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been careful to do His works, but have followed the dictates of their own mind, and built with word, hay, and stubble. All these works will perish, and those works alone which are according to Christ Jesus will endure : and to those that shall have wrought them, there shall be a reward.* Therefore, my brethren, if you would not suffer loss in that day, but secure unto yourselves a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away, you must “ keep the works of Christ, and bring forth those fruits of righteousness which are, by Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. See then that ye so abide in Christ—" He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces, even as I have received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”+
1 Cor. iii. 12-15.
+ Rev. iii. 26-29.
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CONTENTS OF THE SERIES.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH
From his creation up to the period of our Lord's death, and previous to the dispensation of the Gospel, man, as the creature of God, continued essentially the same, save that, by the fall, a sad change was wrought in the moral state of his being, and his condition became most lamentably evil. For in the fall, man, with all his creation endowments and powers, came under bondage to sin, and to death, the wages of sin. Such was also the condition of the children of God-i.e., of those who believed the revelation of God, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head—for, partaking of flesh and blood, they inherited the sin of their brethren, and were not exempt from its evil consequences, save that they were justified through faith in Christ, the promised Messiah, and sustained by His power. These walked before God by faith, clothed with such additional institutions and commandments as were equally adapted to their fallen condition, and the change in their circumstances arising out of the covenant of redemption, under which they were henceforth placed. Before the fall, man, created in the image and likeness of God, dwelt in the Divine presence, and rejoiced in the righteousness of his God. But now, fallen and degraded, and necessarily
subject to sin and death, he was bid to look for the gift of righteousness to “the Seed of the woman,” and his faith and hope were suspended on the promises of God—a faith which, stretching forward through all the intervening periods of time, rested on the advent and work of the Messiah for life and peace. His condition, however, like Adam's after his fall, continued to be fleshly; and though, as before, he still was constituted of body, soul, and spirit, his flesh was stripped of its original beauty and glory; and the spiritual capacity which he had for receiving the things of God was weakened and limited by the power of sin : yet was he spared, and placed under another law—the law of redemption. Man was then no longer seen standing in obedience to the law of his Creator, which he had so shamefully violated, nor obnoxious to its penalties because of disobedience, but, through faith in the promise made by God, coming into a condition of pardon, and standing in the law of a Redeemer provided by His mercy,
in order to his continued existence and preservation.
Nor did the Law of Moses, subsequently introduced, in subserviency to the.eternal purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, make any difference in this respect. Whatever might be the advantage which it gave to the Jew over his brethren in the faith, it wrought no change in the fleshly condition of man. Because, as we have seen, in a former subject, when speaking of the righteousness of man under the Law,* its sanctuary was a worldly sanctuary, and the entire framework of its
* No. IX.