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and unfailing source of vital energy and saving influence, is exhibited by our holy religion to the church. The Lord Jesus, in his mediatorial capacity, is that head and centre of union, that living and life-giving source of vital energy and saving influence. United to him as branches in the vine, as members with the head, as subjects with their sovereign, as children with their parent, they are united to each other. He is head over all things, unto the Church, which is his body; and members of his body, believers are members one of another.--Eph. i. 22.-iv. 25. Thus, between Christ and Christians, and between Christians and Christiang, there exists a union inconceivably close and endearing-a union which is spiritual and indestructible-a union which we may be assured, with the apostle, that neither angels, principalities, nor powers, nor life nor death, nor things present nor things to come, shall be able to dissolve. Believers, as redeemed and regenerated, come in this way to be reunited with God, from whom sin had separated them ; and this reunion the all-wise God saw that it became him to establish only through the intervention of a mediator. Christ unites in himself the nature of God and the nature of man : in his divine nature he is one with the Father; in his human nature he is one with his people: thus the great moral union between God and his alienated children is re-established; confidence, friendship, and intercourse are restored; peace is proclaimed from heaven to earth, and good will to men, while glory is given to God in the highest; and the affections of believers are drawn upwards and fixed upon him as a compassionate and forgiving Father, by the exhibition which has been made of his amazing love, in providing for the reconciliation of his re. bellious children to himself
, through the propitiation of his Son, not imputing their trespasses nor' punishing their iniquities, but freely forgiving all for the sake of the reconciliation made by him who bore their sins in his own body on the cross. Through the mediation of Christ, therefore, peace and union are re-established between hea. ven and earth. Angels who stood off from man, the moment he became an offender, ready to be the executioners of divine judgment, return, and become friends, and guardians, and ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation. The mediation of Christ is the antitype of the ladder which Jacob saw in vision, the foot of which was set on the earth, and the top of which reached heaven, while the angels
ascended and descended, and Jehovah stood above proclaiming himself the God of his people. Thus it has pleased the Father, in order to meet the case of man's apostacy, to establish a remedial dispensation, by which, in the fulness of time, he might gather in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are in earth; and, having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself --- by him whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. -Gen. xxviii. 12. Eph. i. 10. Col. i. 20. The marriage-relation, we know, is the most intimate and endearing that subsists among human creatures; and the marriage relation is consecrated by the Seriptures as a sacred symbol to set forth the union and the love which subsist between Christ and his church. By the marriage-relation husband and wife become one; in like manner Christ takes his church into mysterious union and intimacy with himself. The husband loves his wife even as himself; so the Lord loveth the church, and nourisheth and cherisheth it. The interests of husband and wife are the same; so the church's interests are Christ's, and Christ's interests are hers; and the smallest good office done to the least of his people, he regards as done to himself, and whosoever toucheth them toucheth him. The husband is the head of the wife; so Christ is the head of the Church, and the head of Christ is God. Believers are in Christ, as Christ is in the Fa. ther; they are Christ's, and Christ is God's: and as he is one with the Father, so are they all one in Christ Jesus. Eph. v. 23–32. 1 Cor. iii. 23. Gal. iii. 28. Thus our minds are assisted in some degree to contemplate how the union comes to be re-established between God and souls .by the mediation and headship of Jesus Christ. Let us deeply ponder that more than human language in which our Lord bimself sets forth this amazing truth, this divine mystery, in his intercessory prayer for them who should believe on him.-John xvii. 21. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also
may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.”
Of the union between Christ and the church, and between Christians and Christians, love is unquestionably one great connecting and communicating principle. There are others, indeed; but, on our part, the greatest of these is charity, orlove; and love is the bond of perfectness. Let no one say that such a union is unbecoming the dignity of Christ. Dignity is enhanced by condescension, and moral greatness never appears to such advantage as when engaged in acts of kindness and grace. The church with Christ at its head, may be viewed as a great family of love.. As from the sea there is a constant efflux of waters, by means of evaporation, descending in dews and showers to refresh the earth; and as from the earth there is a constant reflux of waters to the ocean; as from the heart, as the great fountain and organ of life, there is a ceaseless propulsion and flowing forth of blood, circulating to the extremities of the bodily system; and as from the extremities there is a constant return of blood back again to the fountain of the heart; in like manner from Christ, in whom dwells all fulness, there is a constant communication of life-giving influence to souls throughout the church universal; and from the souls of those who constitute the church universal, there is individually and collectively a constant return of admiration, gratitude, and love to him, as the great living and life-giving Head who first loved them. The in. tercourse of believers with heaven, is an intercourse and interchange of love. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost love them, and make their abode with them; and as God is love, be that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. The intercourse of Christians with each other, as far as it is spiritual, is an intercourse and interchange of love. The communion of saints, as well as fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is a fellowship and communion of love. Throughout the church there is thus established a common tie, a common life, a common mind, a common heart-a community of interest and feeling; and love is the moving spring of all. Contemplating the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, Christians are changed into the same image, and are constrained by the same influence. From all souls throughout the church there is a constant exhalation of affection to Christ, ad. miring him for his excellencies, and adoring him for his wondrous grace; and from heart to heart, froin society to society, from nation to nation throughout the church, there is a constant reciprocation and flowing forth toward each other, of mutual sympathy and tenderness, of prayerfulness and benediction, of kindness and good offices. The affectionate interchange of greeting and of prayer which they delight to employ respecting each other is- and he has not the heart of a Christian who does not adopt and feel it,—“Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.”
Mysterious, powerful, and sweet is the principle of di. vine love! Shed abroad by the Spirit on the soul, it draws forth, by its heavenly influence, a rich luxuriance of purity, and peace, and joy, as the genial sunshine of the spring draws forth the buds, and bloom, and odours of the garden, to, repair the desolations of winter. It elevates, refines, and ennobles our nature. It enlarges the heart when contracted, warms it when cold, animates it when dead, and inspires it with energy and vigour. It renders difficult things easy, bitter things sweet, it makes . our duty our delight, and enables us to run with alacrity and cheerfulness in the ways of the divine commandments. Constrained by its influence, we glory in the cross of Christ,--we confess his name boldly before men,take pleasure in his service,-hold sweet fellowship with his people,-rejoice when called to act or to suffer in his cause, and for his sake, and in its inward movements and exercise we feel the delightful witness of our love to Christ, and of Christ's love to us—that we are the Be. loved's, and that the Beloved is ours.
How should we pant after higher measures of this celestial principle! Come, O! Spirit of divine love, and warm and infame our breasts; and make us to feel how happy the heart is that owns thine undivided sway, and how easy and sweet all things are to them that truly love Christ Jesus! Never, O my God! can we be completely happy until we love thee with our whole heart, and our neighbour as ourselves.
"O Love divine !, immeasurable Love!
Stooping from heaven to earth, from earth to hell,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God."-2 Tim. iii. 16.
The inspiration of the Scriptures is a phrase sometimes used to express generally that they are from God in their origin and authority; and, at other times, to express more particularly to what extent or degree they are to be con. sidered the dictation of the Holy Spirit. At present we shall not refer to the extent of inspiration that subject may come before us hereafter-we merely refer to the evidences that the Scriptures are a divine communication, on which the Christian should be informed. This is a subject which has been too much neglected by the majority of professed be. lievers in our times. We should fear that many of them have been at no pains whatever to understand it. Yet it is of the utmost importance, that every Christian should be"" ready to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in him," touching the Scriptures in both their divine authority and blessed revelations. The points on which he should be informed are the followingthe genuineness, authenticity, inspiration, and canonicity of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
And on each of these we shall offer a few suggestions.
I.-The Scriptures are genuine. We say that a book is genuine when it is really the production of the person whose name it bears, and to whom it is attributed. For example, the first five books of the Old Testament are attributed to Moses, and we prove them to be genuine when we show that they were actually written by him. So also the Gospels are genuine, having been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to whom they are ascribed. And the same may be said of the Epistles of Paul, or any other portion of the Scriptures.
The advantage of being able to prove that the inspired books are genuine is, that it procures for them the respect and authority due to the names of their writers, and it affords, at least, presumptive evidence, that what they con. tain is true. Hence, it was customary, in a dark and evil age, to write hooks in the names of the apostles, or their