The Glory Of Christ (Chap. 11).
The glory of God does not consist in His surroundings, or the circumstances amid which He dwells. His glory is the perfection and power of His Divine will, the Divineness of the mode of His being and working. When God glorified Christ in Himself, He not only exchanged the circumstances of His earthly life for those of the heavenly world, but entered upon an entirely new mode of existence. Instead of being limited by flesh, by time and space, He passed as man into the life of God, who is a Spirit. On earth He could only work on His' disciples as men next Himself and separate from Himself through means of words and example, reaching only thiir mind and affections, but not renewing their very spirit. From heaven He could, as out of His Divine glory, in the power of the Spirit, begin and work in them in a very different way, entering their hidden life, and, through Him, coming to dwell in their heart. It is as the Glorified One—the one that has exchanged the limited life of external effort and influence for the inner life of power by which He filleth all things—that He gives the Spirit, the Spirit of Glory. And the work of this Spirit is to glorify Jesus. That does not mean to
give us some sense of His glory in heaven. No, but to communicate to us p-rsonally that presence and power of Jesus which, in virtue of His Divine glory, He can now manifest within us. But it is only the soul wholly yielded to the teaching of the Holy Spirit who thus knows 'the Lord of Glory.'
The thought of the Lord of Glory being glorified within us by the Spirit of Glory looks very simple when once understood. And yet it is a deep spiritual mystery only reached in the way Christ reached His glory— through conformity to His sufferings and the fellowship of His cross. Each new impartation out of the glory must be according to the riches of God's glory and the mighty strengthening of His Holy Spirit—a most real and direct act of God's ineffable grace continuing and increasing to the soul the gift of His love.
To understand the way in which this glory works, we .must notice carefully the connection between suffering and glory. 'Behoved it not the Christ to suffer, and to enter into Hie glory 1'1 On earth Christ was the Lord of Glory (John i. 14; 1 Cor. ii. 8), but that glory was hidden under the lowliness of the human manifestation. And so, when the Spirit of the Glorified Lord enters us to glorify Him in us, the glory is hidden amid the feebleness and humiliation of our nature. And it is • often only as we suffer in the flesh that the quickening of the Spirit is experienced.
The fatal error of the Jews was that they looked for the glory of the Messiah as something visible and in accordance with their worldly conceptions. Even the disciples suffered from this, and were all offended at their Lord. The glory of the Spirit-life into which Christ haB now entered and in which He now works is a hidden mystery, the mystery of godliness, working not in that which is outward or sensible, but in the unseen, the inner life. When we read of Christ manifesting Himself, of His dwelling in the heart, we almost always form some conception of joy and triumph, as at the entrance of a king into his capital. And Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is as a seed. A seed is something that contains life hidden in the most dead, unlikelylooking form possible. Who that had never heard of a seed growing could imagine the oak or the pine contained in its seed 1 And this seed, with its hidden life, must itself again be hidden under the earth. And so the Kingdom of heaven comes to us in the seed of the word, so small and dead-looking that no one expects such mighty power from it. And it must be hidden, not in the thoughts or feelings that we can recognise and watch over, but deeper down, in the mysterious depths of the spirit. There Christ, who is in the unseen Spirit-life of the Father, finds the unseen depths of our Spirit-life and enters there. He is Himself the Living Word, the Living Seed; the Spirit is the Life of the Seed.
1 Compare Rom. Tiii. 17, 18; 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17; Heb. ii. 9, 10; 1 Pet. iv. 13-16.
False views of what GLORY is have been the great stumbling-block of the Jews and disciples of the Church and individual believers. God's Glory is His Holiness revealed in His good and perfect will. Christ's glory is, that, having glorified God by entering into, doing, and suffering that will, He was taken up into the fellowship of the Father's glory, of that Life of Holiness and Power in which God dwells. Christ is glorified in us as we enter into His will in obeying and doin« it, and have His presence revealed within us in Divine Power. That which in Christ was feeble and despised, the very opposite of human glory, the lowliness and suffering of the cross, was the hidden seed of His Divine Glory. In lowliness and obedience, in poverty of spirit and the absence of what can be seen or felt, in the death of the flesh and the patient waiting on God, is the seed of Christ glorified within, us by the Spirit.