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Christ's Appeal to His Righteous Father.

Christ's Appeal to His Righteous Father.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN STYLES, D.D.


" O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.'
John xvii. 25.
BY JOHN STYLES, D.D.


" O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.'
John xvii. 25.

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Published by: glennpease on May 10, 2013
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07/31/2013

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CHRIST'S APPEAL TO HIS RIGHTEOUS FATHER.BY JOH STYLES, D.D." O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.'John xvii. 25.That God should be unknown by any of his in-telligent creatures, is the most perplexing fact inthe history of his moral government ; that men,especially, should be strangers to his character ismost inexcusable, and proves how deeply they arefallen : probably this is the only part of the uni-verse where the fact exists.That the Divine Majesty can never be fullyknown, even by the most exalted beings, is indeedadmitted; but that ignorance should prevail tothe extent of excluding him from the consciousness' u3222 Christ's appeal toof an entire race of creatures naturally capable of knowing, loving, and adoring him, and who are sur-rounded with the most magnificent and infinitely-varied proofs of his existence and providence, isthe most affecting and appalling consideration thatcan possibly be entertained.This is a fact which brings the Saviour uponhis knees, and draws from him the most touchingand pathetic expressions of regret and sorrow.What a different scene is here exhibited from thatwhich inspired the high anthem of praise when" the morning stars sang together, and all thesons of God shouted for joy." " O righteousFather, the world hath not known thee." Thetemple is desecrated — the glory is departed — " darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness thepeople" — sounds, but not of gladness, are heard inthe habitations of cruelty, where Moloch reignsand Superstition immolates on every altar, raised
 
by ignorance of the true God, her myriads of vic-tims. The song of creation is exchanged for thegroans of despair, and earth, without the know-ledge of God, is the darkened theatre where crimesof deepest horror are perpetrated without eithercompassion or remorse. The tears and groans of suffering humanity, the moral degradation, thefearful guilt, and the eternal ruin of the wholespecies, so far as it applies, are all comprehendedin this one short appeal to Heaven — " The worldhath not known thee."That this subject may awaken in our bosoms allthose emotions which will impart tenderness and8HIS RIGHTEOUS FATHER. 223energy to our principles as Christians, in referenceto that world for whose ignorance we are to acertain extent responsible, and for the removal of which we should daily labour and pray, let us,I. Consider this assertion of the Saviour with aview to illustrate and establish its truth : II. Let usinquire into the various springs of principle and sen-timent which induced him thus to give it utterance :and, III. Let us apply both to our character and du-ties as Christians who are living and dying amongthe multitudes in whose behalf the Saviour makesthis affecting appeal — " O righteous Father, theworld hath not known thee."Let us consider this assertion of the Saviour,I. With a view to illustrate and estab-lish ITS TRUTH.It will be observed that our Lord draws a strongline of demarcation between the world and his fol-lowers ; and the grand point of distinction is pre-cisely this — the world is destitute of all savingknowledge of God, while his true disciples possessit, and exemplify its value in bringing forth its
 
fruits. " I have known thee, and these haveknown that thou hast sent me; and I have de-clared unto them thy name, and will declare it ;that the love wherewith thou hast loved me maybe in them, and I in them."The censure of the text, therefore, falls on allthose who, possessing a Divine revelation, remainignorant of God as the only object of religiousworship, and the only source of true felicity.Thus it applies to those who remain ignorant of God within the verge of Christian illumination,224 Christ's appeal toand to those who are millions of leagues beyondits reach, but on whom the light of nature shines,without leading them up to its infinite and eternalSource, The world hath not known God.1. TJie world is ignorant of God, of his nature,his government, his laws, and his Gospel.But may not this ignorance be in a great degreevenial? Have not mankind from age to age beencompelled to grope their way in the dark ? God isnot known, because he hath not clearly revealed him-self to the world. It is very easy for superficialminds to assume this gross reflection upon theDivine character, judging only from the univer-sality and the depth of the ignorance with whichthey are surrounded : but the blame is not in anyway imputable to God. He is clear when he is judged. For what is the fact? This ignorancehas prevailed most where men have had the clear-est light, and on that part of the Divine characterwhere this light has shone with the brightest ra-diance.This has been true of every nation — of everyage. It is as true at this moment, as when theassertion was first made.1. The light of nature has not led men to God. It

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