Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/535

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TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

anxiety; nor are they entrusted with the stewardship of mysteries which proceed from man; but God Himself, the Almighty and Invisible Creator, has sent down from heaven to men His holy and incomprehensible Truth and Word, and fixed it in their hearts; not, as might, perhaps, be anticipated, sending any minister to man, angel, or principality, (whether of those whose functions belong to the earth, or of such as are engaged in the economy of Heaven,) but Him, who was the very Maker and Builder of all: by whom He built the heavens, and marked the bounds of the ocean; whose mysterious ordinances the elements all faithfully obey; from whom the sun receives the measure of its daily career, and at whose will the obedient moon puts forth her mighty lustre, with the stars that move attendant on her course. He is the universal Counsellor, and Lawgiver, and Monarch; His are the heavens, and all that is in heaven; His the earth, and all in the earth; the sea, and all that is in the sea; fire, air, and depth; the height above, and the deep beneath; all are His. Him God sent to man: but was it, as man might anticipate, to overrule, to terrify, and to strike? Not so; but in meekness and in mercy. He sent Him, as a king might send his royal son: as God He sent Him; as a Messenger and a Saviour to mankind, to persuade, but not to compel. Violence is not an attribute of God. He sent Him in love, not in judgment: in judgment He will hereafter send Him, and who will bear His coming? …… See you not how Christians are cast to the beasts, that they may be made deny their Lord, and are not overcome? See you not how they abound, in proportion with the increase of their sufferings? These things seem not like the work of man; but they are the power of God, and indications of His presence.

What mortal man could tell what God was, before He came among us? Would you admit the vain and trifling fables of such empty philosophers, as say that the Deity is composed of fire (calling that a Deity, to which themselves are tending); or of water, or of any other of those elements which God has created? And yet, if any of these fables is admissible, each and every of the creatures might similarly be called a God. These things are the trickery and deceit of impostors. Man had never seen