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has done so at the times of the so-called Reformation; in the days of Whitfield, Wesley, Berridge, etc. And a Christian must be very young, or his ignorance very great, if he cannot add a list of well-authenticated scenes of blessing. If you deny that people are now turned and turning from dumb idols to the true and living God, -look again. The facts are against you.
2nd. As to the young that may be in the work. May they find grace to live in the sanctuary, and to test and compare all their own ways and doings, with the standard authority of the walk of a Paul. If they know the work they are engaged in, they will know that it is of no private interpretation; but takes its place under the Lord; and that whatever will not bear the light of an apostle's ways in their work is questionable, to say the least. Paul reported to the saints what the Lord had wrought; to them He could preach it; but to sinners, he knew nothing to preach save Jesus Christ. To sinners, as such, he did not preach “the work."
3rd. To Believers. The heart is in a bad state, that does not know and own to the want of freshness of soul, in the present day, among Christians. My heart's desire and prayer to God is, that those that know the Lord, and Him working hitherto, and still working, may learn more and more to walk with Him as a living God. For myself, I can only say, that the blessed way in which many have realised, in their own souls, God, as a living Being, and Christ in heaven above, and the Holy Ghost in living presence and action down here, through this (so-called) revival, is blessed. They have found God occupied with souls, a converting thein; and it has given a place to the word of the Lord in many of them which it had not before. I would like to see the whole of their lives, here below, brought up to practical consistency with that living in the presence of God that is near, and that neither slumbers nor sleeps.
When God is showing Himself and working, there is a light diffused which makes manifest everything which is in its presence. Disbelief and incredulity—it in the heart-show themselves as disbelief and incredulity as to that which God is doing. Unbelief and little faith get stript of the coverings which position, of one kind or another, may have given them; and when stript, they are nothing but unbelief and little faith. Satan, or the devil
, either as persecutor or angel of light, will be there, where God is working, and will show himself in one way or another. The low, carnal, the worldly state of the individuals who may be used in blessing to others, perhaps, will show itself in ways, energy, plans, thoughts, and speeches, which tell of their little faith and low state in the Spirit: the state of the churches, 30-called, will not be hidden either; but all will stand out in its true real character in the light ; for that which maketh manifest is light. A man and human churches look very different when in the light of God's presence, and when out of it. No flesh can glory in His presence: but, according as it is written, “ he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
“ BRIGHT THOUGHTS.”
Sits waiting here and sings ;
And practises her wings.
While from afar she spies
Above created skies.
And firm without a flaw,
And less of glory saw.
Through every chink appear ;
While she's a prisoner here.
At all the opening flaws;
No. XI. THE REVELATION, CHAP. I. This chapter contains a most magnificent chain of glories which are connected with our adorable Lord and Saviour.
As in the gospel of John, so here; — all that we read has Jesus the Christ for its centre; but the glories in the gospel were more connected with Him looked at as the Life-giver; here He is presented rather as the bearer of responsibility before God as to the light possessed by those who are subjected to Him, and pre-eminently so for those that know they have in Him eternal life. The word of His grace – committed unto man
not only communicates eternal life to those that receive it, but also places man in present responsibility. The Word of God He in whom the eternal life is — is the great responsibility-bearer, both as to the light and the life which are connected with the word of His
The glories of Him in that position are the subjects of consideration for us now, as they form the substance of the chapter before us.
1st. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John” (ver. 1).
There are two things to be noticed here, viz., 1st. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ according to things to come, and not, as in John i., a present salvation. The subject is the glory of Jesus; not as the only Begotten of the Father, etc. — though that He Himself, necessarily, always is - but, according to His title of the Christ,” anointed Son of Man, and the things to come which connect themselves with that name.a
a The Apocalypse is emphatically the book of the throne." It shows out judgment, also, as flowing from the throne. Judg; ment of man, who may have had light, and not walked onward into more light, as of the tribes of the land, kindreds of the earth (chap. i. ver. 7); or who may have boasted in full light, and not borne fruit, as of the churches upon earth (chap. ii. and
Jesus the Christ is now hid in God. But there is the revelation of Him; and this, with the object of making known unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. This is the bright gem which first meets us in the chapter.
2nd. The second is, that it is given unto Him by God.
The Lord — and all things that concern Him - must erer be dear to His people, and so, therefore, necessarily, any revelation of Him; but this one has a peculiar mark upon it, one which gives it a peculiar place, too — it is the revelation which God gave unto Him.
3rdly. The next thing which I would notice is the full, and fully recognised, association of this Jesus Christ with that which is essentially divine; in ver. 4, Grace and peace from God described as the One that is, and that was, and that is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ. Yes, Jehovah-a-saving, the anointed Man — from whom, and through whom, divine and eternal gifts, as of grace and peace, can and do flow-is God, and is fully owned as such.
4thly. Then we get the cluster of titles under which He is here more delinitely presented as being those which collect Him with the work in hand. Each of them is a glory in Him, and, therefore, the subject of admiration for His worshippers.
The Faithful Witness. The scope and range of the testimony of this, the Faithful Witness, is according to the person and position of Him who is the Faithful Witness. Everything that He said and did when He was on the earth was as the Faithful Witness ; everything that He does or says, now that He is in heaven, is as the Faithful Witness; and so everything that He will hereafter door say, in the heavenlies or in the earthlies, will be so too. iii.)---judgment, too, of the prophetic nations ; of the Jews; of the nations which lie beyond the kingdom of the Statue; of the Jews in the future kingdom; of all men at the great white throne. But then there is also the other side of judgment ; for not only do we find that the demerits of man, of the world as it is, of the flesh, and of Satan, have their just measure taken and expressed, but also there is the blessed expression, in many various ways, of God's estimate and delight in the Christ, and for His sake, of those that cleave to Him.
That is, His course, run as Son of Man, has been, is, and will be as the Faithful Witness. In all the positions in which the Son of Man is found He is the Faithful Witness. But, far more than this is true; for not only is He the Faithful Witness in word and deed, but Himself in His person is the Faithful and True Witness. In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; yes, there is nothing that “the fulness of the Godhead” supposes, but is in Hin the Son of Man: it dwelt in this Jesus Christ, and shined out of this Jesus Christ, truly presenting in Him a man, and as a man, and in every position and office held by Him at any time, that saine fulness. I say not, that those to whom He is presented can understand or receive all that He is; but I say, that wheresoever He is, there is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and none but God can be a perfect representation of God. The testimony which we receive is one thing, the fulness of that which He testifies--whether by word, deed, or in His own person—is another thing. The next title is—
5th. The First Begotten of the dead.—The Holy Ghost settles in a very simple way what the pre-eminence is which belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ (Col.i.15, 16). He is necessarily before and above all creation, for the very simple reason, that all things were created by Him; "all things that are in heaven, and that are on earth, visible and invisible: all things were created by Him, and for Him."
The Creator is certainly above, as He was necessarily also before, His works.
The truth is, that in all things He has the pre-eminence. Whose sorrows were like unto His? Who was the Man of sorrows? Whose joys shall be equal to His? Who shall be anointed with the oil of joy and gladness above His fellows? As perfect in patience as in power. And, is we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son, it is, that He may be the Firstborn among many brethren. He alone is the resurrection and the life, though that glory in Him may need and require us also as those in und by whom its power will be expressed
b “Thy name encircles every grace
That God, as man, could show; There only could He fully trace A life divine below."