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The Testimony of the Church.

The Testimony of the Church.

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"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of
the earth." Acts i. 8.

"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of
the earth." Acts i. 8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE TESTIMONY OF THE CHURCH.BY ALPHEUS W. WILSON, D.D.,"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is comeupon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts i. 8.THE essential facts of the gospel, the things re-lating to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ,his " power and coming,' ' have thus far occupiedour thoughts. The life of Jesus of Nazareth hasbeen pressed upon our attention with the impe-rious demand that we recognize and accept it asthe veritable and final manifestation, the completerevelation of God to this world. It is not enoughthat it be conceded that the phenomena of his lifewere wonderful beyond all the wonders of ante-cedent prophetic and miraculous life and action.There is a constant assertion of the immediateand eternal relation of the Son of Man to the in-ner life of the Godhead, that he is in nature andsubstance the Son of God. There are no possi-bilities of divine beino; and action which he doesnot appropriate to himself; and he makes thevalidity of his claim the only ground of hope for(215)2l6 THE WITNESSES TO CHRIST.the world, and the rejection of it the sin and ruinof men.In proof of facts of such breadth and importhe could not and did not rely upon anything less
than the authority and attestation of the Fatherhimself. He was the only competent witness tothese things that lay hidden within the mystery of the Godhead. No man could come to the Sonexcept the Father should draw him. He must betaught of God. The divine nature in the Son mani-fested in his life and works made direct appeal tothe ethical and spiritual nature in man. The divineutterances through the ages before, in divers formsand degrees, as the world could bear them, the" Oracles of God," reenforced the appeal, as theyhad prepared the way for it, and discharged theircontents into this last and only complete expres-sion of God.When this vast body of divine testimony hadbeen accumulated and perfected in the life, death,resurrection, and ascension of the incarnate Son,it was committed to the Comforter, the Holy Spirit,who alone was sufficient to reveal and interpret itto men.In all this it has been clear that the testimonymust correspond to the facts. In so far as thesewere within the compass of secular life and per-THE TESTIMONY OF THE CHURCH 21 7tained to the historical order, witness must betaken from that sphere and tried by its laws. If they were eternal, divine, the " voice from theexcellent glory" the habitation of the Most High,must proclaim them. For the things of Godknoweth none but the Spirit of God.The nature of the testimony being determinedand the sum of it completed, it remains only toknow how to make it available. On the divineside the Spirit, as heretofore seen, is commis-sioned to take the things of Christ and show them
to us, to convince the world. On the human sidethe line and method of God's procedure remainunchanged and unbroken.1. "Ye" said Christ, " are witnesses." Men" of like passions with ourselves," not even of "the princes of this world," who had shown novery sublime heroism in the emergencies of theirlife, rather commonplace, though on the wholehonest, earnest, well-meaning, even devoted men,whom the Lord had chosen, trained, and commis-sioned, were charged with this high function andimmense responsibility. Whatever was to be donemust be done through human agency. Not yet,nor indeed until the end, were the legions from theeternal world to be called into active service." For unto the angels hath he not put in subjec-2l8 THE WITNESSES TO CHRIST.tion this world to come, whereof we speak." Insilent, unseen ministries they may wait upon theheirs of salvation. But they cannot enter into thestrife. As in the wilderness, they come for suchservice as they may render when the fight hasbeen fought. The conflict is still with the " seed of the woman; " and to our nature are intrusted theimmense, unsearchable resources of the gospel,which is the power of God, to be used throughhuman organs and faculties until the end isreached.It is our Lord's final assertion of the dignity andworth of our nature. By the incarnation he hadraised man above the common life of this world,declared his constant, unobstructed communionwith God, and made him recipient of influencesand powers belonging to the eternal kingdom.By this final commission and endowment he in-corporated men into the divine plan and charged

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