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The Eternal Purpose in Christ.

The Eternal Purpose in Christ.

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Published by glennpease
J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.



''According as He hath chosen us IN Him before the foundation
of the world." — Eph. i. 4.

' ' Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who
worketh all things after the counsel of His own will; that we
should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted IN Christ."
—Eph. i. II, 12.

"According to the eternal purpose which He pui*posed IN
Christ Jesus our Lord : in whom we have boldness and access
Avith confidence by the faith of Him." — Eph. iii. 11, 12.
J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.



''According as He hath chosen us IN Him before the foundation
of the world." — Eph. i. 4.

' ' Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who
worketh all things after the counsel of His own will; that we
should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted IN Christ."
—Eph. i. II, 12.

"According to the eternal purpose which He pui*posed IN
Christ Jesus our Lord : in whom we have boldness and access
Avith confidence by the faith of Him." — Eph. iii. 11, 12.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 02, 2013
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THE ETERAL PURPOSE I CHRIST.J. R. MACDUFF, D.D.''According as He hath chosen us I Him before the foundationof the world." — Eph. i. 4.' ' Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him whoworketh all things after the counsel of His own will; that weshould be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted I Christ." —Eph. i. II, 12."According to the eternal purpose which He pui*posed IChrist Jesus our Lord : in whom we have boldness and accessAvith confidence by the faith of Him." — Eph. iii. 11, 12.¥BiS&'^ revert in this meditation to what in point of ' theological sequence ' might appropriatelyoccupy an earlier part in the Volume. But^neither is it without design that the subject is placedin its present position. The traveller pauses at timesto take a retrospective view of the distant recedinglandscape. So let it be in our contemplation of theApostle's favourite inscription in its connection withthe eternal purpose I Christ before the foundation of the world.The cluster of motto-texts are again taken from hisencyclical letter. In each of them, with significaDt2o6 7.V CHRISTO.
 
repetition, occurs the monogravi or its equivalents.They lead us back in thought before the birth of thecreation. Passages — vistas of light — are disclosed tous in these far-off cycles and eras, when the Trinity inUnity dwelt alone in the sublime solitudes of eternity.They record the earliest movements of divine love andmercy towards the lost and fallen, ere the trance of that eternity was broken by any manifestation of Almighty power: — Creation still slumbering, so tospeak, as a thought in the Infinite Mind. ote well,in these diverse passages, the specific terms in which theBeliever's Title-deeds — thus laid up in the archives of heaven — are formulated : " In Him," " in Christ," " inChrist Jesus."We have here, then, represented to us (using thesymbol of human language as the only possible exposi-tor of transcendental mysteries), the covenant enteredinto by the adorable Godhead. The members of thewhole Church of which Christ is the Head ; in otherwords, the names of His elect people, were inscribed inthe Great Volume of the divine decrees, " while as yetHe had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor thehighest part of the dust of the world " (Pro v. viii. 26).Of these He could say, " In Thy Book all my memberswere written when as yet there was none of them."This purpose of electing grace I Christ Jesus iseverywhere represented as originating with the EternalFather. Specially is it so spoken of by the lips of " the Faithful and True Witness." Hear the openingTHE ETERAL PURPOSE I CHRIST. 207utterances of His intercessory prayer (that portion of Holy Writ we have so often quoted, but which standsalone in its inestimable preciousness, not only as beinga divine Cardiphonia, — an unfolding of the very heartof Jesus, — but a revelation of the Father's will andpurpose). " As Thou hast given Him power over allliesh, that He might give eternal life to as many asThou hast given Him " (John xvii. 1 2) ; " Thine theywere, and Thou gavest them Me " (ver. 6). It was theFather's eternal love that first opened the floodgatesof mercy. It was the Father's eternal love which firstset the stranded vessel floating on the waters. It was
 
His arm which " laid help upon One that is mighty."It was the Father's voice which said, " Deliver fromgoing down to the pit, I have found a ransom" (Jobxxxiii. 24). Beautiful are the words of the Saviour inone of His great sermons by the Sea of Galilee, regard-ing this originating love of the Father. With a divineself-abnegation He says — " For I came down fromheaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Himthat sent Me " (John vi. 38).(2). But, while " God so loved the world that Hegave ; '* let us proceed to mark, in this interchange of Covenant-mercy, the voluntary consecration of the Sonfor the redemption of the world: — although even inHis acceptance of the Suretyship, there is a recognitionof the Father's antecedent love — "Then said I, Lo, Icome: in the volume of the book it is written of me,I delight to do Thy will, my God " (Ps. xl. 7, 8). ot2o8 I CHRISTO.the less interesting, however, is the alacrity with whichthe adorable Eedeemer responded to the Father's will.He, as the Eternal Son, infinitely independent and self-existent, rich in all the plenitude of the divine perfec-tions, was incapable of any accession to His underivedineffable glory ; or rather, that glory was susceptible of no expansion, nor enlargement. He was " heir of allthings." He " made the worlds." All space was Hisdominion. Creation was His Palace ; the universeHis Temple. Yet He tells us the spot in His vastillimitable Empire in which He mainly rejoiced : " Ee- joicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and Mydelights were with the sons of men" (Pro v. viii. 31).And when these lofty purposes came to be fulfilledand consummated, what does He represent as beingstiU His chiefest joy ? It was the same as it had beenin " the ages of the ages ; " — " The glory which Thougavest Me, I have given them" (John xvii. 22). Theintercessory prayer reaches its climax and conclusionthus, " That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Memay be in them, and I in them" (John xvii. 26).

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