Miscellaneous Papers

Table of Contents

1. “the Brethren” Their Origin, Progress, and Testimony
2. To the Children of God Take Heed What Ye Hear Mark 4:24
3. The Kingdom and the Church, Peter and Paul’s Ministry
4. The History of Satan; or, the Devil - His Origin
5. A Holy Day to the Lord
6. Marriage
7. The Advocate
8. The Advocate; or, the Accuser: Whose Side Do You Take?
9. Living Water
10. A Word on Sanctification
11. Christian Walk
12. God
13. Whosoever Believeth That Jesus Is the Christ, Is Born of God
14. God’s Two Gifts
15. The Difference Between the Washing of Regeneration and the Renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5)

“the Brethren” Their Origin, Progress, and Testimony

BRETHREN,
Suffer a word of exhortation! The Lord has a controversy with us! At the very moment when we are calling ourselves “The Brethren,” and speaking of our origin, progress, and testimony, the Lord is shaking us to our very center. I am afraid many of us have no higher thought, corporately, than that we belong to the Brethren, who began fifty years ago, and when we compare such a thought with Scripture we cannot find it, except as 1 Cor. 1 shows it to be, a wretched sectarian thought — human wisdom which needs to be judged by the cross. In our conversation together we talk lightly of the sectarian name, Plymouth Brethren, put upon us, and soon, I am afraid, we shall go further and accept it, as a matter of little consequence — it is only a name! Suffice it to say that 1 Cor. 1 utterly condemns it; it strikes at the root of the fundamentals of Christianity, and is a copy of the human wisdom of the Greek philosophers (see chaps. 1 and 2 of 1st Corinthians). It strikes at the root of the true nature of the Church as shown forth in ch. 3. Of God we are in Christ Jesus, who of Him is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor.1:30). We do not belong to a teacher or a company of teachers, however blessed, but we belong to the Temple of God, and the Holy Spirit of God dwells in it. We are not “The Brethren” (called Plymouth Brethren by sectarians and the world in reproach) who had their origin fifty years ago; but we are “Brethren” amongst the many brethren of God’s large family which existed before; who, by God’s grace, have been delivered from the Church’s Babylonish captivity of many years, and have returned to the original ground, seated in heavenly places in Christ, to confess the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as the source of unity, the God and Father of the whole family of God scattered or gathered (Eph. 1:1-18); to confess Christ as the Head of His body (Eph. 1:19-23; 2:1-18); and to confess the Holy Ghost as the Builder and Inhabitant of the house of God (Eph 2:19-22). Our origin is not of teachers, however blessed and owned of God, who were used mightily of Him fifty years ago to revive truths long buried amidst the rubbish of the professing Church, but of the God who called Peter, Andrew, and John by His sovereign grace (John 1); who delivered Christ up to death for our offences, and raised Him for our justification (Rom. 4:25); and who afterwards called Saul of Tarsus from the glory, delivered him out of the Jewish and Gentile world which had rejected Christ, and sent him forth from the glory as one united to Christ, to bear witness of His glory and of the union of the saints with Him as His body and bride. Our position is not in a body that had its origin fifty years ago, but in the Christ who, after telling Mary the new relationship formed in the words,
I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God (John 20:17-20),

To the Children of God Take Heed What Ye Hear Mark 4:24

Never were words more needed than the above — at this present time. When on the one hand the claims of a clergy to be exclusively heard meet us, and on the other hand man’s will runs rampant, and anybody and everybody claims to be heard; it is well to get away for a while from the Babel of tongues heard in Christendom, and take our seat at the feet of Jesus, and listen to what He would say to us as to the course we should take in the midst of it all, so as to be able to discern His voice and His messengers, from the voice of a stranger. At His feet once, His own dear disciples were warned,
Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (Matt. 16:6).
In Mark, He adds,

The Kingdom and the Church, Peter and Paul’s Ministry

A kingdom is a circle of country and people that own a king as their head of government, such as Great Britain, Italy, &c. The kingdom of Israel in David’s day was the people of Israel, who submitted themselves to David’s rule. He was their king. The kingdom of the heavens, then, signifies a circle of people on earth who own heaven’s rule; the kingdom of God, God’s rule. The former being more objective, the latter subjective; that is, the one rather connected with the King, who is in heaven, the latter with the presence of God on the earth. These are the two general titles given to the kingdom in the gospels.
When the throne of the Lord was moved away from Jerusalem, owing to the departure of Israel from Jehovah into idolatry, the government of the earth was handed over to Gentile rule, of which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was the first and best type. To him the God of heaven gave power, and rule, and authority; but not His presence, like He did by the Shechinah {the glory- cloud} in Jerusalem. He calls Himself the God of heaven; not the God of the earth, like He did when Joshua’s triumphant hosts were crossing the Jordan. But the Gentile rulers — as is always the case with man — perverted the authority God gave them; they have practically acted like wild beasts, as we see later on in Daniel they are likened to, and would act like that till Christ came again, then they would know that the heavens ruled.
Thus we have three forms the kingdom took in Old Testament Scripture, as seen in the books of Kings and Chronicles and Daniel. First, the kingdom of the Lord in the hands of David, Solomon, and their successors till the Babylonish captivity. Secondly, the kingdom, as handed over to Gentile rule, and carried on by four successive empires, the Babylonish, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires. Thirdly, the God of heaven at the end setting up a kingdom that never should be destroyed; that is, the millennial kingdom, when Christ comes back again to reign.

The History of Satan; or, the Devil - His Origin

As for the old dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan (Rev. 12:9), there was a time when he was in the truth, but he abode not in the truth (John 8:44). He was then full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He was in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was his covering: the sardius, topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle; and gold: the workmanship of his tabrets and of his pipes was prepared in him in the day that he was created. He was the anointed cherub that covered, and God had set him so. His place was upon the holy mountain of God, and he walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. He was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created till iniquity was found in him. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and he corrupted his wisdom on account of his brightness. He said in his heart, I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like unto the Most High. Therefore God purposed to cast him as profane out of the mountain of God, and to destroy this cherub from the midst of the stones of fire. All in that day shall speak and say, How art thou fallen
Most of original pages 2 & 3 are missing !
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Gen. 3).

A Holy Day to the Lord

Nehemiah 8:8-12
So they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; MOURN NOT, NOR WEEP. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way, to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
How sweetly, yet rebukingly, does this lesson come to us from the pages of the Old Testament. It is not the “gospel,” and yet how much gospel is there in it too, which it would be well if we of a brighter and happier day had fully learnt.

Marriage

Marriage is founded on the fact that God created man, male and female (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6). It was not founded merely on the requirements of man’s nature, but on the will of God, in regard to the creation of man, and His will in regard to man’s replenishing the earth with his race (Gen. 1:27-28). There was also another thing in regard to it, where we enter into the purposes of God, before the foundation of the world, that His Son should have a Bride; and the actual creation of the man and wife was the glorious figure and type of this marvelous event that was coming, that God’s Son, who was the Heir, and to be the real Lord of the creation was to have a partner with Himself in His glorious dominion, and that His Bride, the Church (see Eph. 5: 31-32). We see this beautifully figured in Gen. 2:18-24: ver. 18, God’s thought and purpose; ver. 19, 20, creation and Christ’s manhood coming in meanwhile; ver. 21, Christ’s death and hiding away in the glory, during which time the Bride is being formed and gathered out; ver. 23, 24, The final marriage taking place after this present dispensation.
But to return. God saw that it was not good that man should be alone, He therefore made him a helpmeet. The woman was formed out of Adam, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, therefore was she called Woman! Her original place was that of an helpmeet, a companion with Adam in his dominion over the lower creation. He held the first place, the man was not of the woman, but the woman of the man (1 Cor. 11:8), neither was he created for the woman, but the woman for the man (ver. 9). But it was not till after the fall that she fell into the place of utter subjection, and that her husband ruled over her (Gen. 3:16).
Marriage is the highest natural relationship there is. The original institution of God was, that He made Adam and Eve male and female; therefore shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Thus before there were fathers and mothers and children, here were the man and his wife joined together.

The Advocate

The Advocate does two things: He pleads with the Father for us; He applies the word to us. The one maintains our cause if we sin, before the Father, against the accuser; the other brings up our practical state to our standing, which is always maintained without sin by the righteous Advocate, who has made propitiation. The failure in our practical state, is from the fact of our having two natures in one person.
With the mind I myself serve the law of God, with the flesh the law of sin (Rom. 7:25).
And though by faith, and in spirit, we are no longer in the flesh, yet actually it is in us (though by faith we reckon it dead), hence the failure. There is no excuse, but the fact is, we fail. Our standing as children ever remains the same, even though we sin, owing to the righteous Advocate who has made propitiation.

The Advocate; or, the Accuser: Whose Side Do You Take?

This is a practical question for Christians in these days. It is not a question of whether we are Christians or not, though it may often test the fact. Happily, simple faith in the Person of the Son of God and His work settles that question.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31). He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life (John 3:86).
We are justified by his blood (see Rom. 5:9),

Living Water

Why not of that living fountain, John 7:37
Flowing from the heart of God,
Should the thirsty sinner tasting
Drink, and leave sin’s heavy load? Isaiah 53:6

Rise, poor heart! the fountain’s open, Rev. 21:6
Christ hath died upon the tree,
All the powers of hell are shaken,
Grace flows down from God to thee.

God Himself the Source, the Fountain, John 4:10
Christ the Way the waters flow,
By the Spirit down from heaven,
To the thirsty heart below. John 4:14

Now’s the time, the time accepted,2 Cor. 6:2
Now to thee God’s light hath shone,2 Cor. 4:4-6
Christ God’s love hath manifested,2 Cor. 5:18-21
He the finished work hath done.

By one righteousness completed, Rom. 5:18
Adam’s life receives its doom; Rom. 6:6.
Jesus Christ, in glory seated, Rom. 5:17, 18
Everlasting life hath won. Rom. 5:21

Rise, poor heart! the river’s flowing, Rev. 21:6
Haste! delay not! yet there’s room; Luke 14:22-23
Hear the Word of God beseeching,
“Whosoever thirsts may come.” Rev. 22:17
From Helps by the Way, 1:280, 1873.

A Word on Sanctification

Sanctification is by God the Father as to its source. He who in Himself is set apart and separate from evil, is the source of our being set apart from evil to Himself. Thus it is by His blessed will that we are sanctified (Jude 1; Heb 10:10.) His will is the very spring of our new being. Christ’s work is the ground of our sanctification; it is through His one offering, that we are set apart to be God’s priests, worshipers of Himself (Heb. 10:10). Christ’s Person is the measure of our sanctification; for He is made unto us sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30). He is the Holy Vessel in God’s presence set apart from the world to Himself, and we are sanctified in Him. The Holy Ghost is the power of our sanctification in its application to the man here, so that the whole man (spirit, soul, and body) is practically set apart to God. Peter expresses it,
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1: 2).
Paul says to the Thessalonians,

Christian Walk

My Dear Brother in the Lord,
It might be well in these sad days, when so much positive evil is being everywhere manifested, to write a few short remarks on the principles of Christian walk; rather with the view of leading the saints who read your periodical to search the Scriptures on that subject, than anything else. I have jotted down a few thoughts, which I now convey to you, trusting they may be of use to those who read your periodical.
The Christian’s walk through this world is founded on his position in Christ. Christian responsibility never begins till the saint is established in his position. As a child of Adam he was responsible, and the law was the perfect measure of his responsibility. He was to love God with all his heart, etc., and his neighbor as himself; but in that condition he was utterly lost. Now through redemption he is forgiven and justified as a sinner, but not only that — he is entirely delivered from his state and condition as a child of Adam, and brought into the family of God; the Father’s name is revealed to him, he is sealed by the Spirit and cries. “Abba Father.” In that new position he is responsible, no longer as a child of Adam, but as a child of God. As a child he is responsible to obey his Father; as a member of Christ he has a common responsibility with the other members of Christ to hold the Head. To illustrate my meaning more clearly — all responsibility in this life is founded on a relationship already formed; such as a wife’s to her husband, a child’s to a father, a servant’s to a master. The responsibility must be formed before the responsibility commences. It would be preposterous to tell a strange boy in the street to walk as my child, he would not understand his responsibility to do so; but let him be adopted into my family, and then teach him his responsibility, he will understand the meaning of it.

God

Sinner, do you know God? This ought to be the question of questions to you, for this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent (John 17:3). The gospel is the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1). It is the glad tidings of the revelation of what God is! God was never revealed in what He is, His nature and character, till Jesus came. The only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him!
He was revealed as the good, beneficent Creator, with all power in creation. (See Gen 1:31; Rom. 1:14.) Even since the fall man was not left without witness as to His goodness, in giving him food and fruitful seasons, &c. (Acts 17). But all was dark as to the future.
He revealed Himself as the Governor of Israel, and His will (as far as to shew what man ought to be for Him), in the law. That so far showed Him to be a righteous God, requiring man to love Him with all his heart, and his neighbour as himself. But it did not tell what God was in love, and it also left man greatly in the dark as to the future existence, though there was enough to shew it, as the Lord told the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God! But in Christ He is revealed in His fullness. His full nature is shewn, and that in grace. God is light! God is love!

Whosoever Believeth That Jesus Is the Christ, Is Born of God

Professing Christian, have you believed that Jesus is the Christ? Do not tell me you have been baptized, and confirmed, and have gone to the sacrament, and have been doing your best, and no one can accuse you of an immoral life! I dare say all that is true; but all this is not believing that Jesus is the Christ! You may be a good Churchman, a high ritualist, and yet be as ignorant of the reality of Jesus being the Christ as an infidel; and I hope, if you will bear with me, and have patience to read this, that I shall be able to prove it to you.
Messiah is the Hebrew word for the Christ, which is the Greek word for the Anointed. It is not always marked in our English Bibles, but whenever, or generally when the definite article is prefixed to the word Christ, it does not merely mean a name, but is the official title of the Lord, just as we say the official title of the eldest son of Her Majesty is the Prince of Wales. It means, then, in simple words, the Anointed. A Jew would have told you at once, who lived in those days, that the Christ signified the Anointed Prophet, Priest, and King who was coming, of whom the Jewish prophets, priests, and kings were types. Elisha was anointed as prophet. Aaron was anointed as priest. David was anointed as king. Oil was poured on their heads, and they were set apart for their office in that way. So Jesus, after His baptism by John, was anointed and sealed by the Holy Ghost, set apart in that way for His threefold office as Prophet, Priest, and King. The Jew also ought to have known, from Isa. 6:1, 5, and Psa. 2, that the Messiah was Jehovah, and Son of God, as also from Jer. 23:6. Now, reader, perhaps you will be interested to read a little longer, and to see whether you really do believe in Him — for remember, if you do not, it is fatal!
First, He is the Anointed Prophet, who came down to give a new testimony from God, which had never been given before — that is, of grace — God no longer requiring men to fulfill certain commandments or laws, but God giving His Son! He said to the Samaritan woman — who presently confessed Him a Prophet —

God’s Two Gifts

The glory of this dispensation is that God is revealed to us as a giver. The New Testament fully makes this known to us, and this is the glory of the Christian life, that having received eternal life from God, we should go forth and show His grace and His free gifts to others. We should be imitators of God as dear children (Eph. 5:1-2), walking in love as Christ has loved us and has given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a sweet-smelling savor.
In John 3:16 and 4:10 we have God revealed to us in this blessed way. He is the giver of two gifts: first, the giver of His Son; second, the giver of the Holy Spirit. The first gift is a gift to the whole world of sinners, God’s only begotten Son! He who was ever in this relationship with the Father became a man, lived among them, died for them, rose again and now sits on high as the object of faith for any poor sinner who will accept Him. The second gift is only given to those who have accepted the first gift; it is God’s gift to His own who have believed on His Son.
The Lord Jesus had to ascend on high and receive from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, before He could be sent down on the hundred and twenty disciples who had already believed in Christ. These had already been born again, by hearing the Son’s word, and had already become possessors of eternal life in Him by the reception of the first gift. But now they were united to Him by the gift of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, made members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (See Acts 2; compare with Acts 1:4-5;1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:30.) Still this second gift is not too high a thing for a sinner to desire it and, when quickened, to ask for it, as we see in the striking instance in John 4. The great mark of it is that it is a gift, and God is therein revealed as a giver, which is the great revelation of the gospel.

The Difference Between the Washing of Regeneration and the Renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5)

The Savior God saves us by the washing of regeneration. Water came out of the dead side of Christ, figure of the Word of life. The word cleanses, but it is by death. The sentence of death is written upon the flesh, morally purifying the man from sin, and cleansing his faculties; and hearing the voice of the Son of God the man lives of a new life. Not life that was in Adam, but life that is in the Son of God. This is the washing of regeneration. It is the word of the Son that came out of His dead side for every creature under heaven, that makes itself heard in the soul, and produces life there; but a life that purifies the man and his faculties, through the death of Christ, from the sin that is in him, and thus acts in leading him to repentance, for he is sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ made once (Heb. 10:10).
But this alone does not save the Christian, or make him a Christian as distinct from a believer of the Old Testament, or from a millennial saint. There is the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which God hath shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. This takes out of the sphere of earth altogether, and makes the Christian a heavenly man. An Old Testament saint was born again, but remained (as to his standing) in the flesh, and an earthly man, as waiting for the Messiah. Consequently, Moses, Joshua, David, etc., though born again, remained Jews. New birth did not take them out of Judaism. Their ordinary title was that of “just men.” A millennial saint besides having new birth, will stand as sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ, but still in an earthly state, and for an earthly position, having the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice applied to him, but for earthly blessing. But a Christian besides having this PALINGENESIAN (regeneration, cp. Matt. 19:28) applied to him, possesses the ANAKAINOSIN i.e. RENEWAL OF THE HOLY GHOST: compare John 20:22.
This is a renewal that takes him out of the earthly sphere of things altogether, and makes him one with Christ and the Son in heaven. It is an ANAKAINOSIS; not only a new nature, but a taking the man out from the earthly order of things altogether, that is in Spirit. He is no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in him. As to the fullness of the life, he is quickened together with Christ, (though I have no doubt this takes in also the PALINGENESIAN (regeneration,) he is raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. He is created anew in Christ Jesus (not merely born) unto good works which God hath before ordained that he should walk in them. The Holy Ghost, besides this, dwells in the believer as a distinct Person; gives him the knowledge of his place of oneness and position with the Son; bears witness with his spirit that he is a child of God (Rom. 8); gives him the knowledge of the things freely given to him of God (1 Cor. 2:12); and his body becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19). There is liberty now, no longer bondage; the knowledge of salvation, not hoping to get it (Rom. 8:16, 2 Cor.3:17). But this gift comes through its proper channel, that is through Jesus Christ our Savior, God’s glorified Man at the right hand of God. He had shed His blood, which the believer accepts and rests upon, and which as a result purges his conscience, so that he has boldness and access for and into the holiest.