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I was, all has been judged, the love of God has been more mighty than my hatred; He has removed the evil: I was an instrument of Satan, there was also the state of enmity of my heart, there were also the sins that I had committed; but all is accomplished, and there is no longer a barrier between God and me; it is Christ who has taken all this, and taken it all away.
God has shown that His love was stronger than the evil.–At the cross I have discovered that. Where was I? Among those wretched ones who hated the Lord; with Peter who could not confess Him. At the cross I have found grace; there I have found that which my heart wanted; it is God Himself who has taken away my sin, who has done the very thing which has saved me, and has introduced me into all that belongs to Himself.—Christ, whither is He gone? Into the light and presence of God.
He has finished that which fully glorifies His Father.
I have the righteourness of God, of Him who died for my sin, I have life in the Son, in the second Adam; my portion is to be with Him. I know that Jesus brings to me the righteousness of God, and the reward of this righteousness.
God has loved me in Jesus; He has given His Son for me; that which was most precious in heaven. I object of His love, and now, passed beyond the thick clouds which were between me and God, I am in the presence of Him who has brought me into the dwellingplace of His holiness.—I am in the Father, because Christ has made peace through the blood of His cross. This perfect peace is in Him. Now I have peace, and all who believe have it also. I am raised high enough, and I can say, beholding Jesus: Ah! He has well deserved it.
No sooner is a person placed in the presence of God, but he feels all his own bitterness. I have deserved hell, he can say to himself, but I can understand what God has given to me.
Where then have I found it all? In Christ. What is there which does not belong to Him? Christ is the object of all the love of God. So far as I am able to estimate all that I find in God, so far can I appropriate it to myself. He who has descended into the
lower parts of the earth, is Christ; but now He has ascended up far above all things, and He fills all things.I am in Him, and He in me. I have found redemption, and I enter into the full possession of all things. I enjoy Christ wherever I may be.—This was where the apostle found himself, and where a poor wretched Gentile is placed who had no title to a single promise; but who now possesses Christ, the object of all the love of God.
Examine what the love of God has done (instead of considering what man has done by his ruin). What has followed the ruin? Christ, at the right hand of God, is the object of faith. He dwells in us in order that we may enjoy the love of God as He Himself expresses it, “ The love wherewith Thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them.” Christ dwells in us, by His Spirit, and we are in Him. My thoughts are directed towards Him. “Ye shall know," He says, “ that I am in you, and ye in Me.”—Christ is in me the hope of glory, and I enjoy all that He is. The hope that I have makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in my heart; so that, in the weakness of my poor body, I may learn in difficulties, in temptations, in the presence of Satan the same as in the presence of God, all the faithfulness, all the tenderness, all the goodness of this Jesus, and that in all the details of my
I become acquainted with Him intimately; I know Him who is the “hope of glory.” For me it is not a Christ who is a stranger, an unknown One, but a Christ whom I know in all the difficulties of my life; a Christ who reflects God to me in all His fulness, who accompanies me as a friend, who knows how to apply all the riches of His grace to the wants of my heart. Yes, I know Him,-I do not fear to go up to heaven, by faith, for there is He who loves me; He hears me, though I am not yet there; but very soon He will enjoy of the travail of His soul and He will be satisfied when I shall be with Him. Christ has completed grace for His people, and hereafter He will share with them His glory. He will present them to His father
such as His father would have them to be, in order that the heart of the Father may be satisfied.
I have only presented here some parts of these unsearchable riches of Christ. The angels are the spectators of these things, and we are the objects of them. God acts for our salvation, and even the flesh must learn what God is in His ways of grace. We must know how to learn what this grace is, this goodness of God, this infinite love of which we are the objects, and without which we should be lost.
May God humble us by the Power of His Spirit, and cause us to understand that which we have not yet rightly understood—the horror of sin, what it is to be without God, enemies of God, in order that we may understand, in all its fulness, this grace which introduces us into the riches of glory!
Our poor hearts must learn in the details of life, the goodness of the Lord Jesus himself; and in His favour and in His grace, the favour and the grace of God Himself. We must become acquainted with God in order to enjoy Himself.
May He by His Spirit apply to our poor hearts this grace, and all the various expressions of it which are reflected in Jesus. May God make us to grow in the knowledge of Him who is the peace of our hearts, in order that we may understand all His riches and all His love!
If God give you Christ, in the same charter all things are yours," because ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." Christ watereth with His blessing all things. If every thing that a saint hath be blessed, and every thing (to speak so) mercied, and christianed, even“his basket and his dough” (Deut. xxviii. 5), his inheritance must be blessed ; much more all Christ's inheritance must be blessed ; because he is the end, the spring, and abstract of all blessings. Now Christ “is appointed heir of all things” (Heb. i. 2). Then He is the heir of a draught of water, of brown bread, of a straw bed on the earth, and hard stones to be the pillow. "To the saints, to the children of God, hell (so to speak) is heavened, sorrow joyed, poverty riched, death enlivened, dust and the grave animated and quickened with life and the resurrection. God save me from a draught of water without Christ! No. XX.
With the Apostle Paul, there was a great question between faith and ordinances—but he never surrendered the right of the one to the pretensions of the other.
In the former dispensation, ordinances abounded. The soul, so to express it, was only on the way to salvation then; but now we are called to enjoy accomplished, perfected salvation, to know it by faith.
Accordingly, all the ordinances of the house of God in this age are celebrations, and not helps. They are made to celebrate our redemption, and we triumph in them instead of being helped by them. Baptism celebrates our personal salvation, and the supper in the midst of the assembled saints tells of their redemption by blood, the blood of the precious Lamb of God. But so in like manner, other ordinances—the covered female and the uncovered male, and the presence of the Holy Ghost in the midst of the gathered saints, have voices likewise that are heard telling of salvation. And so outside or abroad in the world, all our service (being the service of love and gratitude), and the prospect of our souls (being in expectation and desire, and not fear), with equal certainty and clearness, tell the same mystery of full deliverance. We wait for the Son from heaven who has delivered us from the wrath to come.
All, in a certain sense, though in a different way, celebrate salvation. The ordinances of God's present house may remind us of the lame man who took up
his bed and walked, as soon as Jesus had spoken the word of healing to him-for, in token of perfected health and strength, we hold up what once helped, and strengthened, and sustained us.
MATTHEW CHAP. XIII.
In the chapter which precedes, Jesus passes sentence upon the Jews; for he was come to gather fruit, and had found none.
First. He must needs sow. He no longer recognises the Jews as Jews: He sows for all, Jews and Gentiles. The six other parables present us with the forms taken by the Kingdom of Heaven in its various phases.
The six parables form a whole; the three first speak of the Church in the fullest sense of the word, of the Church as a thing seen, its exterior, of the kingdom. The three last speak of what the Church is inwardly, as hidden in the world and even in the kingdom.
1. The bad seed in the midst of the good: tares-error disseminated.
2. The great tree. Hierarchical system—of Rome, Greece, England, Protestants, etc.
3. Leaven. Diffusive doctrine, which spreading everywhere, in the end, leaves nought but corruption.
4. Hidden treasure. The Lord Jesus gave Himself for its purchase. He values it—for Him the Church is a treasure. Every Christian whose thoughts are as His Master's can appreciate the Church.
5. Pearl of great price. The moral beauty of the Church which is discerned only by Jesus, and by those who are spiritual of the children of God.
6. The net. The draught of fish presents Christendom.
Those who know how to discern between the good and the bad fish are not men, but angels. It should be noticed that it is never men (children of God), who are to be occupied with the cutting off of the wicked. Another thing altogether is the means of doing this.