Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

they should now have a better temple), The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is the temple of it. So that a temple there is; but this shall not be such a temple in which Christ through outward ordinances, as a medium, is conveyed to his, and they by faith enjoy him, as now ; for what need of these things, when Christ is with his people, and to be enjoyed in another way of vision? Yea, the duration of these things is but until his coming : 1 Cor. xi. 26, “ As oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do .shew the Lord's death till he come, &c.” And the Apostle is clear in this, that all enjoyments of God by faith cease when sight takes place (2 Cor. v. 7; and 1 Cor. xiii. 8—13). And, indeed, what use will there be of a glass to see Christ in, when he shall present himself face to face—which he will do at the day of his appearing ? 1 John iii. 2: “ It doth not yet appear what we shall be, &c.” Yea, to behold the Lamb thus, shall be a principal part of the New Jerusalem's glory: Rev. xxi.3, 4, “ They shall see his face, &c.” So that the temple shall not be a worshipping of Christ and an enjoyment of him through outward ordinances, but rather a more immediate worshipping and enjoyment of him in himself ; who, therefore, in the New Jerusalem, is not only the Person worshipped, but the very temple we worship in.

And this, which now I am speaking of, is (I take it) clearly held forth in those words of the Apostle, Heb. xii. 26 : which place he quotes from Hag. ii. 6, 7, which before I have proved relates to this time. Now, as Christ at his first coming shook the legal worship, which the Apostle tells us stood in meats and drinks and carnal ordinances imposed on them until the time of reformation (Heb. ix. 10)—for which reason the shaking hereof is called a shaking of the earth-and did at his resurrection establish another way of worship, far more spiritual than the former, yet having also some outward ordinances and institutions, as the former had; which in Scripture is frequently called (as opposed to the other) heaven, and the kingdom of heaven : so at his second coming will he shake this worship, cast this temple (though more spiritual than the former) to the ground also; for (saith be) Yet once more, I shake not earth only, but heaven also, That is, all the worship that now is (I mean outward) is upon Christ's second coming to be removed; and such a kingdom and worship, instead thereof, is to be set up, as can never be shakeni.e. shall never be broken in pieces any more, as the former worships have been, but shall be the same for kind (being, as I have said, a more immediate worship) with that which shall be in heaven hereafter. And not darkly is this hinted Isai. Ix. 19, 20: The sun (that is, those outward things, which before were as a sun, under which are comprehended outward ordinances) shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee : and ver. 21, Thy Sun (i. e. the

[ocr errors]

Lord Christ, who is the light of this New Jerusalem) shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon (thy outward glory and felicity) withdraw itself ;-making a clear distinction betwixt the sun that before was, which is called the sun, and the sun that at this time shall be, which is called Thy Sun, as being another sun peculiar to these times, and not the same sun as was in former times. And this sun, that we may not be mistaken in it, is interpreted twice over to be the Lord: Ver. 19, The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, as opposed to the former sun: and again, ver. 20, For the Lord shall be thine everlasting light; being there added why this sun should never go down, no, not in heaven hereafter, because the Lord should be this sun. And who is this Lord? Why, Jesus Christ the Lamb, who is said to be the temple and light of this New Jerusalem, and that in opposition to the temple, sun, moon (i.e. all outward lights and ordinances) that before had been. Rev. xxi. 22, 23 : “ And I saw no temple therein ; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the Lord God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

And to this day (as I conceive), have those texts reference, Jer. xxxi. 34; Isai. liv. 13 : arguing an immediate feeding and teaching, not so much by instruments, means, and ordinances, as the Lord himself. And though it is not denied these Scriptures had a fulfilling in the beginnings when the Spirit was poured down teaching them (Christ promising and sending his Spirit for that end), being more abundant and spiritual than in foriner times; for which cause they are by Christ himself, and Paul after him, interpreted as then fulfilled; yet it is evident, from the scope of those places whence these texts are quoted, that the Prophets had in their eye another time-namely, the time of the Jews' delivery, when not Judah only, but Ephraim, head of the Ten Tribes, also, spoken of expressly by Jeremy, should return; yea, the very time of the New Jerusalem; whose stones are therefore by Isaiah said to be laid with fair colours, &c.; not unlike that description of the New Jerusalem John gives us (but more full) Rev. xxi. : and that, although in part these Scriptures had a fulfilling before (in which sense Christ and Paul mention then), yet the fulness, or the complete fulfilling of them, respects the time we are speaking of.

TO CORRESPONDENTS. Papers by the Rev. J. J. Holmes and the Rev. S. R. MAITLAND are suspended,

partly by want of room, partly by a necessity for further communication with the writers, which their residence in a distant part of the kingdom has pre

vented. Several other papers have been received, which we have not space to acknow

ledge separately.




JUNE 1830.


[ocr errors]

OD alone knows the end from the beginning, and in Scrip-

ture it is made the inalienable prerogative of God the Father to keep the times and the seasons in his own power (Acts i. 7). Of those times knoweth no man; no, not the angels (Matt. xxiv. 36); neither the Son (Mark xiii. 32); nor yet the Holy Spirit "of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak” (John xvi

. 13); But although it is the

. attribute of the Father to dwell in light inaccessible, whom no man hath seen nor can see (1 Tim. vi. 16); it is in like manner the attribute of the Son to manifest all that can be known of the Father (Col. i. 15); and also of the Holy Spirit to give the capacity to receive this manifestation (1 John ii. 27). Accordingly, when Philip exclaimed,“ Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us” (John xiv. 8); Jesus declared, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” The Son is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person (Heb. i. 3). “He is the Life, the Light of men” (John i. 4); and He brought life and im

“ mortality to light by the Gospel” (2 Tim. i. 10). The Comforter also, “whom I,” saith the Lord, “ will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me"...." He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John xv. 26 ; xvi. 14). So that in every case the three Persons of the blessed Trinity are always acting together ; the Father purposing and willing, the Son manifesting and declaring, the Holy Spirit preparing for and applying, each several act. This

This is an eternal truth: as true when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep, ere the Eternal Word said, “Let there be light, and there was

VOL. 11.--NO, II.

2 H

light,” as in the rushing mighty wind of the day of Pentecost : as true now as when the Dove descended, and the Voice from heaven spake over the well-beloved Son: and we have lost the experience of it now, only because we have lost in the church that realizing faith, more realizing than the evidence of sense, which the Apostles had. They had not only seen with their eyes and handled with their hands the Word of Life, but they had also an unction from the Holy One, and knew all things ; and they therefore knew Him that is true, and “were in Him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ....this is the true God, and eternal life” (1 John i. 1; ii. 20; v. 20). They believed in the Father and the Spirit, whose fulness dwelt in the Christ; and received the Comforter for an indwelling Spirit, empowering them for all the mighty works to which they were called : and we would now invoke the church to stir up all the faith which is in her, to pray fervently for its increase, and for the energizing influence of the Holy Spirit, to fit her for the work of labour and of endurance which awaits her; which will prove, we believe, more arduous and severe than that of the Apostles' time.

When our Lord ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, he took the seat of Providence; and all things in heaven and in earth have been from that time governed by the invisible administration of the risen Christ-of Him by whom kings reign and princes execute judgment—and who shall hereafter visibly take to himself his great power and reign; for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool” ( 1; 1 Chron. xxviii

. 2; Lament.ii. 1): “which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places....and hath put all things under his feet” (Eph. i. 20). But “now we see not all things yet put under him ; but we see Jesus crowned with glory and

l honour” (Heb. ii. 8). Whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things;" when the Lord“shall send Jesus, which before was preached unto you” (Acts iii. 20). Who shall then rule in the midst of his enemies ( 2); strike through kings in the day of his wrath (ver. 5); dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel ; receive the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for a possession (Ps. ii. 9); and give to his people the same prerogatives : “ To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations” (Rev. ii. 26): “ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. ii. 21).

But during the intermediate dispensation of the Spirit under which we now live-believing, and baptized into, the first advent of the lowly Jesus; living to, and expecting, the second, of the

[ocr errors]

glorious Messiah, at the resurrection--the counsels of God are not changed, nor their administration altered. The Son still makes known the Father; the Spirit is still the guide into all truth : He glorifies Christ, by receiving of Christ's and shewing it unto his people; and thus shews them plainly of the Father (John xvi. 13, 25). Christ being now the Father's vicegerent, and ordering all things both in heaven and earth, those workings of Providence recorded in and explained by the written word are the things of Christ by which the Holy Spirit testifies and shews to us concerning both Christ and the Father. To one whose understanding is enlightened by the Scriptures, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the book of Providence is thereby laid open ; and the assistance of the same Spirit, in the use of these means, enables the believer to become instructed in the principles of God's government of the world ; so that he may order his own walk and conversation aright, and justify God's righteous judgments upon all transgressors, of whatever class. To attain this privilege of the believer, constant watchfulness and prayer are enjoined: but to him who does thus watch and pray it is most certainly granted; not by the calculation of dates alone, not by the exercise of ingenuity alone, or by any other of the forms in which the faculties of the natural man may be employed and his pride gratified--all of which are of value in their proper place--but by a spiritual insight into those mysterious workings of God by which the wrath of man is made to praise him: and the remainder of wrath he will restrain.

Our Lord continually enjoins this attention to the workings of providence, combined with watchfulness and prayer. hold the fig-tree, and all the trees : when they now shoot forth ye see and know of your ownselves that summer is now nigh at hand : so likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.... And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares : for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke xxi, 29-36). Such watchfulness the Apostles and their followers practised. “ But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you: for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.... But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of the light, and of the day : we are not of the night, nor of darkness.... Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thess. v.

“ Be

« ZurückWeiter »