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nect this with another blessing, and you will see the actual necessity of the covenant office of the Holy Ghost. It is his work to unfold the glories of God in Christ. The believer daily needs, and daily draws from him the strength he wants. As we are looking within, may this truth sink deeply into our hearts, namely, our proneness, every moment to desert God. The Holy Ghost is necessary every moment to lead us to the Lamb of God, who suffered for our transgressions. Yes, we have need daily to apply to this sacrifice, it is ever the same. Had man instituted a morning and evening sacrifice, he would have varied it; but God's is otherwise ; and would you complain of this sameness? there is but one justice, one mercy. God may say, I could as soon change myself, as the method I have adopted to save the sinner. As well can I undeify myself, as save a soul out of Christ. It is the sinfulness of the heart that makes us love anything better than God. Let us join in this prayer, that God the Holy Ghost may be ever with us in public, as in private, in the congregation and in the secret closet. The believer is thus taught the necessity of looking up to God for righteousness, and he finds an abundantly rich provision made in his power, to protect; in his wisdom, to guide ; in his right
eousness, to justify; in his Spirit, to purify, and make him more than a conqueror : he is conquering with the arm of Jehovah, and his view of his own barrenness, only drives him to God.
X. Another particular in the experience of the man who possesses the RENEWED HEART is, that he is ever flying to God in the hour of difficulty. The Lord does not despise the day of small things; neither should his minister, nor his people: if there be any one present, who has not been able to enter into the experience of all these particulars, let it not drive him away in despair; let him remember there are infants, young men, fathers, in Christ; «s Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” But you ask, when ? when ye shall see more and more of your own need. But there are others who have a clear perception of their interest in Christ; to them I would say, let your clear knowledge keep you humble, and give your faith fresh wings to fly to him every day : remember your own weakness; your strength is in God: look up perpetually to him : your strength consists in this, that all the perfections of God are pledged to preserve you. Faith in this truth will support you till you have fought the last battle, and the last victory shall be won.
i Hosea vi. 3.
November 12, 1820.
THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all
fulness dwell. -COLOSSIANS 1. 19.
The commencement of this epistle is wonderfully rich : the eloquence of no human composition can be compared with this. The epistle opens with the eloquence of Jehovah himself, and man is merely an instrument to hand it down to the latest period. The apostle after speaking of Christ in the thirteenth verse, says in the fourteenth, “ in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” and in the fifteenth, “who is the image of the invisible God,” he speaks of his being the image of God; not as the image received by creation, not the image which he bears in consequence of receiving from another, but who is himself the image. A person in Jehovah distinct in person from the Father, though one in essence. In the per
son of Jesus alone the Father sees his own beauty in all its lustre; every being from the lowest reptile that crawls upon the earth, to the highest angel in heaven, reflects, in some measure, the glory of God; but all created existence is totally insufficient to shew God his own beauty : it is in his Son, he sees all the fulness of his own glory with an infinity and eternity of delight. When we see Jesus as he is, then only shall we truly delight in, and be like him : “But 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, even as by the spirit of the Lord.”! Christ is the image of God in a peculiar manner, and it is just, so to speak of him who is “ over all God blessed for ever.” He is also called by the apostle, in the fifteenth verse, “the firstborn of every creature.” In ancient times, as at the present day, the first-born was and is considered the chief heir; hence the word heir and first-born have become synonymous. Christ is the essential and necessary heir of every creature : read the context, sixteenth verse, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or do
1 2 Cor. iii. 18.
minions, or principalities, or powers ; all things were created by him, and for him.” Thus he is heir of all things, and in such a necessary manner, that he cannot transfer his heirship to another; his inheritance is entailed upon him to all eternity. He is said to be “ before all things,” (seventeenth verse) teaching us, that he possesses essential independent existence. He must have existed from all eternity ; “ and by him all things consist;” thus he is not only the Creator, but the upholder, the preserver of all things. Surely those who, with this evidence before them, deny the Divinity of Christ, seem to take great pains to insult their own intellect; he is also said, in the eighteenth verse, to be the “first-born from the dead,” the heir of the dead, as well as of the living : and the apostle brings this fine climax to a conclusion in the words of the text, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Tell me in whom can you enthrone all fulness? where, but in Deity! and, blessed be God, that all fulness does dwell in Jesus; a fulness laid up in him, for the benefit of his people, for time and eternity. Jesus Christ is essentially and necessarily God, because all fulness can dwell in no other, and this fulness of Christ is irrespective of any covenant engagement in behalf of his church