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derstanding of the mind, or of the flesh, let us endeavour what we can, to enlarge them into the same liberty. Surely Paul, who said, that, rather than make a weak brother to offend, he would not eat flesh while the world lasted, taught this lesson to the church. If the Moravian Brethren have sold themselves to be slaves, in order to win the poor Negro slaves of the West Indies ; if Joseph Wolfe, the most successful of missionaries, have sold himself to a Mohammedan master, in order to reach the central regions of Africa, in search of his brethren, ought not we who dwell at home at ease, to deny ourselves many indulgencies, in the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, to save became a bondman, and to make us rich, became poor, ought we not to stoop from our dignity of sons and fellowheirs with Christ, and exercise the noblest prerogative of freemen, which is, to limit and curtail, and, if need be, forego our freedom, in order to emancipate many slaves. Ah me! Satan hath wrought dismally against the poor Jew. He hath made us Jews, in order to keep them Jews : he hath given us the pride of Jews, that we might trample the Jews under our feet. There is no redemption from this antichristian spirit of proud and sectarian Protestantism but one,--the much contemplation and firm belief of that divinest act of God, his act of all acts inclusive, yea, the prerequisite of all acts, which is, his being contented to humble himself into the form of man, and the likeness of sinful man, yea to death itself, in order to shew us that grace of God, by which he becometh the Saviour of mankind. God enable us to walk after this high pattern.
Returning now to the epistle of our great Shepherd to the angel of the Philadelphian church, we observe that it is said of these Jews, not only that they should be given to him as a gift, but this moreover ; “Behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." These words intimate that this election from amongst the synagogue of Satan should transfer their place of worship to the Philadelphian church, and conform themselves in all things to its holy ordinances, that, from standing up in their pride against the angel thereof, they should become heedful of his word and obedient to his instructions. The expression, " worship before thy feet," needs to be explained lest it should be thought to encourage in any way the worship of saints on earth or saints in heaven. There are two kindred expressions in this book, which being considered do effectually prevent such a fatal delusion. The one in the xxii d chapter, at the 8th verse, where John, having heard and seen all the visions of the Apocalypse, was so overwhelmed that he fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who shewed him these things; but he forbade him, because he was only his fellow-servant, and commanded him to worship God. This incident shews us that it is not permitted to worship any angel or prophet, or faithful keeper of God's word; which therefore cannot be intended in the passage before us. The other place is in the sixth chapter, at the 10th verse; where it is written, “I fell before his feet to worship him ; and he said to me, See thou do it not." In both these cases the same expression “ before thy feet” is used as in our text; but in the original it is not so. In our text, the word is translated before in sight or view of; in the two passages cited, it is in presence of. It may seem a small matter, and I do not say it is a great one; yet I think it not unworthy of observation, because the presence is in the first mentioned passage understood as equally significant with the person worshipped; and a kind of argument might have been constructed for the creature-worship of the Romanists from the seeming identity of the two expressions in that place, and in our text. But granting that there were no difference between the two particles “in view of” and “in
presence of;" and supposing they were perfectly identical and did signify the same thing, then what should we have but Christ admitting, yea enjoining in one place what in another he solemnly interdicts? The truth is, however, that in both cases the object of worship is omitted which in the other passage is introduced in the dative case, as it commonly or indeed almost always is. Instances of the like omission are frequent in Scripture, and indeed in all books and languages of men who know that God is the only legitimate object of worship. Wherefore then, it may be asked, is the expression “ before thy feet" used at all? Because the angel of a church, being the head of it, as the representative of Christ, therein was wont to occupy a seat of dignity and elevation ; so as that the church, when in the act of worshipping or prostration, might be said to be worshipping before his feet. Now the Lord promiseth that he would bring these Jews out of the synagogue
of Satan to do the same ; to mingle with the Philadelphian people, and reverently and humbly to worship God under the superintendance and ministry of their angel. I think, moreover, that there is in it an act of det ference and homage to Christ in the person of his minister. It is well known that this word worship is oftimes used both in sacred and in profane authors to signify that prostration, genuflexion, or other inclination of the body whereby in ancient times, and in eastern countries still, deference towards superiors is wont to be expressed; which indeed is the true radical sense of the word. More: over it is a common form in the Hebrew to connect it, as in the passage before us, with the presence of the person to whom homage is done: for example, " Abraham bowed himself before the people of the land,” which both in the Hebrew and the Greek is, “Abraham worshipped before the face of the people of the land;" and I believe the expression before thy feet to be a Hebraism, to signify merely doing that homage to the Christian minister which the seed of Abraham will at present no more do than Mordecai would bow to Haman, and do bim reverence as he passed him in the gate.
With them a Christian and a Christian minister are the most loathsome and contemptible of all impostors: but it shall come to pass, in the days of the Philadelphian ministry, that à conspicuous change shall be wrought upon them, and a goodly number, a notable and remarkable company shall come and worship in the Chris. tian church, and give reverence to Christ, speaking in the Christian minister. That this is the substance of the thing signified by the words “coming and worshipping before thy face,” is, I think, clearly demonstrated by the words which follow, “ And I will make them to know that I have loved thee;" by what means is not declared : but out of this knowledge of Christ's love their reverence for his servant proceedeth, whom they worshipped because Christ's love had made him worshipful. Beautiful con. descension of Christ and high honour of the Christian minister ! thus to concentrate upon a worm of the earth, his own heavenly love and the earthly homage and reverence of Jews, who were set apart to be a nation of kings. For more
royal than the royalty of the earth is the spiritual dignity of a Christian minister, yea and of a Christian man; greater than all earthly potentates is the least member of the spiritual kingdom of Christ. And why? because the spiritual is above the earthly; and the church is the spiritual body of Christ, in whom, and through whom, he holdeth the dominion over both heavenly and earthly things. The New Jerusalem, which is the spiritual body of Christ, is the head of angels, and principalities, and powers; of all invisible creatures, as well as of all earthly and visible creatures. Wherefore the Jew, in becoming a Christian maketh as high a step in advance of dignity as doth the Gentile. The church of Christ is the highest estate of created being, whether invisible or visible—whether celestial or terrestrial. It is the body of the living God: it is God embodied; it is God enjoyed; it is God uttering himself forth in all his comprehensibility; it is God putting himself forth into action in all his manifested and manifestable power. The church is the mystery of a human will, its dignity above, and its power over all creation, made manifest. The church is the will, the heart, the mind, the hand, the word of God revealed, and for ever revealing itself. Whose head the eternal Son of God thinketh it no dishonour to be; whose spirit and life the eternal Spirit of the Godhead thinketh it no disparagement to be. Ah me! that it should now be a question in this very church, whether the church should have
supernatural power or not, which is no other question than whether there is a church or no; for a church without supernatural gifts is a piece of nature, and not nature's redeemer, nature's governor, nature's continual sustainer in blessedness. Ah me! these disputers of this age need to be taught what the word church means; which word the Apostle Paul wrote all his Epistles to explain, and Jesus gave the Apocalypse to reveal its pre-eminent destiny and surpassing glory. There be many mysteries in heaven and on earth; but the greatest of them all is the church: and he who doth by his speech, or life, or reverential obedience, or patient suffering, or communion of saints, or supernatural power, set forth the least portion of this mystery is doing the highest destiny of a mortal creature upon this earth. I feel mine honour to be greater in having been called
upon of God to express in words, and somewhat also in deeds, the excellence of the church, than if I had been crowned in the capitol or hailed in the senate as the saviour of my country; and I feel assured, that I shall live to see the reward of my labours, in the regeneration and restoration of the church to something of her ancient ful.
This now is the reason why these Jews will come bowing at the feet of the Christian minister, because they will recognise, that we are set for the testimony of the spi. ritual and glorified flesh, as they are for Christ's flesh crucified and lying in the grave: their sign is Jonas in the whale's belly, and their countersign is Christ in the heart of the earth : our sign is David and Solomon on the throne of Israel, and our countersign is the Son of Man ruling with the seven Spirits in the throne of God.
Now, because the Lord hath wakened again the music of David's lyre, and made the songs of Zion to be again full of spiritual melody; now that the mystery of Daniel's num. bers hath been disclosed, and the vision of Habakkuk hath begun to speak ; now that the clouded glories of Ezekiel, and his cherubim, and his temple are beginning to display themselves full in our view; now that the great chamberlain of David's house is bringing forth the treasures which have been therein hid for ages, and the mighty voice of knowledge, and of truth, which rendeth the cedars of Lebanon, is beginning to speak forth again from mortal men ; behold, O ye despisers, and perish ; behold, O ye believers, and give glory to God in the highest; behold, and God will give the sign, and the sign shall be that the force of truth will seal up the Gentiles in darkness, who have blinded their eyes that they might not see the glory of God,—while it strikes off the fetters of the Jew, and accomplisheth the thing which is written in these words : “ Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie ; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.”
3. The third expression of love and favour which the Universal Bishop of the church bestows upon this his faithful vicegerent, is expressed in these words: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon