ministry is indeed no slight "warfare ;"* that service, "according to the pattern seen on the mount,” is something very different from the correct drawing-room Christianity of the present day. And this deep sense of the cross, as the price of service, comes out all through this Gospel. A single word added to what is recorded by the other Evangelists, again and again sets this in the very clearest light. Thus when the

young man comes, and asks, “What lack I yet,” in St. Matthew the Lord's answer is, “ Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven." St. Mark, in recording the same scene, repeats these words, only adding, “ And take up thy cross;+ for the Servant, though He has made Himself poor, does not the less feel that herein there is a cross to carry. So again, in the answer of our Lord, when “Peter began to say, Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee,” in St. Mark alone do we read, that with the reward shall come the cross :-“He shall receive a hundred-fold in this time....with persecutions." I

But enough. Blessed be God that such service has been seen on earth; that there has been such a hand, such an eye, and such a heart here, See Numbers iv. 23, 30 margin ; and compare 1 Tim. i. 18. + Chap. x. 21. Compare Mat. xix. 21.

Chap. x. 30. Compare Mat. xix. 29.

among the sons of men. And blessed be God, that by the same Spirit He waits to mould us to His pattern, yea, that He has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His beloved Son. And if the Head was content to serve thus; if while He tarried here, He lived to meet the need of all who sought succour;—if now risen He is yet the same, still the loving Worker, interceding within the veil, and working here too for us ;-if He shall yet serve us,

« for the less is blessed of the greater,” when in the coming kingdom He shall still lead His flock to living fountains, and wipe away their tears ;shall not we whom He has purchased, in whom He seeks to dwell, who are His witnesses in a world which knows Him not, wait upon Him until His mantle fall on us, and His Spirit, “the oil which was upon the Head,” run down even to us also; till we catch the mind of heaven, and are made like unto the angels, children of God and children of resurrection, called to stand in the presence of God, and yet to serve, as ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation. God is serving “the Father worketh,”—Oh! what works of love, from the rain and fruitful seasons up to the mighty work of raising man from earth to highest heaven; and Christ has served, and is serving; and the Holy Ghost is serving, taking of the things of Christ, to reveal them to us, and then to work them in us; and angels are serving, and saints are serving, and the Church proclaims her call, that she too because redeemed must be a servant here, and that her rulers are but servants, yea servants of servants; and heaven is serving earth, and earth the creatures on it. So let us, after our pattern, being redeemed go forth to serve also. “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily, He shall gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and He will come forth and serve them.” O Lord, Thou canst perform it; perform it to Thy praise; Oh ! shew us the glory of Thy service, full of grace and truth, that in its presence we may be changed; and, as we have borne the image of the earthy, may even here bear to Thy glory the image of the heavenly. Amen.




“The third living-creature had a face as a Man."— Rev. iv. 7. “I drew them with the cords of a Man."Hos. xi. 4.

“The third living-creature had a face as a Man,” agreeable to which the third Gospel sets forth the Lord as Son of Adam, or Son of Man. Unlike St. Mark, where the peculiar view of our Lord had to be gathered from nice details, each in itself comparatively trifling, yet when summed up affording a picture full of character and distinctness, St. Luke throughout writes very broadly and plainly the memoir of the Son of Man, shewing the Lord as very Man, and therefore linked not only to a certain kingdom, but to all the Sons of Adam. Here is man according to God, the pattern Man, in and through whom man is blessed and God glorified, seen not only in moral perfectness, but in all the sufferings and honours, which according to God's purpose are the heritage of the sons of men; first humbled into the dust of death, then exalted to God's right hand, His image and likeness to rule as Lord of all. For man had been God's image, set by Him to rule the creature; and though this image had failed in the first Adam, it was to be renewed with greater blessings in “the Second Man, the Lord from heaven."*

This is the picture drawn by St. Luke. And as in St. Matthew, the Gospel of the kingdom, we had the professing children of the kingdom, and their zeal for God, though not according to knowledge,—their washings of the outside of the cup, their tithing mint and cummin, their compassing sea and land to make one proselyte,set very brightly in contrast with the true Heir, and His kingdom of righteousness, and joy, and peace, in the Holy Ghost; so here in the Gospel of the Son of Man, as the pattern Man walks before us, we

have men as they are set side by side, in strong and marked contrast, with man as he should be, the Man Christ Jesus.

In this relation, as Son of Man, the Lord holds two offices,ť both of which, as they result from His being very Man, meet us very

* 1 Cor. xv. 47.

+ I have said that our Lord as Man holds two offices, because these two, Apostle, and High-priest, God's messenger to man, and man's to God, involve or are connected, I believe, with all the others, which He holds as Son of Man,

« VorigeDoorgaan »