Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

ing Scriptures:-1 Cor. xii.; Rom. vi. 4–0; Rom. xii. 3—5 ; Eph. v. 28-30; Col. i. 18; Col. iii. 12–15 ; Matt. xviii. 6–10.

One Spirit,” by whom and through whom we are quickened and created anew in Christ Jesus, and made to walk in newness of life and spirit. United to Jesus, and to one another in Jesus. Instructed, and led, and comforted by this “one Spirit,” who is the Preceptor, Guide, and Comforter of the “one body;" the great Revealer of Christ to our souls; the mighty Unfolder of the wondrous mysteries of eternal truth ; yea, of the great Eternal, who is the God of truth. He searcheth the “ depths of God;” dwells in, and abides for ever with, each and every member of the body of Christ, into which we are baptized by this self-same Spirit. By this Spirit of the Lord we all receive our diversified gifts, and experience the diversity of operations. We all are made to drink into this “one Spirit," and our blessed Lord hath said that, “ He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, and shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” This spake he of the Spirit, as he interprets in another place, and “out of his (the recipient's) belly (or heart) shall flow rivers of living waters ;” instrumentally communicating life and salvation around them, and streams of consolations, and ebullitions of praise and gratitude. Consider, too, the sovereignty of the Spirit, in dividing to every man severally as he will; so that none can boast of his high attainments as though he had attained them; and none should repine at his small attainments, for he has just what the Spirit apportioned him. It is by the Holy Ghost that the Scriptures were given to man, and he is the great Expositor of them to the hearts of the redeemed; none can have any saving acquaintance with them, but as they are revealed and opened up to the understanding by this self-same Spirit; “ For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. An especial point to be remembered is, its unity in purpose and effects; creating the same desires, and for the same end, in all the body, for the glory of God, and the edification, comfort, and welfare of the church; teaching each and all their sinful, polluted state by nature, and revealing the cross of Jesus to the soul; humbling the sinner, and giving him to see that it is by God's rich and sovereign mercy that he is saved; promoting the same interests in the prosperity of Zion, the support of the cause of God, the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, and in maintaining and advocating the honour of truth and the purity of the Gospel. This “ Spirit” operates and influences the recipients to one bent of mind, to preserve communion and fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, and with each other in him; produces love to the brethren, mutual edification, and “to show forth the praises of him who called them out of darkness into his marvellous light." This “one Spirit” is the earnest of future spiritual blessings, and of eternal glory. By whom we were sealed heirs of glory, until the day of the redemption of our bodies. He is the great Inspirer of true and acceptable prayer; the great Intercessor within us; the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, by whom we have a knowledge of the Son of God, and all the blessings treasured up in him; the Witness within us, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; hence we who are manifestly Christ's, receive “the Spirit of adoption, crying, Abba, Father.” By him, and through his quickening and fructifying operations, we are constrained to bring forth those fruits of the Spirit recorded in the Epistle to the Galatians; “ For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” He is the “Spirit of glory" that resteth upon those who

one are

reproached for the name of Christ.” The Spirit of the living God inscribes the law of love, gratitude, and obedience on the heart, and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; and we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This “ one Spirit” animateth and sanctifieth the whole of the “one body." Seeing, then, that these things are so, let us not “ quench the Spirit " in his gracious operations, nor “grieve the Spirit ” whilst under his benign influences, in grieving our brother through unkindness, or lack of forbearance or charity towards him ; but rather let us manifest our love in the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. The following Scriptures in confirmation may be useful to the reader :-Rom. viii. 15, 16, 26; Gal. v. 22–25; Eph. i. 13, 14, 17; ii. 18; iv. 30, 32 ; v.1; 1 Peter, iv. 14; 1 Thess. v. 19; 2 Cor. iii. 3, 17, 18; 1 Cor. xii. 3–13; John, xvi. 7-15; 1 Cor. ii. 4, 10–14; John, iv, 13, 14; vii. 38, 39. “ One hope.”

This is a third argument to enforce the unity of the brethren. Whether it be intended the object of our hope, the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is in all his glorious relations, characters, and offices, as constituted by God the Father as the one Mediator of his people ; for “ He is our hope," the only hope set before us; yea, he is styled the Hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof in time of trouble.” - Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” “O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed.” Or whether it means the ground of our hope, the all-glorious person, the finished work, the precious blood, or the all-sufficient justifying righteousness of Christ ; or the end of our hope, the “incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God ;" still we all have but “ one hope." However men may talk and endeavour to pervert the doctrines of the cross, it alters not the statement given by the Holy Ghost; it removeth not the land-mark. The tried and sensible sinner, one convinced of his helplessness, emptiness, guilt, and misery, finds that he has not, neither does he wish to have, any other trust, any other foundation, or any other expectation; whether he be Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, old or young, bond or free. • He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as God is pure” (1 John, iii. 3).

“One Lord;” as he is in all the endearing characters he sustains on the behalf of his church and people. Consider him in some of the most prominent: The citizens of Zion have but one King, even Jesus, the King of kings, who reigns in them, over them, and for them; He is enthroned in light in the highest heavens and in hearts of his saints; He is clothed in majesty, strength, honour, and glory; “clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne;" He rules them with a sceptre of love, which is a sceptre of righteousness;' "He is a great King over all the earth;” “His name is great." It is sweetly recorded of the church, “So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord;" then follows the wondrous description of her, The King's daughter is all glorious within ; her clothing is of wrought gold.” What can make her thus glorious and beautiful, but the inhabitation and operations of the Holy Spirit, and the costly, immaculate, and matchless robe of the Redeemer's righteousness?

Then follows the presentation of the royal bride to the Bridegroom-King..

“ She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle-work; with gladness and rejoicing , shall they (her companions) be brought; they shall enter into the King's palace.' Oh! how divinely does this set forth the introduction of quickened souls into the church, their espousals unto Jesus, their final presentation and admittance into glory, and their taking possession of the

the "

mansions prepared for them. We have a sweet declaration of this in the Canticles, where the bride says, “ The King hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee: we will remember thy love more than wine." And again, “Go forth, 0 ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” This blessed King, “ crowned Lord of all“ by every dear saint espoused and married to him, has made a chariot of wood, lined with purple and gold, and paved with love. Who does not see here the Gospel of Christ ? This King of kings "sitteth King upon the floods; yea, he sitteth King for evermore;", regulating and controlling the tempestuous waves of temptation, and the overwhelming surges of affliction and persecution. One Prophet to teach us what we are and what we deserve, and to reveal himself in the Father, and the way of salvation by him, and to unfold the law of love. One great High Priest to atone for our sins, intercede on our behalf, and impart the blessing. One Husband to cherish with his sympathy and presence, to protect with his omnipotent power, to provide with his grace, to clothe with his spotless robe of righteousness, to enrich with his blessing and glory, and to comfort with his love and tender caresses

one body,” the bride, the Lamb's wife (Jer. iii. 14; Isaiah, liv. 5; Hosea, ii. 19, 20; 2 Cor. xi. 2). One Shepherd, “ to gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom, and to gently lead those that are with young ;" to watch over us, and lead us into green pastures, and beside the still waters; to defend us from ravening wolves, and to fold us securely in the fold of glory. This one Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep; they all hear his voice and follow him, and a stranger will they not follow. There shall be one fold and one Shepherd. One Advocate, to plead our cause and maintain our right. One Surety for his people, who has entered heaven, as a pledge that we, for whom he stands responsible, shall finally be acquitted from the penalties we had justly merited. One Rock of Eternity, on which alone to build for time and for eternity. One everlasting, immutable Friend, that loveth at all times, and "sticketh closer than a brother.” One Shield, to defend us from the wrath of God, from the malice and persecution of the world, and from the rage and fury of hell, quenching all the fiery darts of Satan.

One faith ;" whether we regard it to mean the grace of faith by which we live, which centres in Christ, fastens on Christ, draws all supplies from Christ, embraces Christ, which leads from self to Christ, from sin to holiness, from earth to heaven; or whether it should be understood as the object of faith, the Lord Jesus Christ; or the end of our faith, for “ faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;" or whether it should be taken for the Gospel of faith, still we have but one faith. This faith “worketh by love, purifieth the heart, and overcometh the world.”

“One baptism ;" whether we refer this expression to the symbol, or the thing symbolized, yet we have but one baptism. If the ordinance is meant-whether infant or adult. or by sprinkling or immersion, I will not now stay to dispute-still there is but one ordinance of baptism by water. If the baptism of the Spirit, still we all have but one baptism (1 Cor. xii. 13; Matt. iii. 11; Isaiah, xliv. 3 ; Acts. ii. 18; Rom. vi. 3).

“One God and Father of all,” by whom we were created and newcreated; " who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope” (! Peter, i. 3); “Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth” (James, i. 18); “For ye_are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. iii. 26); “For he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one,

for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. ii. 11). So that we are the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ, and make one blessed family. As the Lord hath said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth ” (Amos, ii. 3); and again, “At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people ” (Jer. xxxi. 1); and the Apostle Paul was taught to write,

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and in earth is named” (Eph. iii. 14, 15). The following texts are sweet to the point : Rev. xxi. 7; Jer. xxxi. 9; 2 Cor. vi. 18; Psalm lxviii. 5; Mal. ii. 10; Jer. iii. 4. “ Who is above all,” transcendently in his essence, in the majesty of his person, in the glory of his work of creation and redemption, and in his infinitely glorious attributes and perfections; who is “ through all,” as the sole mysterious agent and medium of the blessings communicated; and who is " in you all,” as the sustainer and maintainer of our natural, spiritual, and eternal life; “for in him we live, and move, and have our being," both in time and to all eternity: and, as in his holy temple and heavenly city, “ this is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.' 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17; 1 Cor. vi. 19; Acts, xvii. 28; Psalm cxxxii. 13, 14; Rev. xxi. 2, 3, 22, 23.

Thus, beloved of the Lord, I have feebly written a few thoughts, as the Holy Spirit has enabled me, on the words before us. I pray that, upon a review of our identity of interest in the same rich and eternal blessings, the Lord may bless them to the stirring up of the dear saints of God to more brotherly love, and unto more scriptural unity of spirit with all those who, though differing in some points by no meanis essential to salvation, and not seeing eye to eye with us, yet sincerely and faithfully love our Lord Jesus Christ. Disunion among brethren is the crying sin of this our day, and, of all things, most offensive in the sight of God. How oft is the humble soul grieved, when meeting a professing servant of the Lord, instead of a cordial and affectionate reception, he is received with a cold indifference; when in company with one who differs, instead of forbearing love, we meet with shyness or petulant strife; with the weak, instead of becoming weak, feeling a superiority over our brother, and assuming a dictatorial spirit, which ever induces separation instead of unity. If one seeth not in ordinances or modes of worship as we see, who are we that we should sit in judgment upon our brother? May we see to it that we who judge be not judged; for, with the same measure that we mete to others, it shall be measured to us again. “Judge not by the outward appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

When the world and all its splendours are fading and receding from our view ; friends failing, "heart and flesh sinking, death approaching, time ending, eternity opening, and the books ready to be unsealed; we shall think time ill-spent then in disputing by the way; all minor differences will be swallowed up in this one expression of feeling, “ Grace, mercy, and peace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and in truth.' Oh, that it were always so ! We are heirs of one kingdom, and subjects of one King; if so be we have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Born of “one Spirit," members of “oue body,” even of Christ's; taught by the same Spirit ; children of the same family; sheep of the same fold;" have entered in at the one door ; bought with the one price, even the precious blood of Christ; travelling in one way; loved with the same everlasting, immutable love; saved by the one Jesus; having the same Intercessor and Advocate with the Father; hastening to one eternal home and rest; are adorned in the same robe of righteousness and garments of salvation; wedded to the same Bridegroom; washed in the same precious blood; and shall eventually be crowned with the same crown; be pos

one

sessors of the same inheritance; live eternally in ineffable bliss, and the resplendent glories of Immanuel ; and for ever casting our crowns at his dear feet.* One primary request of the Redeemer's intercession is, That they all may be une ; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us;" of one mind, heart, and spirit. And again, That they may be one, even as we are one." However much we may lament that the reverse appears to be the case, yet the time is coming when that prediction shall be accomplished, “ The Lord shall be King over all the earth : there shall be one Lord, and his name one(Zech. xiv. 9).

Hearing of, and seeing much of, the strife and falling out by the way, and feeling the readiness thereto in my own heart, and seeing how adverse it is to the whole tenor and spirit of the Gospel; with an humble hope that some of the family of the redeemed may be benefited, I have endeavoured to pen the foregoing remarks with a prayerful desire that "we may all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;" and that while, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, we endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; yet may we“ stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel." May the Holy Spirit make use of these imperfect remarks to the uniting of the children of God to their one blessed Head, and to one another in him, and to the establishing of our souls in one common salvation." May the God of patience and consolation grant us to be likeminded one toward another, according to Christ Jesus; that we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God the Father' (Rom. xv. 5—7).

With many apologies for trespassing so much on your time and patience, I desire to subscribe myself, in much affection,

Yours, in bonds indissoluble,

A FELLOW-CITIZEN.

66

THE PORTION WHICH BELIEVERS HAVE IN THE

REDEEMER.

Concluded from page 342.
II. We will now show the properties of this portion.

1. It is an ancient portion. It was put into the hands of Jesus Christ before the world began, as manifestly appears from 2 Tim. i. 9, “ Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. This plainly shows, that our God and Father was pleased to give to us, in the hands of our federal Head, grace and glory.

The Lord Jesus Christ saith, that he had a glory with the Father before the world was; but this glory of Christ was veiled while he was in this world; it was a glory he did not then possess, and, therefore, could not be his essential glory as Jehovah. It was, then, a glory which he had, as Head of his church, unto which he was then going as the

* Oh, what a cluster of blessings and blessedness! Truly this is some of the good old corn of the land; a few grapes from Eschol. Oh! that the Lord the Špirit may refresh his weary ones with a taste thereof.-Ed.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »