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in all things and always, to stand only, to move only, to speak only, and will only, in the Will of God, He brought it through, and out of, the conflict
more than conqueror;"—more than conqueror, I
say, for it was perfected through its sufferings. In the battle it lost all its infirmities, and put on Godhead.
1.—Behold, the work of works, behold, the height and depth of God, behold, the great triumph of grace over judgment, which is not simply a triumph over judgment, but a triumph in that which is judgment's own work. What is the work of judgment? To put down rebellion, to put an end to every thing that opposeth itself to God. “I will sing of mercy and judgment.” Mercy has a glorious victory, not at the expense of judgment, but together with judgment. God descending into His rebel-creation, and making Himself one with His sinful creatures, is indeed the way to save them ; but is it not also the way “to finish transgression, and to make an end of sin ?" And is not this the very end of judgment. did not perfectly accomplish the end of judgment, as well as its own end, it would not be the Grace of God. It would be partial grace, unauthorized, temporizing grace, and not grace, full-orbed, or, of
, the whole God. The Holy, Holy, Holy God in the
Now if grace Person of His Son, takes rebellious nature into His hands, not to destroy it, but to save it—to save it by destroying rebellion in it, and making it meekly and invincibly loyal and obedient. Behold, the loyalty and devotion of unfallen angels outdone, by the loyalty and devotion of converted rebels !
2.—The rebellious would have, could have, no hope of ever dwelling with the Lord God, if He did not first dwell in them. And this is the mystery of “God manifest in the flesh,” that He is come to dwell with sinners, to be their God, and to make them His people. What, but the indwelling of the Holy One, could regenerate fallen souls and make them meet to ascend into the Hill of the Lord ? The question was, therefore, whether all rebelnatured creatures should be given up as utterly lost, for ever lost, or, that Jehovah God should assume their nature, and change it, and make it holy and glorious, by the action of His Divine Nature. Eternal Love could do the latter; but could not give over His fallen creation to despair and ruin.
3.—Oh, what a Divine reality of a Gospel there is for all rebels! God hath touched them. God hath made reconciliation for their iniquity, and brought everlasting righteousness into their nature. God, through the Man Christ Jesus,
descendeth into the rebel's heart, to fight for him against all his sins and tempters. Sin is stronger than man, but God is stronger than sin.
4.-I ask my dear fallen, fellow-creature this only: Will you, that your spirit should be a dwelling-place for Jehovah-Jesus, your Lord and Saviour? It is His will to come into you, that He may make a new creature of you. If it be your will, the covenant is complete, and no power can break it.
Christ in you, will be your spirit of true Repentance, true Faith, true Hope, true Love, your spirit of Obedience, your Peace, and your whole Salvation.
AIDS TO THOUGHT.
"He is our Peace, Who hath made both One." What! can a Jew be delivered from his national prejudices ? It is only possible in Christ. He took Jewish flesh, and died the shameful Gentile death ; but it was neither Jewish nor Gentile flesh that rose again, but altogether a new thing. Christ has slain the Jew in Himself, and brought in the Divine Man,-"One New Man, thus making Peace.” The wall between races is broken down. The ground of enmity is gone. As the Lord hath abolished in Himself all enmity, between this sort of flesh, and the other sort of flesh, and along with it, all strife about Jewish, or anti-Jewish laws, ordinances and formalities;—even so He abolishes, in His disciples, all ground of enmity and strife, by taking them out of the limits and conceits of their family, their nation, and even of their world, and by creating in them “ the new man.”
In yet a higher sense, “He is our Peace.” He has cured in Himself the ancient enmity, old as the old serpent. The strife between God and flesh is healed. He found the enmity deep and malignant, and the strife awful unto bloodsweating, but He exhausted the enmity and quieted the strife for ever. “He hath made both One.” The flesh is no more without God, God is no more without flesh. Where there was, for ages of ages, hopeless antagonism, there is Peace. The Atonement is perfect.
God and flesh are One. Christ is the Peace of the universe. The storm has been long, but the great calm cometh. Extremes are uniting. Heaven and earth are stretching forth their arms to each other. The day is nearing, in which they will terminate their long estrangement, in a Divine embrace.
That a sin-stained, sin-full creature should be exhorted to come to the Holy, Holy, Holy God, and to come that he may live, is clearly an act of pure grace; but does it not involve a very mystery of grace ? It implies an absolute pardon. But where is the ground of pardon? The ground of pardon cannot be in the sinful creature.
Where is it? There must be a ground of pardon altogether distinct from the creature who needs pardon. If there