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unto me....But many shall say in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name done many wonderful works? and he shall say unto them, Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.”
And the world to come, or the kingdom of heaven, is the restitution of all things, not their destruction ; is the exhibition of God as the source and fountain of being, and all other beings standing in order under him, and teaching some lesson concern ing him. God shall be all in all, when, by an act, mightier aná more astonishing than the wonders of creation, all things shall be recapitulated in his Eternal Son, from whom they all began. Christ Jesus was from eternity the Brightness of his Father's glory and the express Image of his person. He in the beginning of time made man after his own image, to represent on earth the sovereignty of God in heaven. And when man, having fallen, no longer shewed the image of God, the Creator Son humbled himself to become the servant of fallen man, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross ; first, to reconcile sinners, by dying for the ungodly; next, to empower them to become sons of God, by renewing them after the image of the Creator, in righteousness and true holiness; and, as the inseparable consequence to all who are thus prepared, coming again, in the fulness of time, to bring the sons to their inheritance, the mansions prepared for them in their Father's house, whither Christ is gone before. (John xiv.)
No one part of this glorious work may be spared-neither the beginning, the middle, nor the end. It is as perilous to disregard the future and the unaccomplished portion, as that which is already fulfilled and past, or that which is now in progress, Nay, it is more perilous, if there be degrees, inasmuch as the end and goal must be steadily kept in view by all who would run with patience the race set before them ; inasmuch as looking to Jesus, the Finisher of our faith, is the proper attitude of those who have set their hand to the plough, and are pressing forward to the kingdom of heaven, looking to the mark of the prize of our high calling
Be assured, brethren, “ we do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience, and long-suffering with joyfulness ; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inberitance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son : in whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins : who is the Image of the invisible God, the First-born of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him ; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist : and he is the head of the BODY, the church : who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead ; that in all things he
1 might have the pre-eminence : For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven....even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.... which is, CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY (Col. i. 9-20, 27).
This mystery of“ Christ in us the hope of glory,” is yet more largely expressed in other Scriptures. It is called the “glory of his grace;" the “riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence ; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself, That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth ; even in him ; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." (Eph. i.) Such is the hope of our calling ; such are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; such is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe.
And if any think that we are giving undue prominency to this glorious hope, the very thought condemns their own shortcoming of the truth, the leanness and scantiness of their faith compared with primitive times. If any think the quotations we have just made are too long, let them know that they have not the mind of Christ and of the Apostles in this matter. He ever set before his followers the real substantial images which the faculties of man exercised on visible things can comprehend ; and which, we maintain, was the very end for which all things were created, and man endowed with reason: and the Apostles ever set their hopes upon “ the glory that should follow" this present weary pilgrimage; the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which our light afflictions of a moment are working out.
It is not spirituality to refuse attention to those things which the Spirit revealeth, and to substitute in their place an airy vision of some imaginary region, which the moderns call heaven,
and from which every material object, and every corporeal idea, and every exercise of the faculties of man, are excluded. Such a visionary and unsatisfactory place of abode is not the heaven of Scripture, is not that which will content the soul of man, is not the end for which he was created. This was admirably expressed by Dr. Chalmers, in his Sermons at St. John's, Glasgow, p. 87: Conceive a man to be standing on the margin of this green world, and that when he looked towards it he saw abundance smiling upon every field, and all the blessings which earth can afford scattered in profusion throughout every family, and the light of the sun sweetly resting upon all the pleasant habitations, and the joys of human companionship brightening many a happy circle of society. Conceive this to be the general character of the scene upon one side of his contemplation ; and that on the other, beyond the verge of the goodly planet on which he was situated, he could descry nothing but a dark and fathomless unknown. Think you, that he would bid a voluntary adieu to all the brightness and all the beauty that were before him on the earth, and commit himself to the frightful solitude, away from it? Would he leave its peopled dwellingplaces, and become a solitary wanderer through the fields of non-entity? If space offered him nothing but a wilderness, would he for it abandon the home-bred scenes of life and of cheerfulness that lay so near and exerted such a power
urgency to detain him ? Would he not cling to the regions of sense and of life and of society ? and, shrinking away from the desolation that was beyond it, would not he be glad to keep his firm footing on the territory of this world, and to take shelter under the silver canopy that was stretched over it? But if, during the time of his contemplation, some happy island of the blesť had floated by, and there had burst upon his senses the light of its surpassing glories and its sounds of sweeter melody; and he clearly saw that there a purer beauty rested upon every field, and a more heartfelt joy spread itself among all the families ; and he could discern there a peace, and a piety, and a benevolence which put a moral gladness into every bosom, and united the whole society in one rejoicing sympathy with each other, and with the beneficent Father of them all : could he further see that pain and mortality were there unknown ; and, above all, that signals of welcome were hung out, and an avenue of communication was made for him ; perceive you not, that what was before the wilderness, would become the land of invitation, and that now the world would be the wilderness? What unpeopled space could not do, can be done by space teeming with beatific scenes, and beatific society. And let the existing tendencies of the heart be what they may to the scene that is near and visibly around us, still, if another stood revealed to the prospect of man,
VOL. VILNO. I.
either through the channel of faith or through the channel of his senses; then, without violence done to the constitution of his moral nature, may he die unto the present world, and live to the lovelier world that stands in the distance away from it.”
This beautiful passage derives all its force from the assumption that our faculties and affections are not destroyed by passing from time to eternity; but, on the contrary, enlarged and gratified in a far higher degree in heaven than on earth ;an assumption without which earth would be no education for heaven, and the risen saints would not be men. But the imaginary heaven, which our modern religionists have substituted for the kingdom of Christ, is scarcely more attractive to the heart of man than Dr. Chalmers's dark and fathomless unknown; and is nearly as barren of loveliness, joy, and beauty, to break the ties which bind man to this world, as the frightful solitude pictured above. And to Dr. Chalmers we present, in place of that sport of imagination, the "happy island of the blest floating by;" a region where all that he has so well pictured is fully realized, and far surpassed; where is every thing externally beautiful and internally attractive, which the mind of man can conceive or the heart of man feel; and where, to every thing hitherto known of joy, will be added a joy never yet experienced, except by Christ, but then to be realized in all his followers,--the joy of being one with God, in union as intimate and complete as that between Christ and the Father. “ The tabernacle of God shall be with men, and He will dwell with them; and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things are passed away..... And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him ; and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads."
But the glorious hope on which our affections are set, is no floating island of the blessed, the creature of the fancy of a man; nor did the Apostles follow any cunningly-devised fables when they made known the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. “They were eye-witnesses of his majesty” on the mount of transfiguration, and by the ever-present remembrance of that glorious scene, which prefigured the second advent of Christ, they were kept continually
" looking for and hasting unto the coming of that day of God” (2 Pet. i. 16, ii. 12). And we, for the foundation of our hope, appeal to all the Scriptures, as inculcating this one end and consummation of the purpose of God;-to exhibit man as His own image, holding dominion over all the other works of his hands. In the faith of this all the Old Testament saints lived and died, confessing themselves strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and knowing that God hath prepared for them a city." And these all died in faith, not
" having received the promise God; having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. xi. 13, 16,40.) And the “ better thing for us,” is the heavenly Jerusalem, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, enrolled in heaven; the throne of God; the fellowship of the
l spirits of just men made perfect ; Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant ratified in his own blood. (Heb. xii. 22, 24.) In the faith of these substantial hopes we are called to live; in the expectation of their speedy accomplishment all our plans are laid, all our conversation ordered : and whether of the twain is the safer guide, the imagination of man, or the word of God, judge ye.
LECTURES ON CERTAIN PASSAGES OF OUR LORD'S LIFE
I. The Casting-out of Legion from the poor Maniac of Gadara. « And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against
Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee Jesus, thou Son of God Most High ? I beseech thee, torment me not. For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him : and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness. And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion : because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done ; and came to Jesus, and found the man out of whom the devils were departed sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind : and they were afraid. They also which saw it, told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them : for they were taken with great fear. And he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”
This remarkable passage in our Lord's ministry is so full of curious and most profitable matter, that we shall carefully ad