BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Expository lectures on the epistle to the Ephesians

by Robert James M'Ghee



Ephesians I.—11, 12.

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worlceth all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."

This world were indeed a weary pilgrimage to the believer, if he were not cheered in all his trials and sorrows by the way, with the blessed hope of eternal rest, in that which is to come. "If in this life only" saith the Apostle, "we have hope in Christ, we art

* Service for the Burial of the Dead.

of all men most miserable."—1 Cor. xv. 19. Even here, the prospect of any future good, if it be reasonably well founded, liable, as it is, to ten thousand contingencies, still cheers and supports th« heart through many intervening years of anxious expectation—as we are told, "Jacob served seven yea?'s for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her."— Gen. xxix. 20. And if that be so with respect to this world, in reference to the future hopes of time, how much more, when the heart is enabled to repose with a solid assurance of hope upon that blessed "rest" which "remaineth for the people of God." This supports the believer under all trials, yea, in the most afflictive of them—" Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts, all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" saith the Psalmist; but in the midst of these deep waters, faith looks up and cries —" Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."—Ps. xlii. 7, 11. Therefore, we see, that the Apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit, continually cherish and strengthen the hope of the believer in his blessed Lord; for in direct proportion to our faith in the promises of God, and, therefore, to our hope of attaining the blessings which those promises hold out to us. so shall we be lifted up above the things of time and sense, and be enabled to realize and live for that eternal world of glory, where we look for an incorruptible inheritance. With this view, the Apostles, you perceive, confidently dwelt on God's eternal covenant promises—as, for instance, in Hebrews vi., where the Apostle, speaking of the covenant and oath of God, says, "that by two immutable things" (namely, God's covenant and oath) "in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."—Heb. vi. 18, 19. So he prays for his brethren, Rom. xv. 13—" Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." So, he exhorts the Ephesians, that they may be enabled to lift up their head in all their difficulties, to " take the helmet of salvation."— Eph. vi. 17; and he explains this in 1 Thessalonians, v. 8—" putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation"

There could be no confidence of hope without a security of the inheritance for which we hope. Therefore, the glorious covenant of salvation gives that inheritance, makes it over, with everlasting security, to all the elect people of God. This hope must be built alone on Jesus. When men know not the Gospel of Jesus, they cannot understand—they oppose—they hate the doctrine of any assurance of hope; therefore, this doctrine is opposed by all the principles of the Papacy: there is no such thing as assurance of hope within the pale of Rome. How can there be, when, in the darkness of Papal error, man's salvation is made to depend on hia own works? Well, indeed, may such a system of ignorance as that, shut out the security and joy of hope from the soul. So, in the same manner, this grand fundamental doctrine of consolation, is also shut out from that similar system, on which, I am sorry to have occasion to remark, but which it is necessary that the faithful minister of Christ should notice in these days—that heresy in our own church, which is another form of Popery, setting up the works of man, and the sacraments, as the ground of his trust, instead of Christ, or what is virtually the same, in conjunction with Christ. There can be no such thing as assurance of hope in such a system—impossible! it opposes and denies the Gospel. The Gospel of Christ alone—Jesus, his precious blood poured out for the guilty, his finished righteousness, wrought out for man, in which Jehovah declares, he is "well pleased," that, and that alone, affords security and joyful hope to the fallen sinner.

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