Young Christian: Volume 10, 1920

Table of Contents

1. I Let Myself Go
2. Once and Now
3. Scripture Study: John 8
4. All!
5. The Swallows Are Gone
6. The Unfailing Efficacy of the Blood of Christ
7. In Everything Give Thanks: For This Is the Will of God in Christ Jesus Concerning You
8. Correspondence: Sunday's Claim on Christians
9. My Brother Charlie
10. Remembered
11. The Old, Old Story: Part 1
12. The Story Told
13. Scripture Study: John 9
14. This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 1
15. Lean Hard
16. Correspondence: Heb. 10:26-29 Explained
17. Try the Up Look
18. Strength for the Year
19. A Simple Offer - A Simple Acceptance
20. The Sculptor and the Marble Block
21. Scripture Study: John 10
22. This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 2
23. A Silent Testimony
24. Toil and Its Fruit
25. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
26. Stand Fast
27. Fragment: Labor, not Rest
28. Correspondence: 1 Cor. 11:30; Luke 16:1-12
29. Katie: "A Time to Dance"
30. Will You Come?
31. Has God Spoken?
32. Scripture Study: John 11
33. The Watchers
34. Are You a Backslider?
35. The Commandments and the Words of Jesus
36. This World Is a Wilderness Wide
37. Walk With the Lord
38. Correspondence: 1 Tim. 5:24-25; The House of God
39. Loving Savior, I Accept Thee
40. The Invitation Accepted
41. What Do You Believe In?
42. Tract Distributing in South China
43. A Tender Conscience
44. Scripture Study: John 12
45. The Lord's Love
46. The Son of God: Part 1
47. Rejoice in the Lord
48. A Few Words on Preaching
49. Correspondence: 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 23:9-10
50. The Message of the Station Boy
51. Linger Not
52. Scripture Study: John 13
53. Fragment: Our Practical Calling
54. The Son of God: Part 2
55. Underneath
56. Underneath Are the Everlasting Arms!: Deuteronomy 33:27
57. The White Stone and New Name: Revelation 2:17
58. The One Who Loved Us So
59. Fragment
60. Correspondence: Should Christians Dance; 2 Pet. 1:19 - Questions on Words
61. The Secret of Happiness
62. More Value Than Many Sparrows
63. Scripture Study: John 14
64. A Babe's Lispings
65. The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands: Part 1
66. The Son of God: Part 3
67. As He Is, So Are We
68. Correspondence: Children of the Devil
69. Confess the Lord
70. The Voice of God
71. Scripture Study: John 15
72. God's All-Sufficient and Abounding Grace
73. The Son of God: Part 4
74. One Step at a Time
75. The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands: Part 2
76. True Service
77. Fragment
78. The Power of Prayer
79. Correspondence: Who Will Be Caught Up When the Lord Comes?
80. "Yes, Lord, It Does!"
81. He Hath Said, I Will Never Leave Thee, Nor Forsake Thee: Hebrews 13:5
82. The Triumph of the Gospel: Part 1
83. Conditions of Prevailing Prayer
84. Scripture Study: John 16
85. A Present Savior
86. Fragments: Burdens
87. The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands Argentine Republic, S. A.: Part 3
88. The Lord Jesus Christ Is Coming Again!
89. My Web of Life
90. A Grave Defect
91. Set Your Affection on Things Above
92. Deciding for Christ
93. Fragment: A Solution for Sadness
94. The Brook Cherith
95. The Lord My Shepherd: Psalms 23
96. Scripture Study: John 17
97. Faith, Hope and Love
98. The Triumphs of the Gospel: Part 2
99. Kept
100. Are You Satisfied?
101. Correspondence: What Does Matt. 5:25-26 and Luke 12:58-59 Apply to?
102. Jesus Knows
103. Come, Make Thy Choice!
104. The Appetite Grows Upon What It Feeds On
105. Scripture Study: John 18
106. A Word of Exhortation
107. Sealed Unto the Day of Redemption
108. Sent Ones
109. I Am the Resurrection and the Life: John 11:25
110. Necessary Food
111. A Few Practical Words to Young Believers
112. The Love of God
113. Satisfied
114. Thus Saith the Lord
115. The Outlook
116. Correspondence: Scarlet-Crimson, Snow-Wool; Psa. 49:8
117. Doubts
118. On Our Way
119. Scripture Study: John 19
120. He Cares
121. Following Christ
122. Preaching
123. Small and Great
124. Thou Art the Christ, the Son of the Living God: Matthew 16:26
125. Grieving the Holy Ghost
126. My Spirit Is Faint and Weary
127. Recollection of Address on Luke 7:36-50
128. The Christian's Heart
129. Be Ye Separate
130. The Journey's End
131. Correspondence: Christ's Risen Body

I Let Myself Go

A young person over 20 years of age, in lowly circumstances, but of considerable natural refinement, came home from her situation. I had known her before she went away from the village, so that, on hearing of her illness, I called upon her at once. I found her very weak in body, and not only without any personal trust in the Saviour, but unwilling to hear much about spiritual things. On visiting such I seldom ask any questions, believing it to be an unwise course, greatly hindering the first work to be done, namely, the gaining of the confidence of the invalid. It is not often difficult to discover the spiritual state of one thus brought into “deep waters.” A word will sometimes reveal their state—show that they are in darkness, and that their foundation is insecure. I sat a while and talked about my own sister’s illness, about the Saviour and God’s perfect dealings; then, having offered a short prayer, I left. This I did several times, talking more and more directly to her on each visit, seeking to awaken anxiety about her soul, and to call forth trust in Jesus.
For a time there seemed little sign of awakening, and yet I was not without hope. I called on the last evening of the year, that I might use the solemnity of its last hours in urging her to go to the cross, ere the old year died away, that she might enter upon the coming year a new creature in Christ, and that, despite her sickness, it might be the happiest new year she had ever known. Though she gave me no promise earnestly to seek the Saviour at once, I left in much hope.
Two days after this interview, I was told she wished particularly to see me. On entering her room I found Elizabeth somewhat stronger and sitting up. I greeted her, “You need not tell me what has taken place—your countenance explains all.” The darkness, the troubled look, had altogether gone, and the clear light and peace of a confiding child were there instead. “To the desert, the excellency of Carmel and of Sharon had been given.”
“O,” said Elizabeth, “you cannot tell how great my joy is!”
“I am not sure that I cannot,” I replied. “Besides, I am not sure that your joy is greater than mine. Yours is the joy of pardon, mine the joy of having a share in the Saviour’s joy over a soul coming to Him. Now tell me all! How you found such peace, and on what your hope rests.”
Elizabeth said, “I have long been feeling my need of a Saviour, and I tried to believe, but could not. I wanted the right feelings; and could find no peace. It was after you left on the last evening of the old year, I knelt down and earnestly asked God to help me to believe, and then, I cannot tell you how it was, but in some way I let myself go. I yielded myself to Christ, or rather I let Him take me and save me. Then at once I found pardon and peace. I could trust Jesus, and I knew I was pardoned. I see it all now, though I could see nothing before.”
“Then you are not afraid to die now?”
“No, indeed,” she replied. “Death did seem awful to me—so dark and terrible, with no ray of light—but all fear has gone. I fear life more than death now, lest in my weakness I should fail to follow Jesus.”
“Do you not see that that simple petition of yours, asking God to help you to believe, was an acknowledgment of your own helplessness, and was really turning away from yourself for help, and looking up in felt guilt and need to God? Thus your soul was brought into saving contact with the Great Physician.”
How strangely we stumble over the simplicity of faith. We even try to believe and cannot, but when we can let ourselves go, leaving it all to the Saviour, peace and joy follow.
We knelt together and poured out our thankful hearts before Him who had rescued the one and used the other, and made us both rejoice together.
With this perfect peace, Elizabeth soon regained much strength. Jesus was to her indeed the Great Physician, healing both body and soul. She was able to sit up much longer, and soon to walk across the room without help, and before long to come downstairs. Christian friends were now joyfully welcomed, and though Elizabeth always felt much indebted for their visits, I think there were but few who did not receive as much as they gave. As one, who had herself gathered “many of the peaceable fruits of righteousness” from her own afflictions, said, “The change is so wonderful in Elizabeth, her spiritual vision so clear, her trust so calm, her peace so profound, that I go more to be helped than to render help.” Two or three years before Elizabeth’s sickness, her mother, to whom she had clung with all her heart, had been taken away. After this there came the emigration of her brother who was more to her than all the rest of the family—but now she saw that God had removed them to whom she had clung the most, in order that she might be driven to cling to, and lean upon the Saviour. The whole Bible was lighted up to her by the Spirit, and she said, “It seemed to me as uninteresting as it could be, before I found Christ, and I wondered how people endured to read the same chapters over and over again; but now I cannot turn to a verse that does not seem precious. It is indeed ‘sweeter than honey, or the honeycomb.’”
“I know now,” she said one day, “why my cousin used so often to repeat the word ‘Father’ when he prayed. I could hear him in my room, and often wondered why he so used it. Where the spirit of adoption is, the whole heart goes forth more fully in that precious name than in any other, and when the heart does not know what it wants, it falls back upon the near and dear relationship, the very mention of which sums up all our petitions.”
“Little did I think I was in such total darkness before my conversion. I thought I was in the light, and as good a Christian as others that went to church, yet I could not see the kingdom of God. I did not believe there was an inner life, but thought is mere fancy. I knew only the form of godliness, and did not believe there was any power. How blind I was!”
It was to be expected that one who so rejoiced in the light as Elizabeth, would let her light shine before others. From the day of her conversion she was known by all as a follower of Christ, and her course was marked by consistency. Often did she think her life spent in a sick chamber a useless one, but “Those also serve, who only stand and wait,” and no life that lives out the gospel can be useless. Confident recognition of God in daily life, calm trust in His care, unmurmuring submission, concern to do His will, lowliness and meekness, tenderness of conscience, carefulness not to break the law of charity, even in word or tone, deep concern for the salvation of others, and marked prayerfulness, all made her life a light. “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth,” Psalm 145:18.

Once and Now

We once were lost, but now are found,
Like sheep we went astray;
We were by sin and Satan bound,
And trod the downward way.
But Thou, O Lord, didst seek and find,
With joy didst bring us home,
And by Thy love, our spirits bind,
That we no more might roam.
We once were blind, but now we see,
We dwelt in nature’s night;
No beauty, Lord, could find in Thee,
Till we were blest with sight.
But God, in wondrous love and grace,
Did on our darkness shine;
His glory showed us in Thy face,
And gave us light divine.
We once were dead, but now we live,
Our life, O Lord, art Thou,
Who for our sins Thyself didst give—
Beneath our judgment bow.
Eternal life is ours in Thee,
Thou, risen from the dead;
And we, from sin and judgment free,
Are one with Thee, the Head.
How much, O Lord, to Thee we owe,
In whom we thus are blest!
Whose precious blood for us did flow,
And love divine expressed.
O Saviour, Shepherd, Life and Light,
To Thee we praises bring;
And soon shall, in Thy glory bright,
More worthy anthems sing.

Scripture Study: John 8

Verse 1 belongs to chapter 7.
Verse 2. Early in the morning the Lord came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down and taught them.
Verses 3, 4. He is interrupted by the entry of some scribes and Pharisees who brought unto Him a woman taken in the act of adultery, and set her in the midst before Him. They want to confound the blessed Lord in His teaching. It was not hatred to sin nor love to the sinner, nor desire to learn the way of God, but they are coming into the light where their motives will be manifest, which was, to tempt the Lord.
Verse 5. They think they have a clear case— “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?”
Verse 6. The Lord, who knew their object, stooped down and wrote upon the ground with His finger, giving them time to show their persistent wickedness. They have quoted Moses, thinking that the Lord’s teachings of God’s grace to sinners did not agree with Moses’ teaching. Then He will let them have the law, and see how they will stand its searchings.
Verses 7-9. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. How they mistook His teachings (Matt. 5:17). He will magnify the law, and declare that it is holy, just and good, (Rom. 7) but He will show them that they have not kept it, and that it condemns all such (Gal. 3:10, 11).
He turns its searchlight upon them, discovering to themselves their unfitness to carry out the judgment of God on the woman who deserved it, and they deserved its penalty for their own sins which now His word compels them to look at. They were offended at His grace to sinners; now they are to feel His judgment on sin, but it is on their own. As He again writes on the ground, the truth of their guilt is pounding itself into their consciences, and, beginning at the eldest who had the most sin and so was the most guilty and not willing to own it, they file out one by one to hide themselves from His view, till they are all gone, and Jesus is left alone, with the woman standing in the midst. The law was maintained, but He is not the executor. He has not yet taken the place of Judge. He is Jesus the Saviour. They may flee from the light now, but they will yet have to stand before God when they cannot flee. They did not think that Sinai’s thunders were to be applied to themselves. They had dragged the guilty sinner there to be condemned, but they are now feeling its condemnation themselves, and they cannot help it. They make their escape for the present, convicted of sin, yet unwilling to own it.
Verses 10, 11. And what about the guilty woman? Jesus lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, and said unto her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?”
She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Why did she stay so long? Her accusers were gone; there was no one to hinder her from running away to hide her shame, for she was verily guilty, and had no excuse. She deserved judgment. No, she will not flee. She had seen her accusers go; they also are proved guilty by the same law of Moses. They try to hide it, but she owns it, and stands guilty before God. They tried to prove He was Moses’ enemy; He proves that He is Moses’ Lord. He is not there to judge. He is there as the Saviour, and she cannot flee from Him. She must have felt His pity for her. His words, though condemning her sin, tell her of the grace of forgiveness in His heart, as He says to her, “Go, and sin no more.” Forgiveness comes to the one who stands guilty before God. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise,” Psalm 51:17.
Verse 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Verses 13-19. There were more Pharisees than those who had gone out, and they prove to be as blind as the rest. They refuse His testimony, though it had just been demonstrated that His testimony was a true one. They judged after the flesh and did not see that He was sent of the Father, and that the Father bore witness by both His words and works. If they had known Him, they would have known His Father also.
Verse 20. They could not touch Him, for His hour was not yet come.
Verses 21-24. He convicts them of unbelief in His person, and warns them that because of it, they shall die in their sins. They were from beneath. He was from above. They could not understand Him when He spoke of where He was going. They were of this world. He was not of this world, therefore if they would not believe that “I am,” they should die in their sins.
Verses 25, 26. He tells them that He and His word are the same. To their question, “Who art Thou?” He answers that His speech presented Himself, “Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.” His word expressed what He Himself is, and this also told out the Father who had sent Him.
Verses 27-29. But all this was lost on them; they understood not that He spoke to them of the Father. And only when the Son of Man was lifted up would they know that He was the “I am.” and that all He said was spoken from the Father who was with Him, and He did always the things that please Him.
Verses 30-33. At this point, many believed on Him, perhaps only in appearance and profession, for the Lord said, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This they do not like, and rather resent it as implying that they were in bondage. They claim Abraham as their father, and answered Him, “How sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?”
Verses 34-40. Their behavior showed that they were the servants of sin, and though, professedly Jehovah’s servants, yet they could not abide in His house. They were Abraham’s seed, but not Abraham’s children. It was the Son who was the Truth, and if the Son set them free, then were they free indeed. How could they be Abraham’s children, when they sought to kill the Lord who had spoken to them of God.
Verses 41, 42. They claim to have God as their father, but the Lord declares that they hated the One whom the Father sent to them.
Verse 43. They did not understand His speech, for they did not believe what He said. They did not receive His thoughts spoken to them, for their minds were against Him.
Verses 44-46. They were of their father the devil. Their behavior bore witness to it.
He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. How terrible it is that man has gone after such a one! Unless the Lord had said it, we would not have thought that even religious men, if still unconverted, were in their moral character, children of the devil; (1 John 3:8-10) enmity against God (Rom. 8:7). It is truly said of every man, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. The Lord told them the truth, but their minds and hearts were utterly opposed to it, as they were sunk in sin and in unbelief.
Verses 47-51. He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. It is the same today. (Compare what 1 John 4:5, 6 says of the Apostle’s writings). Yet they say in answer, “Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?”
How great and wonderful a person we see Him to be—One as a man honoring the Father, and yet could say, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death.” Christ is above death, it has no claim on Him, and He has life and gives life, (John 5,) and those that keep His word shall never see death. What is death to such, but just the passing into the presence of the Lord?
Verses 52-56. Their perplexity is here shown. They did not know that here was One greater than Abraham and the prophets—the One Abraham looked forward to by faith, and rejoiced to see His day, and he saw it and was glad.
Verses 57-59. They looked on Him only as a man, and Jesus gives out that wonderful truth, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” He is the great Jehovah God. They answered by taking up stones to stone Him. He hid Himself, and went out of the temple, and though He went through the midst of them and passed by, they could do nothing to Him. Yet man’s wretched enmity of heart to Christ, the Son of God, is fully manifest.


God’s reiterated “ALL,”
O wondrous word of peace and power!
Touching with its tuneful fall
Each unknown day, each hidden hour,
Of the coming year.
Only all His Word believe,
All peace and joy your heart shall fill;
All things asked, ye shall receive;
This is thy Father’s word and will
For the coming year.
He shall all your need supply,
And He will make all grace abound;
Always all sufficiency
In Him for all things shall be found
Through the coming year.
All His work He shall fulfill,
All the good pleasure of His will;
Keeping thee in all thy ways,
And with thee always, “all the days”
Of the coming year.

The Swallows Are Gone

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the Lord. How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made He it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them” (Jer. 8:7-9)?
The swallows are gone; the cold blasts of winter are come: but not one swallow is left behind. We saw them gathered together, and they were seen to fly higher, as the time to depart grew nearer. No one saw them go. But they are gone to sunny lands of the south. The frost and the snow, the sleet and piercing winds of winter never reach them there. Very remarkable is this instinct of the birds. “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the Lord.”
Is there not a lesson for us in this instinct of the birds? It was pleasing to watch the swallows as the winter drew near; how they would gather in companies; how they seemed to wait for the wanderers. Then they would fly high, a’ wanting to be gone. We thought, is not the Holy Spirit now gathering Christians together in little companies to Christ? Now here, now there, a wanderer coming in. Should we not fly higher? we, like the swallows, are about to leave this scene below. Already signs of this world’s judgment begin to flit across its autumn sky. And now every swallow soared ready to depart, moved by one common instinct. O that every Christian was seen manifestly ready to depart, moved by the Spirit of God.
But will it be with the whole church of God as with the swallows? Yes, the Holy Spirit is already gathering them in little companies to Christ. He has revealed to them afresh, after many centuries, the heavenly Bridegroom, and the heavenly calling of the church. He is leading their thoughts and hearts, higher and higher yet. And soon, very soon, though the world will not see them go, yet every one shall be gone, not one left behind. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Are not these the sober words of inspired reality? Yes, brethren, we shall all be gone, not one be left behind: forever with the Lord. If the swallows are gone to more sunny shores, O, what will it be to be caught up away from the scenes of this world’s wintry woes, and judgments and in peaceful rest enter the glory of our Lord!
And if God never fails to take by instinct at the appointed time, the stork, the crane, and the swallow, Can He possibly fail at the appointed time to take the saints to meet their Lord? Is it not sad and humbling that the Lord should have to complain, that though the swallow should know her appointed time, “My people know not the judgment of the Lord?” Is not this as true now of Christendom, as it was of Israel then? What profound ignorance there is on this important subject. “My people know not.” Men go on dreaming of continual summer, yea, of increasing sunshine, peace, temperance, prosperity—just at the very time when the saints are about to be gone like the swallows of autumn, and the storms of this world’s wintry blasts are about to take them all by surprise (1 Thess. 5:1-9).
It is incredible how utterly unaware the learned of this world are of the wintry judgments about to be poured out on the nations of the earth. “How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us?”
Never was there a day of more boasting, “We are wise.” It is quite true the Word of God is in men’s hands; but who believes it? The rapture of the church before the day of the Lord is clearly revealed. God has said it. He has made it perfectly clear, both the departure of His saints to meet the Lord in the air, and the terrible judgments that shall follow. Has He made it clear? Yes, but, “Lo, certainly in vain made He it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.” Yes, in vain hath God spoken in His Word; men will not believe Him. “Making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition” (Mark 7).
Let us now pass on to the end of this age, before the new era of the millennial kingdom begins.
“The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed, and taken: lo, they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them” (Jer. 8:9)?
Let us listen to these learned men, these rejecters of the Word of God. “How strange this is: those Christians we despised are all gone, like the swallows of autumn. Not one of them can be found on earth. How we laughed and hated their gathering together! What fools we thought them because they would fly higher; as they said, their Lord was coming to take them. They spoke of their heavenly calling; and would have nothing to say to our earthly societies and politics. We scorned them because they would not join our various schemes for the improvement of man. We hated the thought that we were not to glory save in the cross of Christ. They gathered together—poor little despised companies—and told of the coming Saviour to the wanderers all around. No one saw them go, but they are gone. And now the world’s wild, fierce, wintry blasts are blowing. Where is all our boasted wisdom? Peace is taken from the earth. All that we hear on every side is, that men are killing one another. Famine and pestilence, sword, hunger and death all around. Woe, woe to us, the winter of this world is come.”
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains.... hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6). Ah, we rejected the Word of the Lord, but now the Christians are gone, and the great day of His wrath is come. Storm after storm has come: we seek death and do not find it (Rev. 9:6). Where is now our boasted wisdom? We are worshiping devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood (Rev. 9:20). And what is the end of all our politics? What strange events since the winter set in, and the church is gone! It is not forty-two months yet, since the new last head of the Roman Empire appeared. But O, what months! The dragon has given him his power. Ten kingdoms have sprung up and given their power to this Satanic head. When he opens his mouth it is in blasphemy. And all that dwell on earth worship him. And all that refuse are boycotted and put to death. It is true all this was distinctly foretold in Scripture, but we were far too wise then to believe what God said to his servants in Revelation 6, 9, 13, and 17. Certainly there never was such a winter as this since the beginning of the world, no, nor ever shall be. Jesus said it would be so: but we did not believe Him (Matt. 24:21).
Yes, “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?”
And now, beloved reader, as the last days are fast coming to a close, where are you, and what is the condition of your soul? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb, and ready to be gone like the swallows in autumn? Are you following the wise men of this world, who will so soon be ashamed and confounded? Is Christ the center of attraction? Are you separated to Him, and waiting for Him from heaven? Great is the last effort to draw Christians from Christ to join the confederacies of men. O, let us seek to get higher and higher. The Word of God is utterly disregarded. On no account will men allow it to be Christ alone. Christ and circumcision, Christ and the world’s various confederacies, or even Christ and profanity. All these things hide the coming of the Lord to take His saints. Every doctrine of human improvement denies the utter ruin of man through sin, and the fast approaching winter of divine judgment on the rejecters and despisers of the Word of God. It is solemnly true of the great men and the wise of this world, “They have rejected the Word of the Lord.” The mark of a Christian is, “Thou hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name.” Which is true of you, beloved reader?
Can you for a moment admit that the instinct of a bird is more sure than the words of the Saviour? As this world’s winter approaches, let us then dwell on the words of Jesus. He cannot fail to fulfill His promise. We may not know where the swallows go; but Jesus says to us, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2, 3.) Do we hear you saying, “Yes: Jesus says so, but our learned, wise teachers do not say so”? Remember the word, “They have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?”
It is a solemn fact that God by His Spirit has sent forth the midnight cry, “Behold the bridegroom, go ye out to meet Him;” and they have rejected the Word of the Lord. God grant we may cease from man; for what wisdom is in him?
May the saints of God be now gathered together like the swallows in autumn. May we love to dwell on His sweet words of promise. Has He not gone to prepare the place? O, those scenes of radiant glory, far away from earth’s cold wintry blasts. And will He not come to take us to Himself? With Himself! How soon, like Moses and Elias, shall we be talking with Him! Glorious reality. Soon we shall be gone; not one be left behind. And poor deceived apostate Christendom left to “become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2). Blessed comfort; the Lord knoweth them that are His, and none shall be left behind.
“Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

The Unfailing Efficacy of the Blood of Christ

Allow me to say that a fresh application of the blood of Christ is unknown to Christianity. There are Christians, no doubt, who tell you that you must have fresh recourse to the blood; but they have no Scripture for their thought. On the contrary, it weakens the fundamental truth of the efficacy of Christ’s one sacrifice, which it is intended, after a human fashion, to commend and exalt and that is the effect of forming our own thoughts of the use that is to be made of any truth, instead of simply bowing to the Word of God. Repetition as to this would prove imperfectness. This foundation has been laid so completely in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that it never requires to be laid again. There is no more the possibility of a fresh sprinkling of Christ’s blood, than there is room left for His dying once more to shed His blood. When a soul has found Him and been washed from sin in His blood, there it abides forever. This is what makes the sin of a Christian to be so serious. If you could begin again, what is the effect? Not very different from that which his confession before a priest has upon a Romanist. People soon learn to trifle with sin, and to get hardened by its deceitfulness. Although it is a different thing where Christ is looked to, still the moral effect is much the same, as far as the making light of sin is concerned. If a person can again and again start afresh, as if nothing had happened, and begin over and over again for every fresh downfall, sin is never felt nearly so deeply. But we are bound to bring no stain upon that which is washed in the blood of Christ. Yet we are conscious of constant failure.

In Everything Give Thanks: For This Is the Will of God in Christ Jesus Concerning You

“In everything give thanks,”
My God, is this Thy will?
Give thanks for disappointments given,
For prayers unanswered still!
Give thanks! in vain I’ve prayed
That I might useful be,
And by Thy Spirit’s helpful aid,
Bring many souls to Thee.
Give thanks! when in the place
Of health and usefulness,
Through sickness Thou hast paled my face
With pain and weariness.
Give thanks! if ‘twere Thy will
Submission to demand,
I then might bid myself be still
And bow to Thy command.
But hush, beneath my eye,
I see in words of blood,
“Will He who gave His Son to die,
Refuse thee any good?”
Give thanks! Yea, Lord, I do,
And by Thy help I will
Give thanks! for blessings not received,
Although expected still.
Give thanks! for mercies given,
Unnoticed oft by me.
Give thanks! for all my sins forgiven,
Borne fully, Lord, by Thee.
Give thanks! in word and deed,
For Thy surpassing love,
Which sent Thy Son on earth to save,
And now to plead above.
Give thanks! for tender love,
That our Redeemer showed,
Who, in the absence of Himself,
A Comforter bestowed.
O! grant me by Thy grace
To walk by faith alone,
Until before my Father’s face
I know as I am known.

Correspondence: Sunday's Claim on Christians

Question: What claim has Sunday on Christians any more than any other day in the week? F. H.
Answer: As we frequently hear this asked, it demands an explanation; but the asking of it might indicate how little the Lord possesses the affections of those who feel like that.
As you say, “We are not under law,” but we are “under grace,” and grace has its deeper claim upon our hearts than law ever could have.
Do we realize that we are not only forgiven children of God, (1 John 2:12) but that we are dead with Christ and risen with Christ (Col. 3:1-4)? And that we are thus separated from the world by death, and are associated with Him in resurrection life (Col. 2:12)? Does your faith lay hold of this operation of God who raised Him from the dead?
We are the fruit sprung up from the corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died (John 12:24). As the redeemed of the Lord, we no more belong to the world, than could the Children of Israel get back in Egypt, but in forgetfulness of their divine blessings we find them lusting after Egypt’s pleasures. So it may be with us, and it will be if the love and grace of Christ do not control our hearts.
The first and great question is: Do we realize that we belong entirely to the Lord, that He has purchased us, spirit, soul and body (1 Cor. 6:19)? He loves us and desires to have full control of our hearts. He works by love, “Faith worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6). The chains that bind us to Him are bonds of love.
The name “Sunday” is the world’s name of the day. Sabbath is never the first day of the week in Scripture. It is the seventh day. The Christian is not under law, to which the Sabbath belongs. We are entirely freed from it (Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16, 20). The death of Christ has ended that; we are now on resurrection ground, associated with Christ risen from the dead. We are risen with Him.
It is therefore in this new position the word comes to us about “the first day of the week.” In Leviticus 23:11, 15 it is called “the morrow after the Sabbath,” typifying the time of the resurrection of Christ as the wave, sheaf. And the beginning of the church at Pentecost in the two wave loaves baken with leaven.
In the New Testament it is “The first day of the week” when the Sabbath was ended. It is marked by the resurrection of Christ from the dead—now our living and glorified Lord. It is also the day when the Holy Spirit descended from heaven to dwell on earth in redeemed men. It is the day on which the gospel was first preached. And in Acts 20:7 it is marked as the day when the disciples came together to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread. As time wore on it grew in importance in the mind of the Apostle John, who led by the Holy Spirit, wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” “The Lord’s day” is therefore the name God has given it.
Like the Lord’s table, and the Lord’s supper, the Lord’s day claims my loving submission to His will. It is true, I ought to be in submission to His will every day, but here it is something special, it is “the Lord’s day.” He claims my heart every day and every hour, but this day gives me special privileges of enjoyment and service of His things, if, like John, we are “in the Spirit” on that day. “In the Spirit” is separation of heart, abstraction from my own things to have my heart centered on His things. It put John in condition to receive communications from the Lord. It is needed for us also. The sad thing is the lack in the soul of spiritual desire and cleaving to the Lord in personal communion. Then the flesh in the believer seeks to substitute the pleasures of sin instead of the pleasures of loving service for Christ. If the love of Christ is not allowed to fill our hearts, our attention will be turned to other objects, and we will excuse ourselves that we are not under law. How subtle is the flesh, and Satan is quick to take advantage of it. How much we lose in indulging the flesh, eternity only will reveal. We have read of godly men who with less light than we, set themselves to let nothing come in so as to be in a condition to give their undivided heart to the things of Christ, on that day, and they were rewarded by deepened enjoyment of personal communion with the Lord.
May our hearts be kept from cold indifference of this Laodicean time, and joyfully yield to the claims of our blessed, living, loving, Lord Jesus.

My Brother Charlie

Many years ago I sat by the fireside with my widowed mother, waiting for the homecoming of my only brother. He was a medical student in E., and was expected home that night, on his usual vacation. There were no railways in those days, so Charlie had to come by the mail coach which took the greater part of the day to make the journey. I was looking forward to his homecoming with great delight, and had a long program of “events” drawn up for the following day, in which was included a supper and ball. My mother was very indulgent, and allowed us to do very much what we liked in these matters, and of course Charlie and I took full advantage of her liberality, and went into the thing in grand style. The hours passed on, and still there was no coach. It was late in the afternoon. I fretted at this, and feared that all my plans for the morrow might be upset.
“What if he should not come?” I said, “that will spoil the whole thing.”
Just then the “horn” sounded, and the big mail coach rolled into the village amid clouds of dust, crowded with passengers, and with Charlie among the rest. I clapped my hands in glee as I saw his well-known form, on the driver’s seat, beside the man in red, and in a few minutes more he stood in the old parlor, where he and I had together as children spent so many happy days. He was taller and thinner, but the old happy smile dimpled his cheek, and I never felt so proud of my brother as I did that day. I was so eager to inform him of all my plans, that I accompanied him up to his room, and began at once to tell him who were invited, and what was to be the program for the following day. He listened to my story patiently, but without the manifest interest I had expected. When I had finished, he gave a pleasant laugh, threw his arm around my neck, and, kissing me affectionately, said, “Maggie, my dear, you will not be offended if I tell you, these things are no longer any enjoyment to me. I have something infinitely better.”
I looked at him in amazement, and thought he was joking, for no one had enjoyed a dance more heartily than Charlie. He saw I was puzzled, so drawing me to his side, he said: “Do not be alarmed, Maggie, I have not turned a monk, but I have Christ as my own Lord and Master, and He is more to me now than all these follies use to be; but come on, mother will be waiting, I will tell you all about it again.”
That night by the parlor fireside, Charlie told Our mother and me the story of his conversion, while listening to the preaching of Brownlow North, in Edinburgh, and how he had longed to get back to his native town to tell his old associates the story of redeeming love.
“What shall we do about tomorrow?” asked my mother. “Our preparations are all made, and there are about twenty invited.” Charlie laughed heartily and said: “Let them come by all means, mother, I shall be delighted to meet them, and it’s just possible that we may have some music and dancing after all before the night passes away.”
A goodly company had gathered at Rosemount the following night, and after supper, the company called for Charlie, as was their wont, to entertain them with a song. He was a splendid singer, and never was his voice in better trim than it was that evening. A moment’s pause, and Charlie rose, not without a quiver passing through his manly frame, and in a voice of thrilling sweetness, sang—
I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine
These ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
Forever and forever.
I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend,
He bled; He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self He gave me,
Naught that I have, mine own I’ll call,
I’ll hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all,
Are His and His forever.
I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend,
So kind, and true and tender,
So wise a counselor and guide,
So mighty a defender.
From Him who loves me now so well,
What power my soul can sever?
Shall life or death, shall earth or hell?
No; I am His forever.
A look of blank amazement settled on the faces of the company as the words fell on their ears. Every eye was fixed on the singer, spellbound. Tears were seen in the eyes of most, and as the singer reached the last verse, his voice increasing in power and sweetness, he sang the thrilling words with great effect
I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend,
All power to Him is given,
To guard me on my onward course
And bring me safe to heaven.
The eternal glories gleam afar,
To nerve my faint endeavor;
So now to watch, to work, to war,
And then to rest forever.
Some of the company rose and left without uttering one word, but the greater part remained, and to them Charlie in his winning, hearty manner told the simple story of his conversion, ending up with, “You won’t be angry at me for telling you, will you? The truth is, I could not keep it, my heart is full of it, and I thought the least I could do was to tell you of my newfound treasure.”
That simple testimony to the saving power of Christ, the beaming face of the speaker, so well known to all the company; the genuineness of the change, the absence of all affectation, and the earnest closing appeal to accept the gift of God, His own beloved Son, to be your Saviour and know true happiness for time and eternity, was owned of God to the conversion of at least five of the company that night.
Charlie spoke in the schoolroom on Sunday evening to it crowded congregation, and several others were won for Christ. A great ingathering followed. And among those who were saved and who sang the new song, were my mother, and me.
Part of that happy company after witnessing a good confession have gone to heaven; others of us are still on earth, singing still of Jesus, and were Charlie by my side, as I write, he would join me in saying to all who read my story what he said that night long ago, “Accept the gift of God, His own beloved Son, to be your Saviour.”


“Yet will not I forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:15, 16
“A wonderful story of matchless love!
That you are so dear to Christ above;
He stands for you when you cannot fight,
He comforts you in the gloom of night.
The sorrow that bows you down He bears,
He loves and pardons, because He cares.
If ever you fear He could forget,
Remember the truth in His promise set,
And let it be to you balm of balms,
“Behold I have graven thee on My palms.”

The Old, Old Story: Part 1

Tell me the old, old story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply,
As to a little child;
For I am weak and weary,
And helpless and defiled.
Tell me the story slowly,
That I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption,
God’s remedy for sin!
Tell me the story often,
For I forget so soon!
The “early dew” of morning
Has passed away at noon!
Tell me the story softly,
With earnest tones and grave;
Remember, I’m the sinner
Whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always,
If you would really be,
In any time of trouble,
A comforter to me.
Tell me the same old story
When you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory
Is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory
Shall dawn upon my soul,
Tell me the old, old story,
“Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”
Part 2.
You ask me for “the story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love.”
You want “the old, old story,”
And nothing else will do!
Indeed I cannot wonder,
It always seems so new!
I often wish that someone
Would tell it me each day;
I never should get tired
Of what they had to say.
But I am wasting moments!
O, how shall I begin
To tell “the old, old story,”
How Jesus saves from sin?
Listen, and I will tell you;
God help both you and me,
And make “the old, old story”
His Message unto thee!

The Story Told

Once, in a pleasant garden,
God placed a happy pair;
And all within was peaceful,
And all around was fair.
But, O! they disobeyed Him!
The one thing He denied
They longed for, took, and tasted;
They ate it, and they died!
Yet, in His love and pity,
At once the Lord declared
How man, though lost and ruined,
Might after all be spared!
For one of Eve’s descendants,
Not sinful, like the rest,
Should spoil the work of Satan,
And man be saved and blest!
Should be the Son of Adam,
But Son of God as well,
And bring a full salvation
From sin and death and hell.
Hundreds of years were over
Adam and Eve had died,
The following generation,
And many more beside.
At last, some shepherds, watching
Beside their flocks at night,
Were startled in the darkness
By strange and heavenly light.
One of the holy angels
Had come from heaven above,
To tell the true, true story
Of Jesus and His love.
He came to bring “glad tidings,”
“You need not, must not, fear,
For Christ, your newborn Saviour,
Lies in the village near!”
And many other angels
Took up the story then—
“To God on high be glory,
Good will and peace to men.”
And was it true—that story?
They went at once to see,
And found Him in a manger,
And knew that it was He.
He whom the Father promised,
So many ages past,
Had come to save poor sinners;
Yes, He had come at last!
That was indeed His purpose,
To seek and save the lost,
Although He knew beforehand—
Knew all that it would cost.
He lived a life most holy,
His every thought was love,
And every action showed it,
To man, and God above.
His path in life was lowly;
He was a working Man:
Who knows the poor man’s trials
So well as Jesus can?
His last three years were lovely!
He could no more be hid;
And time and strength would fail me
To tell the good He did.
He gave away no money,
For He had none to give;
But He had power of healing,
And made dead people live.
He did kind things so kindly!
It seemed His heart’s delight
To make poor people happy,
From morning until night!
He always seemed at leisure
For every one who came;
However tired or busy,
They found Him just “the same.”
He heard each tale of sorrow
With an attentive ear,
And took away each burden
Of suffering, sin, or fear.
He was “a Man of Sorrows”!
And when He gave relief,
He gave it like a brother,
Acquainted with the grief.
Such was “the Man Christ Jesus”!
The Friend of sinful man!
But hush! the tale grows sadder;
I’ll tell it—if I can
This gentle, holy Jesus,
Without a spot or stain,
By wicked hands was taken,
And crucified and slain!
Look! look! if you can bear it—
Look at your dying Lord!
Stand near the cross and watch Him:
“Behold the Lamb of God”!
His hands and feet are pierced
He cannot hide His face;
And cruel men stand staring,
In crowds, about the place.
They laugh at Him and mock Him!
They tell Him to “come down,”
And leave that cross of suffering,
And change it for a crown.
Why did He bear their mockings?
Was He “the Mighty God”?
And could He have destroyed them
With one almighty word?
Yes, Jesus could have done it;
But let me tell you why
He would not use His power,
But chose to stay and die.
He had become our “Surety;”
And what we could not pay
He paid instead and for us
On that one dreadful day.
‘Twas for our sins He suffered;
And for our sins He died:
And “not for ours only,”
But “all the world” beside!
And now the work is “finished”!
The sinner’s debt is paid!
Because on Christ the Righteous
The sin of all was laid.
O, wonderful redemption!
God’s remedy for sin!
The door of heaven is open,
And you may enter in!
For God released our “Surety,”
To show the work was done;
And Jesus’ resurrection
Declared the victory won!
And now He has ascended,
And sits upon the throne,
“To be a Prince and Saviour,”
And claim us for His own.
But when He left His people,
He promised them to send
“The Comforter” to teach them
And guide them to the end.
And that same Holy Spirit
Is with us to this day,
And ready now to teach us
The “new and living way.”
This is “the old, old story”!
Say, do you take it in,
This wonderful redemption,
God’s remedy for sin?
Do you at heart believe it?
Do you believe it’s true,
And meant for every sinner,
And therefore meant for you?
Then take this “Great Salvation”
Jesus loves to give!
Believe! and you receive it!
Believe! and you shall live!
And if this simple message
Has now brought peace to you,
Make known “the old, old story,”
For others need it too.
Let everybody see it,
That Christ has made you free;
And if it sets them longing,
Say, “Jesus died for thee!”
Soon, soon our eyes shall see Him,
And, in our home above,
We’ll sing “the old, old story”
Of “Jesus and His love”!

Scripture Study: John 9

John 9
In this chapter we see something of the education of the soul, and how a man blind from his birth, a beggar, is led on from blindness and beggary to see and know and have the company of the Son of God outside of man’s religion.
Verse 1. As Jesus passed by, escaping from those who rejected Him, and sought to stone Him, He saw a man who was blind from his birth—a picture of the Jew’s and man’s condition.
Verse 2. His disciples asked Him, “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They thought of Exodus 34:6-7, but that was abrogated (Ezek. 18:4).
Verse 3. Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” His case was but the misery and wretchedness of a fallen creation, which manifested the mighty work of God in grace: a fit state in which to display His grace.
Verses 4, 5. The Lord continues, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” And this is how He chose to do it.
Verse 6. He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, but that seemed to make matters worse, as Jesus here in incarnation showed man’s blindness more than before.
Verse 7. Now He says to the man, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent).” He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. And it is when the soul believes on Jesus as the Sent One of the Father that eyesight begins. The Jews, looking on Jesus in humiliation, could see nothing in Him. “A root out of a dry ground, having no form nor comeliness;” “No beauty that we should desire Him,” Isaiah 53:2. It is altogether different when we see Him as sent of the Father. He came seeing; he does not know much, but he has eyesight, and so he has the capacity to learn more.
Verses 8, 9. The neighbors notice the change, and begin to remark, “Is not this he that sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” But he said, “I am he.”
Verses 10-12. Then they want to know, “How were thine eyes opened?” He answered, “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.’ And I went and washed, and I received sight.” It was the simple obedience of faith that brought the blessing, but as yet the Saviour is to him “a man called Jesus,” and when asked, “Where is He?” answers, “I know not.”
Verses 13, 14. They brought Him to the Pharisees, for it was done on the Sabbath Day.
It was setting aside their religion that could go on with sin, and yet glory in their Sabbath Day. The Lord had given them a lesson that it was not Jehovah’s Sabbath (John 5:17), but they did not believe Him, they would not take into account that they had already broken it. And this inquisition set themselves to prove the Lord’s guilt.
Verses 15-17. They make the man tell his oft-repeated story, and they say, “This Man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath Day.” Others said, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?” So they were divided about it. They ask the man’s opinion about Him, and he boldly answers, “He is a prophet.”
Verses 18-23. They next try the parents, who give evidence to corroborate that he was their son, and that he was born blind, but decline to say more, lest they be put out of the synagogue, for already the Jews had agreed to put out anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ, so they said, “He is of age, ask him.”
Verse 24. Again they call the man who had his eyes opened, and begin very religiously, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.”
Verse 25. He answered, “Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not. One thing know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Blessed fact, he had his eyesight!
Verses 26, 27. Again they ask him, “What did He to thee? How opened He thine eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and ye did not hear; wherefore would ye hear it again? Will ye also be His disciples?”
Verses 28, 29. Then they reviled him and said, “Thou art His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is.” The man can speak now, he increases in knowledge and strength. He goes “from strength to strength.” He can bear their revilings, and he answers boldly:
Verses 30-34. “Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshiper of God and cloth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man hath opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God he could do nothing.” Now he has spoken, his inquisitors can condemn him, but he cares not. They hurl at hind their bitter words, “Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?” And they cast him out, out of their decent society, a God-given religion turned into the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2 and 3). But His Master was also cast out, and will share the outcast place with him.
Verses 35-38. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said unto him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him and it is He that talketh with thee.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. What a change of manner from the bold front he had shown to the enemies of the truth. He is now all humility and gentleness. He stood firm in conscious righteousness for the truth enduring hardness, but in the presence of his Lord He is melted to love, and he worships Him whom He now has found out to be the Son of God.
Verses 39-41. The blind man saw clearly. Those who professed to see remained in their blindness, blinder and harder than ever, in their Christ-rejecting sin.

This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 1

A little while ago, beloved friend, burdened with sorrow on account of sin, you were sorely distressed in your mind. But the precious words of Jesus, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest,” and His “Peace be unto you,” applied to your heart by the Spirit of God, have taken away both your burden and your sorrow. You are now like the disciples when the risen Jesus showed them His hands and feet and side. “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” And your shelter being the heart of Jesus, His voice is your guide, “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.”
He addresses you from the heavens, saying, “Lovest thou Me?” You answer with Peter’s words, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love Thee.”
Let us consider that request of His which stands prominently before us, written, as it were, in His own most precious blood, that request which we read in His opened wounds—“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
There is an especial tenderness in these words. We know that they were first uttered at the Passover table, when His disciples were gathered around Him, and He was in their midst, when the anticipation of the cross with all its agony and shame—the hour of man and the power of darkness, yea, the forsaking of His God filled His suffering spirit—we know that these words were spoken again from the heavens when His work of suffering was over—when He was crowned with glory and honor—the object of heaven’s worship—the enthroned of His Father. (Read carefully and prayerfully, Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26.)
What wisdom and what kindness of the Lord it is that has spoken to us thus from the heavens! Had He not from thence reminded us of His blessed words, spoken upon the night of the betrayal, we should have lacked the same assurance of His changeless love which we now possess—a love which neither death, nor the grave, nor the glory above has changed one whit. His words bend our thought to His death, and at the same time link our affections to Himself, the living Jesus in the heavens, in a manner which is inexpressibly precious, and explain to us the value He sets upon our heartfelt love to Him—“Remember Me.”
You may perhaps say, “Do this” bids me partake of the Lord’s supper, yet indeed hardly dare take so solemn a step. But stop such reasonings. It is your privilege to do what the Lord desires, and He Himself has made you worthy, by washing you from your sins in His own blood. You belong to Him, you love Him. This is your title to His table, and where two or three are gathered together to His name, there is He in the midst. What He has done for you has made you fit to worship Him—all is His doing, therefore you may boldly say, “I am a Christian, one of God’s people; it is my privilege to gather with other Christians to Christ’s name to remember Him.” Indeed it is a question whether you have sufficient love to the Master to follow Him—not whether you are fit to take the Lord’s Supper. What a solemn question is this for you to put to your soul! Do I love my blessed Saviour sufficiently to fulfill His dying request to me, “Do this in remembrance of Me”?
What love must the Son of God have towards us to desire our poor remembrance of Himself? And yet, despite His love, how often is this, His request, slighted by His own blood-bought people! It is called by some, immaterial and unimportant; by some, alas, it really appears to be shunned.
Now it is not to hear sermons, nor to pray about ourselves, that He thus speaks with us. Ministry is verily the gift of Christ, and most blessed it is, and prayer is the atmosphere of the Christian’s life “pray always,” but these things connect themselves with our needs, and, however precious they may be, are not the subject of the word of the Lord before us. He asks us to remember Him. He seeks somewhat from His people, and it is for this that He invites them to break the bread and drink the cup. When seated at His table our privilege is to forget ourselves, our trials our joys, our things, be they what they may, and to think alone on Himself.
We hardy need inquire to whom the words of the Lord before us are addressed. He speaks to those who know Him. We cannot remember a person unless we first know him, and thus it is a mockery for the unconverted to partake of the feast. Yes, for those whose hearts are not turned away from sin—who do not love Jesus—to partake with His blood-bought people of the memorials of His precious death, is sad and dreadful mockery. And how sinful it is in the Lord’s people to remember Him in company with mere professors, or perhaps avowed scoffers! It is a sin against the Lord, and a sin against the souls of the unconverted, even keeping them to rest in profession and lip service.
We may ask, “How can an unbeliever worship the Lord at all?” He cannot. Think for a moment. Let us ask our own hearts what came out of them before we were saved? And does not Scripture say, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh?”
We will not answer why unbelievers partake of the supper, but we may safely affirm that they do not so out of love to Jesus, for the simple reason that no one can love Jesus until he has faith in Him. The Scriptures declare that the church or assembly of God is one body, that its members are united to Christ by the Holy Spirit in eternal union, and that through Him each is united to the other.
The happy privilege of the one body of believers is to meet together around the one center, to remember the death of the one Lord; and He has promised His presence to them who do meet in His name, saying, “ Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the mist.” In early Christian days we read that those who gladly received the word were baptized, and continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts 2:41, 42). And we have been told that their oneness and godliness were known to all men.
And does not the Word of God hold good now? Has God changed? or think we His people have changed because there is no longer oneness among them?
We have heard the Lord’s words to us about the Supper, and have found that there is no hindrance (but disregard of Him) to our partaking of it; and we have observed that it is only believers who ought to partake of it; let us now inquire a little into the meaning of the feast.
The unbroken loaf signifies the unbroken body of Christ. We adore as we consider the life of the Lord, perfect in every detail, every act, every word, precious to His Father. His whole life was like the sweet and holy frankincense that was all burnt before the Lord (Lev. 2). Yet the holy life of Christ could never bring us to God. In order to bring us to God, it was necessary that He should suffer the just One for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). Without the breaking of His body the preciousness and perfect obedient life of the Lord would merely add to our condemnation, because the very perfection of Christ as a man would be a divine standard by which to measure us; and who could stand beside Him for a moment?
We can only draw near to God through the broken body and shed blood of Jesus; through the rent vail, that is to say His flesh. We break the bread, and while breaking it, remember His precious body, bruised, wounded, and stricken, who was “made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Our corrupt and evil nature was judged upon His cross, and now we are righteous in the sight of God, for we are “in Christ.” The fruit of our bad nature is sins, but these are all forgiven, for “He himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”
It is by the death of Jesus we freely approach God, and God has raised our blessed Substitute from the grave, and has set Him at His own right hand on high, which is the unquestionable evidence of God’s righteousness being satisfied, and of our perfect acceptance in Christ. The breaking of the bread is an act individual as well as collective; each believer at the table, when so doing, practically confessing that his own sins bruised the precious body of Christ. While eating of the bread each heart says, “He loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
(To be Continued.)

Lean Hard

Child of My love, “Lean Hard,”
And let Me feel the pressure of thy care,
I know thy burden, child—I shaped it,
Poised it in My own hand, made no proportion
In its weight to thine unaided strength.
Before I ever laid it on, I said,
“I shall be ever near, and while she leans on Me
This burden shall be Mine, not hers:”
So shall I keep My child within the circling arms
Of Mine own love. Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder which upholds
The government of worlds—yet closer come,
Thou are not near enough; I would embrace
thy care,
So I might feel My child reposing on My heart:
Thou lovest Me? I doubt it not,
Then, loving Me, “Lean Hard.”

Correspondence: Heb. 10:26-29 Explained

Question: Please explain Hebrews 10:26-29. A. F. R.
Answer: The writer is a Hebrew, so classes himself in with the nation, with those who had professed Christianity.
The epistle sets Christ, the substance, in contrast with Judaism, the shadows.
The subject of chapters 9 and 10 is the one great, perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for sin, that can therefore never be repeated.
The danger was of giving this up, and going back to the shadows, which could never put away sin. There could be no escape from judgment if Christ was thus given up. All falling away in Hebrews is apostasy from Christ.
If after receiving the truth of that one great sacrifice, any should turn away from it, and thus deny Christ, there was no other sacrifice that could save them. Nothing but judgment and fiery indignation remained for such.
If under Moses’ law there was no mercy to despisers, how much sorer would their judgment be who has trodden underfoot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of God, Who has come to witness to its infinite efficacy.
There can be no mercy for those who willfully declare that the Lord Jesus Christ is no Saviour.
Peter in Luke 22:56-62 is a sample of a weak saint who denied that he knew his Lord, but he did not deny that Jesus was the Son of God.
Hebrews 10:39 speaks of true believers.

Try the Up Look

“If the outlook be dark, try the up look.”
The words were passed on by a young Christian. She had been through a time of peculiar testing and difficulty and had found them a valuable soul-tonic.
Let me pass them on to you—they may serve to remind you of your refuge in every hour of trial.
Circumstances may be perplexing. The path may be filled with apparently insurmountable difficulties. The future may be dark with threatening clouds. At such hours, young Christian, “Try the up look.”
Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of. His wisdom and power and love are all exerted on your behalf. He makes “all things work together for good” to them that love Him. He knows the end from the beginning. And He careth for you. He is more concerned for your true welfare than you are, and He who shapes the courses of the stars will shape circumstances for the blessing of His child.
“He knows, He loves, He cares.
Nothing this truth can dim;
He does the very best for those
Who leave the choice with Him.”
Seek His glory in everything. Leave the
future in His hands. And “if the outlook be
dark, try the up look.”

Strength for the Year

Over all the unopened year God casts His light. There can be no experience till the year ends for which there will not be strength. God never gives a duty, but He gives also the needed power to do it. He never lays on us a burden, but He will sustain us under it. He never sends a sorrow, but He sends the comfort to meet it. He never calls to any service, but He provides for its performance. We need, only to be sure that we wait upon God, and then all the strength that we need shall be given, as we go on day by day.
I asked for strength, for with the noontide heat
I fainted, while the reapers, singing sweet,
Went forward with ripe sheaves I could not bear.
Then came the Master, with His blood-stained feet,
And lifted me with sympathetic care.
Then on His arm I leaned till all was done;
And I stood with rest at the set of sun,
My task complete.

A Simple Offer - A Simple Acceptance

I must say (wrote Dr. Chalmers in a letter to a friend) that I never had so close and satisfactory a view of the gospel as when I have been led to contemplate it in the light of a simple offer on the one side, and a simple acceptance on the other. It is just saying to one and all of us, “There is forgiveness through the blood of My Son: take it,” and whoever believes the reality of the offer, takes it. It is not in any shape the reward of our own services; it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are apt to stagger at the greatness of the unmerited offer, and cannot attach faith to it till we have made up some title of our own. This leads to two mischievous consequences: it keeps alive the presumption of one class who think it is something in themselves which confers a right to salvation. And it confirms the melancholy of another class, who look into their own hearts and their own lives, and find they cannot make out a shadow of a title to the divine favor. The error of both lies in their looking to themselves, when they should be looking to the Saviour.
“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 45:22.
If I were to come as an accredited agent from the upper sanctuary with a letter of invitation to you, with your name and address on it, you would not doubt your warrant to accept it. Well, here is in the Bible your invitation to come to Christ. It does not bear your name and address, but it says, “Whosoever” that takes you in; it says, “all”—that takes you in; it says “any”—that takes you in. What can be surer or freer than that?

The Sculptor and the Marble Block

It is a great mistake to grumble at the trials and troubles sent us by a wise and kindly Providence. They are all for our good. Chips and cuts and blows and scratches make up the past history of a beautiful marble statue. It was a mere shapeless chunk of rock before passing through the hands of the sculptor. So also the human character is to a great extent unformed before it has passed through the fires of misfortune.
It is only the eye of the sculptor that can see beforehand the finished statue in the rough marble block; but he does see it, and all the, strokes of his tool are meant to bring out to the eyes of others what is already clear to his own.
And the strokes of God’s hands are only to produce the perfect beauty of the soul, and make that as visible to others as it is now to Himself. Nothing is more certain than that we shall be perfectly satisfied with His work when we see it finished. Why should we not be satisfied now, when He tells us what a glorious finish He will make, and leave to Him the choosing of the tools?

Scripture Study: John 10

John 10
The man in John 9 that was cast out of the synagogue because he confessed that Jesus was of God, was led to worship Him as the Son of God. The blind Pharisees remain in their sin. The Lord takes this occasion to speak a parable that teaches the change of position of those that are His own sheep who through His rejection are brought out from the Jewish fold of Israel’s laws and ordinances, to being in the Flock of God, with Christ as their Shepherd in the blessing of salvation.
Verse 1. Refers to those who assumed authority in the sheepfold, yet cast out the true sheep. They were but thieves and robbers; they cared for their own reputation more than for the sheep, or to please God. The true sheep would not hear such.
Verse 2. The Shepherd of the sheep came in by the door, fulfilling the Word of God in all that was said of Him as the Messiah. He had all the rights as sent of the Father, and the sheep were His (Mic. 5:2; Psa. 22; Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 53).
Verse 3. To Him the Porter openeth. His death on the cross and His resurrection was the only way by which He could deliver those under the law. That was the door that God, by His providential ordering, opened for Him, and that is the door by which His believing sheep are brought out. (See Gal. 2:19-20.) See a sample in Mary Magdalene (John 20:16, 17). He calls her by name and leads her, and the brethren, into the knowledge of God as their Father, by the message He gives her to carry, which is only known outside the sheepfold of Judaism. He calls them “My brethren” for the first time. In His death they died, and are seen as in Him raised from the dead, where law has nothing to say to them (Rom. 7:4).
No Jew can get out from under the law and its curse but through the death of the Son of God (Gal. 3:10-13).
Verses 4, 5. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. The stranger’s voice they will flee from: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Verse 6. But they did not understand the parable, and how few today understand the liberty into which grace sets those who are the sheep of Christ.
Verses 7, 8. Verily, verily, I say into you, “I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.” He is their authority for leaving the sheepfold, and none but He could do the work needed to set them at liberty in grace, and none but the Son could make them know the Father.
Verse 9. This is another door that leads, not into the sheepfold but, into salvation. And its blessings extend far wider than to the Jews, only, it is for any man—every creature, whosoever will. Blessed words! “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, He shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Some might say, How can I enter in? Read Romans 10:9. How simple that is! If you feel your need as a lost sinner, believe on Him who died that you might be saved. The work is finished, God has raised Him from the dead. Confess Him as your Lord, and thou shalt be saved. And what a depth of blessing is in that word salvation. Your sins are forgiven; you are justified from all things; (Acts 13:39) you are now a child of God, and the Holy Spirit henceforth dwells in you (1 Cor. 6:19). This is the fruit of accomplished redemption. It could not be known till the Lord had died and was risen again. It is what we find in the epistles—a perfect Saviour, and a perfect salvation, a righteousness given by God to all who believe on His Son.
But there is more in this wonderful verse, “And shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Here is the picture of the Shepherd leading, (not driving) and feeding His sheep. The “in and out” speak of liberty, to go “in” to God’s presence as holy priests with our prayers and our praises; and the “out” speaks of our privilege to show out the virtues of the Lord in our walk and ways before the world, (Compare 1 Peter 2:5, 9.) but this is very important, for it is as we use our privilege to go in to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace for timely help, that we are able at all to represent, even in a feeble way, our Lord before the world. And let us remember that prayer and the Word of God go together: the one is our air as Children of God, the other is our food. Our Shepherd desires to lead His sheep into the green pastures of His Word, and by the quiet waters where our souls can rest in His presence and meditate on His love, where, when our souls are satisfied, we can lie down under His shade with great delight, and His fruit will be sweet to our taste. Thank God, we are saved from eternal judgment, and from the slavery of sin and Satan’s power. But this “in and out” and finding pasture, is much more; it is positive enjoyment by faith of all our blessed Saviour is for our souls, all we need day by day. May we delight more in Him, and in this new place His grace has given us. Quite true, the Christian has enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil, but faith overcomes them all. We are taught that our old man (the flesh in us) is crucified with Christ, and that the devil is a vanquished enemy, so that we are to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Christ is now our object to live for. He leads us on, caring for and helping us in our feebleness.
“He feeds His flock, He calls their names,
And gently leads the tender lambs.”
Verse 10. Warns them of the thief, who comes as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, to steal and to kill and to destroy (2 Cor. 11:13-15; Acts 20:29; 1 John 4:1). The Good Shepherd came to give them life abundantly, that is, life in Him risen from the dead, and with it the Spirit to dwell in them, the power of that life (John 20:22; Rom. 8:2).
Verse 11. “The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” In Hebrews 13, He is the Great Shepherd in resurrection. In 1 Peter 5:4, He is the Chief Shepherd, who will reward those who help Him to care for the sheep, with a crown of glory that fadeth not, away. He binds them to Him with cords of love.
Verses 12, 13. The sheep do not belong to the hireling. The hireling is only there for selfish interests; and when there is danger, he fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. “The hireling” may speak about “my flock,” but how much better to remember that they are Christ’s sheep, the flock of God, as Paul, the Apostle, speaks by the Spirit of the whole church of God (Acts 20:28; and also 1 Peter 5:2). Feed the flock of God, and that apart from being an hireling, “Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” How far indeed has the professing church departed from the truth, when they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and think it right to do so (2 Tim. 4:3). The time has come when they will not endure sound doctrine.
Verses 14, 15. The Lord continues, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: And I lay down My life for the sheep.” He gave Himself for them. Well might they rejoice in such love and enjoy this intimate knowledge into which He brings them where they are able to say, “My Beloved is Mine and I am His.” And in John 17:10, “Mine are Thine and Thine are Mine.” Father and Son delighting in the sheep.
Verse 16. And now He speaks of other sheep that were never in the Jewish sheepfold. That comes close to our hearts who were but Gentiles, afar from God, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2). “Them also,” He says, “I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock. (See Revised and New Trans.) and One Shepherd.” It is not a sheepfold: an enclosure where there is neither liberty nor pasture. It is the Shepherd who purchased the sheep with His own blood, thus proving His love, and now He cares for them, and leads into association with Himself as the risen One in this place of liberty and blessing. Judaism is distinguished as a fold—a circumference without a center. Christianity, as a flock whose Center and Shepherd is the Lord Jesus Christ—a company who belong to the Saviour, and who follow Him. They are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, their only enclosure, the love of God.
Verses 17, 18. “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life that I might take it again.” His laying down His life is in itself well pleasing to the Father. We love, because we have been loved, but our blessed Lord could give, in His life and death, fresh motives for the Father’s love. In laying down His life it was for the Father’s glory, and for the telling forth of His love. Death was the penalty of sin, and it had no claim on Him, “in Him was no sin.” He gave His life, laid down His life, and brought in eternal blessing for the sheep, through this redemption. Then the Lord can say, “that I might take it again.”
How His divine power shines forth here! His victory over death, and sin and Satan’s power are all involved in it, and proclaimed by His words. Man might show his hatred to the Lord as under the power of Satan, but these had no power over the Lord, could not touch Him, unless He gave Himself into their hands for the purpose before Him of glorifying God in making atonement for sin, and then in the same divine power, to take His life again. And He would do as the Father had given Him commandment, still acting as the dependent, obedient man, working out the Father’s good pleasure.
Verses 19-21. The Jews have brought on themselves blindness, and that willfully. He gave them proofs of His power, yet they come to Him as if He had said or done nothing definitively,
Verses 24, 25. He reminds them that His works and His words bore witness of Him.
Verses 26. Their unbelief showed they were not His sheep.
Verses 27, 28. His sheep hear His voice, He knows them, and they follow Him. And He gives to them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand.
Verses 29, 30. His Father which gave them to Him, is greater than all and none can pluck them out of His Father’s hand. He and His Father are one—one in mind and purpose, to hold and care for the sheep. What wonderful grace to bring the sheep into the knowledge of the Father and the Son, as dear children of God.
This is also new, and could not be known under law, it is the fruit of redemption. “This is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Jesus risen from the dead declares it (John 20:17).
Verses 31-38. But this only brings out the Jew’s hatred, the enmity of their hearts, and they took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered their threatenings, “Many good works have I showed you from My Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me?” They answer, “For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” The Lord quotes Psalm 82 to prove that judges were called gods, and yet they were but men, and the Scripture cannot be broken. The Word of God came to them, but here was The Word, whom the Father hath sanctified, (set apart,) and sent into this world, and will they say of Him, “Thou blasphemest,” because He said, “I am the Son of God”? And still further He puts before them that the works He did were the works of the Father, and if they would believe the works, they would know that the Father was in the Son, and the Son in the Father.
Verses 39-42. They sought to take Him again, but in vain. He escaped out of their hands, His time had not yet come. He went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized, and there He abode, but many follow Him there, and confessed that John’s testimony of Him was true. Though John did no miracle, he told the truth about the Lord, and many believed on Him.

This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 2

In the cup we remember that His blood was shed. “He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,” “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” In His blood our sins are washed away; as He said to His disciples, “This is My blood of the new covenant which was shed for you and for many.” O, when we think of our blessed Saviour having been “made sin for us, He who knew no sin;” when we think of His body bruised, His hands, feet, and side pierced and bleeding, and that for us; when we hear Him saying, “Remember Me,” can we deny Him His gracious request?
Both the bread and the cup pass round from hand to hand for the mutual participation of the assembled believers. We are one with Him, and, in the power of the new, the everlasting life which He has given us, we remember Him, as He requested. We are one with Him in the glory, for He has risen from the grave; and we are risen together with Him, and made to sit together in Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2). “We”—who? A sect—a party? No; all Christians, be they called by whatsoever name. The Lord’s table is the great expression of the oneness of His people; “We being many are one loaf” (1 Cor. 10:17). We are members of His body, and of one another. Nowhere as at the Lord’s table, do Christians enjoy such close fellowship among themselves: “The 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?” It is of the utmost importance to bear in mind, that no believer is independent of his fellow believer: “If one member suffer, all suffer with it.”
The very simplicity of the ordinance declares its divine origin; man could never have devised anything like it; and, alas for his wisdom! he even now seeks to spoil its simplicity by the machinery of humanly invented offices!
Who then—if we are one, and if the Lord speaks to us in common—who shall take upon himself to preside at the table? The Lord said, “Take this;” the Holy Spirit records, The disciples met together to break bread, and again, “They continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” “The bread which we break,” “The cup of blessing which we bless.” Evidently, from Scripture and from the meaning of the feast, it is a mutual participation, and none being greater or less than another at that table, the bread and cup pass round from hand to hand to all present. All are one with each other, for all are one in Him.
You look around and are ready to say, “The Word of God speaks of such things, I do not deny, but where in the present day is such simplicity to be found?”
Grievous it is to see such huge human systems in the place of divine simplicity, such division in the place of divine oneness, and well may every faithful heart lament the dishonor done to Christ in these things. Yet what has the faithlessness of His people to do with the faithfulness of their Lord? Has He changed?
No! He has said—and His words are as true this very day as they were when He first uttered them— “Where two or three are gathered together to My name there am I in the midst.” He is where the two or three are so gathered. They need no man-appointed minister to take the Holy Spirit’s place, and to usurp an authority which alone belongs to the Lord. “One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” Amid the divisions of Christians, the word and name of the Lord is a sure center around which to rally; to separate to Him (for to make the Lord your center you must of necessity separate from human centers and names) is not sectarianism, for the Lord Himself is the one object of those who are gathered by the Holy Spirit to His name.
Then as to the time and frequency of the feast. By its being called a Supper, and by Acts 20, we should consider that evening was the period devoted to its commemoration in early Christian days; however, all will surely agree that it is only right to devote the best portion of our day to worship the Lord Jesus, which time is unquestionably the morning. In eastern lands it would be otherwise. As to the frequency; doubtless in early Christian days the disciples broke bread each Lord’s day, and also often times in the week; but that their practice was to gather together each Lord’s day for the object is beyond question. (Acts 20:7.) The Lord’s day is so called, because upon it the Lord arose from the dead, and thus became the Head of the new creation. We Christians do not, as the Jews, keep the Sabbath, or rest day (which is the seventh day of the week, Saturday), but the Lord’s day, the first day of the week.
Consider this: The Supper is the Lord’s, the day is the Lord’s; indeed we come now to the marrow of the whole question, namely, What is the object of our gathering together? It is not to pray. It is not to preach. It is to remember the Lord and the result is worship. And the character of the worship will be blessing, thanksgiving, praise. “The cup of blessing which we bless.” “When He had given thanks He brake it.” Surely, if the gracious Saviour could on the night of His betrayal, as He thought of our salvation, bless God before breaking the bread, we should be found praising Him, as we remember His death for us. Meeting around the Lord’s table should not be like a meeting for prayer or for confession. “The day is holy unto our Lord. . . neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” may well be applied to this feast.
And now a word upon the question, “Whose is the table?” Is it the children’s, where every child has a right? Is it the Father’s, where every prodigal may seat himself? Is it the Saviour’s? No: it is the Lord’s—the Master’s. The child might be walking disorderly, or be holding some evil doctrine, in which case Scripture denies him a place at the Lord’s table until he be purged. The table of the Lord is by no means a place to exercise one’s own will, for the Lord’s authority is there. It is not only a place of blessing, but also of discipline and judgment. At the table we remember what Christ suffered for sins, and if we remember Him dying for sin, surely we must not continue in it. “How shall we that have died to sin live any longer therein?” We are bidden to judge ourselves that we be not judged, and if we will continue at the Lord’s table without discerning our ways, the severe hand of God’s chastisement will fall upon us.
The principle of the Lord’s table is holiness to the Lord, and in this evil day of carelessness as to the honor of Christ, we should be found exercising the utmost watchfulness that all that goes on around the Lord’s table may bear the stamp of God’s seal upon it. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).
Liberality (as man calls it) may glory in overlooking evil; the Word of God declares such glorying is not good (See 1 Cor. 5). “Purge out the old leaven,” says the Scripture, and bases its exhortation upon the holiness of the saints: and sets the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth against man’s love and the old leaven of malice and wickedness. It is an easy thing to excuse and pass over evil, but it is hard to the heart to judge and put it aside. Beware of the miscalled love of this present evil day, shun its easy going liberality, tremble at that leaven which corrupts the saints. Be vigilant over yourself and over others, never forget that God’s Word knows no such person as an independent Christian; but remember that it teaches exactly the opposite, saying, “Whether one member suffer all suffer with it.” We have seen that the unity of the assembly is manifested at the table in the one loaf, and it becomes a solemn duty for each believer there seated to inquire whether all that goes on around the Lord’s table is approved by Him.
It may be that evil has been allowed to usurp such sway in an assembly of Christians that the authority of the Lord reigns there no longer. In such a case the table is clearly no longer the Lord’s; man having placed his rule over it. It is evident that all believers who continue in fellowship with such a gathering are at one with its naughty principles. Again, if all are obedient to the one Lord, it is clear that they are at one with each other. Oneness is a practical thing: we are not to use the fact of our being one in Christ for eternity, to excuse our disobedience and divisions now, for if all believers were obedient to the one Lord, and the one Master, all strife would cease, but we are to “use diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Quite true, all will be one in the glory, but on that day there will be no more sin and therefore no more striving against it; no more dishonor done to Christ, and therefore no more need of effort to maintain His honor.
Again, as to fellowship, surely we know in our daily intercourse how the look, the dress, the conversation of our fellow believers affects us for good or for evil, just in proportion as Christ is filling the heart or not. And at the table you will find that worldliness during the week will bear its unwholesome fruits in the meeting. But if the power of evil be great, the power of good is greater; and this, let it be observed, is most blessedly manifested at the Lord’s table. Often does the Spirit use a hymn, a word, a prayer, to raise every heart to the highest tone of praise.
The saints are many, but yet one body. It is among them as with an instrument of music, of which if one of its notes be out of tune the melody is spoiled. But if worldliness produce so sad an effect, what must the toleration of evil doctrine? If worldliness allowed will reduce all to the level of the worldly-minded, evil doctrine will, if allowed in the assembly, also leaven the whole lump. And, evil doctrine admitted, as a consequence, evil walk will follow: “Sanctify them through Thy truth.”
In conclusion let us turn once more to 1 Corinthians 11. After the Lord’s words in verses 23-25, the Holy Spirit adds a word (if one might so speak), saying, “As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till He come”—ye announce the Lord’s death till He come.
“Till He come.” It is but a little while, and “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” No man can say when He will come, but He has said, “Surely I come quickly.” Now at His table, by the act of breaking bread we speak out His death who is our life, who is our hope, and who will come for us and take us to Himself, that where He is we may be also.
He died for us on this earth, therefore we are strangers and foreigners here. The world has rejected Him, but He is our Lord and Master, and we expect His coming for us.
Holy is this worship. The gracious Saviour is remembered in all His pain for us, and we remember His death until He returns in the clouds to call us by His own voice to meet Him in the air.
Dear friend, many more words might be added upon this great subject, but we must cease, and with a word of exhortation.
The time is short, the opportunity for loving obedience to the words of the Lord is growing daily less and less. He who went to the cross for you, who now says “Remember Me,” will soon come in the clouds for you and will take you home; for His heart cannot be satisfied until we are with Him. Give then His words, “Remember Me,” a large place in your affections.
We bless our Saviour’s name,
Our sins are all forgiven;
To suffer once to earth He came
He now is crowned in heaven.
His precious blood was shed,
His body bruised for sin;
Remembering this, we break the bread,
And, thankful, drink the wine.
Lord, let us ne’er forget
Thy rich, Thy precious love;
Our theme of joy and wonder here,
Our endless song above.
O let Thy love constrain.
Our souls to cleave to Thee!
And ever in our hearts remain
That word, Remember Me.
(Continued from page 55.)

A Silent Testimony

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.
There are ways in which even silent Christians can serve God, and be a blessing to the world. A star does not talk, but its calm, steady beam shines down continually out of the sky, and is a benediction to many.
Be like a star in your peaceful shining, and many will thank God for your life.

Toil and Its Fruit

The same lesson over and over again! It often seems as though I were still at the very beginning—no conscious progress—but the same thing repeated perpetually. Surely it is one’s dullness, stupidity, and slowness to learn, that makes all this necessary. Shame to the pupil! but praise to the faithful, loving patient Master who goes on so unweariedly training and instructing us “line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept,” and thus He leads us on step by step in His school.
“He taught them as they were able to bear it,” and “Who teacheth like Him?” O! to learn deeply and perfectly from Him and for Him, so as to bring praise instead of reproach to our blessed Teacher.
Very often I am reminded of that anecdote told somewhere (under the head of “No Royal Road to Music”) of the celebrated Italian singer, Caffarelli—who after laboring on and on for six years over the same eternal pages—ceaseless exercises on the diatonic and chromatic scales—was astonished, when entering on the seventh year (when he still supposed himself to be in the elements), by Porpera, his master, saying to him, “Go, Caffarelli, my son, you have nothing more to learn—you are the first singer in Italy—nay, more, the first singer in the world.”
Is it thus that our capacities are being developed? Is this the meaning of those oft-repeated exercises on those perpetual scales? Is it thus we are learning to sing? If so, may we not rejoice in all those exercises to which we are called to sit down, day after day, year after year? Assured we may. It is well worth working for six years at the scales to be told, at the opening of the seventh year, that we know how to sing. We are all at the scales, in some shape or form. Let us be patient, and we shall very soon reap the precious fruits.
“The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

My yesterday was Christ upon the tree,
Who bore the condemnation due for me.
Today I journey on and He shall lead,
He knows the journey and He knows the need.
Tomorrow is not, but His wisdom plans,
I leave my future in His loving hands.
Full well I know these hands all worlds up bear.
The hands that hold the stars, shall hold my care.

Stand Fast

If ever there was a day when it was important for every professed follower of Christ to stand fast and to be true to his profession, I believe it is the present day. There is no answer to infidelity like the life of Christ displayed by the Christian. Nothing puts the madness of the infidel, and the folly of the superstitious more to shame and silence than the humble, quiet, devoted walk of a thoroughgoing, heavenly-minded, divinely-taught Christian. It may be in the unlearned and poor and despised; but, like the scent of the lowly violet, it gives its perfume abroad, and both God and man take notice of it.
In the experience of almost every believer, there is some turning point, when he either goes onward in devotedness to the Lord, or sinks down into a mere common-placed Christian. Not one of us is too obscure to be tried as to whether we will seek God’s honor, or present things, first.
God is very jealous of all man’s substitutes and imitations of the power of the Holy Spirit. In stripping ourselves of such things, we may seem to others to be throwing away our influence and our usefulness. But what is usefulness? What is “doing good?” It is doing the will of God.
“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Fragment: Labor, not Rest

This is, the time of labor, not of rest; no rest to be looked for here and now, but laboring to enter into that rest. O how blessed the day of its appearing after toil! It is indeed long patience, but patience is the word; and while we are patient, the Lord makes it short.

Correspondence: 1 Cor. 11:30; Luke 16:1-12

Question: Please explain, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1 Corinthians 11:30.
Answer: These persons had failed to judge themselves—failed to discern the Lord’s body in the broken bread—they had eaten in an unworthy manner, though they were true Christians, and hence God, in His government of His house, had to chasten them by bodily sickness even unto death, in order that they might not be condemned with the world. No doubt others were called to learn and take warning from the discipline exercised upon those erring ones.
Question: Luke 16:1-12.
Answer: As to the parable of the unjust steward, the moral is this—use the present with an eye to the future—“The Lord commends the unjust steward” not for his honesty surely, but because he had dealt wisely; and the wisdom consists simply in providing for the future. This is the point of the parable. The lesson it teaches us is to use this world’s riches—which are not what properly belong to us, as Christians—in the service of Christ—to do good—to distribute and communicate—to open our hands wide to every form of human need—to lay up in store a good foundation against the time to come (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

Katie: "A Time to Dance"

A simple country lassie, whose humble sphere of service was in a farm kitchen, was converted during a series of gospel meetings held in a neighboring barn.
As many of our readers will doubtless know, it is by no means an easy matter to flesh and blood, to take a decided stand on the Lord’s side, in the midst of a score or more of ungodly farm servants. And so Katie found it. Still she saw that decision out and out for the Lord, was what she was called to in the Word, and she sought by grace to make such a life and testimony her aim. She had many a cross to bear, and many an errand to the throne of grace for help to stand unmovable amid scorn and persecution. They began to see that Katie was not to be driven from her place as a follower of the Lord by fear or force.
The enemy’s next attempt was to draw her by craft and subtlety from the heavenly path. He often succeeds in this when persecution fails.
In the winter season, the servants about the house were in the habit of spending the evenings in dancing. The kitchen was utilized for this purpose, and of course Katie was expected to share the common amusement. No sooner had the dancing begun, than Katie was asked to “take a reel.”
Her answer was a firm and decided, “No.” This was more than they expected, and they determined not to let her off so easily. Two of the men lifted her from her seat, and set her in the middle of the floor, in the circle of dancers. But Katie stood firm as a statue, and would neither move hand nor foot. This enraged them, and in venting forth their anger, one said, “You are holier than the minister, for he can take a dance,” and another declared, “The Bible says, ‘There is a time to dance,’ will you tell us what that means?”
Katie was not able to argue with them as to the meaning of the text, and she did not attempt it, but in reply she said, “I am sure at least, that this is not the time for me to dance in the middle of a company of unconverted sinners, and thus help them to forget God, and to neglect their salvation.”
That effectually silenced the person who quoted Solomon’s word, “There is a time to dance,” and Katie was asked no more.
Satan can quote the Scriptures, and misapply them too, to suit his own purpose, and accomplish his own ends. Let us be on our guard, and yield nothing to Satan’s craft.
“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Will You Come?

“You would tell me of joy in the things that are passing,
Passing and fading away;
You would have me find pleasure in that which is perishing,
Perishing every day;
But the One who enraptured my heart with His beauty,
The light of my heaven shall be,
And just one look of love is sufficient to render
Earth’s loveliness nothing to me.
O! then say, will you listen just now to the story?
Just now to the sound of His voice?
Will you come to my Saviour, who died to redeem you,
And earnestly make Him your choice?
Far apart from this world, in its death and its ruin,
And cleansed from my terrible sins,
I am resting in Jesus, just quietly waiting,
Until the bright day-dawn begins.
And then, in the light of His presence forever,
Right home, with a song to His praise,
Never under a shadow of grief, nor of sadness,
He’ll keep me through fathomless days.
O! then say, will you listen just now to the story?
Just now to the sound of His voice?
Will you come to my Saviour, so willing to bless you,
And make you for aye to rejoice?”

Has God Spoken?

“Yea, hath God said?” was Satan’s successful weapon six thousand years ago. “Yea, hath God written?” is certainly his diligent question today.
Then he deceived the woman by asking her if God had said what He did say. Now he deceives by suggesting that God has not written what He did write! Yet God has both spoken and written, and God’s Word, whether by mouth or pen, must be supreme.
To question it is fatal, as the enemy knows to his own cost, and that of all his victims who lend a willing ear to his whisper.
May I ask you to notice how the first victim of the serpent fell, alas! under his awful fascination, and to consider the almost infinite skill he employed to compass her destruction? Read Genesis 3:1, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Such was his question, his clever insinuation. He suggested that in keeping back even one tree, God had shown that His love and care for man were not absolute. He instilled suspicions, and generated doubt in the woman’s mind. Thus arose skepticisms.
She replied, “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. . . Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die.”
Fairly correct: only observe, God had not debarred them from touching the tree of knowledge of good and evil, neither is it written that this tree was in the midst of the garden. That place was assigned to the tree of life.
However, let that pass. “The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (God had said they should): “for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof. . . ye shall be as gods” (rather as “God”), “knowing good and evil.”
Now, if God knows that, the woman should know it too; and if the tree is called the tree of knowledge, it cannot possibly be a tree of death. Hence he said, “Ye shall not surely die.”
This must have sounded very reasonable. The logic was clear and the argument unanswerable. But Satan’s logic is always too much for man. It was too much for the woman.
The proud rationalist of today, as he spurns God’s written Word, has little idea that in so doing he is giving effect to the mastery of the serpent!
Ten thousand times better be a humble, if unlettered believer in the Word of God than a learned doubter who has, all unconsciously, yielded to the superior wisdom of Satan, and has rejected the Scriptures.
When “the Word” was here in living form and lordly grace, the devil compassed His crucifixion, and man was his ready instrument in that awful, though predetermined, act; and now that the Word is written (and remember that the Scriptures are a revelation from God) the same foe of God and man is doing his utmost to destroy its credibility and authority. God hath said, and God hath written! He has not left men in the dark as to His mind. God has made Himself known.
Now we live in a day when the Scriptures are questioned on all hands. They are cast into the crucible. The learned men are increasingly hostile to them. Their learning is leading them into the barren regions of religious infidelity and consequent darkness. They are positive of nothing, and those who follow their lead are perplexed and miserable.
Whence this cloud of doubt? It arises from Satan’s skillful question, “Yea, hath God written?”
But has God written? A fair question, indeed.
First, Did man write the Scriptures? Was he their author?
If so, never did writer pen such a self-condemnatory autobiography. He was born in sin, lived in sorrow, and died in suffering. That won’t do!
Second, Was Satan their author?
If so, the same may be said of him. His first recorded act was deception, his career a lie, and his eternal doom the lake of fire. Neither will that do!
Who remains but God? The Bible, as we call our compilation of sacred Scriptures, is the Word of God. He is the Author. He tells of the power, malice, and end of Satan. He speaks of the creation (among other things) of man; the temptation and fall of Adam; and the guilt of the race. His own interposition in the gift of His Son, redemption by blood, salvation by faith, resurrection and coming glory, all on the ground of pure and precious grace.
This, and much more, is found in that book which Satan would discredit and foolish man reject, but which is, at the same time, God’s revelation of His heart and mind for the blessing and joy of everyone who believes. And to this living fact thousands upon thousands of men, once lost and guilty, but now saved and made children of God through faith in His Son, and the testimony of the Scriptures made good in their consciences and lives by God’s Spirit, can bear, and are bearing, true and unequivocal witness. To believe the written Word is wisdom; to wrest the Scriptures at your own or Satan’s instigation involves destruction.
Scripture believed as God’s revelation of His will to man is blessing.
Scripture wrested by man for his own self-will ends in judgment.
Do you believe or wrest the Scriptures?

Scripture Study: John 11

Here the Lord is seen marked out as Son of God in power, according to the resurrection of the dead (Rom. 1:4). He is the Resurrection and the Life, proved in the raising of Lazarus, and here perfectly are seen the human and the divine commingled—love, sympathy, power, and the perfect knowledge of the Father’s will all blended together.
The chapter opens with the sickness of Lazarus of Bethany. Mary and Martha, his sisters, count on the Lord’s interest in them, as His loved ones, to stay the disease. They send the message, “Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” And this would be enough for true human affection, and none so true as His, but He has something deeper, and this He states, though not yet understood by any about Him, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
Verse 5. There was no doubt of His love to Martha, Mary and Lazarus, but death must come in: for man (or Israel) is seen here as dead to God, and Lazarus’ death is to illustrate their case—the full ruin of man, the consequence of sin, is seen in death. His power and goodness had been witnessed already to heal the sick, and to deliver man from the enemy; but in death, the full consequences of sin are seen, except in the judgment that will follow those that are lost. No doctors can do a dead man any good. It must be the power of God to bestow life on the dead.
Verse 6. When He heard, therefore, that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. He would not be guided by His affection for those loved and troubled ones, but by His knowledge of the Father’s will and devotedness to His glory, and this He waited on the Father for every morning. (Isa. 50:4).
Verses 7-10. After that He saith to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” This, to the disciples, meant danger or even death, and they say, “Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again?” But to avoid danger is not His guide, any more than love. His Father’s will is His motive. There are twelve hours in the day, and it is daylight that He is walking in—walking with the Father, and no danger can hinder Him. No death can touch the One who is the resurrection and the life, till it is the Father’s time; then, He in the same power gives Himself up to death, and for us.
Verses 11-14. “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” This He must explain to them, “Lazarus is dead.”
Verse 15. “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.”
Verse 16. Thomas said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” How great the contrast of what was in His mind to what was in theirs. He is the life giver going to give the dead life. They see nothing before Him and them but danger and death. They cannot enter into His thoughts, while, doubtless, it was genuine human affection that prompted Thomas to say it. The Lord could appreciate that also.
Verses 17-19. On arriving near the place the Lord found that Lazarus had been in the grave four days already. To man it is an utterly hopeless case. Many of the Jews were there to comfort Martha and Mary concerning their brother. Theirs is helpless, hopeless, human sympathy. How different is His. The news goes before to the bereaved house that Jesus was coming.
Verse 20. Martha, as soon as she heard it, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. At our first glance one might think Mary was behind in love to the Lord, but we soon notice, that she is more like the Lord than Martha, who goes on the first suggestion of her mind, while Mary waits for the Master’s guidance. And this is in keeping with her habitual attitude (Luke 10:39). She sat at His feet and heard His word.
Verses 21-43. Martha said unto Jesus, “Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee.” This does not include the thought of resurrection, only she has confidence in Him as the true Messiah, the Son of God, and she seems to feel that had He been present, death had not come in. When He answers, “Thy brother shall rise again,” it has no present meaning to her. Nor does she understand anything beyond a general resurrection at the last day. Not even when He says, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he have died, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth on Me shall never die. Believest thou this?” She can only answer: “Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”
It is all above her, and her inward thoughts tell her Mary could understand Him better, so she went her way, and called Mary secretly, saying, “The Master is come and calleth for thee.” Mary was waiting for the word, and arose quickly, and came unto Him. Her sympathizers followed her, thinking she was going to the grave to weep there. When Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, “Lord, if Thou hadst been here my brother had not died.” It was the same words as Martha said, but evidently it is the deep sorrow of a soul that had its all in Him, and it drew out of the blessed Lord His deep feeling as to what sin had wrought and His sympathy with the bereaved in their sorrow—sorrow that was necessary and in the end would bring new comfort to their hearts. He said, “Where have ye laid Him?” They answered, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. All can see His love to Lazarus, but none yet can understand why death was allowed to do its work. Some of them said, “Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?” None there understood Him. It was a scene of death, but He was the life giver. They came to the grave hopeless. He came feeling the ruin sin had brought in, but He was the One who had power to undo the works of the devil, and death could not remain in His presence.”
His next word is, “Take ye away the stone.” Martha does not want corruption uncovered, and says so, “He hath been dead four days.” In her mind it is now worse than useless. Jesus saith unto her, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid, and Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me, and I knew that Thou hearest Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” Now their tears are wiped away, and joy springs up in their hearts, glad wonder to see Lazarus come forth. Was it not worth while to have tears and sorrow that were necessary, if they were to know Him as the resurrection and the life, and to have those tears wiped away, and those sorrows all removed by His power; and to see the glory of God, and the Son of God glorified thereby? It is so now as we see souls brought into life, eternal life and liberty, and it will be so at the day of Israel’s restoration. (Isa. 12 and 65:17-19; 66:8-13).
Verse 44. He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Life is there, he is risen from the dead by the power of the Lord of life. What a triumph over the full power of the enemy. The corruption has vanished, but full deliverance is yet to be given him, and they have to do with this, for he is bound about with graveclothes. Jesus saith unto them, “Loose him and let him go,” and the next place we see him he is seated at the table with the Lord. (Chapter 12:2).
When Israel is restored, the Lord will direct their blessing and make His everlasting covenant with them. (Isa. 35:10; Heb. 8:10-12).
And now He directs His servants into the Word that sets the soul free and happy in His presence to serve Him in the liberty of grace. (Rom. 3:24; 4:16; 5:1, 2, 17, 21; 8:1, 2, 38, 39; 12:1, 2).
Verse 45. No wonder that many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.
Verse 46. What a proof of the enmity of the heart of man to God, that with such a witness to His person as the resurrection and the life before it, yet can go away to join His enemies in their efforts to get rid of Him!
Verses 47-50. The Pharisees and chief priests hold a council, and while they own “this man doeth many miracles,” they conspire to destroy Him, and speak of the Roman, coming to take away both our place and out nation. God and Jehovah’s nation are displaced by our own cause, and no crime is too bad to gain their object. The high priest, with his satanic invention of a prophecy to put the Lord to death to save the nation from being carried away, puts before them that for which the Lord actually scattered them for doing (Mic. 5:1, 3). “They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek... therefore will He give them up” (Zech. 13:6, 7; Rom. 11:7; Matt. 27:25).
Verses 51, 52. But God overruled their machinations to carry out His great work of atonement; that should result in blessing to that nation, and not only to that nation, “but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” And again it is fulfilled, “Surely, the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain” (Psa. 76:10).
Verse 53. From that day their one thought was to murder Him. Joseph’s brethren sought Joseph’s destruction. God in marvelous wisdom was working out His purpose through Joseph to save their lives by a great deliverance (Gen. 45:7; 50:20).
Verses 54-57. The Lord quietly goes on with His service in a more secluded place, till it is time again to present Himself. Men cannot lay hands upon Him till it is the Father’s will, and He is content to serve with His disciples in the city Ephraim near the wilderness.
The Jews’ Passover was nigh at hand. Many go up to get ready for it, and they wonder if He will come up to the feast. The chief priests and Pharisees have given commandment to any who knew where the Lord was, to let it be known, that they might take Him.

The Watchers

Through the slow rolling hours of the desolate night,
There are watchers still watching to see
The “Star” of the morning discover its light:
What a moment its dawning will be!
For their hopes are all centered in that single “Star,”
And whenever its light shall appear
They’ll be caught, they’ll be “rapt,” in a moment far, far
From the face of this sin-furrowed sphere.
‘Tis Jesus, their Saviour, whose coming ere dawn,
From the darkness to catch them away.
To their eyes He’ll appear as the Herald of morn,
The golden fore-runner of day.
With what hearts they have watched for His coming again;
Through whole ages of darkness they’ve waited for Him.
They have known what it is to have trouble and pain.
Heavy hearts, and tired eyes growing dim.
But their “Star” will arise, not a doubt but it will,
When the night’s darkest their “Star” will appear;
Through the world’s folding clouds it will issue to fill
Their eyes with its radiance clear.
With these “watchers” I’ll join, for their hopes are my own,
I’ve been washed in the Saviour’s blood,
Of His church I’m a part, of His flock I am one,
I’m a child of His Father and God.
In the prayer of these “watchers” I’ll heartily join
When the “Spirit and Bride” whisper, “Come,
Lord Jesus, come quickly,” a cry that’s my own,
When that’s uttered, how could I be dumb!

Are You a Backslider?

If you were ever a more faithful follower of the Lord Jesus than you are now, you are a backslider.
If you were ever more wholehearted in your love for the Saviour than you are now, you are a backslider.
If you were ever more separate from the world which crucified the Son of God than you are now, you are a backslider.
If you were ever more zealous for the glory of God than you are today, you are a backslider. If you were ever more earnest in reading the Word of God than you are today, you are a backslider. If you were ever more frequent in prayer than you are now, you are a backslider. If you were ever more anxious about the salvation of others than you are now, you are a backslider.
Solemn statements—but true ones! Think them over.
If you are a backslider, the voice of the Lord calls you: “Return, O My backsliding children.” He would have you in the full glow of Christian blessing, brightly witnessing for Him; and living for His glory and honor.
It has been said that the backslider is a good advertisement for the devil. He can point to such a one and say to the world, “You see he does not find happiness through Christ. He has given up his service.” Another solemn, statement—but a true one! Think it over!
“I have against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” Revelation 2:4, 5

The Commandments and the Words of Jesus

John 14:21-23.
We have in this portion two things; the proof of love, first, in having and keeping our Lord’s commandments; and next, in keeping His words. At first sight it might seem somewhat startling:
“He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me;” but the more we weigh the words the more evident and all-important is their truth. It is clear our Lord was not speaking here of what is moral, or the Ten Commandments. A man might be found most rigorous in that, like Saul of Tarsus, and yet not have a particle of love to Christ. He could say of himself, “Touching the righteousness which is in the law blameless.” But here in this passage, what the Lord is calling attention to is not the law—not that anyone would seek to lighten its weight; it had been given of God. But the Lord says, here is a test: “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.” This touches upon what is more closely personal. We know that in ordinary life, if there is anyone we care for and love in a special way, a word from such a one will have immense weight with us. Where there is love, there is amazing quickness in knowing what the will is, what the desire is—and bearing it in mind.
But on the other hand, if there is frivolity of spirit, there will be carelessness and forgetfulness of what is desired; and this is true of us with the Lord. Love to Christ will make us delight in His commandments. Confidence in His love will make us not afraid of examining them, but on the contrary, search into them as a light to our path. But that is not enough. “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”
In this keeping of His commandments, there will be further manifestations of the Lord to the soul. It is only as we walk in obedience that there is communion with the Lord. To walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, there must be confidence in His love. Then you get fullness of love in return. “I will manifest Myself unto him;” not only My will, but Myself.
This brings out a question of Judas (not Iscariot) which shows how little the disciples understood the secret manifestation, of which He spoke. They thought only of an open, public manifestation; and that, as when David was set upon the throne, those who had been with him during his rejection were given places of special honor around him, so it would be now.
“How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us, and not unto the world?” But the Lord explains that it is during His absence He expects these proofs of their love. He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who would be always with them, to bring everything to their remembrance that He had said to them even these very words. And now we are in this very state of things. In constant danger of being forgetful and disobedient, we have still the Comforter to bring these things to our remembrance, and the love of our Lord, who has given us commandments to keep, and they are not grievous.
Jesus answered him and said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My words.”
Here is a further thing. In the former verse, a man has His commandments, knows them has his heart engaged in them to keep them; not measuring other people by them, but keeping them himself. But when Judas puts the question about manifestation unknown to the world, the Lord says, “If a man love Me he will keep My words.” Here is a great advance, one which we do well to weigh. The desires of our Lord are not here put in the form of a “commandment.”
It is true that the more we know of Christ, the more we love Him—the more we must desire to remember His authority over our souls, and own and rejoice in it. But this does not meet all that is in His heart. He wants to give us further manifestations of His own love, further revelation of the Father. Thus, what a field it is that we are brought into! He is testing our hearts. Not as to whether we love Him at all—but it is good to test our souls from time to time, how far our love carries us. Are we keeping “His words”?
“If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” He looks for love. Warm expressions are not enough—they may not always be trusted—may be rather a proof of want of reverence. But He looks for our love; and suppose the soul does love, how will it show itself? Will there not be the desire to ponder every word, in whatever way the Lord Jesus shows His will? Will there not be delight to be near Him, His love filling our hearts?
The more we enter into His grace, the more we ought to search ourselves by this close word of our Master’s. It was needed by His disciples, and surely not less needed by us.

This World Is a Wilderness Wide

I know many of my readers, though young in years, have found out that, indeed, “This world is a wilderness wide.” You know, in measure, I trust, the truth of that beautiful verse,
“‘Tis the treasure I have found in His love,
Has made me a pilgrim below.”
And as a pilgrim, you have to travel a pathless desert, a scene like a vast snow-covered common with not a foot print which the eye can see. You have a home, a bright happy home, at the end of your journey. You often sing,
“Lord, I can see, by faith in Thee,
A prospect bright unfailing,
Where God shall shine in light divine,
In glory never fading.
A home above of peace and love,
Close to Thy holy Person,
Thy saints shall there see glory fair,
And shine as Thy reflection.”
But you are not there yet. You have trials, sorrows, temptations and failures, experiences, which are earthly not heavenly; and the more you know what it is to be in heaven in Christ, even now the more you will realize you are still in the wilderness. Have you found out that the world is a wilderness without a path? Have you discovered that all your wisdom, all your intelligence, even all your care can not find a single mark that will direct you towards heaven? As a believer in Christ, have you ever found yourself lost in a pathless desert? If not, you have never yet learned that simple, but wonderful word, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” One has traveled this desert before you, and left His footprints from one end to the other. You know well who that One was. He loves you, He died for you. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us;” and the world was, indeed, a wilderness to Him. To the lowly Jesus there was not a guidepost, not a landmark, not a footprint from the cradle to the grave. How did that blessed One find His way through this desert? “I have set Jehovah always before Me.” “Thou wilt show Me the path of life.” The Lord trod an untrodden path, and that path He learned from the Father. “Thou wilt show Me the path of life.” He spoke not a word, did not an action, took not a single step, but as directed by the Father. But in walking that path, He has left a clear distinct footprint, which is to be your guide to the end of the journey.
“The path of life” to Him lay through the grave, but He did not fear it, for He could say, “Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell (hades); neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy One to see corruption.... In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” And just as the blessed Lord kept His eye on Jehovah, was guided by His counsels, and afterward received into glory, so must you, dear young child of God, keep your eye on Jesus, find out His footprints, and steadily, faithfully walk in them. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and completer of faith.” He began, continued, and finished His wondrous journey through this wilderness world by faith, and “we walk by faith, not by sight.”
How shall you find out those footprints? Here comes in the value of the Word of God. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” It is full of Christ; every verse is, as it were, one of His divine footprints. Give yourself, then, to the Word and to prayer, keep your eye on Him, and faith will surely discern those steps, which will lead you safe to the joy that is set before you.
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21.

Walk With the Lord

Walk with the Lord! so shalt thou know
That fellowship of love,
His Spirit only can bestow
Who reigns in light above.
Walk with the Lord! and thou shalt find
Thy heart made truly His,
Who dwells in cloudless light enshrined,
In whom no darkness is.
Walk with the Lord! and sin abhorred
Shall ne’er defile again;
The blood of Jesus Christ, the Lord,
Has cleansed from every sin.
Walk with the Lord! and e ‘en the tomb
No fearful shade shall wear;
Glory shall chase away its gloom,
For Christ has conquered there.
Walk with the Lord! and thou shalt see
Thy path, though thorny, bright,
For God, by grace, shall walk, with thee,
And God Himself is light.

Correspondence: 1 Tim. 5:24-25; The House of God

Question: Would you please explain 1 Timothy 5:24, 25? J. W.
Answer: Paul’s first letter to Timothy is mainly directions for the ordering of the Assembly. He was delegated by the Apostle to appoint the necessary elders and deacons. The above verses are part of his instructions.
Verse 23 is a parenthesis given on account of his carefulness of habits, while his physical condition needed more than water.
Verse 22. He is told to lay hands suddenly on no man, lest he should identify himself with another man’s sins. He was to keep himself pure.
Verse 24. Some men’s sins could be seen at once, and so could be condemned or judged, while others were more hidden, but come out in the end, and they cannot escape the eye of God. It was the same with good works; with some they are all seen on the surface, while others leave it to somebody else to tell. Timothy was thus taught not to be hasty in receiving or appointing any.
This is practical for us also, to keep from haste in receiving with open arms those we do not know except on their own testimony, and so prevent us from bringing trouble on ourselves, or into the gathering to the name of the Lord Jesus.
Question: What is the house of God? U. A. N.
Answer: The house of God with Israel was first the tabernacle in the wilderness, and then the temple in the land, built at Jerusalem. Since then no building or meeting place is called in Scripture, the house of God. It is now composed of people (Eph. 2:22).
It was when Christ was glorified, and the Holy Spirit was sent down as promised (John 7:39; 14:16, 17; 15:26; 16:7, 13), that this came to pass at Pentecost. (Acts 2:1, 33.) From this on, each believer was sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), and all believers are thus baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), and are thus members of the body of Christ, and members one of another (Rom. 12:4, 5). This is the only membership Scripture knows for believers, and is called the church, which is His body (Eph. 1:22, 23).
The other aspect of the church, as the dwelling place of God by the Spirit, is called the house of God. (1 Tim. 3:15). It is the church, or Assembly of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The one hundred and twenty gathered in the upper room at Jerusalem became this house when the Holy Spirit came down and filled the house where they were sitting. In this aspect of the church, men are its caretakers. They are responsible for its building and order, as we see in Paul and others (1 Cor. 3:10). They build it by their teachings, and baptism done in the name of the Lord, and as we go into its history we find, what always happens with anything committed to men, failure comes in and wrong material is introduced; wood, hay, stubble, is built in as well as gold, silver, precious stones. The foundation is right, but the builders have gone wrong (1 Cor. 3:11, 12-17). We find its ruined condition spoken of in 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, Jude, 2 Thessalonians, Revelation 2nd, 3rd chapters. And such parables in Matthew as “the tares,” “the man without the wedding garment,” and “the five foolish virgins,” illustrated its mixture. Then judgment will fall upon the rest after the Lord has come and taken all who were truly converted out of it. What is left behind will be Babylon (Rev. 17), and to this state it is fast hastening (Rev. 18:4).
At the present time 2 Timothy 2 compares it to “A great house,” a mixture of good and bad, and in great confusion. The believer is called to walk in a clean path (Ver. 21), and to follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord sincerely (Ver. 22), and is thus meet for the master’s use.
Though the church, the house of God, has fallen into such ruin, God has not forsaken it. He still dwells down here (Eph. 2:22), and all the privileges of it remain for faith to use and enjoy.
Two or three can have the presence of Christ in their midst, if they are truly gathered to His name (Matt. 18:20). We still have the Word of God for our upbuilding, comfort, and guidance; and the Holy Spirit ever delights to teach us, and to unfold to us, the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10, 12). We cannot set up the church anew, but we can walk in obedience to God’s Word.

Loving Savior, I Accept Thee

In one of the big public wards of a general hospital, amidst all the suffering and pain, a man lay dying.
He seemed at last to realize his condition, realize how very near he was to eternal judgment, and he was almost paralyzed with fear, his shrieks and groans frightening every one in the ward. In vain the nurse tried to quiet him, soothing him with physical remedies and giving drugs to deaden the pain. He would lie quiet for a little while, and then, as if his soul could not rest, he would start again crying, “Hell, hell, hell: do not let them take me, hold me fast, hold me fast I do not want to die; they are coming—hell, hell, hell.” He grew almost frantic.
The nurse went over and took his hand. “Hush,” she whispered, “hush, remember Christ died to save sinners.”
“Yes, but not me, not me; I am too bad.”
“No, He died to save you. If your sins were scarlet as blood, yet shall they be white as snow.”
“O,” he said, “pray for me, pray for me.” It was as if the truth was penetrating through the dulled fever-stricken brain, as if God in His wonderful mercy was giving this dying man a clear vision; and when the nurse slowly murmured over him, “O Christ, save this Man;! help him, Lord Jesus,” he lay still with his hands folded.
“Nurse,” he cried suddenly, “are you quite sure that Christ died for me, quite sure there is hope?”
“Yes,” she answered, firmly and slowly, “quite sure Christ died for you, and if you accept Him, your soul shall surely live.” He lay quite still for a time, and then looking up lie whispered gently, “Christ, loving Saviour, I accept Thee, I accept Thee.”
Then remorse seemed suddenly to fill his soul. “O that I could live for Him, that I could be more worthy. Is there no hope, can I not live for Him?” The nurse shook her head.
You will go to Him instead,” she whispered.
Some of the other patients had come to the bedside, and seeing them he cried, “Young men, turn from your wicked ways while there is yet time, accept and live for Christ our Saviour.” The strength which had been for a moment vouchsafed, began to fail him, his eyelids closed, and he lay quite still with a quiet smile on his face, and his hands clasped.
After a while the eyes again opened, and with a bright look he whispered, “Now, I die happy, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; loving Saviour, I commit my soul to Thee.” The weary eyelids closed again for the last time, and shortly after, very quietly, the newborn spirit left the wasted body to find its true home, and see the precious Saviour face to face.
Reader, have you accepted that loving Saviour?
“Behold the Lamb! ‘tis He who bore
My sins upon the tree;
And cleared by death the dreadful score,
The guilt that lay on me.”

The Invitation Accepted

I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad,
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water—thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream,
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am the dark world’s light,
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found,
In Him my Star, my Sun,
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till traveling days are done.

What Do You Believe In?

I cannot forget the confusion into which I saw a conceited young fellow thrown once when he turned to an aged minister, and, as if challenging discussion, said,
“I am told that you believe in the inspiration of the whole Bible.” The good man answered quietly, “O yes, my friend. What do you believe in?” A little laugh covered the defeat; but he continued, “But you certainly know what the great scholars say about it?” when again the same calm answer met him.
“Somewhat; but what did they say to you about your soul?” Now the inquirer grew restive.
“They say you are leading men along with a farthing taper in your lantern.”
To this the aged preacher only said, “Do they say men would see any better if we would let them put the taper out?”
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Psalm 19:7, 8.

Tract Distributing in South China

I think I may say that during the last few months tract distributing has become one of the features of the gospel work in Yeung Kong and its neighborhood. Some tens of thousands of simple gospel tracts for adults and children having been printed. We have been endeavoring to scatter the good seed, through their means, in many directions. The colporteurs and preachers have carried them into the country places, and some of the boys from the school have lent willing hands to distribute them in and around the city.
We have also had a variety of wall texts written in large Chinese characters on red, yellow and green papers, and these are gladly received. Incidentally, I may explain that by having them written, a very worthy lad is enabled to continue his attendance at the school, and the written character is more appreciated by the Chinese, than in foreign looking, printed text. Some of these have been put up at the gate of the city, and one, if not more, has been displayed on the gatepost of a temple, with the permission of the person in charge.
It would be hard for those in America to picture to themselves the beaming faces with which these tracts are received, or the joy and eagerness of the children, and also of the women, and even of the men, when a picture card is produced. Walking over the hills a few days ago, we had the pleasure of distributing some of these colored cards to several children. How gladly they were received, as were the tracts by their elders. I remember one tall, intelligent looking man, leading a very small cow, who continued reading his tract as long as he was in sight.
Descending to the road, which led us home, we were attracted by shouts from the hilltop, and saw a number of ragged urchins hastening after us. If it had been in the homeland, one might have thought they were crying, “Stop, sir, stop!” but I am more inclined to think, being in China, it was “Kung chai, kung chai!” (“a picture card, a picture card!”) It was a great disappointment to the laddies and also to ourselves, to find the cards had come to an end; and very evident tears appeared in the eyes of the last comer, a small boy of perhaps eight years, who came panting up, some distance behind the older ones.
Another day we found our way on to one of the main roads, leading between Yeung Kong and Naa Shue. You would hardly believe the numbers of people we met: women carrying heavy baskets of earth; men with bags over their shoulders; scholars in their long, blue robes; mothers with babies on their backs, and other little ones trotting by their side. Only one or two of the men refused the tracts; as a rule they were received with a broad smile, and occasionally with a bow or word of thanks, while the weary looking women became quite animated over the gift of a card.
Leaving the high road, we came into a lane, bordered, as these lanes often are, with wild pineapple. Even here we met some very bright looking lads, who were rejoiced to get, not only tracts, but a small Gospel of John. This pretty, winding lane led us to a beautiful pond, peopled with ducks and geese. Crossing a small bridge at the end of the pond, we found ourselves in a densely populated village. Children swarmed around us on every side, men came running and holding out eager hands for tracts. Near the center of the village we encountered a very patriarchal looking old man, with a long white beard, rather an uncommon feature in this country. A wall text on red paper seemed a suitable present for him, and was greatly admired by all onlookers. A place to paste it up, on the outside wall of a house, was soon pointed out. One man ran to fetch a bowl of paste and a piece of cocoanut fiber in lieu of a brush, and the work was soon done. Long may that verse of Scripture remain in its conspicuous position in that large heathen village.
To give a third instance, we might speak of a walk several ladies took one afternoon, accompanied by their children and a Chinese lad, Cheang Faat, who is working his way through the school. He soon became possessor of a package of tracts, and gave them to one and another in a pleasant and tactful manner. All were received with smiles and thanks.
Arriving, at last, at a picturesque teahouse, the party sat down to rest, and one lady began to sketch the house. I might remark here that she not only drew a picture, but drew a crowd also. But the boy was equal to the occasion, and soon disposed of all the remaining tracts, and, as the men and boys gathered around, he took the opportunity to preach the gospel to them. A man, beating a gong, appeared at this moment, warning people to make way for a second man carrying a tray of idols, and with a third man holding an umbrella over them. This our young preacher took for his text, and spoke long, and I am sure, faithfully, to the crowd. How quietly and earnestly they all listened—over fifty men and boys, some old, some young, some in rags, others well dressed. It was a sight never to be forgotten—the boy preacher, with bare head and feet, telling out of a full heart the story of a true God, and a loving Saviour.

A Tender Conscience

Cherish a tender conscience. Remember this Whatever unfits for Christian duties, whatever cools the fervor of devotion, whatever indisposes us to read the Scriptures or engage in prayer, whatever we could not engage in with a perfectly clear conscience in the presence of a rejected and suffering Saviour, are not for us. The pleasures, amusements, recreations, which we cannot thank God for, should be avoided. When the thought of God, of Christ, of His coming, of the judgment seat, falls like a shadow on what we call enjoyment, we are out of our right place. Let us flee from it.
Let us never go where we cannot ask God to go with us. Let us never be found where we cannot act as Christ would have us. Let us pass each day as pilgrims, consciously on the way to their heavenly inheritance. Let us press after close communion with Jesus. Let the love of God reign in our hearts, and thus shall we be kept from a thousand snares, exhibit a holy consistency, and become possessed of a peace and a joy which passeth knowledge.

Scripture Study: John 12

Verses 1-8. What a beautiful picture we find here of what grace works in souls. The man who was raised from the dead is now seated at the table with the Lord. It pictures the restored remnant of Israel, brought back as from the dead; but also the place of communion of every believer. We are indeed blessed with all spiritual blessings, dead with Christ and risen with Him.
Bethany, the house of sweet fruit, tells of His delight to be in the company of His saints. They made Him a supper; they, too, delighted to be in His company. Martha served, without carefulness or cumberings now. Lazarus is there sitting with Him. And Mary’s ointment is worship. Have we not three parts of our Christian character seen here in their activity? communion, service and worship.
Mary’s affection produces her pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly. She has kept this for some time and now her spiritual discernment saw it the proper occasion to anoint the Lord against the day of His burying: She anointed His feet, and wiped them with her hair, and the house was filled with the sweet perfume. Precious it was to Him! He knew what it cost her, and why she did it.
Judas Iscariot, the one to betray Him, said, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” And alas! others joined in with him. The influence of a bad man, pretending to be good, may, indeed, often does, lead saints wrong. How watchful we need to be! The natural mind does not rise above itself, or man’s good; can pass as a friend of the poor, sees everything waste that is expended on Christ, while at the bottom it is real selfishness. Judas wanted badly to get his hands on that money; he cared nothing for the poor, he was a thief.
The Lord said, “Let her alone: against the day of My burying hath she kept this.” Mary’s heart would certainly rejoice at this assurance of His approval. (See Matt. 26:10-13; Mark 14:6-9.) She had learned by sitting at His feet, and there hearing His word, to do the best thing at the right time. She had taken it in to her soul that men were seeking His life, and that He was to die. How refreshing all this on her part was to the blessed Lord, when all about Him was coldness and rejection.
Verses 9-11. Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there, and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead. This stirs the wicked hearts of the chief priests, who consult to put the newly raised Lazarus again to death, because he is the means of others believing on Jesus. How true it is, “If the world hate you, we know that it hated Me before it hated you,” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (John 15:18; 2 Tim. 3:12). The natural man in his religiousness, is the great opposer of the truth (Rom. 8:7).
Verses 12-19. The next day much people who heard that He was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” And Jesus comes in riding on the ass’s colt, as the prophet foretold. “Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.” At this time the disciples did not understand the meaning of these things, but when He was glorified, then they could see the significance of it. It was His presentation as Son of David, King of Israel, but it was as rejected we see Him. God moved their hearts to proclaim Him King, as a testimony to Israel.
The raising of Lazarus testified that He was the Son of God; the believing remnant in Bethany is His heart’s comfort; the multitude testify to His being King; the Romans remain silent; the Pharisees mourn that the world is gone after Him.
Verses 20-24. There were certain Greeks, that is, Gentiles, among them that came up to the feast to worship. They came to Philip, saying, “We would see Jesus.” Philip tells Andrew and both tell Jesus. Jesus answered saying, “The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified.”
It is not the time yet for Him to receive the Gentiles. He will yet be the Head of the heathen (Psa. 18:43), and a light to the Gentiles, Jehovah’s salvation to the end of the earth (Isa. 49:6). He must first die. “Except the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” He was the corn of wheat that abode alone; the perfect One on whom death had no claim, but He would not be alone. And to have us there, He gave Himself to the death of the cross that we might live with Him, the fruit of His death. Men were dead, their works were dead works, and they were living in sin. They must die to what they were alive in, that they might live to what they were dead to—in trespasses and sins. And this only could be through Christ’s death and resurrection. The Lord Jesus knew and felt that death, the death of the cross, was what was before Him, to give us a place with Him in that resurrection glory and blessing.
Verse 25. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” Those who turn from Him to enjoy this life shall be losers; those who turn from this life to Him shall enjoy eternal blessing.
Verse 26. “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” Is He rejected and despised of men? So will His servant be. Is He honored of the Father? So will those who serve Him be (Phil. 1:20; 2:5; 3:10).
Verses 27-33. “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” He will not pray to escape the dreadful hour when. God’s righteous judgment must be endured, if those purposes of grace are to be accomplished, and God is to be glorified and sinners saved.
But He will say, “Father, glorify Thy name.” An audible voice from heaven replied, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” He had glorified it in the raising of Lazarus, and would again in the resurrection of Jesus. The people said it thundered. The Lord said, “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes.” Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die. The world is judged in the death of Christ; it would not have Him. Satan, its prince is cast out. His power is annulled. Christ has gained the victory when apparently defeated, and is become as lifted up upon the cross, the point of attraction for all men; that through Him they might be brought to God; that they come to Him there and obtain eternal life through the Saviour’s death.
Verses 34-36. The people talk about the Messiah abiding forever, and ask, “Who is this Son of Man” that must be lifted up? His answer is to take the opportunity while the light is with them, to believe in the light and become thus children of light.
Verses 37-41. Then He hides Himself. And the evangelist tells us how in rejecting the Lord they fulfilled Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 6:10. Isaiah saw this same Lord Jesus, as Jehovah, in His temple in glory. “These things said Esaias when he saw His glory and spake of Him.”
Verses 42, 43. Many of the chief rulers believed on Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Verses 44-50. Jesus cried, and said, “He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me. He gave Me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”
He was declaring the Father. To receive His testimony was to receive the Father; to reject Him was to reject His Father, and lose eternal blessing.

The Lord's Love

“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”— John 13:1.
“The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”— Ephesians 3:19.
There’s nothing like Thy trusted love,
Lord Jesus, here below;
Its sweetness we would daily prove,
And all its fullness know.
Thy love has thought of every need,
Of all the pressure here,
And ever lives to intercede
Till we are with Thee there.

The Son of God: Part 1

“The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father.” John 1:18.
I am sure that I dread reasonings where affections should animate us, and the withdrawing from the place of living power, into anything like a region of notions or theories. But the mysteries of God are all of the highest practical value, in either strengthening for service, comforting under trial, or enlarging the soul’s communion.
The Apostle speaks of himself and others as “Ministers of Christ,” and also as “Stewards of the mysteries of God.” And so we, in our measure, are to be ministers (that is, servants) in all practical, personal readiness and devotedness; patient, diligent, and serviceable in labors; in all of which some of us may know how little we are in comparison with others.
But we are also to be “stewards”; and that, too, of “mysteries,” keeping uncorrupt and inviolate the peculiarities of divine revelation. Reasoning men may not receive them. The cross was foolishness to such; and “the princes of this world,” the men of philosophy who professed themselves to be wise, knew not “the wisdom of God in a mystery.” But that mystery is not to be surrendered to them in anywise. Our stewardship is of such; and it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful (1 Cor. 4:1, 2).
The guardianship and witness of the personal glory of the Son of God form a chief part of this high and holy stewardship. I observe John guarding that glory with a jealousy quite of its own kind. There are, for instance, measures and methods recommended, when Judaizing corruptions or the like are to be dealt with.
In the Epistle to the Galatians, where the simplicity of the gospel is vindicated, there is a pleading and a yearning in the midst of earnest and urgent reasoning. But in John’s Epistles, all is peremptory. There is a summary forcing out, or keeping out, all that is not of that unction of the Holy One, which teaches the Son as well as the Father, which will admit of no lie to be of the truth, and which distinctly says, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father,” 1 John 2:23.
This diversity of style in the wisdom of the Spirit has its value; and we should mark it. The observing of days, or the not eating of meat are things which really depreciate the full glory and liberty of the gospel. But they are to be borne with (Rom. 14). But depreciation of the person of the Son of God would not be thus borne with, or have a decree passed in its favor after this manner.
A mere journeying from Egypt to Canaan would not have constituted true pilgrimage. Many a one had traveled that road without being a stranger and pilgrim with God. Nay, though the journey were attended with all the trials and inconveniences of such an arid and trackless wild, it would not have been divine or heavenly pilgrimage. A merely toilsome, self-denying life, even though endured with that moral courage which becomes God’s strangers on earth, will not do. In order to make that journey the journey of God’s Israel, the Ark must be in their company, borne by a people ransomed by blood out of Egypt, and tending, in their faith of a promise, to Canaan.
This was the business of Israel in the desert. They had to conduct the ark, to accompany it, and to hallow it. They might betray their weakness, and incur chastening and discipline in many a way, and on many an occasion; but if their direct business were given up, all was gone. And this did come to pass. The tabernacle of Moloch was taken up, and the star of Remphan; and this was despite of the ark of Jehovah; and the camp had, therefore, their road turned away from Canaan to Babylon or Damascus (Amos 5; Acts 7).
And what ark is in the midst of the saints now for safe and holy and honorable conduct through this desert world, if not the name of the Son of God? What mystery is committed to our stewardship and testimony, if not that? “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.” 2 John 9, 10. The wall of partition is to be raised by the saints between them and Christ’s dishonor.
It is upon the heart a little to consider the Lord Jesus as Son of God; and, if He give help from Himself, the subject will be a blessing to us.
We are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19. This carries with it the formal declaration of the mystery of the Godhead; the Son being a divine person (in the recognition or declaration of this sentence), as is the Father, and as is the Holy Spirit.
It appertains to other scriptures to give us the same mystery (that the Father, the Son and the Spirit are three persons in the one divine glory or Godhead), in other and more moral ways; showing it in its grace and power, and in its application to our need, our life, and our edification. John’s Gospel specially does this, drawing it out from its orderly form, as in the words of baptism, and giving it to our understanding as saints, our affections, and our consciences, making it our possession in faith and communion.
In connection with this, I might observe, that in chapter 1:14, the saints are heard, as it were, interrupting the story of the glories of Jesus, and sealing, by their testimony, the great truth of “the Word” being “made flesh.” And in the fervor which became them at such a moment, they break or interrupt the current of their own utterances in that verse. For they begin to speak of the Word made flesh, but, ere they end that record they (in a parenthesis) publish His personal glory, which they say they had seen, even “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” And this only begotten of the Father is spoken of, very soon afterward, as “in the bosom of the Father”—words to be deeply cherished by our souls. (Verse 18.)
I doubt not the Lord is called “the Son of God” in different respects. He is so called as being born of the virgin (Luke 1:35). He is such by divine decree, as in resurrection (Psa. 2:7; Acts 13:33). This is true, and remains true, though further revelation be made to us of His divine Sonship. He is the Son, and yet has obtained the name of Son. (Heb. 1:1-3.)
Matthew and Mark first notice His Sonship of God at His baptism.
Luke goes further back, and notices it at His birth.
But John goes back further still, even to the immeasurable, unspeakable distance of eternity, and declares His Sonship “in the bosom of the Father.”
There were, I doubt not, different apprehensions of Him, different measures of faith touching His person, in those who called on Him. He Himself owns, for instance, the faith of the centurion, in apprehending His personal glory, to be beyond what He had found in Israel. (Matt. 8: Luke 7.) But all this in no wise affects what we hear of Him, that He was the Son “in the bosom of the Father,” or “that Eternal Life, which was with the Father,” and was manifested to us. (1 John 1.)
We must not, beloved, touch this precious mystery. We should fear to dim the light of that love in which our souls are invited to walk on their way to heaven. And—what is a deeper and tenderer thought, if I may be bold to utter it—we should fear to admit of any confession of faith (rather, indeed, of unbelief) that would defraud the divine bosom of its eternal, ineffable delights, and which would tell our God that He knew not a Father’s joy in that bosom, as He opened it; and which would tell our Lord that He knew not a Son’s joy in that bosom as He lay there from all eternity.
I cannot join in this. If there are persons in the Godhead, as we know there are, are we not to know also that there are relationships between them? Can we dispense with such a thought? Is there not revealed to faith, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; the Son begotten, and the Spirit proceeding? Indeed there is. The persons, in that glory are not, independent, but related. Nor is it beyond our measure to say that the great archetype of love, the blessed model or original of all relative affection, is found in that relationship.
Can I be satisfied with the unbelieving thought, that there are not Persons in the Godhead, and that Father, Son, and Spirit are only different lights in which the One Person is presented? The substance of the gospel would be destroyed by such a thought. And can I be satisfied with the unbelieving thought that these Persons are not related? The love of the gospel would be dimmed, by such a thought.
(To be Continued).

Rejoice in the Lord

“Rejoice in the Lord alway,” says the Scripture—not only when it is fair sailing, but in stormy weather also. The Apostle was in a dungeon when he said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.” His surroundings did not tend to joy, but his joy was in the Lord.
We remember how he, with Silas, sang praises to God when in the inner prison at Philippi; and when the beloved saints of that city were going through their trials for Christ’s sake, the Apostle sent to them, from his chains in Rome, the cheering exhortation, “Rejoice in the Lord alway.”
If we rejoice in the Lord always, what should be our demeanor towards others? Moderation gentleness—yieldingness—mildness. “Let your moderation be known unto all men.”
Supposing there is somebody who has seen us a little off our balance in standing upon our rights, real or imaginary, something which contradicted the gentleness of Christ, ought we not to feel humbled? God would have our readiness to yield, not resist, known, and this not sometimes, or to some persons, but to all men. By moderation the Apostle means that spirit of meekness which can only be where the will is not allowed to work actively for that which we may desire. And what a reason why we need not be anxious to assert a claim, even when we are right! “The Lord is at hand.” Where there is the happy feeling in the soul that one is doing that which pleases God, there is generally the readiness of trust in the Lord that puts aside anxiety, and leaves all in His hands.

A Few Words on Preaching

I believe we ought to preach the love of God to sinners and appeal to them more than we do, though I do so much more when addressing a mixed crowd of probably careless people than in the assemblies. In these you must remember that the great body are believers, and want rather to be better founded, than called. The preaching should be such that it should convict of sin, and the impossibility of sin and God going together, so that it should be well understood that there is need of reconciling. And here Christ at once comes in, and atonement, and righteousness. Holiness precludes all sin from God, righteousness judges it. This I believe the sinner should understand; so that he should know what love applies to, yet that love should be fully preached. It does itself often convict of sin, for the conscience has often its wants already, and this draws them out; so that men find consciously where they are. But conviction of sin under righteousness is a very useful thing, if grace be fully preached with it, and both unite in Christ.
It is very important that preachers should go to the world, especially now, with a message of distinct love to them. It should be love manifested in Christ, so as to bring out the sinner’s condition to himself; that it should not be mere easiness as to sin; that it is a gracious love to sinners—grace abounding over sin—grace reigning through righteousness, than which nothing is more perfectly grace.
Sometimes I think the love of God is so preached, as it is a kind of boon of the sinner to accept it. It is God’s joy. Still as a sinner, his being a debtor to God ought to be before his soul. I count evangelizing the happiest service. Yet my heart yearns over the saints, and the glory of Christ in the truth, too. Happily there is One above who does all.

Correspondence: 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 23:9-10

Question: What does 2 Timothy 4:1 mean? Does the “quick” mean those who are born again, and the “dead” those who are dead in trespasses and sins? J. B.
Answer: There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). They shall not come into judgment, but are passed from death into life. They have eternal life (John 5:24). There is judgment for sinners out of Christ; they are condemned already (John 3:18), and will be judged for their sins (Eph. 5:6).
This verse in 2 Timothy 4:1, speaks about the time when the Lord begins to judge. It is when He appears, and His heavenly saints come with Him. He came for them first (1 Thess. 4:15-17); afterward they come back with Him to judge the people who are living on the earth at that time. He will deliver His people, Israel, from their oppressors and settle them in their own land, and reign over them (Ezek. 37). He will judge the living nations (Matt. 25:31-46). He will judge professing Christendom (Jude 14-15), and all the rebellious as well (2 Thess. 1:7-10). And all through the thousand years’ reign He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31; Isa. 32:1, 2; 26:1-11; Psa. 72).
It is after the Millennium is finished that we get the judgment of the dead, that is, all who have died without faith—died in their sins. These are judged according to their works (Rev. 20:11-15) for there is no escape. They are cast into the lake of fire, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (Matt. 9:43-48). Terrible it is to think of them there. Only in Christ there is salvation.
Question: Was Jesus speaking only to the Jews in Matthew 23:91—C. E. E.
Answer: The scribes and Pharisees did love titles of honor from men, and to sit in Moses’ seat; that is, they taught the law, but they did not do what they taught. This part of the Scriptures speaks of their hypocrisy, and self exaltation. (Ver. 1-12.)
Christ’s disciples were not to take the place of father, or teacher, nor were they to call others father or teacher, for the Father in heaven was the only one they were to own, and their only teacher was Christ. This refers to their ecclesiastical place; for we must honor our earthly parents.
There are gifts in the assembly now, and they serve the Lord, ministering, the Word, but we must watch not to put them in the Lord’s place. The unction or anointing of the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and so the Lord by the Spirit is our teacher (1 Cor. 2:12, 13; 1 John 2:20, 27).
An evangelist or teacher (as Eph. 4), may teach us the Word, and be used of God for our blessing, and we thank God for his ministry, but we cannot follow man, nor receive what he says, unless it is according to the Word of God. We esteem such very highly in love for their work’s sake (1 Thess. 5:12, 13), but they must not take, and we must not give them, a place of authority over us.

The Message of the Station Boy

If there is a joy on earth akin to that which fills all heaven, it is to see a young, rough, wild boy snatched from the power of sin and Satan. If anything can add to that joy it is to witness such a one finish his short course with gladness, and pass away, not only in peace, but positively triumphing over death and the grave.
I am going to tell you of one who passed away from all the sin and sorrow, and temptations and the defilements of a crowded and wicked city, into the presence of his Lord.
You all know that a great many boys are employed at railway stations, and perhaps I need not tell you that, as a rule, they are an uncared for, and wicked class of boys. But among these I have found a precious and not unfruitful field of labor. I seek to make these boys my friends. When the day’s work is done, I gather them around me, to help them, and instruct them, and as often as possible tell them of the love and the life, and the dying work of One who came down from heaven to save poor sinners.
On visiting my boys one day, I found that one was absent, kept away by sickness, and on the same evening I was unexpectedly spoken to by his father, who in great distress told me that he was lying dangerously ill at the hospital, and that he greatly wanted to see me. Poor man! the sting of death was piercing his soul.
“O,” said he, with an anxious, agonized face, and the tears trickling down his care worn cheeks, “O, my son!”
I tried to comfort him, but, alas! he knew not Christ, nor the antidote to the sting of death.
That night I hastened to the hospital, and was soon by the bedside of my suffering boy. There he lay, but he did not know me. He was in a raging fever and unconscious to all around; yet was his mind most active. And what do you think filled his thoughts? JESUS, the blessed Lord Jesus, whom, in spite of all his temptations and circumstances, he had learned to trust as his Saviour, and to love as a friend. In the midst of the raging fever, what do you think was the burden of his song? “Safe in the arms of Jesus,” rang out clear in that hospital ward. It was sorrowful to see such a wreck of nature, but, O, the relief, when in the midst of that wreck the soul can thus cling to, and find its rest in Jesus.
The next time I stood by that bedside, the fever was gone, but weakness was left behind. With outstretched arms he welcomed me, and again, but now with feeble voice, came forth the same cheering words, “Safe in the arms of Jesus,” calling forth from myself the joyful response, “Yes, safe on His loving breast.”
“Yes, yes,” said the boy, a bright smile lighting up his face, “I am resting there in perfect peace.”
After a few sentences from the Word of God, and a few words of prayer (for he was too weak to bear much), I rose to leave. Gently drawing my ear to his face, he whispered.
“I want you to take my message to the boys. Tell them I was once a poor, needy, guilty sinner, but that Jesus has died for me; tell them I am simply trusting in the finished work of Christ; tell them that, helpless as I am, He will not cast me out; tell them, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.’ O! tell them I want them to meet me in glory; tell them the same Jesus is there, and that He has gone to prepare a home in that beautiful land for all those who will put their trust in Him.”
His strength was nearly gone, but there stood his weeping, unconverted mother, and it seemed as if he could not depart without one more appeal to her. O, how he prayed, how he urged her to come to Jesus. His last feeble whispers were,
“Mother, I am dying; promise me you will meet me in the glory.” Most touching and solemn was this moment. There lay the dying, beseeching, pleading, gasping boy; there stood the weeping, brokenhearted mother. And then with sobs came out the promise,
“O, yes, I will meet you in glory.”
Nor was it a vain promise, for she too has since found the joy of being safe in the arms of Jesus.
Dear young friends, is there no message in these dying words for you? If stricken down with fever, would your language be, “Safe in the arms of Jesus”? Or would it have to be said of you,
“So near the door—and the door stood wide—
Close to the port—but not inside!
Near to the flock—yet not within!
Almost resolved to give up sin!
Almost persuaded to count the cost!
Almost a Christian—and yet lost!”
O, that your cry may be—
“Saviour; I come, I cry unto Thee;
O, let not these words be true of me!
I want to come to the point today;
O, suffer me not to turn away!
Give me no rest till my soul shall be
Within the refuge—Safe in Thee!”

Linger Not

The time is short.
If thou wouldst work for God, it must be now;
If thou wouldst win the garland for thy brow,
Redeem the time.
Shake off earth’s sloth,
Go forth with staff in hand while yet ‘tis day;
Set out with girded loins upon thy way:
Up, linger not.
Fold not thy hands!
What has the pilgrim of the cross and crown
To do with luxury, or couch of down?
On, pilgrim, on!
Sheathe not the sword,
The battle lies before thee, and the prize
Hangs yonder, far above these earthly skies:
Fight the good fight.
Faint not, O thou,
Follow the Master through the noble strife,
Pursue His footsteps, till they end in life:
Be strong in Him.
With His reward
He comes, He tarries not, His day is near;
When men least look for Him, will He appear:
O, glorious day!

Scripture Study: John 13

The time for the Lord’s departure is now at hand.
Verse 1. “When Jesus knew that His hour was come, that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” That unchanging love now begins to unfold the provision necessary for His own, His loved ones, who would for the present be left behind. This must necessarily be in accordance with the new position He will have as glorified; no longer as the Messiah on earth with His disciples, but as rejected, crucified, raised, and glorified at the Father’s right hand, and they sharing His rejection on earth, but also the blessing of communion with Him, and the Father, by the Holy Spirit, and the hope of glory with Him at His coming for them.
Verses 2-4. The instrument of His betrayal is there with the rest of His disciples at the Passover supper, and the devil has put it into his heart already to betray Him. “Knowing that all things were given into His hand by the Father, and that He was come from God and went to God, He rises from supper, and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.” In this we see the place of a servant still taken by Him on high. As the servant in Exodus 21, “He would not go out free.” This picture shows us how His love stoops to wash our feet from the defilement of this present evil world as we pass through it.
Verse 5. The water in the basin figures the Word of God, that is to be applied to our walk and ways (Psa. 17:4; 119:9; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). He began to wash their feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. What lowly grace it is, that occupies Him with what is needed for our happiness, and for God’s glory in us! Grace that teaches us, and helps us to judge our ways, and to own our failures, as well as being our Advocate on high with the Father (1 John 2:1), charging all to Himself as Jesus Christ, the righteous.
Verses 6-10. Peter could not understand the Lord taking such a humble place, and is not going to allow His Master to wash his feet. Jesus answers, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” This should plainly show that it signified something else than literal washing of feet. It was only to be, understood in the period when the Lord was on high. Peter answers, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” We need not blame Peter, for have we not sometimes refused the Lord’s gracious service for a far worse reason than Peter’s? Oftentimes, in pride of heart, we would not say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24. And perhaps we kept Him knocking at our door a while, before we would break down (Rev. 3:20).
The Lord’s gentle challenge to Peter’s affections soon won him. “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” This touched him, for He loved the Lord, and with his usual force of speech, he says, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Yes, he wanted part with Him—all he could have of it. And surely so do we. Part in Him every believer, through grace, has, and that can never be forfeited, thank God for it! That is secured for us by the Lord living for us on high (Heb. 10:14; 1 John 4:17), but we need to learn that “without Him we can do nothing,” and we need our consciences exercised day by day, to walk in the truth, for His name is “holy” and “true,” and we cannot walk with Him if we do not seek holiness and truth.
This speech of Peter’s gives the Lord the occasion to unfold more of the truth, so He answers him: “He that is washed (bathed all over) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” This is an allusion to the priestly consecration when the priests were washed all over. Afterward they washed their hands and feet before going into the tabernacle for the service of Jehovah. So we now have been cleansed (1 Cor. 6:11) by the water and the blood. We know redemption through His blood, and by it we have been brought nigh to God. Our standing before God could not be more perfect, for it is Christ Himself (1 Cor. 1:30), but we need our feet washed, every day, all the time, and let us remember that our blessed Lord Jesus says, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” Though not now in ignorance of what it means, should we not all the more in the glad sense of His love, express our desire to be fully in His hands, and let Him by the word mold and fashion us according to His own will?
Verse 11. The Lord knew who should betray Him and that they were not all clean, but He treated them all alike, for Judas was not yet manifested as the betrayer.
Verses 12-17. Another lesson for us now is, that we are to have a part in this gracious and loving service toward each other. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” But how shall we ever be able for such a service? How can we let this mind be in us which was also in Him? Only by humbly seeking His face, by laying aside our garments and humbling ourselves into our true place before Him, and by letting His love to all His own fill our hearts; then we will be much in prayer for ourselves and all His own, bearing them up in His presence, and there learning His will about them. Then it will be no difficulty if a brother be taken in a fault to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, and to consider how easily we ourselves can be tempted. Or like the husband and wife who expounded unto Apollos the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:26). For it is no small part of this service to supply what is lacking in ones knowledge of our holy and heavenly calling. What a joy it is to lead one another to walk with the Lord.
Verses 18-25. Again, the Lord refers to Judas Iscariot, who was now about to manifest himself. Judas’ apostleship is recognized in the words, “He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me.” But it was deep sorrow to the Lord that made Him testify, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me.” The disciples looked at on another doubting of whom He spake. In another gospel they say, “Is it I?” and were very sorrowful, but John, who knew Jesus’ love so much, was in his place in His bosom. Peter beckoned to him to ask who it should be of whom He spake. John lay back on Jesus’ breast, and said, “Lord, who is it?” He is in the right place to receive the Lord’s communications, though he was not there for that purpose; it was love that took him there, appreciation of Christ’s love for him.
Verse 26. Jesus answered, “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when He had dipped the sop He gave it to Judas Iscariot.” All this should have appealed to Judas, but he was evidently hardened, and likely thought he would get the money and the Lord could free Himself. So He could, but that was not the Father’s way for Him.
Verses 27-30. Now Satan takes possession of this poor hardened one who had allowed the devil to deceive him, and he goes out immediately. He parted company with the Lord and His disciples, to hurry out into an eternal night of despair in his own place (Acts 1:25). The Lord knew what he was going to do. The disciples thought he was sent out to carry out some commission for the Lord.
Verses 31-35. When he was gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and, as I said unto the Jews. ‘Whither I go, ye cannot come’; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
He spake of His death in which He would glorify God as the sin bearer in making atonement for sin. It was His glory to accomplish that work which would glorify God. There on the cross where all the power of Satan, and all that sin was and had done, and God’s judgment upon it were manifested, and where the question was settled; where Satan’s power in man was seen in its awful reality against God. There God was glorified, and all His blessed character upheld in righteousness. His perfect, righteous judgment against sin as the Holy One, but in it His perfect love to sinners in giving His Only begotten Son to die for them.
Hereby know we love, as another has said, “At the cross we find: man in absolute evil—the hatred of what was good; Satan’s full power over the world—the prince of this world. Man (Christ) in perfect goodness, obedience, and love to the Father at all cost to Himself; God, in absolute, infinite righteousness against sin, and infinite, divine love to the sinner. Good and evil were fully settled forever, and salvation wrought, the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth laid. Well may we say, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him!” God now blesses in grace reigning in righteousness through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“God could not pass the sinner by,
His sin demands that he must die;
But in the cross of Christ we see
How God can save, yet righteous be.”
God is just and justifies in grace. He is love, and in that love bestows His righteousness on man, all through the death of the Son of Man. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. This is what God has done—raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at God’s right hand in heavenly glory and crowned Him with glory and honor. This is the present expression of God’s delight in Him, and declares our full acceptance in Him, shall share the glory with Him, but now we see Him victorious, the One who has gained the victory by His work of obedience.
He announces to His disciples that He was going where they could not go. He alone could be there, and it was for them. And here His new commandment, that new divine nature of love, would enable them to love one another, and this was a sure mark that they were His disciples, if they had love one to another, and this would help to support them in His absence.
Verses 36-38. Simon Peter tries to solve the mystery, and penetrate into what mortal man could not do. The Lord Jesus only could enter God’s presence by the path of death, and the judgment of God. Peter’s question draws out his inability to follow Him at this time, and he says further, “I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Self-confident, he is warned and rebuked, and told that when tried he would be an utter failure, for fleshly confidence cannot stand. Strength from God alone can hold us up. But Peter afterward was given the privilege to lay down his life for Christ’s sake (John 21:18,19).

Fragment: Our Practical Calling

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” This sweeps away ever principle of conduct which cannot connect us with the world-rejected Christ. The world hates what is heavenly, neither can it bear the testimony of what it has done. We must be content to be despised and find Christ such a portion as to have no ambition of being anything where He was nothing. “How can ye believe who receive honor one of another?” Our practical calling is to manifest the spirit and character of Christ.

The Son of God: Part 2

It was once asked me, Had the Father no bosom till the Babe was born in Bethlehem? Indeed, fully sure I am, as that inquiry suggests, He had from all eternity. The bosom of the Father was an eternal habitation, enjoyed by the Son, in the ineffable delight of the Father— “the hiding place of love,” as one has called it, “of inexpressible love which is beyond glory; for glory may be revealed, this cannot.”
The soul may have remained unexercised about such thoughts as these, but the saints cannot admit their denial.
“Lamb of God, Thy Father’s bosom
Ever was Thy dwelling-place!”
The soul dare not surrender such a mystery to the thoughts of men. Faith will dispute such ground with “philosophy and vain deceit.” Even the Jews may rebuke the difficulty which some feel regarding it. They felt that the Lord’s asserting His Sonship amounted to a making of Himself equal with God. So that, instead of Sonship implying a secondary or inferior Person, in their thought it asserted equality. And, in like manner, on another occasion, they treated Jesus as a blasphemer, because He was making Himself God, in a discourse which was declaring the relationship of a son to a father (John 5:18; 10:33). The Jews may thus, again and again, rebuke this wretched, unbelieving difficulty which the vain deceit of man suggests. They were wiser than to pretend to test, by the prism of human reasonings, the light where God dwells.
“No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father,” (Luke 10:22), is a sentence which may well check our reasonings. And the word, that the eternal life was manifested to us, to give us fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:2), distinctly utters the inestimable mystery of the Son being of the Godhead, having “eternal life” with the Father. And again, as we well know, it is written, “The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father. He hath declared Him.” I ask, Can any but God declare God? In some sense God may be described. But the soul of the church will not rest in descriptions of God; though the wisdom of the world knows nothing else. It asks for declaration or revelation of Him, which must be by Himself. Is not then, I ask, the Son in the bosom a divine Person?
Nothing can satisfy all which the Scriptures tell us of this great mystery, but the faith of this: that the Father and the Son are in the glory of the Godhead; and in that relationship too, though equal in that glory.
He who was with God in the beginning as eternal as God, being God Himself, was also the Son of God”—as another has expressed and then adds, “God allows many things to remain mysteries, partly, I believe, that He may in this way test the obedience of our minds; for He requires obedience of mind from us, as much as He does obedience in action. This is a part of holiness, this subjection of the mind to God; and it is something which the Spirit alone can give. He alone is able to calm and humble those inward powers of mind which rise and venture to judge the things of God, refusing to receive what cannot be understood; a disobedience and pride which has no parallel, except in the disobedience and pride of Satan.”
Holy, seasonable caution for our souls! “Who is a liar,” asks the Apostle, “but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?” And he immediately adds, “He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” And again, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:22, 23. These are very serious sentences under the judgment of the Holy Spirit. And how can there be knowledge of the Father but through and in the Son? How can the Father be known otherwise? Therefore it is written, “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” I may say, “Abba, Father,” in the spirit of adoption; a poet may say, “We are also His offspring”; but God is not known as the Father, if the Son in the glory of the Godhead be not owned (Rom. 8; Acts 17). Sure we may be, nay, rather, assured we are, on divine authority, that if the unction which we have received abide in us, we shall abide in “the Son,” and in “the Father.”
Can the Son be honored even as the Father, if He be not owned in the Godhead? (John 5:23). The faith of Him is not the faith that He is a Son of God, or Son of God as born of the virgin, or as raised from the dead; though those are truths concerning Him, assuredly such. But the faith of Him is the faith of His proper person. I know not that I can call Jesus “Son of God,” save in the faith of divine Sonship. The understanding which has been given us, has been given us to know “Him that is true,” as being “in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ”; and to this is added, “This is the true God, and eternal life,” 1 John 5.
Is not “the truth” in the sense of John’s Second Epistle, “the doctrine of Christ,” or the teaching which we have in Scripture respecting the Person of Christ? And in that teaching, is not the truth of Sonship in the Godhead contained? For what is said there? “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” And the door is required to be shut against those who bring not that doctrine; the very same epistle speaking of Him as “the Son of the Father”; language which would not attach to Him as born of the Virgin by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.
But still further. I ask, Can the love of God be understood according to Scripture, if this Sonship be not owned? Does not that love get its character from that very doctrine? Are not our hearts challenged on the ground of it?
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Again, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” And again, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” Yet again, “We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world,” John 3; 1 John 4.
Does not this love at once lose its unparalleled glory, if this truth be questioned? How would our souls answer the man who would tell us, that it was not His own Son whom God spared not, but gave Him up for us all? How would it wither the heart to hear that such a One was only His as born of the Virgin, and that those words, “He that spared not His own Son,” are to be read as human, and not as divine? (Rom. 8:32).
Good care are we to take not to qualify the precious Word, to meet man’s prejudices. Was it with his servant, or with a stranger, or with one born in his house merely, that Abraham walked to Moriah? Was it with an adopted son, or with his own son, his very son, his only son, whom he loved? We know how to answer these inquiries. And I will say, I know not how I could speak of the Son loving me, and giving Himself for me (Gal. 2:20), if I did not receive Him by faith as Son in the bosom of the Father, Son in the glory of the Godhead.
The Son is the Christ. God, in the person of the Son, has undertaken all office work for us, all work for which anointing or Christhood was needed. And this He has done in the person of Jesus. We therefore say, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The Only Begotten, the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, are one. But it is in Personal, essential glory, in office, and in assumed manhood, that we see Him under these different names.
(Continued from page 136.)
(To be continued.)


The following letter and lines were written by one sister to another when both were on beds of affliction and suffering.
(The sisters were called into the presence of the Lord within three weeks of each other. May the Lord graciously use them now to comfort some of His afflicted ones.)
“Just a line or two to you yourself, poor darling, to say how very sorry and anxious I am to hear so poor an account of you. O, how I wish I could see you and help nurse you, or at least do something for you. But to the One who can, does and will help, cheer and be with you, once more I can only commit you. He knows all, every pain, every struggle for breath, every feeling of sinking weakness.
O, it is simply splendid when we can fully realize this! The wonderful fact recorded of our Lord Himself, as offering up, in the days of His flesh, prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him (Heb. 5:7), has been a comfort to me lately under continued pressure of pain and weakness which seemed as if it were enough to quench all natural energy and spirit out of one by its very long continuance. When driven to one’s lowest ebb, it only seemed as if, in that even, we were still to follow our Leader, and we do and shall bless His name for it right up to where He is now above all that sort of thing forevermore.
While lying perfectly helpless, doing nothing ten weeks ago, these few simple lines kept floating through my mind, but I could not jot them down at all for some days, still they abode there and rested me a bit; perhaps they may you too, you often have proved their truth at any rate.”

Underneath Are the Everlasting Arms!: Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27
“Underneath, still underneath
Are those strong arms;
Those arms of everlasting love,
Which nothing can fatigue or move,
For if in weakness, sinking low,
To lowest depths we cannot go,
Our sinking only makes us know
Those arms are underneath.
Underneath, still underneath,
We know ‘tis so,
Nor would we doubt or seek to pry
Beneath the veil of mystery
To know why some are called apart
From willing toil of hand or heart
To lie inactive; just their part
To know those arms beneath.
Underneath, still underneath,
It calms one so;
In sorrow, sickness, pain or grief
It gives a sense of deep relief—
To know how sure our resting place,
To know the tenderness and grace,
And ever in their pressure trace
Love’s strength is underneath.”

The White Stone and New Name: Revelation 2:17

Dear young Christians, are we really content to have an approval which Christ only knows? Let us try ourselves a little. Are we not too desirous of man’s commendation of our conduct, or at least that he should know and give us credit for the motives which actuate it?
Are we content, as long as good is done, that nobody should know anything about us—content that Christ alone should give us the “white stone” of His approval, and the “new name, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it?” O, think what the evil and treachery of that heart must be that is not satisfied with Christ’s special favor, but seeks honor one of another instead!
I ask you, beloved, which would be most precious to you—the Lord’s publicly owning of you as a good and faithful servant, or the private individual love of Christ resting upon you, the secret knowledge of His love and approval?
He whose heart is especially attached to Christ will respond, “The latter.” Both will be ours, if faithful, but we shall value this the most.
“If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23.

The One Who Loved Us So

Not according to our failure
Hath Jehovah dealt with us,
But in rich, unchanging favor,
Out of love He acted thus.
Yes, according to His mercy,
Not for works that we have done.
God in Christ hath reconciled us
Through the blood of His dear Son.
Human love is strangely passing,
Ofttimes selfish to the core,
But God’s love is great and lasting.
We shall know it evermore.
Here on earth it passeth knowledge,
in our weakness and our woe,
Day by day it makes the journey
Brighter, as we homeward go.
Till within the heavenly mansions.
Where each heart will overflow,
We shall kneel in adoration,
Round the One who loved us so.


All will give account of themselves to God—the saints when caught up to be with the Lord; and the wicked at the end of the millennium. The saints will give account of themselves in glory. “We are made, manifest to God,” not “shall be.” The Christian stands in the presence of the glory now. We want this light acting on the conscience; but we must have perfect confidence in God, for there can be no happy play of the affections if there is not.

Correspondence: Should Christians Dance; 2 Pet. 1:19 - Questions on Words

Question: Is it against the principles of the Scriptures to dance? Should a true Christian practice dancing? J. W. H.
Answer: The Lord Jesus taught His disciples that they were not of this world, and therefore the world hated them (John 15:19). And again, “Be not conformed to this world”; (Rom. 12:1, 2) also, “The friendship of the world is enmity to God” (James 4:4). “Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).
The music and dancing in Luke 15 was heaven’s joy over returning prodigals. The self-righteous elder brother could not dance to that music.
A young lady asked a Christian: “Is it right to dance?” “Well,” he replied, “if I saw you dancing out of real joy that you had found the Saviour, I could not blame you.”
Another asked an evangelist who was speaking to him about the eternal welfare of his immortal soul, the same question. He answered, “You are on the downward road. You may as well dance there, as walk there. Your pleasure will end in the lake of fire; the pleasures of sin are only for a season. The Christian’s pleasures are forever more.”
Think of Christian men or women dancing with the unsaved, helping them on to everlasting burnings!
In the Scriptures we have dancing and music of two kinds. Job describes the wicked bringing up his children for the world, and they have music and dancing, and then go down to the grave in a moment. (Job 21:11-13.)
There is a time to dance and a time to mourn. Israel will dance in the Millenium with joy over their restoration to Jehovah and their land, as David, the king, did (2 Sam. 6:14; Psa. 149:3).
But how can Christians, heavenly men (Heb. 3:1) dance with the world that has murdered their Lord and cast Him out? How could we be true to Him, and join with them?
Are Christians training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, if they are bringing them up to appear before the world, and filling them with a liking for its pleasures? The gospel to the jailor of Philippi was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” Acts 16:31.
Mary rejoiced in God, her Saviour (Luke 1:47), and we are told to rejoice in the Lord alway, and again, I say rejoice (Phil. 4:4). And if any feel merry, let them praise the Lord in singing Psalms, not worldly music. How could a Christian be true in heart, and go on with worldly pleasures, and yet walk with God with an ungrieved spirit? Impossible!
Question: We were not clear about the “sure word,” “the day dawn,” and “the day star,” 2 Peter 1:19. C. C.
Answer: In the New Translation it reads, “And we have the prophetic word [made] surer, to which ye do well taking heed (as to a lamp shining in an obscure Place) until [the] day dawn, and [the] morning star arise in your hearts.” It will help us to understand if we keep in mind that those the Apostle addresses were converted Jews, and this verse puts the truth in a way suited to them. The Jews look for the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings—that is the day light for them. For the Christian, the morning star shines just before day dawn.
Prophecy was a light that shone for the Jews. This was made “more sure” in their minds by the view of Christ in His power and majesty at the transfiguration. “For the remnant of the Jews, the Sun of righteousness should rise with healing in His wings; the wicked should be trodden as ashes under the feet of the righteous. The Christian, instructed in his own privileges, knows the Lord in a different way from this although he believes in those solemn truths. He watches during the night, which is already far spent. He sees in his heart, by faith, the dawn of day, and the rising of the bright star of the morning. He knows the Lord as they know Him who believe in Him before He is manifested, as coming for the pure heavenly joy of His own, before the brightness of the day shines forth. They who watch, see the dawn of day; they see the morning star. Thus we have our portion in Christ not only in the day, and as the prophets spoke of Him, which all relates to the earth, although the blessing comes from on high; we have the secret of Christ and of our union with Him, and of His coming to receive us to Himself as the morning star, before the day comes. We are His during the night; we shall be with Him in the truth of that heavenly bond which unites us to Him, as set apart for Himself while the world does not see Him. We shall be gathered to Him, before the world sees Him, that we may enjoy Himself, and in order that the world may see us with Him when He appears.” (Extract from Synopsis. J. N. D.)
“The joy of our portion is, that we, shall be with Himself, ‘forever with the Lord.’”
The “day star,” or “morning star” is Christ Himself coming for us. The “Sun of righteousness” is His appearing with us to the world.

The Secret of Happiness

Happiness, true happiness, is the object of the pursuit of nearly all, but its secret is known to few. Many imagine that it is to be found on the exalted pinnacle of fame, and bend all their energies to acquire a high place among men.
Others judge that money brings abiding joy, and spend time and strength in amassing riches.
The giddy pleasures of the world attract others, and they eagerly press on, thinking to grasp the satisfaction they crave.
Happiness is nearer, far nearer than any of these believe. While the ends of the earth are visited by many in order to gain it, it is discoverable quite near at hand by those learning the secret.
The narrative recorded here is about a French gentleman who had for many years earnestly sought happiness but in vain. He had only proved that all earth’s fountains fail to give satisfaction, and in spite of prosperity, and the possession of all that is most esteemed among men, he felt that “vanity and vexation of spirit” was written upon “everything under the sun.”
How he bought for half a franc the secret of the happiness he so long had sought, is best told in his words, “Walking into the country one day, I perceived a man in advance of me singing very sweetly. He bore the appearance of a peddler, his goods slung across his shoulders; but there was something in his blithe and easy carriage, and in the rich sonorous voice that arrested my attention and irresistibly attracted me.
“I sped forward softly that I might get near enough to hear every note, and yet keep free from the chance of interrupting him.
“I listened, deeply interested in the outpouring of his melody, and when the song finished, I joined him saying, ‘That is charming, my friend, I never heard its like before.’ Then, regarding him fixedly, for there seemed a blending of dignity and joy in his countenance, I said, ‘Will you permit me to ask you a question, and can you answer me, a stranger, truly?’
“‘I will, sir, if I can,’ he said.
“‘Well, then, are you happy?’
“He paused, and looked at me for some moments, then replied. ‘Yes, sir, I can say I am happy.’
“‘And what has made you so?’ I asked; ‘for I have been all my lifetime seeking after happiness, and I have never found it.’
“‘I’ll tell you the secret for half a franc,’ he said.
“I made no reply, but instantly put my hand into my pocket and presented to him the small coin. He slung round his pack, and as he opened his capacious case I perceived it was full of books, and I felt indignant, for I thought he was going to offer me a song book. I had almost turned from him, but he selected a small volume, and holding it reverently up, he said, with an emphasis I shall never forget,
“‘This, sir, is the key that unlocks the gate which leads to happiness; take it, and read it with earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit may become your teacher, and lead you into paths of pleasantness and peace!’
“I opened the book; it was the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am not sure that I ever saw it before; I had certainly never read a line of it; but I perused it with deep attention, and the Holy Spirit enlightened my dark understanding to see great things. I soon experienced joy and peace in believing on the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, and through the abounding mercy of God in Christ Jesus, I can testify that I have found in this blessed book what I so long vainly sought in the world—the way to be happy.”
What the narrator of this incident proved is just the experience of thousands.
True happiness is found, first, in accepting the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, then walking in obedience to the Word of God, and in communion with the Father and the Son. So the Scripture says—
“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
John 15:9-11.

More Value Than Many Sparrows

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” Matthew 10:29
Again He said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?” (that is, one thrown in as of no value) “and not one of them” (even the one thrown into the bargain) “is forgotten before God.” Luke 12:6.
What a lesson on the care of God, who overrules all things.
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Scripture Study: John 14

Verses 1-11. Here the Lord enters upon His last words to His disciples in view of His departure from them. He begins with words of comfort. “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” They would still be the objects of His care; and though they could not have Him anymore personally as the Messiah with them, as they believed in God whom they could not see, so now they were to believe in Him, who, though out of sight, would be nearer to them than ever before, and He would have them ever on His heart. In His Father’s house were many abodes—room for them all—and He was going to prepare a place for them there. He was parting company with them just for a purpose, and only for a little while. He had to go to the cross to prepare them for the place, and He had to go to heaven to prepare the place for them, then He would come again and receive them unto Himself, so that where He was, there they should be also. Now they knew whither He was going and they knew the way. But Thomas did not understand Him, and said, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me, if ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him and have seen Him.” We have already seen that the words He spoke were not from Himself, and that the Father did all His works through Him. But Philip has not understood this, and says, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” The Lord draws his attention to Himself, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet past thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). “The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him,” John 1:18. And yet, “No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father,” Luke 10:22. “He is the true God and eternal life,” 1 John 5:20. “God manifest in the flesh.” How those dear disciples would wonder afterward at their slowness to apprehend the blessed person that He was that walked with them those three years and a half of His servant path on earth, Where they saw all His works and heard His words all spoken and done as a man dependent on the Father. We cannot fathom such mysteries, but faith believes and worships.
Verses 12-14. “Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son if ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” In the words of another, “After He was gone, they would do even greater works than He did, because they should act in connection with his greater nearness to the Father. This was requisite to His glory. It was even unlimited. He placed them in immediate connection with the Father by the power of His work and of His name; and whatsoever they should ask the Father in His name, Christ Himself would do it for them. Their request should be heard and granted by the Father—showing that nearness He had acquired for them; and (Christ) would do all they should ask. For power of the Son was not, and could not wanting to the Father’s will: there was no limit to His power.” (Synopsis J. N. D.) These are works done by the Lord through disciples in connection with His glorified place—works that are for His glory, not necessarily, or only, miracles for testimony, though it would also include them. (See Acts 19:11, 12.) And it is certainly more wonderful to see such works done by Christ’s power in a redeemed man—a weak vessel in himself—than to see them done by Him whom we know is God over all, blessed forever.
Verse 15. Their love was to show itself by keeping His commandments. Obedience was ever His on earth, and they are to walk in the same path; not the obedience of the law, but the delight of the heart that loves Him, to do what pleases the one it loves. It was this they were set apart for (1 Peter 1:2), and love delights to own His claims upon it, as a purchased one.
Verse 16. “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” What divine unity of mind and purpose we constantly see in these three persons, as in this verse. And here the Son prays the Father that the Holy Spirit may abide with them forever—a comforter that will never leave them, but will take possession of them as redeemed ones, for time and eternity.
Verses 17, 18. He is the Spirit of truth, but the world cannot receive Him. They would not receive the Son whom they could see, and this one they can neither see nor know, but His own would know Him. He would dwell with them, and should be in them, and He would give them to know the presence of the Lord with them. They would not be left (orphans) comfortless. He, the Lord, would come to them. How different when in the days of His flesh He companied with them, and they could see Him, but how much more intimately would they enjoy, in spirit, His presence now by the Holy Spirit’s power, and so for all believers everywhere, and at once. For now it is the privilege of each believer to know His presence, and to walk with Him. Praise His blessed name!
Verse 19. “Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more.” The world has lost Christ. They put Him on the cross, and then saw Him no more (Acts 10:40, 41). When it sees Him again He will come as a judge, “Every eye shall see Him... And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” “But ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also.” Yes, as believers, we now see Jesus crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2) and in His life we live. How safe is the life that is hid with Christ in God! Because I live, ye shall live also. Nothing can touch that blessed One there, and we are in Him, and He is in us.
Verse 20. “At that day (that is, when the Holy Spirit had come) ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.” This expresses our new position in the Father and the Son, and He in us down here.
In the epistles it is more developed (Eph. 1:3).
Verse 21. This life that is ours in Him, expresses its love in having and keeping His commandments, and where it is so, where we express our love to our blessed Lord, we find a deep and warm response in the Father’s love, and in the Son’s love; and, blessed manifestations of Himself to us.
Verse 22. Judas (not Iscariot) could not understand how the world would not see Him also, if manifested.
Verse 23. This should convince Judas that it was spiritual manifestation, and something much to be desired in our lives here below. “If a man love Me, he will keep My word; (that is, the mind of God, though not expressed directly in commandments, as Mary knew it by sitting at Jesus’ feet), and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” What comfort of love to the obedient heart this must be! What intimacy of love and communion this gives! O, that our souls knew practically what it means to have the Father and the Son making their abode with us, while we wait for our Lord to come and take us to dwell with Him in the Father’s presence, in the home prepared for us, and where we shall go no more out.
No more as here, mid snares, to fear
A thought or wish unholy;
No more to pain the Lamb once slain,
But live to love Thee wholly!
“Lord, haste that day.”
Verse 24. But there were those who did not love Him, and kept not His sayings; yet the word was not His, but the Father’s and in rejecting Him they also rejected the Father.
Verses 25, 26. He had told them all these things while He was present with them, but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father would send in His name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. He has here two special works to do—to teach them, and to bring all things to their remembrance. What a comforter He is!
Verse 27. Now He bequeaths to them “Peace,” but, O, what trouble He had to go through that we might have it. “He made peace by the blood of His cross,” and “He is our Peace.” With all that work of the cross before Him, opposition from man and Satan’s power, and all the judgment of God to be borne, He can speak as assured of victory. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” It is for us, and given to those who walk in His footsteps. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.” This is the path Jesus walked in, depending on His Father. He does not give as the world gives, He shares with us what He has proved and enjoyed with the Father here below.
Verses 28, 29. Here He counts on their hearts rejoicing in His going to the Father, but it seems only to bring sorrow to them because of their loss (Chapter 16:6). They thought of it afterward.
Verse 30. His conversation with them is near an end. The prince of this world was again allowed to come against Him, only to find nothing in Him.
Verse 31. He will finish His path of loving obedience to the Father’s will at all cost.
“The Lord then ceases to speak, and goes forth. He is no longer seated with His own, as of this world. He arises and quits it.” (Synopsis J. N. D.)

A Babe's Lispings

While staying for a time in a hotel in B., a prayer meeting for girls was held once a week.
On the stairs one evening I met one whom I asked to come to it.
“It would be of, no use in my case,” said she; “God may hear you, but He would not hear me, for I am an unbeliever.”
She gave me to understand that her father was an infidel, and that she had imbibed his views. I told her that “in God we lived, and moved, and had our being,” and how impious it was of us to reject Him, who had created us, and loved us, proving His love by giving “His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
She became anxious, and as things were explained to her daily by the Word of God, her mind opened, and at last the light shone into her soul. She accepted Christ, and was filled with joy and peace.
Then she came to the prayer meeting, and after a time I asked her why she never took part in prayer. Her reply was, “You know I am only a babe, and scarcely know how to pray yet.”
“Mothers like to hear the infants try to speak, and do not expect them to say much at first,” I said.
At the next meeting she opened her lips, saying, “Lord, I thank Thee for saving me,” and that was all. The others prayed, and when the meeting was over she came to me and said, “Now, you know I said I could not pray yet; they will all think I am setting myself up to be somebody.” I cheered her, and said I was sure the Lord was pleased, as it had cost her something, and He would bless her.
A few days after another girl came to see me, and almost the first thing she said was, “What a sweet meeting that last one was! and what helped me most was Miss H—’s prayer! I know she was only just saved, and I was saved for years, and was still hesitating and fearful of making my requests known to God. Her prayer did me good.”
“O, make but trial of His love,
Experience will decide
How blest are they, and only they,
Who in His love confide.”

The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands: Part 1

We give the following extracts from letters received from various countries, as we feel sure our young people will be interested in them. They will, no doubt, stir us all up in the spread of the gospel in foreign lands.
Any desiring, to have fellowship in this work may communicate with:
Miss Henrietta R. Ulrich,
234 Santa Anita Court, Sierra Madre, California.
“Be not weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
My dear Mr. A—
I know you will be glad to, read over these interesting letters about our little paper—The Spanish “Messages of Love.” Please pass them around to any others who may be interested, and if they wish to have fellowship with us in this work we will be very glad. Every few days these letters come, asking for the paper, or telling of some who would like to have it, and all seem so grateful for it. All this is certainly most encouraging, and has given us a place for nearly all of our four thousand, monthly.
Mr. P. is very faithful about sending the translations from Equador. So everything goes on smoothly, through the Lord’s mercy, and He is certainly blessing the work as you will see by the letters.
Judging by the past demand, I think we shall need six thousand papers next time we print, instead of four thousand.
May we count on your prayers for all this, and for all these faithful workers who are distributing our paper for us?
Yours in Christ,
H. R. U.
(Translation from Spanish.)
Eagle Pass, Texas.
Mr. J. T. Armet.
Dear Brother
I have seen some of your publication “Mensajes de Amor,” and permit me to request you to send to me as many copies as possible—25, 30 or 50 each week—to distribute among the Mexicans. I have just come here to work among them, and I desire by every means to bring the knowledge of the Saviour to those who are in darkness.
Praying God’s blessing upon your work I am your servant and brother in Christ,
C. A. F.
Los Angeles, California
Dear Miss Ulrich:
Your papers in Spanish were most gratefully received. An evangelist who works in the county prison and who has a gospel mission, called the very afternoon that they came, and told me of the great harvest of souls they were having, and how God was touching the hearts of the Spanish people—especially in the prison here—and said he had no more Christian literature to give them. I gave him a package of your papers, and today I visited a large field of work among the Spanish, and gave them the remainder. You have no idea the vastness of the field in our City.
As to the box of books, I gave one of them to a woman who was sent to the San Quintin penitentiary for a long time. She wrote me that she read it all the night long on her journey there, and at night now she reads it just before she retires, and she has since written that she has found the Lord. A short time ago Mrs. Barton, matron of Court Juvenile Rescue Home, came to me to say they had no library for the girls, could I help? I gave the remaining books for her Home, having given several for the inmates in the County Jail. We cannot estimate the good that can be done through good reading, especially among those who are left alone in their misery.
I am very gratefully yours in Christ, (Miss) L. B.
Algeciras (Cadiz), Spain.
I have seen a copy of “Mensajes de Amor” and I understand you are pleased to send out packets to workers. Here we have an outlet for distribution of good sound gospel literature, and should be happy to receive a monthly parcel. We are among those who believe in sending round the printed Word in these days of indifference and unbelief. I have a brother missionary, who labors in another village, who I’m sure would also be glad to have some copies for distribution.
Hearty thanks in anticipation.
Yours sincerely,
J. R.
San Antonio, Texas.
Dear Sir and Brother:
I am doing mission work among the Mexicans in this City. I could prayerfully distribute in the hospitals and elsewhere, numbers of your little Spanish paper, “Mensajes de Amor,” if I had them. Any sent would be thankfully received and circulated.
Yours and His,
E. C. J.
(Translated from Spanish.)
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dear Brother Armet:
Not long ago, in San Antonio, I had the precious privilege of receiving some copies of your “Mensajes de Amor,” brought to me by my young son. Truly I feel that I have neglected my duty in not having asked you before, how many copies you can send me for free distribution among the Spanish speaking people here. I have great opportunities for this in my continual trips through the States and Mexico.
Respectfully your brother in the Christian faith,
J. M. R.
Tampa, Florida.
Dear Madam:
Some time past Mr. Armet, of St. Louis,
Wrote to me stating that you had kindly continued the publishing of “Mensajes de Amor.” While in an Antonio, Texas, we used many of these papers, and I believe souls were much blessed by the written ministry.
Here in these parts there are fifteen to twenty thousand Cubans, and some Spanish people so that, in our gospel work among them, we would be able to use some of your valued papers, if you had any to spare. Thanking you and glad for your interest in the Lord’s work, I am,
Your brother in Christ,
E. D.
El Paso, Texas.
Dear Sister:
We thank you for the “Mensajes de Amor,” we receive rolls of fifty to a hundred each, and thousands of Mexicans do bless you all for giving them the “Bread of Life.” There are fifty thousand here. I am sixteen years with them, six years in old Mexico, and the rest along the border.
Yours in Him,
S. S.
Canary Islands Mission. Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Canary Islands.
Dear Sir;
Thank you for the Spanish papers you sent me. They reached me last week. They are splendid papers to distribute among these people. I should like to have a few monthly, and as many as you can spare I should like to have.
The demand for Spanish reading; material is increasing on these Islands, and we are grateful indeed when good religious papers reach us.
Faithfully yours in the Master’s service,
K. V. S.
Isaiah 42:12.
(To be continued.)

The Son of God: Part 3

We track His wondrous path from the glory to the heirship of all things. What discoveries are made of Him, beloved! Read of Him in Proverbs 8:22-31; John 1:1-3; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:13-22; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 1:2; Revelation 1:14. Meditate on Him as presented to you in these glorious scriptures. Let them yield to you their several lights, in which to view the One in whom you trust, the One who gave up all for you, the One who has trod, and is treading, such a path; and then tell me, Can you part with either Him or it?
In the bosom of the Father He was. There lay the eternal life with the Father; God, and, yet with God. In counsel He was then set up ere the highest part of the dust of the earth was made. Then, He was the Creator of all things in their first order and beauty; afterward, in their state of mischief and ruin, the Reconciler of all things; and by-and-by, in their regathering, He will be the Heir of all things. By faith we see Him thus, and thus speak of Him. We say, He was in the everlasting counsels, in the virgin’s womb, in the sorrows of the world, in the resurrection from the dead, in the honor and glory of a crown in heaven, and with all authority and praise in the heirship and lordship of all things.
Deprive Him of the bosom of the Father from all eternity, and ask your soul if it has lost nothing of its apprehension and joy of this precious mystery, thus unfolded from everlasting to everlasting? I cannot understand a saint pleading for such a thing. Nor can I consent to join in any confession that tells my heavenly Father it was not His own Son He gave up for me.
If we could but follow the thought with affection, how blessed would it be to see the Lord all along this pathway to the throne of the glory!
And still further. In each stage of this journey, we see Him awakening the equal and full delight of God; all and as much His joy at the end as at the beginning; though with this privilege and glory, that He has awakened it in a blissful and wondrous variety. This blessed thought Scripture also enables us to follow. As He lay in the bosom through eternity, we need not—for we cannot—speak of this joy. That bosom was the hiding place of love, and the joy that attended that love is as unutterable as itself.
But when His Beloved was set up as the center of all divine operations, or the foundation of all God’s counsels, He was still God’s delight. In such a place and character we see Him in Proverbs 8:22-31. In that wondrous scripture, Wisdom or the Son is seen as the great Original and Framer and Sustainer of all the divine works and purposes, set up in counsel before the world was; as several scriptures in the New Testament also present Him to us (See John 1:3; Eph. 1:9, 10; Col. 1:15-17). And in all this He can say of Himself, “Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.”
So, when the fullness of time was come, the Son of God lay in the virgin’s womb. Who can speak the mystery? But so it is. But it is only another moment, and a fresh occasion, of joy; and the angels came to utter it, and tell of it to the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem.
Then again, in a new form the Son of His love was to run another course. Through sorrows and services as Son of Man, He is seen on earth; but all, and as unmixedly, awakening ineffable delight as in the hidden ages of eternity. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;” “Behold My Servant, whom uphold, Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth,” are voices of the Father, telling of this unchanging joy, while tracking the path of Jesus across this polluted earth (Matt. 3; Isa. 42).
And that same voice, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” is heard a second time; heard on the holy hill, as on the bank of Jordan; in the day of transfiguration, as at the baptism (Matt. 17). The transfiguration was the pledge and type of the kingdom, as the baptism was entrance on His ministry and witness. But the same delight is thus stirred in the Father’s bosom where the Son lay, whether the eye of God track Him along the lonely path of Jesus the Servant, in a polluted world, or on the heights of the King of glory in the millennial world.
It is delight in Him, equal full delight, all along the way from everlasting to everlasting; no interruption, no pause, in the joy of God in Him, though various and changeful joy; the same in its fullness and depth, let the occasions proceed and unfold themselves as they may. The One who awakens the joy is the same throughout, and so the joy itself. It can know no different measures, though it may know different springs.
That One was alike unsullied through the whole path from everlasting to everlasting; as holy in the virgin’s womb as in the Father’s bosom; as spotless when ending His journey as when beginning it; as perfect as a Servant, as a King; infinite perfection marking all, and equal complacency resting on all.
If the soul were but impregnated with the thought that this blessed One (seen where He may be, or as He may be) was the very One who from all eternity lay in the divine bosom,: if such a thought were kept vivid in the soul by the Holy Spirit, it would arrest many a tendency in the mind which now defiles it. He that was in the virgin’s womb, was the same that was in the Father’s bosom! What a thought! Isaiah’s enthroned Jehovah, whom the winged seraphim worshiped, was Jesus of Galilee! What a thought! As spotless as Man, as He was as God; as unstained in the midst of the human vessel, as in the eternal bosom; as unsullied in the midst of the world’s pollutions, as when daily the Father’s delight ere the world was!
Let the soul be imbued with this mystery, and many a rising thought of the mind will get its answer at once. Who would talk, as some have talked, in the presence of such mystery as this? Let this glory be but discovered by the soul, and the wing will be covering the face again, and the shoe will be taken off the foot again.
I believe the divine reasonings in John’s First Epistle suggest, that the communion of the soul is affected by the view we take of the Son of God. For in that epistle, love is manifested in the gift of the Son, and love is our dwelling-place. If, then, I judge that when the Father gave the Son, it was only the gift of the virgin’s seed, the atmosphere in which I dwell is lowered. But if I apprehend this gift to be the gift of the Son who lay in the Father’s bosom from all eternity, my sense of love rises, and hence, also the character of my dwelling-place. The communion of the soul is affected.
I know, indeed, from converse with saints, that many a soul, through simplicity of faith, has a richer enjoyment of a lower measure of truth, than some have of higher measures. But this does not affect the thoughts and reasonings of the Spirit in that epistle. It is still true, that love is our dwelling-place, and that our communion will therefore take its character from the love which we apprehend. And why, I ask, should we seek to reduce the power of communion, and thus hazard our enjoyment in God? The sorrow lies in this (if one may speak for others), we but scantily care for the good things we have in Him.
The Son, the only begotten Son, the Son of the Father, emptied Himself that He might do the divine pleasure in the service of wretched sinners. But will the Father suffer it, that sinners, for whom all this humiliation was endured, shall take occasion from it to depreciate the Son? This cannot be, as John 5:23 tells us. Jesus had declared that God was His Father, “making Himself equal with God. It is a question, Will God vindicate Him in that saying? And yet He is scarcely justified in it by the thought of those who deny Sonship in the Godhead. But the Father will not receive honor if it be not rendered to the Son, as we read, “He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.”
(Continued from page 161.)
(To be continued)

As He Is, So Are We

“As He is, so are we in this world.”
1 John 4:17.
O! blessed wondrous words,
As Christ is, so are we;
Washed, sanctified, and justified,
From condemnation free.
Emancipating truth!
“As He is, so are we;”
He bore our sins, He paid our debt,
When hanging on the tree.
The Father sees us now
In Christ, His risen Son;
In favor thus, we stand in Him,
The Head and members one.
As Christ is, so are we,
Though this poor earth we tread;
In “righteousness transcendent” now,
We’re linked with Christ, our Head.
And soon the world shall know
The Father sent the Son,
And loved us e’en as He loved Christ,
The spotless Holy One.
O! day of wondrous bliss;
When faultless we’ll appear,
In bodies fashioned like His own,
And His blest image bear.
O! day of joy supreme,
When we His face shall see,
And know the depth of those sweet words,
“As He is, so are we.”

Correspondence: Children of the Devil

Question: Does it mean in 1 John 3:10 that every unconverted person is a child of the devil? C. H.
Answer: This epistle contrasts the old nature of the flesh, which we received from our first parents, with the new eternal life communicated to us, and which is seen in all its perfection in our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the contrasts are,
God contrasted with the devil.
Light contrasted with darkness.
Love contrasted with hatred.
Obedience contrasted with sin, lawlessness or disobedience.
Righteousness contrasted with unrighteousness or wickedness.
Life (eternal) contrasted with death.
The one belongs to the divine nature. Without it, all mankind are alike. Sin is the only fruit the flesh can bear. We were morally like the devil who sinned from the beginning. Such truth is disagreeable to our pride.
The blessed Lord is the only exception. “In Him is no sin,” and all He did was the Father’s will. His one obedience has brought all believers into blessing. To Him is all the glory. Wonderful grace!
Now this “old commandment” (Christ the eternal life) is a “new commandment,” because it “is true in Him and in you.” (See chapt. 2:7, 8.) The believer has now a life whose character is morally divine, but the flesh in us now hinders its full development as it was manifested in Christ. What bliss it will be when rid of this hindrance, and we will be with Him and like Him forever!

Confess the Lord

“Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33
If any of our dear young friends who know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, have been timid about confessing Him before others, I beg of you to do so now.
Go to the Lord alone first, and tell Him all the truth, then go to others. Like the man in Mark 5, begin at home.
“Go home to thy friends,” and tell them first. Also write to your friends, and tell them of what the Lord has done for you.
Confession of Christ will often meet a difficulty felt by many young converts, a difficulty, which was once expressed to me by a young man in these words,
“I do want to follow Jesus, but how shall I get rid of my old companions in sin, for they seek to draw me aside?”
I advised him to tell them gently and lovingly of the Saviour, and invite them, in the spirit of the hymn, to come to Him,
“O that my Saviour were your Saviour too!”
“You may be sure,” I said, “the result will be this: you will either win them to Christ, or they will leave you entirely.”
He promised to adopt this plan.
Now I would like to have you try the same thing, and you will find that those who care nothing for the Lord will drop off like autumn leaves.
How sweet, on the other hand, if you should thus be the means of leading a companion to Christ. You will find, as I have found, that if a bold, decided confession of Christ in your home, school, or business is unhesitatingly made, it will give glory to Him, and save you a great deal of sorrow and remorse.

The Voice of God

“He doth send out His voice, and that a mighty voice.” Psalm 68:33.
God spoke in power—“Let there be light,”
And light directly shone;
The voice of God resistless is,
He speaks, and it is done.
God spoke in judgment—“Thou shalt die.”
Man sinned, and death came in;
A blighted world attests the fact,
Of human guilt and sin.
God spoke in mercy—“Look to Christ,
Believe in Him, and live.”
Thousands receive the precious word—
‘Tis God’s delight to give.
And still in perfect love He speaks,
His accents all divine!
O wandering one, the call obey,
And glory shall be thine.

Scripture Study: John 15

Verses 1, 2. The parable of the True Vine is a beautiful and important lesson on fruit bearing. Israel had been planted as a vine to bear fruit for Jehovah (Psa. 80:8), but Israel in the flesh failed, and became a degenerate plant (Jer. 2:21), and was judged (Ezek. 15:6). The Lord, while here on earth, says of Himself, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.” He too came out of Egypt (Matt. 2:15). Many branches were attached to Him—some real, who felt their need of Him and couldn’t go away; others could go away when anything offended them. (Compare John 2:23-25 with Chapt. 6:66-70.) Those who brought forth fruit were born again, and are purged to bring forth more fruit.
Verses 3-5. Those He was speaking to, He recognizes as truly His own, and were clean through His word which He had spoken unto them. It was needful for them to abide in Him, and He in them. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more could they except by abiding in Him. He again in Verse 5 avers, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Without Him they could do nothing, but abiding in Him and He in them, they would bring forth much fruit.
Verse 6. “If a man abide not in Me”—here He speaks of those who externally associated themselves with Him, yet were not really His. Judgment was their portion at the last.
Verses 7, 8. “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” The will of the disciple is completely resigned to the Lord’s will. He wants nothing but what is for the Lord’s glory, and herein is the Father glorified, that they thus bear much fruit, and show the reality of being followers of their Lord. But the Lord is not on earth now, He is glorified at the Father’s right hand. Every believer now is united to Him by the Holy Spirit, as a member of His body. This is Paul’s line of teaching the Spirit (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:4). John’s Gospel and Epistles give us oneness of life with Him, but not union. Instead of speaking of ourselves as branches of the vine, we speak of being members of His body. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and we say now, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8; Gal. 4), taking our place in full assurance as children of God, the Father, and having eternal life (1 John 3:1). It is, therefore, in the light of our new relationships with Christ in glory, that we apply to ourselves the truth of this parable—relationships that were not possible till Christ was glorified (John 7:39), giving us, as possessing them, the sense of God’s eternal love and faithfulness, and also the sense of our eternal security, but it is true that constant dependence is needed to bear fruit. It is true now, as then, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” It was a hard lesson for Paul to learn, but when learned, what a joy it was to his heart (2 Cor. 12:9) to do everything by the power of Christ. And again, “I have strength for all things in Him who gives me power” (Phil. 4:13, new translation). There are also professors now, who don’t possess life in Christ, and who are passing on to eternal judgment. They cannot bear fruit, they have no life. Their so-called “good works” are only “dead works,” filthy rags of religion without a Saviour, yet if they own they are lost, He will welcome them and give them life and peace through His finished work, but they must come to Him now.
Then we all, who are children of God, need what answers to purging us, to bring forth more fruit (Heb. 12:6-11; 2 Cor. 4:7-11). It is good to be humbled, if we will not humble ourselves, for the flesh is in us each one, and needs to be kept under the sentence of the death of Christ (Rom. 6:6,11), so that we may bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22, 23.) How necessary it is for us to abide in Him, and let His words abide in us, for us to see and do what is for His and the Father’s glory, and walk in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
The danger of not doing so is also marked out in the epistles. One may be a true child of God, and yet sink into the state of Ephesians 5:14—sleeping among the dead, that is: a Christian becoming like the world, his heart has parted company with Christ as His object; his feet are not being kept clean, and he has no part with Christ. (John 13:8.) Peter describes him as “blind and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” What a sad condition for a redeemed man to be in! (2 Peter 1:9.) An unhappy life is his, and worse than useless. He is no testimony for Christ; his light is hid under the bushel or the bed (business or pleasure) and thus sowing to the flesh, he of the flesh reaps corruption; whereas he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Gal. 6:8).
Verses 9-11. To those who abide in Him, and His words in them, all the Father’s resources are available. They bear much fruit, the Father is glorified in them, they bear the marks of true followers of Christ, and they learn to know and dwell in the sense of His love—love measured by the Father’s love to Him. Thus they are enabled to keep His commandments, and abide in His love, as He had kept His Father’s commandments, and abode in His love. The joy of the Son doing the Father’s will, becomes their joy in walking in His steps. Divinely perfect He ever was in it, but what grace and intimacy they are brought into, to share in such a path of dependence, obedience and love. All this belongs to the life we have in Him. It is for us the law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12).
Verses 12-15. “This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” His love to them rose above all their weakness and failures, and they were to carry out this also. If they were living in the power of the Spirit, they would do so, for love is the nature of the new life which they have received. He laid down His life for His enemies.
“Thou for Thine enemies wast slain,
What love with Thine can vie.”
We also are to walk in this path of love (1 John 3:16; Eph. 5:1), if we are to enjoy the intimacy of the place He gives us as His friends, and He calls us friends. A servant is told what to do, but He unfolds to us all things He has heard of the Father, making us to know His purposes before they are carried out. It is as friends we serve Him.
Verses 16-21. They had not chosen Him; it was He who had chosen them, and appointed them that they should go and bring forth fruit, and fruit that should remain, so that they in their weakness could certainly count on the Father supporting them in their path, and giving them whatsoever they would ask Him in Christ’s name. Strength and grace are thus assured to them for the path they were distinctly called to walk in. Here again His commandment is given them, that they love one another. They would meet the hatred of the world, for it hated Him. Had they been of the world, it would have loved them, but He had separated them, calling them out of the world, then the world’s hatred turned upon them also. When they endured persecution, they were to think of this, that they, as servants, were not greater than their Master, but those who persecuted Him, would persecute them, and those who kept His word, would keep theirs also. And all these things would they do to them for His name’s sake, because they knew not the One who had sent Him.
Verses 22-25. It was the coming of the Lord into this world that fully manifested its character. Not only were they transgressors of the law, but their hearts were enmity against God. Their state was bad before; now it is shown out in all its reality to be what it is—hatred to Christ, the Lord, and to the Father also. His word that He had spoken, and the works He had done, were all from the Father, manifestly from the Father, so now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. They were dead to all right thoughts of God, and active in hatred to the Father and the Son. It Proved and fulfilled the word written in their own law: “They hated Me without a cause.”
Verses 26, 27. But the Comforter would come. The Lord would send Him unto them from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Christ, the Son, and they also, in the power of that Spirit, would be His suitable witnesses, because they had been with Him from the beginning.
This is the testimony to His heavenly glory. Jesus, the Son of God, now exalted to the Father’s right hand, into the glory now as a man, the glory He had with the Father before the world was, it was from Him the Spirit was sent. “I will send,” and He could tell of the glory He had with the Father, and they were witnesses to His life and ways on earth. It was a new testimony, different entirely from the vine and its branches, for this is heavenly in its character.
What marvelous ways of God, that makes man’s sin and rejection of His Son, the occasion to unfold His heavenly treasures in putting His people now in association with a glorified Lord, a man in heaven. It is to this heavenly One that all believers belong. What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness!

God's All-Sufficient and Abounding Grace

“God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.... Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:8, 11
Our God is able, year by year
For our support, our rest and cheer,
To make His grace abound;
His all-sufficiency our store,
His riches ours, What want we more?
His favors still surround.
He who His Son for us has given,
His own Delight, the Joy of heaven,
Will surely all supply.
Rich is His mercy, great His love,
His constant care we daily prove
As we on Him rely.
Reposing near our Saviour’s side,
As branches in a vine abide
Depending on their root.
Thus shall His love in us abound
And we His vintage shall be found,
For Him producing fruit.
Should sorrow, like a darkening cloud
With lightning flash and thunder loud,
Cause heart and flesh to fail,
His mighty love our refuge sure
In Him we hide and rest secure,
Whatever may assail.
Enriched by Him we all possess,
It is His greatest joy to bless
And satisfy the heart;
And should He call us hence above,
In His embrace we’ll know His love,
Having with Him our part.
Lord Jesus, come, we look for Thee
With longing and expectancy,
Our ever loving Friend;
Soon glory shall replace Thy grace
And we shall see Thee face to face
In joys that ne’er shall end.

The Son of God: Part 4

The Spirit was given, breathed out, by Jesus risen (John 20). The Holy Spirit then proceeded from Him, and that way became the Spirit. But will it be thought that He was not “the Spirit” in the Godhead before? Never, by a saint. And so the Son. He was born of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and so became the Son of God; but, in like manner, shall that effect the thought that He was “the Son” in the Godhead before?
Look again at John’s First Epistle. There he addresses “fathers,” “young men” and “little children” (Chapter 2). And he distinguishes them:
The “fathers” are they who “have known Him that is from the beginning.” They abide in “the doctrine of Christ,” having “both the Father and the Son.” The unction is powerful in them, if I may so express it. They have listened, as it were, with deep attention of soul, to the declaration of the Father by the Son (John 1:18). Having seen the Son, they had seen the Father (John 14:7-11). They keep the words of the Son, and of the Father (John 14:21-23). They know that the Son is in the Father, they in the Son, and the Son in them, they are not orphans (John 14:18-20).
The “young men” are they who “have overcome the wicked one,” that wicked one who animates the world with the denial of the mystery of the Christ (1 John 4:1-6). But they are not in the full settled power of that mystery, as the “fathers” are, and they need exhortation; so that the Apostle goes on to warn them against all that belongs to the world, as they had already stood in victory over that spirit in it which was gainsaying Christ.
The “little children” are they who “have known the Father.” But they are only “little children,” and need warning, teaching and exhorting. Their knowledge of the Father was somewhat immature; not so connected with the knowledge of the Son, of “Him that is from the beginning,” as was that of the “fathers.”
He, therefore, warns them of antichrists, describing them as set against “the truth,” or “the doctrine of Christ.” He teaches them that “whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father;” that if the anointing they have received abide in them, they will surely abide in the Son and in the Father; and that the house of God was of such a character as that none who savored not of such anointing could remain there. He reminds them that the promise which the Son has promised is eternal life. And, finally, he exhorts them so to abide in what the “unction” teaches, that they may not be ashamed in the day of the Son’s appearing.
It is, therefore, all about the person of the Son, or “the doctrine of Christ,” that this distinguishing scripture deals. It is their attainment in that truth, their relationship to it, and not their general Christian character, which distinguishes them as fathers, young men, and little children. These addresses, therefore, hold in jealous view the great object of the whole epistle; and that is, the Son of God. For the mention of the Son of God pervades it all from beginning to end. Thus: It is the blood of the Son that cleanses. It is with the Father we have an Advocate; which intimates the Advocate to be the Son. It is in the Son the “unction” causes us to abide. It is the Son who has been manifested to destroy the works of the devil. It is in the name of the Son we are commanded to believe. It is the Son who has been sent to manifest what love is. It is the Son, faith in whom gives victory over the world. It is the Son about whom God’s record or testimony is. It is the Son in whom we have life. It is the Son who is come to give us an understanding. It is the Son in whom we are. It is the Son who is the true God, and eternal life.
All this is declared to us in this epistle about the Son of God; and thus it is the Son who is the great object through the whole of it; and the fathers, the young men, and the little children, are distinguished by the Apostle because of their relation to that object, I believe, because of the measure of their souls’ apprehension of it. All is; in this way, divinely and preciously consistent.
And in this same epistle, John speaks much of love and of righteousness, as necessary parts or witnesses of our birth of God. But, in the midst of such teaching, He speaks of right or wrong confession of Christ. Does he, I ask, treat the former as living and practical matter, and the latter as speculative? He gives no warrant to any one thus to distinguish them. Not at all. All are treated as being equally of one character, and he lets us know that the exercise of love and the practice of righteousness would not complete the witness of a soul being born of God, without the knowledge of the Son.
Had the opened eye of Isaiah tracked the path of Jesus through the cities and villages of His native land, how must he have been kept in continual adoration! He had been taken into a vision of His glory. He had seen the throne, high and lifted up, His train filling the temple, the winged seraphim veiling their faces as they owned in Jesus the Godhead glory. Isaiah “saw His glory, and spake of Him” (Isa. 6; John 12). And it is the like sight, by faith, which we need—the faith of the Son, the faith of Jesus, the faith of His name, the apprehension of His person, the sense of the glory which lay behind a thicker veil than a seraph’s wing, the covering of the lowly and earth-rejected Galilean.
And let me, in closing, remember what the Lord says about giving the household their meat in due season (Matt. 24; Luke 12). We must be careful not to corrupt that meat. “Feed the church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood,” says one Apostle. “Feed the flock of God which is among you,” says another. And the church of God or the flock of God is to increase with “the increase of God.” Wondrous language!
Let us watch, beloved, against the attempt of the enemy to corrupt the meat of the household. The unfoldings of John about the Son of God, and of Paul about the church of God, are meat in due season now; and we are not to attemper the food, stored up of God for His saints, to man’s taste or reasonings. The manna is to be gathered as it comes from heaven, and brought home to feed the traveling camp with angels’ food.
“I commend you to God,” says one in the Holy Spirit, “and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
(Continued from page 194.)

One Step at a Time

A lady relates that one day when she had been taking a walk with her niece, in order to reach home they had to cross a stream. There was no bridge, but large stones had been placed in the water on which to step. There had been rain lately, and the water rushed along as if angry that such great stones were in its way.
Well, the lady began to cross on the stones, but looking back she saw her niece was not following her. “What, Jane, why are you not coming?”
“O, aunt, I dare not, I am afraid.” “Afraid! do you not see how firm the stones are?”
“O, there are so many, and the water is so deep. I shall never get over. I cannot! I dare not!” and the timid girl burst into tears. Her aunt passed over to the other side, and then returned to show her how easy it was; still she was quite afraid. At last her aunt told her it was only needful to take a step at a time—could she not take one step? At length she mustered courage to take one step—the stones were firm; then she took another; and then another, and so got safely over. Before she tried, she said the stones were so many, but one step at a time took her over.
And so it is with many things in life. When looked at at a distance they look dreadful. Why, if a little boy or girl look at the middle of their arithmetic, they see dreadfully hard sums that they can in no way understand. But let them go back to the beginning and learn to take the first step, “twice two are four:” and step by step they master all the difficulties right up to those dreadful sums.
So it is all through life. God says, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34), without troubling about tomorrow. Leave everything with Him.
A lady lying sick in a hospital said to her physician, “Doctor, how long shall I have to lie here?”
He said, “My dear madam, only a day at a time.”
If we take a step at a time, in dependence and obedience to the Lord, as He gives us light, He will lead us into His deeper truths, and into communion with Himself.
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands: Part 2

(Translated from Spanish.)
Colombia, South America
Mr. Armet, Very Dear Sir:
I am writing this to ask you to kindly tell me the price of your paper “Mensajes de Amor,” because it contains the sound gospel, that which is needed in these countries where idolatry and ignorance are the work of Satan.
By the Lord’s grace He has condescended to save me, and given me a place to work in His vineyard as an evangelist and colporteur, and my work is visiting from house to house, carrying the Word of God, and I like to have tracts, as a testimony of the love of God.
I remain, till He comes,
Your brother in Him,
C. K.
(Translated from Spanish.)
Colombia, South America
Editors of “Mensajes de Amor.”
Dear Sirs:
My illustrious friend, Mr. Carlos Chapman, who as a protestant minister, frequently visits this city, has given me some of your nice little papers, “Mensajes de Amor.” But as he does not come often to this place, he has requested me to ask you how to obtain a number of your beautiful papers “Mensajes de Amor,” a name which indicates the tenderness of the contents of the paper.
Begging your pardon for this intrusion, and with sincere thanks, and cordial salutations, I have the honor to subscribe myself, Yours truly,
F. R.
Chili, South America.
Dear Brother in Christ:
We want to thank you heartily for sending such a large quantity of your excellent paper, “Mensajes de Amor.” Trust you will be able to send them regularly, by the help of the Lord. May God’s richest blessing rest on you and your work, is the prayer of your brother in the Gospel,
W. H. F.
La Carolina, Jaen, Spain.
Dear Sir:
I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of some very good papers, “Mensajes de Amor.” I do like them so much. I hope I am not intruding upon your kindness in taking the liberty of asking you for a great number for the schools in Linares and the Sunday School here. Seed sown cannot be lost, for it is God that giveth the increase. With every good wish, and many thanks, Sincerely yours in His grace,
J. C.
Argentine Republic, South America
Dear Christian Friend:
I have great pleasure in acknowledging safe receipt of the packet of tracts you were kind enough to send me. We are able to use a great quantity of tracts, both locally in our work here, and also for sending through the post; I have two or three thousand names on my ever growing list of people all over the country.
As you have shown your interest in the Lord’s work in these parts, I am confident that you will not forget to pray for us. Thanking you for your sympathy and prayers, with sincere Christian greetings, I remain, Yours in His service,
F. L. N.
Aguilas, Murcia, Spain.
Dear Sister:
I have to thank you for the packet of “Mensajes de Amor” (“Messages of Love”) which came recently, and which we appreciate, as we have nothing of the kind for children. My wife does a great work among the women and children and young people, for which work she has been richly endowed by our Heavenly Father.
Last week we went up to see what could be done in a mountain village, where a friend of ours lives. The six days spent there were filled with work for the Master; many houses were opened to us to hold informal meetings in, and even going up the River, where many women were washing their clothes. They did not allow us to pass them without speaking to them about the gospel and singing to them. An inn was offered to us, where night after night, one hundred, to one hundred and fifty, listened to the preaching in a way I have never seen surpassed anywhere. Many tracts were given away and well received.
Living is about double owing to the war, and one never knows what may happen each day, but for some thirty years, our Father has supplied our needs, although often our faith has been and is being tried. Please remember us in prayer that we may be more and more used to the ingathering of precious souls.
Yours in our coming Lord,
R. S.
Linares, Jaen, Spain.
Dear Sir, and Brother:
Having read your “Mensajes de Amor,” containing such gracious teaching to give light to those who are in the shadow of death, and being myself also a constant sower of the seed of the gospel, I should be thankful if you would have the kindness to send to me a good number of these papers, as seed to be sown. Thanking you in advance, and praying that the Lord will bless you greatly, I remain your brother in Christ,
M. M.
La Carolina, Jaen, Spain.
Dear Miss Ulrich:
The packet of “Mensajes” have been received, and they were much appreciated. We showed them to one of the workers in Linares, and he was so pleased with them that he wonders if you would be so kind as to send him some for his schools. He is such a dear fellow, truly spiritual, and is one of two missionaries who work in this mission for the love of Christ only, without receiving any remuneration. They both support themselves and their families by schools, and of course the boys receive a good gospel training. It is a great treat to visit these schools; the benches filled with scholars; and to hear them sing the well-known hymns (translated), “Come to Jesus,” “Wonderful Words of Life,” “Stand up for Jesus,” and others. There are several hundred boys under tuition, including those of larger growth, who attend a night school. And besides this he has odd pupils who are busy at work all day, and can only afford an hour at midday. One of them is dear Juan Urtada, recently converted, who is anxious to be proficient in reading, so as to study his Bible for himself.
The mission work here is very encouraging. The meetings are quite full, indeed crowded, and there is a band of real “Believers” in fellowship. Some of their histories are very interesting. Senora Rosa, a gentle looking widow, was converted recently. She used to scoff at every one who attended these meetings and one day she fell ill. Miss C. took the liberty of calling to see her and lent her some gospel literature; and as soon as the patient was recovered she began to attend the meetings, with the result that she is happy in the Lord, and now much cheered in her lonely life. Another overheard a neighbor reading the Bible, and liked it so much that she begged her to come in and read to her. Then she took to reading it for herself, and now she is very bright, and is a sort of “Mother in Israel” in the place, showing hospitality to the preachers who come to help. These are two of many cases, but time prevents me from giving more at present.
Should you feel inclined to send some “Mensajes” to Don Juan, his address is as follows—another missionary who has fallen in love with the “Mensajes” and wonders if he might have some too. He has no school, but does excellent work giving away tracts and gospel portions to old and young. He has nothing particularly suitable for children, so was especially pleased to see the “Mensajes.”
With kindest Christian regards,
Yours very cordially,
N. W.
(Continued from page 188.)

True Service

Two things give character to all true service. One is, the world has rejected Christ; the other, man is no longer under probation, as the world is a judged scene, but out of it God is gathering a people for heavenly blessing.
These two facts, rightly apprehended and practically acted upon, would materially alter the character of much that professes to be the service of God, and change the labors of many whose efforts are now misdirected. In every good work we are to do the will of God.
Many works, good in man’s eyes, are not according to the revealed will of God. To ensure the Master’s “well done” in the coming day, our service must be marked by intelligence, as well as obedience. We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our intelligent service, and not to be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1, 2).
Here we have the positive and negative side—devotion to that which is good on one hand, and separation from evil on the other—these are moral requisites for practical acquaintance with the Master’s will.
It is in action we prove what is the “good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” To admire a truth is not enough, we must practice it to prove its reality.
“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” John 7:17


the scenes; but He moves all the scenes which He is behind. We have to learn this, and let Him work, and not think much of man’s busy movements: they will accomplish God’s. The rest of them all perish and disappear. We have only peacefully to do His will.

The Power of Prayer

What various hindrances we meet
In coming to the mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there?
Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw;
Dispels the trouble I foresaw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.
When Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel’s side;
But when, through weariness, he failed,
That moment Amalek prevailed.
Have you no words? Ah! think again:
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow creature’s ear
With the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
To God in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oft’ner be,
“Hear what the Lord hath done for me!”

Correspondence: Who Will Be Caught Up When the Lord Comes?

Question: 1st. Who will be caught up when the Lord comes? (1 Thess. 4).
2nd. Will all the babes in the world be taken?
3rd. To whom will the gospel be preached after the rapture of the heavenly saints?
A. J. A.
Answer: 1st. All the dead in Christ from the beginning of man’s race (1 Cor. 15:23). Then all the living believers will be changed, and caught up with all that their faith takes in (Acts 16:31).
2nd. There is no thought in Scripture that all babes will be taken. Matthew 18:11 would show us that any babe, or irresponsible person, who dies, will be saved, because Christ died for such.
3rd. We see in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2:10-12 that those who hear “the gospel of the grace of God” and reject it, do not get another chance. Satan has blinded them. They have put away God’s precious salvation for the pleasures of sin which were but for a season.
The “gospel of the Kingdom,” the news that Christ is coming to reign (Psa. 2:10-12), will be preached to Israel (Matt. 10:5, 6, 7); and to all nations, that is, Gentiles; and those who receive that gospel, will be Christ’s subjects on earth. We find a direct testimony also sent to the worshipers of idols in Revelation 14:6,7. The everlasting gospel is creation’s testimony (Psa. 19:1-6) to the God who created all things, and this specially is sent to warn all such. God cares for the idolaters also.
Even in the Millennial period, when Christ is reigning, and Satan is bound, we find men making feigned obedience to Christ, the Head of the heathen. (Psa. 18:43, 44. See margin.) A multitude comes up in rebellion against God and His earthly people, whenever Satan is loosed out of his prison.
Such is man, all men, unless through grace they are born again. How easy it is to let present things blind us to the truth.

"Yes, Lord, It Does!"

I have felt many times I would like to tell the Lord’s dear people the way and the means He used to bring me to Himself, to know Him as my own dear Saviour.
I joined the army, and lived a careless and indifferent life, caring only for the things of this world. Regardless of my immortal soul, I continued that course of life, but I could not help knowing that the Holy Spirit was striving with me. Sometimes I would be on my knees before the Lord, and at other times as careless as ever. Often those words have come to me, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” I knew it was the Spirit of God that was striving with me, and I used to dread the thought of the Spirit of God leaving me to myself.
But, blessed be the Lord, it was the Shepherd seeking the lost sheep. He sought me, and He found me. It was one Lord’s Day, that the Lord spoke to me again, while I was at church. It was nothing that was going on in the services, but a verse of a hymn that I had often heard my dear mother sing, and had sung myself when a boy. The words were these—
“One there is above all others,
O, how He loves.”
I shall never forget that moment, so real was it, as if the Lord had spoken to me from glory, though this hymn was not being sung. It was not then that I found peace, although I received it the same day.
Myself and two other men were put in charge of a small battery or fort, and this day, after we had returned from church and had our dinner, one of the men went to the gate and found a tract which some one had put through the door of entrance into the fort. He picked it up, and just looked at it, and then gave it to me. The Lord had sent some one with it as a message to my soul. The piece which was used of the Lord for my conversion was, “How a Sinner can get Saved.” I was shown that “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15). These words brought peace to my soul. The writer was showing how the Israelites only had to look to the brazen serpent; and I could see it so plainly that I was to look to Christ by faith, and live; and I knew I was born again.
Before that I had not realized what sin was in God’s sight, nor yet what a sinner I had been. But now all the sins of my past life seemed to rise up before me as they had never done before, and I was in greater darkness than ever. Satan was using all his power and telling me that I had only been deceiving myself, and that it was impossible for the Lord to forgive me, for I had been too bad.
Not knowing what to do, I was almost despairing about what I had been. The Lord then spoke to me in a still, small voice by His Word, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin,” and I said, “Yes, Lord, it does,” and a sweeter peace filled my soul than had ever done before. And since then I have not had a doubt. All praise be to the Lord, who works in mysterious ways. When I think of all His love to me I can but praise Him. All His dealings with me have been wonderful. This last year again, He had led me into fuller light, giving me to know Christ as the object of my heart, and gathering me out to His precious name.
I felt, dear brother, in writing these few lines, showing you the Lord’s dealings with one so unworthy, that you would be able to praise Him and thank Him that your work of faith and labor of love is not in vain in the Lord. To Him be all the praise and glory, for He is worthy. I would love to know the dear one who put the tract through the gate. I have it still, and it is very precious to me.

He Hath Said, I Will Never Leave Thee, Nor Forsake Thee: Hebrews 13:5

He hath said, whose word abideth,
He, the Life, the Truth, the Way;
Whatsoever thee betideth
I am still thy strength and stay.
I will guide thee, I, thy Saviour,
All thy pilgrimage below;
Thou shalt realize My favor
And My strength in weakness know.
Never shalt thou lack sustainment
While thou passest on thy way;
E’en such things as food and raiment
I will leave thee day by day.
Leave then all to My providing,
Thou shalt know My constant care;
Ever in My love abiding,
I will all thy burdens bear.
Thee I’ve loved from everlasting,
And I would that thou shouldst know,
While on earth, the rest of casting
On Me all thy cares and woe.
Nor will I, thy Lord, forsake thee,
Well I’ve proved My constant love;
Soon I’ll come again to take thee
To My home prepared above.

The Triumph of the Gospel: Part 1

In the book which God has graciously given to us, and which addresses itself to every creature under heaven, a few plain facts are stated which will enable you, dear reader, if you so desire it, to take a true account of yourself, and see where you are, and how you stand in relation to God. Nothing, surely, can be of greater importance than this. Life is uncertain. There is nothing in this poor world upon which you can safely rely. The heart of man instinctively longs for that which is stable and abiding; and the anxious cry is going forth from many a weary soul today, “Who will show us any good?” (Psa. 4:6).
In Genesis 1, God is seen diligently working for the benefit and blessing of His creatures. In chapter 2 a “garden of delights” is planted, eastward in Eden, and there God placed the man whom He had formed for His own pleasure. In chapter 3, man, listening to Satan’s lying insinuations, revolts from God; and, conscience stricken, seeks a hiding place from his Maker among the trees of the garden; he is there challenged, exposed, convicted, and subsequently driven out of Paradise. Thus, briefly, the Spirit of God sums up for us the “present situation.” “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Solemn picture! Have you honestly faced it, reader? There is no way of return to an earthly Eden (Gen. 3:24), and the sentence of death is upon all who are born outside of it (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27). Gloomy enough would this outlook be were it not that God Himself has intervened on man’s behalf. No sooner had sin cast its withering blight upon His fair creation, than the voice of God is heard in the garden, announcing the fact that the woman’s seed, should bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15), and following quickly upon this blessed intimation, Adam and Eve were clothed with coats of skin, signifying that a victim had been slain, and sinful man accepted in the life of another. In that innocent animal, put to death to cover the nakedness and guilt of ruined man, God’s mighty triumph over the powers of evil is typically declared, and the all-atoning sacrifice of Christ shadowed forth. And from that moment onwards, until the Son of God was manifested, the slain victims at the altars bore continuous witness to faith’s only ground of approach to God.
But in the death of Jesus, where man’s guilt and enmity reached their culminating point, God’s righteousness was established and His love fully expressed. Jesus laid down His life, to end forever, as before God, the sad history of man “in the flesh” (Gen. 6:13; Rom. 8:3). His holy soul was “made an offering for sin.” The waves of judgment, in all their fury, spent themselves upon Him who came to do the will of God (Isa. 53:10; Psa. 40:7, 8). But death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4). The everlasting gates were opened wide to welcome the mighty Conqueror into the courts of glory (Psa. 24:7, 8). God has placed Him at His own right hand (Rom. 8:34). The sacrifice of Christ has come up as a sweet savor to God: and now—
“The river of His grace,
Through righteousness supplied,
Is flowing o’er the barren place
Where Jesus died.”
(To be continued.)

Conditions of Prevailing Prayer

As we set ourselves to pray there must be a remembrance of the conditions of prevailing prayer. They are such as these:
(1) Heart separation from Sin— “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me” (Psa. 66:18).
(2) Righteousness— “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
(James 5:16).
(3) Faith— “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
(4) Submission— “If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us” (1 John 5:14).
(5) Thankfulness— “In everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
In addition to these let us ever remember that prayer, to prevail, must be God wrought. It must be “in the Holy Ghost,” and in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Scripture Study: John 16

Verses 1-4. The Lord tells them what kind of treatment they may expect from those who thought they were serving God, though these had truth given of God, yet it applied to men in the flesh, and the revelations of God, the Father, and the Son, was truth which the flesh cannot take in, so they put them out of the synagogues; and thought they were doing God service in killing them. Jesus says, “These things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.” It was the pride and enmity of traditional religion, without the reality of being in the presence of God. Truth of God must be received by faith that depends on His Word alone. When the time came they would remember His instruction. He was telling them now because He was going away.
Verses 5, 6. They did not enter into the necessity of His going away. They thought of their loss, whereas He was going away for their good. Nature thinks of what it loses. Faith believes what God says, and is rich in the certainty of future blessings with Him. They truly loved the Lord, and felt to part with Him, and the Lord graciously leads them on to understand afterward, if not just then, how necessary it was for Him to go away. None of them said, “Whither goest Thou?” Sorrow filled their hearts only on their own account.
Verses 7, 8. Nevertheless it was necessary that He should go away, that He might send the Comforter unto them, whose presence with them would demonstrate the world’s sin, and the righteousness of God, and of judgment of Satan.
Verse 9. “Of sin, because they believe not on Me.” This is not speaking of the sins of the world, though they had plenty. In the conversion of souls they are convicted of sin against God, but here it is the treatment the world gave Christ and refused to believe on Him. God was revealed in love in the Son, yet the world would not be reconciled to Him. His love and grace were slighted, and the Lord was crucified between two thieves. Man hated both Him and His Father, and they slew Him.
Verse 10. “Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more.” The presence of the Comforter on earth declares that Christ is glorified in heaven. God the Father hath highly exalted Him. Man’s wickedness crucified Him. To fulfill the purposes of God in grace, and to make atonement for sin, He allowed them to do it. Yea, He gave His life to do it, and since then the world sees Him no more. (14:9.) Now God declares His righteousness in heavenly glory, setting Him at His own right hand on high. And righteousness, to all who believe on Him, is freely bestowed. The presence of the Comforter on earth demonstrates this righteousness that the One crucified by men, and forsaken of God, is now glorified—God’s blessed answer to all His sufferings.
“Every mark of dark dishonor
Heaped upon the thorn-crowned brow,
All the depths of Thy heart’s sorrow
Told in answering glory now.”
Verse 11. “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” Satan is now proved to be the prince of this world, by his leading on all classes of men against the Lord Jesus, and He did not resist them in order that He might finish the work given Him to do. He gave Himself up to death to destroy and disarm, disannul the enemy’s power. His rising from the dead declares it done—the prince of this world is judged. The presence of the Comforter declares it. The world itself is not yet judged, but in God’s time it will be, its judgment is declared.
Verses 12-14. The presence of the Holy Spirit is for great blessings to those disciples, to unfold to them what they could not bear when the Lord was here. He, the Spirit of truth, would guide them into all truth. He would not speak from Himself. He would act as the mouthpiece for the Lord, and what He heard, He would speak, and would show them things to come. He would glorify the Lord, He would receive the things of Christ, and would show them unto them. Heavenly things and future things He would unfold to their souls.
Verse 15. All these things were of the Father and were His. What rich unfoldings to their souls! May we too long to have them imparted to us, that we may know the Father and the Son.
Verses 16-33. Now He speaks of the little while of His absence from their sight, and they do not understand. He goes on to tell them of a time of sorrow, when they would weep and lament, and the world would rejoice, but their sorrow would be turned into joy at His resurrection, with a joy no man could take from them. Still He is the absent One, and this little while of His absence will end by His coming for us to receive us to Himself.
From the time of the Comforter’s presence with them those new redemption relationships would be theirs to enjoy, and henceforth they would pray the Father in His name. They would go directly to the Father, and Jesus would not need to pray the Father for them, for they were loved by the Father Himself, because they loved Him, and believed that He came out from God. They were to ask and receive that their joy might be full. His disciples thought they understood, but how little they did understand, but He further tells them of the trial that would come upon Him and them. They would all be scattered every man to his own, and would leave Him alone, and yet He would have the Father’s presence sensibly with Him.
So He would encourage them, that, though passing through tribulation in the world, they were to know that in Him they were to have peace, so they could be of good cheer since He had overcome the world (Rom. 8:35-39).

A Present Savior

“Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up forever” (Psa. 28:9).
In peaceful contemplation
Of God’s beloved One,
Our heart’s deep adoration
Flows out to Him, the Son.
We’d join the glad hosanna,
We’d gaze upon His face,
Drink in the blessed fullness,
Of mercy, love and grace.
Thou art the present Saviour
Of all Thy blood-bought ones,
Brought by Thy gracious favor
Into the place of sons.
In all the present conflict,
By might and power sustained,
We bless the One who saved us,
Who every victory gained.
Blest be the God and Father
Of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who hath so richly blessed us
According to His word;
And every hour fresh mercies
Are graciously bestowed
From His unfathomed fullness
Along our pilgrim road.
Though Satan e’er is seeking
To capture or ensnare;
Our ever watchful Shepherd,
Unceasing in His care,
His sheep protects from danger,
He guides and feeds them too,
And never will He leave them
Till He has brought them through.
Thy saints in present weakness
Upborne by power divine,
From strength to strength press onward
Till all in glory shine.
Each will with glad hosannas
His worthiness acclaim,
And to eternal ages
Will magnify His name.

Fragments: Burdens

God does not always remove our burdens, but gives us grace to bear them.
God’s love hath a long arm and a full hand. God’s promises are as certain as His actual performances.

The Spread of the Gospel in Foreign Lands Argentine Republic, S. A.: Part 3

Dear Christian Friend:
Last month I was able to make a visit to G. P. This was a town I had wished to visit for some time, but there were hindrances. The Lord had also laid it on the heart of an Argentine pastor, to go at the same time. He had already made his plans to go on the same day that I was going, so we joined company, and I feel confident it was beneficial.
We had a most hearty welcome from the man I went to see, and also from others whom he had been able to interest in the gospel. Our time there was fully occupied in visiting people that were ready to hear the message.
During this visit, I was able to put to the test the advantage of sending tracts through the post, because I called on many families who had received them, and apparently they had been read, and appreciated in many cases. It is a good preparation for opening up new work, and introduces the gospel where no effort is made. Then when a worker is able to visit a town, he has some people who know what he preaches, and are more ready to receive him.
Already I have a long list of persons scattered all over the country to whom I can send tracts, mostly those living out of reach of any other worker.
With Hearty Christian Greetings,
Yours Sincerely,
F. N, L.
Chili, South America.
Dear Brother in Christ:
Just a word of thanks to show you that we are thankful for sending us so regularly those 50 “Mensajes de Amor” in Spanish. May God richly bless you in your labor of love—more than ever before—to the honor and glory of His dear name.
Whoever the donors are outside of yourself, and you wish to manifest to them our gratefulness, do so, and tell them eternity alone will reveal the good done.
We are laboring on the border of a great volcanic uprising—strikes, and many other things are the order of the day. Nobody respects law and order today, as they formerly did, and what will the end be? Well, we look for Jesus, the only true deliverer. Brethren pray for us.
Yours in Him,
H. W. F., and all here.
Tegucigalpha, Honduras, Central America.
July 20, 1920.
Dear Brother:
I wish to make grateful acknowledgment of two or three packages of “Mensajes de Amor,” which are very welcome. The paper impresses me very favorably; the illustrations are attractive for these people and the print and paper are fine.
I sincerely trust that your resources are such that you can keep up the donation, and I wish you may be able to send like packages to these four persons When you can add something about the Second Coming, I will be pleased.
Yours fraternally,
I. H. C.
La Carolina, Jaen, Spain.
Dear Miss:
I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of your welcome periodical “Mensajes de Amor.” They are most excellent. I rejoice very much at this gift, and in your work. It is a very valuable periodical for the Sunday school, and also to take with me when I visit the homes of the people, and it is so nice to have something new every month. I will gladly let you know if I meet with any interesting incidents connected with the distribution of it. I cannot visit much this very hot weather.
We know the work is hard, but when we think of the value of human souls, which art forever lost without Christ, it gives me courage to work. The time is short and we need to buy up every opportunity in view of the near coming of our blessed Lord Jesus. The seed sown cannot be lost, for it is God that giveth the increase.
Many thanks to you, and I thank God for your help. With love in Christ—
Believe me,
Affectionately yours in that blessed hope,
Miss J. C.
Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Canary Islands.
My Dear Miss:
We received a package of your papers last week, and were very glad to get them. Thank you for all the papers you have so kindly supplied us with, and if there is anything I can do in return for all your kindness, I will gladly do it.
I had written to seven or eight different people about a paper adapted to children, and prayed much over the matter, and my surprise was great when the answer to my prayer came from a servant of the Lord unknown to me, or to Pastor B., who is as much pleased with the paper as I am.
Praying that God may bless you, and the circulation of your little paper, I remain,
Yours in the Master’s service,
Miss K. V. S.
Honduras, Central America.
Dear Sir:
For some time I was receiving your paper, “Messages of Love” in Spanish. A paper which pleased me very greatly, but of late it has ceased to come.
I would desire that you send me as many as a hundred a month, if this is possible. Here the work stretches out before us and our forces are so insufficient, we stand appalled, seeing the need, understanding perfectly well the condition of our field, and feeling unable to meet the conditions. We are but four—two native men, myself and a native woman—who can give our attention to evangelizing this district that includes 120,000 lost souls, and requires seven days to pass over, no matter in what direction one desires to travel. Yet we manage some way or other to get the gospel to every creature in this district, if not once in twelve months, at least once in 18 months. Our strength sometimes threatens to give out, but we keep on, secure in His promise, “As thy days so shall thy strength be,” and Isaiah 40:31 never fails to re-animate us.
Yours in the Master’s Service,
A. J. G.
(Translated from Spanish.)
Yucatan, Central America.
Very dear Sir:
This is to convey to you my gratitude for the various numbers of the “Mensajes de Amor” which you have had the kindness to send me. The copies of this periodical above mentioned have had a most hearty reception among the people here, and the numbers which you have sent, have been insufficient for the hundreds of Christians who desire to read these beautiful papers. Therefore let me request you to send me at least 100 copies each month, or each time it comes out. I will enclose a small check to aid you in the work, and I will send more. Hope that you will be able to comply with my request, I remain your true servant,
J. T. M.
(Translated from Spanish.)
Dear Brother in Jesus Christ:
The reading of “Mensajes de Amor de Dios” has interested me much, it is good for children from four to 100 years of age. The plan of salvation is presented with simplicity and this is important here in this republic, a vast country needing the “Messages of Love.” If you could favor us with some copies monthly we should be very pleased to distribute them, and follow them with our prayers to God our Father.
With Christian Love.
Yours in this work till the morning,
P. J. S
(Continued from page 221.)

The Lord Jesus Christ Is Coming Again!

No one in the least degree familiar with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures can have the smallest doubt of one thing, and that is that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. That He is coming again to judge the world, none but an avowed infidel will deny, and every creed in Christendom acknowledges.
It seems to be so far away in the dim future—that multitudes of people are content to run the risk of being unprepared for that solemn and awful event, in the vague hope that somewhere between this and the hour of death they may be made fit to stand the terrible ordeal.
Before the Lord Jesus will appear to judge the world He will come to take His people to heaven. It is not our purpose in this paper to enter into the Scripture proof of this latter remark—it has been so frequently and abundantly done elsewhere—but we would state the fact again with all the emphasis of firm conviction.
Ever since the gracious Lord of the harvest sent us forth to preach the glad tidings of salvation in this world of perishing sinners, it has been our happy privilege to sound abroad the midnight cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” Yes, we have known this truth, held it as a doctrine, and preached it as an all-important part of that whole counsel of God which no servant of Christ should ever shun to declare. We have preached it, moreover, as an event which might at any moment take place, but we never before realized so vividly as we do now that the Lord indeed draweth very nigh.
We do not attempt to fix dates. All these vain and presumptuous speculations we leave to others. “Of that day and hour knoweth no man” is the clear utterance of the Word of God. But, for all that, we believe that His coming is very rapidly drawing nigh.
Everything points to this, whether in the church or in the world; and we feel compelled once more to sound the alarm and to urge upon all our readers the immense importance, nay, the imperative necessity of being ready. “They that were ready,” and they only, “went in,” and “the door was shut.”
Reader, are you ready?
If not, came at once as a poor, lost and guilty sinner to the Lord Jesus Christ; trust Him for salvation, own your need of cleansing in His precious blood, and accept on the spot the forgiveness which God is now offering to every one who believes in His Son.
The world will not come to an end when the Lord Jesus comes into the clouds to take His people to heaven (1 Thess. 4). No, no, every child of God, whether dead or alive, will be “caught up... to meet the Lord in the air,” but the world will continue its course, and many things of the most solemn import will take place on the earth after the removal of the church.
But will the world see the saints being “caught up”? This is a question often asked, and we believe that the Scriptures imply that none shall see it actually taking place. Will it not be in the twinkling of an eye?
But of this we feel sure, that the world will soon become aware of the fact that the church is gone. People will be missing in every direction.
Panics there have been from time to time in the history of this world. When epidemics have swept a country and hurried thousands into a premature grave, Men have been seized with alarm. But the day following the coming of the Lord we can easily believe that the most awful panic that has ever been known will take possession of those that are left behind.
Let the reader for one moment consider. Steamers, will be crossing the ocean; on board, many of those we are personally acquainted with, in some instances Christian captains and officers, and in others Christian seamen and firemen. Imagine the alarm when it becomes known, as it would in an instant of time, that all these were missing from their posts, some of the passengers, too, along with them! Again, we are acquainted with not a few converted engineers. There goes an express train; when in one moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the engineer is “caught up” from his post, and the train speeds on to its destruction!
But these are isolated cases. Think what must be the despair that will seize hold of the human breast when news of similar disasters will come from every direction and quick as electricity can convey the intelligence, from every quarter of the earth, the tidings come pouring in that men, women, and children are missing, and that not in twos or threes, but in multitudes!
The world will, so to speak, reel to and fro with fright, terrified crowds will probably rush to the churches and chapels and cry for mercy to the One whose mercy they had so long slighted and despised. Business of every kind will for the moment be suspended and everything be at a standstill.
“Afterward,” yes, afterward, mark this solemn word! “Afterward, came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.” After those that were ready had gone in; after the door was shut; “afterward,” when it was too late! O, that terrible word “afterward.”
Reader, let it not be in your case that you will come “afterward,” when the door is shut. Come now while it is open, and while the blessed Saviour invites you and stands ready to bless and receive you.
“They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage; and the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10

My Web of Life

No chance has wrought this ill to me,
Tis God’s sweet will, so let it be;
He seeth what I cannot see.
There is a need-be for each pain,
And He will make it one day plain
That earthly loss is heavenly gain.
Like as a piece of tapestry,
Viewed from the back, appears to be
Naught but threads tangled hopelessly,
But in the front a picture fair
Rewards the worker for his care,
Proving his skill and patience rare.
Thou art the workman, I the frame.
Lord, for the glory of Thy name,
Perfect Thine image on the same.

A Grave Defect

Impressed with the moral grandeur of the gospel; yes—but impressed also with the awful doom of those who live and die in their sins, unrepentant, unforgiving, unmoved by the goodness of God, refusing to submit to God, and to receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour. In my judgment, there must be a grave defect in any preacher who has not these two points evenly balanced in his soul.

Set Your Affection on Things Above

People say,
“Cut a bird’s wings,
And it no longer sings.”
Satan says of the Christian,
“Let not his heart to heaven soar;
Then he’ll be dumb, and sing no more.”
Question: What does 1 Corinthians 8:10, 11, and Romans 14:23 mean? Does it mean that a Christian is lost if he does anything which he is not sure is right? What is meant by sinning willfully in Hebrews 10:26-29? Is it possible that a true believer in Jesus Christ can sin willfully and be lost? R. W.
Answer: The Word of God does not contradict itself. If it seems to do so it is only our want of understanding it, that is at fault. Let us therefore firmly believe what we understand, and rest upon it, and wait on God to enlighten us about the rest. There are many verses that give us the assurance that the believer has eternal life, and that he can never perish (John 3:14-16; 5:24;10:27-30). Also verses to show the believer that his sins are all put away, and that he is justified, and perfected in his standing before God forever (Acts 10:43; 13:38, 39; Rom. 3:22-24; 4:5, 23-25; 5:1-11; Heb. 10:10, 14, 17). These are samples but the whole Word agrees with them. Take these, believe them, rest upon them. Do not let what you do not understand, take away such plain scriptural assurance from you.
We may be sure that the understanding of the rest will confirm what we do understand. Let us look at the scriptures that trouble you. Romans 14 is not speaking of how to be justified, but of Christians receiving one another, though they may differ about what they should eat. The Jew was trained to eat certain things only, while the Gentile did as he pleased. The scripture instructs us that when we give thanks to God, we can eat what we believe is good for us. Only the blood of an animal we are not to use (Acts 15; 1 Tim. 4:4, 5). The Apostle is persuaded that all things in themselves are clean, (Rom. 14:14) but if a man thought it unclean, he should not eat it, for it would give him a bad conscience, and it is a serious thing to have a bad conscience. It is a saved and justified man that gets a bad conscience. His soul is not lost in eating thus, but his communion is broken. The meaning of the word damned in verse 23 is “condemned,” not damned eternally. That is, he feels he has done wrong. In 1 John 2:1 we find Christ is the advocate for believers if they sin.
If a believer loses his good conscience, and so does not walk with God, it wrecks his happiness and usefulness and thus the work of God in his soul is destroyed. Romans 14:20 and 1 Corinthians 8:10, 11 allude to this.
1 Corinthians 8:10, 11. The believer who was once an idolater, was afraid to eat meat that was offered to idols, and for what men call luck the butchers killed the animals to the idols. Some did not understand that giving thanks to God, (1 Tim. 4:4, 5) cleared them from idolatry, and if they ate it, they felt defiled, or brought into fellowship with the idol, and this destroyed the work of God in their souls. Therefore the Apostle warns the believers to be careful not to hurt the conscience of the ignorant ones by eating before them what would defile their consciences. So Paul shows how careful he was in verse 13. The question in these scriptures is not our eternal salvation, but of walking before God with modified hearts and consciences, maintaining communion with the Lord, and not grieving the Holy Spirit. This is very important for every saved one.
Hebrews 10:26-29 is apostasy, that is, sinning willfully. It is saying, “Christ Jesus is no Saviour. He is not the Lamb of God. His sacrifice is no atonement.” For such persons there can be no salvation, nothing but judgment. Could a real child of God, one with a new, divine nature say such words, or think such a thought? A true child of God might say like Peter, “I am no Christian,” but he would not say, “Christ is no Saviour.” A Hebrew that made a profession of Christ, yet not truly born again, would be likely to go back to his old way of worship, and be lost for eternity.

Deciding for Christ

My girlhood was spent without God. I had grown up to eighteen years of age or rather more, in utter carelessness about my soul, loving much the pleasures of the world, dress, company, and amusements. My father would, from time to time, enter a feeble protest against these things, and he sought to win us from them, by books and serials of an interesting and evangelical character; while my mother was more lenient to our follies.
About this time my father’s last illness came upon him. For six weeks he sat in his chair, night and day, unable to take a recumbent position, his heart being in a critical state. I took my turn in watching by him, but though I could see he needed comfort, I was unable to give it. Good men came to visit him, and read and prayed with him. I heard his confession of being a “sinner saved by grace,” with a touching reference to “the white robed multitude,” but I knew not what it meant.
One night I was awakened from my sleep by the nurse, who suddenly said, “Your father is dying; come directly.” I was in his room in a moment; others were there before me. My dear father was sitting in his chair by the fireside, his head resting on his hand, his elbow on the table. One glance at his face told me all was over; the nurse threw a handkerchief over his head, and I sank on my knees by the bedside.
Then and there the way of salvation through the crucified One passed before my eyes; in the very presence of death I saw life for the first time. I heeded not, and knew not what was going on around me, until roused by kind hands, I was told to dress and go downstairs with my mother. The sudden bereavement that brought loud weeping from others, brought none from me, at least not for a time. I was in a new world; peace filled my heart and mind, and I longed to know more of the mysterious treasure I felt I possessed. This the great enemy of souls perceived, I have no doubt, and laid his bait accordingly. I was ignorant of his devices, ignorant of everything. I may be said never to have heard a gospel sermon in my life, and thought not of turning to the Word, or I might possibly have been preserved.
The solemnity of the death scene came back, and with it a sense of my bereavement, and then almost immediately the orders for mourning and the funeral. I have ever since regarded the costumes and the parade common to these occasions as an especial wile of the devil to turn aside the soul from solemn thoughts, under the plea of proper respect for the dead.
My old tastes revived in planning deep and handsome mourning, and many hours were spent in this way, while my sweet peace was leaking away, and I knew it not.
The funeral over, I awoke as from a dream. A voice within, gentle at first, then louder, seemed to say, “What have you lost?” Yes, I felt I had lost something. What was it? I could not say, but my conscience was guilty, and I went into the world to drown its voice; but this would not do. Then my health gave way. I remember waking one night with the feeling that I was dropping into hell. It was forced upon me that I had surrendered Christ for the things of the world, for less than a mess of pottage to a fainting man—for dress, for vanity. I could well understand the dying lament of another, “I know where I missed it;” and this would also have been my lament but for His unspeakable love. “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him.”
God, the God I had feared, coming out of His place, reconciling, not imputing trespasses, beseeching sinners to be reconciled to Himself! My inmost soul bowed before Him. I said, “Abba Father,” with a lightened heart, and called Jesus my Saviour. I had accepted the reconciliation, and all was peace.
Soon after this, the Lord, in His tender care, led me for a while under the ministry of one of His most valued servants, where my heart became established in grace. I then parted company with my former companions. I no more suited them than they me. “God divided the light from the darkness.” I became a Sunday-school teacher—an employment not so popular then as now; I read the Scriptures frequently among the poor, in felt ignorance indeed. When visiting the place, a few years after, I was surprised to find how God had blessed His Word by my stammering tongue.
Now, I would say to my young friends in the words of another, “Next to losing your soul, fear losing your convictions.” I would warn and entreat of you, by all that is blessed in time and eternity, to withstand the first temptation that would occupy the heart to the exclusion of Christ. Be firm, be simple, be prayerful, so shall you prevail.
“His word a light before us spreads,
By which our path we see;
His love, a banner o’er our heads,
From harm preserves us free.”

Fragment: A Solution for Sadness

Martin Luther said, “When I am too sad to pray, then I begin to sing.”

The Brook Cherith

“Hide thyself by the brook Cherith,... thou shalt drink of the brook,... and it came to pass... that the brook dried up.” 1 Kings 17:3-7
When flowed the brook of Cherith,
God sent Elijah there,
And fed him by its waters,
Though all the land was bare.
While flowed the brook of Cherith,
Elijah rested there—
No drought could touch his fountains,
Nor blight his soul with care.
When failed the brook of Cherith,
Beside its channel bare,
What thought Jehovah’s prophet?
Did faith become despair?
But God had long provided,
New sources of supply,
The morsel that should waste not,
The cruse that should not dry.
When fails some brook of Cherith,
That long for us availed,
Do we recall His promise,
And think that too has failed?
Nay, He has other rivers
Whose waters will not dry,
His love is ever meeting
New need with new supply.
When dries our brook of Cherith,
And leaves its channel bare,
The cruse, long since made ready,
Is waiting—He knows where.

The Lord My Shepherd: Psalms 23

The blessings, into which, as the Shepherd, the Lord leads the flock, are not merely temporal, but spiritual. The veil is now rent from top to bottom, and we are brought to God. God is not only caring for us all the way, but the exercise of our souls should be to walk in the light with Him, if by any means, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. The care He takes is to bring us up to walk in the power of that heavenly glory with Himself. “Keep through Thine own name those whom Thou has given Me.” God is not only known to us as Jehovah, giving us mercies all along the way; but it is the Father blessing us with spriritual things. True, the very hairs of our head are all numbered; but there is discipline for our souls as well, which leads into blessing.
Any pious Jew, having a renewed nature, in old time, might know and use this Psalm, saying, “Jehovah, my Shepherd.” The holiness of God was not fully revealed; and therefore the conscience not disquieted, and the distance not felt. They knew the favor of God, and counted on His goodness then; but, now, we are brought into the light, and see what judgment is. The veil is rent, and God’s holiness is manifested; for we are in the light, as He is in the light, through Jesus. “The darkness is past, and the true light now shines.”
Now that sin has been fully shown out the death of Christ proving what the enmity of the heart was—this matter must be settled. I cannot say, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” if I have not the knowledge of sin forgiven. I cannot talk of confidence, if I have a fear of judgment, and I see what sin deserves in the light of His holiness. I cannot consistently speak of One who may be my Judge, that He is my Shepherd, and I shall dwell with Him. To know Him as our Shepherd, we must not have it an unsettled matter about sin being forgiven. God cannot let sin into His presence. There must be a conscience purged. Christ has been accepted, and He puts us into His place, having made peace through the blood of His cross. “He has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” “By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” He has “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.” God does not see sin in Jesus; indeed, in Him was no sin; and we who believe are in Him; therefore, He sees no sin in us. The comfort and peace Christ had, as a man walking on the earth, He gives us. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” Now I have come to put you in the place of unhindered confidence with the Father; and that is what you could never have, if the least sense of sin were upon you. The peace is made; therefore He cannot only say, “Peace I leave with you,” but, “My peace I give unto you.” These were not idle words, and we can see how He could give it to us, having brought us to God, and put away everything against us.
Now the question is one of happiness with God. Conflict, by the way, there is, also, of course—but God is my Shepherd. Not only has He done something for me, but He is something to me; therefore it is said, “that your faith and hope might be in God.” I believe in God as seen in Christ, as One who has loved me perfectly and manifested His love by putting away my sins. “The kindness and love of God our Saviour towards men hath appeared.” The thought I may now have of God is, that He has done all this for me, and that He is all this to me. I may fail and so get into evil, and this will make me ashamed; but it should not destroy my confidence, because my faith and hope are in God Himself. Now God is my Shepherd, and we may have confidence in Himself, for it is not merely said, He has done this, and He will do that, but “I shall not want.” There never can be a want to the soul that has the supply. It is the application of this power and goodness of God to my every day need that I shall feel, and all this must go on the ground of sin forgiven. Now I have found out, not only my need of being justified, but that He has justified me. Whom He called, them He also justified (Rom. 8).
The starting point of Christian experience is “God for us;” and “If God be for us, who can be against us?” I am the object of His favor, which is better than life. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters.” I shall find good everywhere. I shall lie down, no one making me afraid. Though the wolf may prowl in the way, I lie down in green pastures—It is “He leadeth me,” and that must be in perfect peace and enjoyment, “beside the still waters.” This is the natural Christian state. We realize all things ours, for God is for us—therefore we may lie down. We shall have conflict, but amidst it all enjoyment. If the sorrow gets between our souls and God, so as to produce distrust, it is sin. Even if sins come in, sad as it is, He can restore the soul. Whether from trouble, or from offending, He can restore. See what thoughts are here given about God! The Psalmist does not say, I must get my soul restored, and then go to God, but “He restoreth my soul.” So “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” Who can restore but He? There may be something to correct in us, if not actually a fall. There may be hardness in my heart, which trouble shows me, and the like. For our good, in this way, He sends trouble, as well as that which is our proper portion—following Him who was the “Man of Sorrows.” But if He restores, it is “for His name’s sake.” Here am I, a poor, fainting, wretched creature, and the Lord comes in and lifts me up—Why? “For His name’s sake.” Whatever I am, God is for me; and not only in this way, but also against enemies. “For, though I walk through the valley,” (Ver. 4). Man had reason to quail at death before Christ came; but now in the fullest sense, we need “fear no evil.” Death is “ours” now. “We have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.” If they took my life, they could not hurt me, for I was trusting to One who could raise me. Paul as good as says, “If they take this life, I have lost nothing; nay, it is positive gain, for it hastens me on the road. Death is not terrible now.” Why?
“Thou art with me.” It is terrible without this. “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” It is not a rod, but Thine, so I shall fear no evil. No one can compete with God. Death is the very thing by which Christ has saved me, and it is that by which He will take me into His presence— “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” It may come as a trial to exercise my soul. Well, I have to remember, “Thou art with me.”
There is not only failure in life and failure in death to meet but there are mighty enemies (Ver. 5). Nevertheless, I can sit down amongst them, and find everything given me for food.
I feed on this dying Christ, and it was in His death Satan’s power was most put forth. In another light, Satan comes and tempts me with the flesh, but I can say to him, I am dead; I have a right to say it—I may fail in saying it, but that is another thing. Satan cannot touch anything but my flesh; and if I am mortifying my members, he has no power. If my members are alive, Satan cannot count me dead. In the presence of all, then I can sit down, and say, I have done with them all— “For Thou art with me.” I have found that power by which they are made nothing to me. Then we arrive at further security, joy, and blessedness still:
“Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Now that Christ has ascended, and the Holy Spirit has been given, there is triumphant peace and abounding in joy, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I now find God Himself, the source of all, and not only is this a present thing, but seeing what God is, I can say, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” We shall never want goodness and not find it. “Goodness shall follow me.” Assuredly the goodness of God is better than man’s, even if we could get this. There is a place to dwell in, that is my hope. For us it is the Father’s house. There are not only blessings conferred, but a place to dwell in with the Father forever. As He brought Christ through, of course He will bring me through too, and I am there now by faith. I am at home with my Father. He would have us feel that all the correctings, and chastenings by the way, are founded upon the fact that He is for us. When peace is really settled through the work of Christ, I have all these exercises; and what is known only to faith at the beginning, becomes afterward experience, though always faith too; but every step having had this experience, we can say that we know it. Whatever it be we meet with by the way, we know it is all for good, and we shall dwell forever with Him. Wonderful grace!

Scripture Study: John 17

Verses 1-3. He now addresses the Father, and His disciples are privileged to hear what He says. Lifting His eyes from His loved disciples, and directing His gaze to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.” He speaks anticipatively, on the ground that all is completed. He had glorified the Father in all His life of obedience, and in His obedience unto death; and now victorious over death and the grave, He awaits the glory with the Father that belongs to Him, that He may glorify the Father in what He will do for those the Father had given Him. “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” Power over all flesh is not displayed here as Messiah subduing the nations, (Psa. 2:8, 9) but as the heavenly One, giving His disciples eternal life. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” It is not now the Almighty, as Abraham knew God; nor Jehovah, as revealed to Israel. It is the knowledge of the Father and the Son; the Son revealing the Father, and thus bringing those who received Him, into fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:3, 4).
Verses 4, 5. “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me, with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” He had completed all that was needed for the glory of the Father, and to bring His own into blessing, in association with Himself. He was ever the Son in the Father’s bosom, a divine person, but here He is speaking as one who as sent of the Father, a man on earth, and could now claim as one who had won it by His work, as well as being the eternal Son, the place He had with the Father before the world was. Though His by right, He still says “glorify Thou Me,” and takes His place there as given by the Father, a man in glory, and that we might be there also. Thus we have in these verses His position defined.
Verses 6-8. Now He speaks of His disciples. “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me: and they have kept Thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.” They were given by the Father to the Son, and He had told them all about the Father, and so they knew the Father, and were brought into the children’s place. They believed it all, though as yet they had not intelligently entered into it, as they could afterward, when the Holy Spirit had come. The Lord here recognizes them according to His appreciation of their faith as He knew it, and not by their intelligent entering into it; as He said to Philip, (14:7.) “From henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.” He saw this in them, they had acknowledged that He came forth from the Father with the Father’s authority, sent by the Father. This is the position He gives them.
Verses 9-13. This is contrast with Psalm 2:8, 9—the Messiah’s portion. He, as rejected, has postponed Israel’s blessing, and now it is the heavenly saints, or family of God, the Father. “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine, and all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.” Wonderful place of love they are put into, and He prays for them because “They are Thine,” and because they were to glorify Him when He was on high. Therefore He prays, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition: that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” He commits them to the Holy Father’s care to be kept in His name, because of His affection for them, and because the Son’s glory was to be seen in, and heard from them, so that they were doubly dear to the Father and to the Son. Their interests could not be separated—one in mind and purpose in everything. They were to be kept according to the Father’s love, and according to the holiness of His nature. Christ had kept them in that name when with them down here, and so He can say, “Holy Father, keep them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me.” It was this He had lived in, on earth Himself, and He prays that they may also glorify the Father’s name, that they may be one as we are. One in mind, thoughts, acts, and will, as Christ and the Father were one. This could only be by the Holy Spirit’s power in, and with, the life they had received, though the Spirit is not mentioned here, giving them in their whole moral existence, one object and aim. This was His thoughts for them, their carrying it out must be by strength, His strength perfected in their weakness, carried along by the Spirit’s power. While He was with them in the world He kept them in the Father’s name, and none of them were lost but the son of perdition that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. He spoke these things in their hearing while still in the world, that they might have His joy fulfilled in themselves. Wonderful grace to have such a position! and to lose sight of Him for a little was only to know Him and the Father in deeper and more intimate communion than ever, as sons with Him in the enjoyment of the love He had imparted to them. It is something for us also. (1 John 1:1-4.)
Verses 14-19. Here He speaks of their relationship with the world. “I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” This word committed to them, divided between them and the world. They were not of it and their witness condemned the world, and the world hated them accordingly, yet they were sent into the world as the Father had sent Christ into the world. Now the measure and character of their separation from it, was Christ in glory. For their sakes, I sanctify Myself, (set Myself apart, that is, at the Father’s right hand) that they also might be sanctified (or set apart) through the truth. Christ is therefore the measure of their and our separation from the world. He is our object in glory. They were to witness of Him, Thy word is truth, and all that is of the world is opposition to the Father. (1 John 2:15.)
Verses 20, 21. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” This is the oneness of communion with the Father and the Son and with one another (compare 1 John 1:3, 4, the blessing ministered by the apostles to all believers) but how little our souls enter into it is alas! very manifest.
Verses 22, 23. “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me.” This oneness cannot fail, for it is in the glory, the sure ending of every true believer, and notice that in each of these three unities seen, it is in the world, (verses 11, 21, 23.) and the world will know when they see the saints manifested in glory with the Son, that the Father has sent Him, “and has loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” The proof is before the world’s eyes then, when He comes to reign.
Verse 24. “Father I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” In this case it is a heavenly scene. He desires their presence with Him in glory. And that they might behold the glory the Father gave Him in answer to all the sorrows and trials He had passed through on earth, for God’s glory and for them. He acquired it by His obedience and suffering, yet He had a rightful claim to it in His person, and He desires that we behold it, share the delight of the Father also, in the One He loved before the foundation of the world. He wants us to be where He is, and that we should enjoy what He enjoys, and the Father’s delight in Him, the glorified Man.
Verses 25, 26. “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them and I in them.” The righteous Father exalts His Son to His right hand, and by it the world is condemned (Compare 16:10). The world did not know the Father, had no eyes to behold Him declared in the Son. The Son knew Him, and the disciples knew Him, and to them, when on earth, the Father’s name was declared and known; and again, when He had gone on high, the Holy Spirit came declaring the Father’s name, that the love wherewith the Father loved the Son, might be in them in full assurance, and enjoyment, and He the Son in them also. O, that our hearts were more alive to this wonderful love of the Father and the Son!

Faith, Hope and Love

“Trust in the Lord!”
If shadows o’er thy pathway creep,
If raging tempests round thee sweep,
“Have Faith in God.”
“Hope in the Lord!”
Why is thy soul disquieted?
Lift up thy head, be comforted—
“Hope thou in God.”
“Rest in the Lord!”
He who to win thy love hath died,
Would have thee in His love abide—
“O Love the Lord!”
“Faith, Hope, and Love!”
These three shall keep thy heart, through grace,
Till thou shalt see Him face to face,
And know as known.

The Triumphs of the Gospel: Part 2

Dear reader, has this blessed report reached you? All power in heaven and earth is committed to God’s beloved Son. All that God has, or ever will have for man in the way of blessing, is dispensed by Jesus, the true “Zaphnath Paaneah” (Gen. 41:44-57). Have you learned that God expects nothing from you; but that He comes out towards you today in the character of a Saviour—God, a Giver? “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:3-6). The gospel addresses itself to all, without exception. Friend, whatever your condition may be, there is only blessing in the heart of God towards you. Take Him at His word, and claim the blessed Saviour as your own, and you will know, in the deep experience of your soul, what it is to have peace with God, the forgiveness of your sins, and an inheritance among all “the sanctified” (Acts 13:38; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 1:11; 1 Peter 1:3, 4).
But the day of God’s long-suffering is drawing to a close. Soon the last gospel message will be told out, and the last sinner brought under the peaceful sway of Christ. The Saviour will come into the air to meet His saints. The sleeping ones will be raised, and the living changed, and all taken up to be “forever with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-18). What a blessed consummation! What a glorious prospect to look forward to! What a stimulus for happy service in the great harvest field of human souls! But if the coming of the Lord crowns the blessedness of the believer’s portion, what of those who are so absorbed with the things of this life that they are utterly unconcerned about eternity and the interests of their souls? Like Belshazzar in Daniel 5, and the wealthy farmer in Luke 12:16, they are set upon making everything of “the present,” and leaving God and the great hereafter out of their reckoning. Their language is, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19).
Friend, if this is the road you are traveling upon, may God awaken you from your sleep of death. Remember the handwriting on the wall of Belshazzar’s palace, and that mighty monarch’s sudden doom (Dan. 5:27-30). Think of God’s solemn announcement to that prosperous worldling, in the midst of his brilliant daydreams: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (Luke 12:20). It is the dark death-knell of a lost eternity. Listen to the voice of wisdom: “Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man. Riches and honor are with me, yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold: and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance: and I will fill their treasures” (Prov. 8:4, 18-21). The speaker in these verses is the same blessed Person who came into this world to do, a Saviour’s part for you, poor sinner, in spite of your folly, and waywardness, and sin. You, have been “weighed” in God’s balances, and are “found wanting” (Dan. 5:27). But Jesus went into the storm of judgment that you might know the rest, and peace, and enjoyment of the love of God.
Life’s little day for you here will soon be ended, and a long eternity begun. The One whom man has slighted, and refused, and cast out, is coming to reign over this earth, where once He had “nowhere to lay His head.” “Every eye shall see Him” (Rev. 1:7). Every knee shall bow to Him. Universal homage shall be His. “The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” All who have found a refuge in Christ in this day of grace, will then be associated with Him in glory.
(Continued from page 231.)


“Kept by the Power of God.” 1 Peter 1:5
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10
Kept for the Lord Jehovah,
Kept for His use alone,
Kept evermore rememb’ring
That we are not our own.
Kept to go forth and serve Him—
It may be in irksome ways,
Kept to be always living,
That we may bring Him praise.
Kept to reflect His image—
More like Him daily grow,
Kept to be all for Jesus,
In this dark world below.
Kept for His name and honor,
Kept for His glory now,
Kept as the jewels gathered
With which to deck His brow.
Kept to be used by Jesus
Just when and where He will—
Kept as a vessel emptied,
Made meet for Him to fill,
Kept for the Lord’s good pleasure,
That we may give Him joy,
Kept that our highest glory,
Be in His blest employ.
Kept till the Heavenly Bridegroom
Claims us His chosen Bride,
Kept then to be forever,
Close to His blessed side.
Kept His “peculiar treasure,”
Ransomed by precious blood—
Kept to be found well-pleasing
In everything to God.

Are You Satisfied?

Anxious souls generally begin at the wrong end. They begin with themselves, instead of beginning with God. It is their doings, their feelings, their satisfaction—themselves in some way or other; and often it is some time before they learn to turn from themselves and look at God’s side; yet they never can find peace of conscience and joy of heart till they do. If you ask them, “Are you saved?” they reply that they hope so. If they are asked if they are not sure about it, they will generally tell you, “Well, not exactly; I only wish I were. I am seeking for it and praying for it; but I can’t say I am sure I am saved. I don’t seem to be satisfied.”
There are many in this condition. Praying, seeking, and trying to get satisfied. It is all self. They are putting the cart before the horse, and are surprised because they cannot get it to go. Of course not!
The gospel begins with God, not with man.
Look at that magnificent and unexhausted John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
It begins with God. God loved, we believe, and we have everlasting life. Start with God, see how He has been glorified—how He has been satisfied. You may well be satisfied when you know that God is satisfied.
Never, never will you be satisfied until you have believed that God has found perfect satisfaction in the work of Christ on the cross for you.
The proof of His satisfaction is that God raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the glory. The way in which He receives the poor, repentant, returning prodigal, kissing, clothing, and feasting him, tells out the satisfied heart of a satisfied God.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow... and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Correspondence: What Does Matt. 5:25-26 and Luke 12:58-59 Apply to?

Question: What does Matthew 5:25, 26; and Luke 12:58, 59 apply to? G. N.
Answer: Primarily this applies to Israel, who had broken God’s covenant, and when God sent His Son to them they rejected Him also. They are now cast into prison because of their treatment of Christ, and there they will remain till the time of their restoration through the death of Christ (Isa. 40:1, 2).
But we can also apply these Scriptures to each Jew and Gentile now, for all have sinned against God, making God their adversary. But God loves them, and beseeches them to be reconciled to Him, and calls to them, “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” And to those who believe on the Son, He gives full pardon for all their sins, and makes them children of God, accepted in the Beloved One, made meet to be partakers of the portion of the saints in light (Col. 1:12). They are perfected forever by the one great atoning sacrifice of Christ, (Heb. 10:14) and so have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).
There is also a modified way in which we might apply this scripture. If a Christian, a real child of God, sows to the flesh, and will not judge himself and confess his sin, he will reap corruption. The Lord has a contention with him; the Holy Spirit in him is grieved, and unless he confesses his sin, he is unhappy and his communion is broken. The Lord may need to chasten him, that he may be restored, but before doing so He beseeches His loved one to hearken to Him, to open the door and let Him come in again into his life, that the Saviour and he may again sup together (Rev. 3:19, 20; Heb. 12:5, 6; Eph. 5:14).

Jesus Knows

While sitting alone one evening, I was trying to solve the problem of life’s many perplexities and sorrows. I seemed like an insect tangled in a web, and I could not any where see the way out.
Raising my eyes from my open Bible, they lighted upon a small card on the wall of my room, from whence shone out in silver lettering the words, “Jesus knows.”
They came to me like a ray of sunshine. Yes, Jesus knew, and He could make a way out of my difficulties.
“Lord,” I prayed, “I leave all in Thy hands.” Then the turmoil which seemed raging around me ceased, and I knew He had undertaken for me.
So I would pass the precious words on to others. “Jesus knows” every fresh turn in life’s road, what new difficulties and dangers, and joys, too, are awaiting you. “He knoweth the way.” Whatever your trouble, loneliness, difficulties in your special life-work, the carelessness and indifference of those you love about the salvation of their souls, remember, “Jesus knows” all about it.
Look away, then, to Him. Trust Him implicitly, and you shall not only find that He knows your way, but that He is also making all to “work together for good.”

Come, Make Thy Choice!

Come, make thy choice! For life or death eternal,
Christ or the world—the broad or narrow way;
The Father’s home—or the abode infernal,
Unending joy or sorrow—choose today.
Come make thy choice! Behold how time is flying—
Speeding the fatal hour for grave and gay!
Thine every heartthrob whispers, “Thou art dying!”
Eternal interests urge thee—choose today.
Come make thy choice! It may be now or never;
‘Tis worse than madness longer to delay.
Now is the hinge of all the vast “forever”;
Tomorrow never cometh—choose today.
Come make thy choice! Hark! ‘tis the lamentation
Of late repentance, where hope sheds no ray—
“O, for one hour on earth to take salvation!
But ‘tis too late “forever”—choose today.
Come make thy choice! God waits for thy decision,
O, wilt thou not, as conscience bids thee, say,
“I will, I do despise the world’s false vision,
And for the Cross of Jesus—choose today?”

The Appetite Grows Upon What It Feeds On

Seek to be like the bee, whose nature is to search for sweetness, and to bring it home: do not resemble the insect which feeds upon evil things.
What have you found in the Lord’s flower garden this day? That which you can enjoy, and your soul can feed upon, of all His good things?
Or, have you fed your soul upon the varied things of this world, which can never satisfy, or bring lasting joy?
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

Scripture Study: John 18

The last events of our Lord’s life are given in keeping with the character of the whole gospel. The perfect obedience, and the divine personality of the blessed Lord shine out, also the full rejection of the Jews. His agony in the garden, and His sufferings as forsaken of God, are not seen, nor His sufferings from the hands of men, as in the other gospels. In Matthew and Mark He is seen as the Lamb led to the slaughter, yet opening not His mouth; and in Luke, what He suffered as a good man from the hands of men, and His agony in the garden are dwelt upon; but in John He is the Son of God accomplishing the Father’s will, yet in perfect obedience, yielding Himself up to His enemies, and giving up His spirit to the Father in death.
Verses 1-3. It was in His usual place of retirement, where He ofttimes resorted to hold communion with His Father, that was selected for His arrest. Judas knew the place, and led a band of men and officers from the chief priests and pharisees, with lanterns and torches and weapons to the spot.
Verses 4-9. Jesus knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth to meet them, and said, “Whom seek ye?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus saith unto them, “I am He.” At His word they go backward, and fall to the ground. They cannot touch Him till He allows it. He could easily have made His escape, but He was not come for that. It was God’s time for Him to yield Himself, so He says again, “Whom seek ye?” and again they answer, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He answered them, “I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way.” His word in Chapter 18:8 had to be fulfilled. He is the good shepherd giving His life for the sheep, yet protecting them. It is His voluntary offering up of Himself, we see here, according to the Father’s will.
Verses 10, 11. Simon Peter used his sword, and cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear. But the Lord tells him to put up his sword into its sheath, and take the place of obedience and submission to the Father’s will, saying, “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?”
Verses 12-28. They took Him, and bound Him, and led Him away to the high priest’s house. Peter and another disciple followed in. The damsel who kept the door asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus, but he denied it, saying, “I am not.” The high priest asked Jesus of His doctrine, but He answered him, “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou Me? ask them which heard Me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I have said.” He does not recognize the high priest’s authority at all, and when one of the officers struck Him on the face, He said with quiet forcible dignity, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou Me?”
Then He is sent to Caiaphas, the man who had prophesied that one man should die for the nation (11:49-52).
Peter goes on denying Him till the cock crew. What a witness to what the flesh is, even in a believer.
At last they bring Him to Pilate’s judgment seat. It was early in the morning, but they would not go in lest they should be defiled, and thus not able to eat the Passover. Their consciences allowed them to have murder in them, but zeal for religious ordinances at the same time. How terribly corrupt is fallen human nature.
Verses 29-40. Pilate would rather that they should dispose of the case without him, but they would not, so he needs to take the matter up. The Lord owns his authority, answers his questions, explains to him about His kingdom being not of this world, and Pilate is quite convinced that Jesus is an innocent man, and wants to release Him, but they resist, and resolutely and decidedly choose to let the robber Barabbas go free instead of Christ. Barabbas means, son of the father, but the devil was his father, and the true Son of God the Father, in heaven, is condemned on earth to die.

A Word of Exhortation

An Extract from an old Article.
“Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
We are not “The Brethren”—called Plymouth Brethren in reproach—but we are “brethren” among the many brethren of God’s large family, 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 Spirit 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 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 offenses, and raised Him for our justification (Rom. 4:25); and who afterward 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 be 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 in 1827, but in the Christ who, after telling Mary the new relationship formed, came into the midst of His assembled brethren, and breathed the peace upon them which He had made for them when He died on the cross, and of which He gave a proof to them in His wounded hands and side. We are in the Christ who breathed peace the second time upon them, as the Son sent from the Father, breathing into them His own life of resurrection thus connecting them with Himself as the risen Head of the new creation. We are in the Christ who, after this ascended up on high as man, and sent down the Holy Spirit, as the Promise of the Father, to dwell in them. So that now the new fully-established family of God could each, individually and mutually, cry, “Abba, Father!” (John 20:19-22; Acts 1:4).
At the same time the Holy Spirit baptized them all into one body, and builded them together to be His habitation on earth. Such is our origin, such is our position! To this family, and to this body, and to this house alone do we belong, and to this we are called to bear testimony, as well as to the One who is the God and Father of it. O, noble origin! O, high descent! Brethren, forget it not; let no man take your crown!
The progress of the church of God I trust you know well, I need not dwell on it. It spread wonderfully, but, alas! as it spread it declined. Zealous about putting away evil, alas! it left first love, and the candlestick was threatened to be removed. The evil, stayed for awhile by persecution, broke out afresh in the church getting joined to the world, by the hired leaders of Christendom. An evil system then sprung up in the very midst of the House of God, teaching idolatry—Babylonish captivity spread over the church. The truth of the real unity of the body of Christ, and the coming of the Lord was lost, and all was midnight darkness. The cry of the Reformation sounded and there was a partial coming out, but again lapsing into a name to live and moral death reigning over the profession. Then the Holy and True One’s voice was heard, and a remnant of the sheep followed, and returned to Christ alone. But, brethren, remember, it was a remnant coming back and not the whole. We are “brethren,” a returned remnant come back to Christ, but not “the brethren,” much less “Plymouth Brethren,” as a new body. Such has been the sad history of “the brethren,” and of the house of God. And remember there is a sad future before the house of God. Laodicean lukewarmness is to follow, and to run on parallel with, Philadelphian true-heartedness to Christ, till He comes. What is the great distinguishing mark between the two circles—it is thus with Philadelphians; Christ is all, and His Word; with Laodiceans, “the brethren” are all, as they say, “I am rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing.” There is such a thing as an ugly corporate I, which needs judging by 1 Corinthians 1, as well as the individual I, the old man of Romans.
O, then, let your testimony be simply Christ and His Word, leaving nothing out, not neglecting Peter’s testimony about the rejected Jesus, now exalted, and going to sit on David’s throne, made Lord and Christ, in the meantime giving salvation and remission of sins, (see Acts 2:30-38; 4:10-12; 5:30-32;) and thus establishing the kingdom of heaven in its present shape: holding fast Paul’s testimony, as blessedly many of you do, proclaiming an opened heavens, the Second Man seated there, righteousness and the Spirit ministered from thence, and the Holy Spirit come down uniting believers to Christ in heaven, and to one another on earth, with the blessed hope of the return of the Son of God from heaven, the Bridegroom of His church, to introduce her into the Father’s house, before the judgments, and then to return with Him to reign over the restored earth. Brethren, let us not talk of our testimony, but proclaim it as the testimony of God, and we shall continue to have the Holy and True One’s smile. The love of the brethren, Philadelphia, will reign really in our midst, and towards all the scattered brethren; we shall continue to get the open door which no man can shut. Philadelphia will cease to exist on the earth when the Lord Jesus Christ returns (See Rev. 3:10). O! hold fast the name of Christ; don’t let a false, presumptuous name be put upon you. The beautiful name of Christ, the Holy One and True, is sufficient, who is not ashamed to call us “His brethren,”—but remember! amongst many other scattered ones, as much “brethren” as ourselves, though not manifesting it together. Again I say, suffer the word of exhortation, and may the faithful God lift up the light of His countenance who hath called us unto the fellowship of His Son. Such is our origin, which, if we are a true witness, we shall bear witness to; such has been the progress of the church to which we belong, and such is its testimony. But we are only “brethren” (amongst many others who are scattered) who have returned to Christ, to bear testimony to the grace that has called us back, and bears with the whole, and who will bring every brother, scattered or gathered—“the brethren,”—to glory.

Sealed Unto the Day of Redemption

In earthly courts there is a seal
That proves a record true;
And with this stamp the nation’s power
Is reckoned unto you.
In heaven, too, there is a seal,
A mark of love, so free
That God says, “When I see the blood
I will pass over thee.”
Hast thou this seal upon thy brow?
Then heaven is thine own;
For Jesus’ blood now speaks for thee
Before the Father’s throne.
And all the promises in Him
Are “Yea” and are “Amen;”
Sealed with that love-seal of His blood,
Deep stamped with Calv’ry’s stain.

Sent Ones

“As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).
These words of our adorable Lord are full of encouragement for all His disciples in all ages. They speak, first, of definite authority. Christ, we would say it with all reverence, was “a man under authority.” Time after time He affirmed that the words which He uttered had been given to Him of His Father to speak; and the works which He did had been given to Him of His Father to do. When men found fault either with His words or actions He threw the responsibility, as it were, upon the One who had sent Him. Likewise each one of us is “a man under authority.” And good will it be for us if, when our words or deeds are found fault with, we are able rightly to throw the responsibility on the Master who sent us, and say in truth, “You are not quarreling with me, but with Christ, for I am doing what He would have me do.”
Again, although the Lord Jesus was sent by the Father, He came willingly. He could say, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God.” And the great Apostle to the Gentiles in his turn could say, “The love of Christ constraineth us,” though a deep sense of his responsibility was ever present with Him. “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” God loves a cheerful giver. Our service should be an offering, not a tax.
Our Lord, although sent into the world, was not of it, and never became of it. “Your time is always ready,” He said to His brethren. Yes, they were of the world, and being in their own element, they could move about freely. But His time was not always ready. He had to wait for the set time of Him who sent Him. And so it is with those sent by the Lord Jesus. They also are not of the world. They are not to govern their lives by the world’s spirit and maxims and points of view. They have to obey their marching orders given by their Lord in heaven. But just as Christ enjoyed the peace of the Father in the midst of the world’s unrest and opposition, so He bequeathed His own peace to those who sought to represent Him in the same scene of enmity to God and hostility to His ways.
Lastly, our blessed Lord could say, “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” His meat was to do the will of Him who sent Him. And in this respect, too, the servant is to be as his Lout We are to follow His steps by bearing fruit to God. We have no business in life but to do the will of Him who sent us. The one and only end of our lives is to glorify God.
If the text with which we started grips the life, what abundant moral results will it produce! It will bring about submission. We are not our own masters. We are to obey the commands of the One who sent us. A sent servant goes about his master’s business, not his own. If he uses his master’s time or money for his own ends, he is guilty of embezzlement. How dare we squander time and talents in self-seeking if the Lord of glory has sent us into the world to serve Him?
If Christ has sent us, then His almighty power is at our back while we are acting within His instructions. Wonderful thought! He who sends us will not leave us in the lurch. We go not to battle on our own charges or in our own strength. O, to trust and go forward, even when we feel nothing but weakness! There is almighty power at the back of the word that bids us stretch out the paralyzed hand. If we believe, we shall commit ourselves to action, and thus we shall prove the power of His enabling.
It has been said that Moses was the most disinterested of men. Why? Because he had no other thought than to do the will of Him who had sent him. If we can say, “I am doing my Lord’s will,” what matters it if we are kept in a humble, obscure sphere? We shall not envy the prominent brother. A dewdrop accomplishes the will of God as effectually as a thunderstorm. The little violet glorifies its Maker as much as the tall sunflower. A notable saint of the eighteenth century said that if two angels were sent by God, one to rule a kingdom and the other to sweep a crossing, neither would find fault with his appointed work. The one who swept the crossing would do his business as cheerfully and zealously as the one who ruled the kingdom. Yes, and it will be better for us, in the great day, that we should sweep a crossing, if that be the will of Him who sent us, than rule a kingdom, if that be not His will.
“I would not have the restless will
That hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do
Or secret thing to know.”
It gives peace of mind and deep satisfaction of soul to realize that we are doing the will of Him who sent us. We are prone to dictate to the Almighty what we are to do, and we may have to learn by experience what it is to have a broken will—and perhaps a broken heart—before we are ready to submit to our Lord’s directions as to our services, and to acknowledge that the end of life had been fulfilled if we accomplish His will.
The Lord does not wish the weakest or most obscure of His own to be so much flotsam or jetsam on the ocean of life. For the least of us “nobodies” He has a purpose. Only a few can be like the giant liners that forge their way across the Atlantic; but every one of us can resemble the small but busy craft that help to carry on the world’s commerce. Our text will prevent us from dissipating our energies in busy idleness, or sinking in the apathy of indifference because we have small gifts and no position. Those who have the smallest talents are in most danger of settling down in a state of lethargy, but the words, “The Lord has sent me into the world” sound like a trumpet-blast, wakening us to renewed activity and giving force and driving power to the life. If we are inclined to forget that our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and, looking at our own weakness and apparent lack of success, are ready to cry almost in despair, “Who am I?” may we summon up fresh courage by asking ourselves the vital question, “Who sent me?”

I Am the Resurrection and the Life: John 11:25

Lightly tread, the day is breaking,
Dwell not on your sorrows now;
Soon shall cloudless morn awaking
Chase the sadness from your brow:
He is coming—
Heart and knee to Jesus bow!
Did not Mary lay her sorrow
Low before the Master’s feet?
Sore her wound, and dark her morrow,
‘Reft on earth of love so sweet:
With her burden
Thus she came her Lord to meet.
Ah! she knew not all the glory
Hid beneath that lowly guise;
Knew not that her heart’s sad story
Soon would end in glad surprise:
Burst upon her ravished eyes!
‘Tis the great I AM who standeth
Now beside that rocky tomb;
‘Tis His voice that loud commandeth
Lazarus from the dead to come! Thus His glory
Shines above the deepest gloom.
Precious Saviour! through Thy dying,
Vanquished are the foe’s dark powers;
And, Thy name still magnifying,
Grace brings forth exhaustless stores:
At Thy coming,
Life and incorruption ours.
Eyes to see Thee, ears to hear Thee,
Voices tuned to heavenly lays;
Thus to dwell forever near Thee,
Learning all Thy wondrous ways;
To Thee rendering,
Adoration, worship, praise!

Necessary Food

I earnestly urge you, dear young Christians, to make Bible reading your daily habit. Let it be a fixed principle with you that you need “the words of His mouth” for your soul’s nourishment and health, “more than your necessary food” for your body.
I have seen many a young Christian, and old ones, too, fall for the lack of this. You have found forgiveness, young believer, by faith in the atoning blood of Christ, and you are happy, supremely happy, but forgiveness, blessed as it is, is not food. If you have no food, you will have no strength. You will be hungry, and the hungry will eat anything.
If you do not go on applying yourself to the careful reading of your Bible, increasing in the knowledge of Christ, your famished soul will readily eat of the world’s dainties, and Satan will not be slow to spread them temptingly before you, but if you are nourished by the hidden Manna—if, by searching the Scriptures, your soul is filled with the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will never hunger.
“As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” 1 Peter 2:2.
“The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver” Psalm 119:72.

A Few Practical Words to Young Believers

I want to say a few plain words to those who are young in the way. We are all too prone to settle down quietly with what, through grace, we have received and to forget that there is such a thing as “increasing by the knowledge of God.”
A child is not born to be always a child. Its parents would not be satisfied if it always remained a babe in arms, and would be much disappointed if it did not grow in size, strength and intelligence day by day. Thus it is in the family of God.
The Apostle, in writing to the children of God, says, “I write unto you (little) children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.”
This is the wonderful privilege of even the babes in the family of God. It is a privilege common to all in the family, whatever their growth and stature may be. Thus we are told in Luke 1:77, “To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins,” and it is thus at the threshold of the Father’s house, and the starting point of the heavenly way.
Are you all clear as to this?
Perhaps some are asking, “How may we be sure that our sins are forgiven?”
A very important question, but thanks be to God, the answer is clear and distinct, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give.... forgiveness of sins” Acts 5:31.
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins” Acts 13:38.
These two scriptures point us up to heaven, to the throne where the risen and exalted Saviour sits at God’s right hand. Sent by God, He came forth from the Father to accomplish His will. He descended into the depths of woe and anguish under the judgment of God for His glory when “He bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”
“He died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” In all this He was our Substitute.
“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”
God has raised Him from the dead. “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more.” The whole black past is not only obliterated from the eye of God, but the history of the sinful race is closed forever, and the risen Lord has become the Head of a new race, and the Center of a new circle of blessing on which God’s eye rests with favor and complacency. We are brought into relationship to this new scene by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, and it is God’s will that we should enter in spirit into these divine realities and thus no longer “live unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us and rose again.”
We look up and see the One who bore our sins in full acceptance and glory at God’s right hand. Nothing can touch Him there, nor can He ever change.
“I change, He changes not,
My Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting place,
He lives for me on high.”
“God is satisfied with Jesus,
I am satisfied as well.”
Here there is perfect agreement and perfect rest.

The Love of God

God’s love in Christ is not only an object which gathers; it is an activity which does so. Love is relative; it acts and shows itself. Hence God has acted.
It is not the silent depths of self-consciousness which heathenism made of God as mere intellect, though erroneously supposing matter equally eternal and receiving merely form from God; though it then became active in generating thoughts, and delighted with them objectively, became active in creation to produce them according to truth. In this scheme they justly made primeval darkness the mother of all things. But such is not our God. They know not God in love, save in benefits sensibly known in creation.
Jesus revealed Him, and we thus know Him to be love, and light too. Blessed knowledge! It is, as given to us in the Word, eternal life; and this life is occupied with it, as we have seen, with the Father and the Son. But we can equally say that we know this sweet and blessed truth: “My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” It is the activity of love which is the power of gathering. “He gave Himself.... that He might gather together in one the children of God which were scattered abroad.” Even in Israel, “How often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” Here we have, not only the attractive sanctifying object bringing into fellowship, but the activity of love, which acts, gives itself, in order to gather. In this, we are allowed to have a part. It is this, while sanctifying and maintaining His holiness and making us partakers of it, which reveals God and gathers weary souls.


Nothing, Saviour, we believe it;
Nothing shall we need or crave,
Joyfully our souls receive it;
In Thy presence we shall have
All for which our souls have waited,
Every wish anticipated,
Every longing satiated,
Satisfied for evermore.
Asking nothing; simply reading,
Lord, in Thine all-answering face,
All the myst’ries of Thy leading,
All the marvels of Thy grace.
In thy tender smile discerning,
Love’s great work its fruit returning.
With its deep and patient yearning,
Satisfied for evermore.
Jesus, Lord, our hearts adore Thee,
And by faith behold that day,
When, in all Thy future glory,
To the world Thou wilt display,
How unmingled is the pleasure
Which Thyself and chosen treasure
Know without decrease or measure,
Satisfied for evermore.

Thus Saith the Lord

There are some lessons for us all to learn from the call of God to Ezekiel, the prophet.
In Ezekiel’s days, Israel was in rebellion against Jehovah. They cared not, nay, they often refused, to hear His word—and especially when that word spoke to them of their sins, and of God’s judgment against their sin.
Let us observe, then, the first great element in Ezekiel’s commission. It is this, the proclamation of the authority of God’s word, “I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, ‘thus saith the Lord’” (Chapter 2:4).
Never was there a greater need that God’s servants should go forth in Christendom with this message, “Thus saith the Lord,” than now, for, as in Israel of old, men are rebellious and stiff-hearted; they refuse the authority of the Scriptures, and to listen to God’s word. Then let our testimony begin and end with, “Thus saith the Lord.” Let us use the actual words of Scripture, the “Thus saith the Lord” which never varies, and can never be altered, the everlasting Word of God.
A second great principle was this—he was to make the Word of God which he spoke his own experimental portion. Jehovah said to him, “Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house”—who would not receive the word of God, the “Thus saith the Lord.”—“Open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.”
“And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Vers. 8-10).
Now the testimony of God’s Word against sin is most bitter. The Scriptures speak of “the great white throne,” of the “day of judgment,” of “everlasting punishment,” of “hell fire,” and hence most terrible are its lamentations, and its mourning, and its woe. Be not rebellious, young fellow Christians, like the rebellious in Christendom of this day; “Eat that thou findest,” make it your own, let it be spiritually part of your very self; “Eat this roll,” feed upon the truths of the Bible, “and go, speak unto” your fellow men.
“Then,” said the prophet, “did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”
Yes, the bitter things of God’s Word are sweet in the mouth of the true servant of God. Lies are indeed bitter! O! how bitter in the day of judgment will be the present false testimony of so-called Christian men, who say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace!
“Eat the roll,”—make the Word of God your own spiritual food—and then “go, speak” to whomsoever you may be sent.
These principles apply as much to the Sunday school class, as to the pulpit—as much to the whisper at the bedside, as to the call to the crowded congregation. “Receive” the truth “in thine heart,” (chap. 3:10) and so go forth to testify for the Lord.

The Outlook

The Atheist.
There is no God: who tells me that this span
Of petty pain and pleasure is controlled
By other than the whim-led will of man?
He must be blind, or fool. I cannot hold
Your dreamer’s notion of a guiding hand;
There is no God whom I can understand.
The Agnostic.
I do not know; there may be One above
Who sees the strange enigma of our life,
And wisely holds its key—perhaps in love;
Who overrules our struggle, knows our strife;
But it is all conjecture still, to me;
I will believe, when I can clearly see.
The Christian.
I know whom I believe. The questions rise—
The problems are not few—but I have seen
The vision far transcending all surmise,
A love that plans, a strength on which I lean;
My Master rules, for faith has told me so,
I know Him whom I have believed—I know!

Correspondence: Scarlet-Crimson, Snow-Wool; Psa. 49:8

Question: Can you tell me the difference between “scarlet,” and “red like crimson,” and “white as snow,” and “wool,” in Isaiah 1:18?
Answer: “Crimson” is a deeper dye than “scarlet.” We are informed that it is obtained by a more intense process. So, scarlet in this verse would represent one whose sins were glaringly bad, sins that everyone could see that had eyes, to see. But “crimson” would show how those sins and evil ways had been long enslaving the soul. Yet there is power in the grace of God through the blood of Christ to deliver the one who is most deeply enslaved. “White as snow” expresses how clean the scarlet sinner, who believes on the Lord, is washed. “As wool” tells how every difficulty is overcome. The hopeless, helpless sinner who comes to the Saviour, is not only cleansed, every whit made clean, but is also set free from the slavery of sin and Satan’s power (Luke 8:35).
Question: What does Psalm 49:8, “The redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever,” mean? A. B. S.
Answer: This parenthetical verse is put in where men are seeking after riches and trusting in them. (Read Matt. 16:26; Mark 8:36, 37; Luke 12:20, 21.) How precious the redemption of the soul is compared with the obtaining of the perishing things of earth. “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
“And it ceaseth forever.” When the narrow boundary line of this life is passed, eternity to the soul has begun, and no change can come. The die is cast, the soul is lost or saved, there is no redemption beyond death. “After this the judgment.” How solemn.
“Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation” 2 Corinthians 6:2. Beyond death there is a great gulf fixed between the saved and the unsaved. (Heb. 9:27; Luke 16:26).


Calling on S. today I observed that he did not look so bright as usual, and soon the cause discovered itself. “Do you know,” he said, “I sometimes think I am deceiving myself, and that I am not a child of God at all; for when I was converted, ten years ago, in the time of the revival, I felt such a load of sins taken off me, and then I was so happy, but I have not at all the same feeling now, so perhaps after all I am self-deceived.”
I saw at once that the fault here was self-occupation, looking in instead of “looking off unto Jesus,” and therefore I said, “Well, dear S., I am not surprised at what you say, for it is the natural result of basing your acceptance with God on your experience, and not on what He says in His Word.” I passed at one time through the same experience, and therefore I can feel for you. Shortly after my conversion I used to have at times great sensations of joy, followed by corresponding feelings of depression, and while these latter continued, of course, I was miserable, but what gave me perfect peace was the ceasing to take account of my own feelings altogether, and beginning to rest calmly and quietly upon what God says in His Word about Christ, who was delivered for my offenses, and raised again for my justification; (Rom. 4:25) and I reasoned with myself thus:
“If Christ has indeed been delivered for my offenses, there is no necessity for me to be delivered for them, for God is too just to demand payment over again for a debt already discharged; and if He has been raised again for my justification, no one can ever lay anything to my charge, for His resurrection has set me down righteous in the presence of God. By His death and resurrection my sins were put away, and I am constituted righteous before God. I stand before God righteous as He is righteous. I believe this, and therefore, however much my feelings may change, I never doubt that I have peace with God.”
“Well, Mr.—, I see quite what you mean, and I’m sure its very happy for you, but how I am to know that He died for me?”
“O,” I said, “that is easily discovered. Look at Romans 5:6, where it says, ‘Christ died for the ungodly,’ and verse 8, where He died (it says) for ‘sinners.’ Satan never could persuade me that I was neither a ‘sinner’ nor ‘ungodly,’ and therefore I always have the assurance of God’s Word that He died for me; and putting two and two together, if He died for me, I know that God is satisfied, and therefore not a shadow of a doubt, as to my acceptance, ever crosses my mind. I am enabled to ‘joy in God,’ by whom I have received this wondrous reconciliation.”
“Well, Mr.—, I think I must not doubt any more; I see I must cease to be occupied with myself, and enter more into what God has done for me, and what Christ is to me.”

On Our Way

Dear Young Christians, do our hearts indeed say,
“We are on our way to God?”
Do we believe that with the innumerable throng of the redeemed, we shall soon sing the everlasting anthem of praise to the Lamb? It is astonishing what simplicity of heart there is when we believe that “we are on our way to God.” Whenever the soul really gets hold of this, believing in God, knowing His love, that He has brought us out of Egypt, (picture of the world,) and that we are on our way to Canaan, (picture of heaven,) there is a spring of heart that surmounts everything. A great many things by the way may exercise our hearts and thoughts, but if this is before our hearts, they only come in by the way.
If my mind is fixed on present circumstances and present difficulties, and on God’s helping me in them, there will not be at all the same spring of joy. For then I make God to be simply the servant of my necessities. The heart rests and centers there, and God sinks down into a mere help in time of trouble. It is quite true that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble;” (Psa. 46:1), but to bring Him down to be only this, changes the whole aspect of things. Himself, as our portion, is infallibly ours. If our hearts are fixed on being with Jesus in His rest and glory, on being in the “Father’s house,” our own present difficulties have the character of difficulties by the way; and we can then rise over trouble, however felt.

Scripture Study: John 19

Verses 1-27. The heartlessness of Pilate comes out. He took One he held to be innocent and scourged Him. The Roman scourge plowed furrows on His blessed back by Pilate’s orders, and the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, the mark of a cursed creation (Gen. 3:18), and put it on His head. The purple robe of Jewish royalty was put on Him in mockery, and they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they smote Him with their hands. Pilate brought Him forth, even then, to let them know that he found no fault in Him.
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, and Pilate said unto them, “Behold the Man!” They cried out, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” Pilate said, “Take ye Him, and crucify Him; for I find no fault in Him.” They answered, “We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” This made Pilate still more afraid. Again in the judgment hall he asked Him, “Whence art Thou?” but Jesus made him no answer, for Pilate had already owned Him innocent. Pilate pleads his authority, to put Him to death, or release Him. Jesus answered, “Thou hast no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above;” and so the one that delivered Him unto Pilate had the greater sin. From thenceforth Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend. He that maketh Himself a King speaketh against Caesar.” That touches his personal interests, and he proceeded to deliver Jesus up to be crucified, but Pilate will first taunt and insult the Jews. “Behold your King,” he says, and they cry out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him.” Pilate said, “Shall I Crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he delivered Him up to be crucified, and they took Jesus and led Him away. He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. Pilate wrote a title, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” This title then read many of the Jews. It was written in Hebrew and Greek and Latin. They found fault with it, and wanted it to read, “He said, I am King of the Jews,” but Pilate said, insolently, “What I have written, I have written.”
Thus Jew and Gentile tell out their sin and shame in the rejection and murder of the Son of God. Jesus alone bears witness to the truth, and goes on to accomplish the work of atonement on the cross for sin, that both Jew or Gentile, standing guilty before God, might yet find eternal salvation through His name, and look upon that blessed Lamb of God as having been made a sacrifice for their sins. The soldiers also fulfilled Scripture, dividing His garments among them, and casting lots on His vesture. (Psa. 22).
Hanging upon the cross, we see Him in real affection, recognizing His mother and John, and committing her to his care, so that henceforth John took Mary to his own home. She would think of what was said to her long ago by old Simeon (Luke 2:35), “Yea a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also,” and surely it would when she saw Him on the cross.
Verses 28-30. There was but one thing more now. The Scripture is fulfilled, and He says, “I thirst.” Some one puts a sponge filled with vinegar to His mouth. He received it, then He said those wonderful memorable words, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit to His Father; it was a divine act. He laid down His life, that He might take it again in obedience to his Father’s will, and yet of His own accord.
Verses 31-37. Though they cared nothing for righteousness, mercy or the love of God, yet the Jews were full of zeal for their ordinances, and wanted the bodies removed before the Sabbath began—that is, by sundown. To them, that Sabbath day was an high day—an empty form, or a mockery to God, for they had put His Son to death, and now His body was to lie in the sepulcher during that day. Pilate granted their request. Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the two thieves, sending one after the Lord into paradise, and the other to where there is no hope; but when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they broke not His legs, but one of the soldiers, with a spear, pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. “He that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” Again Scripture is fulfilled, “A bone of Him shall not be broken;” and again, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
It is from a dead Saviour that the tokens of an eternal and perfect salvation flow forth—the blood and the water. The one tells of expiation or atonement for sins; the other of cleansing for the sinner. John saw it, and bears witness that we might believe. He saw much more, but these are what the Holy Spirit used him to record. The other evangelists give the rest. The words are what were given him by the Holy Spirit.
Verses 38-42. It is written in Isaiah 53:9, “And (men) appointed His grave with the wicked, but He was with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was there guile in His mouth.” God took care of the body of His Son; it was not allowed to see corruption, and the right instruments came forward to take charge of it, with hearts and thoughts that did not consent to the deeds of the Jews in condemning the Lord to death.
Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, both disciples, but secretly for fear of the Jews, came forward boldly and besought Pilate for the body of Jesus, and took charge of it, winding it in spices and fine linen, as the manner of the Jews is to bury, and laid it with reverent hands in the new tomb wherein no man was ever laid. It was near to the place where He had been crucified. It was all that could be done at the time, and it surely was a strong protest from these two secret disciples against the act of their fellow counselors and the priests.

He Cares

Say not, my soul, “from whence
Can God relieve Thy care?”
Remember that Omnipotence
Has servants everywhere.
God’s help is always sure,
His methods seldom guessed;
Delay will make our pleasure pure,
Surprise will give it zest.
His wisdom is sublime,
His heart profoundly kind,
God never is before His time,
And never is behind.

Following Christ

People who are following Christ never make a fuss, or much show about it. It is quiet, steady, blessed work. Like the hour-hand of a clock, it does its work slowly but surely; while the minute-hand gets over twelve times as much ground in the day, it accomplishes only as much in the end of the day as the other.


Many years ago there was a very remarkable preacher, that drew thousands and thousands to hear him. He was a true man of God. We may say he was the most remarkable preacher on earth, and he drew the greatest multitudes after him, far greater than any other man. The whole country came to hear him. It would, if such a thing occurred now, be considered a great revival. To all appearances great numbers repented. Indeed, it seemed to be a great work.
But, so far as we know, there was no real lasting effect from these most popular preaching’s. Not one really followed Christ.
Soon after this, we are told, and it is true such changes do occur, this very same preacher, though in the open air, had a congregation of two. He preached on this occasion a very different sermon; all he said was contained in five words. The effect was marvelous. Both became decided for Christ there and then. They both became most useful servants of Christ; devoted followers of Christ. A work began that day, the like of which had never been seen before on earth, and which has continued until this day; though, we should say, that after three or four years, it became deeper, and even far more blessed.
Do you ask the name of this preacher sent of God? His name was John the Baptist. You may have read the account many times, and like myself, have never noticed the different effect produced, until a brother at a distance called my attention to the contrast. You may read a minute account of the great revival preaching in Matthew 3; and no doubt God used this in preparing the way. And often, the preacher can see no immediate fruit that satisfies his longing heart, he may not see one soul manifestly brought to Christ; and yet the ground may be preparing for the seed. Is it not remarkable how many may be baptized, and not one be brought to follow Christ? How many now may be baptized, and yet be lost forever?
Let us, however, turn to the short sermon to two, and mark its effects. (John 1:35 to end of chapter.) “Again the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” What a living text! The preacher’s eyes were on Jesus, “looking upon Jesus,” not looking upon the crowd. What he looked at was his text; his subject was the living Person of Jesus, and Jesus as the Lamb of God! And he said, Behold Him, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Yes, God’s Lamb; hitherto man had brought his lamb.
Five words. Without this, tons of volumes of theology are worthless. What words to Jewish ears who had seen in the law, that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Here was the Son of God; and He was the Lamb of God. Behold Him. The two heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. How simple, yet this is the power of God.
Has any message come to your heart yet, and turned you from everything else to follow Jesus? You may have gone to confession, and you may have been baptized, and you may have done many things else, but has this blessed Person, the Lamb of God, attracted your heart to follow Him?
Jesus saw them, and He sees you at this moment. “And Jesus said unto them,” and He says unto you, “What Seek Ye?” Do you hear Him? You profess to be a Christian. What seek ye? What is your object? They said, “Master, where dwellest thou?” Has the Spirit put such a desire in your heart? Do you really want to know where Jesus dwells, where He abides? He says, “Where two or three are gathered together unto My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Do you say, Where is it, Lord? Where is that place? “He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” Will you come and see? Will you abide with Him? We are near the end; soon He will appear. Now, if Jesus is nothing to you, you will say, No, I will stay where I am. I see no good in giving everything up to follow Jesus. O, what is Jesus to you? Is He everything, or is He nothing?
“Come and see;” and if you see where He dwells, abide with Him. You must be with Jesus, or with Satan the god of this world. First abide with Him, and then become a preacher. So did one of them which heard John the preacher, whose name was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He becomes a preacher to the first person he meets. He did not wait until he could get a room, or begin to preach in a room, a chapel, or a hall. “He first findeth his own brother Simon.” O, if every true follower of Jesus, the Lamb of God, would just go out and seek a brother Simon? Now mark the preaching of Andrew. He says, “We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” This was true, but we should say much more. “We have found the Saviour?” Nay, He hath found us. Ah, this kind of preaching would have far more effect than all the learned eloquence in the world.
You walk out in the street, or elsewhere. Who is this? Here comes Simon. For years he has been seeking salvation by law keeping, by sacraments, by works, by his church, as he calls it. But he is saying to himself, I am as far off as ever. No rest, no real peace. I cannot say I am saved. I cannot look death and judgment in the face; and there are so many opinions, I am bewildered; and I have so many sins; I try to forget them but it will not do. O, that I could find out the right thing.
Now speak to him; tell him. Just take him by the hand, and try Andrew’s sermon. Say, if you can, “I have found the Saviour,” the only Saviour; I have found Him; I found all you need in Jesus, the Lamb of God. And just do as Andrew did. “He brought him to Jesus.” Mind you do this. Do not bring him to what men call the church, or to any sect or party on earth. “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona.” Yes, it was the very future Apostle Peter brought to Jesus by this little sermon preaching of Andrew.
And mark, this was the way of Jesus. “The day following, Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow Me.” It is quite true, the Holy Spirit can and did, and at times still does, work after the Pentecostal way. Thousands heard, and thousands were truly converted, and gathered to the Lord. But John wrote his Gospel long after those Pentecostal times; and does he not give by inspiration, that which continues to the end? And this is most encouraging for us in these days, when popular preaching may be popular infidelity, or gross superstition.
Philip was immediately imbued with the same spirit: “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Now Nathanael seems to have been a religious Jew. He had been deeply exercised in soul beneath the fig tree, no doubt in self-judgment, and thus without guile, as an Israelite. This religious man was shocked at the thought of any real good coming out of despised Nazareth. O, think of Jerusalem, the established, with its priests and its temple. Is it not exactly so now? The place where Jesus is in the midst is ever despised. Can there be any good there? “Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” Yes, tell the religious man, Nathanael, you have found all he needs (and seeks in vain to find) in Jesus of Nazareth; and say to him, “Come and see.” And whom did he find the despised Nazarene to be? He says, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God.”
The Lord give us more of this kind of preaching, telling to others what a Saviour we have found; bringing souls to the blessed Person of Jesus, Lamb of God. And how ready He is to receive them. O, beloved reader, have you come to Jesus? Do you abide with Him? Do you follow Him? Then surely you can tell your brother Simon.

Small and Great

Think with comfort on Revelation 11:18 and 19:5.
Having a legal tendency to measure myself with others, I have enjoyed and been strengthened by the thoughts that have arisen in my soul from such verses.
Be willing to be among the “small.” Heaven has fitted itself for the accepting of “small and great” together. Do not be uneasy if you judge yourself little in either fruitfulness or devotedness or grace in comparison with others. Be willing to enter heaven as a “small” one. The glory has made its reckoning accordingly. The “millions of the saints” are there, as well as apostles, prophets, martyrs. All the congregation, the small ones of Dan, as well as the princes of Judah, were alike in the shout of triumph when the glory appeared (Lev. 9). Clement and others were not Paul in the measure of their labors, in the love of Christ, and energy of the Spirit; but they were Paul as having their names alike written in the Book of Life. (Phil. 4:3).
It is indeed a happy thought that the system of the glory has counted upon the small as well as the great, as John 14:2 intimates that the Father constructed His house on the very plan of receiving the saints as well as Christ it was part of the original design. It was built as a many-mansioned house; because all that trust in Jesus were to be there just as surely as Jesus Himself.
O, the solid and deep consolation of faith in these great and precious mysteries!

Thou Art the Christ, the Son of the Living God: Matthew 16:26

Thou art the Christ, Lord Jesus,
Son of the Living God;
Worthy art Thou, most worthy
To be by all adored.
Creator, Thou, of all things
In heaven and on earth,
All worlds are Thine, Lord Jesus,
All owe to Thee their birth.
Humbled, rejected Saviour,
Nailed to the cursed tree,
Bearing for guilty sinners,
Shame and indignity.
O! who can tell Thy sorrows,
Or who conceive Thy pain,
When Thou by God forsaken,
Wast crucified and slain?
Firstborn of every creature,
Seated in glory now;
Head of the new creation,
Before Thy feet we bow.
Thou art the Christ, Lord Jesus,
Son of the living God;
We worship, we adore Thee—
The purchase of Thy blood.

Grieving the Holy Ghost

The exhortation, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption,” is addressed to believers; as was the declaration, “Ye did always resist the Holy Ghost,” uttered to rejecters of Christ. We cannot say that the unconverted grieve the Holy Ghost, since to grieve a person implies the existence of affection in the heart of him grieved, towards the one occasioning the sorrow. A stranger may set us at defiance and resist us, but were a near friend to do this, he would grieve us as well.
The words, grieve not, also show to us distinctly the personality of the Holy Spirit.
If He were merely an influence, He could not be said to be capable of feeling. We may resist the influence of the sun, but we cannot grieve an influence. We do well to consider that the Holy Spirit is a person, even as the Father and the Son are persons. The person of the Son was seen when upon the earth; and the Lord tells us, if the world would not receive Him whom it saw and heard, that it could not receive the Holy Spirit, “because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him.” (John 19:17).
As Jesus when here dwelt with His disciples, so does the Holy Spirit now dwell with God’s people. But with this difference, the Lord remained not always with His disciples. He has returned to heaven, but the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of believers. The Lord Himself explains this saying, “He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” and “He shall abide with you forever.”
The Holy Spirit does not leave His people. “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” is as true of God the Holy Spirit, as of God the Father, and God the Son. “He shall abide with you forever,” Jesus said. Believers by unholiness grieve the Holy Spirit, who dwells in them. The Indweller sees every working within the innermost chamber of their hearts, and no secret can be hidden from Him who searches us through and through. And when we speak of sins, we mean more than gross, outward sins, we mean heart sins, thought sins, which neither eye nor ear of man knows.
The Holy Spirit brings the Word home to our hearts, He enlightens our minds and explains its truth to us, and thus we are not ignorant of God’s thoughts. But if, wishing to escape the cross, which the practical living out of that Word entails, or, if ignoring the plain meaning of Scripture because we are wise in our own conceits, we neglect the truth, then again we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.
Yet how gracious are the words, for the Spirit, whom we are enjoined not to grieve, is He who has sealed us to the great day of resurrection glory, when in body and in soul perfect, we shall sin no more and grieve the Spirit no more.
Thus the exhortation carries with it claims upon the affections of God’s people in a remarkable way.
The love of the Holy Spirit to the children of God is unmeasured, and the exhortation is, grieve Him not, because He has set you apart for the eternal glory, it would be opposed to the teaching of the epistles to say, grieve Him not lest He should depart from you. It is a word appealing to the grace of God within the heart, and not to a legal mind.

My Spirit Is Faint and Weary

My spirit is faint and weary,
I sigh for the land I love;
I pant for that blessed country,
Where all is peace and love.
I long for the glorious brightness,
Those heavenly courts to see;
To gaze on the King in His beauty,
On my Lord who died for me
But here in the wilderness weary,
Will I go where He points the way;
And the darker the desert journey,
The brighter will seem that day.
When I gaze on my Lord, my Saviour,
And His own loved face I’ll see;
I’ll praise, and worship Him ever,
For His boundless grace to me!
And then through the countless ages,
Of those never-ending years;
In that land of joy and glory,
Neither sin, nor clouds, nor tears;
Yea, there will I sing the praises
Of Jesus who so loved me;
Who bled, who died, who rose again,
That I ever might with Him be.
Come, Lord, I’m faint and weary,
With the burden and heat of the day;
With the conflict with sin and Satan,
And the darkness of the way.
Come, Lord, I am watching, waiting,
Tarry not, O Lord, but come,
And take thine own longing pilgrim
On high to Thy Father’s home.

Recollection of Address on Luke 7:36-50

It is evident, beloved brethren, and it has been specially before us this morning, that our purpose in coming here is to remember the Lord, and that not so much in what He does or has done for us, though many and great are His varied services to our souls, but Himself—“This do in remembrance of Me.”
We cannot cross the threshold of this room without thinking of His services towards us. “We are saved by His life;” “Because I live, ye shall live also.” We little apprehend the depth of His present interest in us. The maturity of Christianity is not shown by our being able to do without Him, but as we go on we are more consciously dependent on Him. We have not a stock we can draw from, but our resources are all in Him.
Our histories have been closed by the cross, and this scene has been closed by the cross for us. We learn it here that the scene is closed. The more we know our own ruin, the more we enter into what Christ is. The love, the blessedness, and the grace of the Lord Jesus have found a sphere of operation in the wants, the misery, and the wretchedness of men.
“If such the sweetness of the stream,
What must the Fountain be?”
In this chapter we have the display of His divine power. He heals the centurion’s servant, and then He passes on to the coffin which carried the heart of the poor widow and all that she had. In the 21st verse we have the effects of Satan’s power. Sickness, and death and Satan’s power give way to Him. When He appears at the end, His enemies will be destroyed by His brightness. As in the days of old, His enemies will be scattered, and those that hate Him will flee before Him.
Some have not apprehended what man really is, and let me say that short views of sin and short views of Christ go together. And the contrary is true, a defective view of Christ will make a man deficient in his views about sin. This Pharisee says, “This man, if He were a prophet,”—he doubts even if He were a prophet, much less the Son of God.
The woman did not know much, she did not know her sins were forgiven. She may or may not have been cognizant of what had passed before, as recorded in the former part of the gospel. But she knew love, and she appreciated the Lord. And see how He appreciates her. Her tears, her love, her silence, are all noted by Him. And it is not necessary that we should be always talking to the Lord. He that made the heart knows it. He takes us in. There is not a groan nor a sigh that He cannot interpret. And, beloved, we may come to this some day, that the Lord will be the only Person that will appreciate us.
The love of this woman was not the cause, but the effect of her being forgiven. When there are needs in the soul, Christ comes in to fill them. Why is not the heart entrusted to Him without any reserve?

The Christian's Heart

Your heart, dear young Christian, is by nature a garden full of thorns and thistles, and all the culture of all the gardeners of divinity could not make it bring forth the smallest fruit for God. But the good seed, the incorruptible seed, the Word of God, which came from heaven, was sown in the garden, and by the Spirit’s gracious power, it took root and sent up its tender shoots.
Ah! but you say, alas! my garden grows so many thorns and thistles still, that I question whether the good seed be there at all.
Beloved friend, you cannot now root up the weeds, for the nature of the soil is to bring them forth, but you can keep them down by the sickle—“Reckon yourself dead,” and as you keep them down, so will the good seed—which shall hereafter fill every portion of your garden—flourish and be fruitful.

Be Ye Separate

Morally, Christ was as separate from sinners while on earth, as He is now. But, outwardly, He was in their midst; and, as the witness and expression of grace, He was spiritually in their midst also. Since His resurrection, He is completely separate from sinners. The world seeth Him not, and will see Him no more save in judgment. It is in this last position, and as having put on this character of entire separation from the world, that the church, that Christians, are in connection with Him. Such a High Priest became (befitted) us (Heb. 7:26). The church retains her strength, Christians retain their strength, so far only as they abide in this state of complete separation. The world does not understand it, and cannot participate in it. Human joy and sociability have no part in. it. Divine joy and the power of the Holy Spirit accompany it. The life of our adorable Saviour was one of gravity and straitness—not in Himself, but—because of evil that pressed upon Him on every side.

The Journey's End

I have often been surprised at seeing the patience with which my fellow travelers on a long and tedious journey have put up with many annoyances and inconveniences. I suppose it is because it is but a journey, and the mind occupied with arriving at the journey’s end think but little of the troubles by the way. This reminded me of David in 1 Samuel 25, whose mind set by Abigail on the journey’s end, 29-31, was able to overlook the insults by the way, as one has so well said:
“The heart must be on the end of the journey, not on the incidents by the way, to know how to be abased and how to abound.” Would that the journey’s end were more to us, and then the ups and downs would not upset us as they do.

Correspondence: Christ's Risen Body

Question: Do we gather from Scripture that the Lord rose from the grave with His body unchanged? Do we not gather from the Word that He went into the grave with a natural body, and rose with a spiritual body?
Answer: It is well for us to remember what the Lord said of Himself, “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father,” (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22) and not try to define what cannot be defined.
We believe the wonderful mystery of the Lord of life and glory gone into death. We know He walked a true man here on earth, and that He is now the risen glorified Man to whom we are united by the Spirit. We know His body saw no corruption. (Psa. 16; Acts 2). We know He was the seed of the woman, that holy thing which shall be born of thee (the woman) shall be called the Son of God. And that was miraculous. It brought a clean thing out of the unclean. “In Him was no sin.” No mortality in Him. When “He tasted death” it was by “the grace of God,” for death had no claim on Him. He could say (John 10:17, 18), “I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.” (See also John 2:19-21.)
We must avoid scrutinizing His person.
Let us bow before Him and worship Him as one.
“Fairer than all the earthborn race,
Perfect in comliness Thou art;
Replenished are Thy lips with grace,
And full of love Thy tender heart.
God ever blest! We bow the knee,
And own all fullness dwells in Thee.”
“Our precious Saviour was Man, as truly as I am, as regards the simple, abstract idea of humanity, but without sin, miraculously born by divine power, and more than this, He was “God manifest in the flesh.” Now, having said so much, I entreat you with all my heart, not to try to define, and to discuss the Person of our precious Saviour. You will lose the savor of Christ in your thoughts, and you will get in its place only the barrenness of the human mind in the things of Christ, and in the affections, which belong to them. It is a labyrinth for man, because he works from his own resources. It is as if one were to dissect the body of one’s friend, instead of delighting in his affections and his character. In the church it is one of the worst signs I have met with. It is very sad to get into this way—very sad that this should be shown in such a light before the church of God, and before the world. I would add that so deep is my conviction of man’s incapacity in this matter, and that it is outside the teaching of the Spirit to wish to define the manner of the union of divinity and humanity in Jesus, that I am quite ready to suppose that even while desiring to avoid it, I may have fallen into it, and thus may have spoken in a mistaken way in something which I have said to you. That He was truly Man, Son of Man, dependent on God as such, and without sin in that condition of dependence—truly God in all His ineffable perfection—this I hold, I trust, dearer than life. To define everything is what I do not presume to do. ‘No man knoweth the Son, but the Father.’ If I find anything which weakens one or other of these truths, or which dishonors Him who is their subject, I will oppose it with, all my might, as God may call me to do so. May God grant you to believe all which the Word teaches with regard to Him, Jesus. It is our food and sustenance to understand all which the Spirit has given us to understand, and not to seek to define that which God does not call upon us to define, but to adore on the one hand, and to feed upon the other, and to live in every way according to the grace of the Holy Spirit.”
J. N. D
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