Imágenes de páginas

is clothed in a perishing substance, the form and fashion of which, although perishable, serve well to express its nature and impulse, and serve also, as do church forms and ordinances, to communicate that impulse unto others. It is truly a narrow and sectarian spirit which governs these weak brethren. Having received a part of the truth, their contracted minds are filled; and, shutting the door to all further communication, they pervert the part they have received, and destroy the equilibrium it sustained with the other part of truth. And where another party has taken the other part, and refused to receive this, the connection is to them wholly destroyed; and the parts, which erewhile would have duly balanced and united in one whole, are now set in contrast, and made to fight each against the other, as if it were the heresiarch embodied. But such combatants may surely discern, if they will be taught, that it is not in the receipt of the parts of truth that they err, but in the shutting out that which is requisite to make the whole truth. It is their narrow exclusive spirits which fight one against the other, and make use of the weapons of truth, as the most serviceable for their disgraceful contest.

For these ends of conviction, what can so well serve as the exposition of the invisible reality which is pointed to by all things visible, and the proof that this invisible is only and properly expressed by the visible: that throughout creation the manifestation of the spiritual is the obvious intent; and the redemption of the mind from the worship of the visible to that of the spiritual through the visible, is the proper application? There is no lukewarm professor, however much he may deceive himself, who does not trust either in the visible or in the sensible. It is not that the formalist trusts in the formal, and the sentimentalist in the spiritual; but as the formalist in the formal, so the sentimentalist in the sensible, in frames and in feelings. The spiritual guidance and energy which proceeds from the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in every true believer, is as much to be distinguished from the impulse of the feelings as it is from the bowing down to dumb forms. It is the shewing forth the glory of God, as distinguished from all created things, that we may trust will lead to the faithful acknowledgment of Him;-the view of his glory, and the meditation upon it, which may draw off the soul from a worship of forms and natural things, to rest in him ;-the understanding of the fulness of the manifestation of this glory in the Lord Jesus, as setting him forth to the believer in power; the love surpassing knowledge seen in the calling, redemption, and glorification of the church, as the motive to love and faithfulness; and this fulness of glory and love made in the Lord Jesus the trust and ground of rejoicing in the believer, which may redeem him from the love of sin, the fear of death,

and from the temptation to formal and sensible idolatry, leading him to walk circumspectly, as knowing his own weakness; yet to be strong in the Lord in all times of trouble, trial, and temptation, as knowing the Lord's strength and love unto all his adopted children.

Thus much have I ventured to say upon the subject of the treatise, and have been drawn on far beyond the bounds I had prescribed. The importance which has been attached to the great truth it seeks to develop and the line of study it opens, has been spoken of with more boldness, since this truth was evolved by far abler minds and men of high spiritual attainments, and has received the approbation of those to whose judgment the writer willingly defers. It may be hoped that this feeble essay towards its explanation may be ere long supplanted by the pen of those to whom the church is indebted, under its great Head, for the original deduction of it.

Analysis of the Treatise.

1. Creation revealed.

2. The means and the end of creation revealed.

3. The manner of accomplishing this end by new-creation revealed.

4. Christ Jesus thus as the creation, the subsistence, and the end of all things, revealed.

a. The end, as head of his body the church, which is his fulness.

5. This end is the guide of all prophetic inquiries.

6. God hath a purpose in this end, which should be sought out. a. Which will be a key to the understanding of all his works.

b. Without knowing which the wisdom of God in the manner of the end cannot be understood.

c. The inquiry after it is of the highest moment, and encouraged by Heb. xii. 22, and Psal. iii., and must be pursued in the spirit of faith and of humility.

d. The spirit of pride, under a shew of humility, opposes the inquiry, as unprofitable and unspiritual.

e. God has declared it to be the rule of his acting in blessing: the inquiry cannot be unspiritual.

f. God has declared the office of his Spirit in us to search it out it cannot be unspiritual.


The mistakes of former inquirers no ground to refuse this inquiry.

7. This ultimate purpose is revealed in the same gradation with the revelation of the manner of the end by all things in Christ;

[blocks in formation]

8. The manner of the end shadowed differently in each period, and the declaration of the ultimate purpose differently expressed.

a. Declaration to Abraham: "I am the Almighty God." b. Declaration to Israel, like it.

c. Declaration to the Jewish Church by Moses: "I am Jehovah;" "Ye shall know that I am the Lord." 9. Thus the ultimate purpose declared to Abraham and to Israel, whilst the end of all things in Christ was declared by his calling himself the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.

10. The same testimony given to the Jewish Church by Moses, as to the end, by the expression "I am the God of your fathers," and as to the ultimate purpose; by the name "I Am" and "Jehovah."

11. A more explicit declaration of this ultimate purpose to be expected, from God's dealings towards Pharoah.

12. This is made by his declaring his dealings towards his people should be, "That they might know that he was the Lord their God;" and to Pharoah, "That he might be known to be the Lord."

13. The same ultimate purpose, "to make known himself" in the blessings upon Abraham, and in his judgments upon Pharoah and in his dealings towards Israel, as declared

[blocks in formation]

On giving the law.

On ordaining the form and ordinances of the tabernacle.

On the renewing of the covenant with them.

On their mourning at the report of the promised land.

On directing fringes upon their garments.

In the prayer of Moses to enter the land.

On declaring the intent of giving the land.

On declaring the curses which would follow disobedience.

On commanding the reading of the law.

In his song to the Lord.

In his blessing upon the people.

b. By Joshua:

[blocks in formation]

d. By Solomon:

At the dedication of the temple.

In the Lord's answer to his prayer at the dedication.

14. The declaration of his purpose in the Jewish church amounts to a declaration of the Lord's ultimate purpose in his spiritual church.

15. The like testimony of God's ultimate purpose to be found in the Books of the Psalms and of the Prophets.

a. In the Psalms all prayer is declaring the will of God, all praise declaring the glory of God; and the declaration of the glory of God is a setting forth of that which God essentially is.

b. In the Prophets: as the means of the end are set forth,
so will be the purpose of the end.

In Ezekiel a constant declaration follows the events
set forth: "Ye shall know that I am the Lord."
The proof from the Prophets cannot be opened until
its plain and minute interpretation is entered on.

16. A still more full testimony of God's ultimate purpose from the New Testament, though this is after another method. a. In the Jewish Church, Christ, as the beginning and

the end, was not so clearly revealed.

b. In the Gentile Church, Christ is specially set forth as
the creation and fulness of all things.

c. The constant reference of all things, under the Jewish,
to the ultimate purpose, will, in the Gentile, be sup-
planted by a like reference to Christ as the end.
d. The proof of the ultimate purpose will be found in the
clear declaration that Christ, as the fulness of all
things, is manifested to this intent.

e. This intent is specially declared to be self-manifestation. 17. This sums up the former proof, and shews the antitype to have the same purpose which is ascribed to the type. 18. A consideration of the glory ascribed to God will lead to the same conclusion.

19. As will the consideration of the covenant to believe in Christ, and denunciations against unbelievers.

20. This manifestation is in the second Person of the Trinity. a. Of the essential Being of God, by means of created things.

21. The relations assumed by the God-man to created things, and by the other God-persons towards him thus related, are distinct from the essential relations, and only a manifestation of them.

22. The precise nature of the headship and mystical body of the Lord Jesus cannot be understood, until the literal and figurative language of Scripture is examined.

23. It will, however, be the perfected form of created things, and the perfected manifestation of the assumed relations, as these manifest the essential relations of God.

24. It is thus seen that all creation serveth but to new creation; new creation to the manifestation of Christ's headship; and this headship to the shewing forth the glorious and ineffable Being of God.

(To be continued.)



NOTWITHSTANDING the mass of authorities brought forward in our first Number in defence of the orthodox doctrine of the human nature in Christ, we deem it good still to go on confirming the same doctrine, that our readers may find in every Number some antidote to the heresy now so prevalent, which denies that the Son of GOD was also Son of Man. The first extract is from the Notes to the Bishops' Bible, also reprinted in the folio edition of our authorized version of 1683. These notes are compiled from Beza, Camerarius, and Villerius; sanctioned by the archbishops and bishops who superintended Parker's, or the Bishops', Bible; and confirmed by the authorities under whom the edition of 1683 was published. The other extract is from Heylyn, 1654.

From the Bishops' Bible.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

Christ Jesus, hath

"For the law of the Spirit of life in made me free from the law of sin and death. "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.

i k

[ocr errors]

"A conclusion of all the former disputation, from ch. i. 16 even to this place. Seeing that we, being justified by faith in Christ, do obtain remission of sins, and imputation of righteousness, and are also sanctified; it followeth thereof, that they who are grafted into Christ by faith, are out of all fear of condemnation. 2 The fruits of the Spirit, or effects of sanctification which is begun in us, do not ingraft us into Christ, but do declare that we are grafted into him. a Follow not the flesh for their guide: for he is not said to live after the flesh, that hath the Holy Ghost for his guide, though sometimes he step away. 3 A preventing of an objection: seeing that the virtue of the Spirit which is in us, is so weak, how may we gather thereby, that there is no condemnation to them that have that virtue? Because, saith he, that virtue of the quickening Spirit which is so weak in us, is most perfect and most mighty in Christ; and being imputed unto us which believe, causeth us to be so accounted of, as though there were no reliques of corruption and death in us; therefore hitherto, Paul disputed of remission of sins, and imputation of fulfilling the law, and also of sanctification which is begun in us; but now he speaketh of the perfect imputation of Christ's manhood, which part was necessarily required to the full appeasing of our consciences: for our sins are defaced by the blood of Christ, and the guiltiness of our corruption is covered with the imputation of Christ's obedience, and the corruption itself (which the Apostle calleth sinful sin) is healed in us by little and little by the gift of sanctification: but yet lacketh beside that another remedy; to wit-The perfect sanctification of Christ's own flesh, which also is to us imputed. The power and authority of the Spirit, against which is set the tyranny of sin. c Which mortifieth the old man, and quickeneth the new man. d To wit, absolutely and perfectly. e For Christ's sanctification being imputed to us, perfecteth our sanctification which is begun in us. 4 He useth no argument here, but expoundeth the mystery of sanctification

« AnteriorContinuar »