Young Christian: Volume 25, 1935

Table of Contents

1. From Darkness to Light
2. A Voice for the New Year
3. Fragment: Only Anxious About Three Things
4. What Would We Ask for?
5. Story of a Conversion: Part 2
6. Wasting Half Hours
7. Waiting for Christ
8. "The Day of Apostasy"
9. "The Wind and the Sea Obey Him"
10. Heavenly Things
11. Choosing and Keeping
12. Extract: Jesus Equally God
13. Correspondence: 2 Tim. 1:6; Elders; God More Interested in One vs. Another?
14. The Name of Jesus
15. Not of the World: Part 1
16. "That I May Win Christ"
17. All You Need
18. Prayer
19. That Blessed Hope
20. "A Soft Answer Turneth Away Wrath"
21. "Only" and "Early"
22. The Shadow of the Apple Tree
23. Witnesses to Christ
24. Shiloh
25. Fragment: A Cheerful Giver and Worker
26. Correspondence: 1 Cor. 8:10-11; Romans 6:16
27. My Mother's Bible
28. Do I?
29. Not of the World: Part 2
30. Life More Abundantly
31. "Seek Ye First"
32. "I Cannot Bear It"
33. Fragment: The Secret of Peace
34. Worship
35. The Sunday School Teacher's Aim
36. "A Word Fitly Spoken"
37. "The Wrong World First"
38. Wonderful!
39. Correspondence: Laodicea; Zech. 13:6; Peace; Christendom; Grace; Heb. 12:24
40. The Singing Cobbler
41. What Think Ye of Christ?
42. Without Price
43. "Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me"
44. Plow Deep
45. His Politics
46. Written Ministry
47. Usefulness
48. "The Father of Mercies"
49. The Grace of Giving
50. Correspondence: In Eternity; Isa. 65:20; Eph. 4:26; Pleasing Christ; Gen. 9:6
51. Only a Word in the Train
52. What Would He Say?
53. Meditations on the Beatitudes: Introduction
54. Faith and Patience
55. "Bought With a Price"
56. "Do You Find You are Better?"
57. A Comforting Message
58. He Is Faithful
59. Learn to Count
60. Resting on the Finished Work
61. Correspondence: Mark 8:24; Matt. 27:46; Satan's Heavenly Access; More Like Christ
62. Two Fruits From One Grain
63. Where Will You Sing?
64. "Let Us Not Be Weary"
65. Fragment: Our Ways and Habits
66. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The First Beatitude
67. Be Content
68. Then and Now
69. Moment by Moment
70. Forgiveness
71. Correspondence: Rev. 7:14; Follow Christ; Luke 13:24; Mat. 23:9 & Eph. 6:2; Mat. 18:13
72. Story of a Tract
73. Fragment: Eye, Hand, and Heart
74. "Thou Art the Christ, the Son of the Living God"
75. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Second Beatitude
76. The Judgment Seat of Christ
77. "Rejoice Evermore"
78. Doing a Great Work
79. Doing God Service
80. Be Still and Know
81. Correspondence: Antichrist; Mat. 11:12; Infirmities in Christ?; Mat. 5:22
82. Only Believe
83. "Seeing These Things are So"
84. Once
85. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Third Beatitude, Part 1
86. When the Doors Are Shut
87. Sitting at Jesus' Feet
88. Assembling Ourselves Together
89. "Surely I Come Quickly"
90. Fragment: God is Our Father
91. Sunshine
92. Fragment: Your Burden
93. Prayer
94. Correspondence: 1 John 3:9; Josh. 1:8 & John 14:21, 23; "My Yoke" in Mat. 11
95. Peace With God
96. Eternity
97. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Third Beatitude, Part 2
98. He Is With Me
99. Discouragement
100. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith
101. The Resurrection
102. Fragment: Happy and Comfortable in the World
103. The Way of the Love of Jesus
104. The Wise and Foolish Virgins
105. Fellowship
106. Correspondence: After the Rapture; Truly Saved; Gospel Preaching
107. Ready for the Lord's Coming
108. Tested and Found True
109. Answered Prayers
110. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fourth Beatitude, Part 1
111. All Things Work Together for Good to Them That Love God”
112. "Poor and Afflicted;" Lord, We're Thine
113. Take Courage
114. "In My Name"
115. We Are Members One of Another
116. Trophimus
117. Correspondence: Fallen Angels; Head Coverings; Ezekiel's Temple; Day of Grace. . .
118. A New Master
119. The Peace of God
120. "Arise, He Calleth Thee"
121. Inspiration of the Scriptures
122. Christian Love
123. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fourth Beatitude, Part 2
124. Surely I Come Quickly
125. The Broken Current
126. Correspondence: 1 Cor. 9:27; 1 John 3:9; Lev. 7:13; 2 Cor. 2:14-16; Luke 9:26; 2 Tim. 2:12
127. The Security of Christ's Sheep and Lambs
128. Extract: Think of the Angels
129. At the Throne of Grace
130. Jesus Christ the Same Yesterday, and Today, and Forever”
131. Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fifth Beatitude, Part 1
132. The Christian's Company
133. "Philadelphia"
134. The Approbation of the Lord
135. Rejoicing, Enduring, Persevering
136. Correspondence: Prayer w/o Faith; Jonah; O.T. Saints; Christian Marry Unbeliever?

From Darkness to Light

An empty form of religion, without any knowledge of the truth of God, was what marked the early days of J.’s life. He had read the Bible, and heard it read from the pulpit, but it had made no impression on his mind, and he was strangely ignorant of the message it contained.
Time passed and J. removed far from the scene of his youth, and in the stress of a busy life he thought little of eternal things. But the time came when he began to feel a need in his soul. He knew he was unprepared to meet God, and the thought of eternity was a load upon his mind.
Though his life before the world was blameless, he knew himself to be a sinner before God, but he knew not what to do. He used often to go to a secluded spot on the farm to pray. He had a vague feeling that in God was his help, but his prayers brought little relief.
The recollection of his early religious profession seemed to offer no clue, to afford no solution to his problem. He was as one groping in the dark, not knowing which way to turn. He made frequent resolutions to lead a better life, to renew his efforts at good works, and keeping of the commandments, thinking that these things would make him more pleasing to God.
One day, as he was at work, a long-forgotten verse of Scripture came to his mind:
“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
This was indeed a heavy blow. He saw at once that his efforts were utterly vain, and the darkness of despair settled down upon him. He told his wife that according to that verse, there was no help for them, they were lost!
All this time God had His eye upon J., and He sent help from an unexpected quarter. That evening as he sat by the well, Mr. K., a neighbor, came to him and said:
“I wish you would go with me to the school house this evening, to hear an evangelist. I don’t know who he is, but I have a curiosity to hear him.”
J. did not wish to go, but to please a good neighbor, he consented.
At the meeting they heard the simple story of the cross:
“How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Cor. 15:3, 4). And: “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Thus they heard a message of salvation, full and free, offered to all, offered to sinners, just as they were.
J. sat through the preaching, lost to all about him. O, how readily—how eagerly did his soul drink in that message! How timely in his sore distress! How completely it met his need! The burden under which he had groaned for so long, fell away from him, and a feeling of wonder and thankfulness took its place!
As the two men turned their steps homeward, the neighbor sought by every argument to dissuade J. He told him not to be carried away by what he had heard—that there was nothing to it—but he was far too engrossed with what he had heard to heed what he was saying. He only said over and over:
“I know it is true, and I believe it with all my heart!”
From that hour, peace and joy took possession of J.’s soul. He carried the tidings to his wife, who at first was unresponsive, but after a time she, too, accepted Christ as her Saviour, and they rejoiced together.
J. is now an aged man, and as the sun of life nears the setting, the same peace and assurance fills his heart. The precious Saviour who so fully met his need as a sinner, has been his strength and comfort through the passing years. The wife, who shared his new found joy, has long gone to be with the Lord. The writer can testify that he has not kept his light hidden, but has sought to impart it to others, and many have heard the sweet story of Jesus’ love from his lips.
And now, dear reader, has this little narrative of J.’s struggles any voice for you? Have you ever felt a need in your soul? Have you ever felt yourself to be a sinner? Have you ever felt, as J. did, the futility of human effort? If so, may you, too, be led to accept Christ as your Saviour. He has died upon the cross to make salvation possible, and now He offers it to you free, without price. Just reach out by faith and take it. Accept it from His hand and be made happy for time and for eternity.

A Voice for the New Year

Another year its course has run,
And stamped its change on all below
One more, on earth, has now begun:
How shall it end? None here can know.

The “little while” is growing less,
The Lord His promise shall fulfill;
He’ll come Himself His saints to bless,
And thus complete the Father’s will.

The hour is fixed, the day is near
When He will call them hence away;
His well-known voice each one shall hear,
And pass into eternal day!

The open door shall then be closed,
The strong delusion come apace;
To Satan’s lie they’ll be exposed
Who did neglect the proffered grace.

Who would not hear that gracious voice
Inviting weary ones to come,
Shall then be left without a choice
To meet the sinners’ awful doom.

What voice is that which now we hear,
Whose sound the echoes still repeat?
“Behold the Bridegroom! He is near!
Go forth your coming Lord to meet.”

Ye sleeping saints, Awake! Awake!
And trim your dying lamps anew,
Our cloudless morning soon shall break;
That midnight cry calls loud to you!
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour” (Matt. 25:13).

Fragment: Only Anxious About Three Things

A preacher has never to be anxious about results; that is God’s concern. He has only to be anxious about three things:
Being in communion with the Lord Himself;
Being in communion with the mind of God as to those to whom he is speaking;
Fidelity in delivering the message.

What Would We Ask for?

“The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee” (1 Kings 3:5).
I wonder what each one of us would ask if we had a definite and munificent offer like that! I wonder what we really desire most just at present, what we are hoping and working for? What is our real and principal ambition in life? to get on in the world, to prosper in business, to amass wealth?
“When your ship comes home,” what cargo of dreams would she bring us, I wonder? Would we want our income doubled, or a mortgage paid off, or a year of travel, or, perhaps, a large sum of money which we think would put us beyond the reach of care and anxiety, and which would buy us happiness and many other things?
“O, that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1 Chron. 4:10).

Story of a Conversion: Part 2

In the morning, after breakfast, he brought out a map and showed us our way to a neighboring lake of great beauty, which we had arranged to reach by boat, and he bid us goodbye; but with a sad look at me that went to my heart, for I saw he pitied me.
I let my companion row while I steered. All at once, when about half way to the lake, the truth flashed upon me, and I saw I was the slave of self instead of being Christ’s freeman and His servant. I saw I was being dragged about, for its own pleasure, by the wretched self that God had condemned, and I felt it was not I. I had different tastes. I longed to serve Christ, and as the sense of His love to me, and His forbearance all the long years I had known Him, filled my heart, I felt I was in an intolerable bondage I would endure no longer.
I felt I had a right to be free. Christ had died to set me free, and yet here was I working like a galley slave to please myself. What made me see it so clearly was that I had just left a free man. He, at any rate, was not toiling at the old oar. He was under a new master, and was free from the tyranny of the old.
A slave will endure a great deal of bondage if he is not brought face to face with freedom; but if he is in the company of a free man, his soul must indeed be dead if he does not long to lose his fetters. My mind at any rate was made up. I would not endure it another day.
The time past of my life was indeed more than sufficient to have lived in the flesh, to have wrought my own will, and Christ having suffered for me in the flesh, I armed myself with the same mind, no longer to live in the flesh after the desires of men, but according to the will of God. It was from myself I now turned (that I had served so faithfully) to Christ; from doing my own will to a desire to do His.
I sat in the boat with all this passing in my mind, and said nothing; but I prayed to the Lord to make this conversion a very real one, and to enable me from that day to do His will, and not my own.
At last I began to think how to get out of my tour, as I longed to spend some days where I was, to see more of my friend, who, not by his words, but simply by the force of living for Him who died for him, had been the means of this my second conversion; and the Lord opened the way in a remarkable manner. My unconverted companion began talking about the tour, and how tired he was of walking. I proposed to stay a few days where we were, while he paid a visit to some friends he had near, to which he assented.
By this time we reached the lake, but I must confess its beauties are almost forgotten in the remembrance of the beauty I saw in the path of Christ.
On our return my companion went on his way, while we who were Christians went up to see my friend again. He was surprised at the sudden change in our plans, but on hearing we were staying in the town insisted on our making his house our home.
This we did, and what I saw in his life fully confirmed me in my discovery, that to please one’s self is slavery, and that the only liberty and happiness for a Christian is to do the will of God.
This then is the simple story of my second conversion from the principle of serving self to serving Christ; for although in many respects I did the same things, by God’s grace it was in measure through the influence of a new principle, and it is this that is of all importance in God’s sight. What we do is of course a serious question, but why we do it is a far deeper one, both to God and ourselves.
I have hesitated for many years to record these experiences, feeling how feebly they presented the great truth of deliverance from self, and knowing how still more feebly I have carried it out. But seeing in the Scriptures how often a personal testimony is given, I look to the Lord, that He may use this narrative to the full deliverance of any of my readers who may still be seeking to serve two masters.
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15).
(Continued from Page 327)
(Concluded)

Wasting Half Hours

A young Christian was in trouble. Only recently brought to know the Lord, she had rejoiced in her Saviour. But this evening her face was clouded. The preacher wondered why and ventured to ask what was wrong.
“Why, if what you’ve been saying tonight is true, I want something more. I need to be saved from wasting half-hours. I want power to put aside a book which does me no good, and won’t make me more fit to do good to others, instead of wasting a half-hour over it.”
“Brethren, the time is short. Are we making the most of it? The Lord has saved us for Himself and has left us here for His glory.”
“Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord of hosts.” Are we fulfilling His desire for us?
“Know ye not.... that ye are not your own?” says the inspired apostle; “for ye are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20).
Just think of that! “Not your own.” Then surely our time is not our own either. We cannot just spend it as we like. No, it too is the Lord’s—every moment of it. Are we spending it for Him?
What about those idle moments spent over the newspaper or a story book? Does that make us more fit for our Lord’s service or give us a desire to read His Word? What about that extra half hour in bed this morning when you knew how little time you would have to read your daily chapter? Think too of those minutes you frittered away doing nothing when you knew there were so many little odd jobs waiting to be done. Is that not wasting the Lord’s time? I’m sure it is.
Ah, we must all confess how many wasted half-hours we spend, and yet we hear the Lord’s words ringing in our ears:
“Behold I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12).
In view of His coming, surely it becomes us to be in earnest. Souls are perishing on every hand; the Lord’s dear people are in trial and difficulty, needing a word of cheer, a friendly hand. Shall we selfishly refuse to help while we fritter away the precious moments, amusing ourselves, dressing ourselves, indulging ourselves? God forbid.
“The love of Christ constraineth us.” Ah! that must be the impelling motive. The love of Christ—the love that passeth knowledge, the love that waters could not quench, nor floods drown, the love that led the Son of God to give Himself for me! No wonder it constrains me as I let my soul dwell on it.
As I think of the portion that was the Son’s in a past eternity, of His place in the Father’s bosom, of the wonder of the incarnation and the most stupendous wonder of the cross, surely my heart bows low in adoration, as I whisper—
“O what love, Lord, all transcending
Led Thee there to die for me!”
And we are led to sing with reality—
“Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small,
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
In the face of such love, may we indeed consecrate ourselves fully to Him, seeking to spend and be spent in His blessed service till that day when we may hear Him say:
“Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt. 25:21).

Waiting for Christ

That which should characterize the young Christian is, not merely holding the doctrine of the Lord’s coming as that which they believe, but their souls should be in the daily attitude of waiting, expecting, and desiring His coming. But why? That they may see Himself and be with Him and like Him forever! Not because the world which has been so hostile to them is going to be judged, though God will smite the wicked.
The whole walk and character of a saint depends upon his waiting for the Lord. Everyone should be able to read us by this, as having nothing to do in this world but to get through it, and not as having any portion in it.
“Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:10).
This is thought a strange thing now; but the Thessalonians were converted to this hope, for they belonged to a world which had rejected God’s Son; therefore they had to turn from these idols “to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven.”
What I desire to press upon you all, and myself, too, is the individual waiting for the Lord; not as a doctrine merely, but as a daily waiting for Himself. Whatever the Lord’s will may be, I should like Him to find me doing it when He comes. But that is not the question. Am I waiting for Himself day by day?
In 1 Thessalonians 2 the hope is connected with ministry:
“What is our hope, our joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”
Then Paul would get the reward of his service to the saints.
Then in the third chapter the hope is connected with our walk, as a motive for holiness. “Unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
Also in the fourth chapter the doctrine of the hope is unfolded, the manner of it comes out:
“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).
Thus we see what a present expectation the coming of the Lord was; therefore Paul says: “We which are alive and remain.” But why does he say “WE”? Because he expected it then. This was Paul’s character then, that of waiting for the Lord. And does he lose that character because he died before the Lord came? No; not at all.
Though Peter had a revelation that he should put off the tabernacle of his body, yet did he daily wait for the Lord’s coming then. And this will be Peter’s character when the Lord does come; he will lose nothing by his death.
“Be ye like unto men that wait for their Lord” (Luke 12:36).
The character of their waiting was to be like servants at the hall door, that, when the Master knocked, they were ready to open to Him immediately. It is a figure of course here; but it is the present power of the expectation that is alluded to. And the ruin of the Church has come in by practically saying:
“My Lord delayeth His coming” (Luke 12:45).
“Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching” (Luke 12:37).

"The Day of Apostasy"

(A Letter to Christians by J.N.D.)
The “day of the apostasy” is hastening on with rapid strides, and also the day in which the Lord shall come to snatch His own away. The present moment is of so solemn a character that I feel constrained to address you this word of exhortation. Godly men everywhere, who watch the signs of the times, see the moment approaching which shall terminate the present actings of grace. The time has evidently arrived when one must speak plainly and decisively, and ask where you are, and what you are about.
You have by Grace, which has shone brighter and brighter as it has approached its termination, been gathered out of the seething mass of idolatry and wickedness, which now threatens Christendom and the world with an overthrow more awful than that of Sodom and Gomorrah of old; and the question is whether you are adequately impressed with the responsibility, as well as the blessedness, of the ground you are on, and walking like men and women whose “eyes have been opened.” Believe me, there has never been in the world’s history, such a time as the present, and Satan is occupied with none as he is with you, and his occupation with you is the more to be feared because of the subtlety of his operation. His object is to withdraw your attention from Christ, while you suppose you are on safe ground and have nothing to fear....
Interpose anything between your soul and Christ and... your strength is gone from you, and you are become weak, like any ordinary mortal. Some of you are young, recently converted, or brought to the right ways of the Lord, and you do not know the depths of Satan. But you are hereby solemnly warned of peril; and if mischief overtake you, you cannot plead ignorance.
Again I say, Satan has his eye especially upon you, for the purpose of interposing the world in some form between your soul and Christ. He cares not how little, or in what form. If you knew but how little will answer his purpose, you would be alarmed. It is not by that which is gross or shameful, such is the development, not the beginning, of evil. It is not by anything glaring that he seeks to ruin you, but in small and seemingly harmless trifles—trifles that would not shock or offend anyone as things go, and yet these constitute the deadly and insidious poison, destined to ruin your testimony and withdraw you from Christ.
Do you ask, what are these alarming symptoms, and where are they seen? The question does but show what is the character of the opiate at work. Brethren and sisters, you are being infected with the spirit of the world. Your dress, your manner, your talk... betray it in every gathering. There is a dead weight, a restraint, a want of power, that reveals itself in the meetings, as plainly as if your heart were visibly displayed and its thoughts publicly read. A form of godliness without power is beginning to be seen among you, as plainly as in Christendom generally. As surely as you tamper with the world, so surely will you drift away to its level. This is the nature of things.
It must be so. If you tamper with the world, the privileged place you occupy, instead of shielding you, will only expose you to greater condemnation. It must be Christ or the world. It cannot be—ought not to be—Christ and the world.

"The Wind and the Sea Obey Him"

It was Lord’s Day morning; the wind was whirling and blowing, and dark ominous clouds were overhead, threatening a downfall any moment.
A young Christian woman looked out upon the dreary scene. It was her wish to meet a little company of God’s people, and go with them to the meeting; but there was a large bay to cross, and the angry waters, lashed by the strong wind, were rolling and tossing. The prospect as she looked forth, seemed hopeless enough. But ah! there is ever a resource in God; the “stormy wind” fulfills His Word, and the seas obey His voice. This dear young woman had learned to know the Lord and to put her trust in Him; silently she lifted her heart to Him, asking Him to “rebuke the wind.”
Satan, who is ready to harass and trouble God’s people, was at hand, and began to assail her. He whispered to her:
“Do you think the Lord will hear your prayer?” She recognized that this was a temptation from Satan, and said: “Yes, I have asked Him, and believe it is His will; and He certainly will answer me.”
She looked out and lo! the wind had fallen. She was rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness in this, for with the going down of the wind, the waters of the bay would after a little while become more quiet. But soon the rain began to fall then Satan renewed his attack; this time he said:
“Yes, the wind has been rebuked, but, it rains, it rains!”
“The Lord will rebuke the rain also,” was her reply.
In less than two hours the storm had cleared away, and in time, too, for these dear people to get together, and cross the bay to attend their meeting.
Let us learn from this, dear Christian, to put our trust in God. Wherever we may be, or whatever our circumstances may be, He is thinking of us and watching over us.
“What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee” (Psa. 56:3).
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid” (Isa. 12:2).
If Satan assails us, let us turn right to God, as this dear Christian did. We can always overcome him if we take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” with which to meet him. He cannot stand against God’s Word. If we are tried by wind and storm, and Satan buffets us through these things, we can tell him that the fire, the hail, the snow, the stormy wind are but fulfilling God’s Word, and that all can only work for good to those who love God (Psa. 148:8).
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
When God gives relief to those who ask in faith, He gives it very quickly.
“He sendeth forth His commandment upon earth; His word runneth very swiftly” (Psa. 147:15).

Heavenly Things

Why could Paul say: “Be ye followers of me”? He was a man of like passions with us. We can only understand it by remembering that the point here is not a state attained to, but the object before the soul: Christ was always Paul’s object. Hence he could say:
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).
It is a cheer to our hearts that we have before us not only the Author and Finisher of faith, but one running after Him, and who tells us to do the same.
If we are occupied with the path, we never shall present the likeness of Christ that we see here; nothing but occupation with Christ will produce this. Paul was not occupied with the path, or with anything to which he had attained. The object was everything to him. When referring to his path, he lays it all aside and looks on to eternal and unseen things.
Christians may go on, nothing outwardly to be found fault with, all fair outside, and yet they may be among those who “mind earthly thing.” We must have an object of some kind; if Christ is not our object, earthly things are. They may not be wrong things, and how foolish it is for us, when we come to think of it, to mind earthly things!
It may be tomorrow, it may be today, that the Lord will call our spirits to Himself, or He may come and change our bodies like to His body of glory, and earthly things will be over forever. There will be a complete transfer of interest then; but we need not be exiles from our true home now; our spirits need not be prisoners here.
If attainment were the point, one could not dare to speak of this subject, but it is a cheer to our hearts to know that the point is not attainment, but what is our object? May we say:
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13, 14).
“Looking steadfastly on Jesus, the leader and completer of faith” (Heb. 12:2, New Trans.).

Choosing and Keeping

“Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Josh. 24:15).
“The Lord is thy keeper” (Psa. 121:5).
“He will keep the feet of His saints” (1 Sam. 2:9).
We read in God’s most precious Word
Of one who made her choice
To often sit at Jesus’ feet
And listen to His voice.

The one thing needful, Mary chose;
Above all else most wise;
To seek companionship with Christ—
His fellowship to prize.

It must have pleased the Saviour well,
For He went on to say
The portion she had chosen, naught,
Could ever take away.

And He who makes this promise sure,
Doth slumber not nor sleep.
It is our part to make the choice,
But His, it is, to keep.

If we could only realize,
When we our choice must make,
The soul who chooses Jesus Christ
God never will forsake.

All power is His, in heaven and earth:
His hand is over all:
‘Tis He who says His child He’ll keep
And never let him fall.

If we would choose as Mary did,
What joy our hearts would reap!
Rememb’ring as we make the choice,
The Lord will safely keep.

Extract: Jesus Equally God

Was He not the eternal Son of God? This was unalterable: He could no more cease to be the Son in the Father’s bosom, than the Father could cease to be His Father. Had it been possible and fact, His atonement had been vain for God, or for man; but it could not be otherwise than it is.
Was He not God? He who is God can never cease to be God; just as a man can never become God.
Had our Lord Jesus been a hair’s-breadth less than God the Father, He could not have been an adequate sacrifice for sins before God the Judge; nor could He have fully declared God to man. Only God could meet what God requires. That the Son did it, in and as Man, was part of His perfection.

Correspondence: 2 Tim. 1:6; Elders; God More Interested in One vs. Another?

Question: What does 2 Timothy 1:6 mean?
Answer: “The gift of God which is in thee by putting on of my hands.” This is apostolic power, according to Mr. Darby’s Synopsis. Timothy received the gift by prophecy. The presbytery were those who were older and had a desire to rule well and walk godly. In Timothy and Titus we have the appointment of elders by the apostolic authority. There is no such thing today, Paul only had the right to appoint Timothy and Titus. Although no one now-a-days has the authority to appoint them, we have elders, and we are exhorted to discern or know them.
Question: At what age do they become elders?
Answer: This is a matter of spiritual discernment, years always accompany elderhood. Some do not rule well and thus fail to fill the place of honor and responsibility. We are to discern those who do, by their knowledge and godly walk. Three times the elders are referred to in Hebrews 13— “remember them,” vs. 7; “obey them,” vs. 17; “salute them,” vs. 24.
Question: Do you think the Lord is more interested in one than another?
Answer: We cannot limit God. We are human and so limited. Every redeemed one will vouch for it that he has found his sufficiency in Christ. Some in heaven will enjoy more than others. Our capacity is formed here. One goes on with the Lord and another shrivels up.

The Name of Jesus

A young girl had been brought up where the Bible was known and read, and had often heard the gospel of God, concerning His Son, Jesus Christ, but had never seriously taken the message as having any meaning or value for herself.
One bright morning, in obedience to her mother, but with reluctance on her own part, she went to a cottage in the neighborhood to visit a young girl who was seriously ill, with no hope of recovery. She had not been intimately acquainted with the invalid, but specially remembered her uncomely appearance.
Ushered into the chamber of the sick girl, who was evidently drawing near to the end of her earthly course, the visitor noted with wonder that there was no shadow of anxiety or fear on the face, but a calm, happy spirit seemed to animate the frail body.
With a pleasant smile, the dying girl welcomed her young visitor, and quietly said:
“Is not this a lovely morning, Miss M. to go and see Jesus?”
Once a lost sinner, under the burden of her sins, she had found Jesus to be her Saviour, and since then she had grown into a deeper acquaintance with Him, tasting day by day of His grace and love. Now she knew that she was about to pass away from this world, and it was her joy that she was going to see and be with the One who had loved her while yet in her sins, and given Himself for her.
A few hours after this she departed to be with the Lord.
The secret of the manifest joy and happy words of the dying girl was beyond the comprehension of the young visitor; but the Spirit of God used the testimony to bring to her soul the need for, and the value of Jesus, as Saviour and Friend so that she too was led to confide her soul to His keeping.
Reader, would there be any joy for you, were you expecting to leave the world in the next few hours; or would it be sorrow? Have you found out that you, too, need a Saviour?
You must meet God, either now in this the day of His grace, when salvation is brought to you in Jesus, or when the day of His grace is past, and you meet Him as the Righteous Judge. Then it will be, must be the day of judgment, but not then the day of grace.
True happiness belongs to those who, confessing their need, have accepted God’s grace now, and, believing the testimony of God’s Word and Spirit to the finished work of Christ, the now exalted and glorified Saviour have peace with God, and know their sins forgiven.
Does the name of Jesus bring any comfort to your heart, bring any thought of peace and joy: Have you bowed to the authority of that name? Everyone must bow. If not now in grace, then the rebel knee must bow, and the tongue confess to Him, in the day of manifested power and glory.
“Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:5-11).

Not of the World: Part 1

To Our Dear Young Christians:
We were talking together recently about the reasons to be found in the Scriptures for a Christian’s not doing some things that are common enough in the world, and, in answer to your wish, I am putting in writing the thoughts I then expressed.
The Lord Jesus, in His prayer when about to leave the world (John 17), used an expression which long ago first made a deep impression on my heart. I refer to verse 16:
“They (those who have believed) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
I yet ask myself, after many years, Do I really enter into this amazing truth? I mingle with the world daily, of necessity, but “am not of the world.” How is this to be exhibited, if at all, in my daily life? The Scriptures give no direction for believers to wear outward distinguishing marks, such as peculiar clothing, or other things which would call attention to us. Indeed, I gather a warning against this sort of thing from Matthew, Chapter 6 and 23:5.
Nevertheless, the Word of God is far from silent on the subject of the believer’s conduct in the world. Let us glance at a few passages, having in mind the practices of smoking—long indulged by men, and of late finding an ever increasing share of women among its devotees—of card playing, theater-going, dancing, and of indulging in beer and stronger alcoholics, all of which are very common in the world, and Christians are, sad to say, evidently being affected by these things.
We may turn first to the 119th Psalm, verse 105: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” and to 2 Timothy 3:15-17, from which, for brevity, I quote only a part:
“All Scripture... is profitable for... instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Believers who slight the Word of God, do so at their peril; it is this, more than all other causes combined, that explains the widespread spiritual paralysis of our times.
Romans 12 and the following chapters are full of much needed and often neglected practical instructions for believers, young and old, and I call attention particularly to the first five verses of the 12th chapter. They furnish the foundation upon which the details of Christian practice of a right sort depend, the substance of an acceptable life before God.
In verse 1, every believer is sought to present his body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable (well pleasing) unto God. Truly, it is the Apostle Paul beseeching, but he was expressing the mind and will of our God and Father concerning us, His children.
Then, in verse 2 we find, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed (transfigured) by the renewing of your mind.”
These are weighty statements; if only they were grasped and entered upon by God’s beloved people everywhere! I call attention to the fact that the word in the original tongue which is here translated “transformed” is found but four times in the Scriptures, twice to describe the appearance of the Lord on the mountain of transfiguration (Matt. 17:2; Mark 9:2), and twice referring to believers, the remaining reference being 2 Corinthians 3:18, where the word is translated “changed,” but the “change” is from an earthly to a heavenly condition. We desire humbly to confess that our measure of realization of the transforming or transfiguration (moral, not a physical change) urged upon us in Romans 12:2 is far, far too small. May it increase more and more, to the glory of God!
We turn now to Romans 13:14 and find, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
Perhaps it is asked, What are the “lusts of the flesh”? It is always best to look for the answer to our questions about the Scriptures in the Scriptures themselves, and while there are other passages to which helpful reference may be made, Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 2:3; 1 John 2:16,17 are suggested as disclosing what the “lusts” are, and how largely they pervade the world.
Another helpful word in our considerations of the subject before us is found in Ephesians 4:1-3. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, which may next engage our attention, we come to specific, instruction:
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
With this let us read Colossians 3:17: “And 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.”
These pointed directions for Christian behavior open to our spiritual vision the truly happy path of holiness, and guard us fully against fleshly lusts as to which the Word itself tells us (1 Peter 2:11), and experience proves, that they war against the soul.
In 1 John 2:6 we have another word, addressed to the conscience, that monitor within the child of God:
“He that saith he abideth in Him (Christ) ought himself so to walk even as He walked.”
Then as our blessed example we have Him presented to the heart thus in Romans 15:23: “For even Christ pleased not Himself.” All His desires were holy, but His unvarying object as He passed through the world was not to gratify Himself but to please the Father.
Our consideration of Scriptures bearing on the subject of Christian behavior has been somewhat wide, but let us turn to four more passages. First, 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15:
“For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again.”
Next, John 14:21: “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.”
Our third passage is 1 John 3:3: “And every man that hath this hope in Him (Christ) purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”
And our last will be found in Romans 14:10-12: “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ... So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
O my soul, mark that word; I, even I, shall give account of myself to God. Are you prepared for that hour? The life I have lived will be reviewed at the judgment seat of Christ, not to decide my eternal dwelling place, for that, thanks be to God, is settled already, but that I may have His estimation of my course, learn what in it had self as its motive, and what (I trust) really had Christ as its object. All will be seen in the full light of God’s presence.
The passages to which reference has been made leave no room for the worldly things which were mentioned at the outset of this letter. In essence they are evil, taking their origin in the heart of man, a fallen creature and a wanderer from the true God, seeking satisfaction in a judged, condemned world.
(To be continued).

"That I May Win Christ"

The brief sentence which forms the heading of this article presents to us the earnest aspiration of one who had found an absorbing and commanding object in Christ—the utterance of a soul whose one desire was to grow in the knowledge and appreciation of that blessed one who fills all heaven with His glory. The whole passage from which our motto is taken is full of power. We must quote it for the reader.
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
Let us specially mark the words, “What things were gain to me.” The Apostle is not speaking of his sins, of his guilt, of things which, as a man, he might justly be ashamed. No; he is referring to his gains, his honors, his distinctions, his religious, his intellectual, his moral, his political advantages—of such things as were calculated to make him an object of envy to his fellows. All these things he counted but loss that he might win Christ.
Alas! how few of us understand anything of this! How few of us grasp the meaning of the words—the real force of the expression, “That I may win Christ!” Most of us rest satisfied with thinking of Christ as God’s gift to sinners. We do not aim at winning Him as our prize, by the surrender of all those things which nature loves and values. The two things are quite distinct. As poor miserable, guilty, hell-deserving sinners, we are not asked to do, or to give, or to surrender anything. We are invited, yea, commanded to take—take freely—take all.
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
“The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
“If thou knewest the gift of God,... thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).
All this is blessedly true, thanks be to God for it! But, then, there is another side of the question.
What did Paul mean by winning Christ? He already possessed Christ as God’s free gift to him as a sinner. What more did he want? He wanted to win Christ as his prize even at the cost of all beside. As Christ, the true merchant man, sold all that He had, in order to possess Himself of what He esteemed “a pearl of great price,” —laid aside His glory, stripped and emptied Himself of all—gave up all His claims as man, as Messiah, in order to possess Himself of the church; so, in his measure, that devoted Christian, whose words form our thesis, gave up everything in order to possess himself of that peerless object who had been revealed to his heart on the day of his conversion. He saw such beauty, such moral glory, such transcendent excellency in the Son of God, that he deliberately surrendered all the honors, the distinctions, the pleasures, the riches of earth, in order that Christ might fill every chamber of his heart, and absorb all the energies of his moral being. He longed to know Him not merely as the one who had put away his sins, but as the one who could satisfy all the longings of his soul, and utterly displace all that earth could offer or nature grasp.
Reader, let us gaze on this picture. It is indeed a fine study for us. It stands out in bold contrast with the cold, selfish, world-loving pleasure-hunting, money-seeking spirit of this our day. It administers a severe rebuke to the heartless indifference of which we must all alas! be conscious—an indifference expressing itself in numberless and nameless ways. Where do we see aught that answers to the words:
“That I may win Christ.”

All You Need

There’s love in all His words and deeds;
He died, He lives, He reigns, He pleads,
There’s all a guilty sinner needs,
For evermore in JESUS.

Prayer

“Pour Out Your Heart Before Him: God is a Refuge for Us” (Psa. 62:8).
Have you no words? Ah! think again,
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow-creatures’ ear
With the sad tale of all your care;
Were half the breath thus vainly spent
To heaven in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oftener be,
“Hear what the Lord hath done for me.”

That Blessed Hope

Titus 2:23
It is worthy of remark, that the Spirit of God never enters upon any lengthened proof of the doctrine of the Lord’s coming. He assumes it to be the proper, settled, well-defined hope of the church of God, and uses it accordingly, on all occasions. Thus, in the second chapter of Titus, we find this “blessed hope” introduced in connection with the most common-place relations and duties of domestic life; such, for example, as servants “not answering again; not purloining.”
Now, it is very needful to observe this. It teaches us that the coming of the Lord is not a matter of mere speculation for the learned, but that it is a “blessed hope,” to animate the heart of a poor servant, amid the wear and tear, the weariness and drudgery, of daily life. Such a one by “not purloining and not answering again,” can, in his measure, “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour,” just as much as an apostle. And at the same time he can cherish “that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” How blessedly simple is this! A servant might feel disposed to ask:
“What can I do for the Lord? How can I adorn His doctrine, or promote His cause?” The Holy Spirit opens a most definite, simple, happy sphere for such a one, by teaching him, not to purloin, and not to answer again.
Some may say, “Would not common honesty keep a person from ‘purloining?’ and would not a moral sense of propriety keep one from ‘answering again’?” Very likely, but nature’s common honesty and moral sense cannot be trusted.
“They that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).
In order to please God, we must be partakers of the divine nature, and walk in the energy thereof. This divine nature we get by believing on the name of the only-begotten Son of God; and we walk in the energy of this nature by faith.
In this way, every little thing we do is fruit to God—everything is fragrant with the grace of Christ, and ascends as a sweet odor to the throne of God. An apostle, traveling in the energy of the Spirit from nation to nation in apostolic zeal and power, planting and watering assemblies; and a servant at his daily toil, can each, in his own sphere, cherish the “blessed hope” as that which precisely meets the need and the longing desire of his soul.
How gracious of our God to give us such a hope! How happy to know that it is not for death and judgment we are taught to wait, but for that very one “who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” —the one who thought of us before all worlds, visited us in due time, suffered for us on the tree, that He might exalt us to the very highest place of dignity and glory, in companionship with Himself.
There are only four passages, properly speaking, in the New Testament, which refer to the condition of the soul while absent from the body: Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23. In each case to leave this world and be with Christ is a blessed exchange; but even in the last instance it is not said to be the best thing.
It is good to be here, while the Lord will have it so.
It is better to be with Christ, when our work is done.
The best thing of all will be, when:
“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and 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).
This is “that blessed hope” which the Lord Jesus set directly before the hearts of His sorrowing disciples on the eve of His departure, when He said,
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself: that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).
This is “that blessed hope” which angels announced to the apostles, when they said.
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
The coming is as sure as the going, and in the same manner.
Finally, this is “that blessed hope” which glitters like a precious gem on almost every page of the New Testament; which God the Holy Spirit has set as the polar star in the church’s horizon, of which she should never lose sight, which should give tone and character to all her ways down here.
The reader will see in Leviticus 25:14-16 that an Israelite was taught to regulate the sale of his land by the year of jubilee. If that year were at hand, the value of property was diminished. So is it exactly in reference to “that blessed hope.” If the heart be cherishing the fond thought of seeing the Bridegroom, it will make but little of present things. If we were on the lookout to catch the earliest dawn of that cloudless morning—the appearing of “the morning star,” what an unworldly people we should be! How separated! How elevated!
Alas! that the church should have so lost the sense of “that blessed hope.” Alas! that she should have put the coming of death instead of the coming of the heavenly Bridegroom. May the Lord revive, in the midst of His people, this purifying and comforting hope. May He make ready, and call forth a faithful band of “wise virgins,” who with hearts established in that grace which hath appeared to all, and with trimmed lamps and burning lights, shall heartily respond to the cry, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” in those suited accents:
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

"A Soft Answer Turneth Away Wrath"

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife; but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Prov. 15:18).
One day the God-fearing Pastor M. found a severely abusive note at his door. He read it quietly, and, saying nothing, prayed about it. On the following Sunday, before leaving the pulpit after preaching, he announced:
“A dear friend brought to my house a letter in which he put my failures before me. I have read it, examined myself, and found much truth therein. In my heart there is the root of all this friend discovers; and it is God’s grace alone that prevented the doing of the things of which I am accused. This dear friend knows my faults so precisely that I conclude he must be here among us. I heartily request him to come to me that I may prove my love to him in return.”
When, in the city of M., a bottomless basket was thrown over the head of Tersteegen to make him an object of ridicule, he said quietly:
“This is far from being a crown of thorns.”
How do we answer, dear Christian reader do we manifest the spirit of Christ?

"Only" and "Early"

There is a sweet and profitable lesson taught us in Psalms 62 and 63. The heart is ever prone to divide its confidence between God and the creature. This will never do. We must “wait only upon God.” He only must be our “rock,” our “salvation,” and our “defense.” This is Psalm 62.
Then we are frequently tempted to look to an arm of flesh first, and when that fails we look to God. This will never do, either. He must be our first as well as our only resource.
“O God, Thou art my God, early will I seek Thee.”
This is the way in which the heart should ever treat the blessed God. This is the lesson of Psalm 63. When we have learned the blessedness of seeking God “only,” we shall be sure to seek Him “early.”

The Shadow of the Apple Tree

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons. I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love” (Song of Sol. 2:3, 4).
The attitude of soul set forth in this lovely passage, is one of perfect repose and complacency. It is not the attitude of one who has found a partial rest, rest for a day, a month, or a year. The soul that has really found rest in Christ, has found a rest which is divine in its character, and eternal in its duration. “I sat down.” Precious attitude!
There is no more toil for the sinner. Plenty of toil for the saint—plenty of toil for the servant. There is no more labor in the brick-kilns of Pharaoh, but abundance of labor in the vineyard of Christ. The believer’s labor comes after rest, not before it.
And, observe, it is “under His shadow.” It is not under the shadow of my doings, my feelings, my frames, my experiences. Neither is it the shadow of ordinances, however valuable; nor of doctrines, however true; nor of institutions, however important. All these things have their proper place, and their proper value; but we had better not venture to sit down under their shadow, for, if we do, they will prove no better than Jonah’s gourd, which sprang up in a night, and perished in a night.
No, my reader, it must be Christ Himself—Christ only—Christ always. It must be “I”, my very self, “sat down,” found my sweet repose and resting place, my shade and satisfaction, “under His shadow.” Then all is right—right now—right forever.
And, let me ask, how much shade does a soul enjoy that is resting simply in Christ?
Just as much as Christ can afford. If I sit down under the shadow of a tree or a rock, I enjoy just that amount of shade which the tree or the rock can yield me. So, when the soul reposes, by faith, in the shadow of Christ, the whole question is, how much shade can He furnish? Faith knows the answer.
Dear reader, are you enjoying “the shadow of the apple tree?” Are you plucking its mellow fruit, which hangs in rich clusters around you? Is that fruit “sweet to your taste?” Are you allowing Jesus to conduct you into “His banqueting house”? Do you find “His banner over you” to be love? Be assured of it, it is in His banqueting house, and under His shadow, that the soul can prosper, and there alone.
May you prove this, in your own happy experience, day by day. May you taste more of the living freshness of His grace, and be thus led on in zeal, energy, and personal devotedness, until you are called to take your place beside the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God, to go no more out forever.
“Behold the Rose of Sharon here,
The Lily which the valleys bear;
Behold the tree of life that gives
Refreshing fruit and healing leaves.

“Among the thorns the lilies shine;
Among wild gourds the noble vine;
So in mine eyes my Saviour proves,
Amid a thousand meaner loves.

“Beneath His cooling shade I sat,
To shield me from the burning heat;
Of heavenly fruit He spreads a feast,
To feed mine eyes and please my taste.

“Kindly He brought me to the place
Where stands the banquet of His grace;
He saw me faint, and o’er my head
The banner of His love He spread.

“With living bread and gen’rous wine
He cheers this sinking heart of mine,
And opining His own heart to me,
He shows His thoughts how kind they be.”
It is the happy privilege of the believer to be continually in the shade, and yet never out of the sunshine of His love.

Witnesses to Christ

In the Gospel of John we have a seven-fold testimony to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Testimony of John the Baptist:
“Ye sent unto John and he bare witness unto the truth” (5:33-36).
The Testimony of Christ’s Works:
“The works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me” (5:36).
The Testimony of the Father:
“The Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me” (5:37).
The Testimony of the Scriptures:
“Search the Scriptures... they are they which testify of Me” (5:39).
The Testimony of Himself:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true” (8:14).
The Testimony of the Holy Spirit:
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me” (15:26).
The Testimony of the Disciples:
“And ye also shall bear witness because ye have been with Me from the beginning” (15:27).

Shiloh

“Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth,
where Thou feedest, where Thou makest Thy
flock to rest at noon” (Song of Sol. 1:7).
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until
Shiloh come: and unto Him shall the
gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10).
“For where two or three are gathered together
in My name, there am I in the midst
of them” (Matt. 18:20).
O Saviour mine, who shed Thy blood for me,
Show me the place where I may worship Thee:
‘Midst turmoil and confusion all around,
The place where Thine own presence may be found.

We note in Israel’s history, blessed Lord,
There was a place according to Thy Word:
In Shiloh Thou didst choose to place Thy name,
And Israel yearly up to Shiloh came.

Dost Thou maintain a place, blest Lord, today,
‘Midst ruin and declension and decay,
Where to Thy people Thou dost still draw near
And meet with them, their feeble praise to hear?

To all who ask “Where wilt Thou?” of their Lord,
He’ll guidance give, according to His Word.
To willing hearts He says, “Come unto Me,”
To Shiloh, place of sweet tranquility.

For Shiloh is our Lord, and in His name
If gathered, we will find Him still the same:
Such condescending grace in this we see—
The Lord of glory meets with “two or three.”

O precious place of peacefulness and rest!
Those gathered thus with Christ—how richly blest!
Where He alone is worshiped and adored—
The worthy one—our risen blessed Lord.

Pre-eminent is He, God’s only Son—
The altogether pure and lovely one!
Exalt Him then: let hearts and voices raise
Their songs to Him in worship and in praise.

Fragment: A Cheerful Giver and Worker

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

Correspondence: 1 Cor. 8:10-11; Romans 6:16

Question: Please explain 1 Corinthians 8:10, 11.
Answer: This passage teaches us the very solemn truth that if we, by a false use of our liberty, embolden a weak brother to act against his conscience, we, so far as in us lies, cause him to perish, by destroying the action of his conscience toward God. It is of the utmost importance to allow Scripture to have its full play upon the soul, and not to blunt its edge by the dogmas of systematic divinity. It is a good thing to open all the chambers of the heart and have them ventilated by the pure air of Scripture. The same authority that says, “My sheep shall never perish,” warns us against causing a weak brother to perish by a self-indulgent, uncharitable use of our liberty; and it will be our wisdom, as it most assuredly is for our moral security, to hearken to the one as well as to the other.
Question: Please explain Romans 8:16 as simply as possible.
Answer: When a sinner has found out that he is lost, ruined and guilty, and sees that Christ died for him, then he is not only born again (that is, a new life in his soul), but he is also a child of God, and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in him, and gives him the conscious knowledge that he is a child of God. This is what it means: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, so I do not doubt it at all. Faith does not look for feelings, but just rests on the Word of God (See also Gal. 4:6).

My Mother's Bible

As I was visiting one afternoon, I found a man at home on the sick list. After the usual preliminary salutation and sympathy, and hope for his recovery, I got a straight talk with him.
“Do you ever read the Bible, my friend?”
“No,” he said, “that isn’t much in my line.”
“Have you a Bible?”
“Yes, somewhere, I think.”
“Well,” I said, “let me have a look at it.” He went to a cupboard, rummaged among some rubbish which looked like paper for lighting fires. He found the Bible and handed it to me. I opened it and looked at it. It was well thumbed and marked.
“Whose Bible was this?”
“It was my mother’s.”
“Then your mother was a godly woman and read and loved her Bible?” To which he agreed. “Now, my friend, I want you to begin to read your mother’s Bible. I will mark a few passages and turn the leaves down so that you can find and read them after I am gone.” One was:
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”; and another:
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” Having explained to him the way of salvation, I said:
“Do you ever pray?”
“No,” he said.
“Salvation is worth having, but you must accept it.” It is a free gift from God through Christ.
I wished him good afternoon and left him to think the matter over, intending to go and see him again. Strange to say, I entirely forgot him, and I can only account for it, not to excuse myself, but as the after-result proved that God, by His Holy Spirit, might perfect His work Himself.
It was some time after, and I had been away from home and just returned, that my maid said a man had sent to ask me to come and see him. I could not recall his name. I set off at once to visit, as I thought, an entire stranger. When I arrived, it was the man who had found his mother’s Bible. He had moved from the street where I first saw him. He said with a radiant face:
“I am so glad to see you. I sent for you because I have some good news to tell you. I thought over what you said the day you visited me. I read the passages you marked for me, and as I was in bed one night something seemed to say to me, ‘Salvation is worth asking for, get out of bed and pray.’ It was in the middle of the night, and I got out and knelt down by my bedside and asked the Lord to save me, and He has done it. This is the good news I wanted to tell you.”
We had a thanksgiving meeting then and there. He never lost the joy of salvation, and went to rejoin his dear mother some time after.
Now, for the encouragement of mothers who are praying or do pray for their children, I have related the above case. It was in answer to his mother’s prayers. It was God who sent me that afternoon to remind him of his mother’s Bible. That was all He wanted me to do, and His Holy Spirit perfected His work.
I will add just one other wonderful instance of a mother’s prayers reaching her son in the interior of Australia. I received a letter one day. It bore the postmark of Australia. It was from a man in the bush asking me if I could tell him if his parents were still alive. He left home many years ago and never wrote to them, and now he wanted to tell them he had been converted out there. I traced his aged father and told him the joyful news, but his mother had died only a few months before, and her last prayer with almost her last breath was for that lost son. She had been the means also of the conversion of her husband, who at one time was a slave to the demon, strong drink. Neither of these mothers lived to see their prayers answered, but they were.
Mothers, pray on, read your Bible and let your faith rest upon the promises made to you there. Heaven will reveal how they were answered. His promises are signed in the name of Jesus and with His blood.
You may have heard of a woman who used to put the letters “T. P.” in the margin of her Bible opposite the promises. When asked what they meant:
“O,” she said, “Tried and Proved.”
Mothers, make time to read it. I know how difficult it is for busy mothers who work more like sixteen hours a day than eight. As I write this I can seem to see the happy face of a dear mother who used to get up at five o’clock to have an hour with her Saviour and her Bible before she got the breakfast for her husband and boys, who in those days had to start for work at six o’clock.
Perhaps you cannot preach, but you can pray and practice. A young man said that is what his mother did, and it led him to his mother’s Saviour.

Do I?

“Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 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 might fail? If He was made perfect through suffering, can His followers expect to go to meet Him but by the road that He trod?

Not of the World: Part 2

To Our Dear Young Christians:
The use of tobacco fulfills no design of God for His creatures; it is in no sense food, containing a rank poison (nicotine). It is habit-forming, those who follow it, becoming slaves of the habit; and it is a “lust of the flesh,” and a cloud upon every believer that yields to it. I think I can truly say that I have never known a spiritual Christian to use tobacco in smoking or chewing, and I have seen not a few young Christians, and persons newly converted, stumbled by the bad example of others in this thing.
Card playing and theater going are, like smoking, so common in the world that one who does neither is viewed with astonishment. Worldly amusements they are, certainly, and the heart that knows not God must have something to occupy the time pleasurably; besides, God must be kept out. Card playing is often called an “innocent” game, but it is, at the least, time occupied without profit for the believer, and it is often associated with gambling.
The theater, never very elevated in its tone (for no stream can rise higher than its source) has in the last two decades become even lower in its standards, so that of late there has been a public outcry about it. Of what sort of testimony is one’s presence in a theater, seeking enjoyment there with the Christ-rejecting world from which we are called to walk in holy separation to God? Will the Lord hold one guiltless in it?
Dancing and drink, I have been reminded by people who ought to know better, are not condemned in the Old Testament. Can it be the sober thought of any Christian that David’s dancing in 2 Samuel 6:14, and 1 Chronicles 13:29 has any similarity to the dancing of the twentieth century: Surely not. I know little about the subject, but I have been told by worldly acquaintances that there are “good” and “bad” dances; for my part, it is all one, it being of the world, and a part of the broad system of Satan’s devices for the amusement of his dupes. The Christian’s sources of happiness are full and deep, but they are apart from the world and its fleeting joys.
With the passage of the prohibition amendment to the federal constitution, the possession and sale of intoxicants became illegal; during the succeeding period the drinking habit, at first repressed, later grew greatly in volume. Now, with the practical repeal of restrictions, beer and more intoxicating liquors are in vastly increased demand.
Proverbs 20:1 truly says that “wine is a mocker (or scorner), strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived (or erreth) thereby is not wise.”
And Ephesians 5:18 yields this for our guidance and help: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit....”
Water is given to us freely by God; it alone satisfies thirst, and in the beginning, we may well suppose that no other beverage was thought of. It is a humiliating fact that the first mention in the Word of God of any other beverage is found in the record of Noah’s later years, after the flood which destroyed the early world it was then that this saint, who had been so faithful in word and work, and was so singularly preserved and blessed, made wine of grapes and became drunk, to his abiding shame.
I am aware that it is said that beer is no more than a means of quenching thirst, but there is abundant evidence that this is not true. It is the alcohol in it that makes this drink attractive, and the agitation over the “alcoholic content” of beer, which took place while the laws permitting its manufacture were being enacted, is a matter of recent history. There were two distinct and opposing elements then in action; one seeking to hold the liquor traffic in check for the good of the country, and the other endeavoring to obtain license for intoxicants without restraint. No such manifestation could have occurred had the question related to the manufacture of tea or coffee, or soda water; these, although stimulating, do not contain the far more effective element which makes beer and other drinks of that type attractive.
Now the desire for beer and the stronger stimulants comes from the lower desires of man, and the record of crime tells of the depths of depravity to which alcohol leads. As in the case of tobacco, no one asserts, or could with truth, that the thing is beneficial; rather is the opposite true, and in a marked way with the habitual user. “But there is no harm in a single glass,” someone will say; this is incapable of proof, and the temptation is to go on to a second and third, and thus a wrong course is begun.
I am reminded of the object lesson my Sunday School teacher many years ago put before her class, about the man who, wishing to engage a coachman, inquired of each applicant for the position, how near to the edge of a cliff road he could drive with safety. The man he chose said he would drive the carriage as far away from it as possible. So I would urge any young Christian who may read these lines to heed the word of 1 Thessalonians 5:22:
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
Today “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” is true of the world, as foretold in 2 Timothy 3:4. Am I to be a partner with the world in pursuing the same worldly pleasures, knowing full well that there is a day approaching when I shall be with the blessed Lord in heaven’s bright glory, and many of those with whose ways I have become familiar, will be spending eternity in a place of woe and torment? One word more, and I close:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7, 8).
This letter I have written to meet your desire for some thoughts gathered from God’s Word about some things which endanger the happiness of Christians, particularly the young.
Yours in Christ,
(Continued from page 38)

Life More Abundantly

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
This abundant life, we doubt not, is life in resurrection (John 20:22). Not only is the Christian a child of God, but he is said to be quickened together with Christ, raised up together, and seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Mark what scenes of blessedness this great truth, this union with Christ, introduces the believer into. United to Him, the risen Head, He communicates to him the privileges of His own position before God. He is the well-spring of the believer’s new life it is fed by Him every moment. Neither sin. Satan, nor death can ever touch it.
The Christian, by faith, has already begun his eternity with Christ. The foundation of all this great truth for the soul is the death and resurrection of Christ. He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In the greatness of His love He bore the burden of our sins in His own body on the tree. Death in all its bitterness He tasted for us, to put away sin, the source and sting of death, by the sacrifice of Himself. But God raised up that blessed one, and quickened us together with Him.
And now, blessed be His name, we know of a truth that our evil nature has been judged, our sins all blotted out, that righteousness has been divinely accomplished, that our peace with God is made, and that we are one with the risen Christ, in an entirely new sphere where no evil can ever come, and where the light of God’s countenance shines on us perfectly, and forever.
(See 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Heb. 2:9: 9:26; Col. 2:12, 13; Eph. 2; 1 Cor. 15).

"Seek Ye First"

Matthew 6:32-34
A Christian is a man who has God in heaven as his Father.
“Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matt. 6:32).
Therefore, as our Father knows this, why should we doubt Him? We do not distrust our earthly father; much less then should we doubt our heavenly Father.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
It is not that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and then these things; but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the rest will come.
“Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself” (v. 34).
That is, our Lord prepares us for this, that the anxiety which dreads an evil thing on the morrow, is nothing but unbelief. When the morrow comes, the evil may not be there; if it comes, God will be there. He may allow us to taste what it is to indulge in our own wills; but if our souls are subject to Him, how often the evil that is dreaded never appears.
When the heart bows to the will of God about some sorrow that we dread, how often the sorrow is taken away, and the Lord meets us with unexpected kindness and goodness. He is able to make even the sorrow to be all blessing. Whatever be His will it is good.
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (v. 34).

"I Cannot Bear It"

She had borne up under the waves and billows, of sorrow, to the surprise of others, because she heard:
“It is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27).
But one day she seemed alone in her grief. The voice of the Comforter had such a far-off sound, that her heart did not respond, as was its wont, “Even so, Father,” but instead, thinking herself alone, she cried in bitterness of soul, “I cannot bear it! I cannot!”
Burying her face in her hands she sobbed aloud. Presently she felt an arm around her neck, and heard in a loving tone:
“I’m sorry for you, auntie.”
The unexpected words of sympathy increased the sobs for a time, and then half-ashamed that the child should have seen her so overcome, she tried to smile through her tears, saying:
“I am weak today, darling, but it seems to me as if I cannot bear my grief any longer.”
The child lovingly patted the tear-stained face for a little, and then she picked up a rubber band, through which she put her little hands, and childlike stretched it back and forth, until a happy thought seemed to strike her, and she said:
“See, auntie, how I do with the rubber. I stretch it until I see it won’t bear any more without breaking, and then I let up. Say, don’t you think, auntie, God does that with folks, sometimes?”
The thoughtful illustration was surely heaven-sent, for to the sorrowing one it brought the words of comfort:
“God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Fragment: The Secret of Peace

For a Christian the secret of peace within and power without is to be always and only occupied with Christ.
“If I Go... I Will Come Again”
“Let not your heart be troubled;”
What words of love and grace!
Words spoken by the Saviour,
Within a quiet place,

When He and His disciples
Were in that upper room
‘Twas just before He entered
The depths of Calvary’s gloom.

“Let not your heart be troubled;”
My Father’s house above
Has many blissful mansions—
Abodes of joy and love.

“Let not your heart be troubled;”
For I am going there;
A place in fadeless glory,
For you I shall prepare.

“Let not your heart be troubled;”
For though I go away,
I’ll come again and take you
To realms of endless day.

Now though our Lord is absent,
We hear those words of love,
“Let not your heart be troubled;”
Still ringing from above.
And though the night seems dreary,
And long may seem His stay—
“Let not your heart be troubled,”
He’ll come without delay.

“Let not your heart be troubled,”
Are words of comfort sweet,
That cheer the heart in sorrow,
Until above we meet.

Worship

The full assurance of sin put away, is the alone basis of worship. It ministers not to a spirit of self-confidence, but to a spirit of praise, thankfulness, and worship. It produces, not a spirit of self-complacency, but of Christ-complacency, which, blessed be God, is the spirit which shall characterize the redeemed throughout eternity.
It does not lead one to, think little of sin, but to think much of the grace which has perfectly pardoned it, and of the blood which has perfectly canceled it.
It is impossible that anyone can gaze on the cross—can see the place which Christ took—can meditate upon the sufferings which He endured—can ponder on those three terrible hours of darkness, and, at the same time, think lightly of sin.
When all these things are entered into, in the power of the Holy Ghost, there are two results which must follow, namely, an abhorrence of sin in all its forms, and a genuine love to Christ, His people, and His cause.
Nothing is of any value, in the judgment of God, which is not immediately connected with Christ. There may be a great deal of what looks like worship, which is, after all, the mere excitement and outgoing of natural feeling. There may be much apparent devotion, which is merely fleshly pietism.
Nature may be acted upon, in a religious wax, by a variety of things, such as pomp, ceremony, and parade, tones and attitudes, robes and vestments, an eloquent liturgy, all the varied attractions of a splendid ritualism, while there may be a total absence of spiritual worship.
Reader, beware of all this. See that your worship stands inseparably connected with the work of the cross. See that Christ is the ground, Christ the material, and the Holy Ghost the power of your worship.
Take care that your outward act of worship does not stretch itself beyond the inward power. It demands much watchfulness to keep clear of this evil. Its incipient workings are most difficult to be detected and counteracted. Our only security is in keeping close to Jesus.
If we lift up our hearts in “thanksgiving” for some special mercy, let us do so in the power of the name and sacrifice of Christ. If our souls go forth in “voluntary” worship, let it be in the energy of the Holy Ghost. In this way shall our worship exhibit that freshness, that fragrance, that depth of tone, that moral elevation which must result from having the Father as the object, the Son as the ground, and the Holy Ghost as the power of our worship.

The Sunday School Teacher's Aim

In days like the present, when the forces of evil are so manifest, and the attention paid to children in every sphere is so increased, it behooves all those who seek to teach in the Sunday School to ask themselves what their one great aim is in connection with their work.
Do we set out to educate the children, simply to teach them scriptures and hymns? Or can we sum up our objective in the words of the apostle when he wrote:
“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some”? (1 Cor. 9:22).
There never was a time when the devil was busier in seeking to capture the children. His agents are to be found in the picture show, where the children have a chance to see all the wickedness possible, and hear now what no children should hear. Then there are the (lay-school teachers, who insidiously instill into the minds of the children that they need not believe the Bible. There are the Red Sunday Schools, some Socialist, some Communist, all teaching the little ones the most awful blasphemy. The papers too that the children read are filled with that which can never turn their hearts heavenwards.
O! what a solemn time we are living in! What are we doing, who know the Lord, know His saving grace, His power to save and His willingness too? Are we seeking by all means in our power to save some from the clutches of Satan and the doom of the unsaved?
Then there is another question. How much longer have we to bring the gospel before the children? We speak of the Lord’s coming, and everything would surely indicate that it draws nigh. So we may really have very little time left at our disposal. How the words of the Lord Jesus ring in our ears:
“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
O! how ready He ever was to meet the need of those around.
Nicodemus found Him perfectly accessible at night, and heard those wonderful words, recorded for us in John 3, from His lips.
The woman of Samaria found Him ready to meet her need, although He was wearied with His journey.
Blessed Lord and Master, what a blessed pathway of service and love was Thine!
Now He is in the glory, and His Word to us surely is “Occupy till I come.” There is a limit to our opportunities, and His coming which will summon us to glory, will leave those still unsaved behind for judgment. May we be stirred up to
“Work while the daylight lasteth
Ere the shades of night come on
Ere the Lord of the vineyard cometh
And the laborer’s work is done.”
Our desire is that the Lord may bring home to the hearts of each of us who labor among the young, how short the time is, the imminence of His coming, and the importance of realizing; that nothing less than the salvation of the children should be our object.
“Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11).
“The time is short” (1 Cor. 7:29).
“The coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).

"A Word Fitly Spoken"

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11).
A word “fitly spoken or as in the margin on its wheels” —not flung in nor pushed in, but glided in at the fitting opportunity and suited to him to whom it is addressed—is both beautiful and precious like golden fruit seen through the pure frosted network of a silver basket.
Such a word was once spoken to the great Emperor Theodosius, who at one time was disposed to waver in his belief in the divinity of our Lord. One day he was seated on his imperial throne in the great hall of his palace at Constantinople, and by his side sharing his throne and splendor was his little son Arcadius, on whom he had just bestowed the title and honors of Augustine.
An aged bishop approached to salute his sovereign. He bowed with all reverence to Theodosius but turned away without seeming to notice Arcadius. The Emperor, thinking it an oversight, called him back, and in a friendly manner pointed to the prince, upon which the bishop coolly went up to the child, stroked him on the head, and said with the familiar air he might have used to a peasant, “God save thee, my son.”
The Emperor’s indignation rose in a moment. Raising his voice he angrily commanded his guards to drive the insolent old man from his presence. But as he was being led to the door the bishop found time to say:
“Thus, O Emperor, will the Lord of heaven do to those who fail to obey His commands, and to honor the Son even as they honor the Father.”
The lesson was rude and simple, but it was striking and well-fitted to impress the mind of him to whom it was addressed. Theodosius never forgot it.
“The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him” (John 5:22, 23).

"The Wrong World First"

A man lay dying in his lovely mansion. When young he had been an earnest Christian and so remarkable was he for temporal prosperity that everything seemed to turn to gold in his hands. Lands, houses and revenues increased. And now he must leave them all, and as he looked into the face of death he realized that the surfeit of riches had drawn his heart from God, cooled his first love, deadened his spiritual life and left him a pauper as far as eternal treasures were concerned.
He sent for an early Christian friend whose life had been only, always, for his Master, and as this friend entered the stately mansion and passed into the beautiful room where his once comrade in Christ lay with death at the bedside, he saw him stretch out eager hands toward him and heard in accents of piteous regret the words:
“I find I have put the wrong world first.”
Aye! He had put the wrong world first, and now as the other shore was almost beneath his feet, he comprehended how poor, how puny, aye! how rotten it had been in comparison.
“What shall it profit a man if he gain, the whole world, and lose his own soul!”
He had not lost his soul—God is faithful, and eternal life by the Holy Spirit can never be lost—but he had lost his life—his crown, his happy service, his sense of the Saviour’s love, and the joy of being a fellow laborer under Him. For what: Some bricks and mortar tastefully arranged, a few statues and mosaics, a few gems from earth’s mines, a little flattery from earth’s wealthy ones and perhaps a few blessings from the lips of the poor—but the wrong world had always been first, and now nothing was left but the bitterness of the discovery, and the torturing sense of “what might have been.”
There “might have been” the Saviour’s “Well done,” the garnered sheaves, the souls won for the Crucified, now all missed for the sake of a few perishing pleasures and glories.
“The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:17).

Wonderful!

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). This is the glorious and divine logic which draws its reasonings from the actings of immeasurable, divine love.
“If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:10).
How do these truths come home with divine power to the heart, as founded on the bright and glorious display of what God is, and His ways as interested in us! It is logic of invincible power, founded on what God is, known by faith.

Correspondence: Laodicea; Zech. 13:6; Peace; Christendom; Grace; Heb. 12:24

Question: Is all the professing church Laodicea now?
Answer: No. Revelation 2:25, 28 shows a remnant in Thyatira who are waiting for the coming of the Lord. He has not come yet.
Revelation 3:3 tells that the Church in Sardis will be treated as the world—the Lord coming as a thief to them.
Revelation 3:11 shows a remnant looking for the coming of the Lord, keeping His word, and not denying His name. Overcomers are there also.
Revelation 3:20 has overcomers even in Laodicea who sup with Christ and He with them.
The truth that “there is one body and one Spirit even as ye are called in one hope of your calling,” continues till the Lord comes. Our responsibility and privilege is to walk worthy of that vocation with all lowliness and meekness, and the Lord’s care of the church, and provision for its needs, will not cease till the perfect man is reached (Eph. 4:4-16).
Question: Who is referred to in Zechariah 13:6?
Answer: The speaker in Zechariah 13:6 represents the Messiah. He, truly, was “wounded in the house of His friends.”
Question: How can I find peace?
Answer: What you need is a hearty acceptance of a full Christ, and a thorough surrender of yourself to Him. This we believe to be the true secret of solid peace and joyful liberty—Christ for the heart and the heart for Christ. May all perplexed inquirers know this!
Question: What is Christendom? Does the Bible say anything about it?
Answer: The word is unknown in Scripture. It is the “domain” or country of those who are “christened,” or who in any way outwardly profess the name of Christ. It is the corruption of Christianity, and is compared in 2 Timothy 2 to a great house in which, however, true vessels of mercy are found to God’s glory. The word opposed to it is “Heathendom.” Judgment being always in proportion to light received, it follows that this will be the scene of the heaviest of God’s coming judgments (2 Thess. Chapters 1, 2).
Question: What is the difference between “the exceeding riches of His grace,” Ephesians 2:7, and the “glory of His grace.” Ephesians 1:6?
Answer: When God’s grace is spoken of as meeting our need, it is called riches; when it is spoken of as satisfying His own heart and eternal counsels, it is called glory.
Question: What is the New Covenant? (Heb. 12:24).
Answer: A covenant is a principle of relationship with God on the earth; conditions established by God, under which man is to live with Him. The word may, perhaps, be used figuratively or by accommodation. It is applied to details of the relationship of God with Israel: but strictly speaking, there are but two covenants, the old and the new. The old was established at Sinai. The new covenant is made also with the two houses of Israel. The gospel is not a covenant, but the revelation of the salvation of God. It proclaims the great salvation. We enjoy indeed all the essential privileges of the new covenant, its foundation being of God; but we do so in spirit, not according to the letter. (We share its blessings on the ground of the shed blood of Christ). The new covenant will be established formally with Israel in the Millennium.

The Singing Cobbler

One evening, while crowds of people passed through the streets on their way to hear the music, a shoemaker, sitting under a shade before his shop door, was busily engaged with a shoe. He rested from his work, singing one of the most beautiful psalms, scarcely lifting his eyes from the sole, which occupied his whole attention, and quite indifferent to the crowd that passed before him, when a young man stopped suddenly and addressed him:
“Well, my friend, you seem quite happy and contented!”
The speaker was a student. His marked features, his black eyes, his high nose, and his dark complexion, showed that he belonged to the Hebrew race. The cobbler lifted his eyes and answered cheerfully—
“Happy and contented I am, in truth, sir; why should I not be so?”
“I don’t know; but all are not as you. Your poverty might distress you. I suppose you have only to provide for yourself?”
“You are mistaken there, sir,” he answered; “I have to feed a wife and seven children with the work of these hands. I am a poor man, it is true; but I can sing and do my work.”
“I must confess,” said the young man, “that I am very much surprised to see a poor fellow like you so contented with his lot.”
“Stranger,” said the cobbler, putting down his work, and taking hold of his arm with a serious expression,
“I am a son of the King.”
The student turned his head and went away, saying to himself, “The poor man is evidently mad! It is his madness that makes him so happy. I thought I should hear from him the secret of his happiness, but I have lost my time.”
A week passed by, and the student having again occasion to pass down the same street, found the cobbler sitting in the same place, singing as cheerfully as before. The young man, in passing, lifted his cap with a sneering salutation, exclaiming,
“Good morning, Mr. Prince.”
“Stop my friend,” said the cobbler, putting down his work; “a word of explanation, if you please. You left me so suddenly the other evening because you thought I was mad.”
“I must say I believed it,” answered the other.
“Well, my friend, I am not mad. What I said, I said in earnest. I am a son of the King. Would you like to hear a song on my royalty? I will just sing one.”
The young man did not doubt that to accept the offer would afford him some amusement and great satisfaction to the poor man, and he therefore asked him to sing. The cobbler began to sing a hymn on this verse: “Thy kingdom come.” When he finished he asked the young man if he understood it; but he seemed still to be under his old impression.
“I must, then,” said the old cobbler, “explain to you in detail concerning the kingdom of Christ and the glory of the King.”
He began then, with the divine word pronounced in the beginning, at the banishment from paradise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. He showed him this assurance, increasing in light from age to age throughout the prophecies, revealing always with clearer evidence the Redeemer’s kingdom. He showed him how all things which are written in the law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the Psalms, about Jesus Christ, have been fulfilled—how it behooved Christ to suffer these things and enter into glory—how all power in heaven and earth was committed to Him, and how He actually established a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and uniting in holy fellowship Jews and Gentiles. And, with eyes glistening with hope and love, he showed the young man, in language which the depth of his feelings made eloquent, how the subject of this glorious kingdom is a child of God, an heir, a joint-heir with Christ, the King; and how he shall reign with Him forever and ever.
“Now,” said the cobbler, taking the hand of the young Jewish student who sat beside him, and whose whole mind was filled with things he had heard for the first time in his life, about the old promises made to his forefathers; “Now don’t you see how I could say, ‘I am a son of the King,’ and why I am happy and contented? It is because I believe in Jesus, and love Him. And it is the sacred Scriptures which tell me that all things are mine, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come; all are mine, because I am Christ’s.”
Then looking the young Israelite in the face, the old Christian said—
“Believest thou the prophets? I know that thou dost; because I see by thy features that thou art descended from those who believed in the prophets. Then, my son, if you believe in the prophets, you must believe in Him about whom the prophets have spoken.” The young man listened in silence. Strange thoughts crossed his mind. At length he timidly asked this question—
“Where may I learn more of these things, because I see that you believe and that you have peace? O, that I might have it also! For as yet I do not possess it.”
“Here,” said the old man, handing him a volume of the holy Scriptures: “this book you must read attentively at home; and while you are learning from it the way of escape from the enemy of your soul, I shall, as Moses on the mount, pray for you without ceasing, commending you to one who knows you; who is greater than Moses; who is above all.”
The young Jew took the book, and pressing with gratitude the old man’s hand, took off his cap, and saluted him with respect.
“O, that the Lord Jesus,” said the old man, lifting his eves towards heaven, and taking to his work again, “may also graft this one in His own olive tree!”
The story does not end here. The old shoemaker’s prayer was heard.
The young Jew was converted to Christ, and has since distinguished himself by his zeal and success as a missionary among his own people.
“Be it known unto von therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man (the Lord Jesus Christ), is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38, 39).

What Think Ye of Christ?

Matthew 22:42
I think this a test to believers, as well as those who are not. These are Christ’s own words. If we go on day by day in a heedless, careless way, giving no thought as to our associations, and not taking a firm stand for Christ, who gave Himself a ransom for us, does it not show that our estimate of His work on the cross falls far short of God’s estimate: It surely does. He has given Him a name above all others, that every knee to Him should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Our faithfulness is very dear to the heart of our blessed Lord and Master.
Many seem to think that to remember the Lord in His death is all that is necessary, while the reading and prayer meeting are of little consequence, and so the seats are almost empty. I make a plea now, particularly to the young Christians. In days gone by the seats were filled with the young as well as the old. How is it now? Two or three young persons are all that are out. Do you think, my dear Christians, that this is pleasing to the Lord? No, I am sure it is not. Does it not seem just as essential, if not more so, for the young to be there as learners, as for the older ones?
If the Lord should tarry, the older Christians will depart to be with Christ, which is far better, but who are to take their places? The young Christians, to be sure. How are they to do this, if they have neglected to fit themselves for it by learning of Him at the reading and prayer meetings? O, my dear young Christians, this state of things should not be. You are dishonoring the blessed Lord by your unfaithfulness. May the Lord bless this word of exhortation to your souls.

Without Price

Love can neither be acquired by study nor bought by money.
“If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song of Sol. 8:7).
Christ’s love to us is the free action of His own divine heart. He loved us because He is love; and this love is as strong as it is pure.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
Not all the deep waters of Calvary, not all the floods of divine wrath, shook His love to poor sinners. And, Christian, having loved you, He will love you to the end, to your last day upon this earth, whether that day be death or His coming. Strengthen your heart, then, in the love of Christ, build up yourself in His affection for you.
There is nothing like the love of Christ within the soul to keep you from the power and the evil of the world.

"Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me"

Mark 10:14
Bring the little ones to Jesus,
He has said you may;
He took the children in His arms,
Not one was turned away.

Bring the little ones to Jesus,
Telling of His love;
How for them He left the brightness
Of His home above.

Bring the little ones to Jesus,
Telling of His cross;
Where He bore the sinner’s judgment,
Suffered shame and loss.

Tell the little ones of Jesus,
Of a Friend on high,
Ever true and never changing,
Who will never die.

Bring the little ones to Jesus
Ere their feet shall stray
In the paths of sin and folly,
Bring them now— “today.”

Bring the little ones to Jesus
In believing prayer;
Lay them down in His blest presence,
And just leave them there.

Plow Deep

As we were reading of the wonders performed by the deep steam plow upon an unpromising and hitherto profitless stiff clay farm, we thought of the gospel preaching of the day. Soil which was little else than worthless for corn growing, has, through the deep plowing of the last seven years, yielded an abundant crop!
How preachers of the gospel should pray for power to plow deep! Without the deep work, the soil of the heart of this generation is more tough and less profitable than the stiff clay of the farm.
O! for such a mighty breaking up by the power of God’s Spirit that a fruitful yield for the garners of heaven may be gathered in to Christ’s eternal glory.
The conscience needs to be plowed deep, the heart to be broken under the sense of sin, and of having rejected Christ. Repentance as well as faith is necessary.
Evangelist, pray for power to plow deep.

His Politics

He had always taken an interest in politics, and had been an ardent supporter, as far as lay in his power, of the party which he believed to be on side of law and order, but this year, how could he?
He had learned what it was to be dead and risen with Christ; he was standing for a rejected Master, a cast-out King: how could he vote?
They pressed him. “You have always voted,” they urged. But he repeated his refusal; and then his wife interposed:
“It is of no use your asking him,” she said. “I will tell you what he told me this morning. There was a great friend of his once whom they would not have. They crucified Him, and sent Him back to heaven, and so my husband will never vote again.”
Finding they could not prevail on our friend, the canvassers left him, not very well pleased at the ill-success of their errand.
In years gone by he had been of great use to them in inducing others to side with him, but now it was all at an end, for his politics, his interests, his hopes were in heaven, where his Lord had already gone, and where he too is soon going; and he does not wish now to have any voice in the politics of the land he is leaving behind.
Fellow-Christian, will you ponder the thought a little? You are not of this world, you do not belong here; your Master is not here. O! which side do you take? Do you side with the world? Then you are against Christ, for He says,
“He that is not with Me is against Me” (Matt. 12:30).
May He give you to stand faithfully for Him alone, confessing His name, knowing assuredly that if you do, He will confess yours before His Father and before the angels.
“Our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).

Written Ministry

The subject of reading matter (periodicals and tracts), has exercised me much for a time, and I venture a few suggestions. First, as to the importance of having in our homes, good reading for ourselves, to commence with. As one goes from place to place, the importance of this is felt. Very few Christian homes are without the weekly, if not the daily newspapers, and these are regularly read. Yet again and again one finds not one good, helpful, Christian magazine in such homes; and often the Prophet’s words might be used,
“My people are destroyed (Heb. cut off) for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6).
Beloved, this is, I believe, a very serious neglect with some. It is true that the Word of God must have the first place in a Christian home; and no books, papers or magazines should take its place.
Yet we believe where the Book of books is valued and fed upon as it ought to be by us, anything that helps to a further understanding of its precious contents will be valued and hailed with great delight, The written ministry of many honored servants, gifted and deeply taught in the Word, is within the reach of all. Thus periodicals are a channel which all might enjoy from month to month. We cannot neglect such without serious loss to ourselves, and if loss to ourselves, it must he with loss to others.
Next, as to the children and young in the home circle. How important for parents to place before the young, reading of a simple, sound, and Scriptural character. Here also there is need of real discernment, for much of the literature printed for the young tends to educate their minds for light reading of the “novel” style.
Here parents need to have godly wisdom and true discernment. All religious books of this kind should be discarded. We believe the love for novels and the theater plays might in many cases be traced back to reading of this kind with a religious clothing. Then let us be awakened as to the importance of simple, earnest, Scriptural reading for the young, and thus seek to store their minds with knowledge, good and sound.
Eternity alone will fully reveal the loss to many parents, who now heap up riches and add land to land, and neglect to lay out part of their means regularly, to instruct the young upon divine things. What a blessed field lies open here to parents!
The newspaper is subscribed for and paid for regularly; then, let us see, beloved, that first of all, each month or year, proper reading for ourselves and our homes is attended to, as far as we are prospered in this world’s goods. O, how many a child of God we have heard bless the Lord for the written ministry; and also how many children have been brought to God in tears and repentance, after reading some gospel incident recording the conversion of others. Upon no other subject ought parents to be more awake.
Next we will look beyond the home circle and see among our neighbors what a field there is to serve the Lord Jesus. These fields lie open everywhere and all around us. What are we now doing in this respect?
An aged Christian, a few years ago, came into a Tract Depot and bought a few dollars’ worth of tracts, saying, with tears coursing down his cheeks, that a neighbor living by his side for nine years had just died. He had never so much as given him a tract, or paper, setting the gospel before him, or warning him of his danger. The neighbor had died suddenly, and the sorrowing Christian feared the poor man was lost. O, beloved, what a thought for us! One soul gone into eternity, and lost forever, whom we knew on earth!
What a field there lies before every one of us. Often there are difficulties in the way of speaking to people about eternal realities, when one gospel tract of but a few pages, handed out or sent by mail, could do all the work. It can reach the king’s palace; it will enter the home of the poor; it will stay for weeks, months and years, and turn up again in time to deliver its true and faithful message, just the same as it could the day it left the kind and thoughtful hand that passed it on.
Thousands upon thousands can rise up as one man, and testify that a tract was the means of their conversion. Thousands upon thousands will tell us they have been restored from paths of sin and vice to that of peace and righteousness, by the truth carried by these silent messengers. Others have been cheered, comforted and stimulated in their Christian lives by them. And again, what light and truth they have carried to people and to homes, making the Bible itself a new book to them.
This is a grand work—the distribution of tracts. It is a work in which the young and old, rich and poor, educated and illiterate can help. The fields everywhere are open. Then let us, beloved, inquire: Have we been, and are we now, as diligent in this branch of service for the Lord, as we ought to be? If not, may this day find us with more decision and purpose of heart to help, in some way, the distribution of tracts.
For a few cents good gospel papers could be supplied to neighbors month after month. Thus in the absence of an evangelist, the work of presenting the gospel could be carried on continually. In a town or city street after street could be canvassed, or tracts could be sent to a number of addresses through the mail; thus, for a trifle, good gospel reading may be placed in many homes each month.
How many will enlist in this service, take up the work in faith, and water it with much prayer? The end draws near. Soon we shall leave forever behind us, the fields now open. The Lord forbid that any of us shall so leave as to have no sheaves to lay down at His feet, when He comes.
“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Eccl. 11:6).

Usefulness

The child of God must be useful, though usefulness as such is not his aim. In nature none of us is so prone to work and to deny ourselves that we need much caution against being too useful. What we need is to have work put in its right place. Is there not now rather a tendency to look on folded hands, as the necessary accompaniment of a spiritual heart? Mary’s hands were not folded, on the contrary they were busy wiping His feet with that which was “her glory.”
Where are the feet of Christ now over which we are to pour our offerings of time, money, love, and sympathy? On every side of us, in countless numbers, the poor and needy members of His body. Is Christ precious to us? Then we will, we must be blessedly useful. We cannot help it, unless somehow we have become useless on principle.
Are there not children to be taught the way of the Lord, the naked to be clothed, the hungry to be fed, the sick to be visited, the sorrowful to be comforted, sinners to be saved, and are we doing nothing?
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccl. 9:10). Let us not be waiting all our lives for the Lord to show us His path of service. Let us begin with the small things that lie clearly before us, and when He sees we are willing, He will soon show us more.
O, do not let us allow ourselves to play with His work! Remember it is for our Master. We must not take it up today, and drop it tomorrow, nor use our liberty for our own ease, but go on steadily, in patient, plodding, self-denying, flesh-mortifying, work for Him. If we do this we shall meet with many discouragements from our fellow-Christians. We may perhaps get many rebuffs even from those among whom we work, but we shall get His smile whom we seek to serve, and His “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” to crown our labors.
O let us beware of weakening the hands of others, or of turning any feet out of a path of service. There may be much that is done in a wrong way, there may be much fleshly zeal, but let us always seek, while pointing out what is wrong, to encourage, not to discourage; to strengthen, not to weaken. It is one thing to direct zeal, another to check it, and these are days when every Christian ought to be in deep earnest, seeking to win souls for Christ and seeking to do good unto all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. It has been observed that those who are busy in finding fault are seldom true workmen themselves, for the spirit among all true fellow-workmen tends ever to mutual strengthening and help, never to hindering or weakening one another.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

"The Father of Mercies"

There is an exceedingly fine description of what God is in times of trouble in (2 Cor. 1:3,4). The sorrows and sufferings through which the Christian passes in this world have made God known to him as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
Tribulations are keenly felt, but they serve, after all, to show us God’s goodness in tenderly meeting the necessities of such occasions. If it were not for tribulations we could not realize what it is to know God as “the Father of mercies,” and we would not enjoy Him as the God of all comfort as we ought. “The Father of mercies and God of all comfort” just suits a tried and suffering apostle and servant of Christ, and every troubled and sorrowing believer in Christ too. God is not indifferent to our tribulations, but in them all He comforts us, as He alone can most perfectly.
Christian friends, loving brethren, can and do pity and comfort us in our sorrows, but there is no one who can pity and comfort us like God. He only can just exactly enter into their depths, and He soothes and comforts the heart. Sympathy for a grief-stricken and tried follower of Christ is keenly appreciated and most thankfully received, and would that there were more of it shown to each other at these times; we need all the sympathy that can be given us then. But the comfort of God is what we should lean upon, and be encouraged with in all our trials and sorrows. When comforted of God we are able to comfort others, while they are passing through tribulations, with the same comfort wherewith we ourselves were comforted of Him.
Many of the sorrows the Apostle Paul passed through, were occasioned by persecutions from the enemies of Christ, and by his faithful and devoted service to the Lord. With the Corinthians most of their tribulations were brought on themselves by their own fault and lack of faithfulness to Christ; nevertheless they were real and poignant, and having been repentant before the Lord, they found the loving heart of the Father going out to them in compassion, binding up their broken hearts with His comfort, and encouraging them to a closer walk in communion with Himself.
And thus it is with us: God comforts us in all our tribulations. Some of our troubles, alas! like those of the Corinthians, are brought on ourselves by self-seeking, or worldliness, or lack of faithfulness to the Lord Jesus; but when we have judged ourselves before Him, and there is true repentance, the Lord pours in the oil and wine which heals and comforts the heart.
Tribulations also may arise as with the apostle Paul, only with him in greater degree and with more faithfulness and devotedness to Christ than anyone else, for his was a special service; none had a mission like he had, and no one ever will have again such as he had. He was Specially raised up of the Lord to suffer great things for His name’s sake, and was the Apostle to the Gentiles—our apostle. With him the sufferings came from both Jew and Gentile because of faithful service to Christ, and because of living entirely for Christ, and in such a case how very precious are the comforts and compassions of our God and Father.
Tribulations also come from being in this world, such as sickness, infirmity of the body, and death. The Lord has said:
“In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
There are also difficult circumstances, such as poverty, business reverses and the like, and loss of friends and other trials common to men, but in them all He is “the Father of mercies,” —let us not forget this— “and the God of all comfort” to us.
“At that time,” when the great cities of Judea had rejected Him and His ministry and word, Jesus thanks the Father. And O! what a dark time that was: He felt it keenly. He alone, being perfect and holy, and the Son of God, could know the depths of it all. “At that time” He rests in the Father, the source of rest and comfort, and delights in His will and His way. He said:
“I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.... Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matt. 11:25, 26).
What an immense comfort it is to learn of Jesus, and walk in fellowship with God; He is our Example. It is our privilege to rest in the love and mercy that is in God, “the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.”
These sorrows are allowed in His love for us. They bring out some wonderful grace and goodness and compassion, an otherwise undiscovered display of Himself to our hearts. We learn in our trials that every comfort, every compassion, and every mercy is all traced to Him; He is the spring of it all; He is “the Father of mercies.” We can indeed thank Him for the very precious way in which He makes
Himself known to us in the dark periods of our history while we are on our way through this world to the Father’s house above, which is our eternal home.
Soon the Lord will come and receive us unto Himself, that where He is there we may be also; therefore it is only for a little while we shall have to endure tribulations. We shall dwell with Him forever then, and behold the beauty of the Lord; and this will amply compensate us for the sufferings of this little while.

The Grace of Giving

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10).
“Whosoever shall give... a cup of water only, in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42).
“God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
What a wonder it is that the Lord over all,
Whose wealth is unbounded, unknown,
Takes notice of everything done, large or small,
And so values the gifts from His own.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
All the land, and the silver, and gold;
The cattle and sheep upon thousands of hills,
All the wealth, and the riches untold.

“God giveth us richly all things to enjoy”
From out of His bountiful store;
For “Every good gift cometh down from above,”
And daily He blesses us more.

He gave unto us the “unspeakable gift,”
Of Jesus, the Son of His love;
To ransom our souls from the bondage of sin,
And bring us to glory above.

Such wonderful love! ‘tis the least we can do,
And a very small thing on our part,
To render the worship and praise due to Him,
And grant Him first place in the heart.

‘Tis our privilege then to return unto Him,
A portion of what we possess:
The steward who’s willing and faithful in this,
The Lord will assuredly bless.

Think not He’s unmindful of anything given,
No matter how small an amount;
He desires not the gift, but the blessing for you,
That fruit may abound on account.
And Jesus beholds how we give unto Him—
The widow’s two mites may seem small,
But she gave with a heart full of love to her Lord,
And to Him— “She gave more than they all.”

A cup of cold water, He’ll not overlook,
If given as unto the Lord;
How little it takes for the Saviour to note,
And in glory to richly reward.

Who cheerfully, willingly, gives to the Lord,
His promise of blessing is sure:
That He will provide an abundant reward—
Through eternity, it will endure.

Correspondence: In Eternity; Isa. 65:20; Eph. 4:26; Pleasing Christ; Gen. 9:6

Question: Kindly say what kind of life the unbeliever will have throughout eternity, and what body he will have.
Answer: We do not know anything more than that he will have a perpetuity of existence in unutterable misery, and that the body will be immortal. Eternal life properly speaking, belongs to the Christian alone, and means much more than existing forever, which latter is equally true of the unbeliever. Only those who are in Christ have eternal life; the others, although existing forever, shall not have this eternal life. (John 3:36).
Question: Will you kindly explain Isaiah 65:20?
Answer: It means that in the Millennium, man’s life will no longer be cut down to three score years and ten, but that it will be so prolonged (through all Christ’s glorious reign) that if one die at one hundred years old he is accounted an infant; if through sin he is cut off at that early age, it is a curse from God. What a vista of glory such a thought opens up to us.
Question: Please explain Ephesians 4:26.
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: What can one who has recently been converted do to please Christ at school?
Answer: Everything. The Lord Jesus does not so much call you to do something new and special, but to do all the old things from a new motive—all that you did before to please yourself or your instructors, now do to please Him. You may also be able to do some little service for Him, such as speaking a word to any that do not know your Lord and Saviour, or writing about Him to your brothers or sisters or friends. This is only occasional, for you cannot be always speaking or writing, but you can always be manifesting Christ. In all your actions try to show what Christ is, not what you are. Display His meekness, not your pride; His patience, not your impatience; His love, not your selfishness—that thus
“The life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10).
Question: Will you kindly explain Genesis 9:6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man”?
Answer: After the flood the government of the earth was put in the hands of men. Noah was the first governor; the executive power was put into his hands, and ever since, in every country, there have been “powers that be.... ordained of God” (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13, 14).
The Christian is not a citizen of this world. He should not make the laws nor interfere with them, but be subject to them as ordained of God, except where they would come between his conscience and God, being contrary to the Word of God, having to obey God rather than men (Acts 4:19; 5:29).
Verses 5 and 6 require that a beast or a man that kills a man shall be killed by man.
Capital punishment was thus instituted by God and has not been repealed. It is for Jew, Gentile and Christian alike to be subject, but the Christian, being heavenly, should not interfere with the laws of the land in which he lives.

Only a Word in the Train

“Yes, it is wonderful how God opens up the way and gives opportunities to help souls, if only we are really waiting on Him for this, and ready for it.”
“It is so,” said my friend, with whom I was comparing notes, “and many times I have proved it to be true. Only a short time since I had the following happy experience which has encouraged me greatly.
“I was on my way to A—, and just opposite me in the train sat a woman, reading one of the monthly Christian magazines. I noticed that it was a book issued in the interests of Sunday school work. Presently the woman laid aside the paper she was reading, and I felt constrained to speak to her. It is not always easy to open a conversation with a stranger, but in turning the eye and heart upwards we always get the needed wisdom and strength for every emergency. And so I opened the conversation by saying.
“‘Forgive me, but I presume from the paper you were reading that you are interested in Sunday school work?’
“‘O yes, I am greatly interested,’ was the reply.
“‘How long have you taken up this work, may I ask?’
“‘For a number of years.’
“‘And are you happy and blest in it?’
“‘Well, yes, I think so,’ was the rather hesitating reply.
“‘How long have you known the Lord Jesus yourself?’ I ventured to ask.
“A long pause ensued, and evidences of embarrassment; my new friend was evidently unable to answer at once, but at length slowly repeated my words, ‘known the Lord Jesus for myself,’ and then added,
“‘Why I cannot say I even know Him now.’
“‘Not know the Lord Jesus, and you a Sunday school teacher!’ I exclaimed; ‘surely you must see how impossible it is for you to teach the children of your class about the Lord Jesus, if you do not know Him yourself?’ I then most earnestly pressed upon her the necessity for personal contact with and interest in a personal Saviour.
“She told me she was on her way to visit a dying, unconverted sister, and to take charge of the home and children for awhile. I pointed out to her what an opportunity God was giving her of leading the dying sister to Christ, and again urged the necessity of immediate decision.
“The train stopped, and my friend allowed me to take her name and address, as I wished to send her a little book which I thought might be helpful, and we parted.
“On my return home I at once wrote to enforce the points of our conversation, and enclosed ‘Just the Saviour You Need,’ and then committed the whole matter to the Lord, who I felt sure had begun to work in the heart of this woman in whom He had so sincerely interested me.
“In a few days, I received a letter in answer to mine. It was full of the deepest gratitude to God for His great goodness in having, in such an unexpected manner, reached her soul and blessed her. She told how she had gone to her sister’s home in the deepest distress, and that all was darkness within; then came the letter and the little booklet enclosed, and God used the one and the other to give her light and liberty.
“Further, she told how her sister had also read the book with similar results, and she too was now happy through faith in the finished work of Jesus.
“A few weeks later a black-edged envelope inclosing a letter, told of the death of the sister, and how her last hours were bright—O, so bright!—through believing.
“‘Neither my sister nor I’ continued the writer, ‘can ever thank God and you sufficiently for the blessing following that little talk in the train; the dying couch was bright with the sunshine of heaven. My sister called her children around her, and, one by one, committed them to the loving care of her Saviour and Friend bidding them each and all to give their hearts and lives to Him she now loved so well.’”
May I ask you, dear reader, Do you know the Lord Jesus? If He could so brighten the life and give sunlight in death itself to those two dear sisters, He is able to do this and more also for you. Hide nothing from Him.
Trust only to Him. He is able; He is willing; let Him save you just now.
“Jesus Christ, whom not having seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:7, 8).

What Would He Say?

“If He should come today
And find my hands so full
Of future plans, however fair,
In which my Saviour has no share,
What would He say?

“If He should come today
And find my love so cold,
My faith so very weak and dim
I had not even looked for Him
What would He say?

“If He should come today
And find I had not told
One soul about my Heavenly Friend
Whose blessings all my way attend,
What would He say?

“If He should come today
Would I be glad—quite glad?
Remembering He had died for all
And none, through me, had heard His call,
What would I say?”

Meditations on the Beatitudes: Introduction

Matthew 5:1-16
Introduction
As all our natural thoughts of blessedness—like the earthly expectations of the Jews—are in perfect contrast with the Lord’s teaching on this subject, it may be well for our souls to examine carefully, as in His presence, the true principles of real happiness. Surely our hearts would desire perfect blessedness, which means perfect happiness—the happiness of heaven, not the uncertain happiness, or rather the transient excitement, of earth.
From observation, habit of thought, general impressions, we have all shared largely in the popular notions of what constitutes a life of happiness here: but now, with the instructions of the Great Teacher before us, we shall do well to take our place at His feet, and learn of Him the sure and safe way to a life of holiness and happiness here and of unmingled blessedness hereafter. Mankind in general would say,
“Blessed are the rich, who can surround themselves with every comfort; blessed are the joyful, the high-spirited, the independent, who know nothing of hungering and thirsting.” But the Lord, who was from heaven, and knew the character that suited the kingdom of heaven, says, “Blessed are the poor, the mourners, the meek, the hungering and thirsting ones.” This is completely reversing the universal judgment of men, and contradicting the cherished thought of every human heart.
But what an unspeakable mercy for all classes that happiness does not depend on our circumstances, nor on how much we possess of this world’s goods, but on the state of the mind; or, in one word, on character—a character conformed to Christ; for the beatitudes are essentially the character of the blessed Lord Himself. Who so poor in spirit, so meek and lowly in heart, as Jesus? Who so obedient and dependent as man? Who so filled with peace, and uninterrupted in communion with His Father in heaven? He has left us an example that we should walk in His steps.
But before speaking of the different features of that wonderful character—which ought to be our own—we must notice some of the events in the Lord’s public ministry which led to this full and formal proclamation of the kingdom, and the revelation of its fundamental principles. And here, Lord, in studying Thy character and teaching, Thy miracles, and ways in grace and love, guide us by Thy Holy Spirit, reveal Thy varied glories to our souls, and form our characters anew, that we may manifest while on earth the heavenly principles of Thy kingdom.
And let it be thine, for thyself, my soul, in meditating on these beatitudes—on the different features of the faithful one in Israel—to judge thyself in their light, that thou mayest be a true reflection of Him in this self-seeking world. This is clearly thy place and privilege during thy Lord’s absence. But thou wilt say, Are not the disciples who are here addressed the remnant in Israel? Most surely; the Sermon on the Mount was preached to His disciples, but in the hearing of all Israel, and sets forth the principles of the kingdom in connection with that people, and in moral contrast with the ideas they had formed respecting it. The character and conduct of those who are suitable to the kingdom, and the conditions of entering into it, are also proclaimed by the Prophet King. But, alas! through the unbelief of the people, and rejection of their King, the establishment of the earthly kingdom has been delayed; and the church, which is heavenly, has been brought in, and Christians are now the bearers of God’s testimony, and witnesses for Christ in the world. This is the Christian’s mission; a truly blessed, but solemnly responsible one.
“As My Father hath sent Me,” says the blessed Lord, “even so send I you.”
Here we are told by the Lord Himself that our mission in this world is on the same principle, and of the same character, as was His own. And to this end He reveals to His disciples—not to the apostles merely—the great truth, that in virtue of His finished work, they are brought into association with Himself, as they had never been before; for it is only now, for the first time, that He says,
“I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” And now, in the full assurance of their pardon and peace with God, and filled with the Holy Spirit, they were to go forth as the bearers of His message, and ever to be characterized by His Spirit.
We will now turn for a moment to the immediate circumstances which led Him to ascend the mountain, and address the multitudes.
More than beautiful on the mountains of Israel were the feet of Him who came as Jehovah’s messenger with such healing and blessing to His people. But wondrous, precious truth! He was Himself Jehovah. The Spirit of God delights to introduce Him to us in Matthew’s Gospel as Jehovah Jesus, as Emmanuel, God with us.
O! mystery of mysteries!—Emmanuel, God manifested in flesh. Not merely as King of glory seated upon a throne in heaven, but as a babe, born of a virgin, and cradled in a manger; yet the Son of David, the beloved of God. As Son of Man He suffered and died, but infinite value was given to His work by the glory of His person as Emmanuel, God with us. What a resting-place for a troubled soul! For thee, my reader—for all who believe in Him.
“Jesus! Thou King of glory,
I soon shall dwell with Thee,
And sing the wondrous story
Of all Thy love to me.

“Meanwhile my soul would enter
By faith before Thy throne,
And all my love would center
On Thee, and Thee alone.”
For purposes suited to our gospel, the whole of our Lord’s history, until the commencement of His ministry after the death of John the Baptist, is here passed over. He then comes before us, in fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah, as a great light shining in the land of darkness and of death.
“In the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up” (Matt. 4:15, 16; Isa. 9:1, 2).
The whole country, even to the extent of the ancient territory of Israel, it is said, was excited and aroused by His mighty deeds. These were the faithful witnesses of His Messiahship. The tribes of Israel were thus summoned to the standard of their Messiah. Unbelief was left without excuse. He was not only the light of life shining on the darkness of death, but He was the mighty power of God in healing and blessing. The strong man He had bound, and He was now spoiling him of his goods. The need and misery of man, both as to his soul and body, were the great objects of His mission of mercy. He was there to forgive their iniquities, to heal their diseases, to redeem their lives from destruction, and to crown them with loving-kindness and tender mercies (Psa. 103). Thus we read,
“And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy: and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people, from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan” (Verses 24, 25).
The attention of the whole country being thus attracted, and vast multitudes following Him, eagerly desiring to hear His gracious words, He unfolds the character of the kingdom of heaven, and of the people who would enter into it, in what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount, which opens with the beatitudes.
(To be continued).

Faith and Patience

“Be not slothful, but followers of them who through FAITH and PATIENCE inherit the promises. When God made promise to Abraham,... after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Heb. 6:12, 13, 15).
“Ye have heard of the patience of Job” (James 5:11).
“The trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3).
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psa. 37:7).
If we would please our blessed Lord—
Our faith in Him would prove—
We’d lean upon His promises,
And rest in His great love.

Whate’er our lot or circumstance,
We would not fret or doubt,
But just commit our path to Him;
For good He works things out.

Nor would we try to hurry Him
To please our restless will,
But trusting Him, we’d bide
His time, His promise to fulfill.

For faith is linked with patience, and
Our times are in His hand:
So we can wait and trust, although
We may not understand.

We read of faithful Abraham,
Who patiently endured;
He staggered not in unbelief—
Of power divine assured.

And Job his faith and patience proved
Beneath the chastening rod:
Though tried and tested he endured
And trusted still in God.

‘Twould give our hearts such peace and joy,
To patiently repose
In His great love and care for us,
For He our pathway knows.

God’s precious promises are sure,
Though He our faith may test;
Then let us keep our eyes on Him,
And in His wisdom rest.

"Bought With a Price"

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
I am going to be like Christ in glory; then I must be as like Him now as ever I can be. Of course we shall all fail, but we are to have our hearts full of it.
Remember this, that the place you are in is that of an epistle of Christ. We are set for this, that the life of Christ should be manifested in us. Christ has settled the question with God: He appears in the presence of God for us, and we are in the presence of the world for Him.
“In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.”
If I know He is in me, I am to manifest the life of Christ in everything. If He has loved me with unutterable love which passes knowledge, I feel bound in heart to Him; my business is to glorify Him in everything I do. “Bought with a price” —that is settled: if bought, I am His.
But, beloved friends, I press upon you that earnestness of heart which cleaves to Him, especially in these last evil days, when we wait for the Son from heaven.
O, if Christians were more thoroughly Christians, the world would understand what it was all about. There is a great deal of profession and talk; and the activity of the Spirit of God—thank God—there is; but do you think if a heathen came here to learn what Christianity meant, he would find it out?
The Lord give us to have such a sense of the love of Christ, that, as bought with a price, the only object of our souls may be to live by Christ, and to live for Christ; and for those who do not know Him, that they may learn how He came down in love to seek us, and, because righteousness could not pass over sin, died to put it away.

"Do You Find You are Better?"

I was asked to visit a young man—a Christian, I was told, but not a happy one—and a few days after I went.
He was about twenty years old, just recovering from a long and severe illness.
He was glad to see me; and after a few questions about the health of his body, we soon turned to the condition of his soul.
He was quite bright and clear about the forgiveness of his sins, knowing that the blood of Jesus Christ had washed them all away; but to the question, “Do you find your heart has become better since you have been converted?” there was no answer, but a serious expression of countenance, and an unhappy look in the downcast eyes. His mother, present in the room, thereupon broke in, declaring how much better he had become, and what an exemplary character he was; but he made no answer. Seeing where he was in soul, I said,
“Well, I don’t find that my heart has become one bit better than it was.” Immediately he brightened, and looking up, he said,
“I was just thinking the same. I don’t find I get one bit better.”
“And this is your trouble?”
“Yes,” he said, “that is it.”
“If you improved,” I said, “who would get the credit of it?”
“Why, I should.”
“Quite true; you would get the credit, and not Christ. Now let me ask you, Do you believe that Word that says, ‘In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing?’”
“Yes,” he said, “I do.”
“And yet you are disappointed that good does not come out of that which God says is wholly bad! I suppose, if you found that you never had any evil thoughts or desires, and saw only good when you looked within, you would think you were getting on nicely?”
“Yes, I should.”
“And yet,” I said, “you do find in you that which you never did before—a something that hates the evil you do, though you do it? Is it not the case?”
“O, yes, it is indeed!” he said, and his face got all of a glow with excitement; and when I read him the last few verses of Romans 7, he said it “exactly described him.”
“Now,” I said, “let us look at the thing as God looks at it. He says that you and I have a nature that is unimprovable—that, however much we try, cannot be made better; and Romans 6, tells us how God has dealt with this nature, that produces only evil in thought and action. He has dealt with it by Christ, and it is for us by faith to lay hold of it.
“Romans 7, gives us the experience of one who, in spite of what God tells him in chapter 6, tries to get this evil nature to improve, and learns by bitter experience that he cannot succeed (although he finds he has now a new nature, that he received when he was born again, which hates the evil that the old nature does, but is powerless to prevent its acting).
“Sooner or later he gives up the effort, and in the last verse but one of the chapter cries out in his wretchedness to another to deliver him from the bondage he is in; and then the answer comes that he is delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ; and turning back to chapter 6, he learns how that deliverance has been accomplished, even by death—the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only for his sin, but for him; that as Christ died, so he died before God. And ‘he that is dead is freed from sin;’ thus the only thing that could be done with that which was absolutely bad was to make an end of it, to abolish it; and so when Christ was made sin for us, the one who knew no sin, He died, and thus ended it, and, blessed be His name, thus ended me before God, although I am still alive as to fact; but faith takes the place God gives, and ‘reckons itself to have died indeed unto sin.’
“But more than that: as Christ is no longer in the place of death, but risen from the dead, so is the believer raised with Him. ‘For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.’ So ‘likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
“Now the believer knows himself as not only having died unto sin once, but alive, raised, and in a new place of unchanging blessing before God, even in His own beloved Son, as the first verse of Romans 8 tells us:
“‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.’”
All this time my young friend was a study to look upon; and as God’s Spirit applied God’s Word in power, it seemed as if all the clouds rolled away, never to return, and he said,
“O, I see it all now quite clearly, quite!”
“And now, friend,” I said, “when you find that evil nature in you ever ready to come up, and getting no better, do look at it as God looks at it; reckon it where God allows you to reckon it, as having come to an end at the cross of Christ; and mind you don’t allow a dead thing to act in any way. O, this,” I said, “gives God the glory, this leads our hearts in wondering praise of that cross of Christ whence all these blessings flow! It is no longer I that get the credit for making myself better, but Christ is the one I can glory in, who has by His death forever done away with my old self before God, and, as risen, brought me into a new place, where there is no condemnation.”
I left him bright, happy, and praising God for his deliverance. May the same God bless any bewildered soul who read this paper, for Christ’s sake.
I would just add, that the testimony of the mother was right in its place. She could bear witness to the altered character and ways of her son; but the heart knoweth its own bitterness, and it was what he found within, that troubled this young man.

A Comforting Message

Among the terrible instances of the sufferings and cruelties during the Indian Mutiny, one affords a striking example of how God cares for His people, and sends them words of comfort and of cheer in their darkest hour, and in the most unlooked-for way.
A little band had escaped from the great massacre at Seetapore, and, after many wanderings, they found refuge in a desolate-looking old fort, defended by belts of jungle.
Their sojourn in this inhospitable abode was but brief, for they were soon sent forth into the more inhospitable jungle. There they had scanty food, and little, or no shelter, for, if they had sought the shades of the forest, the tigers would have been upon them, and, at night, they were compelled to burn fires in an open space to keep the beasts of prey at a distance from them. And thus miserably passed the time from week to week, and from month to month, till all spirit and all hope died within them. They saw each other drooping day by day, or, as time went on, prostrated by jungle fever.
But the measure of their humiliation was not yet full.
They were dragged out of the jungle, and ordered to prepare for a journey, and, huddled together on two common country carts, they set forth. In the villages through which they passed they were made a show to be gazed at, and to be mocked, by the people. Their food, scanty and nauseous, was thrown to them as if they had been dogs; water was given to them grudgingly, or not at all, and, in the agonies of their thirst, they shrieked again and again for water. But comfort came to them in their tribulation from the Word of God.
They had not a Bible among them, but one of the ladies had some native medicines brought to her, wrapped up in a piece of printed paper, which proved to be part of a leaf of the book of Isaiah, and the message, which came to them through Mohammedan hands, was this:
“They shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am He that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that...” (Isa. 51:11-14).
The paper was torn off before the verse was finished.
The words of love, so strangely and mysteriously sent to them, comforted and strengthened them in the midst of their sorrow, for they were thus reminded afresh of the watchful care of Him who never slumbers nor sleeps, who never removes His eyes from the righteous; and those who survived to tell the story are fresh witnesses to the power of the Word of God to comfort and cheer hearts bowed down by the deepest sorrow.

He Is Faithful

“When I sent you forth without purse, or script, or shoes,” says the Master, “lacked ye anything?”
We must answer, “Nothing.”
Has one promise of the Lord, in which you rested in faith, failed you?
Imagination may picture to us possible want in the future; but when memory draws the scenes on the canvas of the past, she witnesses that, to all His Word, “He is faithful that promised.”

Learn to Count

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2).
Count! I learned to do that at school. One, two, three, four, five, and so on. Or, two and two make four. Or, three times three is nine. Or, six minus three is three. I am glad I have not forgotten.
My text says, “count it all joy.” Count what? Why temptations, trials, hard places, misunderstandings, persecutions, and all the things that sorely press.
I am tempted, it seems, beyond measure. What shall I do? Count it all joy. Well, I feel better. I have been misunderstood. What am I to do? Why count it all joy. Well, the honey is dripping down my soul.
I have a terrible trial. It does not seem as though I can live under it. O, what must I do?
Do—why count it all joy. Well, bless His holy name! That’s right. What peace I have in my heart. What joy! What ecstasy!
You say this is easy to write, but harder to do. True. But God has not deceived us, and if we follow His divine instructions, He will do what He has promised.
Learn to count in God’s way. The teacher, the professor, the college president may not know this secret, but the humblest Christian may learn it and utilize it, to the glory of God.
Let’s learn to count!
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6, 7).

Resting on the Finished Work

“Look!” exclaimed a boy, who was walking with his father, “they are knocking away the props from under the bridge. What are they doing that for? Will not the bridge fall?”
“They are knocking them away,” replied his father, “that the timbers may rest more firmly upon the storm piers which are now finished.”
Thus God removes all earthly props so that our faith may rest entirely on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and on our Father’s care for each step of our pathway to the glory.
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).

Correspondence: Mark 8:24; Matt. 27:46; Satan's Heavenly Access; More Like Christ

Question: Please explain “I see men as trees, walking” (Mark 8:24).
Answer: The Lord, for the express purpose, it seems to me, of showing the patience of ministry according to His mind, first touches his eyes, when partial sight follows. The man confesses in reply, that he saw men like trees walking; and the Lord applies His hand a second time. The work is done perfectly. Thus, not only did He heal the blind, but He did it well. If He puts His hand to accomplish, He does not take it away until all is complete, according to His own love. The man then saw with perfect distinctness. Thus all is in season. The double action proved the good Physician; as His acting so effective, whether by word or hand, whether by one application or by two, proved the great Physician.
Question: Is it right to say that the Father hid His face from His Son during the last three hours on the cross (Matthew 27:46)?
Answer: God hid His face from the sin-bearer; but never was the Son more precious to the Father than in those terrible hours. It is not according to the integrity of Scripture to speak of the Father as hiding His face from the Son.
Question: Is it true that Satan now has access into the heavens?
Answer: It is very plain from Romans 12:10, Ephesians 6:12, and other passages, that Satan has access into the heavens. Milton has filled people’s minds with the thought that Satan is confined to hell. He will, ere long, be so confined, but it is only too plain that he is not so now.
Question: How can I become more like the Lord Jesus? It seems that the harder I try to be conformed to Him the more miserably I fall short.
Answer: You are entirely too much occupied with your own state and feelings. Seek to be more simple, to rest like a child in your Father’s love, and stay your soul upon His faithful Word. It is of no possible use to “try” to be this or that. The more you dwell in calm sweet confidence, on the love of Christ—the more you think of Him and feed upon His Word, the more you will grow into His likeness. “We all beholding... are changed” (2 Cor. 3:18). May the Lord keep you, beloved, and make you very sound in His own precious truth! To His own loving pastoral hand we commend you.

Two Fruits From One Grain

A regiment of soldiers was hurriedly billeted on a certain village in which there lived several Christians who were in the habit of coming together in one of their houses for reading the Word of God and for prayer. All were soon lodged among the villagers except one who had a repulsive countenance and whose untrimmed beard and hair gave him still more the appearance of a savage, so much so that he terrified everyone.
Accompanied by an officer he rapped at the door of a citizen who was frightened, as the others had been, but knowing it was his duty to be obliging and to receive at least one soldier, he begged the officer to send him two soldiers instead of the one offered. The offer was accepted, and the officer and soldier went away to find lodgment at one of the neighboring houses; the search, however, was in vain, and the officer who had not as yet found a place for himself, left the soldier to get out of his difficulty the best way he could.
Repulsed from house to house he came at length before the door of a hall in which was an assembly of Christians. The owner of the house was standing at the entrance, but he went in with several others just as the soldier approached to speak to him. A little after, however, he came out again and seeing the soldier walking up and down before the place he asked him where he lodged.
“No person has been willing to receive me,” was the frank reply of the soldier, “but I hope I shall be received at last by you.”
He was about to utter a refusal when the words of Scripture came to his mind.
“Come in,” said he, “but promise me that you will conduct yourself properly.”
The hall, which was filled with seats, made a vivid impression on the soldier, and he asked:
“Is this a church?”
The master of the house asked him to sit down, which he did at once.
Soon the hall was filled. After a hymn and prayer there was a portion of Scripture read and explained. The happiness in the knowledge of Jesus and the trust in Him was much dwelt on.
The soldier who was for the first time in his life at a meeting of Christians was greatly moved even to tears and could not refrain from crying out:
“O! if I were only like you! but I am a wretched godless creature, probably destined to be killed in battle and then to come before God. O, if I was only like you!”
He was soon surrounded by friends who spoke to him of the Saviour’s love whose heart never repulsed even the worst of evil doers, His happiness was in seeking and in saving the lost.
The soldier was converted, and that night he went to rest full of joy and gratitude towards his Saviour.
The next morning at daybreak, he came again to the first person who had refused him a lodging.
“I must tell you,” said he by way of salutation, “by what good people I have been received,” and he recounted his experience of the previous evening.
The villager, frightened at first by the return of the “savage” whom he had repulsed, recovered himself on seeing that his intentions were good, and began to laugh, saying:
“My poor chap, those Christians have turned your head and you will become like one of them unless you stop your ears when they speak of mercy, grace, and salvation or of perdition. I detest the whole crowd and I certainly shall never attend one of their meetings.”
“And I tell you that you shall come,” cried the soldier in a tone of voice that did not admit of any reply. “How dare you curse people who love God sincerely and manifest the sincerity of their words by their actions? This evening I shall come for you to take you to their meeting.”
Sure enough at the appointed time the soldier returned and the villager, frightened again by his appearance, followed him without saying a word, to the meeting room where the soldier made him sit down by himself.
“Attention! Open your ears,” said the soldier to the villager at the commencement of the meeting.
He did so, and so effectually, that before the close of the meeting his rebellious heart was broken. His debt towards God came home to him in all its enormity and the simple announcement of the love of God to the sinner won his heart.
“Well, what do you say to it now?” asked the soldier on coming out. “Shall it be necessary to bring you again?”
“No, certainly not; and I thank you for having brought me to a house where I have found the salvation of my soul,” replied the villager, pressing his hand.
The following day the regiment was on the field of battle, and as nothing after was heard of the converted soldier, it is very probable that the bullet he had at first feared had done its work and had brought him into the presence of God whom he had been brought to know as his Father in Jesus Christ.
As to the villager, he became a faithful follower of the Lord, loving His Word and His people, whom aforetime he had detested.
Dear reader, we have here two fruits from a single grain. How marvelous are God’s ways of grace to the undeserving.
“The Lord... is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

Where Will You Sing?

A lovely song had just been sung. The voice was as sweet as the words and music. It was exquisitely soft and clear, and the song had been rendered with great pathos and power.
An earnest Christian who was present longed for her salvation, for as yet she was but living in pleasure and knew nothing of the joys which were his.
Crossing over to her side, he quietly remarked, as he thanked her for her song,
“You have a beautiful voice. Where will you sing in eternity?”
It was a message from God to her. She could not forget it. Each song she sang would recall it. Soon, owning her need and the wasted years, she was found a penitent in the presence of the Saviour. She now knew where she would sing in eternity; that it would be in the home of the Saviour whose precious blood had cleansed her from her sins. She knew that He would be her song as she joined with the choir of the ransomed, saying,
“Thou are worthy... for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God” (Rev. 5:9).

"Let Us Not Be Weary"

“Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not,” (Gal. 6:9), is a seasonable exhortation. There is much to cause us to be weary, and Sunday school workers are sometimes tempted to think that no work is so wearisome as theirs.
We remember a dear devoted laborer once remarking that he believed every workman suffered in the work he had to do for the Lord; and if workmen did not suffer in it, he questioned if they were in their right place. Without going so far as to say that this is always the case, it certainly is so very frequently as far as the body is concerned.
Not that the suffering is confined to the body. We have all to suffer in spirit more or less at the utter indifference displayed towards our message; and how often a dagger has been sent to the heart of the workman by finding the work which he had hoped to be real, all scattered to the wind! And where it is not proved to be false, the real work is spoiled at least for the time by the wiles of the enemy. Each workman knows his own discouragements; but to each and all the word is,
“Let us not be weary in well-doing.”
It is helpful to contemplate the path of our Lord when here on earth. Was it not beset with discouragements on every hand? His own nation refused Him, and even His disciples misunderstood Him; one tried to hinder Him and then denied Him; and another betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. Yet He,
“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).
So there is a reason given why we should not be weary in well-doing; “for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” This gives encouragement. It is a fact that there will certainly be an abundant harvest: such that no man can number. The promise is that you shall be one of the reapers if you faint not. Some, alas, have fainted, looked back, and given up: they cannot hope to be reapers though they may have been sowers. You are now sowers, and the Word declares that you shall reap if you faint not. If you faint, God must look around for other workers to take your place.
But we hope better things of our readers. Should anyone have been tempted to give up because of his sufferings and his discouragements, let him remember that his Lord had both, in a measure far exceeding what His servants can have. And ought the servant to expect an easier place than his Master had?
Besides, let him look forward to the harvest, and remember that there will certainly be an abundant harvest, with great rejoicing—rejoicing, not only by those gathering in, but by those who were the means of their being gathered: as the Psalmist says,
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:5, 6).
Then let us not be weary, but be looking forward to the time of ingathering; for the divine promise is that “we shall reap if we faint not.”

Fragment: Our Ways and Habits

Our ways and habits should be those of strangers, citizens of a foreign country, whose language and laws and customs are but poorly known here. Flesh and blood cannot appreciate them, and therefore it is not well with the saints of God when the world understands them.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The First Beatitude

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 2
The First Beatitude
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 3.
If ever it was needful for thee, my soul, to weigh thy words in the balances of the sanctuary, and to meditate in its sacred light, surely it is at this moment. How deeply important to understand the true meaning of the Lord’s own words here, and to enter fully into the true spirit of His teaching. Condition of soul and blessing are inseparable; the one depends on the other. This is what thou must learn. It is also well to remember, that it is not by means of great learning or great opportunities for study—valuable as these are—that we know Jesus, understand His Word, or see His glories; but by the light and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
“He shall glorify Me,” says the Lord, “for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:14).
The first beatitude, observe, lies at the basis of all the others. It is not only a distinct feature in itself, but it should characterize all the others and all who belong to Jesus. Surely nothing can be so necessary to a soul that has to do with God as poverty of spirit. Not poverty in circumstances merely, or poverty in words and ways, but in spirit—in the heart, the feelings, the inward man, and all before the living God. How often we may have said with reference to one who has injured us,
“I freely forgive him, and I will be the same to him as ever, but I can’t forget it for all that.”
This is not being “poor in spirit;” it is being outwardly so, but not “in spirit.” It comes from the same root as the spirit of the world which says,
“I will have it out with him, I am determined not to be beaten.”
How different to the state of the blessed man, here described by the Lord— “poor in spirit;” not in outward conduct merely, but in spirit! The outward ways should be the true expression of the inward state. This is God’s pleasant sacrifice.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Psa. 51:17).
This was ever the spirit, in all divine perfection, of the lowly, dependent, Son of Man. But the grace that has brought down the proud spirit of man, and laid him in the dust, humbled and broken, before God; has laid the foundation of a true Christian character, and of the soul’s richest blessing. True, alas! he may one day forget his right place, and the old spirit of the natural man may be allowed to appear for a time, but the Lord knows how to bring him back, and how to break him down again. Nothing can be more sad than for one who has been down in this place ever to leave it, even during a moment’s temptation. It is to lose sight of that Christ-like grace which God especially delights to honor in every dispensation.
“O to be nothing—nothing,
Only to lie at His feet
A broken, emptied vessel,
Thus for His use made meet!
Emptied, that He may fill me
As to His service I go,
Broken, so that unhindered
Through me His life may flow.

“O to be nothing—nothing,
An arrow hid in His hand,
Be a messenger at His gateway
Waiting for His command:
Only an instrument ready,
For Him to use at His will;
And should He not require me—
Willing to wait there still.”
Turn again, I pray thee, my soul, and muse a little longer on these mysterious, moral depths. O! to fathom them with thine own line, to know them in thine own deep experience! Is it thus? When all is gone from us, when we are nothing—nothing at all, even in thought and feeling, then all comes into us from God—God in Christ Jesus; and we are satisfied? Yes, thank God, this is the condition, this the blessing.
The robe, the ring, the fairest miter, would not be enough; nothing but the fatted calf, could satisfy the famished prodigal, after he has spent his all. When he was brought down to the husks, and even these kept from him, he thought of his father’s house, where only he could find the fatted calf. It must ever be so.
When Naomi returned as an emptied one to the land of Israel, she found it was the beginning of barley harvest. When Abram fell on his face before God, then flowed the many streams of grace from the ocean of eternal love. “I will, I will,” runs on freely. It is all grace now.
“Thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. I will make thee exceeding fruitful... I will make nations of thee... I will establish my covenant between Me and thee... And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:1-8).
And so with the leper. When the evil energy of the flesh ceased to work, he was pronounced clean. The priest could now go forth to the unclean place, and bring him into the camp, with the full blessing, of death and resurrection, typically seen, and in due time, the eighth day, the consummation of blessing, he comes into his tent.
So long as we are seeking to maintain anything of our own, to cherish an unbroken spirit as to some favorite opinion or object, we are resisting God’s will and shutting out His grace; but when we are brought down to our real nothingness, and have nothing to maintain but Christ and His glory, the flood gates are thrown open, and grace flows in.
Some have thought that literal poverty, in its ordinary sense, is connected in the Lord’s mind with the blessings of the kingdom, and so have parted with their property at once, and become poor for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. In place of distributing their income as the Lord’s stewards, and as He might call for it, they have entrusted it to others, and taken the place of dependence themselves. The former is certainly a much easier way than the latter; but which is right? To hold property for Christ and His service in this world, and to give it out as a steward according to His mind, is a Christian service that requires much waiting on the Master, and great liberty of soul in His presence. A scrupulous conscience would be in perpetual bondage. The idea is founded on Luke 6:20, “And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
The words, “in spirit”, are left out. But there is no ground in this text for such an idea. It is the fruit of superstition, not of faith, and savors of Monachism. It is a question of the inner man in contrast with the outer. He who is poor as to this world’s goods, may be of a proud unbending spirit, while the rich may be truly humble. At the same time we believe that the Lord has oftener used a man’s miseries than his comforts to bring him to Himself, but that is the Lord’s doing, and quite another thing. The steward’s place is to meet his Master’s mind, and not to indulge his own. The difference between Matthew and Luke in presenting the beatitudes, is to be accounted for by the characteristic and divinely arranged differences of the gospels.
“That in Matthew,” says one, “gives the discourse on the mount in the abstract, presenting each blessing to such and such a class.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Luke makes it a more personal address. “Blessed are ye poor.” The reason is manifest. In the one case it is the prophet greater than Moses, who lays down the principles of the kingdom of heaven in contrast with all Jewish thought, feeling, and expectation. In the other case, it is the Lord comforting the actually gathered disciples, addressing themselves as so separated to Himself, and not merely legislating, so to speak. It was now the time of sorrow; for as bringing the promises in His person, man would not have Him.
Returning for a moment to our text, we would only further add on this beatitude, that the Lord here says, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the “poor in spirit.” They are the heirs of the kingdom. The riches of the King, and the glories of His kingdom have come down to enrich the “poor in spirit.” Who would not be poor in spirit? we may well exclaim. Who would not willingly be self-emptied before the Lord? But O! the danger of being pre-occupied when the invitation comes. Houses, lands, oxen, the home, the world; and, what is worst of all, deadliest of all—self—self-occupation in a thousand ways!
But to the poor in spirit, to those who have reached the end of self, to those who are in the dust before God, yet cling by faith to Jesus and His cross; to those whose reason is silent, whose fair forms of religiousness are laid aside, who can only say, I have nothing now but Christ; all that I sought to maintain is gone—nothing, no, nothing now but Christ. The whole riches of His kingdom, and, better far, He Himself is mine—mine now, mine forever. Praise His name!
“Enough—give thou the humble heart, and I consent;
O, make me nothing, and therewith content.
My gain is loss, my trust is in the cross;
Hold me! I’m weak, I fall; be Thou mine All in all.
I will be nothing still,
That Christ alone my heaven of heavens may fill,
Yet set me, Lord, a little glowing gem
Upon His diadem; to shed my tiny ray
Among the splendors of His crowning day;
Though unperceived, I still should like to shine,
A tribute glory on that brow divine.”
(Continued from Page 124)
(To be continued).

Be Content

“Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Heb. 13:5).
Many Christians—and more especially young and ardent Christians—while professedly recognizing God as their Father, and one who can supply their utmost and daily need, are continually fighting against His will. It is not that they mean to do so; but by their perpetual repinings and hankerings after what He, in His wisdom, sees fit to deny them, they do in reality resist His will concerning them. This is a great sin, and one to be carefully, and prayerfully guarded against. To such the most tender, and yet most emphatic word is: Take just what your Father sends you.
Though He should shut you up from all human spiritual guides; and though He should bid you part from your dearest friends; though He should call you to bear your cross alone, climbing the rugged mountain heights, when your natural inclinations would take you to the fair pastures and still waters lower down, take just what your Father sends you.
Your lot is given in love, as well as in wisdom. Take it; murmur not, neither faint by the way because of Him. The wilderness led to a goodly land, “a land flowing with milk and honey,” and thus it shall prove to you.
In the wilderness, where the darkest shadows lie, you will hear His voice as you have never heard it before. You will shortly find, too, that He can touch the cold gray shades into light, even in that desert place, and that there is a rest there which is far sweeter than that of the fragrant evening hour—a rest hitherto unknown to your experience, the rest of patiently accepting His perfect will.
He has no words for joyous days, such as He has for sorrowful ones. He will assign spiritual supplies, though every human channel be cut off. He Himself is, and will continue to be your best, your truest friend; and what does it matter, if the way is dark and steep and toilsome, while He is with you?
“Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” (Psa. 23:4).
As surely as you fight against the Lord’s dispensations, so surely must you smart for it afterward. He is a jealous God: jealous of His own honor, jealous of your unswerving faith. Be very careful, then, never to press the Lord for anything which is not quite clear to your conscience to be His will, lest in righteous anger at your mistrustful solicitations and dictations, He lets you have your own way, and that way prove a disastrous loss. No good thing will He withhold; but certainly, everything evil that would harm His much-loved child.
Wait, then, upon God from day to day, from hour to hour, in perplexity, in temptation, in depression, in need of every kind. He will not be dictated to, but He loves the appeal of faith. Be not cast down, nor think your power limited, when you have no power whatever. You do not need it. Dare not to think or act for yourself at all, but refer everything to Him, wholly trusting His will and wisdom (which is infinite), to make all things—yes, all things—work together for your temporal, spiritual and eternal good.
Thus, according to your faith shall it be done unto you.

Then and Now

It is now twenty-nine years since I began my college life, a life which stretched out through eight years of good, hard work—four at the classics and four at medicine. During the college period and after it, and again, especially in these latter years as a teacher, I have always been most profoundly interested, as a student of human nature and of medicine, in trying to find out what ailed the world about me.
Why is it, as I have grown older, that I have come to find out that there is so much misery and unhappiness in the world?
Why is it that each successive generation of young men begin to run the life race that is set before them, full of vigor, of fine enthusiasm, and with a determination to accomplish great things, and then, one by one, drop back into the same indifference, and the same routine as was done by those who preceded them, the fire and all the enthusiasm gone, content in the end to make a good living and to take good care of themselves?
I would say of my own life that I have both lost something, and I have found something. I have lost that which I at first esteemed great, for I discovered as I went on that it was, after all, but a bubble, a glittering semblance of a jewel, evanescent and temporal.
But, wondrous to relate, I have found in its place something infinitely more precious, eternal, a possession which increases in value day by day, lending a reality and a value to life in all its relations far beyond all possible anticipation of all my early years.
Let me look at my life a little more closely. What have I actually lost? I think the loss can be pretty well covered by one word which used to figure largely in our college debates and chapel speeches, a word which covered the one great qualification in a man, which marked him out for success, and that word is “ambition.”
I remember well, setting success in life before me as the one great desideratum, and anxiously analyzing its essential elements, which seemed to resolve themselves into ability, ambition, opportunity, health, and adding various adjuvant qualities, such as judgment, memory, and tact. I found, by God’s grace, as I went on, that this, after all, was but a selfish scheme of living which, even if I might attain my end, was possible only for a fortunate few. I saw, too, some who were just about to take their fill of the cup of ambition, snatched away by an untimely death, while others, with all the other qualifications, were restrained from grasping the prize by the hand of disease; others again (worst mockery of all), who gained all the world could offer in the way of fame or of wealth, remained, after all, most miserable and dissatisfied with life.
My first aim was, therefore, manifestly a false one. What was I then to do? Conclude that life was naught but a mockery? I thank God that when I found the emptiness of the aims of the world, I also found that He was not sparing of His best gifts as I had begun to imagine. When I discovered that life and self were failures, I then found in Him more than heart could desire. Having no longer any good thing of my own, and now content to be as one of the servants in His house, I found instead that He had a glorious robe of righteousness of His own providing, and He was willing to set the very beggars who trusted Him among the princes at the gate. The glorious grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which God in His great mercy has offered, not to a forward intellectual few, but to all men everywhere, came as a blessed solace to one who found on all sides the vanity of setting the affections on the things of this world.
I would like to dwell on this noble theme, for I would that young men everywhere could only see that there is just one thing in the world worth making the object of our ambition, and that is to know, to love, and to serve God, and to know Him in the only way we can know anything about Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Christ’s service is not a theory of life or a philosophy, but a life, a new principle, a new birth, a new creation. Behold, old things are passed away, and all things are made new. And this knowledge, which brings the peace this world knows nothing of, is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who calls out and leads God’s people in their earthly pilgrimage.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
“Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27).

Moment by Moment

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself” (Matt. 6:34).
We are but to live a moment at a time. If we allow Christ to have His way each moment, then we cannot go wrong. We will keep on the strait and narrow path and our feet will not go astray. If we will follow in His footsteps, they will lead us to eternal bliss and happiness.

Forgiveness

“How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee until seven times: but until seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21, 22).
“Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13).
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
“Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
How oft shall I pardon my brother? was asked.
Of Jesus, when here among men,
Is seven times often enough to forgive?
Or should I forgive him again?

And Jesus made answer, “I say unto thee”
That just seven times will not do;
But seven times seventy, answer his plea—
Forgive him as I forgave you.

O! list to the Lord’s loving voice from the cross,
When He hung there in agony too:
“O! Father, forgive them,” —such mercy and grace
“Forgive, they know not what they do.”

In the midst of their buffeting, scorning, and jeers,
Rejected, despised, and alone!
This marvelous love of our Saviour appears,
“Forgive them the wrong they have done.”

Such love and forgiveness unspeakable is,
It can never be measured or known;
And we marvel at this great example of His,
Where such love unto sinners was shown.

O! seven times seventy never would tell
The debt that my Lord forgave me;
When He rescued my soul from the portals of hell,
Bought my pardon on Calvary’s tree.

My sins which outnumbered the sands of the sea,
In His body, He willingly bore.
The vast debt is canceled—my conscience is free,
They’re remembered by Him, nevermore.

He freely forgave all—He’s blotted them out,
They are cast in the depths of the sea:
His Word has removed every fear, every doubt,
And peace, He has given to me.

If we who have tasted such limitless grace.
This spirit could show to another;
Remembering Jesus, who died in our place,
And willingly pardon our brother,

‘Twould glorify God in our walk here below,
‘Tis a thing He desires of us too,
To try in some measure this spirit to show—
“Forgive them, as Christ forgave you.”

Correspondence: Rev. 7:14; Follow Christ; Luke 13:24; Mat. 23:9 & Eph. 6:2; Mat. 18:13

Question: Please explain why the company in Revelation 7:14 are said to have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Answer: This figurative expression means that they owe all their salvation in common with all other saints to the blood of the Lamb. This company form the Gentile inhabitants of the millennial earth, and are doubtless the same as the “sheep” of Matthew 25.
Question: Please say what is meant by following Christ, and what is the difference between suffering for Christ’s sake and for righteousness’ sake.
Answer: Treading in His footsteps as recorded in the four evangelists. Suffering for righteousness’ sake is spoken of in Matthew 5:10 and 1 Peter 3:14, suffering for Christ’s sake in Matthew 5:11 and 1 Peter 4:13. The former is connected with the light of God shining on the conscience, the latter with the love of Christ attracting the heart. Hence I suffer for righteousness when I act in daily life according to the divine standard of truth and rectitude; I suffer for Christ when I follow Him in a path of trial and rejection.
Question: Please explain Luke 13:24.
Answer: “Strait” of course means narrow, and is in contrast with the broad way. Many will seek to enter in when it is too late (vv. 25-27). It is not only necessary to come, but to come in time.
Question: Please explain the difference between Matthew 23:9 and Ephesians 6:2.
Answer: Matthew 23:9 means those that are not naturally your father, as “Father So-and-so.” All these warnings are in a spiritual sense. In no way does this interfere with Ephesians 6:2, any more than Matthew 23:8 clashes with Ephesians 6:5. To confuse spiritual and natural relationships is very dangerous.
Question: Who are the sheep who did not go astray (Matt. 18:13)?
Answer: The Pharisees who “need no repentance,” who said “we see,” and therefore their sin remained, (John 9:41). Observe these are never brought home “rejoicing”, but are left in the wilderness.

Story of a Tract

The sun shone very bright one July morning, as a young girl tripped merrily along a country lane on her way to the town. She was full of eager expectation, for she had heard of a lady, going to reside in France, who was wanting a trustworthy nursery maid to go with her. It had long been Ellen’s wish to go abroad, and see the countries she had read so much of, and this seemed a likely realization of her desires. Now she was on her way to see the lady, and to make arrangements to go with her.
At a sudden turn in the road, she saw an aged man.
“Good morning, my young friend,” said he. “Stop, I have something good to give you,” at the same time offering her a tract. She paused, took the tract, and thanking the old man, passed on.
She read a few words of the tract, then with an impatient gesture she thrust it into her pocket. She was in no mood just then to read about Christ or heaven, and her own soul’s salvation was giving her no concern. On her arrival at the town, she called on the lady, and, in a little while, all was settled as to her going to France.
Very eager was Ellen to reach home that night, and to tell her friends all about it. Soon her whole mind was engaged making preparations for the journey.
All this time the little tract remained undisturbed in the pocket of her dress. It was only when she arrived at Cannes that the tract was discovered. She then put it in the bottom of her box, to read it sometime.
After being a few months in France, trouble came. She was laid upon a sick bed. Now she had time to think; her past life came vividly before her; she remembered how many times she had heard the gospel preached, and heeded it not. What if this sickness should end in death where would her soul be? This was the question that was present with her now by day and night.
Very lonely she was in that far-off land, and she longed for some kind friend to come and speak to her about Christ, and tell her what she must do to be saved. But, alas! those who were about her, knew not how to answer her question. They were as far from God, and as ignorant of His love, as she was herself.
The family were kind and attentive, but they did not understand Ellen’s trouble. In her distress she remembered the little tract given to her by the old man. Quickly she dried her tears, got out of bed, and reached her box. She searched and found the little treasure. With what different feelings did she now open it. How anxiously she read over the pages to find the answer to the question that was filling her soul. Nor was she disappointed. The little book told of the love of Jesus, who left His Father’s home of light, came down to this dark world, and died upon the cross for guilty, lost sinners.
“He bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).
“Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
This was just what Ellen’s poor thirsty soul was longing to know; and she then and there, as a lost and guilty sinner, trusted Jesus as her Saviour; rested her weary heart on Him and the sacrifice He made for her, and she was filled with “joy and peace in believing.”
Now she could praise Him who had done so much for her, and soon was telling those who were around her about the loving Saviour, who loved her and gave Himself for her.
It pleased the Lord to restore her to health again. She could not rest till she went home to her friends to testify to the grace of God in saving her soul.
Reader, perhaps like Ellen, you are too busy with the hopes and prospects of the life that now is, to give much heed to the life beyond; too much pressed with pleasure or business to think of eternity. But life has its lonely hours, when people are compelled to face these momentous realities. It will be better to have your soul’s salvation settled now. Jesus is willing today. Are you?

Fragment: Eye, Hand, and Heart

“Give me the eye which can see God in all, and the hand which can serve Him with all, and the heart which can bless Him for all.”

"Thou Art the Christ, the Son of the Living God"

Matthew 16:26
Thou art the Christ, Lord Jesus,
Son of the Living God,
Worthy art Thou, most worthy
To be by all adored.
Creator, Thou, of all things
In heaven and on earth,
All worlds are Thine, Lord Jesus,
All owe to Thee their birth.

Humbled, rejected Saviour,
Nailed to the cursed tree,
Bearing for guilty sinners,
Shame and indignity.
O! who can tell Thy sorrows;
Or who conceive Thy pain,
When Thou by God forsaken,
Wast crucified and slain?

Firstborn of every creature,
Seated in glory now,
Head of the new creation,
Before Thy feet we bow.
Thou art the Christ, Lord Jesus,
Son of the Living God,
We worship, we adore Thee,
The purchase of Thy blood.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Second Beatitude

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 3
The Second Beatitude
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Verse 4.
In the different beatitudes, we have placed before us in the most interesting way the beautiful varieties and characteristics of grace. This is also most instructive, and ought to go far in forming our own character after this heavenly model.
The second beatitude is perfectly distinct from the first, though both features may be found in the same person. The form in which the divine life expresses itself in the second class, is of a broader and more active character than the first. To be poor in spirit is more a condition between the soul and God alone, and might be possessed in perfection though there were none to mourn over.
But to be a “mourner” in the sense of our text, is to be deeply and tenderly affected by the condition—especially the moral and spiritual condition—of others around us. For example: the worldliness of true Christians; the manifest delusion of mere professors; the godless ways of those who may be our near neighbors, accompanied with a deep sense of inability to witness for God in such a scene, fills the heart with holy sorrow.
At the same time, this holy sorrow, which is so good and wholesome, and which leads to much prayer and dependence on God, must not be mistaken for a low, complaining, unhappy, discontented, mournful spirit in ourselves, which we may think answers to this beatitude. Not so; such would be little likely to enter into the sorrows of others, or mourn over the dishonor done to God and His truth in this world. They are too much occupied with their own state of mind, and that which immediately concerns themselves.
We may, and ought—if we are poor in spirit and true mourners—to be bright and happy in the divine presence, where all is peace and joy, and yet have fellowship with the deep sympathies of Him who was “a Man of Sorrows,” in our journey through this world. And the more we know of His Spirit, the deeper will be our sense of what is due to Him, and the keener will be our sorrow when we see so many who set themselves against His authority, and use His goodness for the display of their own pride and glory.
But, wonderful grace, the Lord submits to be despised and rejected still: and as a tinge of sorrow colored His path and characterized His sayings in this world, so it must ever be with the godly while the world continues as it is. The Lord patiently waits until His kingdom come in power and glory.
Now we have the kingdom in mystery (Matt. 13). Then it will be in full manifestation. Now demons rule, though God overrules; then Christ and His saints will reign.
Could we at any moment, by night or day, unveil the world, what should we see? From the den of poverty to the palace of luxury—one vast scene of human sorrow. This makes the Christian’s heart, however bright and cheerful in the Lord’s presence, somber and sad in the presence of such universal misery, knowing as he does its real source.
But pray, my soul, speakest thou thus of thyself, of thine own experience, of what thou hast seen and felt in thy Christian course? Could there be this character of feeling without entering, in the Spirit of Christ, into the condition of things around us? It is well never to speak or write beyond our measure: all should be done in the divine presence. Still, it is well to have our hearts challenged.
But poor indeed would it be, were it possible to speak of such things unless it be from the depths of the heart’s communion with the rejected Lord; and more, from long and varied experience and observation. It can only be tasted when the heart has a true sense of the moral condition of the church and the world. Then we must “mourn” over the fearful effects of sin and apostasy which meet us at every step.
We walk in the midst of ruins. Wrecks of every kind lie strewed around us. Blighted hopes, unexpected calamities, with a multitude of little secret sorrows, characterize the land in which we are strangers and pilgrims, so that like captive Israel of old, “by the waters of Babylon,” we may “sit down and weep,” though we need not hang our harps on the willows; we are privileged to rejoice daily in the blessed hope of the Lord’s coming, when we shall be fully and forever comforted.
But to explain. How many hast thou seen floating down the stream of time as on a calm summer day, dreaming only of worldly ease and prosperity, when, suddenly, the wind of adversity rises, and all is changed in a moment. Death enters—the messenger little thought of, little expected, enters—the head of the family is suddenly struck down; all is desolate; nothing now is heard but the wail of the widow and fatherless. But, come these things within the sphere of the Christian’s sympathies? Most surely they do, and must so long as we have human hearts. But they are looked at in connection with the groaning creation, and lead us to pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” Surely the Lord’s heart is touched with such a scene as this, and may not ours? Something like what is occurring daily around us must have been in His mind when He described the rich worldling and his fearful end.
“Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then, whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” Luke 12:20.
Singularly enough, while writing these lines, a messenger with heavy tidings arrives; a rich man, well known for many years, has died suddenly. The effect on the mind for the moment is overwhelming. The thoughts run rapidly back over those years; the different times a word was said about the Lord, and the value of the soul, are recalled: the confession of their importance, and the promise to think more about them. But who at such a moment can feel satisfied with the measure of his own faithfulness? Did I speak plainly enough, often enough, earnestly enough? conscience will be ready to ask, and it may be to accuse. But all is now of no avail; the scene is closed: the curtain fallen: and we cross not the dark line which separates the two states of being.
Still we may heave a sigh and utter a groan over the sad effects of sin, as the Lord Himself did at the grave of Lazarus; yet no uncertainty was there as to the welfare of the precious, immortal soul. Every believer knows something of the value of the soul and salvation, and if both are lost, who would not mourn? Nevertheless, the sphere of thy meditations lies more within the limits of the kingdom, and here thou mayest pause for a little.
Nothing is more fitted to fill the heart with real sorrow than the immense number of mere professors. And surely a responsibility beyond that which attaches to the mere worldling, rests with those who take the name and profess to be the followers of Christ. They will be judged by a different standard. Many foolish virgins now mingle with the wise, and their lack of oil seems not to be discovered until it is too late to buy. The door shut and the lamps out will leave them in hopeless darkness and despair. This, alas! will be the portion of many who now hold a high place in the professing church. But how difficult it is to reach that class, how difficult to speak to them; how difficult to know which is which! All have lamps, but all have not oil. They are self-deceived, and may never be undeceived until, with awful surprise, they open their eyes in hell, being in torment. Still, the spiritual eye can see, that while much is made of mere externals, very little is made of Christ, and of that which is due to Him.
Again the agony of mind peculiar to the sight of such a state of things, with the painful sense that you can render no help, and can only testify against it by complete separation from it all, seeks relief in sighs and groans before the Lord; you must be a mourner with Him, in such a scene.
And what may draw forth a yet deeper sigh, you see those there who really belong to the Lord, but who refuse to see separation, either from the natural or the religious world. Thus loneliness in spirit is the inevitable path of a true mourner, his only friends are outside, like himself. They mourn together.
“Yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.” And what was it that drew forth the deep sigh from the “Man of Sorrows” when here, but the sign-seeking unbelief of His people?
“And He sighed deeply in His spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily, I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.”
It is still the same: something like a sign that appeals to the senses is believed in and eagerly run after, while the blessed Lord in rejection, outside the camp, has as little attraction for the sign-seeking multitude now as then.
True, Christ and His cross are not left out, that would be equally unpopular; but gather around His name the glory of the world, and multitudes will cry, “Hosannah to the Son of David;” but when the cross with its shame and rejection is presented, and the pilgrim staff, it is
“Away with Him, away with Him.”
The mourner must now retire into his secret chamber and breathe out His sorrow into the bosom of his Lord. He must stand aloof from all this sad mixture of the church and the world, well knowing that he will be judged as wanting in brotherly love, and uncharitably affected towards other Christians. He will not have his sorrows to seek; but the Lord knows it all, and he shall be comforted. The time is coming when he will enter into the joy of his Lord, and reap the fruit of his testimony for Him throughout eternity.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
Every tear that has been shed, every sigh that has gone up to God, every groan that has been uttered in sympathy with a rejected Christ, are all treasured by Him as the memorials of His own grace working in us, and will surely be held in everlasting remembrance.
The Lord grant unto my dear reader, the true knowledge of Jesus, not only as Saviour and Lord, but as the Man of Sorrows, who went about doing good, though with the deep abiding sense of rejection in His tender, loving heart. May we enter with our whole heart into the sympathies and hopes of our blessed Lord as to this widespread scene of sin and sorrow, until He return to fill it with joy and gladness. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Thy sympathies and hopes are ours;
Blest Lord; we wait to see
Creation, all—below, above,
Redeemed and blessed by Thee.

Our longing eyes would fain behold
That bright and blessed brow,
Once wrung with bitterest anguish, wear
Its crown of glory now.
(Continued from Page 158).
(To be continued).

The Judgment Seat of Christ

Scripture distinctly teaches that the believer will never come into judgment at all. 2 Corinthians 5:10 declares that all shall be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, believers and unbelievers—not, of course, at the same time. But how will believers be manifested? In all the perfectness of Christ Himself. Are they to be judged? Assuredly not. Their judgment is past forever. It was executed at the cross.
If there was a single atom of sin or guilt left unsettled, a single thing—no matter what—that has to be judged, then, most assuredly, we shall be eternally damned. But no, dear friend, it is all settled—blessedly, divinely, eternally settled; and all who believe on the Son of God have passed from death unto life, and shall not come into judgment (John 5:24). Thus much as to the person of the believer. It is as impossible that he can come into judgment, as that Christ Himself can. The members can no more be judged than the Head.
Our work shall be tested. “The day shall declare it.” It shall be tried by fire, and all the wood, hay, and stubble will be burned up. Every man will receive his own reward according to his own labor. What the Spirit has wrought by us, each one has his own reward for, though all be of grace. If we have built wood, hay and stubble we shall be saved but suffer loss.
And, further, when we stand in the light of the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), we shall look back with an enlightened gaze over the whole of our career, and see, as we never saw before, our mistakes, our follies, our sins, our infirmities, our mixed motives. But we shall see also, as we never saw before, the fullness of the grace of God, and the efficacy of the blood of Christ.
With regard to Matthew 12:36, 37, it teaches us that “men will have to give account for every idle word.” So also, in Hebrews 9:27, we read, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” But the believer is taken completely off the ground of judgment, inasmuch as Christ was judged in his stead; and hence, instead of looking for judgment, he is looking for the Saviour.
Is all this precious grace to make us lax and careless? May we speak idle words because we are not to be judged? Far away be the thought! Nay, dear friend, it is just because we believe that Jesus was judged in our stead, and that we shall never, can never, come into judgment, that therefore we judge ourselves day by day, and refuse to justify in ourselves a single sinful thought.
“How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2).
It is our holy privilege to reckon ourselves “dead to sin.” We have passed through death and judgment, in the person of our Substitute, and
“We may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Here lies the grand secret of our peace—the secret of our deliverance from the power of sin—the secret of all holy living.

"Rejoice Evermore"

It is the Lord’s mind that His children should now, even in this world of sorrow and death, be happy. He has not only created us in Christ Jesus, but we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Him, and the Holy Spirit says,
“Rejoice evermore,” “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.”
The source of our happiness, then, is the Lord Himself, and the secret of happiness is believing on Him whom we see not (1 Peter 1:8).
The measure of happiness we are entitled to enjoy is as unlimited and boundless as glory itself, “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Jesus desired that we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves, and Scripture is written that “our joy may be full.” (John 15:11).

Doing a Great Work

It is a matter of importance as to how far we value our work. If a small matter is neglected we often say, “It is of no consequence: it was only so-and-so;” but if we judge anything to be of great importance we naturally and instinctively take care that it shall have due attention.
Now the question with us is, Is the work of the Sunday school a great work? which naturally leads to the question as to what constitutes a great work. Well, surely we may say, Anything that God gives us to do is a great work, no matter how small it may be in our own eyes. But ought it to be small in our own eyes? We judge not.
There was a man to whom his master had given one talent, who did not use it, and who made a lame excuse for not doing so. But his Lord treated it as a very serious matter, and ordered him away to punishment. The servant owned his master as Lord, and yet had not obeyed him. We know the application. The Lord Jesus is Lord and Master, He gives gifts unto His servants, and surely each servant ought to remember for whom he works, and judge anything he can do for such a one as a great work that must in no case be neglected.
We have another instance of one neglecting to do the bidding of God in the case of Jonah. He was told to go and preach to Nineveh; but he ran away from his work, and found himself in the whale’s belly. His great failing was, as we know, a consideration of his own reputation. He reasoned that if he went and did as God had bidden him, it would not redound to any honor to himself. He forgot that he would have God’s approval, and thought only of honor from the world. Now the Lord calls for obedience from us, but besides this we ought to consider that what He gives us to do is a great work because done for such a one.
If this were duly weighed by us, it would not signify what the work might be. Giving a cup of cold water to a disciple, if properly done, and with a right motive, is a great work, and shall in no wise lose its reward. Our Lord declared that work done for the saints, He reckons as done to Himself, which stamps everything done for His disciples as a great work.
Therefore whatever the Lord gives us to do—no matter how insignificant it may be in the eyes of man or even of Christians—we ought to consider as a great work, because done for our divine Lord and Master.
We get an illustration of this in Nehemiah when the enemy sought to hinder his building the wall of Jerusalem, which God had bidden him to do. His answer was,
“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Neh. 6:3).
Some would think the building of a wall a very little work; but Nehemiah rightly estimated. It was God’s work, and it was great in the eyes of His servant.
There is another feature in our work which stamps it with a greatness that did not belong to the work of Nehemiah. The wall that he built was not to last: an enemy would come and level it with the ground, though the building was of God, and the pulling down was from Him too. But our work concerns the soul; a work which, when blessed of God, will stand and last for eternity. In heaven and in glory will appear the fruit of work done in many a Sunday school.
The work of a Christian has been compared to working at a part of a beautiful mosaic. The artist makes an elaborate design, as perfect as he can in its whole, and as exact as possible in its detail. Then the work is given out to various workmen. One has to form so many stones of such a color and of such a shape; another has different-colored stone to be worked into a different shape; and many others likewise have similar work, some doing what in itself might be called insignificant—very small pieces to fill in nooks and corners; others polish and beautify the pieces as they leave the hands of the first workers. The workmen do not know the general design; each knows his own part only, and at this he must labor to his best ability. One thing is certain, that there can be no perfection in the whole unless each does his part correctly. The small pieces, equally with the large, demand great accuracy, that when combined, all may fit in their places, and bring out the design of the artist perfectly.
So God has purposed to erect a building,
“Jesus Christ Himself being the corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:21).
For this purpose there were given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Some have to cut out the stones from the quarry of nature, and others have to shape and fashion them. Each has his work to do, but all must work in harmony with God’s plan, that all may be “fitly framed together.” Every child converted in our Sunday schools is a stone dug out of nature’s quarry for this temple of God. We do not know what God has designed to make of such, where He will place them, or what their work will be. It is for us to bring them in, and to watch over and guide them as long as they are under our care: God has a place for, and a purpose concerning each.
Shall we call such a work little? Shall we engage in it thoughtlessly, and work at it carelessly? Shall we allow trifles to divert us from work which God Himself has given us to do, and which will, when He pleases, bear fruit to all eternity—stones in the “holy temple of God?”
Nay! let us call it rather a great work, which on no account must be hindered, neither by any considerations for our own ease and comfort, nor from the temptations of the enemy of souls.
Why should Paul say, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel,” more than you and I say, “Woe is me if I do not that work which my Lord and Master has given me to do?” Paul thought his work too great to be neglected on any account: we are not apostles, but our work is to the same end. Surely it is a great work our Lord has given us to do.

Doing God Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Still and Know

This is a difficult discipline really to understand. We understand the discipline of going on—this suits our impatience and our littleness; but the discipline of standing still, simply waiting, doing nothing, who can understand that? And yet this is the way in which we are sometimes trained. How shall we accept it?
You want the appointment now; you want to come into your blessing today; you want the answer to the great question you have put, immediately; and God says,
“No, not today, nor tomorrow, nor this year, but by and by.”
How do you take that answer? Do you fret, chafe, kick, rebel? or do you say,
“Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Matt. 11:26).
If you can say this, your lesson has been learned; you are matured under the blessed and all-comforting sun of God’s glory. This is the last conquest of grace, the supreme acquisition of the soul, to have no will but His, to be ready to stand, to go to fight, to wait, to suffer, saying always,
“Not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

Correspondence: Antichrist; Mat. 11:12; Infirmities in Christ?; Mat. 5:22

Question: Is Antichrist a system which seems even now to be forming in opposition to all that is of Christ, or is there to be a person of this character?
Answer: There can be no doubt that Antichrist is a person, and not a system, though many systems may be antichristian. He is the willful king (Dan. 11:36-38). He is the man of sin, or lawless one; the terrible heading up of all that now is working among men (2 Thess. 2:3, 4); the wicked one (v. 8); the very climax of lying and deceitfulness (vv. 9, 10). And withal he assumes a religious character, as connected with the dragon and the beast, or restored head of the Roman earth; has great power, and doeth great wonders.
What is called boycotting by men is one distinct mark of Antichrist (Rev. 13:11, 17). Thus the principles of Antichrist are already working. He will be cast into the lake of fire, and will remain alive there (Rev. 19:20; 20:10).
Question: How does the kingdom of heaven suffer violence? Who are the violent? What does the verse mean? (Matt. 11:12).
Answer: The violent are those who are strong enough in faith to enter the kingdom in spite of all obstacles. To become a citizen of the kingdom of heaven which was spiritual, required an energy and determination to which citizens of the Jewish monarchy were quite unaccustomed. The word “suffereth violence” is rendered “presseth” in Luke 16:16.
Question: We read of our Lord being “weary,” “hungry,” and of His weeping. Would these in any sense be termed infirmities?
Answer: The bodily suffering and weakness that Christ felt were a part of the perfection of His sinless humanity. In a sense they may be called infirmities, but the modern use of the word rather implies disease, or some physical, or mental deficiency. Hence we would rather say, Our Saviour had all the feelings proper to a perfect, sinless humanity.
Question: What is meant in Matthew 5:22 by the one who calls his brother a fool being in danger of hellfire?
Answer: The Lord is here showing that murder does not begin with the outward act, but with the heart. The law took no cognizance of the latter; but God here shows that murder may exist in the heart, the only outward sign being the words “thou fool.” Hence the danger of hellfire, for murder in the heart is as bad in God’s sight as the real act.

Only Believe

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

"Seeing These Things are So"

“Be ye also patient: stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).
The day of God’s long-suffering is rapidly drawing to a close, and the day of wrath is at hand. The wheels of Divine government are moving onward with a rapidity truly soul-subduing; human affairs are working to a point. There is an awful crisis approaching; precious souls are rushing forward along the surface of the stream of time into the boundless ocean of eternity. In a word, “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7).
Now, seeing these things are so, let us ask each other: How are we affected thereby? What are we doing in the midst of the scene which surrounds us? How are we discharging our fourfold responsibility to the Lord, to the church, to perishing sinners, to our own souls?

Once

There are, perhaps, many more than we think of who have attended a Sunday school only once. Some perhaps intended to come regularly, but sickness struck them down, and removals took others out of the neighborhood, and they were lost amid the crowd.
How important, then, that on that one occasion they should have heard the gospel. We know it is the custom of many teachers to let the gospel of God’s grace always be heard by their class when they meet; but we fear others are likely to let this slip. They naturally expect to meet their class next Lord’s day, and perhaps for many Lord’s days to come. Thus, in due time, they think, the children will all hear the gospel.
But, besides the uncertainty of life, and the danger of one and another being called away to other localities, there is the one great expected event of the coming of our Lord. Surely, if this were more vividly before our hearts and minds, we should feel each Sunday, as we took our place in the class, this may be our last Sunday; and if this were strongly before our minds, with what earnestness should we speak of Christ and His salvation. How careful we should be that any there for the first time should certainly hear the gospel that day; and how earnest we should be in pressing home the importance of believing then and there: they might never hear the good news again.
Numerous are the instances of persons being converted who heard the gospel but once. Some met with accidents, as they are called, and were cut off, and yet that once hearing the gospel was blessed, and, like the thief on the cross, they were ready for paradise. The blood that cleanseth from all sin made them at once meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.
This is encouraging to many beside those who teach in the Sunday school—to all, indeed, who preach or speak to the moving masses, whose faces they may never see again.
An exiled missionary, away in the wilds of Siberia, once saw in a Tartar’s tent a poor man, lying alone, just dying of leprosy. The man turned his death-stricken eyes towards him, and said,
“I know you.” On being questioned, he replied, “Did you not preach three years since in B—?”
“I cannot recall,” said the missionary.
“Don’t you remember,” said the man, “you stood upon the steps of a house?”
“O yes, I remember it now.”
“You told us about Jesus who died to save sinners, and that men of every nation might come to Him, and He would receive and save them. O sir, I never heard such things before. I then believed in Jesus. I received Him as my Saviour. I never heard of Him before or since. But now I am dying, and am looking to none other to help me.”
Well, do we hold that the return of our Lord may be at any moment of time? and, if so, what effect has it upon us in our service for the Lord? May we catch the spirit of that closing passage in the New Testament, in which, while we, with the Spirit, say to our Lord, “Come,” we also turn to a perishing world, and invite them to “come and take the water of life freely.”
It is a fact, then, that each Lord’s day may be our last; let each new scholar, then, hear the gospel the first time he comes, for he may hear it but once; but God can bless that once to his conversion.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Third Beatitude, Part 1

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 4
The Third Beatitude
“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Verse 5.
In our meditations on the third beatitude, we find ourselves in happy company with that blessed one who was “meek and lowly in heart.” There is evidently, in this third class, a great advance in the soul’s blessedness. The heir of glory has been learning in the school of Christ how to meet the troubles of this life, as He met them. This is a great lesson, and greatly needed. Let us see that we master it.
In our first lesson we were shown the true condition of every soul that really knows God and is conformed to the character of Christ— “poor in spirit.” This condition being the result of what the soul sees itself to be in the divine presence, it is chiefly a question between the soul and God. All is blessed and happy there.
But in going forth into the world, and attending to the various duties of this life, so many causes of trouble come in our way, that we groan in spirit. This is our second lesson. It is one of daily experience.
The great advance in the third class seems to be this: the soul has so grown in grace, that now, in place of a questioning, reasoning, self-willed spirit being manifested in this scene of trial, the disciple meekly bows his head in submission to the Father’s will, and learns of Jesus to be meek and lowly in heart; for, after all, in these circumstances it is a question of either self-will or submission.
The lowly in heart begins to see more clearly that, in spite of everything around him, God is accomplishing the counsels of His own will, and making all things work together for good to them that love Him, and are the called according to His purpose. This fuller knowledge of God and His ways produces a deeply chastened state of mind.
Though groaning in spirit, and mourning over the wickedness of man, the rejection of Christ by those we love, and the failure of those who bear His name, the man of faith is quiet and humble! He walks with God in the midst of it all, and refers everything to Him. In the lowest murmur of the enemy, or in his loudest roar, he hears his Father’s voice; in the smallest injury or in the greatest outrage, he owns His hand; he envies not the world its pleasures, or the wicked their prosperity; all his resources are in the living God; and he can turn to Him, rest in Him, rejoice in Him, and walk with Him, above the conflicts of this troubled scene.
But rest assured, my soul, that this state of blessedness is only enjoyed by those who thus know God, and believe that He is accomplishing the hidden purposes of His love, in spite of the abounding evil and wicked purposes of man. A Father’s voice, a Father’s hand, a Father’s will, a Father’s purpose, cannot fail to create and sustain a meek and lowly spirit. Faith has thus forcibly expressed itself in one of our finest songs:
“Is God for me? I’ll fear not, though all against me rise;
When I call on Christ, my Saviour, the host of evil flies.
My Friend, the Lord Almighty, and He who loves me, God!
What enemy shall harm me, though coming as a flood?
I know it, I believe it, I say it fearlessly,
That God, the highest, mightiest, forever loveth me.
At all times, in all places, He standeth at my side;
He rules the battle’s fury, the tempest, and the tide.
No angel and no heaven, no throne, nor power, nor might,
No love, no tribulation, no danger, fear, nor fight;
No height, nor depth, no creature that has been or can be,
Can drive me from Thy bosom, can sever me from Thee.
My heart in joy upleapeth, grief cannot linger there;
She singeth high in glory, amid the sunshine fair;
The sun that shines upon me is Jesus and His love,
The fountain of my singing is deep in heaven above.”
But if thou wouldst see, my soul, in absolute perfection, the meekness of which we speak, thou must turn in thy meditations to Him who knew deeper sorrow here, and deeper communion above, than any of His people can ever know. While discoursing to the people of the kingdom, and answering their questions, He has the sense of the true state of the people, and of His own rejection as the Messiah, the King of the Jews. What sorrow must have filled His heart! What relief and rest He ever found in His Father’s bosom!
We will now turn for a little to Matthew 11:20-30. Here we have the distinct expression, and the perfect combination of these two things in Jesus—groaning in spirit because of surrounding evil, and entire submission to His Father’s will, with praise and thanksgiving. Scarcely had “Woe, woe,” fallen from His lips, when He looked up to heaven, and said,
“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.”
With the growing, deepening sense of the unbelief of the people whom He loved, and their blinded rejection of Himself as Emmanuel in their midst, He meekly bows to His Father’s sovereign will, sees only perfection in it here, and the glory that would follow it hereafter.
“Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight.”
As it then was, so has it been ever since, and so is it now. Mark well, my soul, what thou art now writing. Thou hast Jesus before thee as the obedient Man, and the Father’s ways in grace with the meek and lowly. He shields the person of His beloved Son from the unholy gaze of unbelief, and hides His glory from the pride of man.
“No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.”
All who have dared to penetrate, in the pride of intellect, into the deep mysteries of His person, have but revealed their own blindness and folly, and exposed themselves to the snares of the enemy. But to the lowly in heart—the worshipping heart—the full blessedness of the knowledge of Jesus and His ways is made known.
“The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way” (Psa. 25:9). “The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psa. 37:11).
These passages no doubt refer to the Millennial earth, when the God-fearing remnant shall possess it, in association with Christ as their King of glory. It is not said, observe, that they shall inherit heaven, but the earth. The place of their trial and sorrow will one day be the scene of their rest, their glory, and blessedness. The Christian will possess it in a higher way—as one with Christ, who will then feed the poor with bread, and, like the disciples of old, the heavenly saints may be privileged to distribute it.
(Continued from page 183)
(To be continued)

When the Doors Are Shut

“Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst” (John 20:26).
When the disciples locked the doors, Christ knew He was sure of a welcome. He could not get their ear on account of the din and confusion that came through the open doors.
Closing the door to the world is opening the door to the Master. He is always passing by those doors that are wide open to all the frivolity and vanity of men.
Do not be afraid of shutting the door; it is the best invitation for the Master to enter.

Sitting at Jesus' Feet

Bride of the Lamb, there is for thee
One only safe retreat;
Where Jesus is, thy heart should be,
Thy home at His dear feet.

When Satan tracks thy lonely way,
There his temptations meet;
In Jesus’ presence, watch and pray,
Yea, conquer at His feet.

Since thou hast much to learn e’en though
Thou art in Christ complete,
In grace and knowledge seek to grow
By sitting at His feet.

Through tribulation hasten on,
With Christ the cross is sweet;
The “little while” will soon be gone,
Weep only at His feet.

Hath He not wept? Consider Him,
His mournful cries repeat;
And though thine eye with grief be dim,
Still worship at His feet.

Bride of the Lamb, forget the past,
Prepare thy Lord to greet.,
‘Tis thine to share His throne, and cast
Thy crown before His feet.

Assembling Ourselves Together

It is quite certain that those who are whole-hearted for Christ desire to be in His company. They distinctively wend their way to the spot where He is known to be. Is there such a spot on earth? Yes,
“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).
No one who is truly conscious of the greatness and excellency of His person, and of the blessedness of communion with Him, would willingly be absent from that favored place. A neglected Lord’s Table, and a neglected prayer meeting, speak aloud of the Laodicean state of the heart towards Him. We read that of old,
“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Alas, that there should be such a lack of continuing steadfastly now!
Does the Lord say to the Father,
“In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Heb. 2:12), and can we suppose that He fails to notice whether we are there or not, to join in the song He leads?
In the coming day of review before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), how shall we take the disclosure, that self-indulgence, a little unfavorable weather, or a tiff with a brother or sister in Christ, has outweighed with us all the mighty motives for a loving response to His wish,
“This do in remembrance of Me”? (Luke 22:19).
It is deeply humbling to think that any who have tasted the Lord’s love can take advantage of not having to work on the Lord’s Day, to spend its morning hours in bed, and that others can excuse their absence from its meetings on the ground of visiting, or receiving visits from friends. Priceless opportunities of gratifying the heart of the Lord, and of showing our attachment to Him in the scene of His rejection are thus wasted and lost.
It is mere mockery to repeat “Come Lord Jesus,” and use glowing expressions of desire to be with Him in glory, if, by our absence from His assembly, we betray our indifference to His presence here.
Beloved, it is high time to awake out of sleep (Rom. 13:11; Eph. 5:14). May we take to heart the solemn and impressive exhortation of the Word,
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
“When the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him,” (Luke 22:14).
O, for a holy eagerness to be where He is!

"Surely I Come Quickly"

Dear Christian reader, how it cheers our pilgrim hearts, when we remember the last words of the Lord Jesus, “Surely, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20); That one “whom, not having seen ye love” (1 Peter 1:8); He who so loved us as to leave all the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity, and came into this scene, and was here, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). For us! O, what wondrous and unbounded love! We must exclaim.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb, without blemish, and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18, 19).
And now, having accomplished the work of redemption, in a way which has met both the claims of justice, and the holiness of God, He has taken His seat in glory, but is coming again to claim His purchased possession.
“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
What a precious revelation this is to our hearts, that the same Jesus who had been crucified was risen, and had been with them forty days, as a proof, to satisfy their hearts: and was then seen to go into heaven, a cloud receiving Him out of their sight; and they were witnesses that He was gone. But now we have the fulfillment of that promised supplication on our behalf.
“I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).
We know the Father has heard His prayer, and answered it, and sent the Holy Spirit down here, to lead us in the light of the Word through this wild desert; but we cannot say it is a trackless one, for that blessed one has trod it, and has left us an example that we should follow in His footsteps. And now that He is on high, He is still occupied with us in our path down here, and looking after our interests for the future; so we can leave all in His hands, for he said,
“Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me; in My Father’s house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1, 2). And thus He leads our hearts on, in anticipation of that moment when He will come again.
O, then, dear reader, let us remember that word,
“Set your affection (or mind) on things above, not on things on the earth,” (Col. 3:2), and then we shall be so filled with the beauty and glories of that risen, exalted, and glorified Man, as to see all beauty in Him, and shall be able to say that He is to us the “chiefest among ten thousand” (Song of Sol. 5:10).
Now we have our responsibility side to look at, while our Lord is away, though it must all flow from real love and unhindered communion with Himself; for, “as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except ye abide in Me” (John 15:4).
Surely it is our desire to be found in Him, bearing fruit to His honor and glory; and “every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” God is the husbandman, and He is interested that the vine should be fruitful; He wants to get fruit from it, it is what He expects, and looks for. This is why we are left in this scene. The Son, we know, has been cast out of the world, and now we are left to shine as stars in the night for Him, till that bright morning, when He, that one who addresses Himself to us as, “I Jesus,” will fulfill that promise, “Surely, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20), to take us to that place of which we have spoken.
“There shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:5), and we shall go no more out.
“The dead in Christ shall first arise
At the last trumpet’s sounding;
Caught up to meet Him in the skies,
With joy their Lord surrounding:
No gloomy fears their souls dismay;
His presence sheds eternal day
On those prepared to meet Him.”

Fragment: God is Our Father

How little we realize the magnitude of the fact that God is our Father. If a man had an emperor for his father, he would not go to a peasant to ask for help. We cannot naturally bear the delay and suspense to which we are subjected in turning to God. But the delay is simply to test our faith. He that believeth shall not make haste.

Sunshine

“He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds” (2 Sam. 23:4).
“Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:2).
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me” (Acts 26:13).
To a landscape, what a wonderful difference sunshine makes. Without it, the finest prospect loses half its loveliness, but the tamest landscape becomes almost beautiful when lighted up by the sun. Take your stand upon some hill, commanding a wide view, on a dull rainy day, and mark how all the country seems to be more or less of the same leaden hue. Now watch the shower cease and the sun burst out from behind the clouds; and lo, as if by magic, each field stands out in its distinctive color. The golden corn field is no longer confounded with the verdant meadow, and each tree in the wood is clothed with its own shade of green.
As the sun to the landscape, so is Christ to Christianity. He lights up every truth with His own glory. Without Him, the work of salvation becomes a mere “plan” or “scheme.” With Him, it is the greatest proof of the love of our living Lord. I am not surprised that many Christians find Christianity rather a dull thing, and are disappointed with it; just as a person would be who has come to see a fine landscape on a rainy day. The simple reason in both cases is, that the sun is not shining.
I have been struck at Bible readings and other meetings, when doctrines have been discussed, however accurately and truly, how often they seem “dull” and “dry,” but the moment a little of Christ comes in, how it all brightens up as the beauty of “the Sun” is seen and its warmth is felt.
It is the presence of Christ that will give heaven its charm. The glory of the golden street, and the heavenly Jerusalem would be dimmed if deprived of the Lamb who is the light of them. How His presence even on earth lights up the chamber of sorrow; and at the sick-bed, when we have proved the powerlessness of any mere doctrines to relieve or comfort, some simple hymn such as “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,” or some little word about the Master, often makes all bright.
You can easily distinguish those who really possess Christ as their portion, from those who merely have Christianity, by their bright faces, looking like those who are ever walking in the sunshine.
Carry Christ with you, dear young believer, and you will be welcomed among His people wherever you go. Walk with Him, and whatever the circumstances, your life and heart will ever be in the warmth and sunshine, and will never get dreary or cold.
Christ, then, is the Christian’s sun, the source of all life, light, and heat; so that if we are dead, or dark, or cold, we always know where to go. A few more sunshiny Christians would be a great testimony in this dark world.
I have observed, in an extraordinarily dull and wet season, that a real sunshiny day was valued as it never was before. And now, when before the world the outlook is getting darker and drearier, it is no small testimony to meet those whose lives, and lips, and hearts are all bright with a radiance from a hidden source. Do try, dear believer, to be a sunshiny Christian.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21).

Fragment: Your Burden

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Untold sorrows characterize the human race, and this invitation is not confined to those who are laden with sin. Jesus addresses anyone who is bowed with any possible sorrow, any possible bereavement. Whatever the burden upon you, the Lord speaks to you.

Prayer

A Christian cannot always hear, or read, or always communicate, but he may pray continually. No place, no company, can deprive him of this privilege.
If he is on the housetop with Peter, he may pray; if he is at the bottom of the ocean with Jonah, he may pray; if he is walking in the field with Isaac, he may pray, when no eye sees him; if he is waiting at the table with Nehemiah, he may pray, when no ear hears him; if he is on the mountain with our Savior, he may pray; if he is in the prison with Paul, he may pray.
Wherever he is, prayer will not be out of place; or wherever prayer is out of place, there he ought not to be.
Indeed, to a Christian, every house is a house of prayer, every closet a chamber of presence, and every place he comes to, an altar whereon he may offer the sacrifice of prayer.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:18).

Correspondence: 1 John 3:9; Josh. 1:8 & John 14:21, 23; "My Yoke" in Mat. 11

Question: Why does it say in 1 John 3:9, he cannot sin, instead of it, the nature?
Answer: It is the man that sins by allowing the old nature a place. John’s Epistle looks at the child of God as identified with the new life. He is not acting as a child of God if he allows the flesh to work in him (1 John 2:1). This is meant to exercise all our hearts.
Question: Does “keeping the book of the law” in Joshua 1:8, and similar scriptures, correspond with our keeping the Lord’s commandments and words in John 14:21, 23? What is the difference between “commandments” and “words” for the Christian in this scripture?
Answer: Yes, it is the hearty, loving obedience to the Word of God. The soul delights in meditating therein day and night; making the way of the soul prosperous, and growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We might think of the commandments here (verse 21) as the will of the Lord expressed in the Scriptures; and of the Word—not words—(verse 23), as the mind of God that we gather while in communion with the Lord, though not fully expressed. Mary anointed the Lord for the day of His burying. The Lord expressed His approval of it afterward.
Question: What is “My yoke” in Matthew 11:29, 30?
Answer: Read from verse 25. This context tells of our Lord’s perfect submission to the Father’s will; then He reveals the Father (verse 27), and (verse 28) says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This includes the knowledge of the Father, and gives us the place of children, so that the rest He gives is the result of His finished work. He knows the weary toilers for salvation, toiling for what they can never gain in that way. He gives rest to all who come to Him.
Further blessing He promises in the words, “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.” His yoke is submission to the Father’s will, and He desires us to enjoy the Father’s care and love in full submission to His will— “Learn of Me.” It was His path; it is to be ours, and rest is found in it. Ye shall find rest unto your souls. Submission to His yoke makes it easy and the burden light. It is rest indeed. (See Psa. 16:5, 6).
Question: In 2 Timothy 2:26, we read, “who are taken captive by him at his will.” Who is meant by “him at his will”?
Answer: What is important in this passage is that each of us, as servants of the Lord, should in forbearance and meekness be watching, and ready to be God’s instruments to deliver such an one who has been opposing the truth, from the snare of the devil, who had taken him captive. God has allowed this dreadful chastening, but it may come to an end, and repentance come in to the acknowledging of the truth and to doing God’s will.

Peace With God

After Katie knew herself to be a child of God, she found she had much to learn about herself, as well as about God. At first she was so happy, and the study of God’s Word gave her such real joy that she felt everything was quite changed to her.
There was also a change in her, for now she liked things that formerly she disliked, and she found herself wishing for quite different sorts of pleasures. Thus Jesus was teaching her heart to value Him. All His ways with His own, whether they are young or old, are for this purpose—to make Himself more dear to us—more necessary to us, and more known by us. If, therefore, we are not continually finding that He is more and more to us, we are not enjoying His great love to us as we might.
It was many months after Katie knew the Lord, that she began to be very unhappy about sin. She could not understand why, if Jesus had put all her sins away on the cross, as she believed He had, she should ever be troubled with evil thoughts and feelings, or why she should give way to frivolity or ill-temper, —things which caused her very bitter pain and self-searching. She used to confess her sins to God, and own that Jesus had died to put her sins away. But, alas! when opportunity came, she was sure to fail again; so that she began to think that she could not be a child of God at all, for she knew that God is holy, and cannot bear sin. She knew that she ought to be holy, too, for God has said,
“Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
The more she longed to be holy, the more she felt she was thoroughly unholy, and that everything in her was just the opposite of holiness. She did not know what to do. Her heart was like the ocean in a storm—it tossed up and down, and could find no rest.
At last, one day some unknown hand sent her a little book called, “Peace with God.” The title fell on her heart like music. “Peace” —what would she not give to have it? Katie thought.
“Peace with God;” how sweet the words sounded! She read the little book two or three times through, and felt soothed enough to take up her Bible. There wherever she turned over the leaves, something about peace was on the page.
“Peace be unto you.” “He hath made peace.” “Justified by faith, we have peace with God.” “The God of peace,” and many more. So Katie prayed that God would give her peace with Him, and that He would never let her lose it again.
Now she began to learn that she had a nature that was enmity to God, which means that the natural or carnal mind has a will which is not God’s will; that it dislikes God, and is opposed to everything that suits God and His holiness. Katie had learned before that she was a lost sinner, and the good Shepherd had found her, and taught her to know His voice; but it was a very terrible thing to find out that, although Jesus had loved her and given Himself for her, there was no good thing in her—that she had a nature that liked everything better than God, so that when the Spirit of God gave desires after holiness, the carnal mind was enmity. When she wished to do right, the frivolity, or evil-temper or selfishness of her carnal mind, was there, hindering her desire to do right.
This would be no sorrow to a person who had not a new nature born of God, or who did not know that he was washed in the blood of Jesus. But to one who does know this and who longs to be like Jesus in thoughts and ways, it is a very great sorrow, and the heart says,
“Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
God answers this question in His Word. The deliverance is “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” How does He deliver? By His death.
O! what a wonderful fact is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how it magnifies the great necessity for that perfect one to die to put away my sins. But I needed more than the forgiveness of sins. I needed His death to deliver me from the power of sin—to deliver me from this nature which we have as children of Adam, the first man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts. In it dwells no good thing. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Jesus died to deliver me out of that child-of-Adam state altogether, and to put me in a new state in Himself before God. This is peace!
Now, if I fail, is it sorrow? Surely it is, if my conscience is happy before God, but instead of making me doubt that Jesus has saved me, it makes me feel more deeply than ever how great, how necessary is His salvation. Those who see my failure, condemn me, and my own heart condemns me more than all. But it only drives me to hide my heart and conscience in the one who has delivered me; it drives me to find my place in Him who is my Savior. His presence is the only place where I can say,
“There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
Blessed place to abide “in Him” and He invites us to it. “Abide in Me.”
In the presence of God, there is peace; and in the grace of Christ I get power to deny the carnal mind.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).
“Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace” (Eph. 2:13, 14).
“Of Him (God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
How sweet the plea from all to flee
And shelter in my Saviour!
O precious grace! in Him’s my place
In God’s eternal power.

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

Eternity

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
David Brainerd, the devoted missionary to the American Indians, wrote,
“O, to live on the verge of eternity! Would that I could continually dwell on its borders in studying and following out every avocation.”
Another God-honoring missionary, David Sandeman of China, wrote in his notebook in large letters,
“Eternity! eternity!” and afterward, “Let me act more as if I were now in the next world, looking back to see how I should have acted for the glory of the Lord Jesus.”
How soon time for us may change into eternity by the coming of the Lord! Will it take place this year or today? While none can affirm that it will, none can deny that it may.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Third Beatitude, Part 2

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 5
The Third Beatitude
“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Verse 5.
But, to return, it may be well for the servant—the Christian, especially tried ones—to look more closely into the nature of the discouragements which led the blessed Lord and Master to turn to His Father as His only resource.
He had come to His own, but His own received Him not. The people He loved, and had come to redeem, had no heart for Him. When John the Baptist came with mournful tidings, they refused to lament; when Jesus came with glad tidings, they refused to rejoice. They would not have Him on any terms. This is the secret of the comparatively small success of the gospel in all ages. The natural heart prefers the enjoyment of present things to a rejected Christ, and a heaven that is thought to be far away. The most solemn warnings by John, and the most gracious invitations by Jesus, were alike unheeded by that generation. Enough to break any preacher’s heart.
When the attractions of grace, the appeals of love, the threatenings of justice, the miseries of hell, the glories of heaven, fail to arrest or awaken the careless—when the preacher’s heart is broken because of the hardness of men’s hearts—what is he to do? Retire into the presence of God, and in communion with Him learn his lesson more perfectly, both as to service and submission. This is the only refuge and resting-place for the disappointed workman. Let us now see how the Lord acted.
He knew perfectly the state of the people, and how they had refused the goodness of God, both in His person and ministry. The inevitable result of such unbelief must be judgment. Accordingly, we read,
“Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!... And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.”
This is most solemn! A more terrible, a more unsparing judgment is denounced against these highly-favored cities in the land of Israel than on the notorious corruptions of Sodom. But has not this a voice to the highly-privileged gospel-hearer of our own day? Most assuredly it has. No judgment will be so heavy, so unsparing, as that which will ere long fall on apostate Christendom.
The higher the place of privilege, the deeper must be the fall of those who are untrue—who have merely the name of Christ, without the reality. And do not such abound now, as in the days of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum? Alas! the answer need not be given; the question rather is, where are the real, the true, witnesses for the glory of His person and the authority of His Word? The thought is overwhelming. What is to be done? What did the Lord do? He turned to His Father.
“At that time Jesus answered, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.”
In a word, in place of complaining of the treatment He received from others, and vindicating Himself, He meekly bows to the sovereign will of His Father, falls into His hands, as Lord of heaven and earth—the wise disposer of all things; and what is the result? Just what it must ever be—He receives the blessing. Not merely a promise, but the possession— “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father.” And this proves to be the occasion, through grace, of a fuller revelation of God, and of a richer blessing to mankind,
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
How beautiful and precious this is, as an example to us! It is always the way of blessing, both to ourselves and others. When Jesus was despised as a man, rejected as the Messiah, and refused His crown of glory, He did not stand up for His rights, as we would say, but meekly submitted, and looked up to His Father as Lord of heaven and earth. He could leave all in His hands, and wait His sovereign will. In the meantime the blessing flows, like a wave of life, from the ocean of eternal love—it overflows all Jewish limits.
The Gentiles are brought in here. The Father is revealed as the source of all blessing, “Come unto Me... I will give you rest.” The poor Gentile as well as the Jew; are you weary and heavy laden? “Come unto Me.” It is pure grace now. No qualifications required, save that you are weary and heavy laden. Come, just as you are, just now; “I will give you rest.” The blessed Lord does not here say by what means He will give us rest, but we must trust Him. He can no more trust man, man must now trust Him. There is no other way of blessing now. There is only one question: Is He fit to be trusted? This is all. Trust Him.
“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (Psa. 2:12).
But this full flowing tide of grace does not lead to carelessness of walk, as man might say it would.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:29, 30).
The difference between the two verses is very distinct, and has been often noticed. In verse 28, it is, “Come unto Me... and I will give you rest;” in verse 29 it is, “Take My yoke upon you... and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
The one is pure, absolute, unconditional grace to the sinner; the other is the yoke of Christ for the believer. The reason why so few have learned to meet the troubles of this life as He met them, is, because they are not under His yoke, and learning of Him. They are thinking of their own character; how much they have been misunderstood, how grossly they have been misrepresented, how falsely accused, and how unjustly or unkindly treated. They have not learned that their own reputation is the last thing they should think about; that now they have only to care for the character of Christ.
Those who are under the same yoke must walk side by side, and step by step. True, the strong one may pull the weak one through, when the chariot wheels sink deep in the sand of the desert; but they must walk together. The Lord give us thus to learn the great truth of our third beatitude,
“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Smooth let the waves of life be, Lord, or rough,
Without Thine arm to lean on, I must fail;
But while upheld, by Thy sustaining grace
Calmly I walk, superior to them all.

And as I gaze upon Thee, where Thou art—
The vague, wild tumult of life’s inner sea,
The feverish throbbings of this restless heart,
Are calmed, as, risen Lord! I walk with Thee.

For since I’ve seen Thee seated far above,
At God’s right hand in yonder glorious sphere,
The light which led me to that place of love
Revealed the wreck of everything down here!”
(Continued from page 210)

He Is With Me

“Nebuchadnezzar said,... I see four men loose, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dan. 3:25).
If you cannot see Christ with you in the furnace, you can be quite sure He is there. What though I were in the deep three days and three nights if I have Christ with me there! Whatever the place I am brought into, I shall find sweetness if He is with me.
O do not let Christ have the second place! It is to be nothing else than Christ and you, and you and Christ, all the way through the wilderness. Let Him always be the only object before your mind. Refuse to see anything save with Him. Having Him you will find strength for everything.

Discouragement

Who is there that has worked long in the Lord’s vineyard that has not at times felt discouraged? We naturally like to see the fruit of our labors, and we feel discouraged if we see it not. The Sunday school worker has his especial discouragements. With the evangelist, though he may not see them again, he knows that when God begins to work, He will surely carry it on to perfection.
The Sunday school worker has no such source of hope. If he thinks he sees signs of fruit, and fondly hopes to see it to be real and abiding, all his hopes may be scattered to the wind by unmistakable conduct or demeanor. There sits before him the one whom he hoped had been melted into contrition, as callous as ever—yea, he seems to be even harder and more indifferent than he was before. The heart of the teacher is pained and disappointed.
Our only hope is in God. The work is His, not ours. We are to sow the Seed, and if there is any increase, it is God who must give it. But He encourages us to go on.
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
Here is a blessed promise to cheer us on: “We shall reap if we faint not.” Let us hold fast to this. It is our God who gives it us: He who knows all our discouragements, and who knows we should be liable to be weary and faint-hearted, has provided for us this word of encouragement.
It is a fact, too, that many a wandering sinner is called by God’s grace years afterward by some word learned in the Sunday school. We feel convinced that many a case of this sort will be revealed by-and-by, when all things are to be made known. Yet now we see it not, but have to labor on in faith—faith in the Word of our God—that we shall reap if we faint not.
Let us take fresh courage, then, remembering that everything here is against our work. We are attacking the kingdom of Satan, and are seeking to snatch the poor slaves from his dominion and power. He will not sit quietly by and see his kingdom assailed. As we know, he catches away the seed, or chokes it, and we have no hope of success, except as we remember that greater is He that is for us, than all that can be against us. And the work is not ours, but our God’s, and He, and He alone, can give the increase.
But there is another word in our passage: “in due season” —we shall reap in due season. And when is that? When the Lord pleases. He is all gracious, but He is sovereign, and He will work when He pleases.
The word to sinners is now, and we, if we could, would have all our scholars converted now. But God has His “due season.” A wave of blessing comes, and hundreds are converted. At another time it is one here, and another there, taken up by God in His grace, and translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
How good it is to remember that we are His workmen, and that He is carrying on all His plans quietly, but so effectually that none can stay His hand. I am putting in the Seed that He is going to bless. I am impatient, and want to see it grow; and get weary and faint-hearted because I cannot see the fruit produced. He bids me go on, and not be weary in well doing; for I shall reap in His time if I faint not. If I faint and give up, God will still go on with His work, but another will reap instead of me.
O for the patient plodding in the path He has set each one, obeying His Word, not to look back; and if I never see one bit of fruit, still to go on, encouraged by that gracious Word, that I shall surely reap if I faint not, and it will be in the due season He Himself appoints.

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith

Hebrews 12:2
All the witnesses for God spoken of in Hebrews 11 are for our encouragement in the path of faith; but then there is a difference between them and Jesus. Accordingly the apostle here singles Him out of all. If I see Abraham, who by faith sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country; or Isaac, who blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come; or Jacob on his dying bed of blessing and worship, they have all run their race before; but in Jesus we have a far higher witness. Besides, in Him there is the grace to sustain us in the race.
Therefore in looking unto Jesus we get a motive and an unfailing source of strength. We see in Jesus the love which led Him to take this place for us, who, “when He putteth forth His own sheep, goeth before them.” For, if a race is to be run, we need a forerunner. And in Jesus we have one who did run before us, and has become the Captain and Completer of faith, in looking to whom we draw strength into our souls.
While Abraham and the rest filled up, in their little measure, their several places, Christ has filled up the whole course of faith. There is no position that I can be in, no trial whatever that I can endure, but Christ has passed through all and overcome.
Thus I have one who presents Himself in that character which I need; and I find in Him one who knows what grace is wanted, and will supply it; for He has overcome, and says to me, “Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” —not, you shall overcome; but, I have overcome.
It was so in the case of the blind man (John 9:31) who was cast out of the synagogue; and why? Because Jesus had been cast out before him. And now we learn that, however rough the storm may be, it does but throw us the more thoroughly on Christ, and thus that which would have been a sore trial, does but chase us closer to Him.
Whatever turns our eye away from Christ, is but a hindrance to our running the race that is set before us. If Christ has become the object of the soul, let us lay aside every weight. If I am running a race, a cloak, however comfortable, would only hinder and must be got rid of; it is a weight, and would prevent my running. I do not want anything to entangle my feet. If I am looking to Jesus in the appointed race, I must throw the cloak aside: otherwise it would seem strange to throw away so useful a garment.
Nay, more; however much encouragement the history of antecedent faithful witnesses in Hebrews 11 may give, our eye must be fixed on Jesus, the true and faithful one.
There is not a trial or difficulty that He has not passed through before me, and found His resources in God the Father. He will supply the needed grace to my heart.
There were these two features in the life of Christ down here.
First, He exercised constant dependence on His Father: as He said, “I live by the Father.” The new man is ever a dependent man. The moment we get out of dependence, we get into the flesh. It is not through our own life (for, indeed, we have but death) that we really live, but by Christ, through feeding on Him. In the highest possible sense, He walked in dependence on the Father, and for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame.
Secondly, His affections were undivided. You never find Christ having any new object revealed to Him so as to induce Him to go on in His path of faithfulness. Paul and Stephen, on the other hand, had the glory revealed to them, which enabled them to endure. For when the heaven was opened to Stephen, the Lord appeared in glory to him, as afterward to Saul of Tarsus. But when the heavens opened on Jesus, there was no object presented to Him, but, on the contrary, He was the object of heaven; the Holy Ghost descends upon Him, and the voice of the Father declares,
“This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 17:5).
Thus the divine person of the Lord is always being witnessed to. The Apostle here gets hold of the preciousness of Christ in the lowliness into which He has come; but he never loses sight of the glory of Him who has come there.

The Resurrection

The unconverted man hates the idea of bodily resurrection, for it means that the same body in which he has lived his Christ-less life, is to be reunited to his lost soul, to be brought before the bar of God. Accordingly there is a determined, relentless effort on the part of the enemy today to rob souls of the simple truth of the resurrection of the physical body.
Even children of God have sometimes very hazy ideas about what kind of a body they will have in resurrection. But the simple truth for us to lay hold of is this: we shall have for eternity this very same body in which we have lived down here. God is not going to give us a newly created body, for, if He did, it would not be resurrection at all, for resurrection is the raising up again of that which existed before. It is true, the Christian’s body will be changed into the fashion of the body of Christ, (blessed be God) but it will be the same body renewed.
On the other hand, the wicked will not have their bodies renewed like unto His body of glory, but will be raised again in their bodies to be cast alive into the lake of fire, there to suffer the doom of the eternally lost.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are graves shall hear His voice, and they shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28, 29).

Fragment: Happy and Comfortable in the World

If you can make yourselves happy and comfortable in this world which has rejected Jesus, count not on His blessings.

The Way of the Love of Jesus

The more perfect love is, the more entirely and without distraction will it regard its object, and this will give it at different times a very different bearing, because its ways will be determined by the condition and need of its object. Its ways, therefore, at times may appear harsh and decisive, as when the Lord rebuked Peter in Matthew 16, or when He reproved the two disciples in Luke 24. But this is only because love is perfect, and therefore is undistractedly considering its object.
Imperfect love will show itself otherwise—more attractively at times, but far, far intrinsically less true, because imperfect love will not in this way unmixedly consider its object, but itself—it will be set upon enjoying its object rather than serving it; and this will give it a more considerate and tender bearing at times, and get for itself great credit; while perfect love has all the while forgotten itself and its enjoyments, and ordered its course and its actings in more undistracted concern and desire to have another blessed and profited.
Where do we see the perfect love, but in Jesus, in God! A mother has it not, but will at times enjoy her child; but Jesus had it. He considered His disciples when He was with them; He ordered His way with them to their profit, and not to His own gratification. He will gratify Himself with them in that coming age, when He need no longer care for them as in a place of instruction and discipline.
He will then have no occasion, in the exercise of perfect love, to consider only their profit; for their profit will have been brought to its accomplishment in that place of their Lord’s delight in them.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins

The midnight cry is heard!
O! slumbering saints arise,
Awake from sleep, your vigil keep,
And prove yourselves “the wise;”
Arise! arise! go forth,
The Bridegroom is at hand;
The morning Star, He comes from far,
To claim His waiting band.

The midnight cry is heard!
Go forth, your Lord to meet—
His voice we hear—His step is near,
Your blessing to complete;
Your lamps are all but out,
O! put them now in trim,
Let every light for Him shine bright,
Let naught their luster dim.

The midnight cry is heard!
O! foolish virgins, haste,
While yet there’s room, escape your doom,
Of boundless mercy taste;
The Bridegroom tarries yet,
Your empty vessels fill;
To God on high, go there and buy,
Without a price—who will?

The midnight cry is heard!
He comes! He comes at last!
Ye virgins wise, to meet Him rise,
Your midnight watch is past;
The new eternal song
Now flows from hearts at rest—
With Him in light, where all is bright—
With Him forever blest.

The midnight cry has ceased!
No foolish enter in—
Too late! too late! ‘tis sealed your fate,
And now your woes begin;
Too late! too late! too late!
The door, forever shut,
You knock in vain—no entrance gain—
“Depart, I know you not.”

Fellowship

“What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
God’s dear children are suffering damage by association with the world. This is at the root of want of blessing in the gospel. Many are parting company with their Lord, and going in paths in which they know He is not, and cannot be, with them.
Then take this precious promise with you, and go forward in the confidence that He is with you,
“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
As you continue in the place of subjection to Him and His will as given in the Scriptures, He will give you the victory over all your enemies. As you thus submit yourself to Him you shall prove in your experience that His will is “good, acceptable, and perfect.”

Correspondence: After the Rapture; Truly Saved; Gospel Preaching

Question: After the Lord removes the church what will become of those who now refuse the truth? Will the Holy Spirit have to do with the earth after the church is gone?
Answer: When the Lord has taken away His church, those who have refused the truth will be given up to strong delusion, and there is no hope held out for their conversion (2 Thess. 2:10-12). The Holy Spirit is not then dwelling in the church on earth, as He is no longer here. But the Holy Spirit will act on earth, as He did before He came to glorify Christ, and to form the church. An elect number of Israel will be sealed, and a vast multitude of the Gentiles saved (Rev. 7).
The Holy Spirit will no longer act, as now, in hindering lawlessness. It is terrible to think what will be the state of this world when all restraint on man’s lawless nature is removed for a short time, and Satan, the dragon, takes the place of God, and leads his dupe, the man of sin, to do the same visibly. Strange to say, the word by which Satan is leading men on towards this awful slavery is called liberty. But we wait for the Son of God from heaven.
Question: How can one know that he is really saved instead of having a mere head knowledge of the truths of salvation?
Answer: When the jailer inquired, “What must I do to be saved,” the Apostle at once gave him a Person to believe on— “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” The soul thus, by faith, has to do with an ever-living Person, a Man in the glory of God, who is the Saviour of sinners. It is not knowing doctrines merely, but, by the truth of God and the Spirit of God, brought to the Lord Jesus Christ; and thus approaching God through His blood, the soul knows, on the authority of the Word of God, that he has remission of sins, everlasting life, and is a child of God; so that the heart cries out in thanksgiving and praise to God.
“He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).
“Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
“Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).
Question: Ought not believers to be greatly interested in gospel preaching, and to be present at such meetings? Some say they must be gathering spiritual food for themselves.
Answer: It is a sure sign of spiritual decline when believers fail or cease to have interest in gospel preaching. O, how sad to remain away, or murmur and complain, instead of coming, and helping with earnest prayer and expecting faith! It is a poor excuse to say they ought to be building themselves up. Are Christians to be so selfish that they cannot spare two hours out of the week to seek the eternal salvation of others?
If they really wish to build themselves up, from five to seven in the morning is a good time for fresh manna. What a contrast such present to Philippians 1:4, 5; 1 Thessalonians 1:8! We would earnestly entreat all such to awake, and look to God for strength to shake off such gloomy thoughts.
Come together for earnest prayer before the preaching of the gospel, then go out for a half hour and seek to bring souls to hear the gospel; and, “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies and envies, and all evil-speaking,” look to the Lord to bless the word, whoever may be the speaker, whether that word may be to the unconverted, or the whole counsel of God to the whole flock.

Ready for the Lord's Coming

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

Tested and Found True

What a story could the old walls of the Colosseum at Rome tell had they voices!
Of fierce combats between gladiators, of attacks by hungry, roaring lions, of savage encounters with enraged bulls.
How many a Christian witnessed a good confession in the arena and sealed with his life-blood his testimony for his Saviour and Lord.
These are numbered among those of whom the world was not worthy, and their record is on high.
In view of their martyrdom for Christ may we not ask ourselves what our Christianity is worth. Would it stand the test as theirs did?
It is easy to be a Christian in name today in most of the countries where “The Young Christian” is known. But let us remember the words of the Lord to some,
“Thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead.”
A mere lifeless profession can never stand in the day of trial, and is worthless for salvation or for testimony. And it may be, the reader is found with a mere profession and without real Christianity. Will the Saviour have to profess unto you,
“I never knew you: depart from Me ye that work iniquity”? (Matt. 7:22, 23).
The waves of persecution may roll again, and the martyrs’ blood be shed. Such a day would put us to the proof, and only the grace of God could keep any of us true and loyal, and faithful unto death.
But if we are spared this, Christ’s tribunal day will test every one. None can escape this.
If you are Christ’s, own Him. Take your place in the ranks of His confessors, and with life and lip witness for Himself in this day of His rejection.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32, 33).

Answered Prayers

“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him” (Psa. 91:15).
I think we sometimes discourage ourselves by a misconception of the expression “answer,” taking it to mean only “grant.” Now, an answer is not necessarily an acquiescence. It may be a refusal, an explanation, a promise, a conditional grant. It is, in fact, simply attention to our request expressed. In this sense before we call He will answer. The answer is often not what we asked or expected. Still, we never seek in vain. The gift is always better than the one we sought.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fourth Beatitude, Part 1

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 6
The Fourth Beatitude
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Verse 6.
The perfect answer of the Father’s love to the various spiritual feelings and conditions of the children is most interesting and instructive. The riches of the kingdom are promised to the poor in spirit— “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Divine comfort is the sure portion, in due time, of those who mourn— “They shall be comforted.” And, as saith the prophet,
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isa. 66:13).
The coming possession of the land of Israel is the promise held out to those who meekly bow to the will of God in the land of their strangership, and leave all their interests in His hands— “They shall inherit the earth.”
And to the fourth class, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, full satisfaction of soul is promised— “They shall be filled.”
This is grace, and like the ways of the Lord in grace, from the beginning. This answer meets the felt need of the soul. He creates the desire that He may satisfy it. When the heart desires that which is good, we may be sure that His grace is there. As there is nothing spiritually good in the natural heart, the first, as every good desire after, must come from God.
“I will arise, and go to my father,” was the effect of grace working in the heart of the prodigal; and he was then as safe as when he was in his father’s arms, though he did not know it. So that a good desire is the fruit of grace, and, in a certain sense, the possession of all that is desired. It is like the earnest of the inheritance.
Surely there is great encouragement in these facts to those who are earnestly seeking the Lord, as they say, but who are fearful and doubting as to whether they have found Him; whereas it is just the opposite; Christ has sought and found them, and is causing the heart to feel that nothing can ever satisfy it but Himself. The world, its pleasures, its riches, its society, are all too small to fill it.
Even a Solomon found that all under the sun could not fill his heart. At the same time he is made to tell us, in his beautiful song, that a poor outdoor slave finding the Messiah, or rather found of Him, her heart overflows with His love. “Thy love,” she says, “is better than wine” —better to me now than all the social joys of earth. This must be the work of His grace.
No true desire, we know, for the Christ of God, can ever spring from our depraved hearts; and sure we are that neither the world nor Satan has put it there: from whence, then, must it come? From the grace of God alone. And the longing desires and expectations He has awakened He waits to fulfill. But He would have us to say with the Psalmist,
“My soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense: I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” Psalm 62. It is the word “only” in this beautiful psalm that so searches and tries our hearts. The Lord give us to weigh it up in His presence.
We conclude, then, from these reflections—and reflections they are, for very little is said about pardon, salvation, or redemption, in the Beatitudes—that every desire of the heart after Christ shall be satisfied forever. So far this is true now.
May the Lord awaken and draw forth many deep, earnest, longing desires after Himself, in these last and closing days. We will now return to our Beatitude.
As we are all well acquainted with the force of the figure, we can easily see its spiritual application. To hunger and thirst after righteousness, evidently means an earnest desire of the renewed mind to do the will of God in this world; and this desire is increased from finding the world opposed to what is right in the sight of God—to righteousness. Hence the intensified feeling of hungering and thirsting. The effect of thus seeking to maintain that which is according to the will of God is great blessedness to the soul.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matt. 5:6).
But though blessedness is the sure reward of righteousness, the righteous path will be one of great trial and many difficulties. The maxim of the world is, not what is right before God, but what is convenient, profitable, or suitable to self. What the mind of God may be on the subject is never thought of, and he who would suggest the inquiry would be set down as unfit for the practical realities of this life.
But this looseness of principle is not confined to the world; we find it in the professing church. How many things are introduced and practiced there, with all the show of divine authority, and made terms of membership, which have no sanction in the Word of God? So that he who would seek to maintain the authority and the glory of God, or, in other words, to walk in the paths of righteousness, either in the church or in the world, must meet with trial at every step. Grace must mourn when the will of man is in the place of the righteousness of God. The meekness, also, of the divine life will be in exercise, as looking up, and leaving all to God.
But whatever others may do, the maxim of the man of God must ever be, Is it right?
Is it in harmony with the revealed will of God? Not merely is it most practical, most likely to gain the end in view, but is it right?
“The righteous Lord loveth righteousness: His countenance doth behold the upright” (Psa. 11:7).
Righteousness, we admit, had a special place with the Jew who was under law, and who was to see that all things were done according to the letter of the law; but surely in the New Testament we have both deeper and higher principles than in the Old, and which were brought out, not so much in the Sermon on the mount, as after the death and resurrection of Christ; and a broader righteousness is looked for, just because we are to reckon ourselves as dead and risen in Him, and not under law, but under grace. Hence the Apostle says,
“Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:13, 14).
As a test of the real character of much that we allow and do, it would be impossible to overestimate the value of this short and simple question,
Is it right?
Not that we are to expect an express passage of Scripture for everything we do or allow; but we may seriously inquire, Is this in accordance with the revealed will of God in Christ? Are we sure that it has His approval? If not, what is it worth? it is worse than useless, it is wrong. It may be a religious observance, or an acknowledged principle in the affairs of this life, but if it has not the sanction of God, better give it up. To hunger and thirst after righteousness, is the earnest desire to maintain what is right in the sight of God, though it may expose us to the opposition and oppression of the world, or to that of worldly-minded Christians.
(Continued from page 237)
(To be continued)

All Things Work Together for Good to Them That Love God”

What tender, yearning solicitude for our happiness and well-being is wrapped up in those dealings of disappointment over which we so often grieve. We see but the bright beginning of the path. He looks on to the end! He sees the whirlpool of trouble into which the pursuit of such a course would inevitably lead us. And in wonderful mercy He arrests our steps as we get in Hosea 2:6. He stops up our way.
“I will hedge up thy way with thorns,” He says of Israel, “and make a wall that she shall not find her paths.” He frustrates our plans of earthly happiness. He disappoints our hopes; He allows nothing we do apparently to succeed. Ah! We may not see the reason now; we may fail to see love in His dealings with us; but not the less surely it is there.
“Without this hedge of thorns,” says Rutherford, “on the right hand and on the left, we should hardly keep the road to heaven.”
“Our yet unfinished story
Is tending all to this;
To God the highest glory—
To us the greatest bliss.
If all things work together,
For ends so grand and blest;
What need to wonder whether
Each in itself is best.”

"Poor and Afflicted;" Lord, We're Thine

“I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord” (Zeph. 3:12).
“Poor and afflicted,” —Lord we’re Thine,
Nor would we, Lord, in this world shine;
For, though the world may think it strange,
We would not, Lord, with it exchange.

“Poor and afflicted” we may be,
But, JESUS, we belong to Thee;
Thou hast redeemed us by Thy blood,
“Made us kings and priests to God.”

“Poor and afflicted”!—Is that our lot?
Let thanks flow forth and murmur not.
Our path, Lord Jesus, do Thou choose:
To follow Thee, let’s ne’er refuse.

“Poor and afflicted?” —let us sing:
Who grace has brought, will glory bring—
Through sufferings, perfect—he doth know
To feel for us in every woe.

“Poor and afflicted”!—but ere long
We’ll join the bright celestial throng—
Our suff’rings then will reach a close—
“E’er with the Lord,” —O blest repose!

Take Courage

Dangers stand thick on every side, suggests Faintheart. How can we help being anxious? “Only believe” (Mark 5:36). The Lord “is a shield to them that put their trust in Him” (Prov. 30:5).
Silver-tongued temptation may assail us? “He is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18).
But poverty may be our lot? “The Lord heareth the poor.”
What if riches be ours, and we are cumbered with many cares? Give to the poor, and “thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22).
Should we be homeless? Our Lord had “not where to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20).
Friendless? There is a Friend that “sticketh closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
Afflicted? “He bindeth up the brokenhearted” (Isa. 61:1).
Unjustly accused? “The Almighty shall be thy defense” (Job 22:25).
The night cometh? “He that keepeth thee will not slumber” (Psa. 121:3).
Accidents may befall us? “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in” (Psa. 121:8).
Pain and sickness? The Lord will “make all thy bed in thy sickness” (Psa. 41:3).
The infirmity of age? “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age” (Psa. 92:14).
Wearisome nights may be appointed to us? “He giveth songs in the night” (Job 35:10).
But if death come? “It is well with the righteous when he dieth,” and “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).
To the believer every providence is but another stroke of the chisel upon the marble block, shaping it for its position in the heavenly glory.

"In My Name"

To ask in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is certainly to present His name to the Father as the only ground of being answered, and of being answered, too, according to His estimate of that infinite and all prevailing name. It surely is the ground of true confidence in prayer and supplication; and when we consider it, it is no marvel that the Son should have said,
“Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).
It is, however, to be observed, that it was after Jesus had taken His farewell of Jerusalem, and thus Jewish things were virtually over, that the Lord (who had before taught them a prayer), on His now going to the Father as the accomplisher of redemption, and to send down the Holy Spirit, should have given an entirely new order of things as to prayer. He said,
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name” (John 16:24).
There was not a sound of it in the so-called Lord’s prayer. The Lord, therefore, went on to say, “ask,” that is, in My name, “and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
No doubt those who plead His precious name will know the Lord Himself as dear to their hearts, and will have it on their consciences not to deny His name. Hence they will avoid such things as they cannot truly associate with the name of the Lord Jesus, and delight in those things which will be for His glory. We are therefore told,
“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).

We Are Members One of Another

Ephesians 4:25
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Every one of us is necessary to every one else. You say: That brother is so bad. But I say: He is necessary to you. You say: O, but he troubles me so much, there is this thing and that thing about him. Well, that is the very thing you need. Do you think there is a single thing that happens that is not necessary to us?
This world is God’s training ground, and God sees to it that there is everything to exercise us, and even to rub us up the wrong way, in order that He might have the opportunity to strengthen us and make us faithful.
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:1).

Trophimus

2 Timothy 4:20
“Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.”
What a very suggestive clause. The great Apostle of the Gentiles, endowed with the gift of healing, and who had healed so many, leaves his friend behind him sick. When in the Island of Melita he healed the father-in-law of Publius, the chief man of the island; but here we find he has to leave Trophimus at Miletum sick. There was a needs be for this.
God in His governmental dealings sometimes lays His children by. The Father finds it needful, at times, to put forth His hand in wholesome discipline. It is often very good, very salutary, very necessary, to be left in the condition of Trophimus at Miletum. Nature does not like it; but we may be assured it is healthful.
Trophimus had a lesson to learn on a sick bed at Miletum which he could not learn anywhere else, not even as Paul’s companion in travel. The solitude, the prostration, the helplessness of a sick bed are often, most profitable to the soul. The Spirit of God makes use of such things to teach us some of our most sanctifying lessons. Very often it happens that a time of bodily illness is made the season of much solemn review and self-judgment in the presence of God. How needful are these things, but yet how much neglected amid the bustle of constant travel and intercourse with others!
It is instructive to contrast the position of Trophimus, in Acts 21:29, with his position in 2 Timothy 4:20. In the former we see him in the streets of Jerusalem in company with Paul; in the latter we see him in the retirement of a sickroom at Miletum. Now it was his presence with Paul that roused all the bitter prejudices of the Jews who imagined that Paul had brought him into the temple. A Jew and Ephesian in company was quite in harmony with Paul’s gospel, but not at all so with Jewish prejudice. At Ephesus, Paul and Trophimus might have walked in company without exciting any suspicion; not so in Jerusalem.
For a Jew and a Gentile to be seen together in Jerusalem was regarded as an open insult to Jewish dignity; it was a throwing down of the middle wall of partition, and boldly walking across the ruins. For this the Jews were not prepared. They gazed upon the two companions with an eye of dark suspicion, and the strange companionship fanned the flame which so speedily burst forth with terrible vehemence around the beloved Apostle of the Gentiles. Alas! one is disposed to say that the two friends should not be found in the streets of Jerusalem. Those streets were evidently not Paul’s appointed sphere of labor.
“Far hence unto the Gentiles” was the Master’s word. But Paul would go to Jerusalem, and when there he could never refuse to walk in company with an Ephesian. He was too honest for that. He could not, like poor Peter, stand aloof from his Gentile brother for fear of the Jews. But then, the ceremonies of the temple, and the company of Trophimus could never be harmonized. Here was the difficulty. If the institutions of the temple were to be honored and maintained, then why this companionship with an uncircumcised stranger? If Paul and Trophimus were both enrolled as fellow-citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, then why acknowledge, in any way, the old system of things?
These reflections throw a peculiar interest around the name of Trophimus. It is deeply interesting and instructive just to look at the three passages in which this name occurs.
First, we find Trophimus as one of a band of companions who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4).
Then we find him in company with the Apostle in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 21:29).
And, lastly, we find him laid on a sick bed in Miletum. Here the curtain drops upon him. Here he might calmly review the past. Here, too, he might confidently look forward into the future. He could no longer travel through Asia, not tread the streets of Jerusalem in company with the most devoted and honored of men.
He was an invalid at Miletum, and Paul was a prisoner at Rome; but both could, with undimmed eye, look upward to that bright and blessed world above, to which they were both hastening onward, and where they are now safely housed, to go no more out forever.

Correspondence: Fallen Angels; Head Coverings; Ezekiel's Temple; Day of Grace. . .

Question: Does 2 Peter 1:9 refer to true believers?
Answer: Those in verse 9 may be true believers, for “these things” that they lack do not include faith, but seven graces which were to be added to faith; and it is faith that saves, not these graces though they are the blessed fruits of this new life. A Christian who lacks these though saved has no insight into divine things, has not grown in grace or the knowledge of the Lord, and moreover is in great danger of slipping into the world, and forgetting the practical purity and separation that become the Christian path.
Question: Where do we find the scripture about the angels who fell being part of the first creation?
Answer: There is a certain mystery connected with the angelic fall. In Ezekiel the fall of Satan is recorded and quite evidently it was connected with the earth in its former state. Ezekiel 28:12-17 is generally understood by those we esteem, Mr. Darby, Kelly, and others, as the primitive creation. The fact that Satan fell we get in Genesis. Almost immediately Satan appears and gets in his deadly work, so he must have fallen before this. Then we see from other scriptures that Satan has angels subordinate to him and we assume when he fell, his angels fell with him. There was evidently a plot to occupy a higher position than God gave him and Satan has today about us a host of angels, but God has a host of angels who see us if we do not see them, so women should cover their heads in prayer because of the angels.
Question: At what age should the girls cover their heads at family prayer?
Answer: When the little girls see their mothers covering their heads at prayer, they are very likely to ask why and want to follow their example. The head of the house is responsible to see that there is godly order in the house because angels observe what goes on in our houses.
Question: When will Ezekiel’s Temple be built? At the beginning of the David reign of Christ, or when the Solomon character begins? (Ezek. 40)
Answer: As Ezekiel does not come to his description of the Millennial temple until after the destruction of all Israel’s enemies, ending with Gog and Magog in the 38th and 39th chapters, we conclude that the rebuilding of the temple, and the replacing of the twelve tribes takes place during the beginning of the Solomon reign of Christ. This would also agree with the prohibition to David (1 Chron. 22:8), and the commission to Solomon with respect to the building of the first temple. (2 Sam. 7:13.)
Question: Did the Day of Grace begin when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, or on the day of Pentecost?
Answer: The Day of Grace began with the ministry of Jesus, (John 1:17) though the full character of that Grace was not brought out till the ministry of Paul.
Question: Please explain Acts 22:16. I do not understand baptism as a saving ordinance, but do not know how to explain this verse to those who do.
Answer: Acts 22:16 is administrative forgiveness to Paul as identified with guilty Israel in the rejection of their Messiah.

A New Master

Nobody can serve two masters, but everybody must serve one master. It is the greatest mistake possible to imagine that man is a free agent, and able to do his own independent pleasure. Man is a sinner—every man is a sinner, and
“Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
At conversion a man changes his master. He who once served sin, Satan, and pleasure, becomes a servant of Jesus Christ—to love, follow, serve, and obey Him who died for him on the cross, who lives for him in heaven, and who is soon coming to take him to His home of eternal glory.
On the deck of a battleship many years ago, stood a young man of noble birth, as men would say. The world smiled upon him and offered him of its best. His ship had cleared for action, and shot and shell were falling fast, hurling their victims in one moment into eternity.
Rapidly there passed before his mind the realities of life and death. Quick as thought the scales of conscience weighed out the respective values of time and eternity; of the world and Christ, and there on that deck his choice was made. He passed from the service of Satan, and ranged himself under the standard of the King of Kings.
What led him to this decision I cannot say. Whether the fear of impending death, the dread of judgment to come, or the terrors of an unknown hereafter, I know not. Did the burden of his own personal sins begin to weigh so heavily on his conscience that he was forced to flee for refuge to the Lord Jesus Christ?—this I cannot say. But one thing I know, he there and then trusted Christ for salvation, and stepped off that battleship a new creature in Christ.
He had made a new start in life, and enlisted under the banner of a new Master. Christ henceforth, and not the world, became his all absorbing object. For many years after this he devoted himself indefatigably to His blessed service, renouncing altogether the empty pomp’s and pleasures of this poor passing world.
O worldly pomp and glory,
Your charms are spread in vain,
I’ve found a deeper pleasure
I’ve found a truer gain;
Where Christ my place prepareth,
There is my blest abode,
There shall I gaze on glory,
There shall I dwell with God.
Early in his Christian life he had occasion to pass through L., and wrote to a relative asking if he might stay the night on his way.
“Certainly,” was the reply, the letter adding, while he would be welcome, there happened that night to be a great dinner party, which to him, with his changed life, might prove distasteful; but it went on to say he might, if he preferred, remain in his own apartments, and not appear at the dinner.
This kind thoughtfulness on the part of his relative seemed just to suit the visitor’s taste, so settling himself down to a quiet evening all by himself, he was looking forward to some hours of feeding upon the Bread of Life, and reading what had now become to him the Book of books.
Suddenly the thought of his own selfishness flashed before him. He said to himself:
“Are you not in all probability the only one beneath this roof who could point a single one of that gay and worldly company to Christ? And yet you are going to selfishly sit down and enjoy yourself.” In a moment his decision was made; he sent word that he would join the party at dinner.
It fell to him to take in to dinner a young lady just “come out.” She was extremely pretty, but worldly to a degree, the most frivolous of that glittering company. How was he to approach such an one on the solemn subject of the soul? Trembling from head to foot, as he conducted her along the corridor, he blurted out something to her about Christ and her soul’s salvation. What he said he could scarcely remember, but the effect upon the young lady seemed disastrous. She turned away with scorn and contempt.
O, that long interminable dinner! Would it never come to an end? Would the floor not open to receive him? Could he not escape from the brilliantly lighted hall? For the rest of that evening not one look did she give him, not one word did she address to him.
At length he got to his own room, and there flung himself on his knees, and prayed to God to undo the mischief that his mistaken zeal had effected. Glad, too, he was to take his departure the following day.
Months passed, when one day he received an urgent message to come and see this very lady. As he entered the room where she lay, now nearing eternity, she stretched out her hand, saying:
“I could not die without seeing you, and begging your pardon for the rude and disgraceful way I treated you that night. I hated you for what you said. But O! I want to tell you that your words stuck to me, and God has used them to bring me to Himself. Go on with your blessed work for there are many moving in society, who, beneath a frivolous exterior, hide an aching heart. You may be laughed at and despised—but go on—go on!”
Christian reader, Christ is not only your Saviour, but your Master. Serve Him all the time, and be ever ready to drop a word, for we never can tell “whether shall prosper, either this or that.” Sow thy seed.
Does an anxious, troubled soul read these lines? We point you here and now to the Lord Jesus Christ, once crucified by man, now glorified by God. Through His name forgiveness of sins is preached to all who will believe.
“To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

The Peace of God

There is an important difference between having peace with God and having the peace of God. The former has to do with our sins. The latter has to do with our sorrows.
Peace with God is connected with our conscience, and depends upon the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification.
“Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.
The work done for us by Christ at Calvary secures this blessing for us the moment we believe. That which was wrought outside of us produces the inward peace. The look without brings the peace within. Every question about our sins has been settled at the cross, and our consciences are set at perfect rest.
The peace of God is that peace which God Himself enjoys. It is unruffled and unbroken. We who believe the glad good news of His gospel may know it, too. But our enjoyment of this depends upon our “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” making our requests known to God. As we unburden our hearts to Him, telling out all our desires, His peace will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The difficulties and sorrows may not be removed, but our spirit is lifted above them into an atmosphere of holy peace and quiet.
Some years ago two friends were traveling in Switzerland. One of them ascended the Rigi, leaving his companion at the foot of the mountain. While they were separated, a heavy thunderstorm broke over the valley. The friend at the bottom of the Rigi telegraphed to his friend at the top.
“There is an awful thunderstorm raging here.” The friend at the top telegraphed back,
“Come up here. We are above the storm.”
When we unbosom ourselves before our God and Father, we are carried above the storm. It still rages, but our hearts are restful, confiding in Him who has all power in His hand. As the prophet says,
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee” (Isa. 26:3).
The Lord Jesus knew this peace amid all the sorrows of His rejection here. He reposed upon the infinite love and wisdom of His Father, and was unperturbed by all that came upon Him.
“Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight,” was His utterance When His refusal by men was becoming more and more clear.
“My peace I give unto you,” He said to His own as He brought them into His place of nearness and dearness before His Father and His God. He would have us share with Him His restfulness—His peace—the peace of God which passeth all understanding.

"Arise, He Calleth Thee"

They spake of old to him who sat
In blindness by the way,
Of Christ the Lord, who, drawing near,
Could turn his night to day.

But still he lingered, trembling there,
Till o’er that living sea
The words of welcome reached his ear,
“Arise, He calleth thee!”

And still these words from heaven fall
On every sinner’s ear;
And still the Lord delights to bid
The trembling soul draw near.

The old, the young, the rich, the poor,
He calls from wrath to flee,
And from the death-like sleep of sin
“Arise, He calleth thee!”

He saw thee when, a “great way off,”
Thou hadst no thought of Him;
The door of grace He open threw,
And seeks to bring thee in.

A child within its father’s home,
So happy and so free,
He longs to have you with Himself,
“Arise, He calleth thee!”

Inspiration of the Scriptures

“Every scripture is divinely inspired (God-breathed), and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, fully fitted to every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17) (N. Tr.).
As Jehovah magnified His Word above all His name, so did our Lord take His stand on the written Word, the Scriptures, as the most authoritative of all testimonies. All Scripture, every part of it even, is God-inspired for permanence, and the true end of controversy for those that believe; while such as believe not, must learn their sin and folly in the judgment. The question is in no way, whether the writers knew or did not know what they wrote (for both are found abundantly in Scripture), but whether they were inspired of God to write it. And “every scripture” is God-breathed. This alone makes it God’s Word, not its known truth or usefulness, but His inspiring it; and this we have in every scripture.
Some writers may be sublime and others simple; some may be pathetic and others severe; but all are God-inspired; and the plain proof is that they are part of the Scriptures. In the New Testament we have differences as wide as sever the Epistle of James from those of Paul, and the Gospel of Mark from that of John. But inspired they are equally, as their writings are part of the Scriptures. Inspiration of God is a fact, and does not admit of varying degrees.
It is quite within the power of the Holy Spirit in giving God’s Word to adopt the style of each individual writer. But no effort on a writer’s part could make his words to be God’s. Even before any adversary, the Lord told the twelve to have no anxiety how or what to speak, for in the hour of need it should be given.
“For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you” (Matt. 10:20).
How much more was that divine energy wanted and given, when not their vindication was in question, but the communication of God’s mind and will for His own and forever! Indeed it is no more than the certain fact; for every scripture is God-inspired.
Speculation into the “how” of inspiration is a prying into what is not revealed, and therefore unwise and unbecoming. We are not told how God inspired the writers of the Scriptures. It is probable that none could know save those who were so energized. Theories “mechanical” or “dynamical,” so called, are out of place and explain nothing. As 1 Corinthians 2 maintains the principle, the necessity, and the fact of Spirit-taught words, so 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks, not of the revelation before the mind only, but of “Scripture;” and decides for it as inspired of God. This is the all-important truth conveyed.
It is God Himself in Scripture removing all doubt about Scripture, and even about every part of it. One can conceive no other communication more distinct or conclusive. The language is as plain as its aim is spiritually momentous; and its intimation is of the utmost practical interest and value.

Christian Love

“A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
What a lofty standard of love is set before us in the above words! We are to love one another as Christ loved us.
Now, how did Christ love us? Well, He loved us notwithstanding all our infirmities, all our failures, and all our sins. He did not love us because we had none of these things, but despite them all, His was a love that rose above every barrier, and proved itself superior to every hindrance. Many waters, even the dark waters of death, could not quench the love of Jesus. He loved us and gave Himself for us. Now, this is to be our model. We are to love one another as Christ loved us.
“Herein perceive we love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
“And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He gave us commandment.”
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.”
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us” (1 John 3:16, 18, 23; 4:7, 8, 10-12).
This is Christian love. It is the outflow of the divine nature in the believer. It may express itself in various ways. It may sometimes have to rebuke, reprove, and smite. Our great exemplar had occasionally to do so in reference to those whom notwithstanding, He loved with an everlasting and unchangeable love.
It is a mistake to suppose that love is blind or cannot be faithful. Such love would not be worth having. Indeed, it should be called fatuity, not love. True love sees my faults, and can reprove them. It can occupy itself with my faults in order to deliver me from them. It will take occasion even from my very errors and infirmities to display itself in its own elevated and holy activities.
“Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth.”
“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:4-8, 13).
But there are two kinds of spurious love which we may just glance at, in contrast with the lovely moral picture presented in the above quotations. These are sectarian love, and clique love. We have to watch against these. We are in great danger of loving persons merely because they hold the same opinions as we do; or because their habits, tastes, and predilections are agreeable to us. The former is love of sect; the latter, love of clique; neither is Christian love. We may traffic largely in both the one and the other, and not yield obedience to the “New Commandment” —not love others as Christ loved us. It is not Christian love to love our opinions, or our own image. It is Christian love to love the image of Christ wherever we see it.
May we have grace to apply our hearts to the study, the cultivation, and the exhibition of genuine Christian love! May we drink more deeply into the spirit of Christ, and then we shall love people, not because they agree with us or suit us, but because they are agreeable to Christ and reflect His blessed image. O! for a vast increase of Christian love!

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fourth Beatitude, Part 2

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 7
The Fourth Beatitude
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Verse 6.
But would not, thou mayest say, my soul—would not this seeking to walk in conformity to a rule or given standard tend to a spirit of legalism? Not in a Christian point of view; on the contrary, the Word of God is “the perfect law of liberty” to the divine life which we have as Christians. But this leads us to the root of this great subject, on which thou wilt do well to meditate deeply and prayerfully for a little while. Here thou wilt discover the secret of real, holy, liberty.
The life of Christ, which is ours, as thou knowest, and in which we are to walk, can never dislike or be opposed to His Word. The new nature delights in the words or commandments of Christ; they are but His authority to do what the divine life desires to do. Let us suppose a case.
A young Christian, from the purest motives, has an intense desire to go to the prayer meeting; this would be right—according to the mind of Christ-righteousness. But the way is not clear, he is under another. He quietly waits on God. By-and-by he is told to go—this is what his heart was desiring; he rejoices to obey; it is the law of liberty. The bent of his new life and the Word of Christ are one. But take another example.
A young Christian is indulging in a worldly state of mind; he is asked to go to the prayer meeting, but he dislikes going; the will of his fleshly mind is opposed to the will of Christ; His commandments are not at present joyous, but grievous; they are not the law of liberty, but of bondage, he is most unhappy.
Thus it is that obedience, walking in righteousness, is perfect liberty, holy joy, and divine power to the life of Christ in the soul. True, the Holy Spirit is the power, but we cannot separate the power of the Spirit from the authority of the Word. The desires of the new life, the authority of the Word, and the power of the Spirit, go together.
The first Epistle of John, especially the second chapter, is a divine exposition of this great practical principle of Christianity.
“Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (2:5, 6).
The words of Christ were the expression of His life when here on earth—that life is thine, my soul—that very life—wondrous, precious, blessed truth! And this shall be thy life forever, and the basis of thy happy fellowship, and of thy divine intimacies with Christ throughout the countless ages of eternity.
“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). But, in the meantime, suffer His words so to guide and direct thee, that thou mayest walk even as He walked.
Before closing our Meditations on this beatitude it may be well to turn for a moment to Psalms 16;17. Here we have the same great lines of truth—life and righteousness—but in immediate connection with Christ and the godly remnant in Israel. In the former we have the path of life with God, and that through this world, through death, up to the fullness of joy in His presence.
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ver. 11).
In the latter we have the path of righteousness in entire dependence on God. Absolute faithfulness in heart and life, both to God and man, marked the steps of Jesus through this world. “Hear the right, O Lord,” was His cry, and this should be the Christian’s motto— “Hear the right, O Lord.” His one grand object was to meet His Father’s mind, to do His Father’s will, and mark out a path for us, that we might walk in His steps. And here the heart is proved, and the value of the Word.
“Thou hast proved mine heart; Thou hast visited me in the night; Thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men; by the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psa. 17:3, 4).
This could only be absolutely true of Christ, and only true of us in so far as we live the life of Christ. Nevertheless, we should be able to appeal to God as to the purpose of our hearts and the desire of our lives.
The Lord enable us by His grace thus to walk before Him, with proved hearts and consistent lives, notwithstanding the opposition and persecution we may have to bear. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness—after the whole mind and will of God in Christ Jesus, and practical conformity to the blessed path of the Son of Man in this world—we shall surely be filled. This beautiful psalm, (17) observe, begins with,
“Hear the right, O Lord,” and ends with the grand consummation, “As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.” Glorious end! Shall it be thine, my reader?
Pause, consider—hast thou faith in Christ? Is His life thine? His practical ways in this world thy delight? Wondrous, blessed hope! What is to be compared with it? To awaken from the long sleep of death, to arise from the ashes of the tomb, and come forth in the radiant beauty and the heavenly glory of the Lord Jesus, is a prospect worthy of thy deepest consideration now.
Another, while I write, and a near neighbor, has just passed off the stage of time. His credit at the bank in this world is counted by millions, but, if that be all, many millions, could he take them with him, would not buy a foot of ground in the paradise of God, or one drop of cold water in the regions of hell. How many fall from the lap of luxury to the depths of eternal misery!
Nothing can purchase the blessings of heaven, or deliver the soul from the doom or sin, but the precious blood of Christ. It is the sinner’s only passport through the gloomy gates of death, and his only title to the mansions of glory. Prayers, penance, charity, with the devout observance of religious ordinances, may pass current in this life, but without Christ and His cleansing blood they are valueless, and must be rejected as counterfeit coin at the gate of heaven. The work that saves the soul is a finished work.
“See sprinkled with the blood;
The ‘mercy seat’ above;
For justice had withstood
The purposes of love:
But justice now withstands no more,
And mercy yields her boundless store.”
Yes, be assured of this, my dear reader, that no good works are acceptable to God that are not the fruit of living union with Christ Himself. The branch that is wild by nature must be grafted into the true olive, and drink of the fatness of its roots, before it can bear fruit to the glory of God the Father.
Have faith, then, in the blessed Jesus; trust His precious blood to cleanse thy sins away; trust to His holy Word without a misgiving; and patiently wait his return, when He will do more and better far than thou hast either asked or thought of.
“We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).
(Continued from page 268)
(To be continued)

Surely I Come Quickly

Revelation 22:20
Christ is coming! Hark! He says so
In His faithful, precious Word;
He is coming! Signs are telling
Far and wide throughout the world.
He is coming! Sinner, hear it;
Will you then be hardened still?
Haste to know Him and embrace Him,
Thus fulfill His loving will.

He is coming! O the glory!
Clouds of angels throng around;
In an instant gathering to Him
All who wait the welcome sound.
He is coming! Precious Saviour,
Naught could such great joy afford;
Borne on angel wings to meet Him—
O what joy to see the Lord.

Thou art coming! Blessed Saviour,
O prepare us each for Thee;
Keep our hearts in loving waiting,
All Thy glories then to see.
Teach us all to serve Thee truly,
Suffer not our hearts to stray;
Help us—loving, working, longing,
So to hasten on that Day.

The Broken Current

Going to a meeting in the West, the street car suddenly stopped, the lights as quickly went out, and we were all in darkness. A few lessons came before me as to the state, often, of the Lord’s people. Why were we in such a state? The current of electricity was broken, and so all power and lights were gone—no light, no power, no progress—all at a standstill!
How sad this is as applied to the Lord’s people. In our case the power was there just the same, but could not be used because of the broken current; a power above and beneath, yet no connection, and hence no power. How often so with us! Why are the wheels of our personal lives and of our assemblies not moving? Is it because there is no power? Surely not. Yet with us is it not often lacking? (See Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:17-23).
In the person of our risen, ascended and glorified Head in heaven, set above all principality and power, is the whole power of an omnipotent God, and there for us. From that throne above, He views His church with what patience and tenderness, and each one of us also. He sees the declension, and none feels as Himself the lack of progress and of power, and why we have not given a clear, distinct light during the dark night of His absence; and has He not pointed it all out (Rev. Chapters 2, 3). Yet all His warnings and admonitions seem to have little weight upon us.
Again, have we not the power here below? Yes, surely; for it was given His church before she took one step in her journey (Luke 24:49; Eph. 3:14-21; 2 Peter 1:3). His Holy Spirit is the power for devotedness, for service; yet with such a power on the throne, and here also, do we not often lack it? and why? Is it not because the current of communion between our souls and Him is often lacking? Little foxes destroy the tender vines, and the freshness, brightness, spiritual energy and love of Christian life have given place to the energy of the flesh, so detrimental to spiritual growth; or else a sluggish, sleepy indifference. In either case, as to the honor of our Lord, the cars are stopped and the lights gone out—no progress such as Paul desired in Timothy,
“Occupy thyself with these things; be wholly in them, that thy progress may be manifest to all” (1 Tim. 4:15) (N. Tr.).
Note the contrast between a child of God when out of communion,
“Lest there might be strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, puffings up, disturbances.” (2 Cor. 12:20), and the Apostle’s desire for them,
“Till I come, give thyself to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Be not negligent of the gift that is in thee” (1 Tim. 4:13, 14).
O beloved, God’s remedy surely is found, as ever, in a return to Gilgal—the place of self-judgment—owning our grievous sins in departing from Him, the lack of heart for His beloved Son, and His claims upon us, lack of power, of progress in the ways of God. The cry as ever from a soul at Gilgal is,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23, 24).
Then with purpose of heart it turns afresh to Him. Here communion is restored, the current connected. Things which distress, disturb, and do not glorify our Lord shunned, coldness and formality judged in
His presence. Now the soul fills his right place, the car again moves, power is manifest, progress is seen, the light shines, God is honored, His Son exalted, His Holy Spirit ungrieved, our joy full, and the soul cries out to others as of old;
“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul” (Psa. 66:12-17).

Correspondence: 1 Cor. 9:27; 1 John 3:9; Lev. 7:13; 2 Cor. 2:14-16; Luke 9:26; 2 Tim. 2:12

Question: Does Paul refer to his eternal state in 1 Corinthians 9:27?
Answer: Yes, Paul referred to damnation in 1 Corinthians 9:27, but yet other scriptures show us he had no doubt as to the certainty of his salvation, and glory with Christ at the end.
Question: Why does 1 John 3:9 read, “Whosoever is born of God... cannot sin”? If it said “ought not to sin” I could understand it.
Answer: This passage identifies the believer with the spotless new nature that he possesses by the new birth. The epistle regards the believer at the height of his proper standing in Christ. Every Christian is looked at here as acting solely in the power and energy of the new nature. But you may say he often does not. This is true, otherwise there were no need for 1:9, but this is not the subject here. It could not say “ought not to sin” for it is solely speaking here of what is born of God, and it is plain that nothing born of God can sin. The reason we ever sin is because we allow that within us to act which is not born of God. Such a Christian is not contemplated here.
Question: Please explain why leaven was to be excluded from all offerings but that of Leviticus 7:13.
Answer: Leaven throughout Scripture is a type of what is evil, never of what is good—of hidden “malice and wickedness.” Leaven was not to be burned before the Lord; the offering of Leviticus 7:13 was not burned by fire, (see Lev. 2:11), and the offering of it there shows that though we are not in the flesh, it is still in us.
Question: Kindly explain 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.
Answer: The sweet savor is that of Christ’s name which is spread abroad by preaching, whether the result of that preaching to man be life by receiving it, or death by rejecting it. In either case Christ is proclaimed.
Question: Please explain, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me,” Luke 9:26, “If we deny Him, He also will deny us,” 2 Timothy 2:12, and other similar passages.
Answer: Those who are ashamed of, or deny Him—through fear or shame refuse Christ, choosing rather the approval and applause of the world—their end is seen in Revelation 21:8,
“But the fearful and unbelieving,... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”

The Security of Christ's Sheep and Lambs

One evening, after a gospel preaching, a young woman returned, desiring to speak with me. After a few minutes’ conversation, I found that, though she did believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who had died to save her, and put away her sins by His precious, atoning blood, yet she was not at rest about her eternal salvation and security, saying that she was afraid she would lose, or let Him go. I asked her,
“Can you rest upon Him as the one who ‘once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God’?” (1 Peter 3:18). She immediately replied,
“Yes, I can.”
Seeing that her difficulty was, that, though she had faith in Him as the one who had died for her, and rose again, she had not faith in Him as the living omnipotent Saviour and Shepherd of the sheep in the bright glory of God above, I said,
“Suppose you could see a shepherd coming across yonder field, with a little, strayed lamb in his arms, tell me, would the shepherd be carrying the lamb, or the lamb carrying the shepherd?”
“Why, of course, the shepherd would be carrying the lamb,” was her reply.
“Yes, of course,” I said. “Now tell me which are you, the lamb or the shepherd?”
“The lamb,” she replied.
“Yes, to be sure; and do you not see the lamb does not hold the shepherd, but the ‘good’ and the ‘great’ Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, holds in His omnipotent arms the little lamb, and carries it safely home to glory?”
“Yes, I see,” she said, “and I can rest now quietly and safely in Him.”
“Thank God,” I said; “and now let us bow down on our knees, and praise and bless Him for His boundless grace to us in giving Himself for us, and for His infinite power and might in thus carrying us safely through all the dangers of the desert way to His glory and rest above.”
We did so, and she arose and went on her way, happy and rejoicing.
May God, in His wondrous ways of wisdom and love, use this brief story to establish many of His sheep and lambs in the infinite love and power of our “Lord Jesus Christ,” as the only “Saviour” and “Great Shepherd” of His flock. (Luke 15:4-6; Isa. 40:11; Heb. 13:20).

Extract: Think of the Angels

Think of the angels who witnessed the creation, and the flowing out of the Creator’s power in the perfection and beauty of Eden, having the thought that the one putting forth all this beauty and goodness would be the one to be nailed to the cross as a malefactor, and put into a cave in the earth, and nothing too bad for man to say of Him! Again, could there have been such a thought in heaven as that one treated like a malefactor, would not only be raised up and be in heaven, but be seated on the throne of God—God’s delight? No! Never! And it is one of the most difficult things for me to get the thought that according to what I was in nature, it was as unlikely for God to work in me, and out of such materials to fashion a perfect vessel, as for His Son to come down and die.

At the Throne of Grace

When weary with effort,
Disheartened with care,
And o’erwhelmed with unspeakable pain,
We find a sure refuge
And solace in prayer,
And our losses are turned into gain.

If failure dismays us,
And troubles annoy,
And the way seems uncertain and drear,
We find in Thy presence
A peace and a joy
That will give sweetest comfort and cheer.

Whatever Thou choosest,
Blest Father, to send,
May we with submission receive;
Thy mercies are many,
Thy love without end,
And Thou never dost willingly grieve.

In Thee we’ll find comfort
And strength to endure,
As we bow to Thy sovereign will;
And a peace passing knowledge,
God-given and sure,
Will our hearts and our minds ever fill.

Fill our hearts with thanksgiving,
Our lips with Thy praise,
As we follow this pathway of earth:
And when in communion
Our voices we raise,
O reveal more and more of Thy worth.

Jesus Christ the Same Yesterday, and Today, and Forever”

If we, beloved, did but value what we have in Christ; if we but took account of our condition in relation to the Lord, and not in relation to circumstances, we should always be happy beyond expression—our joy would be full, but it is in that point we fail. We love circumstances; we live in the power of them too much, in the light of the Lord’s favor too little, and we are dull, and low, and halfhearted.
Were it not so with us, the journeys in company with the cloud, checkered as they are, would find us and leave us still a happy people. For it is one Jesus throughout, whether it be the day of the blood (Ex. 12), of the song (Ex. 15), or of the cloud (Ex. 13); one and the same Jesus who was with us in the circumstances of human life, in the dying love on the cross, in the life of intercession in heaven, and who will give us His unchanged self in glory forever.
Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned:
No changes of season or place
Would make any change in my mind.
While blest with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Meditations on the Beatitudes: The Fifth Beatitude, Part 1

Matthew 5:1-16
Part 7
The Fifth Beatitude
“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.” Verse 7.
We now enter on what may be called the second section of the Beatitudes. They are evidently divided into four and three—a division not uncommon in Scripture. The first four are characterized by righteousness, or that which is due to God: the last three by grace, or the activities of grace toward others. There is great moral beauty, order, and instruction, in these two classes. The division is no doubt divine, and may well engage thy thoughts, O my soul, in happiest meditation.
When the sinner is first awakened, brought into the presence of God, sees his true condition there, and learns the vanity of what man is, there must be humbling and breaking down. He will now side with God, and maintain His cause against himself. Repentance is real. He is content to be nothing. Thus we see that the first blessedness is poverty of spirit, and introduces the soul to the other blessings. We will now look at the first of the last three.
“Blessed are the merciful.” No word within the compass of our language has a sweeter sound than mercy, and no other word could bring the character of God more fully before thy mind. This leads to thy deepest joy, and thy richest blessings—dwelling on the character of God. He is “the Father of mercies.” Mercy is not merely a resource of God, but He is its source— “the Father of mercies.” He is the well-spring of all the pity, compassion, tenderness, kindness, and charity, whether temporal or spiritual, which flow through this world of misery. And this mercy, blessed be His name, is from everlasting and to everlasting—without beginning, before time; and when time is past, without end.
“The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him” (Psa. 103:17).
But in the meantime, on this “narrow neck of land,” this world of sin, between the incomprehensible past and future, mercy flows as a mighty river, and unites, as it were, the ocean of eternity. There is no interruption to His mercy: it is the active principle of His being in this world of sin and misery.
“For His mercy endureth forever.”
Who can speak of the transcendent blessedness of such a truth in such a scene of sorrow as this world is! But for the ceaseless flow of His mercies, it could only be like that place where His mercies are clean gone, and where He will be favorable no more forever. When the ear of mercy is closed, and the arm of mercy is withdrawn, nothing remains but the agonies of despair. But now He delights in mercy, and will delight in it.
“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:15).
God only can say, “I will, I will,” and He only has a right to say so. No creature can say, “I will” —God only! but His “I wills” are mercy and compassion, and are all ours in Christ Jesus forever.
Satan may deny it; the poor human heart may doubt it; but the word of the Lord standeth firm and sure, it cannot be broken.
“I will sing,” says the psalmist, “of the mercies of the Lord forever... For I have said, mercy shall be built up forever” (Psa. 89:1, 2).
“How shall I meet those eyes?
Mine on Himself I cast,
And own myself the Saviour’s prize;
Mercy from first to last.”
But tell me, my soul, is this rich, tender, everlasting mercy free to all who cry to God for it? Most surely. Are none now who hear of His mercy excluded? Only those who exclude themselves. The door of mercy now stands wide open, and the ear of mercy patiently waits to hear the cry, and quicker far than the electric spark is heaven’s answer. Take a well-known example, and remember that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
When the poor blind beggar (Luke 18), heard that short sermon,
“Jesus of Nazareth passeth by, he cried, saying, Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
What was His answer? Could He say, I have no mercy for thee? Impossible. That would have been to deny the character of God, and the whole truth of the Bible. The fullness of divine mercy was his from the moment of his heart’s first utterance. The faithless multitude might rebuke the blind man, and seek to drive him back; but not Jesus. The moment the cry for mercy fell upon His ear, He stood still; and the vast procession stood still, and, if it had been necessary, the spheres too would have stood still. All must give place to this service of mercy.
“And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee, And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight; thy faith hath saved thee” (Luke 18:40-42).
Surely this is mercy, full and free; and such mercy is free to all.
“For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
And these things are written, remember, that thou mayest believe. The same cry will bring the same blessing today.
And here learn also, as a believer, how to show mercy. Give not thy alms to the poor as thou wouldst throw a bone to a dog. With what grace Jesus bends over the poor man, and asks, as if He were his servant,
“What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?” Far from taking a place of manifest superiority, and causing the poor man to feel as if in a far distant place, He gave him to know and feel that He was dealing with him in love and grace, and drew the heart of the helpless one entirely to Himself.
The Christian must not only be merciful—most merciful, always merciful—but he must learn to show mercy after the manner of his Lord and Master. The way of the world is to patronize, and to be esteemed as benefactors; and many will give for the sake of this honor. But not so those on whom the Lord lays His hand and pronounces blessed.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7).
Learn, then, I pray thee, from this narrative both the freeness and the style of divine mercy. He who cries to God for mercy, though physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually poor and blind—the weakest or most degraded of mankind—is instantly answered by Him, “who is rich in mercy.” God never has said, and never will say to the cry of the dependent heart, I have no mercy for thee. Hence the absolute certainty of God’s mercy to everyone who feels his need, and looks to Him to meet it. There is nothing either in the heart or in the circumstances of the sinner that can hinder the flowing spring of mercy, if he only bows at the feet of Jesus in dependence on Him. But there is no possibility of salvation to a single soul, save through the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, His blessed Son.
“Ho! all ye heavy laden, come!
Here’s pardon, comfort, rest, and home,
Ye wanderers from a Father’s face,
Return, accept His proffered grace,

“Ye tempted ones, there’s refuge nigh,
‘Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.’
But if you still His call refuse,
And all His wondrous love abuse,

“Soon will He sadly from you turn,
Your bitter prayer for pardon spurn.
‘Too late! too late!’ will be the cry—
‘Jesus of Nazareth has passed by.’”
(Continued from page 302)
(To be continued)

The Christian's Company

Let me impress upon you the great importance of keeping Christian company. The best way to keep out of the old associations is to form and heartily cultivate the new. David said,
“I will not know a wicked person... Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful” (Psa. 101:4-6).
Again the very first act of Moses’ life singled out for mention and commendation is that, having come to age, he wholeheartedly threw in his lot with the despised people of God.
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25).
Do not start with the idea that Christians are perfect, or you will have a big disappointment in store. They are not so; far from it, but you will find amongst them a warmth and a love which you will never find in the world. Stick to them, and if they do not come quite up to your expectations, or square with your notions, stick to them still. Even should they give you the cold shoulder, return the compliment by giving them a warm heart, and you will soon get your capital repaid with interest.
Generally, however, matters stand the other way about. I have heard a good many affirm that their fellow Christians are so cold, that they never get spoken to after the service or meeting. On closer investigation I nearly always find that these very people are noted for jumping up instantly the meeting closes and leaving, without giving anyone a chance of a friendly handshake. They are cold, not their fellows. A frequent symptom of disease is that one complains of cold when really it is quite warm.
To shun the company of Christians is an early symptom of spiritual disease. When shepherds see one sheep standing in a field apart from the rest, they at once conclude that it is ill. When well, all keep together. Beware, then, of sulking alone. It is the stragglers who fall an easy prey to the wily foe.
Beware of old companionships and associations. Sometimes when the convert himself starts brightly, confesses the Lord, and seeks to break with his old companions, they for reasons of their own, are not willing to part with him, and move heaven and earth to retain him. Sometimes it happens that in after years, love begins to grow cold, and the believer begins by slow degrees at first, more rapidly as time goes on, to drift back to people and to things he once forsook. Sometimes, most subtle and dangerous of all, we entertain the idea that if only we mix with our former ungodly associates, we shall thereby more effectually gain their ear and influence them for good. This is a great mistake. We shall not lift them up. They will drag us down.
Experience universally confirms this statement, and so does Scripture.
Jehoshaphat was one of the best of Judah’s kings, Ahab the very worst that ever disgraced the throne of Israel, and yet we read,
“Jehoshaphat... joined affinity with Ahab” (2 Chron. 18:1).
With what result? Did Jehoshaphat elevate Ahab to his own level, so that he could say with satisfaction, “Thou hast become as I am?” By no means; the very reverse. In verse 3 of the same chapter, Jehoshaphat says:
“I am as thou art,” and the admission brought no blush of shame to his cheek.
This was followed by the expedition to Ramoth-gilead, in which Ahab lost his life, and Jehoshaphat escaped with the skin of his teeth, only to be confronted with a very serious message from God, through Jehu the prophet,
“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (2 Chron. 19:2).
The final upshot of the whole affair was that Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram married Ahab’s daughter (2 Chron. 21:6)—the notoriously wicked Athaliah, a true daughter of her mother, Jezebel, and the cause of untold misery to Judah.
If you wish further evidence from Scripture, read carefully Genesis chapters 13, 14 and 19, which give the history of Lot’s sad downfall through his alliance with the men of Sodom. He did not elevate them; they degraded him; so much so, that nobody paid the least attention when he attempted to testify of the impending storm; and we ourselves should have had no certainty as to whether he was a true saint of God or not, had it not been that the Spirit of God, knowing the difficulty, set the question at rest by calling him in the New Testament “that righteous man” (2 Peter 2:8).
Of course you must meet your old companions, but lose no time in letting them know that the old relations exist no more. Speak to them of Christ. Whatever you do, do not descend to the old level, and be hail-fellow-well-met as before. So surely as you do, your power, Samson-like, will have fled, and you will become their easy prey.
In the great majority of cases, one good, bold confession of Christ is enough. Some may receive a home-thrust that will eventually result in their conversion, others may just leave you. If not, you will find it best to leave them. If you cannot help them, they can harm you. Do not give them the opportunity.
The foregoing remarks apply with equal force of the forming of new links and associations. A guiding star in your Christian life should be this word—
“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Frame this text in your prayers, and hang it in a prominent place on the walls of your heart and memory. It will save you a world of sorrow if obeyed. You will need it, for you cannot go through the world without meeting associations of many kinds.
Beware of the “unequal yoke” in society; beware of it in business; many a Christian has had his testimony ruined through partnership with an unconverted man, and thus getting mixed up with his questionable practices. Above all beware of it in marriage. A few days or weeks suffice to break the unequal yoke in society or in business, but here it is lifelong, either for yourself or your unconverted partner. How many promising young lives have been darkened, and what chapters of sorrow could be penned as a result of disobedience to the divine command. Would that I could lift up my voice like a trumpet and warn every young convert in the land.

"Philadelphia"

“Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
O, may the Lord give us to keep His Word, and to be looking for Him as a present thing. If the devil could take away the hope of the Lord’s coming as a present thing, that would be taking away our hope and crown.
No man or devil can take anything from us, if we have but that clear sense of faith which connects us with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a present thing. To lose this is to lose spiritual power, and anything that robs us of spiritual power in our association with Christ, is to rob us of present blessing, and of that which is the path towards our crown. And, beloved brethren, we are now going through every kind of thing that is likely to rob us of our crown, everything which puts faith in a coming Jesus to the test, and calls it in question.
In the case of the ten virgins, they all slumbered and slept; the wise were as fast asleep as the foolish; and at midnight when the cry was made,
“Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” they all arose and trimmed their lamps. There was no difference in this respect; but the one had the oil of the Spirit, the other not; and between the cry going forth, and the actual coming of the Bridegroom, there was plenty of time for the lamps to be going out if not supplied with oil, and hence the manifest difference between the virgins was in the supply of oil, which they had.
If the first thought in the hearts of the foolish virgins had been the Bridegroom Himself, they would have been thinking of the light that He would want when He came; but they were occupied with other things, satisfied with merely keeping company with the virgins; the dress, and the lamps without oil, would suffice to place them among the company; but, alas! without the oil they could not keep their lamps burning for their Lord till He came. Still, there were those who were fitted to receive Him,
“And when the Bridegroom came, they that were ready went in with Him to the wedding, and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10).
So it is with us. The cry has gone forth, and between this and His actual coming, the Lord is testing us, whether our hearts are set upon Him or not.
We need to test ourselves personally as to this. It does not profit to be occupied with the confusion. If it is Himself that is before our souls to welcome in His speedy coming, power is given to go on shedding light and showing love, “Till He come.”
“Thou treasure inexhaustible!
Thou source of true delight!
What care I for the world’s applause
Or for its diamonds bright?
More prized by far one smile from Thee
Then all earth holds most dear;
I want for nothing man can give,
For I have Jesus here.”

The Approbation of the Lord

It should be joy to any one who loves the Lord Jesus to think of having His individual peculiar approbation and love; to find that He has approved of our conduct in such and such circumstances, though none know this but ourselves who receive the approval.
But, beloved, are we really content to have an approval which Christ only knows? Let us try ourselves a little.
Are we not too desirous of man’s commendation of our conduct? Or, at least, that he should know and give us credit for the motives which actuate it? Are we content, so long as good is done, that nobody should know anything about us—even in the church to be thought nothing of? that Christ alone should give us the “white stone” of His approval, and the “new name which no man knoweth save only he that receiveth it”?
Are we content, I say, to seek nothing else? O, think what the terrible evil and treachery of that heart must be that is not satisfied with Christ’s special favor, but seeks honor, (as we do) of one another instead! I ask you, beloved, which would be most precious to you, which would you prefer, the Lord’s public owning of you as a good and faithful servant, or the private individual love of Christ resting upon you, the secret knowledge of His love and approval?
He whose heart is specially attached to Christ will respond, “The latter.” Both will be ours, if faithful, but we shall value this most, and there nothing that will carry us so straight on our course as the anticipation of it.

Rejoicing, Enduring, Persevering

“As regards hope, rejoicing: as regards tribulation, enduring; as regards prayer, persevering” (Rom. 12:12, N. Tr.).
The opening words of this chapter are addressed to everyone who has been bought by the precious blood of Christ, beseeching us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. We are bought with a price and are no longer our own, and now the love of Christ constrains us no longer to live to ourselves but to Him Who died for us and rose again.
I write specially for those who labor in the Sunday school. Surely it is a blessed service for the Saviour to seek to win hearts for Him. But how easily we grow weary and discouraged, and feel like giving up. How then does the Lord stir us up by the verse at the head of this paper. What our attitude should be seems to me to be well expressed in these words,
“As regards hope, rejoicing.” How beautiful to see that hope comes first. If we were to go by what we see in the children, we should despair, but we can look on with hope—yes, rejoicing! We have the Lord’s word that “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” so that as we look at the young ones committed to our care, we rejoice in sure hope of a bountiful harvest from the seed sown in their hearts week by week. Do we grow discouraged? Well, the word to us is “As regards hope, rejoicing.”
“As regards tribulation, enduring.” Ah yes, we have tribulation. Many of us know much trial and sorrow in our work. The children are careless, inattentive and perhaps irreverent. Some resist all attempts to win them; some almost break our hearts with their waywardness. Well, the word is “enduring.” Do not give up. Do not get weary. We are called to endurance.
“Moses... endured as seeing Him who is invisible,” and that is also our path. Our eyes are turned to that perfect One, our Lord Jesus Christ Who endured all to the very end.
“Looking off unto Jesus... Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). He is our great example. Let us fix our eyes upon Him and we shall get strength to be “as regards tribulation, enduring,” and we shall have the comfort of the promise,
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:6).
“As regards prayer, persevering.” How important this is. How ready we are to grow slack in prayer. But that won’t do. The Lord wants us to be in earnest, and so often reminds us to persevere in prayer.
“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
“He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
Our God loves the diligent seeker. He loves to bless those who wait only upon Him. Surely we can each testify to the blessing it has been to our own souls to be brought into the Lord’s presence continually as we bring once and again before Him those children He has given us to teach for Him.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).
As we are thus more in His own presence, our faith is strengthened and we can lay hold on His faithful promises,
“If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
“Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Surely it is well worth being “as regards prayer, persevering.”
May we each go on, for His name’s sake, rejoicing, enduring, persevering, till He Himself comes to take us home to be “forever with the Lord.”
Then let our gladsome praise resound
And let us in His work abound
Whose blessed name is Love;
We’re sure our labor’s not in vain,
For we with Him ere long shall reign—
With Jesus dwell above.

Correspondence: Prayer w/o Faith; Jonah; O.T. Saints; Christian Marry Unbeliever?

Question: Should there ever be prayer when there is not faith for the answer?
Answer: Decidedly, though such prayer is not of the highest order. Still Philippians 4:6 is clear; “in everything” that is, I am entitled to carry straight to God whatever burdens my heart. The point in Philippians is not the prayer being answered, which may or may not be the case, but the relief of a burdened heart in casting its care on God.
Question: What is the purpose of the book of Jonah?
Answer: The book of Jonah is, at once, historical, prophetic, and typical. We have the history of the prophet’s actings, a prophecy of the overthrow of Nineveh, and a type of the death of Christ. It is a most precious compendium of the very finest moral principles.
Question: Will the Old Testament saints be raised when the Lord comes? Are they part of the bride, or what is to be their portion?
Answer: No doubt the Old Testament saints will be raised from among the dead at the coming of the Lord— “they that are Christ’s at His coming.” A multitude of the servants of God are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb; and they are blessed, but still distinct from the bride. They rejoice because she hath made herself ready (Rev. 19:5-9). The promises to the one are connected with the land, the earth (Gen. 12:3; 13:14-17). The predestined glory of the church is heavenly in Christ (Eph. 1; Col. 1).
Question: Is it right for a Christian to marry an unsaved person?
Answer: We believe it to be a fatal step for anyone to marry an unconverted person, and a melancholy proof that the heart has departed from the Lord, and that the conscience has slipped from beneath the light and authority of God’s Word. It is amazing how the devil succeeds in casting dust into people’s eyes, in this matter.
He leads them to believe that they will be made a blessing to the unconverted partner—a lamentable delusion! How can we possibly expect blessing upon a flagrant act of disobedience? How can I, by going wrong, hope to set another right?
But it not unfrequently happens that a person, when bent on taking an unconverted partner, deceives himself into the belief that the one in question is converted. He affects to be satisfied with evidences of conversion which, under other circumstances, would utterly fail to command his confidence. The will is at work. He is determined to have his own way, and then, when too late, he discovers his solemn mistake.
“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (or an unbeliever) (2 Cor. 6:14,15).
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).