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God. These are alone learned in their perfectness from the scriptures of truth, illustrated in the blessed person of Christ, and revealed in living power to the soul by the Holy Ghost.

Neither is it necessary to go to the men who are wise in the affairs of the world for the world it is still, despite of its formal adoption of the name of Christ-to learn its character and course. The true reflections of things in heaven and on earth are alone to be found in the divine mirror of the word. The saint, apart from the world, with the Bible in his hand, as one shut up

in a camera obscura, sees brought beneath his gaze every movement and figure in the busy complicated scene around him, with a clearness that none of its actors can discern. Thus, and thus only, is it safe to know the world. “ For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now

Amen."

and ever.

Death and Resurrection are the two great principles of Divine Grace: but, antagonistically, Human Energy and Combination are those in which Human Nature, since its fall, delights.

By the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, Life, peace, and hope, were found for our souls; by practical fellowship therewith, through the spirit, our life and service are moulded and sustained ;—while it is the realising this which maintains our recognition of God, as the End and object of our Being—“whose service is perfect freedom.”

Human Energy and Combination have no power to emancipate from Satan--neither can they even raise to the level of divine thoughts;-of the nature which fell in Eden, they will constantly be found to be roots of bitterness to the people of God-and, through Satan, subjects of pride to fallen man, his great implements in the last scenes of the coming apostasy against God and his Christ.

No. XV.

THE SON OF GOD.

"The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father.”

No. I. I AM sure that I dread reasonings where affections should animate us, and the withdrawing from the place of living power into any thing like a region of notions or theories

. But the mysteries of God are all of the highest practical value, in either strengthening for service, comforting under trial, or enlarging the soul's communion.

The Apostle speaks of himself and others as “ministers of Christ," and also as "stewards of the mysteries of God.” And so all of us, in our measure. We are to be “ ministers" i. e. servants in all practical personal readiness and devotedness; patient, diligent, and serviceable in labours; in all of which, some of us may know how little we are in comparison with others. But we are also to be “stewards," and that, too, of “mysteries,” keeping uncorrupt and inviolate the peculiarities of divine revelation. Reasoning men may not receive them. The cross was foolishness to such, and “the princes of this world,” the men of philosophy who professed themselves to be wise, knew not “the wisdom of God in a mystery." But that mystery is not to be surrendered to them in any wise. Our stewardship is of such—and it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful (see 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2).

The guardianship and witness of the personal glory of the Son of God, is a chief part of this high and holy stewardship. I observe St. John guarding that glory with a jealousy quite of its own kind. There are, for instance, measures and methods recommended, when Judaizing corruptions or the like are to be dealt with. In the Epistle to the Galatians, where the simplicity of the Gospel is vindicated, there is a pleading and a yearning in the midst of earnest and urgent reasoning. But in John's epistles, all is peremptory. There is a summary forcing out, or keeping out, all that is not of that unction of the Holy One, which teaches the Son as well as the Father, which will admit no lie to be of the truth, and which distinctly says—" he that denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father."

This diversity of style in the wisdom of the Spirit has its value, and we should mark it. The observing of days or the not eating of meat are things which really depreciate the full glory and liberty of the Gospel.

But they are to be borne with (Rom. xiv.). But depreciation of the Person of the Son of God would not be thus borne with, or have a decree passed in its favour after this manner.

A mere journeying from Egypt to Canaan would not have constituted true pilgrimage. Many a one had travelled that road without

being a stranger and pilgrim with God. Nay, though the journey were attended with all the trials and inconveniences of such an arid, unsheltered, and trackless wild, it would not have been divine or heavenly pilgrimage. A merely toilsome, self-denying life, even though endured with that courage, that moral courage, which becomes God's strangers on earth, will not do. In order to make that journey, the journey of God's Israel, the ark must be in their company, borne by a people ransomed by blood

out of Egypt, and tending, in their faith of a promise, to Canaan.

This was the business of Israel in the desert. They had to conduct the ark, to accompany it, to guard and to hallow it. They might betray their weakness and incur chastening and discipline in many a way, and on many an occasion; but if their direct business were given up, all was gone. And this did come to pass. The tabernacle of Moloch was taken up, and the star of Remphan, and this was despite of the ark of Jehovah; and the camp had, therefore, their road turned away from Canaan to Babylon or Damascus (Amos v. Acts vii.).

And what ark is in the midst of the saints now for safe and holy and honorable conduct through this desert-world, if not the name of the Son of God? What mystery is committed to our stewardship and testimony, if not that? “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you,

and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.” The wall of partition is to be raised by the saints between them and Christ's dishonour.

It is upon the heart a little to consider the Lord Jesus as Son of God-and if He give help from Himself, the subject will be a blessing to us.

We are baptised " in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This carries with it the formal declaration of the mystery of the Godhead; the Son being a divine person (in the recognition or declaration of this sentence), as is the Father, and as is the Holy Ghost.

It appertains to other scriptures to give us the same mystery (that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, are three Persons in the one divine glory or Godhead), in other and more moral ways, shewing it in its grace and power, and in its application to our need, our life, and our edification. John's gospel specially does this, drawing it out from its orderly form, as in the words of Baptism, and giving it to our understanding as saints, our affections, and our consciences, making it our possession in faith and communion.

In connection with this, I might observe, that in ch.i. 14, the saints are heard, as it were, interrupting the story of the glories of Jesus, and sealing, by their testimony, the great truth of the Word being made flesh.” And, in the fervour which became them at such a moment, they break or interrupt the current of their own utterance in that verse. For they begin to speak of the Word made flesh, but, ere they end that record, they (in a parenthesis) publish His personal glory, which they say they had seen, even "the glory of the only-begotten of the Father.” And this only-begotten of the Father (see ver. 18), is spoken of, very soon afterwards, as “ in the bosom of the Father"-words to be deeply cherished by our souls.*

• He is TPWTOTOKOS or first begotten in several senses—and we have companionship with him ; TPWTOTOKOS or first-born among many brethren. But He is also the povoyevns or only-begotten, and there He is alone. VOL.III. PT.II.

9

I doubt not the Lord is called the Son of God" in different respects. He is so called as being born of the Virgin (Luke i. 35). He is so by divine decree, as in resurrection (Ps.ü. 7, Acts xiii. 33). This is true, and remains true, though further revelation be made to us of His divine Sonship. He is the Son, and yet has obtained the name of Son (Heb. i. 1—3). Matthew and Mark first notice His Sonship of God at His baptism. Luke goes

further back and notices it at His birth. But John goes back further still, even to the immeasurable, unspeakable distance of eternity, and declares His Sonship in the bosom of the Father.

And there were, I doubt not, different apprehensions of Him, different measures of faith touching His Person in those who called on Him. He himself owns, for instance, the faith of the Centurion, in apprehending His personal glory, to be beyond what He had found in Israel. But all this in no wise affects what we hear of Him, that He was the Son“ in the bosom of the Father," or 6 the eternal life that was with the Father” and was manifested to us.

We must not, beloved, touch this precious mystery. We should fear to dim the light of that love in which our souls are invited to walk on their way to heaven. And (what is a deeper and tenderer thought, if I may be bold to utter it), we should fear to admit of any confession of faith (rather indeed of unbelief), that would defraud the divine bosom of its eternal, ineffáble delights, and which would tell our God, that He knew not a Father's joy in that bosom, as He opened it, and which would tell our Lord, that He knew not a Son's joy in that bosom as He lay there, from all eternity. I cannot join in this. If there be Persons in the Godhead, as we know there are, are we not to know also that there are relationships between them? Can we dispense with such a thought? Is there not revealed to faith, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; the Son begotten, and the Spirit proceeding? Indeed there is. The Persons in that glory are not independent but related. Nor is it beyond our measure to say, that the great archetype of love, the blessed model or original of all relative affection, is found in that relationship.

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