable realms of space, studded with worlds moving harmoniously in close ravelled maze. These heavens were vast and glorious to the eye of the Chaldean gazer thousands of years ago; how have their vastness and glory grown to us since then! The globe which is our dwelling-place is one of the smallest planets wheeling round one of the lesser suns. It is conceivable that only our own little world might have hung solitary in immensity; but the space swept by the telescope teems with solar systems compared with which ours is insignificant. In the Milky Way alone are millions of suns, the nearest of which requires years to dart its light to us, though light travels two hundred thousand miles during the single vibration of a pendulum. In the presence of that immensity, our globe is but as a grain of sand on the sea-shore.
3. Leaving. the realms of space, with the help of geology, let us look back on the realms of time. Since our world became the theatre of life, ages on ages have run their course, for the duration of which we have absolutely no measure. The universe in its vastness, wonder, and divine beauty, and in all the evolutions through which it has passed during countless ages, lay first of all in His mind — if one may say so — as the grand cathedral was in the brain of the architect ere its foundation-stone was laid; it took all that we see, and all that science discloses, and all that mystery still hides, to express His creative idea. How great, then, must the Maker be! How wise, good, glorious!
(J. Culross, D. D.)
(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)John 5:13). As we were made by Him without our assistance, so also we cannot be preserved of ourselves. Thus here, were all to understand that all things created are preserved, in being otherwise they would not long remain created.
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