Young Christian: Volume 17, 1927

Table of Contents

1. Lovita
2. How Prophecy Is Fulfilled
3. Dependence
4. Meditations on Scripture
5. Fragment
6. New Birth
7. Love for the Perishing
8. Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked Together With Unbelievers
9. Correspondence
10. The Lord Jesus Is Waiting
11. Jesus Is Able
12. The Frost-Bound Lamp
13. Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10
14. An Incident in Japan
15. Fragment
16. New Birth
17. Five Points for Young Converts
18. The Love of Christ
19. Something Worth Living For
20. The Work of the Gospel
21. The Knowledge of God
22. Correspondence
23. Bella
24. The Lord of Love
25. Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11
26. Decline and Its Antidote
27. A Hymn of Praise
28. Reading on John 3
29. Fragment
30. Correspondence
31. Suddenly Cut Off
32. Come by Faith
33. The Sun Was Setting, Luke 4:40
34. Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12
35. Lines on the Death of G. V. Wigram: 2 Timothy 2:4; Joshua 14:14
36. God's Provision for the Believer
37. Jesus in the Midst: John 19:18
38. Reading on John 3
39. The Heart at Rest
40. Correspondence
41. A Form of Godliness!
42. Their Latter End!
43. Fragment
44. Never Perish
45. Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13
46. Thou Art My Hope, Lord Jesus
47. Reading on John 3
48. Thou Art With Me
49. Ready for the Lord's Coming
50. Correspondence
51. Christ, or the World!
52. The "Precious Blood" of Jesus
53. The Heavenly Guide
54. Meditations on Scripture - Galatians 1
55. Perfect Peace
56. A Gospel Tract and Its Mission
57. Fragment
58. Be Much in Prayer: Ephesians 6:18-20
59. Christ Our Object
60. The Word of God
61. Correspondence
62. Andrew, or A Great Sinner
63. Will Ye Not Come to Him for Life?
64. Watching
65. Fragment
66. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 2
67. A Mother's Faith
68. Take Us All Home
69. Reading on 1 Peter 1
70. Be Ye Separate: 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
71. Correspondence
72. Only Believe
73. A Question You Must Answer
74. Name of Jesus
75. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 3
76. God Leading Us On
77. My Grace Is Sufficient for Thee
78. Reading on 1 Peter 1
79. The Lord's Desire
80. Headship and Lordship of Christ
81. The Motive for Christian Walk
82. Strenght Made Perfect in Weakness: 2 Corinthians 12
83. Fragment
84. Correspondence
85. The Power of the Word of God
86. General Unbelief as to John 3:16
87. Father Knows
88. My Presence Shall Go With Thee, and I Will Give Thee Rest: Exodus 33:14
89. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 4
90. Fragment
91. Reading on 1 Peter 1
92. My Beloved
93. There Shall Be One Flock and One Shepherd
94. Correspondence
95. No God
96. So Great Salvation
97. Fragment
98. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 5
99. Low at Thy Feet, Lord Jesus
100. Fragment
101. The Midnight Cry Matthew 25
102. Fragment
103. Extract
104. Lord, We Shall See Thee as Thou Art
105. Three Looks and Their Results
106. Soaring and Singing
107. On Confessing Christ
108. Correspondence
109. A Story of God's Grace
110. The Ascent of Man
111. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 5
112. Address to Young People
113. The Glorious Lord
114. Gain to Me
115. Jesus Bore My Sins
116. Fragment
117. Correspondence
118. His Own
119. Fragment
120. Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 6
121. Address to Young People
122. Rejoice Evermore
123. Ashamed of Jesus!
124. The Magnet
125. Correspondence

Lovita

It had been a bright warm day, a typical winter day in this sunny southland. The village lay peacefully at the foot of the lofty mountains, which looking out over the broad beautiful valley, caught in the distance a glimpse of the sea. The rays of the setting sun burnishing these peaks to a purple glow, and smiling a farewell to the lovely valley and distant sea, making it shine like a ribbon of gold!
Glimmering through the fern-like foliage of a great pepper tree, these golden rays lighted upon the veranda of a tiny white bungalow, where sat two young girls.
“O Lovita, how lovely it is here!” exclaimed the older one, smiling into the pale face of her sister, “I am sure you will soon be better?”
“Yes, indeed, dear, I feel better already,” and she sought to smother the deep cough which shook her frame.
Just at that moment, Mrs. Andrews, the neighbor from the next cottage, came across the lawn to welcome the strangers who had arrived only the night before. She started as her glance fell on the sick girl. One look of her practiced eye told her that her days were numbered.
After chatting a few minutes with the sisters, she slipped into the house to greet the mother, saying softly, “You have a very sick girl there, have you not?”
“O, do you think so?” anxiously inquired the mother.
“Yes, indeed, and you should have a doctor at once!” and hastening home she called her own physician.
The sun had slowly set, and the last rosy tint had faded from the somber sky, and the chill damp of evening gloom had settled over everything, when the doctor left the sick girl.
Mrs. Andrews was waiting for him. To her questioning look he shook his head gravely. “No hope. Both lungs gone. Only a few days to live,” and he hurried on.
O, how about her never-dying soul, thought Mrs. Andrews. I wonder if she is prepared to die? I must go over the first thing in the morning and tell her about the Lord Jesus, and the way of salvation.
But the next morning found Mrs. Andrews sick herself, and unable to leave her bed. For three days she lay there, often thinking of, and praying for her little sick neighbor. O, that the poor girl might live till she could speak to her of the Savior. Her thoughts formulated themselves into some verses which she jotted down.
On the fourth day, Mrs. Andrews was better, and quickly dressing, she hastened to Lovita’s bedside. The pallor on her sweet face was only intensified by the bright hectic flush on her cheek, and the brilliancy of her beautiful blue eyes. All told that the end was not far off.
After a few words of greeting and inquiry, lifting her heart to the Lord, Mrs. Andrews began:
“My dear, while confined to my bed, these past three days, I have been thinking so much of you, and my thoughts have framed themselves into these verses which I have written for you. Would you like to hear them?” At the silent nod of the head, Mrs. Andrews proceeded.
“There’s mercy today, dear sinner,
Tomorrow, it might be too late,
So hasten to seek Him, the Savior,
Who lingers at Mercy’s own gate.

He welcomes each sinner so burdened,
For refuge, O flee to His fold,
He gives to each, life everlasting!
Their peace and joy cannot be told!

Then come! Tarry not for the morrow,
Accept Him at once! Come today.
Delay might bring bitterest sorrow,
And close for thee Christ’s living way!

He pleads with thee, this loving Savior,
‘O come and accept My sweet rest.’
Refuse not His tender entreaties,
And you’ll be eternally blest!”
When the verses were finished, the girl remained silent, and Mrs. Andrews asked softly, “Could you tell me who the Lord Jesus is?”
“They say He is the Savior,” she replied.
“Cannot you say, dear, that He is your Savior?”
“But He cannot do it all.”
“Yes, Lovita, He can do all, for He is the Savior, and He gives a free salvation to all who trust in Him.”
“But I haven’t lived right, Mrs. Andrews.”
“No one else has, for it is ‘not of works’ for ‘by grace are ye saved through faith’, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”
Lovita languidly closed her eyes, as though weary of the subject, and gave no response. The mother and sister were listening, but spoke not a word.
Discouraged and sick at heart, Mrs. Andrews left them, feeling that they cared not for her blessed Savior. How dreadful it seemed, having such a short time to live, and apparently “without God and without hope in the world.”
Surely only the Lord could open those closed eyes, and she ceased not to cry to Him for this.
Each day Mrs. Andrews visited and talked with them, seeking to awaken in the sick girl an interest in these things, and to show her her lost condition and need of a Savior, but in vain.
Early one morning Mrs. Andrews heard her name called, and to her astonishment the older girl came running in with an open Bible in her hand, exclaiming:
“O, I have found that verse you told us of, ‘by grace are ye saved, through faith!’ See here it is! How beautiful it is! I do believe it, and I am so happy!” Overjoyed in her newfound salvation, she asked Mrs. Andrews if she would come over and speak to her sister, that she, too, might believe. They went over. Lovita was resting quietly. Leaning over her, Mrs. Andrews said softly:
“My dear, would you like me to pray with you?” and at the silent nod, she prayed simply and fervently, and then repeated: “By grace are ye saved, through faith. Not of works lest any man should boast.” The mother and sister seemed to lay hold of the truth, “not of works.”
Very early the following morning, Mrs. Andrews was again called, for Lovita appeared to be sinking, and it seemed so dreadful to have her slip away from them without giving one word as to whether she was saved or not.
Her eyes were closed, as though she were unconscious. Putting her lips close to the ear of the sick girl, Mrs. Andrews said slowly:
“My dear, can you hear me? Listen to the words of the blessed Savior:
“‘Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
“‘By grace are ye saved, through faith.’
“‘The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanseth us from all sin.’
“‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ Do you accept the Lord Jesus as your own personal Savior?”
She waited for an answer, but the eyes were closed, and the features motionless. Still she waited, fearing that Lovita might be past hearing or replying. At last her eyes slowly opened, and a sweet smile lighted up her pale face. Heaving a deep sigh, she said slowly and with great effort: “Yes!”
What a joy to the watchers to have this one little word of assurance, that the dear one had received Christ into her heart!
The gladsome rays of the rising sun were just glinting the rugged mountains with a glory glow, and bathing the valley in a flood of golden light, when for the poor sufferer, her freed spirit took its flight to that eternal “morning without clouds,” into the very presence of her blessed Lord and Master, to bask forever in the sunshine of His love!
The devoted mother and sister, now happy believers, did “not sorrow as those who had no hope,” but were comforted by the knowledge that their dear one was “absent from the body and present with the Lord,” and knowing that “to depart and be with Christ is far better!”
Dear reader, if this question were put to you, “Do you know the Lord Jesus as your own personal Savior,” What would be your answer?
“For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8, 9).
But, O, dear reader, do not wait for a deathbed conversion. How many have found it then too late. They had despised God’s offer of salvation through Christ once too often. Accept Christ as your own blessed Savior now while mercy’s door for you stands open.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

How Prophecy Is Fulfilled

Dr. Cyrus Hamlin tells the following story. While he was in Constantinople soon after the Crimean War, a colonel in the Turkish army called to see him, and said:
“I want to ask you one question: What proof can you give me that the Bible is what you claim it to be—the Word of God?”
Dr. Hamlin evaded the question, and drew him into conversation, during which he learned that his visitor had traveled a great deal, especially in the East in the region of the Euphrates.
“Were you ever in Babylon?” asked the doctor.
“Yes, and that reminds me of a curious experience I had there. I am very fond of sport, and having heard that the ruins of Babylon abound in game, I determined to go there for a week’s shooting. Knowing that it was not considered safe for a man to be there except in the company of several others, and money being no object to me, I engaged a sheik with his followers to accompany me for a large sum. We reached Babylon and pitched our tents. A little before sundown I took my gun and strolled out to have a look around. The holes and caverns among the mounds which cover the ruins are infested with game, which, however, is rarely seen except at night. I caught sight of one or two animals in the distance, and then turned my steps toward our encampment, intending to begin my sport as soon as the sun had set. What was my surprise to find the men striking the tents! I went to the sheik and protested most strongly. I had engaged him for a week, and was paying him handsomely, and here he was starting off before our contract had scarcely begun. Nothing I could say, however, would induce him to remain.
“‘It isn’t safe,’ he said. ‘No mortal flesh dare stay here after sunset. In the dark, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and all sorts of things come out of the holes and caverns, and whoever is found here is taken off by them, and becomes one of themselves.’ Finding that I could not persuade him, I said,
“‘Well, as it is I’m paying you more than I ought to, but if you’ll stay I’ll double it.’
“‘No,’ he said, ‘I couldn’t stay for all the money in the world. No Arab has ever seen the sun go down on Babylon. But I want to do what is right by you. We’ll go off to a place about an hour distance and come back at daybreak.’ And go they did; and my sport had to be given up.
“As soon as he had finished,” said Dr. Hamlin, “I took my Bible and read from it the 13th chapter of Isaiah:
“‘And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there; but wild beasts of the desert shall lie there: and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures: and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come and her days shall not be prolonged.’
“‘That’s it exactly,’ said the Turk when I had finished, ‘but that’s history you’ve been reading.’”
“No,” answered Dr. Hamlin, “it’s prophecy. Come, you’re an educated man. You know that the Old Testament was translated into Greek about three hundred years before Christ.” He acknowledged that it was. “And the Hebrew was given at least two hundred years before that?”
“Yes.”
“Well, wasn’t this written when Babylon was in its glory, and isn’t it prophecy?”
“I’m not prepared to give you an answer now,” he replied. “I must have time to think it over.”
“Very well,” Dr. Hamlin said, “do so, and come back when you’re ready and give me your answer.”
He has never seen him since, but what an unexpected testimony to the truth of the Bible in regard to the fulfillment of prophecy did that Turkish officer give!
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33).

Dependence

“I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psa. 119:162).
Give me, Lord, the grace I need,
To Thyself my heart incline;
As Thy holy Word I read
Let me gather strength divine.

Not my reason, but my faith
I desire to exercise,
So that what Thy Spirit saith
I may ever dearly prize.

There the deeper lessons learn
Of Thy wisdom, love and skill!
There with readiness discern
What Thy purpose—what Thy will!

That the movements of my heart
May be under Thy control—
Let Thy holy Word impart
Health and vigor to my soul.

Till Thy loved ones Thou shalt raise,
Be Thyself my heart’s delight;
Rule that heart, and all its ways,
By Thy truth’s unerring light.

Meditations on Scripture

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9
These two chapters are lessons in giving. Paul is the instrument in the Lord’s hand to bring about a collection for the poor saints in Judea, Jerusalem specially as the center. There were two reasons for the collection: the one is that it is good to remember the poor (Gal. 2:10); the other is mentioned in Romans 15:25 to 28, specially verse 27.
“It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.” It was a debt of gratitude for the gospel which had been sent to them from Jerusalem, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), and the like lesson is taught in Galatians 6:6. There had been help sent once before by Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11:27-30). The apostle had already instructed them in his first letter to have the collection ready (1 Cor. 16:1-4).
The Macedonian gatherings had already responded, and Paul tells of their loving and hearty liberality, willing even beyond their power, and begged the apostle to take charge of their grace gift, for though in great poverty, yet their joy and love made them do all they could, and he presses this on the Corinthians—that God accepts our gift and values it by His measure of our willingness, accepting what a man is able to do, and not putting more upon him than he can do. These Macedonians gave themselves first to the Lord, and then to His service by the will of God, so that all was in harmony, and there was equality—the rich making up for the poor after the principle of the widow’s two mites.
The Corinthians had refreshed Titus’ heart in the way they received the first epistle, and the apostle desired him to go again and finish this grace in them likewise—a service he was glad to undertake, having such confidence in them. They had abounded in every way, in faith, and word, and knowledge and all diligence and in love to him. He did not command them, but counted on the genuineness of their love. Then he brings in that wonderful eclipsing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we all love to go over and over, “Who though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”
Rich in glory, Thou didst stoop,
Thence is all Thy people’s hope;
Thou wast poor, that we might be
Rich in glory, Lord, with Thee.
The stars all disappear with the rising of the sun.
Verses 10-14. He advises them to get their gift ready out of what they had, without delay. It would show that his boasting of them was true, so that no shame would come to him or to them.
It is good to notice that Paul would not go alone in money matters, so that no reproach could be brought in, that would dishonor the Lord, so he has those approved of by the gatherings, the messengers of the assemblies to go with him—a good lesson for us in our assemblies always to have others to help in the care of the assembly, or disposing of their ministration of love and fellowship.
Paul wanted it to be a matter of blessing from them, and not a forcing it from them—a matter of bounty, and not covetousness. Then he reminded them that if they sowed plentifully, they would reap plentifully; and if they sowed sparingly, they would reap sparingly; so each as he had purposed in his heart was to give, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. As it is written, “He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth forever” (Psa. 112:9). And after all, what we have, rightly comes from Him, being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth thanksgiving to God, and this thanksgiving would also ascend from the poor who received the help, and make them afresh to bless God for sending the gospel also to the far off Gentiles; and by their prayer for you, which long after you, for the exceeding grace of God in you.
This subject closes with, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” He gave His Son, God delights to give. We can but render our heart’s praise, and thanksgiving offerings in acknowledgment of all His great love.

Fragment

Not only the work but the way it was done showed the Father. The Father in His love gave the best Gift He had—His Son. And the Son would not give anything else, so in love He gave Himself unto death. See how the two gifts coincide in the cross. The Father gave His Son, and the Son gave Himself.

New Birth

It is needful to call attention to foundation truths.
John 3:1-10. Verse 7 gives us an absolute necessity: “Ye must be born again.” Why is that such a necessity—so necessary that without it it is impossible to see or enter the kingdom of God? That which is born of the flesh is flesh.
What kind of a man is this the Lord is teaching? A teacher in Israel. One to be highly respected. One that other men looked up to. A teacher and instructor of others. No ordinary man. A religious man. Such an one as Nicodemus—a Master in Israel—couldn’t endure heaven if it were possible for him to get there, except he were born again. Why? Not because of what that man was. As far as we know he was like some of whom we read, “walking in the ordinances of the Lord, blameless.” He may have been like Saul of Tarsus, a man you couldn’t point the finger at, but heaven would have been unendurable to him. That is the man to whom the Lord said “Ye must be born again.” Why? As we have said, not because of his ways, his doings, but because of what he was in himself—in his nature.
When the Lord brings before people this necessity of new birth—new nature—he takes a sample man.
All that we, in our nature, love and delight in, is in this world—not in heaven. There is nothing in heaven that we naturally delight in. Who delights in the presence of God—in the knowledge of who He is—what he is in Himself, in holiness and love? Who naturally finds joy in singing the praises of Christ, the Savior? Who naturally—who, unborn again—delights in praising God and His Son? Take the most religious man today, he finds a certain amount of comfort and interest in his religion, but it is in his religion he finds his comfort. It is not what is in heaven, and his religion does not fit him for heaven, and he knows it. In order to enjoy being in heaven, you must be suited to that place. It is a prepared place for prepared people.
E. H. used to tell of an old lady. He asked an old lady when she wanted to go to heaven? She answered,
“When I die.”
“And when do you want to die?”
“I don’t want to die at all.”
That is the truth, people want to go to heaven when they can’t stay here any longer. The thought is not going to heaven, as a place desired, but because of the One there whom the soul knows and is linked up with. It is well to search ourselves in this way: Suppose it were possible to go to heaven—a Christian—one who knows the blessed Lord as his Savior, and when he got to heaven he didn’t find the blessed Savior there. Do you think he would be at home there? No. That is a great truth. No P-L-A-C-E can satisfy our hearts. It is Christ. It is the person.
What do you know about Him? The first thing is, has He become an object of faith to your soul? An object of love? That is another thing. Having Him as an object of faith doesn’t satisfy the soul. It gives conscience rest, but not the soul “Whom having not seen ye love.” We won’t need faith in Christ when we get to heaven. We will have His presence.
Well, now, it is because of what we are in ourselves that we need to be born again, and that means born after a new source—a new kind—a new beginning—a new nature.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” and you can’t change it. “Is flesh.” We get it doctrinally in the 8th of Romans: “The carnal mind,” that is, the natural man’s mind, or the natural man with his mind, “is enmity against God. Is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Such is man by nature God-ward. He might be as religious as Nicodemus (Nicodemus’ religion was God-given), and yet the heart and mind unreconciled, and with no capacity for the enjoyment of God Himself. Perhaps there is a certain capacity for the enjoyment of religious services, but religious services are not God.
How beautiful! This man—this master in Israel—has been attracted to the Lord. He has been no casual observer of the works of the Lord—those miracles—they have produced action in his soul. The Lord said to the multitude, “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves.” Not so with Nicodemus. “Who could that be?” “O, He is a teacher come from God. I am going to Him. That is just what I want.” I doubt not it was the longings of the new nature to be taught of God. He comes, and comes at night. I like that word, “Came at night.” Why do you think he came at night?
I have sometimes thought he wanted to avoid reproach. Perhaps he did, but Nicodemus, if you did come at night you came, and the fact of your coming at night showed you wanted to come.
I have often pictured those two together. That master in Israel, feeling in his soul that he was in the presence of his superior in that lowly one, and he came to that Superior to be taught—a felt need of being taught of God, and that is one of the first evidences of the new nature.
His coming at night is very touching. It may have been to avoid reproach, because there is no having to do with Christ without sharing His reproach, and no real confession of Christ without reproach.
Psalm 69 is prophetic of the Lord. “The reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me.” Man has reproach in his heart for God. What brought it out? The presence of God in the person of His Son here in this world.
A child is partaker of his father’s nature. We are partakers of the divine nature. The child of God is a partaker of God’s nature. What relationship does “being born again” bring one into? Into the relationship of a child. “To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.”
In the 4th of Ephesians “Alienated from the life of God... because of the blindness of their heart,” that is man in his natural state.
The most cultivated and refined person would be no more at home in heaven, than the poor sinful creature taken from the street, who is not cultivated and refined. Not in practice but in nature. A sample person in character and amiability and all that, and the one from the street, both need and must be born again before they can see or enter the kingdom of God. It is so important to learn what we are in nature before God.
(To be continued)

Love for the Perishing

A very large portion of the people in our own land are utterly ignorant of the way of salvation. This statement applies to the country as well as cities. In every place there are many who are never under the preaching of the gospel. They live and die without thought of God, or of their immortal souls.
What are you doing, young Christian, in the work of carrying the precious truth of God’s love and grace through the Lord Jesus Christ to the perishing souls of your immediate neighborhood? Close by your doors are those who, practically speaking, have as vague an idea of divine pardon, and as little desire after the true God, as the heathen at the ends of the earth.
“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecc. 11:6).

Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked Together With Unbelievers

A Christian young woman became deeply infatuated with a brilliant but Christless young man. An engagement was entered into, but Christian friends were earnestly praying that God would deliver her from an unequal yoke, which they felt would only bring sorrow into her life. It was a delicate matter to discuss with her. In fact, she resented what she called any interference with her private affairs. However, in a short time an estrangement ensued, and the young man himself broke the engagement. Instead of recognizing that this was God’s method of deliverance for her, the young woman was greatly distressed, and prayed day and night that the offended one might return to her and the engagement again be entered into. All the Christian friends could do to occupy her mind and heart with other interests, or to show her that God had acted in mercy toward her, availed nothing. Constantly she grieved, and persistently she prayed that the desire of her heart might be granted. Strikingly enough, he returned to her most unexpectedly, took all the blame of the past upon himself, and asked for a renewal of the engagement. Gladly she entered into this, and shortly afterward they were married.
Years of sorrow and misery have resulted from her disobedience to the Word of God. His deep hatred of Christ and the things of God, camouflaged for a time by a gentlemanly exterior, soon manifested itself, and before long a separation ensued, and she was left in wretchedness and misery with two little children dependent upon her. Deeply has she realized as the years have gone on what it meant to be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever.
The Lord allowed her to have her way. But how sad it is for a child of God to willfully pray for anything which God in His Word has plainly told them not to. What else can one expect in the face of such disobedience but sorrow and misery. God can never bless a union that was deliberately entered into against His Word.
The turning point had come for this young woman when the engagement was broken. God in love was behind this, but instead of recognizing it as such, an insubject will blinded her to pray to her hurt. Nothing at the moment, seems so important as the gratification of our desires, but afterward—Solemn thought!
The fact that we receive what we pray for, does not in every case indicate God’s pleasure in our petitions. Some do mistakably think so, but where we get our petitions granted in direct opposition to His Word, we may know it does not come from the Lord’s hand, because He will never act inconsistently with His Word.
Dear young Christian, let me earnestly warn you, never to enter into anything for which you do not have a “Thus saith the Lord.”
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an unbeliever” (N. T.) (2 Cor. 6:14, 15).
It may be hard for you to lay your will in His, but rest assured the promise given at the close of the above exhortation, is very precious, and will be carried out to the letter,
“I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17, 18).
God is the Father of every one who has put his trust in Jesus, but the force of the expression, “will be a Father unto you,” very blessedly means, He will take a Father’s part toward you. May you desire His approval above everything else in this world.
“For how will recompense His smile
The suff ‘rings of this little while.”

Correspondence

Question: When did the Lord’s disciples enter into the relationship of “My brethren?” Was it when He breathed on them? (John 20:17, 22.) W. H.
Answer: The Lord, risen from the dead, appears to His disciples three times in John’s Gospel.
First: to Mary Magdalene and His disciples (17-23). This represents the present period.
Second: to Thomas and the disciples. Thomas represents the Jews who will not believe till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed,” applies here primarily to those who in the tribulation will be converted, and suffer persecution for His name (verses 24 to 29.) 1 Peter 1:8 applies now.
Third: is His appearing (chap. 21:1-11) in connection with the great Millennial gathering—fish out of the sea of the nations.
John 17:4 looks on, so does 19:30. His death must be included. So it is in John 20. It looks on to His ascension, and to the sending of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:33; we cannot separate these blessings from Pentecost. The message given to Mary tells of our association with Christ in heavenly glory, and that now His Father is our Father; His God is our God. “Touch Me not,” is telling her of the new way in which He is known.
Verse 19, is not the Sabbath, it is the Lord’s day, the first day of the week. The disciples are gathered by the news that He is risen, and He comes into their midst, and says, “Peace unto you,” and shows them His hands and His side, making their hearts glad to see Him. This is outside the camp unto Him. The door was shut for fear of the Jews (Matt. 18:20; Heb. 13:13). “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” It is so still with those who look only to Him.
Verse 21. Again He says, “Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.” “Apostle” means, “a sent one.” And now He breathed on them, as God breathed into Adam’s nostrils, the breath of life, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” giving us the thought of His risen life communicated to us, and the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, the power of that life. And to the apostles in a special way was said, “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained.” This is gospel forgiveness administered by the apostles by the Lord’s authority (compare Paul in 2 Cor. 2:14 to 16). John does not give us assembly forgiveness. We all can serve in our own path, and all who have believed the gospel of their salvation have life, and redemption, giving peace with God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us as the power for service. (See Acts 10:38).
Question: What does Luke 9:62 mean, “No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God?” J. M.
Answer: This is not telling how to be saved, but rather giving us lessons on the need of putting the Lord first in our lives, which cannot go before, but must follow our being saved. It is necessary to understand that we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10), “and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast.” Our relationship is with God our Father as His children; and to our Lord Jesus Christ as members of His body, His Holy Spirit now dwelling in us until the day of redemption (1 John 3:1, 2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 1 Cor. 6:19;12:12, 13).
Salvation is the gift of God, it cost us nothing. It cost God so much to give us eternal life in His Son. It was love that did it, and this love claims our hearts. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:9, 10, 19).
Discipleship, or following the Lord, is love’s claim upon us, and the Lord’s love could not be satisfied to be put second. To the natural mind such verses as Luke 14:26, 27, 33, seem impossible to carry out till we understand our new place in Christ, where in the power of His new risen life we take up our new duties that belong to us for Him, and like the man in John 5, from Him we get the strength to carry the bed that carried us till we were converted. So in Ephesians 5, we have: “Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands,” “Husbands love your wives,” “Children obey your parents,” “Parents train up your children,” “Servants obey your masters,” “Masters consider your servants.” There is the whole circle of our earthly relationships, and they are all to be carried out by His grace by us. This is what Luke 9:57-62 points to. We have here three samples of how the flesh in us seeks to excuse itself from the immediate claims of the Lord upon us.
Verses 57, 58. A certain man said to the Lord, “Lord, I will follow Thee withersoever Thou goest,” and Jesus said unto him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.” If this man puts his comfort first, he will not follow One who has no place to lay His head.
Verses 59, 60. Jesus said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” He puts natural ties first—till he buries his father. The Lord will not allow him this. He must be first, and replies, “Let the dead (all by nature) bury their dead, but go thou and preach the Kingdom of God.” If he obeys the Lord he will lose his character before men. Christians are not to lack natural affection, but the Lord has ever the first place, and so they must do all by His guidance and strength.
Verses 61, 62. Another also said, “Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” And Jesus answered, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God,” but if he goes back, he puts his relatives in preference to the Lord; the Lord cannot allow that, and if he serves the Lord, he will lose his connections.
Like Elisha who, in the power of his new calling, sealed it with a sacrifice and a feast to the people, and then became servant of Jehovah with Elijah (1 Kings 19:19-21).
But if the servant of the Lord lose his comfort on one side, he gains both temporal and spiritual comfort on the other, from his Master’s care. If he loses his character with the world, he gains one with his Lord, and with those who are spiritual. And if he loses his relatives, he gets new ones in those who with himself seek to follow righteousness, faith, love and peace (2 Tim. 2:22), and above all, has the joy of seeking to please the Lord, and the sense of His approval.
Now, you can see that these verses have nothing to do with what is called “falling away,” but have to do with serving our Lord who is rejected on earth, and is glorified at God’s right hand in heaven. He shares His place there with us (Eph. 1:3), and also His rejected place here (Phil. 1:29). As redeemed ones we have now a new place, with new duties, and new attachments.

The Lord Jesus Is Waiting

It was growing dark. On a hill at the edge of the woods stood two persons peering down the path leading into the city. It was a servant of the Lord, and a young man seventeen years of age. Both of them were on the way to a certain village, and were waiting for several Christians who had promised to meet them there and go with them.
The two had waited about ten minutes, when the young man’s patience gave way, and he said: “I feel like going on; it is awful to have to wait so long.”
The aged companion, looking earnestly at the young man, said in a tone which he never forgot:
“Yes, but there is One who has waited, days, weeks, months, yes, many years, for you.”
The young man understood very well what the servant of the Lord meant, and hung his head in confusion, tears starting to his eyes. He had been attending the meetings for years, and knew quite well that he should accept the Lord Jesus as his Savior, but he had always been too careless about it.
On a certain New Year’s evening he had fully determined to turn to the Lord, but he wanted to wait until spring. Spring came and went, but the poor boy had not confessed the Lord. He had put off his soul’s salvation again, and decided to accept the Lord in winter, for in winter he thought he had a better opportunity of attending the meetings. But the whole year passed and now—?
Yes, the Lord Jesus was still waiting for this unrepentant one. If God had lost patience, and death claimed him, how would it have fared with his soul? These thoughts passed through the young man’s mind this evening, and for him there was no more rest.
That same evening he met with another young man, his friend, who was also out of Christ, and put the question to him,
“When do we want to get saved?”
His friend said to him,
“I have been waiting for you.”
He answered: “And I have been waiting for you. But now you may do so or not, I don’t intend to keep the Lord Jesus waiting any longer. Shall we not now bow our knees before God?”
“Yes,” said the friend, “if we do not become in earnest about it now, we might never be saved.” Whereupon they bowed their knees before God and confessed their sins and earnestly called upon Him.
God readily hears everyone who calls upon Him from the heart. He opens His arms willingly to receive everyone who comes to Him in faith.
That same night both young men found forgiveness of sins, and peace with God through Jesus’ blood. Today they are happy children of God; but regret that they kept their Savior waiting so long. How about you?
“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

Jesus Is Able

Whoever receiveth the crucified One,
Whoever believeth on God’s only Son,
A free and a perfect salvation shall have,
For He is abundantly able to save.

O sinner, the Savior is calling for thee;
His grace and His mercy are wondrously free;
His blood as a ransom for sinners He gave,
And He is abundantly able to save.

Whoever receiveth the message of God,
And trusts in the pow’r of the soul cleansing blood,
A full and eternal redemption shall have,
For He is both able and willing to save.

Whoever repents and confesses his sin,
And sees Jesus, the One who suffered for him,
A present, eternal salvation shall have,
For Jesus is ready this moment to save.

The Frost-Bound Lamp

While returning home one Lord’s Day evening, after preaching the gospel at the distance of some miles from my house, my way led me along a dark road. As I neared the town where I lived, I could see the lamps giving out their gleams of light. Those lights seemed to represent the Christians spoken of in Philippians 2, “Ye shine as lights in the world.” Yes, there they stood in the dark winter’s night, shining brightly, showing the traveler his way. But, on coming close to them, I observed that several lamps gave no light at all, and was told that they were frost-bound. Now there was the same power to feed one lamp as much as the other; but one shone, and the other gave out no light.
There is a picture here for the people of God, for while some are by the power of the Holy Ghost shining lights in this world, too many are like the frost-bound lamp. O, how many a believer in Christ is frost-bound by reason of the influences of the world upon him! O, how many have mixed up themselves with the world, and hence do not shine for Christ!
Fellow Christian, has this been your treatment of your Lord and Savior? If so, is not the frost-bound lamp a picture of you? Where is your testimony for Christ?—where your light? (Matt. 5:16).

Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10

In this chapter the apostle sees it needful to allude to the way some had been speaking of him and slighting his apostleship, a serious thing, for as he says further on, If he was not an apostle, their Christianity was also false. With a heart full of love to them, and with the ardent desire to see them going on with the Lord, he begins thus:
“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you.”
They had been speaking like that about him, but he with true meekness and humility, turns it all to an occasion for their profit, by speaking and acting in the Spirit of Christ, so he besought them that he might not be bold toward them as he would to some who thought of him as walking after the flesh. “For though we walk in flesh we do not war according to flesh.” The war he carried on was not fought with carnal weapons, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
It was “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
In days when man is letting his reason exalt itself against the knowledge of God, how refreshing and edifying to be put in remembrance that every imagination of our minds only interferes with what God has said. The Word of God endureth forever, and needs no human additions. Obedience to it is what is required on our part. “Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15). We need to bring every thought into the obedience of Christ, and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. All that exalted self had to be put down.
He expected that all who hearkened to God, would also hearken to him as one sent of God, and the disobedient would need to be dealt with. If they judged by his appearance they would go wrong. They were Christ’s and so was he, and he was able to carry out the authority vested in him, but it was for edification and not for destruction. He would only carry it out for the Lord’s honor and their building up, and so he speaks with much patience and grace, but it was necessary to remind them of some who had said, “His letters are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” And he replies, “Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present,” for he was an apostle sent of God to complete the Word of God.
He would not class himself with the boasters who compared themselves with others of their kind, thus showing their folly, but would speak only according to the measure of what God had given him to do, and that measure had come to them, for he had ministered the gospel unto them.
Happy servant! He could fill out his ministry in a way acceptable to His Lord and Master. Not only did he look for their acknowledgment of his service to themselves, but he hoped by their faith increasing, to be so enlarged amongst them to be able to go beyond them to others, where the gospel had not yet been preached, not boasting in what another man had done. We know that he rejoiced wherever Christ was preached. Our only safe boasting is boasting or glorying in the Lord. In Him alone can we all glory and have done with ourselves. “For not he that, commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
May the Lord teach us this humility and patience in the service of Christ increasingly, till we see His blessed face, that He may be able to say of us, “Good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things;... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
We are all stewards of His grace, however small our service is. May we be found faithful.

An Incident in Japan

We were standing on the pier at Kobe, an immense city in Japan, waiting for a huge ocean steamer to start on its way out into the Pacific Ocean. Last farewells were being given to many travelers by their friends who had come to see them off. Among others, a large group of Japanese had gathered to see a Japanese gentleman start on his journey. Their friend stood on deck, high up above the wharf where they were waiting. Each one below held in his hand a colored paper ribbon, each of which led into the traveler’s hand above. It was a very pretty sight, arid though they all knew well that the slender bond connecting them must soon be broken, still it formed a link for a little while longer.
A beloved Japanese brother who had come to the boat to see me off was standing by, and as we watched the little company he remarked—pointing to the one on board ship:
“There is the Head in heaven;” and pointing to those on the pier, “There we are on the earth, and the ribbon is the Holy Spirit by whom we are joined to the Head.”
It was a lovely thought, and as we sailed far out into the Sea of Japan, I knew that there was a living link that could never be broken between my Lord and me. I knew, that though distance had parted me from my brethren, that through the Head in heaven, we were all linked together with a bond that nothing could sever—not only
“Though sundered far, by faith they meet,
Before the common Mercy Seat,”
but that ever and always, whether recognized or not, there was that precious bond of the, Holy Spirit making us all one in Christ.
May we, dear brethren, enter more fully into this precious mystery; and more delight to revel, in the midst of sorrows and separations too sad to utter, in this unfailing truth of God.

Fragment

God undertook to bring the Israelites into Canaan; and He took such ample care of them that their shoes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell.
And He has undertaken to bring many sons to glory. Think you that He takes less care of these? Nor He has made full provision to bring them home in a manner worthy of himself.

New Birth

Look at that remarkable man Job. He had not his equal in the earth. Satan could not get a point at him—had to give him up—the more he pressed, the more perfection came out. The lesson God taught that beloved servant of His, was, that though he had not his equal on earth, he could not endure the presence of God. After all those long chapters we come to the 38th and 39th, and God takes the object of His love in hand. Now, He says, you have been caviling about Me, and saying if you knew where to find Me (as though I were hiding), you would fill your mouth with argument, and knew you would be justified. Now, here I am, gird up yourself and answer Me like a man, and He goes on, question after question; Job is silent. In the 40th chapter, 4th verse, Job says, “Behold, I am vile.” Perhaps you think the end is reached when a man confesses himself vile. No; so God goes on again, 6th verse. “Who is he that hideth counsel without judgment (knowledge).” “Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak.” “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.” It is one thing to hear of God, and it is a blessed thing, but He does not stop there, but brings into His presence, and in God’s presence He has nothing to do but to abhor himself. That lesson of Job is wonderful.
Take Isaiah, he says, “Woe is me,” when? When his eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts, “for I am a man of unclean lips.”
Daniel, too, is brought into the presence of God, in the 10th chapter, “My comeliness was turned in me unto corruption.”
And so Nicodemus. He has to be born again, and so do I and every one else.
The next thing is, how is this new nature produced? How “born anew?” I don’t simply say “again” —born anew—source and origin.
How is it that man became such a corrupt creature in his nature? It is very simple. Back there in the garden of Eden, there were two words: The Word of God, and the word of Satan; and which word was received? God said, You do that, and the day you do it you shall die. Satan says, That is not so, and He knows it. You eat it, and you shall become as God. Which word was believed? O, dear friends, the word of Satan. There is the origin of being what we are in our nature.
How does God undo that? There are those two words today. I receive the Word of God, and I am born again by the Word of God. Suppose here I am in an unconverted state, and I hear a man say or preach, or I read it in a tract or in the chapter, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I say, “That is true. That is the truth of God.” I am born again. Why? Because I believe the Word of God. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” James says, “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth.”
Our being born again does not take the old nature away, and henceforth there is conflict between the two.
In our chapter we have, “Born of water and of the Spirit.” Water, is the Word of God. “Not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God.” It does not say, “That which is born of water is water.” It is the instrument the Holy Spirit, or if you please, God, uses. “That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”
A nature so bad it can’t be changed, and a nature so good it can’t be changed. “Born of God... cannot sin, because born of God.” That is a wonderful passage.
Does 2 Corinthians 4:6 have any bearing on this? “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts.”
That passage is very blessed. It takes us back to the 1st of Genesis. In another translation we find the article, “The God.” That is, the God that said, back there in Genesis, “Let there be light,” and that same God has shined into the darkness of our hearts. He has dispelled the darkness.
Could we say that is why Nicodemus sought Him?
The very fact of his wanting to be taught of this Teacher—his need was such, if he could not go any other time, he did go at night. He is referred to on two other occasions, and in each case it is the one that came to Jesus by night.
“Water and of the Spirit.” Water is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the one who uses that Word, and when one receives the Word of God as the Word of God, he is born again. I am not talking about atonement for sin, or anything but this divine necessity of being born again. Being sealed does not make us children of God. “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father.”
It is being born again that makes us children of God. Our having the Spirit gives us the intelligence of it, and leads us into the enjoyment of it. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.... But we have the mind of Christ.”
It is the sinner that is converted—born again. It is the saint that is sealed.
Lazarus, in the 11th of John, is raised from the dead. He came forth bound hand and foot. We find souls who have this new life, but bound hand and foot. We have to seek wisdom in loosing them—getting their grave clothes off—to give them liberty. You may have met one this morning, and one this afternoon, and God gives wisdom how to meet the need, and you can’t have a code. There must be discernment. “He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the instructed,” or as the learner. It is really receiving instruction that he may know how to give an answer to him that is weary. It is prophetic of the Lord as a dependent man. How often we lack wisdom to give a word in season to him that is weary!
Well, there is another thing. You have been hearing this afternoon, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God.” Perhaps, you say, I wonder if I have been born again? Do you think you will find any evidence by looking within? You will find just the opposite. Tell me what you think about Christ? What do you know about your need of Christ? Have you learned your need of Christ as Savior? If Christ had not died for your sins, you never could have been saved. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” I know I am weak and feeble, but I do know I believe in Christ. Rest on the Word, and not what is going on within.
“How can these things be?” You must have a birth of a new kind; this corruptible nature separated you from God. A new creation was begun by the last Adam.
It is Christ and the church. The Father and the children. Scripture never speaks of Christ’s children— but God’s children.
Nicodemus and Joseph had charge of the burial of the Son of God. God did not allow the Roman executioners to do that. The Lord had gone to the last step in humiliation (John 19:38 to end). What a burial the Lord had! These two remarkable men are brought together there. Think of Joseph going to Pilate, and craving the body of Jesus. Pilate marveled if He were already dead. When he knew it of the centurion (he would not give his consent before), then he gave it.
They prepared Him a grave with the wicked, but He never filled it.
“Then there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred-pound weight.” That is intensely sweet and instructive! Very precious! Think of God working in that coward disciple.
How are we born again? By receiving the gospel. You hear one preaching the gospel, and I hear another, and we believe it, and we are born again. We may be like a little infant, just born, very feeble, but the life and nature are there, and will never cease. There is never such a thing as being born again twice. “His seed remaineth in him.” That seed is the nature of God.
(Continued from page 21)

Five Points for Young Converts

Five things, if remembered,
Will help you each day;
Obeyed, they will keep you
From going astray;
Though Satan may tempt you
And trials betide,
You surely will conquer,
In peace will abide.
“KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS,”
He never can fail,
And walk in His footsteps
In every detail;
The world’s vain allurement
Will vanish from sight,
By “looking to Jesus,”
Your Savior and Light.
“READ DAILY YOUR BIBLE,”
If you would be strong,
To witness for Jesus,
And overcome wrong;
The author, the book, and
The doer abide;
But they who neglect it
Will surely backslide.
“PRAY, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING,”
Cleave closely to Him,
Who keeps you and fills you
With joy to the brim;
There’s nothing so great that
Our God cannot do,
And nothing so small but
He’ll undertake too.
“CONFESS HIM TO OTHERS,”
And thus you may win
Some soul from the bondage
And darkness of sin;
What help can you better
To all recommend
Than Jesus your Savior—
The needy one’s Friend?
“DO SOMETHING FOR JESUS,”
He did all for you;
Your joy find in willing
His sweet will to do.
So speak to please Him
Through life day by day,
His presence shall gladden
Each step of your way.

The Love of Christ

The pattern characteristic of Christ’s love was service. “I am among you as one that serves.” Selfishness likes to be served, love likes to serve; that is one characteristic of Christ’s love.
Another is, that it is a companionable love. How free the Lord was going in and out among them, sympathizing with them, when they had no sympathy with Him!
Another, that it was above all the evil that it met with. We have not to go with the evil, but rise above it with patience, as Christ did, because our love, as His, has its spring from a source which is not dependent upon the thing that it loves, and which is above all the things that hinder. It goes on and abides, because its spring is in God.
Another characteristic of Christ’s love is that it is thoughtful and considerate of us, and consequently adapts itself in the way of love to my condition, because it is entirely above it.
Another, that it esteems others better than self. Christ could go and take up these poor wretched disciples as those who had been faithful to Him, and say, I will give you a share in My kingdom. He picks up every heart by the good He can say of it, lays it open to receive rebuke.
Another, is the anxiety of love. In this world, where evil is, we cannot have love without anxiety. The heart yearning in love is drawn out in anxiety; an anxiety that looks to the Lord, and finds an answer there.
The measure and extent of the love of Christ was the total giving up of Himself to die for us. If I want to have a love that will do for a world of evil, it is the giving up of self for everybody, a love that is above the evil.
“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

Something Worth Living For

Whoever has been used of God as the instrument to write upon the tablets of a human heart the Name of Jesus, has not lived or labored in vain.
On some hearts are written—fame, glory, power; on others, words not only corruptible, but corrupt— avarice, oppression, sensuality; for a man is what fills his heart, and for the treasure of his heart he lives. Now, on our hearts inscribed with our objects, God uses the ministry of His gospel to engrave the name of His Son, and when that name is graven in the affections, the life is changed, and the objects are altered, and a man is a Christian indeed.
Paul sums up the noblest Christian living in these words— “To me to live is Christ”; Christ, not self; Christ, not fame, or glory, or power; Christ, no longer avarice, or oppression, or sensuality; for where Christ dwells there He reigns, and where He reigns there peace and joy dwell. The heavy burden of unforgiven sin is exchanged for the burden of His yoke; the bondage of legal effort, for the liberty wherewith He makes us free; the drudgery of religious duty, for the bright joy of serving the Lord.
What holds good for the ministry of the gospel to the unconverted, is equally true for ministry for the Christian. The great aim of ministry for God’s people should be to fill their hearts with Christ.
Now, he or she who can so influence his or her fellow-Christians as to lead them to make much of Christ, has not lived or labored in vain! Such work will stand in the great testing day, when the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

The Work of the Gospel

We would earnestly appeal to our Christian readers to bestir themselves afresh in the work of the gospel. We must be aggressive. Merely to defend what we have, is, in the end, to suffer loss. The enemy moves forward with restless zeal and with untiring energy; evil teachings and infidelity pursue their course. Captives are being continually made, who become soldiers for their cause. The true Christian should not be outrun by the foes of “the faith once delivered to the saints,” nor allow his zeal to pale before their intensity.
Our day is essentially one of opportunity for spreading the gospel. This century is notable for open doors, both in heathen lands and Christendom. Let us avail ourselves of our privilege, ever remembering that the Lord, who walks in the midst of the candlesticks, while He opens and no man shuts, also shuts and no man opens, and that when He gives the word, the doors of opportunity, now wide open, will be closed.
What can we do? In former years, before the art of printing was known, during seasons of earnestness, the gospel was distributed by word of mouth. In rhymes, in sermons, by repetition of texts or passages of Scripture, the truth was spread over the land. In our day, advantages are multiplied a thousand-fold. The printing press and the post are at our service. Each of us, who is a servant of Christ, can do something with these means. What a great result might be affected by the sending of a tract once a week.
Let us suppose five thousand of our readers so engaged, each one with a list of names of acquaintances or friends to whom the message is to be sent. Let the list be made out, shall we say, from the names of people met with last year, those of whom a little is known in different parts of the country; persons at whose houses a visit was made, or who were sick, or bereaved-persons whom we desire to introduce to the sinner’s Friend. O, how we should like to be of use to them in eternal things! Have we our list complete? Are there fifty names on it? If five thousand volunteers would send a little gospel book once a week to one person, one quarter of a million souls would be addressed by this means during the year.
The time, the prayer, the care, the cost of this little service you will not grudge, dear Christian reader; it means but a very little of your time, and but a small amount of your money a week. Who will respond and join in this undertaking?
Our readers may know certain districts, in town and country, notorious for evil living. One of these messengers entering such a locality might win a soul for Christ, who might, in his turn, become a warrior for Him. Let us be up and doing; let good Christian papers that exalt Christ, be addressed to Christians who know little of their wonderful blessings in Christ.
Be aggressive, dear fellow-Christian. We appeal for helpers; we would impress our friends with the consideration that many hands, by doing a little each, can do much together. Let us proclaim Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. We need to lift up the standard of divine truth; to speak out boldly of the immortality of man’s soul; of judgment being final, and the state of man, after the judgment, everlasting; of God’s righteousness, and the atoning blood of His Son; of Christ’s coming, and of heaven, and of hell. The door of opportunity is open; let us, with purpose of heart, enter afresh upon the glorious work of the gospel.
“I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might’st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for thee;
What hast thou given for Me?”

The Knowledge of God

God alone is the teacher of the knowledge of Himself, and he who would know God must needs go to God’s school to be taught. Natural science is acquired by toil and search, but the knowledge of God is gained by faith in His Word. God’s ways are not man’s. The first lesson learned in God’s school is faith, and all must enter this school at the infant class, for except a man be converted and become as a little child, he shall fail to know God.

Correspondence

Question: It is held by some that the Bride and the church (all Christians) are two distinct bodies of people, and that the Bride is absolutely Jewish. Is this so? or do we understand that all the Lord’s people compose the Bride? H. M.
Answer: All who are saved, believers, sealed by the Holy Spirit, from Pentecost till the coming of the Lord for His saints, both Jews and Gentiles, are the church of God, the Body and the Bride of Christ, and will be that in heavenly glory for all eternity (Eph. 3:21).
The Lord compares Himself to a Bridegroom to His earthly people Israel (Isa. 62:5; Matt. 9:15; Luke 5:34, 35; Mark 2:19, 20; and in John 3:29 John the Baptist speaks of Him in that way). Song of Solomon and other scriptures in the Old Testament are about Israel primarily. There are many types and figures of the church in the Old Testament, but it is spoken of only in the New Testament. The Lord in Matthew 16:18 says, “On this rock I will build My assembly,” showing that it was yet future. The revelation and administration of the mystery of Christ and the Church, His Body and His Bride, was committed to Paul (Rom. 16:25, 26; Eph. 3:2, 3; Col. 1:25).
We find that it takes in all who are converted in this present period of grace to men, both Jews and Gentiles (1 Cor. 12:12, 13. Eph. 2:11-18). Ephesians 5:22 to 33 describes the mystic union of Christ and the church, as His Body and His Bride. In Ephesians 1:22, 23, she is seen in heavenly glory in God’s purposes as the fullness or complement of Him who filleth all in all, as in the type (Gen. 1:26), “Let them have dominion.”
It is quite true that all the saints who ever died in the Old Testament, or during the tribulation period, shall be raised, and shall reign with Christ (Rev. 20:4), but they are not His Body and His Bride. They had an earthly calling, but obtained the heavenly place through death. The church has a heavenly calling now (Phil. 3:20, 21), and will be His Body and His Bride distinct from all others for all eternity (Eph. 3:21).
Revelation 19:7-9 is her marriage. Revelation 21:2 she is seen in her pristine beauty as the object of His affection in eternity. Revelation 21:9 to 22:5 she is seen as the wife displaying the glory of Christ, and reigning with Him, and in Revelation 22:16,17, where He announces Himself as the Root and Offspring of David, and the Bright, Morning Star, she is, in company with the Holy Spirit, saying, “Come,” and in verse 20 says, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.”
“Tis Thy heavenly Bride and Spirit, Jesus, Lord! that bid Thee come.”
Question: What does the Lord mean in John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, by “the last day?” T. H.
Answer: In John 6 the Lord is speaking of the resurrection of the saints to show their eternal security. In John 5:28, 29, he speaks of the resurrection of both saved and lost.
Question: What scriptures did the Old Testament saints have about their resurrection? T. H.
Answer: The common faith of the Jews confessed a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust (Acts 24:14, 15). The Sadducees—the infidels, the higher critics and modernists of those days—denied the resurrection, but Jesus proved them wrong (Matt. 22:23-32 and Acts 23:6-8). Things concerning the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that were to follow in resurrection, are found in Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47).
Job looked forward to it (19:25, 26). Abraham, Isaac and Jacob looked on to it (Heb. 11:13). To those who have eyes to see, the Old Testament blessing depends on it (Heb. 11:40). The Psalms cannot be fulfilled without it. Psalm 2, 8, 16, 21, 22, 24, 68, 102, 110, are a few of them about Christ’s resurrection, which is the guarantee of the saints, and the world as well.
What they knew about it may not have been much (1 Cor. 2:9), but as they searched they would find it there (John 5:39 (N. Tr.); 1 Peter 1:10). Martha knew it (John 11:24). The dying thief knew it also (Luke 23:42). It was commonly believed (Heb. 6:2).
Question: Why the difference of 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; and 11:23-26? E.
Answer: In the former it is the basis of our communion or fellowship (these are the same words). The cup is first, for the first thought is that we are redeemed. The bread next is the thought of unity—we are all members of one body by being sealed with the Holy Spirit. These give our first claim to be at the Lord’s table—redeemed by His blood, and united by the Spirit, give us communion together.
In 11:23-26, it is the supper, and here we have the remembrance of the Lord in His death and for us. Here the bread comes first, expressing the love that gave Himself for us. Then the cup reminds us of how His blood was shed, which tells of atonement made for sin, covering Israel’s sins and laying the ground for their blessing in the New Covenant; also for many, the Gentiles, and for you, bringing it to the hearts of all His own. We thus find a precious and blessed feast of love for our souls, that if entered into, takes us captive in the claims of His love, which many waters could not quench, nor the floods drown.
Question: Is there a difference in baptism of the Spirit, and being sealed by the Spirit? F.
Answer: The baptism of the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit coming down at Pentecost, and forming the disciples into one body by uniting them together (Acts 1:5; 11:15-17; 1 Cor. 12:12, 13), Jew and Gentile included in one body.
Sealing by the Spirit of God coming to dwell in each believer, since that time, marks them out as children of God, and also unites them each into the body that was formed at Pentecost.
Question: Please explain 2 Corinthians 11:1, 2. What does “godly jealousy” mean? G. A. R.
Answer: Paul, the Apostle, had been used of the Lord in the conversion of the Corinthian assembly (Acts 18; 1 Cor. 3:10; 4:15). He was therefore greatly concerned when he heard of how sadly they were behaving themselves. So out of much sorrow and anguish of heart he had written to them (2 Cor. 2:4) telling them that he had heard how they were divided from each other in heart (chap. 1:11; 3:3); of their worldliness (4:8); of fornication among them (5:1); of taking each other to law (6:1-8); of marriage (chap. 7); of eating meat offered to idols (chap. 8); of their abuse of the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11); and of the denial of the resurrection (chap. 15:12).
After writing his first epistle out of much affliction and anguish of heart, he waited to hear from Titus the effect upon them, and rejoiced in their repentance (2 Cor. 7:6-11). The second epistle goes on to show that some among them might still be unrepentant (12:20, 21). Evil teachers had influence over them, and in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, he is exposing such, and in verses 3, 4. With a heart filled with earnest desire for their good, he reminds them that he had taught them that they belonged to Christ as His Body and His Bride, a blessed truth for each dear child of God to take in, to keep the heart out of the world and worldly pleasures, that if indulged in “war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
“Godly jealousy” means that with warm-hearted zeal and desire, he aims at keeping them true in heart for Christ; to keep them from forgetting their first love, reminding them that they were espoused to Christ, and are no longer their own. (1 Cor. 6:19, 20).

Bella

She was a sweet Scotch girl of nineteen years. At an early age her mother had been taken from her, and she had emigrated to Canada hoping to realize in that country the bright prospects that had been held out to her. She had not been long there when, evidently, as the result of lack of care, she was seized by that dread disease that has carried away many of the most promising of the young.
When I saw her she was in the Hospital for Consumptives in Montreal, and my first glimpse of her pretty face, with its delicate lines only too clearly told me that she was not long for this world. We spoke about her physical state, and then I mentioned to her the Name that is always so sweet to the one who knows its power and beauty, but was shocked to find that the result of this was a look of hatred, and the assurance from her lips that she would not listen to anything of that kind.
As I knew that she came from a land where children, at least, used to be taught much of the text of Scripture, and of its precious truths, I was surprised to find her in this condition. I then asked her how it was that her mind was in such a state. I spoke of how, no doubt, her mother had taught her differently from this; and it was then she told me that when she was quite young her mother had been taken from her, and in this country she had found the wrong kind of companionship which had turned her mind completely away from the truths she had learned at her mother’s knee.
But the Good Shepherd was seeking the wandering sheep, and the early lessons could not be dispelled from her mind. She told me then how she had expected soon to return to Scotland to be married, and how her terrible disappointment had left her in a state of despair and rebellion against God.
This was made very evident when, after seeking to speak kindly to her, and to comfort her in her deep sorrow, I asked her where such thoughts as she was now cherishing would lead her. She simply replied,
“To hell!”
I asked her if she realized what she was saying, and she assured me that she did, and that she was quite prepared for that terrible ending. I said,
“Have you realized that if you find yourself in this dreadful place, how long you would be there?”
“Yes, I will be there forever,”
The utter despondency and apparent hatred for God that was manifested in her looks and words almost completely overcame me. I spoke to her of the Savior’s love, but her only answer was that He did not love her; that if He did, He would never have blighted all her hopes, and allowed her to die in that place.
To this I could only reply—though entering in some measure into what she was passing through—that the time would come when she would realize that all this was allowed in perfect love, and that the heart that moved the hand that had afflicted her, was that of the One who had come down here to meet her need, and die upon the cross for her.
I asked her if she had ever thought of the sufferings of Christ; of what it meant for that Blessed One to anticipate the cross in the garden of Gethsemane when He sweat “as it were great drops of blood” in His anguish at the thought of having our sins, which were so abhorrent to His holy soul, laid upon Him. I spoke about His physical sufferings—the crown of thorns, His being nailed to the cross, the horror of His holy soul as they spat upon His blessed face, and buffeted and tormented Him until “His” visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men” (Isa. 52:14), and as I brought before her that scene which has been spoken of by another as “the center of two eternities,” —I could see that she was more or less affected.
Then I sought to bring before her, not the physical sufferings, but the infinitely more terrible ones that came directly from the hand of God when—after man had exhausted every cruelty that his evil heart under the power of Satan could contrive to heap upon the Son of God—God Himself brought down upon Him the withering stroke of divine wrath and judgment against sin.
As she told me that if she were to die in the condition in which I found her, she would be in hell forever, I pointed out to her that in those three hours of darkness when “Jehovah laid upon Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6), and lifted up the rod against the Shepherd—against the Man that was His Fellow—and smote the Shepherd (Zech. 13:7), that He was bearing all that she and. I and millions upon millions of others would have suffered had we been forever in the darkness of an everlasting hell.
This truth laid hold of her, and a change that showed God was breaking down her rebellious spirit, came over her face, and as the tears began to flow down her cheeks, I prayed with her, and left her in the hands of Him Who I felt sure had begun a work in her soul.
I was unable to see her the next day, but the day following I called again, and the face that greeted me, showed that a deep work of repentance had been wrought.
“Well,” I said, “Bella, have you found out that Jesus loves you?”
“Yes,” she said, “I have.”
I asked her if she loved Him.
“O,” she said, “I fear that I don’t love Him very much.” I spoke of how I felt sure she desired to know and to love Him, and she told me this was true. She said that after I had left, she prayed to God that He might make it manifest to her if He did love her, and that He had given her a very gracious token of the fact that He had heard her prayer, and that His heart toward her was the same as when the Lord Jesus said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
I asked her if she wished to know that her sins were forgiven. This seemed too much for her, and begged me not to speak about her sins, because she could not bear to think about them. I said,
“Bella, there is One who has thought about your sins, and has borne the judgment of them on the cross.”
“But,” she said, “My sins are so many.”
“O,” I said, “I am so glad to know that you have found this out, as I have the very verse that applies to you.”
Opening my Bible at the 7th chapter of Luke, I read her the story of the sinful woman who came into the presence of the Lord in spite of the circumstances that would have seemed to make it impossible for a person like her to reach Him. We read about the Pharisee who felt sure that the Lord was not what He professed to be, if He allowed such a woman to touch Him, but when we came to the 47th verse, I read only as far as the words, “Her sins, which are many,” and holding my fingers over the two words that followed, I asked Bella if this were true.
“O,” she said, with deepest emotion, “it is only too true.”
Then I said, “Do you believe it?”
She assured me that she believed it most sincerely. I then took my fingers away, and asked her to read those seven wonderful words that had brought life, and peace, and salvation to many souls. She read aloud those words: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Luke 7:47). Then I said, “If any one asked you if your sins were forgiven, what would you say?”
She said, “I would say my sins are forgiven.” I at once asked her how she could say that, “O,” she said, “didn’t Jesus say so?”
I then pointed to those wonderful words in verse 48, “Thy sins are forgiven,” and showed her how that the former words had been spoken about the woman, while these four were addressed to her.
“Now,” I said, “supposing that someone had asked that poor woman, after she left the Pharisee’s house, if she were saved what would she say?” And Bella just looked up into my face with a look of faith and rest, and said, “What could she say? Jesus said, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee,’ and wasn’t that enough?”
And so I asked her what she would say if the same question were put to her; and her reply was, “I would just say, ‘I’m saved.’”
Perhaps someone who does not know what it is to pass “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18) might question the reality of the work in Bella’s soul, but if they had seen the results, and witnessed the completely transformed life that I had the pleasure of seeing, and knew the effect of her conversion upon the patients around her—every doubt as to the complete change in Bella would be dispelled.
From what she was previously—an irritable, peevish, unhappy girl, who never could be satisfied with anything—she became the sweetest, happiest patient in the Home.
Some days before she was taken, when I was sitting by her bedside, she asked,
“When I close my eyes here, will I really open them on the face of Jesus?”
As I gave her from God’s precious Word that blessed verse in Revelation,
“His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face,” the look of joy that came over her face showed that what she knew was “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
From the day of her conversion, when the Lord Jesus had won her heart, her great desire was to see His face, and be with Him; but, as she looked back over her past life, she felt how it had been wasted, and in a voice that told that she was feeling deeply that fact, she said to me:
“O, how I long to go to be with Him; but if I could stay a little while and do anything for Him, I would be willing to stay.”
I assured her that her testimony in the Home had had a very great effect upon the patients, in turning their thoughts toward Christ, but she could not see this.
The young man to whom she had been engaged, had visited her, and she said:
“You will be sure to speak to—when I am gone?”
“But he seems to be a very nice young man,” I said.
“O, yes,” she said, “he is that, indeed, but he is not saved, he has not found Jesus.”
This young man was brought to trust in Christ as his own Savior as the result of her death, and the preaching of the gospel on the day of her burial.
I would now ask my readers if they have yet submitted to the tender pleadings of God’s gracious Spirit, and the truths of His blessed Word—if they have been born again through faith in the Lord Jesus, have heard that blessed One who died upon the cross for them say,
“Her sins, which are many, are forgiven.”
“Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.”
If not, may God grant that without further delay they may do so. Then Bella’s desire that she might leave some testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ, will in this way be answered.
But how small are the desires of any of us in comparison with the longing of His heart Who died on the cross of Calvary, and bore the judgment of our sins, in order that we might, through simple faith in that glorious work, and the precious blood which He shed for us, realize the truth of His Word which says:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

The Lord of Love

It is the “voice” of Jesus
That bids the weary rest.

It is the “blood” of Jesus
That makes the sinner blest.

It is the “eye” of Jesus
That guides us all the way.

It is the “ear” of Jesus
That hearkens as we pray.

It is the “hand” of Jesus
That toucheth when in pain.

It is the “arm” of Jesus
That makes us strong again.

It is the “feet” of Jesus
That marks the way we go.

It is the “heart” of Jesus
That bears the wide world’s woe.

It is the “will” of Jesus
That we have “perfect peace.”

It is the “love” of Jesus
That causes strife to cease.

Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11

Verse 1. The jealousy of divine love in the apostle toward the Corinthian saints is seen here. He longed to see them delivered from the influence of false teachers. He calls it folly to speak of himself, yet finds it necessary that he might deliver them, to speak about his experiences and sufferings, and thus make manifest that those who were speaking against him, were opposing the truth. He begs them to bear with him in this folly.
Verse 2. He was jealous over them with jealousy that was of God. He had espoused them to one Husband, to present them as a chaste virgin to Christ, and reminds them that they were His only—a blessed and important truth for all Christ’s redeemed ones to know. What have they to do with the world, and its lusts and pleasures since they are His alone? The Bridegroom appeals to His spouse to recall her heart to His longings after her (Song of Sol. 2:11); so it is here, and it may be with us also.
The saints of this present time must be reminded that we are the body and bride of Christ, joined to Him by the Holy Spirit—One spirit with the Lord—and should therefore be found with loins girded and lights burning, waiting the moment when He will present us to Himself, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy and without blemish.
Verses 3-10. The apostle was afraid, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, their minds were being corrupted from the simplicity of the truth in Christ. If these teachers were bringing something better to them—another Jesus, or another Spirit, or another gospel, better than what they had received—they might bear with them. The apostle had fully unfolded the truth; he was not behind the most renowned apostles. If he was rude in speech, as they said, he was not in knowledge, and in everything he made the truth manifest to them in all things. If it was a fault that they might blame him for, making the gospel free to them, this was done intentionally to close the mouths of those who might say that he was after their money. He worked with his hands to supply his own, and the needs of others (Acts 18:3; 20:34), and what was lacking, other brethren supplied. He took from other assemblies. This is what is meant by “robbing other churches, taking wages from them” (verse 8). The apostle is determined that it was right for him so to do, and none could stop him in this.
Verses 11, 12. Did he not love them? It was because he loved them that he did it. God knew.
But he must show out these false teachers, and take away from them any occasion that they could use against the truth.
Verses 13-15. They were false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, and in this they were like Satan himself, who appears as an angel of light, therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works. These were seen before in Israel (Deut. 13:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1).
Verses 16-29. Again he will speak, though as a fool, to show the folly of these empty boasters whom they suffered to bring them into bondage, and to smite them on the face. Were they bold? so was he. Were they Hebrews? So was he. Were they Israelites, the seed of Abraham? so was he. Were they ministers of Christ? So was he. In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received he forty stripes save one. Thrice was he beaten with rods, once was he stoned, thrice he suffered shipwreck, a night and a day he was in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches (assemblies). He said, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not?” Did ever mortal man follow his Master in such a path before, or since? (compare Acts 9:16; Gal. 6:17; Phil. 1:29, 30; 4:11,12; Col. 1:24; 1 Thess. 1:6; 2:2; 3:3, 4; 2 Tim. 2:9,10). This gives the true character of Christianity in this ungodly world, and is what the godly man may expect, though the manner of it may be for the present with some toleration, for it is a day of terrible indifference to the claims of Christ.
The apostle will have his sure reward from God in glory, not in speaking of it before men, yet it was profitable to them and to us, and rebukes us not a little for our want of true devotedness to Christ. The folly of these false teachers is used for our instruction.
Through troubles and dangers outside the assembly, and fears and anxieties within, in conflict with the enemy; with a courage that faced every peril, and a love for sinners to bring their need to their view, and also love to the saints and could not be chilled by their failures, on he went as a hireling fills his day, knowing that suffering was before him.
These verses sketch for us a life of such absolute devotedness, that it should touch the coldest heart, and make us ashamed of our own selfishness, and bow our knees to Him who is so worthy, who passed through the suffering for sin from God, as well as from man, and who gave the apostle the courage and strength for such a life of devotedness to Him, whose glory inspired it.
How simply is the story told. And if he must needs glory, he will glory of the things which concern his infirmities. It is outside his usual way of speaking. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore, is called to witness that he speaks the truth. The chapter closes with telling of his escape from Damascus when the governor sought to apprehend him, and through a window in a basket he was let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.

Decline and Its Antidote

When we first receive the knowledge of life in Christ we are absorbed, we readily admit all else to be “dung and dross.” (Phil. 3). But when decline comes in, we get old motives into action again. Little by little, we are not absorbed, and then a hundred things begin to be motives—things of which I took no notice, which did not act before. People say “What harm is there in it?” When I begin to inquire, “What harm is there in this, or in that?” there is the tendency to decline. There may be no harm in the thing, but the thought about it shows that I am not absorbed with that which is heavenly. “Thou hast left thy first love.” It is not in great sins, but here, decline in the saints is manifested. When the sense of grace is diminished, we decline in practice. Our motives must be in God. Sometimes effort is made to press conduct, works, and practice, because (it is said) full grace was preached before; and now that there is decline in practice, you must preach practice. That which is the rather to be pressed is grace—the first grace. It is grace, not legalism, which will restore the soul. Where the sense of grace is diminished the conscience may be at the same time uncommonly active, and then it condemns the pressing of grace, and legalism is the result. When conscience has been put in action through the claims of grace, that is not legalism, and there will be holy practice in detail.
We may fall into either of two faults—that of (because fruits have not been produced) preaching fruits; or that of getting at ease, when certain things come to have influence over us again, through thinking that what we approved of before was legalism. We shall not get back by dwelling on detail. Christ is the great motive for everything, and we must get up into the knowledge of resurrection in Christ to remedy detail. Here there is wonderful truth and wonderful liberty.
Another very important point is the tone and spirit of our walk. Confidence in God, and gentleness of spirit, is that which becomes the saint. For this we must be at home with God. The effect of thus walking in Christ, setting the Lord ever before us, is always to make us walk with reverence, lowliness, adoration, quietness, ease, and happiness. If I go where I am unaccustomed to be—if I get, for instance, into a great house, I may have much kindness shown me there; but when I get out again, I feel at ease, I am glad to be out. Had I been brought up in that house, I should feel otherwise. The soul is not only happy in God for itself, but it will bring the tone of that house out with it. Because of its joy in God, anxieties disappear, and it will move through the ten thousand things that would trouble and prove anxieties to another, without being a bit troubled. No matter what it may be, we bring quietness of spirit into all circumstances whilst abiding in God.
If a man be risen with Christ, if he be dwelling there, it will show itself thus. We shall not be afraid of the changes around. We shall live, not in stupid apathy and listlessness, but in the exercise of lively affections and energies towards the Lord. One great evidence of my dwelling in Christ is quietness. I have my portion elsewhere, and I go on. Another sign is confidence in obeying.
This connects itself with fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ—fellowship not only in joy, but in the thoughts of the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost, the third person of the blessed Trinity, is our power of entering with the affections into the things of God.
“The Father loveth the Son.” What a place this puts me in, to be thus cognizant of the Father’s feelings towards His beloved Son.
In our proper place we get our mind filled and associated with things that leave this world as a little thing—an atom in the vastness of the glory which was before the world was.

A Hymn of Praise

Saved, and brought to God the Father,
By the living Lord, who died;
All our sins were laid upon Him,
Now, through faith, we’re justified.

Life, eternal life, possessing,
In the Christ of God on high,
And the Holy Ghost, as earnest
Of our home beyond the sky.

All things ours—God’s Word declares it—
All things present and to come;
Taken by Him into favor
In His well-beloved Son.

Christ the Head, and we the members
Of His body; who can tell
All the wonders, all the glories.
In “the Mystery” that dwell?

Quickened, raised, and in Thee seated,
Now our place and portion are;
With Thee, like Thee, soon forever;
Shine then, Bright and Morning Star!

Blessed God! We bow before Thee:
Savior, we Thy name adore,
Render to Thee ceaseless praises,
Here on earth, and evermore.

Reading on John 3

In the 9th and 10th verses there is a certain line of thought in connection with the present day. “Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?” How many “Masters in Israel” there are today who know nothing of these things! “Ye must be born again.” When I say “Masters in Israel,” I have before me the instructors of God’s people—the preachers and teachers amongst God’s people.
Just to divert a moment or two as to why the new nature—new birth—is needful: It is because man is so very bad, that he can’t be made any better. That truth is brought before us in different ways in Scripture. The incorrigible nature of man is beyond repair. It must be new from head to foot, and God begins that blessed work by a new nature—new birth. By and by we shall receive a new body, but we have the new nature—new birth—now.
God has demonstrated that man is bad. He had him under trial for four thousand years. Think of that! At last He had to lay the ax to the root of the tree and hew it down. That is what John the Baptist said. Cut the whole thing down. Sometimes we have illustrated it in this way: You are a very good tailor. I bring you a piece of material, and ask you to make me a garment. You say, “This does not seem to be a very good piece, but I will do the best I can,” and you work and work, and the thing won’t hold together. You have to give it up. You say, “I can do nothing with it. It is so bad it won’t hold together, it won’t hold the stitches.” The fault is not with you. It isn’t that you are a bad tailor, the fault is in the material.
That is just the way. Man is bad. You can’t get any good out of him. He has to be made anew. So it says, in another scripture, in another line of things, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” That is not a reformed man. A reformed man is just as bad inside as ever he was. His nature has not been changed; not one bit more heart for God than before he was reformed. Indeed, he is farther from God in the state of his soul than ever before. Do you know why? He is thinking of how good he is. That is what reformation does—it makes people satisfied with themselves—that they are so much better. If you are going to plead that before God, it will not stand at all, not for a moment.
Well, there was this “Master in Israel” (it is not habitual with me to refer to this class of persons), but I seldom read this chapter that I do not think of our own day. Dear friends, how many “Masters in Israel” today are telling people, “Ye must be born again; if not, ye will never see or enter into the Kingdom of God?” How many? Very few, aren’t there?
Then, there is another thing; the Lord Jesus says, “We speak that we do K-N-O-W.” There is one thing that struck people when the Lord Jesus was here and teaching among them: “He speaks as one that has authority, and not as do the Scribes.” Who speaks as one that has authority today? Who can speak as one that has authority, and say, “I know what I am talking about”? The man that has the Word of God can speak as one who has authority, and does; and where there is reality in the soul and a felt need, people welcome those who speak with assurance. Tell them, “I know; and I know because God says so.”
God wants people to say “I know.” Like the man in the 9th chapter of this Gospel. He was blind, and the Lord had given him sight. The rulers of the people get hold of the poor man, and they question him as to how he got his sight. He says, “A man that is called Jesus” (that is the first thought), “made clay and put it on my eyes, and told me to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” They go to reasoning; they don’t want to know anything about this man, Jesus. It is very beautiful, he can’t speak of what he does not know. That is all he knows at present. That man called Jesus. He says, I went and washed and received my sight. They bring his parents, and say very religiously, Give God the glory; we know that this man is a sinner—he does not keep the Sabbath. The man answered, and said, “Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not; one thing I know (you can talk all you want) whereas I was blind, now I see.” They ask him again. He says, What do you want to know for, “Will ye also be His disciples?” They say, “We are Moses’ disciples.” The poor man becomes a teacher, and he says, “Why herein is a marvelous thing.... Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. This man, hath opened my eyes, and you can’t tell me from whence He is.” What is the result? He became their teacher, and they turned him out of the synagogue.
The Lord Jesus finds him when he is put out. He has been faithful. He had said that Jesus was a prophet. Jesus finds him, and asks him a question: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Who is it that is asking that question? It is a man called Jesus. How beautiful that is. “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” “Thou hast both seen Him, and He it is that talketh with thee.” And he said, “Lord I believe.” And he worshipped Him.
We learn one truth at a time. We learn about this man, called Jesus, and He leads us on, and we find at length we are worshippers at His feet.
Here this man is able to say, “I know.” “This one thing I know.” The rulers and teachers cannot confound him. How could they take that away from him. Turn to 1 John. There we get some of the things that the believer knows, and the consequences of them.
“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).
I wonder if that is true of everyone here. If the Lord were here in the midst, could He go to each one of us and say, Are you one who believes on the Son of God? The poor woman in Luke 8 came and touched His garment. The crowds were pressing every way; she just touched Him—didn’t press—but He knew she had come in faith, and had received blessing from it. He knows the professor; and He knows the one who comes in faith and has received blessing.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.” What for? What is the object? That ye may believe? No, you do that—but he writes for something else. To tell them of the result, or a result of their believing. What is that? “That ye may know” —what? “That ye have” not “shall have” but “have eternal life.” That is one thing the believer knows. How does he know it? He believes on the name of the Son of God. “He that believeth on Him hath everlasting life.” That is how he knows. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Look at John 5:20, “And we” (He includes Himself—that is, all who believe). What is John’s assurance that he had eternal life? It was this: that he believed on the name of the Son of God. So He puts Himself in the same class. “We know” what? “That the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” What a word that is! We know the true God, and His Son has come that we might know the true God. We see Him in Jesus Christ— “God manifest in flesh.” That is another line of things, but it is the speaking with certainty.
There is a passage often quoted rather wrongly—they put in a word— “I know (in) whom I have believed.” That is not what he says, and it really deprives it of its force. He says, “I know whom I have believed.” It is a person. Not “in whom,” but “whom” I have believed, and the result is confidence; “And am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” It is in connection with his service.
In the 11th verse of the 3rd of John, “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.” The Lord associated others with Himself. I sometimes say it is like an editorial “we.”
In the 31st verse we have John the Baptist’s testimony, speaking of the Lord Jesus in contrast with Himself. “He that cometh from above is above all.” He is the One that came from heaven. One has come down from heaven, and has testified all He has seen and heard up there. “And no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.”
“If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?” (verse 12). We have to learn “A,” dear friends, in the things of God—in the school of God—before we learn “B,” and “A-B” before “A-B-C.” It is how we go on.
You say, What is “A?” “Ye must be born again, or you can never see or enter into the kingdom of God.”
The next is “B” —what is that? Eternal life. Do you have eternal life?
What is being born of God—what does it make us? Those born of God are His children. The first chapter tells us that.
What kind of life has a child of God? (I am trying to be simple). Eternal Life. Not only born of God—a child of God—but has eternal life. “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life.” The truth of all this comes out in the gospel.
Not only earthly things, but you are listening to heavenly things, One come down from heaven—One who speaks that which He knows—testifying what He has seen, but to the sorrow and grief of His heart, there was no one to hear it. Man has a deaf ear for the truth of God. He does not like it. Farther down in our chapter He tells why. “His deeds are evil,” and the truth of God shows all up.
Anticipating a little, not “he that doeth good,” but “he that doeth truth” (that is a difficult thing to do—do the truth) “cometh to the light.”
What is doing the truth? When that poor publican went into the temple he did not lift up his head—had his head down—in contrast to the Pharisee who stood there all swelled up. “God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men.” He is telling God how good he is—how much good he has done, and is doing, etc., and he casts his eye on the publican, and says, “nor even as this publican.”
The publican doesn’t lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, and said, “God be merciful to me the sinner.” There is a soul doing the truth. Not doing good; that is, he is not saying so, but doing the truth. What is the result? He goes down to his house justified. The other went down to his house worse than when he came into the temple, because he is all filled with himself, and is farther and farther from doing the truth than before going. That is just an instance of doing the truth.
Doing good is all right in its place, but you must do the truth first. When doing the truth we learn that we are sinners in the sight of God, and the need of being born again. Well, we spoke of the manner of it, by the reception of the gospel.
(To be continued)

Fragment

Lot saw a well-watered plain and a city, and then dwelt in it on the earth, and consequently was in the midst of judgment; while Abraham sought a city out of sight, and he enjoyed the blessing and comfort of God being with him, go where he might.

Correspondence

Question: What is the teaching of Romans 14:5? E. B. W.
Answer: Chapter 14 to 15:7 is showing how Christians were to bear with each other. Some had been Jews, the others Gentiles. A Gentile would naturally leave all his idolatrous ways behind. A Jew would hold to the ceremonial rules he had been brought up in. Each was to be fully persuaded in his own mind, and not to try to force another brother’s conscience. To force another’s conscience would destroy his communion with God. No one lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. Our influence should therefore be used for good and not for evil.
Christianity recognizes that we are heavenly, and thus set free from ordinances, but there is the need to care for a weak brother whose conscience might be offended by our liberty. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. The apostle knew (verse 14) that nothing was unclean of itself, but one that esteemed it unclean, must not be forced against his conscience. He must be helped on, and borne with as a weak brother. (Read Chapter 15:5-7).

Suddenly Cut Off

A young girl, who had often been spoken to about the destiny of her immortal soul and repeatedly warned to flee from the wrath to come, was suddenly cut off. The Lord Jesus Christ had been presented to her as Savior, the only way of escape from coming judgment. His loving words, “Come unto Me,” had often been heard, but not accepted. Her heart was so occupied with this poor world’s pleasures, that it blinded her from seeing the solemnity of a future without Christ. She had been especially entreated to come to the Lord Jesus the day before she had planned to attend a ball.
“O, no,” she said, “I can’t become a Christian now, I am going to a ball tonight. No, no, some other time perhaps, but not today.”
Fatal choice! How solemn to risk the immortal soul’s salvation, for a little of this poor world’s fleeting pleasures. Yes, fleeting.
“Pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25).
Man’s state in these last days is accurately described in 2 Timothy 3:4, where, among other things, we find that men are:
“Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (N.T.)
True and lasting pleasure can be found only in His Presence. How sweet the words of the Psalmist:
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psa. 16:11).
During the night following the ball, she was awakened by a voice which distinctly said: “Get up and read Ezekiel 7:8, 9.”
This frightened her so that she could not get up. After some time she fell asleep again, but only to be reawakened by the same voice:
“Get up and read Ezekiel 7:8, 9.”
This time she was still more frightened, and for very fear did not get up. But once more she fell asleep. Just before the dawn of day, the voice was heard again:
“Get up and read Ezekiel 7:8, 9.”
This was too much, she was seized with unspeakable terror, and when her mother came in that morning and looked at her daughter, she exclaimed:
“Why, daughter, what is the matter, are you sick?”
Her daughter then told her all that had happened during the night, and the words that she had heard three times.
“Did you get up and read that scripture?” said her mother.
“No, mother, I was too frightened to get up.”
“Shall I read it to you?”
“Yes, please, do.” answered the daughter.
“‘Now, will I shortly pour out My fury upon thee, and accomplish Mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. And Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.’” (Ezek. 7:8, 9).
As her mother turned around, after reading the above words—she found her daughter dead.
O, the awfulness of rejecting Christ! Be warned in time. Accept the Savior now; He is graciously waiting to receive you.
“He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light” (Job 33:27, 28).
“Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24).
You may often have heard His loving invitation, and turned a deaf ear, thinking—not now, some other time, but for you there may be no other time, you may be suddenly cut off.
“Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee” (Job 36:18).
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
“Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb. 4:7).

Come by Faith

“Fly, then, awakened sinner, fly!
Your case admits no stay;
The fountain’s opened now for sin—
Come, wash your guilt away.

Only by faith in Jesus’ blood
The sinner gets release;
No other sacrifice for sin
Will God accept but this.”

The Sun Was Setting, Luke 4:40

“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.
Verse 40. “All they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him.” 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:
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12

We have in this chapter both the height that a saint may rise to in his experience, and the depths to which he may sink in his conduct.
“A man in Christ” is the Christian’s standing and position before God in Christ. It is therefore perfect as Christ is perfect, and unchanging as He is unchanging, who is now living at God’s right hand.
“There is no condemnation” to such, and he is loved with the same love wherewith the Father loves the Son (John 14:19, last clause; Romans 8:1, first clause. “As He is, so are we in this world” 1 John 4:17; John 17:26; 1 Cor. 1:30). Our behavior adds nothing to it, nor do our feelings take from it. Our place and portion “in Christ” is eternally the same.
Paul, in speaking of himself here, says, “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory,” and as in the chapter before, he is compelled to speak about himself for their good, and to show the weakness of the flesh which, in the apostle, is just as good-for-nothing as in any other man, so he comes now to visions and revelations of the Lord. He was a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, and whether it was in the body or out of the body, he could not tell, God knew; and in this state was caught up to the third heaven. Christ has gone through all heavens into the immediate presence of God (Heb. 4:14. N. T.).
Verses 3-7. He knew such a man in such a condition, how that he was caught up into paradise (garden of delights), and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful, or possible for a man to utter. Of such a one he would glory, yet of himself he would not glory, but in his weaknesses. Doubtless it was to confirm his knowledge and faith because of what he was called to go through in suffering for Christ and for the elect’s sake (2 Tim. 2:10) He is afraid to seem to glory in himself, and he will say the truth, but forbears lest any man should think of him above what he saw and heard of him, and he tells the need he had of a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be exalted above measure. There was no danger of his being puffed up when he was in paradise. The danger was when he came down, of his being exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, but he had to learn this from the Lord after he had come down.
Verses 8-13. “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
The Lord will show him, but he asked three times before he was ready to receive the answer, and so sweetly it came, “He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Blessed words! to the heart that finds its rest and delight in doing the Lord’s will. Now he understands and gladly responds: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities (or weaknesses), in reproaches, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
This was not glorying in his flesh, but they had compelled him to speak of himself when they ought to have commended him, for in nothing was he behind the chiefest apostles, though he knew that in himself he was nothing.
All the marks of an apostle were seen in him in what he wrought among them in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds, and in nothing were they, through his ministry, inferior to other assemblies, except that he would not allow them to support him. He says, “Forgive me this wrong,” and then asserts that he will continue in the same way.
Verses 14, 15. This was the third time he had purposed coming to them, and he reminded them that they were his children, and that he only sought their good. “I seek not yours, but you, for the children do not lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” How like his Master is such a servant! as we have in chapter 6:3,10.
Verses 16-18. Here he refers to the way they had spoken of him as crafty, taking them with guile. 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 shows that his ministry was open, and clearly avoiding all craftiness. Neither he nor Titus, nor the brother sent with them, had made a gain of them. They also walked with him in the same spirit, and in the same steps.
Verse 19. They were not to think he was excusing himself. He was speaking in the deep reality of God’s presence, and as he said, “We do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.”
Verses 20, 21. And if the first part of the chapter shows how high a child of God may have gone in his experience, these verses show how deeply a child of God may sink in allowing the flesh in him to have its way, and he, as the one sent of the Lord, would need to deal with them as to the evils they had fallen into, and had not repented, causing him to bewail with sorrow their condition.
We might all examine our ways, and ask ourselves if we have thoroughly judged ourselves of the debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults, that we may have been in or witnessed—all so different from the meekness and gentleness of Christ.

Lines on the Death of G. V. Wigram: 2 Timothy 2:4; Joshua 14:14

2 Timothy 2:4. Joshua 14:14.
The day of his conflict is over and done,
The voice of his Master, that glorified One,
Has called him away with his welcome, “Well done”;
His part in the war is finished and o’er:
He has gone to the One whom he loved and adored,
And peacefully entered the joy of his Lord.
His heart had been won; though the foe oft enticed,
He gladly confessed that his heart was sufficed—
To find all his joy—all his treasure in Christ,
‘Neath whose banner unfurled, he fought in the world.
How true was his pleasure, poor sinners to win,
For the One who had purchased and cleansed him from sin.
Through conflict, confusion, and errors abroad—
The truth his equipment with grace sweetly stored,
He faithfully followed his Master and Lord;
And in the meanwhile he lived in the smile,
Of the One by whom actions and motives are known—
Who guided his servant in paths of His own.
He heard the recall, and laid down his shield,
With the trust that his part was accepted and sealed,
Befitting the war—quitting the field
At the call of his Lord to receive his reward,
And enter at length on the full tide of joy
And perfect communion which never can cloy.
The breastplate no longer he needs for his breast—
The armor gives place to the garments of rest,
The full flowing robes of the home of the blest:
His girdle’s untied, his sword’s laid aside;
The Lord whom he clung to and fought for so well,
Has called him away in His presence to dwell.
He has lain down to sleep, and we weep, yet rejoice,
Well pleased that our Lord should lay claim to His choice;
We wait for “the trump” the archangel’s voice,
To fold up our tents, to summon us hence,
Where sorrow, defilement, and conflict shall cease,
The haven of hope, of rest, and of peace;
To be with the Lord—where no one can sever,
To be with the Lord—in His glory forever.
May we who are left in the desert below,
Who have to contend with the vigilant foe,
Be strong for the Lord wherever we go;
Whatever betide, our guardian and guide,
Has faithfully promised, to all who endure
The hardness of soldiers, the victory is sure!

God's Provision for the Believer

Already the believer has the word that “Whosoever believeth in Him (Christ) shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43); “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:38, 39). Like the woman in Luke 7, he has heard the word, “Thy sins are forgiven,” —Christ Jesus is thus his own personal Savior.
Another precious gift is his—when he believed the gospel of his salvation, the Holy Spirit as He promised, came to dwell in him—he was sealed (Eph. 1:13), and the Holy Spirit abides in him forever (John 14:16); his body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19); he is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30), that is, till the Lord comes to take us home to Himself, making our bodies like to His glorious body (Phil. 3:21). It is sad that we are often by our behavior, doing things that grieve Him, yet He will not leave us, but we make ourselves so unhappy by our carelessness.
This is a blessing never known to saints before the death and resurrection and ascension of Christ in glory (John 7:39).
“Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not the spirit of Thy holiness from me” (Psa. 51:11), is a prayer suited to the saints of Old Testament times, but not to saints of this day of grace. (Read all the passages cited above). He it is that dwelling in us enables us to take our places as children of God, and with confidence to cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15, 16). “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6.
It is blessedly true, “I write unto you, little children (that is, dear children) (of God), because your sins are forgiven you for His (Christ’s) name sake.” This is eternal forgiveness, as in Hebrews 10:14, and provision is made if we fail to walk aright by Christ living before the Father. “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” He is the propitiation for our sins. Thus we are eternally secure, and the other Comforter, or Advocate—the Holy Spirit—leads us to confess our sins, to restore to us our happiness which we had lost when we grieved Him.
We have now a new life, Christ in us, but we have the flesh also. Sin is not our master now, we are set free from its power, and we are to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Our old man was crucified with Christ, we are now alive in Him before God, though the flesh is in us (Rom. 6:6, 7).
If we grow careless, and do not watch and pray, our affection for the Lord grows cold, and this allows the flesh to work again; we grieve the Holy Spirit and become unhappy, but are not unsaved. The “Advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous,” maintains us as children before the Father. To be restored to communion and happiness of nearness of our spirits to the Lord, needs self-judgment and confession of our failures, and this faithfully done, will also bring cleansing from all unrighteousness, as well as the sense of forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
This self-judgment is needed, and if real, it strengthens the soul to walk more carefully in dependence on the Lord, and in the sense of our own inability to stand unless held by Him. His forgiving and keeping love strengthens our souls.
In Hebrews 7:25, we read, “Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost (that is completely) that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” His high priesthood cannot fail, He will carry through to the end every believer without fail, and not one of them will be lost, for this depends entirely on Him. “Because I live ye shall live also,” John 14:19, yet we need the throne of grace, and to this we are invited to come boldly, that we may obtain mercy and find grace for timely help, that is, to keep us from falling, to give us strength for the way as we go on day by day.
We will all be brought through, but, if like Jacob, we struggle along in our own wisdom and strength, we shall have trouble for our portion. If in dependence on Him, there are promises given to sustain us in every difficulty:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5, 6; and again, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee:” therefore “Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (margin the Rock of Ages)” (Isa. 26:3, 4). He will guide us all the way.
“Having loved His own which were in the world He loved them to the end” (John 13:1). This love is never weary, never changes, cannot cease. He gave Himself for us, and lives for us now on high. He knew all our tendencies, our dispositions, or tempers and all our sins. The woman in John 4, could truly say, “He told me all that ever I did.” What peace to have all out with Him, to know all is put away, and that God is satisfied, also the believer is satisfied, and He loves us still, though yet so unworthy. “We love Him because He first loved us,” and with the commandment to love one another, came the nature, and the power, and the desire to carry it out in practice (John 13:34; 1 John 5:1). And in the figure of washing the feet with water, we see how we are taught by the Word applied by the Holy Spirit to walk in the path marked out by His own blessed feet—the path of lowliness and meekness, of confidence in God and dependence upon Him, the path of submission to His will, and obedience to His Word. This is the washing of the water by the Word (Eph. 5:26; Psa. 19:7-11), and as He said to Peter, so He says to us, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me,” for that is communion. We all who are believers, have part in Him, for that is possession. He is our eternal portion.
‘Tis the treasure we’ve found in His love
That has made us now pilgrims below,
And ‘tis there, when we reach Him above
As we’re known, all His fullness we’ll know.

Jesus in the Midst: John 19:18

Three crosses stood!
A mocking crowd, who taunt and jeer,
A few whom grace had taught to fear,
The priests and rulers filled with pride,
A dying thief on either side,
And Jesus in the midst.
Matthew 18:20
A feeble few!
But owning only Christ as Lord,
And cleaving firmly to His Word,
In simple faith the promise claim,
That those who gather to His name
Have Jesus in the midst.
Revelation 5:6
A heavenly scene!
Unnumbered hosts around the throne
Own He is worthy, He alone,
The center of that heavenly throng,
The object of the ransomed’s song,
Is Jesus in the midst.

Reading on John 3

Now, we have a very wonderful thing. Indeed it is all wonderful. I sometimes think of the third and fourth chapters of John as deep wells. You can draw from them, and draw from them, and there is always some more to draw.
The first chapter of John brings before us very blessedly the Lord Jesus in so many of His glories, but the third and fourth bring out that rich grace of God toward man—the actual meeting of man in his need. In the first chapter (it is a long one and very blessed and wonderful) we do see Him exactly meeting the need. Toward the end He finds Nathanael and so on, but in the 4th especially we have the operation of divine grace in gathering sinners.
“To as many as received Him.” That is just a statement. But we know of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night. We know of the woman at the well coming. It is a wonderful chapter, grace in operation.
The first chapter is a wonderful chapter. It begins and takes us back before a created thing existed where only the Creator was—in eternity. Where does it end? Not exactly in eternity, but it ends with the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. That is the Lord Jesus in His earthly glory—kingdom glory—as the Son of Man. Wonderful range between the two. The beginning of the chapter takes us back, and the end, forward. Not “made flesh,” but in His glory as the Son of Man. The 3rd and 4th have a special attraction it seems to me—a kind of sweetness, peculiar to them.
He has been telling us of heavenly things, not something revealed, but He came down from there. So He says at the end of the chapter, “He that cometh from above, is above all.” “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven” (ver. 13.) There He was talking to Nicodemus.
When we come to His deity, He is in heaven and earth at the same time. Wondrous person of the Son of God, that One sitting there that night—that One that Nicodemus owns as “a teacher come from God—no man could do those miracles except God be with Him,” —who was He? “The Son of Man which is in heaven.” You and I cannot understand that, but we rejoice in it. We are not called to understand it; we are called to believe it, and get the blessing of it. How could He be in heaven and earth at the same time? You answer the “how.” That is what Nicodemus said. The truth is He was the Son of Man which is in heaven. These heads of ours raise the “how.” The heart lets them go, and believes what He says.
We will never be able to fathom the truth of God and Man in one person. In Matthew 11:27, and Luke 10:22 we have, “All things are delivered unto Me of My father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” None can fathom the preciousness of God and man in one person, but God Himself. “No one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. No one knoweth the Son, but the Father.” What about “revealing” there? How very important that is. So you see it says, “The Son of Man which is in heaven,” when He was talking to Nicodemus.
He said to that poor woman as He sat there on the well, weary, “Give Me to drink.” He wanted it. He was tired, wearied with His journey. She says, “Who are you? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well?” One thing I know, you are the most gracious Jew I ever met. Another Jew would not have looked at me. The disciples marveled that He talked with the woman. If you only knew who it was that said to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water. That One who was weary with His journey, well knew who she was, as He told her afterward—knew her through and through.
The Giver of living water sat there, come down in that form of man, wearied with His journey. Do you understand that? You can understand that a little better than “the Son of Man which is in heaven.” It is beyond me to understand that the Giver of living water sitting there, is the Son of Man which is in heaven. Who is He? Nicodemus says, He is a teacher come from God. He is the Son of Man which is in heaven, speaking what He knows and testifying what He has seen.
Now we come to the deepest glory of the Son of God. What is that? I am anticipating a little. “His only begotten Son.” That is the deepest glory of Christ—one He rejoices in most—His own relationship to the Father as His only begotten Son. That is another glory.
There is another line of things brought before us in connection with this gift of God—His only begotten Son. What is that? The Lord takes Nicodemus back about 1500 years in the history of Israel—before they went into the land. They had sinned and murmured against God and Moses, and they said, You have not brought us into a land with milk and honey—there is nothing but this light bread, and we despise it and loathe it—and they brought the judgment of God upon them. They cried to Moses, and asked him to pray for them. He prayed to God to take away the serpents (God had sent serpents among them, and many of them died). God told Moses to make a serpent of brass—a brazen fiery serpent—and put it on a pole and lift it up, and then it shall come to pass that every one that looks shall live. We see that God was looking forward to that day when His Son would be lifted up, as his own remedy for dying and perishing man.
People were dying on every hand. There was the serpent lifted up on the pole, but that did not help them. It is a solemnly beautiful picture of this poor world. Who is it that is not dying? All dying—all have sinned. It came to pass that whosoever looked, lived.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Believe in Him in what way, and shall not perish? As the one who was lifted up on that cross, just as the serpent of brass was lifted up on a pole. “Believeth in Him.” “The look of faith. How near death—how near perishing! Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,” but just the opposite— “have everlasting life.”
What is the source of the Son of Man being lifted up, like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness? The love of God. The love of God has found the remedy for perishing man (Man, of course, is the race).
(Continued from Page 83)
(To be continued)

The Heart at Rest

“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him” (Lam. 3:24).
My heart is resting, O my God!
I will give thanks and sing;
My heart has found the secret source
Of every precious thing.
Yes! the frail vessel Thou hast made
No hand but Thine can fill—
For the waters of the earth have failed,
And I am thirsty still,

I thirst for springs of heavenly life,
And from Thyself they rise;
I seek the treasure of Thy love,
And close at hand it lies.
Thus a new song is in my mouth,
To long loved music set:
Glory to Thee for all the grace
I have but tasted yet.

Glory to Thee for strength withheld,
For want and weakness known—
For fear that sends me to Thy breast
For what is most my own.
I have a heritage of joy
That yet I cannot see;
But He who bled to make it mine
Is keeping it for me.

There is a certainty of love
That sets my heart at rest;
A calm assurance for today,
That to be weak is best;
My soul reposeth on Thy truth,
Who hath made all things mine,
Who gently bends my forward will,
And makes it one with Thine.

I will give thanks for suffering now,
For want, and toil, and loss;
For the death that sin makes hard and slow
Upon my Savior’s cross.
Sometimes I long for promised bliss,
But ‘twill not come too late—
And songs of patient faith may rise
From the place wherein I wait.

Mine be the reverent, listening love
That waits all day on Thee,
With the service of a watchful hear
Which no one else can see:
The faith that in a hidden way
No other eye may know,
Finds all its daily work prepared,
And loves to have it so.

My heart is resting, O my God!
My heart is in Thy care,
And while it finds its joy in Thee,
Can trust Thee everywhere;
The heart that ministers for Thee
In Thine own work will rest;
And the subject spirit of a child
Can serve Thy children best.

Correspondence

Question: Why is the order of the Lord’s temptations different in Matthew’s Gospel from that of Luke? T.
Answer: The Holy Spirit has intentionally given us four gospels, all are varied according to God’s object in giving each, that the glories of His beloved Son might be unfolded to us in greater measure.
Matthew presents to us the Lord Jesus as heir to the throne of Israel, and as heir to the promises given to Abraham. Coming as He did into the world, He fulfills the Scriptures, and when grown up, we are introduced to Him in Matthew 3, taking His place with the believing remnant who were called by John to confess their sins. He had no sins to confess, and God justifies Him (1 Tim. 3:16) at His baptism as the fulfiller of all righteousness, sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in Him as the Holy One, and declaring, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:15-77; John 6:27; Acts 10:37, 38); and then as the second Man, the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), He is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. It was necessary that Satan, as the strong man, should be bound (Matt. 12:29), and that where Adam fell by transgression with everything around to sustain him, Jesus should prove Himself the obedient One even with everything against Him. He had fasted forty days and forty nights. Then the tempter said, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Without the word from His Father, He would do nothing, but said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Notice, dear young believers, He applies the word to Himself, and thus defeats Satan. This was in connection with His bodily need (Deut. 8:3; 2 Tim. 3:16).
Then Satan quotes part of Psalm 91, which contains promises to the Messiah. Jesus knew that they were true, but in this also He would not leave the path of obedience. His confidence was perfect, he would not sin by testing His Father’s care over Him, and so quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
In Psalm 8 we have the Son of Man set over all things in heaven and on earth, and in this also Satan tries Him, promising to give Him all the kingdoms of the world. But He refuses to think of taking the kingdom till the Father gives it to Him in the appointed time (Psa. 110:1), and Satan is manifested plainly in asking worship, so He says, “Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve’” (Deut. 6:13).
There is less of the dispensational character in Luke’s Gospel. It is more the moral glories of the Man Christ Jesus, and stands in sharp contrast to the fallen man. Luke does not state things consecutively, but groups the lessons together to display to the opened eye and ear, the glories and perfections of the Son of God as the “Man Christ Jesus.”
In 1 John 2:16 we have what the world is to the natural man. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise.” These find an answer in our fallen nature. But in Jesus our Lord ever perfect, they find no answer. He is tried by Satan here on these three points, but there was the absolute refusal in Him to all that sin is; there was no desire in Him to gratify His own will.
Obedient, submissive, dependent.
He would not gratify His bodily need.
He would not seek worldly honor and possessions.
He did not seek a place before men.
He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Matt. 4:1). He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness (N. T.) (Luke 4:1), and is led in the power of the Spirit into Galilee after all was finished (verse 14). Every trial to Him was another stepping-stone to do His Father’s will.
Question: Is the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) the same as the true God and eternal life? (1 John 5:20). W. H.
Answer: We see from Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, that it is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that enables us to say, “Abba Father.” None could fully enter into these things till the Comforter was come. The light was dim till then.
The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:2) is life in the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in the believer.
l John 5:20 is different. It is the inscrutable person of the Son of God. He is the true God and eternal life. (See Matt. 11:27).
Question: Please inform one who is interested in Bible studies, where I can find in the (English) Bible where Christ told His disciples to come to Him to confess; or where He went to them to confess? S. B. S.
Answer: We do not find any place in the Bible where the Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples to confess to Him, nor where He went to confess to them. The Lord Jesus had no sins to confess, but for our sins He died on the cross. (Rom. 4:24, 25; 1 Peter 2:24).
We are encouraged in many scriptures to confess to God, our sinful, lost estate, and then to believe that our Lord Jesus suffered for our sins that we might be cleansed from them (Read the following verses, Isa. 1:18; 6:5, 6, 7; 53:5, 6; Psa. 32:5; 51:3, 17; Prov. 28:13).
In the New Testament, John Baptist, before Christ died, preached the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. (Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5; Luke 3:3). Many were thus prepared to receive Christ when He came and died and rose again, after making atonement on the cross, and believing on Him were given the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38; 10:43; 13:38, 39; Rom. 1:16; 3:22-26; 4:24, 25; 5:1). And in chapter 10:9, we read, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
The Epistles were written to give us the full assurance of our acceptance in Him, and of the provision made for every believer in Christ, as our Great High Priest (Heb. 7:25; 4:14-16); as our Advocate for the failing believer, if any man sin (1 John 2:1). We are led to confess our sins with the promise that if we do “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This restores our happiness again if we had lost it.
Notice that confession of sins is always to God in every verse. Notice also in James 5:16 that believers in Christ can help each other by praying and confessing their sins or faults one to another, that they may be healed spiritually and physically too if it is the Lord’s will.
In none of these passages do we find mention of a priest. Every believer has access to God for himself or herself.
We are all children of God who have faith in Christ Jesus as our true and only Savior (Gal. 3:26; 1 John 3:1, 2).
What a loving God and Father He is, and what a blessed Lord and Savior Jesus is! He has promised, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

A Form of Godliness!

Some years ago a lady was suddenly taken ill, and when the doctor saw her, she was told she had not many weeks to live. You may guess how frightened she must have been when I tell you that she did not know Jesus. She had been, as she said, a good churchwoman, and had passed for a good Christian, because she was regular in her attendance at church, took the sacrament often, gave much money for religious and charitable purposes, and was well acquainted with what people call “the plan of salvation.”
“But,” she said, “I have never cared to know a living Savior, nor to know from Himself that my sins are forgiven.”
This was what she told a Christian lady who went to see her on her deathbed; and then she added, in hopeless anguish:
“It is too late to seek Him now, I have had the form of godliness without the power of it. I am lost; lost forever.”
Think, dear young reader, how dreadful this must have been to her—a foretaste of the judgment to come! Would you wish to escape such fearful distress? Come to Jesus now, at once, and you shall never feel what she felt when she cried, “I am lost, lost forever!”
It was in vain that the dear Christian who had come to see her told her “God is love,” and tried to set before her the all-sufficiency of Christ to save her as she was. She kept on saying:
“The gospel is not for me; it is for others. For me it is too late.”
In the meantime her disease was running on rapidly to the end, and the death she so dreaded grew nearer and nearer. Still her friend went to see her, and day and night ceased not to pray for her, that the Lord would give her power to believe. At last one day, when she was very near her end, she said:
“Sometimes I think I could almost believe the message, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ But then for me it has sounded in vain through a long lifetime. And now I can justify Him in saying, ‘You have never cared for Me. You have been satisfied with Christianity without Christ; and now, because you are dying, you come at the last moment in cowardice to My feet. Depart from Me, I never knew you.’”
Her friend, in great distress, called silently on God to open her eyes to see Jesus as He is, and then pointed out to her how sinful it was to speak against the character of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“I have not said anything against His character,” she replied, earnestly; “I have told you I could wholly justify Him in condemning me.”
“You did not intend it, I am sure,” replied her friend, “yet you have described Him as a miserable trifler. He has said, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;’ and, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out;’ and because you are weary and heavy laden, and are a dying creature, He is to say to you, as you stand trembling on the brink of eternity, ‘I cast you away from your last hope... My promise fails towards you.’ I entreat you never to say it of Him again, for I cannot bear it.”
“Neither can I,” said she as the light flashed into her soul, and she saw the wickedness of her unbelief. “I never understood before what an injustice I am doing Him! What shall I do? My last sin is my greatest!” Then, clasping her hands, she cried, “O Lord Jesus Christ, I am so grieved; I am so ashamed I have distrusted Thy goodness, Thy marvelous enduring love, Thy truth, Thy faithfulness. My unbelief in Thee is my greatest sin of all. Lord, I now believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” Faint with conflicting feelings, and the exertion she had made, she turned to her friend and said:
“Perhaps now I had better thank Him for having kept His promise; for having forgiven me all. I would rather not distrust Him anymore. You speak the words, and I will join as much as my strength will allow.”
I need not tell you how gladly and thankfully her friend did as she requested, and thus together their praises ascended to Him who “turneth the shadow of death into the morning.”
On parting from her, her friend repeated to her this old verse:
“The soul that to Jesus has fled for repose,
He will not, He cannot, give up to his foes;
That soul, tho’ all hell should endeavor to shake,
He’ll never, no never, NO NEVER forsake.”
Dear young reader, will you imitate her long neglect and unbelief; or the faith that took Him at His word, and found forgiveness of sins by His blood, and eternal rest at last in His unchanging love?
Some think that, if they know all about the Lord Jesus Christ having died for sinners on the cross, they are all right; but to know this without ever having really come to Him, and believed in Him as one’s own dear Savior, is worse than not to know anything about Him. God’s Word says of some such persons, “It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them,” (2 Peter 2:21). And then there is another thing you have often been told about, and that is the danger of putting off from day to day “repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.” What a terrible risk to run!

Their Latter End!

“O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” Deuteronomy 32:29.
Satan does not like people, especially those on the threshold of life, to think about death, and offers to all a multitude of varying attractions to keep them from looking ahead. God’s words, quoted above, show that He desires that they should be wise with that true wisdom which does not simply take everything at its face value, but weighs it in the light of eternity.
There are two worlds that claim the attention of all, especially those who are starting the journey of life. The first is the tangible world around us, of which Satan is morally the god and prince, with its alluring tales of ambition and progress, religious and otherwise; but which, in spite of all its fair appearance, is yet spoken of in Scripture as “this present evil world;” and the unseen world of which Christ is the Head and Center, with its glorious and incorruptible future, but involving a pathway of present trial and suffering to reach it.
Unquestionably the person who goes in for the former will get the best time materially now, but everything here is passing away and what of the latter end?
We desire to draw the reader’s attention to two extracts from the writings of two different men, each of whom was a real exponent of the world for which he lived, and the amount of satisfaction it could afford.
The following lines were found among the papers of the late Professor B—, at the close of a life of devotion to the quest of honor and fame, a life which would, no doubt, be highly commended by the children of the world. The lines speak for themselves with a seriousness and intensity which cannot be overstated, and stand as a solemn warning to all who would walk ambition’s glittering pathway—
“Why labor for honor? Why seek after fame?
Why toil to establish a popular name?

Fame! aye, what is fame? a bubble—a word,
A sound, that’s worth nothing, a hope that’s deferred;

A heart-sickening hope that’s too often denied
Or withheld from the worthy, to pander to pride.

Then out upon fame! let her guerdon be riven,
Nay—hold—let me strive as I always have striven.

Out, out upon fame! too late will she come,
Her wreath mocks my brow, will it hang on my tomb?

Too much have I labored, too willingly gave
My thoughts to the world AND HAVE EARNED BUT A GRAVE.”
Such lines need no comment and we would turn from them to an extract from the last writings of one who had renounced the most ambitious career, to take up the cross and to follow the Lord Jesus into the place of rejection. At the end of a life of trial and suffering, such as few are called upon to undergo, he was cast into a Roman dungeon. Almost all his earthly friends had forsaken him, he had appeared once before that cruel tyrant Nero, and before him lay the lions or perhaps some other fiendish torture, truly it was “a latter end” to be naturally greatly dreaded.
But what had HE earned? No thoughts of the grave filled his soul when he wrote to his young friend Timothy, as follows—
“I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
Again no comment is needed, the language of Paul the apostle is too sublime to require human praise.
In conclusion, we would earnestly ask every reader of these lines to ponder well the striking contrast, remembering always that he cannot serve two masters,
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve,” God or the world. He wants you to be wise, to understand the truth, and to consider the latter end of these things.

Fragment

We have the rule for the Christian’s conduct. It is very simple, very sweeping, and uncommonly satisfactory to the heart that really desires to do the will of God.
Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).

Never Perish

“Never perish!” words of mercy,
Coming from the lips of One
Who, though here a homeless stranger,
Fills the high eternal throne:
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
God and man in One combined;
Faithful Shepherd of the chosen,
Safe are those to Him assigned.

“Never perish!” words of sweetness,
Dissipating every fear;
Filling all with joy and gladness,
Who the Shepherd’s voice can hear;
Bringing richest consolation
To the soul fatigued, oppressed;
Sweet refreshment to the fainting,
And to weary spirits rests.

“Never perish!” words of power;
Satan now I can defy;
Safe my soul beyond my keeping,
Hid with Christ in God on high.
Come what will, I’m safe forever—
‘Tis the promise of my God;
Written in His Word unfailing,
Sealed with Jesus’ precious blood.

Meditations on Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13

The apostle has a little more to say to the Corinthians. They had found fault with his ministry, even questioning his apostleship.
Verses 1, 2. “This is the third time I am coming to you.” Every word must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. He had spoken twice before of coming to them. Now he speaks, though absent, as if he had come to them the second time. And it is telling them that if he comes again he will not spare, but he wished their edification and not their destruction.
Verses 3-5. He presents to their minds this thought: They were converted through him, then if he was not the apostle he claimed to be, they were not Christians. If he was false, they also must be false, for it was from him they had learned the truth. Notice the parenthetic part which left out (middle of verse 3 and verse 4 is the parenthesis) is; “Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me,... Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” If Christ had not spoken by him, Christ did not dwell in them. If he was not an apostle, they were not Christians. That is what is meant by, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” The Word of God has given the Christian full assurance. The Holy Spirit who dwells in the Christian leads him to look at Christ at God’s right hand, and to see himself in Christ, and also Christ dwelling in him.
Verses 6-8. This is turning their foolish, contemptible speeches back on themselves, and he does it with such grace, “But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”
The parenthetic portion (in verses 3 and 4) beginning with, “which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you,” speaks of the character of his ministry, which though carried out in his weakness, yet was in the mighty power of God in them, and the blessed Lord is spoken of as having been crucified through weakness, thus yielding Himself, yet now lives by the power of God:
“By weakness and defeat
He won the mead and crown;
Trod all our foes beneath His feet
By being trodden down.”
The apostle’s service and ministry was after that pattern, as he says, “For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God.” In chapter 12:9, 10, he takes pleasure in weaknesses, that the power of Christ might rest upon him, “for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Verses 9, 10. “For we are glad, when we are weak and ye are strong: and this also we wish, your perfection,” —that is, of apprehension of the truth. “Therefore, I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” What a devoted servant, such an absence of self-esteem, with a love that only sought their good. What an example for us!
Verses 11-14. “For the rest, brethren, rejoice; be perfected; be encouraged; be ye of one mind; be at peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (New Trans.).
He closes with entreating them to salute each other with unfeigned affection, and all the saints salute them. Then his earnest desire for their spiritual state is given:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and The love of God, and The communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.”

Thou Art My Hope, Lord Jesus

Thou art my hope, Lord Jesus,
My soul hath found in Thee
What sorely here it needed—
Peace and security.

Since ever I have known Thee,
Since first Thy grace I saw,
Fears from my heart are banished,
I dread no more the law.

The wrathful sword of justice
Suspended o’er my head,
Discharged on Thee, my Savior,
Its death-stroke, in my stead.

The death which Thou didst suffer,
Was suffered Lord, for me;
For pleased Thou wast in purest grace
My substitute to be.

What love to me, my Savior!
Love in that cross did shine;
That cross endured, accepted,
For my sins, Lord, not Thine.

Thy work, divinely perfect,
Divine in value too,
Was by our God accepted
As expiation due.

Redemption’s solid basis,
Stable, and just, and sound;
Of reconciliation too,
The happy, holy ground.

Thou art my rest, Lord Jesus;
With calm repose I see,
That all my sins in all their guilt,
Were laid, by God, on Thee.

Reading on John 3

The love of God has found the Savior for dying man. Where is that Savior? Teaching on earth? Thorn is no remedy in Christ on earth—His teaching—His example. Where is the remedy? The uplifted Christ—crucified Christ. A dying and a dead Christ, I was going to say. That is what He was on the cross. There is God’s remedy for sin and sinners— “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Some years ago down here at a little place called L., where Brother F. B. lived, a poor tramp was trying to beat his way on the train and had fallen and was badly hurt. They brought him into the little station. L. was a very wicked place. Somehow they knew where to go. They went over to B’s house, and asked him to conic over as they thought he was dying. He went and just whispered in his ear, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Who can tell whether that poor man in the power of God’s Spirit really looked, and lived. “It came to pass that whosoever looked, lived.” One man not as far gone as another, but both are dying.
How beautiful that is “God so loved the world,”! Look at that crucified Christ the Savior dying in order to be a Savior. What is the source? one asks again. The love of God. “God so loved.”
I often think (I find myself given a little too fault finding—too critical) but I sometimes think John 3:16 is separated too much from John 3:14. You see in the 16th verse we have a wonderful thing—God’s remedy for sinners, and what is it? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What precedes it? O there are the 14th and 15th verses: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Don’t forget, dear friends, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” It is in that only begotten Son lifted up on the cross the remedy is found. That is why I think the passage is “For” God so loved, etc.
“In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” That is a great thing—the love of God. Not the Father’s love—that is for the children. Here we have God’s love for sinners. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9, 10).
Then those opposites. One of these opposites must be ours. Either perish, or have everlasting life. We are either this moment, in the sight of God, dying—perishing—men and women; or we are those who have everlasting life, and will never perish. That is the way this world is divided into classes. You have the classes separated, and different degrees among them, but that is the way they are divided. Here is this class of those who believe in the Lord Jesus the Son of God. They believe that God sent Him, and that He was lifted up on the cross, and so on. It is a vast class. Some are quite aged, and some are only babes, but all are in the class.
Here is another class—they have not believed—some are aged and some are very young, but all are in the class. All depends upon which class you are in.
Another thing: “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God’s object is not simply the Jews—Israel, but the world.
“He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but He that believeth not is condemned already.” Why? One reason: “Because He has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” My sins do not in themselves stand in the way of my being saved. What does? Refusal to believe that God sent His Son to be my Savior. So He says, “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” What a sweeping word that is, but how one feels the truth of it! Yes, man by nature is a sinner, and worse than that, though in one sense he cannot be worse, he loves his sins, but he does not want to have them exposed. He does not want to learn the truth, or do the truth. In doing truth he learns truth. “He that doeth truth cometh to the light.” What a mercy to come to the light, and the light is the truth of God.
Take the first chapter, to which our attention has been called, “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (Verses 4 to 10). Light has come, the truth as to God, as to His nature, what He is in His own being, “God is light, and God is love.”
Light has come, and it has come in Christ. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “How ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:9, 10).
(Continued from page 106)

Thou Art With Me

“The Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee” (Deut. 31:6).
“So didst Thou lead Thy people” (Isa. 63:14).
In Thy presence, Lord, enfold me,
As the busy hours go by;
Paths I know not lie before me,
I am safe for Thou art nigh.

Gleaming golden through life’s story,
Grace and mercy sweetly twine;
“Hitherto” Thy love hath kept me,
And will keep by power divine.

Till the tears of time are over
May my will surrendered be;
Joy or sorrow thus shall yield me
Closer fellowship with Thee.

Daily lead me, gracious Savior,
Sweet it is to walk with Thee;
Loving—serving—watching—waiting,
Till Thy glory, Lord, I see.

Ready for the Lord's Coming

As surely as the thought of the Lord’s coming is calculated to give joy to His people, so will it strike terror into the hearts and consciences of those who are not ready to meet Him.
I shall never forget when I first heard of it. I had a Bible of my own, and used to read it, but I had never thought of the Lord’s return. I was a Sunday-school teacher, and taught my class regularly, but I knew nothing of the Lord’s coming. I had listened to scores of sermons, but as far as I can recollect, I had never heard anyone preach plainly and solemnly about the Lord’s coming. I knew that the Lord Jesus had come into the world, had been born in Bethlehem, and laid in a manger, and that He had died on the cross; but it was all mere head belief, my heart had never been really touched, I had not learned my own sinfulness, and therefore I did not know the preciousness of the atoning blood.
As I look back now, I can see occasions when, in my early childhood and girlhood, God’s Holy Spirit must have been striving with me; occasions, when a sort of impression was made on my young heart, but these serious thoughts soon passed away under the influence of surrounding circumstances. I was highly imaginative, and very fond of reading works of fiction, which only served to hinder me from the perusal of anything better.
I am drawing a faithful picture of what I was in those days, and they who see it may express surprise that one so worldly should have been a teacher in a Sunday school. Yet mine was no solitary case; there are, alas! Many who have thus taught, and who yet have been votaries of pleasure as I was. But what did such teaching comprise? I heard my class say their lessons, I heard them read, and explained, after my own fashion, what they had read, but I could go no further. I could not even speak of conversion, as I knew nothing of it myself, in fact I had not learned the necessity of being “born again.”
Notices were published that a certain course of lectures would be given on the parable of the ten virgins. (Matt. 25:11-13). Only two verses were to be considered at each lecture. Strange to say, I had a wish to attend! Strange, looked at naturally, for what attraction would there be to me in anything of the kind? Had it been on Sundays it would have been different—it would have come as a matter of course—but it was unusual for me to think of going on a week evening to a religious lecture.
In the first two lectures there appeared nothing remarkable, and I easily forgot them, but the third has ever since given a coloring to my life. Then I knew that God had a special design in making me attend those lectures, and that it was all according to His will and purpose.
The preacher spoke graphically of the scenes connected with an Eastern marriage, and of the virgins who went out to meet the Bridegroom.
He spoke of the ten, who arose when the midnight cry sounded forth, but of whom only five were wise, for they only had oil in their lamps.
Then he depicted the excitement and despair of the foolish, whose lamps were already out, and their inability to get oil before the arrival of the Bridegroom, showing that when they came to the door they found it SHUT; He, and those who were ready, having already gone in! O! The horror of finding themselves SHUT OUT! Language would fail to describe the agony of that moment.
Then did the arrow of conviction pierce my heart, and I saw that I was a mere professor—one who, indeed, had a “lamp,” but who had no “oil.” The preacher had explained that the Holy Spirit, who indwells the believer, is what is meant by the oil, and I knew that He did not dwell in my poor sinful, worldly heart. The fact was that I was not ready—the Lord Jesus was coming again, and for His own people. Should I be “shut out” if He came then?
During that night I never closed my eyes in sleep—all the sins of my life arose before me in black array, and I saw what a hateful sinner I must be in God’s sight. I felt that I dared not sleep, for if I did, and the Lord Jesus came that night, I might be cast into hell from my bed without waking again in this world. That night was a crisis for me—a starting-point in my life.
At last the deliverance came. It was in the quiet of my own room, the precious Bible open, the chapter before my eyes being the tenth of the Gospel of John; words that I had read many and many a time, but which now, by God’s Spirit, were applied to my very heart with life-giving power (verses 27-30). O! The thrill of joy that ran through me when I saw the end of all my puny, useless efforts, and was enabled to rejoice in the double security of being grasped in the hand of the Son, and of the Father! Nothing now could pluck me out of that strong, sure hold; and eternal life, Christ’s own gift, was given to me! Now no longer was there dread in my heart at the thought of the Lord’s coming: that had given place to a calm, confident longing to see Him who had died for me, even the Blessed One who gave His life for the sheep. Often have I spoken of the tenth of John as my chapter, and to me it always is most sweet, for it recalls to mind the happy day when first I knew that my sins were blotted out, and that I belonged to the Lord Jesus. The twenty-fifth of Matthew, and the tenth of John are therefore peculiarly sacred and precious to my heart, and I must add that now, in later years, the closing verses of 1 Thessalonians 4, which speak of the Lord’s coming again, which gives full details of the manner of it, and affords a bright hope to console and encourage the bereaved.
I need not say any more about myself. If I did I could record many a failure, many a shortcoming, but I am still waiting, still expecting that great moment when the Lord will come again, and receive all His people unto himself. That moment draws nearer and nearer; God has not revealed unto us in His book when it will be, but He had bidden us to “watch.”
Let me add that in times of sorrow and affliction, the thought of the Lord’s speedy return can gild the gloom with a ray of hope, and dry the mourner’s tear; while at other times, when the energies of service seem to be on the wane, the thought that He will soon be here, tends to rouse the lagging spirits, and prove an incentive and a stimulus to action.
It is lovely to notice in the Epistle to the Thessalonians, that the return of the Lord is mentioned in every chapter. It is indeed a prospect to spread before all, young or old; a warning to those who, as worldly professors, are going on without Christ; and a bright hope to illuminate the pathway of those who really love Him. These Thessalonians were young converts, with hearts true to the Lord, which beat loyally in response to the hope set before them. This hope is a strong motive for earnestness in the preaching of the gospel, or when dealing privately with unconverted souls; a reason why we should seek to use every opportunity of leading others to Christ.
O! that we may all be ready, in that place of security from whence none can pluck us, so that to us, the best, the brightest, the happiest occurrence will be to hear the Archangel’s voice, the trump of God, and that assembling shout which shall bid us rise to meet our Lord!

Correspondence

Question: What does “captivity captive” mean? (Eph. 4:8). L. C. G.
Answer: It means that the Lord, by His mighty work of atonement, has met every claim of God’s throne, and was victorious over every enemy (Col. 1:13), annulling him that held us captive, and delivering us from our captivity to sin and death and Satan’s power in which we were held as children of men.
Question: What do the symbols mean used in Revelation 1:13-16? C. V.
Answer: The seven candlesticks made of gold, represent the seven churches mentioned in verse 11.
The Son of Man is the Lord as Judge—to Him all judgment is committed (John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31). “Clothed with a garment down to the foot,” is priestly discrimination (Lev. 13:2, etc.; also Luke 17:14).
“Girt about the breast with a golden girdle,” —His affections can only flow out in divine righteousness: the breast, the place of affection; the gold, divine righteousness.
“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow,” this is the Ancient of Days, “the Great I Am” (Dan. 7:13, 22).
“His eyes were as a flame of fire,” from which nothing can be hid, searching out and uncovering all sin and iniquity.
“His feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace,” —His ability to judge everything according to divine righteousness.
“His voice as the sound of many waters,” —irresistible power and majesty.
“He had in His right hand seven stars,” —the authority belongs to Him. The stars are subordinate authority.
“Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword,” —He judges by the Word of God.
“His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength,” —supreme power and authority.
Question: Would you kindly explain Matthew 16:28 very clearly and definitely for me? H. J. K.
Answer: Please read carefully Matthew 16:27, 28; 17:1-9; Mark 8:38; 9:1-8; Luke 9:26-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18. Ask the Lord to help you to understand them.
When the Lord Jesus began His ministry, He proved Himself to be “Emmanuel,” “God with us,” by His words and His works, yet the leaders of Israel rejected Him, because He came in lowly guise. “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isa. 53). In Matthew 16:21, “From that time forth He began to show unto His disciples,” his sufferings, death and resurrection. Peter opposed Him, not understanding why. The Lord shows them how solemn and important it was to own Him—it meant eternal salvation or eternal loss.
From that time He speaks of Himself as Son of Man. This title is higher and greater than King of Israel. He is both in the future. Psalm 2, is Christ the King of Israel. Psalm 8, He is Son of Man, (compare John 1:49 with verse 51). He is the Lord of heaven and earth (1 Cor. 15:27; Heb. 2:8), and all things are out under His feet as Son of Man, and He will come in the glory of His Father with His angels to reward every man according to His works.
The coming of the Lord for His saints is before that, for they also come with Him.
Then in Matthew 16:28, the Lord said that some of them standing there, would not taste of death, till they saw the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. This was to confirm their faith, as we see in 2 Peter 1:16-19, and in their minds made the word of prophecy more sure, for no one could say to Peter, James, or John that Jesus was not the King of Israel and Son of Man. They could say, We saw Him, and heard the voice on the holy mount. We were eye-witnesses of His majesty.
This, the transfiguration of Christ, is a beautiful sample of the Kingdom come in power. In Moses we see the dead saints raised; in Elias we see the living saints caught up, and all glorified together. These are the heavenly part of the Kingdom, and in Peter, James, and John, we have the saints on earth—the earthly part of the Kingdom, and the glory of the person of Christ lights up the whole Kingdom. And when Peter wants the Kingdom to continue, and puts Moses and Elias as equal with Christ, the voice out of the bright cloud said:
“This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him,” then the disciples fell on their faces and were sore afraid, till Jesus touched them, and said, “Arise, be not afraid,” then they lifted up their eyes and saw no man, save Jesus only.
In Luke 9, Moses and Elias talked with the Lord about His death which was to take place at Jerusalem, and here He charged His disciples to tell no man, till the Son of Man was risen from the dead.
The Lord could not set up His Kingdom in sin. He must die to make atonement for sin. He will set up His Kingdom on earth, as is foretold in the prophets, but now He is gathering together His heavenly bride who will be in the Father’s house with Him on high, and share the Kingdom. When He reigns, we, the Church, will reign with Him. (Rom. 8:17).
Question: Would like to know something about God in Scripture? Are three persons distinct from each other spoken of? T. E.
Answer: Yes, God is revealed to us in the Scriptures called the Holy Bible, and nowhere else. It becomes us to approach this subject with deepest reverence. We can only give you a little help in a few remarks to lead you to read your Bible with earnest prayer to God to teach you by His Holy Spirit who dwells in every one who has rested on the finished work of Christ, His Son.
In Genesis 11 God created. “Let us” (verse 26) is the counsel of the Godhead in creating man. Lord God is His covenant name with mankind (Chapter 2:3).
Abraham knew Him as the Almighty God (Ex. 6:2, 3), and He is revealed to Israel as “I AM THAT I AM” (chap. 3:14) the ever existing One, Jehovah, the God of Israel.
In the New Testament we get as far as a finite being can understand the Infinite (see 1 Tim. 6:15, 16)—God revealed to Christians (who have received eyes to see divine things) as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) three persons with one mind and purpose in everything; acting in Creation and redemption. The Father’s will is carried out by the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.
As you examine the Scriptures you will find that the personal pronoun is used of each, and that each possesses a will—here are examples: “Lo, I come to do Thy Will,” —there it is the Father’s will (Heb. 10:7). “Not My will but Thine be done,” —there it is the Son’s will (Luke 22:42). “The selfsame Spirit; dividing to every man severally as He will,” —there it is the will of the Holy Spirit. The Father loves, the Son loves, the Holy Spirit loves (John 15:9, 10; Rom. 15:30).
Then in the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole Godhead dwells bodily. All are seen in Him (John 1:14, 18; 14:9, 10, 11; Col. 1:19 and 2:9). May the Lord guide you in your meditations, on this all-important subject.

Christ, or the World!

We often meet with people who say they have plenty of time to think about their souls when they get old, or upon their deathbeds. I scarcely ever thought of the future to which I was wending my way, and if ever I did, Satan would whisper,
“There is time enough for you to think of these things when you are older,” and for a while he was successful with his lie.
Until three years ago I was going on the broad road which leads to destruction, and was utterly unconcerned about my eternal welfare.
I had been taught by my parents from childhood to have a great respect for the Lord’s Day, and attend church services regularly, and to say my prayers morning and evening, so that it became a matter of duty to do so. Though I thus learned something of what is called religion, I did not know the Lord as my own personal Savior, and do not remember having God’s wonderful plan of salvation clearly explained to me. Although thus outwardly moral, I knew later that I was not at peace with God. The more efforts I made at turning over a new leaf, the more I realized I was not getting better.
What a great blessing it is to know that the seeking Savior never gives up searching for His lost sheep; and “when He hath found it, He layeth it on His shoulders, rejoicing.” The Savior knocked loudly at my heart’s dark door during a recent illness, which led me to think more seriously of the great future than ever I had done before. But Satan, who is ever ready to lull souls who are anxious, lest they should believe and be saved, succeeded in choking the good impression by the fascinating pleasures of sin.
Satan’s success was only temporary, thanks be to God! It was truly remarkable how the Lord prepared the way, and I was brought to the knowledge and love of Himself.
I was living in the town of R. and it was evidently the Lord’s will for me to leave my native town, where I was surrounded by many dear friends, and come and live in W. I had not been living in this town long, before I was invited by a friend to an open-air gospel meeting. Scarcely had we taken our stand to listen, when the little company commenced to sing a hymn—
“Room for pleasure, room for business;
But for Christ the crucified—
Not a place that He can enter,
In the heart for which He died!”
God’s Holy Spirit began to work within me, and then the preacher gave out the verse, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). He pointed out how the pleasures of this world will not satisfy, and though one may drink of its pleasures, it will only be to thirst again. It was then that the Holy Spirit revealed to me my wretched state as a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. My sins became such a burden, I sighed for deliverance, but pride of heart kept me from disclosing my state of soul to any human being.
I saw myself as I had never done before, a sinner in my sins, and my misery became too great to bear. I sought the quiet of my bedroom, and there I poured out my soul before God, and cried to Him for peace. I believed God’s own Word (John 5:24), and then I knew the blessed reality of being saved by grace through faith.
When I had accepted Christ as my Savior, the next step I found from God’s Word, was to confess His name (Rom. 10:9; Mark 5:19), and what a privilege it is to tell out what great things the Lord has done. Jesus says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). How then can souls who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and with hearts that have been filled with His grace, keep from telling others of His wonderful love?
When once we have stood out on the Lord’s side, a number of our fears and difficulties vanish, as I experienced when I first took a stand for Him, in confessing His name to my relatives and friends.
It is only when one has tasted the Lord’s love which alone can fill the heart, that the desire for worldly amusements fades away. The things I once enjoyed, such as theaters, dances, whist drives and the like, hold no attraction for me now. I know the blessed reality of putting my trust in the Lord, and He is enough the heart and mind to fill. There is no disappointment in Him. (John 4:13, 14).
It was indeed a great encouragement to me at this time, to find that a relative of mine had been praying for my conversion for years. Her prayers had at last been answered, and when I told her how I had been brought to the Savior, she was full of praise and thanks to God. This should be an encouragement to those who are praying for their unsaved relatives and friends.
It is so blessed to have everything arranged for us by infinite love, and daily to be learning more of its heights and depths. I have found that the Lord gives special comfort under special trials. Christ is a glorious reality.
Do come to Him, though you may have lived for the world up till this hour. Trust His Word, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37), and you will prove in having Christ that you have everlasting life and joy.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”
If you would be saved, it must be by the precious blood of Christ that flowed on Calvary! Can you go on unheeding the blessed Savior who has done so much for sinners? O, come and trust Him, and may the Savior that I have found be your Savior, too!

The "Precious Blood" of Jesus

The “precious blood” of Jesus
Is everything to me,
It tells me of salvation,
Of pardon, full and free.
I know that I’m forgiven
All through that precious blood;
I’m on my way to heaven,
And I have peace with God!

Peace for the guilty conscience,
Peace for the heart opprest;
The precious blood of Jesus
Alone can give thee rest.
Where art thou, careless sinner?
O let me counsel thee;
The storm of wrath is coming,
To Jesus quickly flee!

My never-changing Savior,
Thou “faithful” art and “true;”
Help me to tell the “story,”
So “old,” yet ever new!

The “precious blood” that “cleanseth”
Still all my theme shall be,
Until that wondrous moment
When, Lord, Thy face I see!

The Heavenly Guide

Those who travel in unknown and foreign lands, often employ a guide to direct them, and to point out the features of special interest. Were it not for this, they might lose their way and the journey end disastrously.
No less needful is it for us to have a sure and certain guide, as we pass through this world which is strewn with many dangers and pitfalls. This unfailing guide is the Word of God—the Bible, which contains all we need.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).
It is as though we were passing through a rough country on a dark night, and we could see a flaming light on a distant hill. That would be a “Light to my path,” as it would mark the end of the way. But with the roughness of the intervening space, one might have many a painful fall, were it not for the “Lamp to my feet.” A lantern is often used in traveling on foot, so that one may see to take each step.
Not only is the end of the way marked out in the Bible, but the same inspired volume furnishes instructions for the life and conduct of the Christian, so that one may, while his feet are treading the heavenly pathway, be preserved from harm, and walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.
Let us first inquire how we may be sure as to the end of the way, in other words—how we may be sure of a happy home above when we quit this world.
The fact that we are sinners makes this question a serious one—one that God alone can answer in a way that will result in the salvation of the sinner.
The story is briefly told: In the love of His heart, God gave His Son to die in the sinner’s stead, and all who believe in Him are cleansed and forgiven and made fit to dwell with Him in heaven, where all is joy forever.
“He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
“To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
When one has believed the gospel to the salvation of his soul, he will find in the Scripture full instruction as to his deportment. The epistles furnish much in this line. The following are examples:
“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8).
“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
How thankful then, we should be for such a treasure as the Word of God. May the reader receive its testimony to the salvation of his soul, and also yield himself to its guidance in his Christian pathway.
“By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psa. 17:4).

Meditations on Scripture - Galatians 1

The increasing efforts of false teachers whose endeavor was to put Christians under the law, was the occasion which the Lord used to lead the apostle, Paul, to write, and to send this epistle to the assemblies of the province of Galatia.
We see in Acts 15:23-31, how the apostles dealt with this evil in the letter they sent to the Gentile assemblies. In Acts 21:20, 21, we still find many of the Jewish converts in bondage to keep the law, and to circumcise their children. The God of all grace saw how much this Epistle would be needed in the history of the assembly on earth, and inspired His servant, Paul, to write it, that the grace of God, and the love of Christ might have their place in our hearts. Strange indeed it is, that so many of God’s dear children are entangled in this bondage, yet the Word is plain, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14, 15).
Verse 1. Here Paul asserts his apostleship which some were questioning then, and some do so still, calling what he has written “his opinions.” They were the commandments of the Lord (1 Cor. 14:37; and 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
“Paul an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).” In this parenthesis we see that his apostleship was neither of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father. This is important. It was wholly independent of men. He was never, what men call, ordained, a thing for which there is no authority in Scripture. We are pointed to Acts 13:2-4, but both Paul and Barnabas were preaching the gospel before. It was fellowship in the work to which the Lord had called them (see Acts 9:15-17; 26:15-18). It was neither ordination, nor placing them over a congregation—that also is unknown in Scripture. In turning to Ephesians 4:8-11, we find that all true ministry of evangelists, pastors, or teachers, comes from the glorified Head, Christ Jesus. The apostles were His ambassadors sent by our Lord Jesus Christ. We are built on their foundation (Eph. 2:20).
Scripture speaks of men choosing their teachers, but only to rebuke it (2 Tim. 4:3), and in Revelation 2:6-15 the word “Nicolaitanes” has the meaning of “conquering the laity”, or men set up by themselves or others, over congregations, “which thing I hate”, the Lord says.
Eldership and Deacons were not gifts, but offices; they were appointed by the apostles or their delegates, not by the assembly, and with their passing away, we find no authority to appoint them.
Verses 2-5. All the brethren were with the apostle in writing, and join in sending to these assemblies gathered mostly from among the Gentiles. “Grace and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
We see here two aspects of the death of Christ—the one is “for our sins,” the other is “for sin,” and in this aspect we are to learn that we are dead with Christ (see chap. 6:14 and 2:20). We see in His death at what a cost we are cleansed and delivered, and we may see how it also delivers us from the law (2:19). What love the Father bore to us is proved in His gift, “His unspeakable gift.” He spared not His own Son, that we might be cleansed and delivered from the power of sin.
Verses 6-12. The apostle wonders that they were so soon removed from Him who called them into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which was really not another, as there was no good news in it, but bondage, trying to keep the law instead of simply following Christ, receiving strength and grace from Him all the way along. Those Judaizing teachers were troublers, who were perverting the gospel of Christ.
Ah! dear reader, if you are under the law, you are under the curse. If you are a true believer, you are forever freed from it (chap. 3:10-13). And so the apostle goes on— “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed,” and again to emphasize it, he repeats it, “As we said before, so say I now again, ‘If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.’” He was not seeking to please men, but speaking as a servant of Christ. The gospel which he preached unto them was not after man, for he neither received it of man, nor was he taught it, but the Lord Himself revealed it to him (see 1 Cor. 15:3).
Verses 13, 14. They had heard of his zeal in the Jews religion, even to persecuting the assembly of God, how cruelly he had treated the saints—believers in Christ (Acts 26:10,11), and scattered them in his fleshly earnestness fulfilling John 16:2. He was away ahead of his contemporaries in his zeal of all the traditions of the Jews. Then the Lord met him, and the change came. He writes, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles (Nations), immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neither went I up to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”
Where he was or what he was doing during those three years, we are not told, but we can well believe that he was in the school of God that fitted him for the work, and suffering that was before him. All this is to show that he had not counseled with men, but was fitted by the Lord as His servant.
After three years he went to Jerusalem to see Peter for fifteen days; he saw also James, the Lord’s brother, but none other of the apostles. Then he was at Syria and Cilicia, but was still unknown by face unto the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ, but they had heard only, that the great persecutor of the assembly in times past, now preached the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God about him.

Perfect Peace

Thus ever on through life we find,
To trust, O Lord, is best.
Who serve Thee with a quiet mind,
Find in Thy service rest.
Their outward troubles may not cease;
But this their joy shall be;
Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace
Whose mind is stayed on Thee.

A Gospel Tract and Its Mission

The gospel of the glory of the blessed God has been declared to be His “power unto salvation to every one that believeth.” “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He desires that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth (Rom. 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4).
In recent years He has been pleased to open many doors for the publishing of His saving message; and in drawing the attention of the reader to one of these we shall take the liberty of personifying a gospel tract by regarding it as a gospel preacher.
(The vital necessity of the soundness of a “gospel tract,” and of the Lord’s direction in its use, are in this paper pre-supposed).
We may say at once, that as this “preacher” has no fixed place of preaching, and as his field of service is wherever he is sent (even if not wherever he is wanted), he may very properly be called a “traveling preacher.”
One thing, however, has to be borne in mind: he is so powerless in himself that, wherever he goes, he has to be carried. That is, he is absolutely subject to the will of another.
But take him where there is an opening for his message, and he will deliver it on the spot.
It is all the same to him whether it is in the poorest slum, or in some stately drawing room; by the bedside, or the seaside; in the town, or in the country; by campfire, or in barracks; in store, or in stable; by road, or by rail! If there is but one to listen, no matter where, he is “always ready.”
Some preachers have a very decided preference for rich and fashionable audiences. Some are only at home with intellectual hearers who can appreciate a well-studied discourse—brilliant, logical, and mentally entertaining. Others prefer preaching to the poor, and the less learned, these being generally more approachable and less critical.
Others, again, have no such choice. So long as their congregation is a large one, they seem thus far satisfied. The news they proclaim is so unspeakably blessed, and their opportunities for proclaiming it so few and ever decreasing, that they specially rejoice in getting many to hear at one time.
But this preacher has no particular preference. He is bound to no special grade of society; he makes choice of no particular class, or creed, or shade of opinion. And as to the question of numbers—few or many at one time—it does not affect him in the least.
Then some preachers are timid and diffident, especially in speaking to individuals. Not so with this one. His unassuming fearlessness impresses you as being a most desirable quality, in any gospel witness. For example: he would be as ready to look a member of the Royal Family in the face and tell him of another “Crowned Head,” as to tell the poorest beggar in the gutter of one who is “rich unto all that call upon Him” (Heb. 2:9; Rom. 10:12).
He would as fearlessly tell a popular modern theologian of the serious consequences of preaching “any other gospel” than the one brought from heaven by the Holy Ghost, as tell a contrite sinner of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God; or tell him that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Gal. 1:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:12; Luke 15:7, 10).
Then some preachers occasionally consider themselves “off duty!” This one never does. As long as Jesus is pleased to wait at God’s right hand, he knows no “time-limit” whatever! “In season, out of season,” he is “always ready.” Midday or midnight, it matters not. It is never too early for his services; and never too late either. “Always abounding in the work of the Lord,” might well be said of him. “Patient continuance” characterizes him. Unfailing readiness, untiring constancy may justly be claimed for him. He will patiently repeat the same address, to the same individual the same day, as often as anyone can possibly find time to listen.
Some preachers feel greatly annoyed when the patience of one of their hearers gets exhausted by the length of a discourse, and leaves before it is half finished. Our “traveling preacher” takes offense at no such slight! If only a few words are listened to, and even these opposed by bitter expressions of unmeasured and unmerited anger, he will never answer back. God alone is able “to give repentance” to one who opposes the truth of the gospel. Should such repentance be brought about (and how often it has been), our preacher is as free to calmly repeat his message, as if no affront had ever been offered!
On the other hand, if you should think his message too important to keep from some acquaintance, who is as really, and as vitally concerned in it as yourself, and you would like him to share it, this “preacher” will wait, without complaining, till you find your friend and give him the chance of hearing.
Should it further strike you that his message would be a true comfort, or a timely warning, to some loved one over the seas, thousands of miles away, you will find this preacher instantly ready to be sent, no matter where! Nor will the expense of sending him be any serious impediment; for one of the smallest copper coins of the realm will be sufficient to cover the cost of his journey, even if it be to the other side of the globe.
On such errands he waits not to be accredited by any human organization. He is as ready to be made use of by the little girl of nine or ten, who is only “steward” for a few coppers weekly, and who delights to devote part of her “spending-money” in making known the Savior’s love to others, as by the greatest potentate, or the richest millionaire on earth.
One word in conclusion as to the results of his mission. Not until all the Lord’s laborers are called into their Master’s presence in glory, and the soul-history of each saved one clearly brought to light, will it be fully known how much this “traveling preacher” has been owned of God to the awakening of the careless, the restoration of the wandering, the confirmation and comfort of the feeble in faith and the downcast in spirit. Yet what refreshing results has “the God of all encouragement” allowed to come to light even here below. Take a few of the many instances that have come before the writer:
The keeper of a country saloon, in turning out a sack of chips and shavings brought from a carpenter’s shop close by, discovered a gospel tract among the fragments. The few words read at a glance arrested his attention. He read the whole, was led to the Savior, and gave up his inn. He read the tract to an organ grinder who stayed there for the night, and who, it is said, seemed glad to hear it. This stranger was found frozen to death on the road before the next night; so that our so-called “traveling preacher” was the last he listened to!
A young man was in sore distress of soul. He went privately to the minister; but his spiritual adviser thought it was no case for his services, and advised him to see a doctor. The medical man, finding nothing seriously wrong with his body, advised him to try some place of amusement as a necessary diversion for his mind. Feeling a very decided shrinking from the theater and music hall, he went to an institution where he expected to obtain spiritual help, but only to hear some comic discussion going on! Distressed, and disheartened almost to despair, he left the place. On his way home he found, lying on the road, a “gospel tract,” and in it, to his peace and joy, the very news his heart was craving for!
A Christian man had worn a gospel tract so long in his pocket that it had become too much, soiled, he thought, to give away. Not wishing to destroy it, he stuck it one day on a thorn in the roadside hedge. One evening shortly afterward a man, for whom he had been some time specially praying, unexpectedly turned up at the weekly prayer meeting. At the end of the meeting this Christian found that God had both heard his prayer and used his act of service. This very man had found the tract in the hedge, and the Spirit of God had made good use of it, for he had reached the Savior through it.
A gospel tract was sent to a lady in India. Feeling no interest in such things, she pushed it into a drawer out of sight. Shortly afterward she was summoned to England by the sickness of a relative. On board the vessel another copy of the same gospel tract was placed in her hand. She read it, and was converted to God. Her husband, left behind in India, went casually one day to seek for something in the drawer just referred to. There he discovered the very tract his wife had slighted, and through it, by God’s mercy, discovered the Savior his own soul needed.
This couple learned, by letter, the happy news of each other; but they never met on earth again! When they next meet, it will be where sowers and reapers, in the presence of “the Lord of the Harvest,” shall rejoice together.
“God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty,” (1 Cor. 1:27). And He has graciously been pleased to honor so weak an instrument as the one we have been describing. And, what is more, blessed be His holy Name forever, He is doing so still.
No preacher on earth has been granted such an “open door” as this “traveling preacher.” He gets an entrance and a hearing where many could not if they would; and where many others would not if they could.
Having sought to draw attention to this remarkable “door” which, in the Providence of God, is now so widely open, we leave it with the reader, counting on the Lord’s blessing. By His love alone can ours be effectually drawn forth in any service for His pleasure. It is certain that the looked-for end is very manifestly approaching.
May we who truly love our Lord Jesus Christ, and “love His appearing,” be found in ever increasing appreciation of His personal blessedness. Then to make known God’s precious gospel concerning Him to those who are destitute of its full comfort will be our ever-increasing delight.
That His own heart is in such service in this “day of good tidings,” there can be no shadow of doubt. Shall we “hold our peace”? (2 Kings 7:9).
“THE NIGHT COMETH WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK” (John 9:4).
“THE MORNING COMETH” WHEN “EVERY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE MADE MANIFEST”
(1 Cor. 3:13).

Fragment

“Ministered unto Him of their substance” (Luke 8:1-3).
Jesus, who could supply others by miracles, lived Himself by the providence of God. The Lord of the universe, Who at first created the world, and Who still by His providence makes the earth fruitful for the supply of man and beast, instead of supplying His wants by immediate creation, drew His supplies from His people. Wonderful humiliation! The Lord of heaven condescends to live on the bounty of those who are supplied by His own providence! Thus He gave the most amazing instance of humility, and afforded an opportunity to His disciples to manifest their faith and love. In this way He still acts. He makes some of His people poor, that others may have an opportunity of ministering to Him by ministering to the saints; for what is done to His people is done to Himself. (Matt. 25:45).

Be Much in Prayer: Ephesians 6:18-20

Be much in prayer, in this dark hour,
For great are Satan’s wiles;
Far worse than persecuting power
Are his seductive smiles.

And error comes in such disguise—
Smooth-tongued and circumspect—
That none but truth-enlightened eyes
The monster can detect!

And fair profession, hand in hand
With evil, stalks abroad
But to deceive. O! Who can stand,
Save those who trust in God?

Be much in prayer, ‘mid all thy joys,
So shall their depths increase;
For lack of watchfulness alloys
The very sweetest peace.

What power to stand is gained by saints
Who love to “watch and pray.”
And who escapes the desert taints
In this defiling day.

Be much in prayer for laboring ones,
Who in the Master’s name,
And with the Master’s message, run
His mercy to proclaim.

The harvest’s great, the workmen few,
And naught of time to spare;
Iniquity increases too—
Remember this in prayer.
“I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32).

Christ Our Object

As He is our object now, so He will be throughout eternity. We shall ever be with the Lord. Himself will be with us—the Lamb that was once slain; then, as now, the Man—for He will never more lay aside the humanity He has assumed; and then He will fill our gaze and our hearts, perfectly and completely. What an infinite study to trace out and contemplate His varied and manifold excellences! We shall see His face, and shall never weary of drinking in His beauty! We shall hear His voice, and O! how we shall hang upon every word that falls from His lips! And all that we see and hear, will but fill our souls with ineffable delight, and our ceaseless joy will be to prostrate ourselves at His feet in adoration and praise. Lord, in anticipation of this time, turn our eyes from all that might obscure Thee from our view, and Thyself attract and occupy us altogether!

The Word of God

I love the sacred book of God,
No other can its place supply:
It points me to the saints’ abode,
It gives me wings and bids me fly.

Sweet book! in which my eyes discern
The image of my absent Lord;
From thine instructive page I learn
The joys His presence will afford.

In thee I read my title clear
To mansions that will ne’er decay;
My Lord! O! when will He appear,
And bear His prisoner far away?

Then shall I need thy light no more,
To show me whom I have believed;
When I have reached the heavenly shore
The Lord Himself will stand revealed.

When ‘midst the throng celestial placed,
The bright Original I see,
From which the sacred page was traced
More fully I shall learn of Thee.

But while I’m here, thou shalt supply
His place and tell me of His love;
I’ll read with faith’s discerning eye,
And get a taste of joys above.

Correspondence

Question: What is the Scriptural ground for Christians to gather together on? L. C. G.
Answer: Matthew 18:20. It is gathered to the name of Christ as members of His body. We are redeemed by His blood, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and to be gathered to His name implies separation from evil, and that in the unity of the Spirit. (Eph. 4:2-4; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17).
Question: How are we to understand Matthew 5:34-37?
What is the thought of James 5:12?
What does Hebrews 7:21 mean? A. O.
Answer: Matthew 5:34-37 and James 5:12 refer to the habits and customs of the Jews to make vows and pledges in the name of Jehovah. The Lord teaches us not to make vows or pledges, but to be content with “yes,” or “no”. A vow made in Jehovah’s name, they could not take back. It was needless and wrong in some instances (Judg. 11:30, 31, 34-40; Matt. 14:7-11).
Hebrews 6:13-18; 7-21 refer to how God has met man’s natural unbelief, conforming His promise by an oath, and so in 7:21, Christ Jesus has an unchangeable priesthood. He is a priest forever. What assurance this gives the believer’s heart, that he will be carried all the way through to the end.
Question: Is the law (the ten commandments) the rule of life for the Christian? D. H.
Answer: The law was given from Mount Sinai to Israel only; any stranger who settled among them was also under it. It was never given to the Gentiles. Its use is to show man his wickedness. By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20; 1 Tim. 1:9). It was a schoolmaster to Israel until Christ came (Gal. 3:24).
The Lord Jesus died for sinners. And the gospel, unlike the law, goes out to every creature (Mark 16:15). Since Christ died for all (2 Cor. 5:15), both the believing Jew and Gentile are saved through Christ’s death, and can say, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3). Now they have life “in Christ,” and no condemnation can come to them (John 5:24). Christ is their life (Col. 3:1-4). They are, or shall be saved by His life—that is, by His living for them at God’s right hand (John 14:19; Rom. 5:10). He is their Intercessor (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). He is their Advocate, if any man sin (1 John 2:1). The converted Jew being dead with Christ is freed from the law (Rom. 7:4; Rom. 6:14).
The converted Gentile is the same. We are to reckon ourselves dead to sin by the body of Christ (Rom. 6:11; 7:4). The Holy Spirit now dwells in the Christian to tell him the things of Christ (John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:13, 14).
Christ is the pattern for the Christian’s walk (Phil. 1:21, 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15). He is our goal in glory (Phil. 3:14, 20, 21; 1 John 3:2, 3). Christ is our all in all (Col. 3:11).
The Epistle to the Galatians was written specially to Christians, free from the principle of law-keeping (See also Acts 15). Our proper privilege and relationship is sons, and children of God (Gal. 4:4, 5). If Christ is our pattern, that is far higher.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).
Jesus our Lord is our only rule of life.
Question: What is Romans 6:3,4 meant to teach us? T. E.
Answer: The question here is how sin, or the flesh which is in us, is to be treated. From verse 12 of chapter 5 we are viewed as not now associated with Adam, though in the body still, but rather associated with Christ who has passed through death. He not only died for our sins, but died to sin, and we are seen as dead to sin. “How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein,”
The lesson taught in baptism is that being baptized unto Jesus Christ we are baptized unto His death. “We are buried with Him by baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” We are not to own the claims of the flesh; we are to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God. Sin is not dead, but we are to reckon ourselves dead unto it; faith owns that we are really planted together in the likeness of His death, and that we surely shall be in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (annulled), that henceforth we should not serve sin. Our old man has been crucified, but the nature—sin in us—is still there. We are to reckon ourselves dead to its claims. We are to disregard it, refuse its suggestions as unworthy of a child of God, count ourselves dead to its claims, go on living for Christ as if it was not there. We know it is there, but we can turn from it, and give our minds something good to be occupied with (see Phil. 4:8). Let us never cherish bad thoughts, but turn the mind to good at once. Baptism is brought into this chapter to illustrate how we are to be dead unto sin in our behavior. We are baptized unto Jesus Christ, unto His death. Ordinarily we bury a dead body, but in baptism it is burial to be dead—that is, unto death, the death of Christ.

Andrew, or A Great Sinner

While I was preaching I noticed among the people a man, who was evidently much interested in the good news of God’s free grace. What I was seeking to enforce was the complete ruin of man, and his utter alienation from God according to Romans 3:9-19, where the unconverted are described by God Himself as— “All under sin,”— “All gone out of the way,” — “Unprofitable,” — “Throat an open sepulcher,” — “Tongues using deceit,” — “Poison of asps under lips,” — “Mouth full of cursing and bitterness,” — “Feet swift to shed blood,” — “No fear of God before their eyes,” —and all “Guilty before God.”
At the same time, I did not neglect to point out God’s love in sending His only begotten Son into the world, to die for the sins of others; and that all God’s just claims had been fully met by Jesus, so that He could now come out to justify the ungodly in RIGHTEOUSNESS; and that WHOSOEVER accepted the character God gave him—as above—and the Savior which He, in His love, had provided, has EVERLASTING LIFE.
Being deeply concerned about the soul of this man, I called on him at his home, and found that he was anxious to know about the “Salvation of God,” for he was assured he needed it. In the course of our conversation, I found he had been a noted sinner.
I prayed God to make me a “Messenger of Peace” to his precious soul, and knowing that the Lord was much more interested in him than I could be, I began to speak with him.
“I have been a great sinner, sir, and would like to be saved; but I’ve been a great sinner—a great sinner,” said the man.
“And a lost sinner, Andrew?” I said.
“Yes, a lost sinner; and I deserve to be,” he replied.
I pulled out my Bible, and said to him, “Do you believe this book to be God’s Word?”
“Yes.”
“Well, listen to it,” I said, as I turned to Luke 19:10 and read,
“For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Looking at the verse he said, “There it is, sure enough, I wish I could believe it.”
“But, did you not say a minute ago that the Bible was God’s Word?”
“Yes, yes; I mean, I wish I could feel it was so.”
“That would not be faith, Andrew,” I answered. “You are nowhere told in God’s Word to feel and be saved, but to believe and be saved (Acts 16:31). ‘Christ died for sinners’ (Rom. 5:8), and the chief of sinners, Paul himself (1 Tim. 1:15), has been in the Lord’s presence for more than eighteen hundred years. Salvation now is just a question of giving and taking; giving on God’s part; taking on man’s. Hence it is Jesus says in Revelation 21:6, ‘I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.’ But in Revelation 22:17, the latest news from heaven, it is not give this time, but, ‘WHOSOEVER will, let him TAKE of the water of life freely.’ Now your difficulty is feeling and not taking. There need be no difficulty in taking a gift. ‘The gift of God is eternal life’” (Rom. 6:23).
“And what have I to take?” the man asked. “You have to take God at His word; and the moment you do that, you have what God gives— ‘everlasting life.’”
“But then I ought to feel happy.”
“Yes, when you have taken, you will feel happy; but you want to feel happy before you have taken. Eternal life is not a thing, or an influence, but a PERSON—Christ Himself. I want to let you understand what believing is, Andrew,” and with that I put my hand into my pocket, and pulling it out again closed, said, “Look here, I’ve my pocket knife in my shut hand; do you believe it is there?”
“O, yes.”
“But you have not seen it, Andrew?”
“No.”
“Nor felt it?”
“No.”
“Then how do you know it is there?”
“Because you say it is there, and a preacher wouldn’t tell a lie, surely.”
“Well,” I said, “Andrew, you can take the poor preacher at his word, but you can’t take God at His. He says (John 3:36), ‘He that believeth on the Son HATH everlasting life.’”
The man felt this rebuke, and it bowed his head in shame. The arrow, drawn at a venture, pierced his soul, as he said most feelingly, “And that’s faith, is it? O Mr. M—, you have made it clear.”
“God has, Andrew; God has. Faith is saying Amen to what God says; taking Him at His word, and asking no questions. And He says (1 John 5:13), ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know (KNOW) that ye have eternal life.’”
“Well, then, I must have eternal life, for I believe on the Son. Yes, yes, I do believe; and I must, must have eternal life, for God says it—God says it,” was now the aged believer’s response.
We praised God, and as we arose from our knees, his dear wife, a Christian woman, said, as the big tears stood in her eyes,
“This is one of the happiest days in my life, for God has answered my prayers.”
I often used to visit Andrew, and he never once lost confidence in the Word of God.
“I’m no scholar,” he used to say, “but I want to know more about Jesus.”
To talk of Him was his delight. “I’ve been a great sinner,” he used to say, “but Jesus has saved me, and it’s through the blood.”?
“What has the debtor-man to bring
As tribute to the Eternal King?
Nothing!
Still let him come to God, and prove
His riches, His abounding love.

What has the sinner-man to bring
As a sufficient offering?
Nothing!
Still let him come to God, whose grace
Has bruised a Savior in his place.

Come then, poor sinner, come, and sing;
Come, in thy poverty, and bring—
Nothing!
God bids thee in His grace believe;
God bids thee from His grace receive—
Everything!”

Will Ye Not Come to Him for Life?

Will ye not come to Him for life?
Why will ye die, O why?
He gave His life for you, for you;
The gift is free, the Word is true!
Will ye not come? O, why will ye die?

Will ye not come to Him for peace,
Peace through His cross alone?
He shed His precious blood for you;
The gift is free, the Word is true!
He is our peace, O, is He your own?

Will ye not come to Him for rest?
All that are weary, come;
The rest He gives is deep and true,
‘Tis offered now, ‘tis offered you;
Rest in His love, and rest in His home.

Will ye not come to Him for joy,
Will ye not come for this?
He laid His joys aside for you,
To give you joy so sweet, so true;
Sorrowing heart, O drink of the bliss!

Watching

The characteristic of a person who has his ear open to the Lord is watching.
“Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth to serve them” (Luke 12:37).
We shall find Him serving then, in divine love, still in the same character. He comes and brings us to heaven—to His Father’s house, that where He is, there we may be also. “While you were in that wicked world,” He says, “I was obliged to keep you on the watch, in a state of tension, with diligent earnestness to keep the heart waiting; but I bring you to a place where you are to sit down, and it will be My delight to minister to you.”
He comes, then, and takes us there; and what heaven can find for the heart to feed on, is spread on the table of God. “You shall rest there and feed on it,” He says, “and I will gird Myself, and come forth and serve you. I am not going to give up My service of love.”
Thus while I have the blessedness of feeding on what God has to give, I have the increased satisfaction, that if I put a morsel of divine meat in my mouth, I receive it from the hand of love that brings it to me. When He brings us there, all is turned around. “Here,” He says, “you must have your lights burning, and be watching; when I get My way, I will put you at ease, and make you happy.”
What characterized those servants was watching, and they got the blessing. “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching.” Ah, beloved friends, are you watching, waiting for Christ practically? I cannot be watching, and going on in my own way. Are our lights burning, or have we slipped down to the ease and comforts of this world like other people? That is, not having our loins girded, and we are not to have it as doctrine only.
The people of God should wait with the girdle and the lamp, which are the beautiful standing symbols of their calling, till the Lord appears—that is, with minds girt up unto holy separation from present things, and with the hearts brightened up with the desire and expectations of coming things.
“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly, He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, WATCH” (Mark 13:35-37).

Fragment

The Son of God was dependent, obedient, believing, hopeful, sorrowful, suffering, despised, crucified, buried; everything which the great eternal plan made necessary to Him. He emptied Himself for all this, but all that He did was infinitely worthy of His person. The word at the beginning, “Let there be light: and there was light,” was not more worthy of Him, than were the prayers and supplications “with strong crying and tears,” in the days of His flesh. He could never have been allied with anything unworthy of Godhead, though found, abundantly and at all personal cost, in conditions and circumstances into which our guilt and His grace in putting it away, brought Him.

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 2

Verses 1-8. “Then fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation.” Paul could have settled the question of putting the Gentiles under law, at Antioch, but the care and love of the Lord, and for the good of all His saints, and to keep the unity of the Spirit, it was necessary that he should go up to Jerusalem, to see the other apostles so that they all might be of one mind. Barnabas went with him but he took Titus also, who was an uncircumcised Greek. Paul would not allow them to compel him to be circumcised.
They tried to carry on their teaching that all should be circumcised, but not for an hour would he be subject to them. At Jerusalem, he held a counsel with the chief ones, those who were of reputation, privately, lest by any means he should fail in his endeavor to maintain the truth of the gospel of the grace of God.
They saw that the Lord had committed the gospel of the uncircumcision to Paul, and the gospel of the circumcision to Peter. God had wrought mightily in Paul to the conversion of many Gentiles.
Verses 9, 10. When James, Cephas, and John saw this, they gave unto him the right hand of fellowship, that he should go on with his work among the heathen, and not to forget the poor which also Paul was diligent to do.
Verses 11-21. We see how the influence of James and the Judaizing party with him, led Peter astray to make a difference between the Jew and the Gentile converts, so that they (the Jews) dissembled, and would not eat with the Gentiles, and Paul withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed; even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation. Paul rebuked him for his want of uprightness before them all, saying,
“If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if while we seek to be justified by Christ, we also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.”
If justified by faith in Christ, how could he again take the place as a man in the flesh under the law? It would but deny the efficacy of the death of Christ, and of his death with Christ. This is the important point. The Lord had died for our sins, and died to sin, and we are to see ourselves dead with Christ. So he writes, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” He is now in a new position, and Christ lives in Him. “And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
He has a new position, the law condemned and executed him in the old place, now he has a new life, a new object, and a new motive for living for Him “Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Happy portion for all believers!
He further says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God,” —we are saved by grace, not works of the law— “for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” He had to bear the curse of the law, and God can now fully own and justify all who believe in Jesus, and we are now dead with Christ, and risen with Him.

A Mother's Faith

“The Father Himself loveth you.”
How these words speak to our hearts, as we tread the wilderness journey. Having proved His divine love for many years, one would fain tell out what we have so learned, while we can only add, “it passeth telling,” for “it passeth knowledge.”
A daughter tells the following touching incident in her loved mother’s life:
During a time of pecuniary pressure, we had come to our last sixpence, and on going to our meeting as usual on Sunday morning, my dear mother asked me if I had the sixpence to put into the box. I looked surprised as I remarked, “It is all we have,” but her gentle rebuke was,
“The silver is His and the gold is His.”
“But, mother, dear, do you think the Lord would expect it from us?”
“It is His, darling, and He is a debtor to no one.”
I took it and offered it on her faith, more than mine. On my return, I met a friend whom I had not seen for years. We were mutually pleased to meet, and on parting, she asked if I could come into her home for a few moments which was close at hand. I at once assented, and afterward I remembered she seemed especially pleased that I did so. On leaving, she put into my hand an envelope, remarking, “Your dear mother will enjoy the little book enclosed.” Later on, we sat down to read, and as I was in the habit of reading to my loved mother, I thought of the little book. On opening the envelope, there lay a bright sovereign, but she was not surprised. With the calm assurance of faith, she remarked,
It is just like Him, no one but Himself would give such interest on sixpence. Are you not glad you gave it to Him?”
With broken words we tried to thank Him for the love of which even then we did not know the full extent.
The next day, when my dear friend called, as I related how His love had used her to supply our need, with tears she told the following details:
“Yesterday morning, while speaking to the Lord before I left the house, a voice distinctly said to me, ‘Give Miss H. a pound,’ so clearly it sounded in my ear, that I started. Again emphatically the voice said, ‘Give Miss H. a pound,’ and for a third time the words were repeated, and I wondered if it was only my personal love for you. Knowing nothing of the trial of your faith, I hesitated at first, but the words being repeated the third time, told me the Lord was the Giver, but He was allowing me to be His messenger. To be quite sure, for my own feeble faith was slow to apprehend that He had so honored me, I asked Him if I invited you to come to my home, would you be willing to come, and it would be an additional proof to me that He had spoken to me.”
We wept at the evidence of such love; she, that He had so used her, while I felt shame and sorrow that I so questioned about giving our last sixpence, but on relating it all to my dear mother, she received it only as a fresh token of His tender, loving kindness. To her it was only a confirmation of that comforting verse,
“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).
May each dear child of God, know more of the Father’s heart, and the unchanging love of Christ, resting faithfully upon His Word, knowing,
“There hath not failed one word of all His good promise” (1 Kings 8:56).

Take Us All Home

Lord, carry me up to Thy home in the glory,
Where Thou hast purchased a mansion for me,
Where, free from distractions and trials and sorrows,
I’ll rest in the joy of Thy presence with Thee.

Long has Thy Bride for Thy coming been waiting,
To take her, as promised, to rest in Thy home;
Come then, Lord Jesus, we long for Thy presence,
Fully to know Thy deep love for Thine own.

Here nations are striving, false teachers deceiving.
Thy saints are divided and scattered from Thee.
Come, gather us, Lord, to Thyself in the glory,
And then come and reign o’er creation set free.

O Lord, we grow sleepy, and worldly, and lukewarm;
Speak to our hearts of Thy coming again;
Touch these cold hearts, with Thy love, as our Bridegroom.
And hasten Thy coming to take us all home.

Reading on 1 Peter 1

There is one truth perhaps more than another that Christians shrink from (not only the flesh, but nature shrinks from), and that truth is “strangership.” “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims.” (Chapter 2:11). God has called us to a path of strangership, and according to our calling, we are strangers in it. Our calling makes us that.
If our calling makes us strangers in this world, where does it give us our home? Our home is in heaven, “Partakers of the heavenly calling.”
When God called Abraham, he called him out of his country. That was not all, was it? From his people, too—his kin. That comes closer still.
That was the thing that tried Abraham. Natural affections held him. They have their place, but the call of God must have the pre-eminent place—the first place. Natural ties held Abraham. He started out, but instead of going alone, he persuaded his father to go, and it was his father really that started out, and they went together for a certain way and a certain time. Then they settled down too soon—in Haran. Scripture speaks of the souls they had gotten in Haran. They had a good start from Ur of the Chaldees, but they were still a long way from Canaan.
Naomi and her family went down to sojourn in the land of Moab. The next thing we find, they had been down there ten years. They had just settled down, making their home in Moab. God had to come in, and He came in in what apparently was a severe measure. First the husband was taken; then the two sons. He brought Naomi back, but He had to take severe means to do it. I suppose in principle that goes on still.
So here. Of course, here it is to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, but it is a Christian characteristic that he is a stranger in this world. In Philippians 3 we read, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” Well, now that, we see, is pretty trying to nature—the flesh—to maintain in any way a path of strangership in this world. It is easy to quote it, and talk about it.
It is true of us, according to our calling, in the sight of God our Father; we are children away from home. It is very happy to get this side of things. It appeals to the affections.
Think of the sovereignty of the grace of God. The nation of Israel had rejected the Messiah.
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” Sometimes we find Christians afraid of that word “elect.” When its proper place in the ways of God are known, the thing in itself is a source of thanksgiving. We know what a system of theology has been built on that word “elect,” and “predestination.” They are most happy words for us as children of God, when we know the place they have in the ways of God.
When that word went out, “Come, for all things are now ready,” how many came? They every one began to make excuses. They did it very nicely: “I pray thee have me excused.” God accepted their excuses.
Now, suppose God had stopped with just bidding people to come, how many guests would He have? In the 14th of Luke, and 22nd of Matthew, He didn’t get one.
In Matthew He sent His servants twice, because it is dispensational. When they go the second time it is with an additional word, “My oxen and My fatlings are killed, and all things are ready.” In Matthew it is dinner, not supper, because it is dispensational. Man was still under probation.
In Luke it was supper—the last meal of the day—the last call. Then you see, not a guest did He have. Not one. God has spread this feast at infinite cost. It says in Matthew, Go, and tell them My oxen and failings are killed (all the pains and trouble He had been to), and tell them to come. It met with excuses. What a picture that is! Those who didn’t have excuses, persecuted the servants. Then He sent His servant into the streets and lanes of the city, to say, “Come?” No: “bring” them. So He goes and brings in the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and blind, but there are not enough yet, and He says, “It is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.” Now, He says, You go out and compel them to come in. That is very beautiful. God is not going to be disappointed, and if they won’t accept, then He will go out, and bring. His grace has brought us. That is where the truth of election and grace come in. Suppose God had left us with the invitation. We would have been like those we spoke of, who, with one consent, began to make excuse.
In Luke it is “servant;” in Matthew “servants” —plural. In Luke it is especially the work of God by His Holy Spirit compelling and bringing. This is how you and I came to be at the table—how we came to be the children of God. It enhances our joy in the relationship to know we owe it all to God’s sovereign grace. Nothing to boast in, but the grace of God. “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory” (Psa. 115:1).
Isaiah 65:1 we have a passage, “I was found of them that sought Me not.” This is rather peculiar, but it speaks of the Gentiles as a class, and the absolute need of sovereign grace.
The word “predestination” is not used very frequently. How does God use predestinating sovereignty? Wherever we get the word, it is always to something. It is always to blessing—never to damnation. The election and predestination of God are always to blessing. “Predestinated unto the adoption of children” (Eph. 1:5).
Here we are this afternoon—a few of God’s children. How came you and I to be children of God? We owe it all to God’s sovereign grace. That does not interfere with our responsibility.
Then there is the way in which this is done: “Through sanctification of the Spirit,” —the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit is the servant we were talking about in the 14th of Luke. Like the 24th of Genesis, too. That is the place the Holy Spirit has taken in this world to the glory of Christ and of God. So the Holy Spirit comes in and separates and sets us apart. Paul and Barnabas were separated from the rest for a certain work.
Then you see when He sets apart these objects of the electing grace of God, there is another thing: “Foreknowledge.” We do not put that before sinners—those outside. We preach human responsibility, with God beseeching. One is just as true as the other, and we know it to be true. The servant preaching the gospel, feels the truth of it. God is not mocked, he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be judged. The servant feels this, but is enjoying the truth of the other side—the sovereignty of God.
Then there are two things: “Obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Why do you think it says the obedience and sprinkling of the blood? Why not sprinkling of the blood and obedience? Obedience precedes sprinkling of the blood, because it is sprinkling of the blood that brings into relationship. The character of the obedience, is the obedience of Jesus Christ—the obedience of love. I think we have the answer to our question in the 24th of Exodus. We must remember these were converted Jews to whom he was writing (Ex. 24:6, 7, 8 See also Heb. 9:19, 20). I think in our chapter here the apostle keeps to that order.
There are two truths connected with the sprinkling of the blood: shedding of the blood is one thing; sprinkling is another. The sprinkling of the blood upon an individual, is what brings that individual to God. The application of the blood cleanses. The shedding of it saves no one. That is the ground, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” The shedding of the blood of the paschal lamb saved no one from the stroke of judgment. It was the application of it, the sprinkling of it that did. Just so now. The blood of Christ for atonement of sin has been shed, but unless we avail ourselves of it by faith, there is no salvation. When the blood is sprinkled, atonement has already been made by the death of Christ. It does not say, “without shed,” but “without the shedding.” There never can be another shedding of blood. It was the act of the shedding of blood that atonement was made in the one offering of Christ. It is the application of that one offering that cleanses. Directly the blood was sprinkled upon the leper, he was pronounced clean. That is what brings us to God; what atones for our sins; what meets all the claims of God, and all the accusations of our consciences. What stills the guilty conscience in the sight of God? It is the blood of Christ (Heb. 10). “Hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” Conscience accuses and condemns. Faith says, “Yes, that is true, but there is the blood that meets it.”
There are two eyes that rest upon the blood:
God’s and the sinner’s. God finds all His claims met, and I find all my need met. The question of my guilt is a settled question. He is “set forth a propitiation through faith in His blood” (Rom. 3:25).
After we are brought to God in all the value of the death of Christ, what is the standard of the believer’s conduct, what is the measure of his walk? Is it the law? It is Christ. Set apart to the obedience of Christ. That is, the same kind of obedience. What was the character of the obedience that the Jew rendered? Legal—the ten commandments. An obedience that the law commanded, and which he put himself under. “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” That was not the character of Christ’s obedience at all. The character of Christ’s obedience was, “I delight to do Thy will.” Obedience of a Son—obedience of the love of a Son. I emphasize the kind because of its importance, not the measure. For Christ it was perfect; for us, imperfect, but it is the same kind of obedience. That is why it is changed in the 14th verse. Our version says, “as obedient children.” In other translations it is “children of obedience.” Christ was the Son of obedience, and rendered the obedience of a Son—an obedient Son. “Obedient unto death;” that was the extent to which it went. “Being found in fashion as a man He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death.” What kind of a death? The death of the cross. It is important to see the kind of obedience—not legal.
(To be continued)

Be Ye Separate: 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

We come out from among the worldly in order to enter into the relationship of sons and daughters to the Almighty God: otherwise we cannot possibly realize this relationship. God will not have worldlings in relation with Himself as sons and daughters: they have not entered into this position with regard to Him.

Correspondence

Question: What is the object of 1 Corinthians 14:1, 26, 40? L. A.
Answer: (a) Verse 1. “Follow after charity” (N. T. “love”). Love is the power or motive in ministry.
(b) Verse 26. “Let all things be done unto edifying.” Edification is the object of ministry.
(c)Verse 40. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” This, God’s order, is to be observed in all that is done in or for the assembly.
(a) The apostle gave the “more excellent way” (chap. 12:31). Chapter 13 opens up to us how love behaves, which 14:1 tells us to follow. To desire spiritual gifts here would refer to those taking part audibly. Directions given to the church or assembly at the beginning are the only guide we have for the “two or three” gathered now to the Name of the Lord (Matt. 18:20). Prophesying, because it ministered to the need of the saints, is the most profitable, for it was for edification—building them up—and five words given in the power and liberty of the Spirit, are better than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue (ver. 19).
(b) It would not be for edification to speak in an unknown tongue unless someone could interpret. The Corinthian saints seemed to be rather displaying themselves, than seeking edification and taking part when out of order. It could not be order for two to speak or pray at the same time. Now this is limited to two or three speaking after each other in one meeting (ver. 29). There is no limit to how many may pray or worship, and the gathering was to hear and judge.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints.” We have not any revelations, nor tongues, and so interpreters are not needed now. Women are not to take audible part, according to the commandments of the Lord (ver. 34, 37).
Care is needed to minister, as a channel of blessing, from Christ the Head on high to His members, avoiding personal applications to others. It is also Christ that should be ministered, so that the heart may be drawn to Him.
(c) Verse 40. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” “Decently” means with comeliness, and the “order” is subjection to the Word of God and to each other in the fear of God (1 Peter 5:5).
We also find in 1 Corinthians 11:3 to 16 that the man is to have his head uncovered, and the woman’s head is to be covered. The speaker represents Christ, and the woman the assembly, because of the angels who learn through us (ver. 10; see also Eph. 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12).
We see also in 1 Corinthians 14:23, 24 that there is room for the unlearned or unbelievers who are not of the assembly. We need to take care whom we receive to remember the Lord among us. In 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17 the first thing is, that they should know what the blood of Christ has done for them, that they are in the communion of the blood of Christ.
The second thing is, that they are sealed with the Spirit, and are therefore members of the body of Christ—this is the ground of gathering for all the assembly of God. None have a claim to take the Lord’s supper, unless they have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of their sins, and are sealed by the Holy Ghost.
Then as it is the assembly that receives or puts away (1 Cor. 5:13), this ought to be done in the unity of the Spirit. It has become a necessity to see that those desiring to remember the Lord with those already gathered, are free from evil ways: in doctrine, and behavior, and associations.
If we are delivered from the camp (Heb. 13:13), we need to see that we do not get into it again.
Question: What does “Baptized for the dead” mean in 1 Corinthians 15:29? M. J. J.
Answer: The subject of the chapter is the resurrection of the saints. The apostle proves it by the gospel, how that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (verses 3, 4). He gives a seven-fold witness that Christ rose from the dead, and states that he had preached it, and they had believed it, yet some among them were saying “that there is no resurrection of the dead.” If so, there was no truth in the gospel; their faith was vain; they were yet in their sins; and the apostles were false witnesses, and those who had fallen asleep in Christ are perished. Many of them had lain down their lives in hope of resurrection with Christ. And besides, if Christians had no hope but for their life in this world, they were of all men most miserable (verse 18), then comes in a parenthesis (20-28) asserting that Christ did rise, and tells something of the glories that belong to Him. Then he continues his argument in verse 29, “Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?”
This has nothing to do with baptism in water, though the word has the same meaning. Baptized for the dead means here, other saints stepping into the places of the martyrs who were killed for Christ’s sake, to be cut down as those already dead had been. If there was no resurrection from the dead, they were throwing away their lives for nothing. (Connect verse 29 with 18, and verses 30-32 with verse 19).
Paul had been going through that trouble at Ephesus (2 Cor. 1:8, 9) in sure hope of resurrection.
It was evil doctrine to teach that there was no resurrection, and it is evil doctrine to teach that those who are dead can be saved by some who are living, being baptized in water for them. There is no salvation in baptism for any soul, either dead or living.
“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8, 9).
Question: “I speak this by permission and not of commandment” (1 Cor. 7:6).
“I command, yet not I, but the Lord,” verse 10.
“I have no commandment of the Lord; yet. I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful,” verse 25. Do these verses mean that we can take or reject what Paul writes just as it suits ourselves? Was Paul led by the Holy Spirit in his judgment in what he wrote, though it was not a commandment of the Lord? M. J.
Answer: Paul wrote by inspiration of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” etc. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Also the Holy Spirit is given us to teach us and cause us to understand and profit by what is written (1 Cor. 2:12; 1 John 2:27). If we study to show ourselves approved unto God, we shall learn rightly to divine the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). The Scriptures therefore contain a faithful record of both good and bad, as God saw necessary to give it. We have Satan’s words and wicked men’s words included. So we need to read the Word attentively, asking God to teach us, and wait on Him to help us.
In 1 Corinthians 14 we have instruction on ministry in the assembly (read verses 36, 37). Here we have the apostle declaring, what is written in this chapter are the commandments of the Lord. Is it not rebellion of spirit against God to say, “Those are only Paul’s opinions”? Yet alas! it is so often done.
In chapter 7 we have the subject of marriage of Christians, and the behavior of each to the other, and here he gives the advice the Holy Spirit led him to give them (ver. 6). The married he commands! yet not I, but the Lord; and to unmarried ones (ver. 25), he gives his judgment as one who had obtained mercy to be faithful. He expects each one to find his own path from God (ver. 7). In this he does not command, but advises them, leaving them free to marry or not marry. Widows also, are mentioned in ver. 39. She is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. After his judgment is mentioned, he adds, “and I think also that I have the Spirit of God” (ver. 40).
So in all this we see how God’s Word provides guidance for all His people, and in this chapter the apostle is inspired to show us the difference between spiritual judgment, and commandments of the Lord.

Only Believe

Getting into the train one evening on my way home from meeting, a young man accosted me, making some remark about the weather.
Gathering from this that the Lord might have me respond, by speaking to him of matters of eternal importance, I was soon led to say, that the great thing for any of us is to be all right for the next world, while we are journeying on through this; to be ready to leave this at any moment we might be called away; and as this life is uncertain, how important it is to see to it at once.
He acknowledged the force of this, and seemed very open to hear more, saying he would try to be ready.
We were on our way to L. which he hoped to reach very soon.
“Now,” I answered, “if you have to be in L. by such a time, would all your trying ever get you there?”
“No,” he replied.
“Well, then, how do you get to L.?”
“By train,” said he.
“And what did you do?”
“I got into it, and sat down, trusting it to take me there,” was the substance of his reply.
“And what readiness did you require?”
“I got in, just as I am.”
“Well, now,” I said, “listen to me. You want to get to heaven when you leave this world. Christ is like the train; He can take you there, and He is the only One who can. You are welcome to Him, just as you are, only trust Him; salvation is by ‘faith that is in Him’ (Acts 26:18). Your trying will not help you or fit you,
‘No hard works He bids thee do;
All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel your need of Him.’
“And why? Because He did all the necessary work once for all; finishing it upon the cross, and dying there for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3). Rising again from the dead, He has thrown open the door wide to all. And, just as you entered the train, Christ stands and says, ‘I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, He shall be saved.’”
“Now,” I added, “do you hope you are in the train?”
“No,” he replied, “I know I am.”
“And,” I answered, “I know I am in Christ, and so may you. Only trust Him, as simply as you do the train, and without delay.”
“Well,” he still answered again, but earnestly, “I will try.”
“That will not do,” I said.
“Well,” he said, “I do hope to be right.”
“That will not do.”
“Well,” said he, “what is it then?”
The answer was, “Believe in Christ, only believe.”
“Well,” he replied, “I will believe, I will believe;” and he shook my hand warmly.
My parting word was, “Then, do believe in Him.”
God knows whether this was a decisive moment for that young man. He said, “I wish you were going further with me.”
However, dear reader, think over this little incident. May it lead you to take your place before God, just as you are, trusting Christ, the only way to heaven, to find out the efficacy of His shed blood as that which cleanseth you from all sin. He says, “I am the way;” “I am the door.” Do enter in; only believe.

A Question You Must Answer

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matt. 27:22).
Reader, have you answered this query in a way glorifying to God, and perfectly satisfactory to your own soul, by accepting Him as God’s love-gift to you, giving thanks to God the Father for such a Savior?
If still this question, so important, stands before your soul unanswered, I ask you to stop and think, as the Spirit of God presses it in upon your conscience now:
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”
Receive Him, or reject Him, Which? You and Jesus the Christ, are put together in the verse, and as the words rise up before your soul, O, by faith, receive Him as yours, and have a foretaste here of what the saved will enjoy very soon in the glory of His presence face to face.
Why not now weigh the question in the balances of your immortal spirit? It reveals the fact, none are able to get rid of personal dealing with Christ, now in grace, or soon in judgment.
“Every eye shall see Him.”
As you read these lines, a crisis in your history is reached; it was so with Pilate, he sat on the judgment seat, while the chief priests, the elders, and the multitude stood around it, with One in their midst, “Who was oppressed, and afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth” (Isa. 53:7). On Him every eye was fixed, against Him every tongue was let loose, revealing the dark hatred of Christ-rejecting hearts.
How solemn the moment, how solemn the question, to Pilate and all around him.
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” They decide at once,
“Away with Him, let Him be crucified.”
What of Pilate who could say, “I find no fault in Him?” He halted between two opinions, till one sentence reached his ear, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend;” when he heard that saying; he made choice of Caesar’s friendship, and his choice sealed his doom.
What of yours, dear friend? Unlike Pilate, a crowd may not press around you, waiting your decision; yet in the quiet of your home, in the workshop, in the railway train, on the river, or on the sea, in the field, or by the way, this question, raised in your soul by the Holy Spirit, must be answered by you,
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”
God waits your reply. You may now accept Him as your personal Savior, and know the forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and the fellowship of His heart; or you may now reject Him, and choose the world’s friendship, with the pleasures of sin for a season; and your choice may seal your doom.
Do you halt between two opinions? Listen to the UNANSWERED QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE,
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 6:2).
Jesus is God’s salvation for you; trust him as you are, for “He receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”

Name of Jesus

Name of Jesus, highest name!
Name that earth and heaven adore!
From the heart of God it came,
Leads me to God’s heart once more.

Name of Jesus! living tide!
Days of draft for me are past;
How much more than satisfied
Are the thirsty lips at last?

Name of Jesus! dearest name!
Bread of heaven, and balm of love;
Oil of gladness, surest claim
To the treasures stored above.

Jesus gives forgiveness free,
Jesus cleanses all my stains,
Jesus gives His life to me,
Jesus always He remains.

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 3

Verse 1. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified.” To the apostle it was evident that Satan had bewitched them, and he brings before them plain facts. By faith they had seen, and owned Christ crucified before. Why not now?
Verse 2. “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” There was only one answer to that question.
Verse 3. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” This was also easily answered, “The flesh profiteth nothing.”
Verse 4. Had they not suffered many things already for Christ? Was it all in vain? He would like to hinder them from going further in that direction.
Verse 5. “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you,” was that done by the works of the law? Could it be? or was it by the hearing of faith? And yet how many Christians are clinging to the law today to make themselves miserable, instead of seeing what is so plain in chapter 2:19, 20, that we are now dead with Christ, and risen with Christ beyond all law.
Verse 6. “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness,” and there was no law then.
Verses 7, 8. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before, the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” That was believing in the One who was to come. We believe that He has come, and finished the work of atonement on which our souls can now rest.
Verse 9. “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Every believer is there accepted in Christ.
Verses 10-13. Now we see the contrast of law. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
There is no mercy in the law: divine wrath must follow failure to keep it, to all who are under it, and none could keep it, but the perfect, sinless One, the faithful and true witness, the Lamb without blemish and without spot.
“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident (Psa. 143:2): for the just shall live by faith, and the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them, shall live in them.” If he cannot do them, he is cursed.
Thank God, He has provided a way through the Lamb. His wonderful love spared not His own Son, who gave Himself up for the transgressors, and as it is written, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’” He has borne the judgment of sin. He was made sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. God has accepted His atoning work.
Verse 14. And now, “the blessing of Abraham can come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Verses 15-17 show that the covenant of God was unconditional—given to the “Seed,” “Christ,” before the law was given—so that Israel’s failure under the law cannot dis-annul what was promised them. It was confirmed before of God in Christ. The law was given four hundred and thirty years after. It therefore cannot render the promise of God of none effect.
Verse 18. “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”
Verse 19. “Where then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions.” “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). “That every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). “The law is good if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane” (1 Tim. 1:8, 9). Sin in us is shown by the commandment to be exceeding sinful. (Rom. 7:12, 13). The law was added “because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; it was ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator.” Moses came between them and God, that was under the law.
Verses 20-29. “Now a mediator is not of one, but God is one.” He has come out as giving unconditional blessing through Christ—it was His pleasure to do so.
Verse 21. “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe, but before faith came, we were guarded under the law, shut up unto the faith (Christianity) which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our (the Jews) schoolmaster until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster; for we are all God’s sons by faith in Christ Jesus.” And in being baptized unto Christ it was altogether apart from the law, it was putting on the name of Christ. It is symbolical of death with Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, “for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
You belong to Him who is risen and glorified, freed forever from the law and all that recognizes man in the flesh, though the flesh is still in us. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed (that is, believers), and heirs according to the promise.”

God Leading Us On

I am persuaded that when you look back over that part of life which you have passed, you see how God does, according to His promise, somehow or other, bring us on. How He will do so, we can never tell beforehand; but, when He is leading, He does lead on somehow or other; and as He has done for you and yours, through the years that are past, so He will do for the future also: He changes not.

My Grace Is Sufficient for Thee

The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work; I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me:
“My grace is sufficient for thee.”
I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” and I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing.
I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said,
“Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.”
Or, it seemed like a little mouse in the granaries of Egypt, after seven years of plenty, fearing it might die of famine; Joseph might say,
“Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.”
Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,” but the earth might say,
“Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.”
O, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.

Reading on 1 Peter 1

What a new thing it must have been for the Jew, and it would have been a new thing too for every converted Gentile, if the church had been faithful, addressing God as Father. What I say to the Gentile if the church had been faithful is, the world would have been the world, the church would have been the church, and Christian the Christian; but now we have a vast territory owned as Christian country, and everywhere in it there goes up this prayer, “Our Father which art in heaven.” That prayer should never be found in the lips of a Gentile at all. It is not a Christian prayer.
After the Lord Jesus died and rose again, redemption accomplished, and went back to heaven, we never read of “our heavenly Father” in the epistles, nor “our Father which art in heaven.” I don’t find fault with people for using it. I am on earth and He is in heaven, so in a sense He is our Father which art in heaven. I am just calling attention to its not being a proper Christian prayer. It is what is called “the Lord’s prayer.” It is in a sense. He is the author of it. It is not a prayer He prayed, but what He taught His disciples to pray in their then position, and their position then was a transitional one. Not on Jewish ground, nor on Christian. That is where the 5th of Matthew comes in—a period of transition. When the Lord had finished His course and went back to heaven, that period was done away with. I don’t speak of it everywhere because it bothers people.
The A-B-C of the Christian’s relationship to God is, he is a child of God, and addresses Him as His Father in the consciousness of the relationship. “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). What does that mean? Where did the Lord use it? In Gethsemane. That is very striking, dear friends. The Lord there speaks in the consciousness of His full relationship, “Abba, Father.” Literally, it is “Father, Father.” Redemption has been accomplished, and the believer is brought into the full consciousness of this relationship. The Spirit of God causes Him to cry, “Abba, Father,” “Father, Father.” “Abba” means Father.
How strange and what a real thing it must have been to them—Christianity. Not Jehovah and the nation any more. To be brought to God as His children was a new thing. God from whose presence they shrank and whose presence they dreaded, brought to know Him as Father. If things had remained as they should, the Jew would be the Jew, the Gentile the Gentile, and the church the church.
Don’t you think it very touching, the Lord using that word “Abba” in Gethsemane? “Father, Father.” O, the agony of soul that led Him to cry—to appeal in that way. I think that is only found in Mark. What way is He presented to us in Mark? Servant—Servant Son. “Jesus Christ the Son of God.” There He falls back, it seems to me, upon this relationship. “He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me; nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt.”
Look at the end of the 14th of John. There in a few words we get the character of the Lord’s obedience. It says in the 30th verse, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” That was when He was going to Gethsemane and the cross. 31st verse, “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment even so I do.” There was the proof of the Lord’s love to the Father—obedience to His commandment. That commandment goes on to the cross. “That the world may know that I love the Father.” It is the kind nature or character of obedience that we have before us here. Not obedience to the law, but the obedience of this relationship.
“The Prince of this world cometh; was that when He died on the cross?”
It is Gethsemane too. Nothing in Him to respond. “Nothing in Me.” There is in you and me, but nothing in Him. In a certain way Satan was defeated before the Lord actually went to the cross. He was when he went into the judgment hall. He could not get the Lord to refuse the cup. He said to them when they came to take Him, “This is your hour and the power of darkness.” There was the joining together of the world and Satan’s power to crush the Lord and turn Him aside from obedience.
There were two periods in the Lord’s life when He met Satan, as it were face to face and alone. That was at the beginning—temptation in the wilderness and then at the cross. It says, Satan departed from Him for a season. That interval between the first and the last was the season that he departed from Him. He returned in the power of the Spirit and then goes on in the power of the Spirit all through His life—performing all those miracles, spoiling the strong man and his goods after He had bound him. At the first it was a kind of beguiling—subtility—could not seduce the Lord. Think of that panoramic view of all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them he had made pass before the Lord in a moment of time. Now, he says, all shall be yours if you will bow the knee to me. That was subtility. It was crushing in Gethsemane.
(Continued from page 191)
(To be continued)

The Lord's Desire

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
What was before my mind in turning to this scripture was just the desire of His own heart. I do not believe, beloved, that He will really get the desire of His heart fully until He has those He has ransomed with Himself in His own presence.
It is so beautiful to remark in His blessed Word, even this John 17, that, notwithstanding all the failures that are in us, and all the willfulness, all the negligence, all the carelessness, and all the indifference, He has not one word to say to His Father against us: the marvelous love and grace of His own heart passes over all our failures, shortcomings, and slightings of Himself. He appeals to His Father that they may be one, “Father, I will;” O! beloved, does not that sink down into our hearts! Is it not His own voice in our hearing, so to speak? “Father, I will” — “will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me, for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.”
It is so sweet and so precious that we have John 17 after the previous four chapters. The blessed Lord has been speaking to those who had been with Him, and He turns to His Father from them, and speaks to His Father in their hearing—those who are dear to His heart; it is the eleven, because Judas had left before.
In chapters 14, 15, 16, He speaks in their hearing and to them, and in the 17th He looks up to His Father, and how blessed! He says, “I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.”
Remember, He is not yet come to the cross, but it is in anticipation of that work which is to be accomplished on Calvary’s tree; it was especially this verse which was before my heart. He is speaking to His Father, and His words are worth our meditating on continually.
When these desires are fulfilled, then it will be as it says in Isaiah, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.” And it is in connection with that blessed word in Hebrews 12, “Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross,” etc. The joy was having those whom He had been into death for, with Himself, in His own image, and to the praise and glory of His own blessed name—even for eternity. We will just read the verse again:
“Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.”

Headship and Lordship of Christ

I have long thought that the object of the Spirit of God in the beginning of the last century, was the recovering to the church the truth of her heavenly calling. This comprehends the fact of her being united to her exalted Head in heaven in one body by the Holy Ghost sent down at Pentecost. The acknowledging of this should gather saints to His name in the confession of His Headship and Lordship—Headship of the body, and Lordship over all things to it (Eph. 1:22, 23). It is in this relationship of one body and members of it that the church partakes of the emblems of His death for us (1 Cor. 10:16). As this passage shows, it is the visible expression of the communion of the church in this relationship to Him. “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread,” or loaf, and as thus united to Him and each other, we partake of the emblems of Him in death for us. The body in verse 16 is, I take it, the church in its communion as such.
That there is one body and one Spirit, thank God remains true, and is to be acted upon by those who know the truth. Saints cannot be gathered together according to Him, save in the confession of this truth, and that of its being God’s house—His habitation by the Spirit (Eph. 2:22). What is due to Him in His house is to be maintained by those thus gathered. The church is the body of Christ, and the house of God. It is the church’s relationship to Him, as the body is to Christ, as these passages in Ephesians 1 and 2 show. They are important in this connection.
Individual truth is important, and must be learned first, but we cannot stop with this. If we would go on with Him and His truth, we must go on to what is corporate, namely, the church as God’s house and Christ’s body.
True, our individual standing in life and righteousness in Christ, was more fully brought out in the movement referred to, than before; but this was not the main object of the Spirit in it. Justification by faith (an individual truth) was thus the object in a previous movement of His, and we may say, a necessarily previous one. In Scripture, individual truth must be learned before corporate.
In a certain sense, individual truth may lead to an independency of its own kind. Love to the children of God may be with this, because they are such, but no acknowledgment of corporate responsibility in the truth of one body and one Spirit. Even when some gather together, it is rather as so many individuals, than of the house of God and members of the body of Christ in the confession of His Headship and Lordship.
Now it seems to me that when gathered together, there should be in a special way the confession and realization of this. This is especially true of Headship, as Lordship is more individual. See Philippians 3:8, “Christ Jesus my Lord.”

The Motive for Christian Walk

Before we are in the glory, we are never on a level with the position we hold, while we have only this position to sustain us. We must look above our path to be able to walk in it.
A Christian who has heaven before him, and a Savior in glory as the object of his affections, will walk well upon the earth. He who has only the earthly path for his rule, will fail in the intelligence and motives needed to walk in it; he will become a prey to worldliness, and his Christian walk in the world will be more or less on a level with the world in which he walks.
The eyes upwards on Jesus, will keep the heart and steps in a path conformable to Jesus, and which, consequently, will glorify Him, and make Him known in the world.
Seeing what we are, we must have a motive above our path to be able to walk in it. This does not prevent our needing also for our path the fear of the Lord to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear, knowing that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.

Strenght Made Perfect in Weakness: 2 Corinthians 12

The Lord gave Paul at starting what brought his own energy to a close. It was as if He had said:
“Paul, I am going to use you a great deal down here; but before I can do this I must first bring you into a condition of cripplement, in which you will feel that you cannot do without Me, and which will make it plain to all that it is I who do the work, not you, It is for this end that I send you a thorn in the flesh. Do not ask Me to take it away. I will do what is far better for you, and more glorifying to Me: I will cause My power to rest upon you, and perfect My strength in your weakness.”
Not only do we need the Lord to give us eternal life, but we need Him to guide it all the way through. He has never promised that we shall be exempt from trial, and circumstances of difficulty. What He intends is, that we should turn to Him in the trial, and learn that our resources are in Him, not in ourselves. All the trials of the wilderness, the rough places of the way, instead of discouraging us, should be welcomed as opportunities of proving the exceeding greatness of the power treasured up for our use in a risen, living Lord to meet us in them, and raise us above them. It is with the Lord of resurrection that we have to do. The daily petty annoyances and vexations we meet with are permitted to spring up like thorns in our path, to exercise our minds, and put us to the test whether we will turn to Him in them and prove the sufficiency of His grace, enduring as seeing Him who is invisible, or just walk by sight as other men.

Fragment

Is the thought of the Lord’s coming your daily delight? Does it influence you in the ten thousand details of your everyday life? Or are you so walking hand in hand with the world that the very thought of His coming fills you with shame?
“And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

Correspondence

Question: An answer to a letter which quotes James 2:24, and says, “We are not saved by faith only—or by anything else ‘only.’ It takes faith, repentance, action, on the part of the individual before the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is applied...What did Peter say to those on the day of Pentecost? ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation.’ I would understand from this that the individual had something to do towards his own salvation, and I also understand that anything one would have to do, would be classed as works. Study the conversions—the jailor; those at Pentecost, and Saul of Tarsus.”
Answer: In the Epistle to the Romans, the gospel of God is unfolded, then the fruits of redemption are seen from chapter 12 to the end.
In the Epistle of James, we are, as born of God, told how to walk in practical righteousness as the fruit of having in us the new life. In it we get the works that flow out from faith. We see in the unsaved profession of Christianity, the contrast, for faith without works is dead, just as the body without the spirit is dead.
In Romans 4:5 the sinner is told how wrong it is to work for salvation; and in James the believer is encouraged to increase in godly activities. Abraham and Rahab are the two examples in James. Abraham was a believer many years before he offered up Isaac on the altar. The natural mind would say that such an action was not a good work at all. What made it good was that God had told him to do it, as a type of Christ, yet it was not to make him a saint, but because he was one already (see Gen. 1:5:6).
Rahab also showed the marks of a believer when she received the spies with peace (Heb. 11:31). The natural mind would say she was a traitoress, a betrayer of her city, but in her faith, she said to the spies, “I know that Jehovah hath given you the land,” and she speaks about the deliverance out of Egypt through the Red Sea. Her faith not only delivered her from Jericho and the Canaanites, but also put her into the Royal house and line of David and Jesus (see Matt. 1).
Faith is put in contrast with works of law in many passages of Scripture (see Rom. 3:27, 28; 4:2-5; Eph. 2:8, 9).
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law.”
“Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
“Not of works lest any man should boast.” So that faith is not called working, it is just the opposite. Nor does a man do anything in being baptized unless giving his consent. No one baptizes himself, he submits to it. Repentance is wrought by the Spirit in the quickened soul, leading him to own his guilt before God, and certainly this is needed. “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). This is the soul’s first right step. When a man owns that he is bankrupt, that does not help to pay his debt. It needs another to pay the ransom for him. It is the work of God’s beloved Son on the cross. Repentance is not doing penance—it is not doing at all—it is owning his guilt, that he had done too much already.
Let us look at the conversions referred to: “Save yourselves from this untoward generation,” is simply proving that they believed what Peter preached to them by submitting to being baptized in the very name of the One whom the Jews had delivered up to be crucified. We could not call accepting a gift, working for it.
It was the same with the jailor: he was seeking instructions, and the reply was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” There was nothing of works in that.
In Saul of Tarsus: the moment the Lord spoke to him from the glory, he “was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” and for three days and three nights he did nothing but wait and pray for further light, which the Lord sent to him by Ananias; his faith, was in exercise from the moment that the Lord spoke to him.
All of our works that God calls good, are the fruits of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, who brings our new divine life into action, and makes us partakers of the divine nature, the moral character of God (2 Peter 1:4), which was fully displayed in Christ His Beloved Son. We are to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6).
Question: Is it “quenching the Spirit” if I do not speak the gospel when I am exercised to do so? P. T.
Answer: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 seems to refer to ministry in the assembly among the saints, but it is the same principle in speaking to saint or sinner. Archippus had to be reminded of the ministry that was committed to him, to take heed to fulfill it (Col. 4:17). If we exercise ourselves in prayer, the Lord will give us His guidance when to speak, and when to be silent. We need strength and wisdom from Him. The work is His, He is the Lord of the harvest. We are to be instruments in His hand, empty vessels that He can fill and use. Paul and Silas needed guidance, they wanted to preach at some places and times when not sent by the Lord (Acts 16:6, 7). May we seek nearness of spirit to Him to hear and recognize His voice.
Question: What does it mean in 1 Corinthians 9:22 where the apostle Paul writes, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some?” A SUBSCRIBER.
Answer: Read 1 Corinthians 9:18 to 22. In this chapter the apostle is replying to some who questioned his apostleship. In these verses he is showing how he carried out his commission. As a devoted servant, he sought to obey and glorify his Lord in true humility and unselfishness, and seeking the good of souls in their eternal salvation. He met each on his own ground.
In Acts 22, he speaks to the Jews, and applies his own conversion in the light fitting their condition and responsibility; and in Acts 26, the same story is told as it suited the Gentile mind. He did all for the gospel’s sake, illustrating the truth by his own experience, that by these means he might be used for the conversion of sinners of all classes, whether they were mighty and noble, or mean and despised: the gospel suited them all. It was the love of God flowing out through him in manifested righteousness. He preached Christ Jesus, the Savior of all repentant sinners, and the Judge of those who remain unrepentant, who neglect or despise God’s great salvation.
The apostle knew his heavenly calling, and walked in it. There is no thought in this scripture that he entered into the amusements or polities, or mixed up with this world’s religions, and he could not join their societies (see 2 Cor. 6:14 to 7:1). He was separated to Christ (Gal. 1:15, 16).
Question: Please explain John 20:23. M. C.
Answer: In John 20:17 to 23 we have some of the blessings that were given from Christ in glory, which could not be realized till the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost.
Verse 17. We have our relationship with the Father and God as His children, and with Christ as His brethren.
Verse 19. We have Christ the center, and His atoning wounds have spoken peace to our glad hearts.
Verse 21. We are sent of Him, as He was sent of the Father.
Verse 22. We can go in the new creation life in the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Verse 23 is not assembly forgiveness, but it is administrative forgiveness through the gospel, as in Acts 2:37, 38;10:42, 48, administered by the apostles. Acts 9:17 and 19:4-6 are instances of it.
Apostles had authority as ambassadors (compare John 13:20; 2 Cor. 2:15, 16; 1 John 2:19; 4:6). “Us” is apostolic. They could say, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” Others now can carry on the ministry of reconciliation as heralds carrying a message, but the apostles had authority.

The Power of the Word of God

Julia and Emilia E.—were the daughters of refined and educated parents, who had trained them carefully for the social circle in which they hoped to see them shine. Yet there was a blight hanging over this prospect, for Emilia’s health—the younger one—was giving them much anxiety.
She was tall and graceful, and had a sweet expression of countenance, but consumption seemed already to have marked her for its victim.
A relative visiting the neighborhood, and hearing of the delicate health of Emilia, asked permission for the sisters to visit his home in the country. He was one who knew the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, and delighted in making known His love to others. The parents hesitated. The religious influence of the relative was much to be dreaded; on the other hand, the pure country air was most desirable for their child, and they yielded consent.
“The Word of God is quick and powerful,” and this was their relative’s confidence; he counted on God to use His own Word, in blessing to their souls.
The next morning after their arrival, the Gospel of John was begun at family reading.
The sisters listened attentively to the precious unfolding of Him who was “from the beginning,” who made all things, who was “the Word,” “the Light of the world,” and “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” “and as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” This was the One by whom grace and truth came. The law by Moses had demanded righteousness, and had brought out man’s utter ruin as a sinner (Rom. 3:19), but now God had sent His beloved Son to reveal the Father, and to be the Savior of all who come unto God by Him.
It was not until the reading of the 3rd chapter that her personal need of salvation was felt by Emilia. She knew it was written,
“Ye must be born again,” but why this necessity, she could not tell. For the first time, man’s irreparable ruin was told out in her ears. His fall in Adam had forfeited everything as to the innocence in which God had created him. Now possessed of nothing but all Adam nature, God’s testimony is that man is lost. All human reforms and patching up of man in his state by nature, will not do for God. Hence the need of the solemn,
“Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.”
As the chapter went on to tell how the Son of Man must be lifted up, and how God so loved the world, that He gave His Son, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” dear Emilia took God at His Word, and believed in Christ as her Savior.
Emilia was now praying for her sister. Julia hung back, instead of thinking of the great gain. She was afraid of what the cost would be to have Christ.
One day, on hearing the solemn scripture, Proverbs 1:24-32, she wept much, and said she did believe in Christ as her Savior. With her it seemed to be fleeing from the wrath to come, and not the heart won by Christ, as with Emilia.
The following is an extract from a letter they sent to one who wrote to them rejoicing in their conversion:
“We do feel how blessed it is,
‘Our theme of joy’s but one’
“that we are members of Christ. It is indeed only the work of God’s Holy Spirit that has made us such. The scriptures you refer to are very precious and helpful. We are already beginning to experience what a satisfying portion to our souls is our Savior Jesus Christ. What a blessed thing to know our sins are forgiven! We wrote home yesterday to make known the news to our father and mother. We shall need to cling close to Christ for strength to enable us to show to the dear ones at home, by our manner of walking, what a change has come to us.” The letter was signed by both.
The writing to their parents was an unsuggested act; but undoubtedly the Spirit of God led them to thus confess Christ. The result was an immediate summons home, and thus abruptly terminated their happy visit of some weeks.
They parted from their relatives in tears, conscious of the cross that awaited them, yet knowing too, where to go for strength.
Emilia was much better for the country air. Months elapsed, during which she bore bright testimony for Christ. How could she now call herself “a miserable sinner,” and cry, “Lord, have mercy upon us; spare us, good Lord,” and similar petitions, when she knew herself justified, and standing in the favor of God? (Rom. 5:1, 2). Delighting too in knowing herself “accepted in the Beloved,” and brought into “the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.”
Dear reader, is Jesus your Savior?
“Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” Tomorrow for you may never come. Truly wrote another,
“Salvation without mercy,
Salvation without price,
Salvation without labor,
Believing doth suffice.
Salvation now—this moment!
Then why, O! why delay?
You may not see tomorrow!
Now is salvation’s day!”

General Unbelief as to John 3:16

There is no verse in the Bible better known and less believed than this. Almost every Sunday school scholar can repeat it; from our earliest infancy we were taught it, and there is hardly anyone who ever looks at a Bible, but could say it without a mistake.
Yet commonly as it is known, there are no less than three statements in this blessed little verse that most people do not believe.
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” So far people give a nominal assent; they do not question God’s love in a general way to the world, or that He expressed it by the gift of His only begotten Son; but it is in what follows, as the effect of this wondrous gift, that infidelity so abounds even among professors of religion. There are three points I would notice:
Firstly—The persons contemplated, “That whosoever.” Here difficulties are immediately raised. “Whosoever” seems too wide a circle. People do not credit this; they think salvation is for some favored few, some select number of exceptionally good people, or for the elect. But mark what Jesus says, “That whosoever.” Surely that means anyone under the canopy of heaven, every inhabitant of this globe; the richest or the poorest, the highest or the lowest, the most learned or the most ignorant; the religionist or the profane person; the moral, amiable, and respectable, or the immoral, the vicious, and the profligate; anybody and everybody in “the world” that “God so loved” are here considered, and life eternal, offered to all. Reader, whoever you are, it includes you.
Secondly—The terms, “That whosoever believeth in Him.” Here, again, all is doubted, if not emphatically denied. Only to believe! O, that’s too simple! That would be making heaven easily obtained indeed! “No,” says the world by general consent, “We must work, and pray, and fast, and attend the means of grace, and keep the commandments, and then perhaps God may have mercy on us.”
But reader, what will you do then with John 3:16? Why keep this verse your Bible if you don’t believe it? God puts His terms before you, “That whosoever believeth in Him.”
“O, but,” you say, “everyone believes in Him.”
Stop a little. Does everyone believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her own personal Savior? Is it a real, heartfelt, individual belief in His work and blood-shedding, as having met all God’s claims on account of sin; or is it, that people merely assent to the general facts, and go on perfectly indifferent as to their soul’s salvation? Remember, that believing in Jesus, if it be real, must necessarily shut out any belief in yourself or your own works. It must be Christ alone, not Christ and your doings combined.
Reader, God’s terms are, that “whosoever believeth in Him.” Don’t try to alter or improve upon them.
Thirdly, The result, “Should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Once more man’s notions, or prejudices, or theology, set themselves up against God’s infallible Word, and unbelief thus argues:
“You don’t mean to say that I get everlasting life the moment I believe in the Lord Jesus as my Savior?”
Yes, that is precisely what Jesus does say.
O! but what a dangerous doctrine, to tell people that they have everlasting life! What carelessness and sin it would lead to! But is the Word of God to be credited or not?
“Well,” you say, “tell people they will have everlasting life if and so long as they go on well and live consistently.”
But that won’t do, for it would make everlasting life not God’s gift—which Romans 6:23 says it is—but a thing to be earned by us, and therefore a thing never to be obtained, for where is the man that lives perfectly for even twenty-four hours? God gives us “everlasting life,” and it does not lead to carelessness; but it is God’s way of leading people to love Him and serve Him as their greatest joy. Gratitude for benefits conferred, and love to the blessed person who conferred them, is the principle of Christian life and service. Reader, everlasting life is what God gives.
Let us then believe the Lord Jesus Christ as to—
(1st) The universality of the love of God in offering salvation to all;
(2nd) The simplicity of the terms it is to be had upon; and,
(3rd) The blessed fact that it is nothing less than everlasting life that He confers, for “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Father Knows

“Johnnie, don’t you think you have as much as you can carry?” said Frank to his brother, who was standing with open arms receiving the bundles his father placed upon them. “You’ve more than you can carry now.”
“Never mind,” said Johnnie, in a sweet, happy voice; “my father knows how much I can carry.”
How long it takes many of us to learn the lesson little Johnnie had by heart, “Father knows how much I can carry.” No grumbling, no discontentment; but a sweet trust in our heavenly Father’s love and care that we shall not be overburdened.

My Presence Shall Go With Thee, and I Will Give Thee Rest: Exodus 33:14

I thank Thee for Thy promise, Lord,
What can to me such peace afford
As “I will give thee rest”?
E’en though my way be rough and drear,
While Thou art with me all is clear,
I cannot be oppressed.

What though the tempest rage around,
In Thy blest presence peace is found,
No harm can reach me there;
My every joy is found above,
I rest upon Thy perfect love,
And cast on Thee my care.

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 4

The position and state of the believing Jews before the death of Christ, is very different from what it is after the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in each believer; though heirs by their birth from above, yet the Old Testament saints are compared to children under tutors and governors till they come of age (3:24-26). However godly they walked, and many of them would put Christians to shame in this way, yet they did not know God as their Father, they did not know the finished work of Christ. They were not perfected by one offering, as we are told saints of the present day are (Heb. 10:14). It is said of John the Baptist that he was the greatest of those born of women, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (Matt. 11:11), for in this present day of grace, believers know that their sins are washed away, and that they are sealed with the Holy Ghost, and they know God as their Father.
The fullness of time has come—God’s due time (Rom. 5:6; Heb. 9:26), the end of the age of law, when Christ the lamb of God was to make atonement (Isa. 53:5, 6), God has sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we (Jews) might receive the adoption of sons (sonship); and the Gentile believers, as born of God, are also sons. God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into their hearts, crying, “Abba, Father.” This gives them a new position and sets them free from the bondage of law.
Verse 7. “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Precious privilege! Now we can serve in the liberty of grace, and enjoy being in the presence of God as worshippers. We have a title to be there (Heb. 10:19).
Verses 8-11. How strange that those enjoying such a portion should so readily turn away, giving heed to such false doctrine of being still under law, the old principle of slavery, that they had been under when they were heathen worshipers, when they worshipped they knew not what. It was the weak and beggarly elements of worldly religion, whereunto they desired to be in bondage, observing days, and months, and times and years. It was a great defection from the truth of Christ’s work that forever freed the believer from sin and from law keeping for salvation, or for the rule of life. Christ is our example for that also, and this made the apostle write, “I am afraid of you, lest have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” It was like saying, “Christ and His work are not enough; we must add something of our own;” but, “All our righteousnesses are filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).
How glad the apostle was to say, “Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:9). Christ is our righteousness now (2 Cor. 5:21).
Verses 12-16. He pleads with them: “Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are.” Every believer in Christ has the same blessed standing and portion, and here he wants them to lay hold of it. He wants them to know their perfect portion in Christ as their subsisting righteousness. It was not a personal question at all. They had not wronged him; he wanted to see them delivered from the evil influence under which they had fallen. He puts them in mind how through infirmity of the flesh he had preached the gospel to them at the first; and the trouble with which he was afflicted, they did not despise, nor reject, but received him as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What blessedness was theirs then, for they would if they could have given him their eyes, such was their love to him then. And now he asks the question, “Am I therefore become your enemy, by telling you the truth?”
Verse 17 means: “They are not rightly zealous after you, but desire to shut you out from us, that ye may be zealous after them” (N. T.). They wanted to gain adherents to their doctrine.
Verses 18-21. “But it is right to be zealous at all times in what is right, and not only when I am present with you.” He surely had longing desires for their good. Here His love to them breaks out “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?”
Verses 22-27. “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar, for Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children; but the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother.” Hagar is the slave under law; and is cast out with her son Ishmael; Isaac was the child of promise, with all the unconditional blessings of grace—by grace and of faith, and not by the works of the law (Rom. 4:16).
Verse 28. “Now we (or ye) brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
Verses 29-31. “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
Verse 27, is from Isaiah 54:1 giving the thought that the setting aside of Israel under law has increased the number of children now saved by grace.

Fragment

“Our light affliction which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
O what afflictions Paul took pleasure in! What was the secret?
“While we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen.”
Our connection is with unseen things: a risen Christ in glory filling the eye, the mind continually weighing the things of the Sanctuary above, with the things of time and sense down here, the believer can turn and trample on them, and combat all of the flesh and the devil, that would take the mind off to things seen.

Reading on 1 Peter 1

Satan uses two tactics. The first part of the church’s history was a history of persecution. Satan found the more he persecuted, the more the truth prevailed, and the persecution kept as it were, the false away from the true. So he changed his tactics and used seduction and succeeded.
“His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” “And there appeared an angel from heaven strengthening Him.”
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin.” Is that what Christ did?
Yes, and the martyrs too. All who have given up their lives. You have not gone the full length if you have not resisted unto blood (Heb. 12:3, 4). The Lord resisted unto blood. (Hymn 281, “And did resist to blood.”) It means He resisted unto death. The Christian has not gone the full length unless he lays down his life. In that part of the Heb. the Lord’s death is not seen in its atoning character. It is surmounting every obstacle for what is set before Him. There is very little call now to resist to blood. The Christian world is a very bad world for the Christian to live in. It would be quite different in a country like China or Japan. Here it used to be if you wanted to be respectable you had to have your church associations. If you wanted to get married you would want a minister to marry you and if you died have a minister bury you and have a minister to christen the children. All that tells of a world religion.
The Christian’s persecution, if in the path of faithfulness, comes from professing Christendom. “Let us go forth unto Him outside the camp” —outside the religious profession. If you get outside the camp, you will get some reproach. “Bearing His reproach.” You must not relent. The only thing is to bear it. “Bearing His reproach.”
We find it so difficult to explain to Christians what we are, and after all they cannot understand it. Why? What can an intoxicated person understand? You do not like that word. People are so stupefied by this system of religion you cannot bring the truth before them. Real Christians sometimes cannot get them beyond “touching the hem of His garment” and getting saved.
Some say, “What kind of people are you anyway?” And we have to say, “I really cannot tell you.” “We are a happy people.” Haven’t you any church standing? Don’t go to church? Where do you go? That is where reproach comes in.
“The camp” for us is Christendom—an earthly religion—a religion that partakes in every way of Judaism with a mixture of Christianity in it. It is like mending the old garment, putting a patch on the old garment. If Christianity is a patch on Judaism, it spoils the whole thing. Put new wine into old bottles and they will break.
The gospel introduced another dealing of God with man. The law introduced one—the gospel another. The first dealing of God with man called him into an inheritance on the earth and will give it to him again when the time comes. When the gospel came it took man out of the world and gave him a home in heaven.
Verse 3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” How different that must have been to the Jews. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is our God, but He is our God and Father, and He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not only the Father, but the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord Jesus will never cease to be a man. It is a great thing to “know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Firmness and stability are of God. Who more gentle than the Lord? Who more firm when the truth was in question? None of us like to own we are wrong. Firmness may run into obstinacy.
“Blessed be” is worship. Here it is the outburst of the heart. Simon Peter that Galilean fisherman, out of the fullness of his heart says, “Blessed be.” He did not know God in that way when the Lord Jesus was on earth. God had not made Himself known in that way. That is the fruit of redemption being accomplished.
Paul would have said “who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing,” but Peter says “which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
“Begotten us again.” What does that mean? They had lost their hopes. “We had hoped that it had been He which would redeem Israel.” Their hopes were all buried in the grave of Christ. “Begotten us again unto a living hope.” How? “By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Hope in Christ beyond death. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” Where is it? In heaven. That was all new. Look at Solomon’s kingdom. It faded away. It was corruptible. “Reserved in heaven for you.” How new that must have been for them.
Then there was another thing: “Kept by the power of God.” The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ keeps His people for that which He is keeping for them. Keeps it for them and them for it. The inheritance is in heaven and they are down here. How does He do it? “Power of God through faith.” God uses moral means—not putting forth absolute power. Different exercises. Hence he goes on, you see, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” Exercise for faith. He uses all the circumstances by the way. That is God’s way of keeping us for the inheritance.
(Continued from page 213).

My Beloved

“What is thy Beloved more than another beloved?” (Song of Sol. 5:9).
O, what is thy Beloved?
They oft inquire of me;
And what is my Beloved
So passing fair I see?
Is it the heavenly splendor
In which He shines above?
His riches and dominions,
That won my heart’s best love?

O no! ‘tis not His glories;—
He’s worthy of them all!
‘Tis not the throne and scepter
Before which Angels fall!
I view with heart exulting
Each crown His head adorns;
But, O, He looks most lovely,
Wearing His crown of thorns.

I’m glad to see His raiment,
Than snow more spotless white,
Refulgent with its brightness,
More dazzling than the light;
But more surpassing lovely
His form appears to me,
When stripped, and scourged, and bleeding,
He hung upon the tree.

With warmest adoration
I see Him on the throne,
And join the loud hosannas
That His high virtues own;
But, O, most blessed Savior,
I must confess to Thee,
More than the throne of Glory
I love that sacred tree.

I joy to see the diadems
Upon Thy royal brow;
The state, and power, and majesty,
In which Thou sittest now;
But ‘tis Thyself, Lord Jesus,
Makes heaven seem heaven to me—
Thyself, as first I knew Thee,
Uplifted on the tree.

Though higher than the highest,
Most mighty King Thou art;
Thy grace, and not Thy greatness,
First touched my rebel heart;
Thy sword, it might have slain me,
Thine arrows drunk my blood;
But ‘twas Thy cross subdued me,
And won my heart to God.

O, this is my Beloved,
There’s none so fair as He;
The chief among ten thousand,
He’s all in all to me:
My heart it breaks with longing
To dwell with Him above,
Who wooed me first, and won me
By His great dying love.

There Shall Be One Flock and One Shepherd

John 10 has especial instruction for us at this moment. It is said, “They (the sheep) know His voice, and a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
The great and important matter is, that “They know His voice.” Beautiful and divine order is here; and a necessary effect of this is that they do not know the voice of strangers.
What then? This is not all that is said, for (first), they will not follow the stranger; and (second), they will flee from him.
How can I discern if it is the voice of the Good Shepherd? Easily. You know Him. You know then His thought, His care, His interest in feeding and nursing every lamb and sheep of His flock. You know what He thinks of anyone who would make the sheep his sheep, forgetting that they are Christ’s. “The thief (thus he calls that man) cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” All this, true in Israel in that day, has remained always true and is still true. Plain words He uses, may we hear!
But there is more for your guidance even than this. The thief gathers the sheep for his own ends, and the result is that there is scattering, for every thief that comes (and there are many that come during the passage of the sheep through the wilderness) is found taking some, and thus increasing the confusion.
But if one comes, and by him the sheep are more distinctly led after the Good Shepherd, then the flock is more distinctly united, and thus the opposite of the work of the thief is done. Thus you discern the voice of the Good Shepherd, speaking through the under shepherds, whom He sends forth now to feed and nourish His flock. (Acts 20:28; John 21:15; 1 Peter 5:2-5).
And the wolf may come too, as well as the thief. But he who serves the Lord as an under shepherd, does not “flee as an hireling” even then. Imitating his Lord, who was faithful even unto death, he will not leave them. Any voice you hear suggesting that it is time to flee, you at once know cannot be the Shepherd’s voice. It is the “voice of a stranger.”
No animal more foolish, as well as more feeble, it has been said, than the sheep. And thus the Lord by this figure would show us ourselves, and, blessed be His name, Himself too.
They only know “it is not His voice;” and thus everything is settled for them. They do not argue about the claims or the statements the voice makes. If it waxes louder and louder, it only makes them flee the further and the faster from it. It is their wisdom to hear the Shepherd’s voice; no path for them but what it points out; no food for them but what he gives; no love for them like His.
How does all this apply to the troubles and difficulties of these last days? How, my reader, has it helped you in them? And where will you be found, if the Lord leaves you yet awhile to tread the wilderness? O, the grace that cares for us, notwithstanding all. Jesus is the same (Heb. 13:8), His voice is still to be heard; His sheep are His still, either stumbling and scattered, or feeding and resting. Which? (Psa. 23:1,2).

Correspondence

Question: What are the sins “not unto death,” and “unto death”? (1 John 5:16, 17). Is it physical or eternal death here? M. C.
Answer: It is chastisement that is spoken of here. It may be to physical death, as in Annanias and Sapphira (Acts 5, or as in 1 Cor. 11:30), or in a course of sin. It does not seem to be any particular sin. The Lord gives space for repentance. If unheeded, He may see fit to remove His child in that way; sad indeed! (1 Tim. 1:19, 20). All unrighteousness is sin, and we are to live in the power of our new life in Christ. In nearness of spirit to the Lord, we will be led to pray for what is for His glory. Chastening is for the children of God (Heb. 12:5.11).
Question: What does 1 Peter 4:6 mean? J. J.
Answer: This epistle is addressed to the converted Jews to teach them their privileges in living and suffering for Christ and for righteousness’ sake, in contrast with what they were under the Messiah. They are elect children now. Sanctified by the Holy Ghost to the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, and begotten again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Also born again (1:23). They are to walk after His pattern in His steps (2:21-23). He suffered once for sins, they could not do that, He did good and suffered for it, so could they (3:17, 18).
Chapter 4:1 applies Christ’s death to their lives practically. They are to arm themselves with that truth, so to allow the flesh no longer, so that they no longer should live the rest of their time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. This is a simple test to apply to our actions. Are we living to please ourselves, or is it the will of God we are seeking to do?
Verses 3, 4 tell how the Gentiles lived, and that they wondered why the Christians did not do the same, speaking evil of them, but they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the quick (living) and the dead.
Verse 6 tells us that it was while they were living that they heard the gospel, and that declares their place when dead. When living, it taught believers to judge the flesh, and to live according to God in the Spirit, otherwise they must be judged according to men in the flesh in a lost eternity. It was the same way in chapter 3:19, 20, with those who were living in Noah’s day; they heard the gospel by the Spirit in him, but they refused it, and because of their refusal they are now in prison, awaiting the judgment of the great white throne (2 Peter 2:9).
Question: Does “the same” in Hebrews 2:14 mean that the Lord took part with us in the same flesh and blood as we have? V.
Answer: No. Sin has made us mortal as to our bodies. God said to Adam in the garden of Eden about the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Adam and his wife ate of it, and death entered their veins at once, and all their children were born sinners with mortal bodies (Rom. 5:12). The Lord Jesus, on the contrary, was the seed of the woman. God said to Mary by the angel Gabriel, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35. It is written (2 Cor. 5:21), “He knew no sin,” and again (1 John 3:5), “In Him is no sin.” Here therefore we have a perfect holy Man, different from every one else, in whom was no sin, no mortality. One who became a man that He might die as a sacrifice for sin not His own. He said, “No man taketh it (his life) from Me, I lay it down Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father” (John 10:17, 18).
On the cross He said, “It is finished.” John 19:30. That was His sacrificial work, then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. This was not the death of one such as we are, who dies because he cannot keep alive; it was the death of One who tasted death by the grace of God (Heb. 2:9). And it was “to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14, 15. In death He annulled the power of Satan. He died for our sins, tasted death for every man. He could not have been a sacrifice for sin, if death had already a claim upon Him. About us, as to our souls, we had to be born again, born from above (John 3); and as to our mortal bodies, they are to be changed, and thus put on immortality. We are already, in our souls, partakers in God’s new creation.
It is worth noticing in Leviticus 2 where the meat offering is typical of the person of the Lord, that in it there was no leaven (the evil of nature); nor honey (the sweetness of nature), and where these are, the offering could not be burned on the altar.
Verses 11, 12. Compare chapter 23:15 to 19, where the church is typified at Pentecost; this is the oblation of first fruits referred to in 2:12.
All this speaks very decidedly of the difference of His human nature and ours. He was real man and is so still, but ever the perfect One. The Lamb without blemish as to His person, and without spot as to His walk. And we may well sing:
Though angels praise the heavenly King,
And Him their Lord adoring own,
We can with exultation sing,
“He wears our nature on the throne.”
Question: What is meant by “My gospel?” (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; and 2 Tim. 2:8). What did Paul teach different from Peter and the other apostles? T. E.
Answer: We might look at what John Baptist, and Jesus and His disciples preached:
John called Israel to repentance, confessing their sins, and waiting for the kingdom of the Messiah (Matt. 3:2).
Jesus and His disciples also preached, “the kingdom is at hand, repent ye and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). In keeping with this, was the prayer He taught His disciples. It was all in view of the kingdom on earth.
When Jesus died and rose again and went to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit down to dwell in His saints on earth. Then salvation was known (Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:33). The Holy Ghost was given. Jesus was made Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Israel was called to believe on the Lord—they were called to repent and be baptized in His name for the remission of sins, and to receive the Holy Ghost. This was very blessed, they were baptized into one body by the coming of the Comforter (1 Cor. 12:13), but they did not know till Paul taught them the truth of the one body. In Acts 3, Peter calls them to repent of crucifying their Messiah, and said He would come back if they would repent. Those who were saved then, were waiting for the Messiah. The Jews did not repent, but murdered Stephen, sending him after his Master, thus saying, “We will not have this Man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). We hear nothing yet of the hope of heaven in all this.
When Saul of Tarsus as converted, he saw the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, and straightway preached Christ in the synagogues that He is the Son of God (Acts 9:20). The Lord said to Saul (Acts 26:16), “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.” Paul’s teaching and preaching is therefore from Christ in glory. We may look at some of it as seen in his Epistles:
In Romans we are seen standing where no condemnation can attach to us (8:1). Christ is our righteousness (also in 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). In Romans 6:6 our old man is crucified with Him, we are no longer alive in the flesh. We have eternal life in Him (6:23). The Holy Spirit dwells in us, so we have the Spirit of Christ. Christ in us (8:9, 10). We say “Abba Father” (verse 15). In Colossians, our hope is laid up in heaven (1:5). Christ is in us, the hope of glory (verse 27). We are dead, buried, and risen with Christ (2:11, 12; 3:1).
In Ephesians, we are blest with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (1:3). The Church is His body now (4:4), and in glory forever (1:23; 3:21). In 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 18 He is coming for us Himself. It was given to Paul alone to communicate these truths (Rom. 16:25, 26; Eph. 3:2-10). In Philippians our citizenship is in heaven (3:20, 21).
Paul’s gospel cuts us loose entirely from the world.
In 1 Peter 1:4 he writes of the inheritance as “incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Peter had now risen up to see the heavenly blessing. (See also 5:10).

No God

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psa. 14:1); or rather, “No God;” in other words, it is not want of understanding, but moral corruption, the state of the affections, that leads to atheism. The impenitent sinner desires that there should be no God to bring him into judgment, and thus seeks to persuade himself that there is none. He “that doeth evil hateth the light; neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (margin, “discovered”). He loves darkness rather than light, because his deeds are evil. And hence Psalm 14 goes on to describe the moral condition of the man who has succeeded in persuading himself that there is “no God.” “They are corrupt, they have done abominable works.”
A Christian woman was in conversation with an atheist, to whom she said, “You will find infidelity a rotten plank someday.”
This man had accosted her in very offensive language, interlarded with oaths and curses. He had formerly been a religious professor, and was well acquainted with the “letter” of Scripture. The woman whom he had addressed, having seriously expostulated with him on his profanity, added a solemn reference to the name of God. He replied, first by a denial of His existence, and then with an impious challenge to his Creator to prove His existence by “smashing himself to pieces.” These words were deliberately repeated; and in louder tones, as the woman whom he addressed fled in terror from his presence, whilst the blasphemer called upon her to take his message to “her God.”
On the very next morning, which was Sunday, this wicked man was with some of his infidel companions, on his way to a neighboring town, in his usual health and spirits, when he suddenly fell to the ground with a shriek. It was afterward ascertained that the whole of one side of his body was completely powerless, which of course accounted for his sudden fall, the attack being one of hemiplegia, or palsy of one—half of the voluntary muscles of the body—a disease well known to physicians.
Although no word was spoken, divine power was as really in exercise as in the ease of the impotent man in John 5, whom Jesus cured by a word, and told to take up his bed and walk. Each of these acts of divine power, testify to the mercy of God, though the one apparently resulted only in restoring to bodily health, and the other, though at first judicial in its character, resulted in spiritual and eternal blessing.
To return to our narrative. The poor stricken blasphemer was carried home, and on reaching it, immediately requested that an evangelical clergyman, whom he had formerly known, might be sent for. On the arrival of the minister, his first words were,
“O! there is a God—there is a God—the Lord be merciful to me a sinner.”
The Christian minister spoke to him of the grace of the Lord Jesus, and before he left his bedside, the poor penitent found peace. The passages of Scripture especially used by the Spirit of God for blessing to his soul, were,
“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
“Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast cut” (John 6:37). He died in a few days, constantly rejoicing in the Lord, but none of his infidel friends came near him.
I omitted to mention above, that, in the impious message to the Almighty, he had defied Him to strike him down, as the woman’s “old Bible” said He had Saul of Tarsus; and there were certainly some points of resemblance between the cases sudden and overwhelming judgment in each, followed by a marvelous display of “sovereign grace o’er sin abounding.”
May the Lord graciously grant that the striking exemplification of the truth which this narrative affords, that His all-seeing eye marks the footsteps of the transgressor, and that “there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the Workers of iniquity may hide themselves,” may if be without fruit for His glory, and the conviction and conversion of sinners.

So Great Salvation

What earnest heed we ought to give
God’s revelation,
Lest we should miss the while we live
So great salvation!

What could we to our spirits give
In compensation
For such a loss, the while we live,
As great salvation?

Or how should we escape sin’s fruit,
Hell’s desolation,
Nor having gained a substitute,
Nor great salvation.

O love that bore our load of sin
In tribulation!
O countless price laid down to win
This great salvation!

O Son that was not spared for love
Of God’s creation!
O blood that flowed its curse to move!
O great salvation!

What other fate can we expect
Save condemnation,
If these our careless hearts neglect
So great salvation?

While words of doom our ears accost,
O, consternation!
Thus to have lived a life, and lost
So great salvation!
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3).
“They shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).

Fragment

“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3.
Hidden things are not in plain sight. We must search for them—delve into secret recesses, and often dig deeply.
Thus let us search the Scriptures—not satisfied with a mere surface reading, but seeking, with the Spirit’s guidance, the rich and manifold treasures that are hidden in Christ and His precious Word.

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 5

In the chapter before, we have seen that we are the children of promise. Christ has died for our sins. He is our righteousness; the law has nothing to say to the believer, for he is dead with Christ, and now Christ lives in the believer.
We are freed from all that pertains to law keeping. If righteousness and acceptance with God are ours, it was by faith in the Lord Jesus, and not by law—it was through grace. This is perfect liberty, and our chapter begins,
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.”
Verse 2 brings forward his authority as an apostle. “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised,” this one is a debtor to do the whole law, but then “Christ shall profit you nothing.” Law, and grace do not mix. The law demands perfect obedience; grace gives righteousness, pardon, peace, all through another. Some people say that we are not under the ceremonial law, but that we are under the moral law, and that it is the rule for our behavior, but the Scripture says, we are free from the law. Our death with Christ has put us beyond the reach of law, and Christ is our Life and the pattern for our walk. If we follow Him we shall not do any of the things which the law forbids, but we are not under the law, but under grace (Rom. 6:4). The law compels, but the love of Christ constrains, and this new life of Christ in us is carried by love, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). To seek to be justified by the law, is, in our souls, to “fall from grace.”
Verses 5, 6. “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” This is not hoping for righteousness, but looking for glory with Christ, as glory is what righteousness hopes for; that is what we shall have with Christ in glory, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” This is the blessed reality of the divine life, which enjoys peace with God, and finds its portion in Christ and heavenly things, while waiting for the glory. It works by love which flows from God in our hearts who gave us everything in His own Son.
Verses 7-9. The apostle is troubled about these Christians. “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” He saw that they had turned out of the right way. Such teaching did not come from the One who had called them. It was not the gospel of God. It was a corrupting influence that leavened the whole lump. The gospel that the apostle preached, brought peace to their consciences, happiness to their hearts. It was not human efforts to obtain righteousness, or to bring about a better feeling in their hearts; it was the work of Christ, known by faith, through the gospel that souls are brought to the Lord. The power of God which works in the believer, gives life and forgiveness—it is contrary to the natural heart. False teaching, human efforts, works, ceremonies, are all man’s way. They are leaven, which works and spreads into the many people, because natural to fallen man. The grace of God, apart from all law keeping, by the gospel, brings peace and joy to the soul of the believer.
Verses 10-12. Yet the apostle had confidence in them through the Lord, that his appeal to them would recover them from this delusion. And those who taught such error, would bear the judgment that it deserved, whoever they were. If he preached circumcision, he would not be suffering persecution. The fleshly mind cannot agree with the spiritual (chapter 4:29) who preach Christ—the natural man does not agree with that. If the apostle preached circumcision, then is the offense of the cross ceased. The apostle is indignant against these evil workers, he says, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” He earnestly longed for the blessing of those children of God who had been misled; and for the maintenance of the truth in its purity, his heart turns to the Lord, that this will be the outcome of the epistle he was writing to them. The Christian was called to liberty, the liberty of a new life that is holy, and desires to please God, and to walk in His ways. It is not to be under a law which cannot command good to come out of a nature that is totally bad, and could never behave in a way suited to a holy One, when it is itself unholy; could never produce love to One that it was enmity to. How could one whose nature is selfishness, ever love his neighbor as himself? A new life must be communicated, and this is done by the gospel, so that we can now love Him who first loved us, and also love one another.
It was the food the Lord Jesus delighted in, “My meat is to do the will of My Father,” He could say. He lived by the Word of God. He suffered by choice, that the Father’s will might be accomplished. And this is the kind of liberty that we are called to walk in as children of God.
Verses 13-15. The flesh in us can use this liberty in a wrong way, of which the apostle now warned them. “Ye have been called into liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” The true liberty of the new man—Christ our life—is the liberty of a holy will, given to us through our hearts deliverance from the power of sin—liberty that delights in the good of others. The law is fulfilled in this, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” It is the law of love, perfectly seen in our adorable Lord; and in us, in the measure that we walk in the Spirit, we fulfill that law of love. But if they were biting and devouring one another, it would consume both of them to the destruction of their happy communion with God.
(To be continued)

Low at Thy Feet, Lord Jesus

These lines were found in the back of Mr. J. N. Darby’s Bible:
Low at Thy feet, Lord Jesus,
This is the place for me;
Here have I learned deep lessons—
Truths that have set me free.

Free from myself, Lord Jesus,
Free from the ways of men;
Chains of thought that have bound me;
Never can bind again.

None but Thyself, Lord Jesus,
Conquered this wayward will;
But for Thy care constraining,
I had been wayward still.

Fragment

“Solomon loved the Lord.” (1 Kings 3:3). When the Lord appeared to him, saying, “Ask what I shall give thee,” Solomon did not ask for long life nor riches, but for an “understanding heart,” that he might judge wisely the people over whom God had made him king. The Lord, pleased with this unselfish request, granted him not only the wisdom for which he asked, but also riches and honor.
When Elijah was about to be taken away, he asked Elisha what he should do for him. Elisha said, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me” (2 Kings 2:9). And the request was granted, although Elisha had asked “a hard thing.”
Let us ask boldly for those blessings that are according to the Lord’s mind and for His glory. “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
How much we might have for the asking!

The Midnight Cry Matthew 25

The whole professing church went out to meet the bridegroom in the beginning. Then as to the return of the bridegroom, “all slumbered and slept.” During this century there has been a considerable awakening, both as to the blessed Person of the Bridegroom and His coming again.
At present the foolish virgins are saying, Peace and safety. And we read, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, Then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” It is further explained, concerning the wise virgins, who have oil in their vessels:
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thess. 5:1-10). Surely all this throws great light, yea, is the explanation of the parable.
What do we find at this moment? A great many Christians have been awakened from sleep. They do not sleep, as do others who profess to be Christians. The light of the Morning Star has shone into their hearts. The Redeemer Bridegroom has been revealed to them, in all His yearning love for His bride. No longer is He the angry Judge to them. He assures them He will soon come and receive them to Himself. The Holy Ghost dwells in them; they have oil in their vessels. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” They are not in the darkness, but in the light; they are not asleep, but awake and watching. They know perfectly well, all that is coming on this earth.
There is another company, O how many! These are in midnight darkness, or, rejecting the light; they are fast sinking into midnight darkness. So ignorant are they of all that is coming on this earth, that they are mixing with, yea, foremost in, this world’s politics. They refuse to hear the voice of God in His Word. They doubt, and then deny that it is God’s Word. They will try to believe what man says; what God says they will not hear. Yet they profess to bear the holy name of Christ, but they have no oil in the vessel; no salvation; no peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; no redemption through His precious blood; no certainty for their poor dark souls, beyond death. Now mark, while these are asleep in darkness, dreaming of evolution and progress, peace and safety, it will be sudden destruction. At midnight there was a cry made.
If we think of the deepening darkness during the past years, that point of darkness—the end—cannot be far distant. Think how many thousands of professing Christians have during those years, become leavened with infidelity; can we wonder that these are throwing in their lot with the men of lawlessness, of murder, and robbery; and conscience too fast asleep to be disturbed? Can this last long? Must not the crisis come? O, watchman, what of the night? How long till this world’s deepest darkness? And still they say, Peace and safety!
But the sudden crash will come, the sudden destruction will come! O, that we had a heart like Jesus, to weep as He wept over Jerusalem. In the days of Noah the flood came at last, after long waiting. When Lot had left Sodom, the fire and the brimstone fell. And this brings us to another aspect of the parable.
We must remember that Matthew contains much instruction for the Jews, and does not speak of the rapture of the church. But we learn from other scriptures that the wise virgins, in the sense of true Christians, will be taken first, before the midnight crash of this poor deceived world, and hence before the judgment on those who bear the name of Christ—the empty vessels without oil. So that there is a time of separation, when those that are ready went in with Him to the marriage; and the terrible judgment on those to whom the door was shut.
How sudden the alarm! How sudden the awakening to the awful reality! But too late! O, it may be that in one hour God shall speak, by what means the Spirit is pleased to use—He may raise up an Elias, or He may speak by a little paper like this. Or the distress of all nations may be so manifest, as to awaken the whole professing church that sudden destruction is at the doors.
But contemplate the closing scene of this day of grace: the door shut; the Church gone in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; the foolish multitude is given up to delusion that they all may be damned. “Sudden destruction cometh upon them” (2 Thess. 2:11, 12).
No doubt the cry has awakened some true Christians, but many are as fast asleep as in the middle ages of Christianity. It will be to their sad loss that they have refused to search the Scriptures.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” The whole redeemed bride of Christ shall be ready to meet the Bridegroom. All who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ shall be taken to be with Him when He comes, not one shall be left behind.
“They that are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Cor. 15:23).
Beloved reader, to which of these companies do you belong? To the sleepers without oil, or to those who wait ready to go in to the wedding? O, for more waiting and longing to see the Lord! He says, “I come quickly.”

Fragment

There is not a single act of service which we render to our Lord that will not be set down in His book; and not only the substance of the act, but the style of it also, for God appreciates style as well as we do.
He loves a cheerful giver, and a cheerful worker, because that is precisely what He is Himself.

Extract

“Then shall the Son also Himself be subject.” He was serving here—the very thing the devil tried to get Him out of. If he had, it would have been Christ doing His own will;
“But though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.”
But when all things shall have been subdued under Him, He is subject after that. Just now He is on His Father’s throne, our High Priest. But He will take His own throne and power, and reign, bringing everything into subjection. Then it is not serving, but reigning; afterward He gives up the kingdom to His Father, for everything is brought to order. In the millennium it is a King, reigning in righteousness; but then it will be new heavens and new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
Innocence dwelt in the first paradise; sin dwells in the present earth; and then, in the new heavens and earth, it will be “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” He gives up the mediatorial kingdom, as it is called, to God, and takes His place as a Man— “The Firstborn among many brethren.” He never gives up the place in which He can own us as associated with Himself in the blessedness of Firstborn of many brethren.
As all was ruined in the first Adam, all shall be blessed in the last. “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Then I shall find myself enjoying everything that God can give to the objects of His love, and enjoying it with Christ, then at the head of everything—Son of God and Son of Man—we associated with all the blessedness, and He administering to us, so that the heart can taste His love. And He does not just bring us there, but it is to all eternity. He has purchased us too dearly to give us up. His love will be in constant exercise toward us. It leads us to adore Him more than anything that can be thought of; but we can trust a love that will never cease throughout eternity.

Lord, We Shall See Thee as Thou Art

“Lord, we shall see Thee as Thou art,
In yonder mansions fair;
We shall behold Thee face to face,
Thy glorious image bear.

With what delight, what wondering love,
Each thrilling heart shall swell,
When we, as sharers of Thy joy,
Are called in heaven to dwell!

O hasten, hasten on that hour,
And call us to Thy seat;
Lord, Thou without us ne’er wilt count
Thy joy and work complete.”

Three Looks and Their Results

A Look Within—DEPRESSED
In Psalm 77:4-9, the soul looks within, and reasons on what it finds there: all is darkness and depression; it always is if we commune with our own hearts, and the conclusion is: “Hath God forgotten to be gracious?”
A Look Around—DISTRACTED
In Psalm 73:1-22, the soul looks around, and becomes envious of the foolish and the prosperity of the wicked, and then becomes distracted; until it finds itself in the sanctuary, then to discover not only the end of the wicked, but also its own folly, ignorance and unworthiness.
A Look Up—DELIGHTED
In Psalm 63, the soul gets into the sanctuary and looks up: “I have seen Thee in the sanctuary,” and is filled with joy and delight. It could not be otherwise; to behold His power and glory is to be taken out of self, and everything in this scene, and the result is praise and worship.

Soaring and Singing

Why should we sigh, when we should sing?
Why fold, when we should spread the wing?
Though o’er our hearts should hang a cloud,
Let us ascend, and sing aloud.
Sure we, who are of heavenly birth,
Should not be chained to cares of earth;
But rise on faith’s unwearied wing,
And praises unto Jesus sing.

The Lark must needs frequent the ground,
For there its mate and young are found;
And find its heaven-provided fare;
But must it e’er be pinioned there?
O, no! from earth it loves to soar,
And in the sky its strain to pour;
And shall not we with joy upspring,
And sing our songs while on the wing?

Who has such cause to sing as we?
And who can strike so high a key?
Redeemed to God, and blessed on high,
Our Life, our Home, above the sky.
God’s children, loved as Christ, His Son,
With Him, the Head, forever one!
O! freely we our praises bring,
Rejoicing, we give thanks and sing.

While gazing on His glorious face,
The Fullness, Fount of love and grace!
While dwelling on His dying love,
And all His living love above,
We taste of heaven, inhale its air,
In body here, in spirit there;
To Him, we fragrant worship bring,
To Him, we with the Spirit sing.

We soon shall hear His welcome call,
And rise to meet Him—one and all;
Then, with delight and sweet surprise,
Shall we behold Him in the skies.
Then, in His image we shall be,
And evermore His glory see;
And when He leads the song we sing,
How will the vaulted heavens ring!

On Confessing Christ

“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42, 43).
There are not a few, I think, in these days who are in the same state spiritually as these chief rulers spoken of above. They believed on Christ, but would not take a place with Him, because they dreaded the consequences, and it is for the benefit of such that I write the following story:
A young man, J. H., nineteen years of age, was dying. His work had been with horses on a farm, and some days previously he had got wet and chilled right through; inflammation had then set in, and there he lay on his bed dying. Now J. H. was the son of godly parents; he was their eldest son, too, and many a time had they cried to God for him, and many a time had they taken him to the preaching of the gospel that he might be under the sound of the Good News of the grace of God for sinners, but up to that day he had never confessed Christ, and had never taken any stand for Him in this world. He was always a good boy; by that I mean he did not swear or get drunk, but he had never owned, even to his mother, that there had been any change wrought in his soul by the Spirit of God. And now he was dying. How solemn! Only nineteen, a stout, hearty young man, and yet dying, and he knew it. He was come to the last day he had to spend on earth, and he was come to it many years before he or his relatives had in the least expected. And what do you think were the feelings of his father and mother at this time—they who had prayed so often and so earnestly for him, but had so little expected such a sudden blow? What could they do save bow to the hand of God in the matter, and count upon His grace. This they were enabled to do, and were not to be disappointed. Not many hours before his death, J. H. called his mother to his bedside and said:
“Mother, don’t fret for me. It is all right with me; I have been a Christian for two years, though I have never confessed Christ. I was converted that night at H. when the preacher was speaking on John 3:16, but I would not take a stand for Christ, and now God is taking me away.” He then called his sister to him, a girl of seventeen, and said solemnly to her,
“Louie, I know you are a Christian, but you have never taken a stand for Christ here. Take care, or God will take you away too, as He is taking me away, because I would not confess Him.” Soon after this he went to be with Christ.
I am thankful to be able to say that the sister has confessed Christ, and taken a stand for Him since her brother’s death.
Dear reader, if you have accepted Christ as your own precious Savior, and have never confessed Him as your Lord, let this story speak to you. God has said, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9, 10).
How sad it would be, if, as in this case, a confession of that precious Savior had to be, as it were, wrung from you, only a few moments before you pass out of this world.
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16).
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1 Peter 4:16).

Correspondence

Question: Can we obtain the testimony of Hebrews 11:5? H. C. S.
Answer: In this chapter we have a great cloud of witnesses to the path of faith, each one giving us a little bit of that path to encourage us to go on. In chapter 12 we have the Lord Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. He has gone through the whole path, and we are to consider Him. He is our life, our pattern, our strength, our goal, and we cannot take one right step without Him. It is in communion with Him that we can hear Him say, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” and there only can we get guidance.
“We cannot do without Him,
We would not if we could;
He is our daily portion.
Our medicine, and our food;
He’s altogether lovely,
None can with Him compare,
He’s chief among ten thousand,
The fairest of the fair.”
Question: What events are we to look for? T. E
Answer: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The blessed hope is the first scriptural event that is to take place (John 14:3). Then His glorious appearing when Christ will reign for a thousand years—spoken of as the millennium.
Prophecy begins to be fulfilled after the saints are caught away (1 Thess. 4; 2 Thess. 2:1). Between the blessed hope, and the appearing in glory, there are “the beginning of sorrows,” and “the great tribulation” (Matt. 24:8-21), during which time the gospel of the Kingdom is preached to both Jews and Gentiles (Matt. 10:5-23; Matt. 24:14); resulting in Romans 9:27; also Revelation 7; Israel (vs. 4-8); Gentiles (vs. 9, 14-17; also Matt. 25:32) Gentile sheep.
All those who refused the gospel of the grace of God during this day of grace, are lost, the strong delusion of Satan carries them away (2 Thess. 2:10-12). Satan is bound during the reign of Christ (Rev. 20:2), and loosed again (v. 7) to gather up the rebels against God (vs. 8, 9), then Satan and his angels are consigned to the lake of fire (v. 10). The Great White Throne is set up, and heaven and earth flee away (v. 11). The judgment of the wicked dead takes place (vs. 12-15), and then the new heavens containing all the heavenly saints and hosts; and the new earth containing all the earthly saints, and in these new heavens and new earth, righteousness dwells; this is the eternal state of blessedness wherein God is all in all (2 Peter 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:28).
All unfulfilled prophecy will be fulfilled after the Lord comes for His heavenly saints, and during the reign of Christ.
Question: Is it at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-12) where our conduct, since we have been saved, will be judged? I have read that any wrong I may have done to my brother or sister will be revealed, not only that I will see it, but also the one I wronged (Luke 12:2, 3). Also that if I judge any known evil in my thoughts, it will not be manifested in that day. T. E.
Answer: Read carefully John 5:22, 23, 26, 27; Acts 10:42; 17:31. Every soul that has lived in this world must give account to Him. He is the judge of the living and the dead (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Tim. 4:1). But every soul does not stand before Him at the same time, or for the same purpose.
It is plain (John 5:24) that believers shall not come into judgment, because our blessed Redeemer has borne the judgment for us. All has been settled, and by His one sacrifice, we are perfected forever (Heb. 10:14). “The Father has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: has delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love: in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
We are children of light. We have had everything out with God, and when we stand at the judgment seat we are in our glorified bodies, where no thoughts of evil can ever intrude. We do not stand there for judgment, but for manifestation of the things done in the body, whether they be good or bad. And 1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us nothing will be hid, the Lord “will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” We will thus see our whole life pass before us in survey, and thus the grace of God to us will shine out to our souls as never before. As one wrote long ago:
“When I stand with Christ in glory,
Looking over life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then, how much I owe.”
Manifestation means that nothing is hid, neither bad nor good, and the knowledge of this was to act on the Corinthians, and exercise their consciences. And then shall each one have his praise of God in all that God can approve of.
Paul the Apostle was manifested already unto God and to their consciences; it was no terror to him, but knowing the terror of the Lord, he persuaded men. Every one must give an account to the Judge.
Matthew 25:31 to 46 gives the judgment of living nations, or Gentiles. The sheep are saved, they are some of God’s earthly people. Revelation 7 is another picture of more of God’s earthly people. All the Old Testament saints, and all believers during this present period, and also the godly martyrs of the tribulation period, are God’s heavenly people.
The wicked dead, from the beginning of earth’s history till its end, will be raised and stand at Christ’s judgment seat, called, the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
Reader, are you saved or lost?
Do you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior? or will you meet Him in your sins to receive the wages you have merited?
Question: We take the Lord’s Supper because the Lord said, “This do in remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:24, 25); why do we not wash one another’s feet, when the Lord said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you?” (John 13:14, 15).
Answer: In Matthew 26:26, 27, 28; Mark 14:22, 23, 24; Luke 22:19, 20, we find the narrative of the Lord instituting the Lord’s Supper; and in 1 Corinthians 11:23 to 26, we find the apostle saying. “I received of the Lord that which I delivered unto you,” so that Paul received it straight from the Lord in glory, not from the twelve, who were present when it was instituted. And in v. 26, he adds, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come,” thus in plain language telling us that we are to go on with this feast of remembrance as showing His death till He come.
In the feet washing we do not find an ordinance, but what is a figure of a spiritual action of Christ in glory, which neither Peter nor the disciples could at the time understand. “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter,” —in this time: the hereafter is now come, and in the Lord laying aside His garments and girding Himself with a towel, we are to learn that He is taking for us the lowly place of a servant. He is now interceding for us on high, as our great high priest (Heb. 7:25); and if we sin, He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).
The water in the basin signifies the Word of God (see John 3:5; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). It is by the Word and Spirit that we are born of God (compare James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23), so we can see it is by the ministry of the Word, this cleansing of the feet is carried out. We are once washed in the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:14), but our feet, meaning our walk and ways, need the ministry of the Word continually, and as the Lord took this lowly place on earth, so He gives us also the privilege of ministering to each other, in leading the heart of the saints to walk with the Lord, and thus help Him in His daily ministrations to His people.
Peter said, “Thou shalt never wash my feet,” and the Lord replied, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.” Then Simon Peter made another mistake, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head,” but this was not needed, so the Lord answered, “He that is washed (bathed all over) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” Every true believer is clean every whit, because washed in the blood of Christ, so there is no such ordinance in Scripture as washing one another’s feet in literal water.
Luke 7:44; 1 Timothy 5:10 are simply the common customs of hospitality at that time in hot countries.
If we are to wash each other’s feet spiritually, as this means, we will need to pray for them, laying aside our own importance, and seek to enter into their need before God.
The ministry needed to change His disciples from walking with the Messiah on earth, to walking with Christ in glory, is also seen in John 13, for Christ was going up on high. We can think of how important chapters 13 to 17 would be to them after He had gone away.
Mary’s message that she carried to the brethren, revealed this new relationship (John 20:17). It is spiritual ministry from Christ the Lord in glory.

A Story of God's Grace

A little company were present for Bible School. One said,
“Let us all say a verse of Scripture, God’s holy Word. I will begin with the text that taught me how to know that I was saved; this is it,
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9).
Each in turn repeated a verse, and when we came to the last one, he said,
“I will repeat the one through which I was converted,” then he repeated the words, “The wages of sin is death.” We said,
“Please tell us how it came about.” So he began something like this:
My father was president of a club of atheists (infidels). My mother was led by him, so I was brought up a wild, reckless wicked boy, working mischief and cruelty wherever I could. With a number more of the same kind; I was in a public park. We were, as usual, doing all we could to destroy things—jumping on the seats and tables, breaking up the flower beds, and spoiling the beauty of the park. The old man in charge could not catch us. When we were tired, we sat down in a corner out of sight. After a while a tall man with a broad brimmed hat came along, and spoke to us. He told us some interesting things of the countries in which he had traveled, and to which we listened, but when he began to talk about religious things, I would not listen, and got up saying,
“I want none of that talk. Down with God, down with religion, down with Darbys.” Darby was a man who preached about Christ. I cursed and swore at him, and at all like him. The man tried to speak, but I cursed him still more. He said, “Let me give you one sentence,” and after he waited till I was quiet, he said, “The wages of sin is death,” and then he walked away.
These words, “The wages of sin is death,” remained with me. I could not get them out of my mind. I tried to forget them. I did not know that they were from the Word of God. I did not know where they came from.
“The wages of sin is death,” sounded in my ears night and day. Notices of funerals, or a funeral passing, kept them ever before me, “The wages of sin is death.”
I began to try to improve my life. I had all kinds of infidel books. I gathered a lot of them, and pitched them into the furnace, and put the expensive ones on a shelf out of my sight, but wickedness rose up in my heart, and mocked all my best endeavors. This went on for about three or four months, till in despair, I thought to see the man who spoke to me at the first. One night I waited for him to come out of a meeting place which I knew he attended. I went up to him, and asked if he remembered me. After a while he said,
“Are you the young man I spoke to in the park?”
“Yes, I want to speak to you.” He answered rather ungraciously,
“Well, what do you want?” He did not want anything to do with me, but I persisted.
“I want to talk with you by ourselves.”
He permitted me to walk to a place with him where he was to meet someone. That one did not come, so we talked on. He at last saw that I was anxious about my soul, and put some verses of Scripture before me, but I did not understand him till he said,
“What did I say to you in the park?” So I repeated,
“The wages of sin is death!”
“But what is the rest of it?” he asked.
“That was all you said,” I answered, “tell me the rest of it,” and I waited with eager expectation to hear it. Then came to me those sublime, life-giving words that he repeated,
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23). I was listening with deep interest to hear every word.
“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” O how precious!
“So salvation is the gift of God, and what do you do when you receive a gift? You take it, and thank the giver.”
So I did, I received the gift, and thanked the Giver. My load was gone, Christ had died for me, how wonderful God’s love to give His Son for such a wretch as I am. Now I was clear of all such wages, all through our Lord Jesus Christ bearing the judgment of them on the cross.
It was after midnight when I went home, too overjoyed to keep the good news. I wakened my mother and sister to tell them of the gift I had received. They thought I had lost my reason. I pulled down the rest of my infidel books in the morning to burn them. I wanted them no more, for I was now saved from eternal woe; saved to be with Christ in glory.
The speaker sat down, and we thanked him for the story of his conversion, and hoped and prayed that every one there, though they had not passed through such deep conviction, but had heard this good news all their lives, while he was ignorant of the Bible truths till then, that they might know that they too had received “the gift of God—eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” From that time his life was changed, and soon his mother came with deep contrition to Christ and believed on Him. She was the first soul that he led to Christ. Both together sat down to remember the Lord’s death. (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

The Ascent of Man

The “Ascent of Man” from a quadruped to his present state, is a theory of the philosopher, which has neither foundation in fact, nor evidence in ascertained results. The “Fall of Man” from the state of Innocence in which he was originally created, as recorded in Genesis 1:27, to the degraded and loathsome condition in which God describes him in Romans 1:21-32, is a solemn and awful declaration in the book of God. And the evidences of that Fall are before our eyes every day, in outbursts of enmity from the human heart towards the Creator-God, and in the wail of woe which rises towards a silent heaven from suffering thousands because of “man’s inhumanity to man.” Nor is this all, for the Bible informs us that when a sinner dies in his sin, its power ruling his being, and its full penalty awaiting him in the afterworld, he sinks deeper still into “perdition” (1 Tim. 6:9).
“The Ascent of Man” is a falsehood and a fraud, used by Godless philosophers to flatter their disciples, and by Christless preachers to gull their hearers, making them believe that they are “as gods” —just what Satan’s first lie promised them, when they became his dupes (see Gen. 3:5)—whereas God who sees and knows man fully, declares that he is “foolish, deceived” (Titus 3:3).
The only true “Ascent of Man” is through redemption by the Cross of Christ, and regeneration by the Spirit of God. When a sinner learns his ruin, and owns his guilt before God (Rom. 3:19), resting his guilty soul on the Person (John 3:36) and work of Christ (Rom. 3:24), he passes out of death into life (John 5:24), he is raised (Eph. 2:6) up to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), and as a child of God, and a member of Christ, he will one day ascend to heaven to be forever with the Lord.

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 5

Verses 16, 17. Here the Holy Spirit now dwelling in the Christian is seen as the power by which practical holiness is produced, instead of demanding it, as the law did, with regard to human righteousness, from our sin-loving nature. God produces it in the heart as wrought by the Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, was sent down to dwell in all believers. They are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, born of God, washed in the blood of Christ, accepted in God’s beloved Son. They are sealed by the Holy Spirit dwelling in them forever, and having this new creation life in Christ, they are to walk as He walked, and to manifest the life of Jesus in their mortal flesh. This is the life produced in us by the work of the Holy Spirit by the Word of God.
Therefore we are directed, not to the law to lead us, but to “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” It is obedience to Christ, not to the law. Christ is our rule of life, in following Him we are doing the will of God, not gratifying the lust of the flesh, for “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other:” so that we should not do the things which our natural desires would lead to, but to do what the new life desires, and this is not guided by law.
Verses 18-21. “But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under law.” This is holy liberty: as in Romans 8:2, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath set me free from the law of sin and death.” The fruits of the Spirit are now to be seen in the believer. The works of the flesh (v. 19 to 21) ever brought condemnation, and they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
How different is the manner of the Christian’s life, from what it was when unconverted. Sealed by the Holy Ghost, the believer is free; he has power now to walk and to do the good he now loves to do. Christ is in Him, the body is dead because of sin; the old man is crucified with Christ. The Spirit is life, and that Holy Spirit, as a divine person in power, works in him to bring forth good fruits. If we are faithful in seeking grace from the Lord, we are enabled to hold the flesh for dead, and to walk in the steps of Christ, bringing forth the fruits that suit Him.
Verses 22, 23. How beautiful the fruits of the Spirit are! (How opposed to all the works of the flesh!) “Love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith (or fidelity), meekness, temperance (or self-control). Against such there is no law.” That which is wrought out by the Holy Spirit is according to God, and cannot be condemned by Him.
Love, joy, peace, come first: these are inward and Godward, and make the condition of soul needed to produce what man can see. “In order to know what is in the heart of God, we need to see the fruit of His heart, the gift of Jesus.”
If we believe in Him, we know the love of God, we are sealed by the Spirit, and understand something of the love of God shown in sending His Son to die. We are cleansed by His blood, and the Holy Spirit sheds abroad Hs love in our hearts. By the Spirit we have the consciousness of our new position before God, and love, joy, peace, fill our souls. The fruits which follow, flow from these, and may be seen by others, and taken as proof of the reality of the work in our souls. We know them for ourselves by faith in the Word of God. We set to our seal that what God says is true.
Verse 24. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.” Christ died for us, and we hold ourselves as crucified with Him, as though we ourselves had been put to death on the cross; we do not crucify ourselves. It was for us that He suffered, and for sin that dwells in us, that we are to reckon ourselves dead to. It has no claim on the believer rightly now. This should be our daily practice. God in His government over us, sends circumstances which test us, to help us to apply the truth to ourselves.
Verses 25, 26. “If we live by the Spirit, let us walk also by the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory provoking one another, envying one another.” Here the injunction to walk by the Spirit is to be humble minded. All glorying in self is set aside. Paul gloried in self while he thought he was keeping the law—the law makes us think of self. When rightly employed, the law is more useful in convincing of sin, but cannot produce righteousness. “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20; 1 Tim. 1:8 to 10). “If righteousness come by the law, Christ is dead in vain.” Man has not kept the commandments of God (Born. 3:19); on that ground he is lost.
Christ in grace brings salvation, because we were guilty. Then it is not God’s way to seek to produce holiness in the flesh by law keeping—the carnal mind is enmity against God. God gives a new life in Christ, and also gives the Holy Spirit to produce the fruits acceptable to Him—against these there is no law. God cannot condemn the new creature, the new life, with its fruits of the Spirit, which seeks to please Him. Strengthened and instructed by His Word and Spirit, may we seek to follow Christ, the perfect example of the life of God in a man,
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5).
(Continued from page 262)

Address to Young People

Exodus 31:18; 32:1-6, 19-29; 33:5-10
God had told the Children of Israel, He was going to speak from the mountain, and they had agreed that all He said they would do. Moses had departed to go into the mountain to get the law, and had left the people in charge of Aaron.
Moses tarried on the mount longer than the patience of the people could endure. They wanted something more visible, so they said, “We don’t know what has become of Moses; perhaps he will never appear again. We know he went up into the mount; that he said he was coming back, but we can’t tell what happened to him. Now, in view of that, let us get busy, and accommodate ourselves to the situation, and make us gods that we can have right here with us.” I suppose they might have found many excuses for that, one of which may have been, to maintain the unity of this people lest they be scattered or divided in their religion during the absence of Moses. They lost faith in Moses, their spiritual leader and their link between themselves and God, who was making preparations for them, and was coming back to them.
I believe in type that is what is taking place in the church of God today. The Lord Jesus went up into glory. He said He was going to prepare a place and come back again. He told us to occupy until He came back. The church became weary of an absent, unseen Lord. The result of that lack of affection, was the substituting something to keep up interest in religious things. Just in proportion as the absent, ascended Lord has been lost sight of, ritualism, form and ceremony, which appeal to the eye, and in which man has his part, have been substituted. This has been the history of Christendom.
According to the measure of departure from the truth as to an ascended glorified Christ, there has come in that which takes its place—that which is a substitute for it. So what we find around about in Christendom in which Christendom boasts, is, in itself, a silent proof of the fact that the church of God practically does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has gone away for a little time, and is coming back again; that His people are to be serving, watching and waiting for Him to come out of glory to receive them unto himself, that where He is there they may be also. Wherever you see in this world the building up of a great, elaborate, religious structure—I don’t confine that word to buildings, but I mean any religious something in which man takes pride—there is the confession that man has lost confidence in the Word of the Lord Jesus as to His coming back again.
If you go back to the early days of the church’s history, before it lost its first love, you find nothing of that at all. You find them occupied with that blessed, absent One. They were thinking about Him, and their lives were affected by that fact. Their Lord was absent but not forever. It was only a temporary matter. They “turned to God from idols to serve the living and the true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.” So long as that hope burned, you don’t find them building up anything. You find them standing aloof from everything here—not establishing organizations at all—but just meeting around the Lord Jesus. He was their Center. The best meeting place the church of God ever had, was the catacombs of Rome—underground chambers dug out of the heart of the earth—where God’s people met in those early days in freshness, zeal and energy. It was only when that champion, Constantine, called them out of that place, and enthroned them in an established temple, dedicated to the worship of Christ, that the church met her ruin. Then she began to be something. When they were despised, and had to find their secret entrance into those underground chambers where they sang their hymns, worshiped, and remembered the Lord’s death, those were the precious times of spiritual reality. When they were called out to take charge of those temples and become something, then human ambition began to work; religious leadership came in, and that great colossus of religious system has been growing ever since. In proportion as the church has become lofty in the world, it has lost sight of the fact that there is an absent Lord who has gone into heaven, and in a little while is coming back.
That is what happened here. As to Moses, they say, “We know not what has become of him,” and they make provision for the lack. If people are not satisfied with Christ, they are going to have something to take His place. Young people, if you are not satisfied with the Lord Jesus, as an object for your heart, you are going to have an object to take His place—a substitute to take the place of God’s Christ.
That is what the children of Israel did. They thought they had lost their spiritual link with Jehovah, and they go to Aaron about it, and he falls in with their plan. “All right,” he says, “we will attend to that. Bring me your earrings, and we will see what we can do.” He is giving them something to do. Everybody gets busy, and I suppose they had a fine time. They had no lack. When it is a question of religious activity, you can find plenty. All came with their dedicated ornaments, and out of those earrings, Aaron proceeded to make a calf. Later we find his explanation of how it happened. The fact in the case was, he took those earrings, and made an object of worship from them, and proclaimed a national, religious celebration, “Tomorrow is a feast to Jehovah.”
There are two or three points I want to notice in connection with this, which I believe are instructive. Where did they get the material for this false god? Out of their ears. In my mind, that links itself with what we get in 2nd Timothy, 4th chapter: “But after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” What we get there, is the people’s having trouble with their ears; their hearts have gone wrong. They are going to have a god that suits their itching ears. They turn away their ears from the truth, and are turned unto fables, and the god we find them worshipping in that chapter, is a god who is the direct result of those itching cars. The god the children of Israel worshipped in the 33rd of Exodus, is a god they got out of their own ears.
When the new god comes on the scene, it won’t do to shock the people too much by bringing in new names, so, to make the thing acceptable, the old name is preserved. Aaron didn’t say, “Tomorrow is going to be a feast to the golden calf;” or “Tomorrow is going to be a feast unto Ashtaroth,” or some other heathen god; no; “Tomorrow is going to be a feast to Jehovah.” They are perfectly orthodox if you listen to their talk. You might have gone around to that camp the next day, and seen a big feast going on. You might have asked, “What is going on in the camp today?” And you would have gotten the answer, “We are having a feast to Jehovah.” That sounds fine, doesn’t it! “We are, offering burnt offerings and peace offerings.” That sounds fine too! There is nothing wrong in that! “A feast to Jehovah-offering burnt offerings and peace offerings.” Everything is orthodox. The phraseology is perfectly correct. They had just traded gods. They had given up Jehovah the true God, and slipped in a substitute, but preserved the old name—the old wording—the old phraseology. That is going on in Christendom today. Satan is slipping in a new god, or perhaps a new Christ, I would say, in place of the Christ of God, and in order not to shock people too much, and to give confidence in this new Christ, the old phraseology is being preserved. These clever teachers, leaders and theological professors speak in such terms, that simple souls are deceived; the unwary are led astray. They will tell you, “Our minister believes in redemption; in new-birth; in Christ.” How much one hears that kind of thing. The phraseology is there, it is true; the phrases are orthodox enough, but what is the spiritual contact? What are they speaking of when they use these phrases? Those who were dancing around the golden calf, were saying, “This is a feast to Jehovah,” and, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” That sounds well enough, but back of it was a hollow lie. How important that principle is!
Dear young reader, you can’t be too much on your guard in these days. Don’t be deceived by words. Is the christ that people offer you, the Christ of God? or is it another christ? Is it a false christ? is it only Christ in name?
I was in Bro. W.’s Bible shop the other day, and he showed me the prospectus of a book, which had been sent him from a university press, entitled “The Life of Jesus.” You would expect to find something helpful in a book of that kind. He called my attention to some things stated in the foreword of this book. We agreed it was the most blasphemous thing we ever read! There it is, coming from a university, written by a religious leader, written about the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet, the Christ that book presents, is not God’s Christ. It is entirely another individual. It is a Christ of man’s imagination; it is a false Christ of Satan’s graving.
In the first Epistle of John, 2nd chapter, 18th verse, we read, “Even now are there many antichrists.” How the blessed God would preserve to us the truth of the Christ of God.
(To be continued)

The Glorious Lord

Lord Jesus, all to me,
Thy praise, I sing;
In heaven there’s none like Thee,
Thy praise I bring.
Thou all my heart hath won,
Thou blest and glorious One—
The Father’s Beloved Son!
Jesus, my Lord.

Great was Thy love to me,
Jesus, my Lord!
Precious Thy thoughts of me,
O! Thou adored!
Fairest of all the fair,
None can with Thee compare—
Decked with all graces rare,
Jesus, my Lord.

What griefs and cares were Thine,
Thou Man of woe!
For all the sins were mine
That laid Thee low.
Dark, dark the night to Thee,
Thou Man of Purity!
Dying to ransom me—
Lord, Lord adored.

Lonely, Thy path on earth
Jesus, my Lord!
Thou Man of heavenly birth
Jesus—adored.
Perfect in all Thy ways,
Display of richest grace,
Showing to man, God’s face,
Thou, worthy Lord.

Full of compassion sweet,
Lord Jesus, mine
I worship at Thy feet—
Glad I am Thine.
Love without bound or tide,
Flowed from Thy riven side—
Love, for the loveless, died,
Jesus, my Lord.

Gain to Me

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (Phil. 3:7). What a marvelous change! Saul had had many sources of gain. He had gathered many honors round his name. He had made progress in Judaism beyond many of his equals. He had achieved a legal righteousness in which no man could find a flaw. His zeal, his knowledge, and his morality, were of the very highest order.
But, from the moment that Christ was revealed to him, there was a thorough revolution. Everything was changed. His righteousness, his learning, his morality, all that could in any wise be gain to Paul, became as dung. He does not speak of open sins, but of those things that could justly be esteemed as gain to him. The revelation of the glory of Christ had so completely changed the entire current of Paul’s thoughts, that the very things, which he had once esteemed as positive gain, he now regarded as positive loss.
And why? Simply because he had found his all in Christ. That blessed One had supplanted everything in Paul’s heart. All that belonged to Paul was displaced by Christ; and hence it would have involved actual loss to possess any righteousness or wisdom, holiness or morality, of his own, seeing that he had found all these, in divine perfectness, in Christ. If Christ is made of God unto me righteousness, is it not a loss to me to have any righteousness of my own? Surely. If I have that which is divine, have I any need of that which is human? Clearly not.
The more completely I am stripped and emptied of everything in which “I” could glory, or which would be gain to “me,” the better, inasmuch as it only renders me all the more entitled to a full and all-sufficient Christ. Whatever it be that tends to exalt self, whether it be religiousness, morality, respectability, wealth, glory, personal beauty, intellectuality, philanthropy so-called, it is a positive hindrance to our enjoyment of Christ; first, as the foundation of the conscience; and, secondly, as the object of the heart.
May the Spirit of God make Christ more precious to us!

Jesus Bore My Sins

“O death and hell, I cannot dread your power,
The debt is paid.
On Jesus, in that dark and dreadful hour,
My sins were laid.
Yes, Jesus bore them! bore, in love unbounded,
What none can know.
He died, but rose again, and so confounded
The awful foe.

He’s now up there! Proclaim the joyful story—
The Lord’s on high!
And I in Him am raised to endless glory,
And ne’er can die.”

Fragment

Some of the marks of the power of the Holy Ghost in an assembly of saints gathered to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ are: worship, gifts developed, saints agreeing together in the unity of the Spirit, earnestness, fervency, unselfishness, caring for others, love to souls, fellowship in the gospel, and taking the place of rejection with Christ.
“Nothing but Christ as on we tread,
The Gift unpriced, God’s living bread,
With staff in hand and feet well shod,
Nothing but Christ, the Christ of God.

Everything loss for Him below,
Taking the cross where’er we go,
Showing to all where once He trod,
Nothing but Christ, the Christ of God.

Nothing save Him in all our ways,
Giving the theme for ceaseless praise,
Our whole resource, along the road,
Nothing but Christ, the Christ of God.”

Correspondence

Question: If a person is converted, and he may be, or may not be, at the Lord’s table, is he still on heathen ground, if he has not been baptized? J. E.
Answer: Heathen, Gentiles, and nations, mean the same in Scripture. We are all born Gentiles, or Jews— Israelites. None are born into the Church of God.
When Christianity began in Acts 2, then began a new class; ever since then there is Jew, Gentile and church of God.
When John Baptist preached repentance and confession of sins, he used a custom then in vogue to change persons from one status of society to another, and those that he baptized, waited on the ground of repentance for the coming Messiah. Baptism changed their position on earth, but not their state of soul.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2, we find Israel baptized from being under Pharoah, to being under Moses; the cloud and the sea marking the change of position, but not their state of soul.
So we find in 1 Peter 3:20, 21, eight persons were saved out of the old world into the new. It is called baptism in figure. It is a change of position, but not of the state of their soul.
1 Corinthians 15:29 is not baptism in water at all. It was stepping into the position of those put to death for Christ’s sake. Taking this position is called baptism.
Christian baptism is to the death of Christ, and began when our Lord was risen and glorified. The hundred and twenty who were formed into one body by the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in them (1 Cor. 12:12, 13 calls it the baptism of the Spirit), were also formed into the house of God. They could not be baptized in water, for they formed the nucleus of the church or assembly. All others added to them, came in by baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and that they might receive the Holy Ghost. They were thus saved by faith, and separated from that untoward generation by baptism.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned,” even if he is baptized.
In Acts 8 we find the first preaching of the gospel mentioned outside of Jerusalem. The Samaritans believed and were baptized, both men and women. They were saved (except Simon the sorcerer, whose faith was of himself, see Ephesians 2:8, and he was lost, though baptized, verses 21, 22), but it was when Peter and John came down from Jerusalem, and prayed, and laid their hands on them, that they received the Holy Ghost. The old Jewish prejudices against the Samaritans, and theirs against the Jews, had to be removed.
In Acts 9 we have Saul’s conversion. He owns Jesus, Lord, but does not get deliverance for three days, till Ananias was sent to him with the knowledge of forgiveness; he was then baptized. Hear him in Acts 22:16, Ananias says, “And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” His baptism took him clean out of the Jewish position, to which all his former sins attached (Gal. 3:27, 28); his position is changed.
In Acts 10, we see the first Gentiles brought in, and Peter is spiritually compelled, against all his feeling as a Jew, to receive them. God made him say, “Whosoever believeth on Him (the Lord Jesus) shall receive remission of sins” (verse 43). Peter had the keys of the kingdom, that is: authority to admit them. When the Gentiles heard that “whosoever,” they were saved; the Holy Ghost fell on them at once. They were made part of the body (1 Cor. 12:12,13), and when Peter heard them magnifying God, he said, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And he commanded the disciples to baptize them in the name of the Lord. They were thus placed in this new position, as well as being saved and sealed by the Spirit.
In Acts 8, as Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch on the text, “His life is taken from the earth” (He, Christ is now in heaven), the eunuch said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” So both of them went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. Then Philip was caught away, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing, to tell the glad story in his native land. The eunuch was a changed man in a new position.
In Acts 16 we have Lydia and her house, and the jailor and his house, all brought into this new position. All put under the name of Christ (see also 1 Cor. 1:16).
In chapter 18 we have the Corinthians; and in chapter 19, Paul takes twelve men who only knew John’s baptism; but that left them outside of Christianity, though converted; then he baptized them to the name of the Lord Jesus; then he laid his hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. They were brought into the new position under the name of the Lord.
Before Paul died, he predicted that after his decease, grievous wolves, holding damnable heresies, would arise (Acts 20:28, 29); and not only that, but Christian men of “your ownselves” would arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. That has brought in the divided, torn state of the house of God on earth today.
Now there are millions who have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and many, many of them are not converted. Those who are saved, are “one body and one spirit,” and called with “one hope of their calling” (Eph. 4:4). Those who are baptized, are in the new position, but as they are not saved, they will be judged for not having on the “wedding garment” (Matt. 22:11, 13).
Thank God, some of these baptized professors get converted, and become members of the one body. They are already “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). It would be therefore worse than useless to go through a form, the reality of which was already accomplished. It would be slighting the Name in which it was already done, and show ignorance of the true condition of the present ruined state of the house of God. We cannot get out of the ruin, but 2 Timothy 2:19-22 tells us of a separate path where we can “follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a sincere heart.”
Referring again to your question: an unbaptized person at the Lord’s Table shows the confusion that has come in, and reflects on the want of care, or it may be of knowledge, of those who received that person. We can comply with the Lord’s instructions, and baptize such as quickly as the case demands. We cannot build the house anew, but as far as we can, help on a right state of things; it becomes us to try to do so.
Question: Please explain, “There is a sin unto death, I do not say that he shall pray for it” (1 John 5:17). Is the sin against the Holy Ghost committed in this time of grace? M. J. S.
Answer: The sin unto death is not some special sin, but a condition of soul that God saw needed as chastening even to being put to sleep in the grave. The sin in 1 Corinthians 11:29, 30, was making the Lord’s supper a kind of feast of their own, and not connecting it with the death of Christ. From then on they were instructed to keep it by itself, and all to take it at the same time (verses 33, 34). The Lord might see fit to remove one who was dishonoring Him and hurting His people. Sometimes we see it right to pray for them; at other times we do not.
Every sin is grieving to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, yet He never leaves us (Eph. 4:30). Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is what you mean, and in the connection mentioned in the gospels, it is not committed in the present period of grace. It was done by those who hated the Lord, and said, “He hath an unclean Spirit” (Mark 3:29, 30), and this no true child of God would allow for a moment. In the present day of grace we are told to preach the gospel to every creature, that is: where there is a listening ear.
Question: Please explain Romans 12:18. J. G. N.
Answer: As far as it depends on the Christian, he is to live peaceably with all men; and if wronged, he is to look to the Lord, and not avenge himself. His feet are to be “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” But he must not go on hand in hand with evil, for the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, and the Lord said, “blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt. 5:9).
Question: Will you kindly explain Matthew 24:13? What period of time does it refer to? H. W.
Answer: The time referred to in Matthew 24:13 is the time just before the Lord comes with His saints to judge and to reign. It is the time of trial from the beginning of sorrows (verse 8), to the great tribulation (verse 21). Verse 29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” ... the Son of man shall appear (verse 30).
It is the time of trial that comes after the heavenly saints are caught up (1 Thess. 4:15-18). This is the “blessed hope,” then the glorious appearing follows the tribulation (Titus 2:13). The saints that live at that time are sorely tried. The Antichrist of Revelation 13:12 tries to force everyone to worship a man called “The Beast,” but they are warned in Revelation 14:9-11 not to do it, and encouraged to faithfulness with a promise of greater blessedness if they should suffer martyrdom (Rev. 14:12, 13). This is the primary application of Matthew 24:13.
But it is always true in every period. It is true now, for all who are saved endure to the end. “For God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9. And “He which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. We find the same truth in Colossians 1:23. If we are born of God, we have a life that can never perish, and no condemnation can ever come to us (John 3:16; 5:24). We do therefore endure to the end.
A man may make a profession, a good resolution, and give it up, because he never possessed eternal salvation. Such goes back like a dog or a sow to its own ways, because it never was one of Christ’s sheep (2 Peter 2:22). God has pledged His Word that His sheep shall never perish (John 10:27-29).
Question: Is the New Covenant (in Hebrews) connected with the present period of grace, or does it have to do with the future of Israel? M. R. B.
Answer: The words “covenant” and “testament” are the same word in the original. The “first” mentioned in Hebrews, was given from Mt. Sinai.
The “new” and “everlasting” covenant is to be made in the. future with the house of Judah (the two tribes); and with the house of Israel (the ten tribes). Read Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37, when Israel is restored and settled in their own land.
The Epistle to the Hebrews was written to lead the Hebrew believers to know Christ in glory, and thus to know their perfect acceptance in Him in virtue of His finished work (Heb. 10:14), and to know Him there as their great High Priest, and consequently to find that their blessing and worship are heavenly. Such blessings as “your sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (10:17) are common to believers of the present period; and of the future to Israel, and the nations.
Our present period blessings go beyond Israel’s for we know God as our Father. We are also members of the body of Christ, united to Christ our Head by the Holy Spirit now dwelling in us (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph. 4:4).
There is no covenant made with the church, but as the new covenant is a covenant of grace, we find the apostle speaking of new covenant ministers, not of the letter, but of the spirit (2 Cor. 3:6). We as poor Gentiles were outside of all covenants (Eph. 2:12), they belonged to Israel (Rom. 9:4).
In the body of Christ, that is, the church, there is neither Jew nor Gentile; both have died with Christ out of their old place, and are now risen with Christ in the new, so are “fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). The Scripture is careful never to call the saints of this present time, New Testament saints, for that would mean New Covenant saints, and there is no covenant ever made with those who compose the Church, or body of Christ.

His Own

“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom. 14:7, 8).
One day a young lady was out walking when her attention was drawn to an open-air meeting. The preacher spoke with much earnestness from Matthew 7:24 of the “wise man which built his house upon a rock,” and of the other who “built his house upon the sand.”
He spoke as one to whom Christ was a living reality. He proclaimed Christ to be a sure foundation for eternity for every guilty sinner, and with no uncertain sound spoke of this foundation as standing every test of time and eternity.
His message was but little understood by her for she had not received spiritual instruction in her home, and had not attended meetings where the Gospel might be heard.
The message of the open-air preacher was to her as a strange story, but the contrast between the “solid rock,” and the “sinking sand” deeply impressed her.
After the gentleman had finished speaking, he handed her a little tract, “Is Christ Your Object?” which was nervously accepted. Nothing was mentioned of this incident in her home, for all then were unsaved, and deeply opposed to the gospel.
In her room, with barred door, the little booklet was read and re-read. Anxiety of soul followed, but she knew of no one to whom she could turn for help.
About three weeks later when crossing a bridge, her sunshade slipped through a partition in the boards and dropped to the bank below. On looking over the bridge she saw that street preacher, and requested him to kindly hand her the sunshade; this he did. How she longed to ask him of this “Christ” the tract was so full of, but fear restrained the words and she passed on.
In the evening she again met the preacher; was this a mere coincidence, or the direct leading of God, who knows every seeking soul?
This time he addressed her, and the following conversation took place? “Are you not the young lady who lost her sunshade this afternoon, and also the one to whom I gave a leaflet a week or so ago; may I ask you one question: ‘Is Christ Your Object?’”
To his surprise, the answer came,
“No, I do not know anything about Him; who is He,” He read John 3:16 and asked;
“Do you not know He died for you?”
“No, I have not heard that He died for me.” A few more words, and the conversation closed, leaving her more perplexed perhaps than before.
On leaving, he handed her a small Testament with the words, “Read John 17.”
This was taken home, and when alone in her room she opened it, and caught sight of two words only, “His Own.” With peculiar force the Spirit of God carried home these words, and they could not be banished from the mind. Almost afraid to read the Testament herself, and fearing lest any of the household should find it and take it, it was carefully hidden.
This soul anxiety continued for several months, when one day an old Bible was discovered in the cellar. Having heard the preacher say this was the Word of God, she took it to her room, opened it and read,
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways, saith the Lord.” Afterward the Bible was taken away, and she saw it no more, but she was searched by this word she had read, and her desire to know God’s thoughts and ways was increased.
The tract was her daily study. How deep was the longing to know something of the satisfaction in Christ—the living, risen Christ—that its writer had found. How deep the desire, too, to be one of “His Own,” and to know the thoughts of the eternal God.
Again the Testament was turned to, Matthew, Mark and Luke were carefully read through with a sense of the holiness of its pages, and then the Gospel of John. While reading from the 10th to the 17th chapters, her heart was deeply touched with the precious words, and as she read chapter 17, for the first time her eyes were opened to behold Christ as her personal Savior, the Giver of eternal life, and the One who ever pleads in the Father’s presence for “His Own.”
She hardly knew how to approach God, but there she knelt and said something like this:
“O, God, I do not know who You are, but this Book tells me I can come and be the Lord Jesus Christ’s very own.”
What strange, sweet assurance flooded her heart, and the calm joy of being “His Own” has from that day sustained her. A few days afterward she had occasion to give an order at a certain store, and among the staff, saw the open-air preacher. With joy she said,
“It is all right now, for I am ‘His Own.’”
With what joy, too, he shook hands, and told how he had been led to pray with earnest desire for her salvation.
Suffering for the sake of the gospel followed, but God has led and sustained and taught her, and she is now engaged in His service.
This is written in the hope that in these days when, among so many, the Word of God is lightly esteemed, this may encourage those who sow the seed of the Word to go on trusting the Lord of the Harvest to give the increase. It may be but a word spoken, a tract distributed, but if done to the Lord’s glory, He will bless.
It may be, too, that some may realize afresh the joy of being his property, “His Own.”
He in love gave Himself for us, by His blood He bought us, in grace He sought us, and He has placed us here to manifest that we belong to Him. For us He died, was raised, and now He lives for us, and, glorious hope, He Himself is coming for us— “His Own.”
Then let us seek to tell forth the glories, the beauties, that shine in Him, and God will surely bless us and make us a blessing, as He did the preacher whose testimony and tract was full of Christ.
“It was Thy great need of me
That brought Thee from above.
It was my great need of Thee
That drew me to Thy love.
A love like Thine, O Living Christ,
Needeth a love like mine.”
What an encouragement for all those who love our Lord to give out, or send out tracts—silent messengers—that shall speak to many after we have passed on our way, and let us keep in mind the fact that when a sinner is saved through a tract, it starts a circle for God that will continue to widen until the Lord shall come. And bear in mind that a soul saved is of more value than all the silver and gold in the world.
Thus we would exhort all the Lord’s dear people to engage in this work of giving or sending out these silent messengers for Him.
May the Holy Spirit mightily stir the hearts of His dear people to “scatter the precious seed,” knowing that “God gives the increase.”

Fragment

If for each blessing we would thank God, there would be no time left us to murmur and fret.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Meditations on Scripture: Galatians 6

Verse 1. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” We are exhorted to walk by the Spirit, with Christ as our example. We shall not then be seeking our own glory; we shall not provoke, nor envy one another; we shall be ready, as spiritual ones, to seek the restoration of one who has been overtaken in a fault. The grace of the Lord working in our souls, will seek his restoration, considering how easily we ourselves might do as bad or even worse, if we are not watchful and prayerful. This is not sympathizing with sinful ways, or a course of sin. We need to seek grace from the Lord to maintain communion with Him. If we walk carelessly, we shall grieve the Holy Spirit.
Verse 2. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This also is after the pattern of what our Lord Jesus has done, and is doing for us. It is as if the apostle said, “You desire law, here it is for you—the law of love that seeks the good of others.” He did not encourage wrong doing, or fail in loving admonition where it was needed. He sympathized with them in their sorrows, and helped them to bear life’s heavy load.
Verses 3-5. The legal spirit lays down a path, and finds fault with others who do not walk in it, nor do they walk in it themselves, so the warning is given, “If a man think to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself, but let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another; for every man shall bear his own burden.” Each needs to answer to the Lord for his own work, this is our individual service for the Lord.
Verse 6. This is like Romans 15:25-27. The gospel came from Jerusalem, and the Gentiles are seen ministering to the needs of the poor saints there (also Phil. 4:10, 16, 17); we see that the saints at Philippi were ministering to the apostle’s necessities in grateful acknowledgment of his ministry toward them and others.
Verses 7, 8. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” This is a truth we might dwell on with profit; it applies to all—saved and unsaved. We are all sowing and reaping every day, and what are we sowing, we might well inquire?
The unsaved are always sowing to the flesh they have nothing to live for but self. We often may see people of good manners and morals, kind and sympathizing with the needy, yet they are not born again, they have not taken the place of the lost, ruined sinner that needs a Savior. They live in their own righteousness, and that is but filthy rags in God’s sight (Isa. 64:6). It is a way that seemeth right in their own eyes, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Philanthropy and benevolence, which in themselves are beautiful to behold, and win a great place before men, and the grateful thanks of the needy who are helped, yet if they, as so many do, depend on such as good works for salvation, it is a rope of sand. Nothing can cleanse from sin, and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but the precious blood of Christ, which alone can cleanse and give us pardon and peace with God. But even in this life, the sober, honest man has the comfort in some measure of what he sows. How is it with the reader? What are you sowing?
And what is the Christian sowing? And what is he reaping for time and for eternity? It is blessed to have full assurance from the Word of God that our sins are all forgiven (1 John 2:12), and that we have eternal life in Christ, and that we can never come into condemnation (John 5:24; John 10:28, 29), and that our relationship is with the Father (Rom. 8:15,16); and with the Son (Rom. 8:1), and with the Holy Spirit and these can never fail (Eph. 4:30), and we are now accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6). All this is blessed to have as our eternal portion. Yet it is very plain that as to our enjoyment, and how much we live in it, we have to own our failures. And we need to think of, and seek to put into practice these two little words, words which we shall not need in heaven, “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
It is a divine necessity for us to set our hearts to carry out this exhortation, if we are to have the help and comfort of communion with the Lord. Every provision is made for our weakness, our great high Priest is ever living on high to minister to our need. If we will only look up to Him, there is the immediate response on His part to succor us. The tendency is to get our eye from the Lord, to get occupied with every day matters, to try to carry on in our own strength, and it assuredly is grieving to Him, and hurtful to our soul’s progress and happiness, and then we reap sorrow and care, and with some doubts as to our salvation (see 2 Peter 1:8-10). That is sleeping among the dead, from which we are called to awake (Eph. 5:14), and Christ will shine upon us again.
Has your heart, dear reader, grown cold? You remember the happy days when you walked close to Christ. Then why not turn, in response to His entreaty, “Let Me see thy countenance, let Me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” Do you long for this to take place? He longs to give it. His love to you is as great as ever. “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you, dwell ye in My love” John 15:9. See the contrast in 2 Peter 1 with the cold-hearted worldly Christian (v. 9), and the diligent one in verses 8 and 11. In this last we have already the reaping of eternal enjoyment, as well as when in heaven with the Lord. “For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It is surely well to ask our souls, “What are we sowing?”
“Enoch walked with God, and before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Why should not each one of us seek to have this also? And 1 Corinthians 4:5 tells of the time when every believer shall have his praise of God, according to his faithfulness in walking with God.
Verses 9, 10. We are assured of it, and exhorted, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We behave sometimes like children who have planted seed in their gardens, and expect to see the flowers or fruit immediately. We need patience (endurance). The work in souls is the work of God. We wait for His blessing, and in due time we shall see what has been accomplished.
Verses 11-14. Paul generally dictated his letters, while others wrote for him, then put on his salutation with his own hand (Rom. 16:22; 1 Cor. 16:21; 2 Thess. 3:17), thus certifying their correctness, and investing them with his authority, but this time he writes it with his own hand. His heart deeply exercised by the condition of these saints saved from among the Gentiles, and now put under the influence of the law, to him it was very sad. It was a wile of the serpent, an attempt to destroy the gospel of the grace of God, to make a fair show in the flesh before men, and to avoid persecution; nor could these false teachers keep the law themselves, but they wanted these young converts to be circumcised, that they might glory in their flesh in which good does not dwell.
The cross for us brought salvation, and proves to us the love of God. It was shame and suffering to our Lord who endured the cross and despised the shame, and Paul identifies himself with Him in this place. “But 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.” He is willing to take the persecution with His Savior, “the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” He could not seek honor where the One who loved him was despised, rejected and crucified. He counted himself crucified with Christ, dead to the world, and the world dead to him. He could not seek honor there.
Verses 15, 16. Circumcision was a recognition of the flesh, but in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availed anything. In the One in whom believers stand, it is new creation; they have already life in Christ, a life beyond death, a life that cannot die, that delights to follow Christ, and thus to walk in the Spirit—this is the rule of Christianity; it is the law of liberty in Christ Jesus, where love governs the heart. “As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and upon the Israel of God.” The converted Israelite is thus spoken of; and in 1 Peter 2:9, converted Israelites are also called “an holy nation.” These titles could not apply to converted Gentiles.
Verse 17. “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The world and worldly religion made the marks; he was a branded slave, but they were to him medals won in the service of a despised and rejected Christ whose love had won his heart.
It is sad to see in these Galatians, how evil doctrine that honors the flesh, can turn aside the stream of love and light that once had flowed out to the apostle, so that they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him had it been possible, and his love could not flow to them as before. It was in his heart, but their perversity checked its flow.
“How serious is this perversity of the human heart, which really, unconscious of its state of sin and weakness, instead of finding in the law the proof of that state, uses it to produce its own righteousness, human righteousness, after the gospel has revealed the righteousness of God for us in Christ, just because we had none for God. But from that day, this error everywhere abounds, and it even characterizes actual Christianity.” It is the doctrine generally taught.
“If we are not well grounded in grace, and in the efficacy of the work of Christ, it is impossible really to grow in the development of life, and in fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

Address to Young People

(Ex. 3:18; 32:1-6; 33:5-10).
I often look at our young people and think how wonderfully blessed they are. Have you ever stopped to thank God from the bottom of your soul, that you are where you are? That you are being brought up as nourished in the truth of God? That the teachings under which you sit from day to day and year to year, have in them nothing that would bring dishonor upon the person of Christ—nothing that reflects in any way upon His blessed person and character? God has marvelously preserved to us the Person of His own blessed Son. Dear young people, that is the ministry under which you sit from time to time, nourished and brought up under it. I wonder if you are half enough thankful for it? It is not what you would get in Christendom about you. It is almost impossible to find that which is free from error in these days. There is some element introduced that is not the truth of God. God is very jealous about the person of His Son. Nothing is so near the heart of God as that which pertains to the person of His own blessed Son. He is more interested in preserving the truth of His Son, than in the salvation of the lost. How blessed if you and I are found in that place where the truth as to Christ is preserved! We cannot be thankful enough for it!
The Lord Jesus warned us about these things. We get these words which apply to a future day, but have an application now. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.” (Mat. 24:23). You can call anything Christ, you know. You can take a stump of wood, and call it Christ, and fall down and worship it. You can give a name to anything. The important thing is to see to it that you have the Christ of God?
Moses comes down and hears this that is going on. His apprehensions are aroused, and when the truth breaks in upon his soul, he smashes the tables of stone. It is the only thing he can do. To bring them into the camp would be to sweep away the whole people. He comes in, and takes up the matter with Aaron. Moses, a man walking with God, discerns something strenuous is needful, so he gives that call, “Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me.” And immediately the tribe of Levi joins him. “And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel. Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” What streams of blood! What cries of agony and terror as those Levites went about their sombre business that day!
Is there a voice in that for us today? Yes; there is. We are living in days just like that, when there is lots of dancing around golden calves; when there are lots of feasts to Jehovah; when there are burnt offerings and peace offerings going on around us! Do you know what God wants us to do? Gird on the sword. He wants us to slay. We are to be girt with the truth, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and armed thus we are to go forth for our Lord.
If you are exercised at all in your pathway as to the truth of God, perhaps it is a brother, a friend, a neighbor, who is standing in the way of your coming out loyally and boldly for Christ. “Go into the camp, and slay every man his brother, his friend, his neighbor.”
Dear young people, when it is a question of loyalty to Christ, earthly relationships, however near and dear they may be, must be put to one side. Nothing must stand in the way. “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Whatever it is, if it is your own dear mother that is standing in your way to your being loyal to Christ and His truth, you need that sword girded on, and you need to use it. Christ must have the pre-eminence. These words come from that gentle One Who said to that disciple whom He loved, “Son, behold thy mother!” and “Woman, behold thy son!” That same One who, in His dying agony, made that gracious provision for His mother after the flesh, that same One says, “If any man come to Me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” There must be no consideration given to any relationship that comes in between our souls and loyalty to Christ. It is a day when we need to be girded with the truth of God, and, go forth fearlessly. It isn’t grace to show consideration for evil. The Word of God says, “Be ye angry and sin not.” There are certain circumstances under which it is a sin not to be angry. There is no quarter for evil that attacks the blessed person of Christ. How we need to be armed with the truth of God as to these things, and then go out and use it fearlessly in His name! This is what the Levites did in our chapter.
In the next chapter, we find the whole camp is utterly defiled; openly, for the present, defiled, Moses, again, led by that divine intelligence of a man walking near God, takes the tabernacle and pitches it outside the camp; not only outside, but afar off. “And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out into the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.”
Dear young people, the camp today has become a great, defiled camp, sad to say. God has long since pitched His tabernacle outside. The cry has long since gone forth, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”
If it is the person of the Lord Jesus that you are seeking to please, where are you going to find Him? Where will you find the manifestation of His presence? I would say, it is outside the camp; not only outside, but afar off from the camp. He is not the Author of compromise.
“And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord, went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” The Spirit of God makes use of this scripture in the 13th of Hebrews. I think that is so precious.
Early in my Christian life, the Lord made it precious to my soul. The Lord Jesus suffered without the gate. “Let us therefore go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It isn’t enough to get outside, but to find Him outside. I believe there are thousands of Christians today, as it were, floating around outside; their souls became sickened with what they found in the camp, but they haven’t found Him outside the camp. “Bearing His reproach.” “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
Do we know the joy of suffering reproach for Christ? “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.”
Remember about that girded sword. Remember not to spare the dearest earthly tie. It is a question of loyalty to Christ, Who is our all. How blessed to be found in the company of our Lord, in the place of His own choosing.
(Continued from page 297)

Rejoice Evermore

It is the Lord’s mind that His children should now, even in this world of sorrow and death, be happy. He has not only created us in Christ Jesus, but we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him, and the Holy Ghost says, “Rejoice evermore,” “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.”
The source of our happiness, then, is the Lord Himself, and the secret of happiness is believing on Him whom we see not (1 Peter 1:8). The measure of happiness we are entitled to enjoy, is as unlimited and boundless as glory itself, “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Jesus desires that we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves, and Scripture is written that “our joy may be full.”

Ashamed of Jesus!

“Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee
Scorned be the thought of rich or poor;
My soul shall scorn it now no more.

Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
May evening blush to own a star,
Ashamed of Jesus! just as soon
May midnight blush to think of noon.

Ashamed of Jesus! that dear Friend,
On whom my hopes of heaven depend,
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His Name.

Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may,
When I’ve no guilt to wash away,
No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.

Till then, nor is my boasting vain,
Till then, I boast a Savior slain!
And O! may this my glory be,
That Christ is not ashamed of me.”

The Magnet

We remember once hearing a very interesting account of a conversation between two little boys, on the subject of the Lord’s coming. They had just been put to bed, and ere their kind attendant had left the room, she overheard the conversation which, in substance, we now relate,
T. “I do not understand, H., how the Lord will catch up His people. How will it be? Can you tell me about it?”
H. “Yes, A., I can tell you. Did you ever see brother R. playing with his magnet? Did you ever see him holding the magnet over the needle, and bringing it nearer and nearer until the needle was drawn up to meet it? That’s how it will be when the Lord comes. He will descend into the heavens, and draw up His own people to Him, just as the magnet attracts the needle.”
The little brother understood the simple illustration. As the needle springs up to meet the magnet, so will all who belong to Christ, however weak, however ignorant, however failing, spring up to meet Him when He comes. There is an affinity between the needle and the magnet, as there is between Christ and His people; and hence the moment He comes, the dead saints shall be raised, and the living saints shall be changed, and all shall spring up to meet the true magnet—Christ.
But we may apply the illustration of our dear little boy H. in another way: Take a number of steel filings and mix them with a quantity of sand in a bowl or saucer, then introduce a powerful magnet, and what follows? Why all the steel filings immediately fly to the magnet and adhere to it, while all the sand is left behind.
Thus will it be when the Lord comes for His people. They may be found here and there mingled with the people of the world—sitting in the same room, standing behind the same counter, traveling in the same train, sailing in the same boat, writing at the same desk, walking in the same street. But the very moment that Christ, the true magnet, descends into the air, all who belong to Him, all who believe in His name, all who partake of His resurrection life, will rise, in the twinkling of an eye, to meet Him. They will be drawn up by the powerful attraction of His person, and in virtue of the moral affinity subsisting between Him and them; while, on the other hand, all those who belong not to Him, who know Him not, trust Him not, love Him not, serve Him not, will, like the grains of sand, be left behind.
Dear reader, how would it be with you, if the Lord were to come, while you are reading these lines? He may come at any moment. His promise is sure. He has said, “I will come again.” And, “Behold, I come quickly.” His people are taught to look out for His coming daily and hourly. There is no intervening event. They wait for no sign. They wait for the Son from heaven. Their hope is not affected by any prophetic announcement; indeed prophecy has nothing to do with the church’s hope. Prophecy has to do with Israel and the nations, with events that are to transpire on the earth; but the church is called to wait for “the morning star.” Her hope is heavenly. She looks for the Savior from heaven, and the moment He comes, all true believers will rise to meet Him, while all false professors will be left behind for judgment.
This is deeply solemn for all who are out of Christ. We would seek to press it home upon all such. We would earnestly entreat the reader to weigh it seriously, Christ is coming for His people. That event stands out, in its own divine clearness, before the heart of the Christian who bows to the authority of Scripture.
The Christian looks not for the conversion of the world by a preached gospel. He does not believe in any such thing. He believes that the world will grow worse and worse, its night grow darker and darker. He believes that superstition and infidelity will yet bear sway throughout the length and breadth of Christendom, and that judgment will close this present scene, and clear the earth for millennial glory.
How important to be ready! Ready in title, ready in state, ready in conscience, ready in heart.
O! dear reader, art thou thus ready? Art thou washed in the precious blood of Christ? Dost thou know what it is to be saved, saved through Christ? If so, see that thou art cherishing the blessed hope of seeing your Lord, and of being like Him and with Him forever.
All who know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ are imperatively called to stand apart from everything that bears not the stamp of God’s truth. The present is a moment which calls loudly for plain decision of heart for Christ—for fixedness of purpose in following Him. He looks for this on the part of all His people, and nothing but this is worthy of those who have tasted His most precious grace. He has given us a whole heart, and we ought not to give Him a half one. He, blessed be His name, is for us above, and we ought to be for Him below.
May it be so, through the powerful ministry of the Holy Ghost! May we be marked as those who have, in reality, “turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven!” God in mercy grant it, for Jesus’ sake!

Correspondence

Question: Would you say it is wrong for women to preach? Please explain Joel 2:28 and 1 Timothy 2:12. A. V.
Answer: Joel 2:28 is a prophecy concerning Israel. It will take place when Israel will be restored, that is, in the great and terrible day of the Lord. It concerns Zion and Jerusalem in that future day when the Son of Man comes to reign. The apostle Peter quotes it to show that it was the coming of the Spirit of God to dwell in the believers that made them preach the gospel in languages which they had never learned. The people thought they were drunken, and he adds “this is that,” meaning that it was of the same kind (Acts 2:15, 16). The wonders in verses 19, 20 have not come yet.
It was the beginning of the church, and Paul, led by the Spirit, wrote 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34 which tell us that in public, women are not to speak. One goes against God’s Word who does preach or teach man in spiritual things. God has used women in Scripture to help in the gospel (Phil. 4:3), also to carry a message (John 20:17), and in other ways, (also Acts 9:36; 18:26; 21:9), but there were no women preachers or evangelists.
Question: Is Christendom the great house? P. T.
Answer: Christendom is the kingdom of Christ in profession—all who have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Gal. 3:27).
This vast professing multitude containing both real and nominal Christians, is compared in 2 Timothy 2:20 to “a great house,” wherein is a mixture of vessels—all in confusion. The Christian who seeks to walk with God, though he cannot get out of it, is told to purge himself from these, that is: the mixture—to walk in a clean path, which is pointed out in 2 Timothy 2:22.
The Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, and dwelt in the House of God on earth. That house was composed of people, believers, who were sealed by the Holy Spirit, and though millions have professed Christianity who do not know their sins washed away by the blood of Christ, the Holy Spirit still dwells in every true believer, and will do so till the day of redemption, by the power of Christ, when our bodies are changed like His glorious body, so that it is still true, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit,” and each individual is told, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” (Eph. 2:22; 1 Cor. 6:19).
Question: What is the difference in the scriptures—Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 1:5 and Revelation 7:14? G. C. D.
Answer: Isaiah 1:18 is God appealing to the sinner to take his place as such before God to have His pardoning grace, that could make the scarlet sins all disappear, and the crimson also—stains of deeper dye would be removed leaving the soul whiter than ever it could be in innocence, for the pardoned sinner is clothed with the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). Revelation 1:5 is the saint bursting out in praise at the mention of Jesus Christ’s blessed name, Who by dying on the cross and there making atonement, had cleansed all his sins away.
Revelation 7:14 is the elder describing the faithful who in the great tribulation will be faithful to the Messiah, and will claim Him as their King and Savior. These are saved Gentiles who are faithful to Christ during the great tribulation, in separating themselves from those in rebellion against Him. This is how it is said, “They washed their robes.” These are earthly saints, blest on earth. We, in this day of grace, are heavenly.
Question: What is meant by “Let the dead bury their dead,” as found in Matthew 8:22? W. C.
Answer: In Matthew 8:19 to 22, and Luke 9:57 to 62, we find discipleship—that is, following Christ. In these scriptures we are taught to put Christ first in all we do, in our business, and in all our relationships in life, as Paul said in Philippians 1:21. “To me to live is Christ.” The Lord instructs in caring for our husbands, our wives, our children, our parents, our servants, and our masters. (See Eph. 5:22 to 6:9; and Col. 3:18 to 4:1). Our duty to the Lord is caring for them all according to His Word.
This man in Matthew 8:22 did not want to follow the Lord till his father was dead and buried. So the Lord answers, “Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
Unconverted men are dead in trespasses, and sins; they are spiritually dead; they cannot do anything to please the Lord; they put their own interests before the Lord’s interests; they are the dead that bury their dead without desiring to please the Lord? for they do not know Him.