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  • Author: William Bruce
  • Publisher: London
  • Publication Date: 1866
  • Total Pages: 682

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The Gospel According to St. Matthew

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The Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most directly, if not also the niost deeply, interesting and instructive portion of the Divine Word. It records the greatest of all earthly events-the manifestation of God in the flesh. It unfolds the mystery of redemption, and shows us the way in which we must be saved. It brings to light the immortality of the soul, and the nature of the future life. It shows us our nearness to and connection with the eternal world, and the influences which act upon ns both from the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. It exhibits before us humanity in its widest possible contrasts, in its greatest moral beauty in the person of the Saviour, and in its greatest moral deformity in the persons of those he came to seek and to save. It supplies us with the purest lessons of spiritual wisdom and the highest example of practical goodness in the teaching and life of our blessed Lord; in whose sufferings and death we have the most perfect pattern of patient endurance and forgiving love, and in whose resurrection and ascension we have the highest hope of spiritual life and eternal glory.

The word of the Old Testament is not silent on these all-important subjects. Predictions of the Lord's coming are numerous, and some of them are unmistakably plain and singularly graphic. Still, like every future event, his advent was seen as through a glass darkly. So were all the subjects of the kingdom he came on earth to establish. It is ouly when the light of the New Testament is shed back upon the predictions and doctrines of the Old, that they stand out in their proper distinctness, and that their high import is clearly and fully understood.

The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, thus combined, contain the knowledge of that great salvation which the Lord, in his infinite mercy, has wrought out for, and now freely offers to all his people. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and a life according to his commandments, are the sum and substance of the Christian religion, the essential means and conditions of salvation; and these are set before us in the very letter with so much plainness that he may run that readeth.

But within the literal there is a spiritual sense, which exalts all the truths of the Word, and intensifies all the means of salvation. God has stored up in his Word, as he has in his Works, inexhaustible treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and has only, when the time has come, to open the seals of his Sacred Volume, which is written within and on the back side, and to unrol it before the nations, that they may "come and see" the wonders which have lain hid ill its recesses, from the time of its revelation, till men were prepared, by a higher development of their faculties, to perceive and acknowledge them.

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