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p138 [J James] MY DEAR BROTHER, - I have a tract on Sealing which I thought I might have had to-day; but it is not come. I do not write in any magazine now. I am not at all happy about the brothers' book-selling concerns; the spirit of the world has got thoroughly hold of it. Sealing on the new birth is a mistake in principle; it leaves out the sprinkling with blood for forgiveness. I know of no ground for delay save knowing this (See Acts 2:38; 10:43-44.)

As to eternal life: in the full sense of it it is Christ Himself and that revealed as Man in glory, 1 John 5:20. But its essence is divine life in the Person of Christ, 1 John 5:11-12. In Him was life, and that life He has in manhood, John 5:24. But this has a double character; the Son quickens as Son (verse 21) and then we are, when dead in sins, quickened together with Christ: in one as Son of God, a divine Person; in the other a dead man whom God raises. Now life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel. For eternal life was manifested in the Person of the Son, and when He was risen and glorified, shewn out in its new full character in Man. If we be risen with Christ, "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory." Now till He came this never was displayed, nor according to God's full purpose in man, till He was glorified: but I have no doubt the Old Testament saints were quickened and they will be perfected. Still it was as much in Christ humbled, as in Christ glorified. 1 John 1 was before the world, and that is its essence, only now brought to light in connection with the incorruptibility of the body in resurrection (or changed) a spiritual body. Paul never speaks of it as ours* now that I remember: John does, for he always speaks of things in their essence. But it comes in the knowledge of the Father sending the Son, and Jesus Christ as so sent of Him; and the Father, Son, and life come in the Son, and the Father revealed in Him, runs all through John's teaching, connecting us with Him in life. (1 John 4:9; 5:11-12.) We live, but Christ is our life. But the revelation of the Father in the Son, and that as giving eternal life in Him, is the essence of John's doctrine, along with propitiation and forgiveness in his epistle - not in his gospel. But it is not necessary that it should be in the heavenly glory to be eternal life; but redemption through Christ is. In Matthew 25 they go into life everlasting. The places in the Old Testament where it is spoken of are Psalm 133 and Daniel 12.
{*He does say Christ lives in me and Christ our life.}

Its essence is Christ as life, but in its full thought as to us, is being like Him in glory. But there is quickening by Him as Son, and being quickened and raised with Him - in both cases life, in the latter known in heavenly glory as the result. God has reserved some better thing for us, but the Old Testament saints will be perfected with us. No one who has not life can have to say to God really. The Pharisees had got hold of the expression, as they had of resurrection. But the Lord goes down to the ground they were upon, if they will enter into life - God's commandments. But in the Lord's unfolding the subject in John 6, you find having eternal life as a present thing, as constantly in John, but directly connected four times over with His raising us in the last day. Its full development is in the sphere it came from, and in the power of Him who has it in connection with man, and so immortality (incorruptibility) - the body brought in. Nor, though they have it down here, is this shut out in the final result in Matthew 25, Daniel 12, and Psalm 133.

You cannot separate eternal life and new birth; but though the essence of divine life is there, yet eternal life in Christ as man and finally in glory does go further - man being quickened as accomplished in Christ glorified. It is the gospel which has brought it to light. . . . The moral subjective effect was produced by being quickened, obedience, dependence, reference of heart to God, delight in His will. Hence the saint now can delight in the Psalms, though there is no knowledge of the Father.

I am, through mercy, much better; but, saving a reading in my room, have held no meetings, but been twice to the breaking of bread.

February 24th.

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