Correspondence

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23. " D.," Hereford. The portion of scripture to which you refer (Jer. 34:18-2218And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; 20I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. 21And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you. 22Behold, I will command, saith the Lord, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant. (Jeremiah 34:18‑22)), gives part of the prophet's testimony concerning God's judicial dealing with Zedekiah the king, and his people the Jews, for their dreadful sins in transgressing His covenant, and practicing the idolatrous wickedness of the heathen in passing " between the parts of the calf." The prophet assured them that Nebuchadnezzar would be the instrument in this destruction, for God would command him to return to the city, fight against it, take it, burn it, and leave it "without an inhabitant." We know how solemnly this was fulfilled, and what unparalleled tribulation still awaits the Jews before they are brought into their promised blessing. Surely "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." May we, his children, have grace to walk humbly and obediently before Him!
24. "Α.," Saxmundham. Competent judges have considered that the passage "when he had supped" would be more properly rendered, "after having supped." The same words in the original are translated "after supper" in Luke 22:2020Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20). That the Lord did eat the passover with His disciples is without question, for He touchingly said, u With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer." At the supper, we are told He gave thanks for the bread and also for the cup—emblems of His own body given, and of His own blood, which was so soon to be poured out. Beyond this, scripture does not say much. We judge when scripture is silent, it becomes us to be silent also. In Luke 22:14-1814And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. (Luke 22:14‑18) it is clearly the keeping of the passover; but from verse 19 we have the institution of "the Lord's supper." The truth concerning " the Lord's table'' is not revealed till 1 Cor. 10:16-2116The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:16‑21), and has been well nigh forgotten throughout Christendom.
25. " M.," Gibraltar, Yours received. Thanks for your kind desires. We have hearty fellowship with the truth expressed. Our limited space compels us to say that we have not room for a tenth part of the poetry which is so kindly sent.
26. "W.," Clapham Junction. Your kind letter has reached us. The thoughts expressed in it are good, though perhaps scarcely in keeping with our line of service.
27. "S.," Haddington. With regard to the quality of the wine used at the Lord's table, nothing is found in scripture; to be raising difficulties then about such a matter, seems to us to savor strongly of a legal spirit. Besides, the soul that knows what it is to "stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free," rejoices in the precious fact that the great point in the Lord's supper is to remember Him, and "show his death till he come." It is Himself, therefore, that such have before their souls. In our judgment the mistake is to raise such questions; and we believe the only remedy for those who present such difficulties, is the apprehension, by faith, of what God has revealed as to our present and everlasting standing in Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost as God's seal and earnest of our inheritance, and a happy sense of the unchanging relationship of " children of God," into which divine grace has brought us in Him, " in whom we have redemption through his blood.יי When these great and eternally-blessed realities are grasped by faith, then the Lord Himself becomes the one Object of the heart, and we have neither time nor inclination for unprofitable questions. Scripture says, " Be not carried away with divers and strange doctrines, for it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace, and not with meats which have not profited them which have been exercised therein." (Heb. 13:8, 98Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (Hebrews 13:8‑9).)
28. " N.," Barnstaple. We do not undertake to reply to questions by anonymous writers. If the case referred to be true, we could not but deeply feel for any child of God who has been so caught in Satan's snare. At the same time, it is always well that God's children should remember that "with God nothing shall be impossible," and also that "all things are possible to him that believeth." It is a sad case; but "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven." Waiting on God, and for God humbly, with thorough self-judgment and confession to Him, He will make the path so plain, and order circumstances so graciously, that His erring one, if truly before Him, will see His hand, have sure guidance, and find Him better than all our fears. The path is clearly to do nothing without thus having His sure guidance.
29. " D.," Whitby. The Psalmist was inspired to write, "Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offering: then shalt thou offer bullocks upon thine altar." (Psalm 51:18, 1918Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. (Psalm 51:18‑19).) Thus, without a shadow of doubt, we are taught, that, though in past times when sacrifices were offered, about which it is said, " in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure" yet when Zion's time of favor and blessing comes, they will be again offered, and "then" God will "be pleased" The smoke of the burnt-offering will be constantly giving out its " sweet savor/' and telling of the " savor of rest" Jehovah has found in the perfect surrender of Jesus His Son, in His obedience unto death even the death of the cross.
From Eze. 43; 44 we further learn that when the people shall be restored and blessed, the land set in order according to the tribes of Israel, and the sanctuary built according to divine directions, and the glory fills the house, then the priests, Levites, prince, and princes of Israel shall all be in their proper places. The people having been forgiven their iniquity, and the inhabitant no more saying, I am sick, will have their true Messiah reigning before His ancients gloriously. Then all the feasts will be kept except Pentecost. Sacrifices of sin-offering, burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, meat-offerings, and trespass-offerings, will be offered. They will, no doubt, be commemorative, bringing forcibly to remembrance the varied aspects of Jesus the Son of God, who loved His own, died for that nation, and made good to them, on redemption ground, all the promises to Abraham, and all the royalties of David, to the glory of God.
30. " W.," Barnstaple. " God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing [reckoning] their trespasses [offenses] unto them" is a plain statement of holy scripture. (2 Cor. 5:1919To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19).) But, in it we have not the Savior's death, by which we who now believe have been reconciled to God. (2 Cor. v. 18.) Had God been in Christ reckoning unto men their offenses, then all must have been forever condemned. But, blessed be His name, the Son of God came not to judge and condemn, but to save sinners; so that instead of reckoning to men their offenses, he proclaimed forgiveness of sins, and delighted to bind up a sin-convicted heart. His sphere of reconciliation was not confined to Israel, though He had a special mission to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel;" but the blessing of God through Him flowed out to Samaritans and Gentiles, as well as Jews. In Christ's early ministry He said, " God so loved the -world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John iii. 16.) See how delighted and ready He was to bless a Samaritan sinner, to honor the faith of a Centurion, or a Canaanitish woman, as well as fill a broken-hearted sinner with peace and joy, who cast herself at His feet in the house of Simon, as well as bless many other sinful and helpless in Israel. No doubt all blessing was in view of His death.
Had God reckoned their offenses unto them, who could have escaped judgment? or, who could have received blessing? Not one. "God was in Christ reconciling;" the enmity was only on man's side. It was God come down in love; not in righteousness or law, but in grace. Observe it does not say God reconciled, but was reconciling—this was God's bearing in Christ. But we know the love was rejected, "the world knew him not," and "His own received him not"—yet He died for the ungodly. " The ministry of reconciliation" is " Be reconciled, for he hath made him to be sin for u& who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," (2 Cor. 5:20, 2120Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:20‑21).) Now divine grace flows from Christ in heaven to sinful man on earth, in consequence of an accomplished redemption. Blessed are those who are now "reconciled to God by the death of his Son."