manifestation, but which is shared by all of whom, by faith become partakers of his nature. He was Son of God; they too had power to become sons of God. The incarnation is wholly within the natural course and tendency of things. It was prepared for and it came in the fullness of time. Christ?s life is not something sporadic and individual, baying its source in the personal conviction of each disciple, it implies a real connection with Christ, the head. Behind all nature there is one force, behind all varieties of Christian life and character there is one spiritual power. All nature is not inert matter, it is pervaded by a living presence. So all the body of believers live by virtue of the all-working Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost.? An epitaph at Silton, in Dorsetshire, reads: ?Here lies a piece of Christ ? a star in dust, A vein of gold, a china dish, that must Be used in heaven when God shall feed the just.?
A.H. Strong, in Examiner, 1880 ? ?Such is the nature of union with Christ, such I mean, is the nature of every believer?s union with Christ. For, whether he knows it or not, every Christian has entered into just such a partnership as this. It is this and this only which constitutes him a Christian, and which makes possible a Christian church. We may, indeed, be thus united to Christ, without being fully conscious of the real nature of our relation to him. We may actually possess the kernel, while as yet we have regard only to the shell; we may seem to ourselves to be united to Christ only by an external bond, while after all it is an inward and spiritual bond that makes us his. God often reveals to the Christian the mystery of the gospel, which is Christ in him the hope of glory, at the very time that he is seeking only some nearer access to a Redeemer outside of him. Trying to find a union of cooperation or of sympathy, he is amazed to learn that there is already established a union with Christ more glorious and blessed, namely, a union of life. Like the miners in the Rocky Mountains, while he is looking only for silver, he finds gold. Christ and the believer have the same life. They are not separate persons linked together by some temporary bond of friendship. They are united with a tie, which is as close and as indestructible, as having the same blood running through their veins. Yet the Christian may never have suspected how intimate a union he has with his Savior and the first understanding of this truth may be the gateway through which he passes into a holier and happier stage of the Christian life.?
50 the Way leads, through the Truth, to the Life ( <431406>John 14 : 6). Apprehension of an external Savior prepares for the reception and experience of the internal Savior. Christ is first the Door of the sheep, but in him, after they have once entered in, they find pasture ( <431007>John 10:79). On the nature of this union, see H. B. Smith, System of Christian
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