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effect to judgment; it is they also who put that which is good into the vessels and into the barn.
The lost sheep ; the lost piece of money ; the prodigal ; (Luke xv.).— The grace of God, which saves a sinner, is far more precious than the justice of God, which would recognise a just person, if such there were.
These parables of “ the lost sheep,”'“ the lcst piece of silver," and “ the prodigal son,” shew us the grand principle of action of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The first is the Son, the Good Shepherd, who seeks and saves the lost sheep, the poor sinner.
The second is the Spirit acting by the Truth.
The third is the effect of the Holy Spirit in the heart, and the reception, by the Father, of him who is thus brought back,
The first two are pure grace, inasmuch as they speak of the sovereign action of God on an object which is entirely passive.
The third is the manifestation of that grace in the career of sin.
The pitiless servant (Matt. xviii. 28).— The Jews, refusing grace to the Gentiles, have remained under their own guilt; or
1. The grand principle of pardon to the individual;
2. Prophetically; the Jews having been pardoned the death of Christ; but, having resisted grace to the Gentiles, suffer the consequences of the rejection of Christ.
Paul said, when speaking of the Jews, “ Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thess. ii. 16).
The householder (Matt. xx. 16).-The principle of grace and divine sovereignty, applied to the labours of the faithful when considered as servants—the reward.
In order to understand this parable, chapter xx. 16 and chapter xix. 30 must be compared together. The parable of chapter xx. is a guard against the abuse which the flesh would make of what Christ had said of the
recompense for giving up all that a man has, at the end of chapter xix.
The fig-tree cursed (Matt. xxi. 19).- This is an historic fact. It is a judgment of the Jewish nation, as a tree, to bear fruit.
The two sons (Matt. xxi. 28).— Those who pretend to a righteousness of their own in contrast with sinners.
The men of the vineyard (Matt. xxi. 33). — The conduct of the Jews toward the prophets and Christ, and the divine judgment thereupon.
The marriage of the king's son (Matt. xxii.). Invitation addressed first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. In Luke xiv. 16, the poor are introduced in contrast with the rich; but, to be recognised as a guest, we must of necessity put on Christ.
The unfaithful servant (Matt. xxiv. 45).— The ministry of the Church as to its responsibility, and a warning, hat, to defer the thought of Christ's return, leads to unfaithfulness and judgment.
The ten virgins (Matt. xxvi.) - While Christ prolongs his absence, the whole Church loses the idea of his return and slumbers; but the cry of his return breaks its slumber, and those who have the Holy Ghost are separated from the others. The judgment depends upon the lack or possession of grace.
The talents (Matt. xxv. 14). - This parable judges responsibility according to the use of gifts received.
In this parable, in Matthew, that which specially has prominence is the sovereignty of God; in Luke it is more peculiarly the responsibility of man (Luke xix. 18).
The piece of new cloth put into the old (Matt. ix. 16).Jesus gives two reasons why his disciples did not fast : the first is, his presence with them; the second, that it is impossible to give new force to old habits and old traditions.
The good Samaritan (Luke x.) is the spirit of grace, which, acting in us, makes every one to be our neighbour. The Priests and Levites were the persons who should have represented God, but love was wanting.
Jesus perfectly did so.
Church, if faithful will be set over all that Christ has. Faithfulness during the absence of Christ rewarded with the enjoyment of all that he inherits.
The barren fig-tree (Luke xiii.). — It is Christ who stays the judgments of God on the Jewish people by his intercession ; but, his labour being without response, He leaves the people to the course of the judgments. The fig-tree being rejected, the mustard-seed takes its place. Jews-Church.
The unfaithful steward (Luke xvi.). - Man having lost by his unfaithfulness the right to dispose of the creatures of God, yet still enjoying the power of doing so, is invited, by grace, to the mansions on high, which are God's.
The rich man and Lazarus (Luke xvi.). The rich man casts the light of the world to come on the circumstances of the present world, in order that we may judge morally.
The importunate widow (Luke xviii.). God, who apparently delays, executes judgment in the end, for those who wait on him. This specially applies to the Jewish residue in the last day. When Christ comes, man will not expect to find him at his return an avenger.
Jesus the true vine (John xv.),- Jesus takes the place of the Jewish nation, as the true vine (Isa. v.).
The door and the shepherd (John x.). — Jesus, fulfilling all that God had said of the Messiah, enters by the door, which is himself, and which is set forth as the sole way
of entrance: thus he becomes the door for all His sheep
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.
[The following paper is from the remaining Manuscripts of a beloved
brother (T. T.) who now sleeps in Jesus. From the numbering of the MS. it appears that the introduction is missing, which gives the paper a fragmentary character; but its pointed moral bearing is worthy of all regard. By it, “he being dead yet speaketh.”—ED.]
JESUS Christ's revelation-His unveiling of things. It is His revelation, not man's speculation. It is not a hidden thing to be revealed, but what is now revealed : the very actions themselves are shown out.
unto Him. Power belongeth unto God; and He has set up Christ over every thing; all rebellious powers must be subdued, and Christ must be supreme, and the development of this is opened in the Revelation.
To show unto His servants. In the Epistles of John, there are specially the Father, the Son, and the children: but in the Revelation, there are God, Jesus Christ, and His servants. God and Jesus Christ are here seen judging and rewarding; and men are seen according to their works: but it is to the servants of Jesus Christ that the things are shown."
a It is not to persons seeking after the salvation of their souls that this book is addressed ; neither is it addressed to the redeemed as resting in Christ, but as the servants of Christ. All the redeemed are here esteemed to be such : and all who assume the place of Christ's servants are dealt with on that responsibility. They are here let to see their triumph and the defeat of all their enemies. Evil men who, when looked at after the flesh, have that in them which deceives with the appearance of good, are here shown out in their true character, and the sources of evil are opened up. Evil men who boast themselves in their enmity against the faithful servants of God, are looked at in their awful end when the judgment of God comes upon them. Natural men see some tangible act according to the flesh, ignorant of the source whence it proceeds, and of the results in which it will terminate, while they speculate on both : but these things are made known to the servants of Jesus
And He sent and signified it by His angel. The ministry of angels is much used in the exercise of the powers herein revealed, and the angel is sent to show them. When the power wrought by the Holy Ghost in the saints, in comforting and teaching them, in sustaining their life or in giving life, is opened up to the saints; then it is by the Holy Ghost that it is shown. “He shall glorify me, for He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you." And so in the Epistles of John, in which testimony to the Father and the Son is given, he says, “ You have an unction from the Holy One and you know all things." "Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit (1 John iv. 13). In the Acts of the Apostles, the ministry of angels is often exercised, but always in a distinct sphere from that in which the Holy Ghost wrought.
When circumstances here were dealt with, or power wrought in connection with those circumstances, then the ministry of angels is seen.
When the person of Christ, or truth relating to Him, was the subject, or when powers were wrought in connection with Christ and the truth, then the Holy Ghost wrought, and not an angel.
When Christ shall be displayed in His glory, then His angels will be with Him; and so when the disciples looked steadfastly towards heaven, when Christ was taken up, then two men stood by them in white apparel, and they declared the return of Christ to be thus seen again.
But on the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were endued with power from on high to speak the word of Christ, by which many should be saved, then the power exercised was by the Holy Ghost, and not at all by angels.
When Christ appears in glory, then every eye shall see Him, and He will be accompanied by angels; but now Christ: and the question with them in their fidelity to God, is not between them and their enemies in these things of present appearances, but between God and the powers of darkness ; and, in communion with God in this, they triumph though in all present weakness, and see their enemies defeated, though boasting now for a little while.