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woman the text refers to, to tell him all. , wont, in going out by torch light, to carry
4. We read, (St. Mark v. 29) “she the torch in one hand and the vessel felt in her body that she was healed of with oil in the other, and every now and that plague.” So it is my brethren, then they could pour the oil out of the when we come to Jesus, and accept him vessel into the lamp, so in the Christian's as our Saviour, our souls are renewed as life, his heart needs daily renewing, and well as our sins pardoned, we be- if not constantly supplied by the Holy come “new creatures in Christ Jesus,'' Spirit, his light will become more and
The moment she came and touched the more dim, and his soul less and less haphem of Christ's garment by faith, that py, but if his lamp be kept well trimmed moment she was healed, and so the mo- and supplied, his path through life will be ment we believe in Christ, that moment as a “shining light, shining more and we are saved. I do not say the work within more to the perfect day,” and his end is perfect in a moment : here our case will be to "shine as the stars for ever differs from hers. She was instantly healed and ever." of the plague: the work within the soul is 5. And lastly, hear the Saviour's partgradual, but yet there is a gracious and ing words,“thy faith has saved thee, perceptible change—the tone of our cha- go in peace.” It was by faith she obracters, the whole bent of our lives is tained the cure, Jesus was the giver, faith changed. “She felt in her body,"-yes, was as the hand stretched out to receive. and “he that believeth hath the witness Multitudes thronged him, but only one in himself,” for though we are not to wait we read of touched him by faith. It is for a changed life as the evidence of the so with us, “by grace are we saved, reality of our faith, we are not to wait and THROUGH faith.” The simplicity of this say, “ I am not sure I believe, for I am staggers some and offends others, but it is not sure I am a new creature ;" yet our true. What! may I be assured of my faith, if genuine, will assuredly "work by interest in Christ the moment I believe ? love,” as well as “purify the heart.”- Yes, (see 1 John v. 9, 10, 11, 12.) true Alas ! how little do we love. And why? it is, that saving faith contains, as in the because our faith is so weak. Let us bud, all the gracious fruits of holiness believe more implicitly, and we shall love which are to God's glory, and if life be more fervently. Believe more and you spared, these fruits will appear; but as I will love more : let the root strike more observed before, we must not wait for deeply, and the branches will spread more these evidences to prove our faith to be widely. Perhaps some weak believer real. These fruits indeed stamp our is mourning his want of love to Jesus faith with the seal of genuineness--but the very grief for its absence proves some let the soul be stayed on Christ, be aslove to be present, as is so sweetly ex sured by God's word and oath, that he is pressed by Herbert,
safe while he simply believes the simple “ As when the heart says, sighing to be ap. record which God hath given of his Son :
prov'd, Oh could I love !—and stops ; God writeth,
let this be done, and peace will follow, loved.""
love will follow, devotedness will follow.” "She felt in herself,” it is even so, the “ Lord increase our faith, and help our change is felt in the temper, the disposi- / unbelief.” tion, the tastes, the affections, the desires, My brethren, consider what has been the feelings, the hopes—there is a gra- spoken, and the Lord' give you a right cious change throughout, “ old things judgment in all these things, to his glory have passed away, behold all things are and your peace and comfort, through become new,” And as of old, they were | Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Amen. UNION WITH CHRIST.
PREACHED IN NEWMARKET CHURCH, DIOCESE OF CLOYNE,
BY THE REV. RICHARD CHESTER, A.B.
GALATIANS ii. 20. “ I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live : yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the
life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
There are many persons, my dear uniona work which he has performed brethren, especially at the present day, for us, rather than a work which we ourwho seem perfectly to understand the selves, if believers, are looked upon, and nature of the finished work of Christ ; may speak of ourselves as having perwho can point out the adaptation of its formed by virtue of our union with him. several parts, to the corresponding wants Salvation is thought of, and spoken of, of the sinper; who can dwell upon the as though it consisted in the occupying benefits resulting to mankind, from the of human nature's right position by the life, the death, the resurrection, the as- Lord Jesus only, rather than in the recension of the Redeemer, and yet who storing of human nature through the present to us the spectacle of hearts un- work of Jesus, to that position which it changed, and lives uninfluenced by the was originally designed to occupy in the doctrines which they profess to believe. sight of God. Thus lowness of doctrine This at first sight might seem strange, it produces proportionate lowness of pracmight seem contradictory to the Scrip- tice-ignorance as to calling-blindness tures of truth which every where speak as to privilege-neglect as to duty, are of a change of heart and life as the ne- the consequences of this partial reception cessary consequence of believing in sal- of the truth. vation as it is in Jesus; and we might be There is, therefore, I think, my breat a loss what opinion to form concern- thern, especial weight to be attached to ing such a class of persons, did we not those passages of God's Word, which find both their present state and their point out and enlarge upon the nature of future prospects accurately described in the believer's union with Christ, which the pages of the Word of God. This are calculated to lead us individually to is that reception of the truth which the the inquiry, w am I united unto Jesus?" Apostle Paul alludes to when he speaks And, if united, “ am I walking in all of its “ coming in word, but not in things worthy of the vocation with which power"_these are the characters whom I am called ? Such seems the nature of he describes as “ having the form of the passage which I have taken for a godliness, but denying the power of it. text, and such is the inquiry which I These are they whom our blessed Lord would ask the Lord's blessing to enable interrogates when he asks,“ why call ye me to lead each one of you to make me Lord, Lord, and do not the things | individually. which I say?" and whose doom he an The apostle, in verse 16, has been nounces in the fearful sentence, “ de- speaking of justification through faith, part from me, I never knew you, ye knowing," he says, " that a man is workers of iniquity.”
not justified by the works of the law, but One great source of this evil, I be- by the faith of Jesus Christ ; even we lieve to be the habit so very general of have believed in Jesus Christ, that we looking to, and speaking of, the work of might be justified by the faith of Christ, Christ, as though it were a work of sub- and not by the works of the law ; for by the stitution only, and not rather a work of works of the law shall no flesh be justified." In verse 17, he supposes an objection God esteems us as discharged debtors, consequent upon this doctrine, namely, upon whom there is no further claimthat “ if while we seek to be justified by released captives, against- whom there is Christ, we ourselves are found trans- | no more demand and thus to rejoice in gressors. Is Christ therefore the minis the liberty wherewith Christ has set us ter of sin ? God forbid.” He answers free-- this is what it is to feel “crucified this objection in the 18th and 19th with Christ.” Observe too, that the verses, by showing that the believer's de apostle speaks of this as being the case liverance from sin is effected by his with himself individually—“ I am crudeadness unto the law, and his life unto cified with Christ.” And this, be asGod, which are the result of his union sured, brethren, is what we all want with Christ " For if I build again the more of, to get away from generals, and things which I destroyed, I make myself to come to particulars in religion; to a transgressor ; for I through the law am appropriate the work of Christ to ourdead to the law, that I might live unto selves individually; to look upon it, and God." The nature and consequences of to speak of it as a personal matter bethe union with Christ by which this is tween our own souls and Him; to leave effected, he brings before us in verse 20, off questioning as to the amount or the in a two-fold point of view-first, union extent of the benefit of the death of with Christ in his death ; secondly, union Christ to mankind at large, and to ask with Christ in his life--" I am crucified ourselves of what benefit is the death of with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not Christ to me? to cease from troubling I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life ourselves as to whether this person and which I now live in the flesh, I live by that person is or are not Christians, or the faith of the Son of God, who loved how well or how ill adapted is their chame, and gave himself for me."
racter to their profession, and to put it to . UNION WITH CHRIST IN HIS DEATH- our own souls, " am I a Christian ?" “ I am crucified with Christ.” It is to | Am I walking and living, and speaking the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thinking as the member of a body, my brethren, that the word of God and of which the Spirit is the inmate, and the our own reason must ever concur in Saviour is the head ?" Observe again, pointing us, as the only and the all-suffi- the apostle speaks of this as a matter of cient means by which the infinite amount certainty—“ I am crucified with Christ.” of penalty which we owe to the broken This too is what we all want more law of God, can be paid, the eternal of, more of a well-defined, well-ground weight of curse which attaches to our ed certainty, less of a vague, untransgression of it, can be rolled away; satisfying hope. Oh, my brethren, hope but this we are too apt, as I have already has been well termed, with regard to the said, to regard as a work of substitution things of this world, a deceiver ; but I merely. It was doubtless a work of sub- fear, I much fear, that it is reserved for stitution," he suffered for our sins, the the judgment-seat to prove, and for eterjust for the unjust” -“ he was made sin nity to teach the truth with which the for us who knew no sin ;" but what sort term is applied. But some amongst you of substitution was it? It was that of are, I dare say, disposed to object. Paul the head for the members, that of the was an apostle, called by an audible voice vine for the branches ; so that we are | from heaven, and to whom the Lord Jesus authorised to look upon ourselves as in Christ was manifestly revealed; it was therecluded in the second Adam in his death, fore no wonder that he should speak in as well as in the first Adam in his sin. this manner; but for us poor sinners that And inasmuch as we feel and know that we are, to use similar language would be we ourselves have incurred the penalty the height of presumption. What, howin the one, it is also our privilege to ever, if I can show you, that it was not know that we ourselves have paid that upon the apostleship to which he was penalty by virtue of our union with the called, or upon the revelations which other, not only that he has paid it for us, were vouchsafed to him, that Paul based but that we have paid it in him. We his assurance, but upon the very fact upon have a right to regard ourselves, and to which you build your doubt! The fact know that God regards us as having of his being what you are, a sinner. For already endured in the death of Jesus, , this purpose I need only refer you to 1st the punishment of our sins, until there Timothy i. 15—" This is a faithful saywas no farther punishment for us to bear; ing, and worthy of all acceptation” (mark, to estimate ourselves, and to know, that worthy of all acceptation, therefore wor
thy of yours) “that Christ Jesus came into | death. Therefore we are buried with the world to save sinners, of whom I am him by baptism into death, that like as chief.” Yes, my brethren, depend upon Christ was raised up from the dead by it, this is the only way to attain, the only the glory of the Father, even so we also way to keep up assurance, to see our should walk in newness of life. Knowing selves as sinners, and therefore those this, that our old man is crucified with whom Jesus died to save. Were we not him, that the body of sin might be desinners, we would have reason to doubt stroyed, that henceforth we should not it, inasmuch as we would not belong to serve sin.” And for this reason is it said that class of persons whom the Lord de- 2 Cor. v. 16. “ Wherefore, henceforth scribes as the objects of his coming ; but know we no man after the flesh, yea, though being sinners, if we doubt it, we doubt we have known Christ after the flesh, yet, his own word. A heart, deep-stained now henceforth know we him no more,” with the black dye of pollution, which and then it is added, verse 17, “ therefore we long to have purified ; a life written / if any man be in Christ he is a new creaover with the crimson characters of sin, ture.” Here then is the view which the which we desire to have effaced; these death of Jesus and our union with him are our only and all-sufficient passports in it, should give us of that nature to the Saviour's presence, our never whose indulgence we have pleaded failing claims upon his aid; and it is for, whose lusts we have pampered, whose when feeling ourselves burthened beneath | infirmities we have excused, whose dethe weight of a curse which we cannot | sires we have gratified that it is dead, remove-oppressed beneath the amount that its struggles and its throes are only of a debt which we cannot pay—we look those of expiring mortality—that we are to Jesus, and see him with the eye of to deal with it, to look upon it, and to faith getting beneath the curse, to lift it turn away from it as that which is dead. off from us, paying the debt, in order to it is thus that Paul in Romans vii. 24. set us free,—and when our hearts are cries for deliverance from his dead self, drawn out in gratitude to Him who is which hung upon him as the dead body thus the author and finisher of our salva- hung of old around the Roman victim, tion, love becomes a bond of union be." Oh wretched man that I am, who shall tween our souls and the Saviour; we feel deliver me from this body of death.” It ourselves one with Him, and we say with is having his dead self thus full in view the apostle, not“ Christ was crucified FOR that in the passage before us he speaks of me,” but “ I am crucified with Christ.” himself as crucified with Christ. It is in
But there is something more than this the triumphant experience of that deadin the Apostle's language-he does not ness to the world which this view of self merely look back upon the death of the engenders, that we find him exclaiming cross and feel his identification therewith in the 6th chapter and 14th verse of this as delivering him from the penalty of sin, same epistle « God forbid that I should for then his language would be, “I was glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus crucified with Christ,” but he looks to Christ, whereby the world is crucified something present, he realizes a present unto me and I unto the world”—and it is power in the doctrine of the cross, for he in the application of this same self-crucisays, “I am crucicified." This, bre- fying effect of union with Jesus, that in thren, is an important point, and one but Colossians iii, after having told them that little understood. The Lord Jesus, al. they were dead, and thelr life hid with though perfectly free from all sin, so far Christ in God, he exhorts them to as all commission of sin, or all liability to “mortify therefore their members which commit sin is concerned, yet took sin are upon the earth.” O Brethren, let us upon himself by imputation ;—.“ he was seek to habituate ourselves to this view of made sin for us who knew no sin," and self,—and when self would plead with us thus became liable to death, he took upon for indulgence--when the world would himself the nature that had sinned, for win us to canformity, let our heart's an"he was made in the likeness of sinful swer be, “I am crucified with Christ.” flesh"_and for what purpose did he dothis? II. UNION WITH CHRIST IN HIS LIFE: not to effect a change in this nature, not “ I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless to rescue it from its penalty-no, but to I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; deliver it to death, this is very plainly and the life which I now live in the flesh, stated in Romans vi. 3 to 7. “Know ye I live by the faith of the Son of God who not, that so many of us as were baptized loved me and gave himself for me.” The into Jesus Christ were baptized into his | Apostle speaks of himself as dead, and yet
alive-dead with Christ in his death, I believer's self that lives, but Christ that alive with Christ in his resurrection | liveth in him—“ Yet not I, but Christ “nevertheless I live.” Yes, my brethren, liveth in me;" it is not self, for it is not it is the believer alone who really lives— self, but Christ that he is to seek to maghe lives here_his soul fulfils the purpose nify,—not self, but Christ that he is to seek of its being in glorifying the God of its to please, not self-interest, but Christ's love,-its affections are centred upon interest that he is to study,—not self-will, worthy and undying objects-its desires but Christ's will that he is to consult-Christ are towards exalted and eternal things, liveth in him. Here is the perfection of its joys are those with which no stranger the believer's union with Christ, as we intermeddleth,-its hopes are such as find the Lord himself describing it in shall not make ashamed, he shall live John xvii. 21 and 23, “ That they all hereafter, “when Christ who is his life may be one, as thou Father art in me, shall appear, then shall he also appear and I in thee, that they also may be one with him in glory.” The unbeliever | in us, I in them, and thou in me, that does not live : there may be about him | they may be made perfect in one,”—and oh the stirrings of vitality, but it is a vitality how incessantly watchful over self, how engendered of corruption_his affections, | tremblingly sensitive of sin and inconsis. like ivy, entwine themselves around a tency, how earnest in their strivings after ruin; his desires are but the pouring out holiness of walk and conversation, must of water into broken cisterns; his joy is this consideration make those by whom it but the forerunner of sorrow; his hope is has been realized that they carry Christ the inlet of fear-he is dead in the guilt about with them wherever they go, that of sin here, he will be dead in, although he acts in their actions, and speaks in not dead to, the never-ending punishment their words,—that as he is their represen. of sin hereafter. But observe the nature tative, and bears their names as jewels on of that life which the believer enjoys the breastplate of his intercession before through his union with Jesus. The work | his Father in heaven, so are they his reof Christ is two-fold, destroying the old presentatives, and bear his name inscribed nature by his death,-implanting a new upon their lives and characters before his nature by his resurrection. Thus, in the redeemed on earth,--yea, that inasmuch passage already quoted from Romans vi. as they sit in him as their head in heavenit is said that the object for which we are ly places, he dwells in them as his membaptized into the death of Jesus is, that bers on the habitable earth. This is the “ like as he was raised from the dead by argument which we find the Apostle using the glory of the Father, so we also should in 1 Cor. vi. 15, against one sin in walk in newness of life ; for if we have particular, “know ye not that your bodies been planted together in the likeness of are the members of Christ ? shall I then his death, we shall be also in the likeness take the members of Christ and make of his resurrection," and therefore the them the members of an harlot? God Lord says to his disciples, “because I forbid !” but which is equally applilive ye shall live also.” Here we see the cable to sin in its every shape, such is the certainty of the believer's life hereaster: standard of the believer's deadness to, it is the life of the member of the body and separation from, sin, (who amongst whose head enjoys that life already ; and us has attained to it?) to be dead even inasmuch, as the head is risen, and ac- as Christ is dead to it, to keep apart from cepted, and glorified, the members must | it, even as Christ keeps apart from it :be raised, and accepted, and glorified too, such is the measure of what is consistent Therefore Christ is spoken of as the first for the believer, (which of us observes fruits, the first-born from the dead. it?) not what is consistent for me, but Here too we see not only the certainty what is consistent for Christ. of this life, but its security. It is “hid | The passage before us not only inwith Christ in God," so hidden with him, structs us as to wherein this life consists, so bound up in him, that to assail it, but also how it is to be carried on. Christ who "sitteth at the right hand of There is much of difficulty in such a life God” should be assailed, to destroy it, as this, my brethren,-scripture assures Cbrist who “is alive forevermore” us, reason convinces us, and experience should be destroyed. And here especial- proves to us that there is ; and when we ly do we see wherein consists this life at I look at the strength of the obstacles to be present germinating and expanding with overcome, and the height of the standard in the believer, and how it is to be carried to be attained; and compare them with on. It consists in this, that it is not the the weakness and lowness of our condi