Young Christian: Volume 23, 1933

Table of Contents

1. A Joyful Surprise
2. Fragment: Fruit for the Father
3. The Magnet
4. Careful and Troubled”
5. Papers for Young Christians: No. 23: On a Start in Life (to Young Men)
6. Extract: A Gleaming Lamp
7. "Father Knows"
8. "The Great Toe"
9. A Word to Workers in the Gospel
10. Capacity to Enjoy God's Things
11. A Beautiful Garment
12. "As He Is"
13. Correspondence: GEN 4:13, 5:16; LUK 12:58-59; Judas; 2CO 13:5; New Earth; More …
14. Sowing and Reaping
15. Lord Jesus, Come
16. The Value of the Blood of Christ
17. Papers for Young Christians: No. 24: On a Start in Life (to Young Women)
18. Fragment: Working for God
19. He Bore Our Griefs
20. Laying a Pillow for Jesus
21. The Tethered Bullock
22. Cleaving to the Lord
23. Where Is Your Talent?
24. Eating and Digesting
25. Correspondence: Spiritual; 2 Cor. 6:8; Col. 2:15, 4:6; End of Law; Create Evil?
26. The Organ Grinder
27. "To Him That Worketh Not"
28. Fragment: The Believer's Security
29. Papers for Young Christians: No. 25: Backsliding
30. My Savior
31. Address to Young Christians: Part 1
32. Communings by the Wayside
33. Christian Service
34. The Lord Is My Shepherd
35. Lending to the Lord
36. Christ's Sympathy
37. Consider Him
38. Correspondence: GAL 3:19, 5:5; Prayer/Supplication; Mount Sion; HEB 12:22, 13:1
39. Nothing but Christ
40. Thou Lovest Not Me
41. Papers for Young Christians: No. 26: Restoration, Part 1
42. O! Lord, Our Hearts Are Waiting
43. Address to Young Christians: Part 2
44. Sunday Schools
45. How to Read Scripture
46. Intercession
47. Fragment: How Rich We Are!
48. Fragment: Life is Warfare
49. Correspondence: Christ not Man?; ROM 8:26-27; Who is the Stone?
50. Kept by His Power
51. "No Fear"
52. "Nobody Ever Told Me"
53. Prepared for Service
54. Papers for Young Christians: No. 26: Restoration, Part 2
55. The Christian's Joy
56. "Lord Jesus, Come"
57. Address to Young Christians: Part 3
58. Hourly Trust
59. A Blessed Rest
60. Correspondence: Eternal Sonship; Confess to God or Christ?; 2 Cor. 13:6
61. "My Word Shall Not Return Unto Me Void"
62. "Take Heed, Therefore, How Ye Hear (or Read)"
63. "We Shall See Him As He Is"
64. Endure Hardness, As a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
65. Address to Young Christians: Part 4
66. Fragment: Prayer and Work
67. Grumblers
68. Fragment: We See God
69. "Publicly, and From House to House"
70. Redeemed, Gathered, Satisfied
71. A Lesson From the Clocks
72. Are They Lost, or Saved?
73. Correspondence: PHI 3:10-11; ACT 13:48; Unicorns; World's End; Man's Words; More.
74. "Heavenly Goods"
75. Be Occupied With Christ
76. The Coming and the Appearing
77. Address to Young Christians: Part 5
78. Fragment: Faith and Love
79. "Then I May Do As I Like"
80. Through the Valley
81. A Call to Prayer
82. "Live Unto God"
83. The Traveler's Hymn
84. "My Times Are in Thy Hand"
85. "He That Is Perfected Shall Be As His Master"
86. The Advantages of Tract Distribution
87. Correspondence: 2 Tim.4:8; Luke 11:2-4; Rev. 8:3; Hair Covering; 1 Tim. 4:10
88. "Something More Satisfying"
89. The Two Journeys
90. Go Ye Out to Meet Him: Part 1
91. Living Devotedness
92. Protecting Fire
93. Walking in the Light
94. Peace Made
95. God Knows and Will Supply
96. Lovest Thou Me? Part 1
97. Christ an Example
98. Correspondence: Voice of Jesus; Eph. 4:26; Mat. 25; Gifts/Offices; Insurance
99. Hoisting His Colors
100. No Condemnation
101. Lovest Thou Me? Part 2
102. Sore Travail
103. At Home, Lord, With Thee
104. "Go Ye Out to Meet Him": Part 2
105. Afflictions
106. The Way of the Cross
107. What Wait I for?
108. Correspondence: 2 Pet. 2:20 vs. John 10:28; John 15:2; Concision
109. The Text on the Wall
110. Fragment: Hidden in the Word
111. "I Looked, and, Lo, a Lamb"
112. The Closing Scenes of Malachi and Jude: Part 1
113. Doing No Harm
114. Extract: The World: Using, Not Loving
115. The Power of Prayer: Part 1
116. Growth
117. "Yes, Lord, Come"
118. Self-Denial
119. Fragment: Turned Out
120. Correspondence: Jesus on Resurrection; Dress; 1 Pe. 4:6; Lord's Prayer; John 14:2
121. "Jesus Is Mine"
122. The Factory-Girls' Bible-Reading
123. Daily Mercies
124. The Closing Days of Malachi and Jude: Part 2
125. Surpassing Joy: Also: The Power of Prayer, Part 2
126. Pray for One Another
127. Take the Brake off
128. Do All to the Glory of God
129. Correspondence: Praying; Son of Joseph; Collection; Saving; O.T. Saints in Res.
130. A Banker's Experience
131. There Shall Be One Flock and One Shepherd”
132. Because of His Importunity
133. Earth's Curse
134. The Blesser, and the Blessing
135. The Church As Seen in the Revelation
136. Lacked Ye Anything?
137. The True Remedy for a Bad State of Soul
138. Nevertheless
139. Be Careful for Nothing
140. "His Own"
141. Extract: God for You
142. Correspondence: Atonement/Punishment; Nations B.C.; Church in O.T.; Spirits

A Joyful Surprise

An old man named Robert J. living in a certain village was poor in earthly goods, but rich in faith. He had known his Lord and Savior for many years, and sought to live well-pleasing to Him. The poor, far and wide, knew the simple old man who had always a kind word ready, and when necessary did not think anything of sharing his last piece of bread with the needy. He was so faithful and earnest in visiting the sick, that even the danger of infectious disease could not keep him away. Where others drew back for fear, there he was, consoling dying believers, or pointing the unconverted to their lost condition, and to the crucified Christ.
One day he came home very tired. He had been wandering about for hours, and was glad to have the chance of resting his weary limbs, but scarcely had he sat down, when some one called for him to visit a dying man in the next village. Our friend at first felt little inclined to go. His weary body seemed to say:
“I can really walk no more”; an inner voice whispered, “Try it, the Lord will give strength: it is for a dying man.” At length he got up and said to himself: “I shall go; it is written:”
“‘Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’” Gal. 6:9.
Arriving at the village, he soon found the house he had been directed to. It was a poor dwelling enclosed in a little garden. At his knock, the door was opened by a cleanly dressed woman who said,
“Come in, the sick person will be real glad to see you. He has asked for you repeatedly. The doctor has just been here and thinks he will not live over the night.”
Robert entered and found the sick man very weak indeed. After a few questions about his bodily condition, he said:
“My friend, it is a very solemn thing to lie there with the consciousness of having to appear soon before a holy God to give account for every word, thought, and deed.”
“Yes, it is a very solemn matter,” replied the sick man; “but I know Whom I have believed.” Robert was greatly surprised, for such an answer he seldom met. Indeed he was not quite convinced for he knew how often many rest on false hopes; he put a few more questions, therefore to the sick man, but the answers proved beyond a doubt that he had come to Jesus with his sins and had found forgiveness and salvation through His blood.
“How long is it since you have found the Lord?” asked Robert overjoyed.
“About twenty years ago. Yes, my conversion was quite a wonderful one it happened through an extraordinary miracle.”
“A miracle?” asked Robert; “every true conversion is an extraordinary miracle. Is it not the greatest miracle, that a man who is dead in trespasses and sins, becomes born again through the Holy Spirit?”
“Yes, indeed,” said the man, “that is true; but my conversion was an extraordinary miracle like those in the Old and New Testaments.”
“Impossible, my friend,” was Robert’s answer, for he feared that the sick man was putting his trust in the remarkable manner of his conversion, instead of the work of Christ.
“You may think so,” replied the sick man, “but you will judge differently when you have heard about it. Till about twenty years ago, I had lead a godless life. I drank, I swore, and made Sunday especially a day of sin. One day I was sent into a field to mow hay. Before that had promised some comrades to spend the evening in a saloon, drinking.
“I went to the field, taking my dinner with me, for my house was too far away to go back for it. It was only bread and cheese, for I was too poor to buy better food. Arriving in the field, I sought a place to hide my stock of food. I tied it in my handkerchief and put it in a hole in the hedge. There was nobody besides myself in the field.
“When midday came, I went there to eat my scanty meal. My little package still lay in the same spot as I had left it. Carelessly I unwrapped it; but what was my astonishment, when I found a tract inside! At the first glance I could scarcely believe my eyes; but it was actually so.
“I opened the tract and read it, and then my whole body began to tremble. I knew that no man had been in the field. If so, I would have seen him. God himself, I thought has sent me this tract by an angel. I read it and read it again. The tract spoke of my sinful and lost condition, and warned me to flee from the wrath of God. I fell on my knees and for the first time in my life, cried from the depths of my heart:
“‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’
“I resolved firmly, as God Himself had sent me this tract, to begin a new life from that hour and only live for the Lord. You can easily imagine that I did not go to the saloon that night. I was very unhappy and felt all broken down.
“I knew the greatness of my sins and my crimes, and it was a long time before I found peace and forgiveness. But the Lord had mercy on me, and at last granted me the grace to accept the Lord Jesus through faith; and from that time my heart was filled with peace, joy, and thankfulness. I was a new creation, as it is said in 2 Cor. 5.
“I have since then been much persecuted and through it have unfortunately experienced much weakness, but the faithfulness of my heavenly Father has sustained me, and I rejoice that I shall soon be up there with my Lord, and praise Him throughout eternity for His unspeakable grace: Now, can I not say truthfully that my conversion was brought about through an extraordinary miracle?”
With these words, he looked at Robert questioningly, who, however, seemed to be deeply moved with the account and remained silent for a time, till finally he asked:
“How long did you say it was since this happened?”
“It will be twenty years next month,” replied the sick man.
“Was the place where the field lay not called Ponder’s Bush, and the owner’s name Jonas?” questioned Robert with an agitated voice. And when the sick man answered in the affirmative he continued:
“Praise the Lord! I can explain the miracle. On that morning, I was taking a walk near the field. Through the hedge. I noticed a man hiding something. I was curious to know what it was, thinking it might be something stolen. When the man had departed, I went and examined the little bundle, and found it to contain only bread and cheese. I was about to go away, when it occurred to me that I had some tracts in my pocket and thought it might do no harm to place one inside. I did it, and thought as I went away: ‘Who knows whether the Lord will not bless the reading of this tract to the heart of that man.’”
It was now the turn of the sick man to be astonished. Indeed, it was a striking moment. Old Robert was moved, because he had found the fruit of seed he had planted twenty years before; and the sick man was moved, because that God had made known to him before his death, the man who had been the means of his conversion.
Not long after, he fell asleep in quiet peace: and old Robert went again with renewed courage to his work of making souls acquainted with salvation through Christ.
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:58.
Reader, have you like the sick man been going on in a course of evil and disregard for God? Or has your conscience heard the warning to flee from the wrath to come?
Do not delay to find peace and forgiveness, for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners says:
“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37.

Fragment: Fruit for the Father

“Fruit for the Father is really the reproduction of Christ, in a practical way, in the Christian; and that reproduction is brought about by the sense in our souls that without Him we can do nothing. The Father is the judge of what is fruit for Him, and whatever to Him, in us speaks of Christ, is fruit,”

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 do not belong to Him, who do not know Him, who do not trust Him, who do not love Him, who do not serve Him, will, like the grains of sand, he 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 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 take place 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.
He does not look 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, are you thus ready? Are you washed in the precious blood of Christ? Do you know what it is to be saved and sealed? —saved in Christ, and sealed by the Holy Ghost? If so, see that you are cherishing the blessed hope of seeing your Lord, and of being like Him, and with Him forever. All who know the grace of Jesus are imperatively called to stand apart from everything that does not bear 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!

Careful and Troubled”

“Careful and troubled,” is that true of thee?
“Careful and troubled,” Why should’st thou be!
Faith in His wisdom thy Savior desires;
Trust in His guidance He always requires.
“Careful and troubled,” but that is not “trust”;
“Trust” means to leave it all, happen what must.
“Trust” means to live free from worrying care,
Casting on Jesus thy burden to bear.
“Careful and troubled” dishonors His love;
Do not His past dealings all faithful prove?
“Careful and troubled,” dishonors His power;
Will not His strength hold out hour after hour.
“Careful and troubled” just means “unbelief”;
Thou wilt not trust Him, and that gives Him
“Careful and troubled” just means “disobey”;
“Bring here thy burden!” “I will not,” you say.
And yet “He careth, He careth for you”
Have you not tried it, and found it is true?
Have you known one of His promises fail?
Have you not proved that His strength does
Alter thy motto; then, “trouble” no more;
Go to the old Book of heavenly lore.
“Careful for nothing,” there written I see,
Savior, I thank Thee; make that true of me.

Papers for Young Christians: No. 23: On a Start in Life (to Young Men)

No. 23
To Young Men
Our readers are necessarily divided, with regard to this subject, into two classes—those who have started in life, and those about to start. It is especially for the benefit of the latter that we write. There is no doubt that the most critical moment for a young believer is when he is called upon to make a start for himself, to begin a voyage across the great ocean of life, with apparently no hand on the tiller but his own; we say, apparently, for reasons that will be seen further on
The Start
To start is a very real thing, which may take place actually in a variety of ways. To young men, for whom we now write, it occurs when the well-thumbed lesson books are finally laid aside, and the new clerk takes his seat for the first time on the high stool, or the sailor-boy steps on board his first ship, or the apprentice gets his first instruction in his future trade, or the undergraduate first dons the cap and gown.
That which makes the act so serious, is not the mere fact that the steps which were only yesterday directed to the well-known school, are now turned to the office, the ship, the workshop, or the college, but that the boy has all at once sprung into the man. It is true that at times he seeks to blossom into the “genus homo,” even at school, but this is distinctly premature, and all such attempts are justly checked. But when once a boy enters a profession, a trade, or any other calling, and begins to fight the battle of life; he justly expects to be considered and regarded, at least, a young man.
The Dangers
Herein lies the chief danger for the young Christian. Up to this time he has taken all that his parents have told him for granted. He has steadily attended the well known church, chapel, meeting, or Sunday school, where he first learned the value of the blood of Christ; and, shielded in a comfortable home from temptation, he has caught, hitherto, but stray glimpses of the sea of wickedness without. But now comes the time when his principles are to be tested. He is sent away to a strange town, he lives in lodgings, he is thrown among a set of godless, careless, and often immoral young men; he is surrounded on every side with new and strange temptations.
O, how many dear bright young believers have made shipwreck of their faith on these fatal rocks which are met with on first sailing out of the harbor of home! It is not too much to say that ONE WEEK, at a time like this, largely determines a young man’s FATE FOR YEARS.
How to Meet Them
If being forewarned and therefore forearmed, he leaves his home a bright, happy Christian, prepared to stand for God, and test, in a fiercer fight, the strength already gained in many a little skirmish at school; if he firmly believes in the truth that if the devil is resisted, he will flee from him, and shows his colors at the first opportunity at his work and in his leisure hours; if, on the first night in his lodgings he opens his Bible, and, after reading God’s Word, prays to his Father in heaven, the victory is as good as won.
In the first place, he is at once saved from a thousand temptations by showing his colors, for the really vicious at once shrink away from an openly declared Christian, and will seldom long trouble a man who at once stands up against them.
In the second place, the stand he has taken, to a certain extent commits him for the future, and makes his life comparatively easy after the first week.
Thirdly, he having honored God, God will honor, protect and strengthen him.
We Have a Father to Guide Us
But now there is another matter, and it is this. We spoke of the young man starting on the voyage of life, his hand apparently holding the tiller, and guiding the ship. Now many a young man, and even a young believer, thinks that this is not only apparently, but is really so, and that he is the architect of his own fortunes, and that it is his will that is to direct his future life. Many accept Christ as their Savior, who have but a very faint idea of what it is to accept God as their Father, and yet the one relationship is as true as the other; and if the one makes them happy for eternity, the other is certainly the secret of true happiness for time. There is a wonderful difference between the young man who goes forth rejoicing in his own strength and sagacity, and thinks that he can outwit the world; and the humble Christian, who leaves home placing the tiller of the little vessel of his life into his Father’s hand, and trusts Him to guide him aright through the dangers and difficulties of each day.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.” Prov. 3:4.
Do not think that any detail of your new life is too small for God to guide you in. The choice of your business, of your future home, of your companions, should all be entrusted to Him; and
He will greatly own and honor such confidence, and lead you in the very best path. For it is folly to suppose that if we have a loving and all-wise Father, He would or could do anything else. The poet’s words are indeed true,
“All that God does, or suffers to be done,
That we ourselves would do,
Could we the future of our lives as clearly scan,
As He does now.”
The Bible Our Chart
Start, then, in life with a definite trust that “God will guide;” and though you apparently are steering the ship, get all your orders from above, so that, after all, it is His hand, not yours, that is really holding the tiller.
One other word and we have done. A ship requires a chart and compass as well as a rudder. Now the Christian’s chart is the Word of God, which shows him his course plainly down here, telling him that his first object should ever be, under all circumstances, the glory of God; that he is left here for this very purpose, not to please himself, but Christ. The compass is the conscience, instructed by the Word of God, that tells me in an instant when I am out of the true course.
We would, in closing, again entreat every young man just about to sail out of the harbor
Make a Good Start
to make a good start. If he wavers at first, or yields a little for the sake of peace, he will not get it; but, on the contrary, he may be drawn on, little by little, from bad to worse, until no outward sign of Christianity is left at all. A bold front at first, saves a great deal of trouble and fighting afterward. Be sure, however, that the trust is not your own strength, but that every step is taken with prayer and dependence on God.
As for the future, leave that with your heavenly Father, seeking only to live each day more truly to His glory than you did the day before. Such a course is worth a hundred sermons, for who can tell the mighty power of the unconscious influence exercised by a consistent Christian life?

Extract: A Gleaming Lamp

Remember that your lamps are to be kept well trimmed and brightly burning. What is more dangerous than a lamppost with no light at the top on a dark night? The very thing which ought to be a guide, proves a stumbling-block; so a Christian who is not letting his light shine, always proves a real hindrance to others.
Have you ever wound round a steep road, down to an old town in the hollow below hidden in thick darkness, with lamps gleaming only here and there? That is what God sees as He looks upon this dark world! The only light there, comes from those who were sometimes darkness, but now are “light in the Lord”; and “who walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8.)

"Father Knows"

“Johnny, 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 got more now than you can carry.”
“Never mind,” said Johnny, 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 Johnny had by heart.
“Father knows how much I can carry.”
No grumbling, no discontent; but a sweet trust in our heavenly Father’s love and care that we shall not be overburdened.
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” Psa. 55:22.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:29, 30.

"The Great Toe"

A young lady was playing the piano while a Christian preacher sat nearby. He was longing for an opportunity of speaking to her of the Savior whom he loved.
Suddenly she stopped the music, and turning to the servant of God, said, “Mr. C—, do you think there is any wrong in a young girl like myself going to a ball?”
“Well,” he replied, “it all depends upon what has happened to your big toe.”
“My big toe is all right,” she answered.
He turned to Ex. 29 and read to her of the blood of the ram of consecration being put upon the tip of the right ear, upon the thumb of the right hand, and upon the great toe of the right foot. It was thus that the consecrated ones were set apart to God. They were to be for Him henceforth. The blood which made atonement at the altar was upon them. Today, the precious blood of Christ cleanses us who believe upon Him, but it also claims us who are cleansed.
The conversation concluded. But it was not without result.
The next morning, the young Christian did not come down from her room until quite late and then she said:
“Mr. C—, I’ve consecrated my big toe.”
And henceforth her walk witnessed that she was Christ’s, and she earnestly sought to be for His glory in the salvation of others.
“Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.

A Word to Workers in the Gospel

All true gospel work is aggressive. It can be nothing else. The world is a battlefield, and God’s soldiers are called to active service. The enemy is ever on the alert, and the faithful soldier dare be nothing else. Yet the self-evident fact of the true gospel work being aggressive, always aggressive, gets but a small place in the souls of God’s people.
Probably every Christian at some time of his life lived out gospel aggressiveness—he or she sought to win souls with the soldier spirit; equally probable is it, that not one in a thousand maintains the true gospel spirit for any length of time.
Most have their practice days, but these are usually few and far between, and the work of many is often merely practice. Firing big guns is so expensive that their report is but seldom heard; but big guns, after all, do not slay as the sword, for, as in ancient warfare, the greatest slaughter falls to hand-to-hand fighting.
Some eloquent teacher or mighty evangelist may at times utter his voice in our neighborhood, but, after all has been said, the great thing is to do our little work ourselves. So up to the work in village, town, and city, and whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might put your whole soul into the work.
A Christian man was telling us the other day, that when God not long ago aroused him to the reality of the lost state of his neighbors, he first called upon the Christians he knew and asked their help.
One said he had tried so often getting people to the chapel that he regarded such efforts as of no use.
Others whom he begged to open their houses only looked at him as an enthusiast.
At last the true idea entered our friend’s soul—working man as he is, and with little ability—but he thought he would trust God and try it himself, and the end—though God grant it is but a beginning was that several sinners were brought to the Lord Jesus Christ.
What would a colonel say to the privates in the regiment who, in the day of battle, left the actual fighting to the officers, as not being the special duty of the rank and file? Thank God for good officers, but every man to the work, and to his own particular work unto which he has been called by God.
Young people often make rushes at work steady workers get through the most work in the long run. The woman who sought her lost piece of silver swept the house and sought diligently till she found it; and such work is carried on in the power of God’s Spirit. Those disciples who, guided by the Lord, were unable to draw their net for the multitude of fishes, had, before the draft, toiled all night and had caught nothing.
“In due season we shall reap if we faint not,” says the Scripture.
But the pieces of silver are not found without search, nor fishes caught without toil, nor does the harvest arise unless the seed be sown.
Every man to his duty, and never forget the Lord has appointed to each his work, and to you yours. Find from Him what your work is and go forward. Go forward. Look for blessing expect better things than have heretofore been received.
It is a great thing in working to have a good heart. The more the difficulties, the more the the victories. The more the enemies, the more the cause for courage. Be strong and of a good courage, and live for God and for eternity.
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9.

Capacity to Enjoy God's Things

It is important to remark two things:
FIRST, moral nearness to God, and communion with Him, is the only means of any true enlargement in the knowledge of His ways, and the blessings which He imparts to His children, because it is the only position in which we can perceive them, or be morally capable of so doing: and also that all conduct that is not suitable to this nearness to God—all levity of thought which His presence does not admit of—makes us lose these communications from Him, and renders us incapable of receiving them.
SECOND, it is not that Ile (the Lord) forsakes us because of these faults, or this carelessness; He intercedes for its, and we experience His grace, but it is no longer communion, or intelligent progress in the riches of the revelation of Himself, of the fullness which is in Christ. It is grace adapted to our wants, an answer to our misery. Jesus stretches out His hands to us according to the need that we feel—need produced in our hearts by the operation of the Holy Ghost. This is infinitely precious grace—a sweet experience of His faithfulness and love. We learn by this means to discern between good and evil—by judging self; but the grace had to be adapted to our wants, and to receive a character according to those wants, as an answer made to them. We have had to think of ourselves. In a case like this the Holy Ghost occupies us with ourselves (ill grace, no doubt); and when we have lost communion with God, we cannot neglect this turning back on ourselves without deceiving and hardening ourselves. Alas, the dealings of many souls with Christ hardly go beyond this character. This, with all, is too often the case.
It is grace alone that allows us again to have to do with God. The fact that He restores us. enhances His grace in our eyes; but this is not communion.
When we walk with God—walk after the Spirit, without grieving Him—He maintains us in communion—in the enjoyment of God, the positive Source of joy—of an everlasting joy.
This is a position in which He can occupy us, as being ourselves interested in all that interests Him, with all the development of His counsels. His glory, His goodness, in the Person of Jesus the Christ, the Son of His love; and the heart is enlarged in the measure of the objects that occupy it.

A Beautiful Garment

There is a garment called humility, which renders its wearer unseen. Let him who would pass through this world to the glory of God garb himself with this raiment, as it is written.
“Be ye clothed with humility.”

"As He Is"

Nine simple words. But they speak of the profound blessing of all believers. They are among the most wonderful words in the whole of the Word of God:
“As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17.
“As He is.” As Christ is. He has endured the wrath and judgment. He has died. He lives again. He is clear of all judgment. He is past all the suffering and woe which He endured for us. He sits at God’s right hand in the fullest favor of God.
“As He is, so are we.” His place is our place through God’s wondrous goodness. The believer is accepted in the same acceptance in which Christ is accepted. Is He clear of judgment? “So are we.” Is He in the full favor of God?
“So are we.” Is He in nearness and relationship with God as Father? “So are we.”
“As He is, so are we in this world.” Yes! the blessing is ours now. Not only will it be ours when we reach the glory of God but it is ours “in this world.” Already God would have us to enjoy the boundless privilege. He writes by His servant to tell us of the blessing in order that our joy may be full and that we may be set free from every fear and be able to delight before His face.

Correspondence: GEN 4:13, 5:16; LUK 12:58-59; Judas; 2CO 13:5; New Earth; More …

Question: Does not the marginal reading of Gen. 4:13 suggest the idea that Cain was really sorry for his sin? and yet in 5:16 we read that he “went out from the presence of the Lord.” E. S. G.
Answer: Whatever inference we might draw from Cain’s apparent sorrow when he hears of his punishment, it is evident that the sorrow soon passed away, for only in a few verses lower we find him building his city, and making himself thoroughly comfortable away from God.
Question: Who are the “judge” and the “adversary” spoken of in Luke 12:58, 59? J. G. S.
Answer: God was then pleading with His people by His Son; but if they refused to hear Him, He would judge them. Hence He is both judge and adversary.
Question: Are we to understand from John 17:12 that Judas was to be lost from the beginning? T. H.
Answer: We are to understand that he never was saved, but not that he was lost for the purpose of fulfilling Scripture. “That the Scripture might be fulfilled,” should be read in parenthesis.
Question: How can we examine and prove ourselves whether we be in the faith? (2 Cor. 13:5.) If we believe in Christ, is there any doubt of it? S. P. T.
Answer: Verse 4 is a parenthesis, and the reason they were to examine themselves is given in the first part of verse 3. There was no doubt at all as to their being in the faith, but inasmuch as they were the seals of the apostle’s ministry, their being in the faith would he a proof that God had spoken to them by him. He who knows himself to be saved, does not doubt that the message that reached his soul was of God.
Question: What will God use the New Earth for?
Answer: It will be the habitat of all who are living on the earth at the close of the 9th verse of Rev. 20. All distinction between Jew and Gentile ceases with the introduction of the new earth. “The tabernacle of God is with men, not Jews or Gentiles.
Question: Will the Church dwell on the New Earth?
Answer: No. The Church is always a heavenly company (Heb. 3:1; Phil. 3:14; 1 Peter 5:10).
Question: Will the Church be included in “The tabernacle of God is with men?”
Answer: In my judgment, Yes, though I do not say that the meager reference in Rev. 21:3 definitely settles the point.
Question: (1) Did Christ create the world? (Col 1:16). (2) Does God, in the Old Testament, mean “Father” or “Son?”
Answer: (1) Yes. In another sense it is also true that God made them by Christ (Heb. 1:2). (2) God, in the Old Testament, means neither Father or Son specially, but the triune God. There is abundant evidence, however, that “LORD,” or “Jehovah,” means the One whom we know as Christ the Son.

Sowing and Reaping

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” 2 Cor. 6:14.
Ann R. was born in a quiet town. Her parents were worldly people, but very industrious. John R., her father, was a shoemaker by trade, and brought up his children in comparative comfort in a humble way. Ann showed marks of piety at an early age; she took great delight in the Sunday school; she loved her teacher dearly, and much enjoyed committing hymns to memory. Ann’s teacher was a godly young person, who sought to show her pupils their need of a Savior, and who tried to lead them to Christ. She instructed them that children will be called to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed, and consequently need the blood of Christ to wash them and make them clean, quite as much as people of mature age. She tried to make them see the evil of trusting to works and morality to save them from judgment, and sought to prove to them that Christ and Christ alone must save every sinner who enters heaven.
Ann R. loved her Savior and all went well during her childhood, but when she grew up she accepted the friendship of a worldly young man.
He made promises of amendment, saving that if he had a good counselor and a home of his own, he would be a better man. He often told her his home was not a happy one, and that if she would consent to marry him he would turn over a new leaf. Alas! without seeking guidance from her God she accepted him, and they were married early in the spring.
For a time Job S. kept his promises; he regularly attended the house of prayer with his wife; he left his worldly comrades, and outwardly there was a change for the better, but, alas! his heart was not changed. His attendance at the chapel was soon irregular; his visits to the saloon increased, and, sad to relate, Ann began to be dragged away from God by him, and would go for a holiday upon the Lord’s day to please him. At the end of two years Job’s life was as wicked as before, and his wife had been led by him into evil. She had disobeyed the plain word of Scripture in marrying a man not a Christian, and the influence she at one time possessed for doing good was gone. Time went on, and Job became a drunkard.
Poor Ann cried to God for forgiveness, and was brought back to the Savior from whom she had strayed, but she had to travel the path of life in sorrow as regards this world. Lonely and sad, she could see, alas! too late, that she had chosen her own way instead of her God’s ways, and though God in mercy had looked upon His wandering sheep, it was after much suffering that she was brought back to the Shepherd she had left.
She was often beaten by her drunken husband, and sometimes he even threatened to take her life. In these dark hours she found her Savior precious, and the promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” very sweet.
Job would not hear one word of counsel; he was determined to fill up the measure of his iniquities. Poor Ann could only carry her heavy burden to God in prayer, and stay herself upon Him. So was a long life spent! Ann reaped as she had sown. There was no cheer in her sad life, save her hope in God. At the age of seventy-nine she died.
As her husband saw her happy death he thought, as have many before:
“Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Then God in His mercy began to answer Ann’s prayers. The funeral being over, Job was left alone, and he thought over all his cruelty to his wife; he thought of her patience and love; he was ashamed of his wickedness, and grieved over the hopeless past. Nor did he grieve alone for his cruelty towards his wife! The Spirit of God showed him the depths of the sin of his heart, and he was humbled and contrite before the holy God. He cried aloud in the agony of his soul:
“What must I do to be saved?”
Then he bethought him of his wife’s Bible, and there he read the tender and compassionate words of Jesus:
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;” and O! how he longed for rest.
After turning over the leaves of the Bible, and reading many underlined passages, which seemed to him as his wife’s voice appealing to him from the grave, he read:
“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” Isa. 33:17.
The light shone in upon his dark soul as he read on, and the 22nd verse was blessed to him: “For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.”
The Spirit of God showed him that Christ had done all for him, when nailed to the cross; he might come with all his sin to Jesus, and trust the gracious call. He came, and found Christ to be “as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:2.
Some time after Job was taken sick, and died trusting in his Savior.
“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” 2 Chron. 19:2.
Where this word has been disobeyed, the cup of sorrow has often been full for many years with tears, heartaches and keenest disappointment; a big price to pay for transgressing one plain portion of the Word of God, and bringing great dishonor to the Lord.

Lord Jesus, Come

“Lord Jesus, come, Thy saints for Thee are waiting,
To see Thy face and be with Thee at home;
E’en now our endless bliss anticipating,
With all our hearts we say, ‘Lord Jesus, come!’
Lord Jesus, come, our hearts for Thee are longing,
To share Thy joy in those bright courts above,
Where Thou wilt have Thy saints around Thee thronging,
In all the blessed fullness of Thy love.
Lord Jesus, come, with hearts and voices blending,
Soon shall we praise Thee in Thy Father’s home;
Soon shall we sing the ‘New song,’ never ending,
But now we sing to Thee, ‘Lord Jesus, come!’”
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.

The Value of the Blood of Christ

If an Israelite had been asked what it was that saved him from the destroyer on the first Passover night, what would have been his reply? A very brief one, we may be sure. He would have replied in a word of five letters, namely, “BLOOD!” He would have quoted Jehovah’s words in proof.
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Exodus 12:13.
He knew nothing about salvation by the BLOOD and something else. No; the Israelite could have taught us a very simple lesson. The BLOOD was everything to him as a ground of salvation and peace. And surely it should be everything to us likewise. If he was not taught to mingle anything else with the blood, neither should we.
If the blood of a lamb was sufficient to save an Israelite from the hand of death, surely the blood of the Eternal Son of God is sufficient to save us from all the consequences of our sins, from the wrath of God and from eternal judgment. It is justly due to the blood of such a sacrifice that all who put their trust therein should be safe under its shadow forever.
There are two ways of casting dishonor upon “the blood of Jesus”; first, by supposing that it only goes half way in procuring salvation; and, secondly, by supposing that it is only a half salvation which it procures. The ordinance of the Passover contradicts both these suppositions, contradicts them in the plainest possible way. Israel’s firstborn were saved by the blood ALONE; and they were WHOLLY saved by the blood.
Let us remember this. They had no thought of adding aught thereto. Having the BLOOD, they wanted nothing more. It perfectly saved them from judgment, and gave them perfect peace.

Papers for Young Christians: No. 24: On a Start in Life (to Young Women)

No. 24
To Young Women
A start in life must come sooner or later to young women as well as to young men. Like the latter, they must say farewell to their quiet girlhood in entering upon some occupation—it may he as servant, it may be as seamstress, or as a clerk in some of the higher branches of women’s work, in the postal, telegraph, and other services; or it may be as a governess, or music teacher. In entering on any of these new positions, a great and important step is taken, entirely analogous to that on which we wrote a few words in our last chapter. To such who have thus, in some way or other, to leave their homes to earn their daily bread, what we said there is perfectly applicable.
Show Your Colors
A young girl, going out from under her mother’s care to service, or becoming an apprentice, or a clerk, is surrounded with temptations. She will, in most cases, find that those around her are worldly, giddy, and have a general dislike to “religion.” If she would live to God’s glory, she must begin by showing her colors, and the sooner she lets it be plainly known among her fellow-workers, that she belongs to Christ, and means to stand up for Him, the sooner she will be understood. It is in vain to try and go on with the world, and to follow Christ as well. Once she has taken her stand, the world—represented by her godless companions—is against her, and she must understand this.
Of course, in her ways and manners she must be additionally obliging and kind, doing others a good turn whenever it lies in her power. But she must be prepared for every little inconsistency to be shown up in the most glaring light. The very fact of her being in such company will help to keep her straight, for if she tries to copy any worldly ways, her companions will be the first to point out the inconsistency with some such kind remark as, “She a Christian, indeed!”
These taunts are felt, because in a measure they are deserved, and the young Christian sees that the world is sharp enough to discover when she does not adorn her profession.
By Practical Christianity
It is evident, therefore, that both for her own sake and for her Master’s, the more quiet and consistent her walk, the happier her life. Respecting her work, it must be well and thoroughly done. No worldly master or mistress can understand or respect a Christianity, which consists in reading religious books, instead of doing one’s work, or in always wishing to go out to some meeting, instead of keeping the house straight. Our work must be done cheerfully, and be “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” A Christianity that makes one help a slower worker, when one has done one’s own task, that does not draw the line at the exact amount of work paid for, that seeks to help and assist generally, that takes an interest in what is being done, is readily understood and appreciated.
O! seek, then, my dear fellow-believers, thus to adorn the gospel of God your Savior in all things. Not only in being in your accustomed seat on the Sunday, but in little acts of kindness all through the week, done for Christ’s sake ever seeking opportunities of doing good. If you have helped some poor girl to get through her heavy task, and taken half the load on your own shoulders, you have won her gratitude, and may have opened a door in her heart to some loving words about the One who took your burden on His shoulders.
In your dress, too, surely there is great scope for adorning the gospel of Christ, in a way those of your own sex especially, are ready to observe. I do not mean in dressing like a nun, or sister of mercy, but like a Christian, having a desire to please Christ even in your outward appearance.
A Good Example Encourages Others
One reward, of standing up for Christ, is that it frequently is the means of encouraging some more timid sister to show her colors, and you will often discover some hidden member of Christ in this manner. It is a wonderful help, when there are two in a business or situation, that love the Lord. It doubles their strength and halves their trials. If, therefore, you find you are really alone, resolve that by God’s grace you will not remain alone, and earnestly seek to win some soul for Him from among your companions.
Besides all these ways, however, in which you make a start in life, there is another and a more important way still, and that is by marriage. To young men, marriage seldom comes as a beginning in life, for, generally, they have been out the world some years before. But to girls, and especially to those who are not compelled to labor for a livelihood, marriage is often the portal through which they are introduced, from the quiet seclusion of home, into the vast world without. Many children of God have, from time to time, borne witness as to the vast importance, for good or evil, of this momentous step. It has been shown by instances drawn from real life, and by the direct Word of God, how this union, to be blest, must be in the Lord (that is, both husband and wife children of God), and of the Lord (that is, both naturally and spiritually suited to each other, and His guidance sought in the matter).
We do not now allude further to this, save again to point out that more young Christians are wrecked, and the fair promise of their young lives blighted, by hasty and ill-assorted marriages, than by anything else. It is probable that most, who read these lines, are yet unmarried; to such we would earnestly say, above all things honor God in this step. Let no inclination, no apparent worldly advantage, lead you to overlook the fact that as surely as you are God’s child, and as surely as He is your Father, so surely as you sow you shall reap; and if you, with your eyes open, disobey Him to please yourself, you must inevitably suffer deeply for it, whereas if you seek in this truly to glorify Him, He will uphold you.
How to Act in Married Life
We will suppose, however, that you have taken the step, and that no objection is to be made to your marriage, there still remains the question.
“How are you to act in your new relationship?”
In the first place, never let the new scenes and occupations interfere with the old duties—daily private reading, and prayer. This is the sheet-anchor of your soul, and if you have already experienced the blessing of it in your girlhood, it is worse than folly to neglect it now.
Next, as in business, so here—it is the first step which is all-important. Let it be plainly understood at the outset by your new connections and friends that you are a believer, by your servants that they have to do with a Christian mistress.
Lastly, make your start in life with a definite object before you for attainment, and that is, to glorify God in the new sphere in which He has placed you, as a wife—a mistress—a friend—and a mother. Let nothing obscure this object, but let it quietly underlie all your actions, and you will be blessed in all your relations. Not that such a steady course is easy. You will have to strive through many cross-currents, especially when your interests, or those of your children, seem to point one way, and God’s glory another. But if it is the constant habit of your life to know and feel that this is your object, you will be greatly helped at such times, and—by God’s grace—ever gain the victory.

Fragment: Working for God

If God honors a man by giving him a great deal of work to do for Him, let him rejoice therein, and not murmur; for if he murmur he can very speedily lose his honor. God is at no loss for instruments.
O! for a heart to serve Him! A patient, humble, self-emptied, devoted heart! A heart ready to serve in company, ready to serve alone. A heart so filled with love to Christ that it will find its joy, its chief joy, in serving Him, let the sphere or character of service be what it may. Nothing is more dishonoring to God than a manifestation of a complaining spirit on the part of those who belong to Him.
Each one of us has a place to occupy, a ministry to fill, a responsibility to discharge; and you and I, are at this moment, either promoting the interest of the house of God, the body of Christ, the Church; or helping on the godless schemes of a world stained with the blood of Christ, and the blood of all His martyred saints.

He Bore Our Griefs

Art thou weary? He was weary
As He sat by yonder well—
Thy path He knows is often dreary:
His was more than tongue can tell.
Art thou lonely? He was lonely—
Left by those He fondly loved;
They forsook Him in His sorrow,
Though they oft His kindness proved.
Dost thou suffer? O, He suffered
More by far than thou canst do;
For thy sake, “a Man of Sorrows:”
How to suffer well He knew.
Art thou passing through the shadow
Of the valley we call death?
Jesus knew its deepest anguish
As He yielded up His breath.
Dost thou dread the grave so gloomy?
There is naught for thee to fear;
Calmly enter its dark portal,
For the Lord Himself lay there.
Fearest thou alone to enter
In a world to thee unknown?
Jesus there Himself will greet thee
Claim thee for His precious one.

Laying a Pillow for Jesus

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.” Mark 4:38.
It might be that some kind hand had placed this pillow for Jesus. He had said on one occasion,
“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.”
And it is remarkable that Matthew (8:19-27) puts these words of Jesus just before His embarkation, though they were possibly uttered at another time.
It may be that some loving hand arranged that pillow for Him, knowing that He was weary. It was evening when He entered the ship, probably after a long day’s toil.
We may learn a lesson from that pillow. Jesus never asked for a comfort from any when He was down here: He did ask the poor Samaritan woman for a drink of water not that He was seeking her care, but that He might draw out her need. Still He gave opportunities to those who longed to show their love and attention to Him.
Sometimes we may not have it in our hand to give when we have it in our heart. No matter; He looks at the heart. Do not let us judge Him with man’s judgment, and say,
“I cannot do so and so; then why need I wish to do it?”
It may be that the one who arranged that pillow (if such were the case) was gladdened afterward to find that He had fallen asleep upon it. In any case, He accepted it then—yes; used it fully for Himself.
It may be, too, that there was no one of all His disciples whose heart was open to give Him “the tribute money.” If there had been one, He might have allowed that one to do it unto Him; but a fish must be the giver. Doubtless, if there had been one at the moment who would have longed to give Him the money, He would have sent Peter to such an one, and not to a fish. He displayed His lordship over creation in the act, of course; but would He not rather have had the need filled up from some loving heart which was looking for an opening to help?
Could it be possible that at that particular moment not one on earth was longing to aid the Man of Sorrows? I say, “at that moment;” for it is not enough that life from God must be present in him who acts for Jesus; he must also be in a moral state of soul, in communion with God, ere Jesus will ask for his aid.
The ravens fed Elijah. But if there is even a Sidonian widow, with nothing save a little oil and a handful of meal, she will have the blessedness of helping the servant of the Lord.
The Lord loves us to give to Him, but “a cheerful giver” is the one He wants. When He wanted the colt for His entry into Jerusalem, He knew well who really was willing. There He sent, and asked. All that was needful to say was, “The Lord hath need of him.” “Strait-way” he would be sent. Perhaps the owners of that colt were anxiously waiting for some opportunity of service. If so, how it strengthened their faith to find that Jesus knew all about it!
In the case of the man with the pitcher of water (Luke 22:10) we see the same thing. The “good man” of that house may have been thinking of Jesus, and saying,
“My room is a large one: how suitable it would be for the Lord and His disciples! How I wish He would eat the Passover at my house!”
If so, how his heart must have leaped when the two disciples, Peter and John, came into his very house to tell him that the Master was coming! Little did the man with the pitcher know what his carrying the pitcher signaled. Anything, everything, can be used by God to accomplish His purposes.
But to return. We may say that we cannot lay a pillow for the head of Jesus now. I think we can lay many for Him. Is not every believer now a member of His body? Many of those members need our pillows so to say. The “Head” is in glory, and as such, He needs them not. But Saul could persecute Him— “Why persecutest thou Me?” Every word of comfort, then, every act of kindness, every little succor towards a saint, because he belongs to Jesus, is an odor of a sweet smell, Godward.
What mean the words, “And the house was filled with the odor of the ointment?” (John 12). Sooner or later, all will know what is clone for and to the Lord. The people on the housetop could know that something sweet was being offered below.
Do not the angels know what is done to Jesus? We smell, as it were, the sweetness of Abraham’s sacrifice, although no eye saw it, save that of Jehovah. (Gen. 22). Envious ones may have been attracted by the odor in that house, who would not own Mary’s devotedness at all. They could not help smelling its sweet savor.
We cannot do too much for the Lord; and nothing is too little or insignificant for Him to notice. Alas! how many are making pillows for their own comfort beautiful pillows provisions for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts! When we are thus occupied we have not large hearts towards the Lord. “The flesh” always narrows our hearts in divine love. When separation from self and the world is going on, there is room for enlargement in love and heavenly activities. (2 Cor. 6).

The Tethered Bullock

Passing along a country road some time ago, I saw a fine young bullock tightly tethered to a few feet of ground, and I could but observe bow he struggled against the restraint that was put upon him. He plunged and kicked about; but all to no purpose, except to weary himself, as he could neither break the rope by which he was tied, nor extend the limits to which he was confined. His restlessness and unavailing efforts reminded me of what Ephraim, in his repentance, says of himself to the Lord, in Jer. 31, that he was “as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke.”
None of us naturally like restraint, but we prefer to take our own way, and to do our own will. Is it not so, dear young reader? But God tells us,
“It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” Lam. 3:27. To those of His children who are young in years He says,
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Col. 3:20.
He likewise bids us all to submit ourselves “one to another, in the fear of God.” Eph. 5:21.
What a beautiful example of subjection we see in the blessed Lord, who was devoted to do the will of His Father! He said,
“Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.” Heb. 10:9.
“I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea. Thy law is within My heart.” Psa. 40:8.
“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34.
“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” John 17:4.
How subject, too, He was, as a child to His earthly parents, is shown in Luke 2:41-52.
Such a life of constant and perfect obedience and dependence upon His Father makes the Lord’s words in the following passage more precious and authoritative:
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.
May all of us, then, who love the Lord Jesus Christ, seek grace that we may bow to His holy and blessed will, and learn of Him, who is meek and lowly in heart. Thus we shall bring glory to God, by manifesting something of the spirit of Christ; we shall be happy ourselves, and, it may be, instrumental in leading others into the pleasant paths of obedience for Christ’s sake.

Cleaving to the Lord

“Exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Acts 11:23. Beloved brethren, Is the Lord Himself precious to us? Do we esteem Him as beyond all conception the alone precious One? While we realize and own our feebleness and proneness to be taken up with one or another of the things of the scene through which we are passing, let us seek to have the Lord as the one and alone object of the heart’s affections.
What we need is to have the heart occupied with Himself, Him “who died for us that we henceforth should not live unto ourselves, but unto Him.”
And as we feed upon Him as He is presented to us by the Holy Spirit in the various steps of His path from the manger to the cross, marking His compassion, humility, meekness, and self-denial, treasuring in our hearts the words that He addresses to His own; and beholding the grace and glory of His person, we shall be able to esteem all else as dross; and “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord.” Thus we cleave to the Lord.
By having Himself as the one purpose and alone aim of our hearts, this will give tone and character to our walk. And while we walk in the path of faith, we shall be strengthened as we behold the Lord Jesus Christ, upon whom the heart is set; and there will be such peace and joy as is known only to the heart that thus cleaves to the Lord.
The unbeliever sees no beauty in the Christ of God that he should desire Him. But such is not the case with those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious; and yet, the believer whose heart is set upon the things of this world, practically admits that the unbeliever’s estimate of Christ is correct.
Let us then, “with purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord.” The exhortation is enhanced in value by what God says of Barnabas in the 24th verse:
“He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith.”

Where Is Your Talent?

“How much owest thou unto my Lord?” Luke 16:5.
Many talents are being hid “in the earth” today. And it is not alone the one-talent men and women who are doing it. “Afraid” of being considered peculiar and unwilling to be reproached for Christ’s sake, countless numbers are letting the “earth” have their ability. Living for the things of this world, which must end with time, is as surely hiding talents in the earth, as it would be literally to bury them far beneath the surface of the ground.
If God has given us one work more important than another, it is to hold fast the Lord’s name and His Word, and to bring before others—saved and unsaved—the many precious truths He has so wonderfully and blessedly made known to us. This can be done by sending out tracts—written ministry—and this work is within the reach of us all.
Let exercised souls first get the names of all in their immediate neighborhood the unsaved in one list, and believers in the Lord Jesus in another.
Arrange the names alphabetically in a book. This will call for labor, diligent, persevering quiet labor, and with it, much looking to the Lord, and dependence on Him; but the object is worthy.
The names thus brought together are the souls committed to your special care. The blessing of these is what you are to pray for, live, and labor for. The one object before you is to make Christ and His preciousness known to all these souls, and, by this means, call forth the affections of their hearts towards Him.
How can this be done? You perhaps could not visit them all. There is no better way of doing this than by systematically, continuously and unobtrusively, sending to such a gospel tract, or to the Christians a tract about the blessed Lord Himself. Every child of God has the Holy Spirit and the divine nature, and the Spirit of God delights to minister Christ to that nature. By that alone is a soul nourished and built up, and separated from evil. It is by gazing on the glory of the Lord, His holiness, His meekness, kindness, gentleness, love, that we become changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Lord, the Spirit.
Minister the perfection of the work of Christ. Among the many Christians about us. it is seldom one meets with peaceful, happy souls, having assurance of their salvation. They know not God’s side of Christ’s work; they are ignorant of Christ as the righteousness of God. Minister Christ as rejected by the world, though glorified by God. They do not understand that the rejection of Christ has brought the whole world under judgment.
Especially seek out afflicted ones, and there are many of them. Sickness, sorrow, poverty, death, trying circumstances are thick around us. Remember Him whose loving sympathies are ever towards the tried ones.
May this, then, be your work for the Lord. As often as you are able once a week, month, or quarter send a little tract to as many as possible. It is little things God delights to own. Let it be a work between you and the Lord. He knows the exact state of each soul, and surely, as far as possible, you would wish to have fellowship with Him. What a call this is for faith, and prayer, and real dependence on the Lord! We believe in God, and know that He can give us in every case the tract exactly applicable to each soul.
Think of how little clear gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus is preached from the pulpits today. How little is said of the precious blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin; of Christ the one and only way of salvation.
Think of how little Christ, and His blessed Word are ministered to Christians. They know little of His meek, lowly sympathizing ways, when down here; or of Himself as the glorified Christ; as the One still lovingly watching over them at God’s right hand.
Let them know that He has said, “Surely I come quickly,” that they, too, may be waiting and watching for their Lord.
Above all, think of the joy of Him who loved you and saved you, to see your heart constantly thinking of, and praying for, the unsaved hurrying on to destruction, and His own sheep and lambs.
Such a work as this will need money; but if the Lord stirs us up, surely He will provide for this, as He sees is best.

Eating and Digesting

(Ezek. 3; Rev. 10)
Both Ezekiel and John were commanded to eat the book which contained the subjects of their future testimonies.... By eating we understand that the Word was to be appropriated. These prophets were to make the messages they were commissioned to deliver, their own.... Even eating, or appropriating, is not sufficient: there is also the digesting of what we have appropriated.... Most of us know from our own experience that the process of digesting the truth we have really received, is often a slow operation; and also that the truth is never effective in us, or through us, until it has been digested. There is a great distinction therefore between... Ezekiel having the roll in his mouth, and enjoying its sweetness, and eating it with his belly and filling his bowels with it....
In the case of John, that which was sweet in his mouth was bitter in his belly. This should be easily understood by every spiritual believer. The opening out of some new truth to the soul, the perception of its character and beauty, is ever a delightful experience, but when it is accepted in the power of the Spirit, it gradually brings death in upon all that we are, and then it becomes “bitter,” as it discovers to us the real nature of many things which we had hitherto cherished, and, in separating us from them, produces in us a growing conformity to Christ.

Correspondence: Spiritual; 2 Cor. 6:8; Col. 2:15, 4:6; End of Law; Create Evil?

Question: Is “spiritual” in 1 Cor. 10:3. 4 used in its ordinary signification? If so, what is the meaning of “spiritual meat” and “spiritual drink?”
Answer: The Apostle did not mean that the Israelites did not eat actual meat, and drink actual drink, but that what they did feed on is typical of the spiritual food which is now the sustenance of the believer’s new life.
Question: What is the meaning of “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus?” 2 Cor. 6:8.
Answer: Practically setting the seal of death upon all that was merely human, in order that the life he had received the life of Jesus might be seen in power in all his actions.
Question: Please explain “made a show of them openly.” (Col. 2:15).
Answer: As Christ Himself was made a gazing-stock when lifted up on the Cross, so He, by His glorious work, so overcame the powers of darkness that their defeat became public, and shown, openly everywhere by the preaching of the gospel.
Question: What does “seasoning with salt” mean? (Col. 4:6). S. P. T.
Answer: Containing not mere love and amiability, but that preservative principle of godliness and truth that renders it truly wholesome. Observe, it is not to be of salt seasoned with grace (too often left out). That is to say, it is to be primarily of the grace that we ourselves have received. Caustic and bitter speeches would not come under this description.
Question: In what sense is Christ the end of the law for righteousness?
Answer: Because in Christ the righteous requirements of the law, demanding the death of the sinner, are fully met.
Question: Please explain Isa. 45:7, “I make peace and create evil.” G. B.
Answer: Some have sought to explain this by supposing the evil of judgment is meant, and not the evil of sin, but the word used is that generally used for evil and wickedness. There are mysteries in the origin of evil that no human mind can fathom.
Evil is either natural or moral. Natural or physical evil comprehends all the afflictions, adversities, trials, and bereavements which can happen to man in this life, whether in mind, body, or estate. Of this sort of evil the Lord is sometimes said to be the Author. Job, when laboring under the pressure of loss of property, family bereavements, and above all a loathsome and malignant disease, was advised by his wife to curse God and die (by his own hand, I suppose). But he sharply rebuked her, and said, “What! shall we receive good at His hand and not evil?” and in this he did not sin with his lips. Thus Job evidently looked upon God as being the Author of all the calamities which befell him. (Job 2:10.)
In Heb. 12:5 we find chastisement spoken of as coming from the hand of the Lord. Here it is a class of trials from without, but God acts in them; as a father, He chastises us. It may be that they come, as in the case of Job from Satan, but yet the hand and wisdom of God are in them. Thus I may use a rod to correct my son. The rod, however, is but the instrument by which the chastisement is inflicted. My hand limits the extent of the punishment.
He does not create moral evil: it is temporal evil as contrasted with peace—not with good.

The Organ Grinder

I was lonely and sad. Everything about me seemed dark and desolate, and my soul was cast down. I had forgotten the admonition:
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.”
Suddenly, out of the deep silence and solitariness of that sad evening, came the sounds of sweetest melody. It was a street organ played by a young boy. I went out to give him a little money.
What an intelligent face was his, and at the same time those large dark eyes which he turned upon me, what a story of need and sorrow they told!
He is hungry, I said to myself, and placing bread and meat on a plate, I added a booklet which was lying on the table. I handed it all to him without any courage to say a word. Yet he deeply interested me, and as I watched him eating from behind the window where I sat, repeatedly my heart went up to God in prayer that the booklet might be used for his salvation. After eating, which was quickly done, he took up the booklet, read its title, “How to become a Christian,” and put it carefully away in his pocket.
Several years had passed, and the terrible war had broken out with its tale of sorrows and distresses, so my little organ grinder had passed out of my mind.
Sometime after I went to visit a hospital where the wounded were cared for. The surgeon was making his rounds. Silent and sad he stood by one of the wounded, holding his wrist and counting his pulse which was growing weaker. I stopped to look at the patient. He was a very young man; his eyes were closed and the seal of death was on his face. At the same moment the chaplain came and leaned over the dying man, anxious to know if he still breathed. All at once the young man opened his eyes and asked,
“Am I going to die?” The chaplain, looking sack made no answer.
“O, don’t be afraid to tell me. I am ready.”
“I cannot say, my young friend,” said the chaplain, “but do you know the Savior of sinners? Do you love the Lord Jesus?”
“Yes, yes, I have just seen Him. I am not wandering. I must tell you before I go.”
“Have you a mother? Can I do anything for you?”
“Yes, sir, but she is not here. I am going to be with her soon; she is in heaven. But I have a young sister. Poor child, she will be lonely now. But I have committed her to the Lord, and He will not forsake her. I would like to send her a few things,” he made a special effort and drew from his pillow a purse, with a few gold pieces, then a Bible, a photograph, and a booklet quite worn, its cover soiled with blood.
“This booklet,” he said, “brought salvation also to my mother. Long ago, I was only a poor organ grinder, and I tried to care for my sick mother and sister. We were very miserable then, when a good lady gave me this little book.
“O, how glad my mother was when I read it to her! No one had ever given us anything to show us the way of salvation. No one had ever talked to us about that precious Savior who died upon the cross for our sins. The dear lady, we prayed for her every day. How I did long to see her again.”
I drew nearer to catch every word from the lips of the dying man for I had recognized in him the organ grinder who had once cheered my depressed spirit.
I could no longer restrain myself and I sobbed aloud. It roused the dying man, and looking at me, he recognized me.
Astonished, but unable to move, he said slowly, “I thank Thee, Lord; I know Thou hearest prayer.”
Brothers, sisters, Christian friends, scatter the good news of salvation. Sooner or later you shall see it bearing fruit, and joy unspeakable shall be yours.

"To Him That Worketh Not"

“To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Rom. 4:5.
Salvation is proclaimed!
Forgiveness full and free,
By Him who shed His precious blood
In love to you and me.
He gave Himself to God,
An offering without spot;
Now pardon, peace and life He gives
“To him that worketh not.”
What could I dare to bring
To clear my sinful soul?
His work alone can make me clean,
His word pronounce me whole.
My doings I renounce;
Can they erase one blot?
I take the grace He loves to give
“To him that worketh not.”
I look to Christ in faith,
And, ransomed by His blood,
Upward I gaze and see Him now
Upon the throne of God.
And I am justified
In Him no stain or spot,
“His faith He counts for righteousness,”
“To him that worketh not.”
And now He sees me clad
In this all-glorious dress;
I stand complete in Him who is
Himself my righteousness.
O! strive and toil no more
But choose this blessed lot!
Believe His love; accept His gift;
“To him that worketh not.”

Fragment: The Believer's Security

The way to magnify the believer’s security is to see it in the midst of perils and alarms. The very depths of the waters around showed the strength and sufficiency of the ark to Noah; the ruthlessness of the sword in passing through Egypt glorified the blood that was sheltering the firstborn of Israel; and the solemn terrors of the coming day of the Lord will but enhance the safety and joy of the ransomed, whether with Jesus in the heavens or as the saved remnant in their “chambers” in the land.

Papers for Young Christians: No. 25: Backsliding

No. 25
We have three great enemies ever seeking to overcome us: the world, the flesh, and the devil; and in proportion as we give place to any of these, do we depart from God. These three we find in Peter’s case in Luke 22.
In verses 45 and 50 he is led astray by the flesh, in sleeping when he should have watched; in striking when he should not have resisted.
In verses 54 and 55 he is led astray by the fear of the world: first, in straying far from Christ’s side; secondly, in fellowship with His enemies.
Lastly, in verses 57, 58 and 60, he is three times led astray by the devil: to deny Christ, to swear and to deny Him again.
One might, indeed, say such a course is foreshadowed in the first Psalm. The counsel of the ungodly, the dictates of fleshy reason, led to the smiting with the sword; standing in the way of sinners is illustrated by standing and warming himself; while sitting in the seat of the scornful is found in verse 55.
The Path of the Backslider
And now, dear reader, what about yourself? There is no heart, in the wide world, so unhappy as his, who has been drawn aside from the holiness and joy of obedience, to paths of self-seeking and of sin.
“What peaceful hours I once enjoyed
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.”
Such is the language, in poetry or in prose, of the soul, whose “earliest love” has been left; who has, alas! in some way or other, forsaken the Lord, for the enjoyment of the favors of the world.
“My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” Jer 2:13.
Such was God’s lamentation of old. How rightly He styled Himself “THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS”—the source and spring of blessing; and how solemnly descriptive is the expression, “broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” of the experience acquired by departing from Him.
He knows where the blessing is found. We alas! often, through seas of sorrow, have to learn that the cisterns to which we have recourse are, in truth, broken, and that they hold no water, and that there remains, as the only result of our declension, “an aching void,” a distracted and discontented heart; a state of soul, indeed, which had no parallel in the most wretched hours of our unconverted days.
Ah! beneath many a smiling face, behind many a ringing laugh, underlying much forced activity and unnatural effort, there is to be found a heart of misery, that seeks by these means to conceal the fact of its departure from God.
And yet how vain that effort—how hollow that laugh! The stag may continue to bound gaily over crag and moor, and the bird may soar awhile swiftly on high, but the gunshot wound is doing its work, and, sooner or later, the gay bounding will cease, and the strong wing will droop.
So, too, the Word of God will prove effectual, though long slighted; and the wayward soul, though brought by paths of deep and searching trial will find that the love, wherewith it was loved, was an “everlasting love”; such a love as could turn its eye, full and forgiving, on a poor failing Peter, and effect by its silent, yet wounded look, his entire restoration.
Thou Hast Left Thy First Love
Do you not own and feel the truth of these words? Can you not recall, with an aching heart, the bright and holy memories of the past, the once loved Bible, the place where “prayer was wont to be made,” the happy work for your Lord? It may be some poor, cold, formal task, professedly for Him, still occupies you, but all the time you hear His voice ever saying,
“Thou hast left thy first love.”
You have gradually not only left the things you once loved, but returned to those you once hated for Christ. The ensnaring novel, eating away your brain and time, the worldly song, the amusements of this world, are all binding their chains around you, and you are not happy. You try to he, but you cannot succeed. You envy the happy carelessness of the dead souls around you.
They feel no remorse, the pleasures of the world contain no hidden sting for them. They have never known and loved the Savior you have forsaken. The voice of conscience is not ceaselessly saying to them, as to you,
“You are doing wrong. You are sinning against the light.”
Consider now where was your first step of departure? Was it not so small as to be almost imperceptible? You did not begin by throwing away your Bible for a romance, you did not at once exchange the meeting for the concert hall. No! the first thing was a gradual neglect of private reading and prayer. As your heart got cold, and you lost your interest in it, the devil whispered, “Give it up, it is no use going on with a form; wait till your heart gets warm again;” well knowing that in saying this, he was cutting you off from the warmth and light. And you obeyed him. You did not read, or pray this morning when you arose, nor yesterday, nor the day before. O! beloved reader, yours truly is a sad case; but yet, there is abundant grace to meet it.
Let me implore you, dear young Christian, to beware of backsliding. The first movement towards it, is that something comes in to intercept the enjoyment of the love of Christ, and your heart loses its sweet apprehension of His love and grace. You have forgotten Him, but He has not forgotten you.
If the joy of the love of Christ has passed away, my dear friend, you are very miserable in your soul. Things are in a very, very sad state.
There is no food for the soul, no peace, no rest away from Christ. You may have got on in the world; you may have secured the things you put out your hands for, but what have you paid for them? What about the Lord, the love of the Lord, the company and fellowship of the Lord, and the sense in your soul, I am just in this scene for Him? if you have lost this, there is no profit.
O! do call to mind just a few of the wonderful blessings He has bestowed upon us on account of our accepting Him as our Savior—
In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins;
Blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;
Chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, and
He is coming very soon to take us to be with and like Himself forever, to be His bride, His loved ones in glory. And while we are in this world on our way Home, He cares for us each step of the way.
“Having loved His own which are in the world, He loved them unto the end” John 13:1.
How it must grieve His heart to have such favored ones turn away from Him to this poor world for our satisfaction, when He has redeemed us from it unto Himself. (Gal. 1:4; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).
Now, He calls you back. You might ask, How can I get back? You say, I feel God has spoken to my soul through His Word. How am I to get back? There is only one way back, and what is it? Confession.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.
Do not suppose, my dear friend, that if there has been distance and departure from the Lord, that it is all over with you, and that you cannot be restored. O, no, there are brighter and better days in store for you, if you return. You may yet be brought back into the enjoyment of the deep, full, and blessed place in His affections, Remember, His heart is full of the tenderest love towards you, and only seeks your restoration to Himself.

My Savior

Who kindly to my rescue ran?
Who laid redemption’s wondrous plan
Ere earth was formed, or time began?
My Savior.
Then, who should claim my every thought,
And every act of service wrought
Who thus my precious soul hath bought?
My Savior.

Address to Young Christians: Part 1

Hebrews 13:7-16
Part I.
“Remember your leaders who have spoken to the Word of God; and considering the issue of their conversation, imitate their faith.”
I take it that this verse refers to those who have gone, on before; while those who might be taking the lead or acting as guides among us at the present time are treated in the 17th verse. So understanding that, we have brought before us in the 7th verse the admonition to remember those that have gone on before, and have blazed the way into which God has graciously brought us. Some of them were used directly for our blessing, for our enlightenment, for our instruction; some of them were perhaps used indirectly. And this means to remember them in a practical way; and the way we show that we do remember them, is by imitating their faith.
There never was a servant of God, outside of the blessed Lord Himself, in whom we could not find faults, both in his life individually and in his service; but it does not say to “imitate their failures,” but “imitate their faith.” So, if we were considering the Apostle Paul, for instance, we would not imitate his mistake in willfully a going against the admonition of the Spirit of God, and putting himself into a place of danger in Jerusalem; for that is not the part of his life which we are to imitate, but we are to imitate that part of his life which was the motive which led him to go there.
“Remember them.” In connection with this thought, perhaps it would be well to drop a word about these who were used of God to give us the truth which we are enjoying here today. Of course, we got it from the Word of God—for all the truth that is to be had is contained in the Word of God—so I would not be misquoted in what I am going to say. But those whom the Spirit of God used to bring out what was already in the Word of God, to unfold to us, to give us understanding in it—and I am not beside Christianity when I speak thus, because we read of a man’s journeying from Jerusalem, sitting in his chariot, reading his Bible. Some might say,
“That was sufficient; what more did he want?”
The Spirit of God did not say that that was sufficient, and the servant of the Lord joined himself to him, and said to him,
“Understandest thou what thou readest?” And his answer was,
“How can I except some man should guide me, or teach me?” And straightway he bid Philip to come up into the chariot; and Philip began and preached to him “Jesus.” That is what I mean to imitate in those whom God has used to give us the teachings in Scripture. It is in no wise saying that we are putting them on a par with the Apostle Paul, but it is honoring and giving a due place to those whom God has been pleased to use to give us marvelous truth.
I believe that one way we young people should remember them, is by familiarizing ourselves with what they have left to us in the way of written ministry; and I fear that there is an increasing dearth of good, sound, solid reading among our young people today. There is a reason for it, perhaps many reasons; but the multiplicity of reading matter is always presenting something else that we can read at the particular moment; and always that at a later season we can indulge in something that is more permanent. So one has to set himself with a good deal of purpose of heart, if one is going to read this written ministry.
Let me ask, How many of you have read so that you can say you have thoughtfully and intelligently read what was written by Mr. Darby, Mr. Wigram, Mr. Bellett and Mr. Kelly? Have you familiarized yourself with some of their precious ministry? Are you conversant with the writings of these who were, so to speak, the instruments the Holy Spirit used to restore the Word that was so long covered up by the traditions of men during the preceding centuries? If not, I heartily advise you to familiarize yourself with them, and teach yourself to enjoy their ministry. These were the servants God used to give us the truth at the beginning. So “remember them.”
As we said before, do not imitate their failures. You may say that some of them failed. Granted! We have all failed, for that matter. But find out something of their ministry, and learn to know the writings of these wonderful servants of God.
In the 8th verse we have brought before us the blessed person of the Lord Jesus Christ “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” How good that God has given us an object that does not change! His own blessed Son, forever the same. And the characteristics of the fathers, as we know from 1 John 1:1; 2:13, is that they know Him who was in the beginning.
We learn from those who were older and ripe in faith that they became increasingly occupied with the Person of Christ. And I have been persuaded for a long time that that is the only true test of growth in the things of God increasing occupation with Christ, with His Person, and with His work.
To be continued.

Communings by the Wayside

“Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them” Luke 24:15.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another” Acts. 3:16.
How sweet to talk of Him we love,
As on our way we go;
Desiring much in faith and love
As newborn babes to grow.
For, ever as we speak of Him,
Jesus Himself draws near,
To shed His comfort on our hearts,
And dissipate their fear.
‘Twas thus He did with those of old,
Who towards Emmaus went;
The things of Christ—The wayside theme,
On which they were intent.
He hearkened, pitied, and rebuked
The doubtful thoughts they had;
And did not leave them till He made
The wond’ring pilgrims glad.
Rejoicing that they’d seen the Lord,
And heard His voice declare,
That He who had been in the grave
Was now no longer there;
That He of whom the prophets spoke
The Lamb for sinners slain
Who lived, and bled, and died for them;
Was then alive again.
Mosaic types and words fulfilled,
And David’s psalms explained.
Which had to them, and all before,
As sayings dark remained.
O, let us now, who love the Lord
And in Him beauty see
In His blest company delight
As list’ning ones to be,
Waiting to have unfolded more
What much we want to know;
More of His Person and His work
Whilst journeying here below.

Christian Service

True service begins with Christ, who is the Head; and when Christ is forgotten, then the service is defective; it has lost connection with the Spring and Fountain of all service; because it is from the Head that “All the body, by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth” (Col. 1:19).
“The body is of Christ,” and He loves it as He loves Himself; and every one who would serve it will best learn to do so by knowing His heart and purposes towards it. In a word, it is Christ who serves, though it may be through us. We are but “joints and bands.” If we are not derivative and communicate from Christ, we are useless.
To be useful, my eye and heart must be on Christ, and not on the issue of my service; though if true to Him the end will vindicate me too, however disheartening the interval.
He who judges of his service by present appearances, will judge by the blossom, and not by the fruit; and, after all, the service is not for the sake of the Church but for the sake of Christ; and if He be served in the Church, though the Church own it not, yet, Christ being served, He will own it.
Now, the constant effort of Satan is to disconnect, in our minds, Christ from our service; and this much more than any of us, perhaps, have fully discovered. Whether in reading, or praying, or speaking, how seldom, if we judge ourselves, do we find that we act simply as towards Christ, and Him alone! How often may sentimentality and natural feelings affect us in our service, instead of simply love to Him!
“Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men: knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” Col. 3:23, 24.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Jesus Christ cannot be more than He is, nor will He ever be less. He cannot deny Himself: “Jesus Christ yesterday, Jesus Christ today, and Jesus Christ forever.” Here (Heb. 12) we have Jehovah Jesus, the unchanging One.
When on earth, at the close of His unremitting service of love, He asked His disciples:
“When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything?”
And they replied: “Nothing.”
And since He has died for us upon the Cross, and is risen and has ascended to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God, has the apparent distance of heaven and glory where He is seated now at the right hand of God, lessened His perfect human sympathy, or has it weakened His divine power? No, from heaven, that same voice of our heavenly Shepherd assures us through the inspired pen of the apostle:
“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “Never,” means, not a single moment. God always means what He says. So that we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” Heb. 13:6.
Is not this promise, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” our blessed Lord’s answer from heaven to that expression of calm confidence of His flock on earth,
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”
If His sheep, through grace, know His voice, surely He, in His love, knows theirs.
But, dear Christian reader, of what kind of want does our verse speak? Of outward wants, such as food, raiment, etc.? As to them, our gracious Shepherd refers us to our “Father which is in heaven,” and “seeth in secret,” and knoweth that we have need of these things. But, He continues, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and these things shall be added.”
Yes, beloved fellow-pilgrim and fellow-heir of glory, the Father, Who spared not His only-begotten Son, when we were His enemies, but delivered Him up for us all, (how lightly do we often read verses like this, and how little have we penetrated into the mines of divine love and wealth contained in them,) “shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Blessed he His name, He has never failed to supply in due time and in His own way every real need of His children.
In due time the Lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world appeared in this scene of sorrow, sin, and death, as “God manifest in the flesh.”
In due time, when we were without strength, “Christ died for us.”
In due time, “on the third day,” God raised Him from the dead.
In due time, “when the day of Pentecost was fully come,” the Holy Ghost was sent from heaven.
In due time, “He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.”
Christian reader! will not He, who had provided from all eternity, and gave in due time His Son, the bread of life, and His Spirit, the living water, for our greatest need, also supply our little wants in due time.? We cannot, we shall not want.
But we must not confound need with want. Our wants, like those of little children, are very many, and, like theirs, often very foolish too. We cannot praise enough the loving wisdom of our Father, who always supplies our need, but not our wants, unless it be to show us sometimes the bitter results of having our own ways and desires. Would that our needs were also our wants. But just here it is. that our selfish and superficial hearts constantly betray themselves.
There is no danger of our outward or temporal needs not being our wants too. They are quickly perceived, and keenly felt, and even anticipated often in a way very little to the honor of that “manner of love which the Father hath bestowed upon us,” and which we are so graciously invited to “behold” (1 John 3:1).
But, Christian reader, how is it with our sense of our greatest, that is, of our inward spiritual need? However real on our part, the feeling and acknowledgment of that need may be, rest assured, the reality and greatness of it surmount immeasurably the feeble estimate we have of it. But, just as our Father and God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, supplies the temporal wants of His children, according to His own Divine wisdom and love; so does His blessed Son, once the Lamb slain for our sins, as the “shepherd and bishop of our souls,” provide for all our spiritual needs, not as we feel them (though even this only through the grace of God) in our feeble measure (through our sad neglect of that grace), but as He sees them, and according to His own perfect estimate of them.
Thou failest not—above wants, cares, and sighing
A Father’s love Divine, all need supplying,
Us guideth still upon our homeward road;
That faileth not.
Thou failest not—’bove havoc, wand’ring, straying,
A Shepherd’s eye, once closed in death surveying,
Restores and comforts still with staff and rod;
That faileth not.

Lending to the Lord

A poor traveler asked Feuneborg to lend him three dollars to enable him to reach home. Feuneborg, at the time, possessed but three dollars, but as the poor man asked in the name of the Lord Jesus, he loaned him all he had, even his last penny. Some time after, when in extreme want, he remembered this fact while in prayer, and with childlike faith and simplicity, he said,
“O, Lord I loaned Thee three dollars, and
Thou hast not given them back to me, though
Thou knowest how urgently I need them. I pray
Thee to return them to me.”
A letter arrived that day, which was delivered to him, with these words,
“Here, sir, you receive what you advanced.”
The letter contained two hundred dollars, sent by a rich man at the solicitation of the poor traveler to whom he loaned his all. Feuneborg, quite overcome with surprise said in his simple way,
“O, Lord, one cannot say a simple word to Thee, without being put to shame.”
“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again” Prov. 19:17.

Christ's Sympathy

It is well to bear in mind this is not the day of Christ’s power but it is the day of His sympathy. When passing through the deep waters of affliction the heart may at times feel disposed to ask,
“Why does not the Lord put forth His power and deliver me?” The answer is, “This is not the day of His power.”
He could prevent that catastrophe. He could avert that sickness. He could remove that difficulty. He could take off that pressure. He could preserve that beloved and fondly cherished object from the cruel grasp of death. But instead of putting forth His power to deliver us, He allows things to run their course and pours His own sweet sympathy into the of pressed and riven heart; in such a way as to elicit the acknowledgment that we would not for worlds have missed the trial because of the abundance of the consolation.
By and by He will display His power, He will unsheath His sword, He will come forth as the rider on the white horse, He will bare His arm, He will avenge His people, and right their wrongs forever.
But now His sword is sheathed, His arm covered, this is the time for making known the deep love of His heart, not the power of His arm, nor the sharpness of His sword.
Are you satisfied to have it so? Is Christ’s sympathy enough for your heart? Even amidst the keenest sorrow, and the most intense affliction?
The restless heart, the impatient spirit, the unmortified will, would lead one to long to escape from the trial, the pressure, the difficulty, but this would never do. We must pass from grade to grade in the school; but the Master accompanies us and the light of His countenance, and the tender sympathy of His heart, sustain us under the most trying circumstances.
“Our great High Priest is sitting
At God’s right hand above;
For us His hands uplifting
In sympathy and love
Whilst here below in weakness.
We onward speed our way;
In sorrow oft, and sickness;
We sigh, and groan, and pray.”

Consider Him

“Consider Him that endureth... lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Heb. 12:3.
Consider Him. Have you considered Him? The One who loved us and gave Himself for us? The One who suffered the agony of the Cross for us. It was because of His great love for poor lost sinners that “God so loved the world.”
He did not consider Himself or His sufferings, but He looked unto the Father, and “for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2.

Correspondence: GAL 3:19, 5:5; Prayer/Supplication; Mount Sion; HEB 12:22, 13:1

Question: What is the meaning of “It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator”? (Gal. 3:19).
Answer: It refers to the law being given at Sinai into the hands of Moses, who acted as mediator, to a certain limited extent, between God and man. As to angels, see Psa. 68:17.
Question: Please explain “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Gal. 5:5).
Answer: We should think it embraces all that the believer hopes and waits for.
Question: What is the difference between prayer and supplication in Phil. 4:6? E. L.
Answer: By the latter, we understand repeated prayers for the same subject; as our Lord’s in Gethsemane.
(1) Does Mount Sion mean heaven? It is often said, “I am on my way to Sion’s hill” is it correct to say this?
(2) In what way are we come to the spirits of just men made perfect?
(3) Who are they? (Heb. 12:22).
(1) The passage refers generally to the position of saved Hebrews in grace, instead of being on legal ground—Mount Sion thus being contrasted with Sinai. In a general way, it means our heavenly privileges.
(2 and 3) As having opened out to us the unseen world of spirits, and their abode. None of this was revealed in the Old Testament, and it is the peculiar privilege of Christians to have the veil of the land of spirits lifted, and to know what becomes of the soul after death.
Question: “Let brotherly love continue,” (Heb. 13:1), is this a continuation of the love brought over from Judaism? When was the beginning of this brotherly love that was to continue?
Answer: I do not think there is any reference to Jewish brotherly love in the passage. When the love began is not the point. It is the fact that it is not to cease.

Nothing but Christ

A man who had lived in all the pleasures and distractions of the world, was taken ill, and entered a hospital. He was grateful for all the care that was shown him, indeed, for the affection with which he was ministered to, and wished in some way to, express his gratitude to those who waited on him. One day he offered a deaconess sister a ticket for a theatrical exhibition, to give her, as he said, “a pleasant evening.” The sister refused it, saying that she never went to the theater because she was a Christian. The following day the invalid offered the ticket to another sister, who was also a believer, and he received the same reply. Two or three days after he pressed a third sister to accept his ticket. This one, like the others, had the happiness of knowing the Lord Jesus as her Savior; knowing that she was a child of God and an inheritor of His glory, she answered in a more explicit manner,
“I possess, for my heart, something that gives me joy infinitely beyond anything that all the theaters and all the pleasures of the world can give,—my place is no longer in the theater, and the theater has no longer a place in my heart, which is filled with peace and joy in the Lord.”
These words were to the poor man both strange and incomprehensible. The three testimonies, given by three different persons, astonished and troubled him. He asked the sister; “How have you become a possessor of such happiness? And do you think that I, who am about to die, can obtain it?”
The sister had not time at the moment to speak with him, but she gave him a tract headed,
“Bad, but not bad enough.” Singular title was it not?
But there are indeed many persons who have this thought, they are willing to acknowledge that they are neither good enough, or holy enough to stand before God, but to be so bad and so guilty that they are wholly lost, they will not believe and consequently put away from themselves the grace of God which is offered them. It is on this account that so few come to Jesus to find in Him the salvation they need.
The invalid read the tract and two or three clays after he said to the sister that it was an exact presentment of his state of soul which he found just, except in one point.
“And what is that point?” asked the sister with some curiosity.
“Well,” said he, “your tract speaks of a man who is bad, but not bad enough in his own eyes to need a Savior, but does not speak of the case of a man who is too bad to dare to come to Jesus, and that is exactly my case. Ah! you do not know, sister, what a great sinner I am!”
“No,” replied the sister, “I do not know; but God knows, and He says in His Word by the mouth of the apostle Paul: ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.’ 1 Tim. 1:15, 16. And now the one who calls himself the chief, or the greatest of sinners, is in heaven, having been washed from his sins by the blood of Christ.”
The poor invalid could not at once lay hold of these precious truths. It was too much and too high for him. For several days he continued in dead silence, meditating upon the most serious of all subjects. He even seemed to desire to be left to his own reflections, although he visibly suffered under the weight of this question,
“What must I do to be saved?”
But at length such a change was effected in him that it was apparent by the expression of his face, he had peace. The sister one day on bringing him something to eat, he said to her,
“O sister! I have something to tell you, but I cannot find words to express it, I am so ignorant in these things. But I am so happy, yes, so happy, so full of joy that I do not know how to tell it.”
The sister desiring to hear from his own mouth the reason for his happiness, asked him:
“Whence came this newfound joy? You have appeared so unhappy for some time past.”
“How can I tell?” replied the sick man. “I do not know how to explain it, but so it is. When beforetime I thought of the past, when I looked back I only saw my life as sins upon sins; but now when I look back I only see Christ and His work on the cross. Yes, and as to my actual position I only saw suffering and misery; today I see everywhere nothing but Christ and His love. If in the past I thought of the future I saw nothing before me but darkness and eternal torment, but now I seem to have nothing before me but Christ and eternal glory.”
Such were the words of the sick man. Happy the one who has nothing but Christ. Is it your case, dear reader?
“Jesus Christ, whom not having seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8.

Thou Lovest Not Me

“In sin and in sorrow
Thou hast traveled along,
Thou hast loved the vain pleasures
Of the world’s giddy throng.
Through sin and through sorrow
I have waited for thee,
I have wept and entreated,
Yet thou lovest not Me.
“Thy hopes have been blighted,
“They have withered and died;
For all hope without God
Must have death by its side.
They were blighted in mercy,
That to Christ thou should’st flee,
And be safe for eternity,
Yet thou lovest not Me.
“Thy pathway through life
Has been marked with much care;
And sickness and trials
Have been sent thee to bear;
I sent them as warnings
sent them to thee,
Yet, sinner, thou knowest,
Thou lovest not Me.
“And the friends thou hast loved
In their beauty and bloom,
Have been snatched from thy side,
And are laid in the tomb;
But the message has passed
Unheeded by thee,
Thou still art unsaved,
For thou lovest not Me.
“And the shadows of midnight
Are skirting the sky;
And wrath is impending—
God’s wrath from on high;
And mercy-free mercy—
Rejected by thee,
Is drawing down judgment.
Yet thou lovest not Me.
“Say, wanderer, say—
Shall I leave thee alone?
Shall I let thee go on,
As the choice is thine own?
I have warned, I have mourned,
I have wept over thee;
I have bled, I have died—
Yet thou lovest not Me.
“Ah, come to thy Savior!
Come, weary one, come!
Though thy sins be as crimson,
Yet for thee there is room.
O, tarry not—linger not—
I am waiting for thee,
To save thee, to bless thee,
Though thou lovest not Me.
“I ask thee for nothing—
Come just as thou art;
Come sinful—come guilty—
Come give Me thine heart;
The fountain is open,
It is open to thee,
Let thy Savior not say
Thou lovest not Me.”

Papers for Young Christians: No. 26: Restoration, Part 1

No. 26
Part I.
In Christian life we must distinguish between two things that differ: daily defilement and positive backsliding; from the one we need cleansing, for the other we need restoration.
Touching a dead body unawares brought defilement to the Israelite under the law, and so any contact of spirit with this world and evil is defiling. There is no excuse, however, for it, for we are called to walk in spirit above it all, and if we become defiled by inadvertence or carelessness, we have only ourselves to blame. Still these constant defilements, practially almost inseparable from our walk in this world of sin, are quite distinct from a gradual departure, first in our heart, but after in our walk, from the living God. We have already dwelt on the steps of failure. It is our happier task now to describe the return of a soul to full joy and communion.
In the first place, we must observe that daily defilements contracted, and not cleansed, are a bar to fellowship with Christ, and thus tend to lead us astray altogether.
No soul that is in communion with. Christ strays away. Communion (maintained by the Word and prayer) must cease ere backsliding begins. And it is because many of us are content to go on for so long, without enjoying real communion in our souls with Christ, that we are in such danger of backsliding.
Restoration, therefore, means restoring communion. The daily defilement, in fact any contact with evil, is met by the constant washing of the Word carried on by Christ, who as a servant forever (Ex. 21:6), loving His wife (believers collectively, Eph. 5.), and His children (believers individually, Heb. 2.), cleanses us by the washing of water by the Word, as shown in the lovely scene in John 13.
A special provision, however, exists for the restoration of a believer, after having fallen into sin, which is set forth by the type of the red heifer in Num. 19. The essence of this type is that it presents the application of the cleansing power of the Word, in special connection with the death of Christ, (typified by the ashes of the heifer in the running, or living, water); in whose death, on reference to Num. 19:6, we also find that all that is of this world, from the highest to the lowest (cedar and hyssop, see 1 Kings 4:33), as well as all its glory (the scarlet) has been consumed.
Thus our heart is reminded not only of the wondrous love of Christ in dying, but of the separating power of this death, which we in our sins had forgotten. (The water is called the “water of separation”). We find that these ashes were sprinkled twice, on the third day and on the seventh day; the first doubtless showing the convicting power of the Word on the conscience, leading to true confession, and the other bringing the full sense to the heart, of the love that has put all our sin away.
In the history of the apostle Peter, we get the first of these sprinklings, when the Lord turned and looked on His erring disciple. That look broke Peter’s heart, it brought all the enormity and heartlessness of his sin to mind; and he went out and wept bitterly. The Lord, however, did not cease His work of restoration at this point. When He rose from the dead on the third day, His first thought was for poor, erring, broken-hearted Peter. “He appeared first of all to Simon Peter.” Then, in that secret interview of which we have no details, the Lord completed the work of grace He had begun. One thing which we may learn from the secrecy of this interview, is that restoration is a secret work between the soul and Christ.
Another point of great practical interest is to remember that although there may have been years of backsliding, there is no need for years of restoration. There is no such a thing as gradual restoration to Christ. When once His love has melted and conquered the straying heart, all the coldness of years is gone in a moment. And what a moment for the soul! When once more the long silent voice of our Beloved is heard speaking to our hearts again, the same yesterday, today and forever, and then at last we know the deep meaning of those words, “He restoreth my soul.”
The active work of the Lord in our soul, however, is not the first work of His grace towards us.
We must remember that from Rev. 12:10, and from other Scriptures, it appears that in some way Satan has access at any rate to the outer courts of God’s presence, and his hateful business is to accuse us to God day and night. But we have One there ready to answer every charge on our behalf, on the ground of His accomplished redemption. Hence it is written,
“If any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” This advocacy of Christ may long precede His work of restoration which leads us to confession, according to 1 John 1:9. The one is what He does for us in heaven, the other what He works in us down here, leading us to true self judgment.
A soul truly restored has a deep sense of the love of Christ, just as we get a far greater view of the death of Christ in the red heifer than we have in the Paschal Lamb. Two things always accompany restoration, a deeper horror of sin and all that hinders communion with Christ, and a deeper sense of His changeless love.
It may be that now, the eye of some one is reading these lines who has strayed from Christ. The heart has become cold, hard, and apparently dead; and yet it is not really dead for some feelings have passed through it even while reading these few lines. And still, as the gradual steps of backsliding are thought over, the distance that separates us from Christ seem so vast that return seems impossible.
Do not, beloved reader, rise with this hopeless thought. You may be fully restored at this moment. All that is needed is that you should turn from your sin to Christ, and fully own and confess to Him all that you have done.
He will not keep you waiting years, or months, or weeks, or even days. Let there be but true, full confession, and He is faithful and just now to forgive you, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (To be continued.)

O! Lord, Our Hearts Are Waiting

O! Lord, our hearts are waiting,
Th’ archangel’s heaven-sent cry,
Which wakes the saints now sleeping,
And to Thee brings them nigh.
When we, with them ascending,
Shall meet them in the air,
To gaze upon Thy glory,
And all Thy likeness bear.
O! hour, for which in patience,
Thou’st waited through the night,
Whilst we, Thy saints, were gathered,
And brought into the light;
Then, then, the Church completed,
God makes no more delay,
o! Lord, with shouts of triumph,
We pass into the day.
O! hour of richest blessing—
When brought to Thee so nigh,
To be Thy joy forever,
We share Thy throne on high:
To rest in all that brightness,
And ever there abide
To find Thy heart delighting
In us, Thy ransomed bride.
O! blessed, coming Savior,
Speak then the joyous word,
To which, our hearts responding,
“Forever with the Lord.”
Forever with Thee, Savior—
For evermore shall be—
In deepest, fullest blessing
Forever one with Thee.

Address to Young Christians: Part 2

Part 2.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Young folks, is it not fine that we have an object for our hearts that can not change, that has not changed, that will not change! Everything about us is changing we are made conscious of it as we look back over our lives, and see how some of the opinions that men held so tenaciously just a few years back, have been exploded, and supplanted by others; and today, what men believe to be the truth, is not what they thought was the truth yesterday. If we go to any great library and view the volumes under any particular head, we shall find that there is a big section full of books that have become obsolete; and why that? Because the opinions of men are like the shifting sand. And not only that, but man, in his limited time and capacity, is always finding out new things and adding to his store of knowledge. So there is an ever-increasing process of change going on.
But it was not so with the Lord Jesus. When He was here as a man on earth, He was at the same time God; He was the “I AM”; He was the One that could say, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Nothing could be added to that blessed Person. As God, nothing could be added to His knowledge. He was here as the One Who was from the beginning. He was in the beginning with God, and He was God; and He was ever that though, true, He was man also.
And as man He was pleased to take that place, He was pleased to say, “My goodness extendeth not to Thee,” but that was the position He took willingly, and not by compulsion. At the same time, He was ever the same.
In Psa. 102 we get Him presented in the dignity of His Person as the Eternal One; and the title is given to Him (Verse 27), “Thou art the same.” I think that is one of the grandest titles our blessed Lord had “the Same.” How our souls need One like that, One who does not change, One on Whose Word we can stake everything, for time and eternity.
Dear young people, some of you are in school, where you hear the various changing opinions of men about many things. You are sometimes tempted to be a little distressed, or a little perplexed about what you hear; and you wonder about some of the things you have been taught. But remember this: Always retreat into this grand and solemn fact:
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever” the Unchangeable One. If you will have Him before your souls, it will be a mighty power in keeping you from these other things. Refer everything to the Person of Christ; take it right back to Him: How does that affect my blessed Lord? If I accept what I am hearing, what reflection does it make on the Person of my Lord? Ever keep that One before you Who is the same, and it will be a mighty stake to your soul.
Now, we live in a day when we stand in need of the admonition in the 9th verse:
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”
I wonder if there ever was the like of it in the Church’s history as there is today. I think not. There never was a time when there were so many tares and noxious weeds as thickly grown up as today. And just as in the realm of nature, there is an ever-increasing battle against various obnoxious pests that appear; so it must be in the spiritual realm, for it is imperiled by an ever-increasing number of these divers and strange doctrines, which put forth very fair claims—how speciously they can argue—and they get a following.
If you and I are to be kept from falling into them, if we are to be kept from swelling their ranks, what is going to keep us? The blessed precious Word of God.
What is a “diverse and strange doctrine?” There is only one way to find out, i.e., to test how it squares with the Word of God. If we have before us the Word of God, we shall be kept. If not, we shall be swept into some of them, like multitudes have before.
And it is not beside the mark to Speak thus to a company of young people who have been gathered out. We know there have been young people who once sat in our meetings, taught in our Sunday schools, who today are followers, and some exponents, of the divers and strange doctrines; some of which doctrines are positively evil and wicked.
If you and I are going to abide in the truth, if we are going to miss this error of going about “with divers and strange doctrines,” we must have our hearts established; and what is going to establish us? The grace and truth of God in our hearts.
“Not with meats”—i.e., you will never get established by going through the legal exercises of religion; that will never establish you. Legality—going through rites and ceremonies will never establish the soul.
What accounts for a sense in one’s soul of what the grace of God has done in giving the blessed Lord Jesus, first as our Savior; now, as our Lord, and the coming One, the Person of Christ? Grace, from start to finish, is what will establish the soul.
(Continued from Page 72)
(To Be Continued)

Sunday Schools

We are truly thankful to hear that you have commenced the Sunday school, and we count it a real privilege to be allowed to comply with your request for a word of counsel as to the mode of working it. The longer we live, the more highly we prize the blessed work of the Sunday school teaching. We look upon it as most interesting and delightful; and we believe that every assembly of Christians, gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus, should support such work by their sympathy and prayers.
Some, we are sorry to say, exhibit much lukewarmness in reference thereto, and others seem to disapprove of such work altogether. They look upon it as an interference with the duty devolving upon Christian parents to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This, we own, would be a grave objection, were it well founded; but it is not so, for the Sunday school is not designed to interfere with, but to assist, or supply the total lack of, parental teaching and training.
There are thousands of dear children thronging the streets of all our cities and towns, who either have no parents, or else parents utterly unable or unwilling to instruct them. It is on these the Sunday school teacher fixes his benevolent eye. No doubt he is glad to see all sorts occupying his benches; but the poor, the ragged, the neglected, the outcast, are his special objects.
There are thousands of young men and women who crowd the mill and factory, and spend their days in toil, in order to keep soul and body together, and who have no other means of being instructed in divine things, save what is afforded in the Sunday school class. Should not these be looked after? Is it not a good work to gather such, once a week, for a couple of hours, in order to store their young minds with precious texts of Scripture and sweet hymns, which may leave an impression which no lapse of time shall ever efface? We most thoroughly believe it so; and, with all our hearts, we wish God speed to every one engaged in it. We have the fullest assurance that such work will meet its rich reward in the day of Christ, even though present appearances may he discouraging.
It is impossible to tell where and when the fruit of a Sunday school teacher’s work may turn up. It may be on the burning sands of Africa, or amid the frozen regions of the North, in the depths of the forest, or on the ocean’s wave; it may be at the present time, or it may be years after the workman has gone to his eternal rest. But, let it be when or where it may, the fruit will assuredly be found, when the seed has been sown in faith, and watered by prayer.
It may be that the Sunday school pupil will grow up a wicked youth—a wicked man; he may seem to have forgotten everything good, holy, and true—to have worn out, by his sinful practices, every sacred impression; and, yet, notwithstanding all, some precious clause of Holy Scripture, or some sweet hymn, remains buried in the depths of memory, beneath a mass of folly and profanity; and, this Scripture, or this hymn, may come to mind in some quiet moment, or it may be on a dying bed, and be used by the Holy Spirit for the quickening and saving of the soul. Who can attempt to define the importance of getting hold of the mind when it is young, and fresh, and plastic, and seeking to impress it with heavenly things.
But, we may, perhaps, be asked, “Where, in the New Testament, have we any warrant of the special work undertaken by the teacher, or the superintendent of a Sunday school?” We reply, it is only one way of preaching the gospel to the unconverted, or of expounding the Holy Scriptures to the children of God. Properly speaking, the Sunday school is a profoundly interesting branch of evangelistic labor, and we need hardly say we have ample authority in the pages of the New Testament for this. But, alas! there are too many among us who have no heart for any branch of gospel service, whether among the young or old; and not only do they neglect it themselves, but throw cold water on those who are seeking to do the blessed work, and as it sometimes happens that those who raise objections to Sunday schools and stated gospel preaching’s seem to be persons of intelligence, their words are all the more likely to weigh with young Christians.
But to you, dear friend, we say, Let nothing discourage you in the work which you have undertaken, it is a good work, and go on with it, regardless of all objectors. We are told to be ready to every good work, and not to be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
And, now a word as to the mode of working a Sunday school. You must remember it is an individual service, to be carried on in personal responsibility to the Lord. No doubt it is most important to have full fellowship in your work, with your fellow laborers, and with all your brethren; but the work of a superintendent or teacher must be carried on in direct personal responsibility to the Lord, and according to the measure of grace imparted by Him.
The assembly is no more responsible, and no more involved, in this work, than in any other individual service, such as the Sunday evening preaching, cottage meetings, lectures or Bible classes; though, most assuredly, the assembly, if in spiritual healthy condition, will have the fullest fellowship with the Sunday school, as well as with the entire range of personal work.
You will find, if we mistake not, that in order to work a Sunday school of any size effectively, you must have a good superintendent—a person of energy, order, and rule. The old proverb, “What’s everybody’s business is nobody’s business” is specially applicable here. We have seen several Sunday schools come to the ground from not being properly worked. Persons take the work up, for a time, and then let it drop. This will never do. The superintendent, the teachers, and the visitors must enter upon their blessed work, not by fits and starts, but with calm determination and spiritual energy; and having entered upon it, they must carry it on with real purpose of heart. It will not do for the superintendent to leave his school, or the teacher to leave his class to chance, under the plea of leaving it to the Lord. We believe the Lord expects him to be at his post, or to find a proper substitute, in case of illness or any other unavoidable cause of absence.
It is of the utmost importance that ever, branch of Sunday school work should be undertaken and carried on with freshness, heart, zeal, energy, and thorough personal devotedness. And inasmuch as these can only be had at the Divine treasury, all who are engaged in the service should meet together for prayer and conference. Nothing can be more deplorable than to see a Sunday school falling into decay, through lack of diligence and perseverance on the part of those who have taken it up.
No doubt there are many hindrances, and the work itself is very uphill and very discouraging; but O! if our words have any weight, we would say with heartfelt emphasis to all who are engaged in this most precious service, let nothing damp your ardor, or hinder your work. Go on; go on; and may the Lord of the harvest crown your labors with the richest and best blessing!
We have gone thus fully into the subject of the Sunday school, because it is one occupying a very large place in our thoughts and sympathies, and we long to see it getting its due place in the hearts of all God’s people. It is many years since we first entered the precincts of a Sunday school, and we feel bound to declare that the lapse of years has only tended to deepen our interest in what we must ever consider a charming branch of work. May God bless all Sunday schools, for Jesus Christ’s sake!
The work of the enemy is to scatter. The work of the Lord is to gather.
“He that is not with Me is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.” Luke 11:23.
The One who said in Joel 2:16,
“Gather the people,... assemble the elders, gather the children,” also said,
“Suffer the little children to come unto Me,” and how will they know to come, except some one tell them of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His love to them?

How to Read Scripture

It is a very difficult thing for any one to attempt to prescribe for another the proper method of reading Scripture. The infinite depths of holy Scripture, like the exhaustless resources that are in God, and the moral glories of the Person of Christ, are only unfolded to faith and need. This makes it so very simple.
It is not cleverness, or intellectual power, we need, but the artless simplicity of a little child. The One who indited the holy Scriptures must open our understandings to receive their precious teaching. And He will do so, if only we wait on Him in real earnestness of heart. But we must never lose sight of the weighty fact, that it is as we act on what we know, that our knowledge shall increase. It will never do to sit down like a bookworm to read the Bible. We may store our intellect with Biblical knowledge; we may have the doctrines of the Bible and the letter of Scripture at our finger-ends, without one particle of unction or spiritual power.
We must go to Scripture as a thirsty man goes to a well; as a hungry man goes to a meal; as a mariner goes to a chart. We must go to it because we cannot do without it. We go, not merely to read, but to feed. The instincts of the divine nature lead us naturally to the Word of God, as the newborn babe desires the milk by which he is to grow. It is by feeding on the Word that the new man grows.
Hence we may see how very real and practical is this question of how to read Scripture. It is intimately connected with our entire moral and spiritual condition, our daily walk, our actual habits and ways. God has given us His Word to form our character, to govern our conduct, and shape our course; and therefore, if the Word has not a formative influence, and a governing power over us, it is the height of folly to think of storing up a quantity of scriptural knowledge in the intellect. It can only puff us up, and deceive us.
It is a most dangerous thing to traffic in unfelt truth. It superinduces a heartless indifference, levity of spirit, insensibility of conscience, perfectly appalling to people of serious piety. There is nothing that tends so to throw us completely into the hands of the enemy as a quantity of head knowledge of truth, without a tender conscience, a true heart, an upright mind.
The mere profession of truth, which does not act on the conscience and come out in the life, is one of the special dangers of the day in which our lot is cast. Better, by far, to know only a little in reality and power, than profess a quantity of truth that lies powerless in the region of the understanding, exerting no formative influence upon the life. I would much rather be honestly in Rom. 7, than fictitiously in chapter 8. In the former case I am sure to come right, but in the latter there is no telling what I may come to.
No doubt the Lord may, and does, make use of writings of His servants, just as He uses their oral ministry, for our instruction and edification. Indeed, in the present broken and divided state of the Church, it is wonderful to mark the Lord’s rich grace and tender care in feeding His beloved people with the writings of His servants.
But, great caution is needed, earnest waiting on the Lord, that we may not abuse so precious a gift, that it may not lead us to trade on borrowed capital. If we are really dependent upon God, He will give us the right thing; He will put the right book into our hands; He will feed us with food convenient for us. Thus we receive it from Himself, and hold it in communion with Himself.
It is fresh, living, powerful, formative; it tells on the heart, and shines in the life; and we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Precious growth! would there were more of it!
Finally, we have to remember that holy Scripture is the voice of God, and the written Word is the transcript of the Living Word. It is only by the Holy Spirit’s teaching we can really understand Scripture, and He reveals its living depths to faith and need. Let us never forget this.


“A servant of Christ...always laboring fervently for you in prayers.” Col. 4:12.
As truly as God calls some to very special service, and leaves some to very painful suffering, He ordains some to a very remarkable life of intercession. This is an inconspicuous ministry and calls for much self-denial, but it is none the less fruitful. It means hours—some times days and nights—given up to waiting upon God. It means the foregoing of some social seasons that are not denied to others. It is a life of yieldedness to God’s call to prayer at any and all times.

Fragment: How Rich We Are!

How rich all we believers are in a poverty stricken world. We have God’s Word, the indwelling Spirit, the Throne of Grace, a Savior and Great High Priest, and entrance and acceptance to the Father. How rich we are!

Fragment: Life is Warfare

Life is a warfare, Christian; be strong and of a good courage. There are no blessings to soldiers who are cowards.

Correspondence: Christ not Man?; ROM 8:26-27; Who is the Stone?

Question: Is there any scripture to say that Christ did not become a man?
Answer: Christ Jesus is the eternal Son of God, and both Old and New Testaments affirm conclusively that from His birth into this world, He was God and Man in one person here on earth. He is now God and Man in glory, and will ever he God and Man. “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. 2:9. “Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” Heb. 7:26.
Question: Please explain Rom. 8:26, 27.
Answer: Here we are taught that the Spirit makes intercession for us. He it is who is the Author of every true and right desire in our hearts. He teaches us to pray to the Father, in the Name of Jesus. It is only by the Spirit that we can pray as we ought. As to the question of praying to the Holy Spirit, we do not think it intelligent. True, the Holy Ghost is God, and is to be viewed in His own distinct personality: but still the New Testament teaches us that He prays in us, to the Father, by the Son. A person praying to the Spirit can hardly see with clearness that the Spirit dwells in him.
Question: Who is the stone? Matt. 21:44.
Answer: The stone is Christ. Those who stumbled at Him then, even when He came in grace, would fall and miss the way of life; but a yet more sudden and fearful fate awaits those whom He will crush when He comes in judgment.

Kept by His Power

“Well, Edward, how are you getting on down in the country?” asked a wealthy banker’s son, of his old school-fellow and father’s customer—a young landowner who had come on business up to the city.
He was handsome, tall, athletic a favorite everywhere, of a happy, pleasant disposition that made him acceptable in every society, and gained him ready admission to all the amusements and gaities of country life.
He was just at the age when in his position, a man’s life receives the final bent. He was “coming out.”
His early training had been excellent surrounded by Christian influence, and guarded by prayerful watchfulness. As he grew older and saw the freedom other young men enjoyed, such a sober life grew irksome, and he was gradually shaking off its restraints—untying the apron strings, as young men call it.
There were hands in plenty, stretched out in the name of folly and fashion, to lead this young man into sin and destruction.
O, at these times, for a hand put out in the name of Christ, to draw such from “the paths of the destroyer” into “the way that leadeth unto life!” The God of praying mothers will as surely reward these, as He will repay the former.
In the ignorance and buoyance of his heart, he had fallen an easy prey into the hands of the spoiler, but for the circumstances this history relates.
It was just at this juncture that he called on the banker, and had the above question put to him.
“We’re having a jolly time of it, old fellow,” responded Edward, enthusiastically, his whole face aglow with health and vivacity. “There’s some excitement on continually; we’re never dull. What with county and military balls, dinners, parties of all kinds, the club and hunting, with a visit to the racecourse by way of variety, we contrive to kill time so pleasantly that we don’t notice his decease.”
His friend regarded him very earnestly while he was speaking, and a feeling of compassion and yearning for his old school-fellow filled his heart. He thought,
“If he only knew how to estimate these things aright, how he would despise them, and flee from them as destructive to his soul’s eternal happiness.” Yet he was wiser than to say this. He simply said, cheerfully,
“Indeed, Edward, you seem to be enjoying yourself, at any rate. What you tell me, reminds me of the words of a wise man I read lately, ‘Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes:’” (to all this Edward’s heart assented, saying mentally, “That’s it, that’s just what I mean to do!” “‘But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.’” Eccles. 11:9.
He repeated the last part very solemnly. It was not what Edward expected, so, hurriedly and confusedly, he said good-bye, and ran off, as if to run away from those last words. But no, he could not get them out of his mind.
He took the morning bus, and returned to the country, laughing uneasily to himself, that when he got down among the fellows, he would soon forget the unpleasant feeling produced by those words. But it was more than a feeling. The Spirit of God had begun to work with that young man, and would not let him forget.
How terrible it is, and yet so coveted by young men, to be let alone of God! To be allowed to pursue their own way of pleasure and sin, without a sting of conscience, a pang of remorse; while the thought of a holy God, and an unending eternity, is put far away.
God loves you too well, reader, not to trouble you—even now—with this very history, that through it you may be warned to flee from the wrath to come.
Edward returned to his friends and amusements; he essayed to go out as at other times before, but he was shorn of his strength to enjoy them. They had lost their charm; they could no longer satisfy him. For at the hunt, in the rush of the horses, and the loud yelp of the dogs, he heard that solemn word re-echoed—
“For all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” In all the different amusements he tried to enter into, it was there.
He could stand it no longer—it was unendurable. It burned down into his heart, so that sleeping and waking, he read it as in letters of fire.
He longed for rest; yet could find none in the things around him. He was disappointed with them all, and not less with himself. What should he do?
“I’ll go up to D— and see my friend,” he thought. “He it was who spoke these words that have taken the glamor from the empty, passing scenes, and shown me that the glitter of this world not only is not all gold, but is base metal indeed.”
He presented himself at the bank where he was cordially welcomed—the more so truly when he told his errand:
“I am perfectly miserable! I had no thought of the end of these things. I lived but for the present. I thought them perfectly harmless, as they may be in themselves; but, I see, it is the evil they induce—the absence of God—the waste of time—their uselessness—their selfishness—all these, and many more besides, inseparably connected with such a life. How they blinded my eyes to the claims of God—to His sentence concerning sin—to my hell-deserving condition to coming judgment! How they filled my heart, that I could be happy without the pardon of my sins; and my mind, that I did not think of my need of a Savior! But now I am in despair. Naught but judgment before me. Eternity looms like a cloud over my onward horizon, and I cannot pierce its darkness, nor catch one ray of light to give me hope. An awful doom, deserved and just, overhangs my soul. Tell me, my friend, how can I escape?”
His friend, seeing the real and deep concern he was under, that the Holy Spirit had convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come, and that he repented toward God, produced his pocket-Bible. Turning over its pages, he pointed him to the Word of God; and showed him how Christ took the guilty sinner’s place by dying on Calvary, thus enduring the judgment of death deserved by us:
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8.
“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18.
Jesus “hath delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thess. 1:10.
And now He can say, “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.
Edward read, and believed—took God at His word—believed that, deserving of judgment and wrath himself, the Lord Jesus had taken his place nineteen hundred years ago; so that, on this ground, he was free, and could go on his way rejoicing. So he did—rejoicing! And he had need of resource of joy in the Lord, for severe trials awaited him on his new path.
When he returned home, he did not at first tell his old companions of the change wrought in him, and Satan tempted him to conceal it from them, that as he was now all right himself, he need not obtrude his opinion on others.
For some time he tried this plan, but he was not happy in so doing. It was dishonest—cowardly— though some would fain conceal their shame under the name of humility.
One day, as he was returning from a meeting held in a private house, he was going up to the hotel with his Bible in his hand, when he saw a number of his former worldly companions, and some of the officers from the garrison, standing on the steps.
“They will laugh at you,” suggested the tempter. “Besides, it looks so ostentatious to keep your Bible in your hand so. Put it into your coat pocket.”
Hastily he yielded to the temptation, and walked as unconcernedly as he could assume up the steps. But one of the men at once spied the unusual bulkiness of his pocket, and, poking at it, said,
“Hallo! S— what have you got there?”
At once he felt that he had not been acting consistently; so setting his foot on the neck of his temptation, he fearlessly drew out his Bible and confessed before them all that he was now converted to God, and desired, henceforth, to be a follower of Christ.
He had relieved his conscience in thus obeying God’s Word by confessing his Lord before men. He was again happy; the cloud which disobedience had collected was in this manner dispersed.
But it was the signal for a succession of attacks, in the many most approved forms “society”—that modern inquisition—knows only too well how to perpetrate on any who have the temerity to say,
“For me to live is Christ.”
From this time his unflinching boldness in preaching the gospel, and speaking to all rich or poor—of Jesus and His love, is known far and near. This so enraged the servants of sin and Satan, that more than one attempt was made even on his life!
One night he was summoned from his house “to speak to a dying man”—so the messenger stated.
‘Twas but a ruse! On the way he was fired at. The bullet, aimed with deadly accuracy at his heart, entered his coat. His cowardly assailants fled, leaving him for dead. But he rode on unharmed: his pocket-Bible had been his life preserver!
Often has he shown me this tenderly preserved memento of his Father’s care. And reverently, as a child, has one gazed, as the course of the bullet was pointed out. There through Moses, and the Psalms, and the Prophets, through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and well-nigh John, it had plowed its way, until arrested by this verse:
“Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me.” John 17:11.
Well and safely He kept dear old Uncle Edward, as he would have us call him, to a green old age. And so He ever keeps those who put their trust in Him.
You will never rue the day, dear young reader, when you turn from this false world to God.

"No Fear"

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” 1 John 4:18.
The writer was once visiting a person who was living in what John Bunyan calls “Doubting Castle,” and to meet her case he quoted the above text, adding the question, “Do you know what that means?”
She paused a moment, and then replied, “I suppose when I love God perfectly, I shall get rid of my doubts and fears.”
“Yes, certainly you will; but as that will never be until you arrive in glory, you must make up your mind to doubt the remainder of your life here.”
My reader may easily picture the blank look of astonishment upon her countenance.
“Now just look at it the other way for a moment. Think of God’s love instead of your own. It is His love that is perfect, not yours. Yours will never be, until you are in heaven. But think of His perfect love expressed in the gift of Christ to die for us, and now flowing from the glory where He is. Believe and enjoy that, and all your fear will be banished forever.”
It was quite a new thought for her, and it is to be hoped that she learned to look at it thus, and to enjoy it in forgetfulness of self.
If any reader is in such like case, may you do the same. You will never enjoy “full assurance of faith” as long as you look within. You might as well look into an ice-well to find warmth, as into your own poor heart to find love to God. But think of God’s great love to you; believe it; take Him at His word about the finished work of His Son, and you will have peace with Him; the Holy Ghost will shed abroad God’s love in your heart, and you will love Him spontaneously without effort in return. And “there is no fear in love.”
(Read carefully Rom. 5:1-11.)

"Nobody Ever Told Me"

“Nobody ever told me,”
And your heart was glad and free,
With the glad, sweet breath of heaven,
And its ceaseless minstrelsy.
“Nobody ever told me”
Through the long and dreary days,
That God had looked with yearning
On sinners and their ways.
“Nobody ever told me”
In my dark and starless nights,
How could I dream of radiance
From such stupendous heights?
“Nobody ever told me,”
And my life was black with sin,
Yet no whisper came of Jesus
Stooping my soul to win.
“Nobody ever told me,”
And all along the road,
My weary stumbling footsteps
Went farther from my God.
“Nobody ever told me,”
How was I then to know,
That all my crimson sin stains
Might be as white as snow.
“Nobody ever told me,”
And the years went rolling by,
Swift and sure and Christless
Into eternity.
“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” Psa. 142:4.

Prepared for Service

Much comfort will be found in tracing through the Bible how God graciously prepared His servants for serving Him, and as the need arose for special service, so there was the special preparation.
It is so today. All along life’s pathway God has His storehouses, and He opens them just as His children need.
I have to climb some Hill Difficulty. When I come to the foot of the hill, not before, I shall find an alpenstock ready! I have to cross some wide river—when I come to the river bank, I shall find the river bridged! I have to enter some dark valley—when I come to the valley’s edge, I shall find a divine Escort.
I shall always find it true—my companion Lord speaks at every fresh step of His leading,—
“Arise, let us go hence.” John 14:31.

Papers for Young Christians: No. 26: Restoration, Part 2

No. 27
Part 2
God loves to have His people in His presence, that we might be there able to commune with Him. It is blessed to see the way the Lord comes in to remove the hindrance when anything intervenes to put us out of communion.
Sin is always the working of the will of the creature. If the will has wrought, sin has come into activity, communion with God is destroyed, and then there is distance.
The only way I can get back to God, if I have slipped away from Him, is by the application to my soul, in the power of the Holy Ghost, of the wonderful truth of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When it was a question of my sins being put away, or access to God, it was by blood. Then in the restoration of a saint, who has gone aside from the Lord, the striking thing met with again is the blood (Num. 19).
You must observe, the blood here is not for you. There can never be any re-application of the blood of Christ. The blood is sprinkled, not on the defiled person, but before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times (v. 4). It is to be under the eve of God. He ever remembers the value of the atoning death of His beloved Son.
Now, when you and I have taken our own way, and the conscience has been defiled, what is the way back? O, you say, I will go back as a poor sinner, and be washed again in the blood of Christ. You will never get back that way, for it is not God’s way; and not seeing this has kept many an erring child a long time out of restoring grace. How must you come back?
“But if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.
Beautiful words! The Advocate is Jesus; He restores me to the Father. If I have sinned and got away, I cannot come back to God as a sinner. I must come to the Father as a child, a naughty child it may be, but a child.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
You are thus practically purged, through confession to God. If there be anything burdening your soul, you must go and confess it. You will never be right till you have made a clean breast of it.
“God knows all about it,” you say. That is quite true, but you will never be right till you have confessed it to Him. Then comes the sense of what grace is, but you will never be right till you have told the Lord everything.
My friend, let me implore you, do not sleep till you have made a clean breast of it all to God. If you are going to be happy and useful, there must be no reserve. There have been no reserves on His side, let there be none on our side.
You may hear as much about the Lord’s grace, and the Lord’s love as you like, but there will never be anything in your soul of real restoration, till you and He get all alone and have it out together. May the Lord indeed make His love more and more precious to all our souls for His Name’s sake.
Christ’s way of meeting the soul is always perfect in tenderness and careful consideration. There is nothing lacking in it. There is nothing so blessed as the grace of Christ. And although we may have often grieved that grace, thank God the grace is there still.
“No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ the Church.” Eph. 5:29.
“Cultivate nearness to Christ.” Cultivate in your souls the sense that if you wander the least bit from His side, He misses you, and would fain have you back again.
Have you a treasure in the heavens? Perhaps you may say, “I have been trying to make Christ my treasure.” Did you ever find out that Christ has a priceless treasure here on earth? The moment you find out that He has a treasure on earth, and that you are that treasure, you will be able to say truly, He is my treasure in heaven. It is the reciprocity of love. You cannot help it.
As the sense of His love, and what He has suffered for you, comes before you, your heart will be fairly captured. Your heart, however, will never be fairly captured till you find that you are His treasure, and then that will make Him yours. There will be no effort.
If He is your treasure, would you not like to see Him? Surely, you reply. But when would you like the Lord to come? Tonight. Really now, would you? Are you ready, and watching for Him, ready to “open to Him immediately?” Are you looking up now, watching for Him, longing to welcome Him back?
“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 sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Luke 12:37.
“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.” John 17:24.
There is something deeper than the glory the love that brings us there. We are not yet in the glory, but we are in the love that will bring us there.
The Lord give us to know what it is to be in the abiding enjoyment of that love for His Name’s sake. Amen. (Concluded)

The Christian's Joy

“Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” Prov. 16:20.
There is no man so happy as the Christian. When he looks up to heaven he thinks:
That is my home; the God that made it, and owns it, is my Father. When he hears God’s thunder above his head he thinks:
That is the voice of my Father.
When death comes he esteems it but as the angel, who admits him to eternal joy. And nothing in earth or hell can make him miserable. There is nothing in the world worth envying but a Christian.

"Lord Jesus, Come"

Lord Jesus, come,
And take Thy rightful place
As Son of Man, Thou risen One!
Come, Lord of all, to reign alone!
Come, Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come!
The Man of sorrows once
The Man of patience now,
The Man of joy forever Thou,
Come, Savior, come!
Lord Jesus, come!
Crowned with Thy many crowns,
The Crucified, the Lamb once slain,
To wash away sin’s crimson stain,
Come, Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come!
And take Thy Father’s gift;
The people by Thy cross made Thine,
The trophy of Thy love divine,
Come, Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come!
That lost in Thee our souls,
May bow and worship and adore,
In Thy blest presence evermore!
Come, Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come,
And let Thy glory shine,
That quickly these changed bodies may
Each one reflect a living ray,
Come, Jesus, come!
Lord Jesus, come!
Let every knee bow down,
And every tongue to Thee confess,
The Lord of all come forth to bless,
Come, Jesus, come!
The Spirit and the Bride,
And him that hears, say, “Come.”
Yea, Lord, Thy word from that bright home
Is, “Surely I will quickly come.”
E’en so, Lord, come!

Address to Young Christians: Part 3

Hebrews. 13:7-16
Part 3
“We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Who are the servants of the tabernacle? They are religionists; people who believe in having religion; and that religion consisting chiefly in forms and ceremonies and rituals—the world is full of them, and increasingly so.
Of what does Christendom consist today: Does it emphasize the simple, blessed truth of the Gospel as revealed in the Word of God, and practiced by the apostles in the beginning? O, no! What we have around us today is one great, complex mixture. Various elements are found there, but I suppose the predominant element is Judaism; i.e., bringing into the present what belonged to the old, and seeking to revamp Judaism into a kind of Christianity. In some cases it is not quite that bad, but the Christianity that is found is more or less tempered and weakened with the introduction of the elements that belonged to Judaism.
God keeps these things separate, and if we learn to keep them separate, it will be a mighty help to our souls. We must not confuse; each of those is good in its place; each God-given, and having distinctly its place. And those who are going on with that which speaks of the tabernacle, which speaks of ritualism, and a God who can only be approached through a priesthood, serve the tabernacle, and they have no right to be servants of the altar, which we have. God refuses to be a partner to anything of the kind.
Christ is now “the way, the truth, and the life”; He is the door, and if we are going to have dealings with Him, it must be on the ground of what we have revealed to us in the New Testament. If we are going on with what was Judaism, we shall lose the sense of what Christianity is; and if we lose that, we shall lose the liberty of Christianity. The Lord Jesus promised to set us free.
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. He further said,
“By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9) what is that? That is liberty, not bondage. Are you finding it bondage, you who are seeking to go on with the Lord? I think not. I do not see any marks on your faces indicating that you are enduring the rigors of legality.
“Ye shall go in and out, and find pasture” this is different from the restrictions of a hard Jewish system. You and I do not wish to go back to what has a great big “Thou shalt not” over it that is Judaism, but we want to maintain ourselves in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free.
“We have a altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Our altar is Christ. Yes He was the altar; He was the offerer; He was the priest; He was everything.
“For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.”
Christ has a sanctified people, and He sanctified them, set them apart, with His own blood. Dear young believer, you know that that blood has sanctified you, it sets you apart. Regardless now of what your life is, if you are a saved and converted soul, you are sanctified by the blood of Jesus; and the blood that sanctified you, was shed outside the gate.
It was not in Jerusalem, it was not within the shadow of the temple, but it was outside the gate. All that great imposing system, of which the temple was a center, was left behind. The Lord went out of that city which laid claim to being the place where God had set His name; He turned His back on the whole thing, and He bore His cross outside its gates; and there on that lonely hill on Calvary He suffered outside the gate. And where is Christ now? Where is He? He is outside the gate. If that is true, here is a blessed “Wherefore.” There are many of those in Scripture.
We have been called into a kind of sacrifice. It is not the blind worship of the heathen, it is not without reason. God has His “wherefores” and here is one of them:
“Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him, without the camp, bearing His reproach.”
Now there is something for you; He went out, He left the thing behind, He went out to sanctify you with His own precious blood. Now God says,
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him.”
I suppose that most of the young folks here today can say, “Well, we have done that.” This is one of the most familiar Scriptures one could speak on. And most of you say,
“Well, I have done that, ‘Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp.’”
I wonder if you have? You are associating with those who have been gathered unto His blessed Name thank God for that but has this come as a result of an individual faith with you? Have you ever individually and conscientiously taken the step, or has it just been a sort of mass affair with you, with the meeting or with the circumstances you found yourself in? Or have you definitely and individually gone forth unto the Lord Jesus?
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him” it is unto Christ. I find it distinctly different in my soul to have Christ as my object, than to have in a sort of abstract way, the truth as my object.
Being occupied with the truth, and losing the sense in one’s soul that Christ, His blessed Person, is the issue. If we have before us only the truth abstracted from Him, we lose the blessing of it, for He said, “I am the truth.” But is it with you that you have simply accepted truth?
Have you acquiesced in what father and mother have taught you? what you have learned in attending the meetings, or have you followed Christ for yourself? Have you said,
“Yes, Lord Jesus, I want to go forth unto Thee?”
Was He that drawing object that led you forth unto Himself? Going forth unto Him is different from just an abstract going forth.
One finds all over the country, people who are more or less disheartened with what they found in organized Christianity. Their souls have become hungry for something more real, and they have left what they were connected with; and they have gone out. A great many of them have become just drifters; they do not know where they are; they have left something that was not according to God, but they have not found a center, have not found a resting place. That won’t do. We must have an object. Going forth alone is not what is contemplated here; it is “going forth unto Him” it is an object for the soul.
(Continued from Page 101)
(To be continued)

Hourly Trust

“Behold the fowls”—look attentively at them. Observe the lilies with no mere passing glance, for these, the common sights of nature, teach deep lessons to us concerning our heavenly Father’s care. We were watching one day some scores of seagulls screaming and striving over one morsel of food, as they rose from their rest on the waves in pursuit of one of their number, which had seized its prey. And with what disappointed cries did the unsuccessful competitors for that morsel return to their waves, yet before the day was spent the birds had received their sufficiency, and each one sped to its home on the rocks satisfied, for “your heavenly Father feedeth them.”
A little seed-eating bird in a cage will go to its food store every few minutes through the day, and to keep it without food for but three or four hours would be its death. What a lesson does this fact afford of our heavenly Father’s care, as we contemplate the thousands of little songsters which people the field, the hedgerow, and the wood. They have neither storehouse nor barn—no resource but the open country and their own incessant search after the food provided for them. Our Father’s care does not imply indifference in His children, but it does demand hourly trust and constant confidence in His kindness.
The lilies of Palestine are beautiful, but they are common flowers there. The Lord did not call attention to the lilies of the garden, but to the lilies of the field—flowers most beautiful, but which grow up in their beauty without toil or labor. Flowers, “the grass of the field,” but clothed more richly by the hand of God than was ever the greatest of earth’s kings—Solomon, in all his glory, by all the skill and wisdom of man. God, for His own pleasure, has made the flowers beautiful, and the Lord would teach us from the primrose and the buttercup to trust our Father in heaven.
How the anxious thought for the morrow robs the soul of the day’s rest in our Father’s care! One secret of a happy Christian life is to be without plans for the morrow. Tell God the trouble, and then leave it with Him to provide. The bright and busy bird fulfills its little daily task unmindful of the morrow. “How much more are ye better than the fowls?” Work on then, trusting in the unvarying love and care of our Father who is in heaven. Our great lesson for earth is confidence in our heavenly Father. This lesson is not learned once and for all in life, but it is a lesson to be learned afresh every hour of every day. When free from the burden of life’s care by casting all our care upon our Father in heaven, the soul is in a state to receive the deep realities of heavenly things.
Allowing the trustful spirit, then let every energy of the soul be given to the heavenly things. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”—first, before all else. Ever make the concerns of eternity the first claim, and your Father who is in heaven will provide for the need of the passing hour. Do not earthly parents plan every good thing for their children, and expect them to trust? Also, the parent looks to the child for purpose of heart as to the things the parent values most. It is as if a voice from heaven said to us,
“Leave your cares with God, and make God’s glory your concern.”
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Heb. 10:35.

A Blessed Rest

There is a blessed rest for the child of God which nothing can disturb. It comes to those who fully yield to Jesus and continues as they abide in Him. In hours of deepest darkness when every earthly comfort seems to be gone, that soul is resting. “Though change and decay in all around they see” the changeless One abides and that is enough to quiet every fear and drive away the deepest gloom.

Correspondence: Eternal Sonship; Confess to God or Christ?; 2 Cor. 13:6

Question: What does the Scripture teach about the eternal Sonship of Christ?
Answer: We believe the truth of the eternal Sonship of Christ is as distinctly taught in Scripture as the truth of the Trinity. The fact that such an expression does not occur, no more militates against the one truth than it does against the other. If the Son is God, He must be eternal. “Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” Heb. 1:8.
It seems to us that the Deity and Eternity of the Son are so indissolubly linked together, that whoso denies the one, denies the other likewise. May God give us all subjection to Scripture.
Question: Should we confess our sins to God or to Christ? Why is confession necessary?
Answer: We believe it is to God our Father we have to confess our sins. This must be evident if you will read 1 John 1:5-10. We do not see any difficulty in the matter. It is true we are in relationship with God— our sins are all forgiven—our guilt atoned for—but yet we are liable to commit sin; and, when we do so, there must be confession ere our communion with God can be restored. This confession and its results are founded upon the atoning work and advocacy of our Lord Jesus Christ. If my child does wrong, he does not cease to be my child; but I cannot allow him to enjoy happy intercourse with me until he fully confesses the wrong.
Question: Please explain “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” 2 Cor. 13:6.
Answer: This is a much misunderstood scripture. The Corinthian saints had been converted through Paul’s ministry. Some among them were calling in question his apostleship. He then challenges them that if he was an imposter and not a genuine apostle, it would look bad for their profession, as they had professed under his ministry. There is an element of irony in his challenge to them to examine themselves whether they be in the faith.

"My Word Shall Not Return Unto Me Void"

A young rabbi was visiting a friend who was an out-and-out unbeliever. While in the library, he was attracted by a small book lying on the writing table.
“What is this?” he inquired, picking up the volume.
“O, that is the Christian’s book,” came the answer in disparaging tones, “don’t trouble yourself with it.”
But the young man had already glanced at the book, and had read the opening words of the Gospel by Matthew,
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
These few words had made the unattractive book interesting. What? he thought, Jesus Christ, the despised Nazarene, a son of David, and a son of Abraham? As his friend noticed him still regarding it thoughtfully, he again said it was the Christian’s book and of no account.
“But I should like very much to read it,” replied the young rabbi.
“Very well, then,” said the unbeliever, smiling mockingly, “take it. I give it to you as a birthday present.”
Not to be put off with the scornful remarks of his friend, the young rabbi put the abused New Testament in his pocket and went home.
As he feared he would be hindered in reading this forbidden book at home, he took it with him to the synagogue. There, in that quiet sanctum, where he could not be disturbed by anyone, he devoted himself to the study of the remarkable book.
He read the whole of the New Testament to the end. Then he resolved to compare it with the Old Testament, and with that object he once more read through the Old Testament, but this time without the explanations and additions which the rabbis have added to it. This he did with increasing unrest.
When he came to the ninth chapter of Daniel, and in the twenty-sixth verse read the words:
“Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself,” he reached absolute certainty: the despised, crucified Jesus of Nazareth is none other than the promised Messiah.
When he again read the New Testament from beginning to end, it became clear to him that not only did he in his heart believe in this Christ, but that he must confess Him with his mouth.
Well he knew what was in store for him. He did not hesitate to obey the voice within. Unterrified, he went to his friends and announced to them that the rejected Nazarene was indeed the Savior, whom Jehovah had promised to His people in the Holy Scriptures.
The way of this young witness for Jesus was henceforth a very thorny one. There remained nothing else for him but to forsake, like Abraham, his home and friends. The hatred of the Jew against the name of Jesus is as great in this day as it was when the Lord Himself walked this earth. The friends of the young rabbi, in their enmity, left nothing unsought in their endeavors to get him out of the way.
To escape their snares he finally went to other large cities, and there preached the crucified Christ to his Jewish brethren. Streams of blessing have resulted from that little Testament. Hundreds of Jews have thereby heard the glad tidings of Jesus, the Savior, for Jews and Gentiles; and many of them, as a result of the preaching of the young rabbi, have departed from this life with the precious name of Jesus on their lips.
How encouraging this short story should be to all who know Jesus as their Savior, not to be weary in the spreading of God’s Word to right and left. We know not indeed,
“Whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Eccles. 11:6.
The man who gives a tract or Testament to the unbeliever, may be discouraged when he sees indifference; but God says,
“My Word shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.” Isa. 55:11.
He had His eye on the young rabbi, that lost sheep of the House of Israel, and He led him into the house of the unbeliever, just when the Testament lay on the table.

"Take Heed, Therefore, How Ye Hear (or Read)"

Luke 8:18
The soul is the dwelling place of the truth of God. The ear and the mind are but the gate and the avenue; the soul is its home or dwelling place.
The beauty and the joy of the truth may have unduly occupied the outposts, filled the avenues and crowded the gates—but it is only in the soul that its reality can be known. And it is by meditation that the truth takes its journey from the gate along the avenue to its proper dwelling place.

"We Shall See Him As He Is"

All flesh shall see His glory; but I shall see Himself. “See Him as He is,” in all the realities of His love, grace, and glory. Restored Israel will have their new hearts and new spirits; but I shall have my new body... “Like Him.” “Fashioned like unto His glorious body.” They will be in the center of the earthly glory; I shall he in the same heavenly glory with the Son of God— “With Him in glory.”
O how the thought that I shall know
Jesus that suffered here below,
To manifest God’s favor,
For me, and for the saints I love,
Both here and with Himself above,
Does my renewed nature move
At that sweet word “forever!”
Forever to behold Him shine!
For evermore to call Him mine!
And see Him still before me;
Forever on His face to gaze!
And meet His full assembled rays,
While all the Father He displays
To all the saints in glory!
Not all things else are half so dear
As His delightful presence here.
What must it be in heaven!
‘Tis heaven on earth that we can say,
As now we journey, day by day,
“Himself has borne our sins away:
Our sins are all forgiven.”
But how will His celestial voice
Make each enraptured heart rejoice,
When we in glory hear Him!
When we no longer at the gate,
But in His blessed presence wait,
When Jesus on His throne of state
Invites us to come near Him!

Endure Hardness, As a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 2:3
Do I bear patiently the afflictions and trials that God, in His providence, permits to come to me? Or do I allow myself to become discouraged and impatient under them?
Do I call to mind the patient endurance of Christ under all His sufferings? And does the thought of His example sustain and encourage me, when otherwise flesh and heart and might fail?
If He was made perfect through suffering, can His followers expect to go and meet Him but by the road that He trod?

Address to Young Christians: Part 4

Hebrews 13:7-16
Part 4.
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp.”
I believe that it is not necessary to enlarge on what the camp is—we know what it is, and what it was in Paul’s time. It was a simple thing to define it then, but there is no temple or tabernacle at Jerusalem today. There is no priesthood going through the forms and ceremonies of Judaism in the City of Jerusalem, but even if there were, you and I would not be vitally concerned in it, for Jerusalem is thousands of miles away and we probably could never get there, so that in its literal application it would not concern you.
But there is that that answers to the camp, and I believe no intelligent and spiritual mind can fail to see what it is; it is what man has set up; it is done according to the mind of men; it is that that pictures and colors Judaism; it is going back to the elements of the law, the weak and beggarly elements of the world; and in some way or other you get a religion out of it that is not according to the simple, blessed truth of the revelation we have in Christ. It is taking tip the old argument of John 4:19-26, as to whether Mount Gerezim or Jerusalem was the place where men ought to worship; the Lord Jesus set that aside long ago; He said, it is not a question of this mountain or Jerusalem; the hour is coming, “and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”
True worship is a spiritual worship, and must have Christ for its object, and it must be in submission to the Word of God.
To Philadelphia, the sixth of the seven churches, the Lord Jesus presented Himself as “He that is holy, and He that is true.” If you expect to be a Philadelphian and I trust you all do, I trust that that is the desire of your heart it must be in accordance with Him that is holy and true; it must be along a pathway that is characterized by holiness and truth.
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Yes, reproach goes with it. I have been criticized in times past for dwelling too much on the reproach side of things. I suppose that all of us are somewhat lopsided in what we have to say, and I am quite willing to plead guilty. But in this Scripture we do get brought before us very distinctly that there is reproach, and that the reproach of Christ in connection with the out side pathway. Have you in your individual life, young believer, tasted it? Have you realized it, and have you rejoiced in it?
Perhaps some one here says that we should not be thinking of that at all, whether we are bearing reproach or whether we are not. Per, haps so, but if so what did the Lord Jesus mean, in Luke 6:22, 23?
“Blessed (which means, happy) are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:23.
I will never forget the first time that Scripture was called to my attention, by an aged brother. I had just met with a very severe rebuff for seeking to speak to another person about the Lord, and I felt it very keenly; and this dear old servant turned to that Scripture, and said,
“Why you ought to be jumping and leaping for joy.”
“Far from it; I am not feeling that way at all,” I answered.
“You have a right to leap for joy,” he said
This impressed that Scripture on my heart, and I have never forgotten it.
There is a joy and there is a satisfaction in bearing reproach for Christ. How far do we know what it is? Have you gone forth unto Him, and are you bearing His reproach? Have you gone all the way? How far have you gone?
I believe there are those who have stopped at the halfway house. You have accepted Him as your Savior; and if asked if you were saved, you could give a positive answer. I was talking to a young man, and he said that he was saved; and I asked him a few more questions, and found that so far, he was stopping at the halfway house. There was not that full, complete clean cut of things; he was not willing to go all the way.
Speaking now to those who have reached the years of discretion and maturity in divine things, what reason do you give, young people, to the Lord for the fact that you are not found remembering Him in His death? I know that some of you do remember Him, but some do not—some are going on, and seeking to live their lives. They are not carrying out that simple blessed request:
“This do in remembrance of Me.”
What reason do you give the Lord Jesus for that? I trust you are not laboring under the delusion of a feeling of unworthiness which sometimes keeps souls away. Do not let that keep you away. If that were a sufficient reason for any of us to be kept away from the table on next Lord’s day morning there would not be a single person that would be remembering the Lord in His death. No intelligent Christian could partake of those sacred emblems, and say,
“I am taking these because I am worthy in my life and ways to partake of them.”
That is not the ground on which we partake, but on the ground of the worthiness of another, the worthiness of Christ. Yes, dear young person, you are washed in that precious blood, if you are one who has been washed and redeemed; if you are a member of the body of Christ as you are, if you believe the Gospel of salvation, and thus you have a right and a title to be at His table. And if you stop short of it, there is just that one measure in which you have refused to go all the way.

Fragment: Prayer and Work

“Prayer hinders no work,” says the proverb, and we may add, “No work prospers without prayer.”


Many Christians are great grumblers when laid on a bed of sickness. I once inquired from three Christian women, who were then ill, if they could explain this sad fact.
The first one I put the question to, a very true, earnest soul, who truly lives for Christ, at once said she had been thinking of the same thing, and had been going to ask me to talk to her about it. She thought it might be a purely physical cause, or else it was a Satanic influence.
The second one, almost bedridden and very poor, immediately replied,
“O, doctor, it is because we look inside instead of looking at Christ.”
The third, who is by far the most intelligent of the three from a spiritual point of view, said,
“Yes, you would grumble too if you had my outlook on life,” taking the question, I fear, as a personal one.
I must admit that she was greatly given to grumbling; but the Holy Spirit has applied my little question to her heart, and since that visit I have called upon her many times, and though her circumstances are the same, she has been very bright and happy.
The second patient answered the question aright. If we keep looking up at the blessed Lord we get grace for this pathway, however hard and difficult it may be. The Lord is always above our circumstances. If we look inside or around us we get occupied with self and what concerns self, and thus lose the joy of communion with Christ. May He give each one of us to be more occupied with Himself.
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.... The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” Psa. 41:1, 3.
“We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (sin apart). Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:15, 16.

Fragment: We See God

In nature we see God as a God around us.
In providence we behold Him as a God above us.
In the law He is a God against us.
But in Redemption—in Christ Jesus we behold Him as a God for and with us.

"Publicly, and From House to House"

The sentence which we have just penned is taken from Paul’s address to the elders of Ephesus, as recorded in Acts 20. It is a very suggestive sentence, and sets forth in a most forcible manner the intimate connection between the work of the teacher and that of the pastor.
“I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you,” says the blessed apostle, “but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” Acts 20:20.
Paul was not only an apostle; he combined, in a truly marvelous manner, the evangelist, the pastor, and the teacher. The two last-named are closely connected, as we may learn from Eph. 4:11; and it is of the very utmost importance that this connection should be understood and maintained.
The teacher unfolds truth; the pastor applies it. The teacher enlightens the understanding; the pastor looks to the state of the heart. The teacher supplies the spiritual nutriment; the pastor sees to the use that is made of it. The teacher occupies himself more with the Word; the pastor looks after the soul. The teacher’s work is, for the most part, public; the pastor’s work chiefly in private. When combined in one person, the teaching faculty imparts immense moral power to the pastor, and the pastoral element imparts affectionate tenderness to the teacher.
The reader must not confound a pastor with an elder or bishop. The two things are totally distinct. Elder and bishop are frequently interchangeable, but pastor is never confounded with either. Elder is a local charge; pastor is a gift. We have nothing about elders or bishops in 1 Cor. 12, and 14, or Ephesians 4, though in these scriptures we have the fullest unfolding of the subject of gifts. We must carefully distinguish between gift and local charge. Elders or bishops are for rule and oversight. Teachers and pastors are to feed and edify. An elder may be a teacher or pastor, but he must keep the two things distinct. They rest upon a different footing altogether, and are never to be confounded.
However, our object in this brief article is not to write a treatise on ministry, or to dwell elaborately upon the difference between spiritual gift and local charge, but simply to offer to our readers a few words on the immense importance of the pastoral gift in the Church of God, in order that they may be stirred up to earnest prayer to the great Head of the Church, that He may graciously be pleased to shed forth this precious gift more abundantly in our midst. We are not straitened in Him. The treasury of spiritual life is not exhausted; and our Lord Christ loves His Church, and delights to nourish and cherish His body, and to supply its every need out of His own infinite fullness.
That there is urgent need of pastoral care throughout the length and breadth of the Church of God, few can deny who know what pastorship is, and who are at all acquainted with the true condition of the Church.
How rare is the true spiritual pastor! It is easy to take the name, and assume the office; but, in point of fact, pastorship is neither a name nor an office, but a living reality—a divinely-imparted gift—something communicated by the Head of the Church for the growth and blessing of His members. A true pastor is a man who is not only possessed of a real spiritual gift, but also animated by the very affections of the heart of Christ toward every lamb and sheep of His blood-bought flock.
Yes, we repeat it, “every lamb and sheep.” A true pastor is a pastor all over the world. He is one who has a heart, a message, a ministry, for every member of the body of Christ. Not so the elder or bishop. His is a local charge, confined to the locality in the which such charge is entrusted. But the pastor’s range is the whole Church of God, as the evangelist’s range is the wide, wide world. A pastor is a pastor, and he has his blessed work everywhere. To imagine a pastor, as confined to a certain congregation to which he is expected to discharge the functions of evangelist, teacher, elder, or bishop, is something altogether foreign to the teaching of the New Testament.
But, ah! how few real pastors are to be found in our midst! How rare is the pastor’s gift, the pastor’s heart! Where shall we find those who duly combine the two grand and important elements contained in the heading of this paper— “Publicly and from house to house”? A man may, perhaps, give us a brief address on the Lord’s day, or a lecture on some weekday; but where is the “house to house” side of the question?
Where is the close, earnest, diligent looking after individual souls, from Monday morning till Saturday night? Very often it happens that the public teaching shoots completely over the head; it is the house to house teaching that is sure to come home to the heart. How frequently it happens that something uttered in public is entirely misunderstood and misapplied, until the loving pastoral visit during the week, supplies the true meaning and just application.
Nor is this all. How much there is in a pastor’s range that the public teacher never can compass! No doubt public teaching is most important; would we had ten thousand times more of it than we have. The teacher’s work is invaluable, and when mellowed by the deep and tender affection of a pastor’s heart, can go a great way indeed in meeting the soul’s manifold necessities.
But the loving pastor who earnestly, prayerfully, and faithfully goes from house to house, can get at the deep exercises of the soul, the sorrows of the heart, the puzzling questions of the mind, the grave difficulties of the conscience. He can enter, in the profound sympathy of an affectionate heart, into the ten thousand little circumstances and sorrows of the path. He can kneel down with the tried, the tempted, the crushed, and the sorrowing one, before the precious mercy-seat, and they can pour out their hearts together, and draw down sweet consolation from the God of all grace and the Father of mercies.
The public teacher cannot do this. No doubt, if, as we have said, he has something of the pastoral element in him, he can anticipate in his public address a great deal of the soul’s private exercises, sorrows, and difficulties. But he cannot supply the house to house ingredient. He cannot fully meet the soul’s individual need.
This is the pastor’s holy work.
It seems to us that a pastor is to the soul what a doctor is to the body. He must be able to feel the spiritual pulse. He must understand disease and medicine. He must be able to tell what is the matter, and what remedies to apply. Alas! how few proper doctors there are. Perhaps they are as rare as proper pastors. It is one thing to take the title, and another thing to do the work.
Christian reader, we earnestly entreat you to join us in fervent believing prayer to God to raise up true pastors among us. We are in sad need of them. There is great dearth indeed, both of teachers and pastors. The sheep of Christ are not fed and cared for. We are occupied so much with our own affairs, that we have not time to look after the beloved flock of Christ. And even on these occasions, when the Lord’s people assemble in public, how little there is for their precious souls! What long barren pauses! the silence of poverty! What aimless hymns and prayers!
How little leading of the flock through the green pastures of holy Scripture, and by the still waters of divine love. And then, all through the week, no loving pastoral call, no tender solicitous inquiry after soul or body. There seems to be no time. Every moment is swallowed up in the business of providing for ourselves and our families. It is, alas! the old sad story,
“All seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ’s.” Phil. 2:21.
How different it was with the blessed apostle! He found time to make tents, and also to “teach publicly and from house to house.” He was not only the great apostle, ranging over continents and planting churches, but he was also the loving pastor, the tender nurse, the skillful spiritual physician.
Let no one suppose that we advocate idleness. The Lord preserve us from any such moral mischief! We believe there is nothing like abundance of healthful occupation. Indeed, the apostle himself afforded a living example of this, by working with his hands the thing which is good, that he might not be chargeable to any.
But for all that, he found time to teach, preach, and pastorize. He had a heart for Christ and for His body, the Church, and for every member of that body. Here lies the real secret of the matter. It is wonderful what a loving heart can accomplish. If I really love the Church, I shall desire its blessing and progress, and seek to promote these according to my ability.
May the Lord raise up in the midst of His people pastors and teachers after His own heart men filled with His Spirit, and animated by a genuine love for His Church men competent and ready to teach “publicly and from house to house.”

Redeemed, Gathered, Satisfied

Psalm 107
I was much struck in reading this psalm with three words in it, spoken of those whom the Spirit there exhorts to give thanks and praise to the Lord.
1. Redeemed. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”
We, blessed be the Lord’s name, are redeemed (a) from the hand of the enemy. The enemy’s power is broken by Him who by death has destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and the captive has been set free. As with Israel of old, who saw all their enemies dead on the sea shore, so with us the deliverance is full and complete, and we can truly sing—
“His be the Victor’s name
Who fought the fight alone,
Triumphant saints no honor claim,
His conquest was their own.”
This perhaps is the aspect of redemption that appeals to us first, and yet the other is even more blessed. We are the redeemed of the Lord: redeemed (b) to God, as that blest company spoken of in Rev. 5:9, who will sing by and by, “Thou hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood.” He has made us His own treasure, a treasure the value of which in His sight can only be measured “by the precious blood of Christ” (see 1 Peter 1:19).
Well may the thought of this preciousness in God’s sight lift up our hearts in adoring worship, while we muse in wonder as we listen to our blessed Savior telling His Father, Thou “hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me” (John 17:23).
2. Gathered (ver. 3). He “gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” If God redeems us individually, it is not His thought to leave us as isolated ones in the midst of a scene that has rejected Christ. Caiaphas spoke the truth when he said that Jesus “should gather together in one the children of God” (John 11:52).
God loves to gather His redeemed ones, as in Matt. 18:20, (a) in or to Christ’s name, that One in whom His own soul finds its perfect and unchangeable delight, that we, too, may have “great delight” as we sit under His shadow (Cant. 2:3). Thus the center of God’s affections has through His grace become our center also. O! that we might walk more worthily of Him, and more constantly and truly seek His glory. For if God caused the houses of Israel and Judah to cleave to Him that they might be to Him “for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory” (Jer. 13:11), how much more so has Christ now taken us to Himself as a peculiar people, making us one with Himself, and giving us to bear His name.
But, further, in Matt. 18:20, we find that by the Holy Spirit we are (b) gathered together, that walking in the light—the place that, as believers, we have been set in by God—we might have fellowship one with another, “and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3 and 7).
How different to the “good fellowship” of the world!
Holy communion with the Father and the Son and with one another in the power of the Spirit of God, is to be only truly enjoyed while we remember that it is “in the light” that we walk, so that everything in us which is manifested by that light as being contrary to God may be at once judged and confessed.
It is remarkable how often in these days of failure we hear of “walking in love” in such a way as would seem to indicate that we must not be too exclusive.
Let any who would so use it note the force of that passage in 1 John 1:7, that the place of our fellowship—where indeed we shall most truly manifest divine love the one to the other is “in the light” in which we are at all times.
Did we more realize this we would no doubt more earnestly strive to be found walking according to that light.
The apostle John, who, more than any other, speaks of love, yet writes,
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4.
3. Satisfied. “He satisfieth the longing soul” (Ver. 9). God loves to satisfy the longing soul with the One who satisfies His own heart. Can we not say—
“God is satisfied with Jesus,
We are satisfied as well”?
Yet we go on longing, for the more we know of Jesus the more we want to know of Him, and God will go on satisfying us with Him until in glory we see Jesus face to face. He will then be satisfied with the fruit of the “travail of His soul” and we shall be forever satisfied when we awake with His likeness.
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” Psa. 107:1.

A Lesson From the Clocks

Some clocks strike often,—every quarter of an hour; some every hour; and some not at all. Those that do strike are expected to do something else, and that is, to point to the correct time, all through the day, between the hours, as well as just when the striking time comes. Then the striking of the bell corresponds with what has been seen before, when you could hear nothing but the ticking. So it should be with the life of those who love the Lord.
He does not set all the people to preach the gospel, but He does expect that, whether we say anything or not, what is seen in us all the day long should be “as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” If we speak to others, whether publicly or privately, we must mind that what we say is “according to truth,” but we must not forget that “actions speak louder than words.”
Pointing to the time between the hours is of even more importance than sounding out the hours when they come. We could do better without the bell of the clock than without the hands, but we want both. Only if the hand points to one, when the clock strikes twelve, which shall we believe?
If we say one thing but do another, who will know our Lord and Master any better from us? If we say,
“Jesus, Thou art enough
The mind and heart to fill,”
but do things which show that we are not satisfied with Him, and want the follies of the world, who will know which to believe? At striking time may we say,
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
“Thou art with me, I will not fear,”
but what do people see us doing at other times? Are we full of anxious care, as if we had no Father in heaven, and no Lord our Shepherd?

Are They Lost, or Saved?

“Bold infidelity! turn pale and die,
Beneath this stone three infants’ ashes lie,
Say! are they lost or saved?
If death’s by sin, they sinned because they’re here,
If heaven’s by works, in heaven they can’t appear.
Reason—ah, how depraved!
Review the Bible’s sacred page—the knot’s untied,
They died—for Adam sinned.
They live—for Jesus died.”

Correspondence: PHI 3:10-11; ACT 13:48; Unicorns; World's End; Man's Words; More.

Question: What is the thought in Phil. 3:10, 11, “power of His resurrection,” “attain unto the resurrection of the dead”? C. M.
Answer: The thought expressed is an earnest pressing on to reach that which alone can make the salvation we have complete the resurrection from the dead. To this of course Paul had not yet attained and therefore could think of nothing here (except indeed fellowship in Christ’s sufferings). All that his soul longed for was there.
Question: Please explain “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
Answer: Certainly some were appointed to eternal life. (See 2 Thess. 2:13, and 2 Tim. 1:9.) But none are appointed to be damned. Notice that, while Rom. 9:22, 23 does say the vessels of mercy were afore prepared of God, it does not say that God prepared the vessels fitted to destruction.
Question: What is the meaning of “from the horns of the unicorns”? (Psa. 22:21.)
Answer: Great strength and untamableness Thus the Lord’s implacable enemies were compared to these animals. “The horns of the unicorns” is a figure of speech of impalement and intense suffering.
Question: In what sense is the time when the Son of man came into the world to put away sins, “the end of the world”?
Answer: God calls it the “end of the world,” because man’s moral history is entirely ended—grace is not ended. Man’s history was closed at the cross. First, lawlessness, then law-breaking, and then enmity to God; then comes that blessed perfect work of the last Adam, who met the need in His own person, and brought in the full accomplishment of the purposes of God. He has brought man into an entirely new sphere by death and resurrection, and eventually glory, and has settled the whole question of responsibility.
Question: How far can we rely on the words of the natural man?
Answer: Man is competent to give a fact, but not the truth on any subject, and still less on that vast scene of glory which God has formed, and which He has revealed, too, for the glory of the Lord.
Question: Is it known or can it be conjectured why Paul went into Arabia (Gal. 1:17)?
Answer: Probably to be alone with God, as Moses in Sinai, or Elijah in Horeb.
Question: Is no one saved who does not confess Christ with his mouth? What is the meaning of “unto righteousness,” “unto salvation”? (Rom. 10:9, 10).
Answer: We would not say that any one who refused to confess Christ was saved.
“Unto righteousness” refers to position before God.
“Unto salvation” refers to outward position as among the saved (or Christians). The former is in the heart; the latter by the mouth.

"Heavenly Goods"

I was making a little evangelistic tour preaching the gospel at various places, accompanied by two other servants of the Lord, whose hearts were also deeply interested in the salvation of the lost.
Passing from town to town we had frequent opportunities of conversation with our fellow passengers in the train, and of handing them little gospel booklets or tracts.
We were leaving a town when there entered the coach a middle-aged man, who took his seat opposite to me. He was inclined to be sociable, and began to speak about the weather and the crops, etc. On the rack over my head I had a good-sized leather case, such as commercial travelers often use for their goods. I had specially designed it for carrying hymn-sheets and gospel booklets for use at meetings. Descrying the case, he at once thought that I was a commercial traveler, and said,
“What line are you in?”
“Heavenly goods,” I replied.
“Get away with you,” was his surprised reply. “You do not expect me to believe that?”
“Indeed, I do,” I rejoined. “It is heavenly goods, and heavenly goods only that I am traveling in just now.”
“But what are they?” he rejoined.
“The proclamation to sinners of pardon and peace with God; the precious truth of eternal life, and His gift through faith in His blessed Son, and that whosoever will believe the gospel may now have the knowledge of salvation.”
My reply was evidently unsatisfactory to him. He said nothing, but looked very incredulous, and at this point my two companions chimed in,
“O, it is quite true what he says: that really is the line he is traveling in,” and, by way of confirmation of their words, produced a little hand-bill announcing some meetings. He had no more questions for me, so I thought I would put him one or two.
“What about your own soul, my friend? Are you saved?”
“Ah, that is what no man can know.”
“I beg your pardon, it may be known. I know that I am saved, and you may know the same. You have heard the gospel many a time in your day, I expect?”
This evidently awoke in his mind old memories, and with a softened tone he said:
“Yes, when I was a boy and lived in this district. But that is long ago. You see, I have lived in the city most of my life. When I was here I used to hear about those things, and think about them too, but when I crossed the border, and got into the busy city, I flung all religion overboard, and I just set myself to make money.”
“And you have made it?” I replied.
“Yes, I have done well in that line, and I have come north to see my old friends and the old places, and to enjoy myself.”
“And the money you have made has made you quite happy, I suppose, and you are all right for eternity.”
“Indeed, I am nothing of the kind. Money does not make a man happy, nor save his soul.”
“Quite true,” I replied, “and I think if you are a wise man, you will now seek to get the riches that are abiding, everlasting, and satisfying. In other words, you had better secure the ‘heavenly goods’ that I am speaking of. Would not you be the better of their possession?”
“I believe I would,” he said; “but how am I to get them?”
Then followed a plain conversation as to the gospel,
“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.
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim. 1:15.
He seemed much interested, and took a gospel booklet or two with thankfulness, and a notice of the meetings, saying he would certainly attend them.
On the following Lord’s day, both afternoon and evening, I observed him among the listeners where I was preaching the gospel. I had no opportunity of further conversation with him, but I trust what he heard of the gospel was used of the Lord for blessing to his soul.
It is grand business to travel in the gospel. A man can earn his living by some honest calling, and still do this. No happier service is known on earth.
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Rom. 10:15.

Be Occupied With Christ

The story is told of a Christian who was discussing with an infidel, the teaching of the young. The latter claimed that it was not fair to influence a child before he reached an age when he could choose for himself. The Christian took him to part of his garden and told the infidel that this was a botanic garden.
“How so?” he was asked and the remark was added, “It is covered with weeds.”
“Or” was the reply, “that is because it has not yet come to the age of discretion and choice. The weeds you see have taken the liberty to grow and I thought it unfair to prejudice the soil in favor of roses and strawberries.”
Store the garden of your mind and that of others with the truth. Occupy yourself and them with good, with good always, with evil never.
We have to watch our thoughts, for as in the garden, weeds sprang unbidden, and covered and exhausted the ground to no profit, so, if we do not till the ground of our soul, and engage it with what is pure and edifying, there will be but a crop of injurious evil, harmful to ourselves and others. So we find the Apostle Paul saying. “Finally brethren” this a word of the greatest importance to us, “whatsoever things are true... just... pure... lovely... of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil. 4:8.
In whom are these attributes more fully manifested than in our Lord Jesus Christ?
“Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Heb. 3:1.
“Looking unto Jesus.” Heb. 12:2.

The Coming and the Appearing

Lamb of God, Thy faithful promise
Says, ‘Behold, I quickly come;’
And our hearts, to Thine responsive,
Cry, ‘Come, Lord, and take us home.’
O, the rapture that awaits us
When we meet Thee in the air,
And with Thee ascend in triumph,
All Thy deepest joys to share.
Lamb of God, when Thou in glory
Shalt to this sad earth return,
All Thy foes shall quake before Thee,
All who now despise Thee mourn;
Then shall we, at Thine appearing,
With Thee in Thy kingdom reign,
Thine the praise, and Thine the glory,
Lamb of God for sinners slain.

Address to Young Christians: Part 5

Hebrews 13:7-16
Part 5
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.”
Yes, it is a place of reproach; and always will be. I believe that God intended the name of His beloved Son to be connected with reproach in this world, since man rejected Him and cast Him out. God has as much as said,
“Now, if you want to follow Him in that world, you will have to understand that the world cast Him out; and you will have to become identified with a rejected man.”
Then how good to get Verse 14 before the soul. Dear young person, get before your soul that,
“Here have we no continuing city.”
I know that that is in direct collision with what is all about you. I know that is all out of tune with what you hear in the world. If you read the world’s periodicals—magazines, editorials—you will find that this is in direct contradiction with the whole thing.
The world’s cry is that we are building a bigger and better world; if we are building automobiles, we are building them bigger and better; if we are building buildings, we are building them bigger and better. The whole thought of today is to build for the future, to build to endure. I have seen on Packards: “Built for eternity”—those are man’s thoughts, while the Word of God says,
“Here have we no continuing city.”
The viewpoint you take is going to make a tremendous difference with you; if you are living for another world, if you are expecting the coming one, it is going to make a difference in the way you build, in the sacrifices you make; you are going to count the cost of what you are about to engage upon and perhaps you are going to question—using a not very elegant proverb—whether the game is worth the candle. I hope you do.
Here have we Christians no continuing city, but we seek one to come, or, we seek “the coming one.” God has a city, a metropolis, a home; it is the coming one which you and I are about to step into and who knows how soon? Who knows how many steps are ahead of you? Who knows whether a hundred or only a dozen are yet before you, before you find yourself gathered into that coming city? If you knew that you were only a dozen steps hence, how little you would value things that you are staking high by now!
Another translation of verse 15 reads:
“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of the lips confessing His name.” Ah, that is what we need, “confessing His name” “the fruit of our lips confessing His name.”
Yes, we confess that Name to God, and that is a sweet savor unto Him. Then we confess that Name to a hostile world, and that is what brings on to us the reproach, and likewise the joy and satisfaction that we are bearing reproach for Christ. That is our privilege; if I can present it to you as a privilege; a blessed, precious privilege.
Here is the recipe for a happy Christian life: Walking in communion and dependence and obedience to the blessed Lord. It is going all the way through. It is going on unto Him, it is confessing His Name.
What do we gain in hiding His Name? You and I have hidden the name of Christ in times past; I have; I have covered it up when I had a chance to confess it. I confess with shame that I have earned nothing in hiding the Name of Christ except a sense of disappointment, of remorse in my soul, a sense of shame, that I, poor, miserable wretch; worm of the dust, had been ashamed to confess the Name of my blessed Lord.
In closing, let us touch on verse 16:
“To do good and to communicate of your substance forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (N. T.)
I think, generally speaking, that side of things will take care of itself if the other side is in healthy condition. But God says, “Don’t forget it; don’t forget the pocketbook side of things.” It is in the Word. But, O! the first and foremost thing, the glory of Christ in your life! That is God’s side of things, in confessing that blessed Name; and that is the secret of Christian happiness.

Fragment: Faith and Love

The two great activities of a Christian are faith and love, both occupied outside of myself.
Faith to count on One who loves me.
Love to think of and serve those whom He loves.

"Then I May Do As I Like"

One evening, a preacher was declaring the glad tidings of the grace of God. He laid a good deal of stress upon the truth of the everlasting security of the believer, as having passed from death to life; and dwelt confidently upon the impossibility of a believer in the Son of God ever coming under the judgment of God; for the reason that concerning such a one, Scripture affirms that he is a member of the body of Christ. (John 5:24; Eph. 5:30)
When the preacher paused, a man stepped up to him, and said,
“Then I may do as I like, if I am saved eternally, without fear of being lost?”
“Yes,” was the prompt reply of the preacher, “you may. But tell me what a sinner saved from hell will like to do? Tell me what a man, who knows that not only his sins are gone, but that he is united to Christ, will glory in doing? Will not the redeemed and liberated slave be a faithful servant, and full of gratitude to his Redeemer?”
The man was silenced. His question seemed to imply that if he knew he was saved without a doubt, he might go on in sin; but he did not seem to know that with a new birth, the being born again of the incorruptible Word of God, we receive a new nature, are made partakers of the divine nature, a nature that hates sin, and loves holiness.
If a man has been rescued from a ditch, into which he had fallen in his wickedness or folly, and taken home by one who extricated him from his position, and not only gets cleansed and clothed, but is received and adopted into the family as a member, and heir to the vast wealth of the family, would he be likely to desire to be in the ditch again? And would he be still more desirous to be there, because he knows that through the love and grace of his benefactor the estates have been unalterably secured to him?
Surely not; nor will one whose heart has been purified by faith, desire the husks and the swine he has left behind. In cases where those who have professed the name of Christ, and have “run well” for a time, go back into their old courses, we are forcibly reminded of the words:
“The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22.
I know that through unwatchfulness, and through the wiles of the enemy, a Christian may fall into sin; but I cannot understand his living therein.
“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Rom. 6:2.
God comes in in restoring grace, and breaks the hard crust around the heart, and brings His child to a sense of his sin.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7.
May we like to do those things we shall not be ashamed of when we see Him as He is.
“Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.

Through the Valley

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Psa. 23:4.
The “valley of the shadow of death” is this world, sunk in sin and shame. In the midst of this we walk. We are in the world, although we are not of it. Around us, on every hand are sin and its wages, “death.” It is in such a valley we walk: and it is in such a valley that He gives us promise,
“I will be with thee.”

A Call to Prayer

Watch and pray, ask and receive, seek and find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.
To live in the experience of constant “watching unto prayer.” is one of the greatest achievements of the Christian life and such is the actual seed of the day in which we live the need to live in the constant spirit and habit of prayer (Matt. 7:7).
There are many other needs. There is the need of laborers and of funds, of wisdom and reform, but the need of prayer transcends them all. If only the Church of God could be impelled to prayer, there would be an end of barrenness and failure.
It is the lack of prayer that lies at the root of all our troubles, and there is no remedy but in prayer.
The spirit of worldiness will never be broken by strong and fiery words of censure. The powerlessness of the Church cannot be cured by reproach. Spiritual destitution and moral laxity are the order of the day, but they will never be better, till prayer is restored to its true place in the Church, and the habit of individual believers.
There is no substitute for prayer, but to prayer all things are possible. This is the truism of the Christian faith. Nobody denies it. All history confirms it. If only the people of God could be brought into a passion for prayer, life would quicken, souls would be saved, coffers would overflow, God would be glorified.
Why do we not set ourselves to prayer? The remedy is sure and simple, the need is urgent and acknowledged. Why is it so slow in getting to work? (Mark 2:24.)
“Seek and ye shall find.” The remedy is not so simple as it seems. The command to ask seems simple enough, and the promise is to them that ask. “If ye have not, it is because ye ask not.” James 4:3.
“Ask and receive.” What could be simpler than that? And yet, the Scriptures speak of it as toil and labor. Prayer taxes all the resources of mind and heart.
Jesus Christ wrought many mighty works without any signs of effort. There was in His marvelous works the ease of omnipotence. There was no strain in healing diseases, raising the dead, and stilling the tempest; but we read of His being all night in prayer. (Luke 6:12.)
All who have shared His intercession, have found it a travail of anguish. Great saints have always been mighty in prayer, and their triumphs have always been the outcome of pain. They wrestled in agony with breaking hearts and weeping eyes, until they were assured they had prevailed (Col. 2:1; 1:9).
Their experiences were seemingly strange but wonderful. They spent cold winter nights in prayer, they lay on the ground weeping, and pleading, and came out of the conflict physically spent, but spiritually victorious. They wrestled with principalities and powers, contended with the world rulers of Satan’s kingdom, and grappled with spiritual foes in the heavenly sphere.
Now-a-days in the open life of the Church, and in the fellowship of believers there is seemingly little power in prayer. There is a marked absence of travail. There is much phrasing, but little pleading. Prayer has become a soliloquy instead of a passion.
The powerlessness of the Church needs no other explanation, and the counselors of the Church need seek no other cause. To be prayer-less is to be both passionless and powerless.
“Watch and pray.” The New Testament links watching with prayer. Twice our Lord commanded His Disciples to “Watch and pray.” They are to watch at every season, making supplication. The instruction is not to pray and watch, but to “Watch and pray” (Matt. 26:41).
The Apostle Paul exhorts the Colossians to “continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving,” and in the warfare against evil powers he instructs the Ephesians to be alert “with all prayer and supplication, praying at all seasons in the Spirit and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication” (Eph. 6:18).
It is the watcher that prays and prevails. The command to watch is likened with the command to pray, and prayer is regulated by the exercise of watching. Peter slept while Jesus prayed, because he failed to watch.
Prayer is the only medium by which we can prevail in the Spirit world. The Word of God reveals its mysteries; prayer lays hold of God and prevails.
Prayer seeks divine wisdom and awaits divine instruction. Prayer fails for lack of watching. Prayer turns thoughts into petitions, facts into arguments, and reasons into supplication, faith into sight, and prayer into praise.
“The blessing of prayer.” Such prayer-life is absolutely simple, but it is by no means easy. The Devil sees to that. He sentinels the gateway of prayer. Andrew Bonar has left it on record that he never entered into a season of pure prayer without a fierce battle at the threshold (Heb. 11:6).
Satan dreads nothing but prayer. He knows he cannot frighten saints with hideous features, or overcome them by coarse enticements. He stands at the portal of prayer as an “Angel of Light.” He does not attack, he diverts.
The one who lacks prayer is usually full of good works. Works are multiplied, that devotion and meditation may be ousted, and activities are increased that prayer may have no chance.
Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the Devil is to keep the saints from prayer. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
Who can tell the blessings of “Watching unto prayer?” But how often earthly concerns, material interests, commercial enterprises, domestic affairs, and everything else hold the right of way to the Divine Presence! Therefore we are weak, when we might be strong.
What serenity and confidence would come to worried and distracted ones if they “Watched unto prayer!” Nothing saves time like time spent with God. An hour’s spiritual thinking, earnest communication, patient waiting, would save both time and money, as well as keep hearts young and tempers sweet.
“As he was praying.” Prayer illumines and transforms. God teaches men that pray. He opens their eyes, and they see things in His light; He touches their hearts, and they feel as He feels.
“Watching unto prayer” gives wisdom. The more we know how to truly wait upon God, the more shall we truly know the joy and sweetness of abiding rest. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” These are the factors of prevailing with God. Prayer languishes when watching fails. The fire dies for lack of fuel. It is not information that is wanted but vision (Jer. 29:13).
If prayer is the supreme need of the Church, why do not people begin to pray?
The frivolous cannot pray. It is an exercise that demands intellectual honesty, moral sincerity and spiritual resoluteness.
The proud cannot pray. It is an exercise that requires lowliness of mind, simplicity of heart, and a teachable spirit (Isa. 59:1).
The worldling cannot pray. Prayer submits all things to the standards of heaven, seeks the judgment of God, and lives in the unseen.
Prayer that stops short of obedience is blasphemy.
“This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” 1 John 5:14, 15.

"Live Unto God"

While unconverted we lived unto ourselves. God was left out of our lives, or if He had any place in our thoughts it was that of a task-master to whom we must yield a tale of the bricks of good works—and if we professed to serve Him at all, it was with slavish fear.
In the gospel God makes Himself known He reveals Himself in love. By that love, told out in fullness in the cross of Christ, we are won. Then being justified by faith we have peace with Him, and a new life is given to us with new desires and aspirations. This life like the compass needle, turns ever to the same point.
The needle rests only when pointing to the magnetic north the believer rests only when joying in and living unto God.

The Traveler's Hymn

Sing aloud to God, our strength;
He has brought us hitherto;
He will bring us home at length;
This the Lord our God will do.
Doubt not, for His Word is stable;
Fear not, for His arm is able.
A Christian went abroad for the purpose of encouraging some fellow-believers in their love and service to our Savior, the Lord Jesus. After landing from the steamer, he was making his way to call on one of the families, when he heard a well-known tune being sung. It reminded him of the words given above. The thankful feelings in his heart for a safe journey could be expressed in the language of this hymn and he was encouraged to continue trusting in God for the rest of the journey before him.
Away off in her home his mother was waiting anxiously for word of a safe voyage. In order to save time he sent her a message by cable. As you know, such messages have to be shortened to save expense. A code would have been of little use to his mother, because she had no key.
How do you think he solved the difficulty? The cablegram reached its destination, and when his mother opened it she read her son’s name, the name of the seaport where he landed, and in between just this: “HYMN 242.” She quickly read the words we have just quoted, and gave thanks to God, knowing that the journey had been prospered thus far.
Another Christian and his family went to another continent on a similar errand. The day before they sailed a number of Christians met together to pray for them. Before prayer was offered, one of those present asked if they might sing the hymn,
“Sing aloud to God, our strength.”
More recently there was a family reunion on the grandmother’s birthday, because on that day she was ninety years old. Just before going home they sang a hymn. What one do you think it was? Yes, and how sweet the words sounded,
“Sing aloud to God, our strength.”
The traveler of ninety years could look back with thankfulness for abundant mercies; the sons and daughters were thankful for the priceless possession of a godly mother, and no doubt the grandchildren were encouraged, too.
Happy and prosperous is a journey undertaken in the fear of the Lord. The traveler starts trusting in God. As he moves on he sees how great is God’s care for him. When near the end, whether the voyage has been long or short, he confesses that God’s strength has been his support at all times and stages; he can raise his voice and we hear these words:
“Sing aloud to God, our strength.”
“I am persuaded that neither death, nor life nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38, 39.
“I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” John 17:15.

"My Times Are in Thy Hand"

If our times were in our own hand, we would have deliverance too soon; if they were in our enemy’s hand, we should have deliverance too late; but my times are in Thy hand; and God’s time is ever best.
Everything is beautiful in its season: when the mercy is ripe, we shall have it. It is true, we are now between the hammer and the anvil; but do not cast away your confidence; God sees when the mercy will be in season. When His people are low enough, and the enemy high enough, then appears the Church’s Morning-Star: let God alone as to His time.
“My soul waiteth for the Lord.” Psa. 130:6.
How good that God should have the timing of our mercies.
Deliverance may tarry beyond our time; but it will not tarry beyond God’s time. After a wet night of affliction, comes a bright morning of the resurrection: if our lives are short, our trials cannot be long. Time is short. Though the cross be heavy, we have but a little way to carry it. The time being short, the waiting time cannot be long.

"He That Is Perfected Shall Be As His Master"

Can you say, “I am a called one—one with Christ?” And what is the hope of such? Nothing less than reaching the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. It is a real thing that Christ is sitting at the right hand of God in all His beauty and glory, and our expectation is the seeing Him as He is, and being like Him.
The Father of glory, who looked at you in all your weakness and failure, will not cease working till, one by one, millions of vases shall be made like that pattern Vase at His right hand. He is molding all to the likeness of that One, and when we shall see Him as He is, these bodies of humiliation shall be like unto His body of glory. What a thought! Each believer being a vase full of glory; thousands of thousands of vases all to be filled with His glory. God will make you—will make me—to be one of them.
There are two things: the first, God dealing with every individual heart; the other, His taking you as part of a building, a city where every stone is bright and polished, and each one reflecting the glory of Christ.
There every saint will show forth to the eye of God, the Lord Jesus, because they will all reflect His glory.

The Advantages of Tract Distribution

1. It affords work for young converts. “There is no simpler method with which young converts may begin to engage in Christian work.” Before ever the young Christian finds himself able for any other method of public testimony he will find here an outlet for his energies.
2. The aged and infirm may engage in it. It
need never he departed from, no matter how old or infirm one may become.... “It is a work in which an old Christian may end his service for his Lord.”
3. It may be used to open the way for personal dealing. Many Christians would like to do personal work if they knew how to begin. Here, then, is a method. After one has given a tract, it becomes comparatively easy to enter into conversation.
To summarize advantages of tract work we quote the following: “Tracts can go everywhere. Tracts know no fear. Tracts never tire. Tracts can be multiplied without end by the press. Tracts can travel at little expense. They run up and down like the angels of God, blessing all, giving to all, asking no gift in return. They can talk to one as well as to a multitude, and to a multitude as well as to one. They require no public room in which to tell their story. They can tell it in the kitchen or the shop, the parlor or the closet, in the railway coach or in the bus, on the broad highway or in the footpath through the fields. They take no note of scoffs, or jeers, or taunts. No one can betray them into hasty or random expressions. Though they will not always answer questions, they will tell their stories twice or thrice or four times if you wish them. And they can be made to speak on every subject, and on every subject they may be made to speak wisely and well. They can, in short, be made the vehicles of truth, the teachers of all classes, the benefactors of all saints.”
“Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days” Eccl. 2:1.

Correspondence: 2 Tim.4:8; Luke 11:2-4; Rev. 8:3; Hair Covering; 1 Tim. 4:10

Question: When is the “day” spoken of here? (2 Tim. 4:8). If there are no distinctions in heaven, will it only be during the Millennium that the Apostle Paul will have his crown of righteousness?
Answer: The day of rewards will most likely follow the rapture of the saints, and probably will precede the public appearing to which the apostle alludes at the dose of the verse (Rev. 19:8: “Righteousnesses of saints”). Scripture warrants no such thought that the rewards given for faithful service are otherwise than eternal in their character.
Question: Was the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:2-4) given to the disciples only, or should it be used by Christians; if not, kindly give reasons why?
Answer: It was given to the disciples before the descent of the Holy Ghost. It will be again most appropriately used by the Jewish remnant after the Church is gone. It does not fully express a Christian’s position, nor is it in the Name of Christ. (John 16:23, 24.) It is, however, perfect for those for whom it was intended, and to us also may serve as a pattern in many ways.
Question: Does it not seem from Rev. 8:3, that it is pleasing to God for us to offer incense with our prayers?
Answer: Certainly; only do not let us confound the earthly shadow in all these things with the spiritual substance. The Book of Revelation, like the Old Testament, is full of symbols. In the Old Testament we see a literal altar, in the New Testament (Heb. 13), a spiritual one, which is Christ; in the Old Testament literal priests, in the New Testament spiritual priests (1 Peter 2); in the Old Testament, literal sacrifices, in the New Testament (Heb. 13) spiritual; and in the Old Testament literal incense, in the New Testament, spiritual that is, the fragrance of the Name of Christ.
Question: Is a woman’s hair a sufficient head covering for her while praying or prophesying? M. E. J.
Answer: No; if so, there were no use of the exhortation in 1 Cor. 11. The woman’s long hair is only cited to show that even nature makes a differentiation in favor of having long hair. But this “long hair” is a woman’s glory; therefore let her cover her own glory when she comes into God’s presence in prayer or ministry. To contend that a woman’s hair is the covering the Spirit of God is insisting upon in the passage, is to reduce the whole to nonsense, as though the Word of God would give half a chapter to insist that a woman should have what she already has, and that if she has it not, she should have it not!
Question: In what sense is Jesus the Savior of all men? (1 Tim. 4:10).
Answer: The apostle is not speaking of Jesus in His saving work, but of God in His gracious Providence. God is the gracious Preserver of all, but especially of those who believe.

"Something More Satisfying"

“Are you a Christian?” asked a gentleman of a young lady.
“Of course I am; why I am a Sunday-school teacher, tract distributor, and a helper in every good work,” was the quick reply, and the speaker turned away in disgust at such a question being asked of her.
The momentary feeling of annoyance soon passed away, and with a self-satisfied smile she pursued her way.
Annie had been brought up in a good home, and from her earliest years had been a regular attendant at church.
When fifteen years of age she was asked by a Christian friend—
“Have you decided for Christ?”
“No,” was the frank reply.
“Will you decide now?”
“Yes, I will,” was the answer given after a moment’s hesitation, in which Annie thought,
“I shall have to decide, and why not now? mean to be a Christian, of course.”
Annie at once became a Sunday-school teacher and a communicant, and was considered by herself and others as a Christian.
At times an uneasy feeling would come over her when she heard one of Christ’s disciples speak of the peace and blessing of communion with Him and the joy of His service.
What did it mean? She knew nothing of this; her prayers were offered with unflinching regularity, but were very wearisome, and her religious duties were often tedious, but faithfully performed; yet she had decided to serve Christ, and was she not serving Him? Was she not the foremost in every good work? Was she not petted and sought after, and told how useful and clever she was, and held up as an example to others by those who ought to know what a Christian should be?
O! yes, she was as good as anybody, and better than a good many. And so she rested satisfied and put aside all thoughts that troubled her.
Alas! poor Annie; she was building upon the sand, striving to rear a structure without having first the foundation, and often, as she laid her head upon the pillow did she feel a soul-hunger a longing after something more satisfying.
Perhaps some who read these words are like Annie, building upon a false foundation, and know it not, and do not wish to know. It is so pleasant to feel that you are so good, and so clever, and so useful, that you do not like to be told that your goodness, and your labors, and your prayers are utterly valueless as a foundation upon which to rest the eternal interests of your immortal soul.
O! be warned in time; look well to the foundation, for “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Time passed on, and Annie married the man of her choice, without a thought of consulting the Lord’s will in the matter. He appeared outwardly respectable and well-to-do, and that was enough for her.
In a little while she discovered that she had made a mistake, but right bravely did she strive to hide the fact from others, suffering in silence. Lonely indeed were the night watches when the poor wife waited hour after hour, while her husband was at the gambling table, regardless of her.
Things grew worse, until twelve months from the time Annie became a bride, she found herself deserted by her husband and laid upon a bed of sickness, with no apparent probability of recovery.
Where now was her religion? Ah! where? All before her was dark, and as she seemed to be on the point of death, no hope, no comfort was hers. She now realized that the righteousnesses in which she had trusted were but as filthy rags, and while contrary to all human expectation, she gradually recovered a measure of strength, fierce was the tumult that now raged within her. The Spirit of God held up before her the broken law, and she trembled. She, who had thought herself so good, now saw that she had broken every commandment in spirit, if not in the letter.
Again she set herself to the hopeless task of reform, but the more she tried, the worse she seemed to become, until she began to despair of ever being any better. Before, she had trusted in the regularity of formal prayers; now she was afraid to pray at all. She dared not repeat the Lord’s prayer, for how could she ask to be forgiven, when she was painfully conscious that she could not forgive.
She became more and more miserable, giving up herself as lost; but “He who came to seek and to save that which was lost” was tenderly watching over her; and after undermining the false foundation upon which she had been building, now led her on to the Rock.
Leaving the town in which she had been brought up, Annie went to reside in a country village; but change of scene could not bring change of heart. O! how she longed for peace, but her soul was like the troubled sea, and would not be lulled to rest.
On the first Sunday night after her arrival, she went to a religious service, drawn there only by force of habit, for she had now come to the conclusion that there was no hope for her.
Thus does Satan strive to keep sinners away from the Savior. First, persuading them that they do not need to come; then when their eyes are opened to the falsity of this statement, he goes to the opposite extreme, and tells them that their case is hopeless; it is too late; they cannot come to Him now. But he is a liar from the beginning, and both statements are equally false, for “there is none righteous, no, not one,” and “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All need a Savior, and none need despair, therefore, for He is an almighty Savior, “able to save to the uttermost,” and He is even now tenderly saying,
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”
“Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.”
Annie sat with a heart ill at ease until the preacher gave out as his text:
“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.
The familiar words came to her as a new revelation. Like a flash of lightning, the Holy Spirit revealed to her the blessed truth they contained.
“Cleanseth! does it? cleanseth from all sin? all sin? Then it cleanseth me! even me! Thank God for that.”
In an instant the burden rolled away, and her heart was at rest. O! the joy of that moment!
Not a word of the sermon did Annie hear, she was too deeply engaged with the Savior, who had been so graciously revealed to her.
When she left the chapel, it seemed as if she was in another world; everything was changed, and her heart was so full of joy and praise that she could not help singing as she went along the country lanes.
The change soon became apparent in her life, for though her circumstances were the same, the spirit with which she met them was entirely different. Instead of having to struggle on alone, she now had a strong Arm on which to lean.
Again she began to work for Christ, but O! how differently! Instead of duty, it was her greatest delight. No longer did she place confidence in her own works as a means of salvation, but trusting only in the finished work of Christ, she rejoiced by glad and happy service to show forth the praises of Him who had called her out of darkness into light!
Before this she had been satisfied if she rigidly performed a certain amount of religious work, and received a proportionate amount of commendation from her friends. Now, with a heart filled to overflowing with love and gratitude, she longed to tell others of His wondrous love, and lead them to her Savior, without a thought of human praise—
“I’m a poor sinner and nothing at all,
But Jesus Christ is my all in all,”
was the language of her heart, and she was used as the instrument in His hands of winning many souls for Him.
Building upon a false foundation can only result in everlasting shame and disgrace; but when building on the true foundation, no matter what may come, all will be well for time and eternity.

The Two Journeys

“Whither, O! whither?”— “With blind-folded eyes,
Down a wild torrent, under stormy skies,
A gulf between two dark eternities,
Drifting, we know not where!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Life’s short pleasures past,
Hope’s funeral knell sounding on every blast,
Heaven’s entrance closed, to ruin hurried fast,
A leaf before the wind!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Who the path can say
To where some star will lend a cheering ray?
Or through earth’s labyrinth direct our way,
So wildly sought in vain!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Terrible reply
From you white throne of judgment in the sky;
Depart, accursed! from My presence fly
Forever! Awful word!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “To a land of light,
A home of loveliness, serene and bright,
Joyfully hastening with steady flight,
Our hearts before us there!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Pilgrims near their home,
No longer in a foreign land to roam;
Bright and beloved ones, waiting till we come,
All sorrow left behind!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Christ, the Risen One,
Through life and death, hath now to glory gone;
He sends His messengers to lead us on,
The way is sure and plain!”
“Whither, O! whither?”— “Washed from earthly stain,
No more to wander, or to fall again:
Forever with the Father to remain,
Forever with the Lord!”

Go Ye Out to Meet Him: Part 1

Matthew 25:6
Part I.
The early Christians not only accepted the doctrine of the Lord’s coming as truth, but it was to them such a reality, that they “went forth to meet the Bridegroom.” The coming again of the Lord was their hope. It produced desires after the Lord Himself. They looked for the Savior. It was to them the “blessed hope.” They felt it to be an eminently practical doctrine. They waited for God’s Son from heaven. This was manifesting the truth to every man’s conscience in the sight of God: and will not this always be the case when the truth is held in the love of it?
But one of the most flagrant sins in Christendom which Scripture has marked out, is the “evil servant,” saying “in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming.” It is not openly denying the doctrine, and joining the infidel in scoffing, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? but, while professedly holding the doctrine, to so let slip the hope as to indulge in fleshly lusts and worldly associations, because in heart such believe He is not coming for some time yet. It must then be a deeply important matter that we make no mistake as to the true state of our hearts, that we are day by day so taken up by faith with Christ Himself in heaven, as to desire to see His face; that His coming again is such a hope to our souls that we are practically acting like those, who, having heard the midnight cry, are going out to meet Him.
There are at least three points which appeal to us to be involved in going forth to meet the Bridegroom; desire, purpose, and activity.
1. Desire.—The heart must be going up to Him whom having not seen we love. There must be the longing to see His face. This is something more than being in a sinless and happy place, more than having a crown of life and a harp of gold; it is even more than bridal attire, or the consciousness of being where there is no more sorrow nor death; yes, it is seeing Him as He is—being forever with the Lord, like the Lord, and near the Lord.
Being now taken up with the Lord Himself as the commanding and satisfying object of our souls, and hope of our hearts, it becomes easy to abstract our minds from other objects, and to detach ourselves from other associations in order to go forth to meet the Bridegroom. This desire after Him, it seems to us, is more or less in everyone who is born of God; though in some persons stifled, or hindered, by worldliness, carnality, and bad teaching. But there the desire is; for “we love Him, because He first loved us.”
Until we see His face, how can we be satisfied? How can the heart be perfectly at rest until we are before the object of its love? Then the climax of our souls’ longing will be reached. The consummation of our desire will be realized. We shall wish for nothing more. Then we shall fully know the truth of our Savior’s words which we now in part enjoy,
“He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” Unutterable blessedness!
When we see His face it will be perfect satisfaction and fullness of joy. This will be when He comes. We shall be caught up to meet Him in the air. What a meeting! What glory we shall then enjoy! What love encircling us we shall then know! What perfect delight to the longing, waiting soul!
2. Purpose. Nothing is more to be dreaded among Christians than a pointless, purposeless kind of life. We may be sure it is not an occasional desire, a spasmodic impulse, or a desultory activity, but the steady pursuit of purpose, which will mark those that go forth to meet the Bridegroom. It will stamp the springs and motives of our ways. It will give a heavenly complexion to all we do. When a man goes to meet a bosom friend, he steadily pursues his journey till they meet. He looks out on the way for his friend, but nothing stops his course; through rough and smooth, hill and dale, he perseveringly pursues his way. The fixed purpose of his heart is that nothing shall stop him till he meets the one he has gone forth to meet.
And so with us; when the Lord is before us, as the bright and blessed Object, which, by grace, has made everything else seem poor, how can we but pursue our heavenly course, seek to please Him, to honor Him, to suffer for His sake, and go forth to meet Him? In pursuing such a course there will be the denying of ungodliness and worldly lust; there may be the loss of friends, and things of this life; the tongue of slander may be used against us, or the finger of scorn pointed at us; but when there is true purpose of heart cleaving to the Lord, we shall be unmoved by these things, we shall lay aside every impediment, and overcome every obstacle which may stand in the way to our going forth to meet Him. When the Lord Himself has His rightful place in our hearts, we cannot but willingly pursue our purpose at all costs.
3. Activity.—The hope of our Lord’s return is eminently practical. “He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” It cannot be otherwise. The moment it ceases to be practical, we have let slip the hope. It is the awakening, comforting, purifying, and separating hope which Scripture sets before us. The announcement, “Behold the Bridegroom!” is God’s power for awakening slumbering souls.
“Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.”
Those who have heard the cry, have been aroused. Few comparatively, perhaps as yet have heard it, and even most of those are scarcely more than half awake. But those who are deaf to the midnight cry, are slumbering still. How simple, and yet how very solemn! Who then are truly awake? Those who have been roused by the hope of the Bridegroom’s coming, and have gone forth with trimmed lamps to meet Him.
Be assured, dear Christian reader, we cannot sleep as do others when going forth to meet the Bridegroom. The gladdening cry draws forth the energies and springs of divine life in us into real earnestness and activity. We then so stretch out in the ways of faith and hope, and loving attachment to our precious Lord Jesus, that those who are not really the Lord’s cannot keep pace with us.
This is strikingly solemn. The eyes of truly awakened souls are on the Lord Himself, for it is He such are going forth to meet. The feet run toward Him. The hands are stretched out to Him. The heart cries “Come,” for it is the Lord from heaven whom such expect. They feel the ruggedness of the path, and sometimes taste the bitterness of outward circumstances, but they still go forward and onward to meet the Bridegroom.
On the other hand, those who merely hold the letter of Scripture, who have never bowed to the Son of God, whose hearts have not been touched with divine grace, have not known remission of sins, and therefore have not received the Holy Spirit foolish virgins who have “no oil” cannot walk in the path of faith and hope; and, alas! not only find that the faithful are detached from them, but discover when too late the fatal mistake of their lamps having gone out.
Thus when the Lord’s coming has real effect on souls, it must practically separate them from heartless and powerless professors, and must also throw them into close and happy fellowship with others who are truly going forth to meet the Bridegroom.
Thus this “blessed hope” will necessarily even now be connected with rendings and separations, as well as close spiritual fellowship with those who are really hoping for His coming.
(To be continued.)

Living Devotedness

Few Christians realize what an honorable Sphere is open to them, of living devotedness to Christ. We have an example of this in Paul, he was ready to die for the name of Jesus. He had nothing more to gain or hope for here. We want more of this earnest devotedness of heart to the Lord. We want to get above the heavy atmosphere in which many Christians live. Our testimony should not be confined to the seasons
of united worship; but abroad in the world, and among the multitudes of poor dying sinners around, we should seek to testify of Jesus both by our words and our ways.
How happy we ought to be as Christians! Nothing can make us unhappy if we have a single eye to Christ calling on the Lord out of a pure heart. It is the want of this which causes much of the nervous depression and lowness of spirits we meet with in many Christians. If Christ were the one object of our hearts, His glory the one thing we had in view, we should not be thinking or caring about ourselves at all. We want just to yield ourselves to the Lord.
Isaiah 6 illustrates this: First, the prophet says, “Woe is me,” when purged, the word follows, “Here am I, send me.” These principles are carried out through the book of Isaiah; the testimony being first to Israel’s uncleanness, and then, in the latter days, they appear as the willing messengers to others of the grace of God.
May we know the privilege of living devotedness to Christ. It is an honor to be used of Him. At the same time, we must remember that direction is needed as well as devotedness of heart. As in the railroad, the steam is the propelling power, but, without the rails, the carriages would run into the fields or anywhere else, so the Word is needed to guide our zeal for the Lord.

Protecting Fire

“When camped in a wild and remote spot with my party of native attendants, we heard the lions roaring, as generally they may be heard at night in such districts. Suddenly a single shriek was uttered by one of the men. He had ventured into the shadow, and a lion had caught him. We never saw any more of the poor fellow, and heard nothing but that one scream. It is terribly dangerous at night to venture beyond the circle of firelight.”
Such is the Uganda missionary’s story. Does it not convey an important lesson for us all?
“Keep yourselves in the love of God” is the earnest exhortation of the apostle Jude to his fellow Christians. There is danger outside the firelight of the love of God. Never leave the glow of it. Never suffer anything to attract you into the shadow. Evil ever lurks in the zone where one’s joy in the love of God is lost.

Walking in the Light

“See then that ye walk circumspectly.” Eph. 5:15.
What is walking circumspectly? It means that we are on a journey through the world, in which we must go step by step, each action being a step. We are to “walk as children of light—proving what is acceptable to the Lord.”
Light always goes in a straight line. I once stood upon some very high cliffs at the seaside and looked out upon the water. It was night; darkness lay around me. but the moon was riding high in the heavens, shining in the glory of the absent sun. As I gazed over the sea, I saw a path of light stretching in a straight line from me towards the shining moon. Around that path the waters were dark with the shadow of night, but in it they danced and flashed and rippled in silvery beauty.
How like the path of light that the Christian has to tread through the darkness of the world.
There may be a hundred persons looking at that moon from different spots upon these cliffs, and yet each one for himself will see a path of light shining in a straight line across the troubled waters.
So it is, dear ones, in our journey through the night. Christ in the heavens is “the light above the brightness of the sun,” and each one of us, as we gaze on Him, will see a path of light marked out for us through the gloom. It is “to walk even as He walked,” for we are “the children of light,”—each one who has taken Christ as his Savior. Each one has a separate, yet a shining, path. The Word of God marks it with unfailing and unerring brightness. Whatever our station in life, there is the path, and it is always light. In that light we can prove, whatever our difficulties, what is “acceptable to the Lord.”
If we are walking according to the light, the Word will be our guide in everything. It reproves all in us, about us, or in our ways that is not acceptable to Christ. We must be careful how we go, or we may get into temptations. Alas! we little know how much misery and what eternal loss may spring from one step taken according to the darkness.
Look at the stars in the sky: each one of those beautiful twinkling lights is threading its way through space. Some are rushing along at a greater speed than others; some are coming towards us; some are speeding from us; but there is no clashing, there is no confusion; star does not run into star; star does not compete with star, and star does not follow star. Each one has its allotted pathway through the night, and holds on its way with unswerving steadfastness, upheld “by the word of His power.”
In this spiritual night through which we as “the children of light” must pass, the only secret of a perfect shining walk is this, “upheld by the word of His power.” O, comfort your heart; fear not.
“He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.” Psa. 147:4.
Precious to His heart is each “child of light.” Not one is overlooked; not one is forgotten; He has each beloved name written down in His own “Book of Life.” He will uphold; “He will keep the feet of His saints.”
Dependence, is all He asks from us. It is of no use saying we have fellowship with God, who is “light,” if the love of God is not dwelling within, and if the acts of our bodies are suitable to the darkness of the world. If we are walking “in the light, as He is in the light,” the Word is guiding our steps in everything, communion with God is unbroken, and “His love is shed abroad in our hearts.”
God calls the light “a treasure.” It is in us a heavenly treasure in earthen vessels. Do you remember how Gideon went to battle with the lamps hidden in the pitchers? And when the earthen pitchers were broken the light shone out, and the enemies of the Lord fled.
We are going through the enemy’s land with our precious treasure in these houses of clay of ours. It is our defense and it is our weapon; We are to be “holding forth the Word of life.” Phil. 2:16.

Peace Made

“The moment a poor sinner looks to Jesus by faith as his divine Sin-bearer, his sins are all gone—they are put out of God’s sight forever. And Christ is in heaven. Could He take the sins there? No; His being in heaven proves they are all left behind.
“The poor sinner gets the fruit of all that He has done, and all that He is—pardoned through His blood, brought nigh to God Himself. Peace has been made through the blood of the cross. And the glorified Man is in heaven, appearing in the presence of God for us—of His father and our Father, of His God and our God.”

God Knows and Will Supply

“Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of.” Matt. 6:8.
“My God shall supply all your need.” Phil. 4:19.
“Of what things ye have need.”
So many things our hearts are needing as the days go by,
And, O! how sweet the promise, “God shall all your need supply.”
“Of what things ye have need.”
Not every fond desire or wish may here be gratified,
But every need that presses sore, shall be quite satisfied.
“Of what things ye have need.”
Of strength and courage, faith to follow in the way He leads;
Of patience, waiting for the harvest of our scattered seeds.
“Of what things ye have need.”
Of love, and rest, and comfort which our hearts are craving so;
We shall have what He sees is needful for our life below.
“Of what things ye have need.”
His guidance, counsel, wisdom, precious manna sent from heaven;
Our daily portion from the King’s rich feast shall still be given.
“Of what things ye have need.”
Of Christ’s sweet legacy of peace to troubled hearts, and all
His presence with us, and His strong upholding when we fall.
“Of what things ye have need.”
Of every pain and sorrow that our spirits needs must bear,
Ere we meet to dwell with Him and His blest likeness wear.

Lovest Thou Me? Part 1

John 21
Sometimes the Lord speaks to us unexpectedly by circumstances. Peter had heard the words, “It is the Lord;” and with a bound he sprang into the sea, and swam to shore. But what must he have felt when he saw a fire of coals there? Would not his heart beat as he looked back to that other fire of coals at which he stood to warm himself? Yes, at the fire of coals where he had thrice denied his Lord. Let us look at that fire of coals and then at this. It is a fire of coals in the high priest’s house. Terrible things have been done in high priest’s houses and bishop’s palaces. But there stands bound the Lord of glory, humbling Himself to the lowest place of degradation, in infinite love to us. It is written of Him in the Psalms,
“I looked on My right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know Me: refuge failed Me; no man cared for My soul.” Psa. 142:4. What, not Peter the bold he who had said a few hours before,
“Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death.”
“I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” “Though all men should be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended”? Well did the Lord know both the power of temptation, and Peter’s weakness.
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
Now mark the different steps in Peter’s fall.
“And Peter followed afar off.”
Are we following Jesus afar off? Then, like Peter, we are on the way to a fall. Mark this warning. And when they had kindled a fire of coals, did Peter stand with the despised and rejected Jesus? No;
“Peter sat down with them.”
Are we standing with the rejected and despised Jesus? or have we sat down to find our rest and comfort with that wicked world which hates our Lord? If this be so, we are already fallen. What a picture,—Jesus mocked with cruel hatred by the religious world, and Peter sat down to warm himself with them!
Is it not so in this day? How many Peters! Surely, if we sit down with this world, we may then and there deny our Lord. Thrice did Peter deny Him then and there. How often have we?
Now look at Jesus. See that look of tender love! This is the first step in Peter’s restoration, or conversion—that is, in turning him from self-confident Peter to dependence on Christ. That look of infinite, unchangeable love went right to the heart of Peter, and sent him straight from the fire of coals, to go out and weep bitterly. Take another look at Jesus.
“And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him. And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face.”
Such is the hatred of man, and such the love and patience of Him who came to lay down His life for us.
“O, patient, spotless One.”
We will now pass on to the shore of Tiberias. You see that little boat out there, a little way from the shore. In it there are a few of those very disciples who all forsook Jesus and fled. The captain of that little bark is the bold, self-confident Peter, whom we lately saw so sadly humbled when sitting by the fire of coals. They have not caught a single fish all that weary night. As the morning began to break, they saw someone watching them, standing on the shore. He cares for them. He even asks if they have any food. He bids them cast the net on the right side of the ship. They obeyed, and a multitude of fishes were taken in the net. It was now plain to one of them whom Jesus loved, that it was the Lord. The captain—Peter—heard that word: it was enough. There is still a little of the old natural boldness—he must be first to reach his Lord, and he sprang into the sea. No doubt there was also deep, ardent love to Jesus.
But that fire of coals: ah, and that other fire of coals a few nights before. How often the Lord humbles our hearts in this way. Have we not been thus humbled often, when taking a shade of pre-eminence over our brethren? Ah, a moment’s remembrance often bows our hearts in deep confession before Him.
Nobody knows what did take place between the Lord and Peter, when He first appeared to Peter. (i Cor. 15:5). The Lord graciously kept that private between Himself and His fallen servant. Is it not so with us and the Lord?
Well, by this time they had all pulled to shore. And let us not forget this is the last scene with the Lord Jesus, narrated in the Word of God—the very last, the closing words of revelation. The Gospel of John was written last. They had all forsaken Him. Yes, He was alone before God when eternal redemption was accomplished.
“As soon, then, as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.”
Cold and hungry, and having toiled all night—but we do not read that they had thought of Him. He could not cease to care for them; He could not cease to love them; He could not cease to provide for them. They had not to wait until He kindled the fire, or baked the bread, or cooked the fish; there was plenty ready, and they might also bring of what they had taken, at His word. Is not this Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and forever? O, how sweet those words that fell from His lips— “Come and dine.”
What infinite resources we have in our precious Jesus—God manifest in the flesh. And though Jesus is now in resurrection, and ascension glory, He delights as ever to serve us.
“Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.”
(To be continued)

Christ an Example

Until we know Christ as our Savior we cannot have Him as our Example. He who would follow Christ’s steps in his own strength is really denying the cross of the Lord. It is as those for whom He died, and as having life in Him, that we are bidden to follow Christ.

Correspondence: Voice of Jesus; Eph. 4:26; Mat. 25; Gifts/Offices; Insurance

Question: Is there anything to be objected to in the statement that “I recognize the voice of Jesus alone in His Word”? A. R.
Answer: We quite agree with you in saying “I recognize the voice of Jesus alone in His Word.” Where else could we hear it? It is upon that blessed Word we are cast for everything. It is the solid foundation upon which faith constantly reposes. We want nothing else to give us full assurance but His faithful Word. How do I know I am a sinner? By the Word. How do I know that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners? By the Word. How do I know that my sins are forgiven? Is it by my feelings? Nay; but by the Word. That Word tells me that Christ “hath once suffered for sins.” But how do I know He suffered for my sins? Because the Word says,
“The Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”
Now I know that I am “unjust,” because the Word tells me so. And hence Christ “suffered” for my sins, and I am forgiven according to the efficacy of His atoning sufferings. I am even now brought to God according to the virtue of the Person and value of the work of Christ. He was delivered for my offenses, and raised again for my justification. Therefore, being justified by faith, I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 4:25; 5:1).
In brief then, dear friend, you must lean like a little child on the Word. True, it is by the power of the Holy Spirit we believe in, and feed upon, the Word; but the Word is the solid foundation on which your precious soul must ever rest. May all your doubts and fears vanish in the pure and perfect light of that Word which is “forever settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89).
Question: Please explain Eph. 4:26. C. M. B.
Answer: Do not treasure up malice. Do not nurse your wrath, and beware in your anger not to sin, for although you may be righteously angry, it is so easy to become vindictive and revengeful.
Question: Does Matt. 25 refer to the present time, or to the Jews, and to take place after the Church is taken away?
Answer: The parable of the Ten Virgins refers to Christ’s coming, for which we Wait, and the companion parable of the Talents, shows our work during His absence, the two thus giving both sides of the Christian’s position down here. The latter part of the chapter is the judgment by Christ of the living nations on earth just before the Millennium and at His public appearing. The Jews come in as “My brethren” (25:40).
Question: Are the following gifts still in the Church—Prophets, Teachers, Deacons, Bishops, Pastors, Elders, Evangelists?
Answer: We must distinguish between gifts and offices. Bishops, Elders, Deacons, belong to the latter class, the rest to the former. Gifts still continue according to Eph. 4:13, but Scripture appears to place official ordination in the hands of the Apostles only, or their direct delegates. Still in spite of the present divided state of the Church, there are found everywhere those who discharge the duties of the oversight of the flock of God (bishops); those who set an example and watch over the younger (elders), and those who attend to the distribution of money and other matters (deacons).
Question: Should we as Christians carry insurance?
Answer: The question of insurance, whether of life or property, is entirely one of individual faith. If you put your trust in God, you will have no need of an insurance office. The promise of God, which you get for nothing, is better far than an insurance policy for which you must pay. At least so we judge; but each one must learn this for himself.

Hoisting His Colors

A young officer was invited to visit some friends. The invitation was accepted and the officer had what he called a “jolly time” shooting and hunting, with amusements of various kinds. An earnest and devoted Christian, Lady—, was also on a visit to the castle. One day while she and Captain— were taking a walk in the beautiful grounds, she looked into his face and said:
Startled and surprised beyond measure at the question, he replied:
“What do you take me for? Of course I am a Christian. I have been baptized, confirmed, go to church, and sometimes read my Bible. Of course I am a Christian.”
“I wish you were a real Christian, Captain,” said the lady.
After talking together a little longer, the Captain said to Lady—
“It must be very dull for you here, spending your time visiting and reading the Bible to these poor, old, deaf women. Would you not like to go for a week, just for a week and again enter fashionable society, and enjoy yourself at balls, parties, and concerts?”
“When I was a little girl I was very fond of my doll, and if anyone took it from me I shed tears. When I entered society I thought nothing of my doll. When the Lord Jesus saved my soul and made me His own, the painted baubles of this world lost their attractions for me. No, I have not the slightest desire to return to the world’s vanities and frivolities not even for a week,” was her reply.
This is the way worldlings talk to the children of God. They think that it must be a very dull life attending prayer meetings and gospel services, visiting the sick, distributing tracts, and reading the Bible and good books. They call such a life “hum-drum,” and pity the “poor, long-faced, religious people” who spend their days “moping and groaning.”
If the reader has such ideas of the Christian life, he is entirely mistaken. The lady when a little girl, loved her doll, but when she reached womanhood she had no desire for such playthings. So with the child of God.
“If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17.
When a man is “born again” of the Holy Spirit he can honestly say:
“The things 1 once hated, now I love; and the things I once loved, now I hate.”
He has peace with God, joy in the Lord, sins forgiven, eternal life, and is blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
A war was raging. Thousands of soldiers had been slain in battle. Captain— was one of the combatants. He had never forgotten the word spoken to him at that castle by Lady— . The Holy Spirit had been dealing with him, revealing to him his guilt and danger. Amid the groans of wounded soldiers and the thundering of cannon, Captain— by faith saw the Lord Jesus bleeding and dying for him on Calvary’s Cross, and he found rest and peace in believing. When the war was over he “hoisted his colors,” and confessed Christ as his Savior. Eventually he settled clown, laboring among the poor and destitute.
One day a meeting was held in a house in the West end of the city, the officer in question being present. Lady— was delighted to meet her old acquaintance after the lapse of years, and to find him seeking to live and work for Him who shed His blood to save him, and her from unending woe.
The unsaved reader fears that if he became a real Christian, he would require to give up a great many things he now loves. It is not necessary to give up anything in order to be saved. God wishes you to receive ere He calls upon you to renounce. When you receive Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you will think little of the world’s toys and gewgaws and give up whatever He desires you to renounce.
As you read these lines stretch out the empty hand of faith and accept of God’s “unspeakable gift”— the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 9:15)—then you will become a son of God, for to “as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” John 1:12.
Believe and be saved, then hoist your colors.

No Condemnation

Not a single thing against me,
All my judgment borne by Him,
On the cross of Calvary stricken,
Naught can now my vision dim,
For I see Him in the glory,
He who walked this earth below,
Judgment borne—triumphant, raised,
He—my life—is there I know.
All my dark offenses canceled,
He is my receipt in full,
Now in liberty I’m standing,—
I, who once was Satan’s tool.
Glory crowns the mighty Conqueror,
Settled all God’s righteous claims,
He the veil has rent asunder,
On His pierced hands our names.
God beholds me now as spotless,
Through the triumphs of that cross,
Counting Christ my glorious treasure,
And this world but empty dross.
Now I rest in God my Savior,
Glory in His blessed Name,
And would tell it far and often,—
Sound abroad His endless fame.

Lovest Thou Me? Part 2

John 21
O, look at this scene: He who, as God, created all things, comes and takes, and gives them! Do you thus know God in Christ? He, who had loved them, and died for their sins, could not cease to love them. Can He cease to love us? But do you think that fire of coals made poor Peter feel uncomfortable? I should not wonder but it did.
Does the remembrance of your sins, though you have repented, still make you feel uncomfortable, even in the presence of such infinite love? I should not wonder but it does. O, it is terrible to have sat with the world that hates Jesus—to have denied Him thrice.
Do not forget, however, to notice, Jesus did not impute their sin unto them; no, He had borne it on the cross. He had put away all that hindered God meeting them in perfect grace. It was so for them; it is so for us who believe through their word. But still, Jesus knew Peter far better than he knew himself; did He not? No doubt Peter had had this thought: “I belong to Jesus, I believe on Him the Christ of God. These Pharisees and priests, yea, and even these my brethren, may deny Him, but I will never;” and immediately Satan suggested thoughts of superiority.
Now, brethren, be honest; has there not been something like this, nay, the very thing itself, among the children of God? Have we not said in the secret of our hearts, though all sects and denominations and churches of men deny Christ as Lord, yet will not we? Can anything be more offensive to our blessed Lord than, Peter-like, such airs of superiority? Well, He who knew that state of Peter’s heart, also knows our state; and the same question is equally applicable to him and to us.
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?” He said, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love Thee” (or, I am attached to Thee).
This was indeed true, while, in humility and truth, he could not fully respond to the Lord’s question. Yet he was attached to Christ. Can we even say so? Are we detached from all that is of man? Can we say that we are attached to the Lord Jesus only? We may be even so: and, if so, the Lord’s word is “Feed My lambs.” Thrice had Peter denied his Lord, and now thrice, beside this fire of coals, with the proofs of Jesus’ everlasting love, the question is put to him, to fit him to be the shepherd and feeder of Christ’s lambs and sheep. A second time Peter says,
“Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I am attached to Thee.”
“He said unto him, Shepherd My sheep.” And now Jesus alters the form of question,
“Art thou attached to Me?” Peter was grieved at this. What a searching question! Does it grieve us? Poor feeble, failing things as we are. Yet is it not true that He has separated us to Himself? Can we say,
“Lord, Thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I am attached to Thee”?
“Jesus says to him Feed My sheep.”
Thus was Peter fitted to feed the sheep of Christ by the deep sense of his own failure. He was turned from dependence on himself and his own resolutions. All thoughts of self-superiority must be leveled, before he or we can be fitted to serve the Lord, and to feed His sheep.
Now, though this wondrous display of the Lord took place a few days after His resurrection, yet it was recorded by the Holy Ghost after all the failure had come in. Men had arisen of themselves, speaking perverse things, to lead away disciples after them. In short, all had come in that grieves our hearts at this moment. Yet Jesus thus showed Himself. Some may be persuaded to get into their own boat, and, while toiling all night, and catching nothing, may be tempted to say, It is all over, we have all failed, and there can be no more testimony.
Come away, beloved brethren, from such gloomy thoughts; cast the net on the right side of the ship. Is not Jesus still the same? It is not enough to take the place of attachment to Him. He says, “Lovest thou Me?” “Feed My sheep.”
Some of us have seen a great draft of souls taken of late, and the net is not broken. And if we love the Lord, let that love be shown in feeding, as we have opportunity, the whole flock of God. Did He not love the Church, and give Himself for it? Then surely He cannot cease to love it. He says, “Come and dine.” Let us, then, gather to Him on the shore. He wants our heart’s love; and He wants us to be in the current of His love to the lambs and sheep of His flock. And when proud thoughts of superiority would intrude, may we remember the words of Jesus,
“Lovest thou Me more than these?”
There were just two things more. A Peter might be called to glorify Christ in death, and a John might remain until He comes. It is exactly so now. One may be called away to be with the Lord; another may remain until He comes. One thing is certain He changes not. All things may change, He changes not. We may toil in Peter’s boat, and get discouraged. His eye is on us all the night. And to think, the morning breaks. Soon we shall see His face. Forever with the Lord.
“Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.” Heb. 12:28.
(Continued from page 222)

Sore Travail

Eccles. 1:13
The sorrows that alike befall both righteous and wicked during the fleet years of life of our vanity, must ever be a mystery to the sight; only faith can find a reason and this only partially.
Solomon, like ourselves, sought much to find some satisfying portion in earthly things, but found it not. The sameness of all that ever happens; the weary labor that all creation shares in performing; the sorrows and unrest of all things burdened his spirit. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, to run the same race tomorrow; the wind wearily repeats its sounds: all the rivers run into the sea, and yet the sea is not full; the rivers return to their sources to run the same weary race again.
“All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it.” Eccl. 1:5-9. The tenor of it presses one down, and one asks, Why is all this, what fruit is there in any labor under the sun?
“The preacher” proved all things, and found nothing to rest in, nothing enduring, nothing but what is vanity.
He tried pleasure: it was all “vanity and vexation of spirit” (“pursuit of wind”).
He sought to find joy in wisdom, for he saw that wisdom excelled folly as far as light excelled darkness; but this too was vanity for death overtakes all.
What good was there in anything? all things had to have their season, and nothing long. And, worse than all, wickedness was in the place of judgment, and the oppressor in the place of power. The slothful and the miserly were alike vanity. And wisdom too, for it gained nothing for its owner but increased capacity to suffer.
And why all this? The answer is the only one that can throw light upon the mysteries of providence.
“This sore travail hath God given to the sons of men to be exercised therewith.”
Sore indeed the travail is, and deep indeed the exercise of heart induced by it; but one learns from it to long for something better than the best things earth can furnish.
But this is as far as Solomon could go; he could close the door on earthly hopes; it needed the coming, death, and resurrection of a greater than he to open the door to the realm of abiding and satisfying joys.
Under the old dispensation man might find the vanity of the world, and, in faith, trust
God to solve all mysteries, but not till the New, was the door opened to heaven.
It needed the death of the only One who had a right to life; and His resurrection and ascension to that place on the Father’s throne, to give us real intelligence as to wiry the righteous suffer here. In the triumph and glory of the Captain of our salvation, we see the object and result to us of the sorrows we pass through here. They are to fit us for that glory unto which God is now bringing many sons, there to share the company of Him who overcame for us.
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” 2 Tim. 2:12.
By suffering we are led more deeply into fellowship with Him, and thus capacitated the more fully to share His joy. Just as gold gets larger by being beaten, so we, as vessels, are hammered out that we may be able to hold a larger measure of joy when the reigning time comes.
And when the soul grasps this, it gives power to even “glory in tribulations,” and what a triumph of grace this is! But this is only as we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” When that glory has become the hope of the soul tribulations are accepted as being the natural, the proper path to that glory. Suffering is just as much a gift of grace as believing.
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Phil. 1:29.
Let the soul but grasp the purpose of God in saving us— fellowship with Him in the coming glory, and tears are seen to be the needed watering of that which the sunshine of His grace has caused to spring tip. And not one is lost; put, as David says, in God’s bottle, they are preserved to that day when each one seen in the sunbeams of God’s glory will sparkle as a brilliant jewel, formed in these days of trial, to be the everlasting reminders of that wonderful love that thus led us and bore us up through all our sorrows.
The Lord has said “ye shall be sorrowful but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” And it is and will be so. And he who in fellowship with the rejected Lord, has trod a path of tears, will find that he has laid up for him a larger treasure of jewels than he whose path was smooth and whose tears were fewer.
In trials the heart gets capacitated to enter into the Lord’s mind as to us and as to His things, and we may well conclude that the impressions thus made on the character are made for eternity. If glory will allow of regrets, one chief one will be that we had not more appreciated these precious seasons of suffering which now we judge so hard.

At Home, Lord, With Thee

When troubled in spirit or heart seems to sink;
When trials press in like the sea;
What rich, priceless comfort I find when I think
I shall soon be at home, Lord, with Thee.
This world’s to my soul but a wilderness wild,
It has lost its attraction for me;
My heart would not wish in it long to abide,
And I’ll soon be at home, Lord, with Thee.
The world with a cruel and murderous hand,
Has nailed Thee to Calvary’s tree,
And with Thee, my Savior, rejected I stand,
But I’ll soon be at home, Lord, with Thee.
Unchanged is the world, it is still just the same,
Rebellious—not bowing the knee;
My theme’s what the world is despising Thy name;
And I’ll soon be at home, Lord, with Thee.
And while in this scene, Thou would’s have me to stay,
In communion with Thee may I be;
But ever my heart shall look on to that day,
When I’ll be at home, Lord, with Thee.
Then, past all the trials, or sorrow, or care,
The heart from all hindrance set free,
Shall joy in Thyself, Lord, forever up there,
When I shall be at home, Lord, with Thee.
My heart then shall worship, my tongue sing
Thy praise, Thine own blessed face I shall see,
Where all shall adore Thee, throughout endless days,
At home, Lord, in glory with Thee.
While here then I’m left in the desert to roam,
My soul ever conscious would be;
I’m only a pilgrim, this world’s not my home,
But I’ll soon be at home, Lord, with Thee.

"Go Ye Out to Meet Him": Part 2

Matthew 25:6
Part 2.
How comforting, too, is this blessed event! When the Thessalonian believers were sorrowful because they saw their brethren in Christ die (fall asleep), instead of the Lord coming for them as they thought would be the case, the apostle was inspired to instruct them that those who had died in Christ would come out of heaven with Christ when He comes to reign. He also tells them how they, as well as those who are alive when He comes, will get to heaven, in order that all come out together in the reign with Christ. He says:
“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.
How this must have comforted the bereaved! What solid consolation it must have given them to know that, when the Lord comes, the departed saints and living ones will be all together, and everlastingly happy, without another cloud of sorrow in the Lord’s most blessed presence. How many a mother has had her sorrow turned into joy by this blessed truth, when called to follow to the grave the remains of her precious offspring; and what multitudes of widows have wiped the tear of bitter anguish from off their sorrowing faces, at the thought of how soon, how very soon it will be, before they and their departed will meet the Lord in the air, and be forever with the Lord. Is it any marvel then, that the apostle is instructed to enjoin those bereaved ones at Thessalonica not to sorrow as those who have no hope, but to be comforted; yea, to “comfort one another with these words”?
We cannot conceive anything that could more sweetly and powerfully comfort the bereaved heart, than this special revelation of the Lord through Paul, to assure such of His intense de sire that they should have this comfort in their sorrow and bereavement, during His absence. Can we find anything in the entire range of Holy Scripture, that which more touchingly brings home the Lord’s warm desire for our consolation, and sustainment during this time of tribulation, and death? if the hope be bright in our souls, shall we not according to His loving desire be able to “comfort one another”? We gravely doubt whether any who have not the comfort of the Lord’s coming themselves, will be able to “comfort one another with these words.”
We need to look plainly and unflinchingly into this very solemn matter, lest we be found trafficking in mere knowledge of doctrine, instead of comforting others “by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Clearly then it is a comforting hope.
The hope, too, is purifying. “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3.
As the Son from heaven is the bright and blessed hope, so is He the example for our walk. He is the standard of the daily purifying of those who go forth to meet Him. It needs but a moment’s reflection to see what separation, what entire consecration, this involves; nay more, it shows what the practical walk will be of those who really have this hope. It does not say, he ought to purify himself, but he does it, “he purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”
How intensely solemn this is! How decisive, how searching, how sweeping! How it admonishes us to quicken our steps in going forth to meet Him; to be alive, awake, in earnest, to run with patience looking off unto Jesus; and while looking for Him, find out the narrow path on earth of going forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. It is clear enough that those who step out in these divinely- ordered ways of faith, and love, and hope, at all costs, must, however unwillingly, leave those far behind who linger in the world’s excitement and advantages, instead of openly warning souls against its impending and appalling doom. Loss in the worldling’s account there must be, as well as suffering with a rejected Savior, if not for Him, if we really go forth to meet Him; but
“How will recompense His smile
The sufferings of this little while.”
No doctrine can be more eminently practical. If service is the subject, Jesus said: “Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13.
If caring for the need of others,
“Whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” Luke 10:35.
Is it the consciousness of being in an evil world where the Lord is not, that disturbs us?
“I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” John 14:3.
Are any of us caring for the Lord’s household?
“Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make Him ruler over all His goods.” Matt. 24:46, 47.
Is it a groaning, mortal body which hinders us from carrying out all the service we desire?
“We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Phil. 3:20, 21.
Are we growing drowsy and lukewarm? Then we are warned that it was an “evil servant” who said, in his heart,
“My Lord delayeth His coming.” Matt. 24:48.
Are we not pondering over the Scriptures, and delighting in them as we ought? He saith,
“Behold I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Rev. 22:7.
Are we losing freshness and fervency in His holy service? Then He encourages us by saying,
“Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:12.
Is it death that any dear child of God dreads? It is by no means certain that we shall die; for
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” &c. 1 Cor. 15:51, 52. We ask, then, can we imagine any truth to have a more practical bearing than the blessed hope of our Lord’s coming?
The weighty and searching question, dear Christian reader, is, How far has the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ produced practical results in us? May the Lord enable us to deal honestly with ourselves as in His presence about this weighty matter! Has its purifying effect been so real in our consciences that we are separated from worldly companionships, and desire for worldly advancement, worldly possessions, worldly honors? Have the interests of Christ, and the hope of seeing Him, detached us from other interests, other objects, and other hopes? Are we caring for our Lord’s household? How vast the contrast between the worldling’s doom of darkness and judgment, and the Christian’s hope of unfading light and glory!
O that these thoughts may produce deep and solemn exercise in souls, lest any be found in the dreadful wile of Satan talking about the Lord’s coming, when, like Judas, the “pieces of silver” have really more charm than the “Lord Himself;” and Pilate’s place of worldly honor and power is esteemed more highly than the rejected Son of God. O, how can any be going forth to meet the Bridegroom, if, like Lot’s wife, they are looking behind?


Afflictions quicken our pace on the way to heaven; it is with us as with children sent on an errand, if they meet with apples or flowers by the way, they linger and make no great haste home, but if anything frighten them, then they run with all the speed they can to their father’s house. In prosperity, we are gathering the apples and flowers, and do not much mind heaven, but if troubles begin to arise, and the times grow frightful, we make more haste to heaven, and with David, “run the way of God’s commandments” (Psa. 119:32).

The Way of the Cross

If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye.—1 Peter 4:14.
When Jesus was upon earth, there were always those who criticized Him and found fault with Him, and those who stood with Him; and so today, any one who obeys the call of God, leaving all to follow Jesus, will be criticized and misunderstood.
There are many who profess to love Jesus, but when it means self-denial or any sacrifice for Jesus’ sake, they are enemies to the Cross of Christ. However, the “way of the Cross leads home.”

What Wait I for?

Psalm 39:7
This is a searching question for the heart; but it is ofttimes a most salutary one, inasmuch as we may constantly detect ourselves in an attitude of waiting for things which, when they come, prove not to be worth waiting for.
The human heart is very much like the poor, lame man at the gate of the temple, in Acts 3. He was looking at every passerby, “expecting to receive something:” and the heart will ever be looking out for some relief, some comfort, or some enjoyment, in passing circumstances. It may ever and anon, be found sitting by the side of some creature-stream, vainly expecting that some refreshment will flow along its channel.
It is amazing to think of the trifles on which nature will, at times, fix its expectant gaze—a change of circumstances, change of scene, change of air, a journey, a visit, a letter, a book—anything, in short, is sufficient to raise expectations in a poor heart which is not finding its center, its spring, its all, in Christ.
Hence the practical importance of frequently turning sharp round upon the heart with the question, “What wait I for?” Doubtless, the true answer to this inquiry would, at times, furnish the most advanced Christian with matter for deep humiliation and self-judgment before the Lord.
In the sixth verse of the thirty-ninth psalm. we have three great types of character, as set forth in the “vain show,” “vain disquietude,” and “heaping up.” These types may sometimes be found combined; but very often they have a distinct development.
There are many whose whole life is one “vain show,” whether in their personal character, their commercial position, or their religious profession. There is nothing solid about them, nothing real, nothing true. The glitter is the most shallow gilding possible. There is nothing deep, nothing intrinsic. All is surface work—all the merest flash and smoke.
Then, again, we find another class, whose life is one continued scene of “vain disquietude.” You will never find them at ease, never satisfied, never happy. There is always some terrible thing coming—some catastrophe in the distance, the bare anticipation of which keeps them in a constant fever of anxiety. They are troubled about property, about friends, about trade, about children, about servants. Though placed in circumstances which thousands of their fellow-creatures would deem most enviable, they seem to be in a perpetual fret. They harass themselves in reference to troubles that may never come, difficulties they may never encounter, sorrows they may never live to see. Instead of remembering the blessings of the past, and rejoicing in the mercies of the present, they are anticipating the trials and sorrows of the future. In a word, “they are disquieted in vain.”
Finally, you will meet another class, quite different from either of the preceding—keen, shrewd, industrious, money-making people—people who would live where others would starve. There is not much “vain show” about them. They are too solid, and life is too practical a reality for anything of that sort. Neither can you say there is much disquietude about them. Theirs is an easy-going, quiet, plodding spirit, or an active, enterprising, speculating turn of mind. “They heap up, and know not who shall gather.”
But, reader, remember, on all three alike the Spirit has stamped “vanity.” Yes, “all,” without any exception, “under the sun,” has been pronounced by one who knew it by experience, and wrote it by inspiration, “vanity and vexation of spirit.” Turn where you will, “under the sun,” and you will not find aught on which the heart can rest. You must rise on the steady and vigorous pinion of faith, to regions “above the sun,” in order to find “a better and an enduring substance.” The One who sits at the right hand of God has said,
“I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause them that love Me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasures.” Prov. 8:20, 21. None but Jesus can give “substance,” none but He can “fill,” none but He can “satisfy.”
There is that in Christ’s perfect work which meets the deepest need of conscience; and there is that in his glorious Person which can satisfy the most earnest longings of the heart. The one who has found Christ on the cross, and Christ on the throne, has found all he can possibly need, for time or eternity.
Well, therefore, might the psalmist, having challenged his heart with the question, “What wait I for?” reply, “My hope is in Thee.” No “vain show,” no “vain disquietude,” no “heaping up” for him. He had found an object in God worth waiting for; and, therefore, turning away his eye from all beside, he says, “My hope is in Thee.”
This, my beloved reader, is the only true, peaceful, and happy position. The soul that leans on, looks to, and waits for Jesus will never be disappointed. Such a one possesses an exhaustless fund of present enjoyment in fellowship with Christ; while, at the same time, he is cheered by “that blessed hope” that when this present scene, with all its “vain show,” its “vain disquietude,” and its vain resources shall have passed away, he shall be with Jesus where He is, to behold His glory, to bask in the light of His countenance, and to be conformed to His image forever.
May we, then, be much in the habit of challenging our earth-bound creature-seeking hearts, with the searching inquiry, “What wait I for?” Am I waiting for some change of circumstances, or “for the Son from heaven”? Can I look up to Jesus, and, with a full and an honest heart, say, “Lord, my hope is in Thee”?
May our hearts be more thoroughly separated from this present evil world and all that pertains thereto, by the power of communion with those things that are unseen and eternal. Then, not neglecting things of this world necessary for our lives down here, we shall put them in their proper place.
“From various cares my heart retires,
Though deep and boundless its desires,
I’ve now to please but One;
Him, before whom each knee shall bow,
With Him is all my business now,
And those that are His own.
With these my happy lot is cast,
Through the world’s deserts rude and waste,
Or through its gardens fair;
Whether the storms of trouble sweep,
Or all in dead supineness sleep,
T’ advance be all my care.”

Correspondence: 2 Pet. 2:20 vs. John 10:28; John 15:2; Concision

Question: How do you understand 2 Peter 2:20, 22, when John 10:28 gives positive assurance of the believer’s eternal security. H. E.
Answer: You must ever remember that Scripture cannot contradict itself. Hence, when you read in John 10 such words as these, “My sheep shall never perish,” your heart should rest in the full assurance of the eternal security of the very feeblest of Christ’s blood-bought sheep. Many other scriptures establish the same precious truth.
Evidently, then, 2 Peter 2:20-22 cannot possibly clash with John 10 and kindred passages. But what does it teach? Simply that when professors of religion return to their old habits, they are in a worse condition than if they had never made a profession at all. It is obvious that true Christians are not in question here. A “dog and a sow” cannot be looked upon as “sheep,” however they may profess “the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Question: Please explain John 15:2. H. H.
Answer: The real secret of the difficulty felt by so many in this scripture is that they seek to make it a question of eternal life and security, whereas it is simply a question of fruit bearing. If we do not abide in the vine we shall prove fruitless branches, and all such branches the Husbandman removes from the place of fruit bearing. The question of salvation is not touched.
Question: What is the meaning of “the concision” in Phil. 3:2?
Answer: The concision mean those who are trying to improve the flesh by cutting off bad habits. The truth teaches us that the death of Christ is the end of the flesh before God, and that our old man is crucified with Him. (Rom. 6:6) The circumcision in Phil. 3:3 recognize this. Col. 2:11 means dead with Christ. “The concision” do not know this, but teach the improvement of man without redemption.

The Text on the Wall

In a lowly cottage lived an aged Christian woman, who made it her daily habit to place a text of Scripture over the fireplace, where she and her visitors might easily read it, and be benefited thereby. Words of gospel grace, and coming glory often thus gladdened the aged Christian’s heart, as she moved about in her home doing her work; and if others called, she was not slow to point them to the words of God, and seek to press them home upon their hearts.
A gaily-dressed young woman called, asking if she could be accommodated with a room for a week. She represented herself as the daughter of a city merchant in search of health. As the aged woman rented her rooms during the summer months to any respectable visitor, the arrangement was made.
“Grannie’s Signboard,” as she called her daily text, which always hung above the fire, seemed to attract the visitor’s attention, but for the first few days she said nothing about it. Whether with special purpose on the part of this dear faithful witness for the Lord Jesus, we do not know, but the texts that week were all of a searching character, telling of sin, and its judgment, and of the sinner’s doom and destiny.
The Spirit of God used them to awaken the young woman, who, as it afterward came out, was a runaway from a Christian home. She had been often troubled about her soul’s welfare, and in order to escape her Christian parents’ continual reminders of God and eternity, she had left home suddenly. God had followed her to that lonely spot, and had His messenger there, and His message awaiting her. She could no longer conceal her state, but told her the whole story.
The aged Christian spoke to her of Jesus the Savior, and told her how He had saved her many years before. The Lord used the earnest words of the happy saint to bring the troubled and unsatisfied young woman to cast herself upon Christ, and she had the joy of seeing her converted.
She returned home a new creature in Christ, and confessed Jesus as her Lord. Now she lives to serve Him, and adorn His doctrine, and often visits her friend in her humble home, where she was first arrested by the text on the wall.
Reader, have you ever looked God’s truth full in the fact, and allowed it to search you? You must one day; now, or in the judgment. Your sin will find you out. You cannot hide it from God. You must either have it forgiven now, or it will be punished in eternity.
Now God in grace is proclaiming a full and free forgiveness through His Son.
“God our Savior who desires that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim. 2:3, 4. (N. T.)
“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.” Rom. 10:9.

Fragment: Hidden in the Word

“In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 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.

"I Looked, and, Lo, a Lamb"

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.
“And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.
I looked, and, lo, a Lamb—O wondrous sight!
And can it be
That I, too, soon shall rise to regions bright,
The Lamb to see?
That in His face of love—His own dear face,
I, too, shall gaze,
And shout aloud the wonders of His Grace
In ceaseless lays?
O! ‘twill be joy to hear that very voice
Whose whisper here
Can hid the heavy-laden one rejoice,
Can still each fear.
And then, to see those wounds—the nail-pierced hands,
And riven side—
While, there, the purchase of such love shall stand,
His blood-bought bride.
O! what a thought, she, now, despised of men,
Shall triumph there;
And all His poor rejected ones shall then,
That triumph share!
They shall no more go out! in Him their rest,
Their home shall be.
In seeing, hearing, knowing Him, be blest

The Closing Scenes of Malachi and Jude: Part 1

In comparing these two inspired writings, we find many points of similarity, and many points of contrast. Both the prophet and apostle portray scenes of ruin, corruption, and apostasy. The former is occupied with the ruin of Judaism; the latter with the ruin of Christendom. The prophet Malachi, in his very opening sentences, gives, with uncommon vividness, the source of Israel’s blessing, and the secret of their fall.
“I have loved you, saith the Lord.”
Here was the grand source of all their blessedness, all their glory, all their dignity. Jehovah’s love accounts for all the bright glory of Israel’s past, and all the brighter glories of Israel’s future. While, on the other hand, their bold and infidel challenge,
“Wherein hast Thou loved us?” accounts for the deepest depths of Israel’s present degradation.
To put such a question, after all that Jehovah had done for them, from the days of Moses to the days of Solomon, proved a condition of heart insensible to the very last degree. Those who, with the marvelous history of Jehovah’s actings before their eyes, could say, “Wherein hast Thou loved us?” were beyond the reach of all moral appeal. Hence, therefore, we need not be surprised at the prophet’s burning words. We are prepared for such sentences as the following:
“If then I be a father, where is Mine honor? and if I be a master, where is My fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised Thy name?”
There was the most thorough insensibility both as to the Lord’s love, and as to their own evil ways. There was the hardness of heart that could say,
“Wherein hast Thou loved us?” and “Wherein have we wronged Thee?”
And all this with the history of a thousand years before their eyes—a history overlapped by the unexampled grace, mercy, and patience of God—a history stained, from first to last, with the record of their unfaithfulness, folly, and sin.
But let us hearken to the prophet’s further utterances, or rather to the touching remonstrances of the aggrieved and offended God of Israel.
“Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted Thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts... who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught? neither do ye kindle fire on Mine altar for naught. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.”
Here then we have a sad and dreary picture of Israel’s moral condition. The public worship of God had fallen into utter contempt. His altar was insulted; His service despised. As to the priests, it was a mere question of filthy lucre; and as to the people, the whole thing had become a perfect weariness—an empty formality—a dull and heartless routine. There was no heart for God.
There was plenty of heart for gain. Any sacrifice, however maimed and torn, was deemed good enough for the altar of God. The lame, the blind, and the sick, the very worst that could be had, such as they would not dare to offer to a human governor, was laid on the altar of God. And if a door was to be opened, or a fire kindled, it must be paid for. Such was the lamentable condition of things in the days of Malachi.
But, thanks and praise be to God, there is another side of the picture. There were some rare and lovely exceptions to the gloomy rule—some striking and beautiful forms standing out in relief from the dark background. It is truly refreshing, in the Midst of all this venality and corruption, coldness and hollowness, barrenness and heartlessness, pride and stoutness of heart, to read such words as these:
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.”
How precious is this brief record! How delightful to contemplate this remnant in the midst of the moral ruin! There is no pretension, or assumption; no attempt to set up anything; no effort to reconstruct the fallen economy; no affected display of power. There is felt weakness, and looking to Jehovah; and this— be it observed and ever remembered—is the true secret of all real power.
We need never be afraid of conscious weakness. It is affected strength that we have to dread and shrink from.
“When I am weak, then am I strong” is ever the rule for the people of God—a blessed rule, most surely. God is to be counted upon always; and we may lay it down as a great root principle, that, no matter what may be the actual state of the professing body, individual faith can enjoy communion with God according to the very highest truth of the dispensation.
This is a grand principle to grasp and hold fast. Let the ostensible people of God be ever so sunk, individuals who judge and humble themselves before God can enjoy His presence and blessing, without let or limit.
Witness the Daniels, the Mordecais, the Ezras, the Nehemiahs, the Josiahs, and Hezekiahs, and scores of others who walked with God, carried out the highest principles and enjoyed the rarest privileges of the dispensation, when all lay in hopeless ruin around them.
There was a passover celebrated in the days of Josiah such as had not been known from the days of Samuel the prophet. (2 Chron. 35:18.) The feeble remnant, on their return from Babylon, celebrated the feast of tabernacles, a privilege which had not been tasted since the days of Joshua the son of Nun. (Neh. 8:17.)
Mordecai, without ever striking a blow, gained as splendid a victory over Amalek as that achieved by Joshua. (Esther 6:11, 12.)
In the book of Daniel we see earth’s proudest monarch prostrate at the feet of a captive Jew.
What do all these cases teach us? What lesson do they tell out in our ears? Simply that the humble, believing, and obedient soul is permitted to enjoy the very deepest and richest communion with God, spite of the failure and ruin of God’s professing people, and the departed glory of the dispensation in which his lot is cast.
Thus it was, as we may see, in the closing scenes of Malachi. All was in hopeless ruin; but that did not hinder those who loved and feared the Lord getting together to speak about Him and to muse upon His precious name.
True, that feeble remnant was not like the great congregation which assembled in the days of Solomon, from Dan to Beersheba; but it had a glory peculiar to itself. It had the divine presence in a way no less marvelous though not so striking.
We are not told of any “book of remembrance” in the days of Solomon. We are not told of Jehovah’s hearkening and hearing. Perhaps it may be said, there was no need. Be it so; but that does not dim the luster of the grace that shone upon the little band in the days of Malachi. We may boldly affirm that Jehovah’s heart was as refreshed by the loving breathings of that little band as by the splendid sacrifice in the days of Solomon’s dedication. Their love shines out all the brighter in contrast with the heartless formalism of the professing body, and the venal corruption of the priests.
“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble.... But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”
(To be continued)

Doing No Harm

I once heard a story of a soldier, who was not at his post of duty at a very important time. A battle was being fought, and this man was missed. No one knew what had become of him, but they knew he was not in the ranks when he should have been.
As soon as a chance came, an officer went in search of him. To his great surprise, he found that during the battle this man, instead of being in his place, was amusing himself in a flower garden. When he was asked what he was doing there, he answered,
“I am doing no harm, sir.”
This was a very poor excuse, and he found it would not shield him from punishment, for when tried by court martial he was found guilty of desertion from duty, and had to answer with his life.
Are there not many in the present day who talk of doing no harm, and yet are wasting much precious time which might be used either in learning the way of salvation for themselves, or if they are already Christians, in serving that blessed One who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. Time is short, and we should be found redeeming the time.
“What is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14.
“Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:20.

Extract: The World: Using, Not Loving

You never knew a man surfeiting himself upon the world, and sick of love (Song of Solomon) to Christ. While Israel fed with delight upon garlic and onions, they never hungered after manna. The love of earthly things will quench the desire of spiritual things. “Love not the world.” The sin is not in the having, but the loving.
God allows us the use of the world (1 Tim. 6:7), but take heed of the love of it. He that is in love with the world, will be out of love with the cross.
“Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” 2 Tim. 4:10.
Before a man can die for Christ, he must be dead to the world.
“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.

The Power of Prayer: Part 1

The New Testament abounds in convincing proofs of the power of prayer. Almost all the great events recorded in its sacred pages stand connected with prayer.
1. The baptism and anointing of our blessed Lord are presented, in immediate connection with prayer.
“Now, when all the people were baptized; it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21, 22.
What a scene! The divine, the heavenly, the perfect Man, down here, on this earth, in the place of dependence, the attitude of prayer; and, then, the opened heaven and the descending Spirit, together with heaven’s audible expression of delight in that blessed One who had just come up out of the waters of Jordan, to take His place as a dependent, self-emptied, prayerful Man, on this earth! Truly, this was a scene into which angels might well desire to look.
2. The glorious event of the transfiguration is presented to us in connection with prayer.
“It came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening.” Luke 9:28, 29.
Now, it is not said that “He went up into a mountain to be transfigured.” No; but “he went up into a mountain to pray.” It was to pour out His soul in prayer that the blessed One ascended to the solitary mount. And, be it carefully noted, by the Christian reader, that the solitary mount of prayer became “the holy mount” of transfiguration, where the glorious majesty of the emptied, humbled, praying Man was displayed, and where “He received from God the Father, honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 2 Peter 1:17.
3. The appointment of the twelve apostles is recorded in connection with prayer.
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples. And of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles.” Luke 6:12, 13.
The mission of those who were to carry the glad tidings of the kingdom throughout the cities and villages of the land of Israel, was a matter of solemn moment, and the Lord Jesus, though being “God over all, blessed forever,” yet having taken the place of a truly dependent Man, spent a whole night in prayer to God, with special reference, doubtless, to the appointment, mission, and ministry of those twelve messengers. He did everything in absolute dependence upon God. He thought, spoke, and acted, in the atmosphere of prayer. What a lesson for us! He is our great Exemplar. In this, as in all besides,
“He left us an example, that we should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21.
4. When, by the fall of Judas Iscariot, a breach was made in the number of the twelve, that breach was filled up in immediate connection with prayer.
“And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen.” Acts 1:23, 24
The One who had originally appointed the twelve, knew all about the breach, why it was made, and how to fill it up. Dependence upon Him is our true place. It is thus alone we get wisdom and strength. We can never fail, never falter, never err, never wander, never come short, never never become ensnared, if only we abide in the holy attitude of self-emptied dependence.
5. The descent of the Holy Ghost, on the day of Pentecost, is presented in immediate connection with prayer.
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 1:14; 2:1.
The disciples were in the attitude of united waiting upon God, when the Holy Ghost came down in Pentecostal power; and, afterward, the mighty and overawing manifestation of His presence stands connected, immediately, with prayer.
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31.
6. When persecution raged against the Church of God, and the enemy had rudely laid his hand upon one of the pillars, the disciples betook themselves to their well-known oft-proved stronghold.
“Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing (or instant and earnest prayer was made) of the Church unto God for him.” Acts 12:5.
What was the result? Just what it must ever be, when faith pours its need into the ear of Omnipotence,
“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison; and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.... When they were passed the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.” Acts 12:7, 10.
What were iron chains or iron gates to Him who made the world? Just nothing. He could have laid Herod’s prison in ruins in a moment, and brought His servant forth, in answer to the prayer of faith.
7. Finally, the mission of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles is presented to us in connection with prayer.
“And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them forth.” Acts 13:3.
What was the result? When these honored servants of Christ returned to the Church by whose prayers they had been commended to God,
“They rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27.
(To be continued)


Only the growing Christian is in a healthy condition. If I am not progressing and becoming more deeply acquainted with the Strong One, I shall certainly fall. If my roots are not striking deeper into Christ, and if there be not about my character and conduct the fresh verdure and foliage that come from Himself, the constant pushing out of flower and fruit by the power of His life within, the great enemy will not fail to take notice; and I shall, as a sapless branch, be the object of his successful attacks. The growing branches are those that have the continuous supply of vitality from the root. Vitality insures growth. O, then, for a stronger vitality through more knowledge of Him who is our Life.
“Let me then be always growing,
Never, never standing still,
Listening, learning, better knowing
Thee and Thy most blessed will.
Till I reach Thy holy place
Daily let me grow in grace.”
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18.
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;... and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:16, 17, 19.

"Yes, Lord, Come"

O Thou faithful, tender Shepherd,
Thou art stirring up the nest;
And in every little circle,
Thou art doing what is best.
Thou art sending tribulation
Where Thy people sit at ease;
Thou art giving strong conviction
Where they seek themselves to please.
Earth is growing very homeless,
Thou art carrying out Thy will;
Thou art making vacant places
For Thyself alone to fill.
“I am coming very quickly.”
And we answer, “Yes, Lord, come.”
For to those who rise to meet Thee,
It is only “going Home.”


“If only we exercise a little self-denial every day, we shall get on to heaven very comfortably.” What a volume of wholesome practical truth in this brief utterance! The path of self-denial is the Christian’s true path. Jesus says,
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Mark, it is not, “let him deny certain things belonging to himself.” No, he must deny “himself”; and this is a daily thing. Each morning as we rise and enter afresh upon the pathway of daily life, we have the same grand and all-important work before us, namely, to deny self.
This hateful self will meet us at every step; for, although we know, through grace, that “our old man is crucified”—that it is dead and buried out of God’s sight, still this is only as regards our standing in Christ, according to God’s view of us. We know, alas! that self has to be denied, judged, and subjugated, every day, every hour, and every moment. The principle of our standing must be wrought out in practice. God sees us perfect in Christ. We are not in the flesh, but the flesh is in us, and it must be denied and kept under by the power of the Spirit.
And, be it remembered, that is it not merely in its grossness that self must be denied, but in its refinement—not merely in its low habits, but in its cultivated tastes—not merely in its roughness and rudeness, but in its most polished and elegant forms. This is not always seen. It too often happens that, like Saul, we spare that which we consider “the best,” and bring the edge of the sword to hear only upon “the vile and refuse.” This will never do. It is self that must he denied. Yes, self, in all the length and breadth of that comprehensive word. Not merely some special branches, but the great parent stein not merely some accessories of nature, but nature itself. It is a comparatively easy matter to deny certain things pertaining to self, while self is pampered and gratified all the time. I may deny my appetite to feed my religious pride. I may starve myself to minister to my love of money. I may wear shabby clothes while I pride myself in sumptuous furnishings for the home and an expensive car. Hence, the need of being reminded that we must deny self.
And, O! who can sum up all that is contained in this weighty word, self-denial? Self acts everywhere. In the closet, in the family, in the shop in the railway car, in the street—everywhere, at all times, and under all circumstances.
It has its tastes and its habits, its prejudices and predilections, its likings and its dislikings. It must be denied in all these. We may frequently detect ourselves liking our own image. This must be denied with uncommon decision.
Then again in matters of religion, we like those who suit us, who agree and sympathize with us, who admire our opinions or mode of propounding them. All this must be brought under the sharp edge of the knife of self-denial. If not, we may find ourselves despising some dear and honored Christian, simply because of something which does not suit us; and, on the other hand, we shall laud to the skies some hollow, worthless character, just because of some feature which we like.
Indeed, of all the ten thousand shapes, which self assumes, there is not one more hateful than that of religion. Clad in this garb it will make itself the center of a clique, confine its affections within that narrow enclosure, and call that Christian communion. Forth, from this contracted circle, it will diligently expel every one who happens to have a single disagreeable point or angle. It will obstinately refuse to accommodate itself to the scruples and infirmities of others. As to these it will not yield a single hair’s breadth, while, at the same time, it will surrender any amount of truth in order to hold fellowship with its own image. All this is terrible and should be most sedulously guarded against.
If our reader will study carefully 1 Cor. 8:10, he will find a most precious lesson on the subject of self-denial. The heading of this entire section might be thus worded, “Any length in self-denial; not an inch in surrendering truth.” This should ever be the Christian’s motto. If it be merely a question of self, sun render all; if it be a question of truth, surrender nothing.
“If meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” 1 Cor. 8:13.
Noble resolution! May we have grace to carry it out! Again,
“Though I be free from all, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more... I am made all things to all, that might by all means save some.” 1 Cor. 9:19-22.
“Let no man seek his own”—the very thing we are so ready to seek— “but every man another’s advantage —the very last thing we feel disposed to do.
It is important and very needful to observe that when the apostle declares that he was “made all things to all,” it was entirely a matter of self-denial and not of self-indulgence. He neither indulged himself, nor surrendered a single iota to the truth of God, but made himself servant to all for their good and God’s glory. This is our model. May the Lord endow us with grace to imitate it! We are called to surrender not only our points and angles, prejudices and predilections, but also our personal rights for the profit of others. This is the Christian’s daily business, and it is as he is enabled to discharge it that he will walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and “get on comfortably to heaven.”

Fragment: Turned Out

Reader, are you with the world that turned Christ out; or with Christ whom the world turned out?

Correspondence: Jesus on Resurrection; Dress; 1 Pe. 4:6; Lord's Prayer; John 14:2

Question: Why did the Lord allow His disciples to touch Him after His resurrection, but not Mary? E. B.
Answer: The solution of your difficulty will be found in the fact of the distinct purpose of the Holy Ghost in each of the gospels. In John 20:17 the Lord is teaching Mary that she is no longer to know Him on Jewish ground as the Messiah of Israel, but in a new and heavenly relationship.
On the other hand, in Matt. 28:9 the disciples represent the godly remnant of Israel, and are permitted to touch the blessed Lord, because He will yet resume as Messiah His relations with the nation of Israel. It is of the utmost importance, in studying the gospels, to bear in mind the distinct object of each. If this be not understood, we shall never be able to appreciate the beauty and harmony of the gospel narratives.
Question: Would it not be well to print a short article on dress? It must be displeasing to the Lord to see the way some of us are attired when we come to remember Him on Lord’s day morning. J. S.
Answer: Scripture is very plain as to the manner in which Christian women should be attired, not only at the Lord’s table, but at all times. Surely in this, as in all besides, there is urgent need of the exercise of a tender conscience, a godly subjection to the authority of God’s Word. If Christians will not give heed to the exhortation of the Holy Ghost, they are not likely to pay much attention to the pages of a magazine. One of the special wants of the moment is thorough submission to the veritable teachings of holy Scripture. Where the heart is under the direct government of the Word all will he right; where it is not, there will be nothing right.
“That women adorn themselves in modest apparel.” 1 Timothy 2:9.
Question: Please explain 1 Peter 4:6. S. D.
Answer: 1 Peter 4:6 teaches us that glad tidings the promises were announced to those who have since passed away, in order that, by receiving them, they might live according to God in the Spirit; or, by rejecting them, they might be judged as men in the flesh.
The principle is the same now as then, however, the character of the testimony may vary. Hence the apostle says, “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead.” Wherever a divine testimony is delivered, whether in Old Testament times, or New whether in the days of Noah, or at this present time the alternative is, “Life in the Spirit,” or “Judgment in the flesh.” It is thus we understand the passage.
Question: Should a Christian use the Lord’s Prayer?
Answer: There are three reasons why we could not use the formulary referred to. First, the Holy Ghost was not given; secondly, it is not in the name of Jesus; thirdly, forgiveness of sins was not known according to the fullness and power of accomplished redemption.
In Rom. 8:26 we read, “We know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” How could we be said not to know what to pray for, if the disciples’ prayer was to be our model? (We say “The disciples’ prayer.” As to the Lord’s prayer, we have it in John 17.)
There are most precious breathings in the prayer, as there are in the Psalms; but both apply to the condition out of which the Christian is brought by accomplished redemption and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost; while, at the same time, he can find in both the most precious instruction.
Question: Why did Christ need to prepare a place for us in the Father’s house (John 14:2)? J. O. W.
Answer: John 14:2 teaches us that until Christ entered heaven, in resurrection, having accomplished redemption, there was—there could be—no “place” for us. But He, having entered there as Head, His place, and nothing less, is ours. Marvelous grace! Magnificent result of accomplished atonement!

"Jesus Is Mine"

During a week of preaching, prayer and conversation with anxious souls, it was thought desirable to have a general tea meeting, and invite the anxious and those interested in the gospel. After tea and before the address, when many were moving about and conversing freely on the concerns of the soul—a poor, emaciated-looking woman came up to me with a sheet of hymns in her hand, and placing her finger on the words, “Jesus is mine,” said, with much feeling,
“I could not sing these words last evening, but, O, thank the Lord, I can sing them tonight.”
“Thank the Lord indeed, my dear woman,” I replied, “and are you happy now?”
“O yes,” she said, “but I was so unhappy last night,” and went on explaining her feelings and experience in something like the following words:
“When we all stood up to sing that hymn, ‘Jesus is mine,’ something said to me,
“‘You can’t sing that, Jesus is not yours.’ And there I stood trembling with fear, and could not sing a word. And when I saw all of you so happy, my heart was like to break. I did not know what to do; and after I went home I could do nothing but cry; I could not sleep; and I prayed, and prayed, that the Lord would save my soul, and give me faith to say ‘Jesus is mine.’ And the Lord had mercy on me, for He did answer my prayer, and I could say before I fell asleep, ‘Jesus is mine,’ and I am quite happy now.
“I am delighted to hear what you say; you ought to be the happiest woman on earth, what a noble prize you have found! But do you remember how you came to feel sure of Jesus being yours?”
“Well, it somehow came before my mind, that Jesus had died for me as well as for the others, and I should believe that, and put my trust in Him, for He will never cast me off; and I did feel that I could trust in Jesus, and that I could love Him for having died for me, a great sinner; and I should like to sing that hymn tonight if you will give it out.”
It was not difficult to see that all was real, and that the Holy Spirit had been her teacher.
I mentioned the woman’s desire to the meeting, with some of the circumstances, and we sang the hymn with great joy of heart, the woman joining with us. Those who are familiar with such scenes know the peculiar joy which such an instance of God’s grace produces. It is a sweet foretaste of heaven.
“Now I have found a Friend,
Jesus is mine;
His love will never end,
Jesus is mine;
Though earthly joys decrease,
Though human friendships cease,
Now I have lasting peace,
Jesus is mine.”
Not merely, observe, did she know pardon and salvation, precious as these are; but she knew Jesus Himself the Person, as well as the work, of the Lord Jesus. We believe a doctrine, we rest in a truth, but strictly speaking, we love neither. We can only love a person. This is power; this was the power of the poor woman. To lean upon an arm that will never grow feeble, to meet an eye that will never grow dim, to confide in a heart that will never grow cold, is rest and peace and joy; but joyless must the soul be that knows not the Person of the Lord Jesus, even though knowing pardon and salvation.
Dear reader, Where are you? What have you? Do you know the value of His work for your conscience, and the preciousness of His Person for your heart? You believe that He is the Savior of the world, but do you believe that He is your Savior? What are you without Him? What would this world be without a sun? Bright compared to the darkness and desolation of your Christless state. Still He lingers in love for you.
Come to Jesus now. He waits, He longs, He loves to receive you. Turn not a deaf ear, a careless heart, to His invitations. Wrath is reserved for the rejecter of Christ; the sword but slumbers in its sheath. O! turn, turn, TURN to Him now just now while His arms are extended wide to fold you in the everlasting embrace of His eternal love.
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28.
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37.

The Factory-Girls' Bible-Reading

They were all in the same class in the Sunday school, and the four of them had been brought to Christ about the same time, and through the instrumentality of the same godly teacher. She had sought from the very day of their spiritual birth to be a “nursing mother” to them, and to press upon them the importance of desiring the “sincere milk of the word, that they might grow thereby.”
The girls had little time to spare being at work in the factory from morning to night. But during the dinner hours they would gather together in a quiet corner by themselves, and one would read a chapter of the Word of God. How sweet and precious was that little Bible reading to their hungry souls. They went to work strengthened after their mid-day meal.
By-and-by, others who had cared but little for a handful of the freshly-gathered manna, got to hear of the young believers’ Bible reading in the factory during the dinner hour, and they joined them, and shared the blessing. God blessed that quiet half-hour over His Word, and many of them were there nourished and fed, to become useful and active workers in the Lord’s vineyard. Many young believers are in similar circumstances, and might embrace a like opportunity to feed their souls.
My dear young believer, are you in the habit of doing so or do you spend your spare half-hours in gossip and idleness, and go on, day after day, with a famished soul, and, as a consequence, an unsteady testimony for your Lord? The outward walk and life is intimately connected with the inward spiritual condition, and a healthy condition of soul can only be maintained by constant feeding on Christ, the Bread of Life, through the pages of the written Word.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.” 2 Peter 2:2.
“The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1 John 2:17.

Daily Mercies

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
Psa. 68:19.
And let Him lead thee all the way,
Who loveth to the end,
And let the morrow rest
In His beloved hand;
His good is better than our best,
As we shall understand.

The Closing Days of Malachi and Jude: Part 2

We shall now give a hasty glance at the Epistle of Jude. Here we have a still more appalling picture of apostasy and corruption. It is a familiar saying among us, that the corruption of the best thing is the worst corruption; and hence it is that the Apostle Jude spreads before us a page so very much darker and more awful than that presented by the prophet Malachi. It is the record of man’s utter failure and ruin under the very highest and richest privileges which could be conferred upon him.
In the opening of his solemn address, the apostle lets us know that it was laid upon his heart “to write unto us of the common salvation.” This would have been his far more delightful task. It would have been his joy and his refreshment to expatiate upon the present privileges and future glories wrapped up in the comprehensive folds of that precious word “salvation.” But he felt it “needful” to turn from this more congenial work in order to fortify our souls against the rising tide of error and evil which threatened the very foundations of Christianity.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” All that was vital and fundamental was at stake. It was a question of earnestly contending for the faith itself.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is far worse than anything we have in Malachi. There it was a question of the law as we read,
“Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”
But in Jude it is not a question of forgetting the law, but of actually turning into lasciviousness the pure and precious grace of God, and denying the Lordship of Christ. Hence, therefore, instead of dwelling upon the salvation of God, the apostle seeks to fortify us against the wickedness and lawlessness of men.
“I will therefore,” he says, “put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath, reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
All this is most solemn; but we desire to present to the reader the charming picture of the Christian remnant given in the closing lines of this most searching scripture. As in Malachi we have, amid the helpless ruin of Judaism, a devoted band of Jewish worshipers who loved and feared the Lord and took sweet counsel together, so in the Epistle of Jude, amid the more appalling ruins of Christian profession, the Holy Ghost introduces to our notice a company whom He addresses as “Beloved.” These are “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” These he solemnly warns against the varied forms of error and evil which were already beginning to make their appearance, but have since assumed such awfully formidable proportions. To these He turns, with the most exquisite grace, and addresses the following exhortation.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Here, then, we have divine security against all the dark and terrible forms of apostasy “the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, the gainsaying of Core,” “the murmurers and complainers,” “the great swelling words,” “the raging waves,” “the wandering stars,” “having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.” The “beloved” are to “build themselves up on their most holy faith.”
Let the reader note this. There is not a syllable here about an order of men to succeed the apostles; not a word about gifted men of any sort. It is well to see this, and to bear it ever in mind. We hear a great deal of our lack of gift and power, of our not having pastors and teachers. How could we expect to have much gift and power? Do we deserve them? Alas! we have failed, and sinned, and come short. Let us own this, and cast ourselves upon the living God who never fails a trusting heart.
Look at Paul’s touching address to the elders of Ephesus, in Acts 20. To whom does he there commend us, in view of the passing away of apostolic ministry? Is there a word about successors to the apostles? Not one, unless indeed it be the “grievous wolves” of which he speaks, or those men who were to arise in the very bosom of the Church, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. What then is the resource of the faithful?
“I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
What a precious resource! To God Himself and the word of His grace. And hence it follows that, let our weakness be ever so great, we have God to look to and to lean upon. He never fails those who trust Him; and there is no limit whatsoever to the blessing which our souls may taste, if only we look to God, in humility of mind and childlike confidence.
Here lies the secret of all true blessedness and spiritual power humility of mind, and simple confidence. There must, on the one hand, be no assumption of power; and on the other, we must not, in the unbelief of our hearts, limit the goodness and faithfulness of our God. He can and does bestow gifts for the edification of His people. He would bestow much more if we were not so ready to manage for ourselves. If the Church would but look more to Christ her living Head and loving Lord, instead of to the arrangements of men, and the appliances of this world, she would have a very different tale to tell.
But if we, by our unbelieving plans, and our restless efforts to provide a machinery for ourselves, quench, and hinder, and grieve the Holy Ghost, need we marvel if we are left to prove the barrenness and emptiness, the desolation and confusion of all such things? Christ is sufficient: but He must be proved; He must be trusted; He must be allowed to act. The platform must be left perfectly clear for, the Holy Ghost to display thereon the preciousness, the fullness, the all-sufficiency of Christ.
But it is precisely in this very thing we so signally fail. We try to hide our weakness instead of owning it. We seek to cover our nakedness by a drapery of our own providing, instead of confiding simply and entirely in Christ for all we need. We grow weary of the attitude of humble patient waiting and we are in haste to put on an appearance of strength. This is our folly and our grievous loss. If we could only be induced to believe it, our real strength is to know our weakness, and cling to Christ, in artless faith, from day to day.
It is to this most excellent way that the apostle Jude exhorts the Christian remnant in his closing lines.
“Ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith.”
These words evidently set forth the responsibility of all true Christians to be found together instead of being divided and scattered. We are to help one another in love, according to the measure of grace bestowed, and the nature of the gift communicated.
It is a mutual thing— “building up yourselves.” It is not looking to an order of men, nor complaining of our lack of gifts; but simply doing each what we can to promote the common blessing and profit of all.
The reader will notice the four things which we are exhorted to do, namely, “Building” — “Praying”— “Keeping”— “Looking.” What blessed work is here! Yes, and it is work for all. There is not one true Christian on the face of the earth who cannot fulfill any or all of these branches of ministry; indeed every one is responsible so to do. We can build ourselves up on our most holy faith; we can pray in the Holy Ghost; we can keep ourselves in the love of God; and, while doing these things, we can look out for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But, it may be asked,
“Who are the ‘beloved?’ to whom does the term apply?” Our answer is,
“To whomsoever it may concern.”
Let us see to it that we are on the ground of those to whom the precious title applies. It is not assuming the title, but occupying the true moral ground. It is not empty profession, but real possession. It is not affecting the name, but being the thing.
Nor does the responsibility of the Christian remnant end here. It is riot merely of themselves they have to think. They are to cast a loving look and stretch forth a helping hand beyond the circumference of their own circle.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Who are the “some?” and who are the “others?” Is there not the same beautiful undefinedness about these as there is about the “beloved?” These latter will be at no loss to find out the former. There are precious souls scattered up and down amid the appalling ruins of Christendom, “some” of them to be looked upon with tender compassion, “others” to be saved with godly fear. lest the “beloved” should become involved in the defilement.
It is a fatal mistake to suppose that, in order to pluck people out of the fire, we must go into the fire ourselves. This would never do. The best way to deliver people from an evil position is to be thoroughly out of that position myself. How can I best pull a man out of a morass? Surely not by going into the morass, but by standing on firm ground and from thence lending him a helping hand. I cannot pull a man out of anything unless I am out myself.
If we want to help the people of God who are mixed up with the surrounding ruin, the first thing for ourselves is to be in thorough and decided separation; and the next thing is to have our hearts brimful and flowing over with tender and fervent love to all who bear the precious name of Jesus.
Here we must close; and in doing so we shall quote for the reader that blessed doxology with which the apostle sums up his solemn and weighty address.
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
We have a great deal about “falling” in this Epistle—Israel, falling-angels, falling-cities, falling; but, blessed be God, there is One who is able to keep us from falling, and it is to His holy keeping we are committed.
(Continued from page 264)

Surpassing Joy: Also: The Power of Prayer, Part 2

Christ, when He comes, will be the source of joy to all created intelligences, joy reflected and elevated by the blessing which will be spread over the whole creation; for the joy of witnessing the happiness of others, and also that which flows down in the freeing of creation from the servitude of corruption, is a divine part of our enjoyments; we partake of it with the God of all goodness.
As to us, it is in the “heavenly places” that we shall find our abode. The spiritual blessings in heavenly places which we enjoy even now in hope, and hindered in many ways, will be for us, in that day, things natural, our physical and normal state, so to speak; but the earth will not fail to feel the effects of it.
“Wicked spirits in heavenly places” (see margin Eph. 6:12), whose place will be then filled by Christ and His Church, will cease to be the continual and prolific causes of the misery of a world subjected to their power by sin. The Church... with Christ, reflecting the glory in which she participates, and enjoying the presence of Him who is at once to her its source and fullness, will beam upon the earth in blessing; and the nations of those who are saved will walk in her light.
“Help meet for Him” in His glory, full of thoughts of her beloved, and enjoying His love, she will be the worthy and happy instrument of His blessings; while, in her condition, she will be the living demonstration of their success. For God has done these things “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7.)
The earth will enjoy the fruits of the victory and of the faithfulness of the second Adam, and will be the magnificent testimony of it in the sight of principalities and powers; as it is at present, in the chaos made by sin, of the ruin and of the iniquity of the first Adam.
Without doubt, the crowning joy—the joy of joys—will be the communion of the Father and of the Bridegroom; but to be witness of His goodness, to have part in it, and to be instrument of it towards a fallen world, will certainly be to taste of divine joys, for “God is love.”
The Power of Prayer
II. Thus, from the gospel of Luke, and the Acts of the apostles, we have deduced seven striking examples of the importance, the prominence, and the mighty power of prayer. We shall now bring forward a number of encouragements and exhortations to engage in that holy exercise.
1. “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 18:19.
What an encouragement is here! Even two disciples—the smallest plurality, agreeing together to pray, can get anything they ask for! Amazing truth! Do we believe it? Do we avail ourselves of it?
2. “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask, in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matt. 21:22.
Here again, we have unlimited resources placed at the disposal of believing prayer. The simple prayer of faith can get us “all things.” Do we believe this? Do we avail ourselves of it?
3. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Luke 11:9, 10.
What ample encouragement is here! Do we believe it? Do we avail ourselves of it?
4. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name I will do it.” John 14:13, 14.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.” John 16:23, 24.
Could we desire aught beyond this? Faith, using the name of Jesus, is assured of getting “whatsoever” it asks. O, reader, do we believe this? Do we avail ourselves of it?
5. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Eph. 6:18.
The man who has on “the whole armor of God” will be able to pray for all saints. Such a one will not be occupied so much about himself as about others. He will think about the people of God and the work of God.
6. “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6, 7.
Here, one’s own need and difficulty are fully provided for. Believing prayer is the unfailing resource, in everything.
7. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” Col. 4:2, 3.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all have not faith.” 2 Thess. 3:1, 2.
In these quotations, the progress of the gospel is more especially pressed upon the faithful, as a proper subject of earnest prayer and intercession.
Having, thus, placed before the reader so many examples of the importance, the prominence, and the power of prayer; and also having furnished him with so many encouragements and exhortations to engage in this most hallowed exercise, we shall, now, close with a precious clause from the Epistle of James, namely, “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”
O God! is any hour so sweet,
From blush of morn to evening star,
As that which calls me to Thy feet—
The hour of prayer.
Blest is that tranquil hour of morn,
And blest that hour of solemn eve,
When, on the wings of faith up-borne,
The world I leave.
For then a day-spring shines on me,
Brighter than morn’s ethereal glow;
And richer dews descend from Thee
Than earth can know.
Lord, till I reach that blissful shore,
No privilege so dear shall be,
As thus my inmost soul to pour
In prayer to Thee.
(Continued from page 272)

Pray for One Another

James 5:16
There is nothing that makes us love any one so much as praying for him; and when you can do this sincerely for any one, you have fitted your soul for the performance of everything that is kind and civil toward him.... Be daily on your knees in a solemn, deliberate performance of this devotion, praying for others in such form, with such length, importunity and earnestness as you use for yourself; and you will find all little, ill-natured passions die away, and your heart grow great and generous.

Take the Brake off

A train was going through a solitary part of the country when one of the cylinders of the engine broke.
The engineer got down, and, with the materials he had at hand, began to mend it. To do this he had to get under the engine; so, to insure that it should not move while he was there, he put on the brake.
His task completed, he took his place on the engine, turned on the steam, and expected it would move as before. It remained motionless. He got down, overhauled his work, and tried again, putting on more steam. Still no progress.
“Have you taken off the brake?” asked a gentleman standing near.
Ah! there was the hindrance, the brake was still on. The driver removed it, and the engine steamed forward directly.
Thus it often is with young Christians. They have life; they are saved; they have the Holy Spirit within them, as power, but there is no progress, because the brake is on. Something here hinders them; something to which their hearts are clinging, and which they will not give up.
Young Christians, take away the brake, give up what hinders. Then, and not till then, will you truly advance in your Christian course, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” Heb. 12:1, 2.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be, ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 2:2-3.

Do All to the Glory of God

1 Cor. 10:31
For some time it has been before me to write a few words to young Christians at home. Many young people, and I suppose older ones, too, grow impatient at the daily round of home duties. They seem so small and tiresome. In them there seems no opportunity for any great work for the Lord.
In reality, however, there are great possibilities in such a situation. Even in this tiresome routine, we can be a testimony for Christ, and our walk a faithful one. Perhaps there are younger brothers and sisters watching us. Is it pleasing to the Lord to let them see that we are dissatisfied? Is that a good testimony? The Lord Jesus knows our daily cares, and how we tire of the daily round. Nothing is too small for His eye. Does He not see the sparrow that falls to the ground, and are not the very hairs of our head numbered? (Matt. 10:29, 30). Since He knows all these things, and has placed us just where we are, let us be patient and do “heartily, as to the Lord,” (Col. 3:23), each task that is given us.
Think too, of all the dangers from which we are sheltered at home, though often we do not realize it. We may think that we would he able to withstand the temptations of the world, but we would find it a hard fight, and one which we could certainly not fight in our own strength.
It may be that in your life there is a preparation for some future work which without this training you could not do. I read once, an interesting article speaking of where we are “planted.” The Lord knows the right amount of soil, the right amount of shade, sun, wind, etc. He will not leave us in a place unsuited to our growth, but as we go on with Him, He will open up the path which He sees best.
“I will bring the blind by a way that they know not.” Isa. 42:16.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” Luke 16:10.
We may not be called upon to go forth as missionaries, but surely there is work close at hand to do for the Lord. Each one has his own place to fill and cannot fill another’s.
So “let us not be weary in well doing, for in due time we shall reap if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9.
“Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31.
“Do not wait until some deed of greatness you
may do
Do not wait to shed your light afar.
In the SIMPLE paths of duty to your Lord
be true—
Brighten the corner where you are.”
Is it not a beautiful and cheering thought that one can wash dishes for the Lord, or cut grass, or shovel snow to His glory; A gentleman was once asked.
“Would you not recommend young Christians to do something for the Master?”
“No, I would not,” was the reply.
“Then what would you do?”
“I would recommend them to do ALL things for the Master.”
Surely this should be so, whatever our position. The Lord’s coming is near and He would have us watching and waiting. If we are living in the power of this truth, it will be a joy to serve Him and do all, the little things as well as the great, to His glory.
May we each one be more faithful to Him for whom we wait.
“Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Col. 3:17.
“Even Christ pleased not Himself.” Rom. 15:3.

Correspondence: Praying; Son of Joseph; Collection; Saving; O.T. Saints in Res.

Question: What should be our bodily attitude during prayer?
Answer: We would all readily say that it is not a question of bodily attitude in prayer, but rather of the state of the heart the true attitude of the soul. At the same time, we must confess we like to see people kneel down, when they can. We say “when they can,” because, in many cases, it is utterly impossible when people are so packed together as to be hardly able to move. There is no attitude which so aptly expresses prostration of soul as kneeling. It looks lazy and irreverent to see people always sitting during prayer. But we must not judge one another in this matter. Many things have to be taken into account. The Lord looks upon the heart. May He ever find our hearts in the right attitude before Him! This is the grand point.
Question: Was the Lord Jesus the son of Joseph?
Answer: It was essentially necessary that our blessed Lord should he legally, the son of Joseph; virtually, the son of Mary; really, the son of God; and all three meet in Matt. 1:18, in such a way as to evoke from our souls accents of wonder, love, and praise. We can only exclaim, as we read such a record, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” If our Lord were not legally the son of Joseph, He could not claim the throne of David. If He were really his son, He could claim nothing at all.
Question: Should there be a collection after the breaking of bread on Lord’s Day?
Answer: It simplifies the matter of the collection immensely to bear in mind that it is for the Lord that He hath need of it, whether it be to pay for a room for His people to meet in; or for His poor; or for His workmen. It is the Lord’s collection. Marvelous grace on His part, to permit us to be co-workers under Him! May we be exercised about this.
Question: Should a Christian lay by his means?
Answer: It must be entirely a question of individual faith. The Word is plain, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” If any one says you ought to lay up, you must settle the matter with the Lord Christ. Eph. 4:28 teaches us that the object for which a man is to work with his hands is, not to lay up, but that he may have to give to him that needeth. It is a fine question to put to the heart, namely, which would you rather have, a hoard of money, or the living God? A genuine faith will not hesitate long about giving an answer.
Question: Will the Old Testament saints have part in the first resurrection?
Answer: Most assuredly, all the saints, from the days of Adam downward, shall have part in the first resurrection. We believe that both the O. T. saints and the Church are seen in Rev. 4 and 5, under the figure of the twenty-four elders. They are not distinguished, however, until the close of the book when the elders disappear, and the Church is seen as “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” It will help you immensely in your study of the book of Revelation, to see the transitional character of chapters 4 and 5. They show us, most distinctly, where the Church will be during the opening of the seals, the sounding of the trumpets, and the pouring out of the vials. There is no mention of the Church on the earth, after chapter 3. We have a numbered company of Jews, and a countless multitude of Gentiles saved, in chapter 7. But the very fact of their being distinguished as Jews and Gentiles proves that they do not belong to the Church at all, for in this latter, as every intelligent Christian knows, all such distinctions vanish.

A Banker's Experience

An evangelist was once invited to deliver an address to young men in one of the churches. Seeing the few men in the room when the hour of service arrived, he said,
“You have invited me here to speak to young men. This was kind on your part, but you see there are not many young men here; we will go on with the exercises, and after we are through here, we will go where the young men are.”
He then spoke to the people gathered in the church, and at the close of the service invited all who would to join him in holding a meeting on the public square. It was a beautiful evening and many, including people from the other churches, were on the streets. By the time they had sung a few gospel hymns a large crowd of young men and others had gathered. The evangelist quoted with a loud strong voice the verse which embodies the whole gospel of Jesus Christ,
“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.
For some reason, not known to him at the time, he was led to repeat his text often; and out over the square in the stillness of the summer evening, rang the words
“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.
The evangelist’s voice sounded up an incline into a resident part of the city as if spoken into a trumpet. A banker sitting on his porch heard the verse given, as he supposed out of the sky,
“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.
The banker was startled, but concluding it was his imagination, he had resumed his quiet again when the same voice, and the same words were repeated. Although he was a most exemplary man in all outward things, and respected by the community, he was not a Christian. The repetition of these words impressed him: the Holy Spirit used them to pierce his heart.
“The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.” Eph. 6:17.
He went into the house and retired to his room, but had a restless night.
At the breakfast table the next morning the banker related to his family the experience of hearing a voice out of the sky speaking to him about God and eternal life. He spoke of the troublesome night, and stated that he was still in a disturbed condition of mind. His son explained how the evangelist had spoken the words down at the square; and a few hours later he was sent to find the evangelist, if still in the city, and to bid him visit his father at the bank, for God had fastened the words on the banker’s mind and heart, and he was in deep distress.
The evangelist was found, and taking his Bible with him, he was escorted to the bank and ushered into the banker’s private office. The following conversation then took place:
B. “Are you the man that spoke on the square last night, and said something about ‘God’ and ‘eternal life’?”
E. “Yes, sir.”
B. “As I sat on my porch last night, I heard what I supposed to be a voice out of the sky. It proves to have been your voice, but that does not matter. I have passed a restless night, and am now in great distress of mind. My life has been an upright one as men see it; my business is honorably conducted; but I am not a Christian. I now want you to point out to me the steps necessary for me to secure peace of mind, and eternal life. Will you do this?”
E. “With pleasure, sir. Shall we go apart to some private room?”
B. “That is not necessary. We are as quiet here as anywhere, and will not be interrupted.”
E. “God’s Word makes very plain and very simple the conditions of salvation. It is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to confess Him as our Lord and Master. I will open my Bible and let you read for yourself.” And the banker 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:9, 10.
E. “Now, my friend, you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and that through His work on the cross you may have your sins forgiven?”
B. “Yes, sir.”
E. “Now it remains for you to accept Jesus as your Savior, and to confess Him as your Lord and Master. Are you willing to do this?”
B. “I am.”
E. “I wish we were where we could kneel and pray.”
B. “Let us do so right here.”
Together they knelt and after a few words by the evangelist, thanking God for His goodness in leading this man to see the error of his ways, the banker opened his lips in humble confession of his sin in the neglect of God’s salvation. He then and there accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and to be the Master of his life. The Holy Spirit sealed with His testimony the efficacy of the blood of Christ. The banker was saved, and in tears of joy he arose thanking God for His great goodness in sending His servant with His message.
They stepped out into the bank, where the banker rapped upon the counter. Securing the attention of all in the bank, he stated the experience he had passed through from the previous night until he had found peace a few minutes before. He said that although his life before them had been one of rectitude, he had lived in neglect of God’s salvation, but from that time forth Jesus was to be His Master. Having said that, he allowed them to proceed with their business.
Reader, you may or may not be a banker; but if you are unsaved, the same message is adapted to you, and the use of the same means will bring to you the same salvation. God is no respecter of persons.

There Shall Be One Flock and One Shepherd”

“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.”
John 10 has especial instruction for us at this moment.
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 (secondly), 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 any one 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 then the “voice of a stranger.”
No animal more foolish, as well as more feeble, it has been said, than the sheep. And thus thy 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?
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psa. 23:1, 2.

Because of His Importunity

Wilder, Father, grows the tempest!
Darker still, the night comes on;
Every earthly hope has vanished!
Every earthly joy has gone.
I was growing faint and weary,
Watching, waiting for the day
To rise, Within a loved one,
‘Neath Thy Spirit’s quick’ning ray.
But the clouds were growing darker,
Hope had well nigh left my soul;
For my prayers were still unanswered,
And my loved one not “made whole.”
Then a voice came through the darkness,
Through the gathering shades of night;
“Because of his importunity,”
The Father rose at night.
Faith may be but weak and wav’ring,
Hope may have well-nigh fled;
Still, “Ask and it shall be given you,”
Were the words that Jesus said.
Still watch, still wait, still hope, still pray,
And never slack thy grasp,
Until the Father pours thee down
The blessing thou hast asked.
O! blessed Lord, it was Thy voice
Came through the thick’ning gloom
And strewed those words of comfort o’er
The pathway to the tomb!
‘Twas Thou did’st bid me watch and wait,
TO catch Thy smile of love—
And bid me “pray and not to faint,”
But fix my eyes above.
And now my heart is cheered—refreshed—
And prayers again I raise;
In full assurance, in Thy time,
Thou’lt turn my prayer to praise.
“Because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” Luke 2:8.
“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1.

Earth's Curse

Ah! that “crown of thorns” on the head of Jesus. How dreadfully presumptious of Satan to incite His enemies to bruise His blessed head with thorns.
The first word of God’s curse on the earth because of sin is “thorns,” and the very first thing that man did when he got God’s beloved Son into his hands was to crown Him with thorns. Yet how great His grace: He took all the curse, from the first fruit, earth’s thorns, down to the last failure of the last saint upon the earth.
What a Savior Jesus is! The more we look at His fullness and the riches of His grace, the more do we long to look more into it. He is like a diamond with countless prisms, on all sides loveliness, beauty, and glory.

The Blesser, and the Blessing

A young Christian once said to me,
“When my heart is inclined to grow cold, I think of what I am saved from. Through the wondrous love of God, I am saved from hell!” Another said,
“I love to think of what I am saved for to be near Christ, and like Him. When I am cast down in my soul, I seek to dwell upon what I am brought to, through the grace of God.”
Of which do you think the most, dear young friend, the wrath to come from which you have been delivered; or the blessings which are yours as a saved one?
Let me suppose a kind and rich man walking through the streets of a city upon a dark and cheerless night. It is bitterly cold, and he wraps his ample overcoat about him, as he hurries to the brightness and warmth of his gladsome home. Yes, his is a joyous home; it is not only wealthy, but the riches of contentment and peace are there, and even the humblest among his many servants is satisfied.
As the rich man hastens on, his eye lights on a kind of bundle in a dark corner of the street—he approaches it, asking himself, What can it be? Ah! it is a poor ragged little child, starving and freezing in the pitiless night. Touched with compassion, the good man brings the little wanderer to his house, and saves him from the death he was so near. But more, such is the goodness and love of the man’s heart towards the child, he adopts him into his own family as a son, and bids the boy call him father.
Now tell me, dear young reader, what will the boy’s heart be occupied with most? Will it be the street, the rags, the misery from which he was saved? Surely he will never forget these never. But he will be chiefly occupied with his father, his house, its wealth, its treasures, its glories. And he will study his adopted father’s character, and seek to be like him, and to walk worthy of the high and noble calling wherewith he is called.
This is the kind of spirit we so much need, and you will find that there is a great deal more said in God’s Word about what we are saved for, than what we are saved from. I think some Christians find it easier to think of the misery from which God has rescued them, than of the blessedness which He has bestowed upon them. Perhaps they have not yet been through all the rooms of the house. Maybe they are not quite at home in their new place; possibly they are timid, and hardly bold enough in God’s love to say, “Abba, Father.”
“But if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,” and “because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father!” (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:6.)
“Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ,” what a word is this! Can you write down any of these spiritual blessings with which you are blessed?
“All (or every) spiritual blessings,” not three or four; no, not ten or twenty, but all. Then how many can you count up? Notice, this text does not speak of what we are saved from at all. It does not describe the pitiless street, but draws out the heart to the glorious house, and the Father there.
You will find it a happy and profitable occupation to seek to write down some of the blessings which the first chapter of Ephesians describes, and the more you think about them, the brighter you will grow.
The once ragged boy, by continual heart and mind occupation with the rich man and his home, loses all traces of the dirt and manners of the street whence he came, and grows like his father. Thus let us be occupied with what God has done for us, and we shall find such wealth and gladness in His Word, that the world will be only like the dirt and the street to us. A growing Christian has his face turned toward heaven, and shines with its light.
Stephen looked up steadfastly, and said “I see Jesus,” and all who looked upon Stephen saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Fix your eye of faith upon Christ, the One through whom we have received “every spiritual blessing;” the One who loved us and gave Himself for us; the One who washed us from our sins in His own precious blood; the One who is risen and now sits at the right hand of God for us; the One who is soon coming to take us to be with Himself forever—yes, let us be occupied with Him and our hearts will rejoice, and we shall desire to please Him in all our ways.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Col. 3:1.

The Church As Seen in the Revelation

The Revelation is preeminently a book of judgment—a governmental, judicial book, at least from chapter 1 to 20. Hence even the Church is presented as under judgment. We do not see the Church in chapter 2 and 3 as the body or the bride of Christ; but as a responsible witness on the earth, whose condition is being carefully examined and rigidly judged by Him who walks among the candlesticks.
It would not, therefore, comport with the character or object of this book to introduce, directly, the rapture of the Church. It shows us the Church on the earth, in the place of responsibility. This it gives us, in chapters 2 and 3, under the head of “the things that are.” But from that to chapter 19 there is not a single syllable about the Church on earth. The plain fact is, the Church will not be on earth during that solemn period. She will be with her Head and Lord, in the divine retirement of the Father’s house. The redeemed are seen in heaven, under the title of the 24 elders, in chapters 4 and 5. There, blessed be God, they will be, while the seals are being opened, the trumpets sounded, and the vials poured out.
To think of the Church as being on the earth, from Rev. chapters 6-18—to place her amid the apocalyptic judgments—to pass her (or any of her members) through “the great tribulation”—to subject her to “the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”— would be to falsify her position, to rob her of her chartered privileges, and to contradict the clear and positive promise of her Lord.
No, no, beloved Christian reader; let no man deceive you, by any means. The Church is seen on earth in Rev. 2 and 3. She is seen in heaven, together with the Old Testament saints, in chapters 4 and 5. We are not told, in the Revelation, how she gets there; the coming of Christ for His people is not mentioned in the book of Revelation, but we see her there, in high communion and holy worship; and then, in chapter 19 the rider on the white horse comes forth, with His saints, to execute judgment upon the beast and the false prophet—to put down every enemy and every evil, and to reign over the whole earth for the blissful period of a thousand years.

Lacked Ye Anything?

And He said unto them, When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. Luke 22, 35.
It seems to me that our Lord would draw us aside at the close of each day and ask us this same question, Have ye lacked anything today? And what can we answer? Can we tell Him that He has disappointed us, and not cared for us with the tender care of perfect love? No, we must give the disciples’ answer, Nothing.
If we have had disappointments it is because we sought for some satisfaction outside His will, and such disappointments are blessings.

The True Remedy for a Bad State of Soul

Occupation with our state of soul will never bring us one whit nearer the Lord; it will only distress, enfeeble, and enslave our souls.
Occupation with Christ will produce every moment increasing conformity to His image.
Therefore the true remedy for a bad state is Christ so completely filling our vision (Christ in what He is, and in what He has done) that self cannot be seen in the light of His glory.
State of soul is not everything; but Christ is everything; and in proportion as we learn this lesson will our state meet His mind.


Ephesians 5:33
“Nevertheless” is a very important word, as indicating what we are all so prone to forget, that there are two sides to every question, and, in particular, to the great question before the apostle’s mind, in this passage. He is speaking of the subject of marriage, and of the relative duties of husband and wife, and he uses as an illustration, “The great mystery of Christ and the Church.”
Now, there are two sides to this subject. There is a heavenly side, and there is an earthly side. We want them both. We cannot dispense with either; and the Holy Ghost has, in His infinite wisdom, bound them indissolubly together by the little word “nevertheless;” and, may we not say, what God has joined together let not man put asunder? It is quite true—blessedly true—that the Church’s relation to Christ is heavenly: that the Church is called to know, rejoice in, feed upon, walk with, follow, and be conformed to a heavenly Christ.
All this is what we may well call vital and fundamental truth, which cannot, for a moment, be given up or lost sight of, without giving up, so far, the heavenly side of Christianity.
But are we not in danger of forgetting the practical application of all this to our present walk, on earth, amid the stern realities of actual life, day by day? Are not husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, earthly relationships? Unquestionably. True it is they are formed upon a heavenly model, and to be carried out after a heavenly pattern, as they also rest upon a heavenly base.
But still they are relationships in nature, formed on the earth, and to be carried out in daily life. There will be no such relationships in heaven. They do not belong to the resurrection-state. They belong to nature, to earth, to our time-condition, and we are called to walk in them as Christian men, women, and children, and to glorify God by our spirit and temper and manner, our whole deportment therein, from hour to hour, and day to day.
Thus, for example, of what use is it for a man to traffic in lofty theories respecting the heavenly relationship of Christ and the Church, while he fails, every day of his life in his earthly relationship as a husband? His wife is nourished, cherished, sustained and ministered to according to the heavenly model of Christ and His Church.
No doubt, the same pointed question may be asked in reference to the wife, and to all the sacred relationships of our earthly and natural existence, for “there are two sides to every question.”
Hence the very great importance of the apostle’s “nevertheless.” We may depend upon it, it has a wide application. It is most evident that the Holy Spirit anticipated the need of such a qualifying, modifying, regulating clause, when, having dwelt at length upon the heavenly side of the subject of marriage, He adds,
“Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Christian reader, let us remember the two sides. Let us deeply ponder the inspired “Nevertheless.” We may rest assured there is a need of it. There is the most urgent need of the practical application of divine and heavenly truth to our natural relationships and earthly ways. We have to remember that God recognizes nature, else why have we marriage? Flesh is not recognized, but nature is; and even admitted as a teacher (1 Cor. 11:14).
We are not yet actually in heaven. We are there, thank God, as to our standing, there in spirit, there in principle, there by faith. Our life, our portion, our hope, our home is there, because Christ is there.
But we are here on this earth, called to represent Christ in this world, as He represents us in heaven. God views us as men, women, and children, called to tread the sand of the desert, and to meet the positive realities of daily life. Life is a reality—an actual bona fide practical reality; and our God has provided for us, in view of this fact, by the priestly ministry of Christ, on high; and by the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of holy. Scripture here below. We must have what is real to meet what is real.
We are not called, thank God, to be occupied with visionary notions, with empty theories, with a powerless sentimentality, nor even with one-sided truth. No; we are called to be real, genuine, sound, practical Christian, men, women, and children. We are called to display, in our daily history here on this earth, the practical results of that which we know and enjoy by faith in heaven. In one word, we must never forget that when the very highest truths are being unfolded before us, there is a healthful and holy application of these truths indicated by the inspired “Nevertheless.”

Be Careful for Nothing

(Philippians 4:6)
If this word stood alone it might seem impossible to carry it out, for there is so much to cause care in everybody’s path. Among the many who will read these lines there will be some whose lives are darkened by heavy clouds—a sick husband, a dying wife, a stricken child, slender resources that pinch at every turn, want of work, old age creeping on with its inevitable infirmities.
Taking a wider survey, there are the sins and sorrows of the Church, the spread of deadly doctrines, the poverty of conversions, the unrest in the world, perplexity of nations, the sea and the waves roaring. With all these before our eyes, it seems almost incredible that a voice should be heard bidding us in quiet, tender, assuring accents to be careful about nothing. But so it is.
Who is it that bids us by the pen of the apostle in nothing to be anxious? It is God—our Father—without whom not a sparrow falls to the ground, who has numbered the very hairs of our head, who sees and knows everything—it is He who bids us to be careful about nothing. It is He,—the One who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, from whose love nothing in heaven or earth shall ever separate us, it is He who calls upon us to be careful about nothing. Can this be His call? Yes, indeed it is. And that word “nothing” takes everything in. Whatever may come, we are enjoined in nothing to be careful.
We may feel things deeply. It is right that we should. The Christian is no stoic, unmoved by joy or grief. Far from that: it is his privilege to rejoice with those that rejoice, and weep with those who weep. But our God would have us without carefulness. Our shoulders are not broad enough to bear the burdens of life. He therefore bids us cast them all upon Him, and in nothing to be anxious.
What then? He is near to us. His ear is open, His heart is tender, His hand is strong. He invites our confidence.
“Come to Me,” He says, “tell Me everything, pour out your heart to Me and unbosom all your griefs.”
Nearer, dearer than the dearest earthly friend is this One whose ear is never closed, and whose arm can bring salvation. We tell Him all—our cares, our sorrows, our fears, our disappointments, our blighted hopes, and thwarted plans. We keep nothing back, our hearts empty themselves out before Him. And there we rest, knowing that all things are possible with Him. And so
“We leave it to Himself
To choose and to command.”
What a comfort to have One so accessible, at whose door we cannot knock too often, who is never wearied with our frequent calls. And we trust Him. We place ourselves, and everything that concerns us in His hands and leave them there. He knows the way we take, and we do know, too,
“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28.
To us there is much that is inexplicable—much that we would have ordered otherwise, had the arrangement of things been left to our discretion. But God is infinitely wise. He makes no mistakes, and though everything seems to take its course, yet it is not really so. His eye is upon all, nor is anything hid from Him.
Strong, then in the sense of His love, we go on our way, guarded by the peace which passeth all understanding. Strength for today He gives, and strength for the morrow shall be ours when the morrow comes. And be the way rough or smooth, it leads towards HOME.
“Lord, ‘tis enough, we ask no more,
Thy grace around us pours,
Its rich and unexhausted store,
And all its joy is ours.”

"His Own"

“His own,” how sweet the portion
His people thence can claim;
Though in the world, not of it,
Their’s is no earthly name.
“His own,” how loved and tended,
How cared for, shepherded;
How called and sealed and folded,
How tenderly they’re led!
“His own,” they long to see Thee,
“Chief Shepherd” of the sheep,
For whom the crown of glory,
Thy ceaseless love doth keep;
‘Tis not the crown they watch for,
“His own” the Lord will claim,
The sharers of His glory,
They’ll praise His matchless Name.

Extract: God for You

O, what blessing, what wondrous blessing, is brought home to the poor, aching, harassed, anxious soul, when it is given to see that that
God whom it despised, that Jesus whom it crucified, that Spirit whom it resisted, are for it! O, what gladness to receive daily proofs that it is one upon whom God is looking in love, in pity, and that He is for it! as the Lord, speaking of the children of Israel, says:
“I have surely seen the affliction of My people... and am come down to deliver them!” Ex. 3:7, 8
O, what wondrous extent of love! nor height nor depth can reach or fathom it!

Correspondence: Atonement/Punishment; Nations B.C.; Church in O.T.; Spirits

Question: What would you say of a teacher who claims to believe in the atonement, but denies eternal punishment?
Answer: Eternal punishment is clearly the truth revealed to us in Scripture. Awful as it is, the wrath of God ABIDETH on the unbeliever. (Matt. 25:46; John 3:36.) If a teacher denies this, then he believes nothing, because God says it is so. He neither really believes the atonement, as Scripture speaks of it, nor anything else. He may find when too late that the punishment in the lake of fire is not for a time, or temporal, but eternal. Scripture teaches that from this there is no escape. Give up the plain teaching of Scripture, and all is darkness.
There is indeed nothing vague as to the atonement. It was Christ, the holy One, forsaken of God, suffering the wrath of God due to us. Nothing can be plainer than Isa. 53 and abounding texts in the New Testament. God’s righteousness is revealed in it. And there is no other ground by which God can be righteous in justifying the ungodly.
On no account should the Christian have fellowship with the infidel who denies the statements of the Word of God as to eternal punishment.
“What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” 2 Cor. 6:15.
Question: What knowledge had the nations who lived before Christ of sin and of judgment; and how will they stand in the day of judgment?
Answer: The oldest book now in existence, the book of Job, throws great light on that question. It is evident, that in the earliest ages, God communicated to men the clearest knowledge of the atonement. (See chap. 33:23-33.) Notice the marginal reading. Yes, in the oldest book known, God declares that He has found a Ransom, or Atonement, so that a man could say then, if He believed God, “I have sinned;” and “He hath delivered my soul from going down to the pit.” Blessed is that man even now who can so speak. Was not this truth known to Abel, and rejected by Cain? It is the truth most disliked and rejected, to this day for near 6000 years. Abraham and his spiritual seed, that is, all believers, believed God; and it, faith, was reckoned to them for righteousness, perhaps “the promise” was not dim to them. (See Heb. 11.) Surely all pointed forward to the death and resurrection of Christ.
Question: Is the Church mentioned in the Old Testament?
Answer: The Church is not spoken of in the Old Testament. It was the mystery kept hid, as stated in Eph. 3. The Song of Solomon may be used in illustration and meditation. But you will notice it never rises up to the heavenly position of the Church, the bride of the Lamb. It is more expressive of the yearnings of the Jewish remnant immediately before the coming of the Lord. Still Scripture is manifold, and no doubt the Spirit may use, in rich blessing to the Christian, such portions as speak of His having brought us into His banqueting house, and of His banner over us being love. But Christ is precious everywhere in the Word of God, is He not? The Book of Ruth may be used in a similar way. The call of Rebecca. The creation of Eve. But no one could have seen the Church in these until it was revealed, especially to Paul. Now the storms of darkness and tempest, like the destroying blizzard, are sweeping over the world. The Lord keep us holding fast the foundation truths of the Word of God.
Question: Where are the spirits of those who have died?
Answer: There are four passages of holy Scripture which furnish a distinct and definite answer to your question: namely first,
“Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43. This is as clear as it is precious: “With Me in paradise.” That is where the spirit is during the intermediate state. Secondly, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts 7:59. Here we learn that the spirit will be in the keeping of Jesus during the intermediate state. Safe and blessed place! With Jesus, and kept by Jesus. How precious! Thirdly,
“Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5:8. And fourthly,
“To depart and to be with Christ which is far better.” Phil. 1:23.
If it be a question respecting those who die in their sins, Luke 16:22, 23 gives the solemn answer, in our Lord’s own words,
“The rich man died and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” How awful! How truly appalling! What a contrast between the two states! O! dear friend, may we be solemnly in earnest in dealing with souls