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Him we have power to take it again ; this is the commandment of the Father. For our sakes He sanctified Himself. Who, then, soever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. We may endure contempt, contumely, and even death; but there is one element of a true faith a far deeper suffering, being crucified to the world, the flesh, and sin, that we may partake of the righteousness of God in the Son.
The two Sacraments attest this faith, in a death and burial, and in a life to God. Baptism into death is followed by the life. And in the Lord's Supper we “ set forth the Lord's death till He come.” But none could partake of the paschal feast till He had been circumcised. So, outwardly, none should partake of the Supper till he had been baptized; for none can partake of the true blessing of Divine life till he is circumcised with the circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh in Christ. How important, then, is it to learn Christ, to be crucified to all that is not of the Father ; for holiness and unblameableness in love are the result only of a death to sin and life to God.
Again, this love, the law of righteousness, cannot be attained by the flesh (Rom. ix. 31). In this epistle to the Romans we read of the works of the law, the righteousness of the law, the law of righteousness, the law of sin and death, and a law without which there would not be sin. The works of the law is the flesh fulfilling the outward letter; the righteousness of the law is Jehovah ; the law of righteousness is love—the operating principle of the Spirit of life; the law of sin and death is the operating principle of the carnal mind ; and the law without which there would not be sin is the law of the paternity, which is ever operating, and against which sin is ever striving. Now, the Jews sought the law of righteousness by the works of the law. They did not see the necessity
of faith, of being in Christ the Son of the living God, that through Him the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts should be put off, and the new man, created after God, in righteousness and holiness of the truth, should be put on.
Paul could not do the works of the law; he had done them, but now through the law he was dead to it. Christ is the end of the law, the substance of the shadow. The whole legal dispensation finds its fulness in him. He, then, that is in Christ, is dead to all that is outward, and in the Spirit of the Son lives unto God, according to the law of righteousness. For, says the Apostle, “ If this life to God, this Divine nature in the soul, this righteousness, could come by the flesh, then Christ died in vain” (Gal. ii. 19—21). And if this blessing was for a murderer, blasphemer, injurious, who shall say, “It is not for all men ?" If Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, then should any be to the more sure word of prophecy ? Christ the Son of God is one person.
What, then, is predicated of the one term may also be of the other. As the beloved, He is the Son of God, in whom, it is affirmed, we have redemption. And of the Christ it is said, We have in Him obtained an inheritance. This inheritance in the Son follows our first trusting in Christ. So the love of Christ is known only through the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. This love fathoms the deep mystery of Christ, who redeemed us and gathered all into Himself-who, as our Lord, now sits subduing all adverse power and all evil, and in whom we are raised and made to sit in heavenlies. Thus Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, and we are filled with the fulness of God in Him. It is in Him alone, the bond of peace, that we can preserve the unity of the Spirit. And now we are no longer children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, but grown up to the full stature of a man. And as the body of which Christ is the head makes its increase, so does it build itself up in love. There is, then, one body and one Spirit; and in the appropriation of this we find ono Lord putting every enemy under His feet, and one God the Father of us all, "of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, who is above all, and through all, and in
GENESIS xii, 4.
“So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him.”. ONE, if not the most important, of the Old Testament characters now invites our contemplation. Whether we regard Abraham as having his name in the covenant formula, being at the head of that family whose history the Bible records, and to which Christ belonged, or as the friend of God, or for his own true faith, he is, indeed, the most remarkable and distinguished in the sacred record.
We proceed, then, firstly, to show how Abraham reveals the Father, whose type he is; secondly, the principles necessary not only to that revelation, but to be of the covenant; and thirdly, how Abraham did, as all men may, hallow this holy name in the possession of those principles.
The confusion of tongues—the origin of the various languages of the earth—is an abiding witness to sin in its hostility to the paternity of God. Yet, despite of which, the scattering of men to replenish the earth is a witness to it.
Men would build themselves a city, a tower, a name. They know not that there is a city which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God. They trusted in themselves; they understood not that Jehovah is a rock, a fortress, a deliverer, a tower of salvation, and that the righteous running into it are safe, are set aloft. They would get themselves a name; for this they laboured : it is all their toil; for this the world continually struggles after. It ignores the one name revealed throughout the word of God,-a name that was upon the
children of Israel, that the Father might “ bless them, and keep them, and make His face shine upon them, and be gracious unto them, lift up His countenance and give them peace" (Numb. vi. 25).
It was to this, the everlasting covenant in its fulness made with all flesh, that Abraham witnessed : how that God was not the God of one city, but of heaven and earth; that all the families of the earth were blessed in Him; that the teeming multitudes attested Him the author of life, the Father of many nations, the Father of the spirits of all flesh. Abraham, therefore, is bound to no earthly city, no earthly kindred, no earthly father.
We are now speaking of the patriarch as revealing the Father. When he is called, he comes forth, leaving all. He severs, so to speak, the social ties of kindred and of friends. His father must die before he enters upon the promised inheritance. The soul that attests the universal Parent must be unfettered by every earthly tie. It is the language of the covenant to all : “Hearken, o daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house ; so shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty, for he is thy Lord God, and worship thou Him” (Ps. xlv. 10). Two distinct acts of Abraham testify to this. He obeys the call, and comes with his father out of Ur of the Chaldees unto Haran, where he rests ; for he cannot enter upon the promised inheritance, the everlasting paternity, until the earthly parent is removed. Abraham, then, as the head of a great nation, is the type of the true Father whose name he possesses; therefore, his name is great, and he is a blessing. They who bless Abraham are blessed, and they who curse him are cursed; into which two classes the whole human family is divided, for by our lives we practically bless