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eye hath ceased from its adultery and its covetousness; the hand from its theft, and the whole man from his evil propensities. Also we are filled with the welfare of others, and would do every thing to please them for the use of edifying, avoiding even the appearance of evil, and carrying ourselves wisely both towards the brethren, and towards them that are without; unto which operation of love to attain, a man must have ceased from his own will and from his own way, and conformed himself unto Jesus, who pleased himself in nothing, as it is written, “ The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” Again, “ Love seeketh not her own,” but the things of Christ, and the things whereby she may minister to the necessities of others, being rich she becometh poor, that through her poverty, others may be made rich. She goeth about doing good, and seeking to bear the burden of others. Her own matters she leaveth unto God, whose work she wholly intendeth. Ah ! God hath already secured her in the most honourable place of heaven, and she would fain secure him in his rightful inheritance of the earth. She is Christ's bondwoman, and what hath she to do with her own? This prostration of self, this continual saying, “ Not mine, but thine be done,” is surely an excellent operation of love coming from perfect suffering in the flesh. It is the proving of that holy and perfect will of God, by being not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewal of our minds. Ah me! but this love is the cross of the flesh, and breaketh every bone of the natural man.-Again, “ Love is not easily provoked,” being very patient, through the indwelling of the patience of Christ, who,“ when he was reviled, reviled not again, but was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as the sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” You may provoke love, but it is not easy : you may wear out the long-suffering patience of God, but it is not easy ; because his wrath is terrible, and if it be kindled but a little, the kings and judges of the earth do perish ; but it is a strange work and a brief one; and maketh way for an eternity of composure and peace; strange to love is the mood of wrath, and short-lived when it cometh, for the sun may not go down upon our wrath. Again, "Love thinketh no evil,” being herself devoid of evil, and purified in the regions of thought, wherein the subtle fowler plants a thousand snares.
And what a deliverance it is to be free from suspicious, cruel, envious thoughts; to have the cloudy atmosphere of the mind purified, and the blue azure of heaven every where apparent ! Surely love is to the mind, what the heat of the sun is to the moisture of the atmosphere, licking it up and making it transparent as the air; what the light of the sun is to the birds which haunt the darkness of the night.--" Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth,” because she has no fellow
ship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but doth rather reprove them. A joy indeed she hath, but not in these evil things, places, and persons, which meet her every where, but in the truth, in Him whose name is Truth, in the ways of truth, in the word of God, and in the company of the saints, who love the truth, and speak the truth to one another. But oh! if iniquity give us not joy but sorrow, then how constant must our sorrow
sorrowing always," as saith the Apostle," and yet rejoicing :" for there is a truth in the midst of the error, and in the midst of the Babylon there is a church which is the pillar and ground of the truth; and these love is quicksighted to discern, and over them she rejoiceth in hope, being assured God will accomplish every word which he hath spoken.-Again;
she beareth all things” which the Lord is pleased to lay upon her, though, like her Lord, she would sink and fall under the load. She refuseth not to be burdened with the sin of men, nor doth she shrink from the sight of their sufferings, but bringeth then with intercessions to her Father's throne. She “ believeth all things,” crucifying sight and walking by faith, denied to the arguments of reason and calculations of prudence, alive only to the faithful revelations of God. She " hopeth all things,” and by hope is preserved from the depressions of sorrow; for the joy that is set before her, enduring the cross, despising the shame. And finally, she" endureth all things,” which her Lord endured, delighting to walk in his footsteps, and to bear his cross, knowing that as she is partaker of the suffering, so also of the joy.
Forasmuch, then, as the fellowship of Christ's sufferings is not otherwise to be attained than through the participation of his love, we ought with all diligence to seek after love, which is the Father's gift unto all men in Christ Jesus: “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”. “We love him because he first loved us. “ God commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” This love runneth in the blood of Jesus, and is the life of God in fesh, which Jesus brought into flesh, and kept there, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, and which he continueth to pour into flesh by the anointing of the same Holy Ghost. “The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us.” Man's heart is a vessel constructed of God for containing and ministering his own love: the enemy got it, and filled it with his malice : Jesus cast the enemy out, and restored it to its
proper occupation; wherein he keepeth it, not only in his own person, but in all those who cleave unto Him with a living faith. This therefore is the sum of the matter, - that we study to maintain faith in Jesus, and continual oneness with him; through which will flow into us that love of God which springeth eternal in his bosom ; wherewith being filled we are in a case to
For as there is no suffering in a still-born child, and none in a dead man, but suffering presupposeth life; even so there must be life of Jesus, which is life of God, in every one who would suffer with Jesus or with God. The resurrectionlife of Jesus is that which, being strong in us, will beget his own abhorrence of sin and separateness from a sinful world, his own yearning over the sinner, sacrifice and intercession for him, labour of love, and patience of hope unto the end. The measure of Divine love standeth in this, that it did bring the Life which was with the Father into flesh, to the end it might be offered unto the death for all flesh. In the continual sacrifice of the Divine life upon the altar of this passive flesh lieth the form and the amount of all suffering and sorrow; and therefore there must be a Divine life to suffer, as well as a passive flesh whereon to lay the quivering limbs of the new man full of the most sensitive love : for the old man hath no suffering in him, being dead as a stone to all divine affections and sorrows. To know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, therefore, we must first know the power of his resurrection, raising us from the insensibility of death into the quick and strong sensibility of the Divine life, ever wounded, vexed, and grieved by the sad sights and sorrowful experiences of this wretched world. And with the suffering, thus endured, there is an imperturbable and inexhaustible joy, because in truth the substance of the Divine life is joy, and only joy: “ With thee is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.” Christ had fulness of joy when his soul was exceeding troubled : “ These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you,
and that your joy might be full.” In God there is nothing but the most self-sufficing enjoyment. The sorrow is not inbred, but resulteth from the misconduct and misery of those whom he made for the inheritance of that very joy, but who have plunged themselves into the depths of wretchedness; and for this it is that we also sorrow, when the mind of God abideth in us. Through the flesh we have the most perfect sympathy with the wretched blindness, darkness, and misery of men; through the Spirit we have the full participation of God's blessedness, whereto they as well as we are called : and so have we the one hand burning in the fires of Divine love, the other frozen in the icy coldness of nature; and between the two we are vexed and grieved very
The joy in the Spirit ever upholdeth the suffering in the flesh; and the suffering in the flesh ever driveth us home upon the joy which we have in the Spirit. For the joy that is set before us we endure the cross. By the fulness of the joy that is in us we rejoice in tribulation also. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. These are great depths, and to the natural man great contradictions, not otherwise to be reconciled than by
the experience of the spiritual life. A very small part of the subject have I been able to open. I understand much more than I have expressed. I begin to find that the tongue, not the pen, isthe instrument for uttering the mind; and that the heart of man, not books, is the place wherein to record it. This is a poor substitute for my preaching. There the Lord gives me to express some portion of his living truth: but when I take these instruments of the writer in my hand, the finer essence of every thought and feeling escapes from me, and it is but a poor residue that I can preserve. But such as it is, let it go for what it is worth; and may the Lord bless it to the edification of
souls ! For truth in any form is precious in times like these, when you may wander a whole day, and call at the door of every church and chapel, and not get one drop of the living water to cool your thirsty tongue. But the Lord is preparing a witness of another sort, and I shall soon have to bid an eternal adieu to this heathenish way of communicating the living word. Amen.
ANALYSIS OR ARGUMENT OF THE EPISTLE TO
(Concluded from p. 128.) [Note of Recapitulation. The unity of the argument of this Epistle demands
that we keep before us the amount of the truth revealed, and the order of the discourse observed by the Spirit in the preceding eight chapters, while we invite consideration of the remaining portion of it, from the opening of chap. ix. to the close. We have seen in our last, that, after declaring the Gospel contained in the name and person of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle unfolds the fearful condition of fallen flesh, both in Jew and Gentile : upon which the revelation of the righteousness of God comes forth, to recover man to his first dignity of prophet, priest, and king; and to restore him again, soul, body, and estate, to the image of God, in which he stood on the morning of his creation, but under a constitution wholly distinct from that destroyed by Adam, and unspeakably more glorious—even our being made partakers of Christ, members of His body, and sharers in His glory and inheritance for ever : for which glory we are prepared now, and in which we shall be sustained through eternity, only by the power of the Holy Ghost, who is given to us through the risen and glorified flesh of Jesus. Thus God the Father is manifested to be righteous, while His love abounds to every sinner; Jesus to be Judge of all, and King of Glory, while He is also flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone; and the Holy Ghost to be the one, the only life of the body of Christ; from whom alone all peace and joy and hope and love can flow; leading all the sons of God to cry out “Abba, Father;" interceding for them in groanings which cannot be uttered; helping their infirmities; and preparing them, through sufferings, for the glory to be revealed in them, in the day of the manifestation of the sons of God. The unfolding of the mystery of this great salvation excludes all creature boasting, and leads up the soul to the source of all being, and the fountain of all wisdom and power, even to Him who, from His eternal purpose, worketh out all things according to His own unchanging counsel (sect. I-XVII.)
Still, however, the order of the manifestation of the righteousness of God
is “ to the Jew first,” while “ to the Greek also;" and to this, the remain
ing portion of the argument, we now proceed in order. XVIII. The Apostle declares his great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart for his brethren according to the flesh; which, being " the truth in Christ,” witnessed by his conscience “in the Holy Ghost," shews the very mind of God towards them (ix. 1, 2); specifying a two-fold cause of sorrow :
1. What he had himself once done* (which they were still doing in their unbelief)-even wished that himself were accursed from Christ (ver. 3); and,
2. What were the peculiar privileges of Israel-viz. "the adoption, the glory, the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service, and the promises; whose are the fathers; and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever : Amen (4, 5). The effect
of these gifts and callings of God is told out in chap. xi. XIX. He vindicates the faithfulness of God's word, in his dealings toward Israel, in bringing out His election from among them, by shewing the successive limitations of the promise to the younger son of Abraham and the younger born of Isaac (vers. 6-13); and by declaring the purpose of God according to election, not of works, but of him that calleth (ver. 11); and the righteousness of God's ways revealed to Moses and upon Pharaoh (vers. 14–18); and also by the eternal distinction between flesh and spirit, the Creator and the creature (19-21); and the oft-repeated warnings and threatenings given to Israel by the Lord, through Hosea, and Isaiah, and all the Prophets (22-33). All of these, which seem to the fallen reason of man contradiction and caprice, being the outcomings of the One mind of God upon the successive and ever-varying aspects and conditions of the rebellious creatures of his hand-whether in judgment, as on Pharoah and the apostate Israelites; or in mercy, as on the Jew first, but now the Gentile also, but especially, throughout, on the election of God from among both Jews and Gentiles (ver. 24).
XX. He expresses his heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel's salvation ; bearing them record that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge; and details more minutely their true attitude towards Christ (whom they would have believed, if they had believed Moses: see John v. 46, 47), (x. 1, 2,) thus :
(a) Moses describes the righteousness of the law in one
form of plain words; and the righteousness of faith in
another, and totally different, form (vers. 5–8). * The translation of this passage in the English Bible completely obscures the meaning. The second verse is so manifestly incomplete, without the latter half of the third, that the rendering here given needs no support from arguments or authorities.