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expected from Him by our own failure, rather than by His infinite grace. How common is the feeling, that when grievous failure has occurred, though there may be healing from the Lord as in the case before us, still no such aboundings of joy, or power in testimony, or victory in conflict, can be looked for, as might have been expected had there been no failure. And what is all this but unbelief? And what an answer to it all we have in the chapter before us. Not only was the manna which Israel had despised continued to them not only was a brazen serpent set up for the healing of any who were bitten of the fiery flying serpents, but they are conducted by the Pillar which guides them to the place where & springing well refreshes and cheers them, and they surround it with their songs—“Spring up, 0 well; sing ye unto it.” How sweetly does this tell of the springs of refreshing wherewith the Lord cheers and gladdens His poor healed and restored ones. His love is not satisfied with healing and feeding those who have despised His goodness, and brought wounds and stripes upon themselves; it is in His heart to refresh, to gladden, to cheer their hearts, and draw forth fresh songs of holy joy and triumph from their lips. Yea, and more than this. They come ere long to the borders of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan. One after the other comes forth to withstand them; and they are not prohibited, as in the case of Edom, from forcing a passage through their territories. And what do we behold? These mighty kings, one of whom was celebrated in proverbs for his prowess, and the other a warrior of gigantic stature and strength, are as nothing before this company of pilgrims. God is on their side, and their enemies are destroyed before them, and they possess the land of their enemies. And all that followed in the wilderness was God's vindication of them by the mouth of him who was hired of Balak to curse them; (their renewed failure, alas! through the cunning of Balaam) but still their overthrow of the Midianites, and the division among the two tribes and a half, of the land of Sihon and of Og. Thus ends the wilderness. It ends in victory

and praise. And I would leave it as a question for the consideration of my brethren, why it is we find such frequent mention made afterwards of the overthrow of Sihon and of Og? Is it not that the Lord would have this impression of His own grace to be the one left full and fresh upon our hearts by this wondrous history? May it be so by the power of His own Spirit, to the praise and glory of His name!

T.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

JOHN X.—PSALM XXIII.

The Lord is my Shepherd; no want I need fear;
He guides and attends me with fostering care,
And leads me in pastures the world never knows,
Beside the still waters of life to repose.
When, vex'd with temptation, I heavily move,
My soul He restores with the tenderest love;
In plain paths of righteousness still am I found;
The malice of Satan, by grace, I confound.
Though through Death's dark valley in sorrow I tread,
In this shadow'd world, no affliction I dread;
For Thou, Lord, art with me, each step of the road
Thy comforting presence my staff and my rod.
With choicest refreshments, my board Thou hast crowned,
While foes that revile me in famine are found;
The oil of rejoicing on me Thou hast pour'd-
My cup runneth over with blessings, dear Lord!
Thy goodness and mercy shall still be my song;
Eternity's raptures Thy praises prolong:
In courts of the house of my God I shall dwell,
The chorus of heaven in triumph to swell.

G.

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”—Eph. iii. 20, 21.

NO. VIII.

THE THREE CROWNS.

"Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory."

(LUKE xxiv. 26).

SUCH was the order of the divine counsels. If the Son of God humbled Himself to take the form of a servant, and to be found in fashion as a man, and to become obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross — and all this for the wondrous end of displaying the grace

of God-His name of humiliation becomes His name of exaltation; and throughout the range of heaven and earth, and even that which is beneath it, every

knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is

rd, to the glory of God the Father. “For the suffering of death, Jesus is crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God might taste death for every one."

It is thus that the worth of the humiliation of Jesus is not only to be estimated as that by which God is glorified; but the worth of His obedience unto death, even the death of the Cross, is also manifested in the royal and priestly dignity, into which those are brought who make confession unto the Crucified One, as Saviour and Lord. It is by the blood of Jesus that they are made kings and priests unto God and His Father. They enter into glory upon the sole ground of His precious bloodshedding To Him as the Lamb they ascribe exclusively their redemption. “ Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”

But besides the common regal and priestly dignity so graciously secured to the believer, we find mention made in the New Testament of specific crowns

" the crown of righteousness,” “the crown of life,” “ the crown of

These are held out as encouragements to the saint under special circumstances of trial which meet him in his path; and it will be interesting to trace the connection between the circumstances, and the particular

crown held out as an encouragement under them. To be curious where God has been silent, or to attempt to shape divine revelation to human thought, is at all times prejudicial to the soul; but not to weigh the connection of Scripture, or to rest in vague generalities where the word of God is definite and precise, is to deprive ourselves of much comfort, as well as of profitable instruction.

At the close of his active and eventful ministry, the Apostle Paul thus expresses himself: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."

Whatever were the hardships and sufferings of his ministry, and the humiliating position in which he was placed by it in the eyes of men, the Apostle felt its true dignity. He was " set for the defence of the Gospel, ” the noblest service in which it was possible for a man to be engaged; for it was no less than vindicating the honour of Christ. His deep anxiety of soul for the preservation of the faith, as that in which the welfare of the Churches was involved, was in his estimation more than all the pressure from without -- "besides that which cometh

upon me daily, the care of all the Churches.” He had no respite from warfare. 6. The faith” was assailed on every side, and from the most opposite quarters. It was equally endangered by Jewish ordinances and Gentile philosophy, slothful ignorance and prying curiosity. The saints for the most part were not alive to the importance of contending for the faith.” They did not perceive that by so doing they were favouring the righteous cause" of Christ. Such a principle is needed in order to contend heart and soul for the faith once delivered to the saints. But the saints themselves are often impatient of either being roused to activity, or of being disturbed from their ease. Hence the facility with

* Psalm xxxv. 27: “Let them shout for joy, and be glad that favour my righteous cause.” Margin,“ righteousness.” VOL.II. PT.I.

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which “ the faith" has been corrupted. Some have passively listened to teachers, “whose word will eat as doth a canker." Some would follow in the more liberal school of such teachers as Hymenæus and Alexander, and

putting away a good conscience, make shipwreck concerning the faith. Some, instead of receiving by faith that which it had pleased God to reveal, were always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Others again openly controverted, and even with bitter animosity, the teaching of the Apostle, as Alexander the copper-smith. The Apostle was as it were the teacher of one single idea-yet how high, how vast, how comprehensive an idea, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” He would not allow this grand idea to be either overlaid or undermined. On the eve of his departure, he was able to say, “I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith.He had allowed no inroad on the faith from any quarter. He dealt with its depravers indeed very differently; but he never allowed the thought of charity to interfere with his most uncompromising defence of the faith,” whether it was endangered by the vacillating conduct of an Apostle, or the avowed opposition of a coppersmith. " The faith," in the estimation of the Apostle, involved something far beyond the question of individual salvation; an invasion on its integrity was an attack on the rights of Christ. It is this which gives its value to the faith.” In human estimate, the welfare of man is the point; but in the estimate of God, and of those who are born of Him, the first and last point is the glory of Christ. 6. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.

What is “the faith” but the present assertion of the dignity of the person of the Son, and all the titles, styles, honours, and offices which belong to Him as “the Christ of God?” The Church is set here as a witness to Him in that which He essentially is, as well as all His given glory. All this will be manifested in due time, and

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