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and grace, soch profusion on the oil on
d grace for
ur hearts. Iso sealed us, Christ, and
added, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke iv. 14-21.)
We approach now the main point in the investigation. The Anointed One is Head of His body, the Church. The oil on the head of our Aaron descends in rich profusion on His body. As He was full of truth and grace, so have we received of His fulness, and grace for grace. (John i. 10–16.) By receiving anointing from Him, we become unto God “a sweet savour of Christ.” (2 Cor. i. 15.) The unction on Jesus and on us is alike in the anointing medium-even the Holy Ghost. (2 Cor. i. 21.) “Now He that establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." But there is a difference. Jesus received the Spirit, “not by measure”—we by measure, for God giveth to every man severally as He will. Jesus was possessed of an infinite receptivity-our capacity is limited ; and God, in giving to Him and to us works correspondingly to His great law, as Hooker expresses it (i. II. 3), “xpnotws, in most decent and comely sort."
It becomes us now to speak somewhat of the results of the unction.
In the case of buildings and vessels, the result was purely relative. The things underwent no change, but they were dedicated to some new and higher use. They received no positive sanctity. In the case of Kings, Priests, and Prophets, there was granted not only this relative and official sanctity, but also personal fitness for the office imposed, a capacity for its duties, and a dignity meet for its honours.
In the instance of Messiah Himself, the results of the unction are many and great. · Pearson remarks that Kings and Priests were anointed on the head “as the seat of all the animal faculties, the fountain of all dignity, and the original of all the members of the body." Thus Jesus, our Head, was anointed. By this he became “ Head of the Church,” (Col. i. 16–18, « The Head of all Principality and Power.” The oil designed for anointing, was mixed with all principal spices, implying the sweetness and savour imparted to Him who received the anointing in the highest sense. What infinite divine grace did He receive, whereby He was fitted to offer Himself to God, “a sacrifice for a sweet-smelling savour.” (Eph. v. 2.) In a word, our Saviour, by His unction, received each and every fitness for the great work He was to do, the high offices He was to bear, and the surpassing dignity He was to enjoy. How well has Hooker put this in the following eloquent words (Ecc. Pol. V. liv. 6):—"To come to the grace of unction, did the parts of our nature, the soul and body of Christ, receive by the influence of Deity, where
with they were matched, no ability of operation, no quality or virtue above nature ? Surely as the sword which is made fiery doth not only cut by reason of the sharpness which simply it hath, but also burns by means of the heat which it hath from fire, so there is no doubt but the Deity of Christ hath enabled that nature which it took of man to do more than man in this world hath power to comprehend; forasmuch as the bare essential properties of Deity excepted) he hath imparted unto it all things, he hath replenished it with all such perfections as the same is any way apt to receive, at the least according to the exigency of that economy or service for which it pleased Him in love and mercy to be made man. For as the parts, degrees, and offices of that mystical administration did require, which He voluntarily undertook, the beams of Deity did in operation always accord. ingly either restrain or enlarge themselves.”
It remains that we now, with the whole of the question fresh in the mind, come to the verses which we have kept in view all along, and consider what is the result in believers of the unction which they have from the Holy One in whom they live, and to whom they are virtually united. The unction given to believers (as we have seen above) differs greatly in degree from that granted to Jesus, and it has also different manifestations in different believers. It is, nevertheless, very real, effectual, and fruitful. In the verses before us it is declared of this unction that it is possessed by believers—that it is given us from the Holy One, Christ--that it enables the believer to know all things—that it abideth permanently in them, and that by its abiding in them they are able to abide in Christ their head. These are great results. One only is open to question,–"Ye know all things.” This must certainly be limited in its signification. The only allowable limitation is that suggested by considering the object of this anointing. We are fitted by it for the proper discharge of every office and duty which becomes ours by union with Jesus Christ by faith. Everything which is useful to us, as children, servants, soldiers, priests, younger brothers, disciples, friends, worshippers, ambassadors or ministers of God our Saviour, is by the Holy Ghost imparted to us. All knowledge of Him as our Head, King, Priest, Prophet, Captain, Righteousness, Sanctification, Wisdom and Redemption, is granted to us all in degree sufficient for our salvation, and to many in degree so eminent that they attain to the “perfect stature of men” in Christ Jesus, and reach unto the knowledge of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. We become followers of the Lord by the joy of the Holy Ghost. Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost are the waters which well up in the heart of him who believes. This is the oil of joy wherewith the Son
of God was anointed above His fellows, and with this same oil His fellows are anointed also. By this, our bodies are consecrated as temples of God, and God dwells in us. Thus we are kept by the indwelling and power of God from fatal errors and destructive courses, and are preserved unto salvation. This unction, which is from Christ, must lead us to Christ more and more. As it is the result of His perfect work and the fruit of His complete character, it will keep us from neglecting any feature of His character, and from disregarding any part of His glorious work. We shall be led by this divine unction to worship Him as perfect God and perfect Man, as Prophet, Priest, and King; and we shall be led on from step to step in the way of faith, obedience, love, and holiness, till at length we shall see Him as He is, and be made like Him. Then, with enlarged powers, and no hinderance from sin, we shall know even as we are known. We shall drink of the fountain of living water which flows forth from the throne of God, and enjoy the full fruition of manifested Deity for ever and ever.
THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. THE Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge differs in one remarkable point from almost every other Religious Association. In the case of Missions to the Heathen, we find two. great organizations representing two leading sections of the Church ; and in the case of Home Missions, something not very dissimilar prevails. But both these sections have, to a very great extent, united in supporting the venerable Society of which we are now to speak. It has held hitherto a course of much moderation and of considerable usefulness; but there are some indications that, unless care be taken, this state of things will in future be seriously endangered. The restless activity and ambition of the Ritualist school is making itself conspicuous in this direction. It is hardly necessary to recal to our readers the events connected with the recent meeting of the members of the Society at Freemason's Hall. On that occasion, no doubt, a severe check was given to the party in question a check the more remarkable, because there can be no doubt that the minority had its numbers swollen by the accession of many of the old High-Church party, and was by no means exclusively composed of pronounced Ritualists. Such support would not always be forthcoming : on the occasion referred to, it arose from the peculiar nature of the question at issue. Still, after
making all allowances of this kind, the result of that meeting, though it proved Ritualism to be in a minority, showed that minority to be a determined one. Those, therefore, who took part in securing the victory on that occasion, cannot afford to rest on their oars. On the contrary, it is probable that the defeat which the Ritualist section then experienced, will only stimulate them to fresh and more vigorous efforts. On the first Tuesday in February, takes place the election of seven members, in order to supply the place of the like number of gentlemen who then retire from the Standing Committee. The retiring members are :-John Boodle, Esq., the Rev. J. W. Buckley, the Rev. Richard Burgess, the Rev. Dr. Miller, the Rev. M. W. Mayow, the Rev. J. D. Hales, and the Rev. Charlton Lane. All but the last offer themselves for re-election.
There can be little doubt that a concerted effort will be made on that occasion, to secure the election of some names regarded with favour by the Ritualist school; and considering the increased influence which the Standing Committee will in future possess, owing to the opinion of Counsel that they alone can originate grants—the question is one of no small importance. It is, therefore, very desirable that there should be as large an agreement as possible as to the parties for whom votes are to be given, whether for re-election, or as new candidates. Unless there be a common understanding on this head, not only among those members of the Society who belong to the Evangelical school, but also among the more moderate High-Churchmen, both lay and clerical, the compact phalanx of Ritualism may be expected to hew its way through divided opponents. As regards any new names that may be put in nomination, it is to be hoped that they will be such as to command general respect from all who are not Ritualists, for it is at present a wise course for all parties who wish for the welfare of the Society to agree on men of wisdom and moderation. The clear duty just now is not for voters to attempt to return the candidates whom they themselves may prefer, but to vote for those who will obtain the most general support from all but the extreme section in the Society.* It is very unlikely that success will be achieved at the February election without an effort nearly if not quite as great as that which brought about the majority at the Freemason's Hall Meeting.
Should, however, this crisis pass over successfully, there will still remain another matter deserving of careful attention. The ordinary meetings of the Society are held on the first Tuesday in every month, at the Society's House in Lincoln's Inn Felds, and commence at 2 P.M. At these meetings the extreme party
* The nomination of candidates will have taken place before this paper appears. But the important part remains to secure unity of choice among them.
Vol. 68.-No. 373.
are in the habit, on most questions on which they lay much stress, of mustering a compact force, and not unfrequently obtaining a majority. This is disheartening to their opponents, who, if not better supported, may perhaps hardly think it worth while to spend time and trouble when defeat is certain. With so large a body of clergy in the metropolis, and with Lincoln'sInn and the Temple (not to speak of the city counting-houses) at no great distance, surely there might be a better attendance on the part of those who object to see the Society pass into the hands of an extreme section. At present there is a tone, on the part of speakers of that section, very painful to listen to, but not without some justification from the course of events,-as if their views were the recognised maxims of the Meeting, and as if opposition to them proceeded from an inconsiderable minority. The remarkable assurance which orators and writers of this school invariably display, even when advocating the most paradoxical propositions, may in some degree account for this manner of speaking; but it is much to be wished that the divi. si n at the close of the debate afforded, more constantly than it does, a conclusive refutation to such claims. The Rev. C. D. Marston has recently published an interesting pamphlet on “ The Position of the Laity in the Church,”* to which we would direct the notice of our readers on many accounts. At this moment, however, we refer to it on account of the bearing which it appears to have on our immediate subject. We shall not, therefore, enter into the question of lay representation in Church Synods (to which his opinion appears to incline), but shall leave that disputed point on one side. We would merely ask, in general terms, whether he is in any degree right, when he says,—“Let them (the laity) ascertain their position, claim it, win it, fill it, for the glory of Christ and the welfare of their Church. It is the deepening conviction of not a few, that upon their doing so speedily, heartily, determinately, depends very much the safety and usefulness of the Church of England for the future.” Because, if so, it seems the first and most obvious step that the lay members of such a body as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge should begin to vindicate their position. No doubt this in not to be done without trouble and sacrifice of time. Nothing valuable can be achieved without these ; and the only question for a conscientious man seems to be, whether the point at issue be worth them. It is of course conceivable that differences of opinion may exist on this head; but when this point is once decided in the affirmative, the duty of making the effort, at some expense of time and trouble, can hardly be denied, and ought not to be evaded. The truth is, the Church is endangered by the Ritualist school, because the sober,
* Hunt and Co., Holles Street.