Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?…
I. WE WILL CONTEMPLATE THIS REPORT, AND INQUIRE WHETHER IT IS NOT WORTHY OF OUR ATTENTION AND BELIEF.
1. The report which we hear, is a most instructive report. It brings us information of many things which were before unknown, and which, without this information, never could have been known to the sons of men. "That which had not been told us, we see." The Gospel for this reason is called a message, good tidings, and tidings of great joy. The leading truths of natural religion are agreeable to the dictates of reason; and perhaps might be, in some measure, discovered without revelation. At least they were known among those who had never enjoyed a written revelation, though, indeed, we cannot say how far these might be indebted to traditional information. But certainly those truths, which immediately relate to the recovery and salvation of sinners, human reason could never investigate.
2. The Gospel is a report from heaven. It was, in some degree, made known to the patriarchs, and afterwards more fully to the prophets But "God has in these last days, spoken to us by His Son."
3. the Gospel is a credible report. Many reports come to us without evidence: we only hear them, but know not what is their foundation, or whether they have any. And yet even these reports pass not wholly unregarded. But, if any important intelligence is brought to us which is both rational in itself, and at the same time supported by a competent number of reputable witnesses, we may much rather judge it worthy of our attention and belief. With this evidence the Gospel comes. It is credible in its own nature. The doctrines of the Gospel, though beyond the discovery and above the comprehension of reason, are in no instance contrary to its dictates. They are all adapted to promote real virtue and righteousness. Besides this internal evidence, God has been pleased to give it the sanction of His own testimony. Errors have sometimes been introduced and propagated by the artful reasoning of interested men. But Christianity rests not on the basis of human reasoning, or a subtle intricate train of argumentation: it stands on the ground of plain facts, of which every man is able to judge. The life, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are the facts which support it. If these did really take place, the Gospel is true. Whether they did or not, men of common abilities were as competent to judge, as men of the profoundest learning. We, who live in the present age, have not, in every respect, the same evidence of the truth of the Gospel as they had, who were eye-witnesses of those facts. But we have their testimony, in the most authentic manner, conveyed to us. Some advantages we have, which they had not. We have the examination of preceding ages. We see Christianity still supporting itself against all the opposition of the world. We see the unwearied attempts of its enemies to subvert it, rendered fruitless and vain. We see many of the predictions contained in these records, already verified; and others, to all appearance, hastening on towards an accomplishment.
4. It is an interesting report. From the Gospel we learn that the human race have, by transgression, fallen under the Divine displeasure. This report corresponds with our own experience and observation. The Gospel brings us a joyful message.
5. This is a public report. It is what we have all heard, and heard often.
II. WE WILL CONSIDER THE COMPLAINT. "Who hath believed our report?"
(J. Lathrop, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?