But you have not so learned Christ;…
There is, then, somewhere, a school where Christ is taught, and Christ is learnt. There are a great many schools where Christ is not taught; where almost everything is taught except Christ; where religion is taught, but it is not Christ's; where even Christ is taught, but it is not the Christ of the Bible. Where, then, is the school of Christ? What is it? How is the instruction carried on? Who is the teacher? What are the lesson books? What is required of the scholars? How are they classified? What do they pay? Are there prizes? First, it is obvious, that IF IT BE A SCHOOL, THE ATTAINMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE WHICH IS TAUGHT THERE MUST BE PROGRESSIVE, and whoever the teacher may be, there is required, on the part of the learner, earnestness, patience, fag. For it is a school. You say, "But it is hard work." True; but the work wants doing.
1. In this school, who is the Master? Christ; only Christ. "The Master!" Not a master — "The Master." In this school, then, of sacred lore, the one and only Teacher is the Lord Jesus Christ. There are human instructors, such as the Sunday school teacher, or a pious friend, or a parent, or a minister: but only as Christ is in them, and uses them. May not the cause why you have made no better progress be this, that you have not sufficiently recognized this fundamental principle? — for observe the line of thought how it runs on. You see the position is absolute. You must have "heard Him, and been taught by Him.
2. How? What are the lesson books in that School of Christ? Of course, chiefly the Bible. For we have two words, a Living Word, and a written Word; and the written Word is the visible embodiment of the Living Word. It is when the Living Word is felt in the written Word, that the written Word becomes God's Word indeed. But Christ can, and does, make everything His representative teacher. A providence — an object in nature — He is there: and therefore it can teach. He who can see and learn Christ anywhere, can see and learn Christ everywhere. The whole world becomes the primer.
II. Now, WHAT IS TAUGHT IN THIS SCHOOL? I answer, primarily, and in one word, Christ. The Teacher Himself is the subject. We have the highest authority for saying, In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Therefore, really to know Christ, is to know all things — all things that may serve our present peace, our present holiness, and our happiness forever. For observe, the whole Law embodied itself in Christ. He kept it for us, even to the law of death. There lies our safety. All nature — with all its beauties, and all its grandeur, and all its hidden mysteries — is the work of Christ. It is the mind of Christ; it is the development of Himself. So that no man knows creation till he knows the mind of the Creator. We shall best know the kingdom if we know the King! O wonderful and happy school! where the Infinite and All-loving and Almighty Teacher pours Himself into the learners, and as He does so, opens their understanding to understand it; softens their hearts to receive it; strengthens their memory to retain it; and enables their lives to exhibit it. O wonderful and happy school! where Omnipotence gives the will, the capacity, and the power to know and do what Omniscience teaches.
III. WHAT ARE THE PRIZES? The great reward — in this school of Christ — is that every learner, as he advances, is placed nearer and nearer to his Master's side. He becomes more conscious of his Master's love. These are the rewards now. What by and by? "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard."
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But ye have not so learned Christ;