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all the Scriptures, and in all civilized countries, the raiment is that by which both the rank and the comeliness of the person are expressed. The white raiment was proper to the priesthood, and to the High Priest when he went to minister in the holy place, which is the presence of God. "It was such as encompassed: Jesus on the mount of transfiguration ; “ whiter than any fuller can whiten.” And it betokens that source of purity which is within. As the high priest's ointment flowed down bis beard and went to the skirts of his garment, so the inward unction of the Holy Ghost shining from within penetrated and purified the flesh and the outmost vestment of the body. So that the whole person shall be but as it were the shrine of the indwelling God. The inscription of the name in the book of life, never to be erased from it, bespeaks the highest honour and renown; and the confession of it before God and his angels marks the love of election, the separating of them for his own for ever. The feeling connected with this seems to me to be admirably expressed in that
passage of Malachi, from which I think the language is taken : “ Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before bim for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him”.(Mal. iii. 16, 17). If the tree of life be the open support and nourishment of that new life, if the hidden manna indi. cate a more secret and hidden support of it, then the book of life betokens both honour and safety, and abiding remembrance. It is that our names shall be ever before him, and shall never be hidden from him, and shall ever be honourable in his sight. These three things, - comely, clean, and graceful raiment; a high and honourable and everlasting name ; distinction in the high places of the earth, and open acknowledgment in august and venerable assemblies, -are what men now most eagerly covet after; and from which a Christian is sure for Christ's sake. to be cut off. Rags and poverty, contempt and contumely, destruction in prisons and places of execution, are what the true followers of Christ have most surely to expect. Degradation from their natural birth-right, robbery and
spoliation of their property, the curse of father and mother and tender kindred, are what Christ calleth us to. And it was very mindful, in the midst of such immoderate and miserable conditions, to present his people with the hope of that raiment which is graceful in the sight of God, in the midst of execration as the offscouring of the earth, to present us with a name better than the names of sons and of daughters, in the midst of abandonment, divorce, exile, and unutterable loathing of those who dwell at ease, to present us with the acknowledgment of the Son of God in the court of his Father, with his choice of us as his wife and the beloved of his soul, and the sharer of his dignity for ever. But who is he that endureth any such dishonour for Christ's sake? I cannot tell. I find that it is no longer the calling of the church to suffer, but to enjoy ; not to lose reputation, but to gain it. There is in truth no difference. Suffering for Christ's sake is a work of supererogation. To be a churchman, is to follow an evangelical preacher, and to separate ourselves to particular classes of society, and to believe in the atonement, which means in their mouth no more than that Christ hath some band in our salvation. To have some feelings, to interchange some words, to follow some customs, and to carry about a certain outside profession; this being the whole of what is regarded as orthodox and evangelical religion ; there is and can be no use for any
such encouragements as those contained in these promises. But I feel assured that other times are setting in, and that God is preparing the church by the opening of these epistles, and especially of these seven promises for the fearful things which are about to take place. Already the name of the best and most famous men hath given place to the odious appellation of heretic; and it may not be long till the faithful servants of the Lord may have to wander about in sheep skins and goat skins. Then these promises will become precious as at the first, and the preacher of them welcome to the church. :.6.“ The vanquisher him will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and outward he shall no more go; and I will
him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, to descend out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.” This containeth the occupation of the church in glory, signifying
that the worship and the government shall be upon their shoulders ; and that they shall fulfil the behests of the Creator, being his body of priests and kings through whom he getteth his mind and will expressed to creation, and receiveth from all creatures, men as well as others, the homage and the service which is due from them to their Creator. The church is far more intimately connected with God through Christ, whose body she is, than are any other of the children of men, over whom she ruleth ; than are the angels and other invisible spirits; than are all other creatures whatsoever. It is the neperonols, the circumscribed limited portion of the created thing which God hath chosen for a habitation to himself, a body and spouse for his Son. His inheritance, his election, who are in Christ, and all other creatures are not in him, but out of him; who are of the Christ a part, and all other creatures are under him. As of all dust, that which composeth my body hath to me a nearness and a dearness which the rest hath not; so of all creatures, the church hath to Christ a nearness and a dearness, is of him and in him, and concerns him, having his Spirit, and being of his flesh, and of his bones; an honour which pertaineth to no other beings whatsoever. And, when we speak of Christ, we mean the whole Christ ; not that one person, but many persons in that one subsistence: as when we speak of Adam, we mean not that person, but all the persons in him created, and sharing with him in his lot and destiny. Any one who should understand by the creation or fall of Adam the creation or fall of him alone, would grievously err; depriving man both of creation and original sin, and of redemption and righteousness; so, in like manner, he who, speaking of the work and reward and present estate of Christ, should speak only of the person of the Son of God, and not of all the persons chosen in him to the same honour and glory, depriveth God's idea of its completeness, and doth exceedingly mar the purpose of God; which is not one person in one subsistence, but many persons in one subsistence. The community which we have with Christ is the thing set forth in these symbols. To be a pillar in that majestic and fair-proportioned temple, of which Christ is the foun.. dation and the chief stone of the corner, of which God is the whole subsistence, and in which alone are offered
the spiritual sacrifices that he will accept. This is the first dignity, answering to the name “ a holy priesthood," or “ a kingdom of priests,” and amounteth to the great truth, That, as no man might present a sacrifice or offering elsewhere than in the temple of Jerusalem, so shall no creature have any access to God, for any gift, or act of worship otherwise than through the church, of which Christ is the Head and we are the members, yet one with him, a body of holiness, through which alone the beneficence of God flows downwards, and the gratitude of creation flows upwards; the priests of creation, whose blessing is effectual, whose intercession is effectual, because they are one with Christ. To this dignity of being, builded into that temple, which is God, is added the security of going no more out, of never losing this place and office, to the effect of removing all fear and apprehension of change, all risk of danger, all possibility of loss or downfall. Besides this, we have the name of God written upon us, which can mean no less than that God's being acteth in us, even as now it doth, and then shall do, with all its might and power, so that he shall do nothing without his Son, and his Son shall do nothing without his Spirit, whose compass of body is the church. I say, compass of body ; because his compass of power and influence is creation, but of inhabitation is the church, and only the church. And as under the creature Adam all the creation was subjected, being under his word, influence, and power, so under the creature Christ (head and members having one creature subsistence) is all creation whatever placed, so as to answer to the word of God, speaking forth from thence, and to feel the influence of goodness thence proceeding
This is the mystery of our having the name of God written upon us ; that all his being which can be expressed to, and understood by, creation is embodied in, and proceedeth from, the church ; and hath no other container but the church; is contained within the church, is not contained within any other creature, but cometh forth upon, and unto it, in the way of an outward influence, authority, and blessing. The same thing, with a new aspect, is promised to us, under the symbol of being inscribed with the name of the heavenly Jerusalem, which cometh out of heaven, the region of the dwelling place of God, and is his city for political ends; as the temple is his house for ecclesiastical ends, and the church his body for personal ends. The New Jerusalem is our çity, which is the mother of saints, and beareth rule over all the world. It is our strength, our home, our habitation ; in which, and from which, go forth the ordinances of go, vernment from the Great King. The true city of palaces, the abode of the true kings ; which kings without do serve and give tribute to ; where dwelleth the kings of kings and the lords of lords. And besides this, there is another inscription upon us of that new name of Christ; for both the name of God and that new name of Christ are to be written upon us.
Now this is the name of persons, and denotes that which is proper to a person's inward exa perience : signifying to us, that we shall have the very mind and will of God, the perfection of his image, and the fulness of his joy; the rest of his blessedness, and the full flow of his goodness; that whole inward expe, rience of him which to a creature can be expressed, ox by a creature be apprehended. And also Christ's new name, which doth imply that we shall possess all Christ's delight over a redeemed creation, all his love of his Father, and all his dutifulness to his God, all his glorying over a redeemed world, all his sense of gratitude to his Father, all his devotedness to his Creator, all and every one of his feelings, as the Christ, when he shall be brought in a second time into the world, and all the angels of God shall worship him. What profusion of gifts, what affluence of promise, what exuberance of description, what enforcement of hope, what unweariedness of application, unto his well-beloved fellow-soldiers ! And not a word of extravagance, not a thought in excess the very truth as the word of God can express it, and the very thing which through eternity shall be realized by the militant church, is the day of Christ's appearing.
7. Finally comes the promise of the throne, the last, the highest dignity for which there is any symbol amongst men, Christ is the throne of the Father, and we the throne of Christ. And when he shall give up the kingdom to the Father, then shall we occupy with him the seat of his royalty for ever and ever.-But into this I