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expressed in the Apostle's letter to the church at Galatia: 'And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.?* The same glorious and all-absorbing truth is again presented in the epistle to the church at Corinth: "Therefore let no man glory in men : for all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's: and Christ is God's.'+
A greater truth was never presented to the human mind than is contained in these passages. From them, we may gather some idea of our immense possessions. Not only heirs of God, but joint heirs with Christ! Speaking of believers, a writer breaks forth in the following eloquent strain :- They are heirs of God, they do inherit God himself. Their Father is their portion; man leaves his heirs what he has, God gives his heirs what he is. He which gives them the inheritance is the inheritance itself, which he gives them, by being not only heir to him, but heirs of him; they have an interest in all his attributes. His wisdom is theirs to guide and direct them. His power is theirs to sustain and preserve them; theirs to relieve and succor them! O happy and blessed privilege of God's adopted ones! They are not only heirs of heaven, but heirs of God himself! They have him for their portion and exceeding great reward. They are heirs with Christ; as Christ is God's heir, so are they heirs with Christ. Christ is God's heir by nature, as he is the Son of God by nature; whatever is God's is his, and they are heirs with Christ. They are members of him, and shall be heirs with him, 1 Cor. iii. ult. All is yours, and ye are Christ's, Eph. i. 11. In him we have obtained an inheritance; we are the heirs in his right. O blessed Jesus! How endearing are our obligations to thee! All that we have is from thee, by thee, and in thee!
+ 1 Cor. iii. 21–23.
* Gal. iv. 6, 7.
We are chosen in thee, justified by thee, sanctified through thee, and shall be glorified with thee.'*
How glorious! A joint heir with the great Redeemer ! A part of his inheritance, and yet an heir with him !t How mysterious, and yet how plain is the great plan of redemption ! 'He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?' I As we proceed in our labor, glory on glory beams upon the soul. A writer remarks, that this heirship is the most extraordinary of all: it is not an heirship of any tangible possession, either in heaven or earth; it is not to possess a part, or even the whole, of either : it is to possess Him who made all things—not God's works, but God himself: heirs of GOD through Christ.'
How happy is the lot of the believer! He may not only claim God as his Father, but he may even call himself his heir. He may look to Jesus and claim heirship even with him! What vast, what boundless possessions lie before him. The 'heir of all things' has gone home. He has entered upon the enjoyment of the blessings that flow from his Father's throne. We are his inheritance, and must follow. And we may even now by faith enter upon our great possessions. Finally, we shall be with him, and he with us, for God has promised us the 'inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us.'
* Expository Notes upon the New Testament. By WILLIAM BURKITT, M. A. New Haven, 1794.
† All having our share in this glorious inheritance, though Jesus, as the eldest brother, hath a double portion.—WHITBY.
| Rom. viii. 32.
And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert
from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.'
Isa. xxxii. 2.
This phrase presents itself in three other instances, and is applied to the Supreme Being twice, and to signify a place where the wicked had secured themselves. Psa. xxxii. 7. cxix. 114. Isa. xxviii. 17.
A more beautiful assemblage of ideas was never presented to the mind. We hardly know where to begin, or where to end; but we shall pursue our regular plan of considering one appellative at once. We need not stop for definitions. We will make a single remark in reference to the application of the word to Jehovah. Thou art my hiding-place,' says the Psalmist, xxxii. 7. How pleasing to contemplate God in this light. The same idea is expressed in another form : 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.'* In all the trials of life we may go to our Father in heaven, and he will save us, and compass us about with songs of deliverance.' David often experienced this in his eventful life. He was delivered from the lowest hell.' Often did he express his confidence in
God, and flee to him as to an hiding-place from the storms of trouble. There is the same hiding-place for us all. There is one Being who will never change, who will never forsake us; for, we are told, “The Lord will not cast us off forever.'* In trouble, we may go to his promises and find security. But we must turn from the Father to the Son, as he is the personage alluded to in the passage under consideration.
In what sense then is Jesus an hiding-place?
He is an hiding-place for the mourner. See how many came to him in affliction when he was on earth. The leper came to be cleansed, the lame to be made whole, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, the bereaved to be comforted. Never was there so much disease and affliction presented before one individual since the world began. Yet all were cured. Jesus was an hiding-place for every one. He gave out an invitation broad enough to cover every case of affliction on earth. Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. . For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'t The widow of Nain, the sisters of Lazarus, and Jairus, all found Jesus to be an hiding-place. And even the weary sinner came, laden with guilt and wo, and found security in Jesus, not as one who would approbate his iniquity, but who came with power to cleanse and sanctify. His language was that of peace and comfort. Hear him in a certain case. An adulteress was brought before him by those who seemed eager
* Lam. ii. 31.
† Matt. xi. 28–30.