« AnteriorContinuar »
determining to know nothing but Christ Jesus, we can consistently preach the new creation. In him we can see all things gathered into one ; we behold the new creature without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. And, looking to Christ Jesus in whom we are created anew, we can say to every descendant of Adam, Behold, all old things are passed away, and all things are become new!
The Christian who determines with the Apostle to know nothing but Christ and him crucified, can preach that holiness, without which no man can see the Lord; without which, neither Noah, Daniel, nor Job, Peter, James, nor John, nor any other of the Old or New-Testament saints could ever see the Lord, and for this reason, Because, saith the Holy One of Israel, no man cometh to the Father but by ME.
In the same consistent view, he who is taught of God can preach sanctification, and that not in part, as they who know not our Lord Jesus, nor the power of his resurrection, are ever dwelling upon this rich blessing, but perfect, perfect in him, who is made of God unto us sanctification. Yea, verily, the taught of God can proclaim a sanctification perfect and entire, lacking nothing;, for they can preach a crucified Redeemer who said unto his Father, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.
The Christian speaker who determines to know nothing but Christ and him crucified, can proclaim glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will towards men; and this he can do, because Jesus said, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work thou gavest me to do. He can preach peace, because this man is our peace, even when the Assyrian cometh into our land; he can preach peace to every creature, because having made peace through the blood of his cross, it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven, even those who were sometimes alienated, and enemies in their minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to present them holy and blameless in his sight, Colossians i. 19, 20, 21, 22.
“ For now in Christ Jesus, ye who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us ; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make in himself of
twain one new man, so making peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby ; and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to those which were nigh; for through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father," Ephesians ii. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Thus being determined to know nothing but Christ Jesus and him crucificd, we can nevertheless preach peace to those who were nigh, and as fully to those that were afar off, by assuring them that in Christ crucified the enmity is slain. In preaching a crucified Redeemer dying for the sins of the world, we preach reconciliation; for God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 2 Corinthians, v. 19.
But what is there which pertaineth to the divine and human nature, that is not found in Christ, and in him crucified? He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; the Creator, and the creature ; the God, and the man ; the Father, and the child ; the child born, the Son given ; the everlasting Father, and the mighty God. He was made sin for us, and he is made of God unto us righteousness; he was wounded for our transgressions, and by his stripes we are healed, Isaiah liji. 5.
He was condemned as a criminal, when he was numbered with transgressors ;. yet all judgment was committed unto him. He died in this world for the sin of the world ; and yet, as long as he was in the world, he was the light of the world, John ix. v. And this light was the life of men, John i. 4. In him was life, and this life was the light of men. He was the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely; yet his visage was more marred than any man's. He was found in the form of a servant, and was really a servant, and yet he was Lord of all. He was full of grace and truth, yet he, his own self, bear our sins in his own body on the tree, 1Peter ii. 24.
In one word, it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell. Can we too often recur to this precious passage? The fulness of God dwelt in Jesus; for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians ii. 9. The fulness of the humanity; for the head of every man is Christ. The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam, a quickening spirit. Thus, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. He was the fulness of our iniquity; for all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord laid on
him the iniquity of us all. He was the fulness of our righteousness; for it is written, there is none righteous, no, not onc, Rom. iii 10.
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is mani. fested, being witnessed by the law, and the prophets; even the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference.” Romans ü. 21, 22. “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah Ixiv. 6. Therefore, “in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified.” Isaiah xlv. 25. “ And this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness." Jeremiah xxiii. 6.
Thus, when we determine to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified, we know every thing which the scriptures can teach us. For in the scriptures we find “the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians i. 23.. “But Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians iü. 11.
Is it not plain that without our divine Master we can do nothing? How much are those to be pitied, who are ever labouring to prove from the scripture, what the scripture every where reprobates; and how supremely blessed are those, who know that joyful sound, which, in the scriptures, is gone out into the whole earth. Happy, indeed, are those individuals who are made wise unto salvation. They go on from strength to strength, in the faithful persuasion, that their lives are hid with Christ in God, and although in this world they have tribulation, they know that in Jesus they shall have peace. It is true that in this world they may, as their divine Master was, be looked upon as the offscouring of all things, yet they are well persuaded, when he who is their life shall appear, they also shall appear with him in glory; for while they are sensible that in them, that is, in their flesh, dwells no good thing, they are fully satisfied that in Christ Jesus they have all spiritual blessings, and although living in this world, they feel that they are of the earth, earthy, though they experience a war in their members warring against the law of their minds; though they know by woful experience, that when they would do good, evil is present with them, so that the good they would do, they do not, and the evil they would not do, that they do. Yet in the midst of all these discouraging circumstances, they have answer of good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, in whom they know, and are assured, they are complete. For living by
faith, they live Godly in Christ Jesus, who is the only never-failing object of their faith, as believers, and the author and finisher of their faith, as their complete Saviour.
Those who are enabled thus to think are Christians. They are of the true circumcision who worship God in the spirit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh; and such will have peace and joy in believing.
I think you once asked me if the attainment of such a state might not be termed regeneration ? But this cannot be, for our nature created anew in Christ Jesus was the true regeneration ; that is, obviously, the generation generated over again. But do our sentiments exclude the work of the spirit? God forbid. Nay, they establish the work of the spirit, because no man can know the things of God, but by the spirit of God.
Were I writing to an individual, unacquainted with the work of the Spirit, that divine Comforter, who, taking of the things of Jesus, makes them manifest to the soul, giving peace and joy in believing, I would spend some time in answering objections, but I know you have learned of the Father, and have received from the Holy One, that sacred unction, that will teach you all those things which are needful for you to know. That God, who hath begun a good work in your heart, will carry it on to perfection.
May you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Go on, my friend, and under the banners of the Captain of our salyation, fight the good fight of faith.
Like a true disciple of Christ Jesus take up your cross, and follow him, through evil, and through good report, for we shall most assuredly see the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. Yet a little while, and we shall hear a voice saying unto us, Come up hither. I trust, that God, unsealing your lips, will give you to shew forth his most worthy praise. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of our Emmanuel, he will be with them.
Give my kindest regards to all who love our Saviour; I hope to see you in the course of the approaching summer; and, in the mean time, I pray you let me hear from you.
I am ever your affectionate friend, and faithful servant. VOL. II. 43
To a Writer,
Some time since being on a visit to B, and having some business to transact with your printer, he put into my hands a narrative of the proceedings of the Baptist church against you, and in looking over some of your concluding remarks thereon, I was astonished to perceive you had fallen into the popular error, respecting the attempts made by me to illustrate the doctrine of the great and finished salvation. But as you appear to be a man of sense and principle, and of course, capable of feeling pain from a misrepresentation of your own sentiments, I am persuaded you will hold yourself obliged to me for setting you right in the particular to which you advert in the twenty-eighth page
your pamphlet. Thus you word a paragraph respecting me: “I confess these notions appear like the notion of Mr. Murray, respecting the punishment of sin, separate from the agent who commits it.”
Give me leave to assure you, Sir, it never entered into my head or heart, that sin could be punished in an abstract point of view, nor do I know, that an idea so absurd, so justly rejected by common sense, as irrational and unscriptural, was ever propagated by any individual professing the Christian, or any other religion.
Sir, I am so far from thinking that sin could be punished without an agent, that without an agent, I view sin as nothing at all. Condemnation is not punishment, at least, it is not the punishment of the thing condemned, but of the person to whom that thing appertained.
On grace's door (says the celebrated Mr. Erskine) thiş motto's gravid, Let sin be damn'd, the sinner sav'd.
Yet Mr. Erskine never supposed sin, separate from the sinner, susceptible of suffering. A performance may be damned by the public voice, but yet it is not the performance, but its author who is