There Is One Body and One Spirit: 1. Preface to the Third Edition

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For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth (2 Cor. 13:88For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2 Corinthians 13:8)).
Third Edition, Revised, with Notes, Etc.
London: Allan, 1872
It is with much thankfulness to the Lord of the vineyard, that another edition of this tract is now sent forth. The Lord has deigned to mark it with His distinct approval, and it has been used largely for the instruction and blessing of His people.
The tract has been the object of many attacks; but this was to be expected when it was, in the Lord’s hands, an instrument of blessing to many.
Kind suggestions have been made by some who have found it useful, as to altering sentences here and there. But I have thought it best to re-issue it almost entirely as it was, lest the great point of the present actuality of the Church, the body of Christ, maintained on earth by the presence of the Holy Spirit in union with Christ in heaven, and composed only of those alive and here at any given moment, should be weakened.
Those who may have read a small volume of Lectures on the Church of God,1 will know that I hold that the Church — the body of Christ, as a thing of God’s counsels, and in result as presented in glory by and by — is composed of all believers from the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven (Acts 2:32, 3332This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:32‑33)), until the Lord’s second coming, when He will raise the saints who have died, and changing the living, will translate all to glory.
This view of the body of Christ is presented in Ephesians 1:22, 2322And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:22‑23), and, as far as I am aware, there only. All other Scriptures view the body, as presented in this tract, on earth, where the Holy Spirit as to His personal place constitutes in the unity of one body those believers only who are here at any given moment.
This aspect of the truth had been much lost sight of — and indeed unknown to many — until this tract was first put forth. It caused much inquiry, and was used largely to establish or to re-establish the truth.
I may add, that when it was written, I was engaged in bringing the truths of the Church of God before a number of the Lord’s people who had not learned it before. A good many got hold of it at that time; and I myself was conscious of having received a grasp of the truth which I had not before experienced, and which seemed as a distinct revelation to my own soul. I showed the rough MS to other fellow-laborers, and some thought it would serve the Lord and His people to print it. But the tract was not written for publication, but in leisure moments, as a sort of index of the truths then under consideration, and for my own satisfaction.
Trusting that it may still find a place in the Church, and be a channel of further blessing from the Lord to souls, it is put forth again in confidence in Him who deigns to use the weak things of the world to confound those things that are mighty, that no flesh may glory in His presence.
F. G. P., Blackrock, March, 1872.
1. Blackrock Lectures, R. L. Allan, London and Glasgow.