The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Christ manifested

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What is it to have Christ manifest himself to his people?  A sermon by John Ryland Jr addresses The nature and evidences of divine manifestations.  With echoes of Jonathan Edwards on the religious affections,  he provides negatives considerations, several concessions, and six assertions concerning the nature of divine manifestations, or Jesus showing himself to the believing soul.  He moves on to the effects and evidences of such demonstrations of the divine presence, before closing with some lessons.

Here is solid, Scriptural, experiential Calvinism of high order.  Ryland offers the following evidences and effects:

First: A deep conviction (proportioned to the manifestation) of the meanness, unworthiness, guilt, past and present sinfulness of the soul thus favoured; humbling its pride, and filling it with self-abasement.  This is exemplified in the language of Old-testament saints.  Thus Jacob, “I am less than the least of thy mercies.”  Job, “Now I repent and abhor myself.” David, “Who am I, and what is my father’s house?”  Isaiah, “Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips.”  Daniel, “My comeliness is turned into corruption.”  And Jude, in the text, How is it, that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

Secondly: A conviction of our entire dependence on Christ, both for righteousness and strength; thankfully falling in with the design of his redemption; resting with complacency in his plan of salvation; feeling our need of his mediation; and sensible of our weakness and insufficiency to follow the Lord, except continually upheld.

Thirdly: An assurance of the reality and excellence of the objects manifested; i.e. the person and grace of Christ.  They shine with such a divine glory, that, they needs must be realized.

Fourthly: A conviction that there is much more to be seen and admired in Christ, than has yet been manifested to the soul; and consequently an earnest increasing desire, to know, love, and enjoy more, which prevents resting in present attainments, and induces the soul to resolve never to stop its pursuit, till it shall enjoy all it wants, and awake in the complete likeness of Christ.

Fifthly: A glorying in this salvation, renouncing all other Saviours, and all other portions; as seeing that there is enough in him to satisfy, though in the want of all things; and that all other things are nothing without him.

Sixthly: A concern to honour and glorify, in all possible ways this blessed Redeemer; never thinking he can be exalted enough; longing that others may see, admire, love, and be devoted to him.

Seventhly: Tenderness of conscience, fearing the least sin, or rather looking on none as little; with a jealousy of our own hearts, and a holy fear of dishonouring God our Saviour.

Eighthly: Not only a spirit of devotion towards God, and peculiar complacency in his people; but universal benevolence, or a spirit of pure, gentle, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, disinterested love towards all mankind.

Ninthly: The transforming efficacy of these manifestations, producing universal holiness and love to all God’s commandments.

Tenthly: Preparation for heaven, anticipating both its enjoyments and employments; drawing off the affections from the world, and causing them to be set on things above.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 12 November 2008 at 18:03

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