Young Christian: Volume 15, 1925

Table of Contents

1. A Child of God!
2. A Striking Contrast
3. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 2
4. God Gives Eternal Life
5. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 1
6. The Lord's Table
7. She Loved Much
8. A Few Words on Prayer
9. Correspondence: Lack of Freedom; The Church on Earth; John 3:29
10. In a Month's Time
11. O Wondrous Love!
12. A Conversion
13. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 3
14. Lord Jesus Come
15. The Hebrew Servant
16. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 2
17. Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus
18. Rest
19. Fragment: The Cross of Christ
20. Ever the Same
21. Correspondence: Israel as Vine/Fig Tree; Rom. 8:16; Christ not Man
22. Heavenly Goods
23. Heavenly Goods
24. The Father's Matchless Love Revealed
25. Behold the Fowls of the Air: And Be Ye Thankful
26. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 4
27. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 2, Part 2
28. The Lord's Roll-Call
29. What Is the World, That We Are Not to Love, or Its Things?
30. When a Careless World Is Sleeping
31. Fragment: Waiting, Watching, Working
32. Correspondence: Filled with the Spirit; John 15:6
33. Faith in God's Word
34. When First I Heard of Jesus' Name
35. God My Saviour
36. Open Thy Mouth Wide, and I Will Fill It
37. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 5
38. A Separated People
39. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 1
40. New Birth
41. Take My Yoke Upon You and Learn of Me
42. Counsel for Young Christians
43. Christ as the Morning Star
44. Correspondence: MAT 18:20; Unleavened; DAN 12:4; HAG 2:11-14; EXO 16:31; JOH 6:53
45. Let Us Alone
46. Believe - Are - All
47. Once and Now
48. The Lord Jesus: Or the Sage
49. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 6
50. Watching Daily: Proverbs 8:34
51. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 2
52. The Sealing of the Spirit
53. Extract From a Letter
54. Not Down, but Through
55. Fragment: Speaking of Christ
56. He Satisfieth the Longing Soul
57. Fragment: Christ's Blessing
58. Correspondence: Rom. 8:16; Isa. 53:8; 1 Cor. 7:20; Beg. of Christ's Ministry?
59. The Grace of God Shown to a Miner in Alaska
60. Surely, I Come Quickly
61. Those That Seek Me Early Shall Find Me
62. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 7
63. Sealing
64. Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 3
65. Come Unto Me: Matthew 11:28-30
66. Fragment: Two Blessings
67. The Lord of Glory
68. Fragment: Useless to Christ
69. Correspondence: 1 John 2:28; Commandments; Heb. 13:8; Israel Type of?
70. What God Did for Me
71. He Saved a Poor Sinner Like Me
72. Abiding in Him
73. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 8
74. Go Out Quickly
75. Answers to Inquiries
76. It Is Himself Who Is Coming
77. Christ Is Our All
78. The Hours of the Lord Jesus
79. You Belong to Christ
80. Correspondence: Mark 16:15; Call Jesus King; Acts 1:11; Job 33:14-30
81. None but Christ Can Satisfy
82. Old Betty
83. Fragment: What to Believe?
84. It Is Finished
85. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 9
86. Fragment: How to Get Peace
87. God Promising to Answer Prayer
88. Blessed Be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ
89. Moral Nearness to God
90. Unveiled Mysteries
91. Correspondence: Matt. 6:14-15, 18:34-35; Gospels, Israel/the Church Brides?
92. Peace at Last
93. The Ever-Blessed Son of God
94. The Love of God
95. The Sun Was Setting
96. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 10
97. Thou Art Coming, Mighty Savior
98. My Lord
99. Doing God Service
100. A Workman's Motto
101. Humility
102. Correspondence: Acts 20:28; Heb. 12:14; Sure I'm Saved?
103. Just As I Am
104. What a Helpless Swede Did
105. Christ Is All
106. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 11
107. Selected
108. The Bible: Its Sufficiency and Supremacy, Part 1
109. At His Feet
110. Bethany
111. Here and There
112. Service
113. Hardness
114. Correspondence: Satan Cast Out; His Stripes; Rom. 8:14; Acts 20:16
115. A Dream
116. Lord, What Wilt Thou Have Me to Do?
117. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 12
118. Paul, the Pilgrim: Philippians 3
119. The Bible - Its Sufficiency and Supremacy: Part 2
120. Communion
121. Come as You Are!
122. The Boundary Line
123. His Faithfulness
124. Peace With God
125. The True Neighbor
126. Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 13
127. We See Jesus
128. Lest Ye Be Weary
129. Fragment: Training Children in the Scriptures
130. True Humility
131. The Warning
132. Brief Thoughts on Malachi
133. Fragment: He Must Be "the Son of the Living God"
134. Correspondence: Women Prophesying; 1 Peter 4:18

A Child of God!

Business led me frequently, during a number of years, into a store in the chief thoroughfare of the city. The object of my calls was to see the head of the establishment, and passing through the store, I always went direct to his office beyond. Generally, there were people about, and frequently some of the managers or workmen, so that I paid little attention to a young woman, who was always at one counter, where small wares were being retailed.
That she had been there for twelve or fifteen years I knew, and I had been accustomed to pass her hundreds of times without a word. I did not even know her name, and she appeared most uninteresting to me. I might have continued long enough passing her thus, but one day, as I walked along the street, a strange, new thought came to my mind: my conscience seemed to say, “You have never spoken to that young woman about her soul. You might have done so, for you have had many opportunities; God may hold you responsible for them, and her blood may be on your head.”
Instantly excuses arose; perhaps she was all right, or if not, perhaps she would only resent my interference, as others had done; and after all, she seemed such an uninteresting, unattractive individual, and was always so busily engaged, besides it was difficult to introduce religion into business and stores. Still I could not get rid of the thought that I ought to speak to her on the subject of her soul’s salvation.
On the following day I made a determined effort. Stepping into the store, I went straight to her, and made a few inquiries, so as to open a conversation. She told me that she was the only person in the establishment at the moment.
“Now is your opportunity,” something seemed to say. I put a few questions to her about her friends, and soon found her very ready to tell me a sad tale of sorrow upon sorrow, which made me feel ashamed of myself, to think that, while that poor thing had been toiling on with a breaking heart, I had never even said a kind word to her, or expressed a tender feeling of sympathy!
I encouraged her to tell me her troubles, and sympathized with her, for in one instance I had passed through the same grief, and could therefore speak of it feelingly.
When she had pretty well told me all that she cared to relate—for I know now that there were deep, keen sorrows she did not tell—I asked her if these things had made her feel that God was hard and unkind to her?
“No,” she said, “I believe that trouble and sorrow are sent for our good.”
“I am glad you say so,” I replied, “for sometimes the heart gets hardened against God through these things, although I believe God would make affliction a means of drawing us to Himself. Many have had to say, ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy Word.’” Psalm 119:67.
She assented to this, and I felt emboldened to ask, “Has your sorrow brought you to God?”
This question seemed to puzzle her a little, not knowing what I meant by being brought to God, and she answered she hoped it had made her serious and thoughtful.
“I have no doubt it has had that effect,” I said; “but what I mean is, have you been led to seek the salvation of your soul through it?”
“I cannot say that I am saved,” she replied, “but I have been seeking salvation, and thinking very earnestly about it for some time.”
“Indeed,” I said, “I am very glad to hear you say so, for I believe the Savior’s Word, that they who seek shall find, and I know you will be no exception. I suppose you believe, as I do, that except we are born again, we cannot enter heaven?”
“Yes,” she answered, “I know that; and the fact that I am not born again, often causes me great anxiety.”
“Did your mother die in the Lord?” I inquired; the question suddenly suggesting itself.
“O, yes,” she replied, “and I gave her promises which I have tried to fulfill.”
“And,” I interposed, “one of them was to meet her in heaven, I dare say, and, before you can do that, she knew, and you, know, as well as I do, that you must be born again.”
She admitted the truth of this, and I said, “Well, Miss I—, I was once just in the same position as you are today. I had beloved friends in heaven, and I wanted to be sure that I would meet them, while the thought of spending eternity shut out from them, and shut in with the vilest of men and devils, was to me most revolting. I would have given anything to be saved, but what to do I knew not.”
“O,” she said with a sigh, “that is just how I feel,” and, she added, “on Sunday last, I heard a sermon upon the words, ‘The time is short,’ and it just cut me up, and made me feel that it was perhaps too late already.”
As she uttered these words, she gazed wistfully away into the street, through eyes suffused with tears. That face with its sad expression, those eyes with their big tears, and the last words, “perhaps it is too late,” were just as earnest a cry from the bitterness of as deeply a troubled heart as that of the Philippian jailor, “What must I do to be saved?”
“Miss I—,” I said, “listen to me for one moment. God has so loved us as to give His well-beloved Son to be our Savior; you know that don’t you?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“And the Son of God has loved you, and me, and given Himself for us,” I continued, “dying on the cross that we might have life eternal; you know that? Yes! Well then, all the work is done that was required that our sins might be purged away, and God beseeches us to be reconciled to Him, and to come to His bosom, because Christ has fully paid our debt, and has become Himself the way unto the Father. Now I have myself accepted God’s salvation; I have received Christ and eternal life through Him; and you know that as many as receive Him become children of God?”
“Yes,” she replied, “He says so.”
“Then I come to you today, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and beseech you to be reconciled to a loving God and Father. Now suppose for a moment that not I, but the blessed Lord Jesus Himself stood beside you, and asked you, ‘Will you receive Me as your Savior and Lord, will you let Me cleanse away your sins, and make your heart My dwelling-place?’ If He who loved you, and died for you, came and thus pleaded with you, saying, ‘Do you now receive Me as your own dear loving Savior?’ what would be your answer to Him?”
“I do,” she answered, closing her tearful eyes.
I said, “I know you mean it.”
“O, yes! with all my heart, I take Jesus to be my Savior; I have often wished I could do it; I do so now.”
“Then,” I said, “my dear Miss I—, what do I become when I receive Jesus?”
“A child of God,” she answered.
“And who thus become children of God?” I asked.
“As many as receive Him,” she replied.
“Then,” I said, “suppose someone were to come into this store, and ask you, ‘Have you received Christ?’ what would you answer?”
“I should say, Yes; I have received Christ,” she replied earnestly.
“And if another were to come in and say, ‘Miss I—, are you a child of God?’ what would you say?”
Her face beamed through her tears, with a ray of heaven’s own light, as she exclaimed, “Yes! yes! O, yes! He says it. I, too, am a child of God.”
“And you won’t be ashamed to confess Him now, will you?” I asked.
“O, no!” she replied, “I am so happy to think that I have Him as my own Savior, that I shall be only too glad to tell it.”
After a little more conversation, we parted, with a mutual “God bless you.” I said to myself as I passed down the street, “It is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in mine eyes!”
And now that once sad heart rejoices in Christ and His salvation.
“Jesus Christ: whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet. 1:8).

A Striking Contrast

Have you ever noticed the striking contrast between verses 19 and 22 in Luke 12, so instructive in the everyday life of a child of God?
“Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry,” arising from much goods laid up for many years, etc.
“Take no thought,” nor be of doubtful mind, arising from the assurance of what your Father knoweth, and is!
Two grand motives should act on us as Christians; one, that our Father in heaven takes thought of us; and the other, that our precious Lord is coming from heaven to take us thither. Thus our faith has another horizon than sight and sense, one peculiarity its own; and our heart’s treasure the Morning Star of another day, and cherish the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of the Lord, whose day it is. Till then, three things are at work in the inner man: the power of the Spirit; whereby we are strengthened with might—loyalty and devotedness in the true confession of Christ Jesus the Lord—and the Father’s love maintained in our hearts by the Spirit of adoption, the true spring of all loving obedience. Whilst in the world as it is, but of which we form no real part, the only proper use we can now make of it is, to shine as lights therein; and if there be a secondary one, to make it the place of trial of our faith that it may be found “unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 2

Verses 1-5. Paul’s manner in coming amongst this worldly-wise people to declare God’s testimony unto them, was marked by dependence upon God. He avoided using excellency of speech, or of wisdom, and told out the gospel in simple language. It was the story of One who came from God; One whom the world had crucified as a common criminal; and who was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the learned Greeks foolishness. To those who believed the story, it was the power of God unto salvation. He discerned that the only right way was not to know anything among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. As one truly dependent upon God he was with, them in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling, receiving from God the wisdom and strength he needed, that his speech and his preaching should not be in persuasive words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
The character of the world is plainly seen—a world that could heap upon the head of the Son of God such reproach, shame, ignominy, and death. It tells out man’s enmity to God, and sinful opposition to all that is good, in their treatment of that blessed One. What has man’s pride to boast of before God?
Verses 6-8. But there was another kind of wisdom that the apostle could speak of to those who had the opened ear, the understanding heart—these had believed to the salvation of their souls, and more than! that—saw Christ, the man, risen from the dead, and their place in Him: these are the “perfect” or “full-grown” ones.
It was not the wisdom of this world, nor of its rulers, who in the end come to naught, that he spoke of to them. It was the wisdom of God in a mystery—that hidden wisdom which God had ordained before the world, unto our glory—the secret counsel of God now made known by the Spirit. Had the rulers of this world known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
Verse 9. But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” And that is all the length that even a prophet, before the death of Christ, could see; but now that the Holy Spirit has come, and abides in God’s people, we have it said, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” This is not speaking of the great things of future glory, but of what is our portion in Christ now, in contra-distinction to those who lived before Christ died and rose again. Nor does it notice here the failure of some to take in the full truth of their standing in Christ.
Verse 10. “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Verse 11. “The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
Verse 12. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
Then in verse 13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; communicating spiritual things by spiritual means.” This is the real sense of this last part. “The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But the spiritual man discerneth all things, yet he is discerned of no man. The power of the Spirit in the new life enables him to discern what is true and righteous, and gives him new motives and behavior beyond the understanding of one who is not spiritual.
Verse 16. This quotation from Isaiah 40:13, found also in Romans 11:34, but quoted there with a different object, is here used in contrast with Christianity. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” The apostle answers. “But we have the mind of Christ,” that is, we have the capacity to take in what the Spirit teaches, and so have the thoughts of Christ which the Spirit communicated.
No cleverness of the natural mind can ever grasp the things of God. How blessed the portion of the believer. He has the Spirit dwelling in him. He receives the truth of God. He has the mind of Christ.

God Gives Eternal Life

One Sunday evening a young girl of seventeen went to a gospel preaching in the town of B—. She had often heard a message from God in that same hall before, but never till that evening had she felt how easy it was to be saved—how she only had to trust Jesus and believe what the Bible says. John 10:28 was the verse that brought Emma peace that night: “I give unto them (My sheep) eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.”
“Dear Emma,” said a Christian friend to her, as they walked home together after the meeting, “God says, ‘I give.’ What will you answer? Can you, dare you say, ‘No; I won’t take it?’ or will you just answer in faith, and say, ‘I will take it’?”
For a few moments the two friends walked on in silence in the still night under the thick trees which surrounded the gospel hall. Then Emma said, “I will take it, and I do believe it is mine through Christ Jesus.”
O, how simple! She believed, and is saved, for time and eternity. She can rejoice in the knowledge, that she is going to spend eternity with the. clear Savior who has given her this great gift, and praise Him as she cannot now.
Dear young friend, do you know Emma’s Savior as your own? Can you say truthfully, “I have taken the gift of God?” If not, will you believe now, and you will be as safe and happy as Emma was, knowing that your sins are all forgiven—washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 1

There are a few thoughts at the close of the first chapter which might be well to consider. We didn’t touch upon them last Lord’s Day night, as the time was occupied considerably in connection with the gospel, but there is a very important line of things presented at the close which, I believe, gives character to the chapter. The apostle said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He has Christ evidently as the object before his own soul. All he is looking for; all he has before his eye now, is Christ. You will remember, he said he rejoiced that Christ was preached. He wasn’t occupied with the fact that he was put in prison.; not so much with the difficulties the saints were passing through, but rejoicing in the fact that the gospel was being preached, and after that he breaks out with, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The only object, therefore, it seems, that was before the apostle’s heart, was the Lord Jesus. So he can say, “Whether I live or whether I die, it is all well. If I live, it is to live Christ; and if I die, it would be gain.” He would go to be with Him. So, to depart and be with Christ is far better, but he had the assurance given him that for the saints at Philippi, he could say, “For your sakes it was needful I should be left,” and in this he was assured that he would be left here for their good. It is Christ to be manifested here, whether in living or in dying, and then he can say, “If I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor,” or as a New Translation puts it, “It is worthwhile living.” “I have a desire to depart, though it is worthwhile to live.” Why? For their good.
Is this the natural man? No. If we were to think what the natural heart would bring out, we get that farther down. “For all seek their own, and not the things of Jesus Christ.”
Why is it we find so little in connection with the things of God? People say, “Where is the profit?” They say, “I haven’t time for that. I have to attend to other things.” We have our own desire, but has Christ His place in our hearts?
I don’t mean that we should neglect what the Lord puts into our hands to do. For people to neglect their children or families—things really their duty—on the plea they have to serve the Lord, is wrong. The Lord doesn’t give us one responsibility and overthrow it for another. Everything must be fulfilled, and done as for the Lord. But that isn’t what we find in the heart. The natural heart is after his own things.
For the apostle, it was simply to live Christ. He says, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” Do you think it was an easy place to be contented in prison? He might say, “I must get out, for I can’t serve the saints as well.” But he said in whatever place God saw fit to put him he was content. He has a desire. For his own good it would be better for him to be with that One he had seen in glory, but he is a strait betwixt two. For that which is dear to the heart of the Lord, is now dear to him; he said, “I am in a strait betwixt two, whether to be here for your good; or to go there for my good.” But the assurance the Lord gave him, he was here for their good, and he would therefore abide.
Now, he says, “I want you to be like Christ, and your ways to correspond with what He is,” and so he can say, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
What made the apostle to have such desires, so strange to man’s natural heart? What a blessed manifestation of the result of the Spirit in him, and of the new life he had received. We all know full well, it never came from the natural heart. Just the opposite. Grace wrought it. He can say, “In nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.” He says, “Don’t mind that adversary.” Was he minding him? Not at all. He has still perfect confidence, and so he has the Lord before his heart, and although enemies put him in prison, he was not doubting at all about the gospel going out. He saw evidently there was a need to be striving together in the unity of the Spirit for the gospel, and not to be afraid of the adversary. Had there been a gift given to the Philippians? There was given to the apostle—it was told him at the beginning what great things he must suffer for Christ’s sake. “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
Beloved, can we for a moment rejoice if we are given to suffer some? What is it for us? One is made to feel we are in a path of rejection, but if we can get the blessed Lord Himself before our hearts, and what joy He brings to us, then we can say there is a little suffering in rejection, but it is nothing when we think of what the apostles went through. They were persecuted. What were the trials for in the earlier days? It was to lead them out of the way. Satan tries us. Many things are brought to try us. What are these temptations for that he puts in our way? A little bit of the glory of this world for some. It was what was in Adam’s heart, and ever since we are partakers of it. It is in one way and another the enemy comes with his trials upon us, and the object of his trials is always to lead us out of the path of faithfulness. It is given to us to suffer for Christ, and we have to suffer, although it may not be in the same way the saints did at that time.
God grant that we may have Christ before our souls, as our object, and that we may be over comers under the trials Satan brings upon us. Satan’s trials are so subtle now, and that is why so many are led astray. He is lulling them to sleep. No doubt, if Christians were burned at the stake now, there would be more loyal hearts today.
“Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” We don’t have the same conflict. The apostle and the saints at Philippi had evidently the same trial. They were suffering then just as the apostle, and they were not discouraged because of the bonds of the apostle, but encouraged to stand more faithful and proclaim the glad tidings. But that which would keep them in faithfulness was what had filled the apostle’s heart, and that was Christ. So we might remark in the first chapter we have Christ as our object.
In the second, Christ as our pattern.
In the third chapter, Christ as our joy.
In the fourth, Christ as our strength.

The Lord's Table

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
In the enjoyment of Thy love,
Where Thy presence is assured us,
We do here its blessings prove.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
Thou art God’s Anointed One;
Here the Father’s voice assures us,
This is My Beloved Son!

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
We confess we’re in the Son;
Of Thy body fellow-members,
By the Spirit joined in one.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
Resurrection songs we sing,
Where Thy holy priesthood gathers,
Where Thy saints their praises bring.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
We are ransomed by Thy blood;
‘Tis Thy precious death that freed us,
From our sin’s accursed load.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
At Thy table is our place,
Where we break the bread before us,
Drink the cup that speaks Thy grace.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
We remember here Thy love;
Love that gave Himself to save us,
Now enthroned with God above.

Gathered to Thy Name, Lord Jesus,
We expect Thee soon to come;
Here we wait for Thee to fetch us
Hence to our blest Father’s home.

She Loved Much

“To explain the expression, ‘Her sins are forgiven, for she loved much,’ we must distinguish between grace revealed in the person of Jesus, and the pardon He announced to those whom the grace had reached. The Lord is able to make this pardon known. He reveals it to the poor woman. But it was that which she had seen in Jesus Himself, which, by grace, melted her heart, and produced the love she had to Him—the seeing what He was for sinners like herself. She thinks only of Him. He has taken possession of her heart so as to shut out other influences. Hearing that He is there, she goes into the house of this proud man, without thinking of anything but the fact that Jesus is there. His presence answered, or prevented, every question. She saw what He was for a sinner, and that the most wretched and disgraced found a resource in Him; she felt her sins in the way that this perfect grace, which opens the heart and wins confidence, causes them to be felt; and she loved much. Grace in Christ had produced its effect. She loved because of His love. This is the reason that the Lord says, ‘Her sins are forgiven, because she loved much.’ It was not her love that was meritorious for this, but that God revealed the glorious fact that the sins—be they ever so numerous and abominable—of one whose heart was turned to God were fully pardoned. There are many whose hearts are turned to God, and who love Jesus, that do not know this. Jesus pronounces on their case with authority—sends them away in peace. It is a revelation—an answer—to the wants and affections produced in the heart made penitent by grace revealed in the person of Christ.”
J. N. D.
The love that was shown in grace to the needy, had won the heart of this child of wisdom, and in the light of His presence, her guilty heart found full assurance of pardon. (Read the whole story in Luke 7:35-50).

A Few Words on Prayer

Young people, when they come to a certain age, are often disposed gradually to leave off private prayer. They find the old adage true, “Praying will make thee leave off sinning, and sinning will make thee leave off praying.”
It is a sad period in the history of a young person, when the early habit of prayer is given up. Then the heart becomes like the garden of the slothful, described by Solomon: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns.”
There are no good plants thriving in the prayerless soul; but weeds, and briers, and thorns, grow thick and rank, occupying every vacant spot. The stone wall is broken down; there is no defense against the beasts of the field. Every vagrant thought, every vicious passion finds free admittance. The heart grows hard, and the spirit careless. Sin is not dreaded as it once was. The fear of God, and the desire of His favor are gone. “God is not in all his thoughts.” That youth stands on the edge of a precipice.
I would not have you think, however, that there is any merit in prayer, or that the prayers of one whose “heart is not right with God,” are acceptable to Him. But what I say is, that every one ought to pray to God with a right heart. If your heart is not right with God, then it is wrong; and you are to blame, for having it wrong.
I will suppose a case, to illustrate what I mean: You see a child rise up in the morning, and go about the house, and though its mother is with it all the time, yet the child neither speaks to her nor seems to notice her at all. After a while, the mother asks what is the matter, and why her dear child does not speak to her? The child says, “I have no heart to speak to you mother. I do not love you; and so I think it would be wrong for me to speak to you.” What would you think of such conduct? You would say, “The child ought to love its mother; and it is only an aggravation of its offense, to carry out the feelings of its heart in its conduct?”
Would you then have it act the hypocrite, and speak with its lips what it does not feel in its heart? No; but I would have it love its mother, and then act out, in its speech and behavior, what it feels in, its heart. But I would never have it excuse itself from right actions because its heart is wrong. Now, apply this to the subject of prayer, and you will see the character of all such excuses.
If possible, have a particular place of prayer, where you can be secure from all interruption, and particular times for it. At the appointed hour retire alone, and put away all thoughts about your studies, your work, your amusements, or anything of a worldly nature, and try to realize that God is as truly present as if you saw Him with your bodily eyes. Then read His Word, as though you heard Him speak to you in the sacred page; and when your mind has become serious and collected, kneel down and pray to God. Thank Him for every mercy you have received; never forget to confess your sins, and ask for such blessings as you see and feel that you need. Pray also for your friends (and for your enemies, if you have any).
Let me earnestly entreat you to have set times for prayer, at least as often as morning and evening, and never suffer yourself to neglect them. And especially, do not adopt the unseemly practice of praying in bed, but give to God the brightest and best hours of the day, and offer not to Him the blind and the lame for sacrifice. You will find the regular and stated habit of prayer, thus formed in early life, of great value to you as long as you live.
But let me once more caution you not to trust in your prayers, for they cannot save you; and never think, because you are regular and punctual in praying, that you must be a Christian.
Prayer, if sincere and true, will prepare you for engaging in the duties of the day, or for enjoying calm repose at night. You need that calm, tranquil, humble spirit, which prayer promotes, to prepare you to encounter those things which are constantly trying your feelings, and to enable you to do anything well. Therefore never engage in anything of importance without first seeking direction of God; and never do anything on which you would be unwilling to ask His blessing

Correspondence: Lack of Freedom; The Church on Earth; John 3:29

Question: What is to blame for our lack of freedom at times in our ministry of the gospel? M.
Answer: One great reason is our lack of time spent in prayer We should be in communion with the Lord, and in dependence upon Him, as a vessel emptied of self, for Him to fill; or as a clean channel for the Living Water to flow through; or as an instrument in His hands to be without a will of our own. Otherwise, we might be in circumstances that we should not be in, and the Lord might make us feel it. Nearness of spirit to the Lord is the most important thing.
Question: What constitutes “The church which is His body,” and has it now a corporate existence on earth? W. S. M.
Answer: The unfolding of this blessed truth, “the Mystery of Christ,” was committed to the Apostle Paul. It is in his letters we shall find instruction concerning it. Ephesians 4:4 declares, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.”
This began at Jerusalem, when the promise of the Father was given—the Holy Ghost came upon the disciples in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. (John 14:16, 17; Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33). It could not take place before. (John 7:39). It was then that the baptism of the Holy Spirit took place, and thus formed them into “One body” (1 Cor. 12:13). From that time on, God has been gathering into one, the children of God that were scattered abroad. The Jews, the Samaritans and the Gentiles, all who were true believers, were brought into that one body by the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Acts 10:44, 45 and 11:15-17 is the bringing in of the first Gentiles into the body of Christ.
This truth is not spoken of in the Old Testament, nor was it given out till Paul received it from Christ in glory; then it was made known for the obedience of faith (Rom. 16:25, 26).
It was God’s purpose concerning His beloved Son to give Him a Body and a Bride—companions to share His glory. And all who are called during this present period of grace, and know Christ to the salvation of their souls, both of Jews and Gentiles, will inevitably have, this blessed place in glory with Him.
This was God’s purpose before the foundation of the world, and is now being carried out. “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Matt. 13:45, 46; Eph. 5:25), when it existed only in the purposes of God. It was God’s great thought for His Son to have one in whom His affections rested, and who would be, through grace alone, the display of His glory for all eternity (Eph. 3:21).
Meantime the members are being called out, sanctified, that is, set apart, and cleansed by the washing of water by the Word, fitted for Him, as in the picture in Genesis 24—Rebecca was fitted for Isaac (Eph. 5:26), and then when the last member is brought in, He will tarry no longer. We shall he caught up, and He will present her to Himself without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, holy and without blemish (verse 27). In chapter 1:23 we see her in the glory—the fullness of Him that filleth all in all—the bride of the Second Man, displaying His glory.
Now on earth the living Christians are spoken of as the body of Christ (not a part of the body on earth, and a part of it in heaven. Those who have departed this life are not looked at, in this present time, as in the body), and it is always complete. In Romans 12:4, 5, we see the members working together, each one according to the grace given, ministering according to its faith. In 1 Corinthians 12 it is described in its functional activity. It is plainly here on earth and now. There are no gifts of healing in heaven, no preaching of the gospel there, no suffering for Christ there; all this is on earth.
If we were judging by the behavior of Christians, we might conclude that the body of Christ is not on earth, or just a theory and not a fact; but the Word of God declares, “There is one body.” Outwardly neglected, and scattered into denominations, we do not see it. Christians, some in ignorance and some in self-will, refuse to obey the truth or neglect it, but there the word stands, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling,” thus giving us all the privilege, and putting on us the responsibility of maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are not asked to keep the unity of the body. The Holy Spirit has formed the body, and maintains it by His presence, uniting every believer to Christ in glory, so that till the Lord comes for His church, it is ever true, “There is one body,” and faith will act upon it, seeking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is no scriptural way to gather together, and to take the Lord’s supper, but as members of the body of Christ, in the acknowledgment of this truth (1 Cor. 10:16, 17 proves this). The Lord’s supper is the external expression of this unity. We being many are and bread (or loaf), one body, for we are all partakers of that one loaf.
In the cup we see redemption, and it is put first here. In the loaf, unity of the body. We, therefore, own every member of that body of Christ, only, that in the last days we need carefulness to distinguish those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. At the first, all who believed were together. Now, we need to carefully guard against those calling themselves Christians, yet walking in ways not approved of by the Word (2 Tim. 2:19-22).
The first mention of the church in Scripture is in Matthew 16:18, where the Lord calls it My church. It is composed of living stones, built upon Christ, the Rock, in eternal security from the power of death. 1 Peter 2:5 describes these living stones as a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ—each one a purged worshiper. They are the same saints that compose the body of Christ, here seen as a worshiping company.
Where men are the builders, the church is looked at in responsibility, and there it includes all, both saved and unsaved, who have been baptized (1 Cor. 3:10-17; Eph. 4:5; 2 Tim. 2:19-22; 3:2-5; 1 Peter 4:17; Jude; Revelation, chapters 2 and 3). These could not represent the body of Christ, as it includes only believers.
Question: Who are the bride and bridegroom in John 3:29? L. D. M.
Answer: John the Baptist speaks there of Jesus as the Bridegroom, and of the bride of the Song of Solomon—that is, Jehovah’s people Israel. No Old Testament prophet knew anything about the church of God in the New Testament (Rom. 16:25, 26; 1 Cor. 2:9, 10; Eph. 3:5). John was there to introduce the King of Israel, and so speaks of himself as the friend of the Bridegroom, and of his joy being fulfilled in seeing Him.

In a Month's Time

Perhaps some of my readers may not have heard of a young lady who was a striking example of the way in, which Satan deceives the human heart.
This young lady’s life was one of devotion to the world and its amusements; balls and the like were her favorite attractions, and she was being carried headlong into destruction by the giddy whirl of this world’s pleasures. She had, however, some Christian friends, and these induced her to accompany them one Sunday evening to a gospel preaching.
After the meeting someone spoke to her at the door, and questioned her as to her soul’s salvation, but failed to get any satisfactory reply.
The next Sunday her friends again persuaded her to go, though much against her will.
Blinded by Satan the poor young lady saw not her need of a Savior. A ball had been arranged for the following month, and this was the one thing present in, her thoughts.
As before, she was addressed at the close of the preaching, and on their pleading with her, she replied, “I’ll tell you what, I can’t come to Jesus now, I’ll come in a month’s time.”
Alas! could anything be worse than this procrastination? Think of putting off salvation for a month, when life is so uncertain that you may never see another day. The opportunity rejected seldom, or never, returns, and, sad to say, it proved so in the case of this poor rejecter, as we shall see.
Having dressed for the ball which had so much occupied her attention, she was passing near a fire, when the flame caught her light clothing, setting it ablaze, and before assistance could arrive this poor young lady was burned to death.
“In a month’s time.” Ah! little did that dear lost one think, when she made that promise, that she would never live to fulfill it. Her intentions no doubt were real, but when her own appointed time came, it found her—where? In eternity, in torment. Taken from this earth without a moment’s warning, what time had she for repentance?
And now, dear reader, I do plead with you before God, will you any longer reject the blessed Savior, who stands so patiently waiting with open arms to receive you? Will you still refuse His salvation? He loves you, and has proved His love in giving Himself to die for you. He has borne all God’s judgment, which you justly deserved, and now all you have to do is simply to trust in Him, acknowledge your lost and ruined condition, and own Him as your Savior, and then your salvation will be complete. God gives you now one more opportunity of taking salvation. Do not put it off; you may never have another.
Just one word more. Jesus says, “He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24).
Will you take Him at His Word, and own His as your Savior?

O Wondrous Love!

Yes, He has come
Down from His peerless home,
Has laid His former glory by;
Relinquished, for a while, heaven’s joy,
To taste of earth without alloy—
O wondrous love!

And He has been
Upon this barren scene;
The Father’s heart has open laid,
The Father’s precious will obeyed,
And reconciliation made—
O wondrous love!

And He has died—
The Lamb, the Crucified;
Has borne the culprit’s fearful doom,
‘Mid heaven and earth’s commingling gloom,
Has lain within the silent tomb—
O wondrous love!

He rose again
From death’s dark cold domain;
And, in that all-victorious hour,
He broke death’s stern resistless power,
Dispelled its cloud, no more to lower
O wondrous love!

And for His own
Now fills you azure throne.
Heaven’s pearly gates were thrown aside,
When He arose who once had died;
The Lamb, once slain, now glorified—
O wondrous love!

He’ll come again,
And prove our hope not vain;
We wait the moment, O, so fair;
To rise and meet Him in the air;
His heart, His home, His throne to share—
O wondrous love!

A Conversion

Good instructions, as to the contents of the Bible, were mine at school. At seventeen I was under a John the Baptist ministry; but I never knew the gospel till, at nineteen, I went abroad, full of the animal pleasures of a military life.
Arriving late at L—, I soon went to my bedroom. It struck me, “I will say my prayers” (it was a habit of childhood, neglected in youth). I knelt down by my bedside, but found I had forgotten what to say. I looked up, as if trying to remember, when suddenly there came on my soul a something I had never known before. It was as if someone, Infinite and Almighty, knowing everything, full of the deepest, tenderest interest in myself, though utterly and entirely abhorring everything within, and connected with me, was making known to me that He pitied and loved me. My eye saw no one, my ear heard no one; but I knew assuredly that the One whom I knew not, and never had met, had met me for the first time, and made me know we were together.
There was a light, no sense or faculty of my own human nature ever knew; there was a presence of what seemed Infinite in greatness, something altogether apart and supreme, and yet at the same time making itself known to me in a way that I, as a man, could thoroughly feel, and taste, and enjoy. The light made all light, Himself withal, but it did not destroy, for it was love itself; and I was loved individually by Him. The exquisite tenderness and fullness of that love appropriated myself for Him, in whom it all was; while the light, from which it was inseparable in Him, discovered to me the contrast I had been to all that was light and love.
I wept for a while on my knees, said nothing, and got into bed. The next morning’s first thought was, “Get a Bible.” I got one, and it was henceforward my handbook. My companion noticed this, and also the entire change of life and thought. We journeyed on together to G— where there was an active persecution of the faithful going on. I found my own company—stayed with those who were suffering for Christ.
I could now quite adapt to myself those few lines as descriptive of that night’s experience:
“Christ, the Father’s rest eternal,
Jesus, once looked down on me,
Called me by my name external,
And revealed Himself to me.
With His whisper, light, Life-giving
Glowed in me, the dark and dead,
Made me live, Himself receiving,
Who once died for me and bled.”

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 3

The natural man does not receive, and cannot know spiritual things. They are foolishness unto him (chapter 2:14). Now in chapter 3:1-4 we have two kinds of Christians—spiritual and carnal. The apostle speaks to the carnal as babes that have not developed properly. They are not the perfect or full-grown ones. They have not been exercised in the things of God. Their worldly minds have not fed on Christ, the wisdom of God and the power of God. Though truly belonging to the Lord, they have failed to discern what the Spirit of God would teach them. This is sad indeed; instead of feasting upon the love of God in Christ Jesus, the world and worldly things have engrossed their mind, so that they even look at spiritual things in a fleshly way. God had given them teachers, and instead of taking the truth from them (for there are no contradictions or opposing elements in the truth of God) it is only those who are carnal that would allow such thoughts; and the apostle, instead of unfolding the deep things of God, needs to begin with them as babes, feeding them on the elementary things of God, teaching them the necessity of being of one mind in the Lord. It was a grief to the apostle’s heart to hear that there were strifes among them. This we saw in 1:10-13, and here he tells such, that they “walk as men.”
There are some things mentioned further on, in which they were to be men (14:20). In malice they were to be babes, but in their minds they were to be men; and again (16:13), they were to be vigilant, to stand fast in the faith, to quit themselves like men, to be strong. That was necessary in going against an opposing world under the power of Satan, but in this first and third chapters, it is grievous to see how little progress they had made in divine things.
The mind of God must be one mind, and all the teaching must honor Christ and the Word of God; and it does not divide the children of God into classes, or schools of doctrine. What would the apostle say to see the church now so divided, and calling themselves by so many names, and systems of doctrine taught by them? Surely they are carnal and walk as men, who say and do such things.
Verse 5 begins to explain, though each teacher has his own line of teaching, yet they are all needed to make the whole truth, and they do not contradict one another. This is important now, as well as then. We need Paul and Peter, James, John and Jude, and look upon them, as God, through them, writing His messages and unfoldings of truth, putting it in divers ways to suit our human minds, and put it all together as one grand, whole, perfect unfolding of what God is doing and has done, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verses 6 and 7 bring that before us. Verse 8 gives each one his own place to fill.
Ephesians 4:7, 11-16, show us that all true ministry comes from the ascended One, whatever kind of instrument He may use; and each of these servants shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. They were all fellow workmen of God, fitted by God for the work that He meant them to do, and it is really the same still.
We get further information most useful now, to explain to us something of the difference of what God does, and of what is committed to men as servants of the dwelling place of God. We already noticed in 1:2 the address of this book took in all profession, as well as what is real.
Verse 10, the apostle takes the place of a builder—an architect who was building a house for God, and he has laid the foundation, but others build upon it; and each one is to take care how, and what he builds upon this foundation. No other foundation can be laid, for it is Jesus Christ. Alas! we know that man is a failure in all that is entrusted to him, and in this also his failure is manifest.
Verse 12 shows us that both good and bad material can be built in. Gold, silver, precious stones are very different from wood, hay, stubble. How long would these last stand the fire of trial when under the eye of God? And the day of trial will come, and declare all the failure, and true work that has been done. Remark here again that it is building the house or temple of God, and though false material has been built into the profession of Christ on earth, yet what Christ builds (Matt. 16:18; 1 Peter 2:4, 5; Eph. 2:22) shall not fail, and God still dwells in the house or temple of God “which ye are” (ver. 17). How very blessed for our souls this is! God the Holy Ghost dwells in us, and with us, as promised (John 14:16, 17). We do not need to pray God to send His Spirit. He is here, and faith enjoys His presence and leading and teaching.
The apostle alludes to different builders—now, verse 14 shows a builder entering into the thoughts of His Master, the Great Architect, and builds according to His plan, and is rewarded accordingly.
Verse 15 pictures one who, though a truly saved man, does not apprehend the will of the Lord, and so builds up what is not in the Word of God, and his work will be burned up. God cannot reward His own children for disobedience to His Word. They suffer loss, not of their souls, but of His approval of their ways; so we need to watch and learn the Lord’s mind in what we are doing for Him. Is it what His Word told us to do? We know from chapter 5:4 that he will reward us for all that He can approve. The solemn question of verse 16 should surely make us careful about this. It reminds us of a much needed verse in 2 Timothy 2:15, for He dwells with us in His house on earth. “Ye are” this temple of God, and in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.” May all our hearts lay hold of this important fact.
Verse 17 shows us the corrupters of this temple, introducing into it things that destroy the truth in the minds of men. We could mention many nowadays, but just read Acts 20:29. Think of grievous wolves under the name of Christians, and it is nothing new now (2 Tim. 2:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:12). Some even then had fallen into damnable heresies (2 Pet. 2:1). But, bear in mind that this is different from Acts 20:30, or Romans 16:17, 18, which speak of divisions among real children of God; sad indeed it is that we have it to say.
What are they to do? What advice will Paul give them? Just what he has said before—let us own our foolishness, throw away our own thoughts and fancied wisdom, and be like the babes that believe unquestioningly every word the Father says, and take the good of all things sent to us of God, not dividing them up, but uniting them together in one mind to follow Christ.
“All things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
How blessed all this is! It leads us to take all from our Father’s hand, using all for Him with thanksgiving. That which we cannot thank Him for, we surely could not use for Him. May these things give us exercise of soul to find out His mind for ourselves, to prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good.

Lord Jesus Come

Lord Jesus come,
And take Thy rightful place
As Son of Man, Thou risen One!
Come, Lord of all, to reign alone!
Come, Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
The Man of sorrows once—
The Man of patience waiting now,
The Man of joy forever Thou,
Come, Savior, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
Crowned with Thy many crowns,
The Crucified, the Lamb once slain,
To wash away sin’s crimson stain,
Come, Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
And take Thy Father’s gift;
The people by Thy cross made Thine,
The trophy of Thy love divine,
Come, Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
That lost in Thee our souls,
May bow and worship and adore,
In Thy blest presence evermore!
Come, Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come,
And let Thy glory shine,
That quickly these changed bodies may
Each one reflect a living ray,
Come, Jesus, come!

Lord Jesus, come!
Let every knee bow down,
And every tongue to Thee confess,
The Lord of all come forth to bless,
Come, Jesus, come!

The Spirit and the Bride,
And him that hears, say, “Come.”
Yea, Lord, Thy word from that bright home
Is, “Surely I will quickly come.”
E’en so, Lord, come!

The Hebrew Servant

“And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door or unto the door post: and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.” (Exo. 21:5, 6).
O, dear Christian reader, do you know this is one of the touching, beautiful ways in which, in type, God the Father is telling us about His Son, the perfect Hebrew Servant.
He, the perfect One, might have gone out free, but He loved His wife, the church. He loved the children that God had given to Him. He was taken to the cross. He was nailed to the door post, as it were, and risen from the dead, He is now a Servant forever!
Not only did He, the obedient One (Phil. 2:6, 7, 8) go into death, the terrible death of the cross, to serve His Master by telling out His love there, but, risen and exalted, and on the throne in heaven, He is still serving, by “ever living to make intercession for us.” (Heb. 7:24, 25).
But when we are with Him, and like Himself, as we shall be at His coming, His serving as our intercessor will be over, for we shall not need it there. He will still be a Servant (Luke 12:37), for He will gird Himself, and make the watching ones, who, instead of settling down in this scene, watched for the coming of their Lord, to open to Him immediately.
“He will make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them!” and that forever.
Now let me pass on what I heard another answer to some questions, or questioners who were wanting to know what there was in the way of His service for the blessed serving ones, if all service above as High Priest, and Advocate, were coming to an end, not being any more needed?
The answer was that His service then will be the blessed service of making His own enjoy perfectly what they had only tasted feebly before—His own blessed Self! His own now fully-known love! His own blessed company! forever! What a service! and what a perfect Servant! Yes, “He will make them to sit down!” (to rest!) “to meat” (to feed!) “and will come forth and serve them.” And this service will never come to an end!
“Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 2

Now we turn to the second chapter, and find Christ brought before us as the pattern; and as a pattern He must be in contrast to the first Adam. He says: “If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies,” etc. Why does he say that? If we bear in mind what we have been considering—there is suffering. They were sharing in his sorrow; now he says: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye may be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
Is it possible after getting Christ before us that there would be anything else but one mind? Yes. In connection with the saints who were looked down upon in the world, despised and persecuted on every side, could they be having such a thing before them as vain glory? In being gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus, there isn’t the first thing to boast about. It is so surprising, in such a company as that, anyone would seek to be great. The very character of the company is nothing. The fact of being gathered around the Lord Jesus—everything in connection with the position and the manner, is making nothing of man, and yet there, in such a position, one finds the natural heart showing itself, and what does it show? What you get exhorted not to be done here. “Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves.”
Lowliness of mind is one of the most difficult lessons for us. I believe the only way we can ever manifest this in any measure, as I said before, is to get a blessed view of the new life and power of the Spirit, standing in contrast to what human nature is, in the first chapter. “Esteeming others better than ourselves” can only be by living Christ. When I find what a contrast there is between my own heart and Christ, and I find I am to put myself down in the lowest place, then it is easy to think of others as better than ourselves. Your failure isn’t my failure, and mine isn’t yours, although failure is failure. I mean we each have our own particular weak points.
Getting into the presence of the Lord is what brings about humility, and that is what enables us to esteem others better than ourselves. So he says, “Look not every man on his own things (qualities), but every man also on the things (qualities) of others.” The moment I see Christ, if I look at myself at all, I see a contrast, and when I look at what there might be to praise myself for, then it is easy to think of one’s self above others. Each one has his place to fill, and it is a blessed thing, dear friends, to be able to see in each one that the Lord is using and filling a place by that one, and I will never see this by looking at the person, but by remembering the Lord has put that one there. One may be there simply to manifest a lowly spirit, and one to try us and test us. One once said there was a brother in the assembly who was a real trial. I told him it might be what the Lord sees you need. To get this side, is a real joy. If everything were going on smoothly, how soon we would forget to look up. We get occupied with a company of nice people. If one were to say, “We have such a nice company of Christians,” I would say, “Hold on, there is none of them good.” The fact of the matter is, man is man, no matter where you find him, and one is going to be badly deceived in looking for a company that is all right. There is none such. Is the apostle giving these exhortations when there was no need of them? We need them today, and I am sure of this—when the heart is in some measure in the presence of God, it will be made to feel how much we need these exhortations—to be down low, for that is our place.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” He is not going to say, “I have certain people to bring you as an example.”
Christ is his object in the first chapter; now he says, “I want you to be like Christ. I will give Him as a pattern for you.”
Now notice, “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He was God, but made Himself of no reputation.
My dear friends, I know I am speaking to those who are the Lord’s, and those who feel that every word in this book is a revelation from God. What man could ever have penned such words as these? At the beginning, we see Adam seeking to be lifted up from man to be God; and when this One comes upon the scene—He was God, equal with God—He empties Himself of His glory, and comes down here to be a man. Now, here is One changing positions. It was wrong for a creature to seek to change his place, but the Son of God had a right, if He saw fit, to take a low place. He came down here and became a man. Is not this a contrast? Is it not precious to our souls to meditate upon that Person, giving up all His glory and corning down into the midst of sinners!
“Who made Himself of no reputation.” Is it not sad to find the opposite in man’s heart? It will show itself, and very likely in a way that makes one ashamed afterward. Christendom is so full of this. Some fine speaker is hired to go to a certain place, and great efforts are put forth to get a crowd together; or they say, We will hire an evangelist to come and get up a revival. Think of these words, “Who made Himself of no reputation.” Perhaps we needn’t throw stones at the outside, but come closer to one’s self, and take the truth home to his own soul. He sought no reputation. Are we willing to be nothing? It is needful for Him to withhold from us, or there would be the seeking of a high place. He makes no mistake as to what He does with us, so if He has seen fit to make nothing of us, rather let us rejoice. The blessed Lord who had a right to be everything, is the only man who has glorified God, and He makes Himself of no reputation in doing so, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. Would we like to be a servant? The blessed Lord has seen fit to be a servant, doing that which was needed for others. Where He saw need, He was ready to go, and the more we are occupied with the Lord, the more we shall be seeking to meet the need of this one and that one. We might be in a position that we could not meet all the need. It might call for strength of body, or a big pocketbook, or ability in the gospel, and so on, but if we have Christ before us, it will be our desire to serve others, and it will be wonderful to see how the Lord will enable us to, as we feel the need. He became a servant. That was a low place.
(To be Continued)

Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus

Zacchaeus had been but a sinner, a child of nature, which is, as we know, corrupt in its springs and in its activities. But He had been just at that moment under the drawings of the Father, and his soul was making Jesus its object. He wished to see Him, and that desire being commanding, he had pressed his way through the crowd, and climbed up into a sycamore tree, if he might but just see Him as He passed by. The Lord looked up, and at once invited Himself into his house. This is very peculiar. Jesus is an uninvited, self-invited guest in the house of that publican at Jericho.
The earliest strivings of life in a poor sinner, the desire which had been awakened by the drawings of the Father, were there in that house ready to welcome Him; but sweetly and significantly He anticipates the welcome, and goes in—goes in in full, consistent, responsive character, to kindle and strengthen the freshly quickened life, till it break forth in some of its precious virtue, and yield some of its own good fruit.
“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
At Emmaus, desire had been again quickened but under different conditions. It was not the desire of a freshly drawn soul, but of restored saints. These two disciples had been unbelieving. They were returning home under a sorrow that Jesus had disappointed them. The Lord rebukes them shortly after He joined them on the road, but so orders His words as to kindle their hearts. When their walk together ends at the gate of their dwelling, the Lord makes as though He would go further. He would not invite Himself, as He had done at Jericho. They were not in the moral state which suggested this, as Zacchaeus had been; but, when invited, He goes in—goes in just to kindle further the desire which had now invited Him—to gratify it to the full. And so He does; and they are constrained by their joy to return to the city that night, late as it was, to communicate it to their fellows.
How full of various beauty all these cases are! The guest in the house of Pharisees, the guest in the house of publicans, the guest in the house of disciples—the invited and the uninvited guest, in the person of Jesus, sits in His place, in all perfection and beauty.
I might instance Him as a guest at other tables; but I will now look only at one more. At Bethany we see Him adopting a family scene. Had Jesus disallowed the idea of a Christian family, He could not have been at Bethany, as we see He was. And yet, when we get Him there, it is only some new phase of moral beauty that we trace in Him. He is a friend of the family, finding as we find to this day among ourselves, a home in the midst of them. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus,” are words which bespeak this. His love to them was not that of a Savior, or a shepherd, though we know well He was each of these. to them. It was the love of a family friend. But though a friend, an intimate friend, who might, whenever He pleased, find a welcome there; yet He did not interfere with the arrangements of the house. Martha was the housekeeper, the busy one of the family, useful and important in her place; and Jesus will surely leave her where He finds her. It was not for Him to alter, or settle such matters. Lazarus may sit by the side of the guests at the family table, Mary may be abstracted and withdrawn as in her own kingdom, or into the kingdom of God within her, and Martha be busy and serving. Be it so. Jesus leaves all this just as He finds it, and when He entered into the house of these sisters and their brother, He will not meddle with its order and arrangements, and in full moral comeliness this is. But if one of the family, instead of carrying herself in her family place, step out of it to be a teacher in His presence, He must and will then resume His higher character, and set things right divinely, though He would not interfere with them or touch them domestically. (Luke 10).
What various and exquisite beauty! Who can trace all His paths! The vulture will have to say, it is beyond even the reach of his eye. And if no human eye can fully scan the whole of this one object, where is the human character that does not aid in setting off its light by its own shadows and imperfections?
“I know no one,” says another, “so kind, so condescending, who is come down to poor sinners, as He. I trust His love more than I do Mary’s or any saint’s; not merely His power as God, but the tenderness of His heart as man. No one ever showed such, or had such, or proved it so well—none has inspired me with such confidence. Let others go to saints or to angels, if they will; I trust Jesus’ kindness more.”
“But further: there are in Him combinations of characters, as well as of virtues or graces. His relationship to the world, when He was here, exhibits this. He was at once a conqueror, a sufferer, and a benefactor. What moral glories shine in such an assemblage! He overcame the world, refusing all its attractions and offers; He suffered from it, He blessed it, dispensing His love and power continually, returning good for evil. Its temptations only made Him a conqueror; its pollutions and enmities only a sufferer; its miseries only a Benefactor. What a combination! What moral glories shine in each other’s company there!”

Rest

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29).
‘Tis the rest of a subject heart
That beareth Christ’s burden light,
Its joy doth seek in His footsteps meek,
And walks in His own smile bright.

Yea, the rest of a broken will,
In lowly subjection now,
That hath learned at last, in days now past,
To its Father’s will to bow.

‘Tis the rest of a perfect love
In a restless heart made known;
The soul that lives in the rest He gives
Will lean on that love alone.

Such a perfect, unchanging love,
Such a peaceful, blessed rest,
Divinely led, we pillow our head
Forever on Jesus’ breast.

Fragment: The Cross of Christ

The cross of Christ is the solid ground of the forgiveness of sins. Justice has owned it; the troubled conscience may rest in it; Satan must acknowledge it.

Ever the Same

God’s Word is like God, unchangeable. The progress of thought of the twentieth century may sound very great, but the everlasting truth of God, and the tide of human thought, are not to be confounded. Thought does not make truth. Man thinks out his own notions; the truth is, and ever is the same. However, generally speaking, men are more concerned with the progress of human thought, than with the unchangeable reality of the truth of God.

Correspondence: Israel as Vine/Fig Tree; Rom. 8:16; Christ not Man

Question: What is the difference in looking at Israel as the vine, and the fig tree—the one degenerate, and the other cursed? M. M.
Answer: There are three important trees in the New Testament. The vine, the fig, and the olive.
If the vine does not bear fruit, it is good for nothing, (Isa. 5; Ezek. 15). Jesus on earth was the true vine, and when Israel is restored, it will be through Him. (See Psalm 80). Then they will bear fruit.
The fig tree is Israel in the flesh. They never bore fruit, and so it was cursed No man in the flesh can bear fruit for God; but Israel, restored in grace, will enjoy the favor of the Lord. (See such passages as Micah 4:4; Hag. 2:19).
The olive tree of promise and testimony began with Abraham, as one called out to walk with God; then, the children of Israel were the natural branches. (Rom. 11). Then some of them were broken off, and the Gentiles were grafted in; because of unbelief the Gentiles will be broken off, and the natural branches will be grafted in again, and so all Israel, that is, Israel as a whole nation, not as individuals, will be restored.
All these point to the fall and restoration oil Israel, which last will take place after this present period is ended, by the Lord coming for His heavenly people.
Question: Please explain Romans 8:16 simply as possible. L. C.
Answer: When a sinner has found out that he is lost, ruined and guilty, and sees that Christ died for him, then he is not only born again, (that is, a new life in his soul), but he is also a child of God, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in him, and gives him the conscious knowledge that he is a child of God. This is what it means: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, so I do not doubt it at all. Faith does not look for feelings, but just rests on the Word of God. (See also Gal. 4:6).
Question: Is there any scripture to say that Christ did not become a man? B. P.
Answer: Christ Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Both Old and New Testaments affirm conclusively that from His birth into this world, He was God and Man in one person here on earth. He is now God and Man in glory, and will ever be God and Man. “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2. “Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Heb. 7:26).

Heavenly Goods

Question: What is scriptural order in the meeting to remember the Lord? S. L. A.
Answer: Our coming together on the first day of the week has for its object the remembrance of the Lord in His death. The symbols on the table speak of His death. We should also recognize the presence of the Lord, and be in subjection to Him, seeking that He might lead us by His Spirit in our worship and thanksgivings. In waiting thus on Him, we are led along according as He pleases, with His and our object ever in view. We need to be careful not to hinder this leading.
In Acts 20:7, the disciples came together to break bread in remembrance of the Lord in His death, as in 1 Corinthians 10th and 11th chaps. This, the apostle would not set aside; his preaching would come in afterward (verse 11 is a refreshment through the night).
There might be an occasion when a few words of ministry with Scripture might be given by the Lord to direct the thoughts of the saints into the right channel, that is, to the object of the meeting, but ministry comes after, when our object has been gained. Or, it may be that worship and thanksgiving might continue, if the state of the meeting were such. We should avoid anything that might engage or distract our hearts from the precious privilege that the Lord has given us of remembering Him.

Heavenly Goods

A few years ago I was making a little evangelistic tour, preaching the gospel at various places, accompanied by two other servants of the Lord, whose hearts were deeply interested in the salvation of the lost. Passing from town to town we had frequent opportunities of conversation with our fellow-passengers in the train, and of handing to them little gospel booklets.
We were leaving a town on the coast when there entered the train a middle-aged man, who took his seat opposite to me. He was inclined to be sociable, and began to speak about the weather and the crops. On the rack, over my head, I had a good-sized flat leather case, such as commercial travelers often, use for their goods. I had specially designed it for carrying hymn-sheets and gospel booklets for use at my meetings. Descrying this case, he at once thought that I was a commercial traveler, and said:
“What line are you in?”
“Heavenly goods,” I replied.
“Get away with you,” was his surprised reply. “You do not expect me to believe that?”
“Indeed, I do,” I rejoined. “It is heavenly goods, and heavenly goods only that I am traveling in just now.”
“But what are they?” he rejoined.
“The proclamation to sinners of pardon and peace with God; telling of eternal life as His gift through faith in His blessed Son, and that whosoever will believe the gospel may now have the knowledge of salvation.”
My reply was evidently unsatisfactory to him. He said nothing, but looked very incredulous, and at this point my two companions chimed in: “O, it is quite true what he says that really is the line he is traveling in,” and, by way of confirmation of their words, produced a little hand-bill announcing some meetings I was to have a day or two afterward in A—. He had no more questions for me, so I thought I would put one or two to him.
“What about your own soul, my friend? Are you saved?”
“Ah, that is what no man can know.”
“I beg your pardon, it may be known. I know that I am saved, and you may know the same. You have heard the gospel many a time in your day, I expect?”
This evidently awoke in his mind old memories, and with a softened tone he said: “Yes, when I was a boy and live in this district. But that is long ago. You see, I have lived in the city most of my life. When I was a boy here I used to hear about those things, and think about them, too, but when I crossed the border, and got into the busy city, I flung all religion overboard, and I just set myself to make money.”
“And you have made it?” I replied.
“Yes, I have done well in that line, and I have come North now to see my old friends and the old places, and to enjoy myself.”
“And the money you have made has made you quite happy, I suppose; and you are all right for eternity.”
“Indeed, I am nothing of the kind. Money does not make a man happy, nor save his soul.”
“Quite true,” I replied, “and I think if you are a wise man, you will now seek to get the riches that are abiding, everlasting, and satisfying. In other words, you had better secure the ‘heavenly goods’ that I am speaking of. Would you not be the better of their possession?”
“I believe I would,” said he; “but how am I to get them?”
Then followed a plain conversation as to the gospel, up to the station at which he had to alight. He seemed much interested, took a gospel booklet or two with thankfulness, and a notice of the meetings, saying he would certainly attend them.
On the following Lord’s Day, both afternoon and evening, I observed him among my listeners in the Music Hall, where I was preaching the gospel. I had no opportunity of further personal conversation, but I trust what he heard in the train was clenched by what he heard in the gospel meeting. The coming day will declare.
It is a grand business to travel in the gospel. A man can earn his bread by some honest calling, and still do this. No happier service is known on earth.
Reader, do you travel with the gospel? Possibly you have not yet received it. If not, let me urge you to lose no time. Remember that the gospel—the glad tidings—is “the gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ.” It does not tell you what you ought to be, or ought to do. The law told you that, and then only condemned you for not being what you ought to have been, and not doing what you should have done. The law can only condemn you. The gospel saves you.
Observe it is “the gospel of God,” and is “concerning His Son Jesus Christ;” it is all about Jesus. There is nothing about you in the gospel. It is all about Jesus. But it is all for you. The gospel tells you that God is love; that God has loved the world; that “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).
It unfolds the worth and personal glory of the Lord Jesus, His moral beauty, His untold perfections, His holy life, His atoning death. It manifests Him as the Friend of sinners—such a Friend that He died even for His enemies What a Savior! When men cast Him out of this world and sent Him back to His Father, He seized the moment, when dying on the cross, to bear sins—to atone for them—yea, He died for those who cast Him out. He effected atonement; His blood was shed to blot out the sins of sinners; He wrought redemption by the sacrifice of Himself; He lay in the grave, and then, as the mighty Victor, He rose from the dead, triumphant over Satan, sin and death. And now, ascended on high, and crowned with glory, He dispenses forgiveness of sins to all who believe on Him.
All you have to do, my reader, is to believe on Him.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth on Him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43).
“He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.” (John 5:24).
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” but do not forget the last clause of the verse, “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36). This is the gospel—the old fashioned, Christ-glorifying, sinner saving gospel. You had better make Christ your own, and then go on your way, and tell others what a Savior you have in Jesus. This is the line I rejoice to travel in. Will you not do similarly?

The Father's Matchless Love Revealed

We look not at the grave of Christ,
As though the Lord were there;
As though His work had not sufficed,
When all our guilt He bare.

The sinless One His life-blood shed;
For us He sin was made;
For us was numbered with the dead,
And in the grave was laid.

But death could not the Lord retain;
His grave is empty now;
On high He hath returned again;
Heaven’s glory crowns His brow.

His blood is on the mercy seat,
The veil in twain is rent;
And to declare His work complete,
The Holy Ghost is sent.

He tells of what the Lord hath done
Our guilty souls to save;
How He for us hath victory won
O’er Satan and the grave.

We look to Christ, the Lord above,
Learn there His saving grace;
And see the Father’s matchless love
Revealed in Jesus’ face.

As one in life with Him, on high,
We live for Him below;
And wait that day when He, with us,
His glorious life will show.

Behold the Fowls of the Air: And Be Ye Thankful

Have you ever watched the birds and chickens when they are taking a drink? I love to see them. First, they put down their heads for the water, and then they look up to the sky, as if to give thanks to the One who provides them with food and breath and all things. What a precious lesson for us! We may well “behold” them, for how often do they not put us to shame?
Have you ever thought of how often the Lord Jesus “looked up,” and yet how often we look “this way” and “that way,” but do not “look up?” I doubt not the “looking up” has many meanings, all precious, but just now I wish you would “behold the fowls of the air” as they take their drink.
Man has so much to thank God for, and he is made so that naturally he will look up, while the birds and beasts naturally look down. And yet, there is that little bird, it only is getting a drop of water, but it “looks up,” and there is man with all the blessings God has showered upon him, and yet like, “the man with the muck rake,” he is ever looking down!
But think of our portion, dear fellow believer, and see if our hearts will not look up with thankful adoration! That for which we have to give thanks seems to start from one infinitely great Center, and extend out in waves of blessings. And that Center surely is Christ Himself.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Our hearts cannot help but reply, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” To all eternity this will surely be the unceasing echo of our hearts, “Thanks be unto God! Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
And then “with Him,” what else do we get? “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). What more can we want? “With Him ~~~ all things!” Wondrous grace! Wondrous love! Strange we should need such an admonition as,
“AND BE YE THANKFUL,”
but such we are, that we do need it. But though. perhaps we could “want” no more, yet there is more, if such be possible.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in the heavenlies in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3).
How can our hearts help but “look up” with one great overflow of thanks and praise and worship to the One who has done all things for us?
I have thought (though I may be wrong), that the “all things” given us “with Him,” perhaps refer more to earthly blessings: while “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ” are heavenly ones (though they belong to us now).
How precious it is: First, Christ; then “with Him ~~~ all things; and ‘in Him’ all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.” What more could He give us? Well may it be written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him, but God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9, 10), yet how little we enter into them. When we get Home, and see Himself, and all that is really ours in Him, surely there will be no more spirit in us, and, “With joyful wonder we’ll exclaim, The half hath not been told,” as we just fall down before Him and worship!
But I sometimes wonder if we realize what the “all things” imply. We gladly accept “the blessings” (as we call them), even though we often forget to copy the birds, and look up to give thanks for them, but how about the other things—the things we don’t usually count blessings? They are part of the “all things,” and the Word clearly says, “in everything give thanks.” How about the “reproaches,” the “necessities,” the “persecutions,” the “distresses?” Can we say with Paul, “I take pleasure” in them? Have we learned to give thanks for them?
You remember, after the Lord Jesus was rejected by the cities where He had labored so much— Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin—though He upbraids them, yet He rejoices in Spirit, and can say, “I thank Thee, O Father. . . .” This is very wonderful, and very beautiful; it is “holy ground” we are treading here.
If we turn to Colossians 1:11 and 12, we will find that for such a spirit we need to be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.” I well remember the first time I noticed those verses in Colossians. It was a good many years ago, and I was eager to do some “great thing” for Christ. As I read over that display of power and might— “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” —I stopped there and thought, “Ah, this will be to do some very great thing,” but what was my amazement, perhaps dismay, to read, “unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father.” That was not the kind of “great thing” I was looking for. You remember when the Lord called Paul, He did not speak of the “great things” he was to do for His sake; but He did say, “I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16).
May you and I, dear fellow Christian, have grace given us to learn this wondrous lesson, “In everything give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It is a lesson the flesh can never learn; and to learn it, we need to learn to be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” —just to be able ever to rejoice in spirit, and look up and say, “I thank Thee, O Father!”

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 4

They were to account these laborers as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. God had committed to them to tell out what He had for men. They endeavored to be faithful, and what the Corinthians said about the apostle did not matter much; he left all that to the Lord. He was not conscious that he was wrong. He might judge wrongly, but the Lord would judge rightly of his service and stewardship, though he was not justifying himself. He would wait on the Lord’s judgment. Everything will be made manifest when He comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart’s, then each will have his praise from God.
They were quite wrong in setting one above another. He had used his own name and that of Apollos to illustrate what he was rebuking them for. All the teachers and evangelists were stewards, and each would give account to his own Master. Who made them to differ? What they had as gift they had received it from the Giver, so that they had nothing to boast of. It is seen how far they had got into the world. What a contrast their lives, and it may be our lives, were and are from that of this heavenly-minded apostle. We may well take it to heart.
Verse 8. “Already ye are filled;” but not with Christ. “Already ye have been enriched,” but it was with the world’s gain. They were reigning as kings, but without the apostles. It was worldliness; and in the sorrow of his heart, he says, “I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.” He longed for the day when all the Lord’s people would be perfect with the Lord. What suffering was his, his words show. “I think that God has set forth us as the apostles last, as appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” It was a path of suffering for the Lord, and for the truth. “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ: we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat; we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” He was indeed “filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in His flesh for His body’s sake, which is the assembly.”
What a contrast is the suffering apostle, from the worldly Christians; and see what tenderness and affection mingled with his authority. He did not write to chide them, but as his beloved children he admonished them. If they had ten thousand instructors, yet not many fathers, for “in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel,” therefore he lovingly entreated them to be followers of himself in his ways for the Lord’s glory. He also sent Timothy to them, as a beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who would bring them into remembrance of his ways, as they were in Christ, as he taught everywhere in all the assemblies.
Then he warns those who were puffed up, as if he would not come to them. His intentions were, however, to come, if the Lord will, and then he would know, not the words, but the power of those who were puffed up. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Their attitude would determine what God would lead him to do. So he asks, “What will ye? that I come to you with a rod; or in love, and in a spirit of meekness?” What joy to his heart when he heard of their exercise, and that they had humbled themselves about their ways. May it be so with us, beloved brethren and sisters. May we in humbleness of spirit, be led to search our hearts, and judge our ways.

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 2, Part 2

I used to wonder when I was quite young why it was that the Lord Jesus chose the death of the cross. Why not some other? Death had to be the wages of sin—death was separation, and we had to be separated from God on account of sin. Holiness and sin cannot dwell together, and so the Lord Jesus took what sin had brought in upon the world, although there was no sin in Him. He could have gone back to the glory as a man, but He was going there not alone; but to take others with Him, and seeing He was willing to make Himself of no reputation, and take that low place before the eyes of men, God says, “For that reason, I will exalt Him.”
Man at first said, “I want to be exalted,” and he fell. The race is down. The Lord Jesus comes into that into which man fell—death, separation from God—and chose the death of the cross. There was no place lower. Men put Him there, but they could not have put Him there if He had not been willing to go. Was there ever a man like that before? Look at Him as He is going there—what a manifestation of divine life! Instead of reviling, He says nothing. When they say to Him, “I adjure Thee,” He would answer when put to such a test. Is that like your heart and mine? We hear someone saying something against us which is not true. How we are ready to stand up for ourselves; this is not like the Lord. How one’s heart melts when he thinks of it. “When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” How do we take the harsh things said about us? Do we pray for those who say such things? This is what the Lord did, and He exhorts the disciples to pray for their enemies. Who could write such words as these? No one. It is a revelation from God; not man’s thoughts.
Only to be a little while longer here, and then I shall be with my Lord, and I shall be like Him. I shall not have this body in which I fail so much now, but a body even like unto His own body of glory—like Himself, then, in every way; and then the desire must come from the heart to be like Him down here. He humbled Himself when He was a man down here, and became obedient, even to death, and that the death of the cross. The One, the lowliest Man who ever trod this earth, is the One to whom every knee must bow; and we can say, He is the only One worthy of it.
Do you think for one moment the apostle could have rejoiced that Christ was being preached in contention? He as much as says, I don’t care if Christ is preached in contention; that is all right, Christ is being preached. Isn’t it blessed to get Christ so before the soul? Now he can say to them (13th verse), “Wherefore, by beloved.” I am absent from you, and not able to help you any longer, but I want you to work out your own salvation. “Your own” stands in contrast to his helping them in the past. Do this with fear and trembling. Why? Just because of these wretched hearts of ours. How am I to be able to manifest Christ? With a good deal of self-confidence, getting up in the morning and saying, “I am just going to see today how much I can manifest Christ”? No, that would not be with fear and trembling. Take the blessed Lord, as man, and what does He say? “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put My trust.” If the blessed Lord could take that place as man, how much more should I? The old Adam nature never could do it. It is the opposite in every particular. I have Christ—He is my life—and I have the Spirit of God, and am therefore responsible to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Where is my strength? “For it is God that worketh in you.” So it isn’t my strength; it is God that worketh in me. Then I may again utter these words, “Preserve me, O God.”
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Did the Lord do things with murmurings and disputings? The forty days in the wilderness, tempted of Satan, never brought a word of complaint from the Lord. It was that which enabled the apostle Paul to say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” When in trial, the moment you bring the Lord in, the thought is: He has something to say to me, and then seek to know what He has for me to learn in the trial. When I think of that, I can’t murmur. Murmuring comes when we forget to bring the Lord in.
“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” What a contrast there ought to be with us and the world, and if this is laid hold of by our souls, and there is a manifestation of it in our general walk, no matter where we are, whether in meeting our brother, or in connection with a lot of ungodly people at work, Christ will shine out. When one thinks of all the Lord has done, we can’t help saying, “Lord, preserve me.” I know my heart is just the opposite, but I desire to manifest Christ in my ways and conversation. I am responsible, and have to answer for myself.
(Continued from Page 48)

The Lord's Roll-Call

“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” (1 Thess. 4:16).
O Jesus, come, descending
For saints that sleep in Thee;
When Thou wilt change the living
To immortality!

Aye, for the Captain’s roll-call,
Its trumpet-shout is come;
His double-hosts to gather
In one assembly, home.

The rapture-morn is breaking
Unclouded, bright and fair;
His waiting ones are ready
To meet Him in the air.

“Himself,” with shout descending,
Fulfills His faithful word,
To bring His saints to glory—
“Forever with the Lord.”

“Caught up,” for His adorning
In beauty to excel;
“Caught up,” with shouts exulting,
In unity to dwell.

“Together” there assembled,
“Together” round Him throng;
With transport, ever singing
The never-ending song.

What Is the World, That We Are Not to Love, or Its Things?

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).
If we search the Word of God, we shall find that though sometimes the term “world” refers to the earth on which we live; yet it is more often used to denote a certain sphere, or state of things here, that though the children of God are obliged to live in as to their bodies, till death or the coming of the Lord takes them out of it, they no more belong to it, as our blessed Lord tells us, than He does Himself.
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14). God tells us in Galatians 1:4, “Our Lord Jesus, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world.”
In the 4th of Luke we find that when Satan tempted the Perfect Man, one of the temptations was to offer all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them to the Son of God, if He would only worship him. (See verses 6 and 7).
In 1 John 5:19, we are told that “the whole world lieth in wickedness,” literally “in the wicked one.” Our Lord owns Satan as “the prince of this world” in John 14:30, as also in chapter 12:31. And the Holy Ghost in 2nd Corinthians 4:4 tells us that “the god of this world” “blinds the minds of them that believe not” the gospel; referring to Satan also. And again in Ephesians 2:1, 2, 3, those “dead in trespasses and sins,” “walk according to the course of this world,” which course is “according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (unbelievers). “Among whom we all had our conversation in times past, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others.”
The world then is composed of those who—still in their natural state—are spiritually “dead towards God, in their trespasses and sins” —who are fulfilling from morning till night, and day to day, the natural desires of the flesh and of the mind, without reference to God or God’s will at all—and are energized by the spirit of this terrible enemy of the true God, Satan, who is blinding their minds, and to whom they are in bondage, and who is their god really, and their prince; no matter what their form of godliness may be, or religion.
Yea, such is the state of this sphere, or condition of things called “the world,” that the Spirit says through the inspired Apostle James, that “the friendship of the world is enmity with God,” —that “whosoever will be a friend” of it, is “an enemy of God,” —and calls those believers who mix, with it, “adulterers and adulteresses.” How solemn! how awful! While the same Holy Spirit through the Apostle John, in the 1st Epistle 2:15 says, that “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The reason given being, that “all that is in the world,” the three motives that in some form or another govern the walk and ways of the world, that is, what it takes pleasure in, and seeks to find happiness in the gratification of, namely, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, are not of the Father, but of the world,” and are all going to pass away.
Yes, dear reader, and just as Pharaoh ruled over the children of Israel, in Egyptian bondage, by taskmasters; so Satan rules over the children of this world, through the natural desires of the flesh and of the mind, so that God is shut out, and man, the world, is in bondage to sin, and their minds blinded to the truth: unless the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, shines, through sovereign grace, into the heart, giving the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.
Now when we see this, we see what the world is and if we know what it is to have our own once-blinded eyes open—if the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has shone into our hearts, is it not most important, yea, absolutely necessary, for us to be thoroughly separate from the world? How can (as the Spirit of God puts it in 2nd Corinthians 6:14, 15, 16) righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, the believer and the unbeliever, the temple of God and the temple of idols, have fellowship, go along arm in arm together.
Listen then, dear children of God, to the Lord God Almighty speaking in those last two verses of that same chapter, “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing (the world), and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you (act a Father’s part toward you), and ye shall be My sons and daughters,” or, in other words, you shall know practically what it is to enjoy God’s love as a Father, in every sense of the meaning of that word “Father.”
Now-a-days, it is, perhaps, more difficult to draw the line between the world and the church, or the world and the family of God, because alas, in these last days, the world has got into the church and the church into the world.
There can be no real, true, enjoyment, of happy communion with the Father and the Son; that holy, blessed happy fellowship with God, that taste of heaven upon earth (even now!) where there is not separation from the world. It is impossible. Yea, more—friendship with the world, and loving the things of the world, so deadens the souls of those who try to go on with it, even if they do not walk on the dirty, but on the clean side of the broad way that the world is on, in its downward road to everlasting destruction and misery, that the children of God go to sleep among the dead—lose spiritual eyesight, and power— forget what the grace of God delivered them from at the first; and have to be waked up, perhaps on a death-bed! and that often an early one; or by some sore, bitter humbling trial, the direct loving, but severe, because needed chastisement of the Father’s hand, to bitter, bitter sorrow of heart and shame and self-judgment; to look back on a lot of lost opportunities of serving the blessed Lord, and helping souls around them, perhaps even to look back (awful thought) and see how they have been a stumbling-block to others, when they might have been a help, or at least not a hindrance. (See 2 Peter 1: verses 5 to end of 11, and Ephesians 5:14). And to be saved so as by fire, like Lot out of Sodom.
O, children of God, beware of the world, which Satan would use to seduce you, from walking with, and enjoying, that holy, happy portion even here, that God’s blessed Son suffered and died to bring us into the enjoyment of. The enjoyment of God Himself.
The world, like a beautiful handsome Delilah; will, if you allow it, put you to sleep in its laps like she did Samson, the man separated to God in his day. And then, like with him, it will end in your spiritual eyesight being put out, and your strength taken away, and you becoming the sport of the enemies of the Lord, if you do not, in the strength that is made perfect in weakness, the Lord’s strength, learn to overcome the world.
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14).

When a Careless World Is Sleeping

When a careless world is sleeping,
Then it is the day will come;
Mirth shall then be turned to weeping,
Sinners then shall meet their doom:
But the people of the Lord
Shall obtain their bright reward.

Waiting for our Lord’s returning,
Be it ours His word to keep;
Let our lamps be always burning,
Let us watch while others sleep;
We’re no longer of the night,
We are children of the light.

Being of the blessed number
Whom the Savior calls His own,
‘Tis not meet that we should slumber
When the night is almost gone,
And from heaven is heard the cry
Which proclaims the Bridegroom nigh.

Fragment: Waiting, Watching, Working

We are to be waiting for God’s Son from heaven; and not only waiting, but watching; and not only watching, but working.
“Surely I come quickly.”

Correspondence: Filled with the Spirit; John 15:6

Question: What does being filled with the Spirit mean? W. I. C.
Answer: John 7:39 states that each believer in this present period was to receive the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 shows that it is those who have believed the gospel of their salvation that are sealed with the Spirit. In 2 Corinthians 1:22 the Holy Spirit is the anointing, the seal, and the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts, and this is true at all times (John 14:16). We may grieve Him, but He dwells in us unto the day of redemption—that is, when our bodies are changed (Eph. 4:30; Rom. 8:23).
“Be filled with the Spirit” is an exhortation, which may be true only occasionally (Eph. 5:17 to 19). We are to learn the will of God in verse 17. We are not to be intoxicated with worldly pleasures, but be filled with the Spirit, and verse 19 shows the result of being filled. It is speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, and this is called in Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
Those who are filled with the, Spirit do not speak of it, for they are taken up with the Lord. One may well doubt a person that tells us he, or she, is filled with the Holy Spirit; and, except three special cases in Acts, chapters 2, 10 and 19, which could not happen again, for it was the beginning of Christianity, none of them spoke with tongues. Speaking with tongues in Scripture is intelligent language to the hearers, and it is forbidden, where it is not interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28). It was on special occasions, such as Acts 4:31 and 13:9, that this filling is mentioned. The same with John the Baptist, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary—it was for these occasions.
Question: Does John 15:6 refer to one that is a false professor of Christ? Can it apply to a true Christian? Is abiding in Christ the way a Christian can bear fruit? M. J.
Answer: Yes, John 15 would apply primarily to such as Judas Iscariot, who was in reality the son of perdition, and to all those whom the Lord saw only believed on Him when they saw the miracles He did (John 2:23), and who could turn away and walk no more with Him when anything displeased them (John 6:66).
Those who, like Peter, felt their need of the Savior, could not give Him up (John 6:68, 69).
We, who are born again, and redeemed, and have the Holy Spirit now dwelling in us, can only bear fruit pleasing to the Father as we abide in communion with the Lord. It is in having Christ as our object, and seeking to learn of Him through prayer and feeding on the Word, that we become more like Him. The Father is glorified in our bearing much fruit, and thus being true disciples of His.
“Disciple” means one who is taught, or trained. We need first to be saved before we can be true followers of Christ. To be faithful followers, or disciples, we need to give Him the first place in our hearts—our object to live for.
Disciples bring forth fruit, and are taught and purged, that they may bring forth more fruit. And the Father is glorified in their bringing forth much fruit. (Vs. 2, 8).
An empty profession of Christ, without knowing redemption through His blood, ends in eternal woe.

Faith in God's Word

I stood by the deathbed of a lady of great natural benevolence; but her good works, which she vainly recounted, brought her no peace. She writhed in agony, and believed that it arose from her unworthiness in partaking of the sacrament (1 Cor. 11:27, 29).
It was a terrible sight as she tossed to and fro in physical and mental anguish, with none to point her to the Savior. I had nothing to say, but “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
I was forbidden by her family and doctor to see her again. One text, only one—and no prospect of hearing if it had been received in faith. I had gone forth encouraged by a word from a Christian physician, “Remember, God’s resources are infinite in bringing souls to Himself.”
So in spite of man’s prohibition, I stood again by the dying woman; a strange servant having admitted me. The poor, weary one was in peace; and when I inquired from whence sprang her hope, she repeated: “‘The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’ All night you seemed to stand by my side repeating it. I asked some one to read in the Bible, but there was no Bible here. The nurse repeated to me some of Wesley’s hymns; but when she was silent I heard again, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’”
The thief on the cross had but one sentence of the Word of God—and those blessed words of consolation lighted him through the valley of the shadow of death. It was enough. Better are “five words” “fitly spoken” of the word of life, than a multitude of “thine own words.”
“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7). “Thy Word is truth.”

When First I Heard of Jesus' Name

When first I heard of Jesus’ name,
I only then for refuge came;
I heard that He for sinners died,
And from His heart and wounded side
Had shed the water and the blood
To wash and make me fit for God.

I’ve found Him meet my every need,
That He a Savior is indeed;
Each rising want has been supplied
Whene’er to Him I have applied;
He is of grace the treasury,
All fullness dwells in Him for me.

Yet all He is, He is for me:
So meek in all His majesty,
So tender in almightiness,
So sympathizing in distress;
So liberal, all He has He gave,
Yea, e’en Himself, my soul to save.

It is not fear that makes me flee,
Savior of sinners, now to Thee;
Thy excellencies me constrain
To seek Thee as my greatest gain—
Thy presence my eternal home:
Come, blessed Lord, O quickly come!

God My Saviour

Three short, simple words, but full of thought; words that teach us what God is, what we are, and what God would have us to be; words that humble man’s pride, for they own that he cannot save himself; words that strengthen man’s hope, for they speak of One able to save; words that reveal the faith of her who uttered them, and encourage us to believe and to rejoice in the Savior in whom Mary rejoiced!
These words could not have been uttered by a proud Pharisee, for such a one knows not that he needs a Savior. Still less could they have been the words of a careless Sadducee, for to him there is no spiritual world to hope for, or to fear. They are the words of a lowly heart, uttered in a lowly, but a most blessed place, even at the foot stool of mercy. There the sinner, who feels his sin to be both a crime and a stain, cries, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” and at the same time looks to Jesus on the cross, and cries, “My soul hath rejoiced in God my Savior;” and the more the believing soul looks at that Savior, the more does it rejoice.
When Mary uttered these words, she rejoiced in a day which she saw by faith; He whom she looked for—the long promised One—was now at hand. She had a special subject of joy; personal to herself, but if she had not believed in the Savior soon to be revealed, she would not have so rejoiced.
It was not only the honor to which she had been called; not only the thought that all generations should call her blessed, that so filled and elevated her mind; it was rather that thought, in which the whole church of Christ’s redeemed ones may share with her, the wonderful thought, “God my Savior!” (Luke 1:47).
“God” Himself, not man, performing the work.
“My Savior,” not others only, but me, even me, partaking in the benefits of that work.
“Savior,” this word means so much! It tells of such hopeless, helpless need; such utter depths of human misery; a whole world that cannot save itself. Savior, this is the name by which Jesus speaks to the hearts that need Him.
“God, my Savior” reveals the mind of God in Christ towards man, the love of God, the plan and purpose of God, the glory of God.
“A Savior, which is Christ the Lord!”
Say, is He this to thee!
And doth thine heart acknowledge Him,
Thine all in all to be?

“A Savior.” Hast thou seen thy sin
On Him, the sinless, laid?
Trusted thy soul, thyself, to Him,
Who all the ransom paid?

“Christ,” the Anointed, Chosen One,
Hast thou in heart embraced?
And wouldst thou all things else forego,
His grace, His love to taste?

“The Lord.” O, doth thine heart approve
The wondrous, blessed word?
Be every wish, and every power
Surrendered to thy Lord!

Open Thy Mouth Wide, and I Will Fill It

In the garden of the house where we lived recently, was a raw of tall trees. In one of these, some birds, like crows, built a nest, and in due time hatched out a little family.
It was a great interest to us all to watch them, though the chief thing, we could see was a cluster of little heads, with big, wide-opened mouths. Soon the mother bird, or father bird, would come with some choice morsel and then what excitement ensued, as it was dispensed to the hungry family!
There was never any question as to whether they wanted it or not. They seemed to be always ready with their mouths opened wide—that was their part. The parent birds did the rest, and dropped the food into the open mouths of those tiny, helpless creatures.
Is it not somewhat the same with us and the Lord? He is ever faithful to provide us with food in due season, and yet how many Christians seem to be half-starved, and why? Is it not because they have not learned to open their mouths wide to receive the food? There was an earnest, eager desire with the birds, and is it not that which we lack too often? The Lord says, “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.”
The food is ready and waiting. There is no other way to grow, and yet how slow we are to desire it; so slow to open our mouths wide, and let the Lord fill them.
I was hearing recently of some of the Lord’s dear people who had come together to feed on the Word of God—(or perhaps I should say, to be fed with His Word), and they were greatly discouraged and disappointed because some of those whom they were accustomed to have dispense it to them—(their “nurses,” shall I say?) were not with them, and they felt it hardly worthwhile to open their mouths. And yet when they did, they found the Lord as faithful as ever, and they came away filled.
Is it not ever so, dear fellow-believer, whether alone or together, if we approach that Holy Word with wide open mouths, we will ever come away with them full? The difficulty so often is that we are so “full” already with other things, that there is no room for the Lord to fill us. Most of us have to own it with shame. How little in spiritual things is our “progress” “manifest to all.” (1 Tim. 4:15, New Trans.).
But there was one other thing we noticed about the birds. They were always at work early. Very early in the morning those older birds might be seen walking across our lawn, gathering worms. I could not but think of our old proverb, “The early bird gets the worm,” and perhaps this may be spiritually applied.
May we each one be found, like Israel of old, out gathering that “Manna” before the sun is up, and it is melted!
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Col. 3:16).

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 5

The apostle now changes the subject to show the necessity of judging evil that may come into a Christian assembly. God uses the evil of man to teach us a lesson needed through all the Church’s sojourn on earth. It was the subject of common report that among them was a man living in fornication, such as was not even named among the Gentiles—that one of them was living in this evil way with his father’s wife. They were puffed up, and had not mourned, that he who was guilty was not taken away from among them—the sin had not been judged. This was grievous to the Lord and to His servant, who now gives them instruction about it.
In verse 5 he emphasizes the necessity of judging the sin. “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, determined already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” This is apostolic power; the assembly could not do this. We shall see farther on, that their duty (not power) was to put away from among them the wicked person.
Their glorying in having such a man in their midst was not good. It was allowance of evil, and they were leavened by being associated with it. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” We sometimes meet with uninstructed Christians who quote, “Let tares and wheat grow together until the harvest” (Matt. 13), but that is in the kingdom of heaven, the great profession of Christianity, which contains both true and false virgins—both tares and wheat. We cannot get out of that profession, nor put any one out of it—it will go on till the separation takes place when the Lord comes for His saints.
What we have here, pertains to Christian fellowship. Verse 7 says, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Christian fellowship must be in holiness and truth, and in the unity of the Spirit.
The passover-type is fulfilled in the death and blood shedding of Christ, and we who know this finished work, are now to keep the feast, typified by the week of unleavened bread, in a life in which we are to judge sin in our ways. It means for us to walk in a path of separation, as those who are redeemed.
Verses 9-11 refer to the difference between everyday life, where we have to do with all kinds of people in our business and otherwise. We cannot avoid this, else we must needs go out of the world. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, etc., with such an one no not to eat.” That is, that which expresses fellowship, we are not to do. This verse is not a list of those that we are not to have fellowship with, but samples. There are many others whom we must avoid, such as are mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:17.
In our world path we need to sit at table often with wicked men, but that is not fellowship with them. We need to have our hearts covered, and thus kept from evil, so that our speech may be always with grace, seasoned with salt—the fear of God—that we may know how to answer every man (Numbers 19:15; Col. 4:6).
Verses 12, 13. “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are, within?” So we are to judge. But Matthew 7:15 says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and this might look, to some, like a contradiction. If we examine this text, we will discover that we are forbidden to judge each other’s motives. Whereas, in the other case, the character of the person is fully manifested. Then it is we need to judge the evil course, to put away evil from amongst us. Them that are without, God judgeth. How solemn it is to think of souls under the judgment of God. “Our God is a consuming fire.” It is true also for the believer, as for the unbeliever, that “whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”
“Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” We are thus called on to put away. We therefore need to discern, and wait upon the Lord to help us in it. We see in Matthew 18:18-20 that discipline and prayer go together with the Lord’s presence in the midst. This is important for our guidance. What is stated here is a sad and sorrowful but necessary duty to clear the Lord’s name, to which we are gathered, from association with evil, for His name is “holy” and “true” (Rev. 3:7); and to keep the conscience of the gathering from the defilement that the allowance of evil brings.
This must not be classed with delivering to Satan. The apostle did that by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ given to him. (See also 1 Tim. 1:20).
It is the saints gathered together to the name of the Lord who are to wait on the Lord for His guidance in discipline. No number of brothers have authority to do so. They may gather evidence, and otherwise serve, the Lord in care for souls, but the whole gathering is responsible to judge where evil comes in, and there the Lord’s presence is to be counted on for guidance.

A Separated People

In Exodus 8, God says, speaking to Pharaoh, He will put a division “between My people and thy people.” There is nothing so precious to God as His people, because they were brought to Him through Christ. God’s searching eye finds satisfaction in His own people seen in Christ. Have you ever thought of God finding satisfaction in you? It is in His own people that the Lord has His portion. Pharaoh is typical of the prince of this world, and God says to him, “I will put a division (or a redemption) between My people and thy people.” The cross of Christ is the basis of this division.
“God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14).
The world lies guilty of crucifying Christ. If God has marked me out as separate to Himself, it is the cross that has done it. What a joy it is to be on the redemption side of the cross? “Peace be to as many as walk according to this rule!” Are we walking according to this rule?
“I bear in my body the marks (brands) of the Lord Jesus.” Paul, as it were, says, “I have paid too great a price to bother with anything less than the Lord Jesus.” How Paul had suffered for loyalty to Christ! We know how he was beaten, scourged, scarred. What a sight his back must have been! He was left at the roadside as they thought dead, at one time, when he had been stoned. Think of the shipwrecks he was in! If we could get before our souls that scene of Calvary as the measure of the cost of our redemption! He was willing to go into darkness for us, that we might ever be in the light. “None of these things move me.” Not because I am a strong Christian, but because I have had a picture of the cross of Christ, and there was the end of these things. God has put a division. Do we bear the marks of the Lord Jesus, not physically so much, these days, but morally? It is a rejected Savior I must follow. The cross is the secret of deliverance from the world. You are, spoiled for the world, and the world is spoiled for you. The cross of Christ will make the waters of this world bitter for you. How blessed to say, like Paul, “I am through with the world.” Lay hold on what is really life, and learn the joy, not the hardship, of living for Christ.

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 1

Those of us who have been present the past evenings, have noticed the character of truth that is brought before us in this epistle, Christ being the subject. The first chapter presents Christ to us as the object for our souls; and the second presents Christ to us as our pattern. So we get Christ as the One down here in His path of lowliness, and for us to follow for the little while we are left in this wilderness; but we get in the third chapter Christ as our joy, and we have Him as our joy, not as a man here upon earth, but as the One in the glory.
Now these saints were in danger, evidently, from what we get in the first verse of this chapter, of being led astray, in part, by Judaizing teachers, and so he says to them, “Finally, my brethren,” etc. Those Judaizing teachers were not occupying them with the Lord Jesus, but with ceremonies; and you will always notice when you get Christians occupied with ceremonies, Christ is necessarily left out. The apostle has only Christ before His own soul, and ever did, I believe, from the time the blessed Lord spoke to him from heaven, and he was struck to the earth, hearing that voice, knowing it was the Lord in glory, the very One against whom he had been showing out the hatred of his heart; and no doubt with a good conscience, too, because he thought he was doing right in persecuting the very church of God—that which was dear to the heart of the Lord Jesus—so dear, that when the Lord Jesus struck him to the earth, He said to him, “Why persecutest thou Me?” Not “Why persecutest thou My people,” but “Me!”
Those people were dear to His heart, and just like a mother, if one would touch her child. She could bear persecution easier perhaps for herself, than to have her child bear it. It is a blessed thing for us to realize that we have such a place in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. While He is up there in the glory, He is concerned about us; watching over and thinking of us in every step of our path, and not allowing one thing to take place with us but what He sees is for the best. So He had allowed Saul to be a persecutor of His own people for a time, and He was using it for blessing, but He also had to say to him for the hatred that was in his heart. When he saw Christ in the glory, it changed his whole life, and gave character to the rest of his life down here, so much so that we get him writing much about Christ. The more we ponder over Him, the more we are made to rejoice, if we have found Christ as our Savior. It was not only the One in the glory, but it was the “Lord,” so he can say, “What wilt Thou have me to do?”
He says it isn’t a grievous thing to write again the words of exhortation to them. We were noticing some of the exhortations he gave, in the previous chapter, as to lowliness of walk, and following the blessed Lord in the path no man had ever walked before. We are enabled to see the abundance of grace bestowed upon the apostle, but he came short. No, one has ever been like the Lord in His low path. Now he is speaking of Epaphroditus in the close of the previous chapter, and about his being troubled because they had found out he was sick. He said he knew they were troubled. It was the work of the Spirit in Epaphroditus’ soul.
Now he says, “Beware of dogs.” Is that becoming to a man who is standing in such a position as Paul, to use such an expression, “Beware of dogs”? O, yes, here were those coming in, who were teaching doctrines that were contradicting the position which God had brought them into. He had brought them into a position of absolute grace, and not law. Was he to stand aside, and allow those teachers to come in and use their doctrine, robbing the saints of their blessing? What shall he say then, as the expression of love to them? He says, “Beware.” They want to rob you of your blessing. All that the Jews could have given was to the flesh, and this we get in the Old Testament, by the law. It simply appeals to man in the flesh—God asking something from man in his natural condition, and man was unable to rise to it.
When we come to Christianity, God doesn’t ask anything from us, but says, “I will give you what you need.” So that which we get from God, comes from a source higher than ourselves, and necessarily rises to the source from whence it comes; but the law came from God, and came to say to man, “Come up here;” but it was not giving anything to man. Evil was in his heart; lawlessness was there, and so instead of anything to come from man to God, it only proved his inability.
In Christianity, it is just the opposite. God has come, in love to us, and that love has flowed from the heart of God into our hearts, and we love Him because He first loved us; not because He told us in the commandments to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” That never produced love in man. Now, He says, “I will come out and give you the love.” Would it do for the apostle to allow these teachers to come in and rob these Christians? Where is the strength for those who are the Lord’s, if not in the knowledge that God has come out to us? May we drink in afresh of what He has done, and thus overflow in praise and thanksgiving.
So he can say, “We are the circumcision.” Was that how they were worshipping, with ceremonies? No, that couldn’t be. God has sent forth His Spirit into our hearts whereby we cry, “Abba Father.” What does that mean? I know there are not many Christians today that are understanding the blessed privilege which is ours to be able to say, “Abba Father.” You hear them saying; “Our Father which art in heaven,” etc. A Jewish prayer, God at a distance, they down here; but one now, in the Spirit, brought right into the very Presence of God, and as in His presence, is able to say, “Abba Father.”
May we, while knowing this truth before, take it afresh into our souls, and rejoice in the abundance of grace that has put us into this position, we who are no better than those who were at a distance. It is a place of nearness. Therefore, by the Spirit we can worship God.
Could they, in the Old Testament times, have been rejoicing in Christ Jesus? Had the fullness of the heart of God been told out? No, the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Who shall we rejoice in? Christ Jesus. In whose name shall I present my prayers? In the name of the Lord Jesus? We worship God in His presence, and rejoice in Christ Jesus. This is something new. That is, I mean, in contrast to Judaism. These saints needed to be warned in regard to that. They were separate from the world.
(Continued from Page 75)
(To be continued)

New Birth

The truth as to “new birth,” and the need of it ever since the fall of man, is set forth in the Scriptures. Sin came in when man, in the garden of Eden, set aside the Creator’s claims by doing his own will. Everyone since then is born a sinner, and by doing his own will, sins against God continually. Left to himself before the flood, he filled the world with corruption and violence, till the flood came and swept them all away, except Noah and his family. God started the world again on the ground of sacrifice—that which pointed on to Christ’s sacrifice. God said in His heart as He smelled the sweet savor of Christ’s sacrifice: “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”
He made a covenant with every living thing, and set Noah up as the governor over it. This is the beginning of the “powers that be.” But the whole history of man is shown in Scripture to be utter failure, and his nature remains unchanged, so that the Lord declared to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). “The flesh profiteth nothing.” (John 6:63). “In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” (Rom. 7:18). And as to our actions, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23).
If we look at man in this world, he is living in sin, doing his own will, and must give an account of Himself to God. If you look at him in regard to pleasing God, he cannot please Him, for he is dead in trespasses and sins. (Eph. 2:1).
What then is to be done? What can he do? Nothing, but God brings the truth to bear upon him, and by His Word and Spirit, speaks to the man’s conscience, and like Jesus at Lazarus’ grave, the quickening power of the Word reaches the dead sinner’s heart. Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth,” and out of his grave Lazarus came. Life and faith were begotten in him by the word of Jesus.
So it is in the new birth, which no one can otherwise explain. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8).
The Lord in John 3:14, turns to another subject, referring to Numbers 21, where Israel had sinned against God, and were dying from the bites of the serpents, and says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” So the Lord sets His own death on the cross, before the mind and heart of the sinner, first to show him what a dreadful thing sin is; and then to show him the love of God that gave His Son to make atonement for sinners, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Dear reader, do you believe an Him? If so, then you are born again—you have everlasting life. You could not be a true believer, and not have everlasting life. In believing on Christ we see that He died for us, and made propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9, 10). He also was made sin for us. We are made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21), and we are now become the children of God. “I write unto you, little (or dear) children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” (1 John 2:12). So that the believer has life, and peace (Rom. 5:1), and is a forgiven child of God. We are brought to God in the liberty of grace.
The story of Lazarus again teaches us. “Loose him and let him go,” so the Scriptures give us full assurance, through the work of Christ, that we are perfected forever by that one sacrifice.
There is yet another important blessing given us—the Holy Spirit now dwells in us, and sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), and enables us to say, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). He is our teacher as we read the Word, and, He delights to bring Christ before our souls, telling us more and more of the wonders of His grace and love, Who loved us and gave Himself for us, making us to say from our gladdened hearts, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (John 16:1345; 1 John 4:19).

Take My Yoke Upon You and Learn of Me

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” It is perfect grace: no restriction; no setting the Jew in the foremost seat of honor. But “Come unto Me, all ye that labor” —Jew or Gentile, it matters not. Are you miserable? Can you find no comfort?
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor, ~~~ and I will give you rest.”
It is without condition or qualification, if the needy but go to Him. In John we have, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” This is the proof of the Father’s drawing—that I go to Jesus. It is the Son of the Father, in John: for grace is always found most full and free where the Son is brought out in all His glory.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29, 30. Grace does not leave men to do as they like, but enables the heart that receives it to desire the will of God. So, after saying, “I will give you rest,” our Lord adds, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Mark the difference. In verse 28 it is, “Come unto Me ~~~ and I will give you rest” —it is pure grace to the soul in need, with nothing but its sins to bring; but in saying, “Take My yoke upon you, ~~~ and ye shall find rest to your souls,” He speaks of subjection to Him, and the effect is finding rest to our souls. When the sinner goes in his wretchedness to Jesus, the Savior gives him rest— “without money and without price.” But if that soul does not follow on in the ways of Christ, he becomes miserable, and loses the comfort he had at first. Why? He has not taken Christ’s yoke upon him.
The terms on which the Lord gives rest to the sinner are, “Come unto Me,” just as you are.
The terms on which the believer finds rest are, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” The Lord keeps His moral government over His people, and they are more disturbed than any, if not subject to Christ, they can neither enjoy Him nor the world. If I have found such a Savior, and yet am not bearing His yoke, God does not intend that I should be happy. All else is a false happiness.

Counsel for Young Christians

Get your portion, young friends! Some persons read the Scriptures, and seem to get nothing out of them. It reminds me of a beautiful butterfly in my little garden the other day. It came over the hedge, and fluttered about, but nothing seemed to suit it; presently, however, there came a honey-bee, and buzzed round the garden; then darted into an open flower, and sucked and sucked till it got its portion, and then sped away satisfied.
Friends, you must be like the bee—get your Portion.

Christ as the Morning Star

“The morning star” is the symbol of the Church’s hope. And there is beauty in this thought, derived as it is from Revelation 2:28 and 22:16.
The characteristics of the morning star are brilliancy and solitariness. It glitters lovely, off in its distant sphere, but it is all alone. It does not command the notice of the world as the sun does. It is only the watchman that sees it. The season for its appearing is quite its own—it is neither night nor day. It fills a moment that is quite its own, and it is only the watchman, or the child of the morning, the one that is up before the sun, that has to do with it.
Is there not a voice in this, dear young Christian? Does it not tell your inmost soul of a coming that is to precede the sunrise—of the appearing of One who does not belong to the world, whose business is not with the earth, or with the children of men; but with an elect people who wait for an unearthly Savior?

Correspondence: MAT 18:20; Unleavened; DAN 12:4; HAG 2:11-14; EXO 16:31; JOH 6:53

Question: What does it mean to be gathered in or unto the name of Christ? (Matt. 18:20). A. D.
Answer: To be gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus is to be gathered in separation from evil, and in the unity of the Spirit. His name is holy and true (Rev. 3:7). We must therefore seek to walk in holiness, and according to the truth. We are members of His body (1 Cor. 12:12, 13). He is our Head and Center, and we are enjoined to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace, apart from all divisions of men.
Question: If leaven is a type of evil in Scripture, should the loaf for the Lord’s supper be made of unleavened bread? R. P.
Answer: Our care for the bread used at the Lord’s supper into have it one bread, a piece of dough baked as one. There is nothing said about size or kind. The bread and wine are only symbols of Christ in death. We know Him as living now for us. We remember Him in His death for us.
The bread in 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17, recognizes all the children of God as one body (Eph. 1:4).
Question: Who are the many that “run to and fro?” What knowledge is increased? (Dan. 12:4). O. T.
Answer: It is the last days of Israel’s history under the times of the Gentiles. Another translation puts for “running to and fro,” “shall diligently investigate.” The Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Revelation will be well investigated, and guidance given to both converted Jew and Gentile then, where the gospel of the Kingdom is preached. It is not yet. Daniel’s book is still sealed.
Question: What is the application of Haggai 2:11-14?
Answer: The house of God has just been rebuilt, and the Lord, by His word is leading the people to judge their unclean state. The temple could not make them holy, but they would defile it to go in unjudged. Verse 14 tells their need of judging their profane ways. Holiness must exclude evil. After that, He promises blessing.
Question: Why is the description of the manna in Exodus 16:31, so different from what it is in Numbers 11:7-9 7 What are we to learn from this? D. C.
Answer: Exodus 16:31 describes it as the Lord gave to the children of Israel when they were newly out of Egypt, and, as it were, fresh and happy in their souls. If they murmured, the Lord granted their desires, for they were under grace, and the law had not been given. The book of Numbers describes the faithfulness of God, and the failures of the people under the law. Here in chapter 11, they are murmuring: they loathe the manna. In their hearts they go back to Egypt, and think of the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. The manna was the same as before, but the people gathered it, ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it, then the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. Despite their perverted taste, the manna kept on. The faithful Lord did not forsake them (verse 9), but chastens them for their sinful murmurings.
Does not this state of the people have a voice for us? The Lord said He would give them bread from heaven to eat. All they had to do was to gather it every morning, except the seventh day. But here in Numbers, their hearts are going after Egypt’s food. They had grown cold, and let the world in, then Christ did not satisfy their hearts.
Is there not a danger of this with us? Is He still the satisfying portion of our hearts? Has our love for Him waned? Do we need some worldly pleasures to be added to make us happy? Well, may our hearts take His dealings with us as love. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent.” Such love as His deserves a hearty response on our part.
Question: What is meant by eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood? (John 6:53). W. I. C.
Answer: John 6:53 to 55 is one feeding on the death of Christ the Son of Man, and so has everlasting life, and will be raised up in the resurrection of the just. We do this by believing that He died for us. Verses 56, 57 is also feeding on Him for our daily life in communion.

Let Us Alone

“Why can’t they let us alone; they never come to the house without tormenting us about our souls, and I don’t see the fun of it at all?” So said a proud, unconverted young man to his mother. And possibly the reader of these lines has thought the same, if he has not said it.
Now, shall I tell you why we do not let you alone—why we speak to you, and why we write to you? It is because we see you standing upon the slippery brink of everlasting hell, yet unconscious of your danger! Every throb of your heart beats the death march to the grave; and you live as though you had a lease of your life, and could die when you pleased. You live as though there were no God to meet, no sins to answer for, no hell to shun, and no heaven to reach. And how can we let you alone? We should be cruel, heartless and inhuman if we did.
“Let us alone.” So said the poor, devil-possessed sinner to the Lord Jesus in the days of old (Mark 1:24). But Jesus did not let him alone, and he had to come out.
Just think of him, in his terrible misery, saying to the only One who could deliver him—and who came for that purpose— “Let us alone!” And yet men follow his example!
Reader, if still unsaved, thank God you have a body out of the grave, and a soul out of hell; and do not say to Him any longer, “Let us alone,” lest He answer your prayer.
Perhaps you dare to say, like many, “No hurry; I can take salvation at any time.” O, what a delusion of the devil this is! His first device is— “Let us alone!” then, when that fails, he says, “Plenty of time, plenty of time.” He is a liar from the beginning, and a murderer, too. No, my reader, no! you cannot be saved when you like. You may continue to live for some time after God gives you up.
“Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2). Tomorrow may be too late forever.
You have said a good many times to God, “Let us alone.” If you refuse His mercy today, He may say of you as He said of one of old, “Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone.” (Hos. 4:17). Then your doom will be sealed!
Listen to the cry of One who was “left alone” that you might never be left alone. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? ~~~ O My God, I cry, ~~~ but Thou hearest not.” (Psalm 22:1, 2). Jesus was forsaken of God. And why? Because He was bearing sin. He was on the cross as the victim making atonement for sin; and God, the Holy One, could not look upon sin; therefore He turned His back on Jesus.
O my friend, consider how holy God is, and how sinful sin is; and read its terrible judgment in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then, if your heart trusts that Savior, read, likewise, your complete deliverance from its tremendous curse and shame, by the death of the Son of God.
Blessed be God! Jesus is no longer on the cross or in the grave. Sin was atoned for, and God was glorified in its perfect settlement by His Son at the cross. The believer’s sins, too, were put away forever, so that God can say to each, “Their sins and iniquities will I remember NO MORE.” Hebrews 10:17. And God has proved His satisfaction by raising Christ from the dead (Acts 13:30). Yes, Jesus is risen, and exalted to the right hand of God. He is not left alone now. The glory of God shines in His face (2 Cor. 4:6). What a proof that the sins are gone! Is it not? And whose sins? Every believer can say, MINE.
Now God says, “Be it known unto you, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and all that believe are justified from all things.” Acts 13:38, 39. Now notice three words there—

Believe - Are - All

All that believe (not all who work, or pray, but) all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ raised from the dead, are (not hope to be, or ought to be, but are) justified from all things (not a few, or the greatest part, but) are justified from all things. Yes, forgiveness and justification are the portion of every believer. (See also Rom. 4:25 and 5:1, 2).
And not only so, Christ is their righteousness, and they stand ever and always before God in Christ. “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17. Christ is made unto them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).
Seeing, then, that God has such blessing, for believing souls, do not say to Him, “Let us alone”; but accept Christ at once, and seek in humility of heart to live for Him, and serve Him, while you await His return from heaven.

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 Savior, Shepherd, Life, and Light,
To Thee we praises bring,
And soon shall, in Thy glory bright,
More worthy anthems sing.
“He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” (Psalm 40:3).

The Lord Jesus: Or the Sage

It was an Eastern city, nearly nineteen hundred years ago; a funeral had just passed out through the gate—the dead man was the only son of his mother and she was a widow; and Much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, “Weep not.” And He came and touched the bier; and they that bear him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a great fear on all; and they glorified God.
It was another Oriental city some twenty-four hundred years ago; a funeral had just passed out through the gate. Much people of the city followed and the mourners wept, as only those without hope can weep. China’s greatest sage, Confucius, was passing, and heard the wails for the dead, and saw the procession slowly wend their way to the hills outside the city. He passed on to his house—not to eat—but to mourn and fast, in bitterness of soul, for his helplessness.
For nearly twenty-four hundred years, China has sought the teachings of her dead sage. Today China herself lies dead—dead in sins—both the sage and his teachings have proved helpless and hopeless.
Have you any knowledge of help and hope for such a state?
Do you know of a Savior who can give life?
Are you spreading this “Good News”?
I know of a world that is sunk in shame,
Where hearts oft faint and tire,
But I know of a Name, a NAME, a NAME!
That can set that world on fire!

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 6

What a cold, worldly condition of soul these Corinthians were in, yet Paul speaks to them as saints, and appeals to them to behave consistently with their heavenly calling, which for the moment, they seem to have forgotten. He puts it in strong language:
Verses 1-6. “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” Matters might arise between them, but they are easily settled where grace is working in their hearts—where the heart is going on in communion with the Lord. This is the serious thing in these controversies—the flesh manifests its selfishness. Selfish interests gain such a place, that Christ and His interests are forgotten. He reminds them of their blessed association with the Lord, who has told them that when He reigns, they shall reign with Him.
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have things to judge pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the assembly.” What a shame for saints to go to law with each other. Is there not one among you able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
Verses 7, 8. They were utterly at fault to have suits between themselves, and here the appeal becomes stronger. “Why do ye not rather suffer wrong? Why do ye not rather be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” How the world takes hold when self is allowed a place! There is the fault—the world has the place where the Lord Jesus Christ should reign. Their love for Him has grown cold, and temporal things have increased in value accordingly, and is it not so with us all? The more we enjoy the Lord Jesus and His riches, the less value we set on the present and temporal things. “Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” is the word in Colossians 3:2, 3, for what we set our minds on, our affections follow after.
Verses 9-11. Again, that word “Know ye not?” would lead them to consider the hole of the pit out of which they have been taken, and that such shall not inherit the kingdom of God. And then the blessed contrast in what the grace of God has made us, for, “Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” What foolishness in those who are made meet, and whose destiny is glory with Christ on high, to go to the unrighteous to judge between brother and brother.
Believers here are washed; it is the practical judgment of evil in themselves—the washing of water by the Word. They are sanctified, that is, set apart by the Spirit, and they are justified freely by His grace, by faith in Him, by His precious blood. So it is “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Verses 12-14. And while thus set free, and all things are lawful unto us, yet all things are not expedient, so the apostle says, “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” The conscience is thus exercised to walk in purity. “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them,” but the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. The lusts and appetites are now to he controlled by the knowledge of the Word in the power of the Spirit, for the body is the Lord’s. “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.”
Verses 15-18. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” Therefore I cannot do what I like, or go where I like, for I am a member of the body of Christ. The union of two makes them one body, for two saith He, shall be one flesh. But our union with Christ, by the Spirit, makes us, “One Spirit with the Lord.”
And these Corinthians needed to be reminded to “flee fornication,” and this was against his own body who committed it.
Verses 19-20. Again we get that word, “What? Know ye not (how important it is to take heed) that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?” Is it not wonderful that now the body of the believer is made God’s sanctuary, His dwelling place? And besides this, it is added, “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” Our bodies are the members of Christ. We are one Spirit with the Lord, united to Him by the Holy Spirit, who also dwells in us. We are bought with a price, redeemed by Christ’s precious blood, and waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Watching Daily: Proverbs 8:34

O child of God, so weary with earth’s toil
And ceaseless strife,
Thy Master chooseth thee for high behest
And fruitful life.
O, gladly wait
Beside the portal of the Master’s gate,
To do His bidding for the day grows late.

Take thou His message, and then hasten back
To His dear feet;
And He will greet thee with His tender love
And comfort sweet.
Then gladly wait
Beside the portal of the Master’s gate
For the next message, as the day grows late.

And mourn not sorely, if thine errand seem
All fruitless now,
The message was thy Master’s, and His mark
Is on thy brow.
And thou didst wait
Beside the portal of the Master’s gate,
As the shades gathered, and the day was late.

Not now the time of reckoning: it will come
To thee at last,
And thou wilt smile to think of weary hours
That shall be past,
When thou didst wait,
Beside the portal of the Master’s gate,
To do His bidding, ere it was too late.

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 2

The Jews had put Paul in prison, and it was through them the saints at Philippi were suffering. It is impossible that the Apostle Paul could have done anything else, when he saw they were taking away from the church, and bringing in that which never could satisfy and bring peace to the heart. Then he says, “Rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.”
You say, “O, I believe in the ten commandments as applying to us at the present day.” Then I say you have some confidence in the flesh. The law says to me to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my mind, and a great many things it tells me to do. If I say that appeals to me, it appeals to man in the flesh, and I must have some confidence in the flesh. He says, “We are the circumcision.” We are those separated from the world, and we have no confidence in the flesh. I am not going to put myself in that position where the law applies, and then find myself a failure, but perfection is to be found in Christ. This is very blessedly brought before us in Philippians, because he is showing all the way through, Christ as the portion for us in one way and another.
“Though I might also have confidence.” What was it he had to rejoice in the flesh If anybody could, he could. The fact was, he was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He was as far as the law was concerned, blameless. That is, the law as before man’s eyes. They couldn’t find a flaw in the Apostle Paul, although he was a murderer, for he was taking Christians to Jerusalem to have them suffer for the name of Christ. He thought he was doing God service. So he says, “I have more to rejoice in than any one of you, but shall I rejoice in that?” O, no. He says, “I have no confidence in the flesh.” The flesh is set aside completely, and he says, “What things were gain to me” (all this position in Judaism that was gain to him), “I count but loss for Christ.”
The Christians that are here tonight might not be troubled much in regard to Judaism or Judaizing teachers. We are clear in regard to the contrast between Jews and Christians, and are really set free from the law, but has this no application to us? Yes, can we all say we “count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord”? With the apostle, his place of honor and glory was in connection with the religious Jews. Some seek their glory and honor in connection with religion today, and when they do, it is not an honor to the Lord. Others say, “I despise religion,” and say, “I want my glory and honor in another line of things.”
Whatever may be the natural disposition of the heart, there is a desire for some glory here on earth, while it might not be a question of religious glory, but in another line. “I count all things but loss.” Let us think of what that is.
What was it that caused the apostle to have his heart so filled with Christ, that very One the masses of the people despised, and for which religious Jews put him in prison? While there, instead of saying, “I must have made a mistake,” and that his belief was nothing, he says, “I have Christ for my gain.” What had filled the heart of the apostle to cause him to speak like that? It was this: there was no one who could so fill the universe as the Lord Jesus. He had found that One—the center of all God’s thoughts. Heaven and earth had been created by Him and for Him, and seeing that all things were for Him, no one could stand higher than the Lord Jesus, and now he says, “He is my lot, and all I want is Christ.”
If you turn to the Epistle of John it is very precious. There you get the source of this in connection with the person of Christ. But if you turn to Peter you have the thought of the glory. It is “the glory that should follow,” with Peter; but here, and in John, you get the person of the Lord Jesus brought before the soul. I believe, dear friends, we cannot appreciate this in our souls, if there is a hankering after things down here. We need to get nipped, and it is grace on the part of God to do so for us, letting us taste of this poor world, and after all to be able to say there is nothing here, and when we get there, glad are we to turn to Christ, and say, “O, think of the glory of that person.”
He has been a man; He has been down here, as we noticed in the previous chapter; now He is up in the glory, and as a Man He is in the glory. What does that mean to your heart and mine? Man was made for the earth. Angels were there in the presence of God, but no man was there. Angels were created for that scene above, but now there is a Man in the presence of God and how came He there? As we noticed before, He was with God before the world was, and He emptied Himself of that glory. He was equal with God, but He came down into this world, emptied Himself of all His glory and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him. He doesn’t say in the second chapter, “Rejoice in the Lord.” But after presenting Christ as the One risen and ascended, he can say, “Rejoice.”
Lowliness, humility, meekness of character is what becomes us, and in order to be that, it is to see Christ on earth. But if I want my heart to be filled with joy, I have to see a Man up in the glory, and that is Christ who was down here, exalted to that scene above, and I rejoice that there is a Man in the glory. What does it bring to us? It means this—man is lifted from a scene where he deserves nothing but death, and now man can be taken from the depths of ruin, above the angels into the presence of God. Can our hearts rejoice in that? Who has gained it? Christ Jesus. Therefore, the apostle can say, “I count all things but loss,” etc.
This world is going to be melted with fervent heat. We may get something here, or our hearts may go out after something in this poor world, but the time is not far distant when we shall be separated from this scene—taken to the scene of glory, and shall be with that blessed One who has gone up there—as we get in the close of this chapter, we shall be like Him. This is just like a tent to dwell in for a little while. Soon the stakes are going to be pulled up, and we are going to leave it, and we are going to be with Christ, and like Him. What shall I say? All things (whatever the character of glory down here), I will count but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
There is a Man that has gained a victory over Satan; there is a Man that has been down into the depths where sin had plunged us; He has gone triumphant above the angels. Well may that blessed, glorious Person fill the apostle’s heart to such an extent that he counts everything but loss.
(Continued from page 103)
(To be continued)

The Sealing of the Spirit

This important subject belongs altogether to the New Testament. In the Old Testament we see, as in Joel 2, the Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh in the time of Christ’s reign, and if you, dear reader, will take your concordance, you will be surprised to see in how many different ways the Holy Spirit is spoken of as coming upon and working with and in men. But in none of them did He come to dwell, but they were filled and used for occasions. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Sealing began with the Lord Jesus Himself. “Him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27). About the birth of Jesus, the angel said to Mary: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called Son of God.” (Luke 1:35). Here is one born of a woman, and yet sinless—the holy, spotless Lamb of God.
When He was about thirty years of age, when the godly in Israel were baptized of John in Jordan confessing their sins, He came also, but John said, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?” Jesus answered, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he suffered Him. He was there fulfilling righteousness, though not as a sinner confessing his sins. He could confess the sins of the nation, but He had none of His own. God declares it as He went up straightway out of the water: “Lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” He was justified of the Spirit.
There was nothing in. Him but what was pure and holy—fit for the work He came down to do. Then we find that all His works were in obedience to the Father’s will, and done in the power of this anointing of the Spirit (Acts 10:38). He had taken the place of dependence on God the Father, who thus strengthened Him by the Spirit as He walked in the path of obedience. In this, He is the pattern for us. Our God has promised to be a Father to all of His children who walk in the path of obedience (2 Cor. 6:17, 18).
Here also we get the three persons of the Godhead plainly revealed. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The saints now are specially related to each of them. To the Father, we are children. To the Son, we are His body and His bride. To the Holy Spirit, we are His dwelling place.
When the Lord Jesus came into this world, He was presented as King of Israel, but in such a lowly guise that the Jews did not want Him, and though all His works and words were full of grace to sinners, and the abhorrence of evil, they rejected and despised Him, and at last gave Him up to be crucified. Why was this allowed of God? Because God had ordained that He should be the sacrifice for sin, the Lamb of God, foreknown before the foundation of the world.
At the cross we see what a creature man is as a sinner, in putting the only One who was perfect goodness, to such a death. There, too, we see the love of God that sent His Son to make atonement for sin; and God’s hatred to sin, and love to man, comes fully out. There the full judgment of sin fell upon Him. He was forsaken of God, bore the judgment, and finished the work given Him to do; bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. Out from His side flowed blood and water—the witness that He was dead. He was buried, and God raised Him from the dead. God has crowned Him with glory and honor at His own right hand, marking for us His perfect acceptance and delight in what His Son has accomplished. This marks a new epoch.
In John’s Gospel, we find the Lord unfolding to His disciples that He was going away to the Father, and telling them of His coming again to receive them to Himself, to be with Him in the Father’s house. Then in John, chapters 14, 15, 16, we find that another Comforter is promised to be with them, and in them. He had been with them, but this other Comforter would dwell with them forever.
In Acts 1:4-8, He, when risen from the dead, tells them to wait at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me. Then He is taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. That was forty days after His resurrection. The next ten days are spent in praying, and waiting on the Lord. When the fiftieth day was fully come, that is, Pentecost, then the Holy Spirit came down and filled them all. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to preach to those pious Jews out of all the nations, who had come to Jerusalem to the feast, and they heard in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. Some mocking, said, “These men are full of new wine.”
But Peter, to whom the Lord had committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:19), that is, authority to receive or reject those who might be received into the profession of Christ’s name on earth (not into heaven; heaven has no keys), Peter stands up and gives the address. First, he shows them that it was not drunkenness, but of the same kind of Joel’s prophecy (chap. 2). That prophecy will yet be fulfilled when Israel is restored, but it was of the same character. Verses 19, 20 plainly show it was not fulfilled. Then he convicts them of putting to death their Messiah, as Psalm 16 points Him out. God raised Him from the dead.
Verse 33 tells us that this was the promise of the Father fulfilled.
Verse 36 makes them feel their guilt, “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
They were pricked to the heart, and said, “What shall we do?” Peter answers, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost,” and he calls on them to save themselves from this perverse generation. About three thousand were that day added to the company by baptism, and thus received the forgiveness of their sins, and the Holy Spirit to dwell in them.
Here we see that these pious Jews, Old Testament saints, are now brought into Christianity. They know the redemption that is theirs through the work of Christ, and are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is right to notice that none of the three thousand are said to speak with tongues; only those who were preaching did so, that all could hear and understand the gospel. Notice also that these are called devout or pious men, who repented and received the forgiveness of their sins, and the Holy Spirit.
Now they are not only born again by God’s Word and Spirit, but that blessed Spirit now has taken possession of them as His dwelling place.

Extract From a Letter

For the afflicted ones the Lord has an especial care, and we see Him as the “Great Shepherd” caring for the lambs and sheep of His flock.
What is wanted amongst us, is not so much Lew thoughts, though knowledge has its proper place, but what we have learned, and it may be some time ago, brought home in the power of the Holy Ghost to our souls. So as in the address to Philadelphia (Rev. 3), we have the Lord saying to these feeble but faithful ones, “Behold I come quickly, hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” I believe we are not so much in danger of giving up the truth, as losing the power of it in our souls, as for instance, the coming of the Lord, which has long been held as a doctrine, but is losing its power, and is in danger of doing so, in our souls.
It has been remarked something to this effect, if the devil can take away the coming of the Lord as a present hope, we lose spiritual power and are on the road which leads to the loss of our crown; but if this is kept bright before us, no man or devil can rob us of our crown. We were reading this morning, “If they speak not according to this word, it is because they have no light (margin, no morning) in them.” For the Jews, “The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” (Isa. 8:20, Mal. 4:2). But, alas, they have no such hope, and are a part of the apostate nation.

Not Down, but Through

When thou passest through the waters,
Deep the waves may be and cold:
But Jehovah is our Refuge,
And His promise is our hold.
For the Lord Himself hath said it;
He the faithful God and true:
“When thou passest through the waters,
Thou shalt not go down, but through.”

Seas of sorrows, seas of trials,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain;
Rolling surges of temptation,
Sweeping over heart and brain.
They shall never overflow us,
For we know His Word is true,
And the waves and all the billows,
He will safely lead us through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubts insidious undertow
Shall not sink us, shall not drag us,
Out to ocean depths of woe.
For His promise shall sustain thee,
Praise the Lord whose word is true,
We shall not go down, nor under;
For He saith, “Thou passest through.”

Fragment: Speaking of Christ

Whenever we speak to one another of Christ, He will always be one of the company. (See Mal. 3:16). Do our hearts long for His presence? Then let us speak together of Him more.

He Satisfieth the Longing Soul

In Psalm 107:9 we read these lovely words: “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Are we who are Christians, longing souls, hungry souls? Can we say as in Psalm 42, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God!”
Are we longing to know more of the Lord Jesus; longing to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”? Are we desiring, as newborn babes, the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby? If so, we shall be filled. He fills and satisfies the longing soul.
When the Lord Jesus was down here, and fed the multitude in the wilderness, He did not merely appease the pangs of hunger, for we read, “They did all eat, and were filled” — satisfied.
God delights in giving. He is the giving God. He has no need to act sparingly, either in temporal or spiritual things. He gives richly, He gives freely, He has given His own Son for us, and with Him will freely give us all we need to enjoy Him, to feed upon Him, to delight in Him. God the Father wants us to find our delight in the One in whom He finds all His delight—His own beloved Son. “He fills the hungry with good things.”

Fragment: Christ's Blessing

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you,” Luke 6:20-26. If you can make yourselves happy and comfortable in this world which has rejected the Lord Jesus, count not on His blessing.

Correspondence: Rom. 8:16; Isa. 53:8; 1 Cor. 7:20; Beg. of Christ's Ministry?

Question: One page 55, February “Young Christion,” on Romans 8:16 a fuller explanation is asked? H. C. S.
Answer: In the light of the New Testament, we see that all believers in God from the beginning of man’s history were born of God, but did not know, it was not given them to know, God as their Father. In Gal. 4:1-3 they are compared to children underage, minors, and as thus born of God—they have a life that can receive the Word of God (John 1:12, 13).
The first time our present relationship was unfolded, was in John 20:17 in the word to the disciples through Mary Magdalene. Romans 8:15-17 is the believer’s present portion as the family of God. The words “sons” and “children” are both used in this chapter; a careful looking at the context will show that sons of God indicates our position, and dignity, of full age; while “children of God” indicates the grace and relationship of children with God the Father. In Galatians 3:26, it should be “sons” (as it is in contrast to those of full age), with minors under tutors and governors, who did not know the Father, saints who lived and died before Christ went on high.
In 1 John 3:1, 2, the right word is “children,” not “sons” there, for we are looked at in the love of the Father and the Son, as the Family of God.
It is quite true, even now that many people have faith, and, like Cornelius in Acts 10, their prayers and their alms are acceptable to God, but though thus horn, yet they do not know that Christ died for their sins. We could not call them Christians, but hope to see them looking to Christ alone, and there finding in Him the One who bore their sins on the tree; and will also receive the Holy Spirit, “and be able to rejoice in God their Father, and the Lord Jesus as their own Savior.”
Question: Please explain Isaiah 53:8. O. T.
Answer: Verses 1-6, the remnant of believing Jews speaks. Then Jehovah speaks (7-9) of how men treated Him—arrested in the garden, treated with ignominy, shame and violence. He did not resist them, when treated as a transgressor. The thief now converted, declares His generation. He is cut off by giving Himself up to death. It was for others He died. Men appointed for Him a felon’s grave, but Jehovah took care of His body, that no corruption could touch it.
It helps our understanding of this part to divide it as follows—Isaiah 52:13-15, Jehovah’s voice; 53:1-6, the saints’ voices; 7-9, Jehovah; 10, the saints; 11, 12, Jehovah.
Question: Does 1 Corinthians 7:20 bind Christians to remain in the same worldly occupation as they were in when converted to God? D. C.
Answer: No. Read 1 Corinthians 7:18-24. Some were circumcised, others were uncircumcised. Some were slaves, others were free men. If a slave may be freed, he was to use it. If he was a slave, he was Christ’s free man. If he was free, he was Christ’s slave. All of them were bought with a price, the blood of Christ. Therefore whatever place they filled, they were to abide with God. If they could not abide with God where they were, they must give up their sinful circumstances or occupation, to walk with Him.
We are free to be led by the Lord into whatever occupation we may be suited for.
Question: Did the sixty-nine weeks end with the beginning of Christ’s ministry, or His triumphal entry into Jerusalem? O. T.
Answer: It was the death of Christ that broke off Christ’s relation with Israel as their Messiah. There He was cut off and had nothing. One more national offer was given them in Acts 3, in answer to His prayer on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do;” but they threw His sent ones into prison, and murdered His witness—Stephen. Then the godly remnant at Jerusalem, as a community waiting for their Messiah, were all scattered by persecution, which the Lord sent to scatter them. They no longer had all things common. Since then, the church, the body of Christ, looks for its Head as Bridegroom to take His heavenly people home (as in 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

The Grace of God Shown to a Miner in Alaska

I went to Alaska in 1897 to the Copper River Country, on a grub stake. As I was sledding my personal effects and grub and mining outfit, my eyesight began to fail. I had noticed that my eyes were not good about two weeks before. Finally, I came across a deserted cabin. I stopped in this cabin and let the crowd go by, as they expected to find plenty of gold. What hardships men will undergo to find the gold which perisheth!
With my bedimmed eyes, I thought it wise to rest a few days in hopes that my eyesight would improve. But to my surprise and dismay, my eyes kept getting worse, and after thirty days my sight was gone, and there was no apparent reason why I was thus blind.
My eyes were not inflamed, neither did they pain me. My sad affliction led me to think and wonder what would become of me. I was all alone, had but little fuel, and I did not expect any one to come to the cabin. Deep snows had covered every trail, and there I was shut out from the world, alone and blind. There was nothing left for me to do but to remain, eat up my provisions, lie in cot and keep covered with blankets to keep from freezing. I just waited to see what would turn up.
A panorama of my past life went before me. I was compelled to think, and I also discovered that I was cornered; there seemed to me no way out. I did not believe I would ever see again. I felt that if I could only die and never be found, it would be a relief. Twice in my life before, I had been given up to die, but this was worse; I wanted to die and could not. I was well in body, except that I was poor, old and blind. I had a wife and son in Denver who were depending on me. I had made one last effort to make another stake, and had failed. All hope had fled; the cabin was not in sight of the path; I did not think it possible for any one to come my way; there was no smoke to lead one to my cabin door; I was completely lost to all the world.
O, the horrors of being lost! To be lost in this world is frightful, but O, to be lost in the world to come—forever! How dreadful!
In this loneliness, this lostness, I began to feel the need of God, and of a Savior. My mother’s sweet face came up before me, and I remembered her prayers with vivid imaginations, although she had been dead forty years. She was a woman of faith, and always believed that God answered prayer. I remembered how she used to pray in the barn, away back on the hay where we could not see her. She was the only one in the family to pray. How I wished that I could believe as she did! I then began to think about praying myself. That was about all that was left for me to do, except to die. I asked God to help me, to send some one to deliver me. I prayed all day and all night, until I went to sleep. I felt better when I was praying. But no answer came. I continued to pray for three days and three nights constantly, except when I would sleep a little. There was no answer, so I became discouraged.
Finally, my eyes were turned in upon myself. I knew that I was a sinner. I tried to think of something else, but my mind would revert to my own wretched condition, and involuntarily I would begin to pray again. I was cut off from all earthly assistance; there was no arm of flesh to lean upon; I only could call upon God. My past life stalked before me like a ghost—the years of unbelief, and doubts, and sins. Perhaps this was why God did not answer my prayer. I began to think that I was completely cut off from God. Memory was active; am I lost from God? Why pray more? I any a lost man, and God will not hear me. I felt all hope was gone.
Finally, I began to repent of my past life. I saw that I had made an awful mistake; my feelings overcame me for a time. What a sad hour that was to me! But hope, like the rays of the sun, came to my rescue again. I said to myself, “I will not give up; I will pray again.” I determined to ask God to answer, so that I might know that He heard me. If He would do so, I would believe on Him the rest of my life. My sight came to me in the twinkling of an eye. I could see as well as ever. It was so sudden that it fairly surprised me. I was entirely overcome, and for a time I forgot everything. “O,” I exclaimed, “God has heard and answered my prayer! This is the most wonderful thing I have ever heard of. God must be here, and it seemed that I could feel His very presence. Yes, yes, God is surely here, for He has given me my sight! There is no mistake about it; I am sure that I was blind, but now I can see. O, this is wonderful! If I had only known about this wonderful God, I would have served Him all the days of my life.” I knew now that Christ had died for my sins, and I put my whole trust in Him as my Savior.
I began to be happy. I shouted a loud as I could, “Glory to God!” I got the door open, got out and on top of the hard snow. The sun was shining. The whole woods seemed to be alive; the treetops were clapping their hands, and everything seemed to be praising God.
My spiritual eyes had been opened; I was looking upon a new world. While nature seemed to dance, glisten and sparkle, the blessing in my own soul was more wonderful; I was filled with the glory of God.
The impression made upon my mind is indelible. My whole life was changed in a moment. “Old things had passed away; behold, all things had become new.” I knew the truth. I have experienced the new life in Christ. I know the supernatural power of God; I am not deceived; it is no delusion. Words fail me to express it. “It passeth knowledge.” I found the richest mine in Alaska. An inexhaustible mine; the more I take out, the more there is left; the deeper I dig, the richer the vein.
Now I am anxious to share it with the whole world.
“O, that the world might taste and see the riches of His grace!”
The riches of earth, such as gold, silver, and precious stones, are but for a time—a little while—then they fade away. But the riches of heaven that God pours into the soul, will last forever. They do business in the other world on the e riches. The more of these heavenly riches you compass here, the richer you will be over yonder. My brother, my sister, do not wait until you are old; accept this free gift today.
“Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23).
I was sixty-four years old when God met me in that lonely cabin. I had but one chance in ten thousand. How narrow was my escape! How fearful to contemplate! Hear the plea of one who knows. Do not delay!
It might be of interest to the reader to know just how I got out of the cabin. About June first, the men came back from their gold hunt up the river. They knew me and where I stopped, and so looked me up. They were in a sorry plight; their toes, noses, and hands were frozen. One of them had a small camera, and he took the picture of my cabin where God met me. In a few days we came to Prince William Sound, and from there we shipped for Seattle.
It is nearly fifteen years since both my physical and spiritual eyes were so miraculously opened. I dwell upon that hour with pleasure. I know how marvelous is God’s grace, and how terrible the soul that is lost. This vision was not given to me to hide under a bushel, but to pass along, that others who are blind towards God and His adorable Gospel (good news), may have their eyes opened. To Paul was said, “To open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” (Acts 26:18). I want the whole world to know that God will meet a needy one; that God will convince him of sin; that God will fill his soul, and give him peace through faith in Christ Jesus; and that God’s Word is true.
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa. 55:6, 7).

Surely, I Come Quickly

Brethren, hark! the midnight cry!
Lo! the Bridegroom draweth nigh!
Let us all with joy proclaim Him,
Lest our careless slumbers shame Him;
Shame, were ready none to meet Him—
None prepared with joy to greet Him!

Shame to us were robes not white,
Shame, were lamps not burning bright;
Shame, if not their vigils keeping,
He should find the virgins sleeping!
Hark! my brethren, hear the cry,
“Lo, the Bridegroom draweth nigh!”

Let us each repeat the cry,
Louder let the tidings fly;
Every virgin swell the story
Of the Bridegroom’s coming glory!
Lamps all burning, hearts all beating,
Longing for the joyous meeting.

Those That Seek Me Early Shall Find Me

In Psalm 63 the Psalmist says, “O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee.”
Last summer one wrote me saying, “I awoke early this morning, the sun was streaming into my room, so I read several chapters in the Gospel of Luke. One felt so fresh and ready for it.”
Yes, it is a good way to seek God early, before other things are allowed to take off the freshness of the appetite for the reading of the Word.
There is nothing down here for the new nature. It was “a dry and thirsty land where no water is” for the Lord Jesus, and the Christians find it the same. Jesus found all His refreshment in the Father, and from the Father. At one time He spent a whole night in prayer; at another time He arose a great while before day to commune with His Father, seeking, as the dependent One, from His Father, the strength and all He needed for each day’s toil and labor of love. He took this lowly place in grace, and trod this path of dependence, this path of faith before us, that we might learn from Him how to walk in it, how to look up to the Father as He did, for all that we need each day to walk in a way pleasing to Him.
Though there is nothing down here for the new nature, there is everything to attract and feed and please the old nature, and Satan tries to keep us so occupied with; things here that we may not long and thirst after God; that we may not find our delight in the Word and in prayer.
“Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.”
It has been said that we should seek to make the most of our time down here, as we shall never have another like it. If a Christian walks in a way pleasing to the Lord, it is a triumph of His grace, it brings glory to God.
When we get up there, faith will be changed to sight, and everything will be for us. Here we have to walk by faith where everything is against us, and if we are not watchful, will hinder us. Let us take heed to the words of the Lord Jesus to His disciples, “Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation,” remembering if the Spirit is willing the flesh is weak; but if we trust in the Lord, when we are weak then we are strong—strong in Another.
By the grace of God “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” Let us then, as one has said, “Run across the wilderness to glory.”
“Jesus the goal, before our soul,
The One we know in glory.”
“Christian pilgrim, watchful be,
Many eyes are watching thee.
Satan watches to enthrall;
Wordlings watch to see thee fall:
Savior, watch Thy servant too,
Guard and guide me safely through.”

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 7

In answer to some questions, and for necessary instruction to the assembly, this chapter on marriage was written. Marriage was instituted by the Lord God when man was created in innocence. In Matthew 19 the Lord Jesus goes back to the original institution to show that it is still binding on the man and the woman in every country and clime where man is found. In this chapter we have directions given to the Christian whether married or single. He begins by telling them that to avoid fornication it was intended that every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. The servant of the Lord, like Paul who walked in Spiritual power above what was right in natural things, this power given to him of God, is a sample of the exceptions in this chapter to the above rule. It is rare, and generally the servant of the Lord in the Word has free access visiting and ministering in households, because of his greater experience.
Verses 3-5 teach us that the marriage union consummated, the husband and wife belong to each other, and that they are to act mutually, so that with consent for a time they may give themselves to fasting and prayer and come together again, chaste and happy in the Lord.
This advice he gave them by permission, not of commandment. It could not apply to all.
Verse 7. He would that all men were even as he was. But every man had to do as it was given him of God. His advice to the unmarried and widows, was to abide in single life. But if they found the necessity to marry, they should marry. They would be happier then, and go on in it with the Lord, “heirs together of the grace of life.”
Verse 10. Now Paul the Apostle commands, but it is the authority of the Lord, “Let not the wife depart from her husband.” If that is impossible, and if she depart, she must remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband, and the husband is not to put away his wife.
Verse 12. But as to thee rest speak I, not the Lord: “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him; for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”
If a Jew under the law married a Gentile woman, God did not respect the marriage. The Jew was profaned, and the children were unclean (see Ezra and Nehemiah); but in Christianity, the marriage is recognized. The unbelieving partner is sanctified by the believing one, and the children are relatively holy, and to be trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).
This does not give license to the believer to take an unconverted partner, in the hope that such a one will be brought to the Lord afterward. Where this has been done, it has often led to a miserable life; and wretched results in the loss of communion with the Lord.
Verse 15. “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”
Verse 16 holds out a hope that the faithful walk and testimony, as grace would lead, might be the means of reaching the conscience of the yet unconverted partner, and of bringing that one into salvation.
Verses 17-24. The great thing therefore is for each to find his own path, and to walk with God in it. It is keeping the commandments of God, that is, obedience of the heart to Him. We need to learn that our times are in the Father’s hands, so he was to abide wherein he was called, and therein abide with God. If one was a slave and could be set free, he was to take his freedom; then he was the Lord’s slave, so the freed men were to be true servants of the Lord as bought with a price.
“Savior, what a love is Thine!”
How careful the Lord is to gain our affections, and the poor slave under perhaps a hard, heathen master could there “adorn the doctrine of God in all things.” (Titus 2:10).
Verses 25-31. “Now concerning virgins (or unmarried ones, men or women) I have no commandment of the Lord,” yet he gives his judgment, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. So he looks at the wretched world in which we are, he thinks of the blessed hope, and of the heavenly calling of the saints, and tries to lift them up in their souls into a heavenly atmosphere. He advises them to go on as they are, and whether married or single, to be occupied with spiritual things. If man and woman marry they have not sinned, nevertheless there will be unavoidable trouble in the flesh, but he spares them, and writes, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not disposing of it as their own; for the fashion of this world passeth away.” The apostle’s heart longed for their higher good for they had grown so little in divine knowledge. He would have them weigh the things of time in view of eternity, as his second epistle 4:17, 18 brings before them.
Verses 32-34. “I would have you without carefulness.” Then he puts their special privilege of devoting themselves, spirit, soul, and body to the things of the Lord, both single men and women, in a deeper way than married persons could. This was the path he walked in himself.
Verse 35. He said this not to cast a snare upon them. He knew the weakness, as well as the evil of the flesh, but for that which is comely, and that they might attend upon the Lord without distraction.
Verses 36-40. “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward himself” (his virginity—that is what it means) “he does not sin: let them marry.” Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart having no necessity, but hath power over his own will and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virginity, he does well. So he that marries does well, but he that does not marry does better. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth, but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord, but the apostle’s judgment was that the greatest happiness was to be as he was—wholly given up to the Lord; and so the man thought who had the Spirit of God; and who, except our blessed Lord, walked as Paul did? May we indeed be more like our blessed Master, whether married or single we can seek to own His claims over all we have and are.

Sealing

John 7:39 forbids us to think that any could receive the Holy Spirit to dwell in them, till Jesus was glorified.
Abraham believed on the Lord, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. His faith showed that life was there, but it was a promise of One to come that he believed, and that did not tell him that his sins were all put away, but only passed over (Rom. 3:25).
We, as Christians, have a finished work, and a living, risen Savior that gives us complete acceptance in Him before God. We are now “clean every whit” (John 13:10), for “By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” It is on the ground of the perfection of Christ’s finished work that God seals the believer. Christ was sealed, marking His perfection as a man. Believers are sealed by the Spirit to mark the perfection of the finished work of Christ.
There are some who believe in Jesus, real earnest souls, but Romans 5:1 is not enjoyed by them. “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” is true of those who rest upon the unchanging work of Christ. Yes, they may believe on Jesus, and not know salvation. They mix up their behavior and feelings, with faith; and know not where they are.
Look up, dear doubting believer, to the risen, glorified man at the right hand of God, and rest on Him who has forever satisfied God’s claims against you. Christ has done it all.
“Cease your doing; all was done,
Long, long ago.”
In Leviticus 14 we have typically these three things: In the cleansing of the leper, we see him, first (chapter 13:12, 13) a leper all over. Then God comes in (14:4-7) with the death of Christ, in the bird that is killed; and with the resurrection of Christ in the one that flies away. He is sprinkled with the blood seven times with cedar and scarlet and hyssop. That is the ground of his cleansing. Verses 8, 9, he washes himself shaving off his hair, and cleansing his clothes. This is done twice, with a week between. This answers to the work of the Spirit in him.
Then (Verse 14) the priest takes the blood of the trespass offering, and puts it on the tip of his right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot, answering to believing the finished work of Christ.
Next (Verses 15-18) the priest takes oil in his left hand, and with his right finger he puts oil on the top of the blood on the ear, thumb and toe, answering to the Holy Spirit sealing us as redeemed ones. All three might be done close together, as in the ease of the Jailor of Philippi, but the order is always the same. First the water; second the blood; third the oil. The rest of the oil in the priest’s hand, was put upon his head, signifying the Spirit is our power for worship.
It is generally the case that between being awakened from his state of death, the soul has many struggles to free himself; many exercises before he casts himself, as lost and undone, at the feet of the Lord; but there is no delay on God’s part to bless the soul, when it takes this place; nor any delay in sealing him, if he believes the gospel of his salvation (Eph. 1:13).
How much souls lose by the false teaching that there is no certainty, no full assurance of salvation until the end. It is such a denial of the grace of God, and of the value of the death of Christ. “Now is the day of salvation.” “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).

Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 3, Part 3

What would you think of a man continuing to work on a salary of $500 a year, when he was offered a position at a salary of $5,000 a year? You would think him very foolish. He says, “I would have to give up my old position in order to take the new one.” That is just like a poor sinner. May that blessed One fill our hearts more and more, so that we may say, with the apostle, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Now the apostle, as it were, has not reached there yet; that is, he has not landed in the glory, not obtained Christ—he has Him in his heart—but he is pressing on, he says, toward that mark for the prize of the calling on high, and forgets those things he had before, or the things that are behind. If he were to think of those things he had before, he might have a hankering after them, just as the children of Israel did.
They had heard of Canaan, that wonderful land into which God was going to put them, but they had their minds on things they had left behind; they remembered those things, so they longed to go back, rather than to go on. The apostle says, “Forgetting those things.” Paul was living down here in this world, with his thoughts in eternity. He was living, I might say, in the atmosphere of heaven. That is our portion. I doubt not, if there were only a little more of this with us, we would soon find a bright light, as we noticed last night, shining in the dark scene.
He says, “I don’t want to be found in my own righteousness, but in Him.” That is what we have. Is not that better than the righteousness of the law? How much better. It is God’s righteousness that meets all the claims of God, and glorifies Him. I can say, I have His righteousness. Why? Because I am in Christ Jesus. He can say, “Not as though I had already attained.”
Do you realize his thought of reaching on toward the goal, and his thought of being in Christ Jesus? If it is the thought of being in Christ Jesus, we have His righteousness, not we are going to have it, but we have it now, and are perfect, because we are in Him. The object before the apostle is this, that he is passing through the wilderness, and reaching on to the goal, and the nearer he gets, the brighter it gets.
Christ Jesus has laid hold of him; and beloved, Christ Jesus has laid hold of you and me, and that to put us in glory. The apostle says, “I want to get hold of that which I am laid, hold of for,” so he presses on to it. If I know I am in Christ, the thing for me is to be like Him while down here, and pressing on toward that mark. “Be followers together of me.” The apostle had Christ so before him, and so presented Christ to them, that he can say, “Follow me.” Others might not be able to say that, but I believe truly the apostle had a right to say it, for no one had such a view of Christ, and so presented Him as we get in this epistle, and nothing is going to keep our hearts against all the efforts of the enemy, and the attractions of this world, but Christ for our souls.
The 18th and 19th verses are a parenthesis. That is a solemn word for Christians. I don’t say these are Christians. Why does he bring that before them? The principle of it surely is to come home to our own hearts. Am I seeking gain, and at the expense of honor and glory to the Lord, to get along in this world? If I am, that 19th verse in principle, should come home to my heart and conscience.
“Our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven from whence we look (not for the Savior, but) for the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.” That is, He is to come as Savior, but not for the salvation of the soul. He has accomplished that. He shall appear the second time apart from sin. The first time He came in connection with sin, and was dealt with on account of our sins, and He will never come again for that; but what we get here is, He will come as Savior. In what way will He come as Savior for us? Notice the next verse. “Who will change (not our vile bodies, but) our bodies of humiliation.” God lets us into His thoughts and it is this: When He put man here on earth there was no such thing as corruption; but sin came in. What a creature Adam must have been when he came fresh from God, perfect in wisdom and knowledge! He had a perfect body, but sin came in, and he was mortal and corruptible, and now, dear friends, this is all the result of sin upon us, and it is a humiliating thing to us.
As an illustration; Suppose a man has lived a life of drunkenness, and sown the seed of corruption in his body, and in his old age he is converted. He still has in his body the result of his own folly. He carries it with him. It is a humiliating thing to him. Sin brought death in. Instead of being lifted up with pride and rejoicing, it is just to take the low place and say, “Yes, we are poor sinners, so have bodies of humiliation; death will take us if the Lord doesn’t come.” Satan would try to make us believe there is no such thing as sickness. The fact is, we have now a body of humiliation, but the Lord Jesus Christ is coming as Savior, and will change our bodies of humiliation, and fashion them like His own body of glory.
One once said she had a revelation from God that it was wrong to be sick. I said, “Are these the bodies we will have in glory?” Thank God, I am not going to have this body up there. I am going to have a body like His own body of glory. It is a body of humiliation now, but it is going to be changed like unto His own body of glory, and so He is going to come as Savior for this purpose. I am going to have my body fashioned like unto His own, and so if I am laid away in the grave, this corruption shall put on incorruptibility; and if living, this mortal shall put on immortality. Then shall be brought to pass (not now) the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” The blessed Lord gained that victory when He arose; He gained it for me and He has gone up there into the presence of God, and I rejoice and look forward to the moment which is not far distant, when I shall have my body changed like unto His body of glory, and be forever with Himself.
How precious to find that in this way Christ is so presented to us as the joy of our hearts. God grant we may thus take every part as it is given to us, and see Christ down, here on earth as we get in the second chapter, and say, “That is the pattern for me.”
Meekness and lowliness is my path, but for the joy of my soul, it is to see Him up there, and know He is coming for me, and will change my body of humiliation, and fashion it like His own body of glory. What a comfort I Shall we then be seeking after earthly things? Not if that truth lays hold of us, and, as the apostle says, “When I am laid hold of for that.” God grant we may lay hold of it, and easily forget the things that are behind.
(Continued from page 129)
(Concluded).

Come Unto Me: Matthew 11:28-30

“Come unto Me,” it is the Savior’s voice,
Calling to have me seek the very best;
Urging so earnestly: “Make Me thy choice,”
“Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.”

“All ye that labor” with a weight of care,
All “heavy laden,” neath a load of sin,
“Come unto Me,” for I will gladly bear
Thy heavy load, if thou wilt let Me in.

“Take My yoke upon you,” “easy” you will find it,
Take “My burden” also, you will find it light,
Lay your care upon Me, little will I mind it,
Trust Me to the utmost, I will guide you right.

O, my loving Savior, I will gladly “come,”
Take Thy “yoke” and “burden,”—thankful that I may;
Trusting Thee to guide me safely to Thy home.
Through this world of shadows to eternal day.

Fragment: Two Blessings

Two Blessings: Christ comes with a blessing in each hand; forgiveness in one, and holiness in the other; and never gives either to any who will not take both.

The Lord of Glory

All along the way in which the Lord Jesus Christ walked on earth, He manifested the Godhead in the perfection of humanity; yet His divine glory was hidden, except to faith, from which “He could not be hid.” There was the Eternal Son, in human form; full—full of grace and truth. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” As though the Father said to us, “I have found My pleasure in Him, and now I set Him before you to find your pleasure in Him.” The object heaven could look down upon, is the object we can look up to. Here is the meeting point for God and man. In Him there is for man true fellowship with God.
The great discovery for the soul of man is, “God was in Christ,” “God was manifest in the flesh.” His unclothed excellence it was not possible for man to see, to look upon; but yet, to faith, the Lord walked here as the bright shining sun, illuminating all around, and the path before. As He passed among men, the question raised was, “Who has eyes to see Me?” I do not believe that His Glory would ever dazzle or put the believing soul at a distance from Him; but to be at ease in the presence of His Glory—of His person—we must know the grace of His heart. We may walk about in the joy and comfort of the light which He sheds upon us, not regarding often the source, from which it comes. If we would contemplate the source, we must stop and look upon Him. “Behold the Lamb of God!” “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” “A great High Priest!”
The Lord was always the, perfect Servant; and as the perfect Servant He was the lover of the saints—the people of His God. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” How familiar He was with those who knew Him, He calls them by their names: He called Philip by his name— “He calleth His own sheep by name.” Are you prepared to be called by name? What nearness—and what beauty in being exercised with the tenderness of the mind of Christ. “We have the mind of Christ.” But what discoveries are there for our souls to make in the display of His grace and His affections. What a thing (in man’s esteem) it is to find a gold mine: a field of diamonds! How much more to find Christ! Nothing can compensate the soul for the lack of a personal knowledge of Christ. I speak of the secret which the soul of every saint should possess, the secret of personal communion.
The journey through this world is as a journey through a long dark path with glorious light above you and before you. Christ is that light. You want a lamp before your feet and a light for your path. The Word which speaks of Christ is that light. Christ in glory is the end to be attained. As we pass along a dark and narrow passage, with light at the far end, we get more light every step of the way we go. “The path, of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” His Word is, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He is our Forerunner.

Fragment: Useless to Christ

We are left here to display Christ; if we are not doing this, we are of no use to Him or to the world.

Correspondence: 1 John 2:28; Commandments; Heb. 13:8; Israel Type of?

Question: Will anyone be ashamed, or put to shame, from before Him at His coming? (1 John 2:28). M. C.
Answer: Notice that in 1 John 2:28 and in 2 John 8, it is the teacher who is spoken of, and it is the teacher’s loss that is spoken of. There will be so-called apostles put to shame before the Lord at His coming (2 Cor. 11:13; Rev. 2:2). There will be preachers (not Christians) that will be castaways (1 Cor. 9:27; 1 Cor. 3:17); as builders they will be utterly rejected. If these children did not abide in the Father and in the Son, it proved them to be false—they were not Christians.
Question: Were the commandments equally divided on the tables of stone? O. T.
Answer: The thought connected with two tables of stone is testimony. (Exo. 40:20; 2 Chron. 5:10).
Question: What does Hebrews 13:8 mean? W. I. C.
Answer: Jesus Christ, the Same, is the title of the unchanging One, I AM, Who ever abides, yesterday and today and forever. The One on whom all creation and redemption rests.
Dispensations change and fresh blessings are unfolded. He is ever the great I AM, “the Same.”
Question: What are the children of Israel a type of? W. I. C.
Answer: Nothing. The things that happened to them were types (1 Cor. 10:11; see margin), and were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the age are come.

What God Did for Me

I was an erring and dead sinner, never regarding the Lord’s Day, or even thinking of Christ’s name, except when sickness came, and I was dreadfully frightened of death. There was a great terror in my mind when I heard of people dying; I wondered whither they were gone; but still I went on and on for years, till my husband was taken very ill. At last the doctor said he could not do anything more for him, for he was dying.
“Dear doctor!” I exclaimed, “what do you mean?”
He answered, “I will try one more medicine, and if that does no good he can’t live.”
When the doctor had left my cottage I found myself with my dying husband alone. One terrible thought filled my heart—if he dies he will go to hell! I ran out of the cottage crying bitterly. There was a young man passing, and seeing me in tears he asked what was the matter, and I told him the doctor had said that my husband was dying. He asked me if he should go and send another doctor; I begged him to rather send a clergyman.
The only thought still on my mind was, if he dies he will go to hell.
The young man started off, and sent a servant of Christ, who quickly came. As he entered, he inquired, “You have a husband very ill, have you?”
I answered, “Yes, I have; please walk upstairs,” and I followed him.
He approached the bedside and said to my husband, “Do you know if your sins are forgiven?”
I told him he must not talk so to my husband, for he had not sent for him; but if he would please tell him where he could find comfort, as he was very ill. So this Christian read the Scriptures to him, and then knelt down and prayed. In his prayer he asked God to make the sick man’s wife a blessing to him. I told him he must not pray so, since I was a far greater sinner than my husband, as I had never read the Bible to him.
God’s servant spoke of the poor woman that touched the hem of the Savior’s garment, and was made perfectly whole, and then left us.
After this I felt that I should be the one to go to hell, and not my poor husband, for I had not only my own sins, to answer for, but his. Ah! the dreadful state I was in! I could not eat; I could not sleep; I paced my room and cried to God to save my husband’s life, pleading that he was a poor heathen, and all through me. Yes, it was all my fault, my whole life had been spent in serving Satan. O! what a wretched woman I felt and was now! with no hope for my husband’s life or for his soul, or for my own soul.
I went upstairs and knelt down beside my husband and cried so, that for a time I could not speak to God. Then how earnestly I besought Him to forgive me, and not to send my husband to hell through my sin.
The same dear Christian friend came often to see us, and how I welcomed his visits! Not a word that he said or read ever slipped my memory. After he left, I would sit by my dear husband and read the same scriptures all over again to him, hoping he would get comfort. I then knew nothing of the salvation of God; we were so ignorant, and the Bible had been a strange book to us up to this time.
My husband gradually got better; and, after a time, when he could be left, I said to him, “Now, dear, you can do as you like, but as long as I live I shall go on the Lord’s Day to hear the Word of God,” and I started off. In the evening he asked, “Going again?”
“O, yes!” I answered, “and as soon as you are able to go out you must come too.”
My eyes were now opened. I saw God’s way of saving sinners was through the gift of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But yet I had not taken Him for myself, and I could not rest, for I kept looking in at my wretched self, and at what I had done. The kind Christian, who had come to me in my great trouble, still came occasionally to see me and talked with me, but my sad state of soul continued.
One day I was speaking to a woman about God’s wonderful book and asked her if she knew she was saved. “O, yes!” she said, and quoted this passage of Scripture: “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” I saw it immediately, that God had given Christ for me, yes, for wicked me, and that I was saved through faith in Him. Ah! the joy, I could not contain more. I was constrained by His love to tell my dear husband of the wondrous peace I now enjoyed, and that I had now in Christ all I wanted, for this world and for eternity. He seemed quite afraid of me, and perhaps thought I had lost my mind. How differently I prayed now by his bedside; it was all praise and thanksgiving.
I took my precious Bible, and went from house to house in our village to tell of the blessed Savior of sinners. Especially I went where I heard anyone was dying, and most blessedly did God work. Many, hearing of my joy in Christ, came to my cottage to hear the Bible read, and to inquire what they must do to be saved.
My dear readers, many years have passed since this great change took place, and my blessed Savior seems more and more precious to me, and nearer and nearer every day. What joy to be even now all day in His precious company; but what will it be to see Him as He is when in the Father’s House above! O, let us fill up our time for our Lord and Master, who loved us unto death. Souls surround us on every hand who are treading the broad road to hell; what are we doing, who have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, to help them into the narrow way? Are we so living that others may be blessed through us? We are not saved to live to ourselves, but unto Him who died for us and rose again (2 Cor. 5:15).

He Saved a Poor Sinner Like Me

I was once far away from the Savior,
And as vile as a sinner could be,
I wondered if Christ the Redeemer
Could save a poor sinner like me;
I wandered on in the darkness,
Not a ray of light could I see,
Till the thought filled my heart with sadness
There’s no hope for a sinner like me.

It was then in that lonely hour,
A voice whispered sweetly to me,
Saying, Christ the Redeemer has power
To save a poor sinner like thee.
I listened, and lo! ‘twas the Savior
That was speaking so kindly to me.
Then I cried, I’m the chief of sinners,
Thou canst save a poor sinner like me.

Fully then I trusted in Jesus,
And O what a joy came to me,
My heart it was filled with praises,
For He saved a poor sinner like me.
No longer in darkness I’m walking,
But the light is shining on me,
And now unto others I’m telling,
How He saved a poor sinner like me.

Abiding in Him

Let us look at the woman in the Pharisee’s house, washing the Lord’s feet; and at His words: “Abide in Me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.”
Fruit-bearing is only the result of abiding in Him, and the real abiding in Him is the being constantly occupied with Him. We get cold if not occupied with Him. Take one day of our mind’s course; there are the wanderings and there is the inward spring of evil. It is a course of wandering from the Lord in thought and mind, that is so important whether we fall or not. A person may be walking in a right way, and fall by accident, as we say. But a person may start in a wrong way, and his whole course be wrong; there is a constant going the wrong way. Real, fruit-bearing can only be when in the right way, that is, when walking near Him.
The poor woman would not have been in the Pharisee’s house if Jesus had not been there. It is nice to be where Jesus is. I must be in heaven in heart and mind. But wherever He is, there is no obstacle which can keep out love. She loved Him for His grace, and for that which led Him to meet her need. His living Person was there, and she was drawn to Him. There was that in Him which drew her. It is a comparatively easy thing to walk in the presence of one we are drawn to.
If in our own esteem we are sinners above others, and if there is a deep work of God in our souls, and a deep sense of His grace, it does not matter where Jesus is, we shall be there. Where there is one of His little ones, we shall seek him out, however poor and uninstructed. Where He is, and where His are, there shall we be too, and the result of being with Him, is conformity to Him. Love attracts to His presence; and in His presence we must be like Him.
And to be like Him is to be holy, and, the end everlasting life.
He did not say, “Go and sin no more.” No the attractiveness of His presence kept her from that. Her forgiveness—and what that would cost Him!—the bearing of sin to One so holy—only her own vileness, if she had the sense of these things, would keep her, would attract her to Jesus; and us, too. And in abiding in Jesus there is fruit-bearing. Having our minds always in fellowship with Him, the course of our minds will then be fruit-bearing, and the course of our walk will correspond. And thus, and only thus, it is that we shall be kept from falling. May we ever be kept in His presence.

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 8

In this chapter there are instructions concerning eating things offered to idols. One might have knowledge that an idol is nothing. Knowledge of this kind tends to make a man proud, but divine love in his heart would make him careful not to hurt the conscience of another who has not that knowledge. And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. We ought all to be humble and ready to learn, for if we truly loved God, we know He knows us through and through.
So that in the eating anything offered to idols, care had to be taken that no one’s conscience was defiled. We know there is only one true God, though Pagans have their gods and lords many. To Christians, there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.
The apostle does not unfold the Lord’s divinity here, but the place that we as Christians know of God the Father, and, of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is contrasting that with idolatry, which had gods many, and lords many. We who are Christians, think of God as our Father, and of Christ who became man and did not cease to be God, but we address Him as Lord. It is the position (Acts 2:36) they hold toward. us that is considered here, not the divine nature. Both we know are equally divine. The Lord is here, as elsewhere, the active Agent, all things are of the Father, and by the Lord.
Verse 7. Some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol: and their conscience being weak, is defiled. Even if our knowledge was faulty, we must keep a good conscience, or our communion is broken—we must not do things we believe are wrong. We should be ready to learn from the Word at all times, but doing that which we know or think is wrong may lead to shipwreck. (1 Tim. 1:19. See further on eating 1 Cor. 10:27-29).
What we eat commends us not to God, but we must acknowledge God in thanksgiving, and eat according to His instructions, taking heed lest our liberty become a stumbling block to them that are weak. “For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in an idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things, which are offered to idols?” Not every converted idolater was delivered from the influence of false gods on his imagination. Thoughts of a real being in the idol still had a hold on him, and knowing it as a false God, when he saw another brother eating in the idol’s temple, it was fellowship with the idol. He loses his happiness, and starts on a wrong path.
Verse 11. “Through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.” He was estranged from God by the act. We know from such passages as John 5:24; 10:28, 29, that a true believer could not be eternally lost. The Lord would not let him go on to a lost eternity, but as far as the stronger brother’s action went, he was leading him on the downward road. It was against the brethren—it was sin—and wounded their weak conscience, and it was sin against Christ. It does not excuse one who leads another on the down track, because I know that he will not be finally lost. “Wherefore,” says the apostle, “if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I become a stumbling block to my brother.” Thus we get an example in the apostle to take care that our liberty, which we think we have, may not be used of Satan to turn aside some dear child of God. This principle applies to more things than fellowship with idolatry.

Go Out Quickly

“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” (Luke 14:21, 23).
The Lord is coming quickly,
And darker grows the night;
The air is hanging thickly,
And evil near its height.
Alas! how truth is sunken,
And trampled in the streets;
Some drink, too, with the drunken,
And eat their dainty meats.

O, brethren, then awaken,
Arise, ye sons of day;
We soon shall hence be taken,
Now let us work and pray.
In every town and
At many a cottage door.
Is soil awaiting tillage,
Is fruit among the poor.

Go forth, ye earnest preachers,
Where God shall guide your feet,
And tell His sinful creatures
How He their souls will greet.
Proclaim in lane and alley,
How Christ, the Savior, died;
And, risen from earth’s valley,
He now is glorified.

Lift up your eyes enlightened,
And look upon the fields;
Already are they whitened,
The crop abundance yields.
God, in His grace, engages,
That they shall rest who toil;
The reaper shall have wages,
The sower share the spoil.

Then, heed we not the weather,
Nor care for toil and heat;
We all shall rest together,
When Christ has housed His wheat.
Then, gone all grief and sadness,
In yonder place we’ll roam;
Rejoice in Christ’s own gladness,
And hail His harvest-home.

Answers to Inquiries

In John 14:16, 17, 26 the Lord promises that the Father will send another Comforter. He was going away, but this other Comforter would abide with them forever, and would dwell with them, and be in them. In Acts 2:33, Peter says that He has now come. Pentecost was fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. Then it was that the baptism of the Holy Ghost took place (the baptism of fire is judgment, and is still future. (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16). Notice John 1:33 leaves the baptism of fire out): 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13 tells us it was the forming of believers, sealed with the Spirit, into one Body.
If you examine the Scriptures you will see that the baptism of the Spirit is not individual, but corporate. Individuals are sealed. The body was formed by the Holy Spirit coming upon them all at once; since then, we, Jews or Gentiles, who have believed the gospel, are united to the Head and to each other, by receiving the Holy Spirit. Some have mistakenly called this the second experience or blessing; but really, no one in Scripture is called a Christian, till the Holy Spirit dwells in him (Rom. 8:9, 15; John 7:39).
It is not by external signs that we know that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. He sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). He bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Rom. 8:16). It is by Him we say “Abba Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). He comes to dwell in us because we are sons. He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.
We will look now at some of the ways of God in the Acts of the Apostles.
In chapter 1, we find the disciples, for ten days after the ascension of Jesus, waiting in prayer for the promise of the Father (verses 4, 5), and in chapter 2 it is told us how He came. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. This was not gabbling, or jabbering, it was intelligent speaking, which those present could understand, and everyone could hear in his own tongue, the wonderful works of God. This was the beginning of the time mentioned in Caiaphas’ prophecy (John 11:52), when the children of God were to be gathered into one.
Peter had been given by the Lord (Matt. 16:19), the keys (not of heaven, that has no keys) of the kingdom of heaven—that is, the authority to admit or reject the subjects for the kingdom—the profession of Christ’s name on earth. He now stands up, and convicts them of rejecting and murdering the Messiah, whom God has now glorified, and quotes Joel 2 to show them that these men were not drunk, as they supposed, but that it was of that kind which prophesied there. The signs did not take place, nor was the Spirit poured upon all flesh, but it was of that kind. Joel 2 will be fulfilled when Israel is restored to their land and to the Lord.
Thousands of these godly Jews heard this, and were pricked to the heart, and said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” They must own with repentance the name of the crucified One, before they could be forgiven or receive the Holy Ghost. We could not baptize any for this purpose now, as we shall see in Acts 10:43, 44.
There is no evidence of any here speaking with tongues, except the preachers; no falling down, no screaming, nor indecent disorder all was solid reality.
Notice also, the hundred and twenty could not baptize themselves; they did not need that. They were the nucleus formed by the Spirit, into which the rest entered by baptism. It is the house aspect. The body is formed by God (1 Cor. 12:12, 13). Man cannot bring any into that body.
After the murder of Stephen, a great persecution began, and all the disciples were scattered abroad, except the apostles. They could not be a community any longer with one purse: they could not wait for the King to come back any longer. They had to leave everything, but with glad hearts they preach the Word wherever they go. Philip, a deacon at Jerusalem, proves that he is an evangelist everywhere, and going down to Samaria he preached Christ unto them, and God confirmed the Word by the miracles he did. Hebrews 2:3, 4, is God’s use for miracles. Then he baptized them all, both men and women, but none of them received the Holy Spirit, till Peter and John came down from Jerusalem, and prayed for them, and laid their hands on them; then they received the Holy Ghost.
Here we must consider the antagonism of the Jew and the Samaritan to each other. God would not have two divided assemblies, two fellowships, for there is only one Spirit and One body (Eph. 4:4), and this was taught here in that God withheld the Holy Spirit, till they are acknowledged one by the apostles’ laying on of hands. God is careful that we should maintain the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. This case is neither like Acts 2 nor Acts 10, as we shall see.
Here again we can notice the difference between the work of the Spirit in us, and the indwelling of the Spirit. The first gives life; the last gives us power to live and to enjoy the things of God, and to call God our Father.
Again, there is no mention of speaking with tongues among the converts. There is no mention of the eunuch receiving the Spirit. John 7:39 is enough to show that he was sealed. In Acts 9, we have the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Again we see the effect of the Word in the sinner, convincing him of his lost condition, and this continued for three days, when he neither ate nor drank. Then the Lord, who spoke to him on the way to Damascus, sent a disciple called Annaias to him, who came in, laid his hands on him, called him “Brother Saul,” and added, “The Lord, even Jesus... hath sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” The scales were gone, his sight came back, and he arose and was baptized (See also his own narrative in Acts 22:16). He tells this verse to Jews, for he pictured their position. Forgiveness of sins was administered in his case, like Acts 2, in baptism. (Compare John 20:23 for this).
In Acts 10, we have the Gentiles brought in; while they did not know salvation, were thus not saved (while safe enough if they died, like Abraham, and other Old Testament saints), yet we see plainly something in them that was not the flesh; “devout” means “pious” or “godly,” and Cornelius showed it in his works and prayers, which God accepted (see verses 2, 4, 22). God gives Cornelius a vision, and Peter a vision, and prepares each for his part—overcoming Peter’s scruples regarding the unclean Gentile, and preparing Cornelius and his company to hear the good news, and this Cornelius is ready to believe at once, ready to worship Peter as God’s messenger, and says, “We are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded of God.” There is every mark here to show that he was already born again, really converted long ago. But now something is to be added; he is to hear of the work of Christ, and that “Whosoever believeth on Him shall receive remission of sins.” No sooner are the words uttered than they are believed, and no sooner believed than “the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.” They are sealed at once, united to Christ the Head in glory. They are members of His body, and children of God the Father. Peter too is astonished and so are his company, but it is true, “on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” And this time they speak with tongues, and magnify God. They do not jabber or gabble. It is intelligent worship to God, understood fully by those present. It was evidently to convince the Jews and Peter that God was also granting to the Gentiles repentance unto life. Again Peter uses the key; and; in the name of the Lord, commands that they be baptized.
In going over this narrative to the Jewish brethren at Jerusalem, Peter remembered the word of the Lord, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost,” thus owning these Gentiles as one with those in Jerusalem or elsewhere.
In Acts 19 Paul meets twelve of John Baptist’s disciples, who had not heard the gospel of the grace of God, nor did they know that the Holy Ghost was now dwelling in His house on earth. These were believing Jews, but did not know the finished work of Christ, and were still on Jewish ground. Paul taught them to believe on Christ Jesus, the glorified One. They were baptized to the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul laid his hands on them, thus expressing their oneness with the Christians. Then the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Again, it is intelligent speaking, as the word “prophesying” shows.
These three cases of speaking with tongues are all that are in the Acts. In 1 Corinthians 14, we find the gift of tongues, but it is no mark of spirituality, and it was forbidden to speak with tongues, unless there was someone to interpret. Paul spoke with tongues more than they all, but he would rather speak five words with his understanding, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue (1 Cor. 14:18, 19).
Miracles, gifts of healing, diversities of tongues, are only second class, and are no mark of spirituality, as seen in the Corinthians.
At the beginning, the Word was confirmed by works of power (Heb. 2:3, 4). This has been done. Faith cometh by hearing, not by seeing (John 2:23-25; 11:40).

It Is Himself Who Is Coming

The Lord brings us back from the prophetic testimony to Himself— “I, Jesus, have sent Mine angel, I am the root and offspring of David (this is in connection with His being source of promise, and heir of it, as King in Zion— ‘Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies’), and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16).
But the moment He presents Himself as the bright and morning star, “the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come;’” the Holy Ghost in the church says, “Come.” This response is what is connected with Himself; the mention of Himself attracts and awakens the answer of the Spirit; this is the character in which the church herself has to say to His coming. God, in the love of His own heart, has associated the church with Jesus, and the very mention of His name awakens the cry, “Come!” for it touches a chord which gives an immediate response; and, therefore, He does not say here, “Behold, I come quickly.” The question here is not when He will come, but that it is Himself that is coming. He does not speak of His coming—blessed though that thought is—but He reveals Himself; and this it is that awakens the response of the heart, by the power of the Holy Ghost. We are for Himself, and shall be with Himself—it cannot be anything short of this, for He calls us “His body.”
What a glorious place this is! Not merely wonderful, but a glorious identification with the Christ of God! No explanation of prophetic Scripture, however nice and true it may be, however useful as a solemn warning as regards this world, can ever take the place in the soul that is taught of God, of knowing its living union with a coming Jesus, of the present waiting for Himself.
No mere explanation of His coming as a doctrine, is the proper hope of the saint. That hope is not prophecy; it is the blessed and sanctifying expectancy of a soul that knows Jesus, and waits to see and be with Himself.
The bride alone hears the voice of the Bridegroom, which at once calls out the expression of her desire of His coming. To this He responds, assuring her of it, “Surely I come quickly,” and then the revelation closes, leaving this as her own expectation, whatever He may have previously communicated to her concerning the judgment of this world, to which she does not belong. The Lord Jesus is represented as descending Himself, and coming and taking His bride to be with Him. Then when the world is saying, “Peace and safety,” sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape.

Christ Is Our All

The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s blessed Son, is all our salvation. There is no salvation, no perfect peace, no real joy, no power over sin and Satan, no good works, no effectual service, till Jesus be received into the heart. In Jesus and Jesus alone we find eternal life, present happiness, and future glory. “Christ is all.” (Col. 3:11). Jesus is the chief good—the center of rest and the source of grace and truth. God gives not His good things apart from Jesus; Jesus must be received first, and in Him we receive every blessing.
Communion with Jesus, in the spirit of faith and prayer, should be the habit of our life on earth; so precious is He that we should never forget Him, but always realize Him present in all places. “To me to live is Christ.” (Phil.1:21). Any other object than Jesus is below the Christian’s dignity. Pursuit after riches, or honors, or worldly pleasures, is folly and sin.
A godly and beloved minister sent the following from his deathbed to his people: “I have preached to you for thirty-two years, the complete atonement of Christ, His perfect righteousness, and salvation through His blood. These truths are now my hope, my comfort, my stay. I believe that God’s righteousness is mine, and that Christ’s atonement is my perfect satisfaction for sin; and God’s Holy indwelling Spirit is my support and my life now. In this faith I have lived, and in this faith I die. I have nothing else, and I want no more. My faith is firm as a rock.”
On another occasion he said to one by his side, “We ministers of the gospel ought to set before our people more fully the joys of communion with Christ as a living and present Friend. We are apt to preach about Christ, rather than to preach Christ; about salvation, rather than to set forth the Savior. I have learned to think more about the Person of my living Savior than about the doctrines that concern Him; and if I were raised up again from this bed of sickness—while I should preach the doctrines that I have ever preached—I would set before my people the joy of present personal communion with Jesus; for He has said, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’”

The Hours of the Lord Jesus

In reading the gospels I am very much struck with the way in which every hour of the time of the LORD JESUS is filled up.
There is no “loitering” in the path of the Blessed One through the world; no seeking (like we seek) for ease: life with Him is taken up with the untiring activities of love.
He lives not for Himself: God and man have all His thoughts and all His care. If He seeks for solitude, it is to be alone with His Father. Does He seek for society? It is to be about His Father’s business. By night or day He is always the same. On the Mount of Olives praying; in the Temple teaching; in the midst of sorrow comforting, or where sickness is, healing; every act declares Him to be the One who lives for others. He has a joy in God man cannot understand; a care for man that only God could show.
You never find Him acting for Himself. If hungry in the wilderness, He works no miracle to supply His own need; but if others are hungering around Him, the compassion of His heart flows forth, and He feeds them by thousands. O! that we were more like Him!

You Belong to Christ

You take the place of being a sinner saved by grace,
One, by His grace, entitled to fill a heavenly place;
Made meet, e’en now to enter those courts of light above,
Where all the ransomed people will know the Savior’s love.
You claim to be accepted In God’s beloved Son,
And joyfully acclaim Him the heaven’s Beloved One.

You say you are forgiven, are saved and Justified,
And waiting for the moment when you’ll be glorified;
The death of Christ has severed the ties that bound you here,
And now your hopes are centered within a brighter sphere;
That, by the Holy Spirit, you’re linked with Christ above,
A member of His body, an object of His love.

These things are true and certain of one who knows the Lord,
For we behold them written in His most holy Word.
But what about your motives, your habits and your ways?
And how are you devoting your hours and your days?
Is Christ the One you live for, as time goes quickly by,
The Christ of God who suffered, who lives for you on high?

Has this poor world an object that you would seek to gain,
For which you spend your talent, and labor, might and main?
Its riches, with its pleasures, and all its glories, too,
Should never be the object for such an, one as you.
Your high and holy calling, your blessings and your birth,
Make you an heir of heaven—no citizen of earth.

Your hopes, and aims, and motives, your words and actions, too,
Should prove to others ‘round you that you to Christ are true.
Then let your light shine brightly in this dark world of woe,
And speak of Him to others as through this world you go.
Be loyal, true and faithful, yea, in His strength be strong,
And show to saint and sinner, that you to Christ belong.

Lay all upon His altar—yourself, your wealth, your all—
With joyful expectation await the Master’s call.
And, when In heavenly glory you see Him face to face,
Through those eternal ages you’ll praise Him for His grace;
You’ll cast your crowns before Him, and loud His grace extol!,
He then will be your Portion, the Object of your soul.

Correspondence: Mark 16:15; Call Jesus King; Acts 1:11; Job 33:14-30

Question: “And is baptized, shall be saved.” (Mark 16:15). Is baptism necessary for salvation? M. C.
Answer: There is nothing vital in being baptized. The Lord instructed His servants to go and preach the gospel, and they are instructed to baptize their converts. It was obedience in the servants to baptize them, but if those heathen converts refused baptism, and still remained on heathen ground, they would be still outside the Church on earth, and who could say that they were saved. That would be a question left to the Lord. “The Lord knoweth them that are His.” Obedience to baptism is the obedience of the servants, not of the converts. They do not baptize themselves, but are to submit to it being done. It is a privilege. The eunuch esteemed it so. (Acts 8).
Question: Is Jesus our King? Should we call Him that? C. M.
Answer: Many crowns are on His head. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, King of Israel, King of Nations; but to the church, He is our Savior, our Lord, our Head, our Bridegroom. He is our Beloved.
“His scepter rules creation. His wounded hand rules me; All bow before His footstool, I but the nail prints see. Aloud they sound His titles, as Lord of lords, most High, One thrilling thought absorbs me—this Lord for me did die.”
Question: Is Acts 1:11 Christ’s coming for us, or is it His appearing? C. M.
Answer: “Shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go.” The believing remnant of the Jews saw Him go, and they will see Him come for their deliverance. But at the rapture, it will be in a moment, when the shout is given, we shall find ourselves there—the dead raised, the living changed, and every believer caught up to meet the Lord in the air, so to be forever with the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:15-18).
Question: Please explain Job 33:14 to 30. It is taught by some that the “messenger” (verse 23) teaches healing of the body, a so-called faith healer. W. I. C.
Answer: If you take your Concordance, you will often find that “healing” is figurative of the restoration of Israel, and so it is in Isaiah 53:5. For us there it is the salvation of the soul. It belongs to Israel’s earthly calling.
In Job. 33, Elihu is God’s messenger to interpret God’s dealings with men.
Verses 8 to 11 describe Job’s mistake in upholding his own integrity, for God is greater than man.
Verses 14 to 22 describe some of God’s ways to make men think of eternal things, we get dreams and pain and wasting sickness with no hope, dying in darkness, to go down to the pit of destruction.
Verse 23. The messenger, an interpreter, one among a thousand, shows the man his uprightness or duty, and this convicts the sinner of his sins, for he has failed to do his duty, and he needs to feel that he has sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and is guilty and lost (verse 19). When the sinner takes this place, then God’s gracious messenger comes to him, “Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom.” God has in view, Christ and His finished work, and on that ground could deliver or save his soul (Rom. 3:25).
Verse 25. We now see a new man (in figure, see Col. 3:1-3). It is the new creature in Christ Jesus, where no condemnation can ever come (Rom. 8:1).
Verse 26. There we get him in communion with God in prayer, enjoying God’s grace and seeing His face with joy, for God has given him His righteousness through the death of Christ His Son (2 Cor. 5:21).
Verse 27. (New Trans.) He will sing before men, and say, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it was not requited me.” Another bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so sin is not requited to the believer in Christ.
Verse 28, continues his song. “He hath delivered my soul from going into the pit, and my life shall see the light.” It is as when first we sang,
“Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away.”
And as another wrote,
“There is no condemnation, there is no hell for me;
The torment and the fire my eyes shall never see.
A Rock that stands forever, is Christ my righteousness!
And there I stand unfearing, in everlasting bliss.
The Sun that shines upon me is Jesus and His love
The fountain of my singing is deep in heaven above.”
In verses 29, 30, Elihu further says, God repeatedly works in those ways to save men’s souls. There is no mention of healing of the body in the chapter. God’s discipline was removed when Job took the place as an unworthy sinner when he said, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Chapter 42:5, 6. God put him through all that discipline to give him the, peace that he did not have before. (See chap. 3:25, 26).

None but Christ Can Satisfy

“Don’t bother me about conversion, I know all about it, but the truth is, I like the world, and I’m not going to turn religious yet. Take your way, and I’ll take mine. Go to your meetings, sing your hymns, and pray, but don’t trouble me anymore. I’ll be all right someday,” and with these words Willie left the room where his sister sat reading.
He was the only son of a fond mother, a kind, affectionate boy, but not saved. His sister Annie was three years older and had been converted to God two years. Now she longed to see her brother on the Lord’s side, and prayed and sought every opportunity to bring the gospel and his need of it before him. Once and again he had been awakened, but the fear of his companions’ sneers had kept him from deciding to be the Lord’s. He was far from happy, indeed, at times he seemed thoroughly miserable, for whatever his lips might utter in the way of excuse or defense, he was fully aware that the path he was treading had its end in hell, and that his mother and sister had the best of it for time as well as eternity.
All the afternoon, Willie had been preparing to go out with some friends, to enjoy an evening’s “entertainment,” and just as he was putting on his coat to go, Annie ventured to say, “I wish I saw you going out to spend the evening in the service of the Lord, Willie. I wonder when that will be?” The reply he made we have just quoted, and then Willie hurried off to join his companions. Annie heaved a sigh as she saw him go, and her oft-repeated heart-breathing went up to the throne, that God, with whom all things are possible, would lay his hand on Willie and bring him to Himself.
The evening passed away, and Willie returned about ten o’clock. He spoke very little, but from what he did say, Annie gathered that the evening’s entertainment had been disappointing. It had not come up to his expectations. Like most of the world’s affairs, it was less brilliant than it had been represented, and Willie seemed out of temper over it. Perhaps there was another reason, too; his conscience was ill at ease, and that often spoils a worldling’s joy. He retired to his room shortly after he came home, and, of course, Annie had to remember his rule, and say nothing to him on the subject of conversion, but she sang to herself the familiar lines:
“I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But ah! the waters failed;
E’en as I stooped to drink they fled.
And mocked me as I wailed.”
Willie knew the meaning of the words full well, and for whom they were intended, too, so he quietly said, “Good Night” to his mother and sister, and passed into his room to be alone with God.
What passed there between the awakened youth and his God, I cannot tell; but in about half an hour, Annie heard a sound coming from Willie’s room, as if someone was speaking aloud, and fearing he might be ill, she gently tapped at the door. Willie opened it, and before Annie had time to speak, he threw his arms around her neck, and bursting into tears, he said, “We’ll sing the chorus of your hymn together now, Annie,” and he led off himself, with the words:
“Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus found in Thee.”
Annie joined, but she scarcely knew what she sang. The whole matter seemed like a dream, as the Psalmist knew, when “the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,” and they were “like unto them that dream, their mouth was filled with laughter, and their tongue with singing” (Psa. 126:1, 2). Had Willie trusted Christ? Had he passed out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God? Yes, indeed. There he stood, confessing with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and owning Him as the Savior and Satisfier of his soul. There was great joy that night under the widow’s roof. Mother, son, and daughter knelt together, and gave God their thanks, that now this dear, one who had long been prayed for, had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior—was redeemed by This precious blood shed on Calvary’s cross.
“But did it stand?” you may be inclined to ask. Yes, of course, it stood, for it was the workmanship of God. He was a new creation in Christ wrought of God’s Spirit, and the same is wrought in every sinner who casts himself wholly and only on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The next morning Willie went straight to the circle of his companions, and confessed the Lord, told them he had been converted, and would by grace follow in the Lord’s ways. And he did, heartily and joyfully, testifying to all around him, by his lips and life, of the saving power of Jesus’ Name.
Reader, have you been converted? If not, why not? The world has nothing new to give. Its pleasures do not satisfy, and death will end them all. Then comes eternity an eternity without God, without Christ, in hell. Can you, with open eyes choose such a portion, or will you today choose Christ?
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

Old Betty

Betty was brought to the knowledge of the Lord in her old age, and from the time of her conversion never thought she could do enough for Him who loved her, and had washed her from her sins in His own blood. She went about doing good. She was ready to speak of her Lord and Master to all she met. She would nurse the sick, visit the afflicted; she would give to those poorer than herself portions of what kind, Christian friends bestowed on her. In short, she was always abounding in the work of the Lord.
But in the midst of this happy course, she caught a violent cold and rheumatism set in, and was confined to her bed. There she lay, day after day, week after week, till the Lord took her home.
On her sickbed Betty was as happy as she had been in her active duties. She was much in prayer, repeated hymns and passages of Scripture about her blessed Lord to Whom she was going.
One day Betty was visited by a minister who had long known her. He was astonished to see his once active and useful old neighbor so happy in her bed, and he said, “I little expected, Betty, to see you so patient; if must be a very great trial to one of your active mind to lie here so long doing nothing?”
“Not at all, sir, not at all,” said Betty. “When I was well I used to hear the Lord Jesus say to me day by day, ‘Betty, go here; Betty, go there; Betty do this; do that,’ and I used to do it as well as I could, and now I hear Him say every day,
‘Betty lie still and cough.’”
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam. 15:22).
“I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11).

Fragment: What to Believe?

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe,” What? “ALL that the prophets have spoken.” O, how that should bind round your heart and mine every jot and syllable of God’s Word!

It Is Finished

Where is now the sinner’s Surety,
He who once was crucified?
All God’s waves of wrath went o’er Him
When He suffered, bled, and died.
“It is finished!”
Grace and truth are glorified.

In the grave they could not find Him;
He had told them so before:
Justice could no longer bind Him—
Mourners, let your fears be o’er,
“He is risen!”
Jesus lives for evermore.

“Peace unto you!” this His greeting,
Word of Him, who cannot lie,
From the heart that bore our judgment,
Heart of love that cannot die
“Peace unto you!”
Still He speaketh from on high.

“It is finished!” “He is risen!”
Ye who these blest words receive,
Peace in Him is now your portion,
Peace eternal He will give—
“Peace unto you!”
All who on His Name believe.

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 9

The subject in this chapter is ministry, specially that of the Apostle Paul. He was an apostle called of God, not of men, neither by man (Gal. 1:1). His appointment was from Christ in glory, from whence all true ministry comes.
Some false teachers had influenced the Corinthians to question his apostleship. His answer is, “Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.” He had called them his beloved children whom he had begotten through the gospel (chap. 4), and this questioning of his authority leads us to see the liberty and maintenance of the true servants of God in their path of service.
His answer to those who questioned him was, “Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister as wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or, I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?” Here we get a little light on the labors of others in the liberty of the Spirit, and untrammeled by the rules of men. His defense is, they are sent, and they do not go to war on their own charges. They eat of the fruit of the vineyard in which they labor; they drink of the milk of the flock of God which they tend.
Verse 8. Is this his own invention, or saith the law the same also? It is written in the law of Moses, “Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care of oxen? (Yes. He does. Jonah 4:11), or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (Gal. 6:6; Rom. 13:25-27).
Verse 12. “If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.”
Verse 13. It was also God’s way in the temple: they which ministered about holy things lived of the things of the temple, and they which waited at the altar were partakers with the altar. Even so hath the Lord appointed that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Verse 15. “But,” says the apostle, “I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.” He had nothing to boast of in preaching the gospel. The Lord had committed its administration to him. He was called and sent, and he carried it out under the power of that divine obedience wrought in him, and that precious love of God his soul had drank into, the love of God to sinful lost men, so that he said further “Woe is me, if I preach not the gospel.”
This was not fear of eternal judgment—Paul was eternally secured from that—but it was the deep sense of the privilege and responsibility of the mission God had given him as His ambassador, and his reward was, that when he preached the gospel, he made it without charge, with nothing in it for self. He was entirely at liberty from all men. “Yet,” he says, “have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” He accommodates himself to every mind in order that thereby he might bring out to them their lost condition, and show to them the love of God in providing a Savior for them; thus it was, to the Jew he became as a Jew, that he might gain the Jews. He could show them how he had proved the emptiness of their religion.
To them that were under the law, as under the law (not being himself under law. See N. T.), that he might gain them that were under the law, and well could he do this also, as we see in Romans 3:20; 10:3, 4, and how he was delivered from it by the death of Christ (Gal. 2:19, 20; 3:10-13).
To them that were without law, as without law, not being lawless to God, but duly subject to Christ (see N. T.), that he might gain the lawless.
1 John 3:4 should read, “Every one that practices sin, practices lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.” Those under law transgressed, but all have sinned against God, and so are declared guilty before God (Rom. 3:19). There was no law from Adam to Moses, but there was much sin, and judgment fell upon it: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23).
Verse 22. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak,” and well could the apostle unfold that man was not only a guilty sinner, but also that he was without strength. This was a hard lesson for Paul to learn, and indeed it is hard for the most of us to learn that we can do nothing to make ourselves better, or to help to save ourselves. Paul’s endeavor therefore, no matter what state he found the sinner in, was to show him his lost condition, and to present to him the risen, glorified Savior who gave Himself for our sins, and is now crowned with glory and honor at God’s right hand, ready to welcome the vilest who will trust in Him. And he adds, “This I do, for the gospel’s sake,” that I might share in their blessing.
Verse 24. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” But the believers have entered the path of eternal life, and are sure of the prize. (2 Tim. 4:6-8). Paul here has in view some who have professed Christianity, but have not been born anew. They have not started right, they cannot run right. “Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. They do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” A man cannot live Christ until he knows Christ as his Savior. He may be a preacher, and not a Christian. And so Paul here says, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body.”
How could he keep under his body? Do those who punish their bodies with penances and fastings and other privations, do they keep their bodies under, or is that not trying to improve the flesh, and make them feel better, seeking to be religious? Is it not bringing the death of Christ to bear upon ourselves, and thus reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God? (Rom. 6:6-12). Is this not keeping the body under? And this is how Paul lived (Gal. 2:19, 20). Paul was fully assured of his salvation; not a fear, not a quiver of uncertainty about him, but he transfers the figure to himself as a preacher, to show professors their danger of being even preachers and yet not Christians, whose end will surely be everlasting woe—castaway forever.
This is what it means; it is not a question about whether a true child of God can be lost. We know that is an impossibility, the Lord Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” (John 10:28, 29, and 5:24).
One may say that he is saved, and yet not be a saved man, nor is it a question of a Christian losing his reward, and yet he himself be saved (1 Cor. 3:15). This is still more serious. It is the case of a man professing to be a Christian, and he might be morally blameless but is not born again, he does not know his sins put away by the atoning death of Christ, and therefore the things that accompany salvation are not, cannot be, seen in him (Heb. 6:9). A true Christian may fall into a slothful condition, like 2 Peter 2:9, and he needs the exhortation, “Make your calling and election sure:” that is, to his own soul, for a poor walk leads to doubts, for such an one does not enjoy happy communion, and is spiritually losing much.
How terrible is the state of one who thinks he is all right, yet who has never found out his lost condition by nature and by practice, and so never knew the joy of knowing his sins all forgiven, and in the end finds out that he was entirely mistaken—that his trying to be good was not keeping his body under, but was only filthy rags of the works of the flesh. We cannot keep the body under till we realize that in Christ’s death we have also died. The foolish virgins (Matt. 25) found out when it was too late, that the lamp of profession was no use without oil in their vessels with their lamps. They were castaways.
Do not rest, dear reader, till you know that your sins are all forgiven you for Christ’s name’s sake.

Fragment: How to Get Peace

You will never get peace by dwelling upon your conversion—whether it was good or bad—deep or shallow. Neither can you get peace by looking at your state or your progress. It is very important to judge your state and your walk; but you will never get peace by so doing; nor will you ever make progress by being occupied with yourself—gauging and analyzing your feelings and frames. The true basis of peace is a full Christ for the heart. The true secret of progress is a whole heart for Christ.

God Promising to Answer Prayer

The promises do not refer to prayers offered up one for another only, though this is a large part of the cases put forward in Scripture— “pray one for another;” “for me also;” “laboring earnestly for you in prayers,” and many others; but the prayer of faith is not confined to this. There are prayers for opening the door for the gospel, and for all men. We are told, in all things to present our requests to God, but then the answer is, or may be only, that “God’s peace which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
For the prayer of faith, or the promise to it, there are certain limits as to the certainty of answer, such as “in My name,” “according to His will,” “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will;” “If two of you agree;” besides what stops prayer, as “a sin unto death.” But then I see no limits put to the expectation of faith, if God gives it. If it be my will, asking amiss to consume it on my lusts, I cannot expect an answer.
But the Lord contemplates the giving of faith, and certainty of answer, for drying up of the fig-tree, or removing a mountain, and whatever I can ask believing, I receive it. This is a very important principle. But first, the limits on which formal promise of answer rests, besides special faith.
The first passage I may refer to is, “If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.... and we know that we have the petitions.” This supposes the demand according to His will, and then we can reckon on His power accomplishing it. This is the general Christian confidence; a great boon to be assured of the acting of Him who is Almighty in the way of His will Next it is said, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will.” Here I do not doubt there was special reference to the twelve but in principle it applies to all Christians. Where the mind is formed by the words of Christ, when they abide in one who lives in dependence on and confidence in Him—one thus abiding in Him, having Him in spirit, and his mind guided by Christ’s word, his will is (so to speak) Christ’s—he asks what he will, and it will come.
Another case is where any two are agreed: here individual will is set aside. It is where Christians have a common desire, and agree to present it to God. The deliberate formal agreement supposes a common Christian mind, and it will be done. So, when I ask, coming for what I can attach Christ’s name to, under His auspices (influence), the Father will do it. Here, I doubt not too, the twelve are specially in view; still it is in principle every Christian.
A man cannot in faith bring Christ’s name attached to his lusts: and all these statements suppose the disciple and faith, as James expressly teaches us, and indeed the Lord Himself. But there are other statements which cast us more generally on the goodness of God, and His interest in us, and show us that, where faith is in exercise, the answer will be there; “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” This supposes faith, and intimacy, so to speak, with God. The heart is supposed to be in His interests, and then if there is faith as a grain of mustard seed, a mountain goes.
I do not doubt this kind of faith was much more when any, as the apostles, felt themselves interested in God’s cause, identified with Him and it on the earth; but there is no limit to it. Where such faith is, such answer will be; and God is as much. occupied now with the details of blessing for us, as for the great deeds of those days. It might be more palpable, more concentrated too, then, but not more true.
Not a sparrow falls now without Him any more than then; and the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availing much is ever true: only one must, so to speak, put ourselves with God, for those, to whom these things were said were identified with Him in His interests on the earth. This gave their prayers of course a peculiar place: but then if faith (that is the operation of His Spirit and grace) brings me into His interest now even in details, the, promise is there, and we can reckon on God and His power exercised in love now as then. There is no limit: only it is the working of His Spirit in us, and hence faith that reckons on the answer.
Presenting our requests, subject to His will, is always right: of this we have an example even in Gethsemane: so Paul for his thorn in the flesh. And the answer will be more glorious and blessed than the request, even when it does not as asked answer it. See John 12 and Psalm 32. So Psalm 21, and even Paul’s request about the thorn.
Let us trust His love, and this will not come short, and if He has given us faith to expect a specific answer, bless God for it. Only our will must not come in; even if it were answered (this was the case of the quails), but as a rule not, as James teaches. But where there is earnest faith, God will surely hear, though He may give us safeguards against our own will in it.

Blessed Be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:3
While as yet no world existed,
Ere began the stream of time,
While the depths and mountains were not,
From the ages He was thine.
Yet e’en then, Thy heart was thinking
Of the unborn human race:
Us in Christ Thou then wert choosing,
To the glory of Thy grace.

When were formed earth’s first foundations,
He was there before Thee then;
Always in Thy presence joying
In Thy love to sons of men.
He the heir, and by Him all things,
Mirror of Thy glory bright;
Sons of men were yet His pleasure,
With them then was His delight.

And when sin had marred creation—
Foul the blot that stained it then—
In Thy love He still was sharer
To the fallen sons of men.
Fallen—yet Thy love would reach them,
Lost—and yet Thy love would save:
But the cost! O, mighty question,
Known alone to Him who gave.

Down from off the throne eternal,
Not for angels came He then;
That were wondrous; but e’en lower
Stooped He for the sons of men.
Low the station, yet He took it,
He Jehovah’s fellow still;
Scoffing, shame, reproach For bore it,
For it was the Father’s will.

From the place of sin He shrank not,
He the holy, He the pure,
When our sin thou laidst upon Him,
In that dread and awful hour.
All alone, by God forsaken,
Loud the cry from Calvary’s hill,
As He took the cup and drank it,
For it was the Father’s will.

Death its sting did spend upon Him,
In the grave His body lay;
But its bands, they could not hold Him,
Naught Thy mighty power could stay.
From the grave triumphant rising,
Firstborn from among the dead,
Now above all power exalted,
Sits He as the church’s head.

On Thy throne we see Him seated,
Crowns of glory on His brow;
“All of one,” O, wondrous story!
“Brethren,” He does call us now.
Yes, with all the glory on Him,
Thinks He of us even then;
For to glory He is bringing
All the ransomed sons of men.

For a little while He’s left us,
And the path is rough and drear;
But His footsteps are upon it,
And the Comforter is here.
Words of peace He spoke on leaving;
On our way they ever cheer;
Tribulation He did tell of,
But in Him we do not fear.

For us now He is preparing
What was then His thought of love,
When He spoke of many mansions
In His Father’s home above.
And He’s coming, as He told us,
Quickly coming—that we know:
Then will dawn the bright “forever,”
Then will cease the walk below.

Lord; e’en now we sing Thy praises,
As we strike the heavenly chord—
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
To the Father of our Lord!
But a louder song awaits Thee,
And we’ll help to swell it then,
When in glory bursts the chorus
From the ransomed sons of men.

Moral Nearness to God

“Moral nearness to God, and communion with Him, is the only means of any true enlargement in the knowledge of His ways and of the blessings which He imparts to His children, because it is the only position in which we can perceive them, or be morally capable of so doing; and, also, that all conduct which is not suitable to this nearness to God, all levity of thought, which His presence does not admit of, makes us lose these communications from Him, and renders us incapable of receiving them (compare John 14:21-23).
Secondly, it is not that the Lord forsakes us on account of these faults or this carelessness; He intercedes for us, and we experience His grace, but it is no longer communion, or intelligent progress in the riches of the revelation of Himself, of the fullness which is in Christ. It is grace adapted to our wants, an answer to our misery. Jesus stretches out His hand to us according to the need that we feel—need produced in our hearts by the operation of the Holy Ghost. This is infinitely precious grace, a sweet experience of His faithfulness and love: we learn by this means to discern good and evil by judging self; but the grace had to be adapted to our wants, as an answer made to them—we have had to think of ourselves.
In a case like this the Holy Ghost occupies us with ourselves (in grace, no doubt), and when we have lost communion with God, we cannot neglect this turning back upon ourselves without deceiving and hardening ourselves. Alas! the dealings of many souls with Christ hardly go beyond this character. It is with all too often the case. In a word, when this happens, the thought of sin having been admitted into the heart, our dealings with the Lord, to be true, must be on the ground of this sad admission of sin (in thought, at least). It is grace alone which allows us again to have to do with God. The fact that He restores us, enhances His grace in our eyes; but this is not communion. When we walk with God, when we walk after the Spirit without grieving Him, He maintains us in communion, in the enjoyment of God, the positive source of joy—of an everlasting joy. This is a position in which He can occupy us—as being ourselves interested in all that interests Him—with all the development of His counsels, His glory, Jesus the Son of His love; and the heart is enlarged in the measure of the objects that occupy it. This is our normal condition.
“God purposed us for blessing,
And chose us in His Son,
To Him to be conformed,
When here our course was run.”

Unveiled Mysteries

“What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John 13:7).
Much is baffling and perplexing to us in God’s present dealings.
“What!” we are often ready to exclaim, “could not the cup have been less bitter, the trial less severe, the road less rough and dreary?”
“Hush your misgivings,” says a gracious God; “question not the rightness of My dispensations. You shall yet see all revealed, and made bright in the mirror of eternity!”
“What I do!” —it is all My doing—My appointment. You have but a partial view of these dealings—they are seen by the eye of sense through a dim and distorted medium. You can see naught but plans crossed, and gourds laid low, and beautiful rods broken. But I see the end from the beginning. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
“Thou shalt know!” Wait for the “hereafter” revelation! An earthly father puzzles not the ear of infancy with hard sayings and problems. He waits for the manhood of being, and then unfolds all.
So it is with God! We are now in our childhood—we shall learn the deep things of God in the manhood of eternity. Christ often shows Himself only behind the lattice—a glimpse and He is gone! But the day is coming when “we shall see Him as He is!” A flood of light will break upon us from the Sapphire Throne— “In Thy light, shall we see light.” (Psa. 36:9). The “need be,” muffled as a secret now, will be confided to us then, and become luminous with love.
Perhaps we may not even have to wait till eternity for the realization of this promise. We may experience its fulfillment here. We not unfrequently find, even in this present world, mysterious dispensations issuing in unlooked for blessing. Jacob would never have seen Joseph, had he not parted with Benjamin.
Often would the believer never have seen the True Joseph, had he not been called on to part with his best beloved! His language at the time is that of the patriarch, “I am indeed bereaved!” “All these things are against me!” But the things which he imagined to be so adverse, have proved the means of leading him to see the heavenly King “in His beauty” even here. Much is sent “to humble us and to prove us.” It may not do us good now, but it is promised to do so “at thy latter end.”
I shall not dictate to my God what His ways should be. The patient does not dictate to his physician. He does not reject and refuse the prescription, because it is nauseous; he knows it is for his good, and takes it on trust. It is for faith to repose in whatever God appoints. Let me not wrong His love, or dishonor His faithfulness, by supposing that there is one needless or redundant drop in the cup which His loving wisdom has mingled.
“Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known!” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Correspondence: Matt. 6:14-15, 18:34-35; Gospels, Israel/the Church Brides?

Question: Please explain Matthew 6:14, 15; and 18:34, 35. W. I. C.
Answer: Matthew 6:14, 15, is governmental forgiveness which we all need day by day to keep us in communion with the Lord.
The Christian has eternal forgiveness besides, which was not known before the death of Christ (Heb. 10:14; 1 John 2:12). We are always forgiven, but we would be unhappy if we did not exercise a forgiving spirit to others (Eph. 4:32). We forgive because we have been forgiven.
Matthew 18:34, 35, is the same principle, but here it is applied to Israel, who hated the Gentiles (see 1 Thess. 2:14-16), and are cast off for their behavior meantime, till all is paid. See Isaiah 40:1, 2, for their restoration.
Question: How are the different gospels to be understood? M. C.
Answer: “The gospel of the Kingdom” is what was preached by John and Jesus and their disciples, and is the announcement to Jews and Gentiles that the King of Israel is about to set up His Kingdom. But Jesus was rejected and crucified, and is gone to the Father’s right hand, seated on the Father’s throne, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.
During this period, since His rejection, “The gospel of the grace of God” is preached to every creature, and all who believe are the church, His body and His bride. It is also called the glorious gospel, or properly the gospel of the glory of Christ, because He is glorified, and those who believe it are called to share His heavenly glory.
When this period is ended, and the saints from Adam down are all raised and the living ones changed, and all caught up to be with the Lord, “The gospel of the Kingdom” will be again sent out to both Jews and Gentiles.
In Revelation 14:6, 7, we find “The everlasting gospel” calling on all that dwell upon the earth to fear and worship God who made all things, the Creator God. This gospel of creation has been going forth ever since man was on the earth. Psalm 19:1-6, is creation’s testimony. When the hour of God’s judgment is at hand, this special testimony is sent to call the heathen from their idolatry to worship the Creator.
Question: Are Israel and the church both brides of Christ? M. S. L.
Answer: In Vol. 11 of “The Young Christian” (1921), page 334, you will find an answer to your question. I will add a few comparisons and contrasts between Israel and the church; both are kept distinct in Scripture.
Israel is called to inherit Canaan (Ex. 6:2-8). The church’s call and inheritance is heavenly (Eph. 1; 1 Peter 1). Jehovah the great I Am is His name to Israel. He is made known to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we are children of the Father, members of the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us. The Lord Jesus is the King of Israel and the nations—they are His subjects. He is our Savior, Lord and Head and Bridegroom; we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We shall reign with Him.
The earthly people were chosen from the foundation of the world (Deut. 32:8; Matt. 25:14).
The heavenly saints, the church, were chosen before the foundation of the world (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; Rom. 8:29).
Israel is now divorced and scattered out of their land.
The church is now being gathered, while Christ is on the Father’s throne. The marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven, before Israel is restored on earth (Rev. 19). In Revelation 21:9 to 22:5 she reigns above, over Israel and the nations on earth. The church is seen in Revelation 21:2 in heavenly glory: (that is eternity), and Israel and the nations are called “men.” There is no distinction seen between them then. The church is composed of saved Jews and Gentiles, and is caught up to her home in heaven.
Israel, now scattered, are to be regathered into Canaan.
Jerusalem is the bride, or Queen of Psalm 45; and Song of Solomon.
The church began after Christ died, and the Holy Spirit came down.
Israel’s restoration will be a time of joy on earth as many prophecies tell us.
The church is never mentioned in the Old Testament. It was hid in God and never revealed till Paul the apostle was used to unfold it. (Rom. 16:25, 26; Eph. 3:4-9).

Peace at Last

(Extracts from notes of a visit to a military hospital).
A noble-looking soldier lay in the same ward. “I want to speak to you about religion,” he said, as I stood by his bedside. “I have made up my mind,” he continued, “with an earnest resolution, to serve God and do my duty—not with the feeble resolution of a boy, but with man’s determined purpose, that henceforward I will do right.” At some length he told me what he was going to do; he spoke about his vows, his purposes, his plans. All was about himself, not one word about Christ the Savior.
Having listened to him quietly, I said at last, “Then you are at peace, my friend?”
“O no,” he said, “my agony of mind only increases.”
“Why so? Have you not kept your vows?” “No, I cannot,” he answered despairingly. “Had you not better then try again? or can you think of no way of making up the account?”
He shook his head hopelessly and said, “I know not what to do.”
“My friend,” I replied, “stop your vowing. Satan has enticed you on to one of his quicksands, where you are fast sinking down to hell. Your house is on the sand. You cannot be your own Savior. Listen to God’s way of saving sinners. Jesus Christ—God manifest in the flesh—came into the world to save sinners, not to help them to save themselves. His work was finished on the cross eighteen hundred years ago, and He has left you nothing to do but to receive by faith the benefit of what He has done. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’” (John 3:36; Acts 16:31).
“But must I not do something?” he asked. “Can I believe on Christ and become a child of God, and tomorrow go back to the world and live like the other soldiers?”
“God forbid,” I cried. “‘How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?’ When you become a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus, God gives you the nature, the heart of a child, and the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, so that you no longer love the sins you once delighted in; and you have the power of the Spirit to resist the flesh, your old nature.”
After some other questions and answers, the Lord gave him to see, not only that he was a lost sinner, but that Christ had borne the judgment of sin on the cross, and that all who believed in Him were saved. Still his mind was not clear, for, though he had lost confidence in vows and resolutions, the enemy had thrown him on his feelings.
“Must I not have happy feelings,” he said—as thousands say— “before I know that I am saved?”
“No,” said I. “On the contrary, you must believe before you can possibly feel happy. Peace comes from believing, and not believing from peace. You are to believe simply because God says so, and not because you feel happy. Were happy frames and feelings the foundation of your faith, you would drift about at their mercy. But God’s Word is a rock that cannot be moved. It is when we are dwelling, neither on our feelings, nor our faith, but on the object of faith, Christ Jesus, that we are brought into peace and joy.”
It was now evident that the Holy Spirit had led him to the Savior, though he still inclined to look into his own heart for happy feelings. This led to the close of our conversation.
“Do you believe the testimony of God concerning Christ? This is the question, and not the evidence of happy feelings. These are changeable as the wind. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God—the great propitiation for our sins? Take your thoughts completely off yourself, and look to Jesus. Do you believe in Him?”
Now he answered earnestly, “With all my heart I do.”
The Lord’s name be praised—to Him alone be all the glory. And now, “Can you believe what God says concerning them that have this faith?”
“What is it?” he asked eagerly.
“‘He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.’ ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ And observe, my friend, it is not can have, may have, or shall have, but ‘hath everlasting life.’ When we believe on Jesus, and surrender the heart to Him, we have perfect peace, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. What a salvation! Full pardon, everlasting life, p ace with God, and only waiting for glory. In parting, I said to him, ‘May I not leave you now with the happy assurance that you know, on God’s testimony, that you have eternal life as a present possession?’”
After a pause, he raised his eyes, and said, with deep feeling, “Yes, you may. I have eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.”
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13).

The Ever-Blessed Son of God

“The ever-blessed Son of God
Went up to Calvary for me;
There paid my debt, there bore my load,
In His own body on the tree.

“Jesus, whose dwelling is the skies,
Went down into the grave for me;
There overcame my enemies,
There won the glorious victory.

“In love the whole dark path He trod,
To consecrate a way for me;
Each bitter footstep marked with blood,
From Bethlehem to Calvary.”

The Love of God

Let me call your attention to some characteristics of the love of God: First, it is a causeless love. There is nothing in us to call forth God’s love. There is, on the other hand, every reason why He should not love us. We have sinned against Him, acted in enmity towards Him, and shut Him out of our thoughts. From head to foot we are a mass of moral petrifaction (Isa. 1:6). To say the least, we are most unlovable beings. What a heart must that be, that can love us with a boundless love in spite of all we are, and all that we have done! Such a heart is God’s.
Second, it is a universal love. As we have noticed before, it extends to all. It flows out in all its breadth and fullness alike to the cultured and the savage, to the religious church-goer and the open blasphemer. “God so loved the world.”
Third, it is a proved love, and the great, grand proof of it is that God spared not His own Son, that we might be saved. In John 3:16 we find both the love of God, and the gift of God; and the gift is a proof of the love.
Do you doubt God’s love to you? Then turn in spirit to Calvary, and see His Son crucified between two thieves. Inquire why He is there. The answer is: “Because God so loved the world.”
Fourth it is a present love, a love which not only has provided salvation, but which in present activity, seeks to bless. The Father longs for the return of the prodigal. Why? Because He loves him.
Fifth, it is a holy love, a love which cannot tolerate sin; though it can bless the sinner; a love which could not flow out to the guilty, unless the claims of justice were satisfied. But this has been done. God smote His Son on the cross, that we might never be smitten; and now we who believe on Him can say, “With His stripes we are healed.” Mercy and truth have united; grace reigns through righteousness; perfect love shines in an atmosphere of perfect love.
Reader, what is the love of God to you? Are you in the enjoyment of the blessing which it brings? Have you ever seen that the hand of Justice restrained the outflow of love until the cross of Christ set it free? Has that love dispelled all fear from your mind, as the sun disperses the darkness? In short, do you know that love to you?
“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
Or were the sky of parchment made;
Were every blade of grass a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade:
To write the love
Of God above,
‘Twould drain the ocean dry;
Nor would the scroll
Contain the whole,
Though stretched from earth to sky!”

The Sun Was Setting

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them.” Sinner, the sun is setting, wilt thou put off till tomorrow? “And when it was day He departed and went into a desert place, and the people sought Him, and came unto Him, and stayed Him, that He should not depart from them. And He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also.” Solemn to think this may have been their last opportunity for blessing; happy to think they made the best of it.
Fellow-believers, the sun is setting, the day of God’s grace is about to close. If we had the glory of God before us, and the value of precious souls laid on our hearts, surely we should be more in earnest.
“All they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him.” (Verse 40). Yes; it is our blessed privilege to bring those near and dear unto us, to His own blessed Person. “And He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” Should not this scripture before us exhort and encourage us to count upon Him? Has the grace of His heart altered? Surely not. The failure is all on our side. O then, may God in His grace give us to be more devoted to Him, that we be not content with being hearers of the word, and not doers; but being doers, and not forgetful hearers, we may be blessed in our deed.
May He give us to count more upon Himself, and our experience will be, “Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 10

In this chapter Israel is used to further illustrate this mixture of life and godliness on the one hand: and with profession of religion on the other: both externally occupying the same position. All Israel, including the mixed multitude that left Egypt with them, were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Freed from the tyranny of Pharaoh, and placed under the leadership of Moses, they did eat the same spiritual food, and drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
We see this in the followers of Christ when He was on earth. (Compare John 2:23-25 with 6:66-71). In the parables we find tares in the wheat fields; good and bad fish in the net (Matt. 13); the man without the wedding garment (Matt. 22); wise and foolish virgins waiting for the Bridegroom (Matt. 25); good and wicked servants. And in the history of the professing church, as the witness for Christ, we find the mixture (Rev. 2 and 3).
All who are real are born of God, and sealed with the Holy Spirit, and are members of the body of Christ. No unconverted can be in that body (1 Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph. 4:4).
It is therefore into this external place that baptism admits us. We may take the Lord’s supper, and be attentive to all the meetings, but none of these can save the soul. If we have not eternal life, we will assuredly be left behind when the Lord comes for His people, and will eventually be cast into the lake of fire.
Verse 5. “With many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” This does not mean that they were lost. All the men who left Egypt died in the wilderness, except Joshua and Caleb. The things that happened to Israel are to teach us. Moses, Aaron, Miriam all needed chastening. Moses, the law, could not bring them into the land. Joshua, the Savior, can bring us in, but we need chastening on the way (Heb. 12:5-11). There is much about us all that needs self-judgment constantly. Our great High Priest strengthens us. Our Advocate with the Father maintains us if any man sin. So we are chastened and exercised by God’s dealings with us.
“If ye live after the flesh ye shall die” (Rom. 8:13). That is one who has no spiritual life; he may be all that pleases men, but he cannot bear fruit for God. We cannot always point them out. “The Lord knoweth them that are His.”
If you have any doubts about your salvation, dear reader, get it settled at once. Go straight to the Lord, and get from Him by His Word, this full assurance of faith.
In our behaviors we all more or less fail, but our standing in Christ is eternally perfect. He is perfected in glory now, and “by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” This blessed assurance should encourage us in faithfulness to the Lord in our ways.
Verse 6. Lust is gratifying the flesh.
Verse 7. Through idolatry, the true God is displaced from our souls.
Verse 8. Instead of fornication, purity of life is a necessity.
Verse 9. Tempting the Lord, is not trusting Him. Satan wanted the Lord to try if God would be faithful (Matt. 4:6, 7).
Verse 11. All these things happened as types, and were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages are come. Let us therefore hear the warning, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” None of us are safe from falling now, though we may be saved for eternity.
Next we see God’s faithfulness (verse 13), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” This should make our hearts rejoice, and encourage us to look to Him as our resource in time of trial.
Verses 14-17. “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.” And to clear their minds fully he speaks of the ground of communion of Christians, Jews and Idolaters.
Verses 16 and 17 is Christian communion. “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? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” It seems plain that no unconverted person could take this place. Notice that the cup comes first here; when we believe the gospel of our salvation, our sins are washed away, and we learn that we are forgiven, and then God gives us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, uniting us to Christ our living Head in glory. Our communion is therefore on this ground—that our sins are cleansed away by His blood, and we are now members of His body, and this is expressed in partaking of this bread.
The One bread or loaf alludes to this oneness of Christ and His members. We shall see in chapter 11 that we partake of it in remembrance of Christ in His death. But in this chapter (10) it is the communion of the blood and the body of Christ, and thus in our minds we may include every member as we look upon that One bread.
Verse 18. Israel after the flesh partook of the sacrifices, and were thus identified with Israel’s altar.
Verses 19-22. “What say I then?” and he brings out the serious truth to those who had been idolaters, that eating their sacrifices offered to idols was having fellowship with demons (evil spirits), for while an idol is nothing in itself, yet the power of Satan is behind it, to keep men’s hearts away from the living and true God (Deut. 32:17). This should deliver the Christians from doing such a thing, for it was morally impossible to go on with the table of the Lord, and the table of devils; they could not have fellowship with both. It would be to provoke the Lord to jealousy. Are we stronger than He?
Some Christians have ignorantly spoken of sectarian tables as tables of devils. This is entirely wrong, yet we see in such passages as Acts 20:30 that Christian men—your own selves—arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (see also Rom. 16:17, 18; and 2 Tim. 1:15). These are clearly in division, and walk as men (chapters 1 and 3), and we could not say that they are gathered to Christ’s name, as in Matthew 18:20. They rather might be spoken of as men’s tables, though that expression is not in the Word; one could not put the Lord’s name to their gathering. Another thing, we know that godly souls, earnest and sincere, enjoy personal communion with the Lord in whatever company they are. How gracious the Lord is with His people in all the confusion that has come in.
Verses 23, 24. The instructions teach us to seek the edification of others, even in what we feel at liberty to do. We are to seek each other’s good. In chapter 8, we had the importance of this, lest we should turn a brother from the Lord.
Verse 25. That which was bought in the markets, they could eat without inquiry, for the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: and if they went to a feast, they were to eat what was set before them, asking no question for conscience sake; but if said to them, “This is offered in sacrifice to idols,” then he was not to eat, because of the man’s conscience who said it, yet they gave thanks, and were going to partake of it as coming from the Lord. Why should this be? The answer is, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all things to God’s glory. Giving no occasion of stumbling, neither to the Jew, nor to the Greek, nor to the church of God. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Blessed happy servant he! and he added: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

Thou Art Coming, Mighty Savior

Thou art coming, mighty Savior,
“Kings of kings,” Thy written Name
Thou art coming, royal Savior!
Coming for Thy promised reign.
O, the joy, when sin’s confusion
Ends beneath Thy righteous sway;
O, the peace, when all delusion
At Thy presence dies away.

Thou art coming, loving Savior,
Coming first to claim Thine own.
Thou art coming, faithful Savior—
Thou couldst not abide alone.
In Thy Father’s house in glory,
Sinners saved shall dwell with
Thee: O, the sweetness of the story—
Love’s own record we shall be.

Thou art coming, gracious Savior,
Ah, to see Thy face we long;
Thou art coming, blessed Savior,
Righting all creation’s wrong.
Nation rises against nation,
Trouble spreads from shore to shore.
Thy art God’s supreme salvation,
Come, and chaos shall be o’er.

Once Thy coming, Holy Savior,
Expiation made for sin.
Wondrous coming, lowly Savior,
Wondrous Child in Bethlehem.
Thine the wisdom in the manger,
Thine The power upon the cross,
Thine the glory as the stranger!
Riches, though in utter loss.

Thou art coming, crowned Savior,
Not “the second time” for sin.
Thou art coming, throned Savior,
Bringing all the glory in.
All Thy Father’s house, the glory,
Hangs, by sure behest on Thee!
O, the sweetness of the story—
Savior, come, we wait for Thee.

My Lord

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Phil. 3:8).
The earnest endeavor of the apostle who penned this letter to his loved helpers and coworkers at Philippi was to “press on.” This seems to mark his steps, wherever we track him. “Go forward” is imprinted on his words and ways. Especially is this seen in the chapter before us.
He reviews all that had been his; and he had had much of which he could rightly glory. If any man could have boasted, he could have out-boasted them; such had been the greatness of the privileges he had known. But they were all rubbish to him now: they had been totally eclipsed. The Lord of glory had appeared to him, when, in unbelief, he had hastened on the Damascus road. Yes, the very One whose name he had sought to stamp out from the earth, had met him on his mad career; and, falling to the ground, Saul owns the despised and rejected Nazarene as Lord; and forthwith placed himself at His service, saying, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” (Act 9).
Thirty years after, the apostle is still of the same mind—he is still pressing on. ‘Tis an uphill journey, but he is going to the top. Christ is there, and, with earnestness and diligence, he hastens forward.
“I press toward the mark;” “that I may win Christ,” “Christ Jesus my Lord,” are his vigorous words. To him to live is Christ, to die is gain; for that rejected Jesus has captivated his heart.
And is He not enough to fill every believer’s heart? Should we not press on, each one of us owning, wherever we go, “Christ Jesus is my Lord. He has died for me, and I would live for Him.”
Well do I remember climbing a steep cliff path, which rose high above the sea-level. Upward I pressed, pausing now and again to survey the fresh beauties of the scenery, which, from that lofty path, opened out at every step, the handiwork of Him who died for me. I have often thought since, if some well-loved friend had climbed that rough and thorny path before me, and had been awaiting my approach, how should I have urged on my course, looking ever to the place where he was, and not content while a single step lay between us.
And should it not be thus with us? We have before us One who has trodden the path we tread, and who now awaits us in that glory for which His precious blood has made us fit.
Let us then, with whole-hearted purpose, press ONWARD, UPWARD, HOMEWARD, HEAVENWARD, until we hear His voice, and see His face, and dwell with Him forever.
“Glory before thee,
Pilgrim, press on;
Share now the sorrow,
Share soon the crown.
Tell forth the Savior’s fame,
Honor His holy Name;
Bear now His cross and shame,
Pilgrim, press on.”
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13, 14).

Doing God Service

Many eager feet are running,
Hither, thither, to and fro,
Hidden paths of duty shunning,
Following where others go.
Ever active, ever thinking
Of their service for the Lord,
But, if done for human notice,
“Verily they have reward.”

Work for God! How can we know it
It may not be as we think
On the surface—but below it,
In obscurity may sink,
Hidden for a little season,
Germs of love, long sown in hope,
After patient, prayerful waiting,
May spring up a fruitful crop.

Ponder o’er our Savior’s service,
Grandest, highest, holiest work!
Who can estimate its grandeur,
Where no pride could ever lurk?
Yet to men, how small and trifling,
Raising infants to His knee,
Succoring the poor and outcast,
Speaking words of sympathy.

“Binding up the broken-hearted”—
Feeding hungry—drying tears!
From all social circles parted,
Working singly many years;
Spending days in seeking-saving,
Nights in prayerful solitude,
Never human honor craving,
By His Father understood.

Lowly Savior, we would follow
Only as Thou leadest on,
Lab’ring in Thy joyful sunshine,
When Thy voice dost bid us run;
Or, if love our sun should darken,
Just to concentrate its rays,
Give us grace to pause and “hearken,”
Then work on through sunless days.

Here we know not—but hereafter
All results Thou wilt reveal,
Weeping may be changed to laughter,
When all things are true and real;
In that grand divine discerning,
Mysteries will glow with light,
There in learning and unlearning
Each will know and own the right.

A Workman's Motto

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Here we have an uncommonly fine motto for the Christian workman—and every Christian ought to be a workman. It presents a most valuable balance for the heart. We have immovable stability linked with unceasing activity.
This is of the utmost possible importance. There are some of is such sticklers for what we call principle, that we seem almost afraid to embark in any scheme of large-hearted Christian activity. And, on the other hand, some of us are so bent on what we call service, that in order to reach desired ends, and realize palpable results, we do not hesitate to overstep the boundary line of sound principle.
Now, our motto supplies a divine antidote for both these evils. It furnishes a solid basis on which we are to stand with steadfast purpose and immovable decision. We are not to be moved the breadth of a hair from the narrow path of divine truth, though tempted to do so by the most forcible argument of a plausible expediency. “To obey is better than sacrifice; and to hearken, than the fat of rams.”
Noble words! may they be engraved, in characters deep and broad, on every workman’s heart. They are absolutely invaluable; and particularly so in this our own day, when there is such willfulness in our mode of working, such erratic schemes of service, such self-pleasing, such a strong tendency to do that which is right in our own eyes, such a practical ignoring of the supreme authority of Holy Scripture.
It fills the thoughtful observer of the present condition of things with the very gravest apprehensions to mark the positive and deliberate throwing aside of the Word of God, even by those who professedly admit it to be the Word of God. We speak not now of the insolence of open and avowed infidelity; but of the heartless indifference of respectable orthodoxy. There are thousands, nay millions, who profess to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, who, nevertheless, have not the smallest idea of submitting themselves absolutely to its authority. The human will is dominant. Human reason bears sway. Expediency commands the heart. The holy principles of divine revelation are swept away like autumn leaves, or the dust of the threshing-floor, before the vehement blast of popular opinion.
How immensely valuable and important, in view of all this, is the first part of our workman’s motto! “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and immovable.” The “therefore” throws the soul back upon the solid foundation laid in the previous part of the chapter in which the apostle unfolds the most sublime and precious truth that can possibly engage the Christian’s heart—truth which lifts the soul completely above the dark and chilling mists of the old creation, and plants it on the solid rock of resurrection. It is on this rock we are exhorted to be steadfast and immovable. It is not an obstinate adherence to our own notions—to some favorite dogma or theory which we have adopted—or to any special school of doctrine, high or low. It is not aught of this kind; but a firm grasp and faithful confession of the whole truth of God, of which a risen Christ is the everlasting center.
But then we have to remember the other side of our motto. The Christian workman has something more to do than to stand firmly on the ground of truth. He has to cultivate the lovely activities of grace. He is called to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” The basis of sound principle must never be abandoned; but the work of the Lord must be diligently carried on. There are some who are so afraid of doing mischief, that they do nothing; and others who rather than not be doing something will do wrong. Our motto corrects both. It teaches us to set our faces as a flint, where truth is, in any wise, involved; while on the other hand, it leads us to go forth, in largeness of heart, and throw all our energies into the work of the Lord.
And let the Christian reader specially note the expression, “The work of the Lord.” We are not to imagine for a moment that all that which engages the energies of professing Christians is entitled to be designated “the work of the Lord.” Alas! alas! far from it. We see a mass of things undertaken as service for the Lord with which a spiritual person could not possibly connect the holy name of Christ. We do not attempt to go into details; but we do desire to have the conscience exercised as to the work in which we embark. We deeply feel how needful it is in this day of willfulness, laxity, and wild latitudinarianism, to own the authority of Christ in all that we put our hands to in the way of work or service. Blessed be His name, He permits us to connect Him with the most trivial and commonplace activities of daily life. We can even eat and drink in His holy name, and to His glory. The sphere of service is wide enough, most surely; it is only limited by that weighty clause, “The work of the Lord.” The Christian workman must not engage in any work which does not range itself under that most holy and all-important head. He must, ere he enters upon any service, ask himself this great practical question, “Can this honestly be called ‘the work of the Lord?’”

Humility

1. There is a difference between my being humble before God and being humbled before God. I am humbled before God, because I have not been humble. I am humbled, because of my sin; if I had been humble, I should have had grace given me to prevent it. For “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6
2. The only humble place is the presence of God. It is when I get out of His presence that I am in danger of being lifted up. People say it is dangerous to be too often on the mount. Now I do not think that it is when we are on the mount that we are in danger, but when we come off it. It is when we come off the mount that we begin to think that we have been there. Then pride comes in. I do not think that Paul needed a thorn when he was in the third heavens. It was after he came down that he was in danger of being exalted above measure—from thinking that he had been where no one else had been.
3. I do not believe that to think badly of ourselves is true humility. True humility is never to think of ourselves at all—and that is so hard to come to. It is constantly I, I, I. If you only begin a sentence with I, there is nothing that a person will not put after it.
4. What hearts have we! “I the Lord search the heart.” Who but God can know them? Persons who think they search their hearts, and are quick in their evil, do not really know their hearts, nor are they truly humble. The fact is, they must be talking of themselves, and their pride is nourished even by talking of how evil they are.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:29, 30).

Correspondence: Acts 20:28; Heb. 12:14; Sure I'm Saved?

Question: Please explain Acts 20:28 about the blood. W. I. C.
Answer: Acts 20:28 should read the last part thus: “Feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with the blood of His own.” It brings before us God’s love in giving His Son up to death.
Question: Please explain Hebrews 12:14. M. C.
Answer: In 1 Peter 1:23, the believers are born again of incorruptible seed, that is, a new kind of life in every believer, its nature is holiness. In 2 Peter 1:4, that nature is being developed by faith laying hold of the exceeding great and precious promises. The Epistle to the Hebrews does not give us these truths, but in it we look for the fruits of that life. In chapter 6 we see what accompanies salvation. Verses 9, 10 give us the outcome of the new life. In Hebrews 12:10, chastening is used to make us partakers of God’s own holiness. Verses 12-14 are exhortations of what to pursue, for if we had no new life, we could not see the Lord. We need diligence in divine things, or we miss much blessing.
Question: Will you please tell me how I can be sure that I am a Christian? A.
Answer: A Christian is one that has, found out that he was a lost guilty sinner, and that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and has believed on Him as his own personal Savior. He has believed that Jesus in dying for sinners, has died for his sins, and He is now raised from the dead, thus God shows Himself satisfied, and has said, “All that believe on Him are justified from all things” (Acts 13:38, 39).
1. Have you realized that you were a guilty lost sinner and without strength (Rom. 5:6) to make yourself better?
2. Have you cast yourself before God and owned it? (Rom. 3:19).
3. Have you believed on the Lord Jesus as your own Savior who died for your sins? (1 Cor. 15:3).
4. Have you believed the word that says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life?” (John 3:36).
If you have, then you are sure that you are saved, because God says so (Eph. 2:8).
You are sure that you are a child of God, because God says so (Gal. 3:26; Rom. 8:17).
Now you can call God your Father because He says He is (1 John 3:1; Gal. 4:6).
The Holy Spirit dwells in you, witnessing that you are a child of God (Rom. 8:15, 16).
This gives you strength not to heed the flesh in you that has such evil thoughts, and teaches you not to look within, but look off unto Jesus and occupy yourself with things pleasing to Him (Rom. 8:2).
So you can be sure that you are saved forever (Heb. 10:14).
If Thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath divine:
Payment God will not twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine.

Just As I Am

Almost a century ago, in the year 1836, a young girl, Miss Charlotte Elliott, was preparing for a great ball, to be given in her native town. Full of gay anticipation, she started out one day to her dressmaker to have a fine dress fitted for the occasion. On her way she met her pastor, an earnest, faithful man, and in the greetings which passed between them he learned her errand. He reasoned and expostulated, and finally pleaded with her to stay away from the ball. Greatly vexed, she answered: “I wish you would mind your own business!” and went her way.
In due time the ball came off; and this young girl was the gayest of the gay. She was flattered and caressed; but after dancing all night, laying her weary head on her pillow only with returning day, she was far from happy. In all this pleasure there had been a thorn, and now conscience made her wretched. Her pastor had always been a loving, cherished friend, and her rudeness to him rankled in her breast. More than all, the truth of his words came to her heart and would give no rest. After three days of misery, during which life became almost insupportable, she went to the minister with her trouble, saying: “For three days I have been the most wretched girl in the world, and now I want to be a Christian! What must I do?”
We need not be told that the minister freely forgave her for her rudeness to himself, nor that he joyfully directed her to the true source of peace. “Just give yourself, my child, to the Lamb of God, just as you are.”
This was a new Gospel to her; she had never comprehended it before.
“What! Just as I am?” she asked. “Do you know that I am one of the worst sinners in the world? How can God accept me just as I am?”
“That is exactly what you must believe,” was the answer. “You must come to Him just as you are.” The young girl felt overpowered as the simple truth took possession of her mind. She went to her room, knelt down, and offered God her heart, guilty and vile as it was, to be cleansed and made fit for His dwelling, As she knelt, peace—full, overflowing—filled her soul. Inspired by the new and rapturous experience, she then and there wrote the hymn, so familiar to generations of Christians for almost a hundred years.
Just as I am—without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee:
O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am—and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot:
O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am—poor, wretched, blind,
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find:
O Lamb of God. I come!

Just as I am—Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe:
O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am—Thy love, I own,
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come!
Little did Charlotte Elliott think of the fame or the blessedness of the words she had written; it was simply putting her heart on paper; and therefore the hymn, born of her experience, appeals to other hearts needing the cleansing power of the blood of the Lamb.

What a Helpless Swede Did

Several years ago, I heard Mr. Nathan, at that time a missionary in Morocco, preach a sermon in St. Louis on “The Hidden Minister.”
In illustrating his subject he told of a young Swede who was converted in one of Mr. Moody’s meetings in Chicago.
After his conversion the Swede came to Mr. Moody, wanting to know what he could do for Jesus. Mr. Moody looked at the young man, for he was awkward and illiterate: finally, Mr. Moody said: “How would you like to be a sandwich?”
“Anything, anything for Jesus,” said the young man, not knowing what it meant. It was arranged that he should report the next morning for duty.
The young man came at the appointed hour, and they placed two boards strapped together, on his shoulders. On one board was printed John 3:16 in full; on the other was printed a notice of the meeting then being held.
“Now,” said Mr. Moody, “you must walk up and down these streets for Jesus, and advertise the meeting,” and the Swede went off smiling, happy that he could do something for the One who saved him.
As he was walking down Clark Street—the boys throwing stones and mud at the board—a traveling man saw him, and stopped to read the signs, and watch the happy Swede. The result was the traveling man attended the meeting that night, and was converted.
This traveling man had a splendid voice, and after his conversion he made it a rule to sing in the missions of the cities which he visited. One night he was in the Bowery Mission in New York singing the gospel. Presently, he saw a young Jew come in and take a seat in the audience. Attracted by the singing he entered the hall, not knowing the character of the meeting. When he heard them singing about Jesus, the Jew became restless, for he had been taught to hate that name. The traveling man was watching him, and when finally the Jew started for the door, he was there to meet him. He led him into an adjoining room, and spoke to him personally about Jesus as his Messiah and Savior: the result was that the Jew accepted Christ and found salvation.
In closing, Mr. Nathan said:
“The young Swede lies in an unknown grave in Chicago; the traveling man, too, has gone to his reward; but I am that Jew, and am now a missionary in Africa, winning souls for Jesus. When we all stand before Him to receive our rewards according. to our service, shall I receive all the reward for the souls won in Africa? How about the traveling man who led me to accept Christ? How about the Swede who did what he could for Jesus? Will he not receive his full reward because of his faithfulness?”
“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12).

Christ Is All

I am so glad that Christ has died,
And put away my sin;
I am so glad He lives again,
My wand’ring heart to win.

I am so glad. He’s gone on high,
For me to intercede:
Watching o’er my steps down here—
Supplying all my need.

I am so glad His boundless love
No change nor coldness knows,
For on His breast my weary soul
Finds undisturbed repose.

I am so glad God by His Word
Has given me to know
That through the precious blood of Christ
I’m whiter far than snow.

I am so glad He did the work,
And I have naught to do;
My joy is now to rest in Him,
And seek to please Him, too,

I am so glad it’s not myself,
But what Christ is for me:
In all His loveliness I stand—
My all in all is He.

I am so glad He’s coming soon,
And I shall see His face;
Forever in His likeness shine—
A monument of grace.

I am so glad that all of self
Will soon have passed away;
And Christ will be my all in all
Through one eternal day.

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 11

Verse 1 is connected with chapter 10. The apostle was seeking that no one might be stumbled by his walk and exhorts them to be diligent in the same way.
Verses 2, 3. He gives them credit for keeping the instructions he had given to them, and then brings before them God’s order in creation—the woman’s head is the man; the man’s head Christ. Christ’s head is God.
In the apostle’s day, as now, the world goes on its way, following its own customs, which are continually changing. God’s order never changes, and Christians should find a way to observe God’s order, and specially in approaching God in prayer or in prophesying. We do not get women commissioned to preach or to teach in public in the things of God. There are many ways in which the woman can serve the Lord according to God’s order in His word. God has magnified His Word above all His name (Psa. 138:2).
It seems easier for the man to obey (verse 4) than it is for the woman to obey (verse 5), and the apostle explains the position of each. The man was created, the image and glory of God. The woman was taken from his side to be an helpmeet for him. She is the glory of the man, and her hair marked the difference—it was given her for a covering. In putting something on her hair, marks the submission of her mind to God’s order, and is a lesson to the angels. They learn object-lessons through us (1 Cor. 4:9; 11:10; Eph. 3:10). In Ephesians 5, the husband and wife are taken to figure Christ and the church.
The repentant sinner in Luke 7; and the worshipping saint in John 12, both laid their hair (glory, verse 15) at Jesus’ feet. The world’s customs or fashions are apt to lead us away, but our souls should be exercised to do honor to God’s instructions. Even in religious meetings of many denominations of Christendom, these instructions are neglected. The apostle concludes this subject by saying, “But if any man seem to be contentious, we (the apostles) have no such custom, neither the assemblies of God.”
Verses 17-22. The apostle heard or the condition in which their meetings were, and he speaks with sorrow, especially of the one meeting when they were gathered together to break bread in remembrance of the Lord in His death, and this leads him to give needed instruction about this for all time, comparing the present-day usages. We cannot but own how sadly Christendom has departed from what is written.
There was no such thing then as a minister set over a congregation to order everything as he pleased. This is better seen in chapter 14. To set up such, choosing their own teachers, is spoken against in 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; and this is what we see now. It is called the deeds of the Nicolaitanes in Revelation 2:6, and their doctrine, in verse 15, which thing the Lord says, “I hate.”
The apostle could not praise them, but the opposite, for their coming together was not for the better, but for the worse; for first of all he had heard that they were divided in their hearts, and this formed them into schools or parties; but it made manifest some who were approved in their ways, and did not go on with such behavior, for their coming together was not to eat the Lord’s supper. Some were eating their own supper before others did, and one would be hungry, and others carousing It was shaming God’s assembly, and shaming the poor who had no house to eat in. What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this point? I praise you not. Then the apostle unfolds in all its simplicity, and solemn godly dignity, the way it was instituted at the first, and sets it in its own important and solitary blessedness, apart from all other meetings or meals of their own.
Verses 23-26. The apostle tells us where he got this revelation, and who it came from. He was not with the disciples when Jesus was on earth. He had it from the Lord in heaven, and this gives it increased weight for us to see that it is not neglected.
“I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night on which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.’ After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of Me: for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.’”
This should have been precious to their redeemed souls, and make them think of Him, who loved them and gave Himself for them. And in like manner it is set before us to keep us in mind of how our blessed Savior suffered in our stead. We might well thank God, that out of all the sad failure of the Corinthians, He gives us this lasting proof that God the Father delights to have us worshiping in His presence, and the presence of our Lord Jesus, and though the church outwardly is so sadly broken up, yet the privilege remains for even the two or three, as well as larger numbers, if gathered to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Matt. 18:20; John 4:23, and like the disciples in Acts 20:7), we can have the weekly remembrance of Him. Not to bring blessing to our souls, though that is increased where the soul enters into it, but to think of our blessed Lord, and gratify His heart, and be in communion with Him. Paul adds to what the Lord said to Him.
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death, till He come.” There in it is a witness that the Lord died in this world, was lifted up, put out, and that he will come again. So we go on remembering Him and waiting for Him, and the moment He takes us up, will be the closing of the day of grace and salvation.
Verses 27, 28. Then the danger is stated that whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. The persons are worthy, being true children of God but their manner of doing it was unworthy. So each was to examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup; he is not told to stay away. The word is not damnation in verse 29. There is no condemnation to the believer, but it is bringing judgment or chastening on himself because he was not discerning the Lord’s body; he did not connect his eating and drinking with the death of Christ: it had become an ordinance or form to him.
Verse 30. So some were weak and sickly among them and many had fallen asleep. No doubt they went to be with the Lord, but it was chastisement.
Verses 31, 32. They were to judge their own ways and correct them, then the Lord would not need to chastise them. When the Christians are judged, they are chastened from the Lord. When the world is judged, they are condemned forever.
So now (verses 33, 34) when they came together all were to come at the same time; and if any needed a meal, it was to be taken at a different time, so that nothing might interfere with the object of the gathering, and all should be done decently and in order, with due soberness and solemnity.

Selected

Beloved, in a day like this, what a thought it is for us that we are set in God’s righteousness before Him! His righteousness has set aside all man’s reasonings, as the rising sun not only dispels the darkness, but causes even the stars to vanish because of its brightness. When Christ is first revealed to the soul, it is always humbling, because it displays what it really is before God, and brings the conscience into play, while the heart mourns its having despised and rejected such an One.
I do not say that the affections may not be found towards Christ without this; but there must be sooner or later such a revelation of what Christ is, as to show us what we are; and it is that which breaks down what is inside, foolish and vain desires, self-will, sinful thoughts and feelings, and everything that is the opposite of Christ, thus showing us not only that we have committed sins; but that we are sin. Then He reveals to us the unclouded favor of God into which we are brought, according to the love which sought us, and gave His Son for us, and brought us there in righteousness.

The Bible: Its Sufficiency and Supremacy, Part 1

Its Sufficiency and Supremacy
Let us meditate for a time on the value of the Bible. This we consider needful, just now, when not only are many doctrines of the Bible set aside, but even the divine authority and sufficiency of the Bible itself boldly called in question, and that, too, in quarters where we should least have expected such things. We, therefore, proceed to state, very simply, what we believe in reference to the Bible, and also what we feel with respect to those who presume to tamper with its sacred pages. We do not by any means, undertake the task of silencing the skeptic or the infidel. We leave such work to abler hands; but we believe we ought to raise our voice in testimony to the incomparable excellencies of that book which our God has graciously given us to be “A lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path,” and which, as being a divine revelation, must needs be adapted to all ages, all conditions, and all climes.
Some, we are aware, would fain persuade us that things are so totally changed since the Bible was penned, that we need other guidance than that which its precious pages supply. They tell us that society is not what it was; that the human race has made progress; that there has been such a development of the powers of nature, the resources of science, and the appliances of philosophy, that to maintain the sufficiency and supremacy of the Bible, at such a point in the world’s history as the nineteenth century of the Christian era, can only be regarded as child shyness ignorance or imbecility.
Now, the men that tell us these things may be very clever and very learned; but we have no hesitation whatever in telling them that, in this matter, “they do greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” We certainly do desire to render all due respect to learning, genius and talent, whenever we find them in their right place, and at their proper work; but when we find them lifting their proud heads above the Word of God; when we find them sitting in judgment, and casting a slur upon that peerless revelation, we feel that we owe them no respect whatever; yea, we treat them as so many agents of the devil, in his efforts to shake those eternal pillars on which the faith of God’s elect has ever rested. We cannot listen, for a moment, to men, however profound in their reading and thinking, who dare to treat God’s Book as though it were man’s book, and speak of those pages that were penned by the All-wise, Almighty and Eternal God, as though they were the production of a shallow and short-sighted mortal.
It is important that the reader should see clearly that men must either deny that the Bible is the Word of God, or admit its sufficiency and supremacy in all ages, and in all countries—in all stages and conditions of the human rate. Grant us but this, that God has written a book for man’s guidance, and we argue that that book must be amply sufficient for man, no matter when, where, or how we find him.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God ~~~ that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
This, surely, is enough. To be perfect, and thoroughly furnished, must needs render a man independent of all the boasted powers of science and philosophy, falsely so called.
We are quite aware that, in writing thus, we expose ourselves to the sneer of the learned rationalist, and the polished and cultivated philosopher. But we are not very careful about, this.
We greatly admire the answer of a pious, but, no doubt, very ignorant woman to some very learned man who was endeavoring to show her that the inspired writer had made a mistake in asserting that Jonah was in the whale’s belly. He assured her that such a thing could not possibly be, inasmuch as the natural history of the whale proved that it could not swallow anything so large.
“Well,” said the poor woman, “I do not know much about natural history, but this I know, that if the Bible were to tell me that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.”
Now, it is quite possible that many would pronounce this poor woman to have been under the influence of ignorance and blind credulity; but, for our part, we should rather be the ignorant woman, confiding in God’s Word, than the learned rationalist picking holes in it. We have no doubt as to who was in the safer position.
But let it not be supposed that we prefer ignorance to learning. Let none imagine that we despise the discoveries of science, or treat with contempt the achievements of sound philosophy. Far from it. We honor them highly in their proper sphere, and every effort put forth to preserve, to unfold, to illustrate and to enforce the precious truth of Scripture, we most highly esteem; but, on the other hand, when we find men making use of their learning, their science, and their philosophy, for the purpose of undermining the sacred edifice of divine revelation, we deem it our duty to raise our voices, in the clearest and strongest, way, against them, and to warn our readers, most solemnly, against their baneful influence.
We believe that the Bible, as written in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, is the very word of the only wise and the only true God, with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, who saw the end from the beginning, and not only the end, but every stage of the way. We therefore hold it to be nothing short of positive blasphemy to assert that we have arrived at a stage of our career in which the Bible is not sufficient, or that we are compelled to travel outside its covers to find ample guidance and instruction for the present moment, and for every moment of our earthly pilgrimage. The Bible is a perfect chart in which every exigency of the Christian mariner has been anticipated. Every rock, every sand bank, every shoal, every strand, every island, has been carefully noted down. All the need of the church of God, its members, and its ministers, has been most fully provided for.
How could it be otherwise, if we admit the Bible to be the Word of God? Could the mind of God have devised, or His finger sketched an imperfect chart? Impossible. We must either deny the divinity, or admit the sufficiency of The Book. We are absolutely shut up to this alternative. There is not so much as a single point between these two positions. If the book is incomplete, it cannot be of God; if it be of God, it must be perfect. But if we are compelled to betake ourselves to other sources for guidance and instruction, as to the path of the church of God, its members or its ministers, then is the Bible incomplete, and, being such, it cannot be of God at all.
What then, dear reader, are we to do? Whither can we betake ourselves? If the Bible be not a divine and therefore all-sufficient guidebook, what remains? Some will tell us to have recourse to tradition. Alas! what a miserable guide. No sooner have we launched out into the wide field of tradition, than our ears are assailed by ten thousand strange and conflicting sounds. We meet, it may be, with a tradition which seems very authentic, very venerable, well worthy of respect and confidence, and we commit ourselves to its guidance; but, directly we have done so, another tradition crosses our path, putting forth quite as strong claims on our confidence, and leading us in quite an opposite direction. Thus it is with tradition. The mind is bewildered, and one is reminded of the assembly at Ephesus concerning which we read that, “Some cried one thing, and some another; for the assembly was confused.” The fact is, we want a perfect standard, and this can only be found in a divine revelation, which, as we believe, is to be found within the covers of our most precious Bible. What a boon! What a treasure! How we should bless God for it! How we should praise His name for His mercy in that He hath not left His church dependent upon the ignis fatuus of human tradition, but upon the steady light of divine revelation! We do not want tradition to assist revelation, but we use revelation as the test of tradition. We should just as soon think of bringing out a searchlight to assist the sun’s meridian beams, as of calling in human tradition to aid divine revelation.
(To be Continued)

At His Feet

As Mary sat at Jesus’ feet,
To learn His sacred will,
We in the Savior’s presence meet,
To hear His doctrines still.

O, for that meek attentive mind,
Which happy Mary showed;
May we that “one thing needful” find,
That was on her bestowed.

‘Tis here we learn the glorious Name,
Of God who reigns above;
And while we read the sinner’s shame,
Are taught the Savior’s love!

Lord! while we thank Thee for the grace
That sends this happy news,
We still would sit in Mary’s place—
That “better part” to choose.

Bethany

The thought that I have in turning to this scripture is that the Lord Jesus has made a feast for us for time and for eternity, and therefore it is for us to keep the feast, not with the old leaven, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The Lord Jesus Christ, when passing through this scene as a man, was not only the rejected One, but everybody, with the exception of His few disciples, was seeking His life—in other words, seeking His destruction.
I am sure it was sweet to the heart of that blessed weary Man, the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, to have one little green spot, so to speak, just with the two or three at Bethany. There He got refreshment for His own blessed heart; and, beloved, it was not the Lord Jesus Christ making a feast for them—they made a supper for Him. I believe, as I said before, it was one of those green spots that He had while passing through this scene. And to my own mind, there was that which delighted His own soul when He was in more solemn circumstances, and that was when He was upon the cross, when one of the thieves who were crucified with Him could acknowledge with regard to himself and his fellow, “We indeed justly,” we are getting our just deserts; but he could say, “This man hath done nothing amiss.” I believe that there He got something to refresh His blessed heart, even for time and eternity.
But looking at this scripture, beloved, He comes to Bethany, and there they make Him a supper, and Martha serves. Just notice Martha’s case first. She is all right here about service. In Luke 10 it is the same person, but you find that she is all adrift. She is not satisfied with her service; she was encumbered with it; and because Mary had chosen that good part, she complained to the blessed Lord even against that one, and then she gets a gentle rebuke from the lips of the One who loved her. But here the Holy Ghost does not bring one word against her; here she is in position: Martha serves, and serves the Lord Jesus Christ; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.
We remember well what came to pass in the previous chapter. Lazarus had been in the grave and, according to Martha’s announcement, he stank, for He had been dead four days. He is the one to whom the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, “Lazarus come forth;” and Lazarus obeyed. The thought in connection with this is that we were all once dead, not physically dead, but morally and spiritually dead; dead in trespasses and sins. It is His own infinite grace that has quickened us. What do we find here? We find the very one that had been in the grave for four days, and raised by the One who was the resurrection and the life, sitting as a guest; he sits at the table with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am just giving you the thoughts that are before my heart.
Mary still keeps to the right place. In Luke 10, she is at the feet of the Lord Jesus. Beloved, she is there to gather, to feed on the words that fell from His own blessed lips. She is a learner there, a receiver there, but she is a giver here. Just the blessed position that we are brought into through infinite grace; and it is for each of us to come on a morning like this, to bring forth our little—it may be a very tiny basket—but to be giving Him the homage of our hearts. She may be blamed for what she does. Never mind about that, she did it intelligently and filled the house with the odor of the ointment, and He himself appreciated it.
We have here three different people, and three different attitudes: but they are all ministering to the One Person: they are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is one sitting with the Lord, being a guest and ministering to His heart; another, serving Him; a third paying homage to Him which is worship.
May the Lord keep Himself so before us beloved, that whether we are at His feet as receivers, we may be receiving from Himself; or whether in any little act of service, may we be doing it as unto Himself, serving the Lord Jesus Christ with singleness of eye, to the praise and to the glory of His own blessed name. And if it is worship, what have we to give Him? Let us remember, as the apostle says to the saints at Corinth, that he was in a position not only to spend, but to be spent for us.
May we have grace to follow in the steps of our divine Master. May it be ours to be at His own blessed feet, and to be giving Him the honor and adoration, and blessing due to Him, and from the bottom of our hearts, for His own glory, and for our blessing.

Here and There

Fairest scenes are changing—fading,
Dearest friends must one day part,
Fondest hopes and brightest prospects
Die, and disappoint the heart,
Down here.

But beyond earth’s transient pleasures,
Fleeting joys and changing friends,
Faith sees One whose changeless glory
Far this mirage-scene transcends,
Up there.

There Lord, let mine eye be fixed,
Heart and mind repose at home.
Listing as time’s shadows deepen—
For thy loving welcome, “Come”
Up here.

Service

True service begins with Christ, who is the Head, and when Christ is forgotten, then the service is defective; it has lost connection with the spring and fountain of all service, because it is from the Head that all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered, increaseth. The body is of Christ, and He loves it as He loves Himself, and everyone who would serve it, will best learn to do so, by knowing His heart and purposes towards it. In a word, it is Christ who serves, though it may be through us. We are but “joints and bands.” If we are not derivative and communicative from Christ, we are useless. To be useful, my eye and heart must be on Christ, and not on the issue of my service; though, if true to Him, the end will vindicate me too, however disheartening the interval.
He who judges of his service by present appearances, will judge by the blossom, and not by the fruit; and, after all, the service is not for the sake of the church, but for the sake of Christ; and if He be served in the church, though the church own it not, yet, Christ being served, He will own it.
Now the constant effort of Satan is to disconnect, in our minds, Christ from our service; and this, much more than any of us, perhaps, have fully discovered. Whether in reading, or praying, or speaking, how seldom, if we judge ourselves, do we find that we act simply as towards Christ, and Him alone? How often may sentimentality and natural feeling affect us in our service, instead of simple love to Him!
“Thrice happy he who serveth
The Lord with heart and soul!
Whose purpose never swerveth,
Who loves the Lord’s control.

“With single eye—unfearing—
With simple, child-like faith—
The Master’s accents hearing;
‘He doth whate’er He saith.’”

Hardness

Luxury and religiousness help to harden the heart, and they give to the heart a peculiar hardness. The rough man who swears at, and scorns God’s mercy, is hard in his way; his hardness is like that of the rock which the blow of the hammer breaks in pieces. But the religiously hardened heart is like a lump of India-rubber, which, hit it as you will, only flings back the stroke of the hammer.
The ancient battering ram, which would crush down stone walls, and iron gates, was often baffled by bags of straw and soft substances placed in front of the walls and gates.
It is this India-rubber kind of hardness, this respectable, religious-hardness of heart, which is so difficult to overcome, and which repels, which flings hack, the blows of the gospel.

Correspondence: Satan Cast Out; His Stripes; Rom. 8:14; Acts 20:16

Question: When was Satan cast out of heaven? E. T.
Answer: The Lord in Luke 10:18 looks forward to the day when Satan’s power will be over. In Revelation 12 it is still future. There we see when he will be cast down to earth. The Lord on the cross annulled Satan’s power, so that all His people are delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love. God holds him as His servant for His people’s good. Job, chapters 1, 2; Luke 22:31; 2 Corinthians 12:7 are examples of how God can use him.
If the child of God is humble and dependent on the Lord, Satan can do nothing to him. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us how to stand against him, and 1 Peter 5:8, 9 says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, whom resist steadfast in the faith.”
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).
Satan is not in the Holiest of all, where the Lord Jesus and His saints are. No sin can come in there. Satan and his angels, wicked spirits, are in heavenly places. (See Eph. 6:12 Margin).
Question: What does ‘With His stripes we are healed’ mean? W. 1. C.
Answer: Isaiah 53:5 is the blessing resulting to Israel from the atonement. Verse 4 is the sympathy of Christ seen in His lifetime amid the afflictions of Israel. It is quoted in Matthew 8:17, and was true before Christ died. Isaiah 53 is the language of the remnant of Israel when they are restored. Christ bears the judgment for them in Verse 5.
Question: Please explain Romans 8:14. M. C.
Answer: Our failures are not noticed in Romans 8. It is a statement of the believers’ normal position and portion. So believers are possessors of the Holy Spirit, given to all who believe the gospel of their salvation (John 7:39; Eph. 1:13), and He is their teacher and leader. It does not mean that in everything one does, he is led by the Holy Ghost.
Question: Why did Paul desire to be at Jerusalem at Pentecost? (Acts 20:16). W. I. C.
Answer: Paul loved his nation, and that led him at the time many went there from the surrounding countries. While God overruled his going up, Acts 21:4 would lead us to think that he was not guided by the Lord in going.
MISSING INFORMATION
she was much touched and followed the words in the Hymn Book till they reached the stanza,
“Just as I am—Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve:
Because Thy promise I believe,
O, Lamb of God, I come.”
Then she broke down and wept, and said to Him, “Lord, I come.” She sang with the rest,
“Just as I am—Thy love I own,
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O, Lamb of God, I come.”
Several Christians felt the Lord was giving blessing, and after the singing was over, they turned to see, and saw the dear girl with her head on her mother’s shoulder, weeping for joy.
Not only among that company of Christians was there great joy that night, but also in heaven in the presence of the angels of God was greater joy over the repentance of this one who had stood out so long against the Lord.
Dear reader, are you resisting the pleadings of a loving Savior? Mercy’s gate will not always remain open. Christ offers to all a free and full salvation.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isa. 55:1).
“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21).
“Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43). The offer is without reserve. “Whosoever,” includes you.
He invites you to come, empty-handed, without money—without goodness—for you have none. In God’s sight, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6).
But we also have this solemn word— “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Hebrews 2:3. Lured by the empty attractions of this world, we may wish to put off this all-important question of our soul’s salvation, thinking there is plenty of time. But the One who shed His precious blood, that you and I might escape the judgment we deserve, says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2). As one of our hymns says, “There’s danger and death in delay.”
You may be in excellent health and filled with brightest hopes and ambitions, but a thousand unseen dangers lurk about you. Tomorrow is uncertain.
Accept Christ’s offer while you may—Just as thou art, without one plea!

A Dream

One morning a short time ago, I was dreaming of a very dear relative who had recently been married.
In the dream I saw beautiful gifts, and was talking with different ones about the marriage, when suddenly some noise aroused me, and the dream faded rapidly away, while the following words—came clearly and distinctly to my mind:
“Hark! what sounds of bitter weeping
From you lonesome garden sweep?
‘Tis the Lord His vigil keeping
Whilst His followers sink in sleep.”
and at once I was wide awake.
There seems no special connection between the dream and the words that followed, and yet there is a lesson there.
The dream did not breathe of hilarity nor anything in itself objectionable, but it had to do with the affairs of this life. These necessarily demand much of our time and thought, and there is danger of our becoming discouraged with the difficulties of the path, or so engrossed with its cares and pleasures that the Lord’s claims are neglected or perhaps entirely forgotten. And thus “His followers sink in sleep.”
When in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to His disciples— “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41; and three times He departed from them to pray. But each time He returned “He found them sleeping for sorrow.” Luke 22:45.
Be it sorrow or pleasure, or the cares of this life—whatever causes us to fall asleep, interrupts communion with our blessed Lord. So He tells us to “watch and pray that we enter not into temptation.”
The spirit may be willing—we may have a sincere desire to please the Lord and be faithful to Him, but “the flesh is weak,” and in our own strength we can only fail.
Diligent watching and prayer are necessary to overcome the lethargy with tends to creep over us. Only with the eye fixed on the Lord Himself can we be kept from sinking in sleep.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.” (Eph. 6:18).
“Blest Savior, keep our spirits stayed,
Hard following after Thee.
Till we in robes of white arrayed,
Thy face, in glory see.”

Lord, What Wilt Thou Have Me to Do?

One of the first things that suggests itself to the mind of a newly converted person is, “How can I pay Him back for all He has done for me?” And what question is more natural? With Saul of Tarsus, first it was, “Who art Thou, Lord?” and as soon as Jesus reveals Himself to the astonished Saul, his next thoughts are fitly expressed in, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?”
We say, and rightly so, that one can do NOTHING in order to be saved. But that does not mean that after being saved, the young convert should feel that there is nothing for him to do. Indeed, one of the first things which result from knowing the surpassing love of Christ, and the peace and joy now found in the knowledge of sins forgiven, will be to tell it to others. Not perhaps in an intelligent way—just the wonderful fact that He saves and in such a blessed manner. Perhaps there will be great zeal, even if there is little knowledge. But the heart will be light and right, and in some way it must be told out. For out of the fullness of the heart man speaks. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10).

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 12

Let it be well understood by us all, that everyone who has believed the gospel of his salvation, is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13). The Spirit of God dwells in him (1 Cor. 6:19), and the Spirit is the seal, the anointing, and the earnest in our hearts (2 Cor. 1:21, 22). He also dwells in the assembly as a whole (1 Cor. 3:16).
There are anxious souls who are seeking to walk in the right way, and show marks of life, but have not seen Christ as the one in whom they are perfected (Heb. 10:14). They have not settled peace (Rom. 5:1); we do not speak of these as Christians. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” and these are yet in bondage. Safe as trusting in Christ, but not yet knowing salvation where no condemnation can ever come.
The Holy Spirit dwells in those who are redeemed; they do not pray for the Holy Ghost to be given to them then.
This chapter speaks of spiritual manifestations. The apostle wishes them to know the distinctive marks of the Holy Spirit’s presence and actings.
Verses 2, 3, refer to how the evil spirits spoke and acted with the heathen, and the Corinthians were such before conversion, and had allowed themselves to be led just as the evil spirits desired. One speaking in the power of the Spirit of God, would never say, “Curse on Jesus.” No demon would own the Lordship of Christ. Christians, speaking in the power of the Spirit of God, gladly own Jesus as Lord. This is the contrast, not between a true Christian and one who is only a professor, but between heathenism and Christianity.
In the present day we find Christians yielding to the influence of evil spirits, and are led by them into extravagancies of behavior; and what they call “speaking with tongues” is entirely contrary to Scripture, and they think that they are led by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit would ever lead us into obedience to the Word of God. The enemy is active now as ever, to lead astray the children of God. Some, not having Christ as the satisfying portion of the heart, and seeking for higher spiritual life, as it is sometimes called, have fallen victims to these influences which exercise power over their minds—it is the deluding power of the enemy in these last days.
Verses 4-7. Here we get instructions, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” But to each, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for profit. There is no thought in verse 7 of every man in the world having the Spirit. He is speaking only to the Church of God. It is given to each member to fill his place according to the gift he has received from God in the power of the Spirit. It is by the Spirit that communion is maintained and enjoyed. We could not realize the character, and discern the will of God without this communion, or be able to witness for God on earth. Our strength, our joy, and our spiritual intelligence would fail. The Lord saw the condition of the Church at Ephesus, and said, “Thou hast left thy first love,” while others might think her a bright witness for the Lord, and if we are walking in the power of the Spirit, we are occupied with the Lord; not with ourselves, our blessings, or our attainments, or progress, nor with the Holy Spirit. He occupies us with Christ who reveals the Father to us. All three work together as one in mind and purpose, so that the Spirit is in power, carrying out the will of God to glorify the Father and the Son, and for profit of the assembly, and using the members of the body to minister to each other.
Verse 8. “For to one by the Spirit is given the word of wisdom.” “Wisdom is the application of divine light to right and wrong, and to all the circumstances through which we pass—a perception of the true nature of things, and of their relationship to each other, and of conduct with regard to both, which, coming from God, guides us through the difficulties of the way, and enables us to avoid that which would place us in a false position towards God and man.” “To another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.” Knowledge is intelligence in the mind of God as it is revealed to us.
Verse 9. “To another faith by the same spirit.” “Faith is not here, simple faith in the gospel (that is, not a distinctive gift which one believer may possess and another not), This is evident. It is the faith, the energy, given by God which overcomes difficulties, which rises above dangers, which confronts them without being alarmed by them.”
Verse 10. “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy” (that is, receiving the revelation from God in some special way about His mind, before the Scriptures were completed. Acts 21:9).
“To another discerning of spirits.” “The discerning of spirits is not that of a man’s condition of soul—it has nothing to do with it. It is the knowledge how to discern, by the mighty energy of the Spirit of God, the actings of evil spirits, and to bring them to light if necessary, in contrast with the action of the Spirit of God.”
“To another divers kind of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.” These two last with working of miracles, and gifts of healing, are today shamefully used by Satan’s imitation to deceive godly people. And many calling themselves Christians are carrying on the delusion, and many dear children of God have their happiness ruined by going with them.
The apostle is not giving in this chapter what is to continue to the end, as he does in Ephesians 4:11-14, but what was going on at that time when the church was all together, and God was working specially for its establishment in the truth. It is Satan’s miracles that are found at the end of the church period (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 16:14; Matt. 7:21-23). There is no such thing as speaking in tongues, or interpreting of tongues today. The last is a gross deception where it is asserted that they can interpret. The speaking is an evil and uncontrolled influence that has no use or meaning to it—no real language in it. It is the influence of evil spirits in those who have yielded themselves to it.
Verse 11. “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” Another quotation, “The Spirit was one, he had said, working diversely in the members according to His will. The importance of His personality, and the immense import of His divinity (if we reflect that it is He who works in and by man) is very evident when we observe that He is the center and the living power of the unity of the whole body, so that the individuals, in the exercise of their gifts, are but the members of the one and the same body divinely formed by the power and the presence of the, Spirit. This point the apostle develops largely, in connection with the oneness of the body, the mutual dependence of the members, and the relationship of each one to the body as a whole.”
Verses 12, 13. These verses show that the body of Christ, with its many members, has been formed by the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and that it includes all Jews and Gentiles who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
This was not possible before Christ died and rose again, and was exalted to glory at God’s right hand (John 7:39; Acts 2:33; Eph. 3:2-10). Now it is a blessed fact, and it becomes every Christian to believe it, and to behave accordingly. And not only are we One body, but the word says, “And have been all made to drink into One Spirit.” “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Cor. 6:17).
“One spirit with the Lord;”
O blessed, wondrous word!
What heavenly light, what power divine,
Doth that sweet word afford!

“One spirit with the Lord,”
Jesus, the glorified,
Esteems the church for which He bled,
His body and His bride.
It looks like an allusion to the cup we partake of in the Lord’s supper; he is not speaking there of the Holy Ghost: one spirit was the state of the believers, the word being used in contrast with one body, associated in one heart and mind by the Spirit—participating in Christ, so that we are by the Spirit formed into one body and are all made partakers, are animated individually by one and the same Spirit.
Verses 14-25. All the members are needed to form the one body, and have need of each other, is all the members of a person’s body need each other. “And even those gifts which were the most shining, were comparatively of the least value, even as a man clothes and ornaments the least honorable parts of his body, and leaves the more beautiful parts uncovered.”
Verse 26. This gives common interests in all the members, either in caring for, or suffering, or honoring each other.
Verse 27. “Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular,” and though that assembly was only part of the body of Christ, it was the local expression of the whole body.
There is no other membership in the New Testament, and this looks at all Christians as members joined together by the Holy Ghost, and while meeting in different towns or countries, we take them all in when the one loaf is before us on the table (1 Cor. 10:16, 17). Notice also that this one body is not a tree with branches; it recognizes believers everywhere, as one.
Alas! scattering and divisions exist, and while a few gather to the Name of the Lord Jesus as members of the body of Christ, we could not say of such a meeting now, “Ye are the body of Christ and members in particular,” but we might say, “We are gathered as members of His body, to Christ the Head,” and that is the only ground in Scripture to gather upon with the Lord’s approval, and such a gathering is in the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3, 4).
Verses 28-31. “God hath set some in the assembly.” Notice that the word is changed. The assembly has no members; the body has. The apostle takes in the whole assembly everywhere as one assembly. It is God’s assembly on earth, and by the one Spirit who dwells in it, He is ministering gifts necessary for its building up. This is not a complete list of the gifts, but to mark their order and importance (the evangelist is not even mentioned here), and some of these are needed no longer. Apostles and prophets laid the foundation (Eph. 2). Sign-gifts have disappeared. All were right in their place, but he says, “Covet earnestly the best gifts,” those which minister edification to the assembly.
Ephesians 4:11-16, gives what is to continue to the coming of the Lord. No gifts which are signs of power to others, are mentioned there. The Lord has left to us what is needed for the upbuilding of the saints.
Then we get a more excellent way shown us in the next chapter—love the spring of it all—the love of Christ in its activity in His members.

Paul, the Pilgrim: Philippians 3

Morn, noon, and night,
Through days o’ercast and bright,
My purpose still is one;
I have one end in view,
Daily one thing I do,
Until my object’s won.

Behind my back I fling,
Like an unvalued thing,
My former self and ways:
And reaching forward far,
I seek the things that are
Beyond time’s lagging days.

I have a prize in view,
Whose worth no words can show,
This Prize I seek alone:
All things are worthless dross,
All things I count but loss
For Jesus fully known.

O! may I follow still,
Faith’s pilgrimage fulfill,
With steps both sure and fleet;
The longed-for goal I see,
Jesus waits there for me;
Haste! haste! my pilgrim feet.

The Bible - Its Sufficiency and Supremacy: Part 2

But there is another very ensnaring and dangerous resource presented by the enemy of the Bible, and alas! accepted by too many of the people of God, and that is expediency, or the very attractive plea of doing all the good we can, without due attention to the way in which that good is done. It is, no doubt, well to do all the good we can; but let us look well to the way in which we do it. Let us not deceive ourselves by the vain imagination that God will ever accept of services based upon positive disobedience to His Word.
“It is a gift,” said the elders, as they boldly walked over the plain commandment of God, as if He would be pleased with a gift presented on such a principle. There is an intimate connection between the ancient “corban” and the modern “expediency,” for, “there is nothing new under the sun.” The solemn responsibility of obeying the Word of God was got rid of under the plausible pretext of “corban,” or “It is a gift.” Thus it was of old. The “corban” of the ancients justified, or sought to justify, many a bold transgression of the law of God; and the “expediency” of our times allures many to out step the boundary line laid down by divine revelation.
Now, we quite admit that expediency holds out most attractive inducements. It does seem so very delightful to be doing a great deal of good, to be gaining the ends of a large-hearted benevolence, to be reaching tangible results. It would not be an easy matter duly to estimate the ensnaring influence of such objects, or the immense difficulty of throwing them overboard. Have we never been tempted as we stood upon the narrow path of obedience, and looked forth upon the golden fields of expediency lying on either side, to exclaim, “Alas! I am sacrificing my usefulness for an idea?” Doubtless; but then what if it should turn out that we have the very same foundation for that “idea” as for the fundamental doctrines of salvation? The question is, What is the idea? Is it founded upon “Thus saith the Lord”? If so, let us tenaciously hold by it, though ten thousand advocates of expediency were hurling at us the grievous charge of narrow-mindedness.
There is immense power in Samuel’s brief, but pointed, reply to Saul, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22). Saul’s word was, “Sacrifice.” Samuel’s word was, “Obedience.” No doubt, the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen were most exciting. They would be looked upon as substantial proofs that something was being done; while on the other hand, the path of obedience seemed narrow, silent, lonely, and fruitless.
But O! those pungent words of Samuel! “To obey is better than sacrifice.” What a triumphant answer to the most eloquent advocates of expediency! They are most conclusive—most commanding words. They teach us that it is better, if it must be so, to stand, like a marble statue, on the pathway of obedience, than to reach the most desirable ends by transgressing a plain precept of the Word of God.
But let none suppose that one must be like a statue on the path of obedience. Far from it. There are rare and precious services to be rendered by the obedient one—services which can only be rendered by such, and which owe all their preciousness to their being the fruit of simple obedience. True, they may not find a place in the public records of man’s bustling activity; but they are recorded on high, and they will be published at the right time. As a dear friend has often said to us, “Heaven will be the safest and happiest place to hear all about our work down here.”
May we remember this, and pursue our way, in all simplicity, looking to Christ for guidance, power, and blessing. May His smile be enough for us. May we not be found looking askance to catch the approving look of a poor mortal whose breath is in his nostrils, nor sigh to find our names amid the glittering record of the great men of the age.
The servant of Christ should look far beyond all such things. The grand business of the servant is to obey. His object should not be to do a great deal, but simply to do what he is told. This makes all plain; and, moreover, it will make the Bible precious as the depository of the Master’s will to which he must continually betake himself to know what he is to do, and how he is to do it. Neither tradition, nor expediency will do for the servant of Christ. The all-important inquiry is, “What saith the Scripture?”
This settles everything. From the decision of the Word of God there must be no appeal. When God speaks, man must bow. It is not by any means, a question of obstinate adherence to a man’s own notions. Quite the opposite. It is a reverent adherence to the Word of God. Let the reader distinctly mark this. It often happens that, when one is determined, through grace, to abide by Scripture, he will be pronounced dogmatic, intolerant and imperious, and no doubt, one has to watch over his temper, spirit, and style, even when seeking to abide by the Word of God. But, be it well remembered that obedience to Christ’s commandments is the very opposite of imperiousness, dogmatism, and intolerance. It is not a little strange that when a man tamely consents to place his conscience in the keeping of his fellow, and to bow down his understanding to the opinions of men, he is considered meek, modest, and liberal; but let him reverently bow to the authority of Holy Scripture, and he will be looked upon as self-confident, dogmatic, and narrow-minded. Be it so. The time is rapidly approaching when obedience shall be called by its right name, and meet its recognition and reward. For that moment the faithful must be content to wait, and, while waiting for it, be quite satisfied to let men call them whatever they please. “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.”
But we must draw to a close, and would merely add, in conclusion, that there is a third hostile influence against which the lover of the Bible will have to watch, and that is rationalism—or the supremacy of man’s reason. The faithful disciple of the Word of God will have to withstand this audacious intruder, with the most unflinching decision. It presumes to sit in judgment upon the Word of God—to decide upon what is and what is not worthy of God—to prescribe boundaries to inspiration. Instead of humbly bowing to the authority of Scripture, which continually soars into a region where poor blind reason can never follow, it proudly seeks to drag Scripture down to its own level. If the Bible puts forth aught which, in the smallest degree, clashes with the conclusions of rationalism, then there must be some flaw. God is shut out of His own book, if He says anything which poor blind, perverted reason cannot reconcile with her own conclusions—which conclusions, be it observed, are not unfrequently the grossest absurdities.
Nor is this all. Rationalism deprives us of the only perfect standard of truth, and conducts us into a region of the most dreary uncertainty. It seeks to undermine the authority of a Book in which we can believe everything, and carries us into a field of speculation in which we can be sure of nothing. Under the dominion of rationalism the soul is like a vessel broken from its safe moorings in the haven of divine revelation, to be tossed like a cork upon the wild watery waste of universal skepticism.
Now we do not expect to convince a thorough rationalist, even if such an one should condescend to scan our unpretending pages, which is most unlikely. Neither could we expect to gain over to our way of thinking, the decided advocate of expediency, or the ardent admirer of tradition. We have neither the competency, the leisure, nor the space, to enter upon such a line of argument as would be required were we seeking to gain such ends as these. But we are most anxious that the Christian reader should rise up from the perusal of this paper with a deepened sense of the preciousness of his Bible. We earnestly desire that the heading of this article should be engraved, in deep and broad characters, upon the tablet of the reader’s heart— “The Bible; its sufficiency and supremacy.”
We feel that we have a solemn duty to perform, at a moment like the present, in which Superstition, Expediency, and Rationalism are all at work, as so many agents of the devil, in his efforts to sap the foundations of our holy faith. We owe it to that blessed volume of inspiration, from which we have drunk the streams of life and peace, to bear our feeble testimony to the divinity of its every page—to give expression, in this permanent form, to our profound reverence for its authority, and our conviction of its divine sufficiency for every need, whether of the believer individually, or the church collectively.
We owe it to our readers to exhort them earnestly to set a higher value than ever upon the Holy Scriptures, and to warn them, in most urgent terms, against every influence, whether of tradition, expediency, or rationalism, which might tend to shake their confidence in those heavenly oracles. There is a spirit abroad and there are principles at work, which make it imperative upon us to keep close to Scripture—to treasure it in our hearts—and to submit to its holy authority.
May God—the Author of the Bible—produce in the writer and reader of these lines, a more ardent love for that Bible! May He enlarge our experimental acquaintance with its contents, and lead us into more complete subjection to its teachings, in all things, that God may be more fully glorified in us, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid up for faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can He say, than to you He has said—
You who to the Savior for refuge have fled?

In every condition—in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home, or abroad; on the land, on the sea;
As need may demand, shall our strength ever be.
(Continued from page 272)

Communion

Beloved reader, nothing can make up for the loss of communion, bear in mind. It can only be had when we are in the path of obedience, of separation from the world. If we are walking carelessly, gratifying the desires of the flesh instead of mortifying them—if we are mingled up with the world, not taking our place “outside the camp,” we may gain exemption from opposition and scorn in our various circles, but we will lose communion. How bitter an exchange!
In our folly we may think, by compromising a little, by accommodating ourselves to the ways of the unconverted around us, by being a little more “like other people” (as the expression is), we will secure for ourselves a smoother path; but ah! we do not so in reality.
Ah, no! rougher far is the unrough path “towards Sodom,” without conscious companionship with Christ; without the sweetness of His smile of approval! Smoother far the unsmooth path of faithfulness to an absent Lord; of testimony against the world which has rejected and crucified Him, and which “lieth in wickedness,” with the capacity to enter, in the power of an ungrieved Spirit, into His thoughts.
O, the unutterable joy of this fellowship! May we know it all along our dreary desert journey, and then, it finished, we will go where
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Come as You Are!

One night, as the rain fell heavily and the wind shook the door on its hinges, the mother, alone in her cottage, could not sleep. Her daughter had gone astray, and had been absent for some time. The mother knew not where she was, or how she was; but the fear lest she might be out in such a storm, awoke the tenderest feelings of a mother’s heart. O! that she were under her mother’s roof! was, no doubt, her deepest and fondest wish. The ingratitude of the daughter had not quenched the love of the mother. Sorrow deepens such love, and a broken heart makes it tenfold more tender.
The mother arose to relieve her heart in prayer. Blessed refuge for a sorrowful and broken heart! Her prayer must be imagined. But that will be easy for those who have waked and watched for a prodigal’s return. But there was One who heard it all, and who was making all things work together for good, for the dear children of His love. The angels, too, were listening and watching, with admiring wonder, the movement of God’s hand, and sharing His joy. They desire to look into such things, and they rejoice when a sinner is converted. But with what deep interest they must watch the ways of God in grace with such a sinner, and receive as a fresh charge a new heir of salvation. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15.
While the mother yet prayed, and while the storm yet raged, she heard a knock at the door; when she opened it, a well-known voice asked, if she could be forgiven. What a meeting! Who could describe it? “My child, my child!” mingling with the welcome words, “Will you forgive me, mother?” satisfied and overjoyed both hearts. The daughter was shoeless, in rags, and drenched with the wet, but she was now in her mother’s arms, under her mother’s roof, and she was, after all, her daughter still.
But the deeper joy was yet to come. When the grateful mother was thanking God for her daughter’s return, and praying that He would now forgive her sins and save her soul, the daughter whispered in her ear, “I am saved already, mother.” Enough, O enough, more than enough, to break a mother’s heart over again, but now with overwhelming joy. The daughter proceeded: “About a week ago, I heard a man preaching in the street, and, as I stood and listened, all my sins seemed to come up before me, and I was so alarmed that I ran home to my lodgings, and prayed to God to forgive me, and I believed He pardoned my sins; and then. I left for home at once, and have walked all the way.”
Beautiful and touching as this scene is, and brightly as the grace of God shines through it all, it is, blessed be His name, no uncommon case. We have known and witnessed many of a similar character. Though, alas! all have not praying mothers, as this one had, yet some have. The Lord’s name alone have all the praise and glory.
We have in the above narrative, a fine illustration of the right way for a sinner to come to Christ. The daughter returned to her mother just as she was, and at once. She was the very picture of misery and wretchedness. Her condition proved her prodigality. She needed not to say a word, but to throw herself on her mother’s mercy. The rags spoke loud enough—yes, loud enough and plain enough for that mother’s heart. But she came to the right place, and to the right person, and at once. Anything else would have been wrong. Had she remained away until she got shoes and clothes, she might never have gladdened her mother’s heart in this world. And this, certainly, was her first duty. The only right way was to return at once and just as she was; and to confess the wrong she had done and seek forgiveness. Nothing could be of so much importance as to relieve the anguish of a mother’s broken heart. Every hour’s delay would have been heartless cruelty.
And thus, surely, should it be with the lost sinner, when Jesus says— “Come.” He should come at once, and come just as he is. Anything else—everything else, must be wrong. Many think, when they hear the invitations of the gospel, that they must in some way or other be better before they can come. They think they must at least find shoes and clothes before coming, and so make a respectable appearance. But this can never be. Every hour’s delay is time lost, besides the sin of refusing the love of Jesus. The moment you hear Him say—Come, my dear fellow sinner, be sure that you come, and just as you are.
“The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
We may notice also two important lessons from the above:
1. The value of prayer. God’s twofold answer to that mother’s prayer ought to encourage all hearts to pray without ceasing, but especially those who are praying for a similar blessing. He not only delivered the daughter from the paths of evil, but saved hen soul from the depths of hell. God’s time, and place, and way are the best. Let us wait on Him in faith, nothing wavering. He always answers faith. The happy day will come when the long prayed-for one shall be brought to the Lord, and numbered amongst His redeemed. Even though we were called away before it takes place, the prayer of faith remains before Him, and can never be overlooked.
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32.
Here, the Lord be praised, the sheet-anchor of faith may be confidently cast; for no circumstance, however adverse, can move it from its stronghold. And, where, we may ask, is the thoughtful Christian, who has not some special object of prayer before the throne of grace? May we honor God with the unquestioning confidence of our hearts, and seek that His name in all things may be glorified.
2. We have here a word of encouragement for open-air preaching. Little did the preacher know that he was the means of saving a soul from hell—of filling a desolate home with songs of joy; and also, of filling all heaven with music and dancing. Disturbed and interrupted with noise of the street, he may have gone home quite discouraged, and sought relief in casting all upon God, as many have done before him. But He who forgets not the work of faith and the labor of love, will show him the happy fruits of his work by and by. And when the brazen and granite monuments of earthly fame shall have passed away forever, the sinner saved by grace shall shine on the plains of glory, as the eternal monument of God’s own work by means of His feeble workman. Who would not rather be the means of saving one soul from hell, than be the object, even the worthy object, of the greatest earthly fame?

The Boundary Line

There is a time, we know not when,
A point, we know not where,
That marks the destiny of man
To glory or despair.

There is a line, by us unseen,
That crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience, and His wrath.

O, where is that mysterious bourn
By which our paths are crossed,
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost?

How long may I go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin
The confines of despair?

An answer from the skies is sent,
“Yes, who from God depart,
While it is called today; repent,
And harden not your heart.”

His Faithfulness

A widowed mother tried hard to keep back the tears on this special morning of which I am writing, but they would come, chasing each other down her cheeks, as she poured out the coffee for breakfast, and turned to her young daughter (who in a few minutes would be going out to business), and said, “This is the last of the coffee, dear, the last of everything, and I have no more money in the world. I cannot see where any dinner is to come from.”
The daughter was too young to know much of her mother’s cares, but one thing she did know was “something of the sweetness of the love of Jesus,” and her heart felt restful, peaceful and happy as she answered, “Mother, dear, we must have faith in ABRAHAM’S GOD. He who did such seeming impossibilities for Abraham, can do seeming impossibilities for us.”
The daughter left for business, the younger ones for school, and the mother pondered: Was not God’s word to my husband before he departed to be with Christ, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in Me”? (Jer. 49:11). And is not God still faithful to His own words? “Hitherto hath the Lord helped me; but it has never been quite so bad as this. Can the Lord have forgotten me?” Then came to her mind one of her hymns:
“Begone unbelief, my Savior is near,
And for my relief will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle, and He will perform,
With Christ in the vessel I’ll smile at the storm.”
Yes! the Savior was near, Christ was in the vessel, and He stilled the storm of fear in that mother’s heart, and it became calm.
After four hours of close work, her young daughter returned home tired and hungry. Did she feel greatly concerned at the thought that there might not be any dinner? No! for the peace of God which passeth all understanding had garrisoned her heart, and kept it in peace. Was there any dinner at home? Yes! on this particular occasion one of the Lord’s dear ones, not rich in this world’s goods, had been His ministering servant. Blessed ministry. Do you know anything of its blessedness, my reader? The family dispersed again, refreshed and strengthened, with grateful hearts to the Giver of all good. Did God ever forget to fulfill His promise? Never! Faith was tested, and the table seldom spread with luxuries; but the children grew up to be living proofs of “His faithfulness.”

Peace With God

After Katie knew herself to be a child of God, she found she had much to learn about herself, as well as about God. At first she was so happy, and the study of God’s Word gave her such real joy that she felt everything was quite changed to her.
There was also a change in her, for now she liked things that formerly she disliked, and she found herself wishing for quite different sorts of pleasures. Thus Jesus was teaching her heart to value Him. All His ways with His own, whether they are young or old, are for this purpose—to make Himself more dear to us—more necessary to us, and more known by us. If, therefore, we are not continually finding that He is more and more to us, we are not enjoying His great love to us as we might.
It was many months after Katie knew the Lord, that she began to be very unhappy about sin. She could not understand why, if Jesus had put all her sins away on the cross, as she believed He had, she should ever be troubled with evil thoughts and feelings, or why she should give way to frivolity or ill-temper— things which caused her very bitter pain and self-searching. She used to confess her sins to God, and own that Jesus had died to put her sins away. But, alas! when opportunity, came, she was sure to fail again; so that she began to think that she could not be a child of God at all, for she knew that God is holy, and cannot bear sin. She knew that she ought to be holy, too, for God has said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” The more she longed to be holy, the more she felt she was thoroughly unholy, and that everything in her was just the opposite of holiness. She did not know what to do. Her heart was like the ocean in a storm—it tossed up and down, and could find no rest.
At last, one day some unknown hand sent her a little book called, “Peace with God.” The title fell on her heart like music. “Peace” —what would she not give to have it? Katie thought.
“Peace with God;” how sweet the words sounded! She read the little book two or three times through, and felt soothed enough to take up her Bible. There wherever she turned over the leaves, something about peace was on the page.
“Peace be unto you.” “He hath made peace.” “Justified by faith, we have peace with God.” “The God of peace,” and many more. So Katie prayed that God would give her peace with Him, and that He would never let her lose it again.
Now she began to learn that she had a nature that was enmity to God, which means that the natural or carnal mind has a will which is not God’s will; that it dislikes God, and is opposed to everything that suits God and His holiness. Katie had learned before that she was a lost sinner, and the good Shepherd had found her, and taught her to know His voice; but it was a very terrible thing to find out that, although Jesus had loved her and given Himself for her, there was no good thing in her—that she had a nature that liked everything better than God, so that when the Spirit of God gave desires after holiness, the carnal mind was enmity. When she wished to do right, the frivolity, or evil-temper or selfishness of her carnal mind, was there, hindering her desire to do right.
This would be no sorrow to a person who had not a new nature born of God, or who did not know that he was washed in the blood of Jesus. But to one who does know this, and who longs to be like Jesus in thoughts and ways, it is a very great sorrow, and the heart says, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” God answers this question in His Word. The deliverance is “through Jesus Christ our Lord?” How does He deliver? By His death.
O! what a wonderful fact is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how it magnifies the great necessity for that Perfect One to die to put away my sins. But I needed more than the forgiveness of sins. I needed His death to deliver me from the power of sin—to deliver me from this nature which we have as children of Adam, the first man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts. In it dwells no good thing. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Jesus died to deliver me out of that child-of-Adam state altogether, and to put me in a new state in Himself before God. This is peace!
Now, if I fail, is it sorrow? Surely it is, if my conscience is happy before God, but instead of making me doubt that Jesus has saved me, it makes me feel more deeply than ever how great, how necessary is His salvation. Those who see my failure, condemn me, and my own heart condemns me more than all. But it only drives me to hide my heart and conscience in the One who has delivered me; it drives me to find my place in Him who is my Savior. His presence is the only place where I can say, “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Blessed place to abide “in Him” and He invites us to it. “Abide in Me.”
In the presence of God, there is peace; and in the grace of Christ I get power to deny the carnal mind. (Gal. 5:25).
How sweet the plea from all to flee
And shelter in my Savior!
O precious grace! in Him’s my place
In God’s eternal power.

Jesus the goal before my soul,
The One I know in glory,
While I’m on earth I’ll tell His worth
The saved one’s sweetest story.

The True Neighbor

He found me robbed, and wounded and half dead;
No eye to pity, and no hand to aid;
His arm salvation brought—His love so free—
E’en to a sinner, and an enemy!

The priest passed by and left me in my pain!
No blood of victims on his altars slain
Could meet my wretched, ruined, hopeless case;
Naught could avail, but all-abounding grace.

The Levite looked upon me, then passed by!
His ritual could not aid one doomed to die!
Vain are earth’s altars—ceremonials vain—
Jesus, alone by Thee we life obtain.

He came just where I was, and took my part;
Compassion in His eye, love in His heart;
With His own hands my wounds He gently dressed,
Dispelled my fears, and filled with peace my breast.

He brought me to an inn, and bade the host
Supply my present need, and paid the cost:
“And when I come again,” I heard Him say,
“Whate’er thou spendest more I will repay.”

Thus to the end, whatever may befall,
I ne’er shall want—He has provided all.
Now at the inn I wait His face to see,
Who loved me thus with love so rich, so free.

Well may I then to all around commend
This wondrous Neighbor, and this matchless Friend;
And tell to every lost and ruined soul,
How perfect is His grace, Who made me whole.

Scripture Study: 1 Corinthians 13

The apostle had just written, “Covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” A way of more surpassing excellency, is the way of love. Charity in the Scriptures means fervent love.
The gifts bestowed on the Corinthian assembly (Chap. 2:3-5) had failed by their use of them, and did not bring edification to the hearers (14:26). They displayed self, and lacked in love that sought the good of the members of the body, and it was not ministry from Christ in glory in the power of the Holy Spirit. Of all the assemblies, they seem to be the most unspiritual (1 Cor. 3:3; Eph. 4:16).
The gifts were given from Christ in glory (Eph. 4:8-12) “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” They should have been channels of blessing flowing from the glorified Head. In this they failed, and the apostle seeks to recall them to their right use.
In this chapter he uses himself as an illustration. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 shows it was not what he had done. The love of Christ for His dear members filled the apostle’s heart, so that all he ministered to them, was in love and in the power of the Holy Ghost, and in faithfulness to the assembly as a whole, telling them of what grace had done for them, and would still do for them unto the end, counting on the faithfulness of God to find them blameless in the day of Jesus Christ (1:2-9).
Verse 1. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love (love in its activity), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.” Fine oratory, beautiful or amusing speeches are but wind and noise that pass away without benefit to the hearer, and, but rather hurt the mind by that which may be true, but misapplied. Truth that does not exercise the conscience, and engage the heart does not help the believer to walk with God.
Verse 2. “And though I have prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” All is cold and dead without love—the love of Christ to His members. Thank God, He loves every one of them, though He knows all our faults. He seeks to meet us all in love. What need there is then for us to ponder His love, that we might be channels of blessing to all His own as we find opportunity.
Verse 3. Doing good to the poor, even sacrificing myself in any way for a cause, without this love, is to no profit.
Verses 4, 5. We now learn how this love acts—it suffers long (has long patience), is kind. The apostle knew well how to be a gentle nurse cherishing her children, and as a loving father to them, exhorting, comforting and testifying to them how to please God (1 Thess. 2:7, 11, 12). Love envies not. Like Moses when he said to Joshua, “Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” So Paul welcomed every true laborer for Christ (1 Thess. 5:12, 13). John made a mistake in this (Mark 9:38-40). We need to advance, and love directs us to seek what advances the interests of Christ without regard to ourselves. Again, love is not insolent, or rash, or puffed up, nor does it behave in an unseemly manner, seeketh not its own, and is not easily provoked, nor does it impute evil, by thinking it, before it is proved.
Verses 6, 7. Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; that is, all things with the truth. This is all seen perfectly in our blessed Lord, and in the life we have in Him. Wonderful it is to find this love flowing in our hearts for each other, and so it is as we ponder His love to all His own. His love never fails. He is our priest for our weakness; our advocate, if any man sin. “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” Fellowship with Him keeps us from being accusers of God’s people—that is Satan’s work.
Verses 8-12. Love never fails). Prophesy has failed except to explain and apply the Word of God which is now complete (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Tongues are needed no longer as signs to the unconverted, they have ceased. Knowledge also vanishes away, outside of the knowledge of God and of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. For now we know but in part, and cannot view the whole design of God at once, only in part or parts. When the Lord comes, how different it will be. Then we shall be perfected in His glory, and all that is imperfect in and about us will have passed away. The child gives place to the man, then childish words, thoughts and understanding disappear. So now our dim vision of the Lord, and of His purposes which we only know and speak of in part or parts, will give place to being with the Lord and seeing Him face to face. Then at His side we will be able to see the length and breadth, the depth and height of all His wondrous purposes and glory, and will know without a cloud, His full, unbounded love, and be filled then unto all the fullness of God. We shall know even as we are known.
Verse 13. And now abideth faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love. The time will soon come,
“When faith and hope shall cease
And love abide alone,
Then shall we see Him face to face,
And know as known.
Still shall we lift the voice,
His praise our song shall be;
And we shall in His love rejoice
Who set us free.”

We See Jesus

“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56.
Behold the Son of Man
At God’s right hand on high,
‘Tis by that glorious risen One,
We are to God made nigh.

Ah! see His hands and feet,
His wounded side behold,
From thence for us on Calvary’s cross,
His blood once freely flowed.

What matchless, wondrous grace,
That God’s beloved Son
Should stoop so low, and bear the cross,
For sinners lost, undone.

But O! what boundless joy!
His grief and shame are o’er;
God’s glorified, exalted Son
All heaven doth now adore.

Nor is He there alone,
The people to Him given,
Raised up and quickened with their Head,
Have now their place in heaven.

In spirit there with Him,
We rest in that bright home,
In patience waiting for that day,
When Christ our Lord will come.

Then we shall see His face,
And bear His image bright,
And cast our crowns before His feet
With rapture and delight.

Lest Ye Be Weary

Three times in the New Testament is the Christian exhorted not to be weary in well doing. Doubtless all Christians need such an exhortation, but it is especially suitable and necessary for the Sunday-school worker. In some respects he is in a more trying position than the evangelist. For the most part the evangelist is listened to with at least a measure of attention and consideration; but the Sunday-school worker is often treated far otherwise. He is not only listened to, but he is in no way considered by his scholars; indeed some, after their conversion, have confessed that they rather studied to annoy their teacher, and make him a subject of their sport. How needed then the exhortation, “Be not weary in well doing.”
But perhaps the most trying position of a Sunday-school worker is when he sees outward decorum and attention, but attended with that cold indifference that seems to chill one to the very core. An assent is given to all we say, and many a correct answer we get from such a one; but he can tell you the doom of the unbeliever is the bottomless pit, without the least sign of fear lest it may be his portion. Well, even here we must not be weary in well doing. We are to sow the seed, and withhold not our hand; for we know not which shall prosper. We must not forget that God has described the unconverted as dead in trespasses and sins; and we must not be surprised if we find it exemplified in our scholars. Grieved at heart we should be, and astonished at their unbelief, even as our Lord Himself marveled at the unbelief of the people. Can we expect to find the scholars, any different now from what the people were then? No, they are the very same. Let us not then be weary in well doing.
But it would be endless to detail the various trying things that lie across the path of the Sunday-school worker. They are very varied, and each worker has his own peculiar trials and his own share of them. We were rather occupied with a cordial for them—we had almost said a “remedy” for them, but they will doubtless go on to the end—but we have a sweet and blessed cordial to soothe and comfort: it is, to Consider Him.
“Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3.
Here is God’s cordial for a weary and fainthearted worker: consider Him. He came to do the will of His Father, and He went perseveringly on to the end. Every step of the way He was met with scorn, opposition, and malice; but He despised the shame and went on to, and endured the cross. How different with us! we too have work to do for God, but at the end of our course here, instead of a cross, there is rest and glory, and it may be a crown.
How blessed such an example! Let us consider Him, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, we shall start afresh in our work with fresh courage and zeal—keeping our eye fixed upon that blessed One who was down here, as we now are, and who persevered to the end, amidst every discouragement, as we also are exhorted to do. Let us then consider Him, “Lest we be wearied and faint in our minds.”

Fragment: Training Children in the Scriptures

To instruct even the unconverted child in the Scriptures is of great value. It is like laying a fire well, so that a spark alone is needed to kindle it into a flame. It is a good and wholesome thing for Christians to be most particular in the training of their children in a thorough knowledge of the Word of God.

True Humility

It is better to be thinking of what God is, than of what we are. This looking at ourselves, at the bottom, is really pride—a want of the thorough consciousness that we are good for nothing. Till we see this, we never look quite away from self to God.
Sometimes, perhaps, the looking at our evil may be a partial instrument in teaching us it; but still even then, that is not all that is needed. In looking to Christ, it is our privilege to forget ourselves.
True humility does not so much consist in thinking badly of ourselves, as in not thinking of ourselves at all.
I am too bad to be worth thinking about; what I want is to forget myself, and look to God, who is indeed worthy of all my thoughts.
If there is need of being humbled about ourselves, we may be quite sure that will do it. If we can say (as in Rom. 7), that “in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing,” we have thought quite long enough about ourselves; let us then think about Him who thought about us with “thoughts of good and not of evil,” long before we had thoughts about ourselves at all. Let us see what His thoughts of grace about us are, and take up the words of faith, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

The Warning

“For when they shall say, Peace and Safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
Speak not of the good time coming,
Say not “Happy times draw nigh.”
Lo! the clouds with terror looming,
Darken o’er the future sky!
Undeceive thyself, O mortal!
To the winds such dreamings give!
Think upon the fearful purging
That the earth must first receive!

Rather tell of wrath and vengeance
Pending o’er this guilty race;
In its shame still glorying—boasting;
Deaf to all the calls of grace.
God forgetting—God dishonoring—
Guilty world, thy doom is nigh!
Fear unknown will seize upon thee
When He shakes the earth and sky!

Sodom’s fall but faintly pictures
What thy awful lot will be;
It had not so many warnings,
As the Lord hath sent to thee,
Grace refused, makes judgment sorer—
O what grace hast thou refused!
Guilty world, thy judgments hover,
All escape for thee is closed!

Yet, as in the case of Sodom,
Lot departed ere it fell;
So, the Lord will come from heaven
Take His church with Him to dwell,
Ere destruction’s work commences,
On this Sodom’s guilty ones.
They, the salt, alone preserve it—
They removed—the judgment comes.

To the ark and from destruction
All who’d be preserved then haste!
Christ’s alone the Ark of safety
Come and full salvation taste.
Tarry not for reformation—
(Sinners, Jesus died to save)
Art thou lost? He came to find thee,
Thou believing, life shalt have.

Then, amid the coming glory
Which the church with Christ shall share;
Thou shalt have thy happy portion,
Bride of His—His image bear—
Then His earthly people gathered—
Earth made clean, and Satan bound;
Thou shalt, with thy Savior reigning,
O’er a happy world be found.

Brief Thoughts on Malachi

The captivity did not purify Israel. The returned captives deny the love and despise the judgment of the Lord. (See chapter 1:2; 2:17).
The unclean spirit went out; but the house was not the Lord’s.
But there is a remnant, informal, spiritual, remembered now, to be distinguished hereafter.
They are exhorted to hold by the word. They are promised the judgment of the evil, and a new dispensation. They are not promised present recovery of David’s throne, or deliverance from the Gentiles.
So the Reformation in Christendom: the unclean spirit went out; but the house was not the Lord’s.
Apostles contemplate an informal remnant, promise judgment and a new thing, but hold out no present recovery. (See 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, Jude, Revelation 2, 3).
Malachi’s remnant was found by Jesus as Malachi left it. (See Luke 1, 2). So will the coming of the Lord find the saints as left by the apostles in the Epistles.

Fragment: He Must Be "the Son of the Living God"

No confession short of that of “the Son of the living God” will do. People may have high and honorable thoughts of Jesus. They may speak of Him as “a good man,” or as “a prophet,” as Elias or Jeremias—but nothing of this kind will do; nothing less than the faith which apprehends and receives Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God. The reason of the need of this faith is simple. Our state of ruin in this world, ruin by reason of sin and death, calls for the presence of God Himself among us, and that, too, in the character of conqueror over sin and death. And He whom God has sent is such an One. He is the Christ the Son of the living God, the living God in flesh, come here for the very purpose of bringing back life into this scene of death, destroying the works of the devil, and putting away sin. This is the One whom our condition demands. Such is our ruin, that nothing less than this will do for us—and if we can, in our thoughts, do with anything less than this, we show that we have not discovered our real condition in the presence of God. All acceptance of Christ short of this is nothing. It is no acceptance of Him.

Correspondence: Women Prophesying; 1 Peter 4:18

Question: I have often wondered what it meant by a woman prophesying, since she was forbidden to speak in, an assembly of people. G.
Answer: Philip had four daughters that prophesied (Acts 21:8, 9; 1 Cor. 11:5). The Scriptures were not completed then, and God could and did reveal His mind on certain occasions, such as Acts 11:28; 21:10, 11. God made an unconverted priest, Caiaphas, to prophesy (John 11:49-52). In none of these cases was it speaking in the assembly, and these communications of Philip’s daughters could be conveyed to the assembly if it was given for that purpose by their father or by any brother.
Question: Please explain: “If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18). A. T.
Answer: The first Epistle of Peter shows the privileges of the saints under the government of God in their earthly journey. Peter wrote to the converted Jews, who, with all the other Jews, were driven out of Palestine and scattered among the Gentiles (1 Peter 1:1) by the Romans. Their spiritual blessings are spoken of (Verses 2-9, 18, 19, 23; and many other passages), so that their eternal salvation was secured without a doubt.
The Jews had all to suffer banishment, but the Christians had, as well, to suffer for well doing (2:20; 3:17), and also for Christ’s sake (4:13-16), and with this last, a reward of heavenly glory was promised (4:13; 5:10; Matt. 5:11, 12). And already the Spirit of glory and of God rested on them (4:14).
But they were allowed to go through troubles and fiery trials in the judgment of God’s house, upon them in discipline, and in it, they were to commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator, and if this judgment began with the Christian, what would the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? It is thus, the righteous were saved through difficulties; the trials and judgments which beset them, as of the Jewish nationality; and the poor unsaved had the sufferings, but nothing but eternal woe at the end as Christ rejecters.
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