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immutable and endless in holiness. Thus then, we see that supercreation grace has exalted our nature to the uttermost in the person of Christ, and the nature provided for us to inherit is by consequence spiritual and divine.
I know not, Madam, whether by these reflections, I have made myself perfectly intelligible to you, but if they should be in any degree useful to you, or an occasion to excite farther enquiry, if I can promote by any means your spiritual knowledge of Christ, whenever you please you may command my poor services. The subject is worthy of our closest and most patient investigation; for as it has engaged the mind of God to devise it, it can never be thought that it is beneath the notice of the church to observe it. I might have gone into the subject, and laboured the point, by comparing various parts of scripture to illustrate and confirm the fact, but 1 have given you a. few brief remarks anticipating that you will prefer this short statement. There is one text of scripture which I would wish you to consider in connection with these remarks; it is, "your life is hid with Christ in God." This is an important declaration, forasmuch as it contains the sentiment that you are solicitous to understand. Permit me, Madam, to entreat you to spread the sentiment before the throne of grace, and the numerous texts of holy writ which contains it, and I modestly venture to say that you will not pursue such a course in vain .
Wishing you a correct knowledge of this important subject,
I am, Madam, your most obedient humble Servant,
July 19, 1827. -L B. T.
A HINT TO THE REVIEWERS, AND ON MR. MANN'S RECENT PUBLICATION.
Who is the reviewer of recent publications, in your magazine, 1 stop not to enquire, but am sorry to say there is in my opinion too often a quibble about words. In the review of Mr. Bickersteth's publication he objects to the word connect: the expression is treating of justification by faith alone,—" receives the only Saviour and connects the soul with him." The objectionable term with the reviewers appears to be the word 'connects;' now the simple word, connect, signifies to unite, to be in union, and that man of God, the late Mr. Hart, says in his hymns,
The faith that unites to the Lamb,
'_ I cannot see much difference between the word connect and unite. The Holy Ghost saith, he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with the Lord; when Paul describes Christ and his church under the metaphor of a body, he says, Christ is the head of his body the church; and all believing sinners are members of his body, his flesh, and his bones: then there must be connection, for what is connection but union. And how sweetly does that blessed Spirit set this forth by the apostle; "It is written, for this cause (namely, love) shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they (thus connected or united) shall be no more twain but one flesh: this is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his church." The union or connection between Christ and his church is an eternal one, as they were chosen of God in Christ, and loved with an everlasting love; and this is manifested in time, to the blessed objects of God's love, by the display of almighty power in their regeneration by the Spirit, by which they are made partakers of the divine nature, and so sensibly connected with and united to Christ the living and true vine, that by virtue of this union or connection they bring forth fruit to the praise and glory of God. If therefore Mr. Bickersteth by the word, connect, meant, as I presume he did, a vital, real, living union with Christ, by the Spirit as the Spirit of faith and love, I think the reviewer to blame to quibble at the word.
But when I took my pen to write to you, Mr. Editor, 1 purposed to drop a few thoughts on Mr. Mann's hypothesis, that Lazarus, whom our Lord raised from the dead, never afterwards deceased as touching the body. That Lazarus's was an actual death I firmly believe, (and not a suspension of the animal functions,) for Martha says, "-he hath been dead four days," and his body was in a state of putrefaction. Our most glorious Christ, in the resurrection of Lazarus, displayed his eternal power and Godhead to confirm and establish the faith of his disciples.
The many instances we have, in the old as well as the new testament, of the bodies of men being raised from death, are manifest proofs of the power of God: and when the widow's son was raised, 1 have no doubt, as a good man hath observed, it was to lead her by faith to behold the death and resurrection of Christ. But if it be admitted, as Mr. Mann observes, that these if raised were to die again, it would be a great calamity. I think he enters too much into those things of which it is said, God giveth no account of his matters; and who shall say unto him, what doest thou? Surely, after all the arguments of Mr. Mann, the Judge of all the earth will do right
My grand objection is, that if those who were raised from the dead never died again, how can the blessed Jesus be the first begotten from the dead? It is true, Enoch and Elijah were translated that they should not see death; but with all due deference to Mr. Mann, I see no impropriety in God's acting thus towards his creatures, yea, towards the objects of his eternal love. We live in a day, Mr. Editor, when men are intruding into these things that they understand not, and are arraigning at the bar of their reason the inscrutable acts of Jehovah. Hoping that some more able pen may take up the subject, I subscribe myself
Match, 1828. A LOVER OF TRUTH.
THE HUMAN SOUL OF CHRIST.
In the christian course so much depends on correct views of the person of Christ, that the command to search diligently the mind of the Spirit, never ceases its obligations from the commencement to the close of the pilgrimage of life. Yea, when mortality is swallowed up of life eternal, and hope gives place to everlasting fruition; and when the ample means the church now enjoys in that pursuit are removed; and not till then, the sealed book of the divine decrees will be opened, and it will be her endless employ to explore the glories and the mysteries inscribed on each immortal page. It has been the good pleasure of Jehovah to shed forth, through the clouds and darkness which surround the eternal throne, some faint rays of his inexpressible glories, whichhave from the time of the introduction of sin to the present, illumined our dark world, and which to the final consummation of all things will continue " a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel." But though, in comparison with the effulgence of uncreated light, our conception of those beams is infinitely less than that of one glimmering spark abstracted from an ocean of flame, —how great is that light! We can only conceive correctly of the immeasurable extreme, when we have formed a due estimate of the boundless evil of sin, and of the perfect pollution of our nature.
To arrive at a scriptural understanding of the person of Christ, we must revert to the covenant engagements of the divine persons in Jehovah, when for the manifestation of his glory the one Lord, whose name is " One," revealed himself as the Father who chose the church, the Son to redeem the church, and the Holy Ghost to sanctify the church.
The eternal Three, personally distinct, though essentially one, each act distinctly in the divine essence. The divine wisdom and will, acting distinctly in the distinct person of the Father, planned and resolved the incarnation of the Son for accomplishing the great work of redemption. The divine wisdom and will, acting distinctly in the distinct person of the Son, approved of this design and concurred therein, and he engaged to unite himself to our nature to effect the wonderful undertaking. The divine wisdom and will, acting distinctly in the distinct person of the Holy Spirit, agreed in the great design of the salvation of the church, and he undertook the work and office of glorifying Christ, and sanctifying a peculiar people to the praise and glory of sovereign grace. 'These distinct and mutual actings
Vol. IV.—No. 48. "2 Y
of the divine persons between themselves, (says an eminent writer on the subject) are the covenant of grace, wherein the method of our salvation was fixed, and that gracious design effectually secured.'
Thus we acknowledge that the constitution of the person of Christ, and the designation to his marvellous work, was the great act of " the Three that bear record in heaven." The scriptures, the only guide to a right understanding of the mighty subject, supply no further information than is comprized in this succinct statement: but we would evermore praise the almighty author and revealer of the word, that he hath given innumerable plain and indisputable testimonies to establish the faith of believers in the all-importaut truth. Yet the vain imaginations of some, even professors of the faith of God's elect, has induced them in various ways to repudiate divine declarations, and raise a dark veil between the orb of truth and the eye of faith. With the pretensions of casting a shade before the false lights which divert the mind from the great luminary, they have aided in obscuring his beams, and have left the lone and anxious enquirer to "meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noon day as in the night." Many persons have held the views we are about to condemn, who believed that therein they had done greater honour to the word of inspiration, and, consequently, to the person of our adorable Lord. But, while we presume not to question the honest persuasion of their own mind, we are living witnesses of the dolorous effects of the same, when inculcated before those " whom the Lord hath not made sad."
It is insisted on by some, that the human soul of Christ was a contracting party in the covenant of grace. This, which in the estimation of many may appear very harmless, and quite consistent with pre-conceived opinions, completely destroys the eternity of the covenant. Hence, to speak after the manner of men, the origination of the will and purpose of God concerning the church must have been delayed, until an act of creating power was put forth, for the production of part of the complex person of the church's head and representative. So that we are instructed to believe, that once there was no covenant! An acute reasoner, but one who, as a divine, has sadly marred the subject before us, asserts: '1 freely confess, that the platform of salvation was laid in the eternal mind; and that the whole scheme of our happiness was drawn in eternity, infinitely beyond all date; but yet the contract between the Father and Christ was not so.' What trifling is this! Can it be possible to exalt the glories of Christ by thus libelling the wisdom and will of the triune Jehovah? But if the covenant of grace be not eternal, there must have been a period when Christ was not the covenant head of the church; and we at once rescind from the canon of scripture such a gracious declaration as this: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have 1 drawn thee."
We are in no fear of dishonouring the person of Christ in saying, also, that the presence of his human soul was not needful in the high council of eternity; neither for the purpose of guaranteeing the fulfilment of covenant stipulations, nor for representing the persons of his mystical body. It is adopting a very inadequate mode of expression to remark, that the second person in Jehovah, alone, was competent to undertake both the representation of the church, and the accomplishment of divine decrees; but the united wisdom of earth and hell may be challenged to deny its correctness. "Mine own arm brought salvation, and " of the people there was none with me," are glorious truths not only referrible to the great Surety when actively engaged in the redemption of the church, but may be strictly applied to the will and determination of his divine person, considered as covenanting on his own and his people's behalf. And it is not 'an incredible thing,' that the triune Jehovah should view and account him, the glorious God-man, before calling forth any one created intelligence into being. Yea, it was a glory peculiar to Christ, in his divine nature exclusively, to contract with the persons of the Father and the Holy Spirit. And, since the presence of his human soul could add neither glory to his divine nature, nor reality to his covenant engagements, we may with safety conclude that it was not brought into existence until "the fulness of the time was come."
So far as the light of faith directs us, we glory in the mysterious actings of the persons in Jehovah severally, and desire never to lose sight of their oneness in will and operation. Yet we are liable greatly to err by not at all times keeping in view, that they distinctly as well •as mutually concur and act in the purposes of the' covenant. The nature which the second Person decreed to take into union with himself, was his own in a peculiar sense, and was absolutely at the disposal of his divine will. He had full and proper right to veil his glories therein, and to agree that it should obey and become a sacrifice for the sins of his people. We have repeated expressions, from the lips of Christ, which clearly prove the right of the divine person to dispose of the human nature. Hence we learn, that not only the preexistence of the human soul was unnecessary, but that the advocates of the idea, however unintentionally, greatly disparage the glories of the eternal Three, in their several subsistences. That the human soul of Christ was a parly in the covenant, we boldly deny ;—that it was a witness in an eternal contract, we utterly disavow.
It is seldom, we believe, that 'the pre-existent scheme,' as it is called, has been agitated dispassionately: the effects of its bigotted advocacy having often appeared in futile reasonings and rude reproach. Surely a subject involving such weighty considerations, as those at which we have glanced, deserves and demands a solemnity of feeling and conduct somewhat proportioned to its importance. One part of the apostle's charge to Titus is frequently acted upon, where an equally momentous part is held in fearful neglect: even "uncorruptness," "sincerity," and "sound speech," may be used " in doctrine,"—but we shall see the exhortation to <* gravity'* entirely forgotten.