Eternal Life

As Manifested in Jesus and Imparted to the Believer,
Its Nature, Accompaniments, and Issues.
By R. Holden.

London: W. H. Broom, 25, Paternoster Square. 1876.

Contents.

The Eternal Life in the Father, Son, and Spirit
The Eternal Life Manifested
Life
Eternal Life in the Believer
The Soul-Responsibility
Nature
The New Birth
The Two Natures—Responsibility
Sealing
Holiness
Resurrection
Appendix A. Notes On The Divine Nature
Appendix B. Letter From J. N. Darby.

1. The Eternal Life in the Father, Son, and Spirit

"From eternity, from the beginning, or ever the earth was;" long ere "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" at the laying of its foundations; before the morning stars themselves, or the sons of God, had begun to be; before ages had commenced to run, or time to be reckoned, God was; and He was "the living God."

As there was a Trinity in unity, so "the living Father" had "life in Himself"—"the eternal Spirit" was "the Spirit of life," and "the Word" "in Him was life."

Again, "God is light," and "God is love." From eternity He was so. But the light shone only for Himself—He dwelt in it; and the love had no existing object outside the glorious Trinity in whom it was, and who was it. "From eternity, from the beginning," "wisdom" was "by Jehovah, as one brought up with Him; . . . . daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." "In the beginning . . . . the Word was with God:" "the only-begotten Son . . . . in the bosom of the Father;" in the abode of love. Thus it could be said, that all was God, and God was all.

From eternity He lived—"the living God." "With Him was the fountain of life;" but as yet from that fountain no life had flowed forth to created beings till in living power "He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." Then was there a manifestation of "His eternal power and divinity" (Theiotes) through created things. Majestic unfoldings of almighty power displayed themselves before created eyes fashioned on purpose to behold them. Bright gleams of the light streamed forth, and fair traces of the love exhibited themselves before intelligences endowed to understand, and hearts formed to respond to them. Tokens enough there were of divine and personal power and character to leave "without excuse" the created intelligence that, knowing Him, should refuse to glorify Him as God, or to retain Him in its knowledge. The majestic shining forth of the Creator was there, and proclaimed Him "the living God."

Still there was no manifestation of "the life." The depths of the divine nature were yet unsounded. "The light" and the "love" had found no adequate expression. "Grace and truth" had not yet come.

Dwelling "in the light unapproachable," neither man nor angel (oudeis, John 1:18), "no one," had "seen God at any time." He could not be seen, for the light was "unapproachable." "From the world's creation the invisible things of Him are perceived, being apprehended by the mind through the things that are made, both His eternal power and divinity;" they could be studied there, they could be known in measure there; but no created being could draw nigh to God to gaze upon Himself, to read His character, to behold His glory as it was in Him. None could behold that light but One who was in it. None could declare Him who dwelt in it save One who "came out from the Father;" "the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, HE HAS DECLARED HIM."

2. The Eternal Life Manifested.

A man, albeit inspired of God, has been able to write: "The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." For "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth," and His glory was beheld by human eyes—"the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father."

"Grace and truth" in their fulness—the highest expression of the "love" and "the light"—had come; for "the life was manifested," and in its actings "the light" shone out—"the life was the light of men."

Pure absolute truth concerning God and His nature found its expression in Him who said, "I am the truth;" in Him who "was the true Light."

And the "love" too was manifested in that "only-begotten Son" sent into the world; for He was there not only "that we might live through Him," but also that Himself might "be the propitiation for our sins;" and "God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

John, having seen that manifested "life" displaying in living activities the nature of God, could now tell out that "God is light," and "God is love;" nay, more, could "show unto us that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested."

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." From the manger to the cross "the life" was in manifestation, as He dwelt among men, showing out in living power the nature—the moral glory of God.

"He that has seen me has seen the Father;" and we by grace have seen Him. Not alone to those who with the natural eye beheld is the vision of glory confined. We too know the Father, and have seen Him for "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts" also, and we too have "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Adoringly we have followed in spirit the manifested "Life" in His pathway through "the valley of the shadow of death"—a world where "sin has reigned unto death" —and "the light" has shone upon us, and the "love" has warmed us. And "we have known and believed the love that God has toward us;" and we have found "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us." And we have loved "the light," and rejoiced in "the light," and have been at home in "the light"—our happy abiding-place; for we have received from Him "the light of life," and have been made "light in the Lord."

We have stood by the manger at Bethlehem, and have marveled at the love that could induce the eternal might to clothe itself in dependent feebleness. We have looked in on the Jewish home in Nazareth, and witnessed the perfection of subjection to human parents in Him whose name, though "a child . . . . born," was "the everlasting Father." We have stood by Jordan, and have beheld the "love" associating itself in grace and sympathy with the sinful in their repentant turnings toward God; "the light" displaying itself in so fulfilling righteousness. We have followed Him into the wilderness, and been spectators of the victory of "the Light" over darkness, as the choicest wiles of its chief ruler were calmly shone through, exposed, and foiled. We have lingered with Him by the well of Sychar, and seen "the light" shining in its manifesting power into the heart of a poor Samaritan sinner, revealing her to herself, and the "love" bending in grace to meet her in her fallen condition that it might lift her from it. We have sat at the feet of the "Teacher come from God," and, "wondering at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth," have felt that "He spake with authority," even the authority of "the Light." We have seen "the life" in the presence of physical death always triumphant over it—bringing in life from the dead—and have seen the "love" acting through it for the consolation of a widowed heart, or the restoration of a household's joy. We have seen it in contact with spiritual death "a quickening spirit," giving life to "as many as the Father has given" Him. We have witnessed "the light" flashing with lightning gleam through the hypocrisies of scribe and Pharisee, and have traced it in patient forbearance enlightening the dullness of fishermen-disciples. We have beheld "the light" scathing the startled consciences of the accusers of the adulteress, and the "love" dismissing with solemn admonition, but uncondemned, the sinful occasion and instrument of their malice. We have seen "the light" reproving a mother's untimely intrusion on a sphere beyond her, and have admired the "love" that, in His hour of deepest anguish, forgetful of His own suffering, could care and provide for that mother a protector and a home. We have seen "the light" in undimmed lustre, at the table of the hollow-hearted Simon, rebuking His host, and the "love" throwing its protecting mantle over and shedding the joy of forgiveness into the penitent heart of the "sinner" that washed His feet with her tears. We have seen the "love" reposing in the bosom of the home-circle of Bethany, and anon "the light" defending there the blameless, and tearing the mask from the face of dissembling covetousness. We have seen again "the light" portraying the "love" in the grace of "the good Samaritan" towards the outcast Jew, and revealing it in the heart of the Father, in its yearning compassion for the prodigal son.

In every attitude, in every position, in every relationship wherein we have seen Him, "the light" and the "love" have gone hand in hand as "the life" has manifested itself through them—their twin glories now discernible in their distinctness, now shading off into each other, now blending, now overlapping or enfolding each other—for there was "love" in "the light" and "light" in the "love"—ever in their united witness displaying "the brightness of His glory"—the moral glory, the moral nature, of God.

And when at length we have stood, under the shadows of night, in the garden of Gethsemane, and, listening awe-stricken to the out-breathings of His agony, have seen the gloom of that hour of the power of darkness dispelled by the glory, as the cup, in deepest love to man, was taken submissively from His Father's hand; and as we have trod behind the glowing footprints of "the light," and felt the throbbings of the "love" from every pulsation of His heart, as He passed from Gethsemane to the high priest, from the high priest to the judgment-hall, from the judgment-hall to the cross; and as we have stood, in the very atmosphere of divine love, at the foot of the cross whereon. He was lifted up, a spectacle of scorn to men, of admiration to angels; and have seen blended there, in seven-fold brilliancy and harmony, all the moral attributes of Godhead—the grace and the truth, the justice and the holiness, the wisdom, the goodness, and the mercy—prismatic rays, if one may so speak, of the pure light of the glory of God—we have bowed, and we have worshiped. And when, finally, our eye has turned upward through the heavens opened to Stephen, and has beheld "the Man" in the glory of God, we have prostrated heart and soul before Him as we have owned, "This is the True God, and the Eternal Life!"

3. Life.

The character of our subject changes here. Hitherto it has been contemplative; now it becomes doctrinal. We have been gazing on the life in its manifestation; we now address ourselves to the investigation of the manner and effects of its impartation to men.

In our English version of the Scriptures, two words, eternal and everlasting, are employed in different passages to translate what in the original is represented by a single word. I state this for the sake of the English reader, as I shall throughout this paper employ but the one word eternal, whether in quoting texts or otherwise.

The passages in which eternal life is named divide themselves into four groups or classes:
  first, those in which it is spoken of as a present possession;
  secondly, those in which it is referred to as a future hope;
  thirdly, passages in which it is named in a way sufficiently general to apply to either or to include both senses; and,
  fourthly, passages in which it is employed of the Lord Jesus Christ in person. From these I shall select such as may best serve for the bringing out of the truth, and place the entire lists in a foot note for the reader's study, in detail, at his leisure; adding a
  fifth class, in which, though the word life is not found, the connection with the subject is intimate.*
{* Class 1.
  Eternal Life: John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 54; 10:28; 1 John 3:15; 5:11, 13.
  Life: John 1:4; 5:26; 6:33, 35, 47, 51, 53; 10:10; Rom. 5:18; 2 Cor. 3:6; 4:10, 12; Col. 3:3, 4; 2 Tim. 1:1, 10; 1 John 5:12.
Class 2.
  Eternal Life: Daniel 12:2; Matt. 19:29; 25:46; Mark 10:17, 30; Luke 10:25; 18:18, 30; John 4:14, 36; 6:27; 12:25; Rom. 2:7; 6:22; Gal. 6:8; Titus 1:2; 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Jude 21.
  Life: Matt. 18:8, 9; 19:17; Mark 9:43, 45; John 5:29; 1 Peter 3:4.
Class 3.
  Eternal Life: Matt. 19:16; John 3:15, 16; 5:39; 6:40, 68; 12:50; 17:2, 3; Acts 3:15; 13:46, 48; Rom. 5:21; 6:23; 1 Tim. 1:16; 6:12, 19.
  Life: John 3:36; 5:40; 6:40, 63; 8:12; 20:31; Rom. 5:17; 6:4; 8:6, 10; 1 Cor. 3:22; 2 Cor. 2:16; 3:21; 5:4; Gal. 2:20; 3:21; 2 Peter 1:3.
Class 4.
  Eternal life: 1 John 1:2; 5:20.
  Life: John 11:25; 14:6; 1 John 1:2.
Class 5. Luke 10:28; John 5:25; 6:51, 57, 58; 11:25; 14:19; 2 Cor. 13:4; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 4:9, &c.}

As pertaining to the first class, I adduce the first clause of John 3:36, and John 5:24: "He that believes on the Son has eternal life;" and, "He that hears my word, and believes him that sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into judgment; but is passed from death unto life."

In both these passages the affirmation is express and clear, to the effect that eternal life is something already possessed by the believer; he has it—not may or shall have, but "has" it; and in the latter text the statement is strengthened by its repetition in another form; namely, that he "is passed from death unto life."

In John 10:28 the Lord states of His sheep, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand;" where eternal life is presented as a present gift, whose possession guarantees His sheep to eternity against all danger of perishing. Since eternal life is a gift that must endure for ever; a life that once existing were ever extinguished, would not be an eternal but only a temporary or contingent life.

In 1 John 5:11, 12 we encounter the reproduction of both the above quoted statements. "This is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life." God has given—not may give or shall give; and he that has the Son has—not may or shall have the eternal life that God has bestowed. The verse immediately following these (v. 13) carries the matter a step farther; affirming not only that believers have, but that, through what the apostle has written, they may know that they have this most precious gift and possession. "These things have I written unto you, that you may know that you have eternal life, who believe on the name of the Son of God."*
{*Correct reading. Vide "Textual Criticism for English Students." C. E. Stuart. (Bagsters) Second Edition. p. 162.}

Further, in this same epistle of John (1 John 3:14, 15), we have not only the assurance that we, believers, "have passed from death unto life," as we found it put by the Lord in the Gospel, but this, in contrast with the declaration that "no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

I would direct the attention of the reader specially to this last expression, along with a similar one in John 6:53, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you," as making it clear that the eternal life spoken of is a thing that abides in the person who has it. And this I would have him note, in contrast with the texts of the second group, to which I now turn.

Matt. 25:46. "These shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."

Observe the change. In the last Scripture looked at, eternal life was a something in the person; here it is something into (or unto) which the person goes away.

From the remaining texts of the second class I select, as sufficient for my present object,

1 John 2:25. "This is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life."

Titus 3:7. "Made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Matt. 19:29. "Every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or mother, or wife, or children for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life."

Rom 2:7. "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and incorruptibility, eternal life."

Rom. 6:22. "Ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life."

In these passages it will be remarked that eternal life is put as a promise, a hope, an inheritance, and the end of a course or career; all which is in the strongest possible contrast with what we found in those of the previous class. All there was present; all here is future. There it was held in possession; here it is contemplated in prospect.

On Rom. 2:7, I will remark, in passing, that it and its context, while setting forth the principles of God's righteous judgment, do not deal with the question of man's ability to claim eternal life on such grounds, which it is the burden of the main part of the epistle to demonstrate he can not. Death, as "the wages of sin," is the righteous due of "every soul of man that does evil;" and to this there is no exception, for "there is none righteous, no, not one;" so that if any receive or enter into "eternal life," it is as "the gift of God," though a gift bestowed on the perfectly righteous ground that it is the object of the epistle to establish and make clear.

It can hardly be denied, that there seems on the surface of the question some difficulty in understanding how eternal life can be both possessed and hoped for, enjoyed and anticipated; for "hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees [or possesses], why does he yet hope for?" Many have been stumbled by the difficulty; and opposite schools of doctrine, according as they have laid the greater stress on this side or on that, have insisted, the one on its present certainty, the other on its contingent futurity, and the consequent impossibility of its possession being either present or ascertainable.

But all the Scriptures before us are equally the word of God; are entitled to full and equal weight in the determining of truth; and can never be pressed on any one side, to the weakening of the other, without error as the result. Whatever be the truth taught in these Scriptures, it is one truth; harmonious, consistent, and embracing all that is affirmed, without straining or distorting, without weakening or exaggerating one or other part.

Whatever then the phrase "eternal life" may import, it must of necessity comprehend both something presently enjoyed by the believer, and something still future to him—an object of hope. In order to the understanding of it, the first thing to be laid hold of is a clear sense of what is meant by life.

In our current every-day speech we employ this word constantly in two distinct senses. We have the phrases, "vegetable life," "animal life," "human life," "angelic life," "divine life ," and also the phrases, "a merry life," "a bad life," "a dissipated life," "an honest life," "a good life ," or, again, "English life," "Australian life," "prairie life," "bush life," "camp life," "sea life," and the like. A moment's consideration will convince the reader that between the meaning of the word life in the former, and that in the latter set of phrases, there is a very marked difference.

If we speak of "vegetable life," we designate something active in the vegetable, which enables it to perform what are known as vital functions; such as to grow, to put forth leaves, flowers, and fruit—that which makes the plant or tree, as growing in the field, to differ from the piece of dead wood we break up to kindle the fire with, or shape into some utensil or piece of furniture.

If we speak of "animal life," we refer to something active in the animal, that enables it to move, breathe, eat, sleep, and the like—that makes the cur that runs yelping and capering about the street to differ from the carcase of his companion, just crushed beneath a wheel or killed by poison.

What that subtle "something" is, whose absence from within the corpse leaves it motionless and subject to decay, and whose presence in the living thing or being—man, animal, or vegetable—communicates activity and preserves from corruption, it is difficult or impossible to define. It cannot be seen, handled, weighed, or measured, exposed to the scrutiny of the microscope, or subjected to the tests of the retort or the crucible. Like heat, light, and electricity, it baffles the wisdom of the sage. He may give it a name, but he cannot define it. He may classify its actings; he cannot explain them. Its every-day name is "life," and for conveniences of an occasion it may be spoken of as the vital principle;"* but that term, however useful in its way, is but a cloak for ignorance; it helps to no knowledge of the thing itself. For want of a better however, it may be used with advantage in our present investigation, in order to bring out the distinction between the two senses of the word "life;" and one may say that,when we use such phrases as "animal" or "vegetable life," we refer to the "vital principle" that resides and acts within.
{* Or, "the vital energy"—energeia, that which works within.}

When, on the other hand, we employ such expressions as "bad life," "honest life," "merry life," "wicked life," a very different thought is presented to the mind. We are now speaking, not of anything residing in a person, but of a course of action or conduct outwardly pursued—a class of activities of an external kind. "A bad life" means a persistent course of bad conduct; "an honest life," a persistent course of honest conduct; "a pious life," a persistent course of pious conduct; and so forth. It is the vital principle or vital powers of the indwelling life exercised in a given way—a way, mode, state, or condition of living existence.

So when we speak of "English life," "Australian life," we describe these powers or activities as exercised within a given sphere. If I say of such a young man, "He has grown tired of English life, and has embarked for Australia to have a taste of the novelties of 'bush life,'" I do not for a moment mean to imply that he has laid down or cast aside the life in its inner sense—the vital principle, as we have agreed to call it—which he had in England, in order to get another in Australia; but I mean that the young man, having tired of the sphere which England afforded for the exercise of his living powers, has carried these with him on shipboard in order to seek for them a fresh and more genial sphere abroad. He does not get a new life when he arrives in the Australian bush, but he lives a new life, in the sense of exercising the powers of the life he carried out with him in a sphere and consequently in a course of activities that are new to him—he enters on a new condition of existence, in a new sphere.

Such then are the two distinct senses in which our every-day speech employs the word "life:" the one as descriptive of the indwelling principle, or what else we may choose to call it, whose presence within is the source or spring of all living action, and distinguishes the living creature from the inanimate corpse; the other, as descriptive either of a condition of living existence, or of existence or action in a given sphere.

These two senses of the word "life" being kept in view, all difficulty as to the harmony of the word, and all occasion of doctrinal confusion disappear. It is then seen how "eternal life" is both a present possession and an object of hope in the future, because in Scripture the Holy Ghost employs the language of men, and accordingly we find this same distinction of sense in His employment of the word. "life." The passages of the first class we looked at describe "life" as an indwelling energy—that with which, in Eph. 2:5, the believer is said to be "quickened," or made alive, as that old-fashioned word means life as a principle, spring, or source of spiritual activities, in contrast with the condition of spiritual death—death in trespasses and sins—pretty much as we have but now contrasted the living man or animal with the putrid corpse. The passages of the second class point out the eternal condition of existence in blessedness to be enjoyed in a sphere, divinely provided for the activities of that life in a coming day, when "at home"—its true and proper sphere in short; for here the eternal life that dwells in the believer is "from home;" a thing out of its element, like a fish out of water, or a man under water; and as neither fish nor man can enjoy rest or comfort when out of their own and introduced into a foreign element, no more can the eternal life, communicated from above to the believer—or the believer as quickened with it—be at rest or in comfort while retained in a sphere where it is clogged in its activities by a "body of death," dwelling side by side with a nature that is "enmity against God," and surrounded by evil abhorrent to its own nature. No! God, who has bestowed eternal life on the believer, has prepared for it, in the glorious future, a sphere of action proper and suitable to it, in association and in nearness to Himself—a sphere to be entered on at the end of that pathway of holiness, along which, "through patient continuance in well doing," it aspires, onward and upward, seeking for "glory and honour and incorruptibility;" the proper goal of its expectations and its hopes. Heavenly in its origin, it seeks a heavenly sphere — its proper home; holy in its nature, it pants, and, while sojourning here follows after, holiness, as that which alone is genial to it, and wherein alone its activities can find unhindered play.

Fellow-believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, has your heart entered into the apprehension of the gift you have received from God? Do you know (as the Holy Ghost, in John, desired you should) that you have eternal life? Dilute not God's language; degrade not God's truth by the falterings of unbelief! Presume not, when God says "eternal," to substitute in your thoughts "that may become eternal." His word is, "He that believes has ETERNAL life;" he has it now, and it is eternal now—eternal in its very nature and in its essence; it cannot cease to be.

And while "in this tabernacle" do you "groan, being burdened"? Do the motions of that life, whose aspirations are clogged by evil without and within, cause you to enter into the spirit of a pilgrim and a stranger as to this earthly sphere, and draw out your heart in yearnings for a better, even a heavenly country? Courage, and onward! Press toward the mark for the prize of your high calling of God in Christ Jesus. That prize is "eternal life," a state of existence named by the self-same name as the indwelling life that craves it, and that fits you for it;* in a sphere whose atmosphere is the presence of God, and whose central object is the Christ of God, whom having not seen you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your soul. The life which now stirs within your soul you will not leave behind you on this earthly shore to receive another in a coming day; but you will live by it eternally in that sphere which its Author has prepared for it, into which you will "enter" (Matt. 20) to go no more out for ever.
{* This is true also of some of the phrases I have employed to express the first sense of life. "Human life" sometimes means the course of human existence, and so may "angelic life."}

4. Eternal Life in the Believer.

Having got so far clear as to the harmony of the Scriptures which teach of eternal life as both a present possession and a future hope, we are in a position to advance with humble and subject steps, in the enquiry after such farther light as Scripture furnishes relative to its character, as introduced into the believer.

On turning to 1 John 1:1, 2, we find eternal life spoken of as "that which was from the beginning," was "with the Father," and was "manifested" unto men.

On passing onward to the fifth chapter of the epistle, we read that this manifested life was, as we have already seen, a divine person, "the true God;" and in the same verse we find it identified with the Lord Jesus Christ, who, in John 14:6, announces of Himself, "I am . . the life."

Here then is a sense of eternal life distinct from either of those we have examined; viz., that of the fourth group, or class of passages already indicated a sense which applies it to a divine person, styled in 1 Cor. 15:45, "a quickening (or life-imparting) spirit;" and in John 5:21, co-equally with the Father, the quickener of whom He will.

As a divine being—the self-existent, ever-living One—He is in Himself essentially "the life," and its author or giver to all others; yet in continuance of the last quoted passage (v. 26) we meet with the affirmation, that "as the Father has life in Himself; so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself." Here He is not said, as in the other passages, to be the life, but to have it in Him; and this too, not as before, of His own nature, but by gift of the Father, and yet in such wise that He has it now as the Father has it.

Here, then, we are confronted with the unfathomable mystery of the person and being of the Lord Jesus Christ as uniting in Himself both Godhead and humanity. As God, life is as essentially His own—as eternal and self-existent in Him, as in the Father Himself (John 1:4); but as to His humanity, born in time, the privilege of having life in Himself as it is in the Father, is a derived result of that mysterious union into which the humanity of the Lord has been taken with His divinity. That life which is proper to God dwells as fully in the incarnate Son as in the Godhead itself, according to that other Scripture (Col. 2:9), which declares that "in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

We have thus reached the knowledge that the "eternal life" spoken of in the word is none other than "the life of God" (Eph. 4:18)—the life which is proper to God, and which at the incarnation took up its abode in all its divine fulness in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now this glorious person is God's "unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15) to as many as receive Him (John 1:12), "that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life;" in accordance with which, eternal life is said (Rom. 6:23) to be "the gift of God."

Then farther, in exact agreement with all this, we find that this is God's "record" proposed to the acceptance of faith, "That God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son," so that "he that has the Son has life."

The result then of these Scriptures is to make it perfectly clear as to fact, however mysterious it may remain as to the nature of the thing, that the "eternal life" with which the believer is quickened or made alive, and which he has as an actual possession "abiding in him," is none other than "the life of God," the same that in its infinite fulness dwells in the Lord Jesus Christ—His own life; and this, as it is of the utmost importance to observe, the believer has, not as a gift which on its bestowal becomes detached from its source or spring, but, in inseparable connection with Himself, where it is enjoyed in common or in communion with Him. "God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son." It is not an emanation from Him, a something given out from Him, as life was breathed into Adam at the first (Gen. 2:7); but, on the contrary, the believer is taken into communion (joint participation) of the life, as it continues to dwell in the fountain-head itself; a thought to the apprehension of which even the facts of our natural life may be allowed to contribute, since even there we are familiar with a life pervading and animating all the members of the body in common, each member having the life in it, yet not separately or independently as its own possession, but only in common with all the rest, and with the fountain of life in the head or heart.

If we next proceed to search the Scriptures for something relative to the actings of eternal life in the believer, we shall find in 2 Cor. 4:10 that the believer is exhorted to manifest in his body (not his old, Adam-life, which is still in him, but) "the life of Jesus;" by which I understand, that as he has in fact the same life in him which was and is in Jesus, it is expected to show out its presence in the guiding and controlling of the body in which it resides, in a manner suitable to the character of Him whose life it is; or, in other words, suitable to itself. (Compare also Rom. 6:4, 12, 13.)

In Gal. 2:20 a believer, describing under divine inspiration his own condition in relation to life, expresses it as Christ living in him; and in speaking with Colossian believers concerning the same life in them (Col. 3:3, 4), tells them that Christ is their life; and as Christ is absent in the heavens, he says of them, "Your life is hid with Christ in God;" while, as descriptive of unbelievers, in contrast with believers, who have eternal life, he affirms of them, that they are "alienated from the life of God." (Eph. 4:18.)

Now, such language is not the random expression of human ignorance, but "the words which the Holy Ghost teaches"—words chosen by infinite wisdom to clothe and convey to our knowledge, so far as we are capable of entering into it, the truth of God on the matter in hand.

5. The Soul—Responsibility.

We have now seen that the "eternal life" with which believers are quickened is life imparted to them, not in the way of a distinct, separate, or independent possession, detached from its source, and given out to each, but by the individuals being brought into communion with it in the fount itself.

With the self-same "eternal life," and in the self-same way, have believers been quickened all along the line, from Adam downwards. The very same "eternal life" was partaken of by Abraham, Moses, and David, as by Paul, Peter, and John: only the life was not yet "brought to light" (2 Tim. 1:10); not yet "manifested" (1 John 1:2); not yet given to dwell in a man (John 5:26); since God had not yet become incarnate. It was always "the life of God, and in the Son, and by the Spirit through the word received by the believer;" but it was not the "life of Jesus" till "that holy thing" had been born of the virgin which was "called the Son of God," and in whom "it pleased all the fulness to dwell." (Col. 1:19.) Old Testament believers had it, but they neither knew they had it, nor understood what it was.

The seat of life is the soul.

In respect of man's natural life, it is said in Gen. 2:7 that "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a living soul."

This soul, thus constituted the seat of life, is henceforward throughout the Scriptures treated also as the seat of personality, so that the word (Hebrew: soul) is frequently put for the entire man or person (freely so translated in our English version), and is even employed in some instances for the dead body or dead person. (Num. 19:13, &c.; Acts 8:2.) When personality is in question however, the body is treated of simply as the temporary dwelling-place or tabernacle of the soul. So Paul, in 2 Cor. 5, speaking of "our earthly house of this tabernacle," in which "we groan," says that when we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; and speaks of willingness to be "absent from the body," and to be "present with the Lord." In like manner, in 2 Cor. 12:2-4, he speaks of the fact of his being caught up to the third heaven, as in no wise affected by the question whether he were "in the body or out of the body." When absent from the body, and present with the Lord, it is still "We." When caught up, no matter if in or if out of the body, it was still "a man."
{* Gen. 12:5; 17:14; 46:15, 18, 22; Ex. 1:5, et al.}

Apart and distinct from every adaptive application of the word, stands out clearly enough throughout Scripture its true and proper sense, as the seat not only of personality in man, but, of the affections, emotions, desires, will, and conscience. Its immortality or imperishable existence, though, like the existence of God Himself, nowhere expressly affirmed in so many words, is assumed throughout, and interwoven into the very texture of the word. Witness Job 19:25-27, where not only immortality is counted on, but resurrection is anticipated; the story of Saul and Samuel at En-dor (1 Sam. 28), where not only is the prophet found as a living being, long after his departure from this life, but where also he announces to wicked Saul that to-morrow he and his sons should be with him, and such announcements as that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, Moses, were gathered to their people (Gen. 25:8, 17; 35:29; 49:29, 33; Num. 20:24, 26; 27:13; 31:2; Deut. 32:50), or that Josiah was gathered to his fathers, beside being gathered to his grave (2 Kings 22:20); or that the entire generation of Israelites which entered Canaan were "gathered to their fathers." (Judges 2:10.) The interpretation given by our blessed Lord to the phrase "God of Abraham," &c., that "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him" (Luke 20:38), lends equally its full weight to such expressions as the above, especially when it is borne in mind that "life and incorruptibility are brought to light" through the gospel, but not before. True it is that in the absence of revelation as to the nature of eternal life, as a distinct and new thing introduced into the soul, the only sense attached to a future existence, as steadily held by the Pharisees in common with the mass of the Jewish people, and contested only by the Sadducees, must have been that of an everlasting existence in a resurrection state of blessedness, in contrast with a resurrection state of "shame and everlasting contempt," as expressed by Daniel (Dan. 12:1); for, though in the mind of the Spirit who inspired the prophet, the expression "eternal life" had of course its full import, it may not have been so to the penman more than to those by whom it was read, before the doctrine had been brought to light. Even throughout the pages of the first three Evangelists, a definition of life as "a condition of existence," would apply; but the moment we open John, whose special line of truth "life" is, it ceases to suffice: hitherto there has been only a state of existence in which the person is or may be; now there is the revelation of the springs of life in the person, and that, at the very outset, as in its fountain-head, the Word Himself: "In Him was life."

Side by side with this soul, which we have seen to be the seat of personal identity, is found in the Scriptures another thing, mentioned under the name of "spirit."

The distinction between "soul" and "spirit" is marked in 1 Thess. 5:23, where "spirit, soul, and body" are separately given as the natural constituents of the man. Impossible to the unaided human intelligence, this distinction is to be learned from the word of God alone, which pierces "to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit" (Heb. 4:12); and there it is seen to be the higher or intellectual part of the man, the seat of the mind or understanding; that by which man is linked to the higher order of intelligences, as the possession of a soul in common with the lower orders of being links him with them.* The word for "spirit" is in Joshua 2:11 translated "courage;" in Prov. 29:11, Ezek. 11:5, 20:32, Dan. 5:20, "mind," while in 1 Cor. 2:11 it is given as that by which "the things of a man" are known.**
{* In Gen. 1:20, "life" is literally, as in the margin, "living soul," and in many other places "life" is "soul" in the Hebrew, e.g. 9:4, 5; 19:17, 19.
**Should the reader desire to enter more fully into this subject, I would refer him to "Life and Immortality," by F. W. Grant (Holness 21, Paternoster Row), where he will also find "annihilation" and "non-eternity" doctrine fully dealt with.}

"Spirit," as spoken of in John 3:6, is another thing, the product of the new birth that whose presence makes a man to be a "spiritual," in opposition to a "carnal," man. But of this we shall have occasion to treat farther on.

6. Nature.

Meanwhile the subject that calls for attention at this point is that of nature.

Life, as an indwelling principle, is an active principle, and its action is always characteristic. It has and manifests certain qualities peculiar to itself, and therefore characteristic of it — qualities which make it to be that particular kind of life it is, as distinguished from every other; in short, its nature. Thus vegetable life and animal life manifest invariably, in their respective actings, what are known as vegetable and animal nature. Divine life in like manner has its characteristic actings, which constitute "the divine nature;" so that the believer, being made partaker of eternal life, of necessity is made partaker of the divine nature as well; and the employment by Peter (2 Peter 1:4) of the phrase "partakers of the divine nature" —though in his use of it rather moral, as connected with "promises," than as of birth—fully warrants us in clothing the truth in the same language.

It has however been objected, that to claim that believers are made partakers of the divine nature is "to put them on a level with the Lord Jesus Christ." I answer, No more so—if one may reverently compare the Highest with earthly things than to say that a water-butt, through which circulate by means of pipes the waters of a reservoir of many millions of tuns' capacity, must be held to contain all the contents of the reservoir if it be stated that the water in it partakes of the same nature as that in the reservoir, or that the butt is koinonos of the reservoir! "In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead," and "of His fulness have all we received" but the distance between the finite and the infinite is not annihilated; the believer is in no sense taken into Godhead, as has also been cavillingly objected,* though eternal life, and consequently the divine nature, be found in him according to the measure of his finite capacity, and it is his blessed privilege not only to have life but to "have it abundantly." The Lord Jesus Christ is not only partaker of the divine nature, but also of the divine being; which the believer is not.
{* The root of this mistake lies in the confounding of nature with being; which subject will be found treated of in the Appendix, in a few notes addressed some years since to one under the influence of the objection.}

In the unconverted man, the old Adam-life derived from his parents, manifests itself in the form of actings which characterize it as fallen and corrupt; in the activities described in Eph. 2:1, 2 as a walking "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience" which condition of "walking," or activity in evil, is designated as a being "dead in trespasses and sins"—a moral or spiritual death, a death to God and to all that is good and holy. These characteristic actings of the fallen life constitute what is familiarly known as "the old nature," described in Rom. 8:7 under the title of "the carnal mind" (phronema sarkos), and there said to be "enmity against God," unsubject to His law, and incapable of becoming so.

The man, as animated by such a life, dominated by such a nature, and standing in connexion with the first Adam, from whom the corruption is derived, is spoken of as "the old man" (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9), who is said to be "corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," and whose "members" are described (Col. 3:5) as including both the actings of the body (fornication and uncleanness) and of the mind (inordinate affection, &c.); and this state of subjection to an unholy fallen nature, inasmuch as it manifests itself largely, perhaps mainly, in the indulgence of the depraved appetites of the body, is characterized (and sometimes perhaps the man as in it, or the nature itself) as "the flesh" (Rom. 7:5, 18; 8:5, &c.); and of those who are in that state it is affirmed that "the motions of sins . . . work in their members to bring forth fruit unto death;" that in them there "dwells no good thing," and that they "cannot please God."

From this terrible condition of subjection to evil there is no release possible, apart from the introduction of a new life and nature, whose activities are of another cast and form.

When eternal life has been imparted to the man, however, its impartation is not accompanied by the immediate extinction of the old life and nature: else would the man come instantly and wholly under the sway of the new nature,* which being only and essentially holy, could only act according to itself, or in a manner pure and sinless; as John, when he deals abstractly with the subject (1 John 3:9), and looks for a moment at the man solely and simply as "born of God," affirms of him that he "sins not;" nay, that "he cannot sin because he is born of God," and has God's seed remaining in him. As a matter of fact however, the activities of the new nature are clogged and thwarted by the presence of the old, and hence the description of the condition of the person furnished in Gal. 5:17: "The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other."**
{* I have felt a wish to avoid, if possible, the use of the phrase "new nature," to which I have known exception taken as not being found in the word. I have, however, felt constrained to retain it, for the thought it is employed to clothe is scriptural, though the phrase be not there—it is a "new" nature for the believer; and, like "Trinity," "omnipotence," "omniscience," and the like, the expression is useful.
**It is in this text the Holy Spirit, acting through or in our spirit, whose power He is, as will be seen farther on.}

The experimental learning of this truth, of the contemporaneous existence, in himself, of two distinct and opposing natures, is the burden of Romans 7. Ignorant at first of the true state of the case, the man gives himself to the task of accomplishing what God has (Rom. 8:7) pronounced impossible—the bringing of the carnal mind into subjection to the law of God. In verses 17-19 he has learned its hopelessness—has learned himself, and has discovered in himself a dual character, a double "I"—an "I" which "would do good," and an "I" in which "dwells no good thing;" whose co-existence he fully owns and distinguishes in verse 25, under the respective names of "the mind," with which he himself serves the law of God, and "the flesh," with which he himself serves the law of sin. The consequence of the intelligence thus reached, as to the true conditions of the inner life is, that abandoning the hopeless effort to improve the incurably wicked nature, power is sought from without self, for the repression of its actings (in terms of Rom. 6:12), that though existing in the mortal body, it may not be allowed to "reign" in it—that he may not obey "the lusts thereof;" the result being "deliverance;" and what that deliverance is, let those tell who have found it after their souls have been harassed, worn and disheartened, through years of this hopeless endeavour to accomplish an impossible thing!

7. The New Birth.

The commencement of life is connected with birth. It was at the moment in which we were born into the world that we began our separate existence, with a life of our own.

Eternal life in the soul has, in like manner, its commencement in a new or second birth—a being "born again;" the unfoldings of which truth are first encountered in the conversation of the Lord with Nicodemus. (John 3) Here we have, first, the declaration of its necessity, "You must be born again;" "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" then the ground of this need, in the fallen and corrupted condition of the life and nature of which we have been treating, expressed in the affirmation, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," and followed immediately by the corresponding statement, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

If the former of these expressions teaches a derived identity of nature, equally so does the latter. If the one shows the bringing into existence of something that did not exist before, having a nature identical with that of the being whence its existence was derived, exactly so does the other. Whatever is conveyed by the "that which" of the one phrase has clearly a correspondence as to reality in the "that which" of the other. It is not the expression of a mere change in the character of the former thing, but a thing wholly distinct from it, and as new in itself as the other was when it first came into being.

In the new birth, then, there is introduced a somewhat wholly new, a something "born," as truly as the man himself was "born" at first; and this new thing is said by the Lord to be "spirit," and as such to meet the necessity of the case which demands a new birth for the man, in order to his fitness for the kingdom of God, for which, the fact that as "born of the flesh" he "is flesh," disqualifies him.

Concerning this new birth, its origin is referred directly to God. In 1 John the characteristic phrase for it is "Born of God" (1 John 3:9; 4:7 5:1) while in the Gospel (John 1:13) this truth is brought out in the most unmistakable and exclusive manner—"Born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Here are excluded, first, natural descent—it does not run in the blood; secondly, the agency of the man himself, "the will of the flesh;" thirdly, the agency of others, "the will of man;"* and then the closing and positive statement limits it absolutely to God. In the preceding verse moreover the gift of power to become children (tekna, begotten ones) of God is ascribed to the person "received" by faith—Christ, who is also in 1 Cor. 15:45 said to be "a quickening spirit," and in Acts 3:15 "the Author (or Originator) of life," while in John 3:5, 6 the direct agent in the act is affirmed to be the Holy Ghost.
{* Hence the folly of baptismal regeneration doctrine, which puts it at the will of parents and parson.}

That there should be much that is mysterious in a subject where the actings of the Triune God are concerned is to be looked for; and the subject is only to be approached with unshod feet; but this much is perfectly clear from the word, that there is a positive action of Godhead in the new birth, whose result is, the derivation to the person of something, in his soul, variously spoken of as "spirit," God's "seed," and "life" or "eternal life." This new-born existence in the soul has the nature of Him of whom it is born, "the divine nature." As such it is of course impeccable in itself; and the person who is the subject of this mighty creative act (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10), as we have seen, when viewed merely in reference to it (1 John 3:9), is spoken of in terms expressive of this; and in the proportion in which he walks in or after the Spirit will his practical ways be holy. (Gal. 5:16-18, 25; Rom. 8:4.)

Another important agency in the new birth, intimately allied with the Divine Spirit, as the instrument through which He works, is "the word of God," spoken of in John 3 under the figure of "water," "born of water and of the spirit," whose explanation is more fully given in 1 Peter 1:23: "Born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever." I discern a very marked exactness in the employment of the language here: it is, "born out of seed," the preposition being one expressive of origin (ek); and "through the word," the preposition there being expressive of instrumentality (dia). I do not therefore from this understand the "seed" to be "the word" here, any more than in 1 John 3:9; but take it to be the same thing which is said to be "spirit" in John 3:6 as the offspring of God, the Divine Spirit. The "word" is His instrument in this solemn transaction, and hence it is "through the word." In Luke 8:11, it is indeed said, "The seed is the word of God;" but there I take the subject to be different; it is the seed of the kingdom that is in question, not the seed of God in the new birth. In the interpretation of the figure employed in the parable to set forth the propagation of the kingdom in the earth, the word is the seed; in the mighty act of the new birth, it is the instrument of the Holy Ghost for the implantation of the divine seed of life and spirit, in some mysterious way, into whose character the blessed Master seems to forestall our prying when He compares it to the wind, whose effects Nicodemus could discern but whose goings and comings were beyond him.

Perhaps one might say that "spirit," as used in John 3:6 ("that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"), is life and nature, or life with its characteristic nature. It may be more; but it is at least that. Not life alone, nor nature alone, but both together; for "life" cannot act or show itself without displaying "nature;" nor can "nature" (i.e. spiritual or moral nature, with which alone the question has to do) exist apart from life, or be known apart from its actings.

The substance of what I learn from Scripture about the new birth is, that Christ, as "the last Adam, . . . a quickening spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45), gives power to as many as receive Him to become children (tekna) of God by their being born of God (John 1:12, 13); that this birth, or being "born again," is through the agency of "the Spirit" and instrumentality of "the word," figured by "water" (John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18); that the product of this new birth is "spirit" (John 3:6), or "life"— "eternal life" (John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:21, 24; 10:10; 17:2; 1 John 5:12); that "His"—God's—"seed remains" in the man (1 John 3:9); and that He is "light." (Eph. 5:3.) Then I find him expected to walk as a child of light, whose fruit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth* (v. 9); to bring forth "the fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22); to show forth the virtues of Him who has called him out of darkness (1 Peter 2:9); all which things are manifestations of "nature," or of "life" acting characteristically, so that their equivalent is given in 2 Cor. 4:10, 11, when it speaks of "the life of Jesus" being manifested in the man's body.
{* "Fruit of the light," not "fruit of the Spirit," is the correct reading in Eph. 5:9.— Vide "Textual Criticism," p. 185.}

When God created man at the first, He imparted life to him from Himself: "The Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." It was not generation, but creation. His life emanated from God; but once imparted to Adam, it was all in him, was his life, and so he could corrupt its nature by his fall. In the new birth there is not the impartation of life as an emanation, so communicated to the man as to be in him, as separated or apart from its source; but the life is enjoyed in common with God, its fountain, and hence at the very moment in which it is said to be "given to us" (1 John 5:11) it is still said to be "in His Son"—in Him, as I take it, not merely in the sense of headship, though that is also true, but in Him as its inexhaustible fountain of supply; so that, unlike the life of the first Adam, it is in its nature incapable of corruption, and the man—viewed abstractedly or with reference to it alone—cannot sin, because he is born of God.

In a letter lying before me an objection is advanced against the truth, in the form of a reductio ad absurdum, thus —"By my first birth I partake of the human nature, and so am a man; by my second birth I partake of the divine nature, and so am God."

This looks very plausible, but the premise is as unsound as the conclusion would be blasphemous. Fairly put, it should have stood as follows, and then it never would have been advanced: By my first birth I partake of the human nature, and so am Adam; by my second birth I partake of the divine nature, and so am God.

Between Adam and the "I" there intervene a number of generations, which opens the loophole for the equivocation. If an immediate descendant of Adam be taken, the parallel will apply better, since between God and His children of the new birth no successional line intervenes. Let the name of Seth be substituted for the "I," and it would stand—By his first birth Seth partook of human nature, and so became Adam; by his second birth Seth partook of divine nature, and so became God.

The absurdity is palpable. What then is the truth? Did not Seth partake of human nature? Certainly. Did he not, as born again, partake of the divine nature? Just as certainly. But Seth's participation in human nature did not make him Adam, but his child. By his first birth Seth partook of human nature, and so was a child of Adam; by his second birth Seth partook of divine nature, and so was a child of God, which is precisely what Scripture teaches. (John 1:13; 1 John 3:1, &c.)

The fallacy of the objection lies in the confounding of "man," the race, with "man" (Adam), its progenitor. Adam is the father of a race, and Scripture and custom give his name "man" (which is simply the translation of the Hebrew "Adam") to the entire race. God in the new creation is not the father of a race; nor does He transfer His name to the children born of Him in the new birth, though they partake as truly of His nature as Adam's children of his.

In another letter the same objector says: "This if true, puts them on a level with the Lord Jesus Christ. If they have the nature of God and the nature of man, what more had He?" He had the divine life and being—He had Godhead as well. He was from eternity "the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father"—"the Word," which not only was in the beginning with God," but who "was God" (John 1)—"the true God, and the eternal life." (1 John 5:20.)

This strange confusion between being and nature existing in some minds, on the ground of which they infer that participation of the divine nature cannot be without participation in the Godhead, runs counter to one of the commonest facts of our ordinary human life. The babe in the womb lives of its mother's life, yet is a distinct entity from the mother; does not share her being, though it partakes of her life and nature, and moves or exercises vital functions independently of her volitions, of which Genesis 25:22, 25, and Luke 1:41, 44, are Scripture examples. Here then are two distinct beings—the mother and child—having a life and nature in common, the mother imparting her life and nature to the child without any resulting confusion of being or of personality; and shall there be found among God's own children those who, yielding to the puny reasonings of human intellect, question the fitness of Scripture language and teaching, and would limit the power of God to impart to His children His life and nature, without thereby confounding them with His Godhead?

8. Two Natures—Responsibility.

Such then is eternal life, and such the mode of its implantation in the new birth. It leaves the man with two lives, and two natures, in contest for the control of the faculties of his soul as well as those of its tabernacle, the body. And here there is need for a careful discrimination between the natures and the responsible "I" to whom they pertain. Confusion on this head leads on the one hand to laxity in self-judgment, and on the other to the blunder of treating of a nature as responsible instead of myself. When the statement is made, as one sometimes hears it put, that "the new nature is responsible to keep under the old," common sense immediately draws the just conclusion, that if the new nature be responsible to keep under the old, its failing to do so is sin, and then the doctrine that the new nature is perfect and impeccable must be untrue.

Now responsibility attaches to personality, and to that alone; and the seat of personality we have seen to be the soul. The responsible "I" is therefore myself (an undying soul in a material body), in whom both natures dwell, and to whom both equally belong, so that I respond for both, as we see it put in Rom. 7, where it is "I" who "would do good," and yet "I" who do the evil which "I" would not; as it is also in "me"—in "my" flesh—that no good thing dwells.

If my soul, which is "I," yields its members or faculties, with those of its handmaid, the body, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; or, in other words, suffers the old nature to control its action, then my soul sins—that is, "I" sin. (Ezek. 18:4, 20.) If on the contrary my soul yields the members as instruments of righteousness unto God, or, in other words, subjects its action to the control of the new nature, in and through which God acts, as we shall presently see, then "I" do good, or work righteousness, and my power for this has its foundation in my acceptance for my old self, or "old man" (nature and all), of the judicial place of death into which God has put him by the cross; so reckoning myself dead, in the reckoning of faith, and then looking up to Him, with whom I thus make common cause against it, for power to disallow self practically, so as to "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." When therefore I fail at any time to keep this dependent alliance with God against my old self, and so allow it opportunity for action, I have to judge, not either of the natures, but myself—my responsible self; and this, while it thoroughly represses all tendency to antinomian laxity that would say, "Oh, it is only the flesh!" leaves my soul, on the other hand, at perfect liberty before God, inasmuch as God and I are fully "agreed" as to the utter, hopeless badness of the old "I." He has passed, and I have accepted for it the sentence of death. He has taken me graciously into alliance with Himself against it in its actings, till He set it aside in fact, as He has already done in judicial action; and so God and I have communion about the very thing that of old was the most fatal bar to all communion between us. Between God and "the old man"—that is, myself as "in the flesh" or under the dominion of "sin" (the old nature,) and standing in the first Adam—there could be no communion; between God and the "new man"—that is, myself as redeemed, cleansed by the blood, "in the Spirit" as to my nature, and "in Christ" as to my standing—communion is full and complete, and there need be no interruption to it, provided I "walk in the Spirit," or in the activities of the new nature by the power of the Holy Ghost.

9. Sealing.

The new nature, when received, is in an undeveloped or infantine state, similar to that of the man in his natural birth, to which Scripture compares it, describing believers in the various stages of spiritual life as "new-born babes," "little children," "young men," or "fathers." (1 Peter 2:2; 1 John 2:12-14.) Weak in itself, it is antagonized from the outset by an evil nature already grown strong through age and activity, and strongly entrenched in position, beside being in alliance with a wily, powerful, and deadly foe, the devil, who formerly wrought in the man unhinderedly when he was yet a child of disobedience (Eph. 2:1, 2); and who, though dislodged from his stronghold and broken in power, still exercises a mighty influence over the flesh. Against such odds the "new-born babe" of grace must needs be powerless if alone in the strife, and before the powerful aid of an almighty ally and deliverer comes in, the feeble uncertain wavering walk of the undelivered child of God bears painful testimony to this truth.

Hence the necessity, and hence God's gracious provision, of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost as the power of the new life and nature. This blessed and glorious gift conferred on the believer, is spoken of by Paul (Eph. 1:13, 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22) as the sealing of the Spirit; by John (1 John 2:20, 27) as the "unction" or "anointing from the Holy One;" and is entirely distinct from the action of the Holy Ghost in the new birth, though very commonly confounded with it in the thoughts of Christians. It is affirmed in Ephesians to take place "after" belief.* How long after is not specified, the reason being that the period may vary from a moment to a lifetime. It may follow instantly on conversion, when a fully preached gospel is fully received by faith; or it may be delayed, through deficient teaching or unbelief, even to a dying hour.
{* pisteusantes, having believed. Aorist, accomplished act.}

We are made the children of God (tekna, begotten-ones) in the new birth (John 1:12, 13) in connection with the reception or belief in Jesus as the Christ (1 John 5:1) but the man may be fully persuaded of the Christship of Jesus — that He is God's anointed Saviour, and that through Him alone he can have hope; nay, he may farther "hope" that he will be saved by Him, yet fail to lay hold, with faith, of the personal application of that truth, which authorizes him to believe in the present forgiveness of his own sins, his complete reconciliation with God, and his actual new birth of the Holy Ghost, so as to be able "by faith in Christ Jesus" to take up his place as a "son of God" (huios, acknowledged or manifested relationship). Till the testimony of God is thus believed, the Spirit does not seal him; but when he has "set to his seal that God is true," then God also sets His seal on him, and because he is a son (huios), sends forth the Spirit of His Son into his heart, crying, Abba, Father (Gal. 4:6) which Spirit thenceforward "bears witness with his spirit, that he is a child (teknon) of God." (Rom. 8:16.)

Historically this order and interval are made clear to a demonstration in the Acts of the Apostles; first in the case of the apostles themselves, who were undoubtedly children of God, born again of the Spirit, long before the Holy Ghost came upon them at Pentecost. (Peter's case is very explicit. Compare Matt. 16:16 with 1 John 5:1.) Then there is the case of Cornelius, testified of by the Holy Ghost as a devout man, whose prayers and alms came up before God, which is true of no unconverted man. He was only sealed by the Holy Ghost when he believed in the forgiveness of sins as preached to him by Peter in the name of Jesus. So the Samaritans, though they believed, on the preaching of Philip, only received some time after the Holy Ghost through the laying on of the apostle's hands; as did the "disciples" spoken of in Acts 19, through the laying on of Paul's.

Great confusion reigns throughout the authorized version in the translation of the words teknon and huios. "Child" and "son" are employed interchangeably to translate one and the other, to the almost entire obliteration of a distinction most markedly sustained by the Holy Ghost, in the Greek text, and most important to a clear development of the truth. This procedure on the part of the translators was no doubt due, in part, to the fact that the distinction between our English "child" and "son" is by no means so definite as that between teknon and huios. Still, had teknon been invariably rendered "child" and huios always rendered "son," the English reader would have been in a position to gather from their usage the distinction in the mind of the Spirit. That distinction limits teknon (child) to birth relationship, as the derivation of the word (from tikto to beget) implies; while huios (son) does not necessarily imply generation, but is equally applicable to one who is only a son by adoption; whence the word huiothesia, sonship or adoption, as given in Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5.* Sonship (huiothesia) is intimately linked with, if not absolutely implying, heirship. (Heb. 1:1, 2.)
{* The passages specially connected with my subject in which "son" should give place to "child" are John 1:12; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2. Those in which "child" should give place to "son" are Matt. 5:9, 45; Luke 6:35; 16:8; 20:36; Rom. 9:26; Gal. 3:7, 26; Eph. 2:2; 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 5:5.
The reader will perceive the force of "son" brought out very evidently in Matt. 5:44, 45: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the sons (huioi) of your Father which is in heaven;" i.e. your conduct will manifest relationship. So again 2 Cor. 6:17, 18: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you . . . and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty;" i.e. He will acknowledge them in that character or relationship. And so Matt. 5:9; Gal. 3:7; Heb. 11:24; Rev. 21:7, and a large number of passages of the class of Matt. 23:15; Luke 20:36.}

An illustration may help to make it plain.

Let us suppose a man's legitimate child (teknon) to be stolen from him in infancy and brought up in entire ignorance of the relationship. It is still his "child." No ignorance nor estrangement can alter that, but between him and his father no manifested or acknowledged relationship exists. They may meet and have transactions together in the business of life, and yet go to their graves without having ever stood towards each other in the relationship of father and "son." The father, in his ignorance of his "child's" existence, may even have adopted an alien as his "son," and made him heir to his fortune and his name; his "child" (teknon) he could not, in any proper sense, make him; his "son" (huios) he could. Let us suppose, however, that while still in life, the father being in want of a servant, meets with, engages, and takes home his unknown "child" to serve him in that capacity. He sends him to the kitchen and the servants' hall, and they stand towards each other in no other acknowledged relationship than that of master and servant. They are in reality father and "child," but not yet father and "son" (huios). The "child" waits behind his father's chair as a servant, instead of sitting at table by his father's side as a "son." By-and-by, however, the truth comes out, the father discovers in the youth who serves him his long lost "child." The moment he makes known the relationship, and the boy believes it, their entire relative positions are changed. The livery is doffed, and the "child" now knowing himself to be his father's "child," does not hesitate to take his seat by his father's side as his "son," and to call him "Father." He was a "child" before, and as well entitled to call him "Father" then as now, had he but known and believed it; but he did not. His birth made him a child, and entitled him to become a "son;" but it was only when the truth about it was made known to him by his father, and believed by himself, that he was emboldened to take his place or position as a "son," and to say "Father."

According to Heb. 12:8, a bastard is not a "son." The relationship is abnormal and illegitimate. Such a "child" can only say "father" on suffrance. Even the children of Keturah (Gen. 25) were not put on the true footing of sonship as Isaac was, though the Hebrew has not the distinction of terms as in the Greek; so that even Ishmael is placed side by side with Isaac in verse 9 under the common name of (Hebrew) —sons or children.

As the great prototype of the sealing of believers stands forth the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, of whom it is recorded from His own lips (John 6:27)——"Him has God the Father sealed." Differing from believers as to the ground of sealing, He stands identified with them in the fact. The occasion of His sealing is thus described by Matthew (Matt. 3:16, 17): "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son (huios), in whom I am well pleased." It was the acknowledgment of His Sonship by the Father.

It is the same with the believer. The gift of the Holy Ghost is God's seal of acknowledgment set upon him the moment he believes himself, on the ground of God's own testimony, to be His "child," or what is equivalent, believes in the forgiveness of his sins for Jesus' sake.

There are two parts to God's testimony concerning His Son. One part is that which relates to His person and work—His Christship; the other relates to the application of His work to him who believes. God has given out a full and ample testimony to His Christ, as His anointed Saviour, through whom He bestows, on all who believe on Him, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and all else included in "salvation." He has also borne witness, that "whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." This is as much His testimony as the other, and to be believed on the selfsame warrant—God's witness. When a man believes on God's testimony, that Jesus is the Christ, and yet doubts if he himself be born of God, he still "makes God a liar" as to one-half of His testimony. God cannot seal him thus. When he credits the full testimony, making application of it to himself, and, believing his sins forgiven and himself to be a "child," takes his rank as a "son," God immediately owns him as such (Gal. 3:26; 4:6), and seals him with His Spirit, who thenceforth witnesses with his spirit that he is a "child" of God. The Spirit's witness is to the birth relationship, whose reality he has credited on God's testimony, which the Spirit now maintains him in the enjoyment of, and which is the ground of his taking position as a "son."

To revert for a moment to my former illustration of the unknown child in the servant's place. What would one think of him if, when his father had announced the relationship, and invited him to his fitting place at his board, he should persist in retaining his livery, returning to the servants' hall, and continuing to treat and to act towards his father as a servant, so manifesting his disbelief of his father's word? Alas! it is thus that thousands of God's dear children are treating His testimony to-day. A false humility, which is in reality self-righteousness, prevents them from believing God means what He says! How many souls does one meet with who have not a doubt concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, nor a thought of salvation apart from Him, who yet shrink from taking their places of sonship, under the notion that it would be presumption! Presumption to believe God! Far greater presumption methinks to disbelieve Him! I can scarce conceive greater presumption than that of him who with one breath affirms belief in Jesus as the Christ, and in the next dares to avow a doubt as to his own new birth, in the face of God's affirmation, that "whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God!" I should not like to be the man so to make God a liar, and yet talk of "humility"!

Clear and unmistakable is the teaching of Scripture as to the distinction between the new birth and the sealing of the Spirit. The former had its place equally under the previous dispensation as under the present; the latter is special to the dispensation we are now under, and consequent on the session of the Lord at the right hand of power. (John 16:7; Acts 1:8; 2:33.) By the Spirit given, believers are brought into the unity of that body whereof it is said, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body," and into union with the risen and glorified Head Himself, as "members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones;" all which is distinct from and subsequent to the possession of "life," though consequent upon it. This is that "living water" of which Jesus spake (John 7:37-39), which "they that believe on him should receive;" that "power from on high" which He promised at His ascension (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8) that power whereby "God works in" the believer "to will and to do of his good pleasure," and the believer works out his own salvation; as one who, having received a farm as a gift or inheritance, tills and works it that he may reap the crop of what is now his own. Glorious gift of a glorious God! our power for worship and for walk, for service and for the enjoyment of our God and of His Christ. Alas! how grieved and how slighted even by those in whom He so graciously dwells and works!

10. Holiness.

Holiness in its primary sense means separation, or setting apart to or by God.

Thus the Lord Jesus Christ could say of Himself, as set apart of God to be the Saviour of men, "Say ye of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" (John 10:36) and again, of His own action in setting Himself apart in heaven, "For their sakes I sanctify myself." (John 17:19.) It would seem almost needless to say that there is here no thought of "making holy" in the popular sense.

Believers are separated, or set apart to God "through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Heb. 10:10, 14.)

This is sanctification by blood, as in verse 29: "The blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified;" or again, 13:12, "Jesus, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate."

Then there is "sanctification of the Spirit," connected, as in 2 Thess. 2:13, with "belief of the truth," through which the individual is brought personally "unto obedience," and under "the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," as exhibited in 1 Peter 1:2.

Whatever is set apart to God must be suitable to Him. Its intrinsic character must be such as He can approve and have to do with. This intrinsic suitability, or intrinsic separateness from evil, it is the object of the "sanctification of the Spirit" to accomplish in him who is set apart positionally through the sanctification by blood and it is effected in the new birth, when the new and divine nature is conferred on the man, in which he draws near to God, and has communion with Him.

The man, as thus separated to God, is called in Scripture a "saint," or holy person not as expressive of any special or pre-eminent attainments in holiness (as Popery formally, and Protestantism too often practically, understands it), but as the object of this twofold divine action. The person thus brought by the Spirit, in the new birth, under the sprinkling of the blood, through belief of the truth, is from that moment a "saint," and as such "made meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light." He is not being made meet, but is—has been—made meet. The thief on the cross was as truly "meet" for it, when he went to heaven within the hour of his conversion, as Paul the apostle, when at the close of his long career of earnest and devoted service he wrote, "I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness;" and the soul that is "born again" to-day is, in the very moment of its new birth, as truly "meet" as either of them.*
{* I have dealt with but one aspect of the meetness here, as that which alone pertains to the matter of my chapter. hikanosanti in Col. 1:12, I take as including both title and character, or standing and state. Fitness demands both. A person might be lawful heir to a throne, and yet being imbecile, entirely fail of fitness or meetness for it on the score of character. Another might be by far the most capable person in the nation to fill the throne, as far as character went, and yet lack entirely the meetness of title. The believer's meetness of standing or title is Christ, in whom he stands. His meetness of character is his having been born again.}

Of the "saint" God expects a saintly walk. Of one called with so high a vocation, it is looked for that he "walk worthy of the vocation with which he is called." The child of God is not left in this world to grow into a saint, or to be made gradually fit for heaven by a purifying process which is to transmute his old nature into a new one, or improve his "old man" into suitability for God and His glory but, his "old man" is already judicially set aside or annulled, by and by shall be sloughed off altogether, and meanwhile is to be judged and kept under in the power of the Holy Ghost—so that, "no provision" being made "for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof," it may not be suffered practically to interfere with that manifestation of the life of Jesus in his mortal body, which God desires in the believer; but that on the contrary the man may, by walking in the Spirit, "show forth the virtues of him that has called him out of darkness into his marvelous light." This is that following after holiness to which the Holy Ghost exhorts believers in Heb. 12:14; that "sanctification and honour" in which He desires the saint should possess his vessel the body; and which He declares (1 Thess. 4:3, 4) to be the will of God concerning him. It is the separation of the walk from evil, in the progress of which, the believer, though not being made intrinsically more holy as to personal character, walks according to the native holiness of the divine nature within him, and grows in grace; that nature developing and waxing stronger in him as, feeding on "the sincere milk of the word," he grows thereby. (1 Peter 2:2.)

A child when born into the world is complete as to its humanity, though capable of growth and development.

The standard according to which the saint is to separate himself from evil without and within is Christ. "He that says he abides in him ought himself so to walk, even as he walked." (1 John 2:6.) "Every man that has this hope in him [in Christ] purifies himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:3.) "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 2:5.) Nothing short of this will meet the mind or the heart of God. He does not and cannot set any lower standard before the eye of the saint.

This is quite another thing however from saying that the believer is "to be as Christ;" for that is clearly impossible, seeing that in the believer a fallen and sinful nature dwells, whereas "in Him is no sin;" and this presence of an evil nature in the believer is the obstacle to his practically attaining to the full measure of God's standard. Still God's standard is never lowered in order to accommodate it to man's condition as fallen. His inability to walk up to it is because of "sin that dwells in" him, and God cannot accommodate His requirements to sin!

If it be pleaded, as one sometimes hears, that a child of God "cannot help sinning;" that he "must sin;" that it is "impossible he should abstain from sinning," the divine and unswerving answer to all such language is, "These things write I unto you, that ye sin not." (1 John 2:1.) Scripture will nowhere and in no wise sanction such a thought. God has placed within the believer the same divine Spirit in whose power the Lord Jesus Christ walked as a man on earth, and who is as powerful to enable the weakest saint to walk, as He was to enable the Lord Himself to do so, if He be only as fully trusted and leant on. When Peter "walked on the water to go to Jesus," he walked in the same power as the Lord Himself, and consequently walked equally well, so long as he drew on the power by faith; but the moment he ceased to do so, he began to sink. It were no extenuation of Peter's failure to say it was because he had a timorous unbelieving heart, that turned his eye from his Lord to the winds and the waves. The case is a perfect parallel.

If, on the other hand, the pretension be put forth by any, of having attained to a state of "sinless perfection," the word is ready with an answer quite as trenchant and absolute: "In many things we all offend." (James 3:2.) Such is the plain and divinely-avouched matter of fact, though a fact without excuse, which it would not be were there any other "must" in the way than the presence of "an evil heart of unbelief," which is no better plea in justification than it would be, to allege in extenuation of theft, that the man had a thievish disposition, or heart!

All pretensions of this class are invariably accompanied by a lowering of the divine standard. Instead of the divine "Be ye holy, for I am holy," and the "purifies himself even as He is pure," we get holiness "up to the measure of each day's consciousness," or some other fictitious measure of man's devising.

That the believer ought to walk in unblemished sinlessness is true for every heart that bows to Scripture. "If" he sin, the provision has been graciously made of "an Advocate with the Father" on high, with the laver or the basin below (Ex. 30:18-21; John 13), the self-judgment of 1 Cor. 11:28, the confession of 1 John 1:9.

That it is the believer's privilege to walk in unbroken communion with God is beyond a question; that it is highly desirable that this, and a much brighter pathway, both of holiness and of power in service, should prevail among the saints, is equally certain; but it will hardly be attained by the inversion of God's order, any more than by the lowering of God's standard; as when the attainment, through effort, to a mighty act of faith, by which a complete surrender or consecration of self is to be made, and followed by the reckoning of oneself dead, is substituted for God's order, that teaches (Rom. 6:11-13) to "reckon yourselves dead," as wholly unfit for consecration to God, and then to "yield yourselves unto him as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

It is this that lies at the root of the error that is abroad on this topic. It is, wittingly or unwittingly, an attempt to consecrate "the flesh," "the old man," "the old nature," to God, with a self-deceiving appearance of success, through a lowering of the standard; whereas the truth of God is, the entire rejection and setting aside of "the old man" through death, accepted for him by faith; his members being mortified in the power of the Holy Ghost (Col. 3:5), and the bodily members yielded unto God in the same power (Rom. 6:13), brought into exercise in answer to the faith that counts and draws on him. The new nature needs no "self-consecration" to God; the old nature is incapable of it: what is needed is, deliverance from the latter that the former may act according to itself without restraint. "Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life."

11. Resurrection.

"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

As with "eternal life," so with "redemption;" there is a double usage to the word, a present and a future reference. At one time (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14) we have redemption, at another we are sealed unto its day, as above, or waiting for it, as in Rom. 8:23.

Redemption means deliverance from bondage or any other perverted position. When spoken of as a present possession, it is "the forgiveness of sins," the realized redemption of the soul, which has already been brought back to God from the bondage under which it was to sin, Satan and death. When spoken of as future, it refers to the body, which, though its redemption price has been paid, has not yet been actually restored to liberty from the bondage of corruption, but awaits this in the resurrection. When "the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord;" for though "we shall not all sleep, we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Then, when these bodies of our humiliation shall have been thus "fashioned like unto the body of His glory," and "Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory," to sit with Him on His throne as promised throughout the era of millennial glory.

Such is the "day of redemption" unto which believers are "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." That blessed One, having once taken possession of this "mortal body" as His temple, will never relinquish His claim on it, even though for a season He suffer it to be taken to pieces and returned to dust. "He that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you." (Rom. 8:11.)

If the believer has already received, as (praised be God!) he has, eternal life and a new nature, fitting his soul for the presence of God, so that he can be fitly occupied in "giving thanks to the Father, who has made him meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light," it is not so as yet in respect of the body in which he dwells; that is still a "body of death," a "'mortal," a dishonoured and corruptible body a body of humiliation, in which he groans being burdened, awaiting its redemption as the completion of his blessing.

Concerning the resurrection body of the saint, we have two pieces of distinct information; the one, that it will be fashioned like to the body of Christ's glory (Phil. 3:21); the other, that it will be "raised a spiritual body." (1 Cor. 15:44.)

Of the aspect of that glorious body to which it is to be assimilated, the mount of transfiguration may furnish us a conception; of its properties, so different from those of the present, we may learn somewhat from Luke 24:31, 36, 39, 51; John 20:19; Acts 1:9, which indicate its superiority to certain so called "laws of matter," to which our present frames are wholly subject.

In respect of the phrase "spiritual body," I will only remark here, that it stands contrasted with psychikon, translated "natural," not with "material," as is apt to suggest itself to some minds.

Such a redeemed and glorified body will be a suited abode for the redeemed and fully restored soul, with its eternal life and divine nature—a vehicle for the manifestation of that life in worship and service, as well as for the enjoyment of God and of that blessed and glorious One, after whose own image it is fashioned, and whom it will "see as He is"—a prospect that may well sustain the heart of the suffering pilgrim saint during the little season he is called to live for Christ down here. If service be now hindered by this "body of death," be it borne in mind that the glory to God is scarce, if anything less, in the manifestation of the life of Jesus in our "mortal bodies," in the face of opposition and obstacles, than in a more perfect manifestation of it in those spiritual bodies that will offer no hindrance, in a scene where all will be genial, and imperfection at an end.

Though outside the scope of the subject we have been dealing with, one would scarcely, in the present day, be faithful to the Lord, if taking leave of such a theme, without entering an indignant though sorrowing protest, against the evil doctrine that is gaining such hold on the minds of men, concerning the final punishment of the wicked. On the one hand the doctrine of annihilation, and on the other that of restoration after an epoch of purgatorial or atoning suffering, are sapping the foundations of the doctrine of the cross, to the injury of many souls.

Scripture is by no means so full in detail on this awfully solemn and painful theme—doubtless, more painful by far to the Divine Spirit than to us—yet nothing is lacking in clearness as to the facts, if there be but simplicity to receive them.

That not only the souls of the wicked will survive their separation from the body, but that they will also be raised again to life in the body, is clear, amongst other Scriptures, from the accounts furnished to us of the judgments of the quick and dead. (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:1.)

In the prophetic outline of the former, supplied by our Lord Himself in Matt. 25, the living wicked, in their bodies, as they stand "at His appearing and His kingdom," are seen to be dismissed into eternal punishment—a punishment as enduring as the eternal life into which the righteous inheritors of the kingdom "go away."

Besides this judgment of the living, the Lord pre-intimates a "resurrection of judgment" in contrast with "the resurrection of life," which is the hope of the believer. (John 5:29.) Of this judgment we have the vision in Rev. 20:5, 12-15, where we see "the rest of the dead," who "lived not again" in the first resurrection, nor until the close of the thousand years of millennial glory, standing then before the "great white throne," judged according to their works, and cast into the lake of fire, called the second death; whose description, as given in verse 10, is not that of annihilation, but that they "shall be tormented day and night, for ever and ever."

Nothing is clearer in the word of God than the co-equal certainty that the wicked will live on to eternity, in the energy of that fallen and corrupted life and nature in which they now walk in death, and that the saints of God will live on to eternity, with God, in the energy of that new and eternal life with which they are quickened in the new birth, and in which they now live, in the flesh or body, by the faith of the Son of God, who loved them and gave Himself for them.

That there is "no life but in Christ" is the devil's lie. That there is "no life for or with God save in Christ" is God's precious and eternal truth. The near approach, in sound, of the lie to the truth—nay, its almost identity as to sound with the Scripture, whose sense it overturns—ensnares the souls of many. And what wonder? for "even Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

And now, reader, before we part company, a word with you. Have you eternal life? Have you been born again? My work will have been of little, avail for you if it has not served to bring out sharply and distinctly to your consciousness the answer to these questions. If you have not received these blessings, how are they to become yours? Shall I bid you pray for them? My Master does not, nor shall I. I will but leave Himself to show you in His own blessed and all-wise words.

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." Such is His word: I may not go beyond it.

Fellow-disciple, "have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" The question is as pertinent to-day as when addressed by Paul to the "disciples" in Ephesus. If you have not, it is because you have not yet set to your seal that God is true, by believing His full testimony concerning His Son, in its application to your personal needs. Do so at once, and He will seal you forthwith, witnessing with your spirit that you are God's child, and as "the Spirit of adoption" teaching you henceforward to cry, "Abba, Father "
Dorchester, November 18th, 1875.

Appendix A.
Notes on the Divine Nature.

Nature—in Greek physis, from the verb phyo, to bring forth, produce, put forth, get, beget, generate—signifies qualities or attributes with which any being or object is born, or that come into existence with such being or object as inherent in it.

The nature of a being or object is the sum of such inherent qualities or attributes—that which gives it character, or makes it to be what it is.*
{* Observe, not "whom" but "what." Nature is not personality any more than it is being. My human nature makes me to be a member of the human race—a man but though it is my father's nature, it does not make me to be my father, but only a member of his family. My nature does not make me to be the person or being I am, but it makes me to be the kind of person or being I am—a member of the human, and not of the angelic, or any other race.}

Nature must be distinguished alike from being and from the modes or conditions of being.

I analyse man:

1st. Man has being, and the being man has a nature. That nature is not himself, for it is predicated of him—a something that pertains to him; and as such must, at all events in language, be considered and treated of apart from the being in which it inheres.

2nd. Man comes into and continues to enjoy his being, subject to certain conditions or modes. These modes, though inseparable from his being, as conditions of its existence, are no part of the being itself, nor of its inherent qualities.

It is one of the conditions or modes of human being to be born in time, or, to have a beginning. As man is not a self-existent being, this could not be otherwise. It is a fact inseparable from his being, but external to it not a part, but a condition of it.

In like manner it is a condition or mode of man's being to be subject to limitations, or, finite. This again is no part of his being, but a condition under which his being is; it is no distinct inherent quality, so as to be a part of his nature, but a condition to which all the qualities of his nature are subject. To speak of it as a part of man's being or of his nature would be a confusion of ideas.

3rd. In the being man there inhere certain qualities with which he was born or came into existence. These qualities, when I discern them, I attribute to him, and so call them his attributes, or, the attributes of his being; and the sum of these inborn qualities or attributes I call his nature. I do not confound the nature with the being, because the latter is the substance, the former the sum of the qualities of that substance. I do not confound the nature with the modes of being, because these are simply the conditions under which that being exists, or to which it is subject; and, as the conditions of the being, are of course conditions of the nature inherent in it, but are no part of the nature itself.

I have therefore in man these three distinct things—being, modes of being, and nature.

I advance a step farther.

It is one of the modes of man's being to be complex—an immortal soul, which is spirit, in a material body. Each of these parts of the man has qualities or attributes peculiar to itself, and the sum of all together constitutes the nature of the complex being, man, or, what we are wont to call human nature.

It becomes convenient, however, at times, to classify separately the respective qualities of these two parts of man's being, and so we get his spiritual nature and his physical nature as expressions; the former, of the qualities peculiar to his soul; the latter, of the qualities peculiar to his body. As both of these are of the man, and so human, the term human nature may properly enough be, and is, employed of either of them nor is it always deemed needful to introduce the respective adjectives, spiritual and physical, when the subject treated of sufficiently limits for practical purposes the sense of the phrase, as when, in a treatise on natural history, human nature might be contrasted with brute nature, or, in a treatise on divine things, human spiritual nature might be contrasted with divine.

When I turn to treat of the divine nature, I am at once confronted with the poverty of human speech as a vehicle for the communication of thought on such a subject. The very term nature is in itself inapplicable, in its accurate sense, to the self-existent, and eternal One; and the same is true, more or less, of all the terms I must employ.

In God, as in man, I have:
1st. Being; and this being has a nature (in the sense to be hereafter defined), a nature inherent in His being, predicated of it, and therefore (though inseparable from it as a fact) capable of being viewed and treated apart.
2nd. The word condition, which I have found useful when treating of man, I hesitate to carry up to the present subject; but mode, which I have employed along with it, seems a sufficiently admissible expression for that in reference to the divine being, which corresponds, so far as correspondence is possible, to what I have termed the conditions or modes of being in man. I shall therefore say that I find, in connection with the divine being, certain modes of that being, inseparable from it, though neither to be considered as parts of the being itself, nor of the nature which inheres in it.
It is one of the modes of the divine being to have neither beginning nor end, or, as commonly expressed, to be eternal.
It is another of the modes of the divine being to be subject to no mutation, or, to be unchangeable.
These modes of the divine existence, though inseparable from it, do not constitute parts of the divine being or of His nature, but are expressive of the manner or degree in which that Being enjoys His nature.
3rd. In the being of God certain qualities inhere, inseparable from that being, but characteristic of it; which qualities have characterized that being so long as it has existed; i.e. from eternity. These qualities, being attributed to Him, I call attributes, and the sum of these inherent attributes I call His nature, as the best term at my disposal to express that which corresponds to nature in man, as nearly as correspondence is possible in the case.

When I speak therefore of the divine nature, I understand by it the sum of the attributes inherent in God, or in the being of God, as distinguished alike from that being itself, and from its modes of existence.

Such words as omnipotence combine the twofold idea of attribute and mode. Power is an inherent attribute of the divine being: to enjoy it without limitation is a mode of the divine existence; the two together combined furnish the word omnipotence. Holiness expresses simply an attribute inherent in the divine being; to enjoy it in an infinite degree is a mode of the divine being, and so of others.

The Westminster definition, though otherwise sadly defective —leaving out "light" and "love"—marks these distinctions very clearly: "God is a Spirit [being], infinite, eternal, and unchangeable [modes], in His (being), power, wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth" [nature, or attributes].

Appendix B.

The following letter, received a year or two since in answer to some questions on my present subject, was helpful to myself at the time, and may prove helpful to the reader:

JND Letters Vol.2:102