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in. This manifestation of moral power led the Philistine king to Isaac's retirement, and to seek a covenant with hiin. o Here he was indeed light-displaying: Again, David'in Adullam's cave, the cheerless hold, had more numerous and more illustrious followers than in Saul's palace (1 Sam. xxii. 1). Simple suffering devotedness is always attractive. The maintenance, the strict and holy maintenance of truth in honor to Christ, whilst it repels the Deceiver, assures the heart and invigorates the purposes of the faithful. Witness the effect of the solemn judgment in Acts v. 13, 14, “ of the rest durst no man join himself to them;" and yet, “ believers were the more added to the Lord multitudes both of men and women."
In the consummation of all blessing “ the Lamb shall be the light,” and around Him, in one holy and bright array will all the saints be marshalled, and as we are like unto Him now, as "Christ is formed in us” (which the Galatians needed) are we the bearers of light before the world.
Each of the verses 1–8 begins with x Aleph.
who walk in the law of the Jeho h.
they shall seek Him with the whole heart.
they walk in his ways.
diligently to keep thy precepts.
to keep Thy statutes!
respect to all Thy commandments.
I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart.
I will keep Thy statutes. 1 lit. Blessedness of the perfect. lit. Blessedness of the keeper.
THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
THERE are, I think, three characters in which the love of Christ is presented to us, and is to be learnt by us; that is, his love to the saints, for I speak not here of his love to the sinner. The first we shall find, I believe, in the third chapter of the Ephesians, that is, his love to the church. Paul had been dwelling there on the mystery of the church, as in union with Christ-its mystery as to its earthly calling, and constitution, “ that the Gentiles, should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (chap. iii. 6), that the middle wall of partition should now be broken down, and that God should form out of Jew and Gentile, one new man in Christ, and one "temple," (chap. ii.) his own habitation by the Spirit. He had dwelt, I say, upon this external character of the mystery, and passed on, I believe, in his mind, to the interior, and essential mystery, in ver. 8., viz., that the body should be in union with Christ in heaven, for this is the " unsearchable riches of Christ," in view of which he becomes but the least of all saints; this is the mystery kept secret from the ages, and hid in God, when he created all things by Jesus Christ, and by which now principalities, and powers, are learning the manifold wisdom of God. It was, I judge, clearly in connection with these thoughts that he here speaks of the love of Christ. They are to learn it" with all the saints.” It is the love of Christ to the church. And it is truly of infinite importance to know that there is a body, which Christ loves with a special, and peculiar love, and that body is the church Christians commonly hindered by the trammelling systems of man, only think of themselves as This is pre
individuals; they think of Christ's love to them as individuals; but they do not identify themselves with Christ's love to the church, as a body. But let me say, it is utterly impossible ever to enter into Christ's love in its fulness, without this; Christ is not thinking merely of individuals, he is thinking of a body, a body which God prepared for him, and gave to him (John xvii. 6), a body for which he died (Ephesians v. 25), and for which he
lives, and which lives in, and by him (John xiv. 19), soon, too, to be presented in glory to Him (Ephesians v. 27). I say, upon this body, Christ's love dwells with infinite fulness. We must see this, then, in order to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know the love of Christ, that passeth knowledge, and thus be filled with all the fulness of God.
This is true; yet is it well also to see the love of Christ to us, as individual members of himself. This is sented in (Ephesians v). He there speaks much of the church, yet still he says, “ We are members of his body, we are (Greek) of his flesh, and of his bones," we are individually in union with Him, He with us, “ He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” And how blessed to think that the love of Christ rests upon us, individually, severally, and specially. What a comfort is this in affliction, and trial ! Our flesh might perhaps think that the Lord deals hardly with us; but how impossible! “No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but does nourish and cherish it, even as the Lord the church.” Be the stroke ever so rude, and overwhelming, it is but the tender hand of Christ after all. It is wisely and gently dealing. It cannot do otherwise, for
ever yet hated his own flesh, but does nourish and cherish it."
But beside these two characters, John, I think, opens to us another thought, which “sealeth the sum; and that is, that this love which is resting upon us, is a Divine love. That is the character of our Lord, so much brought out in John, viz., as the Son of God; and that is what ever gives it such value to the saints. And so it is, I judge, very much in that character that our Lord acts here (John xiii). He knew that he 56 forth (Greek) from God, and that he goeth to God.” He was
in the full possession of what he was, and what he has, " that the Father had given all things into his hands.” And then it comes out, that,“ having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end." Yes, it is a Divine love that is resting upon us, upon his own; it is the love of the Son of God; it is the love of GOD. The other parts, as shewn, bring out the love of Chris in constituted relationship to us; but this, as I said, brings out a higher thing still, the nature of Him that loves, and the nature of the love. May we learn all more fully, that we may more fully adore Him “ that loves his
I will not dwell here upon the nature of the action he there performs for his own; in type, the priestly intercession, and washing away of His people's defilements
. Surely it is blessed to have such a One to “wash our feet"; and may we learn day by day more fully in quiet submissive love to leave all our sins there, where Jesus would put and leave them, in the basin—the laver. Let us not in apparent humility, but in real pride, and self-righteousness of heart, refuse to submit to this washing, saying, like Peter, “ Thou shalt never wash my feet;” but since our Lord will have it so, even let it be so; let ours be the blessing, His the glory. “Behold,” says Mary, the handmaid of the Lord; "be it unto me according to thy word.” Soon shall we come where the streets are of pure gold: there will be nothing that defileth there; meanwhile, whilst wandering here, may we learn more fully the grace of Him with whom we have to do. It is our privilege, as I said, to leave even all our sins and all our defilements there in the basin, or laver, of Jesus; all our needless worldly cares and anxieties we may leave in the same place too; for, after all, it is but the dust of our feet. Jesus loves us: it is our privilege, like John, here to lean on his bosom; let us do heartily whatsoever we have got to do of earthly business; but as to needless care, it should find no place for one leaning on the bosom of Jesus. May sin and sorrow thus be more removed from us!
DEUTERONOMY XXXII.-HABAKKUK. ACTS XX. 29. - 2 TIMOTHY. - JUDE.
Moses and the Apostle Paul, each in the respective times or dispensation in which he lived, prophetically bore witness to this, namely, God's people corrupting their ways. They testify of the apostasy and ruin of that entrusted to man's hands—yet (and seen, may we not say, the brighter because of it ?) the unchangeable goodness of God—His glorious Majesty and all the unfailing power of His grace, and love, and tender mercy above the sphere of man's conduct, and whatever failure there may be, though He deal with it, and judge it, for He must judge, in that sense, His people.
The prophet Habakkuk establishes and confirms the testimony of Moses. Jude that of Paul. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established.” Others, indeed, as Peter in his second epistle, witness the same.
It be found instructive to examine and compare the Scripture as to this testimony, for where are we? What is God's present testimony to us? Assuredly it is as to His faithfulness and blessedness in spite of failure and corruption. There is witness enough as to the ruin and failure, and, alas! abundant practical proof of our unbelief and folly, but the point which God presses on our consciences is that He is the same. God and Father, whose mercy endureth for ever. The same God the giver in all His unsearchable riches and inexhaustible fulness. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. The same God the Holy Ghost in all His present living energy and witness, given “ that He may abide with you for ever.” Blessed truth! With this, and having special faith in this, there is a remnant recognised and addressed in the Word, represented in lively way by Habakkuk in his triumph of faith, and specially testified of in Jude, who—in communion with