•  1 min. read  •  grade level: 6
* * * The Epistle to the Philippians has somewhat occupied me of late. What has struck me particularly in this epistle is, that the apostle so places himself in the life of Christ, that he expresses no consciousness of the existence of the flesh. He had a thorn in the flesh, so that it is not a question of doctrine only, it is a state in which the flesh does not act, and cannot lead the thoughts astray; that which appears to be a success for Satan will turn to salvation for Paul. Christ will be glorified in his body, whether by life or by death, as He had always been. To live is Christ, nothing else; to die, gain, for he will enjoy Christ without hindrance. He decides his own trial, without regard to himself, for he knows not what to choose; but for the church it is well that he should remain, so he will remain. He is careful for nothing. He knows that peace of God which passes all understanding—he, who was going to stand on his trial before Nero. He knows how to be abased, and how to abound. He can do all things through Christ, who strengthens him. He is, by that which belongs to the life of Christ, above it all. He has not, without doubt, attained to the end, namely, resurrection from among the dead, but he does only one thing—the activity of the life of Christ leaves no room for anything else. The more you examine the epistle, the more you find that, during the life in which he has not attained to the end, he knows no other thing than "to live is Christ."
June 23rd, 1859.