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source and fountain of God himself, in the unity of his essence, and trinity of persons; so each glorious person in the GODHEAD makes a revelation of himself in this sovereign act of grace, when the sinner, dead by the Adam-fall transgression in trespasses and sins, is brought into the new life of Christ in God. Here we prove the blessed truth of what the apostle hath said (and which was just glanced at before) in this chapter, that “there are Three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are One.” For in this record of life given in Christ, we can and do “set to our seal," having received this testimony, “that God is true," (John iii. 33.) for the Father hath given us this life in Christ. We know and are sure, when quickened together with Christ by regeneration, that the spiritual life is communicated to us from Christ. And no less than God the Holy Ghost, by his divine influences, opens and keeps open a never-ceasing energy of life and action, by manifesting both the person, and taking of the things of our glorious Head, and shewing to us; “ directing our hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” (John xvi. 14. 2 Thess. iii. 5.) Thus the gift of eternal life is in Christ; and possessing Christ we possess eternal life in him. “He that hath the Son hath life.”
And whence is it that they that have not the Son have not life, but because from having no union with Christ there can be no communion in what belongs to Christ; for the life in Christ is a supernatural life, a spiritual, an eternal life : whereas such never had any more than a natural life in Adarn. So that baying no spiritual faculties alive to receive spiritual and eternal life, and being spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, flesh and blood cannot receive spiritual apprehensions. And this becomes the key in the Spirits hand to open to the regenerated people of God the
mysteries of the gospel. It is this which at once explains why those whose profession of religion is merely natural, cannot have the least conception of things which are supernatural. And this discovery once received into the mind of one taught of God, leads to a farther, namely, why men unrenewed, whether professor or profane, are actuated by the bitterest prejudices against the doctrines of distinguishing grace: all of this description, however diversified by different shades of their patched up righteousness, uniformly agree in this ; and like the son of Hagar the Egyptian, are found mocking. (Gen. xxi. 9.) And hence it is that I am so very frequently admonishing the true spiritual church of Christ, to be continually looking for the renewings of the Spirit. (Titus iii. 5—7.) It is a sure and an infallible way of enjoying divine truths, when we can and do realize them in our hearts by the divine unction, and when, as the apostle speaks, “if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. v. 25.) This is what our glorious Lord referred to when he said, “abide in me, and I in you,” (John xv. 4.) by which Jesus evidently intended to shew that this abiding in him and he in us, would be the unceasing cause of living to him, and walking with him ; and as one of old said, “all my springs are in thee.” (Psalm lxxxvii. 7.) This is a very blessed life of faith on earth, which now brings the soul who is the happy partaker of it sometimes into the very
suburbs of heaven; and constrains the soul not unfrequently to cry out with the apostle, and say, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Cor. ix. 15.)
And now in conclusion, suffer me to ask, What is the result of all that I have been speaking? Who hath found in our congregation an unction accompanying the word? What savour of Christ's person, and Christ's salvation, hath been upon you ? True it is, indeed, the record that God hath given to his church is eternal life; and equally true it is that this life is in his Son, and in him only; for salvation is in no other, “ for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts iv. 12.) And how blessed, how inexpressibly blessed is the record in the text, to all that are spiritually taught to know this, and live upon it: “he that hath the Son hath life.” And how tremendously awful the record to all that have it not,“ he that hath not the Son of God hath not life :” and as John the Baptist on a similar Scripture in his sermon added, “he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John iii. 36.) And evidently for this plain reason, namely, because if the curse pronounced on the fall be not taken
from the sinner's conscience, by bis union with Christ, and salvation by Christ, it abides in all its dreadful consequences, and the sentence is already registered : “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness !” (Rom. i. 18.) And now as we are about to separate, and going away from each other, the blessing of the Lord accompany his people to their respective habitations; that while men of the world from the world seek their chief good, we may say with Peter, “ Lord, to whom shall we go ? thou hast the words of eternal life ; and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God!” (John vi. 68, 69.) Precious Lord Jesus confirm thy word to all of thine now before thee; that we may know the record that God hath given to us eternal life, that this life is in Christ, and having Christ we have eternal life, and in him all things. Amen.
A SERMON, PREACHED IN THE CHURCH OF CHARLES, ON THE
LORD'S DAY MORNING, AFTER AN ABSENCE OF A FEW
WEEKS IN VISITING OTHER CHURCHES.
“And whithersoever Jesus entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.”—Mark vi. 56.
I would affectionately recommend the cottager, before he enters upon the perusal of this sermon, to read the whole of the chapter from whence the text is taken, namely, the third chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians. Under the unction of the Lord the Spirit, so divine a portion of the sacred word will form the best preparation to the regenerated child of God for entering into a spiritual apprehension of the glorious person, and unsearchable riches of Christ; and of realizing in the heart the saving enjoyment of both, by the Lord the Spirit “taking of the things of Christ and shewing them unto him.” And I would beg to accompany what is here offered in prayer, that while the Lord's people are sitting under the word, the Lord himself will draw near in the word, as he did by his disciples of old, when they “ drew near the village, and talked unto them by the way, and opened to them the Scriptures.” (Luke xxiv. 27, 28.) I would say
Gracious Lord! we are about to contemplate thine unsearchable riches; and we know Lord that all that infinite and boundless treasury which is in thyself, is not for thyself, but for thy people. Thou art all in all ; in almightiness, fulness, suitableness, and allsufficiency! Be very bountiful Lord to our souls at this time, and make it a season of refreshing from thy presence. Say as in the days of old, “I will be as the dew unto Israel !” Lord, descend in our midst, as " the showers
that tarrieth not for man, neither waiteth for the sons of men !” Thou knowest, Lord, that in ourselves we have nothing to recommend, nor merit to deserve, nor grace to prepare; but it is our mercy that thou beholdest our need of thee, as the best recommendation; and our sense of our own poverty, the most suited state for pouring out of thy riches : and as our deservings are not the standard by which our most glorious Lord disposeth of his manifold gifts ; so our unpreparedness for receiving them hinders not the enjoyment of the blessing ; for “ the preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” Grant, therefore, that in the unsearchable riches of Christ, all thy children, all thy redeemed ones, may find a suited supply for every case. In thee, and by thee, and for thee, give each and all richly to enjoy communion and fellowship with the whole persons in the GODHEAD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To all the deadness and dying circumstances which we feel in ourselves, give such a lifting up in the sovereignty of thine almighty power, that we may hear, by the spiritual ear of faith, the soul-reviving words of our glorious Lord, saying, “ I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Amen.