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SUBJECT :--Christ Realized, the Ground of Anticipated
“ Christ in you, the hope of glory.”—Col. i. 27.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Taken out of the glorious context, in which the setting of this gem is so precious, these words convey an entirety of meaning, which may find some portion of the expression of itself in the title we have given to this subject.
I. THE CHRIST OF SCRIPTURE IS PRESENTED TO US. image of the invisible God,” of whom it is declared that, “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” is the glorious object the Bible continually, directly, and indirectly presents to us. First : In prophetic anticipation. The Divine character is ever represented by human attributes in every recorded ante-Christian age ; so that a divine humanity was in some sense understood by all those who are declared to have given witness to Christ. “ Search and see.” Secondly: In actual human life. Most real was that grand human life of Christ. To us it ever seems that that almighty heart longed to pour itself out for man ; was strengthened till His work was accomplished. And then, when the hour came, and His heart broke and poured forth a cataract of love on sin-soiled humanity, He found relief, and cried, “It is finished.” Thirdly: In apostolical realization. From the doubtful period of “ Art thou he that should come ?” to the time of full flowing faith declaring itself in the gushing “My Lord and my God," many realised to themselves the Christ of God. II. THE CHRIST OF SCRIPTURE BECAME TO US THE CHRIST OF THE
First : In conscious capacity for apprehending Him. “We have heard him ourselves.” “ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Secondly : In the ever growing power of realizing Him. “Follow on to know the Lord.” “I live,
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Thirdly : In the absorption of our being into His. “ That they also may be one in us. III. TAE IN-DWELLING CHRIST IS ANTICIPATED HEAVEN. First : Incipient heaven apprehends the perfect heaven.
« Now we know in part, then shall we know even as also we are known.” Imperfection grasps at perfection. Secondly: The humiliating termination of life only contrasts with the glorious potentialities of the consciousness. The Christian sees the death of death in his passage into the eternally glorious land, being far off when he beholds perfectly “the King in His beauty." shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Thirdly : Promised vision of Christ's glory is the natural completion of the whole Christian life.
W. R. PERCIVAL.
Theological Notes and Queries.
[The utmost freedom of independent thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom fro responsibility.]
REPLICANT. In answer to QUERIST No. 23, p. 484. Our friend, H. F. Halle, has, either in consequence of a slip of the pen, or a style so concise as to be obscure, put his question in a manner which conveys what is probably a very imperfect idea of his meaning. We think we have an inkling of his intention, but had rather delay replying until he has obliged us by putting his inquiry in a fuller and clearer manner.
P. M. H. the injustice to suppose that he himself is in any doubt about the answer to his query. I cannot think that when he sings
“ There we shall see his face
And never never sin," he has any lurking suspicion that his hopes are resting on a peradventure. To suppose that after the redeemed are brought home they may again wanderthat all the sufferings of Christ, and work of the Spirit, and final resurrection, beatitude will leave the saints in no safer a position than that of Adam in Paradisethat after the accomplishment of our Lord's mission, which
was emphatically “to destroy , equality with angels, there is no the works of the devil,” those evidence at all that the angels works of darkness should again now in heaven are peccable. We break out, close to the throne of have every reason to believe that God—that the “ Lamb's Wife" angels generally have passed should prove unfaithful-is some- through a state of probation, and thing so incongruous in itself, that their present condition is and so opposed to the whole tenor fixed. 2 Peter ii. 4. But unless of Scripture, and theory of the the contrary could be proved, gospel covenant, that it cannot which is impossible, no argument be taken as a possible alternative, can be drawn from them as to but must be propounded for the the saint's liability to sin. mere sake of eliciting more direct (2) There seems an assumpproofs to the contrary than are tion on the part of the Querist, usually thought necessary to be that absolute free agency includes adduced.
a power to sin. Perhaps in one I know not whether this text sense it may ; but we must recolcomes up to our friend's standard lect that sin is a question of will of intelligent grounds of evi- rather than of ability. If a saint dence, but it is abundantly satis- in heaven never wills to sin, to factory to my own mind. Rev. abstain from sinning is at once iii. 12. “Him that overcometh his highest felicity and truest will I make a pillar in the temple liberty ; at the same time we of my God, and he shall go no have the highest authority for more out; and I will write upon applying to such a being a phrase him the name of my God," &c. expressive of inability, and for When we consider all that is saying that “he CANNOT sin" comprehended in these promises, 1 John iii. 9. But then this inaand who it is who promises bility lies not in a limitation of it—in perpetuity-I confess that action, but in a rectitude of choice. my faith asks for no higher assur- The free agency which the gospel ance on the subject.
promises is not an oscillation behowever, two tween good and evil, but an identimisconceptions involved in the fication with good. (John viii. 36. mode of putting this Query, Rom. vi. 18.) Can the Holy One which require a word or two. (1) of Israel sin ?-yet is He not The redeemed are identified, by infinitely free 2-Ě. J. J. the Querist, with angels. This is a great mistake. The “ children of the resurrection " do in
Queries to be answered in our next deed resemble angels in one ne
Number. gative feature of their physical 25.—“ A wise Father spareth constitution (Matt. xxii. 30), but not the rod.” Is this proverb in moral position they differ to- in harmony with Christianity, or tally. The holy angels are not does it contain one of those things sinners saved by grace; they have which Christ came to put away? been preserved, not redeemed ; Our progress as a Christian peothey are unfallen and innocent, | ple is greatly dependent upon not pardoned and regenerate. the diffusion of sound scriptural A "man-angel ” were as impos- views, and the strict literal intersible a hybrid, as the centaur himself. But supposing that the
pretation of this saying of Solo
mon has rightly or wrongly prosaints in glory are on an exact duced no small amount of human
s6 The Revival move. but the reflex of our social mis- ment,” as carried on during the takes and misdoings.
last two years in this country,
and as advocated by certain reli26.--" He hath anointed me gionists, worthy the support of to preach the gospel to the poor.”
those intelligent and spriritual How is this scripture reconcile- | Christians, who believe that true able with the facts which are seen religion is not fear of hell, but around us? In England, for ex
love of God ?-John. ample, the gospel may be preached
28.-Is it a right and proper to those who will hear it, but is thing to be constantly endeait not however an incontrovertible voring to get from children, fact, that only those classes desig
who have no conviction of the pated “middling” and “upper” importance of the object, their are to be found in our churches pence for missionary and other and chapels.
The bulk of the religious enterprises ?-F. L. laboring, poor, and destitute 29.-Would any of your readers classes will not enter our places
favor us with an explanation, or of worship, and do not otherwise a suggestive outline on Gal. ii. 20, come directly under the influ- especially the former part of the ence of gospel preaching.
verse, and “Moses from Mount
Pisgah viewing the promised VIRGITATE ET ORATE.
land ?-- R.
The Pulpit and its Three
and its Three Handmaids.
HISTORY, SCIENCE, ART.
THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS
cross, as elsewhere, He was pre
eminently the “man of sorrows.” Some persons, while “looking Among other things, a circumto Jesus,” see no farther than
at the crucifixion itself the physical sufferings produced shows, that He was the subject by transfixion to the cross. They of something more grievous to think of the bodily pain He en- be borne than physical pain. He dured, and of nothing else. This was comparatively young ; He is a very inadequate view of the was healthful and without sin ; dying agonies of Immanuel. If consequently there must have pain in the flesh was all He felt, been extraordinary tenacity of many a servant surpasses his life in His constitution ; yet He master ; many a disciple is above died beneath His sufferings, sooner his Lord. In the records of mar- than the crucified malefactors ; tyrology, we read of martyrs who for when the soldiers came to suffered pain more acute, and more hasten the death of all, by breakprotracted, than the torture that ing their bones; they broke the thrilled the body of the Son of bones of the thieves, but they God. Yet we know that there broke not the bones of Jesus is no sorrow like the sorrow of Christ, seeing that He Jesus Christ, and that on the already dead.
sufferings of Jesus Christ were ficial glance thereat will supply. mental sufferings-agonies that The anguish and horror that overpierced His righteous soul. “It whelmed our Saviour when He pleased the Father to bruise him, felt conscious that the Father and put him to grief.” Hence, had forsaken Him, we cannot the awful words : “My God, my fully comprehend ; but by looking God, why hast thou forsaken beyond the corporeal pain to the me ? "
This fact is well set mental agony He endured, we see forth in the painting of the cru- sufficient to impress us with the cifixion, by Tintoretto. On this infinite love of God, in sparing painting a skilful critic remarks : not His own Son, but delivering * In the common and most ca- Him up for us all. No marvel tholic treatment of the crucifix- that the life which would have ion, the mind is either painfully long resisted bodily sufferings, directed to the bodily agony, quickly sank under the pressure coarsely expressed by outward of spiritual anguish ; that the anatomical signs, or it is per- heart which quailed not before mitted to reston that countenance the wrath of man was broken by which is inconceivable by man at the bereavement Jesus suffered any time, but chiefly so in its when forsaken by the Father consummated humiliation. In causing Him to utter the mortal the first case, the representation cry
" It is finished," and give up is revolting ; in the second case the Ghost. Let us, then, medi. it is inefficient and false. The tate lesson the external, and greatest religious painters have more on the internal, agony of failed here. But Tintoretto, the Son of God; so shall we see penetrating into the root and more clearly the exceeding sindeep places of his subject, neg- fulness of sin, and know more lecting outward and bodily ap- deeply the greatness of the love pearances of pain, and seeking of Christ, until we see Him, not for some
means of expressing, as the man of sorrows, but as the not the rack of nerve and sinew, king in His beauty on His glori. but the fainting of the deserted ous high throne.-J. P. WRIGHT, Son of God, has, on the one hand, filled his picture with such various and impetuous muscular exertion, that the body of the cru- “But how was God in flesh ? As cified is by comparison in perfect fire is in iron, not by being repose ; and, on the other hand, changed into it, but communithe countenanceis cast altogether cated to it. For the fire does into shade. But, the agony is not run forth to the iron, but retold by this and by this only; maining in its place, communithat, though there yet remains a cates its peculiar virtue, and is chasm of light on the horizon not diminished by the communiwhere the darkness closes on the cation, although it fills with itday, the broad and sun-like glory self the whole of the object which about the head of the Redeemer has partakes of it. Thus, then, the become wan and of the color of Word neither underwent change ashes!”
of place, although he dwelt among Thus Art combines with Theo- us, nor a change of nature, though logy to give us a deeper know- He became flesh. Neither was ledge of the sufferings of Jesus heaven left empty of Him who Christ on the cross than a super- fills it, and yet earth received