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Although it be impossible for man to redeem himself, yet there appears to be a certain desire in the mind to propitiate “the unknown God.” Under this feeling, the heathen prostrates himself before his wooden deity, and, for want of deeper wisdom, receives with implicit faith the dark predictions of his enchanter priest. The Israelites looked upon the divine Shekinah with awe, and in its mysterious effulgence, unknowingly beheld the power of that light which was to beam from the Sun of Righteousness. The Christian alone looks with the eye of faith into the whole council of God, beholds his blessed Redeemer in his glory before the foundations of the world were laid ; and, penetrating beyond the darkness of the grave, again sees Him seated at the right hand of God. Yet, although the revelation of the Deity may satisfy the longing of the soul, with promises of future knowledge, it is not calculated to gratify present curiosity with unnecessary details. Jesus Christ “ is set forth through faith ;” in faith, therefore, we must receive Him; and where reason cannot grasp the vast and subtile mystery of the incarnation, the heart should prostrate itself before the wisdom of the God who formed it, and gave it life, and receive His teaching with humility and thankfulness.
As all things were made by Christ, and “ for His pleasure they are and were created,” we may venture to think, that we were first formed with especial reference to the gratification of our Redeemer as the Son of God. That we may connect a few passages which speak of Christ previous to that event, we must carry back our imagination to that awful period, if period it may be called, before time had a beginning, whilst Christ was yet “ in the bosom of the Father.”+ We may suppose (and the supposition involves no theory) that God was looking through futurity upon the children of men, and lamenting that after the fall of Adam there would be “none righteous, no, not one,” to satisfy His call for righteousness; when Christ offered to become righteousness for them, and thus to appease the wrath, and satisfy the justice of the Almighty. “ Sacrifice and offering for sin thou didst not desire," wrote the Psalmist, in an en
* John i. 3. Col. i. 16. 1 Cor. viii. 6. Heb. i. 2. Rev. iv. 11. + John i. 18.