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being united with Him who is on the throne of God, being his instruments, his members, for demonstrating before the world as much of that power and authority which he hath attained to, as is proper for this present state and condition of the world. This body, the church, the Father giveth to him. It is the Father's gift of an inheritance in the saints unto his Son, Christ. It is the Father's bringing a spiritual seed out of him. It is the Father's forming a wife out of him. It is the Father's producing from him a race of sons of God, in room of those who heretofore mixed themselves with the daughters of men, and for. feited their high estate. It is the Father's deriving from Christ the royal family of kings and priests by whom he is to govern the worlds. And the church, thus constituted to be the body of Christ for ever, through whom unto eternity he may put forth the fulness of Godhead which is in him, hath at present upon the earth the very same function to discharge; being unto Christ for a body wherein to abide, and whereby to act out before the world that office of a gracious Lord and holy Christ to which he hath been exalted by his resurrection from the dead. I say, the self-same office doth the church now, and upon this earth, discharge, which she shall for ever and over all creation discharge ; being the members of one Christ, united by one Spirit, and constituting one household, and following one invariable rule and principle of government, though consisting of many persons, divers memberships; and perhaps also to occupy, as they now do, various places in the one creation of God. Just as, to compare great things with small, our king, by his members, the ambassadors, governors, judges, lord-lieutenants, &c., doth exercise one government, with one law and principle, with one will and one mind, over the vast extent of his dominion; so our invi. sible King, the Lord Jesus Christ, doth at present put forth, by means of his church, that power and authority upon this earth which is proper now to be put forth. This is our idea of the church ; and we give it without hesitation as the true one set forth in the Scriptures.

The next question which ariseth is, into what power hath Christ entered; and how much of that power is it his good pleasure to put forth upon this earth during this dispensation of his absence? With respect to the first part of the question, I answer in his own word, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Seated in God the Father's throne, he holdeth God the Father's sceptre, and exerciseth God the Father's dominion. He is now creation's God, as he was heretofore creation's Surety and Bondsman: he is now creation's sceptre-bearer, as he was heretofore creation's burden-bearer. Formerly he shewed himself the suffering, mortal man: now he shews himself the ruling, life-quickening God. It is this accession of honour and of power, to which as Christ he passed, upon his leaving this world and going to the Father, that forms the ground of his consolation to his church under the present dispensation of his absence. Therefore said he, it was expedient for them that he should go away, for otherwise the Comforter could not come: therefore said he, they should do greater works than he had done, because he went unto the Father. And, in short, the key to the whole of that consolatory discourse contained in the xiv th, xvth, xvith, xviith chapters of John, is this, that by being absent from the church in the world, and present with the Father, he should enter into the glory and the power which must ever abide with, and ever proceed from, the secret of the Father's dwelling place ; which to possess and to occupy, he must enter there, where creature never before did enter, and never shall enter again, and where he entered because he was Creator as well as creature. And this high reward of his faithfulness, and demonstration of his Divinity, and re-possession of the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, having received unto himself, he would, to the extent this present world can bear, make manifest by means of those whom the Father had given him out of the world to be one with him, as he is one with the Father. With this comfort he comforteth his church over his absence, and assureth them that he would send unto them the promise of the Father, even power from the Holy Ghost, when the Holy Ghost should have come upon them (Luke xxiv. 49; Acts i. 4, 8). That the church was to be made sharers in some way of that accession of power and glory into which he was exalted, is the consolation with which he comforteth them, and for the which he desireth them to wait in Jerusalem until they should receive power from on high. And as to the other part of this inquiry, to wit, How much of this his new dignity and power it is proper for him to render, through the church, visible unto the world, we are willing to be guided by the fact that it was communicated on the day of Pentecost, and by the testimonies as to what this was contained in the Holy Scriptures. That gift of the Holy Ghost, which was then given, is the same unto which we are all baptized (Acts ii. 38, 39), and with the hope of which he comforteth his church over his absence; which, therefore, is our comfort, and ought to be our possession. The question is, then, What was the gift of the Holy Ghost at that time communicated to the church? for this is what we are commanded to hold fast till he come.

Was it the gift of perfect holiness in flesh? I answer, No: this we have in consequence of his life, and death, and resurrection ; or, rather his life and death ; for as to this, his resurrection did but seal what his life and death had purchased. That which was by his life and death accomplished is, the putting away of sin and death from mortal and corruptible flesh. * Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” So far, therefore, as perfect holiness is concerned, we have it in virtue of a work completed at the resurrection, not in virtue of the “promise of the Father,” which he received after his resurrection. In order to become members of his body, we must believe

upon his work of putting away sin from all fesh by his life and death: by which faith we enter into a holy subsistence in the holy flesh of Christ offered for us on the cross ; and are no more in the flesh, but in the Spirit ; and live no more after the flesh, but after the Spirit. This regeneration, this renewal after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, this dismissal (or, as our version lamely translates it, remission) of sins, we are baptized into, and every baptized person is answerable for the same. But this is distinct from the gift of the Holy Ghost, into the promise of which we are also baptized ; and not to be confused therewith, without confusing the work which Christ by the Spirit did in Aesh with that promise of the Holy Ghost into which he entered when he went out of the world unto the Father. There is a work which Christ did in the world ; and there is, distinct from this, a glory and a power and a work, which it was put upon him to enjoy and to execute when he went out of the world.' We obtain the former by eating his flesh and blood, through faith, and thereby become members of his holy flesh, to do in flesh the work of holiness which he also did. The other we are thereby qualified to become sharers in, by being made members of his body; and in it we share by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, shed down upon the church on the day of Pentecost, to enable the church to put forth of that fulness which is in her Head, so far forth as it is convenient and proper that the same should be put forth in this mortal state, before this sinful world. Perfect holiness is the inward law and condition of the church, by which her union with her perfectly holy Head is preserved. Power in the Holy Ghost is her outward action, as the body of Christ, in the sight of the world; unto the manifestation of Christ's name by the church, as he had manifested the Father's name; unto the proclamation of Christ's power, grace, and goodness unto the world, as he had proclaimed the Father's. Christ, by his union with the Father, did, in the days of his flesh, proclaim the Father's glorious name and superabounding grace; with which the Father being satisfied, doth, for the time thence following, identify the name of Christ with his own, and constitute a church in the world, which, by her union with Christ, shall be able to testify to the name and glory of Christ, who testifieth to the name and glory of the Father. Christ having been, and being, the Father's true and faithful witness, doth become the person witnessed of, and the church are his witnesses ; whom to witness, is to witness unto him who witnesseth unto the Father. But in our witness we are able to go further than Christ went, for this reason : that in the days of his flesh the mortality of flesh, and sin in flesh, and the principalities and powers of darkness, therein holding their throne and revelry, were not yet conquered, condemned, and openly made a shew of; the prison-house of the grave was not yet opened, nor its captivity was not yet led captive. The Captain of our salvation entered into a field wherein the legion of our enemies lay encamped in battle order ; we enter into a field all strewn with the wrecks and spoils of their defeat. We are baptized into flesh redeemed, into a world disempowered, whose prince is judged and cast out. We come not to fight a battle, which is already fought, but to ride over the necks of a prostrate foe. They idly speak who say that he had not so many enemies as we, that he had not flesh to contend with. Oh, what an error ! It is there we have the advantage of him, and enter into the fruits of his victory. He wrestled with sin in the flesh, and condemned it utterly, dispos. sessed it, and cast it out : we enter into the fruits of his warfare, of his toil and sweat and blood. O ye thoughtless and ignorant men (for ignorance is your only apology), why will you go about to take away from Christ the glory and the greatness of his work! I am ashamed of you : I grieve that such things should be spoken in the bosom of my mother's family. They cannot long be spoken without calling down judgment upon the house. Either the truth must be confessed, and the house saved, or it must be cast out, and the house destroyed. But, to return.

What portion of the power now possessed by Christ is proper to be put forth upon the earth during this season of Satan's presence therein, is still in question before us ; though I hope, from what hath been said, it is no longer in question how that measure and portion of it shall be put forth. The body is the organ by which the spirit within a man doth manifest itself to the world; and the body of Christ, which is the church, is the organ by which He, acting from the invisible seat of the Father by the invisible Spirit, must manifest himself unto the world. There is no other medium of communication between Christ abiding with the Father, and the world, but the church in the flesh : and herein the church in the body hath a manifest importance, and I would say pre-eminence of usefulness, over the church disembodied, in that she is the organ of communication between the invisible Christ and the visible world. This being fixed and settled, we now come to the nice inquiry,--How much of that power, which Christ hath received, is it befitting to him and the Father to put forth by the church in this the day of his absence? And, first, it may be asked, Why not the whole ? The answer is, That if the whole were put forth, the devil would be cast out, and all wicked men with him, and sin, and death, and all obstruction, and contradiction, and darkness, and dishonour, into the lake that burneth, there to consume for ever and ever; and there would be nothing to be done at his coming again. There is an economy in the putting forth of that power which resideth in the Father's throne; an economy which answereth to the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Therefore it is, that in the writings of the Apostles the gift of the Holy Ghost is spoken of only as a firstfruits of that which is yet to be received ; and the full harvest is made to consist in the redemption of the body: as it is written, Rom. viii. 23: “ And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” This passage instructeth me, that the gift of the Spirit by the church, now possessed, is the first-fruits of that complete power of the Spirit which she shall possess when the body shall be redeemed from the corruption of the grave; and the context further instructeth me, that the whole creation is groaning, and travailing, and crying unto God, for a redemption which she shall receive at the same time from the bondage of corruption : “ The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now; and not only they," &c. “ The earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” The Apostle Paul evidently saw the redemption of the bodies of the saints, and their manifestation as the sons of God, and with them the redemption of the whole creation from its present bondage, to be that complete harvest of the Spirit whereof the church doth now possess only the first-fruits-that is, the first ripe grains which could be formed into a sheaf, and presented in the temple as a wave-offering unto the Lord. Most strikingly confirmatory of this is what he declareth concerning the same gift of the Spirit, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, i. 13, 14: “ In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." And likewise in the ch. iv. of the same Epistle he saith, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” And the self-same language holdeth he twice over in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (i. 22): “ Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts :" (v. 5) “ Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” In all these passages the gift of the Spirit which the church had received, and was possessed of, is set forth as an earnest or pledge of what she is to receive and possess against that day called, The day of redemption, and, The redemption of the inheritance. The inheritance is the earth and the inferior creation ; not yet redeemed from the bondage of corruption, but to be redeemed, according to St. Paul, in the day of the manifestation of the sons of God; in the day of the redemption of the body; in the day of the resurrection of the saints; in the day of the casting out of the devil and his works; in the day of the destruction of death, and the victory over the grave. The “earnest ” (by which it is also named) is, like the first-fruits, only a part of that which is yet to be earned ; and also, like them, of the same kind, but not in the same measure ; a partial, not a complete thing-yea, but a small part of the whole, and yet sufficient surety that the whole shall, in the fulness of the times, be likewise ours. Wherefore, also, it is called the seal, being that mark which God affixeth upon his people, and by which he determineth that they are his.

Now if any one has been accustomed to interpret these passages of the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost, he must, with all speed, disabuse himself of that error, which compromises a great point of personal holiness. For if the thing spoken of in these passages be regeneration and sanctification, then is that work of the Spirit only a partial and incomplete work, and we cannot look for any thing beyond a first-fruits of boliness, an earnest of holiness ; which is to sanctify the imperfections and short-comings of a believer, and to fix him in very partial holiness, and to take away from him both the hope and the desire of being holy as God is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. No: we are baptized into perfect holiness, into the positive and absolute dismissal of all sin, into the burial of the flesh with its corruptions and lusts, the quickening of the spirit into all holiness. “ The law of the Spirit of life doth make us free from the law of death :" and every short-coming from this perfect righteousness is a stain upon our white raiment, which must be instantly confessed and grieved over, and washed white in the blood of the Lamb: it cannot be tolerated, it cannot be indulged, it cannot be sanctioned from Scripture; it ought not to exist within the church; it is an offence to God, a disgrace to the body of Christ, and cannot be justified by any

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