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Right Views of the Saviour's Character and Work

Right Views of the Saviour's Character and Work

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Published by glennpease
AN ANTIDOTE TO DOUBTS AND FEARS.

BY WILLIAM MACKELVIE, D.D.,



' Fear not ; I am the first and the last : I am He that liveth, and
was dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen ; and have
the keys of hell and of death.' — Rev. i. 17, 18.
AN ANTIDOTE TO DOUBTS AND FEARS.

BY WILLIAM MACKELVIE, D.D.,



' Fear not ; I am the first and the last : I am He that liveth, and
was dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen ; and have
the keys of hell and of death.' — Rev. i. 17, 18.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 30, 2013
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RIGHT VIEWS OF THE SAVIOUR'S CHARACTER AD WORK A ATIDOTE TO DOUBTS ADFEARS.BY WILLIAM MACKELVIE, D.D.,' Fear not ; I am the first and the last : I am He that liveth, andwas dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen ; and havethe keys of hell and of death.' — Rev. i. 17, 18.Our text is part of a description which the blessedJesus gave of Himself when He appeared in vision toHis beloved disciple. To understand it aright, it isnecessary to know the peculiar circumstances in whichthe apostle was then placed. To these circumstanceshe refers in the preceding verses, where he gives us tounderstand that he was in exile for the word of God,and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. The RomanEmperor Domitian, soon after his accession to thethrone, revived the persecution against the Christianswhich had been begun by the Emperor ero, butwhich had been allowed to slumber during the inter-mediate reigns of Vespasian and Titus. Among theother sufferers on this occasion, was John, now theonly surviving apostle. How he escaped martyrdom,and was merely subjected to banishment, though a112 RIGHT VIEWS OF THE SAVIOUR person of the greatest influence amongst the followersof Jesus, whilst so many others were called to sealtheir testimony with their blood, is a question whichcannot now be determined. It seems to have satisfiedthe tyrant to send him to Patmos, a dreary island inthe iEgean Sea, then used as a state prison by theRomans. Here the venerable man of God often
 
wandered among the sterile mountains, bemoaning thecalamities which had befallen the Church of God, andpondering the probable issue of his own heavy trials.In such a mood he had wandered forth on a Sabbath-day, when, lo ! the deep silence was broken by a voicelike a trumpet sounding behind him, $nd, turning, heseemed as if instantly transported to Jerusalem, andintroduced to the holy place of the temple ; for therestood the seven golden candlesticks, with the highpriest, in his sacred vestments, officiating in the midstof them. But the glory which shone in this Personshowed Him at once to be no son of Aaron, but theHigh Priest of a higher and peculiar order. Throughthe splendour which invested Him, the apostle recog-nised the well-known features of his beloved Redeemer,and, overcome by a host of conflicting feelings, heswooned at His feet. The Saviour, in all the warmthof His wonted attachment, laid His right hand uponHis prostrate disciple, and, in accents full of thetenderest regard, thus addressed him, i Fear not ; Iam the first and the last : I am He that liveth, andwas dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore,Amen ; and have the keys of hell and of death.'A ATIDOTE TO DOUBTS AD FEARS. 113In this address of the blessed Saviour to Hisbeloved disciple, we have a reference to the greatsource of our mental discomfort, namely, doubts andfears ; and a remedy for these evils discovered to us,which consists of right views of the Saviour's nature,character, and work. Our bane and antidote are bothbefore us ; let us give a brief consideration to each.I. The Source of our Mental Discomfort — ' Fear not.' — There were many and seemingly cogentreasons why the apostle should at this time give wayto fear. The persecution which raged might render
 
him apprehensive of the Church's safety. Already ithad been brought very low, and, if the persecutioncontinued, might it not be altogether annihilated?Then, in that desolate place, where there were few ornone who felt interest in him, might he not perish forwant ? Or might not his religion decline, by beingcut off from the means of grace? for, though anapostle, he was dependent upon ordinances for themaintenance of spiritual life as well as others. Orhe might be tempted to apostatize from faith, in orderto obtain restoration ti his friends and social life. Orhe might have his misgivings as to the truth of areligion which had involved him in so much suffering,or doubts as to his personal interest in it. It has beensupposed that the fear which the Saviour sought inthis case to allay proceeded wholly from the visionwhich He Himself afforded, and certainly such a dis-play of glory was calculated to awaken dread. But114 RIGHT VIEWS OF THE SAVIOUR the address tendered by the Kedeemer to His discipleindicates that, whatever perturbation arose from thevision, there were also other causes producing it ; forHe tells him of His authority as well as of His natureand character, and seeks to allay his fears by anaccount of the very greatness which is considered tohave overawed and dismayed him.Slavish fear is the concomitant of guilt. Adam,in innocency, was an entire stranger to such a passion.He never approached his Maker without the deepestreverence ; but that reverence was free from all pertur-bation. As soon, however, as he had become charge-able with offence, he became also the subject of terror,and instead of hailing the appearance of Jehovah asheretofore, he hid himself among the trees of thegarden. Grace does much to subdue this passion, but

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