Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Now we shall find that the Holy Spirit which came upon them was the Spirit of Truth, a truer knowledge of Christ, a portion of the Spirit of God, a sympathy with and an understanding of the Mind of the Father of Jesus, which they did not possess before ;-in the one case comforting them for the loss of their friend and their master, by giving them a participation of his and of his Father's Spirit,—in the other case, qualifying them spiritually to be witnesses unto him, to be his Apostles and Preachers, an office for which their previous misconceptions of the true character of the Christ, their alienation from the true Spirit of God, as manifested in Jesus, had totally disqualified them. Why it was that Jesus must “go away,” in order that the Spirit of Truth might come unto them, in order that the Spirit of the world should be separated from their ideas of the Christ, and the Spirit of God take its place, we shall fully see. Previous to the death of Jesus, the views of the Apostles respecting their Messiah were Jewish and worldly—after the Resurrection and Ascension they became Christian and Spiritual. How was it that Jesus must personally leave them, in order that the Spirit of Truth might come unto them? “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter was not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

The Death, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of the Christ, introduced a necessary change into the concept. of the Apostles; these drove out of their Messianic idea the spirit of the World, and introduced into it the spirit of God. They could not retain their Jewish ideas of the reign of the Messiah, in connexion with the crucified Jesus. If they held by their Jewish faith on this matter, they must abandon Jesus. If they held by Jesus, they must abandou their Jewish ideas, and remodel their faith. But God takes care that they shall hold by Jesus : and this is His mode u spiritualizing their conceptions of Christ and of Christianity.

God lifts him from the dead and places him in Heaven. The Christ returns to earth to show that God was with him; and he ascends into Heaven, to repel the imagination which otherwise might possibly arise, nay, which actually had arisen, that even yet he might raise his standard on the earth, and realize the gigantic illusion of the Jew. By this means, the Apostles were placed in this position :—they must retain their faith in desus, for how could they battle against God, or hold out against such evidence as the Christ rising from the tomb, and de Christ passing into the skies ;—and yet if they are to re

sus as their Messiah, they must modify all their Jewish ws, and conceive of the Christ anew. And accordingly this

plan and process of their conversion, of their introduction to

the true Christianity, of their baptism into the Spirit of God

God. Since Jesus was thus evidently the Christ, could not be adapted to their Jewish views, of course

ewish views must yield, and adapt themselves to him. e and destinies were the fixed facts, with which their Plons of the Christ must now be harmonized. You

how when the Spirit of Truth came upon them, it ' of Jesus, it took of his and showed it unto them, it llumination upon words and deeds of his, which, when Plated from the Jewish point of view, caught not the N es of their souls, and like invisible writing, waited heat and light of Truth to fall upon them, and bring meaning. His Death struck down a principal part of Cors: and his Exaltation forced upon them a new idea Ngdom. Never again could they confound the Mes

2 a temporal prince. Whatever Christianity might ceforth it must be connected with the immortality of • Christianity could not be separated from the Christ.

Christ was with God; and they remembered his and promise, that they were to be with him where he

and yet could not be adapt all their Jewish views mus His life and destinies were

now see how when th testified of Jesus, it too threw illumination contemplated fro

for the heat and ligh out the meaning: their errors : and of his kingdom siah with a tem) be, henceforth i Heaven. Christie and the Christ prayer and prom was.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

All this would necessarily be suggested to them from the identifying the Christ with the risen Jesus. Nothing more would be necessary to unfold this train of spiritual thought. It was the first fulfilment of that profound prophecy, “When the Comforter is come, even the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, and shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” And this Spirit of Truth did lead them into all truth—it gave them no new revelation, but it called to their remembrance, and taught them to understand a revelation which Jesus had before offered to them in vain—and so, in the words of his own promise, it glorified him, for it “ took of his, and showed it unto them.” The Apostles were now in a position to look upon the Christ from a right point of view, and to receive the Spirit of Truth and God. The scales of illusion dropped from their eyes, and they began to see Jesus as he was. From the hour that circumstances constrained them to draw their Christianity from the life and destinies of the Christ, their minds began to open, and the Spirit of Truth to teach them all things, and to call to their remembrance whatsoever Jesus had said unto them, no longer dimly understood, but irradiated with moral light, because seen in right connexions, and explained by the interpretation of events. Who can retain his fancies in opposition to direct experience and experience was now enlightening the Apostles. How could they go on dreaming of an Earthly Prince, when their Christ was in the skies: From that hour their souls began to be transfigured, and they walked in the light of the other world, and the Christ to whom they looked became their leader to Immortality. How could they go on in their unspiritual imaginations, when the Captain of their Salvation stood constantly before their eyes, a crucified man, and a risen immortal? From that hour they became soldiers of the Cross, and their only victories were

[graphic]

God, and brethren of manki
Kingdom with his Characte
They had to read the glor
the light that beamed the
to take their Christianity IT

over themselves, and the powers of evil; and the only battle-
cry of the Son of Man, when idol after idol fell prostrate be-
fore the Truth, and their Master in the skies, in the successes
of his faith, led on the movements of humanity, and, wherever
his spirit struck root, banded a new force against
of man, and mustered fresh hosts for conquest. How could
they go on in their national arrogance, and in their sectarian

tolerance, when they were obliged to draw their moral no-
ons of Christianity from the life of Christ, and that spoke

nerent lessons? From that hour their anti-social I began to soften, their exclusiveness to bend and give her deep-cut lines of national distinctness to disappear ully developed features of our common humanity. In

his Spirit, what could they be but children of brethren of mankind? They had to harmonize his with his Character, and that led them into all truth.

o read the glory of God in the face of Christ ; and lat beamed there was grace and truth. They had heir Christianity from the Master's life, and that kept zat. Its lesson was of the one fold, and the one

of the one God and Father of all, and of one type anexions between humanity and Heavenone Me

Ween man and God, the man Christ Jesus. And uy when fitted for it by the teaching of events, the

ruth, at once their Comforter and their Teacher,

upon them, and then they became “witnesses unto hey read his life anew, and reported it to the world, World read it too, and has ever since been studying estless revelation. They saw in it more and more of er's spirit and purposes, and after the illumination

upon them, the providence of God so disposed the vents that affected the infant Church, that they

bearing the light that lighted them unto all the rsecution scattered them from land to land, and they Ang with them their priceless treasure. They were

m city to city, but all the faster flew the Gospel.

shepherd—of the one of the connexions be diator between man so at last, when fitted to Spirit of Truth, at once descended upon them, him.” They read and the world read it t that exhaustless I the Saviour's spirit had come upon then external events that went forth bearing the world. Persecution went carrying with hunted from city

[graphic]

THE COMFORTER,

The stake received them, and it became as a new cross of Christ, and the blood of his martyrs witnessed unto him. Are we speaking of the same men who in Gethsemane's garden forsook their Lord and fled—who in the Temple Court denied him to his face-who, when he was led to the Cross, abandoned him in terror, and when he died there, laid their heads in the dust, because their poor ambition was fallen to the earth ? Are they the same men, who in the Gospels are narrow-minded, ambitious, and false—that in the Acts of the Apostles come forth bold, resolute, spiritual witnesses for Jesus, and dauntless martyrs to his truth? We can scarcely believe that we are reading of the same men, when we turn from the page of the Evangelists to the record of their deeds, after the Death and the Ascension of the Christ annihilated their errors, and the Spirit of Truth and of God had fallen upon them. Contrast the prayer,—“Lord grant us to sit on thy right hand and on thy left in thy kingdom," or, “Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”—with this, “Lord, thou art God, which hast made Heaven and Earth, and the Sea, and all that in them is; who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the bar stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of 18 were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done: And now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant unto thy servants with all boldness they may speak thy word; by stretching forth thine hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may De done by the name of thy holy child Jesus !” How came is difference? What passed over them and turned th new men ? The Spirit of Truth had come unto them, that great Comforter, the Spirit of understanding and of a they saw it all, and they were worldly and weak no more,

« EdellinenJatka »