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whole armour of God, and exhorts the Church, the living family of God, to take unto them the whole armour of God, he mentions every other piece of the panoply first, and then says, " above all-above alltake with you the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Now, my hearers, there are two descriptions of hurling of fiery darts, and they are both of such sort that faith only can quench them. The one is the hurling of the Prince of Darkness himself; the other is the hurling of his agents, as they did at Joseph of old—the archers shot at him, wounded him, and grieved him sorely, but did not destroy him. Now we need this faith for both these purposes.

There is no resisting Satan successfully but in the cxercise of faith. His fiery darts will be too much for you, if you endeavour to meet them by carnal reason, with worldly attainments, with anything that belongs to the creature. There is no meeting him but with “ It is written;" and it is written, asserted boldly, “by faith.” Then we quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. So also with the archers that are shooting constantly at God's people with all their spleen, their envy, their squibs and reviews, and the rest of their wickedness, aided and set on by the devil—the best way to meet them all is, Well, it is written again ; " vengeance is mine, and I will repay.” We ward off all by that. I think we lose a good deal of time in our warfare by considering how we are to resist that, and how ward off the other. We have nothing to do with it. Let the world frown ; let hypocritical professors show their spleen and enmity; what is that to us? It is God they are aiming at; it is God they are hurling their fiery darts at. We have only to take up the shield of faith, and sing, • Who is he that shall harm us if we be followers of that which is good ?" And probably there is no more effectual mode of using the shield for this purpose than by just securing ourselves behind it, and praying for our enemies, and persecutors, and slanderers, and those who say all manner of evil concerning us for Christ's sake. Then take that shield with you—the shield of faith—and screen yourselves behind it.

III.—I will now proceed to speak of the wealth which this faith realizes. It is a substance. Now, most people would be ready to travel a good many miles in order to learn how to acquire wealth. They would forego many things of carnal use to get riches; they rise early, they sit up late; and they eat the bread of carefulness with that object in view. But, after all, they make a terrible mistake. My hearers, this is not true wealth. The man who can say that he is the owner of £100,000 or £500,000, and who stands in the position which Solomon describes, is not a rich man.

Solomon says,

7 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: a man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth thereof; this is yanity, and it is an evil disease.” Believe me, that he can do better without it; be cause, even supposing the white and yellow dust which men call wealth be accumulated, and spent liberally in the cause of God, and is thus a blessing to the owner, yet after all it is wealth, the wings of which you cannot tie-you cannot confine it in a cage-you cannot chain it to a parrot's stump—you cannot retain it for ever in your grasp. Riches make to themselves wings, they fly away, and defy all control. But the wealth which faith realises is altogether of a different kind,

It has no wings. It is not subject to thieves; none of them can break through and steal it. It cannot be hoarded up, and be useless to its possessor; for it is that good principle which works by love. And thus faith realises the inheritance both of grace and of glory, and by it the title deeds to both are clearly read and lodged in the bosom of Deity. Oh, happy man, who goes so far in the attainment of faith! The wealth which faith realises is an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for all who are kept by the power of God through faith. And I beseech you to mark the twofold description I have just given: all grace and glory; and faith lays a claim to both. Have you looked at the fulness of grace in Jesus Christ? Have

you
laid
your

hands upon it? And can you sing, as we sometimes do sing, from our First Card Tract?

“All that He is, and has, and does, I claim ;

To all His promises He writes my name.” Having gone thus far, faith looks for no gloomy hours in which to sit down and wring her hands, and cry, “ I have lost my all ”—a phrase which I have heard perhaps hundreds of times; and whenever I have heard it, I have turned aside and said, “ Poor wretch! I pity you from my very heart.” They are just like poor Micah with the golden images, which he called his gods. When the ruffian band of Danites broke into his house and stole them for the sake of their gold, “Oh!" said he, “ they have taken away my gods. I have lost my all !" If you take away the worldly man's wealth, he has lost his all. But faith has no such gloomy hours as these : faith comes to the point which is so beautifully and powerfully described by one of the poets :

* Good when He gives—supremely good

Nor less when He denies ;
E'en crosses, in His sovereign hand,

Are blessings in disguise." I am not fond of relating anecdotes in the pulpit; but I cannot refrain on the present occasion from telling you one which I heard from my dear father's lips when I was a boy. It was of a godly man who possessed much wealth, and used it for the glory of God, but who lived to prove that he could not clip its wings. All flew away, and he was reduced to living in a furnished room, where he was supported entirely by the charity of his friends. One of his visitors who had been very kind to him, once asked him this question, “ How is it that I find you to be as happy now as when you were in possession of all your wealth ?" His immediate answer was, “ When I possessed all this world's goods, I enjoyed God in all ; and now I

possess none I enjoy all in God.” Now that is faith; that is substance; a fine specimen, a fine witness of it. God grant us the same description of faith; all the grace in Jesus Christ, all the promises of His Word, all the influences and operations of the Holy Spirit, and all the communications of life Divine in constant supply. Then faith looks far beyond

“ But I am only a minor yet; I am not come of age yet. As soon as this trial is ended, and these conflicts are over, this school-room business is closed. There is my home and my Father's house. Then I shall know something of what is meant by the riches in glory. Now I only know of all my needs being supplied from thence. Then I shall know by gazing upon the entire store, entering into the

it all, and says,

secret of the Lord, being acquainted with the heights, the depths, the lengths, and the breadths of eternal love, and filled with all the fulness of God.

Now, by way of conclusion :- I thank God that I have been able to say so much as I have done. Let me remind you that the title deeds to all this wealth are read clearly by faith, and lodged in the bosom of Deity. Faith understands such a passage of Scripture as this, " The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God. If children, then heirs—heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.”. Oh! says faith, here is the whole account of the title deeds a blessed copy of that which is in the archives of heaven. I am a child. The Spirit has borne witness to that. My new nature has testified to that. The prospect is open to my view. If a child, then an heir. And an heir cannot be disinherited. Not only an heir, but a joint-heir; and it is just as easy to disinherit Christ Himself as it is to disinherit me. I know that some would consider this exceedingly presumptuous; but I should not be happy without it. No, says faith, it would be just as easy to disinherit Christ as to disinherit me, because I am joint-heir with Jesus Christ, and consequently all that He is enjoying in mediatorial glory is to be participated in by all for whom He bled, agreeably to His declaration to His Father, “The glory Thou hast given me I give unto them, that they may be one as we are one." Let me ask, then, can you read your title? Can you read the writings of your inheritance so as not to be mistaken? Can you peruse the Spirit's description in His own book, the Spirit's copy of it in your own hearts, and the Spirit's testimony of it before the Church of God in the world? If so, then look for more of the purifying operations of the faith of God's elect, and expect the consummation of your bliss in the full possession of your patrimony at the right hand of God in heaven.

May He command a blessing on His Word, for His dear name's sake. Amen.

HYMN.

No. 260, GROVE CHAPEL HYMNS.
Arise, my soul, earth cannot give,

A taste of true delight;
By faith, in Him who lov'd thee, live,

Be strong in Jesus' might.
The life of faith will arm the soul,

Against ten thousand foes,
The rage of earth and hell control,

Whenever they oppose.
The life of faith is life Divine,

'Tis heav'n begun below;
May but this precious life be mine,

I'll all things else forego.
'Tis peace in war, in storms 'tis calm,

"Tis riches to the poor,
It brings, for every woe, a balm,

And points to heavenly store.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][graphic][merged small][merged small]

a Discourse, Delivered in Grove Chapel, Camberwell, Sunday Morning, Sept. 3, 1848,

BY THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.

And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became

obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”—Philippians ii. 8. Every minute circumstance relating to the incarnation, sufferings, and triumphs of the precious Christ of God, demands the minute attention of every child of God; and every phrase or word employed by the Holy Ghost to set forth His Person, His official character, and His perfect work, will be found, upon close and prayerful consideration and meditation, to be full of meaning and of instruction. All the characters He assumes—all the names and appellations given to Him—all the figurative expressions employed respecting Him, have in themselves something extensively important and instructive, and we do well to meditate upon them, without allowing the idea of their sameness for one moment to cross our minds; for the variation of every single word, descriptive of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, demands the closest investigation.

I am led to this remark at the opening of my discourse by the impression made upon my own mind in the reading of this verse, by the word, “ fashion," " being found in fashion.” I could not help diverting my attention for a moment unto the foolish use made of this word, and contemplating what apes and fools persons make of themselves, spending almost their last sixpence to follow what they call the fashion of the day. And then we are frequently told that some great personage set the fashion. Now I have to invite your attention this morning to the great personage who has set a fashion that he will never allow to be changed; and if you don't go to heaven in the fashion I am about

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to describe, you can never get there at all. It is the fashion Jesus Christ Himself was found in, not merely as a man.

We must go a little into particulars about it, and if you think I am likely to be a man of fashion this week, I shall plead guilty to it, and not shrink from it. But, mind you, I am to keep the fashion before me.

Moses was a man of “ fashion.” He was commanded to make everything relative to the tabernacle after the “ fashion” shown to him. So also the people of the living God, as they pass through the world, are directed not to fashion themselves according to the former lusts in their ignorance. Moreover, even the prospect of glory is put into these words: “He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” And so I shall have to tell you this morning, that he that is in “fashion” with Christ on the earth, shall be in fashion with Him in heaven, and have a body "fashioned like unto His glorious body,” to wear in His presence to all eternity.

This will suffice by way of exordium, although I could say some very severe things about the followers of worldly “fashion;" but it is of no use; for sure I am that unless the grace of God teaches them with regard to their appearance before the world, and the circumstances in which they move, no argument of mine will do it. I shall, therefore, at once come to the subject, and, first, dwell a little on the - fashion "in which Christ was found; then on the obedience and suffering He endured in that “ fashion;" and, thirdly, upon His rendering that “ fashion ” permanent and unchangeable.

1.—Let us keep to old-fashioned things, as this is the "fashion " set before us. First, let us offer a word or two about the “fashion" in which Christ was found; “ being found in fashion as a man," sinless humanity was his “ fashion ”-sinless humanity, pure, holy, harmless, undefiled; and yet it was a perfect humanity, body and soul, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, not ashamed to call us brethren. Nay, more, it is emphatically stated that He was made in all things like unto His brethren, yet without sin. There is the “fashion." Our precious Redeemer would not have been competent to His work, had this not been the case. There were thousands of sinful men on the earth, who had been made the recipients of God's grace, many of whom had been employed as prophets, seers, and priests, under the Old Testament dis pensation; and many of them were sent of God for the accomplishment of His all-important work. But not one of them, nor all of them together, would do for a mediator-not one of them, nor all of them together, would do for a surety, a substitute. There was not one without the taint and corruption of Adam's nature, the blood of his fallen state running through all their veins. It follows, therefore, that the glorious Personage found in this sinless fashion was Himself sinless.

A body hast Thou prepared me." A body prepared in the ordinary way of generation would not have done. The Holy Ghost overshadowed the Virgin: as it is written—"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God”-as sinless in His manhood as in His godhead—as incapable of sin in His human nature as in His divine. From His birth to His death, the world, and Satan, and the scribes and Pharisees, looked with eagle eyes, but found nothing in Him. His own challenge ran, “ Which of you convinceth me of sin ?" The Father's testimony even of His

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