Imatges de pÓgina
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Fifthly, Resemblance, of which as and so is the expression, exists in the security of the lives. Promises are securities of the life which the Son of God in his office liveth by the Father, and his life by the Father is a secu rity of their life by the Son of God. As surely as he liv eth by the Father, all for whom he died and rose again shall believe, and, believing, shall live through his name. Turn to the Book, O reader and believer! Observe the security of both, and the last secured by the first, or yours by his! "He shall live." "In his days Judah shall be saved "and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is the name whereby "he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.” “Be"cause I live, ye shall live also." "Your life is hid with "Christ in God." "I am the resurrection and the life."He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall "he live." "If a man keep my saying he shall never see "death." "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall ne"ver die. Believest thou this?" Canst thou take it upon his word? He who testifieth these things beareth the titles, Amen, Faithful, and True Witness, and Beginning of the creation of God; and, like his titles, his testimony is faithful and true.

Finally, Resemblance, of which as and so is the expression, is observable in the duration of the lives. The life of the Son of God in his office by the Father is an endless life, and the life which believers live by the faith of the Son of God is an endless life. The promises of it by the Father to him, and the promises of it from the Father by him to them, are exceedingly great and precious; and open springs of life and joy, which cold cannot freeze, nor heat dry up. "He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, "even length of days for ever and ever." "He shall prolong "his days." "With long life will I satisfy him." "Behold I "am alive for evermore, Amen." "I give unto them eter"nal life, and they shall never perish." "This is the will of "him who sent me, that every one who seeth the Son, and "believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise "him up at the last day." "Every one that hath forsaken "houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or "wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall re"ceive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

After the illustration of these words of the Lord Jesus in our text, both concerning himself and concerning be♪

lievers who are partakers of him, we shall recommend the practical use of them in the following exhortations:

First, Believe, and believe firmly and constantly, the existence of the Father and the Son. These persons none of us ever saw with the bodily eye. By this eye they cannot be seen. The living Father is invisible. No man hath, and no man can see him. The Son living by the Father is visible in human nature, but in this nature he is within the vail, and the heavens must receive him until the time of restitution of all things, when every eye shall see him. At present, therefore our exercise is believing. Whosoever cometh to the Father must believe that the Father exists, and he who cometh to the Father by the Son must believe that the Son exists, and that he is the way to the Father. Believest thou these truths, O hearer! In an hour of temptation evil thoughts will rise, and evil surmisings will break in. How are we certain that such persons exist, or that there is a heaven, a place which we have not seen and cannot see, a living Father, and a Son living by the Father? Unto these, and all other unreasonable and immoral suggestions, oppose the testimony of Scripture, which records their existence, and the reasonableness of believing a testimony confirmed by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. Ye believe that there is gold in Havilah which ye never saw, men in India with whom ye never conversed, and countries beyond sea which ye never visited; and why should it seem incredible that persons, whom ye cannot see, exist in heaven; of whose existence the Holy Ghost himself is a witness? With the evidence of revelation suppress the whispering and murmuring of infidelity, and cry unto the Author of revelation to fill you with all joy and peace in receiving and believing his testimony. "If we receive the witness of "men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness "of God, which he hath testified of his Son. He that be"lieveth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself; he "that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he "believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And "this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, "and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son bath life, "and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

Secondly, Acknowledge that the Father and the Son appear and work in the order and stations in which they

have revealed themselves. These persons are equal, but the stations in which they appear, and work are not equal. The living Father in his station of operation is over all and greater than all. "Of him, and through him, and to him "are all things." Supremacy, universal supremacy, is the prerogative and glory of his station of operation. The Son in his station of operation is below the station of the living Father, liveth by him, receiveth all from him, doth all to him, and keepeth his commandment, which he knoweth to be everlasting life. Inferiority, or subordination and dependence, is the glory his station. This is acknow ledged by himself in our text: "The living Father hath "sent me, and I live by the Father." The stations in which these equal persons of the Godhead appear, with their dependence, offices, operations, and issues, are not quibbles upon which preachers discourse in a grave and formal way, and which none but old wives and block heads receive and admire. These stations are their glory, and the revelation of their glory in them is both attested by the persons themselves, and confirmed by their opera tions in the receivers of their testimony. "He that believ "eth hath the witness in himself." When the sun breaks forth from behind a thick cloud, and shoots his beams over the habitations of men, the face of the creation is renewed, and every heart is made glad. And when the Lord the Spirit breaks in upon the darkness of the heart, and, by the word, opens the eyes of the understanding to behold the glory of the Godhead in the face of Jesus Christ, every text in which the persons appear becomes a body of light, shoots beams over the new creation, and fills the heart of the new creature with joy unspeakable and full of glory. In the experience of some hearers, moments have, I trust, existed in which the murnuring of unbelief hath been suppressed, and the darkness of the heart illuminated and turned into noon-day, by the shining in it of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The belief and acknowledgment of the mystery of this glory on earth, and the vision and adoration of the revelation of it in heaven, is the essence of our blessedness. O to be stablished, strengthened, and settled, in the belief and acknowledgement, and, by the means which we are this day enjoy

ing, helped forward in our preparation for the vision and adoration, when we shall doubt and stumble no more!

Thirdly, Rejoice in the dependence and order of living which appears in our text. "The living Father hath sent "me," saith the Son of God in our nature, "and I live by "the Father;" and, adds the same Speaker, "He that eateth "me, even he shall live by me." In this last sentence, we would almost have expected "Shall live by the Father;" but our Lord who knew, and who came to make known the order of living, saith, "Shall live by me." Our necessities, unto which the order and dependence of living are adjusted, required "Shall live by me." Men dead in trespasses and sins, which is the state of all men by nature, could not be quickened and raised to life, but through the derivation of it from the Father by the Son, who is made a quickening Spirit. By the living Father, Christ, who is our life, liveth; and the new creation living by Christ, all created in him unto good works live as he liveth, originally and ultimately, by the Father, the fountain of the issues of life. Bring forth the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears: They must be deaf and blind indeed, who, in the order and dependence of living, do not perceive the sum-full of wisdom and the perfection of beauty. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: Who among their wise men could have planned this subordination? Where is the man or woman of understanding, that is not beholding glory beaming from it on every side? Since you enjoy substantial pleasure in beholding it darkly in the glass, the pleasure will rise to the highest degree of elevation and joy when you shall behold it clearly, and face to face.The glory of this subordination shall continue for ever, and the revelation of the fellowship of the mystery of it augment the light, and pleasure, and joy of eternity. Christ shall live for ever by the Father, and believers shall live for ever by Christ.

Fourthly, Admire wisdom and grace appearing in the resemblance which exists in the order and dependence of the lives. Christ liveth by the Father, and believers live by Christ. But in this fellowship of living there is a glory which is still more deeply mysterious. The correlative words as and so are full of meaning, and the knowledge of the mystery of the fellowship expressed by them

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is reserved for the felicity and recreation of eternity. In the mean time, recollect the particulars of resemblance which you heard exemplified. In the lives themselves, in their dependence, in their means, in their end, in their security, and in their duration, resemblance hath been traced and exemplified. This resemblance is now the object of belief and adoration, and hereafter will be the object of knowledge and intuition. Lay up in your memories the particulars exemplifying it, and feed upon them with faith and love in Christ Jesus. At this and at every communion they are spiritual food, or rather the daily bread which sustains the life of the new creation, and diffuses joy and gladness through the city of the living God.

Come now, believer! eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a cheerful heart. The living Father sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him; and as he liveth in his office and mission by the Father, so he that eateth and believeth shall live by his faith in him. In the light of his word, walk to his Table, crying, "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead "me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy ta"bernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto "God my exceeding joy; yea, upon the harp will I praise "thee, O God my God." A brighter and more splendid day is springing from on high; a day which will raise you above the need of harps, and altars, and tables, and books, and cause you to shine as stars and suns in the kingdom of your Father. "Why then art thou cast down, O my soul, "and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in "God; for I shall yet praise him, the health of my counte"nance and my God."

We do not wish to leave the disquieted and cast down without means of comfort, and shall address ourselves to them more particularly before we conclude. In order to strengthen the nerves of the weak, and comfort the heart of the sorrowful, we recommend the words of the Lord Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum, and the isle of Patmos. In the synagogue he said, "As the living Father "hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth "me, even he shall live by me." In the isle he said, "Fear "not, I am the First and the Last; I am He that liveth and "was dead. And behold I am alive for evermore, Amen, "and have the keys of hell and of death." John heard

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