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To believe that everything we do, or say, or think, is under the eye of the Lord Jesus Christ, and will hereafter be revealed at His tribunal, and judged by Him-this would seem, without controversy, the mightiest moral influence that can be brought to bear upon a man. It was said of late, by a distinguished writer who was not a Christian, that our Lord's character was so perfect that a man could hardly adopt a better rule for his guidance than that of acting in such a manner that Christ, if He saw his actions, would approve them. But what is this to the positive belief that Christ does see them, and will approve or condemn them in proportion as they are in accordance with His will? There was always something vague and uncertain, both among Jews and heathen, in the belief of a future judgment. It was, perhaps, something too vast, too intangible, too much beyond our standard and measure, to be realized, and to produce its due influence

upon

the mind. But to be judged by the Man Christ Jesus, whose words we read in the Gospels, whose voice penetrates into our hearts, Who is portrayed so vividly that we can almost see and hear Him—to believe that this same Jesus will so return in like manner as He was seen to go into heaven—to be brought into His presence, to feel His eye and

and His judgment upon us, and to await His censure or His approval—this is a prospect which we can realize

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only too keenly, and which is fitted to touch the very depths of our souls. Indeed, the thought of that penetrating judgment would be unsupportable unless it were accompanied by the assurance that this Judge is also our Saviour, alike now and hereafter. We may be assured that He will display towards us the mercy as well as the severity which marked His words and acts when He was upon earth, and we cannot doubt the love and tenderness of One who laid down His life for us.

The blessing, accordingly, of this revelation is as great for the present as for the future. Were we left alone, even with the guidance which the Gospels and the Epistles afford us, to work out our own salvation, to train and discipline ourselves in harmony with the Saviour's holy will, we should be appalled at the consciousness of our weakness and our ignorance. But the Lord, who requires us to grow like Him, and who has established His will as the final standard of our lives, is ever present with us, to guide us by His Spirit into all truth, alike of thought and of action. If we trust Him, and strive continually to obey Him, His final judgment will prove but the last act of the gracious discipline by which He has all our lives been bringing us into ever-increasing harmony with Himself. He does not ask us, with all our sins and imperfections, to bring ourselves into harmony with Him. He asks us only to submit ourselves to Him

in trust, in prayer, and in faithful study of His word, and He Himself will bring us into that harmony. Our whole thoughts in meditating on this subject may be thus summed up in the prayer of the Te Deum : Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father. We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge. We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.

LECTURE IX

THE GIFT OF THE SPIRIT

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, be that believeth on Me, the works

I that I do shall he do also ; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.John xiv. 12. THE Ascension of our Lord must be regarded, for its due appreciation, in reference to the manifestations which had preceded it on the one hand, and to those which followed it on the other. It is not an event which stands by itself, but it is part of a continuous manifestation of the Saviour's life and power. It is, in the first place, only the final and more solemn assumption of a condition of glory into which He had entered at His rising from the grave. The significance of our Lord's Resurrection is nowhere presented in the New Testament as consisting in the mere fact of His having risen from the sepulchre, like those whom He had Himself raised from the dead. It is not to that bare fact that the Apostles bear testimony, but to the fact of His having risen in glory and power. As has been observed in a previous Lecture, they do not even proclaim the Resurrection until they are able to point to the miraculous powers over men's bodies and souls which had been exerted through them, as proofs that their Lord was exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour. It is in harmony with this, that all accounts of our Saviour's appearances to the disciples, after the Resurrection, represent Him, not merely as having been raised from corruption, but as endued with powers and qualities superior to those He exercised before, and essentially different from those which other men have enjoyed. Everywhere He appears, not merely as the risen, but as the glorified, Lord. His body, indeed, no less than His soul, retains what we may venture to call its identity. It retains the mark of the wound in the side and the print of the nails; it is recognized instinctively, by voice as well as by sight, except when He purposely throws a veil around Himself. The eyes of those whom He visits may be holden for a time, that they should not know Him, but some sudden touch reveals Him, and then they recall many indications that it is the same Lord with whom they had lived. But He is nevertheless freed from some of the most conspicuous limitations which are attached to our own bodies, and to which He had Himself submitted during His previous life. He appears suddenly in the midst of His disciples, although the doors are shut; He vanishes as suddenly out of the sight of the two disciples at

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