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Paradise, when accepted as the righteous love of God.

When the parable of the two vessels in Jeremiah is considered simply in itself, it may be said that we see only certain results, but not the causes leading to these results : that is, that as we do not see any thing in the first marred vessel which gives the hope of the second vessel to rise out of its wreck, so neither do we see how this hope is frustrated in the case of one man, and fulfilled in the case of another-nor how a man has it in his power, to make his choice whether he will cast in his lot with the first vessel or with the second. But on comparing it with the inspired comment on it, we have perceived that to do evil is to take part with the first vessel, and to turn from evil is to take part with the second vessel, and that man's power to choose between good and evil is distinctly assumed.

We have also seen in 2 Tim. i. and ii., that according to the eternal purpose of God, the fixed and predestined way out of the first vessel which is unto dishonour, into the second vessel which is unto honour, is by dying with Christ and suffering with Him: so that the hope of the second vessel is accomplished in the man who consents to do so, and is frus

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trated in the man who refuses to do so. In that passage also we have seen, that there is no respect of persons in this thing, for every man is called to walk in this way, by Him whose call gives both right and power to all who will use them. But as it might still be asked by man in his desire to justify himself, whether indeed that very same thing which, in those who are saved, grows up into the second vessel, is also bestowed on those who are lost, and is only prevented from growing up in them likewise, by their own contrary choice; it has pleased God of his condescension, in various forms through the Scriptures, to show us the seeds (so to speak) of the two vessels lying together in every man, so that he may live to the one or to the other according to his own choice.

Thus Jesus sets before us the natural history of a grain of wheat as a type of our condition, and of the way out of the first vessel into the second vessel. It is evident from what follows, that He intends to apply the parable, John xii. 24, as a general instruction to the whole race, and not to confine its application either to Himself or to any particular class, for these two verses are manifestly His interpretation of the parable. I shall

The passage

transcribe from the 23d verse. is the reply which Jesus made when he was told by his disciples that certain Greeks had said, “ We would see Jesus.” “ And Jesus answered them saying, the hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” They would see Jesus,-and Jesus, who was the way to the Father, answered by declaring the way. His answer is evidently one with the passage in 2 Tim. ii., but it contains something more; for it figuratively sets forth that germ in man which is the hope of future glory, and explains how that hope may be either fulfilled in him or frustrated. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Within the corn of wheat, there is a germ of new life, which yet cannot spring except through the dissolving and corrup

ting of the outer substance in which it is contained. That germ is the hope of the new plant, and that hope is frustrated when the outer substance is preserved entire, and is fulfilled when the outer substance falls into the ground and dies. Both principles exist at the same time, but the life of the one neutralizes or destroys the life of the other. And so when we see wheat laid up in store, and the germ not appearing, we do not conclude from this that the germ is not there, but we account for its non-appearance by the preservation of the outer substance.

Now the outer substance of the wheat represents the flesh, the nature of the first Adam, which is the seed of the first vessel; the inner germ represents the spirit, the nature of the second Adam, which is the seed of the second vessel. But, besides these two principles, man has a personality to which there is nothing parallel in the wheat. The wheat has only these two principles, the outer substance and the germ, it has no personality within it, which can make a choice between the two, its fate depends on the actions of others towards it. It cannot resist the operation of the ordinary process by which the outer substance is dissolved, in

order to bring forth into life and fruitfulness, the latent germ.

But man besides the flesh and the spirit, has a personality in him—he is a person, so that he can choose whether he will live in the one or the other, and he can consent to or resist that process of casting him into the ground that he may die, which God is continually carrying on, by what is called the course of nature and providence, for the breaking down of the flesh, and the quickening of the spirit in him. And according as he consents to or resists the plan of God in this thing, the hope of eternal life in him is either accomplished or frustrated. He must himself co-operate with God in this plan; for if he consent not, although God may and will cast him into the ground, yet he will not so die, as that he shall bear fruit. Therefore it follows, “he that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” Whatever sorrows may be sent to him, unless he consents to God's purpose of breaking down self in him, he derives no benefit from them, he still loves his life in this world, and so does not take hold of the life eternal. Hence the importance attached to accepting our punishment, as that on which

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