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LECTURE IX

LECTURE IX.

RIGHTEOUSNESS THE FRUIT OF OUR LORD'S
RESURRECTION.

rriHAT our justification, or our being accounted rights -*- eous by Almighty God, consists in our being grafted into the Body of Christ or made His members, in God dwelling in us and our dwelling in God, and that the Holy Ghost is the gracious Agent in this wonderful work, — all this has been argued from Scripture in various ways ; first from righteousness being there spoken of as a gift internal to the soul; or, again, from the great gift of the Gospel (which righteousness confessedly is) being spoken of as inward; secondly, on the ground that, if so high a privilege as God's indwelling be vouchsafed, it must necessarily involve justification as one of its benefits; thirdly, from righteousness being represented as an ornament of the soul beyond nature, and such an endowment having actually been lost in Adam,—from which it seemed to follow, that what is gained in Christ is a like ornament, which Scripture confirms by speaking of it as a glory and a power; and fourthly, from the analogy of such a view of justification to the special character of Christian privileges. In the present Lecture, following up a consideration already touched upon, I shall treat the matter thus:—whatever is now given to us by the Spirit is done within us; whatever is given us through the Church since Christ's ascension, is given by the Spirit; from which it follows that our justification, being a present work, is an inward work, and a work of the Spirit. This, I conceive, is supported, together with other passages of Scripture, by the emphatic words of St. Paul, that He "who was delivered for our offences was raised again for our justification," for, in saying that Christ rose again for our justification, it is implied that justification is through that second Comforter who after that Eesurrection came down from heaven. In considering this view of the subject, I shall, as in the foregoing Lecture, appeal rather to the harmony of sacred doctrine and the light which the view in question throws upon particular texts, than to the passages of Scripture which prove it, that having been already incidentally done in the 2d, 6th, and 7th Lectures.

Christ's work of mercy has two chief parts; what He did for all men, what He does for each; what He did once for all, what He does for one by one continually; what He did externally to us, what He does within us ; what He did on earth, what He does in heaven; what He did in His own Person, what He does by His Spirit; His death, and the water and the blood after it; His meritorious sufferings, and the various gifts thereby purchased, of pardon, grace, reconciliation, renewal, holiness, spiritual communion; that is, His Atonement, and the application of His Atonement, or His Atonement and our justification; He atones by the offering of Himself on the Cross; and as certainly (which is the point before us) He justifies by the mission of His Spirit.

His Atonement is His putting away the wrath of God for our sins. In order to this, He took flesh; He accomplished it in His own Person, by His crucifixion and death. Justification is the application of this precious Atonement to this person or that person, and this He accomplishes by His Spirit. For He ceased, I say, to act towards us by His own hand from the day of His ascension; He sent His Spirit to take His place,—" I will not leave you orphans," He says, "I will come unto you." —" I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever."l Whatever then is done in the Christian Church is done by the Spirit; Christ's mission ended when He left the world; He was to come again, but by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit realizes and completes the redemption which Christ has wrought in essence and virtue. If the justification, then, of a sinner be a continual work, a work under the New Covenant, it must be the Spirit's work and not simply Christ's. The Atonement for sin took place during His own mission, and He was the chief Agent; the application of that Atonement takes place during the mission of His Spirit, who accordingly is the chief Agent in it.

2.

We know nothing of the reasons of God's wonderful providences; why an Atonement was necessary, why the Son of God was the sacrifice, why that sacrifice must be applied in order to "wash away the sins" of individuals; let us accept what is given, adore God's wisdom, and be thankful and silent;—but, whatever be the deep reasons, this seems to be the rule of His counsels as to our justification; that, as the Atonement was a work of flesh and blood, a tangible, sensible work, wrought out in this material world,—not, as the heretics said of old, an imaginary act, the suffering (God forgive the blasphemy!) of a phantom, a mere appearance (for such was the heresy which St. John and St. Paul especially opposed)—as Christ really "came in the flesh," which none but deceivers and antichrists can deny, and suffered in the real body and blood of man ;—so on the contrary the communication of this great and adorable Sacrifice to the individual Christian, is not the communication of that Body and Blood such as it was when offered upon the Cross, but, in a higher, glorified, and spiritual state. The Son of God suffered as the man Christ Jesus, "with strong crying and tears,"—" in weakness " and a body of " flesh ;" the crucified Man, the Divine Son, comes again to us in His Spirit. He came once, then He ascended, He has come again. He came first in the flesh; He has come the second time in the Spirit. He did not come the second time carnally, nor the first time invisibly, but He came first in the flesh, and secondly in the Spirit. As in God's counsels it was necessary for the Atonement that there should be a material, local, Sacrifice of the Son once for all: so for our individual justification, there must be a spiritual, ubiquitous communication of that Sacrifice continually. There was but One Atonement; there are ten thousand justifications. What was offered "under Pontius Pilate" in flesh and blood, is partaken again and again in every time and place, in the power

1 John xiv. 16-18.

and virtue of the Spirit. God the Son atoned; God the Holy Ghost justifies.

Further; it would appear as if His going to the Father was, in fact, the same thing as His coming to us spiritually. I mean there is some mysterious unknown connection between His departing in His own Person, and His returning in the Person of His Spirit. He said that unless He went, His Spirit would not come to us; as though His ascending and the Spirit's descending, if not the same act, yet were very closely connected, and admitted of being spoken of as the same. And thus His rising again was the necessary antecedent of His applying to His elect the virtue of that Atonement which His dying wrought for all men. While He was on the Cross, while in the tomb, while in hell, the treasure existed, the precious gift was perfected, but it lay hid; it was not yet available for its gracious ends; it was not diffused, communicated, shared in, enjoyed. Thus He died to purchase what He rose again to apply. "He died for our sins; He rose again for our justification;" He died in the flesh; He rose again" according to the Spirit of holiness," which, when risen, He also sent forth from Him, dispensing to others that life whereby He rose Himself. He atoned, I repeat, in His own Person; He justifies through His Spirit.

3.

And here I have touched upon another part of the

harmony of the Divine Dispensation, which may be

profitably dwelt upon. For He Himself was raised

again and "justified" by the Spirit; and what was wrought in Him is repeated in us who are His brethren, and the complement and ratification of His work. What took place in Him as an Origin, is continued on in the succession of those who inherit His fulness, and is the cause of its continuance. He is said to be "justified by the Spirit," because it was by the Spirit that He was raised again, proved innocent, made to triumph over His enemies, declared the Son of God, and exalted on the holy Hill of Sion. It had been declared, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee," and in these words He was justified or recognized, and owned before the world as the Dearly-beloved of the Father. This, I say, was His justification; and ours consists in our new birth also, and His was the beginning of ours. The Divine Life which raised Him, flowed over, and availed unto our rising again from sin and condemnation. It wrought a change in His Sacred Manhood, which became spiritual, without His ceasing to be man, and was in a wonderful way imparted to us as a new-creating, transforming Power in our hearts. This was the gift bestowed on the Church upon His ascension; for while He remained on earth, though risen, it was still withheld. During that interval, too, if we may speak without presumption, He seems to have been in an intermediate state, passing by an orderly course from what He had been during His humiliation to what He is in His glory. Then He was neither in His body of flesh simply, nor in His glorified body. He ate in the presence of His disciples; He suffered them to examine His hands and feet, and wounded side. Yet, on the other hand, He now appeared, and now vanished, came into the room, the doors being shut, and on one occasion said, "Touch Me not." When, however, on His ascension, He became a lifegiving Spirit, in the power of His Spirit He came to us, to justify us as He had been justified. Hence the force of St. Paul's expressions, which I elsewhere cited, concerning "the exceeding greatness of God's power to us-ward that believe according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead;" and the blessedness of "knowing Him and the power of His resurrection ;" and again, our being "made alive together with Christ, and raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Here I would observe of this part of the wonderful Economy of Eedemption, that God the Son and God the Holy Ghost have so acted together in their separate Persons, as to make it difficult for us creatures always to discriminate what belongs to each respectively. Christ rises by His own power, yet the Holy Ghost is said to raise Him; hence, the expression in St. Paul, "according to the Spirit of Holiness," as applied to His resurrection, may be taken to stand either for His Divine nature or for the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity. The case is the same as regards the mystery of the Incarnation itself. It was the Word of God who descended into the Virgin's womb, and framed for Himself a human tabernacle, yet the man so born was "conceived of the Holy Ghost." And hence some early writers seem to have doubted whether by " the power of the Highest," and "the Holy Spirit," the ADgel Gabriel meant the Second or Third Divine Person ; whether He who took flesh may not be also spoken of as the Maker of that flesh which He took; whether That which anointed the Manhood of the Saviour with the fulness of grace, was not rather the Divine Fulness of the Saviour Himself than the Holy Ghost.1 I notice this merely by way of explaining myself, if in speaking upon this most sacred subject I have said, or may say, anything which would seem to " confound the Persons" of the Son and Spirit, which are eternally distinct and complete in Themselves, though in nature and operation One. Let me then proceed to comment on several important texts of Scripture, which are adapted to throw light on the main doctrine which is now under review, that our ascended Lord, in ascending, has returned to us invisibly in the attributes of a Spirit.

4. 1. In His discourse in the synagogue at Capernaum, recorded in the sixth chapter of St. John, after saying, "If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever, and the Bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," thereby intimating both the sacrifice of His Sacred Body upon the cross, and the real and individual communication of it to all who shall be saved, He was misunderstood to mean that He intended thereby that what they saw before them, an extended and material form, was to be eaten carnally with the teeth. On this He said, "Doth this offend

1 e.g. Tertullian passim, Cyprian tie Van. Idol. fin. (p. 538, ed. Ven.) Iren. Hter. v. 1. Just. Apol. 2. Vid. Grotius on Mark ii. 8, and Pnef. Bened. in Hilar. | 57-67.

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you? what, and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up, where He was before 1 It is the Spirit that is the lifegiver; the flesh profiteth nothing;"—that is, if without presumption we may attempt an explanation of such words, "You, being flesh, understand Me to speak of mere flesh, mortal flesh; whereas when I speak of My flesh, though I do speak of My body and blood, yet it is not of anything carnal and earthly, it is not of what you see with your eyes, but of this My body and blood, My Humanity, when, having passed through its state of humiliation, and having been perfected upon the cross, It shall ascend to heaven in a new way, the same and not the same, by the power of the Spirit. Then It shall no longer be a substance that can be seen and handled ; It shall be a spiritual body ; It shall be spiritual, and this is that which giveth life. It is the Spirit that quickeneth. This is what I spoke of, when I said that whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, shall have eternal life; I spoke of my spiritual and glorified body. It is the Spirit that is the Life-giver; when I come to you again in the power of the Spirit, when He imparts My spiritual body, then It shall be eternal life to all who eat of It."

Observe especially, our Lord connects this spiritual coming with His resurrection and ascension. "What and if ye see the Son of man ascend up, where He was before?" He had been, He was ever, in Heaven; but His flesh, which He had assumed for our sakes, had not yet been there. When It had overcome death, when It touched the throne of God, It was no longer what It had been. Death had no more dominion over Him. "He liveth unto God."

5.

2. Again: consider St. Paul's words, "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . . The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. . . . The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."1 And recollect, this is said in answer to the question, "With what body do the dead come?" An objection might be made, then as now, that since the component particles of our body are ever changing during life, since on death they are dissipated to the four winds, the same body cannot be raised; what is meant then by its being called the same body? St. Paul answers that it will be the same body in the sense that a blade of wheat is the same with the seed; being contained within it, and at length developed out of it. So also there is a natural body, and a spiritual body; and the natural body comes first, as the seed does. The spiritual body, how or what we know not, is formed within it, the same as it, yet different in its accidents. Corruption, dissolution, mortality, are but the accidents of the Christian's body, and are separated from it for ever on its rising again. What we see is not the real body, it is but the outward shell; the real body of the regenerate soul is not only material, but spiritual, of which the seed is now deposited within us.

The Apostle then goes on to say how this takes place, viz. by a new birth from Christ. The first man Adam 1 1 Cor. xv. 44-48.

had at first life given him, but he lost it and became earthy; all who are born from him are earthy like him. Such is the generation of those who are born after the flesh. But the second Man is not merely living, but life-giving; He is a "quickening or life-giving Spirit;" the very words (be it observed) which our Saviour had used in His discourse at Capernaum. He is life-giving; and what He is, such are His followers; "as is the Heavenly, such are they that are heavenly." As Adam diffused death, so the life-giving Spirit is the seed and principle of spiritual bodies to all who are His. "Flesh and blood," says the Apostle, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God ;" here, too, is a parallel to our Lord's words, "The flesh profiteth nothing." And further, as our Lord referred to His ascension and exaltation, so here again the life-giving Spirit is said to be " the Lord from heaven" Thus this passage, equally with the foregoing, speaks of our ascended Lord as a Spirit present in His people, and that, apparently, because He has ascended.

C. 3. Another passage of the same description, though the Ascension is not mentioned in it, is St. Paul's declaration to the Corinthians, that" he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." * Taking these words in their context, they have a remarkable force in showing the extent of our Lord's condescension towards us under the Gospel. But I quote them here in order to point out that the gift of the Spirit is none other than the entrance into us of the ascended and invisible Saviour. To be joined as one spirit to Christ and to be a Temple of the Holy Ghost are spoken of as the same gift. It is to be observed, moreover, that St. Paul, who here speaks of Christ as a Spirit, elsewhere speaks of Him as still possessed of a bodily substance, and as communicating Himself to us as such. "We are members of His Body, from, His flesh and from His bones."1

1 1 Cor. vi. 17, 19.

Another remarkable text of the same kind occurs where St. Paul, after describing the "glorious ministration of the Spirit," which is "righteousness" or justification, proceeds: "Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; but we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."2 I am not here concerned to explain the course of the Apostle's teaching in this chapter; but it would appear on the face of it, that the righteousness of the Gospel, which is also "liberty" and "glory," is "ministered" to us by One who is first called "the Spirit," and then "the Lord" Christ. The manner too in which are interchanged the words, "the Spirit," " the Lord," and "the Spirit of the Lord," is very observable.

7. 4. That our justification is connected in some unknown way with Christ's ascension and going out of sight, is also implied in His own words concerning the Holy Ghost in His last discourse with His disciples. "When He is come, He will reprove," or convince, "the 1 Eph. v. 30. '2 Cor. iii. 17, 18.

world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe ^not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more." 1 Surely it is impossible to doubt that the "righteousness" so solemnly and emphatically announced in this discourse concerning His coming kingdom, is that "righteousness of God," concerning which St. Paul speaks, and in which he glories. Now I do not say the passage quoted shows in what it consists; but thus much it seems to show, that our Lord's ascension out of sight is connected with the gift. Men had refused to believe, therefore there was a charge of sin against them; Christ had disappeared from the world and gone to God, therefore there was the news of righteousness. The words "because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more," seem, I say, in accordance with the other texts quoted, to connect our justification with some hidden necessity on the part of the Justifier, of removing from us His corporal presence and coming to us invisibly.

And here perhaps we may see somewhat of the meaning and depth of the doctrine of justification by faith when rightly understood. If justification, or the imparting of righteousness, be a work of the Holy Ghost, a spiritual gift or presence in the heart, it is plain that faith, and faith alone, can discern it and prepare the mind for it, as the Spirit alone can give it. Faith is the correlative, the natural instrument of the things of the Spirit.2 While Christ was present in the flesh, He might be seen by the eye ; but His more perfect and powerful presence, which we now enjoy, being invisible, can be discerned and 1 John xvL 8-10. 2 Vid. August. Serm. 143.

used by faith only. Thus faith is a mysterious means of gaining gifts from God, which cannot otherwise be gained; according to the text, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."1 If it was necessary for our justification that Christ should become a quickening Spirit and so be invisible ; therefore it was as necessary for the same, in God's providence, that we should believe;2 as necessary a condition, in St. Paul's language, for "the heart to believe unto righteousness," as any one thing is a necessary condition of another, as (in this world) eating and drinking are necessary for animal life, or the sun for ripening the fruits of the earth, or the air for transmitting sounds. We have no reason for supposing that the supernatural providences of God are not ordered upon a system of antecedents or second causes as precise and minute as is the natural system. Faith may be as a key unlocking for us the treasures of divine mercy, and the only key. I say there is no a priori improbability in the idea; and we see, from the nature of the case, that Christ could not enter into the hearts of the ten thousand of the true Israel, till He came differently from His coming in the flesh,—till He came in the Spirit. And as the Spirit is the only justifier, so faith is the only recipient of justification. The eye sees what is material; the mind alone can embrace what is spiritual

1 Mark ix. 23.

s Luther speaks well on this point: "Fit ut anima, quse firma fide illis adhseret, sic eis uniatur, imo penitus absorbeatur, ut non modo participet, sed saturetur et inebrietur omni virtute eorum. Si enim tactus Christi sanabat, quanto magis hie tenerrimus in Spiritu, imo absorptio Verbi, omnia quae Verbi sunt, animse communicat?" And then he diverges to his private conclusion, which is either a truism or a paradox, '' Hoc igitur modo anima per fidem solam, sine operibus, e Verbo Dei justificatur, sanctiflcatur, verificatur, pacificatur, liberatur, et omni bono repletur, vereque filia Dei efficitur, sicut Joannes dicit, Dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, iis qui credunt in nomine ejus."— Luther de Lib. Christ, f. 5.

8. 5. And these considerations will serve to throw some light on a difficult passage in the end of St. John's Gospel, where our Lord says to St. Mary Magdalen— "Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father."1 The question arises here, Why might not our Lord be touched before His ascension, and how could He be touched after it? But Christ speaks, it would seem, thus (if, as before, we might venture to paraphrase His sacred words)—"Hitherto you have only known Me after the flesh. I have lived among you as a man. You have been permitted to approach Me sensibly, to kiss and embrace My feet, to pour ointment upon My head. But all this is at an end, now that I have died and risen again in the power of the Spirit. A glorified state of existence is begun in Me, and will soon be perfected. At present, though I bid you at one moment handle Me as possessed of flesh and bones, I vanish like a spirit at another; though I let one follower embrace My feet, and say, 'Fear not,' I repel another with the words, 'Touch Me not.' Touch Me not, for I am fast passing for your great benefit from earth to heaven, from flesh and blood into glory, from a natural body to a spiritual body. When I am ascended, then the change will be completed . To pass hence to the Father 1 John xx. 17.

in My bodily presence, is to descend from the Father to you in spirit. When I am thus changed, when I am thus present to you, more really present than now though invisibly, then you may touch Me,1—may touch Me, more really though invisibly, by faith, in reverence, through such outward approaches as I shall assign. Now you but see Me from time to time; when you see most of Me I am at best but'going in and out among you.' Thou hast seen Me, Mary, but couldst not hold Me; thou hast approached Me, but only to embrace My feet, or to be touched by My hand; and thou sayest, '0 that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat! 0 that I might hold Him and not let Him go!' Henceforth this shall be; when I am ascended, thou shalt see nothing, thou shalt have everything. Thou shalt 'sit down under My shadow with great delight, and My fruit shall be sweet to thy taste.' Thou shalt have Me whole and entire. I will be near thee, I will be in thee; I will come into thy heart a whole Saviour, a whole Christ,—in all My fulness as God and man,—in the awful virtue of that Body and Blood, which has been taken into the Divine Person of the Word, and is indivisible from it, and has atoned for the sins of the world,—not by external contact, not by partial possession, not by momentary approaches, not by a barren manifestation, but inward in presence, and intimate in fruition, a principle of life and a seed of immortality, that thou mayest 'bring forth fruit unto God'"

1 Vid. Leon. Serm. 74, c. 4, ed. Ballerin. Vigil. Taps, contr. Eutych. iv. sub Jin.

9.

6. This leads me to offer a suggestion as to the sense of another text, which has no great obscurity on the face of it, yet seems to mean more than cursory readers are apt to consider. I mean St. Paul's words to the Colossians,—" your life is hid with Christ in God."1

Now, when we come to consider these words, are they not harsh and strange, if they mean nothing more than what is contained in the popular view of them taken in our day? If life means, what men at present are content that it should mean, the life of religion and devotion, spiritual-mindedness (as it is sometimes called), is it not a very violent phrase to say, "it is hid in God?" Is it not irreverent, taken literally? Can it be made reverent without explaining away its wording? If, however, the foregoing remarks be admitted as true, we are able to take this and similar statements of Scripture literally. For it would seem that, in truth, the principle of our spiritual existence is divine, is an ineffable presence of God. Christ, who promised to make all His disciples one in God with Him, who promised that we should be in God and God in us, has made us so, —has in some mysterious way accomplished for us this great work, this stupendous privilege. It would seem, moreover, as I have said, that He has done so by ascending to the Father; that His ascent bodily is His descent spiritually; that His taking our nature up to God, is the descent of God into us; that He has truly, though in an unknown sense, taken us to God, or brought down God to us, according as we view it.1 Thus, when St. Paul says that our life is hid with Him in God, we may suppose him to intimate that our principle of existence is no longer a mortal, earthly principle, such as Adam's after his fall, but that we are baptized and hidden anew in God's glory, in that Shekinah of light and purity which we lost when Adam fell,—that we are new-created, transformed, spiritualized, glorified in the Divine Nature,—that through the participation of Christ, we receive, as through a channel, the true Presence of God within and without us, imbuing us with sanctity and immortality. This, I repeat, is our justification, our ascent through Christ to God, or God's descent through Christ to us; we may call it either of the two; we ascend into Him, He descends into us; we are in Him, He in us; Christ being the One Mediator, the way, the truth, and the life, joining earth with heaven. And this is our true Eighteousness,—not the mere name of righteousness, not only forgiveness or favour as an act of the Divine Mind, not only sanctification within (great indeed as these blessings would be, yet it is somewhat more), —it implies the one, it involves the other, it is the indwelling of our glorified Lord. This is the one great gift of God purchased by the Atonement, which is light instead of darkness and the shadow of death, power instead of weakness, bondage and suffering, spirit instead of the flesh, which is the token of our acceptance with God, the propitiation of our sins in His sight, and the seed and element of renovation.

1 Col. iii. 3.

1 On this subject, vid. the Author's Letter to Rev. Godfrey Faussett, D.D., 1838.

10. 7. I will conclude with directing attention to the vision of our Lord to St. John in the book of Eevelation, which also seems to me to be an intimation of the doctrine which I have been explaining. We know how our Lord appeared "in the days of His flesh;" in hunger and thirst, in weariness, in sorrow, in pain, in mortality. Such He is described in the Gospels, while His disciples saw Him ; what His Presence is now, when they see Him not, we learn from St. John's vision. First He is said to be "in the midst of the Seven Candlesticks," or Churches; an expression which marks both that He is here and that His presence is spiritual. Then He is described, as follows :—" His head and His hair were white as wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." What words could be devised to express more forcibly the power and spirituality of His presence! It is the same description which is given of Him at His transfiguration, only this is far more fearful. Then He anticipated that spiritual state which was to be after "His decease, which He should accomplish at Jerusalem." And on that occasion the Apostles "fell on their face and were sore afraid;" but now, St. John himself, the beloved disciple, who had undergone the former vision, and since seen Him risen from the grave, nevertheless at the sight "fell at His feet as dead." Then Moses and Elias Jalked of the death "which He should accomplish ;" but now He said, " I am He which liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death."

Here then is certainly a representation of our Lord, the risen and glorified Saviour, living and ruling in His Church. Now it is very remarkable that, though He thus appears as Christ in the vision, yet in what follows He is spoken of as the Spirit, not as Christ, though He still speaks of Himself as Christ; as if to intimate that all the gifts His blood has purchased are ministered by the Spirit, and that what Christ was to His Apostles when on earth, such, and far more than such, is the Holy Ghost to us now. Here we seem to see something of the meaning of the words,—" The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified;" for the gift brought by the Spirit was really this and nothing else, Jesus Himself glorified, ascended and invisibly returned.

11.

To conclude :—What has been said will serve to throw light upon a peculiarity of the Apostles' preaching, which has sometimes caused remark. They insist on our Lord's Eesurrection, as if it were the main doctrine of the Gospel; but why so, and not on His Divinity or the Atonement? Many good reasons may be given for this; as, for instance, that the Eesurrection was the great miracle and evidence of the divinity of the religion; or that it is the pledge of our resurrection; on the other hand, that His Divinity and Atonement were doctrines too sacred to preach to the world. But if, as we have seen, the Besurrection be the means by which the Atonement is applied to each of us, if it be our justification, if in it are conveyed all the gifts of grace and glory which Christ has purchased for us, if it be the commencement of His giving Himself to us for our spiritual sustenance, of His feeding us with that Bread which has already been perfected on the Cross, and is now a medicine of immortality, it is that very doctrine which is most immediate to us, in which Christ most closely approaches us, from which we gain life, and out of which issue our hopes and our duties. Christ is God from everlasting; He became man under Csesar Augustus; He was an Atonement for the world on the Cross; but He became a Saviour on His resurrection. He was then "exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour ;" to come to us in the power of the Spirit, as God, as Man, and as Atoning Sacrifice.