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If you know the book but cannot find it on AbeBooks, we can automatically search for it on your behalf as new inventory is added. If it is added to AbeBooks by one of our member booksellers, we will notify you! Items related to Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. John Chapters I Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Alexander Maclaren. Publisher: Scholar's Choice , Assuredly it is written for the very purpose that error or oblivion may not hinder the recognition of the truth. If, as we shall prove, it is impossible to escape knowledge of the facts, then it must be nothing less than blasphemy to deny them.
This record begins with the speech of the Angel to Hagar, His promise to multiply Ishmael into a great nation and to give him a countless offspring. She listens, and by her confession reveals that He is Lord and God. The name corresponds to the nature; the nature is not falsified to make it conform to the name. Again, God speaks to Abraham of this same matter; he is told that Ishmael has already received a blessing, and shall be increased into a nation; I have blessed him, God says. This is no change from the Person indicated before; He shews that it was He Who had already given the blessing.
The Scripture has obviously been consistent throughout in its progress from mystery to clear revelation; it began with the Angel of God, and proceeds to reveal that it was God Himself Who had spoken in this same matter. The course of the Divine narrative is accompanied by a progressive development of doctrine. In the passage which we have discussed God speaks to Abraham, and promises that Sarah shall bear a son. Afterwards three men stand by him; he worships One and acknowledges Him as Lord.
After this worship and acknowledgment by Abraham, the One promises that He will return hereafter at the same season, and that then Sarah shall have her son. This One again is seen by Abraham in the guise of a man, and salutes him with the same promise. The change is one of name only; Abraham's acknowledgment in each ease is the same.
It was a Man whom he saw, yet Abraham worshipped Him as Lord; he beheld, no doubt, in a mystery the coming Incarnation. Faith so strong has not missed its recognition; the Lord says in the Gospel, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad 4. To continue the history; the Man Whom he saw promised that He would return at the same season.
Mark the fulfilment of the promise, remembering meanwhile that it was a Man Who made it. What says the Scripture? And the Lord visited Sarah. So this Man is the Lord, fulfilling His own promise. What follows next? And God did unto Sarah as He had said. The narrative calls His words those of a Man, relates that Sarah was visited by the Lord, proclaims that the result was the work of God.
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You are sure that it was a Man who spoke, for Abraham not only heard, but saw Him. For its words are, And Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, and at the set time of which God had spoken to him. But it was the Man who had promised that He would come. Connect the incidents. It was, confessedly, the Man who promised that He would come that Sarah might con- and omnipotence and truth and wisdom and justice, he will find all things smooth and even, and the way straight.
But without faith it is impossible to be saved 2. For it is by faith that all things, both human and spiritual, are sustained. For without faith neither does the farmer 3 cut his furrow, nor does the merchant commit his life to the raging waves of the sea on a small piece of wood, nor are marriages contracted nor any other step in life taken. By faith we consider that all things were brought out of nothing into being by God's power. And we direct all things, both divine and human, by faith. Further, faith is assent free from all meddlesome inquisitiveness 4. Every action, therefore, and performance of miracles by Christ are most great and divine and marvellous: but the most marvellous of all is His precious Cross.
For no other thing has subdued death, expiated the sin of the first parent 5 , despoiled Hades, bestowed the resurrection, granted the power to us of contemning the present and even death itself, prepared the return to our former blessedness, opened the gates of Paradise 6 , given our nature a seat at the right hand of God, and made us the children and heirs of God 7 , save the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For by the Cross s all things have been made right. So many of us, the apostle says, as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into His death 9 , and as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ 1. Further Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God 2. And the power of God is the Word of the Cross, either because God's might, that is, the victory over death, has been revealed to us by it, or because, just as the four extremities of the Cross are held fast and bound together by the bolt in the middle, so also by God's power the height and the depth, the length and the breadth, that is, every creature visible and invisible, is maintained 3.
This was given to us as a sign on our forehead, just as the circumcision was given to Israel: for by it we believers are separated and distinguished from unbelievers. This is the shield and weapon against, and trophy over, the devil.
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This is the seal that the destroyer may not touch you 4 , as saith the Scripture. This is the resurrection of those lying in death, the support of the standing, the staff of the weak, the rod of the flock, the safe conduct of the earnest, the perfection of those that press forwards, the salvation of soul and body, the aversion of all things evil, the patron of all things good, the taking away of sin, the plant of resurrection, the tree of eternal life.
So, then, this same truly precious and august tree 5 , on which Christ hath offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sakes, is to be worshipped as sanctified by contact with His holy body and blood; likewise the nails, the spear, the clothes, His sacred tabernacles which are the manger, the cave, Golgotha, which bringeth salvation 6 , the tomb which giveth life, Sion, the chief stronghold of the churches and the like, are to be worshipped.
In the words of David, the father of God 7 , We shall go into His tabernacles, we shall worship at the place where His feet stood 8.
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For the resurrection comes after the Cross. For if of those things which we love, house and couch and garment, are to be longed after, how much the rather should we long after that which belonged to God, our Saviour 1 , by means of which we are in truth saved. Moreover we worship even the image of the precious and life-giving Cross, although made of another tree, not honouring the tree God forbid but the image as a symbol of Christ. And so also the angel of the resurrection said to the woman, Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified 3.
And the Apostle said, We preach Christ crucified 4. For there are many Christs and many Jesuses, but one crucified. He does not say speared but crucified. It behoves us, then, to worship the sign of Christ 5. For wherever the sign may be, there also will He be. But it does not behove us to worship the material of which the image of the Cross is composed, even though it be gold or precious stones, after it is destroyed, if that should happen.
Everything, therefore, that is dedicated to God we worship, conferring the adoration on Him. The tree of life which was planted by God in Paradise pre-figured this precious Cross. For since death was by a tree, it was fitting that life and resurrection should be bestowed by a tree 6. Jacob, when He worshipped the top of Joseph's staff, was the first to image the Cross, and when he blessed his sons with crossed hands 7 he made most clearly the sign of the cross.
A Brief Exposition of the Angels of Revelation XIV
Likewise 8 also did Moses' rod, when it smote the sea in the figure of the cross and saved Israel, while it overwhelmed Pharaoh in the depths; likewise also the hands stretched out crosswise and routing Amalek; and the bitter water made sweet by a tree, and the rock rent and pouring forth streams of water 9 , and the rod that meant for Aaron the dignity of the high priesthood 1 : and the serpent lifted in triumph on a tree as though it were dead 2 , the tree bringing salvation to those who in faith saw their enemy dead, just as Christ was nailed to the tree in the flesh of sin which yet knew no sin 3.
The mighty Moses cried 4 , You will see your life hanging on the tree before your eyes, and Isaiah likewise, I have spread out my hands all the day unto a faithless and rebellious people 5. But may we who worship this 6 obtain a part in Christ the crucified. It is not without reason or by chance that we worship towards the East.
But seeing that we are composed of a visible and an invisible nature, that is to say, of a nature partly of spirit and partly of sense, we render also a twofold worship to the Creator; just as we sing both with our spirit and our bodily lips, and are baptized with both water and Spirit, and are united with the Lord in a twofold manner, being sharers in the mysteries and in the grace of the Spirit. Since, therefore, God 7 is spiritual light 8 , and Christ is called in the Scriptures Sun of Righteousness 1 and Dayspring 2 , the East is the direction that must be assigned to His worship.
For everything good must be assigned to Him from Whom every good thing arises. Indeed the divine David also says, Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth: O sing praises unto the Lord: to Him that rideth upon the Heavens of heavens towards the East 3. Moreover the Scripture also says, And God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed 4 : and when he had transgressed His command He expelled him and made him to dwell over against the delights of Paradises 5 , which clearly is the West.
So, then, we worship God seeking and striving after our old fatherland. Moreover the tent of Moses 6 had its veil and mercy seat 7 towards the East. Also the tribe of Judah as the most precious pitched their camp on the East 8. Also in the celebrated temple of Solomon the Gate of the Lord was placed eastward. Moreover Christ, when He hung on the Cross, had His face turned towards the West, and so we worship, striving after Him.
And when He was received again into Heaven He was borne towards the East, and thus His apostles worship Him, and thus He will come again in the way in which they beheld Him going towards Heaven 9 ; as the Lord Himself said, As the lightning cometh out of the East and shineth 1 even unto the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man b e 2. So, then, in expectation of His coming we worship towards the East. But this tradition of the apostles is unwritten. For much that has been handed down to us by tradition is unwritten 3. God 4 Who is good and altogether good and more than good, Who is goodness throughout, by reason of the exceeding riches of His goodness did not suffer Himself, that is His nature, only to be good, with no other to participate therein, but because of this He made first the spiritual and heavenly powers: next the visible and sensible universe: next man with his spiritual and sentient nature.
All things, therefore, which he made, share in His goodness in respect of their existence. For He Himself is existence to all, since all things that are, are in Him 5 , not only because it was He that brought them out of nothing into being, but because His energy preserves and maintains all that He made: and in especial the living creatures.
For both in that they exist and in that they enjoy life they share in His goodness. But in truth those of them that have reason have a still greater share in that, both because of what has been already said and also because of the very reason which they possess. For they are somehow more dearly akin to Him, even though He is incomparably higher than they. Man, however, being endowed with reason and free will, received the power of continuous union with God through his own choice, if indeed he should abide in goodness, that is in obedience to his Maker.
Since, however, he transgressed the command of his Creator and became liable to death and corruption, the Creator and Maker of our race, because of His bowels of compassion, took on our likeness, becoming man in all things but without sin, and was united to our nature 6.