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children of Abraham, and stand in your lot, whatever it may be, in the end of the days.* You shall "see the good of the Lord's chosen, and rejoice in the gladness of his nation, and glory with his inheritance."+ The Church shall then, like the queen of Sheba, witness a greater than Solomon's wisdom; and when she hath seen the glorious house that he hath "built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel," then, like Sheba's queen again, there shall be no more spirit in her; and she shall say, "Howbeit, I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it; and, behold, the HALF was not told me!"
* Rom. iv. 12; vii. 25; viii. 1.
+ Ps. cvi.
1 Kings x. 7; and compare Heb. iii. 6, Rev. ii. 17, Heb. i. 6, Matt. xix. 28, Rev. xx. 4, Is. lii. 1, and Phil. iii. 21.
THE COVENANT WITH DAVID.
BY THE REV. C. J. GOODHART, A.M.,
MINISTER OF ST. MARY'S EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, READING.
2 SAMUEL VII. 17.
According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.”
"THE Word of God," my dear brethren, “is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." This is a powerful description of the way in which the Word of God deals with the individual sinner when it has reached him by the teaching of the Holy Ghost. It places him apart, it singles him out from the whole world, and he stands conscious that God is saying unto him, "Thou art the man." And he feels under the
power of that Word, as if there were not another creature besides himself on whom the eye of God is fixed. Have you ever experienced—let me ask before I pass on—have you ever experienced this personal dealing of God the Spirit with your heart?
Have you ever felt singled out thus to stand alone ? Have you ever been so set apart from the whole world, that you seemed alone, and the eye of God upon you? But, my dear brethren, the Word of God does not leave the sinner here. When by this individual application of the power of God's Spirit to the soul-it has brought him to Christ, it soon leads him on to feel and to understand that he is the member of a family. It makes him sensible that he is connected more or less with all around him, with Jew and Gentile, with the Church, and the world. That he is, in short, now a member of the Church of Jesus, united with the whole family of God-linked with and interested in all the purposes of God, and deeply concerned both in all that relates to those purposes, and in all those who are involved with himself in their blessed issue. But, again, in the first instance, it is probable that some particular portion of truth has produced a remarkable effect upon his soul; it often happens that some passage
of God's word stands out in the conviction of the sinner's conscience, and makes
more than an ordinary impression upon him, and when that is the case, he is more peculiarly drawn to the consideration of the truth contained in it. He is taken up with it, and is so interested in it, that for a season no other portion appears to his mind of equal value and importance. But will he stop here? No.
If rightly instructed in the Word of God, he will leave the first principles of the Gospel of Christ and go on unto perfection. He will not stop at any particular truth as if it were the whole truth, but he will go on to take in and receive, by the teaching of the blessed Spirit, all the fulness of God's revelation in its rich and large generality; and he will look at all its details, because he knows that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. And, therefore, instead of being the reader of a few chapters in the Bible, instead of confining his attention to a portion only of the Word of God, while all the rest is laid aside, he takes up the whole volume, he searches and prays over it from one end to the other; he seeks the application of God's Spirit on every portion of it, and searches for the lessons to be learned out of every part of it.
Now, in respect to both these points which
we have thus touched on, we consider that the Christian Church, of late, has taken a standing very far below that which it ought to have. For instance, with respect to the first point, we believe that the spiritual welfare and salvation of the individual soul has been, not too earnestly, for that would be impossible, but too exclusively the object of the Christian. We believe that the children of God have said, I have my own soul to attend to, this is the great end I have in view, and so long as that is done, I am satisfied; forgetting, altogether, that they are members of a family, and failing, therefore, in a great measure, to identify themselves with all the Church of the redeemed, even with the whole of the body of the Lord Jesus. While, as regards the other point we have noticed, Christians have also come short, for they have laid hold of
particular truths, and singled out particular doctrines, -fundamental they may have been, but still a portion only of God's truth,—and have thus left out of sight all that length and breadth of truth which is open to us in God's Word. They have just taken up a portion here and a portion there, which they have considered might be profitable for their own instruction, forgetting that it is their bounden duty to study and embrace the whole. But, my dear brethren, we thank God