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Before the Apostle had made the above determination, God had Tevealed his Son in him. Had not God in mercy given him the revelation of his Son, he would still have reasoned with flesh and blood, and continued to persecute those who believed the gospel which he afterwards preached. But
you will ask, is there no way to obtain the knowledge of Christ Jesus and him crucified, but in the way and manner in which it was obtained by Saul of Tarsus ? I answer, certainly there is. The scriptures of the Old and New-Testament, are, if they be per-. mitted to speak for themselves, sufficient to make us wise unto salvation ; and trust me, my very dear friend, it is by the scriptures that the Spirit of God brings us acquainted with the Son of God. Our Saviour recommends the study of the scriptures for the purpose of obtaining an acquaintance with himself. Search the scriptures, said he, for they are they which testify of me. Yet it is plain from these very'scriptures, that although there may be no miraculous intervention of the Spirit of God as in the instance of our Apostle, yet the veil must be taken away, the eyes of the understanding must be opened, and all this by the Spirit of God, who, by whatever medium he may think proper to operate, is alone able as a great and almighty Agent, to open the understanding and accomplish this great work. This among the Jews was strikingly exemplified ; they understood neither the law nor the prophets. Why? Because the veil was upon their hearts; and it is as true among the Gentiles when they read the gospel, and yet discern not the life of the world. God, I repeat, must open the heart and enable the soul to understand the scriptures, before we can perceive, that in them, which, through their instrumentality, the divine Spirit illustrates and confirms. But even when the Spirit of God renders luminous what Scribes instructed in the mysteries of the kingdom, were directed to record respecting the Saviour of the world, we can no more make others receive the truth except the Spirit accompanies our words, than we could before ourselves, understand the scriptures unaided by the witnessing Spirit. No man can call Jesus, Lord, but by the Spirit of God. We may as easily teach a blind man to understand what we mean by the colours of the rainbow, as teach a man uninformed by the divine Spirit, what we mean by the Spirit's teaching. But, as from the testimony of our eyes, we have full conviction of the difference of colours, abundantly sufficient to satisfy ourşelyes, although not enough to satisfy the blind man; so
we have sufficient evidence to fill our own souls with joy and peace in believing, when the Spirit witnesseth with our spirits to the truth as revealed in the scriptures.
When, therefore, we hold forth the word of life, we look to God to open the ears of those who attend on our labours. When, as a candle set upon a candlestick, we let pur light shine before men, We look to God to open the eyes of the understanding, for we know without God we can do nothing.
When the Apostle determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified, I am persuaded he was convinced of the truth of this testimony, for he asserts, We are workers together with God. Thus, it is plain we ean only speak to the outward car; it is God must speak to the heart. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God who giveth the increase: but believing this, we sow in hope, firmly determining with our Apostle, to know nothing amongst men as preachers of the gospel, saye Jesus Christ and him crucifi: ed. Nor is this, as we hinted, a barren subject. There are, indeed, who might find little to say, if thus circumscribed. There are, who, thus confined, would suppose they must lay aside wisdom, right: çousness, and sanctification, but we have not so learned Christ. All those who are taught by his Spirit will know that in forming this resolution, the whole Bible is their field; and that it is in a crucified Redeemer, and in him alone, that the divine testimonies contained in the book of God consist; for they are they that testify of him. Abiding by this apostolic determination, we can preach the truth, the whole truth as it in Jesus, and prove positively that every sacred testimony is yea and amen in him to the glory of the Father.
Those who have learned of the Father, and consequently come unto Jesus, can preach the righteousness of the law without deviating from the apostolic determination ; for Christ Jesus was made under the law, and he graciously informs us, He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil the law; and as righteousness is noth: ing less than a perfect obedience to the full extent of the commandment, how broad soever it may be, as Jesus made under the law, obeyed every precept until every jot and tittle was fulfilied; in proclaiming the righteousness of the law we proclaim Christ Jesus, 'especially as we are expressly told the name whereby he shall be called, is the Lord our righteousness. We can preach even the curses of the law, and yet know nothing but Christ and him crucified. Yea, we can preach them in their full extent, both with respect to the vengeance contained therein, and the fulness of the offending na ture, against which those curses were denounced.
The curses of the law seem summed up in these words; the soul that sinneth shall die. The subjects on whom this death, as the wages of sin in the law takes hold, are all mankind; for all have sinned. But when we see Christ crucified, we see both the one and the other. When I, said he, am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me; and this he spake signifying what death he should die. Hence, the Apostle-The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again, is from the sacred records abundantly manifest. This, I am well persuaded, was what the prophet Isaiah had in view, xxvi. 19, “Thy dead shall live, my dead body shall they arise." Thus stands the text in the original. You will please to take notice, that every word in the sacred volume printed in italicks, is not to be found in any copy of the Bible, extant in the languages in which it was first written; those words are supplied by translators, From these and many other passages I learn, that the souls which sinned were as fully considered in the second Adam in his death, as they were in the death of the first Adam. Thus, you will observe, we can preach what the scriptures declare, of the death of all men as the wages of sin, without losing sight of Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Again, we can preach the curses of the law in their full extent and yet know nothing but Christ Jesus and him crucified; for the law can never carry its curses further than Christ, who is the end of the law, and who was made a curse for us, as it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. We can preach the new birth, looking with a single eye unto Christ, who was born in the city of David. In that glorious, in that mysterious birth, we see the man born of God that sinneth not, whom the wicked one toucheth not, who cannot sin because he is born of God, to which state believers by faith arise, beholding Jesus as their head and themselves as members of his immaculate body. The head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. Genuine believers are persuaded, that the head and members were born together. In the birth of the Redeemer in whom dwelt all fulness, they behold all old things prasa away, and all things become new. Thus, while
determining to know nothing but Christ Jesus, we can consistently preach the new creation. In him we can see all things gathered into one ; we behold the new creature without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. And, looking to Christ Jesus in whom we are created anew, we can say to every descendant of Adam, Behold, all old things are passed away, and all things are become new!
The Christian who determines with the Apostle to know nothing but Christ and him crucified, can preach that holiness, without which no man can see the Lord'; without which, neither Noah, Daniel, nor Job, Peter, James, nor John, nor any other of the Old or New-Testament saints could ever see the Lord, and for this reason, Because, saith the Holy One of Israel, no man cometh to the Father but by ME.
In the same consistent view, he who is taught.of God can preach sanctification, and that not in part, as they who know not our Lord Jesus, nor the power of his resurrection, are ever dwelling upon this rich blessing, but perfect, perfect in him, who is made of God unto us sanctification. Yea, verily, the taught of God can proclaim a sanctification perfect and entire, lacking nothing; for they can preach a crucified Redeemer who said unto his Father, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.
The Christian speaker who determines to know nothing but Christ and him crucified, can proclaim glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will towards men; and this he can do, because Jesus said, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work thou gavest me to do. He can preach peace, because this man is our peace, even when the Assyrian cometh into our land; he can preach peace to every creature, because having made peace through the blood of his cross, it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven, even those who were sometimes alienated, and enemies in their minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to present them holy and blameless in his sight, Colossians i. 19, 20, 21, 22.
« For now in Christ Jesus, ye who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us ; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to make in himself of
twain one new man, so making peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby ; and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to those which were nigh; for through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father,” Ephesians ii. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Thus being determined to know nothing but Christ Jesus and · him crucified, we can nevertheless preach peace to those who were nigh, and as fully to those that were afar off, by assuring them that in Christ crucified the enmity is slain. In preaching a crucified Redeemer dying for the sins of the world, we preach reconciliation; for God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 2 Corinthians, v. 19.
But what is there which pertaineth to the divine and human nature, that is not found in Christ, and in him crucified? He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; the Creator, and the creature ; the God, and the man ; the Father, and the child ; the child born, the Son given ; the everlasting Father, and the mighty God. He was made sin for us, and he is made of God unto us righteousness; he was wounded for our transgressions, and by his stripes we are healed, Isaiah liji. 5.
He was condemned as a criminal, when he was numbered with transgressors ; yet all judgment was committed unto him. He died in this world for the sin of the world ; and yet, as long as he was in the world, he was the light of the world, John ix. v. And this light was the life of men, John i. 4. In him was life, and this life was the light of men. He was the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely ; yet his visage was more marred than any man's. He was found in the form of a servant, and was really a servant, and yet he was Lord of all. He was full of grace and truth, yet he, his own self, bear our sins in his own body on the tree, iPeter ii. 24.
In one word, it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell. Can we too often recur to this precious passage ? The fulness of God dwelt in Jesus; for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians ii. 9. The fulness of the humanity; for the head of every man is Christ. The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam, a quickening spirit. Thus, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. He was the fulness of our iniquity; for all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord laid on