Philanthropy.

1889 202 The desire which originally seduced man from his allegiance to God has been, and is still, strongly marked as the characteristic of his being. "Ye shall be as Gods" was the object proposed by the tempter unto disobedience. And so strong has been the pre-dominance of this principle, that man has used the blessings which God has given to him, and even the very light which He has revealed, in order to assert his own sufficiency and independence. It seems the constant tendency in man to rejoice in the work of His hands; it furnishes him in his own mind with a kind of creative power. It is this which makes the works of man to be the subject of admiration and astonishment, when those of God, so much more wonderful in their kind, and mightier in their degree pass unnoticed or unheeded. Man will put no restraint on himself, as to the means he may use to, compass the end which he so fondly imagines to achieve. He will avail himself of God and the things of God to help in erecting a fabric, which may make him a name in the earth. He will even boast himself of God, in order to establish his own righteousness; and what he calls religion is that which he uses as he would any other scheme, not that to which he himself is subject. Hence it has arisen, that the greatest corruptions in the earth have been brought about by man's abuse of the privileges which God has given him; in other words, by religions corruption. The close of the former dispensation was of this character; even as it is distinctly marked in the prophetic word, that it shall be of this, "in the last days perilous times shall come" (2 Tim. iii.).

At the period of the ministry of our Lord among the Jews, it was comparatively a very religious era. The observance of the Passover, and reading the scriptures, had shortly previous to the Babylonish captivity almost gone into desuetude {disuse}. Thus in the days of Hezekiah, it is said of the Passover, "they had not done it of a long time in such sort as was written;" and when the invitation went forth to summons them of Ephraim and Manasseh to the solemnity at Jerusalem, "they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them" (2 Chron. xxx.). So again when the copy of the law was found by Hilkiah the priest, in the days of Josiah, "When the king had heard the words of the law, he rent his clothes," and he sent, "Go, and enquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book." (2 Chron. xxxiv.) In the days of our blessed Lord, on the contrary, we find all the set feasts regularly attended, according to the law (Ex. xxiii. 17), and not only did the males go up three times a year to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem, but a great many of the women and children also (Luke ii. 41). Scribes and doctors of the law abounded; and there was hardly a town without its synagogue. But however fair this might appear to the eye of man, which saw only the outside, however these might have been adduced as proofs of an increasing love of godliness among the nation, One Who judged not according to appearances, but Who judged righteous judgment, was enabled to detect under all this outward show an apostasy in principle and practice, just ripening unto judgment.

The twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel lifts up the veil, and displays the real state of religion, at a time of so much apparent zeal and activity. There was much regard and outward reverence shown to the memory of the prophets, who had suffered for their testimony from their forefathers. They built their tombs, and honoured the dead and silent witnesses, while the same spirit, which they condemned in their fathers, was about to show itself in a more flagrant manner in their treatment of the then living Witness, to Whom all the prophets had borne witness.

All their zeal about the things of God only tended to make those things subserve their own ends. They did what they did to be seen of men; they compassed sea and land to make a proselyte, in order to glory in his flesh; they would make long prayers, and yet devour widows' houses. They derided the notion of the impossibility of serving God and Mammon; and whilst they contended vehemently for the sanctity of the sabbath, they contrived to evade whatever was onerous in showing that honour to parents which the law of God required. In a word, all their knowledge of God, and all their religious privileges were turned to a selfish account. Man was the end they proposed to themselves, and not the glory of God; whatever thwarted their end was, according to their apprehensions, to be avoided. On every occasion did this religious selfishness show itself, insomuch that even the temple itself was turned into a scene of merchandise. No other moral condition apparently could have prepared the way for the rejection of Jesus, of Whom they were the betrayers and murderers, when even the heathen governor would have let Him go. Had Jesus been acknowledged, the supremacy of themselves was gone, the notion of man's goodness and competency must be given up; and therefore the language of their heart was, "This is the Heir: come let us slay Him, that the inheritance may be ours." They professed the good of man to be their object; they did all to have praise of men; and when He came Whose right it was to bless others, and to be honoured by them, they received Him not. Such was their philanthropy.

Now the word of God most distinctly marks a declension and apostasy, parallel to this in its leading features, as terminating the present dispensation; only it will be much fairer in its appearance. It is the result of man's using (or rather abusing) the knowledge of God, and of the things of God, to the furtherance of his own scheme of philanthropy. For what is the high sounding title in the lips of man, when weighed in the balance of truth, but this, that "Men shall be lovers of their ownselves"? that man's well-being, according to his own short-sighted view, will become his object? and therefore, that Christianity itself, instead of being self-denying, and hating the life in this world, will only be recognised so far as it can be made to subserve man's self-interest, and to promote his self-exaltation? "They will he lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." The effort of man will be to secure the greatest possible sum of human happiness in the present state, — this will be his object. To this will be directed his moral and intellectual powers; to this will his religion be made subservient. Increasing knowledge will mightily increase the power of man, and difficulties may perhaps be surmounted more rapidly than even he can imagine. It is not attempted to be denied that there is something very plausible in such speculations, and very pleasing in the expectations held out. But one might well pause, and ask the reason why such expectations have never been realised? What is there peculiar in the present age to render nugatory the experience of six thousand years? It may be answered, "Christianity is to shed its blessed influence over every institution of man for ameliorating the condition of his species." Now what is here attempted to be shown is, that this is not the object of Christianity, and that it stands, in this respect, in direct contrast with philanthropy.

When we look at it in its best sense, philanthropy is only remedial; and there is hardly a thing in which it glories that is not so intimately connected with sin, that its glory is only in our shame. It may improve the discipline of prisons, but why are there prisons at all? It may multiply hospitals, but can it prevent sickness? Is it not engaged against a power which is continually asserting its supremacy? For, when one evil is overcome, another rises in its place, like the fable of the hydra. In result, all these prove the inveteracy of the power of evil, from the failure of the wisest and best plans to counteract it. There was one who could say, "I have overcome the world"; but the philanthropist must constantly confess that the world overcomes him. And when the evil is looked fairly in the face, and seen in its last and most appalling form, — death; what can philanthropy avail against it? It is actually driven, in open defiance of scripture, to look on death as man's natural constitution, instead of as his moral condition on account of sin. And in this instance, we see the boasted goodness of man brought into direct collision with the truth of God. So long as it can use religion for its own end, it will. God will be acknowledged by it, when God can be subjected to it. But the moment its end is interfered with, even by God Himself, then its real exaltation of itself, its insubjection to God, is made manifest.

According to philanthropy the estimate of every thing is utility. The language of the heart is, "Who will show us any good"? And as much, very much, of Christianity so evidently tends to the blessing of society, in promoting soberness, righteousness, and temperance; therefore man, in his effort to promote these for his present good, and for his own ends, will boldly say he is forwarding the gospel. He will acknowledge the excellence of the gospel in the very act of subverting its principles. "Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God"? And the same principle might be applied to those who take the standard of utility, instead of that of the will of God. To do so is to get off the ground of faith, and to walk by sight. Faith knows nothing of results; it considers them not; God is its sufficiency and warrant for action and expectation. On the contrary, man proposes a certain scheme, in order to a supposed result, and pursues it by all the means he can muster, and with a singleness of eye and a determinateness of purpose which may well shame the children of light. But what said the Lord in reply to the sneer of the Utilitarians of His day? — "Why was this waste of the ointment made, why not given to the poor"? What was His vindication of the apparently unmeaning action? It was done to Jesus. Faith wrought by love, and a lasting memorial is given to the work of a poor woman, which called forth the scorn of man, whilst the most splendid efforts of philanthropy have perished or been forgotten.

There is something in the description of the coming apostasy in the second Epistle of Peter, and in that of Jude, so fearful and revolting, that we almost shrink from applying it to a religious era, descriptive of a state of society looked on, and gloried in, as christian. But the scripture of truth is intended to set appearances in their real light, and the most loathsome comparisons are purposely employed to convey to our minds a sense of the abomination, in the sight of God, which is concealed under the fair show of an outward profession and busy activity. It is hard indeed, until we enter deeply into the working principles of man's mind, to realise the state of Sodom before its destruction, as less guilty and more tolerable than that of the Jewish nation in the time of our Lord; and it does require abiding in Jesus, and walking in the light, to detect under the show of philanthropy the features of an apostasy, marked as the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the gainsaying of Korah. But what are these features, but the assertion of the sufficiency of man, the using of the light of God for our own selfish ends, leading to the rejection both of the Priesthood and Lordship of Jesus?

And let it be calmly asked, if there be a Philanthropical institution in existence not excluding but acknowledging Christianity in part at least, in which the working of such principles may not more or less be discovered. Nothing indeed is a more striking characteristic of modern philanthropy, than the union of the extremes of faith and opinion, to the exclusion of the mastery of any, as if there were no such thing as truth. This in fact is its boast, the occupation of ground common to all, except the uncompromising Spirit of Christ, which can never really rest, never be healthfully exercised, unless it can claim the ground as its own entirely.

But farther than this, there is something more than the danger of neutrality to be apprehended. Philanthropy, so called, actually invades the province of God, and usurps His place. It is the vain pretence of man to be wiser and better than God in meeting and dealing with evil, and with the misery of man. There is indeed such a thing as real philanthropy; not the experiment of a being under the power of evil to extricate himself or others from that power, or so to mitigate it as to make it tolerable, but the assertion of One, of His sole supremacy over it, in His ability to rescue man from under its power — "the philanthropy of God." "After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared (philanthropia, the philanthropy of God our Saviour), not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus iii.). This is the gracious and noble design of God, the philanthropy of God. He alone knowing the full extent of man's necessity, could devise a plan adequate to meet it. And the extent of the misery and evil of man can only be duly estimated by viewing it as the occasion of the display of the counselled wisdom, power, and goodness of God, in order to its remedy. The object of God is the rescue of man; and when man proposes a similar object to himself, to be compassed by his own powers, he virtually rejects God, and only compasses himself about with his own sparks, in the end to "lie down in sorrow" (Isa. 50:11).

1889 218 Now, since God's love to man is the very thing set forth in the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ, can that really be worthy to be called love to man, which (even should it obtain what it aims at) leaves him infinitely short of the blessing which God proposes in the gospel? The question is not as to the propriety of meeting man's complicated misery, in order to its relief by any means in our power (this would love be strenuous in doing, even as Jesus went about doing good), but whether the pretension of man to philanthropy, stopping so very short of God's intention in the gospel, is not in its principle virtual infidelity?

For when God, out of His love toward man, proposes to Himself one object, — and man, out of his love to himself, proposes another object, what is man's persisting in his object but an impeachment of the goodness and wisdom of God? It is thus that man is still guided by the old principle of his seduction, "Ye shall be as gods"; and, making even Christianity subservient to his own aims, he brings in that which is a second and more fearful corruption of the earth (compare Gen. vi. 13; Rev. xi. 18; Rev. xix. 2), ending in the judgment of God. Such is the use which "the christian world" has made, and is making, of those privileges which are indeed great every way. They use them wrongly: patching the new piece to the old garment, and the rent becomes worse, and putting the new wine into old bottles, they burst and the wine is spilled. Christianity loses its distinctiveness, and is only known as a theory of dogmas, instead of a new and active energy; while a morbid and sentimental philanthropy, busy and daring, is substituted in its place. The necessary consequence of this adaptation of Christianity to present circumstances is, that it becomes itself the subject of human expediency, occupying a secondary place, instead of being a dominant principle, bringing everything to its own standard. In attempting to infuse something of the salt into human institutions, it only loses its savour, instead of seasoning that to which it is imparted; and not the grace of God, but the wisdom of man reaps the glory. The world (for example) knows full well how to use Christianity in urging any benevolent work of its own; but it dare not use it in discountenancing covetousness, for this is its own principle: the world loves its own, and such is the basis of almost all human legislation. The philanthropist would seek to infuse something of the spirit of Christianity into a criminal code; but stops short on the one hand, of its intolerance of evil of any kind; and on the other, of passivity as the proper place of a christian under its pressure.

Christianity is looked upon by men at best as only subsidiary, and, the moment it comes to interfere with convenience, its obligation is denied. Because they may be engaged in promoting the things which are commanded by the precepts and commended by the example of Christ, without the least regarding either their motives or their objects, they conclude they must be right. "Jesus went about doing good;" no human misery was there which did not find His sympathy, and feel His power to meet it. Thousands received blessing from Him, who yet were strangers to eternal life. Ten lepers were cleansed; one only returned to Jesus to give glory to God, and got the further and substantial blessing; "Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole" (Luke xvii. 19).

When Jesus had healed the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda, and found him afterwards in the temple, He said to him, Behold, thou art made whole, sin no more, "lest a worse thing come unto thee." His philanthropy did not end where man's would, and does end; He saw a worse thing far beyond the measure of the human misery He had remedied. There were yet death and judgment before him, who had been so marvellously delivered; he had yet the blessing to seek which alone belongeth to faith, even deliverance from death and its power, sin. This is the sad mistake of philanthropy: its proposed end, even if attained, stops short of deliverance from "the worse thing." And therefore, granting all that philanthropy aims at to be accomplished, though this is indeed allowing much; granting that it could say in power to the misery that disfigures society, "Behold, thou art made whole," the root of the evil remains untouched. Thus, whilst man may be glorying in the success of his efforts, his very success may prove the occasion of blinding him to a sense of his actual state before God — that "the worse thing" is yet before him. It is impossible to say to what extent man's misery may actually be mitigated, or the social system improved, by the mighty powers and resources of man now being developed, and by the use of Christianity itself, as one of the many means to obtain such an end. But experience has hitherto shown, that whilst the surface may be healed, even to the eye of man it is but falsely healed, the wound still festers beneath. And just when a goodly fabric has been raised, decked with the fair show of religion by the wisdom of man, it has withered away before the power of some new evil.

But as Christians, we have something more sure than experience (man's utmost certainty), even the testimony of God — that the end of this scheme will be disaster. The gospel is necessarily humanising and civilising in its effects; but this is not the real design of God in it. And although it may answer man's end so to use it, he "has his reward" in attaining his object; but still there is the "worse thing" which may befall him; and the very perfecting of his scheme is precisely its ripeness for judgment (Dan. iv. 30, 31). It is of solemn importance to realise that God regards the objects at which we aim; if He is aiming at one, and we at another, we cannot be fellow-workers under Him. It is accordingly quite possible to be very busy indeed in religious things, and yet to be quite wide of God's object. The end therefore of such zeal must be disastrous, not attaining to the purpose of God.

Thus it was with Israel, as we read in Rom. x. They did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God; they used the law for one end, God gave it for another. Thus also is it characteristically marked as to the present dispensation. "To them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality (here their object is marked), eternal life; but to them who are contentious (opposed to enduring and suffering, and marking the way of the world), and do not obey the truth (have not God's object, do not submit to His righteousness) but obey unrighteousness,* tribulation, and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil" (Rom. ii.).

[* See this contrast between truth and unrighteousness (2 Thess. ii. 12).]

"God is not mocked, but whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." He has made known to man, in the gospel of His Son, an available power against evil — "Christ crucified, the power of God, and the wisdom of God." The peace which the gospel gives, and the blessed fruits which it produces, man would fain take if he could to embellish the fabric of his own rearing. Hence every system of religion, which man has attempted to establish, has always had a second object (or rather one besides that of God), which becoming the proximate has had the first share of man's thoughts. To the truth of this we have an unexceptionable witness in Mr. Wesley, who, perceiving the increased symptoms of worldliness among his own followers, appears to have almost despaired not only of Methodism, but of Christianity itself. "How astonishing a thing" (says he), "is this? How can we understand it? Does it not seem (and yet this cannot be) that Christianity, true scriptural Christianity, has a tendency in process of time to undermine and destroy itself? For wherever true Christianity spreads, it must cause diligence and frugality, which in the natural course of things must beget riches; and riches naturally beget pride, love of the world, and every temper that is destructive of Christianity. Now if there be no way to prevent this, Christianity is inconsistent with itself, and of consequence cannot stand — cannot continue long among any people; since, wherever it generally prevails, it saps its own foundation."

However true and humbling the fact, that such has been the course of Christianity, is it not clear that God's object in "true scriptural Christianity" was quite overlooked by the holy man who wrote the above? That object is not to make men comfortable in the world, but to give them power to live above it; at the same time that true scriptural Christianity does produce such fruits as must commend themselves to the conscience of man, although he knows not whence they spring. Man sees these, and he seeks them, but not victory over the world. It is on this common ground of the effects of Christianity, righteousness, temperance, that real Christians and speculative philanthropists meet; its neutrality at once shows it to be ground on which a christian ought not to be. "He that is not with Me is against Me;" and wherever a christian, on the principle of his association, cannot confess Christ, he is clearly off the ground of faith.

1889 232 It must doubtless have excited the attention of even the careless observer, that this is a day marked, not only by the wonderful development of man's power and resources, but by many a busy and active philanthropic scheme. I enter not into them, only seeking to point out the ground which they take as unsafe for the believer, in fact, helping to consummate the apostasy. The end proposed by man is, the blessing of his species; to this end all means are to be rendered subservient — Legislation, Science, Machinery, Education, Christianity. Now it is manifest, that the three first can only affect the present state of man; and although the two last may have an onward and future aspect, they may not be used as such, but at the best for man's moral and intellectual improvement. Now in the estimation of God, the condition of man before Him is so bad, that it is absolutely irremediable. Every experiment of God on man (to speak after the manner of men) has failed; and, instead of improving, has only tended to develop successively and increasingly the weakness and perverseness of man.

Hence the end of God's philanthropy as revealed in His word, is salvation, deliverance out of such a state as this altogether, and not the improvement of it. "According to His mercy He saved us," not only in reference to man's lack of claim on Him, but in reference to the greatness and kind of the salvation itself which could never have entered into the thought of the creature. As the starting point, the worthlessness of man is acknowledged; the cross is God's estimate of the flesh, i.e., man as he is: all this faith recognises. "By the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost — here is the manner of the salvation; not the improvement of anything old, but the introduction of a new existence; the bringing out of that family, whose inheritance is sin and death, into union with the Head of another family, from whom flow Spirit and Life. It is a new life — life out of death — new in its origin, its objects, and desires, and requiring an aliment peculiar to itself — the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Thus the inheritance is not that of sin and sorrow, but of eternal life.

Now, unless we start from the same point as God, and have the same object in view, all our attempts will end in disappointment and disaster. The starting point with God is the irremediable evil of man; and the remedy a new one, even resurrection-life. It is Jesus and the resurrection which is to be preached, as the only adequate remedy. To take, therefore, either a more favourable view of the present constitution of man than God does, or to propose any remedy short of the resurrection to meet it (dignify it with whatever name we may), is only to deceive ourselves through false philosophy. Our blessed Lord clearly saw what expectations man would form as to the result of His wondrous love and condescension, in coming into such a world as this. They would look for so great an amelioration in the condition of man, as to make the present state one of possible, if not of probable, enjoyment. But how completely does He nullify any such expectation — "Suppose ye, that I am come to give peace on earth?" (Luke xii. 51). Such would be the necessary consequence of the introduction of a new life. Had it been merely an improvement of the old life, it would have been borne, and hailed as a blessing by man; for all men naturally allow to a consistent christian an advance on them in degree, but not a difference from them in kind. But the new life comes into direct collision with the old, and must cause necessary discomfort here, and be, in its exercise, a continual course of self-denial — a hating of our lives in this world.

Now the end which philanthropy proposes, is confessedly nothing beyond the improvement of the old life; and it is not now my purpose to urge farther the failure of such an attempt, but rather to show the necessary collision into which philanthropy and Christianity must come; in other words, that the way of God and the way of man to meet evil, not coinciding, must issue in conflict; and that one trial of the faith of the disciples of Christ will arise from philanthropy. Everything is now rapidly tending to the concentration of the powers of man against the evil of his condition; the barriers of ages which appear hitherto to have prevented the full exercise of these powers, are falling before them one after another, and a fair field seems opening to man for the experiment of the regeneration of his species.

Now, whilst Christianity may lend its aid to further this scheme, it will be tolerated, praised, and caressed; but the moment Christians assert their own principles, and stand on their own ground, that is, the resurrection, it will cast such shame and contempt on the efforts of philanthropy, as to be esteemed an enemy and a hindrance in its way. Whilst man is working to his end, God assuredly is to His; and that is to bring out His own into separateness from everything foreign to them; and this is no less evident to him who can judge all things, than the movement of the spirit of the age in philanthropical schemes. At this very day we see this work of God's Spirit among Christians, so as to cause dissatisfaction with all around them; and although we be slow in distinguishing His leadings, and are liable to the seductions of error, yet the result is the desire awakened of occupying our own ground according to scripture, and standing simply on the Lord's side.

1889 249 Viewed in the light of God's truth, philanthropy is the minding the things of the flesh. Give it all the success to which it aspires, grant it all its usefulness, death ends all its efforts: to mind the things of the flesh is death. Here it is that the reality of Christianity begins, where philanthropy ends. It starts from death unto life: to mind things of the Spirit is life and peace. Hence where real Christianity as an active living energy is exhibited, it necessarily must thwart, however unobtrusive in itself, the vain and impotent effort of man to better the condition of his species by schemes of his own devising. The time may come when men will even think they are doing God service in slaying the real disciples of Christ; for these alone will appear to stand in the way of the perfection of that system, which man would fain raise as a monument of his own greatness.

It appears to me that the separation of the two great principles of the gospel, justification by Christ; and life in the Spirit — in other words, Jesus and the Resurrection — has given rise to a most unhealthy state of things; either leaving professed believers in practical ungodliness, or encouraging a morbid sentimentality, in either case justifying worldliness. The distinction between flesh and Spirit has often been held in justification of sin; the cross being gloried in only selfishly, and not realised in its moral power of crucifying the world unto us, and as our power too against the dominance of sin. On the other hand, those who have most systematically contended for the Spirit, have but owned it as a higher influence, working on the mind unto a certain indescribable sentiment called spirituality, but only tending to form an inner circle of worldliness, where the excrescences that offend reason or morality may be lopped off. But Christianity with them is mere sentiment; and when so called evangelicalism is professed, it answers, for the most part, to the stony-ground hearers. The truths of Christianity are brought to work on the natural affections, causing excitement and busy activity, but giving no peace, no victory, no stability: in time of trial on account of the word, they fall away. Now these last are most forward in schemes simply philanthropical.

Now the scriptures set before us flesh and Spirit as two distinct departments conversant with different subjects. Wide indeed is the range of flesh, all the phenomena of man's constitution, and the world around him, that which meets the eye; but it is bounded: the things which are seen are temporal, and death is their end, or at least separates us from them. On the other hand, vast is the range of the Spirit; they are things which "eye hath not seen"; all the realities revealed to faith, and opening a field for the exercise of an enlightened understanding. It is true indeed, that the works of God, and His ways in providence, will be an object of interest to the Spirit (for the spiritual man examines all things, though the flesh cannot intrude into its department, 1 Cor. ii. 14). But the difference will be, that they will be looked on as declaring the glory of God; and the flowers of the field will so much display it, that all the glory of Solomon, yea all the achievements of men, will sink into obscurity. The natural man rejoices in the works of his hands, — the spiritual in the works of God. "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Ps. cxi. 2).

These two departments, therefore, have their definite tendencies, death and life. Hence the great practical power of a believer to live above present things in his conversance with those of a higher range. "Live in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." But to mind the things of the flesh is enmity against God. It is to occupy the field that He has given up to judgment — to say that we can better it, after He was rejected Who had all blessing in His hand. It is to try the miserable experiment of getting good out of those very things which crucified the Lord of glory. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." All that is in the world passeth away. He alone that doeth the will of God, walking with Him in unity of object and purpose, abideth for ever. Every thing now is finding its place; and may the Lord's people know theirs to be, that they, being risen with Christ, may seek and mind the things above, and be content to be expectants for real and abiding good, till Christ Who is their Life shall be manifested, and then they shall be perfectly conformed to Him, the second Man, the Lord from heaven, Head of the new creation, where there shall be no more curse, or sorrow, or death.