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in the way of his commandments. Realizing his complete deliverance from the curses of the law, and his everlasting acceptance in the Beloved, he serves "in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” The Lord's ways are found to be pleasantness, and his paths peace. When drawn with lovingkindness, and strengthened with mighty power, with inexpressible delight does the Christian follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
Again, where this prosperity is enjoyed, there will be a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ- Sin will appear exceedingly sinful; Christ salvation more glorious; and his several offices and characters exactly suited to the believer's situation. God's grace will be admired, and the immeasurable heights and depths, lengths and breadths of eternal love often contemplated and further explored. The things of the Spirit engaging the attention, and the earnest of the future inheritance being enjoyed, the child of God will anticipate the time when he shall 66
see as he is seen, and know as he is known.” Remember, beloved brethren, that this prosperity of soul is the gift of Him, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift. He has said, “I will bring health and cure.'' Convinced of the value of the blessing, and taught to know from whence it comes, may we be continually crying, "O Lord, we beseech thee, send now prosperity.”
Echoes from the Sanctuary.
CHRIST CHANGELESS. and to meet his every need all the
days of his life. Every feature of the
mediatorial character of Christ is " Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, remedial, and, as such, it is precious and for ever." Heb. xiii. 8.
to the instructed believer; and the PERSONALLY, and respecting all our preciousness of the whole is in his earthly relations, our condition is mind enhanced beyond thought by its ceaselessly shifting. Yesterday, it may changeless permanence. Although have been, that in many important the apostle necessarily includes a respects we were in a more or less notice of the personal divinity of desirable condition than we are to-day; Christ in these words, it is not of this and of to-morrow we may not boast, that he directly speaks, but of the imfor respecting our possessions, friends, mutable abiding of the mediatorial health, and a multitude of other things character of Christ; and his testimony which very nearly concern our welfare, may be illustrated by the following we know not what a day may bring references out of many others. forth. But neither should we despair The stability of the church. Conof to-morrow; for it is the Christian's sidered as a living illustrative example unspeakable advantage, amidst all the of the mediatorial character of Christ, changes he may be experiencing, and the continued existence of the church in view of all those that possibly, or of Christ is a great historical fact. probably, or certainly will affect him, While religious institutions that he has in Christ an immutable genial to the sympathies of fallen man, good which will shape itself into a and deeply rooted in his affections countervailing excellency appropriate have been swept away, tho church of and sufficient to cover his every loss, | Christ, which wars against man's.
wisdom, attacks his most cherished prejudices, disallows his sweetest pleasures, denounces his dearest lusts, and condemns his most coveted gains, abides and grows. She continues and flourishes nevertheless for the hatred of her enemies, the unwisdom of her friends, and the frailty, moral and otherwise, of herself. Against all the opposition of her ayowed enemies. Nevertheless for the burden of the oppressor, the tortures of the persecutor, the coarse jests of the vulgar infidel, the refined
of the cultured sceptic, the supercilious scorn of the scientist, and all the hatreds of all the haters of Christ which have been brought to bear against her, the church lives and grows. Against all the deadly mistaken kindnesses of her professed friends. Nevertheless for the foolish pamperings with which some have surfeited her, the earthly honours which others with fond folly have sought to cover her, and the pernicious worldly alliances which others have negotiated for her, the church abides and thrives. And against the active energy of every element of disintegration, decay, and death within her. Nevertheless for the law in her members which wars against the law of her mind; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; the Phariseeism, the lukewarmness, the hypocrisy, the profaneness, and what not beside that is of the world, the flesh, and the devil, with which she may be charged, the church continues, brings forth fruit, and her fruit remains. Churches, indeed, true churches, have waxed and waned, and passed away, leaving no trace of their existence behind them, but the church steadily holds on, and extends herself against all the deadening influences and destructive forces of earth and hell. In the whole of her wonderful existence, continuance, and growth, she is the living outcome of the acquired character of Christ; and it is a glorious illustration of the abiding power of His character that through Him along the world's ages there is derpetually to be found a people justi
fied, sanctified, redeemed, and saved. She is Christ's correlate, and it is by the abiding force of His character that His name is "continually childed' in her. On this Rock the erection of the building proceeds, and the gates of hell prevail not against it. While this Sun withdraws not his light the moon will continue to shine. While this Fountain springs up, the stream will flow. While He, the life and defence of His church, dwells in the bush, though it shall be burned with fire, it shall never be consumed.
The continued power of the ministry of the word. Jesus, when He gave Éis apostles their commission, gave them this heartening assurance of success—"Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” The gospel is, indeed, the very wisdom of God; but the means employed for its propagation are of the simplest kind; so simple, indeed, that Paul verily speaks of the " foolishness of preaching.” God shines into a man's heart to give light to many; but His lightbearers are but "earthen vessels, and it is remarkable that the most useful preachers have not been by very far the most learned. No sensible person, whichever way his sympathies may lie, can ponder the admitted results of the ministry of the gospel without astonishment. By the siinplest possible means the most surprising revolutions of mind are effected. For that by this “ foolishness of preaching” men alienated by nature from the life of God have been radically converted to God, and that their conversion is nothing less than a moral miracle, are facts which, however they may be hated, and disputed, or denied, can never be disproved. If, then, the instruments of their accomplishment are so utterly insufficient of themselves, who is the Agent, and what is the power that effects these wonders ? The excellency of the power is of God. Christ is with His servants to-day, as He was yesterday, in the fulness and force of His acquired character, “ Mighty to save.” Hence these moral miracles. More
over, as, on the one hand, great and through their vital union to Him. good men are insufficient of them- Separate from Him they could do selves to produce these things; so, on nothing, could bear no Christian fruit, the other, if bad men are employed to but must wither and die like branches bring these things to pass, they can- cut off from a vine. But whatever not make of no effect, nor in the least deadening influence may be brought degree vitiate, the work done through to bear upon the life of a believer, yea, them.
though his existence may be comThe continued observance of the ordi- pared to that of a crucified man, he nances of Christ. In one view of them may yet triumphantly use the prothese ordinances are laws ; but the fession of Paul, *. Nevertheless, I live, laws of the King are loyally obeyed yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." only because He Himself is to-day, as Hence the prayer of faith is still yesterday, enthroned in the hearts of heard, the fire of love still burns, the His subjects. If His subjects of to- song of joy is still sung, hope still day have not seen Him as those of maintains its outlook, and, not the yesterday saw Him, they yet love least in importance, the tear of peniHim equally, and with like loyalty tence still moistens the cheek of the and love, run in the way of His com- humbled confessing one. Christ lives. mandments. In another view of them, He is the same to-day as yesterday; Christ's ordinances, some of them, are and men are feeling the force within emblems. Representing whatever else them, and bearing the impress upon beside of Christ they may, they especi- them of His precious character in all ally signify his death, to all observers. its varied and beneficent features. But if these emblems of the dying “ His name shall endure for ever; His Christ were empty gewgaw ceremonies; name shall be continued as long as the if the symbols of the dying Christ sun; and men shall be blessed in Him:. were not from day to day filled with all nations shall call Him blessed.” the fulness of the living Christ, they
But Christ is for ever the same as would, yea, in the very nature of well as yesterday and to-day. Subthings, they must, speedily be let fall ject yourself, Christian, to change, and into disuse by all those who must changing conditions ever surrounding have a reason for their religion. And, you, a final change as you know in another view of them, these ordi
“Thou changest his are means—means of grace. countenance, and sendest him away.' As such they are not wells without But whither? No proof is needed that water. While those who slight them death is not man's end, and none can be may often be seen with their
leanness established that it is. While all are bearing witness to their neglect, those conscious of leaving off to enjoy profit who lovingly frequent them may be and pleasure from a multitude of seen fat and flourishing in the courts things that are commonly held to be of God's house, and bringing rth profitable and pleasant, and of a desire fruit unto old age.
Where two or for them failing, every Christian can three are gathered together to-day, perceive to be abiding in him an unas truly as yesterday, in the name dying power of desire for, and a of Christ, there He Himself is cer- delight in, appropriate objects. But tainly present to make the obsery- what appropriate objects are there for ance of His laws a great reward, his desire and delight ? His Christ is the use of symbols a key to sub- the same for ever. Yesterday and stance, and the appointed employment to-day the remedial elements of the of means the letting into the soul of fulness of the acquired character of the fulness of mercy.
Christ have, in every condition of the The spiritual life of the believer. Christian, continued to him the same, Originally quickened together with supplying all his needs. The satisfyChrist, Christians continue to live ing elements of that fulness will pro
ject themselves into every successive instant of the Christian's everlasting future, and will remain the same to gratify his feeling of desire and to content his capacity for delight for ever and for ever. Happy Christian !
Christ and a remedial fulness, enough and abiding for yesterday and to-day! Christ and a contenting fulness, enough and abiding the same for ever and ever!
Expositions, Essays, &c.
place if we were to observe, that Christ
is precious in God's esteem. He is the By C. MASTERSON.
delight both of the Father and the
Holy Ghost, called in holy writ, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is - The Son of his bosom, The only precious.”—1 Peter ii, 7.
begotten Son who is in the bosom of the As expressive of the feeling of our
Father;" an expression that implies heart towards Him who is
the preciousness of Christ to the chiefest among ten thousand,” can
Father; a public attestation of which we adopt the language of the poet,
was given at His baptism. " This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased.” He is so precious, that the “Yes, thou art precious to my soul, Father will accept of none but through
My transport and my trust;
Him. And, blessed truth, he will
God's And gold is sordid dust.”
reject none who thus come.
manifest design in the Gospel is to If so, we belong to that number to
put honour upon Christ. For he will whom our text applies; and may we have all men honour the Son as they in our meditations realize that He is honour the Father. All the good he not only precious, but is increasingly bestows upon sinful man is in and precious;
altogether through Him, and Him alone. Had lovely.”
not Christ been precious in God's Mankind may be divided into two account, he would not have been classes,-believers and unbelievers; appointed as the Redeemer of His and of all the things which tend to people. And does not His present distinguish these, there is none more position in heaven manifestly demondecisive than their different views of strate, not only that He has finished Christ. To the unbeliever, Christ is a the work the Father gave Him to do, stone of stumbliug and a rock of but that He is most dear unto God. offence. To the unenlightened, He is He is precious to angels. At His
a root out of a dry ground, with birth they tuned their harps and joyno form nor comeliness. But to the fully sang,
Glory to God in the believer, He is most precious. In highest,” &c. « And when He comparison of Him, all other things bringeth in the first begotten into the are considered as worthless. May we world, He saith, And let all the angels now be favoured with the rich anoint- of God worship Him.". And so they ing of the Holy Ghost, whose office do unceasingly worship Him, obey it is to glorify Jesus, while we His bidding, execute His will. As attempt to dwell upon the preciousness they delighted to attend on the Head of Christ, and the character of those to in the days of His humiliation, so it is whom He is precious
now their joy and delight to attend on I. The preciousness of Christ. each of the members of His body; for, Doubtless it would not be out of “Are they not all ministering spirits,
'sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ?"
" How eagerly they wish to know
The duties He would have them do!
To execute their Sovereign's will." Christ is precious to saints. Whether we think of them in their triumphant or militant state, He is the burden of their song, the joy of their hearts, the source, centre, and substance of all their happiness; but more to this point presently. Now specially notice that
1. Christ is precious in Himself.
His person is precious as the embodiment of all divine and human perfections. His Godhead is precious, and was absolutely essential in securing our eternal salvation. To deny this, would be to rob His achievements of their glory, His work of all significance, His blood of all efficacy. But, precious fact, He who died upon the cross of Calvary, was, manifest in the flesh.” And what a grand and glorious truth is this to the poor trembling, believing, penitentthe absolute Deity of the Saviour. Upon this rock all bis hopes are built.
His perfect manhood is precious.
“He took not on Himself the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham.” A humanity identical with His people in all but its original and actual sinfulness. He knew
no sin, and yet what a sin bearer was He ! And the transgressions of the elect were upon Him. The assumption of our nature made Him capable of obedience and suffering; yea, of death itself. By this marvelous act of infinite condescension, He was able to obey the law in the very nature in which it had been broken. The law had been broken by man, and by man it must be obeyed. The dishonour must be repaired in the very nature in which it had been inflicted. Man had violated every precept of God's law, and now-precious truth -by the God-man, every precept of that law must be honoured and obeyed. again. The Saviour, by taking into
union with himself our nature, He be-
No metaphor we speak;
That suffered for our sake.
Is true Almighty God;
The price, His own heart's blood." Oh how precious, then, is the person and work of our adorable Immanuel! Therein we clearly see how that the justice of God is satisfied, the law magnified, the moral government of God vindicated in the dispensation of mercy to fallen man, and all the divine perfections harmonized in the salvation of sinners.
2. Christ is precious in all the offices and relations which he sustains to his people. Precious as the Head, the covenant Surety Head of His people, the fountain of all life, of power, and of every blessing. Precious as the Husband of the church, to whom he is united by the closest and most indissoluble ties. Pledged to pay all her debts, to supply all her wants,—to heal all her maladies,—to bear all her burdens, --to sweeten all her afflictions,-to subdue all her enemies,—to manage all her concerns, and make her a partaker of His eternal glory. Precious as a Friend whose love is boundless, unchangeable, rich, and powerful. His hand is ever able to answer the dictates of His loving, tender heart. Thrice happy is he who can say, “ This is my Friend.”
Precious as a Brother-bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; our next of kin, claiming and exercising as such the prerogative of redemption, and proving himself by his timely aid and heavenly succour in all the calamities of His younger brethren to be emphatically - a Brother born for adyersity.”