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J Magazine of Christian Literature,
WITI SPECIAL REFERENCE TO
THE REVEALED FUTURE OF THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD.
, , , ,
Life of Christ
142, 190, 239, 335, 384, 432, 480, 527, 571
Paul's Desire to Depart
Questions on Eternal Torments
246, 310, 352
Times of Restoration of All Things
117, 175, 357, 501
Things which must be Hereafter
I Magazine of Christian Literature, with Special Reference to the
Bebealed future of týe Church and the World.
JANUARY 1, 1876.
THE DIVINE NATURE CAPABLE OF SUFFERING.
TWICE in St. Paul's first epistle to Timothy, and no where else
in the New Testament, is the word makarios (happy) applied to God : in chap. i. 11, “the glorious gospel of the blessed God," and in chap. vi. 15, “the blessed and only Potentate." In every other place, where the word “ blessed " is found so applied in our translation, the original word is eulogoumenos, that is, worthy of admiration or praise. To believe that the Creator possesses within himself every element of the highest happiness is essential to perfect confidence in him. If he were not happy himself, it would be hard to see how he could make his creatures happy, even supposing he wished to do so. We should feel any thing but secure, in the hands of an irresistible, yet unsatisfied and discontented Potentate.
But does this supreme blessedness exclude the possibility of any portion of it being for a time surrendered? Is the Supreme Being incapable of making any real felt sacrifice ? Probably the highest created intelligence would beforehand have answered, No. It would have been difficult to conceive, either that he would allow any circumstances to arise requiring a sacrifice on his own part, or that any possible end to be gained could compensate for the slightest interference with the perfect happiness of “ the only Potentate.” Nay, this is still the theoretical answer of many Christians. Yet how can such a theory bear one moment's reflection on the very centre of all our hopes, the Cross of Calvary? We know something of what Jesus suffered there : did his Father feel no longer sympathy for him ? Was he just as happy when he was compelled to withdraw the light of his countenance, from the only begotten Son as he was before or after ? Was he absolutely unmoved by the piercing cry, “My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?” Did he feel precisely the same, when his Son died upon the Cross as when he rose from the tomb, or when he ascended up on high? Nay, to look farther back, did it constitute