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hopes of the church, namely, in thinking that only a small measure of the power of Christ is to be put forth by the church in the flesh; whereas it is the whole which the church is intended to manifest before her translation into glory. All
of power and government, of grandeur and of glory, which the Jews are set forth as about to wield in the flesh, the church shall in the Spirit wield, before she be taken up into the heavens to come with Jesus. She is now militant, and her fight shall go on till she hath broken to pieces all the power of the enemy: We have to wrestle against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against the spiritual wickednesses in the heavenly places, and we shall be exhibited more than conquerors before the battle be ended. It is to the church on earth that the glorified Head in heaven is given for power and dominion; it is to us who believe that the promise is given of doing greater works than Jesus did. And to the end we might see flesh was capable of sustaining it, Jesus had the power of ten legions of angels at his command; which he might have used, and could have used, if it had served the end of the Father's glory. And when the zeal of his Father's house was upon him, with a scourge of small cords he made the thousands in the temple to flee amain; and it is out of the mouths of babes and sucklings that God is to still the enemy and the avenger; and it is the witnesses on earth who are to amplify over the whole earth the work which Moses did in Egypt, which Elias did in Samaria. These, the works which the church is to perform in flesh anterior to her translation into glory, we shall bave occasion to explain in the close of this essay; for in this also Christ hath set us an example, that we should follow his steps. The works of power which he did were only introductory to those which we are called upon to do. The church hath to do in flesh upon a grand scale, over the whole earth, such works as he did over the land of Judea, and far greater, because he is gone to the Father.
With slow and stumbling steps we had won our way back to the true doctrine of the second coming of Christ, and the right interpretation of the prophetical Scriptures, as they apply to the Jews, and to Jesus the King of the Jews; and, from the clear truth thereon discovered to us, in the honest interpretation of God's word and in this and other books set forth by the company of scribes whom it pleased the Lord to use, we had been able to attain unto the knowledge of the bigh calling of the church to be the spiritual bride of Jesus, and occupy in the heavenly places the same dignity which we found given to the Jews in the earthly or fleshly state. Years have now passed since the Lord enabled me to discern that the Jew in the flesh was but the type of the Christian in the Spirit; and that every prophecy of the Old Testament, when literally made out in respect to the Jews,
was but, as it were, the pitcher in which the waters of the Spirit were held for the church; or, if to them a pitcher full of water, to us a pitcher full of wine, changed by the word of Jesus, who therein did shew forth his glory. It had also dimly begun to shew itself to my meditation, that the Word made flesh, or the incarnation of the Son of God, is but the crowning summit of the fleshly pyramid ; the perfection of the earthly things brought in by Moses ; the end of the law for righteousness; the accomplishment of the sacrifice, “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world :" whom a Christian may know in the flesh, for the sake of delivering from the carnal ordinances those who are held under their bondage; but, having known, must soon forget; and, like Paul, know him thus no more, if he would know him after the Spirit; which knowledge hath little to do with his being born of the flesh of the Virgin, the subject son of Joseph; but of his being born from the womb of the Earth, the free-born glorious Son of God; of the seed of David according to the flesh, but declared to be the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. For the power which worketh in us that believe is not after the measure of that which wrought in the virgin to generate a holy Child of her sinful flesh, subject to circumcision and the law, to walk as a man under the law of commandments contained in ordinances; which power, great and excellent though it be, by no means measureth or cometh near to the exceeding greatness of his power within us who believe, “according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places; far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all ” (Eph. i. 19—23). It is not according to the weakness of his flesh, but "according to the riches of his glory,” that we are strengthened in the inward man by the Spirit (Eph. iii. 16).
This was a great and dizzy height of truth; and I felt the peril of it, nor did ever open it to the church without fear and trembling, lest some rash spirits might be tempted to cast themselves down from the pinnacle of the temple and dash themselves to pieces. And with all my caution I was unable to prevent this fatal issue in the case of a few members of my church, who ran headlong to perdition; saying thus: Then are we called to another and a higher walk than Jesus walked in the flesh; to a liberty which he knew not of; to an enjoyment which he hath now, but had not then. And so, losing the only land-mark of
Christ's walk and conversation, they plunged forward into licentiousness, both of the flesh and of the spirit, from which only one or two have ever been reclaimed. This error is the same with that of Hymeneus and Philetus in the primitive church, and is re-appearing in divers parts, under the pretence of liberty ; and it ariseth from not understanding the mystery of the body of Christ, whereof the members must be perfected as the Head was. He was made perfect through sufferings, and we through sufferings must likewise be made perfect : though a Son, yet learned be obedience by the things which he suffered ; and we being baptized into the adoption of sons, must in like manner learn obedience. Though he was not yet raised from the dead, he bad given into his hand the power of the resurrection at his baptism; and was required to use it for the glory of the Father, who entrusted him with it, to the end we might have him in all things for our example, to follow his steps. The power of God given into the hand of the Son of Man at his generation, was a power to wrestle with flesh and blood, and keep it uniform with the righteous law of God given to Moses, that the offence might abound, and the righteousness of Christ be the more abundant, even universal and complete : but the power of God given into his hand at his baptism was the fulness of the Holy Ghost, to wrestlé against principalities, and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and the wicked spirits in the heavenly places: to the burden of which greater battle we are called who believe in him, and do receive power accordingly; for God sendeth no one a warfare on his own charges. Now, be it carefully observed, that of both these battles, as well the spiritual as the carnal, did our Captain bear the burden in this very flesh of ours; not as first created, but as weakened by sin; not as afterwards raised from the dead, in immortal strength and glory, but as lying under the curse and power of death. Herein lieth the whole strain of the subject, the very ground and basis of the mystery of godliness ; That in flesh, as Aesh hath brought itself to be, the unchangeable purpose of God in creating flesh is to be attained ; and the glory of that purpose only the more gloriously manifested by the attempt of Satan, sin, and death, to obscure and defeat it. Flesh was created to manifest God's perfect image, and to hold his indefeasible lordship; and to this, the end of its creation, must flesh attain ; otherwise the Creator is altogether overseen in his design and defeated in his working; and there is some power in existence over and beyond the living God, the “fate” of the Heathens, the “evil principle” of the Gnostics and Manicheans. But behold whereto flesh hath fallen, even to manifest the image of corruption and death, and to be lorded over by sin and Satan; and the awful conclusion of a power over and beyond God's, is to be avoided only by flesh going forward
out of this lowly estate into that greatness of strength and glory whereto it was destined of its Maker ; proving thereby no defeat of God, but only a hiding of his purpose for a season, to the end of breaking and exposing that false head of knowledge which Satan had set up in the creation. Satan cometh on with his wiles, to defeat the Lord's purpose in the creation of flesh, and falleth into the pit which he himself hath digged; whereas flesh doth clean escape, and hold on its glorious course to the head and helm of Divine government. Satan wrestleth a fall with flesh, and we fall together, clasped in mortal conflict; but say not therefore that flesh is overcome; wait till you see who ariseth from the fall, and who falleth to arise no more. The lowly bed into which the wrestlers are fallen together is death; and there, in the depths below, is the controversy wrought out; and the victory will be to that which ariseth into life and glory, the defeat unto that which sinketh into the bottomless pit and weltereth in the lake for ever.
Now, if it be a part of the deep-laid purpose of God that the Word is to take part in this issue, as we know it is—for in Him was the eternal purpose all purposed, who is the beginning of the creation of God-then must the Word become fesh: for, even amongst men, he that striveth, must strive lawfully; he must have no advantage of his Godhead in the conflict, otherwise flesh faileth and Satan prevaileth. To send Christ into the conflict in other flesh than mortal flesh, is to give up the victory to Satan : to send him in with Adam's state of created flesh, is likewise to give Satan the credit of having over-reached God, at all events in the creation of Adam (and to over-reach God once, is to dethrone him for ever): to send Christ in as God, and not as man, with new powers added to the original powers of man, is also to give up the battle to Satan and confess God baffled: to say, as they do, Here is the Godhead acting, and here the manhood; or to mix them up together, and say, It is a compound and amalgam of the two which prevaileth over the enemy; is to dishonour the Creator, to exalt the devil, and to lay man at his feet, confessedly vanquished of him. But to send the Word into the battle as very flesh-flesh in mortal conflict with Satan, down, down in the arena of mortality; to send him in, made of a woman, made under the law, in the likeness of sinful flesh, to find the battle, as the battle was, going hard against us, and join himself to the conflict with our weapons, side by side with us, hand to hand against the enemy-this surely is the way in which the name of God in the creation of man is to be glorified; the good and glorious ends of flesh justified; the wiles of the devil, and his pretensions to an independent head of knowledge, defeated ; and the enemies of God's purposes overwhelmed for ever.
The Lord hath much honoured me his unworthy servant to keep this position with a strong and unyielding hand; and, in looking back over the long and wearisome struggle which for these many years I have had to maintain against the array of all sects and established churches within the land, I do devoutly praise God, and give him all the glory; for, surely, without His presence with me, I should long ere this have yielded up some point or other to the enemy-perhaps have given in altogether. But, so far from yielding one jot or tittle of the position, † feel it needful to take it up with a firmer hand, and to go round its bulwarks and fortify them anew. For, whereas there may be found in my writings, here and there, an expression where I give the honour of Christ's work to his Godhead-not having myself escaped the trammels of the schools, or forgotten the dialect of Babylon--I do now solemnly protest that all such language is derogatory from the honour of God, which is altogether involved in this issue, with it to stand or with it to fall namely, That man, as he made him, is able in all respects to answer the ends for which he made him, of being a true, perfect, and complete image of God, a sufficient lord over all creation : which Christ proved by becoming man, and as man bodying forth the image of God, and holding dominion over all creation, and reclaiming what seemed to be lost, but was only buried out of sight for a season; pulling down what hath dared to lift up the head against its Maker, and upholding all that trust in him. It is short-sighted and erroneous to think we honour God, by leaving the manhood of Christ and finding occasion for his Godhead in this his work; by finding his manhood at a loss, and, as it were, bringing it to a nonplus, in order to make room for his Godhead to shew itself. And wherever, by any slip or oversight I may have thus spoken, I have erroneously spoken ; inasmuch as it is no honour to God to bring him in here and there to eke out and patch up his work; nor according to the truth of his purpose ; which is, to shew himself no otherwise than through man, as his chosen seat and representative within the bounds of creation.
This, which is the true doctrine of God, were only one great system of humanitarianism, making man to be God, but for the great counteracting truth, that man is a creature constituted to do every thing by faith upon God, and so to acknowledge God in all his ways. He is but the image and likeness of another, to whom, and not to himself, beareth he testimony in every line and at every turn: man the visible workman, God the invisible doer of the work : man the head, the eye, the ear, the body; God the spirit by whom the body is moved and empowered, and to which it is obedient. And hence it is that so much is made of faith in all the Scriptures, because without it