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any superior place or privilege. They | overseers or teachers of others. Peter invited, in the name of Christ, all poor writes, “ as every man hath received the sinners of the Jews, or Gentiles, to gift, even so minister the same one to receive the blessings freely; to come another, as good stewards of the manifold and stand with them on the same foun- grace of God. If any man speak, let dation, receive the same anointings, walk him speak as the oracles of God; if any in the same light, and
man minister, as of the ability which hope with themselves. There is but God giveth: that God in all things may one common salvation for all. The one be glorified through Jesus Christ.” The blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. Apostle Paul exhorts all as his brethren The one Christ, the Son of God, risen in the Lord, to present their bodies as from the dead, justified all who believe. living sacrifices; and shows that while all The one spirit of Christ quickened all were one body, each had his several together with him.
qualifications for service to God, to one The apostles were most faithful to another, and to the world without. their trust in this matter. They showed As, therefore, there was no difference how, through the cross of Christ, they in our state as sinners, so now there is were able to reckon themselves dead no difference in our calling and standing indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in in Christ; for “ as many as received Christ; though their peculiar temper- him, to them gave he power to become ament had been ambitious, and the ques- the sons of God, even to them that tion might sometimes be raised among believe on his name !" Yes! We are all them, “which of them should be great- one in Christ Jesus. est ?" Yet, they carried out in their Let us now, secondly, consider what Christian life the warnings of their Lord is that calling, that standing we have against the leaven of the Scribes and all received who are in Christ? Pharisees, and obeyed the command, We are all sons of God as raised “Be not ye called Rabbi, for One is from the dead in him, the first begotten your Master, even Christ, and all ye are of the dead, the first börn among his Brethren;" and "let him who would be many brethren. We are all of one greatest, be the servant of all.”
life. His father is our Father, and as While faithfully carrying out their such he calls us brethren. We are of service to Christ and their fellow saints, the assembly of the first-born, whose they made themselves servants of all : names are written in heaven. We “Not as Lords over God's heritage, but are the first fruits unto God and as examples to the flock;"
to the Lamb. In this we answer having dominion over the faith of others, to the Priests and Levites, whom God but as helpers of their joy.” They were chose in the place of his first-born from members in the body for the general among the children of Israel. We are good of their fellow-members; all equally separated by the blood of Christ as his precious to Christ the Head.
purchased ones, of whom he says, “ they They never arrogated to themselves are mine." We are the house of God any peculiar privileges, such as baptiz- in which he dwells by his Spirit
, and ing, or consecrating bread and wine, or where the Lord Jesus is as a Son over as if their presence was necessary to the his own house. We are also Priests to worship of assembled brethren and the minister in his holy things, and offer up administration of ordinances. Neither spiritual sacrifices. We all have access did they arrogate to themselves the dis- into the holiest, as being one with Christ. tribution of spiritual gifts; for, though Justified by his blood, we have access by they appointed some to minister in the one Spirit unto the Father. Yea, our churches, they taught the brethren not place is in the Sanctuary, the holy of to wait upon man for their powers of holies! There “our life is hid with Christ service, seeing that the Holy Ghost dis- in God.” We “go in and out, and find tributed such severally as he willed. pasture.” Yes! into this place of blessing, They generally contented themselves as sons of God, and priests in the true with stating to the saints the gifts and sanctuary, we are now brought, and the moral character that must be mani- there kept, until the Lord comes again. fested in those whom they recognised as Who, then, are the worshippers in.
spirit and truth, whom the Father thus | and as long as the Lord is hidden from honours during the present dispensation ? the world, it is given to us, who are his Those who, by union with Christ, are brethren by manifestation of the truth made sons, whom he brings to his glory, as it is in Jesus, to commend ourselves They are the royal priesthood, who will to every man's conscience in the sight of draw nigh to God in the sanctuary God. above. There is the mercy seat sprinkled Thus, while as sons and priests of with the blood of Christ. There is our God, we shall dwell in Christ by faith worship-place. There we shall offer up as ministers in the sanctuary above ; our spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to we also as priests bear Christ our Lord God by Jesus Christ. Having the on the shoulders of our faith through privilege of entrance by the blood of this wilderness below. Is not this our Jesus, we draw near as true accepted calling in Christ Jesus? Moreover, dear worshippers in the holiest of all. brethren, if, as Cbrist-bearing priests, we
There, in union with Christ, we shall come to the brink of Jordan, we may minister in holy things before God, cry with the Psalmist, “ What aileth whether it be at the golden altar of in- thee, thou Jordan, that thou wast driven cense, or at the golden table of the back ?” for, the moment our priestly shew bread, or before the seven-lamped feet are dipped in the brink of the waters, golden candlestick.
they are staid from their flowing, and This, dear brethren, is our proper we stand as Christ-bearers on firm, dry place and service in the sanctuary above ground, in the midst of death, or the as worshippers in our priestly service. floods of divine judgment upon others, What, then, are we down here, in our “Surely in the Hoods of great waters priestly and Levite service, as God's they shall not come nigh unto him.” first born in the world ? Surely it is But there is another important office our blessed service, to bear the holy for us as priests of God, connected also things, and the sanctuary itself, in our with our hope of glory. persons, through the wilderness to its Babylon must fall, the cities of the resting place; to bear before men the Gentiles also, in God's own time. The sanctuary, which is Christ, the holy one walls of Jericho fell down after they had of God ; to bear him in all his personal been compassed about seven days. Comexcellency, his perfect work and cha- passed about by whom? By the priests racter, both as he once suffered here, and bearing the ark of God and blowing with as he is now glorified above in the pre- the jubilee trumpets ;—the trumpets of sence of God for us, where he has Jubilee, heralding the coming day, when entered with his own blood, having ob- the sons and heirs of God must possess tained for us eternal redemption. their inheritance, and Satan's dominion
Yes! this is our most blessed service shall cease. Thus, in patient obedience, before the world. As Kohathites, to as the bearers of Christ, with the gospel bear in our persons the ark with the trumpet at our mouths, we are unceasholy furniture of the sanctuary, also the ingly to sound forth the truth that, “the brazen altar with its implements, kingdoms of this world shall become emblem of our Lord's cross and humilia- the kingdom of our God and his Christ.” tion, and obedience unto death. As Babylon is doomed. Come out of Gershonites to bear in our persons his her my people ! Let the Rahabs hear holy, heavenly character, represented by the sound, and shelter themselves in the the curtains and hangings of the court grace of Christ. Then, when the last and sanctuary. As Merarites, to carry trump has sounded, and the shout of in our persons the sanctuary itself, or Christ and the archangel's voice have God-tabernacling in flesh. This is the been heard, they shall receive not of mystery which hath been hidden before her plagues.” Who then are the kings in symbols and shadows, but the sub- and priests unto God the Father ? Even stance of which God has now made they whom Jesus loveth, and hath known by his apostles, namely, “Christ washed from their sins in his own blood. in you the hope of glory!”
If this be the apostles' doctrine, this This is the dispensation of God given their fellowship, this our calling in Christ to the apostle to make known unto us ; Jesus, Why have we not continued in it?
If we had, would there have been honour to whom it is due, &c., but as occasion for all this strife and contention, God's sons and priests, we can never be whether a man is born again through lorded over by any earthly potentate, faith in Christ, or by the sprinkling of whether Pope or Cæsar. We cannot water ?
put ourselves under any hierarchy on If the Church had been true to its earth, and be at the same time faithful heavenly calling, its heavenly priesthood, to our own great Priest in heaven. should we witness any perplexity of O, my brethren in Christ, why are we choice between the crown and its coun- so tossed to and fro by the sleight of men, cillors, or the bishop whom that crown beguiled on the one hand by philosophy creates ? Should we have contentions and vain deceit, and on the other by for the right of buying and selling pas- carnal ordinances and rudiments of torships and cures of souls? Could it the world ? If we were all holding the be possible for any holding the Head, Head, we should all be nourished and from whom alone the whole body of be- knit together in love, and increase with lievers are nourished and built up in the increase of God. The testimony truth and love, to receive appointments lately given to the destructive evil of as members of Christ's body, from the the sad abuse of gospel ordinances, would princes of this age, who crucified the not have aroused such indignation in the Lord of glory, and whose wisdom must hearts of God's children, if they had been come to nought? Could we, as crucified walking in the simplicity of Christ. with Christ to this world, consent to re
grace of God we should have ceive dignities and honours as Christian submitted to the correction, saying, ministers, from the princes of that world, though the words seem harsh, are they whose knell our priestly trumpets not true? Oh, Christian brethren! Let should sound! It must be with us- us go out from the tents of the sensual God or Cæsar; Christ or the world! religionists, who have not the Spirit of The two can never be amalgamated any Christ. “We are the circumcision which more than iron and clay.
worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in O what a flood of evil has long since Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in come by departing from the divine sim- the flesh.” We have an unction from plicity of the apostles' doctrine! It is the Holy One, and by the anointing of the flood cast out of the mouth of the the Spirit of Truth we know all things. dragon. “An enemy hath done this.” The intrusion of fleshly wisdom defileth Oh! what evils have come from reviv- the temple of God. "Let that, thereing an earthly priesthood in the flesh, fore, remain in us which we have heard partly Jewish and partly Pagan. Men from the beginning, and then we also setting up temples on earth, sanctuaries shall remain in the Son, and in the on earth of human structure and device, Father, and in the apostles' doctrine and in order to blind the eyes of others and fellowship! their own, and shut them out from the Yes, beloved, we are now the Sons of sanctuary above, which Jesus shed his God. We are the royal priesthood, and blood to open for them! “We have an if any should enquire, "Who are the altar in heaven whereof they have no priests?” we reply, None but those, who right to eat, which serve” an earthly like our great priest, are called of God “ tabernacle.”
after the order of Melchisedec, in whom True Christianity is a heavenly, not we claim also to be sons of God, priests an earthly calling. It is a heavenly of God, and unite our hearts and voices priesthood composed of sons of God, with the beloved apostle in singing, begotten by God the Father, through “ Unto him that loved us and washed us the resurrection of Christ from the dead. from our sins in his own blood, and hath “Therefore the world knoweth us not, made us kings and priests unto God and because it knew him not.” While so- his Father, to him be glory and dominion journing on earth as Christ-bearing wit- for ever and ever. Amen." nesses in the world, we, in obedience to Receive this word, beloved brethren, our Lord, submit ourselves to the powers for the truth's sake, which dwelleth in that be" in their proper places, giving us, and shall be with us for ever.
The Design for which the Moral Law was given
from Mount Sinai.
government; without it, a moral ments; so that no law which God might world would be a scene of anarchy and give after the fall could be less rigorous confusion. Moral law is also necessary than that which he had originally given. to the responsibility of moral beings; He could not give other than a perfect otherwise they would become a law unto law. He could not, it is true, require themselves. But it is not essential, in more of man than he had originally order to secure moral government or given him power to perform. Nor did moral responsibility, that such a law he. There is nothing in the law, as should be in writing. We have no given from Sinai, which Adam, when in doubt of the moral government and Paradise, had not the power to fulfil. It moral responsibility of angels, yet we was not a new law. The ten commandhave no reason to think that they have ments were but a development of the law any written code of laws; and the moral which was given to Adam in his original government, and corresponding moral state. The mere fact, therefore, of the responsibility of Adam in his original giving of the law, must not be quoted as state, will, we presume, be at once ad- any evidence that man has the power mitted, without supposing for a moment to obey it. This principle holds true of that the command to abstain from every command which God has given to eating of the fruit of the tree of know- man since the fall. It has often been ledge was given to hin'in writing. In urged by those who hold the doctrine both these instances, the laws were in of moral ability, that if God gives a the moral beings themselves; and there- command, it implies that man has the fore were not needed outwardly in the power to obey; and that since all men letter.
are commanded to repent and believe The peculiarity of the law, as given the gospel, it follows that they have the from Sinai, was that it was written. It power to do so. We demur to this was not, as we have seen, the first reve- reasoning. The principle we have proved lation of moral law from God to man, above, viz., that man's fall has not rethough it was the first written revelation laxed God's requirements, strikes at the of such law. We have not to discuss root of such a theory. the design of moral law, abstractedly The law from Sinai was given in such considered, but the design for which a form as proves that man had not the this written law was given from Sinai. power to keep it. The very fact that it We shall show first why it was not was written, is an evidence that it was given.
given to fallen beings. Had man reI. It was not given that man might mained unfallen, there had been no need keep it. In itself it was doubtless adapted of the written law, since it was written to secure life to those who should per- in his heart. It was because it was fectly obey it. Yet it was not given effaced from the fleshy tablets of the from Sinai with that view. As given to heart, that it became necessary to write Adam in his unfallen state, the very it upon tablets of stone. If, then, it was fact of its being given implied that he given to beings who had not the power had the power to keep it. God could to obey it, it could not have been with not, as a moral governor, give to him a the design that they should obey it. If law which he had not constituted him man had failed to keep it as a perfect able to obey. But no such power is to being, much more would he fail to do he inferred from the giving of the law so as a fallen being. from Sinai. Man had, by his own sin,
II. The Law was not given to prove lost the power to obey. He was now a the fact of man's guilt It was not necesfallen being; but his fall had not lessened sary for this purpose. Men's own conGod's right to demand his obedience, I sciences would have condemned then,
without the written law. The Apostle | experiment, in order that its efficacy as Paul argues this in Romans v. 13, 14, a method of justification might be “Until the law, sin was in the world; but tested: this had already been done in sin is not imputed when there is no law. the person of Adam in Éden, and it had Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam been found to fail. It was part of God's to Moses, even over then that had not whole plan of redemption, and was made sinned after the similitude of Adam's known for the sake of the gospel which transgression, who is the figure of him was afterwards to be revealed. That that was to come.”
gospel had been promised to Adam imThe fact that a period of two thou- mediately after the fall, it had been sand five hundred years elapsed between confirmed by a further promise to Abrathe revelation of the law to Adam, and ham and to his seed; and the Law, the giving of the written law from Sinai, which was subsequently revealed, was and that, during that time, men died who subject to those promises which it had not sinned as Adam had done with could not disannul. Wherefore, then, the revealed law of God before them, serveth the law ? It was added, beproves that they were treated as guilty; cause of transgressions, till the seed and the fact that they were treated as should come to whom the promise was guilty, proves that there was a sufficient made; and it was ordained by angels in law to bring them in guilty, since sin is the hand of a mediator.” (Gal. iii. 19). not imputed when there is no law. The The law, then, was revealed for the same apostle argues the guilt of those sake of the gospel, and not the gospel who have never heard the law, on for the sake of the law. similar grounds in Romans ii. 12—“As I. It was given, To convince man of many as have sinned without Law, shall the nature and extent of his sin. Withalso perish without law; and as many as out it, man could never have known the have sinned in the law shall be judged full extent of his guilt, until its conby the law.” The law of conscience, sequences had overtaken him. Without the remnant of the unwritten Law in it, there had been no standard whereby the heart, is snfficient to prove men he could possibly judge of the morality guilty, so that the written Law was not of his actions. Every man would make needed to vindicate the justice of God a standard for himself-such a standard, in their condemnation. And not being too, as would lead him to be satisfied needed for this purpose, we cannot con- with his own deeds, however greatly he ceive of its being given to the guilty, might, by that standard, condemn the apart from some gracious end. To give deeds of others. The sins which he did the law to those who are already con- not commit might be accounted criminal, demned, is only an aggravation of their but those in which he himself indulged condemnation. The effect of the Law would be passed over as harmless. on the heart of an unregenerate man, is It is only when actions are weighed not to restrain him from sin, but the in the balances of the law, that their contrary. Opposed as it is to all his true weight can be ascertained. Paul, evil propensities, it only excites them to speaking of himself, says, “I was alive greater activity. “When we were in without the law once, but when the the flesh,” says Paul (Rom. vii. 5)," the commandment came, sin revived, and I motions of sins which were by the law, died.” “I had not known sin, but by did work in our members to bring forth the law; for I had not known lust, exfruit unto death.” This is not the fault cept the law had said, Thou shalt not of the Law, which is holy, just, and covet." good, but the fault of man's corrupt Every unawakened sinner is self-connature.
fident and secure, until struck down by Yet, apart from some gracious design, the hand of the law. It is by the comwe cannot conceive that the law would mandment that sin is shown to be exhave been revealed to the guilty, since ceeding sinful.
Like a letter written it works only their greater sin, and thus with sympathetic ink, which remains their greater condemnation.
invisible till heat is brought to bear The law was given for gracious, not upon it, when it may easily be read; so for judicial, purposes. It was not as an is the heart of man full of sin: yet till