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man is a witness to himself; and, being by his constitution a witness to God, hath, the moment he liveth otherwise than by faith, taken up arms against God, and is in a state of actual rebellion : and in this state God cannot support him, but must suffer him to go down out of sight, for to let him abide in the sight of any creature would be to deceive that creature out of the knowledge of God. This is the dignity of man's being, to be altogether like unto God; and the way in which man requiteth God for this is, to do every thing, whether in word or deed, in the name of God, and nothing in his own name; that is, to live by faith upon God, and not by power of his own; and he needeth only to do so, in order to be supported through good report and through bad report. This man failed in at the first, and so came to the worse in the conflict with the enemy, and incurred the condition of death : but all was not lost, for death also is a condition known unto God, and if man had held to God in his adversity he would have found it to be better for him than his prosperity. The Son of Man did so : he came into the conflict late, very late, in the day, when the battle went hard against us, yet was he nothing daunted by the multitude of the slain and the overwhelming power of the enemy; but, weakening himself to the condition of the meanest soldier, of a worm and no man, he did every thing in the name of God, and trusted all to his God; and fainted not, nor was weary, but bore unto the end, though every one turned from his own battle and fought against the King of Israel alone.” All that flesh can bear he bore; and death he shunned not, nor hell, but took the lowest and the worst cast of it; acquitting himself in every place of his trust as a man, by believing in God; and God proved his purpose in the creation of man to be unchanged, bis love never a whit abated, his resources still adequate to his ends; and that all the while he had been but waiting for a man who would trust him, in order that this man might express the perfectness of his image and hold under him and for him the sovreignty of the created world. Jesus proved that a mortal man lacketh only to have faith in God in order to have the presence and power of God with him in all bis ways; that if our faith were as a grain of mustard seed we should
unto this sycamine-tree Be removed and planted in the sea, and it should be done.
I cannot tell how these views of the work of Jesus do comfort my soul, and open daylight into the future hopes of the church in the flesh. For, if it was proper for Christ to fight the battles of flesh against the wicked spirits, in suffering, weak, and dying flesh, by the hand and help of faith alone, then must it be proper to us also ; for between him and us there is no difference, either in the inherent qualities of our flesh, or the reality of that
VOL. VI.-NO. I.
faith whereby his flesh, the sister of the worm, was made mighty in word and deed over all the power of the enemy. There are not two kinds of flesh, “ One flesh of men;" there are not two kinds of faith, One faith.” What Jesus through faith did in flesh, flesh is at all times competent to do. Did he, being a Son in the Eternal Godhead, become a weak man, a trampled worm and no man, freely and willingly, out of devotedness to his Father's honour, in order that his Father's faithfulness in the creation of man and unabated love to fallen man might be proved ; then may I also, being elected of God, and through Christ adopted into the place of a son, willingly and gladly go down into the depths with Jesus, and by the fellowship of his sufferings learn the deep lesson of a Father's love, and teach to others the measures of a son's obedience. For Adam was created son of God" which was the son of God”-being the representative of that Person in the blessed Trinity who was purposed in the fulness of time to become man: and every son being bound by the law of his station to make his father's cause his own, Adam should have stood up like a lion against the seducer who called in question his Father's word, and wrenched the serpent's tongue from his lying throat; and no doubt, like Phinehas, he would by such devouring zeal have won to himself the honour of an imperishable priesthood, instead of sinking down, through forgetfulness of his Father and worship of the creature, into the wretched condition of death. But the fatherly heart of God forgot not the deep and unchanging love out of which he created man for a delight unto himself; and though he could get little or no return for his love, which went hovering about the earth to find a place where the sole of its foot might rest, nor found any till it lighted upon the head of Jesus, still his affection abode in its strength, and his words changed not their deep and pathetic note, saying, ever unto the sons of men, “O Ephraim, how can I give thee up; how can I make thee as Admah and Zeboim ? My heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.” And if God's sorrow over his lost children did find in the flesh of Jesus a harp whereon it might tell out its bitterest complainings and deepest disappointment, and express the full burden of its wofulness; then in my flesh also may the sorrow of my God over lost sinners also be expressed ; and the church may, as truly as Christ was, become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The same Spirit of Jesus which in Job and Jeremiah and the Psalmist did find vent to such pining sorrow and piercing lamentation, may find the same in us, the children of this generation, who are called to witness more direful calamities than the world ever witnessed before. Yea, verily to us it by right appertaineth to be the mourners of this generation, because to us
hath the Lord revealed the coming woes of men; which we have announced, but no man regardeth, and all refuse to give glory to their God: therefore "our soul shall weep in secret places for your pride: and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord's flock is carried away captive” (Jer. xiii. 17); and we will say,
“ Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” (Psalm lv. 6–8).
The first fruit of the reviving faith of the church will be to bring her into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, and to conform her unto his death; for till she descend with him into the lower parts of the earth, she will never ascend with him into the heights of his glory; until she be crucified with him through weakness, she will never be girded with his strength for the battle. It is in the lower parts of the earth that his body is curiously wrought (Ps. cxxxix.); it is from the sorrows of death, the floods of ungodly men, the sorrows of hell, and the snares of death, that the Lord sendeth down and delivereth his church, girding her with strength, and making her way perfect (Ps. xviii.). And I believe that now the Lord only waiteth for our bumiliation in order to exalt us. And this is the first part of the blessed hope, which the Lord by his Spirit hath set before
With many words, most wonderful to hear, hath the Holy Ghost called the children of God to humble themselves in the dust, and cry to him from thence, with most blessed assurances that from thence he will hear our cry, and send mighty deliverance; “making our feet like hinds' feet, and setting us upon our high places; teaching our hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken in our arms.” This humiliation and deep affliction of his church I believe that the Lord will accomplish unto the faithful in these our days; and I will do my endeavour to be a fellow, worker with God in this labour, by endeavouring to lead my brethren down, as the Spirit of the Lord is wont to lead us down, into the valley of vision, to behold the dry bones of the house of Israel, and weep over them.
The beginning of it all is Love, for where there is no love there can be no real grief and poignant sorrow; and love is not to be found out of God, for God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Love there must be to God before you can take part with God's sorrow over his forlorn and perishing children; love to Christ, before you can grieve over his despised, dishonoured Name, his blood trampled under foot, and his Spirit entreated with a continual despite : love to one another there must be, even the bonds of brotherly love, ere we can lament with Jesus over his body the church-a mangled and deformed, a diseased and disorganised mass : love also to the
world, like that which brought Him forth from the bosom of his Father to be made a curse for us, before we can go forth weeping, and bearing precious seed to cast it upon the waters of the unbelieving people. The heart of stone, which our unbelief hath wrought in us, must be turned to a heart of flesh; and faith can do it-faith, to wit, in the work which Christ hath wrought for all flesh, to take it out of the hands of fear and dread, and bring us into the hope and confidence of little chil. dren towards God. To them which believe he giveth power to become the sons of God, even the Spirit of adoption, whereby they cry out Abba, Father. We have even now the form and fashion of a son's heart, for Adam was the son of God ;. but sin hath filled it with the bitter waters of guilt and fear; which Christ by the fire of love hath licked up, and is now on high advanced, to minister unto us the very same spirit of a son which inspired him to undertake his sore and sorrowful travail, and bore him through it without a murmur or complaint. The beginning of love and the beginning of sorrow are therefore in believing without doubt that God hath granted unto us, in Jesus Christ, “that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us ; that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” No one who standeth in doubt of his being delivered from sin and misery, from guilt and condemnation, from the flesh, the devil, and the world, and lifted up into the condition of an adopted and accepted Son, to be in God's bosom in what nearness Jesus lieth, and to be loved with what love he is beloved-no one who doubteth or disbelieveth his full and free admission into the bosom of God by the side of Jesus, can love. as Jesus loveth or sorrow as he sorroweth. Jesus is the fountain-head of sorrowor, rather, God is the fountain-head, and Jesus the containing ocean, out of whose fulness it ever overfloweth in streams to moisten and mellow the heart of man ; for as water is to the parched earth, so is sorrow to the hard heart of man. seem strange to say it, but it is most true, that the tears which flow from the eyelids of a man are as needful to the fruitfulness of his heart as the dews which descend from the eyelids of the morning are to the thirsty ground. Now from Jesus sorrow floweth out; and faith uniteth us to Jesus; and being one with him, the tide floweth without interruption. The heart of Jesus is ever full of sorrow over his heartless spouse, his thankless world, and above all his Father's outcast and dishonoured name: it longeth to discharge itself into kindred bosoms: he wanteth those who will weep with him; through whom he may weep aloud in the hearing of the hard-hearted world. God's sorrow over the world ceased not with the agony of Gethsemane or the
heart which brake on Calvary; there is still a cause, there is still the same cause, for which he should be filled with sorrow; yea, there is a far more worthy cause, in that the boundless measure of his love to men is no longer hidden, but revealed in the glorious gift of the risen Jesus unto them : and, instead of being overpowered with the full disclosure of God's unmeasured love, behold, the church hath lost all sense, all memory, all knowledge of it, and goeth about to deny and doubt, and to hide under a bushel the excellent glory which was committed unto her keeping. Can God be but grieved at his heart to see his most honourable Son treated as an alien within the bounds of that creation which he made, redeemed, and longeth to glorify, all by reason of our unfaithfulness, ingratitude, folly, and pride? The work of Christ in flesh is persecuted from the face of the earth as detestable iniquity; his work in the Spirit contemned and derided as the most wild and wretched fanaticism ; and all the dear-bought inheritance of all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places cast away with execration, as the most daring profanation, the most extravagant folly! Ah me! wanteth there a theme for sorrow? And where are the mourners ? where is the living harp on which the wounded spirit of Jesus might ring out, in the hearing of heaven and earth and reckless men, the full measure of his lamentations? I cannot tell how I wonder at the hardness of our hearts who believe in these things. Surely we are a remorseless and impenitent people.
(To be continued.)
ANALYSIS OR ARGUMENT OF THE EPISTLE TO
I. The address, or introduction, announces the authority of Paul to declare the Gospel to the Gentiles, by revealing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and thus anticipates the definition of the Gospel which was promised before by the prophets of God in the Holy Scriptures, by recording the incarnation and resurrection of our Lord, the warrant of the apostleship, and of its universal concernment.
1. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (his body of the same substance as any other man of David's line);
2. Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
3. By him the Gospel, contained in these two parts, humiliation and exaltation, is sent forth to all nations, to be believed or obeyed by all.