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of the Lord, constant therein, and humble. For abundant, you know what our Saviour says: “ In this is my Father glorified, that ye bring forth much fruit,” John xv. 8. One sun in the firmament, honours God the Creator more, than an hundred little stars. One strong christian, that does much for God, honours him more than twenty, than an hundred weak ones.
Aye, but though a man have advance of grace, and be abundant in the work of the Lord : yet notwithstanding, if he be not constant therein, he does not cause the way of Christ to be well spoken of: what will men say? Aye, he is wound up to a great height for the present, but stay a little, and you will find him down by and by.
Yea, though a man be abundant and constant : yet if he be not humble, he does not honour the way of Christ: when a man is abundant in good, constant therein, and walks humbly; what says the world then ? Aye, there is the man, if all professors were such ; aye, there is an humble man, there is a self-denying man ; aye, if you were all such, if you were all such, then I should like the ways of God the better. Take heed therefore, unto your lives, that ye so walk, as that the ways of Jesus Christ may be well spoken of by you.
Would you honour Jesus Christ as you should ? Then own him : own him in evil times, and stand for him in the times of general declining. Honor est testimonium de allicujus excellentia; honour is the testimony of a man's excellency: when I testify of an excellency in a man, then I honour him; and the more I testify of an excellency in a man, the more I honour him. Now the less the truth of Christ is; and the more despised the ordinance of Christ is, and the more I suffer for it: the more do I testify of an excellency in Jesus Christ: what! suffer the loss of all for that which the world counts little worth! O! if there be such an excellency in a truth, a small truth, a despised ordinance; what an excellency is there in Christ himself! Observe therefore, what those despised ordinances are, and labour to bear them up, those truths that the world counts small truths, be willing to lose much for them; stand for them in times of general declining ; own Jesus Christ in evil times; otherwise you cannot honour him.
I have done. Only thus: be willing to stoop unto any
work, though it lies much below your condition, for Jesus Christ; and say, that you are not sufficient unto such a work: when you have done the work, set the crown upon the head of the means, that is most properly Christ's. Some means are natural, and some institutional: some means that are near unto Christ: some means that ye use in a work, that are more properly Christ's : choose to set the crown upon the head of the means that is nearest to Jesus Christ. Thus doing, ye shall honour Jesus Christ. And oh! my beloved, why should not we all now set ourselves for to honour him ? not in word, but in deed to honour Jesus Christ? He hath done all for our profit, why should we not do all for his honour? God the Father honours Jesus Christ, why should not we honour Jesus Christ? you that have had the experience of this truth, as I make no question but there are many here, that have had the experience of it; that whatsoever grace the saints have, they have it from Jesus Christ: you, I say, that have had the experience of this truth. Oh! labour now to advance, to lift up the name of Jesus Christ: oh! that our whole life, might be nothing else, but a Christ-advancing life! you that have the experience of it, labour, not in word, but in deed to lift up the name of Jesus Christ.
" And of his fulness have all we received, even grace for grace.”
Joan 1. 16. THREE things, ye heard, are to be noted in this last clause, as it stands in relation to the former part of the verse :
First. It notes, an abundance of grace.
Secondly. It notes thus much : that whatsoever grace the saints have, they have it from Jesus Christ. And of these two I have spoken already.
The third now follows. It notes also, an answerableness of grace in every christian unto the grace of Christ. Of whose fulness we have all received, even grace for grace; grace ans
werable to his grace. We have not only received abundance of grace from Christ: but whatsoever grace or holiness there is in Jesus Christ, there is somewhat in the saints that is answerable thereunto.
And this now suits with your ordinary expression : when the seal falls upon the wax, and the wax receives it rightly; ye say, there is upon the wax, stamp for stamp, character for character, image for image : so here, grace for grace, that is, whatsoever grace there is in Christ, there is the like stamp upon the heart of every christian.
This also suits with that expression of Scripture, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” Matt. v. 38; that is, an eye answerable unto an eye, a tooth answerable to a tooth; so grace for grace, that is answerable grace: whatsoever grace or holiness there is in Christ, something in a christian that answers thereunto.
Take grace for favour, for the favour of God. And is Jesus Christ called the Beloved of God; “ This is my beloved Son,” Matt. iii. 17? so are the saints too; Solomon is called “ Jedidiah, the beloved of God," 2 Sam. xii. 25.
Take grace for privilege. Is Jesus Christ called the Son of God? “ This is my beloved Son;" so are the saints too :
Every son whom he loves,” &c., Heb. xii. 6. Is he called an Heir, " the Heir of all things," Heb. i. 2 ? the saints are said to be “ heirs and co-heirs with Jesus Christ,” Rom. viii. 17. Is he called “ Elect and precious," i Peter ii. 6? so are they too “elect and precious," i Peter i. 2. Is he called “ God's Fellow," as ye have it in Zechariah xiii. 7? the saints they are called his fellows: “Who is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” Heb. i. 9, that is, above the saints. Is he called the Light, “the Light of the world,” John viii. 12, the true Light? they are called light too: were darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord,” Eph.
Take grace for assistance. And had Jesus Christ felt an assistance from God the Father, as ye read at large in the xxiind Psalm? so have the saints too : “My grace is sufficient for thee,” i Cor. xii. 9.
Take grace for holiness or sanctification. And is he said to be sanctified; “ For this cause have I sanctified myself,” John xvii. 19? so are the saints also said to be sanctified:
“ That they also may be sanctified," John xvii. 19.
Ye read of a fellowship that the saints have with Christ in
grace; grace answerable to his grace.
1. First of all, there is a glorious and blessed union between Christ and every christian; a union beyond all expression. It is compared, indeed, unto the union that is between the head and the members, the root and the branches, the hus
hand and the wife; but though they come up to what Christ intended, yet they all fall short of this union that is between Christ and a christian : for the head is not in the members, nor the members in the head, mutually; but Christ in them, and they in Christ: “I in you, and you in me," saith he John xiv. 20. It is a union of mutual in-being, not a union of affection only, such as the stones have, when they lie together in a heap; but rather such as is between the wine and the water, when they are put together, saving that they are not mixed together. Christ is not mixed with a christian, a christian is not mixed with Christ; Christ is not a christian, a christian is not Christ; but there is a union of mutual inbeing Now, you know, when the fire gets into the iron, is united to it, is in it, the properties of the fire are communicated to the iron; the iron forgets his own blackness, and shines with the shining of the fire, and burns with the burning of the fire. And as a coal, a charcoal, though it be never so dark and black a body, when the fire comes, gets into it, the properties of the fire are communicated to it, and it burns like the fire itself, and melts like the fire itself, and shines like the fire itself. So, when the Lord Jesus Christ is united to a soul, look what excellencies there are in Christ, what graces in Christ, the same are communicated to it; the soul shines with Christ's shining, and warms with his warming: there is grace answerable for his grace. You know there was a blessed union between the Second Person and our nature, our flesh; the Second Person takes our nature upon him, and being united to our flesh, by virtue of the hypostatical union, the idioms and properties of the one are given to the other: God hath no flesh, God hath no blood; and yet we read, in the Acts of the Apostles, of the blood of God, because of the union : the properties of the flesh and of man's nature are given to God. So says the apostle: “He that descended is the same also that ascended," Eph. iv. 10. God does not descend, for he is everywhere; but by reason of the union, what is proper to the flesh is given to God. now, in this mystical union, there being such a glorious and blessed union between Christ and a christian; whatsoever grace, or excellency, or property is in Christ himself, there is an answerableness of grace, an excellency wrought in