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Now and Hereafter

Now and Hereafter

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Published by glennpease


1 John iii. 2.


1 John iii. 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 04, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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OW AD HEREAFTER BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A., OR, THE BELIEVER AS HE IS, AD AS HE SHALL BE. 1 John iii. 2. The relation the present dispensation bears to the future one is similar to the relation that night bears to day. The present is one of comparative darkness, for "now," says the Apostle, " we see through a glass darkly." It is a universal law both in nature and grace. It is written as with a sunbeam on everything around us. In our minutest examinations, in our deepest researches, in our loftiest con- ceptions, there is a point beyond which we cannot go. We scale some lofty height in our gropings after knowledge, and bring to light some undiscovered fact in nature, but we marvel to behold in the dim distance, truths, bafliing the profound- est skill, and with which the mind of man, in its present state, is unable to grapple. This is the result of our utmost efforts. There ambition, perseverance, and skill, are com- pelled to pause and listen to the voice of the Omnipotent exclaiming, " Thus fer shalt thou go but no fieirther," and man retires from the contest with the conviction deeply written on his heart " now I know but in part." Thus spoke one of the world's noblest philosophers, when he had solved one of the greatest problems of nature, the OW Aim HEBEAFTEB. 233 law of gravitation, " I am but like a child gathering shells and pebbles round the sea-shore that is just kissed by the waves, while the great unsounded depths of the mighty- ocean lie unapproachable beyond me." And Sir Isaac
ewton's language is only the echo of the Divine testimony, " ow we see through a glass darkly. ow I know but in part." The Lord Himself confirms this. "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light. The nigkt cometh when no man can work." The passage we have selected for consideration also confirms this. " It doth not yet appear what we shall be." It is the time of darkness. We see things at best very dimly. What the night is to the day, so is the present to the future. We have the moon and stars only, not the glorious shining of the sun. But what is their light ? It is only borrowed. It is aU the re- flection of the sun. So is it morally and spiritually. AU the light we now possess is but the reflection from Divine revelation. Dim as it is, it is all due to Chrisit the Sun of Eighteousness. The philosophers of this world, in their pride and presumption, little think of this. All the light they possess, and aU they have ever discovered by its means, they owe to the glorious rays of Divine revelation. It is, however, only the light of the night-season. It is not the day. For that we wait, when it shall be proclaimed to this dark world, " Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." This is the prominent idea in the passage we are about to consider. " Beloved, now are we the sons of &od, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." There is one great truth at its opening cm. which everything else depends, namely, " ow are we the 234 OW ASTD HEiBEATTSB. «o^ of Ghod." The glory of the coming kingdom ifi f(nr them. The confident expectation, the assurance of fidth, the joy of the promise, all belongs to them. The Lord's promises are the inheritance of His people. They are a strange language to aU others. Their yoeabulary is one the world cannot understand. The key to their in-
terpretation lies ia the answer to the question, "Am I a son of Grod ?" If they appear fooltshness to you, no wonder. There is many a sentence and many a Word in a father's letter that none can enter into, but his own child. That child can understand their meaning, for it undeir- ' stands the Other's heart, and is in possession of his love. So with God's children. They dasp these words to their hearts as " exceeding great and precious promises." And if you want to know the reason, we tell you there is a secret between them, which ybu are not in-possession of, sLud which is the key to your question. They ore the sons of  €h)d. Hiey know their Heavenly Slather, and He knows them. They love H!ifn too, because He loves them. Each word of Sis contains a mystic meaning. It touches a chord in their hearts which vibrates. It is a vehicle freighted with His love which draws their hearts closer to Him ; cements the secret bond between them ; and xnttkes all His words sweet to their taste, yea," sweeter than honey from the honeycomb." Ask yourself the question, then, " Am I a son of &od ? Am I in possession of this happy secret? Are the Lord's promises the precious food of my soul ?" If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, then all that follows is yours. But what does the term "son of God" more particularly mean ? It implies three things — relationship, family like- ness, and heirship. They who are such aUB "bom again" "not OW AJSTD HEBHAJTJSB. 235 of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of -the will of man, but of Ghod." Just as by natural birth they partook of the nature of their earthly parents, so by this new birth, do they partake of the nature of their Heavenly Father. As to the family likeness also, though no children are exactly like;their parents, yet is iiheTe.eome likeness. So is it with them. 0?heir Heavenly Eather is gracious, merciful, gentle, forbearing,. and forgiving; so are they, in measure. He is

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