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fies to every man that his sin is forgiven. And the two ways in which man makes God a liar, are just the denials of these two testimonies. See 1 John i. 10; and 1 John v. 10-12.
In page 185, line 1st, for “ought to," read “might.” The distance between the words Father and God make this translation probable, but still there is a difficulty, from “God” being in the nominative case. If Osos be considered the device of the seal, it may be regarded as an indeclinable word, and thus the difficulty is in some degree answered. The comparison of parallel passages is much in favour of this view.
LIFE NOT A WORK.
When I say, at page 120, that in the strength of the provision given to us in Christ, we are called on to have life, I do not mean to say that we are to work ourselves into life ; I mean merely to say, that we shall be judged according as we have life or not. This will be the first count in the judgment. To have this divine life is in itself no more a work of ours than to have the natural light of day; no man can make it for himself, but he can hinder it, he can shut it out by unbelief, as he can shut out the light by shutting his eyes, although the sun is shining in full blaze upon him. Now no man could be condemned or blamed for not seeing, if there were no light shining on him ; and no man could be condemned for not having life, if life had not been given to him. But life has been given to every man, in Jesus, just as light is given to
us in the sun, and the condemnation on those who have not life in them rests simply on this ground, that life has been given to them, and that they have put it from them. Unbelief, then, is an evil work ; it is a shutting out and a putting away of the life which has been given; and belief is just a ceasing from this evil work, and therefore it is called the work of God “to believe on him whom he hath sent.” Life eternal consists in the knowledge of the love of God in Christ Jesus ; it consists in knowing a thing which remains the same after it is believed which it was before. So to have life is no work, in the common meaning attached to that word, but yet it is the point on which we shall be judged, for it is a making use of the provision which God has provided for us.
TEXTS ILLUSTRATING THE MEANING ATTACHED TO THE
WORDS RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED IN THE BIBLE.
In Psalm ix. 17, it is written, that “ The wicked shall be turned into hell, even all the nations that forget God.”
And in 2 Peter i. 9, it is written, that those who lack any right thing, as godliness, brotherly-kindness, charity, lack them, because they are blind, shutting their eyes, having forgotten that they were purged from their old sins or rather, and more literally–having forgotten that by which they were purged from their old sins-viz. the atonement through the blood of the cross.
These two passages are parallel—The forgetfulness of God being in fact the forgetfulness of the atonement. It is the same forgetfulness—forgetfulness of God, meaning forgetfulness of his character, and his character being only fully manifested in the atonement. And the forgetfulness is just ignorance-ignorance of the forgiveness of sin through the Lamb of God,—it being a matter of little importance, whether the persons so forgetting have always rejected this forgiveness, or having once known it, or seemed to know it, have again rejected it. In the Psalm quoted, the first class seem to be spoken of, and in the epistle, the second. The wicked, then, are those who know not, or who forget, that God hath forgiven sin through an atonement. In the 32d Psalm, 10, the characteristic feature of wickedness is evidently supposed to be a want of confidence in God—for the wicked man is directly contrasted with him that trusteth in the Lord—“ many sorrows shall be to the wicked, but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.” And who are they that trust in the Lord ? The answer is given in the same Psalm ix. 10, “they that know thy name will put their trust in Thee.” And what is the name of God ? Just the character of God manifested in the atonement of Christ-as Christ himself says in Psalm xxii. 22, “ I will declare thy name unto my brethren,”—just the same name which was proclaimed to Moses, Exodus xxxiv. 6. “The Lord God, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin-yet by no means clearing the guilty.” This name of God Christ did declare, when on him was laid the iniquity of us all, Isaiah liji. 6,--for God then was manifested as forgiving iniquity without clearing it—as forgiving iniquity, not by passing it over, but because he had already condemned and punished it in the blood of Christ. This is the name of God, which gives confidence to all who know it. “ They that know thy name will put their trust in Thee." They that forget not that by which they were washed from their old sins, will put their trust in Thee. But it is a characteristic of the wicked, that they trust not in God. Now why is it that they do not trust in him? Just because they know not his name—they forget God, they know not that atonement by which they were washed from their old sins--they know not, or they have forgotten Him, on whom their iniquities were laid--they deny the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. i. 1. The wicked shall be turned into hell, even all the nations that forget God. They know not the atonement, which magnifies the holiness and justice of God in the forgiveness of the sinner, and therefore they regard the holy and just God as their enemythey say unto him depart from us—they say who will show us any good ?—they forsake the fountain of living waters, and hew out to themselves broken cisterns, which can hold no water -- they tread underfoot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified an unholy thing, and do despite unto the spirit of grace. These are the wicked with whom “ God is angry every day,” Psalm vii. 2 ; just as He who declared the Father looked round him with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts," being grieved that they would not believe that he was the gift of God's love to them, and that he was the Lamb of God, that had come from heaven to take away their sins. Yet the heart of the Father and the Son yearned over them. The anger was not the anger of hatred, but of a love that longed after them. The wicked addressed in Isaiah lv. 7, are the same persons.
The waters to which there is a general invitation given in the 1st verse, are the blessings flowing from the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow, as described propheti
cally in the two preceding chapters. And the wick. ed are those who, instead of drinking of these waters -instead of giving God glory for that holy love which laid on Jesus the iniquities of us all, and thence looking forward to the glorious return of the King of glory, spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labour for that which satisfieth not; and whilst they are thus occupied, it is said, “ let them forsake this way, and these thoughts, and let them return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, and he will multiply to pardon them;" let them return to the waters, and they will find them still flowing, not stinted in consequence of their forsaking them, they flow from a full fountain--the holy love which laid on Jesus the iniquities of us all. The wicked here are desired to drink of the waters which flow from that well-head; “ the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.” Could any man be desired to drink of that water, unless it could also be said to him, 66 the Lord hath laid on Jesus thine iniquities ?” I trow not. For otherwise I should think that God mocked the man. And when God invites the wicked to drink of these waters of forgiving love-knowing the narrowness of man's heart, and his indisposition to believe in this undamped graciousness, He adds, “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” The wicked are wicked, simply because they know not God-because they forget that the blood of Christ hath been shed for them, and that that blood cleanseth from all sin. This ignorance—this forgetfulness, is the very essence and source of wickedness. As it is life eternal to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sont. Men alien