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SEEING THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY

SEEING THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY

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Published by glennpease


1 COR. xiii. 12,

Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face :
now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am
known.


1 COR. xiii. 12,

Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face :
now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am
known.

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Published by: glennpease on Jan 30, 2013
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SEEING THROUGH A GLASS DARKLYBY R. HEBER
1 COR. xiii. 12,Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face :now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I amknown.WHEN any, after long blindness, have beenrestored to sight by surgical skill, it has alwaysbeen thought advisable, and necessary, to prevent the light of the sun from striking too soonon the newly opened sense ; and to keep thepatient many days in a dark or shaded chamber,till, by slow degrees, and a cautious disclosure,his eyes have received sufficient strength tosustain without danger the full brightness of noon.Thus it is, that all the truths, which theAlmighty has thought fit to reveal to Hiscreatures, have been shrouded at first in mystery, or prophecy; and that He graduallyinured our minds to wonder and miracle, beforeVOL. II. B2 SERMON XXX.we were admitted to the knowledge of Hismore perfect will, and to the noon-day brightness of His glory.At first, among the first men and the patriarchs, we discover the thin dawn and twilightof Revelation ; the covenant taught by themystery of the woman's seed, and the serpent'shead, and by the visible sign of the rainbow ;or handed down, from age to age, by tradition,by dreams, or by the descent 'of angels. Thencame the break of clay, but obscure still, andcloudy ; and Christ appeared afar off, but reflected 1 from the face of Moses. And now,every generation, it grew lighter, and morelight ; as one prophet, after another, announcedthe approaching Messiah ; till, bearing the fullbrightness of the Godhead, bodily, with healingon His wings, the Sun of Righteousness arose.Still, however, the whole of God's glory isnot yet disclosed ; and we see, says the Apostle," through a glass, darkly." We find even as
 
yet, though amply sufficient is revealed for ouru^c, that our curiosity is not yet equally gratified ; that, in all the truths and mysteriesof our religion, a part, but not the whole, isdiscovered. It is only here and there thatthe clear heaven is shown us, through theclouds and darkness which are beneath thefeet of God ; and the visions, indulged us of His glorious nature, are no more than sufficientTRINITY SUNDAY. 3to strengthen our faith, and to raise and exerciseour hope.It is my intention, in the present discourse,to set the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in thispoint of view ; to prove, that our not understanding every secret of religion is no reason forour not believing it ; and to consider the temperof mind with which we ought to contemplatethe hidden things of God, and of the world tocome. To expect from the Almighty a perfectrevelation of Himself, and of every particularin His wonderful nature, whether it reallyconcerned our interest or not ; and to imagineourselves better judges, than He, what share of revelation He is to give us ; or how much,or how little, of the tree of knowledge we maybe indulged in, were a very vain curiosity, anda very criminal pride.And as this principle of entire submissionto God, and full confidence in His truth andwisdom, forbids us to attempt to be wise " beyond what is written ; " or to seek from ourvain fancy to lay dow T n rules for the Almighty ;and to penetrate into that Holy of Holies,whither none but our High Priest, His onlySon, is permitted to enter ; so, on the otherhand, the same trust in God, which preventsour seeking to know more, will not suffer usto believe less? than what He has thought properto explain. For, as God is holy, we may beB 24 SERMON XXX.sure, that He will not tell us what is false ;and, as He is wise, that He will not communicate what is unnecessary. God knows too wellthe little space which we have to live in thisworld ; He knows too well the important busi
 
ness, which ought to employ our thoughts andtime, to distract our attention with any uselessrevelation ; or any which was not in itself important to the improvement of our hearts andlives. If, therefore, we can once establish, thatany Doctrine is expressly laid down in the HolyScriptures, (admitting, what all parties admit,that these Scriptures are the word of God,) itwill follow, that we must receive it, not onlywithout contradiction, but with belief; not as abare and unfruitful truth, but as a holy, andwholesome, and necessary doctrine.And, in this submission of our reason thereis, in truth, nothing unreasonable ; it is onlythe conduct of a child, who, being himself ignorant, trusts to the report of a parent or afriend; and if the things related should seemstrange, he and we have the same reason forthinking them true, namely, our good opinion of therelator, and our confidence that he would notdeceive us. If, indeed, he tells us somethingagainst our own knowledge, something whichwe can feel or see to be false, we may be ledto doubt his information : but even here, ourbelief, or disbelief, will be in exact proportionTRINITY SUNDAY. 5to our reliance on ourselves, or on him. Evenif our senses, our sight, and feeling tell usdifferently ; yet still they may be deceived :and so often are they deceived, that this happens every day : and every day we believesomething or other, -against their testimony.Any one of you, who was sailing in a shipaway from the land, would think, if you trustedyour eyes only, that the vessel was remainingfixed in one place, and that it was the land,which was moving from you. The same thingI have known happen to children, going in acarriage, for the first time. But, to speak of something, which we all have known ; do notour eyes and feeling seem to bear witness, thatthe earth stands still, and that the sun andstars move round it ? Yet the contrary to thisis proved by learned men to be the case : andit is, in fact, the sun, which remains fixed andimmoveable, and the earth, which turns roundbefore it, every day and night. So liable areour senses, and that reason which is foundedon our senses, so liable, I say, are these to bein error, and so humbly ought our weaknessand ignorance to carry itself, before the revelations of Him, in whose hand we and all thingsare ; whose truth cannot be doubted ; and

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