Young Christian: Volume 33, 1943

Table of Contents

1. Christ's Faithful Love
2. Extract: Looking on the Face of Christ
3. A New Year - 1943
4. Surely I Come Quickly
5. Extract: The Bait of Satan
6. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 4:8-18
7. Extract: The Foundation of Our Peace
8. Redemption: Part 1
9. Honor the Son
10. An Exhortation: Abandon, Surrender, Obey
11. Extract: The Prince of the World
12. Extract: Displacing Lusts and Vanities
13. Correspondence: Baptism in Water/Holy Ghost; Laodicea; Heb. 11:9 True?
14. The Waste-Paper Basket
15. Extract: Strength for Everything
16. Are We Witnesses for Christ?
17. Fragment: Going Forth
18. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 5:1-8
19. I Love Christ More
20. Ignorance of God
21. Redemption: Part 2
22. Three Appearings of Christ
23. Jesus Approving Mary's Choice
24. For His Sake
25. Correspondence: Holy Spirit Sent Before Jesus Glorified?; 1TH 5:19; HEB 10:25
26. Did You See That?
27. Extract: This is God!
28. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians
29. The Power of Prayer
30. Divine Accuracy of the Word of God
31. Redemption: Part 3
32. Extract: Unbelief
33. Do All: Service the Master Values
34. Young Christians in the Service: Part 1
35. Extract
36. Correspondence: Who Will Be Caught Up When the Lord Comes?
37. The Prodigal Count
38. Our Expectation
39. The Trial of Faith
40. Fragment: Love All My Brethren
41. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians Chapter 5, Verses 10-13
42. Till I Come
43. Redemption: Part 4
44. Young Christians in the Service: Part 2
45. A Corn of Wheat
46. Correspondence: Psa. 138:3; Any Authority for Women Preaching?; Rom. 11:26
47. A Good Old Love Story
48. The Well of Bethlehem: 2 Samuel 23
49. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 5:14-21
50. The Man of Sorrows
51. Young Christians in the Service: Part 3
52. Extract: Settled in Sodom
53. Correspondence: Psalm 22:21; John 14:12
54. Not Ashamed to Do Anything for Jesus
55. Fragment: Christianity of the Closet and the Busy Life
56. Extract: The Highest Kind of Prayer
57. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 6:1-13
58. Peace
59. Hurling Texts
60. Extract: God Chooses Weak Things
61. Young Christians in the Service: Part 4
62. Casting Off
63. Vessels of Wrath
64. Looking Unto Jesus
65. Correspondence: Day/Morning Star the Same?; John 12:31-33
66. Jesus Only
67. Tell the Good News
68. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 6:14-18
69. Our Bodies Are the Lord's
70. Extract: Godly Fear
71. Praise
72. Young Christians in the Service: Part 5
73. Yet a Little While
74. The Joys of Christ
75. Correspondence: TIT 3:5; REV 4:7-9 & 5:8, 11; Flesh vs. Old Man
76. Can You Tell Me the Way to Heaven?
77. Extract: Think of the Angels
78. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 7
79. Buying up Opportunities
80. Extract: Home or Stay
81. Young Christians in the Service: Part 6
82. True Worship - in Spirit and in Truth
83. A Silent Testimony
84. Tarry Ye Here and Watch With Me
85. Correspondence: Entanglements in 2TI 2:4; 1CO 11:30; LUK 16:1-12
86. A Mother's Last Words
87. Digesting the Word
88. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 8
89. Jesus
90. Jesus Christ the Same, Today
91. Young Christians in the Service: Part 7
92. An Encouragement to Sunday School Teachers
93. Is It Sad to Die?
94. Correspondence: Matt. 8:19-22; 1 Pet. 3:19; 1 John 2:20, 27
95. Are You Willing to Be Saved?
96. Peace Made
97. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 9
98. Food for the Hungry
99. The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 1
100. Wake, Brother, Wake
101. He's Mine, and I Know He Loves Me
102. Faith Healing
103. Thou Art Coming, Mighty Saviour
104. Correspondence: 2CO 4:7-11; Receive: Holy Ghost/at New Birth/Power; Born Again. .
105. Afraid of the Consequences
106. What Amazing Grace!
107. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 10
108. Thinking About Christ
109. The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 2
110. Extract: A Broken Will, a Subject Mind, and a Single Eye
111. My Father and Your Father
112. Fruit Bearing
113. Only and Early
114. Correspondence: 2 TI 4:1 "Quick" and "Dead"; Matt. 23:9
115. A Child of God!
116. Avoid It
117. Extract: Judgement
118. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 11
119. My Glorious Lord
120. The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 3
121. A Striking Contrast
122. Extract: Judged
123. Correspondence: Explanation of Hebrews 10:26-29

Christ's Faithful Love

One Lord’s day afternoon, the writer was feeling much troubled on account of certain sorrows that had come along; when he remembered that the previous day, he had had the address given him of an aged saint of God, who was quite alone, and by whom a visit would be much appreciated. But for a time I shrank from venturing to go, under the impression that a troubled heart would be of little use for the cheer and encouragement of another. But I asked the Lord to direct me, and towards evening, I felt I must go. I found the dear old soul very bright, and soon learned from her that she was beyond ninety years of age. I began to speak of that, the meditation of which, is the sweetest consolation to the heart of a tried saint of God, namely, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. This dear old soul said:
“Ah! I was brought to the Lord Jesus Christ when quite a young girl, and it is still fresh before me, the rapture I felt when first my heart was given to respond to my Saviour’s love.
“O! I cannot tell you how sweet it has been all my life to pass on in the calm assurance that His love abides when all else fails. I have had much trouble and sorrow, but He has not for a moment failed me, and I am sure He will not now.”
I asked her how long she had known the Lord. She replied:
“Only seventy-three years.”
“And you have not grown weary,” I asked, “of the joy that the knowledge of Him yields?”
“O! no,” she replied; “but He becomes more precious to me every day I live.”
And clasping her hands in an ecstasy of delight, she looked up with a heavenly joy, exclaiming;
“And O! I don’t know now whatever I should do without Him.”
O! my dear reader, if you are a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will readily understand what encouragement that visit was to me. As I walked home, I thought,
Well, if the blessed knowledge and assurance of the love of Christ my Saviour, can sustain a soul all those many years, none need allow doubts and misgivings to enter their heart.
“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).
O! I thought, what an answer the testimony of this dear old soul was, to the scoffs and jeers of those who say that the heart soon gets tired of these “old fashioned” things, for, for seventy-three long years she had walked in company with her Lord; her enjoyment of His love increasing as time went on, and she proved that He was true to His faithful promise, never to leave nor forsake.
“Jesus Christ; whom not having seen, ye love: in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:7-8).
I need not say, dear reader, how very comforted I felt, and thankful to the Lord for having sent me on that visit.
What a sad mistake many people make in supposing that if they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, they must give up all joy in life. Why, if you do not know Him, and His love is nothing to you, I am sure you do not know what real joy is. How can you be happy in your sins, with nothing to anticipate for the future, but death, and the judgment of God?
O! believe me, as one who has enjoyed the knowledge of the love of Christ for a number of years, that one hour’s enjoyment of that love is worth a whole life’s professed enjoyment of the pleasures and gaieties of the world. The former abides, and satisfies; but the latter only sickens the heart, and it all ultimately passes away.
O! that I could induce you to taste and see that the Lord is good! To prove His love, He has suffered the terrors of Calvary’s cross, to atone by His death for sin; and to meet the awful need of your guilty soul, has laid down His life, and shed His precious blood to purge away your sins. O! what love!
Dear friend, if you want to be happy, and have a bright hope for eternity, you must come to Him! He is worthy of your trust having unselfishly proved His love to be stronger than death, and in a little while, He will come for His own, to take them to glory, that there they may rapturously enjoy for eternity that same love, which they have, through grace, feasted upon here.
My earnest desire, dear reader, is that in this, the day of God’s grace, you may respond to a Saviour’s dying love, and learn to know Him as your own Saviour, and all the praise and glory shall forever be His.
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph. 1:7).

Extract: Looking on the Face of Christ

Do you see by faith that Christ up there? Do you know a person in heaven with all the feelings and thoughts of a man, with all the glory and beauty of God? And in that beaming forth on you of that face of glory and beauty, is there nothing that addresses itself to your heart? Who can look on the face of that Lord Jesus and not see in Him the fount of eternal life? Will the beauty of that person not win your adoring love? Will you ever find that you can look on Him as He is, and not trust Him?

A New Year - 1943

We have now entered a new year, and the question in everyone’s mind, if not on his lips, is,
“What will this year bring?”
It is not without reason that such a question arises, for the last few years have been filled with startling events. Never before in all the history of the world have things moved with such lightning speed. In the past decade, we have witnessed changes that we might have expected would take centuries for development.
Man’s inventions and cries for speed and more speed, have brought all the inhabitants of the world closer together. There are almost no “remote” parts of the world left. Backward and hitherto unimportant peoples have suddenly become important. Jungles have been proved to be anything but “impenetrable barriers,” and wide oceans now afford scanty protection and comfort. People may well cry.
“What is next?” and
“Where is all this leading?”
In the light of the Word of God, we can speak with real assurance. All of these rapidly developing changes are leading on to certain definite happenings of more than major importance.
Present strides are as but signposts pointing ahead. Events more astounding than anything yet seen, are coming. Incidents without precedent are in store for this world, and there is nothing that man can do to stop them.
There is one sure and certain event of great magnitude that is coming soon—very soon. In fact, before this paper is delivered it may have taken place. The Lord Jesus is coming! He will give that shout in the air which will call all who are sheltered by His precious blood, to meet Him in the clouds, and accompany Him to the Father’s House, to be forever with and like Himself (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 John 3:2).
It has been a long time since He promised to do this (John 14:3), but the actual fulfillment is very, very close at hand. This will be a most glorious event for each of the redeemed, for they will leave the world and its confusion and strife behind, and be ushered into His presence, where there is fullness of joy for evermore (Psa. 16:11).
Fellow Christian, do our hearts thrill at the thought of seeing the one who loves us and died for us? Does the prospect, that even “today” He may come, lift our poor hearts above the world’s joys and sorrows? If the prospect of seeing Him does not awaken response in our hearts, then they have grown cold toward Him. If we are in such a sad condition, we should confess it before Him, and desire to have our hearts warmed. He gave “Himself”—not just something of great value and dearly prized by Him, but Himself—to win our heart’s affection; and He feels it when response from us is lacking.
May He grant us grace to walk more in the enjoyment of His love, that our hearts may in some small degree return that love. Then we shall wait and watch for His coming with joyful anticipation.
While we thus wait; may we serve Him more faithfully, and live Christ before others. He is worthy of all we have and are.
Brethren, the Lord is a God of Knowledge; He knows when our hearts are cold and when they are not. He also knows all about our service and faithfulness, and before long He will abundantly reward everything done for Him.
But unsaved friend—rejector or neglector of the Saviour—His coming will spell consternation and doom for you, and the godless world. It will be a sad day for this world when the true Christians are taken out of it; for when they are taken, the Spirit of God who now dwells in the believers, will leave also.
At the present time, that wondrous Person is holding in check the evil that threatens to engulf the world. The powers of darkness are being restrained; but when that restraint is gone, the dams which man has constructed to hold back those tidal waves, will break. The devil will fill this world with “corruption and violence,” and God will send a lie for man to believe because he refused to receive the truth (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
Calamity will follow calamity; and destruction, destruction; and then the Lord Jesus will come back to execute divine vengeance on them that know not God (2 Thess. 1:7-10).
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains: and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17).
May these momentous facts solemnize each heart.

Surely I Come Quickly

“And let all the people say, Amen.”
Shine forth Thou bright, Thou Morning Star,
And with Thy kindly ray,
Amid this dark, and lonesome night,
Cheer all the sons of day.
That blessed day draws on apace,
When we Thy face shall see;
And we shall finish then our race,
And in Thy presence be.
When brought together to God’s rest,
In fellowship divine,
Thy sleeping, and Thy waking saints,
Shall ever see Thee shine.
And then shall come that glorious day,
The Sun of Righteousness
Will shine, and with His gladsome ray
Dispel this world’s distress.
Then come—Thou blessed Saviour—Come!
And take Thy bride to Thee;
Take all Thy waiting people home,
That with Thee we may be.
Be with Thee, like Thee, and to see
Thee as Thou art, and hear
Thee lead the song of endless praise,
And know Thee ever near.
Be this our hope in this new year,
Keep Thou our pilgrim feet,
And guide us to the Father’s house,
To share Thy heavenly seat.

Extract: The Bait of Satan

The world is the bait that Satan can offer that one should follow him. The man who wishes nothing but his God, is sheltered from every real danger here.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 4:8-18

Verses 8 to 14, with which we concluded last month, may well engage our attention further. “Every way afflicted, but not straitened,” tells much in few words.
In the 10th chapter, verses 4 to 10, we learn something of Paul’s afflictions, and more in the 11th chapter, verses 23 to 28; in verse 16 of our chapter the Apostle gives us a yet deeper insight into his path when he refers to the possibility of the outward man being consumed—so near to death was he, often. Yet he could say, “but not straitened,”—not deprived in the least of his unfailing resource in God; not limited in his path of service for the Lord by the circumstances through which he was passing.
“Seeing no apparent issue, but our way not entirely shut up.” An instance of this kind was at Corinth itself, when Paul first went there (Acts 18:4-6), but no doubt there were many of them in the Apostle’s life of devotion to the Lord.
Verse 9. “Persecuted but not abandoned; cast down but not destroyed.” We have an example of this in chapter l, verses 8-10, of this epistle, where Paul was in Roman Asia (probably Ephesus), and pressed by bitter persecutors “out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; but we had (he says) the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver.”
Verse 10. “Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body.”
This pattern servant did not, and would not forget what the world had done to his divine Master; he chose to be identified before it with that Master, taking His path of rejection as his own, in order that what should be seen, should be the life, not of even a devoted follower, but of Jesus. Thus the light (verse 6) that had shone in Paul’s heart was shining forth—the radiancy of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; the treasure (verse 7) being in an earthen vessel, that the surpassingness of the power might be of God, and not from the vessel.
Verse 11. “For we who live are always delivered unto death on account of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
It was God’s appointment for the apostle; far removed indeed from the assumed position of many who have claimed, and are today claiming apostolic succession and worldly grandeur.
Verse 12. “So that death works in us, but life in you.”
Toiling for the one who loved him brought the apostle into the world’s scorn and rejection; into suffering and sorrow, into danger even of death; and this was in the very purposes of God for the spiritual blessing of His servant in order that through the manifestation of the life of Jesus in him, the saints should be strengthened and advance in the Christian life.
In verse 13 the reference is to Psalm 116:10. “I believe, therefore have I spoken.” The same spirit of faith filled the Apostle as was in the writer of the psalm. “We also believe; therefore also we speak; knowing that He who has raised the Lord Jesus, shall raise us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you” (verse 14, JND). What a secure, what a happy portion and prospect is ours by faith! We know on the authority of God’s infallible Word that consequent upon the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, will be our raising, as it is said, with (not simply by) Jesus. Indeed here it is looked upon as one act of divine power taking in both Jesus and ourselves who believe.
Paul might well have written, “shall present you with us,” considering the low spiritual state of the Corinthians to whom he wrote, but grace led to the other form, “us with you.”
Verse 15. “For all things are for your sakes, that the grace abounding through the many may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (JND). All that he has been speaking of, the trials and dangers of his path, connected as we have seen with the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of His Son caused to shine into Paul’s heart that it might shine out for blessing to many,—all were for their sakes. It was not only that the Apostle was delivered from death from day to day, but that God’s grace reaching out to many through his ministry should cause thanksgiving to abound.
Verses 16-18. “Wherefore we faint not; but if indeed our outward man is consumed, yet the inward is renewed day by day. For our momentary and light (literally, the momentary lightness of our) affliction works for us in surpassing measure an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are for a time, but those that are not seen eternal” (JND).
The Apostle has viewed the path of devotedness to Christ in which he was found, and in the light of the coming glory he belittles the difficulties and dangers, the loss of earthly ease and comfort, of honor that he might have gained in this passing scene; he will press on toward the goal.
Christ filled his heart; may He fill yours, dear young Christian, in equal measure!

Extract: The Foundation of Our Peace

It is not the Holy Spirit’s work in us, but Christ’s work for us, which is the foundation of our peace.

Redemption: Part 1

Exodus 12:1-15; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19
The Christian has two birthdays, and if he hasn’t two, he is not a Christian. The Christian has new birth—is born of God, and his history with God as one of His children, begins with redemption. “Redemption” is a large and blessed word in the New Testament, and in the Old too. Redemption takes the redeemed one out of one position and one state, and brings him into another.
“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
To whom was that day, that date, the beginning of months? Nobody else knew anything about it throughout the whole world.
We generally know the day of our first birth, but cannot always tell the date of the second. I do not think we can ever tell. From that word in John 3 no one knows.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Now, what we do know is, after a certain exercise of soul, when we have been brought into peace with God. That we know. We may know when we first come into the knowledge of this salvation. Then we know that we have been born again, which is the sovereign action of the Spirit of God.
This day shall be unto you the beginning of months.”
It was a particular day—day of redemption. God brings souls into peace gradually. I think it important that we notice, in the case of the Lord Jesus giving life to the dead, there are three cases recorded and three only. Now, we know that to many that were blind He gave sight.
“Go and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised.”
Those three cases are selected cases, and selected for a purpose. The first is blind Bartimaeus. He hears a commotion as he sits by the way-side begging—an unusual commotion—and he asks, “What is this commotion?” The answer is, “Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.” Immediately he hears that, he says, “Jesus” (not of Nazareth) but “Son of David”; (what dignity!) Not “Jesus the Nazarene” but “Son of David, have mercy on me.” The Lord stands still, and commands the man to be brought. There are a number of details such as his casting away his garments, all instructive if one were preaching the gospel, but I don’t speak of that now. Those that went before, told him to be quiet, but so much the more he cried out,
“Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
It is a picture of a soul thoroughly awakened as the one that can meet that need is passing his way. They can’t silence him. Presently they say, “Arise, be of good cheer, He calleth thee.” He, casting away his garments to get there as quickly as he can, comes and stands in the presence of the Son of David.
“What wilt thou?”
“Lord that I might receive my sight.”
“And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight.” He received his sight and followed Jesus in the way. What a decided work there!
Well, the next case is altogether different. A certain blind man brought to the Lord, and brought to the Lord in the city of Bethsaida. The Lord takes him by the hand and leads him out of the town and when He has him out of the town, He operates and asks the man if he sees aught. He looked up and said,
“I see men as trees walking.” Light is dawning, but it is very indistinct. The Lord operates again, and he sees every man clearly. There is a soul gradually brought into the light; not like Bartimeaus who received it at once.
The third is altogether different from that. That isn’t a blind man calling out, and, not one being brought, but there the Lord is passing by, and He sees a man born blind. He goes to that man and spits on the ground and makes clay of the spittle and puts it on his eyes and says,
“Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” Why that? That is blessedly instructive. We are born blind. We are all in the dark as to God until we get sight. Our thoughts of Him are that His is “an austere man, gathering where He had not strawed, and reaping where He had not sown.” Why does the Lord act in that peculiar way? He is teaching in all those things. Why send him to the pool of Siloam to wash? The man said,
“I went and washed and received sight.” “A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and I went and washed and received sight.”
What is the meaning of Siloam, We are told in the passage it is “Sent.” Just as soon as I get the truth that God sent His Son into the world to be the Saviour of the world, “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved,” the darkness is gone. I may have known something about the God who spoke to His people at Sinai, giving them the law, and I may have a sense in my soul that I haven’t kept it, but when I see He sent His Son to be my Saviour, the darkness is all gone and I get the “true light.”
One thing was true of all: They were all blind. One thing was true of all: They all received their sight. Not in the same way, but by the same blessed Person. There we have the way in which God deals with souls.
Take the cases of the dead raised. There are three recorded cases, because in Scripture three is fullness of testimony; not only competent but fullness. What is the first? It is a young girl twelve years of age, beautiful, we will say, in death—just died. “Trouble not the Master, thy daughter is dead.” The Lord goes to her and says,
“Talitha cumi, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” And she arose straightway, and He commanded to give her food. All natural.
What is the next? The next is not a young girl, nor a young woman, who had just died, but a young man dead, and on the way to the grave. The Lord meets the funeral procession, and is touched by the tears of that widowed mother. He is the only son of a widowed mother. It says, “He was moved with compassion.” He went to her and said,
“Weep not.” They that bear the bier stood still. “I say unto thee, youth, arise.” And he sat up and He restored him to his mother. He was not only dead, but on the way to the grave.
What is the third? That is one dead, in the grave and stinking, Lazarus.
“Lord, by this time he stinketh for he hath been dead four days.”
“Lazarus, come forth, and he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with grave clothes.”
Now, what do we have there? One thing characterized the three. What was that? Everyone was dead. No difference. It is true one hadn’t been dead as long as the other—one not as far in corruption as the other, but all were dead. What was the outcome? All alive and all got life from the same blessed Person.
Of late that has been precious to my soul, those three selected cases from many. “There is no difference, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That young girl just dead, yes, but she is dead. That young man on the way to the grave is dead, and as dead as Lazarus who has been in the grave four days. There is no difference in that way.
Suppose Brother F. owed 60 pence and I owed 500 pence and neither of us has anything to pay. He has to go to prison for his debt as much as I, and according to the law, stay there until it is paid. He has to stay there as long as I, because he can’t pay it, and I can’t either. The Lord as much as said to Simon, you are both bankrupt and have nothing to pay. I think that is very blessed.
(To be continued)

Honor the Son

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11).
A word “spoken fitly,” or as in the margin “on its wheels”—not flung in nor pushed in, but gliding in at the fitting opportunity, and suited to him to whom it is addressed—is both beautiful and precious, like the golden fruit seen through the pure frosted network of a silver basket.
Such a work 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.
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 a 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.
“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 5:23).

An Exhortation: Abandon, Surrender, Obey

“Abandon every known sin. Surrender every doubtful indulgence. Obey promptly every voice of the Spirit. Openly confess the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever else you do, form the habit of being alone with God, for the first of all secrets of holy living and serving, is secret prayer.”

Extract: The Prince of the World

People think the world is a fine place; but Satan is the prince of it. They do not believe it; but he proved himself to be so by bringing all against Christ up to the cross, and he will head up the world against God soon.

Extract: Displacing Lusts and Vanities

If you had a cup of water, how could you displace the water? By putting something heavier into the cup.
If you have a heart full of lusts and vanities, how are you to give them all up? By the precious gold of God poured into the vessel—all there will be displaced by it.
Do not talk of what you have given up, if God has given you Christ. Can you compare anything with Him? Are they not unsearchable riches you have in Him?

Correspondence: Baptism in Water/Holy Ghost; Laodicea; Heb. 11:9 True?

Question: What is the use of baptism in water? Is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost enough?
Answer: The baptism of the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost (Acts 2); by it the body of Christ was formed, and it cannot take place again (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 4:4). Since then every believer sealed with the Holy Spirit is a member of the body of Christ. “There is one body.”
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He took His dwelling among the disciples. All who came among them, did so by baptism in water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19).
This is the use of baptism: it brought the one baptized from off the ground of Jew or Gentile, on to the ground of the profession of Christ’s name, as the house of God; and though men have greatly abused this use of baptism, it is still the same with God. God will not allow man to take His name in vain.
We could not have fellowship with those who deny this use of baptism by determinedly remaining unbaptized. If once baptized it would be folly to repeat the form. In the sight of God it is done, whatever mode may be used. Therefore the Word of God abides, and baptism is just as much needed as ever.
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: How could Hebrews 11:9 be true when the persons spoken of there were not living at the same time?
Answer: It is their character as strangers dwelling in tents that is the point, not that they were living together at the same time. Jacob built a house for himself at Succoth, that was failure; but in the New Testament, God speaks of the faith of the Old Testament saints, not of their failures.

The Waste-Paper Basket

When preaching at C— a message came to me from a young woman staying at L— that she would be glad to see me. So I walked across to that town. Calling at the house indicated, I was welcomed by the young woman, who asked me to come in.
I sat down, and at once she began to explain why she had sent for me, saying,
“You will not know me, but I have often heard of you through your sister, Mrs. P—, for whom I was tablemaid for several years. Every now and then you sent gospel books through the post addressed to her and her husband, the doctor. These books are generally thrown into the waste-paper basket. Part of my duties each morning was to empty this basket of its contents, and those books which they cast away as worthless, I valued, kept, and read, and through God’s mercy, they were the means of my conversion. Hearing you were preaching so near, I sent for you, as I felt sure you would be pleased to hear of me. I am housekeeper to a doctor here, and cannot easily get out to attend any meetings, or you may be sure I would have come to hear you.”
Hearing this testimony of God’s grace from her lips caused my heart to rejoice, and you may be sure I thanked God, and took fresh courage to go on with that service, which undoubtedly had His approval, although my relatives failed to appreciate or profit by my efforts.
God says “My Word  ... shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11).
How true it is that if some refuse God’s invitation, He will call others, so that His house may be filled (Luke 14:23).
Unsaved man, woman or child, the fact that God’s servants are still on the earth proclaiming the glad tidings, proves that there is still room for you. God offers you salvation now. Will you accept it freely, freely? Take His offer, take it now and happy be.
Another relative of mine, whom I called upon at his office, after some conversation, pointed to the waste-paper basket, saying,
“Look here, Bob, there is where all your tracts go.”
A good depot, thought I, there to lie under the eye of God, to be used by Him to some office cleaner, or scavenger or rubbish searcher, to their salvation through reading them, while the wealthy merchant who despises God’s Word, seeks in vain for happiness in the things of this perishing world.
Let us go on sowing the good seed with fresh courage. God must have His harvest.
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
“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).

Extract: Strength for Everything

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. Having Him, you will find strength for everything.

Are We Witnesses for Christ?

How important, dear fellow believers, to have Christ fully before our hearts, that others entering our homes may see on whom we are feeding. Is it a little bit of Christ, and a large portion of the world? Any one entering our homes, would they be able to tell at a glance, by the Bibles, and reading matter lying around, and by the Text Cards on the wall, that we were followers of Christ?
How guarded we should be as to our literature. The daily papers, magazines, and other reading that some of our dear young Christians are indulging in, which are of no profit to the soul, but rather a detriment, and if sought after, is a marked hindrance to the growth of the soul.
The enemy is very busy in these last closing days, and is doing all in his power to attract and distract the dear young believers, bringing those things before them that do not savor of Christ; not only the young, but some of the older ones too. May we all be more and more exercised as to our ways, our manner of living, our example before others, that Christ may be seen, known, and read in us.
Some time ago, a son showed his father through his beautiful and well-furnished home. When they were seated in the comfortable parlor, the father turned to his son and said,
“Well, son, you have a very comfortable home, but no one could tell by walking through it whether a child of God or a child of the devil lived here.”
At another time, a Christian man and his wife were asked to visit a certain home, and on entering it, they could see at once what this family was connected with by the pictures on the wall, and the images that were standing about the rooms here and there.
Each room bore the same testimony, even to the kitchen. It made one think of the faithfulness of these people to their profession, and were not ashamed of it.
Dear Christians, may we not be ashamed of the testimony of Christ, and may grace enable us to be true witnesses for Him.
“Epistles, known and read of all men.”
“As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
“Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them” (1 Tim. 4:13, 15).

Fragment: Going Forth

Jonathan loved David with all his heart, but he did not follow him outside the court circle; so it is with some in the present day. They love Christ, but they will not “go forth unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach.” But Jonathan, refusing David’s fellowship, fell with Saul on the mountains of Gilboa!

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 5:1-8

In the fourth chapter the Apostle has shown the character of trials which accompanied him in his path of service; and his willing acceptance of them; always, as he wrote, bearing about in his body the putting to death of Jesus—the world’s rejection of his Master, even to death, being brought in these trials constantly before him as he trod in that Master’s footsteps.
Then, if death should become the Christian’s portion,—and of course it has with Paul and the great majority of believers; if our earthly tabernacle house should thus be destroyed, we know that we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The Apostle writes here with an “if” because the Christian has no certainty of death. “We shall not all sleep” (1 Cor. 15:51), and “we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord,” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, tell of the Christian’s hope of the Lord’s soon coming; the moment of the resurrection we believe to be now very near.
The Christian’s body as it now is, is compared to a tent or tabernacle, and so subject to decay; in its future state, it is a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, our dwelling place to be. As to this, we have the language of inspiration for faith’s appropriation, “we know.”
Verse 2. In this present tent-house we groan, earnestly desiring to have put on our house from heaven. The Apostle expresses more than his own ardent wish; it is the longing of every right-minded Christian. We have, by God’s favor, been formed into new creatures in Christ Jesus; formed for heaven; and what has been communicated to us in the Word of God (revealed to us by His Spirit), makes us feel the limitations of the present body; we desire the glorified body, that, no longer hindered, we may enjoy to the full all that has been secured to us.
Verse 3. “If indeed, being also clothed, we shall not be found naked” (JND). Nakedness was the condition of Adam when a sinner before God, for his fig-leaf apron brought him no acceptance with God (Gen. 3:7-10).
All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (verse 10), and there will be only two classes there—the saved and the lost; the “clothed” and the “naked.”
“For indeed we who are in the tabernacle groan, being burdened; while yet (or though meanwhile) we do not wish to be unclothed, but clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now He that has wrought us for this very thing is God, Who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore, (we are) always confident, and know that while present in the body, we are absent from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight); we are confident I say, and pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord” (verses 4-8, JND).
This is one of the few passages in God’s Word that tell of the state of the saint who dies before the Lord comes. Luke 16:22 is the first New Testament scripture in which it is referred to, being the Lord’s words for Jewish ears concerning the state after death,
“And it came to pass that the poor man died and that he was carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in hades lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
The rich man’s plea that Lazarus be sent to bring him the smallest measure of temporary relief from his suffering, Abraham answered with,
“Child, recollect that thou hast fully received thy good things in thy lifetime, and Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted here, and thou art in suffering. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm is fixed, so that those who desire to pass hence to you cannot, nor do they who (desire to cross) from there, pass over unto us.” (Luke 16:22-23,25-26, JND)
Luke 23:42,43 tells of that crucified thief who opened his mouth to speak in behalf of the holy sufferer on the central cross, and the answer he received: “And he said to Jesus, Remember me, (Lord) when Thou comest in Thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Verily, I say to thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” (JND)
Taking the passages in order, we come next to 1 Corinthians 15, where the believing dead are referred to as having fallen asleep, a term used by the Lord with reference to Lazarus of Bethany in John 11, and found again in 1 Thessalonians 4. It is evident that it is the believer’s body that is referred to in these passages, for nowhere in the Bible is there a hint that the spirit or soul sleep.
2 Corinthians 5 (this chapter) is next. Verses 6 and 8 in the New Translation of J. N. Darby have been already quoted: “Therefore (we are) always confident, and know that while present in the body we are absent from the Lord.” “We are confident, I say, and pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.”
Philippians 1:21-23 follows:
“For for me to live is Christ, and to die gain; but if to live in flesh (is my lot) this is for me worth the while; and what I shall choose I cannot tell. But I am pressed by both, having the desire for departure and being with Christ, for it is very much better.”
A few other scriptures might be cited, but these may suffice to show that God has not left His children to conjecture about what happens to a Christian when taken away in death, or the intermediate state in which he is while waiting for the Lord’s coming for the living saints and to raise the bodies of those gone before.
“We shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52, JND).
The dead in Christ are in a far happier state than we who live. The trials that oft beset them in life are forever gone; sorrow is no more; the old nature which often troubled them is no longer with them, and they sin no more. For a little while they are absent from the body, but they are present with the Lord, enjoying His presence with nothing to hinder any more. Memory is theirs, we can see from Luke 16, and all the qualities of the new nature are of course in action.
Our chapter in 2 Corinthians assures us of the heavenly body we believers shall each have; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 tells us when we shall possess it. Meanwhile, if we should be called upon to pass through death, the body sleeps; we are then “unclothed,” because all the heavenly saints are, together, in one moment, to receive the new body; that will be at the resurrection morning now fast approaching. None of the saints have the heavenly body yet. May we each live in the prospect of the Lord’s coming.
Verse 5. He that has wrought us for this is God, and He has given us not only His infallible Word to tell us of what He will do for us, but also the Holy Spirit has been given as an “earnest” or advance payment. Yes, God the Holy Spirit is here, dwelling in every child of God who knows peace with Him; never to leave us, but to guard and guide us until the end of the way.
So, verse 6, the believer is entitled to say, “we are always confident.” We walk by faith, not by sight. We can only say this in truth concerning ourselves as we are living on Christ, our heavenly food. A child of God can be very unlike one, if he feeds the old nature within, finding, or trying to find, happiness in worldly things; that is, walking by sight, not by faith.
O, let us find our true happiness in a walk with God, keeping His Word constantly in our heart and mind; the Word of God and prayer must be our daily, our constant resort if such a life is to be ours.

I Love Christ More

A heathen woman offered herself for baptism. After the usual examination, she was asked whether she could give up her ornaments for Christ. It was an unexpected blow. The spirit of the gospel was explained to her, and her own consciousness of vanity appealed to.
She looked again and again at her handsome necklace, and then, with an air of modest decision, she took it off, saying,
“I love Christ more than this.”
Is anything filling your heart, and keeping you from yielding all to Christ—you, who are really His own? It may not be an ornament. I think I hear you say,
“That would be easy to give up, but, I have a friend who does not know my Saviour, I cannot give up”; or, perhaps, there is some worldly pleasure that is holding you, or some favorite amusement that claims much of your spare time, and keeps you from following your Lord and Master whole-heartedly.
Would you rather cling to them and miss the companionship of Christ and the joy He gives? O! will you not say with the poor heathen woman,
“I love Christ more than this”?
“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
“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).

Ignorance of God

The haughtiness of intellectual pretension which excludes God, because it is incompetent to discover Him, and then talks of His work, and meddles with His weapons, according to the measure of its own strength, can prove nothing but its own contemptible folly. Ignorance is generally confident, because it is ignorant; and such is the mind of man in dealing with the things of God.

Redemption: Part 2

Exodus 12:1-15; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19
Part 2
“Begotten of God” and “born of God” is the same word. “Canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth,” refers to the operation of the Spirit of God, and not to salvation. It refers to being born again. “So is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
We must keep scriptural truths in their scriptural connection, and when it speaks about being born again, it is not speaking about salvation. That is where we get into such confusion. When it is a question of being born again, it is not the forgiveness of sins, and cleansing by the blood; it is about a new nature being communicated—a distinct line of things.
The Apostle Paul had been born again before Ananias went to him. He passed through deep exercise of soul, was three days and three nights without sight and food. When the Lord revealed Himself to Saul from the glory, and prostrated him, Saul said, “Who art Thou, Lord?” The Lord said to Saul,
“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?”
“Who art Thou, Lord?” That is surrender.
“I am Jesus the Nazarene.”
“What wilt Thou have me to do?”
That was three days before Ananias went to him. Ananias went to him to loose him and let him go. He sent the word of liberty—not life—to Saul by Ananias. Very beautiful it is, too. There is Ananias, that servant of God, in Damascus. To him the Lord said,
“Here am I, Lord.”
“Go into such and such a street and inquire for one Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he prayeth.”
“Lord I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem, and here (120 miles or more from Jerusalem) he has come with authority to bind all that call on Thy name.”
O, the Lord says,
“Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”
Ananias goes into the house where the blind man is, and he hasn’t eaten anything for three days, and he says, “Brother, Saul.” What do you think of that?
“The Lord Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
His sins were gone judicially before God, but not before men. He took a new place before men. And the next thing he was preaching Jesus Christ as He had never been preached before, “straightway, that He is the Son of God.”
From our point of view, we are saved when we accept that which He asked of us. In God’s sight, it is before the foundation of the world. Isn’t it?
Yes, there we have another thing—the sovereign counsels of God.
Now, suppose we ask ourselves, What is the character of the second book of the Bible. “Redemption.” In the 3rd chapter we find the blessed God come down in the burning bush, and He says to Moses, “I am come down to deliver.” “I have seen and I have heard, and I am come down.”
Go to the end of Exodus, 33rd verse of the 40th chapter. What have we there? God dwelling in the midst of His redeemed people, pitching His habitation among them. We get in the 12th and 15th chapters, the way in which He did it. The first thing was to shelter that people from judgment. That could only be done by the blood of the Lamb. The first thing God gives a soul to know when really exercised, is security from judgment under the blood of Christ, but we mustn’t stop there.
Look at the first of Ephesians, just a word, speaking of Christ as the Beloved. 7th verse, “In whom (that is Christ the Beloved) we have redemption.” How far does that go? “Even the forgiveness of sins.”
Now, go to the second chapter, 12Th verse, “without God in the world—without Christ.” I trust that is not the condition of any in this room. “Without Christ.”
“But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
Don’t you see there are two things there. First the forgiveness of sins. That redemption we have in Christ through His blood, brings with it the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. It gives something else: takes me out of the old condition, and gives me a place of nearness to God Himself. You see the difference there. One is in advance of the other, so we must not stop with being secured from judgment.
That blood on the two side posts and the lintel, told that death had come in. It told the stroke had fallen on a victim—a life had been given. There is another thing in that passage we read in 1st Peter,
“Forasmuch as ye K-N-O-W.” The Christian K-N-O-W-S what? That he is redeemed. According to Scripture it is the normal condition of the Christian.
There are those who have faith in the Lord Jesus, who don’t know much about the blood—about being covered. That was my own experience, I accepted the Lord Jesus, but didn’t know my security, or much about the blood until later on. I think there are those who are saved, though, don’t know it.
Isn’t it a good deal with Christians, they don’t know, because they don’t read? Romans says, “you know.” How shall they know if someone doesn’t go and tell them?
(To be continued)

Three Appearings of Christ

The Past
1. “Once in the end of the world hath He appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26).
He has thus appeared, and He has done the mighty work for which He came from heaven to this earth. He will never thus appear again. The cross is eternal in its issues. What He has done can never be added to nor taken from. By the sacrifice of Himself He has accomplished this most mighty work, and for His people, sin is put away, and it will be put away from the earth by virtue of that sacrifice, and then the Father’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The Present
2. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24).
Risen from the dead, having put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus, the High Priest, has entered into the holiest by His own blood, and now appears in the heavens, the man Christ Jesus, in the presence of God for His people, for whose sins He died. He lives to die no more, and He Himself, once the sacrifice on earth, is now the Priest on high for His people. He appeared on earth to die for us; having died, He appears in God’s presence to live for us. He abides there our priest.
The Future
3. “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time apart from sin, unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28).
On the great day of atonement, the High Priest of Israel took the blood of the sacrifice into the holiest of all,—God accepted the atoning blood, and Israel was free. The proof to the people that all was well, was the fact that their high priest lived. And when he came out of the tabernacle, they saw in him salvation. He had made atonement, and, having made it, and it having been accepted, he appeared before them, a witness to salvation.
How graciously will the type be fulfilled! For the heavens, which now hide Him from our eyes, will presently open, and Jesus will come forth to bring His people into the full blessing of His accomplished work. He is coming to bring about the lengths and breadths of salvation—salvation from death, from the power of Satan, from this earth and its trials and its tears—salvation absolute and complete.
Christ has put away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself.
Christ lives in God’s presence for us, and bears us up through this life’s journey.
Christ will come and take us home to be forever with Himself.

Jesus Approving Mary's Choice

“Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).
To Mary P., A Young Christian
Mary, thy choice is made— “the better part,”
In former days another Mary’s choice;
The Lord is glad to see thy youthful heart
So early drawn to hear thy Shepherd’s voice;
And that His love hath taught thee to despise
All that this world counts good, or great, or wise.
Men saw no beauty in His holy face;
They found no wisdom in His heavenly Word;
Their hearts they bowed not to His tender grace,
They scorned to have the Saviour for their Lord.
But ‘tis thy joy to sit at Jesus’ feet,
And to thy heart no words like His are sweet.
Let others scorn thy portion, care not thou;
Look up, and hear thy gracious Lord approve:
The smile that beamed like sunshine from His brow
On Mary, still attends those words of love,
“Wise is her choice, hers is the better part;
And none shall take it from her longing heart.”
Soon will the Master come: soon pass away
Our times of conflict, grief, and suffering here;
Our night of weeping end in cloudless day,
And sorrow’s moment like a dream appear:
Eternity—with Jesus—in the skies—
How soon that Sun of Righteousness may rise!
We shall behold Him, whom not seen we love;
We shall be with Him, whom we long to see;
We shall be like Him, fit for realms above;
With Him, and like Him, for Eternity!
Is now to sit at Jesus’ feet thy choice?
How will fruition then thy soul rejoice!

For His Sake

It is often a great test for young Christians to joyfully and gladly bear slander. It is hard for them to have so-called friends speak evil of them to others, when they are standing firm and true for God. This is only until they love their Lord enough to enjoy suffering with Him. He was and is evil spoken of, and if we love Him above all else, we are glad for the privilege of sharing in His sufferings.
The Apostle Paul knew what it was to suffer for and with his Lord. He loved to be counted worthy of this and he said,
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). He expected nothing else than to suffer for the one who suffered for Him.
The Lord Jesus calls those blessed who suffer for Him. He said,
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12).
When the apostles were put in prison for Jesus’ sake, they were happy. After they were taken from prison they were also beaten, and told to speak no more in the name of Jesus. Do you think this made them sad? No; we read of them:
“They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
Peter was one of the apostles who rejoiced because he was counted worthy to suffer these things. He knew it brought him much joy to suffer for his blessed Lord, so later on he wrote to other Christians, saying,
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye” (1 Peter 4:12-14).
So, dear young Christians, do not grieve or be sad when you are evil spoken of, but count it a joy, as James 1:2 Says. The Lord Jesus specially favors you when He allows you to bear suffering and shame for His sake. It is because He has set His love upon you, because He can trust you to something so very precious.

Correspondence: Holy Spirit Sent Before Jesus Glorified?; 1TH 5:19; HEB 10:25

Question: Was the Holy Spirit not sent forth before the Lord Jesus was glorified?
Answer: All God’s works at all times are done by the Holy Spirit, whether in creation or redemption. They are done by the Father’s will, by the work of the Son, by the power of the Spirit.
In the Old Testament times the Spirit came upon men. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit preached through Noah (1 Peter 3:19-20). John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his birth (Luke 1). But the Holy Spirit could not take His permanent abode in man till the blessed Son of God came; then we read, “Him hath God the Father sealed,” God witnessing to His sinlessness: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).
When the work of redemption on the cross was accomplished and Christ was glorified, all who then, and until His coming, believe the gospel of their salvation, are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13); this witnesses to the power of the precious blood that cleanses from all sin (Acts 10:43; Eph. 4:30).
He never leaves us. We are sealed unto the day of redemption, that is, till the Lord comes to take us up to be with Him.
Question: Where does “Quench not the Spirit” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 apply?
Answer: In the meetings of the believers. We do not find a man presiding over a meeting in Scripture, where believers are gathered for edification. The Lord is in their midst (Matt. 18:20), and the Holy Spirit is to guide them, and occupy them with Christ. If the Lord lays it on the heart of one to speak or take part, and he does not do it, such a one is quenching the Spirit. If the Lord gives the word to one, and the others refuse to hearken, they, too, are quenching the Spirit. If one speaks when he should not he is also quenching the Spirit. “Despise not prophesyings.” Verse 20 shows I should hearken and prove all things, and hold fast the truth. Ephesians 4:30 refers to our individual behavior at all times, because the Spirit dwells in us.
Question: Does Hebrews 10:25 refer to the coming of Christ for His saints? or does “the day” mean “the day of the Lord”? Is it the period of time between the coming of the Lord in the air for His saints until His coming with His saints?
Answer: There is no passage in Hebrews that refers particularly to the coming of Christ in the air for His saints. We might apply such passages as Hebrews 10:37 as the moment of our deliverance, but so might the believing Jews in the tribulation. The Epistle to the Hebrews covers both. The passages referred to above are looking on to a time of judgment, that is, the day of the Lord, which begins when the Lord comes with His saints to the world as a thief in the night. (1 Thess. 5:2; Jude 14-15; 2 Tim. 4:1).
The period of time between the Lord’s coming for His saints and His coming with them to judge, is called the tribulation.

Did You See That?

In a town in one of the middle States, two evangelists preached the gospel on a winter evening.
Mr.— and his wife were attentive listeners to the preaching. After the principal speaker had finished, the other arose and spoke a few words in connection with John 5:24;
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
The speaker pressed the reality of this divine statement, and urged that if any were really believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, they already had everlasting life. He pointed out that it was a present thing, hath, not will have—, and that all who believe are already passed from death unto life.
These two listeners were both believers on the Lord Jesus, but they had not been clearly instructed in the truth of the gospel, and so did not have the knowledge, or assurance, that salvation was theirs. And what they heard was quite new to them.
As Mr.— was listening to the speaker, he said to himself,
“Well, I believe; I know that I believe. If I should say, I do not, it would be a lie, for I know I do believe; and therefore I must have eternal life, for God’s Word says so; and let God be true, though every man should be a liar.”
A heavy snow had fallen, and this man and his wife had about three quarters of a mile to trudge through the deep snow on an unbroken road. They walked along together in silence, neither one speaking to the other, until they were about half way home, when the husband broke the silence saying,
“M—, did you see that?”
“Why, yes! and I was so afraid you didn’t see it, that I couldn’t speak to you.”
Both husband and wife had received the same blessing through the same word, at the same hour, and their hearts were full, but they were afraid to speak, each fearing the other might not have received the precious truth. But now that all was out, they stopped in the middle of the road, and shook hands, rejoicing together in their new found joy!
Having thus received the assurance that life and salvation were theirs as a present fact, they then thought they must tell everybody. But not all were as ready to believe the good news as they had been, and they soon got themselves into plenty of trouble with professing Christians who knew not the reality of these things in their own souls. But trouble, or no trouble, they went on their way rejoicing, and daily learning new things out of God’s book, which now became their daily food, and the oracle which they constantly consulted.
The husband was a carpenter, and when he would come home to dinner, it was a common thing to find his wife with the Bible in her hand, and saying,
“O, I’ve found something new in this book.”
They had had but little knowledge before of what it contained, and now they were eager to learn more. Sometimes at the dinner hour Mr.— would spend the time talking with his wife of the things they discovered in the Word of God; and when the hour was up, he would just take something in his hand to eat as he went. Often too, the same book would occupy them in the evening till after midnight, so eager were these dear souls to learn from the book that had brought them the knowledge of eternal life.
And now may I ask the reader: Have you eternal life? Have you believed on the name of the Son of God? If you have, listen to the testimony of God’s Word:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
Blessed testimony—eternal life the possession of every one that believes on the name of the Son of God! But if you have not believed on that name, you are unsaved; you are spiritually dead, and you are exposed to judgment and the wrath of God.
“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).
May our dear readers read, meditate, and prize their Bibles very highly.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

Extract: This is God!

The Epistle to the Hebrews opens the heavenly calling. It associates you with Noah, Abraham, Moses and others. The earth at the beginning was given to the children of men. What did they do with it? They forfeited it. Then what did God do with them? Well, He opened heaven to them! He gave them the earth to enjoy—they soiled and lost it by sin.
“Well,” said He, “I’ll open heaven to you.” This is one way in which the grace of God abounds.
What should I say of one, who, when I had abused the gift which he put in my hand, put a better gift in my other hand? This is God!

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Chapter 5, Verses 9-10
The ninth verse, in our common English Bible has by careless readers, who missed the connection in which it stands with what has gone before, been thought to give support to the wholly unscriptural belief that one cannot know until the judgment seat of Christ whether he is to spend eternity in heaven or in hell. Such a doctrine would suit the aims of the father of lies, Satan, whose purpose is always to rob the believer of the peace and joy God has given him.
Several words in the original tongue (Greek) in which the epistles were written have been done into English by the translators as “accepted” or “acceptable,” but the one found here in the ninth verse means “well pleasing” or “agreeable.” See Titus 2:9; Hebrews 11:5-6, and 13:16, where the same Greek word appears in an injunction to Christian slaves to please their masters well; Enoch is spoken of as having had this testimony that he pleased God (and without faith it is impossible to please Him); with sacrifices of praise, doing good and giving, God is well pleased (Heb. 13:15-16).
Verse 9 then, rightly understood, expresses the Apostle’s active purpose or aim in view of what he had just written,
“Wherefore also we are zealous, whether present or absent, to be agreeable to Him” (JND).
And should not the same be your purpose, too, young Christian, whether present in the body, or absent from it and therefore present with the Lord?
Paul’s thoughts, guided by the Holy Spirit, are next led to consider, and to present to the saints at Corinth for their sober consideration, the judgment seat of Christ. It is a solemn theme; for all that are without the knowledge of God’s salvation, who will come before it, the result will be eternity in the lake of fire.
But for believers, what will it mean? Let us see:
For the benefit of those young in the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word, it may be well to assemble first a number of scriptures on which the faith of His people may rest. Here are seven such passages, though the number might be multiplied.
1. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
2. John 3:36, “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.”
3. John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (literally, judgment), but is passed from death unto life.”
4. Romans 4:24-25; 5:1, “ ... us also, to whom it (righteousness) shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
5. Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
6. Colossians 1:12-14, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
7. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
God be praised for giving us such assuring words, sufficient to remove all dread from the feeblest believer as he thinks of the judgment seat of Christ.
Verse 10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” “We all” in this verse is not the same as in verse 18 of the third chapter, where only Christians are meant; this is a wider term, referring to everyone without exception; it takes in the human race. Each person will be manifested there, for that is the meaning of the word in the original; it means more than to appear. In the abundant language of classical Greek there are no less than seven words which the translators have expressed as “to appear.” Here it means to be made very evident, and that in the clear light of God’s presence.
In Romans 14:12, referring to the manifestation of believers before the judgment seat of Christ, it is said that we shall each give account of himself to God. It will be after the coming of the Lord for His heavenly people; after the change spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; and in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; after the fulfillment of John 14:2-3, when we are at home in the scenes of unclouded bliss, that belong to the Father’s House. We may well suppose that it will shortly follow our being taken there by the Lord Himself when He comes for us.
For the lost, the unbelieving, when will verse 10 be fulfilled? At the great white throne, Revelation 20:11-15:
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled, and place was not found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened, and another book was opened, which is that of life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged each according to their works; and death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire. And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.” (JND)
A fearful day that will be for the neglectors and the rejectors of God’s salvation when books are opened, and they are judged out of the things written therein. But 2 Corinthians 5:10 deals with us too when it says, “that each may receive the things done in the body according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil.” For us who are saved, it will not be to be punished for our sins, for Christ has borne them all.
What we have done in the body, whether good or evil, will be made to appear, both for God’s glory and our blessing. We shall at last know as we are known (1 Corinthians 13:12), and we shall see in the clear light of His presence what in our lives was for Him, and what though perhaps unsuspected, really had self as its object.
What was for God was the result of His own operations in our souls, yet it will be rewarded as though the credit for it was due to ourselves. But what in our lives was not for Him, but for self-gratification—the works of the flesh (the old nature) where there should have been the fruit of the Spirit; what has sprung from neglect of our spiritual life; for these we shall suffer loss.
There we shall see not only the positive things in ways and words and thoughts that marred our lives, but also what in us led up to them, hindering the work of the indwelling Spirit of God, who would have ministered Christ, but we did not desire spiritual food.
(To be continued, D. V.)

The Power of Prayer

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

Divine Accuracy of the Word of God

The way of man is to regard that which God has revealed in the inspired writings as subject-matter for him to speculate on and from which he may safely draw his own inferences. Hence he stumbles at the very threshold; and, instead of “obeying the truth,” he makes truth subject to his own understanding. But God is pleased to hide from the wise and prudent that which He reveals to babes.
Even Christians have tried to make out an orderly narrative from the four gospels by harmonizing them, and thus the varied aspects in which the Holy Ghost presents Jesus to our souls is reduced to the level of human biography. But it is not the way of the Holy Ghost to present scenes to us after the manner of man’s history. His way is not our way, nor His thoughts as our thoughts. The object He has to hold up to us cannot be so touched without disparagement to the Person and glory of the Lord Jesus.
The Word of God is not given to grant a prying curiosity, nor to satisfy the mind with a readily received theory. The Spirit’s way is to so exhibit Jesus in the glory of His Person, and the depths of His grace, that whether it be our wants as sinners, or the desires of the renewed heart, they may be fully met in Him. The manifold wisdom and grace of God are all centered in Jesus. The attempts at an orderly biography, entirely hinder the proper presentation of Christ to the soul.
However, we must not suppose that there is any lack of order in the gospels, or any part of the Word of God, for there is precision and accuracy that cannot be questioned. It is not according to man, but is the precision and accuracy of the Spirit of God; and any attempt at human accuracy in that which God has revealed, will hinder instead of helping our instruction. Systematic theology often leads real Christians into a measure of self-complacency, and tends to make them measure the knowledge of others, by their own. The teaching of the Spirit ever humbles; and in this line also we find the apparent paradox that growth in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is accompanied with a deeper sense of our own ignorance. Thus it must be when we really grow in the knowledge of Him who is the wisdom of God.

Redemption: Part 3

Exodus 12:1-15; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19
Part 3
What is the force of that word in the 13th verse of the 12th chapter of Exodus, “The blood shall be to you for a token”? God sees the blood, but it is my seeing it that brings me into peace. The blood speaks to the soul inside, and wards off the stroke outside. It is the soul seeing the blood for himself, that brings into the knowledge of safety.
In connection with the children, when they asked what was meant by this service, they were told how to answer them.
In Exodus, third chapter, God had come down, and what had brought Him down? It was the bondage, misery, groaning and oppression of His people. “I have heard, I have seen”—that had brought Him down to deliver. There He appears in the midst of the burning bush.
Now open to the first of Leviticus, and compare that with the third chapter of Exodus. “God called unto Moses out of the midst of the bush,” in Exodus.
In Leviticus, “The Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation.” What a contrast! That gives the character to those two books. God coming down to deliver. After He delivers, He sets His habitation in the midst of His people. Out of the midst of that habitation He appears, and tells them how to approach Him.
The subject of Exodus is redemption. The subject of Leviticus is the redeemed drawing near to God, the Redeemer. There is more order in the Word of God than people think. It is not brought together at random.
What is the character of the book of Numbers? It is the wilderness journey. It is a redeemed people, and they are not in Egypt nor in Canaan. but in the wilderness, but journeying on to it. Egypt behind, Canaan before, and they in the wilderness. Now, that is the book of Numbers.
What is the book of Deuteronomy? That answers to the judgment seat of Christ. “Thou shalt remember all the way.” We will have a rehearsal when we get into our Canaan, and before we have entered fully into it. We Christians have a Deuteronomy before we get into the land, too. We are in Numbers. Redemption has brought us into Numbers. We know all the way God has led us since He brought us out of Egypt. “Thou shalt remember.” It must have been very humiliating as Moses called their attention to all their ways. But as it humbled them, it magnified the grace and goodness of God, and that is what our Deuteronomy will do, too.
There was some reason for this being given to them,
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generation; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever” (verse 14).
The feast lasted seven days. That and the Passover are distinct, but the feast is founded on the Passover, and it is the feast of the Passover. The Passover is an accomplished fact. “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” The feast is not an accomplished fact. We are keeping it now. It won’t be an accomplished fact until we get into the land. When we get to heaven, we shall have gotten through with the feast of the Passover.
How happy it would be for us, beloved brethren, if we realized more fully that the present dispensation for the Christian is the feast of the Passover. The church of God is keeping two of the seven feasts now. It is keeping the feast of the Passover and the feast of Pentecost. The feast of Pentecost began in the 2nd of Acts, the coming of the Holy Spirit.
In the 16th of Deuteronomy we find three feasts separated from the seven which are given in other parts of Scripture. Those three are the feast of Passover, the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacles at the end of the year. The church is keeping the feast of the Passover and Pentecost and is going to keep the feast of Tabernacles. The feast of Tabernacles is a feast characterized by two things: rest and joy. All God’s people, earthly and heavenly, will keep the feast of Tabernacles together. It is a feast characterized by rest and joy, and remembrance of God’s ways with us.
In the days of Nehemiah, after the remnant returned from the captivity, when there was a happy returning to the Word of God, they kept the feast of Tabernacles, but they did it according to God in a way it had never been kept since the days of Joshua. These people went up the mountains and brought down branches of trees and made themselves tents—a practical reminder of God’s ways with them. I think that beautiful. Since the days of Joshua it had not been done. Not that they had not kept the feast since then, but not in that way, getting away from all comforts and all that.
Then we get instructions as to what was to be done with the lamb whose life had been given. They were to eat it. What is eating, for instance, eating the flesh of the Son of Man, and drinking His blood? To eat a thing, physically, it becomes a part of ourselves. So faith appropriates the death of Christ. Not only sheltered by the blood, but the soul enjoying the one whose blood shelters it.
(To Be Continued)

Extract: Unbelief

Unbelief puts us under the power of present things; in other words, it gives the world the victory over us.
“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Do All: Service the Master Values

“Would you not recommend young Christians to do something for the Lord?” was the question asked of an old preacher.
“No, I would not,” was the unexpected reply.
“Then what would you do?”
“I would recommend them to do all things for the Lord.”
Well is it for all Christians, young and old, to keep their Lord and Master ever in view, and to do everything for Him.
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).

Young Christians in the Service: Part 1

Part 1
Many of our Christian young men are now in the army, navy, and other branches of government service. Each one of us is personally acquainted with many who have gone and are now in widely separated parts of the world. These dear young men have left their homes, and the valued circles of Christian fellowship. May our prayers follow them in these days of scattering.
In the eighth chapter of the Acts there is an account of another scattering which was allowed by God. Then it was a persecution of the Christians that scattered them abroad from Jerusalem. Let us look at this scripture, and see if we may draw some conclusions from it, and perhaps learn some lessons that might be of value to us now.
After the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God came down and dwelt in the believers. The church of God was formed on earth at that time in the city of Jerusalem, and the gospel was preached there. Thousands of people were saved; three thousand were saved at one preaching, as recorded in the second chapter of the Acts. These early Christians had a happy season together as the church of God flourished in Jerusalem in those days.
But we need to go back to Luke 24:47, and notice the Lord’s instructions to the apostles and disciples before He left them:
“That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Then turning to the opening chapter of the Acts, we see that they were told to wait at Jerusalem before going abroad preaching until the Holy Spirit had come.
“Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Here then was their commission—await the coming of the Holy Ghost, and then go forth with the gospel. While beginning at Jerusalem, they were to carry it far beyond. Jerusalem was only the starting point. God, who is interested in the gospel of His Son, wanted it carried far and wide. But notice in these early chapters of the Acts, what the apostles and early Christians actually did. They all remained at Jerusalem, enjoying their feasts of good things.
In order that His instructions might be carried out, the Lord saw that a scattering was necessary; and forthwith a persecution broke out. They were careless about going out with the gospel; so the Lord got them started.
“At that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1).
Among those scattered was Philip who had been one of the deacons in the sixth chapter, and looked after the care of the needy. His work was no longer necessary when the church was scattered; so he went out also in this scattering.
“Therefore they that were scattered abroad, went everywhere preaching the Word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them” (Acts 8:4-5).
And happy fruitful preaching that was. They did not just preach sermons, but preached “the Word” and “Christ.” Blessing followed that preaching, and there was much joy in Samaria, as many souls were saved. Philip then was sent to the desert to meet the Ethiopian eunuch, who also got saved, and went on his way rejoicing. Others who were scattered traveled far and wide preaching the gospel.
“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen, traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the Word to none, but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord” (Acts 11:19-21).
Much blessing followed their labors, and the ground-work was laid for that important Gentile assembly at Antioch. Thus we see how the Lord triumphed in the scattering and used the ones scattered for bearing precious seed, which He bountifully blessed.
Now, let us bring all this down to our day. Fellow-Christians have we not settled down in this world, and forgotten to be diligent in spreading the gospel? Has not the tendency been to forget the unsaved who are about us, as well as far beyond? We have, and rightly so, praised God for our salvation, and have enjoyed the blessings He has given us; but in a large measure, we have been careless about the unsaved and the gospel. When all goes well with us there is a disposition to enjoy our own blessings—our salvation, fellowship of our saints, our families, our homes—and neglect to be diligent in the Lord’s things. It is very easy to sit in our comfortable homes and sing:
How sweet the truth, ye sinners hear it,
Mercy’s free, Mercy’s free.
Ye saints of God to all declare it,
Mercy’s free, Mercy’s free.
Visit your neighbor’s dark abode,
Proclaim to all this love of God,
O spread the joyful news abroad.
Mercy’s free, Mercy’s free.
But are we really faithful in this? Have we not all been more or less lax? We need to remember that we have not been left here to please ourselves, but to live for the Lord.
Now the Lord has allowed many of our young brethren to be suddenly called away from homes and meetings, and to be thrust forth into many other places. It is not without a cause, nor is it without a purpose. We are hearing very frequently of faithful testimony being rendered to their Lord by these young men, and it makes our hearts rejoice. They have gone forth and are carrying the gospel quietly, but effectively along with them. Souls are being saved through their testimony. May we bear them up constantly before the Lord, and may we at home be stirred up to more faithfulness.
From time to time we hope, the Lord willing, to print some accounts of the testimony being rendered by our young brethren who have left us. In the mean while—
“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).


I believe God greatly honors unflagging service, for an unwearied course of patient continuance in well-doing cannot proceed from natural energy, but must be sustained by His grace.
A great many young people like to be engaged for a time in the Lord’s work from love of activity or other causes. But the quiet, patient on-going of faithful obedience in days of suffering, as well as in hours of brightness, irrespective of human praise or blame, is what the Master values.

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

Question: Who will be caught up when the Lord comes? (1 Thess. 4).
Answer: All the dead in Christ from the beginning of man’s race. (1 Cor. 15:23). Then all the living believers will be changed, and caught up with all that their faith takes in. (Acts 16:31).
We see in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, 2:10-12 That those who hear “the gospel of the grace of God” and reject it, do not get another chance. Satan has blinded them. They have put away God’s precious salvation for the pleasures of sin which were but for a season.
To whom will the gospel be preached after the rapture of the heavenly saints?
The “gospel of the Kingdom,” the news that Christ is coming to reign (Psa. 2:10-12), will be preached to Israel (Matt. 10:5-7); and to all nations, that is, Gentiles; and those who receive that gospel, will be Christ’s subjects on earth. We find a direct testimony also sent to the worshippers of idols in Revelation 14:6-7.
The everlasting gospel is creation’s testimony (Psa. 19:1-6) to the God who created all things, and this specially is sent to warn all such. God cares for the idolaters also.
Even in the Millennial period, when Christ is reigning, and Satan is bound, we find men making feigned obedience to Christ, the Head of the heathen (Psa. 18:43-44. See margin). A multitude comes up in rebellion against God and His earthly people, whenever Satan is loosed out of his prison.
Such is man, all men, unless through grace they are born again. How easy it is to let present things blind us to the truth.

The Prodigal Count

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a Count when I was abroad. He had been most kind in directing me as to my journey. Knowing he was about to leave, I said I had come to thank him, and to express the hope that we should meet again.
“Not likely,” he replied, “at my time of life.”
“Yet, still,” I added, “I hope that some day we shall meet again.” Looking thoughtfully, he asked,
“Do you mean in heaven?”
“Yes,” I said.
“O! then,” rejoined he, with a sigh, “I shall never be in heaven. I am too great and too old a sinner ever to be in heaven.”
Turning to the Countess, who was near, I said,
“Madam, do you believe what your husband is saying?”
Bursting into tears, she responded, “I was brought up in the church—but have lived in every folly. We are both great sinners; and I am like one without a home—with no father. What would you do with a child who had left her father’s house?”
“I would read to her the fifteenth of Luke.”
“What is that?” she asked; and taking out my Bible, I read. When I came to that part where the prodigal began to be in want, the Count stopped me, saying,
“Is that me?”
“Yes; and me!”
He wept when I explained how a sinner separated from God, must come to be in want—be in dire necessity. He may seem to be rich, and have need of nothing; but, not having Christ, he is wretched and miserable (as to eternal things), and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17).
Reading on, I came to the passage where the father is represented as running to meet his son, embracing him, saying,
“This my son.”
“Sir,” interrupted the Count, “is that God?”
“Yes,” I said; “that is God, and God is love.”
I described to him how it was that God had never lost sight of man, though man had gone from God; how, though man had changed, God had never changed; how He, in love to us, had given His Son to die for us; and how the death of Christ enables God righteously, as well as in love, to receive and embrace the oldest and vilest of sinners.
They both wept.
“Let me record this chapter and those verses in my pocket book, saying, as it were, ‘That prodigal is myself; that Father is God.’”
With more such words, he took me by the hand, saying,
“Thank you, thank you very much; yes, thank you. We shall meet again.”
“Passing onward, quickly passing,
Time its course will quickly run.
Still we hear the fond entreaty
Of the ever-gracious one—
‘Come and welcome,
‘Tis by Me that life is won.’”

Our Expectation

O bright and blessed hope!
When shall it be
That we His face, long loved,
Revealed, shall see!
O! when, without a cloud,
His features trace,
Whose faithful love, so long,
We’ve known in grace!
That love itself enjoy,
Which, ever true,
Did, in our feeble path,
It’s work pursue!
O Jesus! not unknown,
Thy love shall fill
The heart in which Thou dwell’st,
And shalt dwell still!
Still, Lord! to see Thy face,
Thy voice to hear;
To know Thy present love
Forever near!
To gaze upon Thyself
So faithful known,
Long proved in secret help
With Thee alone!
To see that love, content
On us flow forth,
Forever Thy delight,
Clothed with Thy worth.
Nor, what is next Thy heart,
Can we forget;
Thy saints, O Lord, with Thee
In glory met!
Perfect in comeliness
Before Thy face,
Th’ eternal witness, all,
Of Thine own grace.
Together, then, their songs
Of endless praise
With one harmonious voice
In joy they’ll raise!

The Trial of Faith

Faith has its trials, as well as its answers. It is not to be imagined that the man of faith, having pushed out from the shore of circumstances, finds it all smooth and easy sailing. By no means. Again and again, he is called to encounter rough seas and stormy skies; but it is all graciously designed to lead him into deeper and more matured experience of what God is to the heart that confides in Him. Were the skies always without a cloud, and the ocean without a ripple, the believer would not know so well the God with whom he has to do; for, alas! we know how prone the heart is to mistake the peace of circumstances for the peace of God. When everything is going on smoothly and pleasantly,—our property safe, our business prosperous, our children carrying themselves agreeably, our residence comfortable, our health excellent,—everything, in short, just to our mind, how apt we are to mistake the peace which reposes upon such circumstances, for that peace which flows from the realized presence of Christ. The Lord knows this; and therefore He comes in, in one way or another, and stirs up the nest, that is, if we are found nestling in circumstances, instead of in Himself.
But, again, we are frequently led to judge of the rightness of a path by its exemption from trial, and vice versa. This is a great mistake. The path of obedience may often be found most trying to flesh and blood. Thus, in Abraham’s case, he was not only called to encounter the Canaanite, in the place to which God had called him, but there was also “a famine in the land” (See Genesis 12). Should he, therefore, have concluded that he was not in the right place? assuredly not. This would have been to judge according to the sight of his eyes, the very thing which faith never does. No doubt it was a deep trial to the heart, and an inexplicable puzzle to nature; but to faith it was all plain and easy.
When Paul was called into Macedonia, almost the first thing he had to encounter was the prison at Philippi. This, to a heart out of communion, would have seemed a death-blow to the entire mission. But Paul never questioned the rightness of his position; he was enabled to “sing praises” in the midst of it all, assured that everything was just as it should be: and so it was; for in the prison of Philippi was one of God’s vessels of mercy, who could not, humanly speaking, have heard the gospel, had not the preachers of it been thrust into the very place where he was. The devil was made, in spite of himself, the instrument of sending the gospel to the ears of one of God’s elect.
How many, in order to avoid the trial and exercise connected with God’s path, have slipped aside into the current of this present evil world, and thereby brought leanness and barrenness, heaviness and gloom, into their souls! It may be they have, to use the common expression, “made money,” increased their store, obtained the world’s favor, gotten a name and a position amongst men; but are these a proper equivalent for joy in God, communion, liberty of heart, a pure, uncondemning conscience, a thankful, worshipping spirit, vigorous testimony, and effectual service? Alas! for the man that can think so. And yet all the above incomparable blessings have been often sold for a little ease, a little influence, a little money.
Christian reader, let us watch against the tendency to slip aside from the narrow, yet safe, the sometimes-rough, yet always pleasant, path of simple whole-hearted obedience. Let us keep guard—jealous, careful guard—over “faith and a pure conscience,” for which nothing can compensate. Should trial come, let us, instead of turning aside to the world, wait on God; and thus the trial, instead of proving an occasion of stumbling, will prove an opportunity for obedience. Let us, when tempted to slip into the course of the world, remember Him “who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal. 1:4). If such was His love for us, and such His sense of the true character of this present world, that He gave Himself in order to deliver us from it, shall we deny Him by plunging again into that from which His cross has delivered us? May God Almighty forbid! May He keep us in the hollow of His hand, and under the shadow of His wings, until we see Jesus as He is, and be like Him, and with Him forever.

Fragment: Love All My Brethren

If divine love governs me, I love all my brethren; I love them because they belong to Christ; there is no partiality. I shall have greater enjoyment in a spiritual brother; but I shall occupy myself with my weaker brother with a love that rises above his weakness and has a tender consideration for it. I shall concern myself with my brother’s sin, from love to God, in order to restore my brother, rebuking him, if needful; nor, if divine love be in exercise, can brotherly love be associated with disobedience. In a word, God will have His place in all my relationships.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians Chapter 5, Verses 10-13

2 Corinthians 5:10-13
This knowledge of which we have been speaking, that everything we have done in the body, whether good or bad, is to pass under review at the judgment seat of Christ is meant by God to have a sobering and solemnizing effect in our souls. We can see from our chapter that it was a reality to the Apostle, whose life was a constant savor of Christ.
The Christian has three enemies: the world, the flesh (the old nature) and the devil, and if allowed, they will ruin his testimony and all through his life, rob him of happiness. What makes young Christians and old Christians alike an easy prey for these enemies, is neglect of the Word of God, and prayer.
From God’s Word we may learn much that is needed in taking our way through the present scene, and mind and heart and conscience, become exercised in increasing desire to be subject to Him in all things; through prayer we learn our dependence upon Him. It is “the word of His grace” that, joined with prayer, is able to build up the believer and to give him an inheritance among all those that are sanctified (Acts 20:32).
From the Word of God we learn that although before we were saved we were darkness, now we are light in the Lord, and should walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), and that “if we walk in the light as He (God) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). From the same blessed book we draw a word of warning against growing careless, once we are saved,
“For the Word of God is quick (or living) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12-13).
Nothing now is hid from Him, though much may, with success, be veiled from our neighbors, or our brethren; and at the judgment seat of Christ He will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts” (1 Cor. 4:5).
“Then,” as the last quoted verse concludes, “shall every man have praise of God”; He will praise what is worthy of praise in His children.
May thoughts of that approaching day lead us who are Christ’s to much more guardedness in our lives, that in them there may be that which will be found to His glory in the day of the giving of rewards! Must we not own with shame that we have attempted to excuse ourselves perhaps ten thousand times for things in which the old nature, instead of the new, was active? perhaps it was a hasty word that should never have been said, or an unworthy thought; or the choosing to stay at home on meeting night because of the weather or the distance, but really a measure of indifference to the claims of Christ. The list need not be enlarged; your own heart will tell you more.
No doubt all of us are familiar with the passage in Galatians 6:7-9,
“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. And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
These then are days of sowing; there is reaping here too, but the Christian’s reaping will appear in full measure at the judgment seat of Christ.
“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples” (John 15:8). These were the Lord’s words, uttered just before His cross. He was speaking of that which is deeper than work for Him, that is, communion with Him, the source from which springs all that in us gives joy to His heart. May we each seek to know more of communion with the Father and the Son!
With wonder and a deepened sense of divine grace, we shall at the judgment seat of Christ, see our lives as we have never before. The ways of God will be known and understood in all their perfection, as another has said, by the application of the perfect light to the whole course of our life, and of His dealings with us, in which we shall thoroughly recognize that love—perfect, sovereign above all things—has reigned, with ineffable grace.
The majesty of God will have been maintained by His judgment at the same time that the perfection and tenderness of His dealings will be the eternal recollection of our souls. The same writer continues,
“How wonderful to be thus manifested! What love is that which in its perfect wisdom, in its marvelous ways overruling all evil, could bring such beings as we are to enjoy this unclouded light!”
There will be no dissatisfaction with the place we shall each hold in glory. We shall see others in higher stations than ourselves, because of greater devotion to the Lord, and we shall be happy in seeing them so rewarded, for the old nature and its fruit of sin, will be gone forever in the scene to which we are going. Praise and adoration to God because of His grace and mercy will fill every heart to the full.
Verse 11. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men, but have been manifested to God, and I hope also that we have been (or are) manifested in your consciences.” (JND)
The Christian knows, from what he has learned of the holiness of God, how solemn it will be for a sinner to appear before Him. When we pass before that judgment seat we are already glorified, and like Christ; we shall be before Him in love; our sins and the old nature gone.
Now, the knowledge of the judgment, as it must fall upon the sinner, moves the Christian to seek to persuade those who are in danger of that judgment.
We have been manifested to God; we have no fear of the manifestation to come; it will reveal to us all of His ways in love and in grace and mercy, to us from beginning to end. These thoughts exercise our consciences. The Apostle adds, in love to his dear Corinthians, that he hopes that he is manifested in their consciences; such was his desire, for he was Christ’s servant for them, seeking their blessing for Christ’s sake. The state of the Corinthians was, as we have seen, better than when Paul wrote his first epistle, but their restoration to a right state before the Lord, was not complete.
Verse 12. The Apostle will not again commend himself to them by appealing to their consciences, but instead gives the saints at Corinth occasion of boast in his behalf where some boasted in countenance and not in heart. For whether he was beside himself (as some were ready to say of Paul, because on occasion his spirit was enraptured with thoughts of God’s grace in Christ) it was not excitement or folly, but the result of occupation with a subject so glorious. If he were criticized as inconsistent because he passed from these occasions of rapture to speak and write soberly in instructing the Corinthians in ways pleasing to God, it was for their cause, for them (verse 13).
(To be Continued)

Till I Come

“Till I come” is the motto for a true watcher for Christ. He said to Peter,
“If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me” (John 21:22).
Again to the rest in Thyatira, He says,
“That which ye have already, hold fast till I come” (Rev. 2:25).
To all His servants, He says, “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13).
The Holy Spirit may well add,
“Ye do show the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Cor. 11:26).
Thus we are taught to follow, to hold fast, to serve, and to remember Him. For how long?
Till I come.”
“Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.” May this ever be the response from our hearts.

Redemption: Part 4

Exodus 12:1-15; 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19
Part 4
We get the “how?” to eat the Passover. Further down the “who?” is to eat it, and in the 16th of Deuteronomy the “where?”
“How?” — “who?”— “where?”
Then we say, “who?” No unconverted person can truly keep the Passover—feed upon the death of Christ in the consciousness of being sheltered by the blood.
Then the “how?” In Exodus 12:11, “And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded.” Might begin with the 8th verse:
“And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water; but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.” How beautiful that is, typical you know.
“And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s passover.” There we get the “how”.
Why “not raw nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire?”
Because it is typical of Christ, the Lamb of God enduring the fire of God’s judgment without any mitigation. No water came between the victim and the fire. The head—intelligence; legs—ways; the purtenance—affections. All perfect, and the soul feeds on that. The affections of Christ, devoted to God.
“That which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” How do you understand that?
The feeding on the victim mustn’t be too far separated from its death. All intimately connected. You get it in the peace offering and the lamb of consecration. It is a very solemn thing for this day.
The worship of God’s people is so far separated from the cross of Christ the ground of worship.
Take those popular hymns (I am not finding fault, only calling attention to it), how much do we find in them about the death of Christ for atonement of sin? We have to go back to the old ones for that. How sweetly Watts comes out on that, in:
“Not all the blood of beasts,
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away its stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Took all our guilt away,
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.
Our souls look back to see
The burden Thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree,
For all our guilt was there.”
“Alas, and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head,
For such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut His glories in,
When the Incarnate Maker died
For man His creature’s sin.”
One almost envies that devotedness. That is what I believe we have in “let nothing remain until the morning.”
They couldn’t gather manna today for tomorrow, except on the sixth day. Then they could gather for two days. If they did that any other day, and kept it over, it bred worms and stank. Every morning and every evening there was the lamb of the burnt offering, and on the Sabbath two. That is, God, in that typical people, that earthly redeemed people, kept ever before Him the coming death of Christ as the ground of His relationship with that people.
The 11Th verse, looks like they were prepared to depart.
“Thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand.”
What would that bring before us, eating it in that way? How long is the Christian supposed to be in this world? The Christian position is to be ever ready to leave. He hasn’t to gird his loins and put his shoes on, but “Ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord,”—waiting for that word to depart.
“Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” It is an accomplished sacrifice. The Paschal Lamb. “Therefore, let us keep the feast ... ” The point in Corinthians is this: The feast is to be kept in consistency with this truth, that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. What is not consistent with that, is not to be allowed.
And the “where?”
“In the place which the Lord shall choose to place His name there.” (Deut. 16:2).

Young Christians in the Service: Part 2

Last month we promised to tell some current instances of the gospel being spread by the young men who are today in the various branches of government service. Letters of the alphabet will, of course, be substituted for the names of the men, and names of camps and locations must be left out for obvious reasons. We will begin with the case of A.
About seven or eight years ago, A. was saved. He was only a boy then. Now he is a young man, and in the army. While still living at home on the farm he had opportunities to speak of his Saviour to some he met. But he probably little thought that before long he would have the opportunity and courage to address a large crowd of men—possibly all unsaved. His case is only one of many that shows how God has used the present conflict and consequent scattering for the spreading of the gospel.
After his induction into the army, A. was sent to a large western camp. His valued Bible and hymn book were taken along. In camp he soon found another Christian in the same barrack, and the two young men had some happy fellowship together over the Bible.
One evening A. and his new companion sat in one end of their barrack reading their Bibles aloud, each taking his turn. This proceeded for a while almost unnoticed by the others in the barrack. At last a few noticed the two Christians reading, and went over close enough to be within hearing distance. This was the signal for more to come and listen; finally, all but two or three of the men were lined up listening to the Bible reading. The two or three had laughed and gone out.
Lifting his eyes from his Bible, and seeing his attentive audience, A. felt that he must use this opportunity to give them the gospel.
Calmly and quietly, A. told them of the love of God, and of the Saviour who died on the cross. The Lord gave him the needed courage and the words to speak. There, in one end of the barrack A. was preaching the Word, and telling lost souls of the only means of salvation. The men were reverent and respectful as the young Christian faithfully witnessed a good confession.
For the present, we shall have to leave the results with Him whose Word it is, and who has promised that His Word shall not return unto Him void (Isa. 55:11). We might even while here on earth learn of blessing from that testimony rendered by A., but who can tell how much fruit there will be displayed in that coming day in glory?
Now, dear fellow-Christian, let us not forget to pray for A. and the others who are in similar circumstances, that they may be kept faithful—not in word only, but in deed. We can also remember before the Lord the gospel testimony that is being borne in many ways and places. And may we at home be exercised to use the opportunities we have for the spread of the glad tidings.
“Let us not weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, 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).
“Not in vain” is any service
Offered in the Saviour’s name,
Who to rescue fallen sinners
To this world of ruin came.
Jesus values each redeemed one.
And their praise and worship too,
Every service that they render
Precious is, in heaven’s view.
Be not weary, faint not, fear not,—
God assures in language plain,
Any service done for Jesus
Never will be done in vain.

A Corn of Wheat

In the early pioneer days of Ontario, Canada, a farmer, named David Fife, received a small quantity of seed wheat from a friend in Glasgow. He planted this, but, out of the whole plot, one grain only grew and ripened, producing a handful of hard, red grains. Farmer Fife kept the seeds and planted them the next year. He kept on doing this from year to year until there was enough wheat to use himself and sell to his neighbors. In a few years “Red Fife” wheat was in constant demand.
Within twenty or thirty years from the time when the first kernel was sown, “Red Fife” was grown far and wide in the great plains of the West. Since then, from this seed, has come the finest wheat in the world. Picture miles upon miles of ripening wheat, elevators choked to overflowing with golden grain. In a single year there have been grown, in the Canadian west alone, more than four hundred million bushels of “Marquis” wheat—a product of “Red Fife”!
When Farmer Fife planted the seed wheat nearly a hundred years ago, he little dreamed that, from a single kernel, there would spring the overflowing harvests that have helped to fill the granaries of the world!
What a wonderful illustration this is, of the words of the blessed Lord when He said,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
He was the blessed “Corn of Wheat” who died that we might live, and when those myriad voices acclaim Him in the glory voices out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, this will be the theme,
“Thou art worthy  ... for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood.”
Then “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isa. 53:11).

Correspondence: Psa. 138:3; Any Authority for Women Preaching?; Rom. 11:26

Question: Please explain Psalm 138:2: “Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name.”
Answer: The absolute authority of the Word of God is seen in this verse. Jehovah has made His Word great above all His renown. We must therefore receive and honor the written Word above all that we have heard of Him: above everything else.
Question: Is there any authority in the Word of God for women preaching? Does Acts 2:16-17, give any?
Answer: 1 Corinthians 14:34-36 and 1 Timothy 2:12, distinctly forbid women speaking in public, or taking a place as teacher or preacher to men. We never find a woman speaking publicly in Scripture. Mary carried a message to the brethren (John 20:17-18.) Philip had four daughters that prophesied, but it must have been privately. They were forbidden to be speakers in the assembly. The quotation from Joel’s prophecy will be fulfilled in the day of Israel’s restoration. The Apostle said, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;” that is, it was of the same kind. It was not drunkenness, as they supposed.
Question: Please explain, “And all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).
Answer: Just now, Jews and Gentiles are all alike needy sinners, are all concluded in unbelief. (Rom. 11:32, John 3:36). All now must accept Christ and His atoning work on the cross.
Ezekiel 37:11-12. “The whole house of Israel” is the uniting of the two and the ten tribes together into one stick, one kingdom. “I will open your graves,” in this passage and in Daniel 12:2, is taking the Israelites out from among the heathen nations and bringing them into their own land (Ezek. 37:21).
Zechariah 12:9-13:1. This is the way the Lord brings every one of them who will be saved, to repentance, and the fountain is opened for them; but in Zechariah 13:8-9, we see two-thirds of them cut off and die; in Ezekiel 20, it is the ten tribes who are brought into the wilderness and are purged there, so that the rebels do not enter into the land at all. (Ezek. 20:34-38). (Read also Matt. 13:41-42).
The Antichrist is himself a Jew (Dan. 11:37), and is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).
But in the Millennium, when the covenant is established with Israel (the ten tribes), and with Judah (the two tribes), then each of them shall know the Lord, from the least of them unto the greatest of them (Heb. 8:8-12; Ezek. 36:25-29).

A Good Old Love Story

After I had lain for some weeks in a hospital the nurse-in-charge inquired of me, one Lord’s Day morning, whether I would like to get up for a short while, and to be back into bed by dinner-time, so as to be ready for my friends when they came to see me, as it was visiting-day.
“Yes,” I replied, “I should much like to do so.”
In the next bed to mine lay a poor ungodly man. He openly confessed that there existed nothing beyond this life for him, and that when he died, he would be buried like a dog. He knew well that he was rapidly passing away through consumption, and yet he only used the name of God in oaths and curses.
Upon seeing me nearly dressed, he exclaimed,
“No. 16, will you go to the bookcase, and get me some book or other?”
I promised that I would, if my injured legs would carry me as far, and at the same time, looking up to the Lord for strength, I asked him,
“What kind of book would you like?” His answer was,
“A good old love-story—a jolly old love-tale.”
I began to reproach myself for having asked him what kind of book he would like; it would have been better, perhaps, had I made the choice; but I felt I could not go from my promise.
The nurse having left the ward for a few minutes, I got as far as the bookcase, and then once more looked up to God my Father for His guidance as to what book to take back to the poor fellow. The moment that I opened the bookcase door, John 3:16 came to my mind:
I reached a Bible that I noticed in the bookcase, and opening it at John 3:16, I gave it to the man, fully expecting to have it thrown at my head. I knew the kind of man he was, for I had spoken to him of the Word of Life before.
For some little while he seemed dumbfounded and only stared at me. At length he ejaculated,
“You are a fair knock-out!”
I do not think I shall ever forget his look as he said it.
The Lord now encouraged me to speak a few words, telling him that was “the truest love-tale” that had ever been written, or ever would be!
He seemed to be greatly upset, and I believe that the power of the Holy Spirit was deeply convicting him of sin.
Within an hour of my being dressed I was ordered back into bed by the nurse. My part was done; God in His wondrous love had used me—one of his weakest ones both spiritually and bodily—to get him “the true love-story,” but it remained for the Holy Spirit to complete the work for the Lord’s glory.
For about three weeks I was not well enough to be out of bed again.
The poor man continued all this time to read the Word of God whenever awake. Often when he fell asleep the Bible would be lying open upon his chest or be still clasped in his hands.
The nurse would sometimes remove it while he was sleeping, but as soon as he awoke, he would give the nurse no rest until she had again handed it to him.
Then followed by leaving the hospital for a convalescent home, an event which caused him to say how much he wished he were going with me. But I could obtain no word from him to show that he was resting upon Jesus as his Saviour.
After returning from the appointed stay at the convalescent home, I crawled up into the Ward F. and hoped also to see the sick man.
I found, however, that the bed he had lain in was occupied now by another patient. I asked one of the nurses about him, and she replied that he had died several days previously. As to how he had passed away I could learn nothing from her.
Several weeks elapsed before I had the opportunity of seeing Staff-nurse T—who was a true believer in Jesus. She had been with him when he was called away, and said that his dying bed was one of the happiest that she had ever seen; for he had passed away rejoicing in the one whose name, at one time, he never heard mentioned without swearing at it.
Was not this another “brand plucked out of the fire?”
Yes! and that too by reading the best “Good old Love-Story” the earth has ever had brought to it.
Reader, if you have not heard in your heart this “Love-Story”—if you are still unprepared for Eternity—go to God’s Word and read of Him who loved you and gave Himself for you; and pray that the Holy Spirit may bring home the old, old story with conviction to your heart and soul.
Dear Young Christian, use every opportunity to tell of your blessed Lord Jesus, and what He has done for you, and He will be glorified, and your reward will be great in the coming Day.

The Well of Bethlehem: 2 Samuel 23

“And David longed, and said, O that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”
Such was the breathing of David’s heart—a breathing which met with a speedy and hearty response from three members of that devoted and heroic band which flocked around him in the cave of Adullam.
“And the three mighty men broke through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David.”
There was no command issued. No one in particular was singled out and commissioned to go. There was the simple utterance of the desire, and this it was which afforded the opportunity for genuine affection and true devotedness. Had there been a specific command given to anyone, it would merely have afforded an occasion for ready obedience; but the utterance of a desire developed that ardent attachment to the person of David which is so lovely to behold.
And mark the actings of David in this most touching scene:
“Nevertheless, he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? Therefore he would not drink of it.”
It was a sacrifice too costly for any save Jehovah Himself, and hence David would not permit the sweet odor of it to be interrupted in its ascent to the throne of God.
How little did those three mighty men imagine that their act of loving devotedness should be recorded on the eternal page of inspiration, there to be read by untold millions. They never thought of this. Their hearts were set on David, and they counted not their lives dear unto them, so that they might gratify him or refresh his spirit. Had they acted to get a name or a place for themselves, it would have robbed their act of all its charms, and consigned it to its merited contempt and oblivion. But no; they loved David. This was the spring of their activity, and they proved that he was more precious to their hearts than life itself. They forgot all in the one absorbing object of serving David, and the odor of their sacrifice ascended to the throne of God, while the record of their deed shines on the page of inspiration, and shall continue to shine so long as that page endures.
O! how we long for something like this in reference to the true David, in this the day of His rejection. We do greatly covet a more intense and self-sacrificing devotedness as the fruit of the constraining love of Christ. It is not, by any means, a question of working for rewards, for a crown, or for a place, though we fully believe in the doctrine of rewards. No! the very moment we make rewards our object, we are below the mark.
We believe that service rendered with the eye upon the reward would be defective. But then we believe also that every jot or tittle of true service will be rewarded in the day of Christ’s glory, and that each servant will get his place in the record, and his niche in the kingdom according to the measure of his personal devotedness down here. This we hold to be a great practical truth, and we press it as such upon the attention of the Christian reader. We must confess, we long to see the standard of devotedness greatly raised among us, and this can only be effected by having our hearts more entirely consecrated to Christ and His cause.
O Lord, revive Thy work!

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 5:14-21

The Apostle continues telling what underlay his service for Christ—the principles which indeed necessarily underlie true and intelligent service for the Heavenly one. He has said, in verse 11,
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men,” having in his soul a deep sense of the character of God’s judgment of sin, though without fear for himself, for it was his habit to walk in the light. But now he names a more compelling motive in his life of service than the thought of impending and overwhelming judgment upon the lost—the love of Christ, that matchless love that led God’s beloved and only Son from God’s fullest glory, down to Calvary’s depth of woe, there giving His life that sinners might live.
Verse 14: “For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead.”
One indeed has died for all; He gave Himself a ransom for all, as it is said in 1 Timothy 2:6. That could not have been unless all was over with man. There was no possibility of improving the human race or any of its members, for all were spiritually in a state of death.
Paul could say to the believers at Ephesus (Ephesians 2:1),
“You were dead in trespasses and sins.  ... But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved).” One has said,
“I do not know anything on the world’s side of Christ’s grave, except this, that they are all dead in sins.” And another,
“Thus the Apostle sees death come in for all, and judgment awaiting men as such; and because this was the fact for all, Christ died for all. Promises avail not, nor the kingdom; so complete is man’s ruin. Else a living Messiah would have sufficed. But no, only a Saviour that died could meet the case.”
Verse 15: “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.”
All were dead, and out of the number, some live by reason of Christ’s death; they have not been left in the state in which they were by nature. Henceforth they are to live to Him who died for them and rose again.
The young Christian will notice that the Scriptures never say, as some mistakenly do, that Christ died for the sins of all; He did not. We may notice the language of Hebrews 9:28:
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” And in Romans 3:22,
“... righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe;” free to all for the taking, but only theirs who believe.
The value of the death of Christ is such that none need be lost; all may be saved by putting their trust in Him; but the solemn fact is that all do not come to Him; they do not want salvation since it can only be obtained in that way, God’s way.
Verse 16. “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.”
A great change has taken place in the believer’s life, though he may not realize its extent at first. Let us take note of this change as we see it in the Apostle Paul. Writing to the Philippians (chapter 3) he speaks of having no confidence in the flesh—in the old self, though in himself by nature, and apart from the work of God in his soul, there had been much to boast of. But, he says,
“What things were gain to me those I counted loss for Christ.”
Worldly honor, riches, all that the world esteems highly, now meant nothing, and less than nothing to him. To these Corinthians he has said (chapter 4, verse 5),
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
“Christ after the flesh” (verse 16) refers to Himself as living on the earth. He might have taken the place that was His, of being Israel’s Messiah, but He has passed through death; the world has never seen Him since He died on the cross. Another scene has claimed Him, and if Paul had ever known Him as in connection with the present scene, in whom all the promises centered, henceforth in that way he knew Him no more. As now known, He was the one who died for him, and rose again.
Verses 17, 18. “So if any one be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new, and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and given to us the ministry of that reconciliation” (JND).
We, believers, are in Christ, are part of a new creation; the world we have left behind us, is in a state of death in God’s sight. For us, the old things to which we were attached have passed away; all things have become new and all of God, the God who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.
How wonderfully, and how completely, God has provided for His children, even for the feeblest and the least intelligent of them. And we see that all this is ours now, before we reach our heavenly home. May we know, and desire to know yet more, in a practical way the place we have been brought into through God’s grace.
Verse 19. “How that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning to them their offenses; and putting in us the word of that reconciliation” (JND).
A ministry of reconciliation had been given to Paul to make known. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, that world from its beginning had turned a deaf ear to His messengers, and at length, had taken His Son and crucified Him. What marvelous condescension, what unexampled favor to those that were rebels at heart and in action. Further, He was not reckoning to them their offenses. The proclamation was of mercy, where judgment was due.
Verses 20, 21. “We are ambassadors therefore for Christ, God as it were beseeching by us, we intreat for Christ, Be reconciled. Him who knew not sin He has made sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness in Him” (JND).
The Apostle was then Christ’s ambassador in the world, as the Lord had said of him at the time of his conversion (Acts 9:15):
“He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; for I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
As no other man, Paul was the ambassador of his Master. God, as it were, beseeching by him, he intreated for Christ, Be reconciled.
But wonderful as God’s grace has been seen to be in the verses we have been reading, a greater depth than this is revealed in verse 21:
“Him who knew not sin, He has made sin for us,” laying for us His unsparing judgment of sin on Him. So we read in the prophetic statement of Isaiah 53:6,
“The Lord (Jehovah) hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Without this there is no salvation). And more, in the purposes of divine grace: “that we might become God’s righteousness in Him.”
It is only here in this passage that believers are said to become righteousness of God in Christ. This is seen first in Christ in virtue of His work risen, ascended, glorified; and now in us as associated with Him. Marvelous, God’s grace is; who can measure it? Who tell its worth?

The Man of Sorrows

“He is despised and left alone of men; a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, and like one from whom men hide their faces—despised, and we esteemed Him not.”
Isaiah 53:3 (JND).
O! ever homeless Stranger,
Thus, dearest Friend to me;
An outcast in the manger,
That Thou might’st with us be!
How rightly rose the praises
Of heaven that wondrous night—
When shepherds hid their faces
In brightest angel-light!
More just those acclamations,
Than when the glorious band
Chanted earth’s deep foundations—
Just laid by God’s right hand.
Come now, and view that manger—
The Lord of glory see,
A houseless, homeless stranger,
In this poor world for thee—
‘To God in the highest, glory,
And peace on earth’ to find;
And learn that wondrous story—
‘Good pleasure in mankind.’
O, strange, yet fit beginning
Of all that life of woe,
In which Thy grace was winning
Poor man his God to know!
Bless’d babe! who lowly liest
In manger-cradle there;
Descended from the highest,
Our sorrows all to share:
O, suited now in nature
For Love’s divinest ways,
To make the fallen creature
The vessel of Thy praise!
O Love! all thought surpassing!
That thou should’st with us be:
Nor yet in triumph passing;
But human infancy!
We cling to Thee in weakness—
The manger and the cross;
We gaze upon Thy meekness,
Through suffering, pain and loss;
There see the Godhead glory
Shine through that human veil;
And willing, hear the story
Of Love that’s come to heal!
My soul in secret follows
The footsteps of His love;
I trace the Man of Sorrows,
His boundless grace to prove.
A child in growth and stature,
Yet full of wisdom rare:
Sonship, in conscious nature,
His words and ways declare.
Yet still, in meek submission,
His patient path He trod,
To wait His heavenly mission,
Unknown to all but God.
But who, Thy path of service,
Thy steps removed from ill,
Thy patient love to serve us,
With human tongue can tell?
‘Midst sin and all corruption,
Where hatred did abound,
Thy path of true perfection
Was light on all around.
In scorn, neglect, reviling,
Thy patient grace stood fast;
Man’s malice unavailing
To move Thy heart to haste.
O’er all, Thy perfect goodness
Rose blessedly divine;
Poor hearts oppressed with sadness,
Found ever rest in Thine!
The strong man in his armor
Thou meetest in Thy grace;
Didst spoil the mighty charmer
Of our unhappy race.
The chain of man, his victim,
Were loosened by Thy hand,
No evils that afflict him
Before Thy power could stand.
Disease, and death, and demon
All fled before Thy Word—
As darkness, the dominion
Of day’s returning lord!
The love, that bore our burden
On the accursed tree,
Would give the heart its pardon,
And set the sinner free!
Love that made Thee a mourner
In this sad world of woe,
Made wretched man a scorner
Of grace—that brought Thee low.
Still, in Thee, love’s sweet savor
Shone forth in every deed;
And showed God’s loving favor
To every soul in need.
I pause:—for on Thy vision,
The day is hastening now,
When, for our lost condition,
Thy holy head shall bow;
When, deep to deep still calling,
The waters reach Thy soul,
And—death and wrath appalling—
Their waves shall o’er Thee roll.
O day of mightiest sorrow,
Day of unfathomed grief;
When Thou shouldst taste the horror
Of wrath, without relief:
O day of man’s dishonor!
When, for Thy love supreme,
He sought to mar Thine honor,
Thy glory turn to shame.
O day of our confusion!
When Satan’s darkness lay,
In hatred and delusion,
On ruined nature’s way.
Thou soughtest for compassion—
Some heart Thy grief to know,
To watch Thine hour of passion—
For comforters in woe:
No eye was found to pity—
No heart to bear Thy woe:
But shame, and scorn, and spitting—
None cared Thy name to know.
The pride of careless greatness
Could wash its hands of Thee:
Priests, that should plead for weakness
Must Thine accusers be!
Man’s boasting love disowns thee;
Thine own the danger flee;
A Judas only owns Thee—
That Thou may’st captive be.
O man! how hast thou proved
What in thy heart is found;
By grace divine unmoved
By self in fetters bound.
Yet, with all grief acquainted,
The Man of Sorrows view,
Unmoved—by ill untainted—
The path of grace pursue.
In death, obedience yielding
To God, His Father’s will,
Love still its power is wielding
To meet all human ill.
On him who had disowned Thee,
Thine eye could look in love—
‘Midst threats and taunts around Thee
To tears of grace to move.
What words of love and mercy
Flow from those lips of grace,
For followers that desert Thee;
For sinners in disgrace!
The robber learned beside Thee,
Upon the cross of shame—
While taunts and jeers deride Thee—
The savor of Thy name.
Then, finished all, in meekness
Thou to Thy Father’s hand
(Perfect Thy strength in weakness),
Thy spirit dost commend.
O Lord! Thy wondrous story,
My inmost soul doth move;
I ponder o’er Thy glory—
Thy lonely path of love!
But, O Divine Sojourner,
‘Midst man’s unfathomed ill,
Love, that made Thee a mourner,
It is not man’s to tell.
We worship, when we see Thee
In all Thy sorrowing path;
We long soon to be with Thee
Who bore for us the wrath!
Come, then, expected Saviour;
Thou Man of Sorrows, come!
Almighty, Blest Deliverer!
And take us to Thee—Home.

Young Christians in the Service: Part 3

During some special meetings in S— in 1939, we had the joy of seeing B. find the Lord Jesus as his own Saviour. It was a happy case of conversion, and B. gave good testimony on returning to his home town and old surroundings. At that time he was a student in high school, and there he was not ashamed to confess Christ. His old companions soon learned from his own lips that he had been saved.
Frequently he took gospel tracts and Christian literature along with him to school and read them during spare time.
To come to the main point before us, however, we must pass over the intervening time of his employment and testimony there, and come down to the present time.
Today B. is in the government service and is assigned to a large hospital ship. There in new surroundings, he is witnessing for his Lord.
Shortly after B. took his place on this ship, the chaplain took special notice of him. It was the chaplain’s duty to censor the ship’s mail, and there was something about our young Christian friend’s mail that attracted him. Being a true Christian himself, he soon perceived from B.’s mail that there was a real child of God aboard; for his letters spoke of the Lord Jesus and of the precious things in the Word of God. The chaplain sent for B. and together they had some happy conversation about the Lord and His things.
After a time, B. asked the chaplain if they could have some prayer meetings aboard ship. The suggestion being approved, the first meeting was announced. There were only five present that first time—the chaplain, B., and three chief petty officers. It was not long, however, until more became interested and attended these meetings which has become a weekly occurrence. Later a Bible reading was started, and many of the men came. This real testimony aboard the large ship has continued through the months.
Recently B. wrote home that he had a wonderful opportunity for the gospel there. The handling of many sick and wounded gives a special opportunity for testifying to the saving grace of God. B. is meeting thousands of men who have come from all parts of the country, and is seeking in a quiet way, as the Lord may lead, to carry the message of the love of God, and a full, free salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord keep dear B. faithful to Himself and use him to the salvation of many.
B.’s family and the Christians with whom he was associated in his home town, miss him very much. Needless to say, B. also longs for them, and will be happy when the time comes that he can return. There is also the prospect that the Lord may come any day. Then all the redeemed shall be gathered Home together to see that blessed one who died for us. The difficulties and trials of the wilderness journey will not mar the happiness and joy of that scene of glory. We shall then be able to look back over all the way the Lord hath led us, and praise Him for His love, wisdom, and power. We shall bless the hand that guided, and the heart that planned, as we see how God has used the wrath of man to praise Him.
The Lord also encourages us now with the prospect of the rewards He shall give for faithfulness down here. It is true that love to the Lord should provide the motive for all service, but will it not be a blessed thing to receive His commendation? Will not many of these dear boys hear from His lips,
“Well done, good and faithful servant”?
May we all cherish such a prospect and seek now to serve and live for Him who died for us. The Lord has given to each of us a special place to fill, and a special service to perform.
“For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch” (Mark 13:34). Well may each one of us inquire,
“Am I doing the work the Lord gave me to do?”
A faithful servant will not seek to please himself, but the one who entrusted him with the service. It is also well to remember that serving the Lord means more than just lip service; it means being a testimony as well as bearing a testimony.
May those with whom we meet, not only hear from our lips a confession of the Lord, but take knowledge of us from our conduct that we have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Extract: Settled in Sodom

Would any like to be as Lot, settled down in Sodom? God burnt up the place, and drew him out of it; showing that He would not be a party to such a walk as that.

Correspondence: Psalm 22:21; John 14:12

Question: Please explain the 21St verse of Psalm 22, and what does it mean, especially the part, “My darling from the power of the dog?”
Answer: “My soul” as we see by its use elsewhere (Num. 23:10), is the equivalent in Hebrew, to, “Myself,” and “my only one;” (my darling) answers to it in parallel. The Hebrew word here is used “poetically for life, as peerless or unique, not to be equaled or replaced.” Hence the verse would mean “deliver My soul from the sword (death); My life from the power of the dog (Gentile).”
Question: What is meant in John 14:12,
“Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father”?
Answer: The Lord is speaking about going away to the Father, and the Holy Spirit coming down to them. The result of this would be the power of the Spirit of God seen in them doing greater works than were seen in Christ, now seen in mortal men. It would be Christ’s power in glory by the Spirit, the source of them. So Peter’s shadow, and handkerchiefs taken from Paul, would do cures.
J. N. Darby says, “A striking proof was connected with His departure. After He was gone they would do even greater works than He did, because they should act in connection with His greater nearness to the Father. This was requisite to His glory. It was even unlimited. He placed them in immediate connection with the Father by the power of His work and of His name. Christ Himself would do it for them; their request should be heard, and granted by the Father, showing what nearness He had in view for them.”

Not Ashamed to Do Anything for Jesus

“Does your brother ever speak a word for Jesus when he is at home on his vacation holidays?”
There was manifest uneasiness before the answer came, and when it did come, it was with anything but good grace from a minister’s daughter.
“My brother is a gentleman, Mr. S— , he does not believe in these street preachings, which are now so common. If common people are supposed to be able to preach, what is the use of spending years at the University?”
The above remarks brought rather abruptly to a close, a conversation which had been going on in the country manse where the minister’s accomplished daughter, who kept house for her widowed father, entertained on a Saturday night, the preacher who was to fill her father’s pulpit the following day, while he was absent at “The General Assembly.”
Her brother—an only son, and much thought of—was a student in the University. Whether the stranger assumed that he was “born again,” and therefore engaged in winning others to Christ during his holidays, as many Christians happily are; or whether the question was meant to bring out the spiritual whereabouts of the minister’s daughter, I know not, but if the latter, it did not fail in its object. She was clearly shocked at the idea of her brother being a street preacher, which she assumed was what the visitor meant by “speaking a word for Jesus,” and assured him in an air of conscious dignity, that none of their family had ever condescended to anything so mean as “revival” preaching.
Little more was said that night, but on the morrow, the earnest preacher feeling he was in a “valley of dry bones,” rang out the gospel message in no uncertain sound, and even “spoke a word for Jesus” at the corner after the evening service.
As he was preparing to return by the morning train to his home, the minister’s daughter entered the room, flushed and excited, carrying a letter from her brother which had come in by the morning mail, in her hand.
“This is from Jack,” she said, “but I cannot make him out. He says some one has been holding services for students, and he has been converted.”
“Praise the Lord for that,” said the stranger.
“And that isn’t the worst of it,” continued the excited girl, “he is coming here next Sunday, with several students, to preach on the street. I must write at once to my father, and get him to stop the whole thing.”
“That may not be so easily done, Miss L— ,” said the stranger, who now stood bag in hand ready to depart, “for when the love of Christ gets into one’s heart in full tide, it carries all before it like Niagara. Give your brother my kindest regards, and say, I shall pray that he and his companions may have a royal day next Sunday, and many souls for Jesus.”
Early on Saturday afternoon, Jack appeared; the same ruddy youth, full of life and vigor as before, but with a new luster in his eye. Kissing his sister as he stepped across the threshold, he said aloud,
“Hallelujah! what a Saviour.”
Jack knew well he was in for a battle, but was determined to have the honor of being first in the field. At tea, he told the whole story of his conversion, how he had kicked against the truth, fought against his convictions, how pride kept him from owning himself a sinner in need of a Saviour, and how at last every prop gave way, and he cast himself upon Christ, and was saved.
“And now Nellie,” said the happy young believer, “you get me some paste and a brush, and I will bill the village for tomorrow’s meeting; I came early on purpose.”
This was too much for his sister’s dignity; she refused. But Jack soon got the necessaries for himself, and in half-an-hour appeared with bills, paste and brush, ready for the road. Nellie knew it was no use opposing or objecting, so she simply said,
“I wonder you’re not ashamed.”
“Not ashamed to do anything for Jesus, Nell, He has done much for me,” said the happy student, and in a moment he was off.
The morrow came: a memorable day too it was, which many of the villagers will have good cause to remember, for many of them heard the gospel in its simplicity and clearness for the first time that day. God saved sinners, and among the first to fall by the edge of the sword of the Spirit, and to be born of God, was Nellie, the minister’s daughter. She was a very different Nellie then, and learned to bear reproach for Jesus’ sake.
Reader, has your pride of heart been humbled, and have you as a lost and guilty sinner been saved to serve the Lord Jesus? If so, you will know it, and you will not be ashamed to do anything for Jesus now.
“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).

Fragment: Christianity of the Closet and the Busy Life

The Christianity of the closet, and the Christianity of busy life, are not, as is often fancied, conflicting things. The man who has fellowship with Jesus in his solitude, knows how to carry the savor of the fellowship even into the most common affairs. There is need of prayer in this matter. For though we be convinced that there is but one thing needful, we are easily led away, like Martha, to be busy and trouble ourselves about “many things.” Many things we must needs do and care about, while we are in the body; but the work to which Christ calls us is to do and care about these things in such a spirit as to make them part and parcel of our great work—the work of keeping close to Jesus, and of following Him whithersoever He goeth.
If only willing to leave all and follow Christ, He would make the cross not heavy to be borne, but a delight, more pleasant than to the miser is his load of gold, or to the earthly monarch are his insignia of power.
My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).

Extract: The Highest Kind of Prayer

The highest kind of prayer is that which does not spring from the sense of need, but from the desires which the revelation of God’s purposes produce.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 6:1-13

The Apostle in the last verses of the fifth chapter spoke of the word of the gospel he carried to the world,—the ministry of reconciliation. He now (verse 1) addresses the careless believers and mere professors of the name of Christ at Corinth. The two words in italics, “with Him” (added by the translators), may be omitted, for it is as “fellow workmen”, or “jointly laboring” (in God’s service) that Paul, associating others with himself in the work as he constantly did, turns to the Corinthians to whom the epistle is addressed, beseeching them that they receive not the grace of God in vain.
Those there in whom there was faith needed to be aroused to a walk much more according to the mind of God than was their habit, and they who only professed Christianity must be reminded that lip profession, baptism and attendance at meetings—things good, in themselves,—are valueless before God, without the reception of the message of His salvation into the heart by way of the conscience.
The parenthetic quotation in the second verse is from Isaiah 49:8; there the reference is to the blessing to be brought to man after Christ’s rejection by the Jews.
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation,” says the Holy Spirit by the Apostle. The time of the promised blessing has arrived, and it must be taken advantage of.
Since the word of the gospel was first published, many millions of human beings have lived and died—gone into eternity, either saved or lost; either as believers, let us say; or unconcerned about their souls; either heeding or ignoring God’s “now is the day of salvation.”
In which of the two classes are you who read these lines, passing on quickly on life’s short journey?
Verse 3. Led by the Spirit of God, Paul writes now of the way he carried on his ministry, the conduct which marked his course as the Lord’s servant, His ambassador; conduct which befitted one to whom it was given in a special way to represent the risen and ascended Christ. Appropriately he begins,
“Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.”
This surely is a suited motto for every one who essays to serve Christ! One to be remembered and made effective upon all occasions and in all circumstances.
Verses 4, 5. The Apostle continues:
“But in everything commending ourselves as God’s ministers, in much endurance, in afflictions, in necessities, in straits, in stripes, in prisons, in riots, in labors, in watchings, in fastings  ... ”
The path he trod was that of his Master; in it we see nothing of self-display, nothing of making for himself a place of honor or distinction; no avoidance of trial, whether the circumstances arose from the enmity of Satan, the opposition of ignorant men to the light of God’s truth, or a low spiritual state among the believers.
Verses 6, 7. “ ... In pureness, in knowledge, in long suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Ghost, in love unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God, through the arms of righteousness on the right hand and left..”
We are sensibly led deeper into the ways of the beloved Apostle as he had been taught of God. A common worldly saying is,
“Practice what you preach;” that is exactly what Paul did, and it ought to be a distinguishing mark of every one who would serve the Lord.
“In the Holy Ghost” would be under His guidance and direction, not necessarily with power displayed; “in the power of God” brings in power, and this is by the Holy Ghost.
“The arms of righteousness” were Paul’s, not the righteousness of God conferred upon believers, but uprightness of conduct.
Verses 8-10. “ ... through glory and dishonor; through evil report and good report; as deceivers and true; as unknown and well-known; as dying and behold, we live; as disciplined and not put to death; as grieved, but always rejoicing; as poor, but enriching many; as having nothing and possessing all things.” Whether held in honor or the reverse, Paul kept on his course with unaltered purpose.
To his beloved Philippians (chapter 1:20-21) he wrote, “according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” And to the elders of the church or assembly at Ephesus who came to him at Miletus (Acts 20) Paul said,
“Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.  ... And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there, save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Never since, we are persuaded, has the Lord had so devoted a servant as Paul.
In verse 11, the Apostle turns again to the saints at Corinth in the warmth of an affection born of God. As we noticed in the first two chapters, the Corinthians had judged themselves on account of their ways as set before them in the first epistle, and Paul had now much liberty in writing to them.
“Our mouth is opened to you, Corinthians, our heart is expanded. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your affections; but for an answering recompense (I speak as to children) let your heart also expand itself” (JND).
There was ample room in Paul’s heart for these saints; not in equal measure was there room in their affections for him. He sought it now from them, and at the same time would exhort them regarding their associations.
(To be continued)


On the evening of the first day of the week, Jesus, risen from the dead, said to His disciples,
“Peace unto you.”
He spoke that day as the mighty Conqueror, as well as the loving Saviour. He Himself alone had borne the weight of His people’s sins upon the cross. He had been wounded for their transgressions, and had endured the wrath of God against sin. He had died, but through death He had deprived the devil of the power of death. He had been buried, but He had broken the bars of the tomb. Peace—perfect peace—everlasting peace, the Conqueror had won. Henceforth and forever the fruit of His atoning work is peace.
Having spoken peace to His disciples, the Lord showed them His hands and His side, and in those wounds we see, by faith, that His work on the cross is finished and complete, and, by looking upon Him, risen to die no more, joy and peace in believing fill the heart.
Having spoken peace to their hearts, Jesus said to them again,
“Peace unto you.”
Why should He speak peace a second time? The hearts of the disciples were glad at the sight of Him—He was their assurance and their joy. Then why did He say to them again, “Peace”?
The first time He spoke peace to them for themselves—the second, for the sake of others. Filled with peace, Jesus would have them go forth laden with His love, and with the sense of the value of His great work to the weary, sin-stricken world.
“As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you,”
His Father had sent Him from His own heart to the children of men, and the return for that love was the crown of thorns, the nails, the spear of Calvary; but now Jesus was risen from the dead, and from the far side of the grave, He sends His messengers to speak peace to the very world of sinners that crucified Him. Yes, from His very heart He sends forth His disciples, and from the resurrection shore, commissions them to proclaim His victory and His love in this world of sin and death.
Fellow disciple, have you the joy in your heart of knowing that, in and through the Lord, yours is peace? Then let your steps be swift: the Lord sends you forth from His heart with the word of peace. Go forth—the messenger from the heart of your Saviour to the souls of men—the messenger of peace.

Hurling Texts

An invalid Christian woman, poor in this world, but rich in faith and good works, was in the habit of gathering a company of young Christian girls around her couch, and feeding them with the corn of heaven. She was a woman of great faith in the efficacy of God’s blessed Word, both in the salvation of sinners, and in the building up and warfare of the saints. It was the usual way at their simple gatherings, to read a chapter of the Scriptures, verse about all round. Then the invalid would speak to them on it, and after that, each was at liberty to ask questions, or seek help in any difficulty. These were happy seasons, and many a lamb of the Good Shepherd’s flock was fed there, and went forth strengthened to do battle with the powers of evil, and to conquer. The subject of their meditation one evening was,
“The temptation of the Lord in the wilderness, and His victory by the use of the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
“But what should we do when Satan does not go away, but rather increases the temptations?” asked a thoughtful-looking girl, who had been listening very attentively while the various stages of the devil’s art were being described, and the Lord’s repeated “It is written” emphasized.
The question seemed to express the thoughts of others in the company, for when it was asked, several nodded their approval of it, and eagerly awaited the answer. The good woman smiled—she evidently knew by experience its meaning—and said,
“Keep hurling the texts at him, dearie; never missing a stroke, till he leaves you with the angels, as he did the Lord. Some of David’s mighty men could hurl stones with both hands (1 Chron. 12:2), and I suppose they knew where to get them too. That’s what you’ll have to learn too, so mind you get well versed in your Bibles, so that you may have the Word dwelling in your hearts. Then no fear, but you’ll have plenty to give him when he stays long.”
The girls smiled, but they did not forget the sound counsel of the Lord’s hand-maid. Young believer, I would repeat her words,
“Keep hurling the texts” at the adversary, in the hour of temptation. But mind, in order to have the texts to hurl, you must meditate on the Word, and have it abiding in you. Then the right stones—the sayings from God—will be given you, to use against Satan, until he retire from you, defeated by the sharp edge of the Spirit’s Sword.

Extract: God Chooses Weak Things

How hard it is to receive that the work of God, and of His Christ, is always in weakness! The rulers of the people saw in Peter and John unlearned and ignorant men.
The thorn in the flesh made Paul despised, and he conceived it would be better if that were gone.
It is God’s rule of action, if we may so say, to choose weak things. Everything must rest on God’s power; otherwise God’s work cannot be done according to His mind. For the work of God, we must be weak, that the strength may be of God; and this work will last when all the earth shall be moved away.

Young Christians in the Service: Part 4

“It is a wonderful thing how the cells of skin grow.”
The speaker, an army surgeon, was addressing a young private whom we shall call C. Both being on duty that night in a large army hospital. A very interesting discourse followed as the officer went on to relate some of the wonders of skin grafting. C. enjoyed what was said, but being a true and earnest Christian, soon let his light shine by making some remarks about the wonders of creation and about the Creator.
The officer showed his colors, also, by saying that he was an atheist, and that he failed to see the mark of God in the wonders of the human body. This gave C. an opportunity to affirm his faith in God, and to give good testimony before his superior. It was nearing midnight, but the conversation went on as the officer set forth the theories of evolution, declaring that he preferred to believe that man evolved from a monkey, rather than believe that God created him. Finally C. said:
“Well, if there could be a chance that I am mistaken, I have certainly lost nothing, for I have great joy and consolation in God and His Word. I would not want to do without God and the Lord Jesus. But if you, Lieutenant, should be mistaken, you have lost everything. You have not the joy of salvation now, and would be lost for all eternity.”
The officer finished his work in the ward, but before leaving turned to C. and said,
“I guess you think I’m a bad fellow, don’t you?” After a little hesitation C. replied,
“I am just sorry for you, and regret very much that you take such a stand.”
As the officer left, C. lifted his heart to God that some word might reach this needy soul.
Circumstances have now separated these two men. C. remains in the ward seeking to let his light shine as he has opportunity; the officer is somewhere in foreign service. Our heart’s desire and prayer to God, is, that the faithful and unassuming testimony given him that night in the ward office may follow him, and some day come home with quickening power to his soul. May he yet know and enjoy that same blessed Saviour.
The above incident brings to mind the faithful testimony given one day to king Agrippa by the beloved apostle Paul. The Apostle was on trial before the king; but Paul preached the gospel to him, and pleaded so earnestly with him that the king stopped him by saying,
“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,” whereupon Paul beautifully expressed, not only his faith in God, but also his entire joy and satisfaction in what he had in Christ. The Apostle did not say in reply that he wished the king were a Christian. Listen to his words of true elevation, yet spoken in all meekness.
“I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds” (Acts 26:29).
He could wish nothing greater or better for the king and all who heard him, than they should possess and enjoy the same blessings he had. This is also in line with the word given to us in 1 Peter 3:15:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
Dear young Christians, whether you are away in the government service, or at home, in the school, office, or shop, seek to be more occupied with the Lord Jesus, enjoying Him and His things in your hearts. It is not enough to know these things in your heads, or to have the truth ever so clearly outlined. What God desires is that you have these things in your hearts, and your affections engaged. If you are enjoying the Lord Jesus and your heart is warm, you will have no great difficulty in giving to others a reason for your own hope and joy. Such testimony that comes from one’s own joy and satisfaction, is of great value, and often does more good than the clearest of sermons.
The Lord Jesus told one man whom He had healed to
“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19).
He was not just told to go and preach, but to tell what he himself had received. That man did it, and there was blessing from his testimony. He had expressed a desire to be with Jesus, but the time had not yet come for that. Some day, very soon, we shall all be taken Home to be with the Lord Jesus forever, but today is the time for witnessing to what He has done for us.

Casting Off

“Let us also therefore, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight, and sin which so easily entangles us, run with endurance the race that lies before us, looking steadfastly on Jesus, the leader and completer of faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2) (JND)
The way in which the apostle here engages the saints to disentangle themselves from every hindrance, whether sin or difficulty, is remarkable; as though they had nothing to do but to cast them off as useless weights. And in fact, when we look at Jesus, nothing is easier; when we are not looking at Him, nothing more impossible.
There are two things to be cast off: every weight, and the sin that would entangle our feet (for he speaks of one who is running in the race). The flesh, the human heart, is occupied with cares and difficulties; and the more we think of them, the more we are burdened by them. It is enticed by the object of its desires; it does not free itself from them. The conflict is with a heart that loves the thing against which we strive; we do not separate ourselves from it in thought. When looking at Jesus, the new man is active; there is a new object, which unburdens and detaches us from every other, by means of a new affection which has its place in a new nature: and in Jesus Himself, to whom we look, there is a positive power which sets us free.
It is by casting off the weight in an absolute way that the thing is easy—by looking at that which fills the heart with other things, and occupies it in a different sphere, where a new object and a new nature act upon each other; and in that object there is a positive power which absorbs the heart, and shuts out all objects that act merely on the old nature. What is felt to be a weight is easily cast off. Everything is judged of by its bearing on the object we aim at.
If I run in a race and all my thought is the prize, a bag of gold is readily cast away. It is a weight. But we must look to Jesus. Only, in Him can we cast off every hindrance easily and without reservation. We cannot combat sin by the flesh.

Vessels of Wrath

“What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:22-23).
It is deeply interesting to the spiritual mind to mark how sedulously the Spirit of God guards against the horrid inference which the human mind draws from the doctrine of God’s election. When He speaks of “vessels of wrath,” He simply says, “fitted to destruction”; He does not say that God “fitted” them. Whereas, on the other hand, when He refers to “the vessels of mercy,” He says, “whom He had afore prepared unto glory.” This is most marked.
If the reader will turn for a moment to Matthew 25:34-41, he will find another striking and beautiful instance of the same thing.
When the King addresses those on His right hand, He says,
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” But when He addresses those on His left, He says,
“Depart from Me, ye cursed.” He does not say, cursed of My Father. And further, He says, “Into everlasting fire, prepared (not for you, but) for the devil and his angels.”
In a word, then, it is plain that God has “prepared” a kingdom of glory, and “vessels of mercy” to inherit that kingdom; but He has not prepared “everlasting fire” for men, but for “the devil and his angels”; nor has He fitted the “vessels of wrath,” but they have fitted themselves.
Every one who finds himself in heaven, will have to thank God for it; and every one that finds himself in hell, will have to thank himself.

Looking Unto Jesus

Looking upwards to the glory
There my Lord I see,
All redemption’s toil completed,
Sitting there for me.
There by faith I now behold Him
Seated on the throne,
And in Him I am accepted,
He and I are one.
All the Father’s love is flowing
Through Him unto me,
And His love, it passeth knowledge,
Boundless, full, and free.
O, how sweet that love I’m tasting
While on earth I roam,
As my feet are pressing onward
To the Father’s home.
Though ‘tis through a barren desert
‘Tis not drear to me,
For His Spirit cheers me onward
Till Himself I see,
Showeth all the wondrous beauty
Of the Lord I love,
And unfolds the hidden treasures
In Himself above.
So my heart is taken captive,
And I want to be
Living only for His glory
Who has so loved me.
As the moments pass, I’m watching
For Himself to come;
With what joy He’ll introduce me
To the Father’s home.
O, the blest anticipation!
When the journey’s o’er,
Sharing alike with Jesus
While my cup runs o’er.
Then, unhindered occupation
Everlasting praise!
Like and with Himself forever
Through eternal days.

Correspondence: Day/Morning Star the Same?; John 12:31-33

Question: Is day star and morning star the same? In what way can it arise in our hearts as in 2 Peter 1:19?
Answer: Yes, both are practically the same. The Jewish hope is for “the Sun of Righteousness” to arise with healing in His wings (Mal. 4). The converted Jews whom Peter addressed had a higher hope—they are to reign with Christ. Correspondingly they have the hope of being caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and this takes place before the day begins. So Revelation 2:28, says about the overcomer, “I will give him the morning star.” Jesus says (Rev. 22:16): “I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright morning Star.” It is His coming they waited for. When He appears they shall appear with Him, and that is the day, but we shall see Him first as the bright, morning Star. The light of the truth of their portion is Christ in glory, and His coming for the saints, is the morning star arising in their hearts. We are waiting for its fruition.
Question: What does John 12:31-33 mean?
Answer: “In His (Christ’s) death the world was judged: Satan was its prince, and he is cast out; in appearance it is Christ who was so. By death He morally and judiciously destroyed him that had the power of death. It was the total and entire annihilation of all the rights of the enemy, over whomsoever and whatsoever it might be, when the Son of God and Son of Man bore the judgment of God as man in obedience unto death. All the rights that Satan possessed through man’s disobedience, and the judgment of God upon it, were only rights in virtue of the claims of God upon man, and come back to Christ alone. And being lifted up between God and the world, in obedience, on the cross, bearing that which was due to sin, Christ became the point of attraction for all men living, that through Him they might draw nigh to God. While living, Jesus ought to have been owned as the Messiah of promise; lifted up from the earth as a victim before God, being no longer of the earth as living upon it, He was the point of attraction towards God for all those who, living on earth, were alienated from God, as we have seen, that they might come to Him there (by grace), and have life through the Saviour’s death.”

Jesus Only

A short time ago the writer was visiting the residence of a lady on business.
He was invited into an upper room, where he found her busily engaged in reading a newspaper; and, as his business was of such a character as not to interrupt, she continued her reading.
When his work was finished, the thought suddenly occurred to him,
“If my Lord and Master were here, He would not leave this room without first setting forth the way of eternal life.”
As he stood considering in what way he should open a conversation, he caught sight of a very large Bible. Going up to it, and turning over its leaves, he said to the lady,
“You have here a very old and valuable book.” She very politely answered,
“Yes, that book has been in our family many years.”
“Indeed! then I should judge you understand something of its contents?”
“I ought so to do,” she replied.
“I have on my mind a very serious question, and how glad I should be if you could answer it,” he remarked.
“O, tell me what it is! I will try to answer it to the best of my ability.”
“Some time ago, I was exercised with the solemn thought of appearing before God. Now, were I to die before evening, can you tell me in what way I could stand before God justified and saved?” Having paused a few seconds, she replied,
“I know of no other way than to keep the Ten Commandments.”
“But I remember reading in the Bible, ‘By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight’” (Rom. 3:20).
“Ah! but stop,” she said, “does not that mean the ceremonial law?”
“Well, I don’t think so; but if it does, I am afraid to say that either moral or ceremonial law is the ground of a sinner’s justification before God.”
“I am afraid you are wrong,” she said.
“I remember reading in the Bible, ‘Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth’ (Rom. 10:4). Now, can you tell me for what purpose the Son of God came into this world?”
“He came to die for sinners; and, if you believe on Him, and keep the commandments, I believe you will be right.”
“But,” he said, “I remember reading in the Bible, ‘By Him (Jesus) all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses’” (Acts 13:39). On hearing this scripture she seemed somewhat puzzled to find an answer. He then said,
“I stand here inquiring as to the way of eternal life, but are you not directing me wrong? First, you tell me to keep the Ten Commandments. Secondly, you tell me to believe in Jesus, and keep the commandments; but here God says that if I believe in Jesus, I am justified from all things, from which I could not be justified by the law of Moses. Whose words shall I believe, yours or God’s?”
“Believe God’s words,” she answered timidly.
“O,” said he, “I will believe God’s words; they are words of life. I am saved through believing them, and shall go to heaven; God says so. How cheering! How comforting! O, the love of God! Would you not be happy if you knew you were now pardoned and saved?”
“Yes, I should,” she answered anxiously.
“O, take the place of a sinner before God at once. Believe on Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, for God says so. But remember, it must be Jesus only.”
Before they parted, she informed the writer that she had attended preaching for many years, and had had the Word of God, the Bible, in her possession or within her reach from childhood. Yet, with all these advantages, she was like too many in circumstances equally favorable, ignorant of the truth that “a man is not justified by the works of the law,” nor by works and Christ, but that, if saved at all, the sinner must be saved by Jesus only.
It need scarcely be said the writer was thankful for the interview. It was a season not easily to be forgotten.
“The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” cut down every prop, removed every difficulty, settled every question, and pointed this unestablished soul to Jesus only!
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).

Tell the Good News

Hulm the great naturalist tells us that if a single wasp discovers a deposit of honey or other food, he will return to his nest and impart the good news to his companions, who will sally forth in great numbers to partake of the fare which has been discovered for them.
Shall we, who have made a greater discovery, even the fountain of living waters, not seek to impart to others this knowledge? Shall we be less considerate of our fellow men than wasps are of their fellow-insects? Ought not we to act like the woman of Samaria, and go and tell the good news to others?

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 6:14-18

“Be not diversely yoked with unbelievers, for what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? or what fellowship of light with darkness? and what consent of Christ with Beliar? or what part for a believer along with an unbeliever? and what agreement of God’s temple with idols? for ye are the living God’s temple, according as God has said, I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be to Me a people.
“Wherefore come out from the midst of them, and be separated, saith the Lord, and touch not what is unclean, and I will receive you; and I will be to you for a Father, and ye shall be to Me for sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (JND).
Important as these instructions for the children of God were in the day in which they were written, they are as important and as binding in our time. There was the open worship of idols then; but these rules for the Christian cover a far wider range, taking in all the associations we may have in the world.
“Be not diversely yoked with unbelievers” suggests a reference to Deuteronomy 22:10, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together,” but a different kind of yoke is in view here. It is a brief statement of great weight, the force of which every Christian must feel, and it calls for separation from the world, in every form and measure.
Perhaps the thought comes to me that I can do much good in association with those who are not believers. Opportunities for service for Christ are there which (I think) I could not have in a narrower path. Besides, I can be an example there to the unsaved, which may (I hope) result in their accepting Christ. What shall be the answer in such a case? There is but one to which I should give heed; it comes from God Himself, and is plainly written in His Word, commanding my obedience: Be not yoked with unbelievers. All other answers to the question, no matter how attractive in appearance, proceed from the believer’s enemy, the devil, though he may make use of a Christian to deliver it to me.
It is God’s desire, for their blessing, to have His children entirely separate in their association from the world. If we look no further than within the five preceding chapters of this epistle, we may form an estimate of what we are to Him.
In chapter 1, we are saints, anointed and sealed and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
In chapter 3, we are the epistle of Christ, written with the Spirit of the living God, and with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.
In chapter 4, God hath shined in our hearts for the shining forth of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
In the fifth chapter we are wrought by God for the heavenly body we shall each possess, and in that connection the earnest of the Spirit has been given; the love of Christ constraining us, we judge that we, once morally dead toward God, but now living, should live, not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again; accordingly, henceforth, we know no one after the flesh; being in Christ we are a new creation, old things are passed away, all things are become new, and all of God who hath reconciled us to Himself; He hath made Him sin for us,—He who knew no sin, that we might be made righteousness of God in Him.
In the well-known and precious passage at the close of Matthew 11, young Christians will remember that there is more than the invitation to the sinner, with a promise made good upon acceptance; an invitation, and a promise to the believer follows:
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (verses 28-30).
With Christ’s yoke taken, how, in faithfulness to Him, can I take also the yoke of the world? It has been truly said,
“Where Christ is not before the heart, the world in one form or another, fails not to ensnare, fair excuses which cover unholy alliances escape detection, and His honor somehow is ere long compromised  ... If blessed with Christ for eternity, you cannot, without sin, have relations with the world.”
May God preserve the writer and the reader from such dishonor to Himself and His Son!
The admirable completeness of the Word of God may be noticed, in connection with a Christian’s marriage, in this chapter and in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16. Here in 2 Corinthians 6, the marriage of a believer to an unbeliever is forbidden by the very language of verses 14 and following, while in 1 Corinthians 7 there are specific instructions for those already married, where the partner is unsaved.
Looking at verses 14 and onward in detail, we see how opposed are the principles, motives, interests and ways of the child of God to those of the world. First, the principles of the one and the other come before us:
“For what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? or what fellowship of light with darkness?”
Believers are made righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), and they are light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8).
Verse 15. “And what consent of Christ with Beliar? or what part for a believer along with an unbeliever?”
Here the characteristic heads are viewed, and the followers. The word Belial occurs 16 times in the Old Testament, and means simply wickedness,— “sons of wickedness,” for example; but here alone in the New Testament it is Beliar, evidently referring to Satan. Impossible that there could be anything in common between Christ, and the prince of this world! Then what part is there for a believer along with an unbeliever? Should it not be plain to any believer that he (or she) can not, as another has said, as a Christian put himself or herself “under the same yoke with those who have only worldly motives, to draw the chariot of life in a path common to both?”
Verse 16. Though idolatry is not practiced now in civilized lands in the measure or in the same way as in the Apostle’s day, it continues to exist in subtle form, and will break out again in due time and in full character. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, the believer’s body is declared to be the temple of God; here collectively believers are His temple. What carefulness should then characterize our thoughts, our words, our actions!
At least three Old Testament scriptures are referred to in verse 16—Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:12 and Ezekiel 37:27; the promise as to Israel in its fullness remains to be carried out, but for us it has been true from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Verse 17 is a command to every believer mixed up with the world. “The unclean” in the Apostle’s day meant the heathen world, today, it is more, including the great system which Satan has built up around men to make them content without the true knowledge of God; such is the world as the Christian knows it.
Coming out from among the worldly, we hear the words of welcome, of special regard,
“I will receive you (verse 18), and I will be to you for a Father, and ye shall be to Me for sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” “Father” is the name of special relationship which God assumes with us. To Abraham He had made Himself known as Almighty; to Israel He was Jehovah, or Lord; to us He is the Lord Almighty, and moreover our Father.
The chapter division here is plainly wrong; the first verse of chapter 7 attaches itself to the close of chapter 6.
“Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every pollution of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.” What is your response to this, dear Christian reader?

Our Bodies Are the Lord's

Before I was converted to God, I was very fond of gaudy dress. All my spare earnings went to pay my dressmaker and milliner’s bills, and I was seldom, if ever, free of debt. At the time of my conversion, I had no thought of any change being wrought on outward things. I was under the impression that an inward change—a change of heart—was all that was affected by the gospel. And I still believe that there the work of grace begins. The heart is won for Christ; a new life is begotten, and new desires spring up instead of the old lusts and desires for earthly things.
But conversion is more: it includes a change in the body as well as the soul. Our bodies become the Lord’s. He bids us present them “a living sacrifice, holy” (Rom. 12:1). They are the “temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6:19). Surely then we ought to see to it, that there is nothing allowed about them, out of keeping with that holy and honorable calling.
Nobody said a word to me about my dress, although I am sure it must have grieved the hearts of not a few of my fellow-believers, it was so worldly.
When I learned that my body was the Lord’s, I became exercised about some of the things I wore. They seemed rather to exhibit the pride of the flesh, than the meekness and lowliness of Christ. I instinctively laid these aside, before I had read the Scriptures that gave the Lord’s commandment as to the Christian female’s dress (see 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-4), and I was much happier in soul, and less occupied, thinking about my personal appearance. I afterward saw in the Word, that “the life of Jesus” was to be manifest in our “mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11), and that our members were to be “instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:13).
These great truths received, and allowed to act upon the heart and conscience, will regulate the dress and habits of the believer, as well as his inward thoughts. The result was, I was soon free from debt—which every Christian ought to be—and I soon had a little money wherewith to purchase a good Bible, and gospel tracts to give among my fellow-workers.
I would earnestly ask my young sisters in Christ to think on these things, and especially to remember that our bodies are the Lord’s, and that all that we wear upon them, should be of such a character that He will be glorified.

Extract: Godly Fear

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.”
But there is a godly fear, which nips in the bud many an evil thing; a fear which, if a saint were saying, “I should like to do this or that,” would make him feel “but the eye of God will be looking at me, and I shall give it up.”


Nearer, my God, to Thee,—
I cannot be;
Christ’s blood hath made me nigh,
Praise, praise to Thee!
Now blest in Christ Thy Son,
Thy love to Him my own,
This shall be still my song,
Praises to Thee!
Pilgrim and stranger here,
I journey on;
Upward my heart now turns,
Heaven is my home;
Thy love constraining still,
Henceforth to do Thy will;
Praises my spirit fill,
All praise to Thee!
Now, let my walk and ways,
More Christ-like be;
Ever delighting in
His love to me:—
Till I shall see His face,
Owning Thy sovereign grace,
That brought me to this place—
Nearness to Thee.
Lessons, on desert sands,
Now taught by Thee;
Causes my heart to sing
More praise to Thee!
Trials thus sent to bless,
Partaking Thy holiness,
Peaceful fruits of righteousness,
Bring praise to Thee.
Sweet is the blessed hope,
Given us by Thee;
Glory with him who dies,
On Calv’ry’s tree!
O, what a song we’ll raise,
Singing His worthy praise,
When on Himself we gaze—
And like Him be!

Young Christians in the Service: Part 5

It is natural and right that a child of God should desire and prefer his “own company.” For one with his heart fixed on the Lord Jesus to be suddenly thrust into the constant company of the ungodly—to eat, sleep, and work with them day after day—would be most distressing unless he had a resource from above. We read in the fourth chapter of the Acts that the apostles were arrested and detained for a while; but being let go, they were free to go to “their own company.” When they got there they all had a prayer meeting. Blessed place! Happy occupation!
For one to voluntarily seek the companionship of those who know not God, nor love our Lord Jesus Christ, would expose a sad state of declension. It would savor of what God calls, “Ephraim being joined to his idols.”
The young Christians who have been drawn into the services have no choice of their own as to with whom they live, work, or eat. We have, however, been much pleased with some of the letters from these young men—letters which show that they are seeking to walk as separately as they can under the circumstances, and trying to find some opportunity to be quiet and alone with God. Sometimes they find it can only be for a few minutes, but it is most refreshing and invigorating. Permit us to quote from one letter along this line:
“Last week and the week before I had the Lord’s days off, and had the privilege of remembering our Lord in His death for us. Today I had to stay in camp; so this morning I went to the grove, taking my Bible and hymnbook, and spent the time with the Lord. Surely it is the love of Christ which allows us to have this privilege. This afternoon I am going to visit a few barracks around here and give out Testaments and tracts. I have given out all the ‘Echoes of Grace’ with the story of Pearl Harbor, but I still have some others to give out. I know you are praying for me and the Word given out, and thank you very much. We should all be more interested in the work of our Lord. Some of the men here do not know what the Testament is, and some do not know why Christ died. I told them He died for sinners because He loved them so much, and that He had to in order for us to have everlasting life.”
May the Lord keep this dear young Christian walking thus, and also bless his testimony in the gospel. We discern a needed balance in his remarks. He felt the need of food and refreshment for his own soul, and then sought to help others by carrying the glad tidings of God’s grace in Christ.
Fellow Christian, let us not neglect either the one or the other.
This young man seeking time to be alone with the Lord on the Lord’s day, brings to mind Revelation chapter one and verse ten. The aged and beloved Apostle John was a prisoner on the island of Patmos “for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” He was cut off from Christian fellowship and not allowed his “own company”; but on the Lord’s day—that blessed day—he was “in the Spirit.” We greatly desire that the young men who are kept from the meetings and from Christian fellowship, find some quiet moments to be alone with the Lord, and know something of the happiness of the Apostle John who was “in the Spirit” at such a time. We would say to them that God is faithful and sufficient for these things. May they use every little opportunity of being alone in His presence. There they will prove the comfort and joy that He can give, no matter where they are.
We would not, however, write a single word to give encouragement to any who, through seeking after advancement, monetary gain, pleasure, or anything else, are found away from the meetings, or the fellowship of the people of God. Neglecting the privileges and blessings that God in grace has given, and preserved to us, betrays a leaving of “first love” (See Rev. 2:4-5). To allow such things to keep us away from the blessed privilege of remembering our Lord in death, or from the prayer and other meetings, is a slippery road downward, and may end in spiritual shipwreck.
Demas loved this present world, and then departed from the Apostle Paul and a walk of faith. Sad, sad end!
Satan may produce some logical reasons why it is advisable to get ahead in the world. These reasons might be improvement of our home, or the welfare of our children, or provision for the future in this day of unusual conditions; or he might tell us that we need relaxation and rest and therefore we can neglect the assembling of ourselves together (Read Heb. 10:25). This great enemy may even have some such suggestions come through the lips of true children of God. But, Christians beware of “the wiles of the devil!”

Yet a Little While

“Yet a little while”—and the months and years,
Shall soon be numbered with the things that were;
And joy give place to sorrow; smiles to tears;
And rest divine, where once was strife and care.
“Yet a little while”—and the one we love
(Whose love for us has been so true and tried)
Will call His own unto Himself above,
To be forever with Him, as His bride.
“Yet a little while”—and the robes of white
We shall be clothed in, and defilement cease;
No shade of darkness sully His pure light;
No harrowing care intrude upon our peace.
“Yet a little while”—and the night is spent,
And we shall enter on His endless day,
And His blest home, with hearts, O, how content,
A scene which human words can ne’er portray!
“Yet a little while”—and the tear-dimmed eye
Shall on the glories of our Saviour gaze;
And hearts oft saddened, beat with holy joy;
And tongues oft murm’ring celebrates His praise.
As we look upon the harvest field, thoughts of the years’ labor arise in the mind, for in the golden sheaves lie the fruit of both plowman’s and sower’s toil, and the result of months of both heaven’s sunshine and of its refreshing rain. Paul may plant, Apollos water, but God alone gives the increase. A man may spend a lifetime in sowing good seed, which another, who is a reaper, may garner in almost at once, but the harvest will be the joy-season, when both he that soweth and he that reapeth will rejoice together. God has so ordained in His field, that His several servants shall each do a part of His great work, the whole of which, complete and perfect, shall alone be seen in eternity. We are frequently too much occupied with our own little part of this work as if it were everything, and thus we forget the great end God has in view, and by such partial sight, we either magnify our special occupation into undue importance, or lose heart as if it had no blessing attached to it. We cannot in one day be both sower and reaper! Patient continuance in the work of the field necessarily precedes harvesting.
The young naturally are more impatient for reaping than their seniors, just because they have had less experience in the lapse of time required for the seed to grow up. “Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days,” said the Wise Man; and the Apostle tells us, “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” We would encourage our young friends in their Christian work; do not be disheartened because you do not all at once see the seed grow up; and even when you see it grow up, do not expect that it will become ripe and fit for the sickle in a day. We have also to remember that in God’s harvest field, not only has the work to be done which He has appointed, but that the workman has to be fitted for the work by the Word. We learn while working; experience teaches; and the harvest field is frequently our school where we learn to trust in God alone, who gives the increase. At first, possibly we almost thought we could command the blessing and make the seed to grow; nay, at first, we almost thought that we could sow the seed with the greatest ease, but experience taught us, that only by the power of God could we do this. The good seed of the kingdom is His Word, and we have to study and to pray over it in order to know how to use it.
The golden harvest is ever a pleasing and restful sight, speaking of work done and of the favor of God received. But it is also one of warning, for it declares to us the end—the end of the purpose of the plowing and the sowing, the end of the effect of the sunshine and the showers upon the field. The Lord tells us in His parable (Matt. 13) “the harvest is the end of the world” (or age); “and the reapers are the angels.” There is a deep solemnity in these words—this age will have its close; it began with sowing, it will end with reaping. It began with the sowing of the seed of the kingdom, which is the Word of God; it will end with the results, which the distribution of the Word has affected in human hearts.
On some it falls lightly, and never enters; on some it is choked, and produces no fruit; on others it falls, and enters, and germinates, and produces the fruits of holiness and peace. And where this is the case there springs up an abundance. O, how precious is the value of one grain of the incorruptible seed!
Think of the harvest and take courage. Look on to the day of glory when, life’s toils over, our reward shall be to rejoice in our Lord’s joy. He was the Sower—He will be the Reaper. He labored and He wept, He died for sinners, He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied, and every good and faithful servant of His shall receive His encouragement and His smile: “Well done  ... enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord.”

The Joys of Christ

We ought to think of the joys of Christ as well as His sorrows. Nothing shows where a man’s heart is, and what it is, more than when oppressed, distressed, and full of sorrow, where his heart finds its joy, and if it does find a joy unreached by it.
We see these joys in Christ—a secret comfort in the midst of His sorrow. He had meat to eat which man knew not of. Besides His communion with His Father, there was this working of love to us.
Paradise shone in upon His heart in comforting the poor thief.
“Go in peace” refreshed His spirit in the house of the Pharisee.
“She hath done it for my burial” justified Mary against the reproach of selfish man.
“Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes” was His joy in the sense of the heartless rejection to which the wickedness of man subjected Him.
How blessed to the heart, besides learning where His joy was, to think that He found it in the working of His love to us!

Correspondence: TIT 3:5; REV 4:7-9 & 5:8, 11; Flesh vs. Old Man

Question: What is meant in Titus 3:5 by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost?
Answer: The word regeneration is used in Matthew 19:28 for a new order of things in the Millennial day. And here it is used for a new order of things in the believer. It is not improving the old Adam nature. It is a new life, the life of Christ in us, and thus has the moral nature of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is used as its power, and has given the believer a new position and a new object to live for. Also he is no longer a Jew or a Gentile, he is now a child of God with a heavenly calling.
Question: Please tell me what the four beasts represent in Revelation 4:7-9, and 5:8,11?
Answer: As the word “beast” is used in a bad sense generally, we call these “living creatures.” They symbolize or represent the attributes of the throne of God.
Full of eyes before and behind and within: perfect perception.
The courage of the lion.
The intelligence of a man.
The patient strength of the calf or ox.
The swift discernment of the flying eagle is seen in them.
God’s mind is carried out by them, though they may use other instruments to carry it out. (See for this 1 Cor. 6:2-3). God speaks, and it is done.
Question: What is the distinction or difference between the “flesh” and the “old man?”
Answer: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom. 6:6).
“Having put off the old man,” “and having put on the new man” (Eph. 4:22, 24) (see JND).
“Having put off the old man with his deeds, and having put on the new man” (Col. 3:9-10).
In these verses we see that our old man is judged and crucified in the death of Christ. Believers stand now in Christ before God. We are not now seen in the old man. Like the stones put in the Jordan, our old man is gone forever.
The flesh is the body with its will; it is sin in us. “Reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11). Sin is in us, but we are not to let it have domination over us. We are to put off all that which is the outcome of the flesh in us (Col. 3:8). It is good to remember that we are, as to the old man, crucified with Christ, and now Christ is in us (Col. 3:11).

Can You Tell Me the Way to Heaven?

One morning we were holding the line in a trench when we came in for unusually heavy shelling. Presently there was a black cloud as a shell burst and pieces of shrapnel came whizzing past us. Poor Bert S. fell like a log. Tiny Jim (6 ft., 3 in.) and another chap jumped down and picked him up; but they saw at a glance that it was a hopeless case. There was not a dressing station near, so Tiny Jim and some other fellows got hold of some empty sandbags and an old coat, and laid Bert on them in the bottom of the trench.
Back on the firing step they got, but they had not been there long, when Tiny Jim was startled by a voice behind him, saying,
“Can you tell me the way to heaven?”
Tiny Jim jumped down again beside poor Bert and said,
“The way to heaven? I am sorry, I don’t know the way, but I’ll ask the other fellows and find out if they know.”
He returned to the firing step, walked along to the first man and asked him, but he did not know; so he went further and asked the next man, but he did not know either. Tiny Jim then went over to the next fire bay and asked the fourth man, but he was no better than the rest of us. From there on each man relayed the question to the man next to him. Down the line the story of what had happened, and the question went from man to man until No. 16 was reached. Not one of the sixteen could tell the way to heaven.
Just think of it! Sixteen young fellows brought up in a so-called Christian land, but they could not help their dying comrade! Decent fellows, too.
When you have soldiered together, gone overseas together, and faced the dangers and hardships of active service, you become pals, and when you see an old friend dying and you cannot help him, it goes hard. In peace time we would have told him some sort of a way, but when a pal is dying on the battlefield, well, somehow it’s different. What we think, or make up, or guess, just won’t do then. O! no, when a fellow is dying like that, he wants the real thing. Yet there are many like those sixteen of us.
Dear reader, could you have told Bert the way to heaven? You, too, have been brought up in a Christian land, but truthfully, do you know the way to heaven so that you could tell a dying friend? Could you open the Bible and point out God’s way to heaven? It is there in plain language.
But let us return to the trench. The story was passed on to No. 17:
“Bert is dying and wants to know the way to heaven. Can you tell him the way?”
Turning around, a smile lighting up his face, he replied,
“Yes, I know the way to heaven, but I cannot go along the trench. I dare not leave my station.” Thrusting his hand into his pocket he pulled out a little khaki Testament. Quickly, he turned its pages and said,
“Look here, this is the way to heaven—that verse marked around with pencil (John 3:16). I’ll turn the leaves back there; you put your thumb on that verse. Tell him that is the way to heaven.”
Quickly the message and the Testament passed back from man to man until it reached Tiny Jim. He dropped beside Bert, who lay there so still. He touched his shoulder; slowly Bert opened his eyes.
“I’ve got it, Bert, old chum,” said Tiny Jim. “Here is the way to heaven: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”
Poor Bert’s eyes were wide open now, he was drinking in every word. What a scene it was! Tiny Jim kneeling on the bottom of the trench, his great hand holding the little Testament, the tears running down his cheeks, reading again and again those life-giving words in Bert’s ears!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
A look of peace came over Bert’s face as he kept gasping out “whosoever.” Then after lying quiet for a while, his face lit up with satisfaction, and with one last gasp he said, “whosoever,” and was gone. Gone from the battlefield to be with Christ! It was a wonderful change for Bert S., who found the way to heaven.
Dear friends, as a soldier who has now himself also found the way, let me assure you that this is the real thing. The Lord Jesus is the real Saviour. He it is, who said,
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” (John 14:6), and
“I am the Door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).
The Lord Jesus, whose precious blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7), died the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. He is now seated at God’s right hand where He is crowned with glory and honor. He is the only Saviour and the only way to heaven.
It is not enough to merely know the way to heaven; you must actually tread that way, by entering through Christ—the Door.
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15).
“Through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

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.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 7

With divinely given wisdom, the Apostle has written in the first part of this epistle to the Corinthian saints concerning the ministry committed to him,—by means of which ministry they had been brought out of nature’s darkness,—and he has called upon them to separate from all that was contrary to the position in which they stood before God. Now he proceeds in tender love with the restoration of the former happy relations between himself and them which Satan had sought to destroy.
With clear conscience, and in the energy of the affection he bore the saints at Corinth, Paul writes,
“Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. I speak not this to condemn you, for I have said before that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you” (verses 2-3).
The form of the last expression shows that the apostle was not thinking of life here, so much as of death—of suffering martyrdom, which was to be his portion, and might be theirs, because of faithfulness to Christ.
“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you; I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation” (verse 4).
These expressions came from the encouragement which Titus had brought him from Corinth upon their meeting in Macedonia, to which he had briefly alluded in chapter 2:13. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians had taken them to task on many subjects, among them the case of the fifth chapter of the man living in sin. How had they received his letter? That had given him great concern, as he goes on to say, while at the same time he was enduring persecution for Christ’s sake.
“For indeed, when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way; without combats, within fears. But He who encourages those that are brought low, even God, encouraged us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but also through the encouragement with which he was encouraged as to you; relating to us your ardent desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I the more rejoiced. For if also I grieved you in the letter, I do not regret it, if even I have regretted it; for I see that that letter, if even it were only for a time, grieved you” (verses 5-8, JND).
This passage shows the difference between the apostle’s writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and his individuality coming out as here, where his heart’s affections are displayed. Just for a moment he had feared that he had lost the Corinthians by the very effort he had made to recover them. Let us consider for a moment the unwearied love Paul bore to these Corinthians, his care for them in the face of much that might have estranged him permanently. In chapter 12:15 he says to them,
“And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
This was not natural affection, but of God, fruit of the new nature possessed by every child of God, but seen in uncommon measure in the Apostle Paul.
“Everyone that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him” (1 John 5:1).
“Now I rejoice, not that ye have been grieved, but that ye have been grieved to repentance; for ye have been grieved according to God, that in nothing ye might be injured by us. For grief according to God, works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted, but the grief of the world works death” (verses 9-10, JND).
The word “repentance” in Scripture, used in connection with a sinner or a saint, stands for thorough, unsparing self judgment, applied, as another has said, “to all that I am, and to all that I have done.” This is most important. The cause of much unhappiness among God’s children is neglect of this elementary truth set forth in Matthew 7:3-5; Romans 14:22; 1 Corinthians 10:12, and 11:28; Ephesians 4:20-24, and Colossians 3:5-7, but indicated on page after page of the epistles, so that the Christian has only to open his Bible to discern from its precepts the great need for the fullest judgment of self before God.
“The grief of the world worketh death” has an example in Judas Iscariot, the betrayer (Matthew 27:3-5), but the truth of it abounds in the world.
Verses 11, 12. “For, behold, this same thing, your being grieved according to God, how much diligence it wrought in you, but what excusing of yourselves, but what indignation, but what fear, but what ardent desire, but what zeal, but what vengeance; in every way ye have proved yourselves to be pure in the matter. So then, if also I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of him that injured, nor for the sake of him that was injured, but for the sake of our diligent zeal for you being manifested to you before God. For this reason we have been encouraged” (JND).
It would be well to turn back to 1 Corinthians 5, and read what the Apostle there so solemnly laid before the Corinthian believers. The words of inspiration left no alternative but to deal at once and according to God with the person characterized as wicked. He must be removed from amongst themselves; the old leaven must be purged out, that the assembly might be a new lump. They had been puffed up, instead of mourning.
No instructions had been given them how to deal with evil when it might be found among them, but the gathered saints should have been before God about this case as soon as it came to light. Now that they had the Apostle’s directions, to refuse or neglect to act upon them, would be to forfeit all title to be counted an assembly of God. And so of course it is today, although the church of God is outwardly in ruins, because His word stands, and shall stand in spite of human failure.
Verses 13-16. “And we the rather rejoiced in our encouragement more abundantly by reason of the joy of Titus because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. Because if I boasted to him anything about you, I have not been put to shame; but as we have spoken to you all things in truth, so also our boasting to Titus has been the truth, and his affections are more abundantly towards you, calling to mind the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. I rejoice that in everything I am confident as to you” (JND).
Thus we are given to see the happy ending of this matter which might have had a very different close, but for the obedience of the saints to what we know to be the Word of God, given through the Apostle.

Buying up Opportunities

“What is my work? I cannot preach; I am no use at visiting the sick and poor; what can I do?”
Many years ago a dear old saint of God, who worked in the central meat market, was complaining of the lack of opportunities and experiences he had.
“Look at Brother—,” he said, “he is always having opportunities of serving the Lord. Only lately he has been used in bringing souls to a deeper knowledge of the truth. I never have that joy.”
The brother of whom he spoke came to him and said,
“You come in contact with many men during the day, market employees and customers. If they speak of the weather, do you speak of the goodness of God in giving it? If they are in trouble or distress, do you tell them of the comfort and love of God? If it is a bad day and they grumble, do you say to them, ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ If you do, you will soon be in conversation which will enable you to tell them of the grace of God, and of His wonderful salvation. You will be surprised at the opportunities you will have, and of the readiness with which they will listen.”
“I never thought of that,” said the old brother. “I will try it.”
A week later he came with a face radiant with joy.
“It works! It works!” he said.
“What works?” he was asked. “Why, what Brother—said. Do you know, I am astonished at the number of Christians there are in the market, and the many efforts to spread the gospel. One after another I have spoken to, and it is wonderful the opportunities the Lord has given me.”
From that time, he went on taking the opportunities thus given him by the Lord who gave him many encouragements.
The following incident may prove how the Lord uses His servants if they are ready to speak for Him at all times.
In a railway office there were three clerks: one, a Christian, was seeking during an interval to show his friend the way of salvation. He felt greatly discouraged at the callous indifference he met with, thinking his effort a failure. He did not know the Spirit of God was working, and while his friend was not affected by the word spoken, the other clerk had heard every word, and his conscience was reached. He passed through deep exercise, and before long confessed the Lord, and was eternally saved.
When the young Christian learned of the goodness of God in saving his companion, they gave themselves together to the study of the Word. Then opportunities came which they took, and though a number of years have passed, they have continued to speak the Word in season and out of season, preaching publicly as well as telling individuals the story of His love. The result was not as this young Christian expected, but as the Lord intended, who knew the desire of His servant, and blessed His own Word in His own way.
Dear fellow-believer, do not be looking for some special, or great work. Do the things near at hand, taking the opportunities that are offered you.
“Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
“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).

Extract: Home or Stay

Suppose the Lord were to say in the case of two of His children, “I shall shelter and take home that one; but as for the other, I shall make him go through all the closing days, carrying the testimony which would certainly be the last;” such a one will find perilous times and plenty of sorrow, but which will look brightest up there?

Young Christians in the Service: Part 6

One young Christian in foreign service writes:
“Please send me some tracts to give out here to the men as they come out of the mess hall door and to give out in the ‘chow lines’ of the different companies. I am sure the Lord will bless the tracts to many. Don’t forget to send some of the leaflets,
‘That Name.’”
This brother and many others have felt the increasing use of the blessed name of Jesus in profanity, and have called for copies of the poem entitled “That Name.” We reproduce it here so that all of our readers may know what it contains.
That Name
Lines suggested on hearing some young men using the name of our Lord Jesus Christ profanely.
That name which you take, is delightfully sweet,
Jesus is Christ! and Him you must meet;
Now He is meeting poor sinners in grace,
He knocks at your heart, O, give Him a place.
He hears you blaspheme; but O, if you knew
How much He loves sinners, how much He loves you,
You would fall at His feet and adoringly sing
Jesus! my Saviour! my Lord! and the King!
‘Twas for this that He died on Calvary’s tree,
That sinners the chief might from judgment be free.
He’s now up in glory—a man on God’s throne,
But He’s coming again—it may be quite soon.
He left us this message, while He is above,
A message of mercy—a message of love,
Tell sinners I love them—tell Adam’s whole race,
And this is the day of My patience and grace.
Yea, more—go, beseech—beseech them for Me,
Beseech by My blood—by My death on the tree.
It cleanses from sin and fits them to be
At once and forever in glory with Me.
O. these are sweet words, and wondrous to tell
How God in His mercy saves sinners from hell,
The story’s so simple—so plain to the lost,
To be saved without doing—saved at God’s cost,
To be saved as ungodly, unrighteous, undone,
To be saved by faith in the Blood of His Son.
“God  ... hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow  ... and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).
The prodigious use of the name of Jesus by the ungodly only shows where man’s natural heart is. Man is away from God; and more than that, he has actual enmity in his heart to God and His Christ. God so loved the poor world that He sent His beloved Son down into the world to reconcile it to Himself, but man cast His Son out, and said “away with Him.” Now God has sent out the good news of a full and free pardon to all who will have it. But men not only take God’s name in vain; they also revile the precious name of Jesus who is the expression of God’s great love. All of the enmity is on man’s part. He may not realize his enmity, a fact which only proves how little he knows his own lost condition. Satan is leading men on to destruction, and there is no better proof of his controlling power, than man’s almost instinctive profane use of “God,” “Christ,” “Jesus,” and “hell.” This greatly increasing evil is not confined to service men, but is very widespread.
Young Christian, does not the profane use of the name of Jesus make you cringe each time you hear it? The very mark of a Christian is that the name of Jesus is precious to him.
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious” (1 Peter 2:7).
All of the hopes and blessings of the child of God for time and eternity hinge on that blessed person, Jesus. Does not the very mention of the name of Jesus spoken in reverence, awaken a responsive chord in your heart? May you never become so accustomed to this profanity that it will cease to bruise you. How can it help wounding one who truly believes that Jesus loved him, and died for him? May you not consider such slandering of your Saviour in your presence as a light matter.
There is a name we love to hear,
We love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in our ear,
The sweetest name on earth.
It tells us of a Saviour’s love
Who died to set us free;
It tells us of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.
Jesus! the name we love so well,
The name we love to hear!
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.
This name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads us up to God.
O! if men would only realize that their profane use of that name, will only condemn them! It is prima facie evidence that men knew of Jesus and hated Him. He cannot plead before the Throne of Judgment he did not know about God’s Saviour for man. And to think that today Jesus would be their Saviour, to save them from the “wrath to come” and make them happy. If He is refused, there is another day coming when He will be their judge. They may take His name in vain now, but the day is surely coming, by God’s decree, when they will bow before Him, and confess that He is Lord. (Read Phil. 2:9-11). Neither shall man be able to plead that he did not know there was a “Hell” in store, for its use has become common-place enough to be used in advertisements of great corporations. That power that works in the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2) is seeking to make light of “hell” by making it a familiar by-word.
“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).

True Worship - in Spirit and in Truth

“The hour  ... now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
“To the chief singer on my stringed instruments” (Hab. 3:19).
About a hundred years ago there occurred a touching scene in a beautiful park. In this park there might have been observed an aged soldier, a veteran of many a battle, seated on an improvised bench, while near him sat a little poodle dog on his haunches, holding in its mouth the tattered hat of his master, serving as a temporary receptacle to receive what charitable people might cast in. The ex-soldier’s meager pension did not suffice for his bodily needs, and so he had obtained an old fiddle which he loved tenderly. It was scratchy, and the best he could offer the public was very poor.
This particular day nobody took any notice of him, and so, very few coppers found their way into the open hat held firm by the little creature. The old man got discouraged, and stroking his pet affectionately, he said to him,
“Ah! Poodle, there will be no bone for you tonight!”
While thus speaking, the tears flowed from his eyes, down his cheeks, for he was not able to check them.
The poodle began to whine. Just then a gentleman who was standing behind him, having watched him, stepped close up to the old man, asking for the loan of his old fiddle for a little while. Striking the strings and adjusting them, he soon brought the old thing to somewhat normal condition; then he began to draw from it such sweet chords, that the people passing by were arrested, and seeing the old veteran with the poodle holding the hat, began to appreciate the situation, and so the hat was filled more than twice.
But the old man did not heed the money flowing into the hat; the fiddle, his dear fiddle was a miracle to him. How could that stranger draw such exquisite strains from that old fiddle of his? Ah! it was a master that had gotten hold of it; a master violinist, one of the greatest of musicians, that was the secret. Kind hearted as he was, he appeared so suddenly, and then, when his wish was accomplished, he vanished as suddenly among the bushes, after laying the old, but beloved fiddle into the veteran’s lap.
Then a gentleman who had witnessed this touching scene, told the large audience who this violinist was. He passed the hat around, and this time it was filled to the brim, so that the old veteran had enough with that he already had received, to last him to the end of his days. Hugging his fiddle and stroking the poodle, he went home to his attic room, with more than one bone for his little pet.
Beloved, are not our hearts like that old fiddle? How little there is for the Lord! Are you making melody in your hearts to Him?
Now He praiseth in the assembly,
Now the sorrow all is passed;
Yes, He praises! grace recounting
All the path already trod.
Join the singing that He leadeth,
Loud to God our voices raise;
It is finished! It is finished!
Who can tell redemption’s worth!
He who knows it, leads the singing,
Full the joy, as fierce the wrath.
O Lord, we know it matters not
How sweet the song may be;
No heart but by the Spirit taught
Makes melody to Thee.
Then teach Thy gathered saints, O Lord
To worship in Thy fear;
And let Thy grace mold every word
That meets Thy holy ear.
O largely give, ‘tis all Thine own,
The Spirit’s goodly fruit,
Praise issuing forth in life, alone
Our loving Lord can suit.
“And they sang a new song, saying,—Thou art worthy” (Rev. 5:9).
Beloved, unless the Chief Singer vibrates our heart strings, there will be nothing for Him, and He is so worthy, and longs for it, even from our poor hearts. Are we able? Yes, indeed. Our hearts purified by faith, indwelt by the Holy Ghost, and He, our beloved Lord, leading the singing, we are well able to praise Him, even in the midnight, singing songs unto the Chief Musician.

A Silent Testimony

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

Tarry Ye Here and Watch With Me

Wondrous the love of Him who spake these words,
Wondrous the grace to stoop so low to ask
Of men, to tarry and to watch with Him
One hour! With Him whose goings forth of old
From everlasting were. Whose word did form,
Whose power upheld creation’s utmost bound.
Yes,—He did stoop to crave their tarrying
E’en for one hour, to watch with Him;—and yet
He asked in vain. Alone He prayed; alone
He watched. For comforters, He looked, and none
Did find. Wondrous the love of Christ!
Matchless the grace; Perfect the sympathy that flows
To lonely ones. Tell out thy grief to Him.
He felt the same. No human breast had He
To lean upon, no voice to soothe, or speak
Of comfort to His wounded heart. Not one
To watch with Him in that drear, darksome hour.
He knew it all. It was for thee, for thee
Thou purchased one, He passed through all, and now
With open arms can welcome thee to come,
And pour out every grief, the keenest pang,
Or that too small for any ear save His.
Yes, pour out all, He can uphold, sustain,
Can comfort thee, can whisper peace, His peace
E’en in the wildest storm. Nay more, can make
All things work thy good, and yield to Him eternal praise.

Correspondence: Entanglements in 2TI 2:4; 1CO 11:30; LUK 16:1-12

Question: What do you think entanglements are, in 2 Timothy 2:4?
Answer: The man of God, of whom Timothy was one, is represented in a threefold way here: as a soldier (vss. 3, 4); as one striving for the masteries in the games (vs. 5), and as a husbandman (vs. 6).
In the soldier, purpose of heart to please the one he serves, teaches him to take his share in suffering, and in singleness of eye, refuses everything that would hinder his service to his master. The earnest soul will find out what are the things that will entangle or hinder his service.
The runner, contending with others, must obey the rules of the game, or he will lose the prize (vs. 5).
The husbandman must labor,—plowing, harrowing, sowing the seed, cultivating, and then wait with patience before he gets any results out of his field.
May we each, who are children of God, seek also to be men of God:—in singleness of eye, and purpose of heart; in obedience to the blessed Word of God, and in enduring labor, go on till we see our blessed Lord, that we may hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21; 1 Cor. 15:58), and it will all be done by the love of Christ constraining us (2 Cor. 5:14).
Question: Please explain, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30).
Answer: These persons had failed to judge themselves—failed to discern the Lord’s body in the broken bread—they had eaten in an unworthy manner, though they were true Christians, and hence God, in His government of His house, had to chasten them by bodily sickness even unto death, in order that they might not be condemned with the world. No doubt others were called to learn and take warning from the discipline exercised upon those erring ones.
Question: Luke 16:1-12.
Answer: As to the parable of the unjust steward, the moral is this—use the present with an eye to the future— “The Lord commends the unjust steward” not for his honesty surely, but because he had dealt wisely; and the wisdom consists simply in providing for the future. This is the point of the parable. The lesson it teaches us is to use this world’s riches—which are not what properly belong to us, as Christians—in the service of Christ—to do good—to distribute and communicate—to open our hands wide to every form of human need—to lay up in store a good foundation against the time to come (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

A Mother's Last Words

“Remember, my boy, ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’” (Rom. 6:23).
Such were the words uttered by a mother, as she bade farewell to her son, who was leaving home to pursue his studies at a university in another city.
Few young men had been so highly favored as S—. Born and nurtured under Christian influences, his father a preacher of the gospel, and his mother a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus, S— ought not to have been ignorant of the blessed truth that saves the soul. Though many prayers were presented on his behalf that he might be early led to make Christ his Friend and Counselor, hitherto he had given no proofs that he was a Christian. On the contrary, as he had grown older he had become more and more careless and unconcerned about his salvation.
While attending the university, instead of taking heed to his parents’ counsel, and choosing Christians as his associates, he made young men his companions who cared nothing for the things of God, and whose only aim was to live for self and the pleasures of the world.
Night after night, in company with such, at the theater, billiard room, and other places of amusement, was S— to be found. In the course of time, he became a leader among them, seemingly, outstripping his fellows in drinking, gambling, and other evil practices. Ultimately his behavior became known to the university authorities, and he got notice to leave the college.
With blighted prospects and withered hopes, he crossed the Atlantic; and through the influence of friends, obtained employment in a bank. Here he resolved to begin life afresh, and inwardly determined that he would forever renounce his old habits and be an entirely different person. For a short time, he really seemed to have become “a new creature,” but his vows and resolutions were not strong enough to hold him, and soon the old desires and habits gained the ascendency, and he was completely overpowered. Again he pursued his old course, “sowing wild oats” as quickly and as thickly as he could, doing his best to banish all thoughts of the reaping time.
His course of conduct reaching the ears of the bank manager, he was dismissed from his situation.
“The way of transgressors is hard,” and poor S— found by bitter experience the truth of the scripture. Lower and lower he fell; farther and farther he wandered from God; deeper and deeper he plunged into folly and sin. Hungry and weary, he sometimes walked the streets all night, without a cent in his pocket or a roof to shelter him, not knowing how he was to obtain his breakfast.
Hope sank within him, and despair took possession of his soul. His misery became so intolerable, and his agonies so intense, that he resolved on committing suicide. With this object in view, he started one evening for G., a retired place in the west end of the city, taking with him a pistol, powder, and shot. While loading the pistol, the ball fell out and rolled on the ground; and when groping in the darkness for it, the words spoken by his mother on leaving home years previously, rang in his ears and thrilled his soul,
“Remember, my boy, ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.’” He was completely overwhelmed.
Home associations were recalled, and hallowed scenes of happy boyhood days came up before him. The words “the wages of sin is death” took hold of his inmost being, and sank deep into his heart.
“If I take my life, I shall receive the wages I have so richly earned, and then to me it will be an eternity of misery and despair.” Such thoughts filled his mind, penetrating and permeating him with anguish and agony.
At the remembrance of his mother’s words, and stung with remorse of conscience, S— hurriedly left G., and entered the city.
Special gospel services at this time were being held by an earnest and gifted evangelist. S— resolved that he would go and hear for himself the one who had been causing so much stir, and through whose preaching so many had professed conversion. On the evening he attended, God gave the preacher a message, which was carried home in living power to S—’s heart and conscience. Deeply moved and impressed by what he had heard, yet unwilling that others should know it, he rose to leave the building, refusing to remain to the meeting for conversation. As he was making his way out he felt an arm lay hold of him, and on looking round discovered the preacher, who prevailed on him to remain behind.
“Young man,” said he, “you wish to be saved, and there is no use in denying it.”
“You don’t know who you are talking to,” was the reply. “I am the worst man in the city.”
“Whether you are or not, God loves you and wishes to save you.”
“I cannot believe that, for I am a very great sinner.”
“The Lord Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost; and if you are guilty of all the sins a man can commit, you cannot be worse than lost.”
After conversing with him for a short time, the servant of Christ read that exquisitely precious portion of God’s Word containing the essence of the gospel, John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
On learning S—’s name the preacher read it thus: “For God so loved S— that He gave His only begotten Son for S— , that, if S— believes on Him, S— shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
“Is that all that God expects me to do?” eagerly asked S— .
He was shown that God’s “great salvation” was a “gift”—that on account of what the Lord Jesus had suffered for sinners God could now, consistently with His justice and holiness, forgive all who believe on His Son.
S— was amazed at the simplicity of the way of salvation. It seemed to him “too good news to be true.” Still, God said so in His Word, and it was impossible for Him to lie. That night he believed that God loved him, a guilty, ruined, and condemned sinner; so loved him as to give up His only-begotten and well-beloved Son to die for him; and, through believing the good news, he rejoiced in the knowledge of the fact that all his sins were forgiven.
I need not say that as there was joy in heaven at the repentance of such a sinner, there was aboundings of joy and thanksgiving when his mother first heard the glad news that her long lost son was found again.
Reader, the “old, old story” which gave peace to S— is able to do the same for you. However vile, degraded, or wicked you may be, as you read these lines, you can be saved. You may have again and again “resolved” to give up your sins, but you soon found out you were as bad, if not worse, than ever. You have “tried” to be a Christian. Don’t try any more. It is not by trying but by believing that sinners are saved. It is not by what you do or feel that you can obtain salvation; it is through believing on what Jesus did and felt for you. Are you willing to be saved now? If so, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who died for you, and bore sin’s judgment, and you will know, from the Word of God, that you are saved, and have eternal life.
May the language of your heart be that of the following well-known lines:
“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee—
O, Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot—
O, Lamb of God, I come!”

Digesting the Word

It is to be feared that many who read the Bible do not digest the Word. The two things are widely different. One may read chapter after chapter, book after book, and not digest so much as a single line. We may read the Bible as part of a dull and profitless routine, but, through lack of the ruminating powers—the digestive organs, we derive no profit whatsoever. This should be carefully looked into.
The cattle that browse in the meadow may teach us a wholesome lesson. They first diligently gather up the refreshing pasture, and then calmly lie down to chew the cud. Striking and beautiful picture of a Christian feeding upon and inwardly digesting the precious contents of the volume of inspiration! Would that there were more of this among us! Were we more accustomed to betake ourselves to the Word as the necessary pasture of our souls, we should assuredly be in a more vigorous and healthy condition. Let us beware of reading the Bible as a dead form—a cold duty—a piece of religious routine.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 8

“But we make known to you, brethren, the grace of God bestowed in the assemblies of Macedonia, that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty has abounded to the riches of their free hearted liberality. For according to their power I bear witness, and beyond their power, they were willing of their own accord, begging of us with much entreaty to give effect to the grace and fellowship of the service which was to be rendered to the saints. And not according as we hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and to us by God’s will” (verses 1-5, JND).
Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea,—these were the assemblies of which we know in what another writer has called “the long desolated and impoverished district” of Macedonia. And there was not only deep poverty, but at this time too, a great trial of affliction, the nature of which is not stated. In such a scene, the grace of God was bestowed in such fashion that we read of “the abundance of their joy” abounding to “the riches of their free hearted liberality.”
What was the occasion for this fine liberality? There were saints in Judea suffering from poverty, and the knowledge of it had gone out where the gospel had spread, with such effect that the Apostle had given to the assemblies in Macedonia and at Corinth, directions for a collection, as we read in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, and now a year perhaps later he was seeking to stir to action the well-to-do saints at the rich and populous city of Corinth. But first he must tell them of what had occurred in the north among the poor when he was there.
“According to their power” and “beyond their power” these Christians rescued from the slavery of Satan were “willing of their own accord,” and begged the Apostle and his traveling companions “with much entreaty” to “give effect to the grace and fellowship” (no doubt it was tendered in the form of money or its equivalent, but in God’s reckoning it was grace and fellowship) of the service to be rendered to the saints in far away Jerusalem.
Then does the Apostle add, “And not according as we hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and to us by God’s will.” What evidence we have here of a deep and precious work of God! Though in deep poverty and in great trial, these very pressing and painful circumstances were regarded by the Macedonian saints as though they did not exist, while they looked past them all to the Lord, and gave themselves to Him, and to the Apostle by the will of God.
What an example is here, for all who love the Lord! O, for more of a heart like these dear saints of long ago, to subordinate our own circumstances to the will of God without any reserve whatever! What an enviable record they have left behind them in the book of God! Nor are they alone there, for without going outside of the epistles, we find in 1 Corinthians 16 the house of Stephanas, who devoted themselves, or as it may be read, appointed themselves, to the saints for service. And let us not forget, there is a word directly for us on this subject in Romans 12, and a shorter one in Galatians 6:2, and another in Philippians 2:4; and many more.
“So that we begged Titus that, according as he had before begun, so he would also complete as to you this grace also; but even as ye abound in every way, in faith and word and knowledge, and all diligence, and in love from you to us, that ye may abound in this grace also. I do not speak as commanding it, but through the zeal of others, and proving the genuineness of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sakes He being rich became poor, in order that ye by His poverty might be enriched” (verses 6-9, JND).
We may well ponder these words of divine wisdom and tender regard with which the Apostle endeavored to reach the hearts of the Corinthian saints on behalf of the poor and needy. Turning to 1 Timothy 6:17-19 we read,
“Enjoin on those rich in the present age not to be highminded, nor to trust on the uncertainty of riches, but in the God who affords us all things richly for our enjoyment; to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal in distributing, disposed to communicate of their substance, laying by for themselves a good foundation for the future, that they may lay hold on what is really life.” (JND)
So the opinion of the Apostle is given; it was profitable for the Corinthian saints who began before, not only to do, but also to be willing, a year ago. Now, let them complete the doing of it. At the present time the Corinthians’ abundance would be for Macedonian need; in God’s ways and in due time Macedonian abundance would be for Corinthian need, for God would see that there would be an equality, as in the wilderness when the children of Israel were fed with manna.
Titus had gone to Corinth (verse 17) and with him two other brothers were sent (verses 19 and 22) to take the responsibility of bringing the gifts of the assemblies to Jerusalem, in order that no blame might be attached to the Apostle.


“Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
“And set up over His head His accusation written, this is Jesus the king of the Jews” (Matt. 27:37).
“A name which is above every name  ... Jesus” (Phil. 2:9-10).
O! Matchless Name, all other names excelling,
‘Twas given from heaven at Thy lowly birth;
The greatness of the Father’s love revealing
The fullness of Thine own intrinsic worth.
Jesus, Lord Jesus! Ever the same,
Crowned now with glory, we triumph in Thy Name.
O! Matchless Name, all other names excelling,
‘Twas written by Thy foes upon the cross;
To all the world, the love of God forthtelling,
Proved by Thy sorrow, suffering, shame and loss.
Jesus, Lord Jesus! Ever the same,
Crowned now with glory, we triumph in Thy Name.
O! Matchless Name, by God the Father given
To Thee, now seated on th’ eternal throne;
The Name through which lost sinners are forgiven,
Who rest upon the work that Thou hast done.
Jesus, Lord Jesus! Ever the same,
Crowned now with glory, we triumph in Thy Name.
O! Matchless Name, all other names excelling,
Name at which every knee so soon shall bow,
Lord Jesus Christ! our hearts with rapture swelling,
We own Thee, love Thee, Praise Thee even now.
Jesus, Lord Jesus! Ever the same,
Crowned now with glory, we triumph in Thy Name.

Jesus Christ the Same, Today

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
There are many of God’s beloved children who know little—comparatively nothing—of their portion in Jesus Christ for today.
In the blessed Lord Jesus they have found forgiveness of their sins. They have received the message of His love towards them. They have owned a crucified Jesus—the Saviour who put away their guilt “by the sacrifice of Himself.” They know that the one, perfect, atoning, sacrifice of Christ has put away sin, and that “life and immortality are brought to light” by the gospel of the grace of God. In the sure and certain knowledge of peace with God, the purged conscience rests, while a song of praise flows forth for the wondrous redemption wrought out for them. As “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” with adoring hearts they thank God for a settled yesterday.
Then, from that wondrous scene at Calvary, they can by faith look forward to a glorious future, which the perfect work of the holy, spotless Victim, the God-man, Christ Jesus has secured for them—the “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, laid up in heaven” for them— “the city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.” Should they have to pass through death, with joyful triumph they can say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” Neither time nor place can cast a shadow on the brightness of their “tomorrow.” In sweet anticipation they joyfully sing:
“We expect a bright tomorrow,
All will be well!”
Yes, they have learned that the Jesus of the cross is the Lord of the glory: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and forever.”
But let each of us ask ourselves, How much do we know and enter into our blessed portion of “Jesus Christ, the same today”? Between the cross and the glory lie the sands of the desert—the wilderness through which we pass to “the rest that remaineth for the people of God.” Around us we cannot fail to see the combined forces of evil. The enemy of our souls would fain worry, perplex, and distract us. And perhaps in no form are we so little prepared for his subtle workings as when they meet us in the wear and tear of our daily life. It is in the today of our history that Satan would rob us of that blessed portion which is ours fully to enjoy—even the consciousness of the constant, never-changing interest and sympathy of Christ with us on the way.
Yet this is exactly what the Lord Himself seeks to make known to His own. There is not a trouble or a care which crosses our pathway but which He has destined for our blessing. But occupied with the danger or difficulty of the hour, do we not often miss the blessing, and grow disheartened and dismayed with the perils of the way! Our hearts are not slow to answer that such is too often the case, and that the cause of this is nothing less than our lack of knowing more of “Jesus Christ the same today,” in His ever present sympathy. Shall not our hearts yearn then to know Him better, and shall we not at once give Him the place He longs for in the “today” of our history? What are obstacles and hindrances with Him? Let the Lord’s own words reply: He says,
“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
“He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee; so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear” (Heb. 13:5-6).
Lovingly and tenderly He watches us from on high, delighting to make known to us His all-sufficiency for every hour of need; His sustaining grace for every exercise through which we are called to pass. Let us avail ourselves of this rich provision for our daily need—the treasures made ours through faith in Christ Jesus. God’s wondrous dealings with us in the past, and His assured blessings in the future, will but become more truly marvelous in our eyes, as we learn, in the power of the Holy Ghost, the efficacy and fullness of our present portion in “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
What fills my heart with gladness?
‘Tis Thine abounding grace!
Where can I look, in sadness,
But, Jesus, on Thy face?
My all is Thy providing,—
Thy love can ne’er grow cold;
In Thee, my Refuge, hiding,
No good wilt Thou withhold.

Young Christians in the Service: Part 7

An incident that has come to our notice illustrates two important points in Christian conduct.
C— and Frank had often worked together so that Frank had a good opportunity to observe the conduct and behavior of his partner. One night while they were busy at their assigned duties, Frank looked up from his work and said:
“C—, why is it that you don’t drink, smoke, or swear? There must be a difference between us. Then, too, when things go wrong here, and the work piles up, we act so differently. You are not affected, but go quietly ahead with your work, while I blow up and swear. What is the difference?” This was a lovely testimony to the quiet and consistent life of our young brother in Christ.
The unsaved about us should be able to see that there is a difference. They seldom, if ever, read the Bible, but they should be able to read Christ in the lives of His saints. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth,
“Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ” (2 Cor. 3:3).
We, Christians, should be epistles in which the people of the world can read Christ. All that they know of Him is what they see in the lives of His people; therefore, we should be open letters written in large, clear, legible writing. We should so manifest the spirit of Christ in our ordinary every-day life, that our associates in the service, the school, the office, the shop, or the neighborhood will take knowledge of us that we are “different.” They should be able to recognize a spirit in us that is not in themselves. We should not have one manner of conduct for attending the meetings and associating with other Christians, and another for our every-day life in the world. The Lord Jesus is not in this world now, but He has left us here to witness for Him.
Frank’s interrogation gave C— a wonderful opportunity to witness by word of mouth for his Lord. His life had already spoken to this unbeliever; now, his words were to give a testimony. Here are some of the things that this follower of Christ said in reply:
“You are mistaken in thinking that I am not affected by things that go wrong, for some of them do try me a great deal; but I seek to please the Lord Jesus. You see, He died for me on Calvary’s cross, and I want to please Him. I often hear His blessed name taken in vain around here and it continually reminds me that the One who suffered so much and died for sinners, is despised and rejected.”
This was too much for Frank so he closed the conversation by pleading the inconsistencies of Christians as an excuse for not being one.
The second point emphasized by this recent incident is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:14-16.
“If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
In addition to our being a living testimony for Christ, there should be that readiness to give an answer to every man who asks us of the hope that is in us. Christians sometimes plead that they have no gift for speaking the gospel, but here in these verses it is simply a matter of stating the ground of our own hope. C— did that very nicely when he told what the Lord Jesus was to him. It does not require a great gift to tell some one what we possess in Christ. One trouble with us is that often our mouths are closed because our lives have been inconsistent with being followers of Christ. Fellow-Christians, may it not be so; but rather may we so live Christ that it will be easy to tell others what He is to us. Then the day will come when the unsaved will have to glorify God, and admit that the testimony of our lives was a voice to their consciences. (Read 1 Peter 2:12).

An Encouragement to Sunday School Teachers

A short time ago I was traveling in a bus when a young person sat down beside me. She made several remarks and I thought seemed anxious to get into conversation. I wondered if the Lord might have a message for her through me, so I looked up to Him for guidance.
She told me that she had been visiting a friend who was in hospital and then remarked,
“I don’t expect you remember me, but I shall never forget you.”
I looked surprised, so she explained that she had attended some children’s meetings which we had held when she was quite a child.
She went on to tell me that one evening at the close of the meeting I had asked her when she was going to give her heart to the Lord Jesus.
“Those words stuck to me,” she said, “and I never see you without thinking of them.”
I then asked her if she had done this, and was pleased to find out that she had been saved for twelve years, and so we were able to rejoice together. The incident she referred to had passed from my memory, but no doubt the Lord used those words as a link in the chain of blessing to her soul.
How often we find that the Lord uses the personal word to bring souls into blessing. We notice this especially with the children in the Sunday school, and O! what wisdom we need, to speak the right word at the right time. How carefully we need to watch each one, and be much in prayer for them, too.
In these days when so many around us are turning away from the gospel message, may we be more earnest than ever in seeking to win the dear children for the Lord. Not only may we seek to present the gospel clearly and simply in our classes, but may we take a real interest in each child, trying to win their confidence and affection, and then look out for opportunities of personal contact with them.
The Lord alone knows how much there is to discourage in this corner of His vineyard, but His Word encourages us to buy up the opportunities, and not be weary in well-doing.
“Have you not a word for Jesus?
Will the world His praise proclaim?
Who shall speak if you are silent?
You who know and love His name,
You, whom He hath called and chosen,
His own witnesses to be,
Will you tell your gracious Master,
‘Lord, we cannot speak for Thee!’
‘Cannot!’ though He suffered for you,
Died because He loved you so!
‘Cannot!’ though He has forgiven,
Making scarlet, white as snow!
‘Cannot!’ though His grace abounding
Is your freely promised aid!
‘Cannot!’ though He stands beside you,
Though He says, ‘Be not afraid!’”

Is It Sad to Die?

This question was asked by a beloved Christian in the time of weakness, and the following lines answering it were written by her some years before her glorious and triumphant end—an end to the pilgrimage on earth, which, indeed, is the beginning of the great joy which shall forever fill the hearts of the redeemed when at home with the Lord.
Is it sad to die? Is it sad for the pilgrim, weary and worn with his long journeyings, to lay himself down to rest and to forget his toils, his goal reached, his sufferings over?
Is it sad for the tempest-tossed mariner to enter his desired haven?
Is it sad for the little infant, who will not be comforted in a stranger’s arms, to hush its crying and to nestle down on its mother’s loving breast?
“O, no, you will say, such things are full of happiness and joy! Then why, dear Christian reader, do we so often exclaim, when we hear of the death of a believer in the Lord— ‘How sad! how very sad!’
“It is not sad to fall asleep in Christ, to leave this world of sin and sorrow and to enter His presence, where there is fullness of joy, and where no taint or thought of sin can ever defile!
“It is not sad to have done forever with dishonoring the Lord by inconsistencies of walk here!
“It is not sad to go Home, to see Him whom, not having seen, we love—our dear, precious Lord and Saviour; to see Him, and to gaze untiringly upon His loveliness, to behold His smile, and to feel that we shall ever thus see Him, and to know that our happiness will increase and our love ever abound!
“O! Lord Jesus! most adorable, loving precious Saviour, it is not sad to go to Thee!”
“Willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).
“To depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23).

Correspondence: Matt. 8:19-22; 1 Pet. 3:19; 1 John 2:20, 27

Question: What is the meaning of Matthew 8:19-22?
Answer: This is a lesson on discipleship,—that is on following Christ. Salvation is ours through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; only these could be true disciples; others who would turn away from the Lord deliberately, and walked no more with Him, were those who were not born again (see John 2:23-25; 6:66-71).
One that is born again has eternal life, and eternally saved through the finished work of the Lord Jesus. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; Eph. 2:8; Heb. 10:14). Now real believers fail in their conduct, while their standing in Christ is ever the same (Rom. 8:1).
This lesson in Matthew 8:19-22 shows us the self interest of our hearts. Was the scribe prepared to follow one who had nowhere to lay His head? And the other did not want to follow the Lord till his father was dead and buried; but the Lord said, “Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
We may be sure, if one really follows Christ, he will not neglect his home duties, nor any responsibility he has. Christ must be first. “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
In Luke 9:57 to 62 we have another lesson added to the two given in Matthew. “Another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go and bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.”
This man also put others before Christ; he must pay attention to his friends first with a show of zeal.
The selfishness of our hearts makes us think, if we follow Christ, and put His honor first, that we shall lose our comfort, our character, and our connections; while in reality we lose nothing, for the Lord looks after our comforts with countless mercies day by day, and our sharing His rejection, brings, with the reproach, a joy in communion with Him that gladdens and strengthens our hearts.
So with our character, God looks after that. We just need to do what He bids us, and those dependent upon us will not suffer either, nor will we fail in our affection to our relatives. Obedience to the Lord takes all these in.
Well we may lose some of our friends and connections for Christ’s sake, but our true friends, will be those who seek to follow the same blessed Saviour.
Question: Please explain 1 Peter 3:19.
Answer: It refers to Noah preaching by the Spirit of Christ to the antideluvians, who are now in prison because they did not believe Him. Christ Himself did not do the preaching; there was no preaching in the prison (chapter 4:6); the gospel was preached while they were living, to them that are dead.
Question: Please explain 1 John 2:20, 27.
Answer: The Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer gives power and discernment to try the spirits, and thus judge what would dishonor the person of Christ as come in flesh. The Holy Spirit is the anointing, the seal, and the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Cor. 1:21-22).

Are You Willing to Be Saved?

I went to see a person on whom I had been asked to call, trusting that the Lord would give me some word which might be blessed to her.
After a few minutes’ conversation, I asked,
“Are you able to rejoice in the knowledge that you are saved? Do you know the Lord Jesus as the one who has borne your sins?”
Immediately a cloud seemed to pass over her face, and she gave me no answer. I saw she was unable to meet the question, and put another,
“Don’t you think you need salvation?”
“O, yes,” she answered, “indeed I do.”
“Do you see that you have no hope out of Christ, that anything you could offer to God would be worthless, because of the sinful nature you possess?”
“O, yes,” she replied, “I know all that, I have been a regular attendant at church, I was always at the Sunday school, I have heard the gospel time after time, but it never does me any good, I am gospel hardened; the Bible says that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and that’s just what He has done to mine; I am gospel hardened, and I can’t help it.”
“Then you don’t want to be saved,” I said, “you know you are a sinner without hope, you know that an eternity of misery is before you, but you don’t want salvation, you don’t want Christ?”
“But, indeed, I do,” was the earnest reply, “only I’m too hardened.”
“You really want to see that Christ can save you?”
“I wish I could,” she answered, “but I can’t; many a time the thought of the future makes me tremble, but I try to forget it, for it’s too late now.”
“Do you suppose that Satan would put that wish for salvation into your heart?”
“O, no, of course not.”
“Do you suppose it came from your own heart, which the Word of God says ‘is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked’?”
“Well, I suppose not,” she replied.
“Then, who could have given it to you?”
After a few moments’ silence she said,
“It must have been God.”
“And do you suppose He would give you this wish, and not give you the power to believe?”
“I shouldn’t think He would.”
Taking my Testament from my pocket I said,
“We will answer that question from the Word of God; when we only have the words of our fellow-creatures to trust to, we may find that they are mistaken, but when we learn these things from God Himself we are in no danger of being deceived. His Word says, ‘Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely’ (Rev. 22:17). From this we see that the will is all that is needed, it says ‘whosoever will;’ have you the will?”
“I have,” she replied, “indeed I have, I do want to be saved.”
“You say you want to be saved, you acknowledge that such a wish must have come from God, and you see from His Word that anyone who has the wish to come may do so; now do you think that looks as though you were gospel hardened?”
“O, no,” she answered, “I see I was wrong there.”
“Then we may leave that subject, and go to another; you have the will to be saved, now we will find the way.”
“I know the way,” said she; “it is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to do one’s duty.”
“We will see if that is what the Word says about it. In Acts 16:30, we read that the jailor said to Paul and Silas, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ They didn’t mention his duty at all. The Lord Himself says, ‘He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life’ (John 6:47). Do you think they spoke the truth?”
“Yes, I believe all that, I know I’m a sinner, and I believe that Christ died to save sinners, but haven’t I to do something?”
“The Word of God says nothing but believe,” I answered.
“But I don’t think I ever could act as I ought. When people get converted they get good all at once, and though I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have heard all about His death for us, many a time, I’m not a bit changed, and I thought I must be gospel hardened, and have given up trying.”
“I see you have the same idea of conversion which I once had,” I replied, “but it helped me very much when some one explained to me that conversion is a thorough change in our thoughts about God and about ourselves, and it is from this change of thought that a change of life springs. This change of thought is what you need, for you have been greatly mistaken in your thoughts about Him, as well as about yourself. You thought He did not care about saving you, though His Word says He is ‘long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish’ (2 Peter 3:9). You thought you must do something for your salvation, though His Word says,
‘For by grace ye are saved through faith’ – ‘not of works lest any man should boast.’ If any works of yours are needed, then Christ’s work is not sufficient, and His Word is not true.”
“But I don’t mean to doubt His Word, I know it is true.”
“There are many people who doubt that Word, who would be very much astonished if anyone told them that they were doing so. We cannot appreciate God’s plan of salvation until, in some little measure, we learn what we are; but when we really see that we are lost, that we have a nature that cannot please God, and that any attempt to do so must be an utter failure, we are only too thankful for the grace which has left us nothing to do, nothing but to believe on Him, the one who has done all that was needed, who has satisfied God’s justice, so that He can now bless those who deserved nothing but punishment. We must believe what God says about us, for being so perfectly holy, He sees us as we can never see ourselves, and in Romans 3, we read that
‘There is none righteous’— ‘none that understandeth’— ‘none that seeketh after God’— ‘none that doeth good.’
“God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).

Peace Made

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

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 9

The Apostle is in this chapter continuing to press upon the saints at Corinth the subject he began to deal with in the twenty-four verses last before us. A little while later we find him at Miletus, delivering a farewell exhortation to the elders of the assembly at Ephesus, for every word of which we give thanks to God. What he had written about to Corinth was still on his heart as we see from what he said at the close:
“I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support” (or come in aid of) “the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:33-35).
It was superfluous for the Apostle to write to the believers at Corinth concerning the ministration which is for the saints (verse 1) because they were taught of God to love one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9). Paul could say, too, of them that he knew their readiness, which he boasted of them to Macedonians, that Achaia (southern Greece, wherein Corinth lies) was prepared since a year ago; and the zeal reported of the Corinthian saints had stimulated the mass, or body of the brethren.
Nevertheless, as he proceeds to say in verses 3 and following, he had sent the three brothers mentioned in verses 16-24 of chapter 8 in order to make sure that the promised gift for the poor saints at Jerusalem should be ready when he arrived at Corinth.
“But I have sent the brethren in order that our boasting about you may not be made void in this respect, in order that, as I have said, ye may be prepared; lest haply, if Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, that we say not ye, may be put to shame in this confidence.
“I thought it necessary therefore to beg the brethren that they would come to you and complete beforehand your fore-announced blessing, that this may be ready thus as blessing, and not as got out of you. But this (is true), he that sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that sows in (the spirit of) blessing shall reap also in blessing; each according as he is purposed in his heart, not grievingly, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (verses 3-7, New Translation of J. N. Darby).
Here is a fresh example of God’s interest in His people. Had you thought of His interest in the money and time you devote to giving for His people’s needs, and for His work? He that sows with a lean hand shall reap after the same kind, and he who sows in the spirit of blessing shall reap also in blessing; God says it, and tells us that He loves a cheerful giver.
Further, the size of the giving is to be, “each according as he is purposed in his heart, not grievingly, or of necessity.” No thought is here of tithing, a rule laid down for Israel, but not for the Christian! That legal system was not designed for those who rejoice in Christ Jesus, the risen, glorified Saviour. What is the portion of my income that I should give to the Lord? The answer is in the verses we have been reading—read, and prayed over; guidance waited for and when learned, acted upon. “But God is able to make every gracious gift (or benefit) abound toward you, that having in every way always all-sufficiency, ye may abound to every good work; according as it is written he has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor, his righteousness remains forever. Now He that supplies seed to the sower and bread for eating shall supply and make abundant your sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness, enriched in every way unto all free-hearted liberality which works through us thanksgiving to God” (verses 8-11, JND).
God is able! So our thoughts are directed toward Him. And His desire for us is plain—that having in every way always all-sufficiency (with Him to lean upon) we may abound to every good work. Young Christian, and Christian no longer young, have we been missing God’s blessing in neglecting to give for His cause, under His guidance?
The quotation in verse 9 is from Psalm 112:9 where the subject is man blessed in the kingdom bye and bye, when the Lord Jesus will reign over this earth, but it is quoted because it has a present application.
You will notice that verse 10 is not a prayer to God, as it appears in the ordinary English text, but is a positive statement of what He does and will do: “Now He that supplies seed to the sower and bread for eating shall supply and make abundant your sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness, enriched in every way unto all free-hearted liberality.” Thus will He add His blessing to every child of His whose “sowing” is under His approval.
“Because the ministration of this service is not only filling up the measure of what is lacking to the saints, but also abounding by many thanksgivings to God; they glorifying God through the proof of this ministration by reason of your subjection by profession to the glad tidings of the Christ, and your free-hearted liberality in communicating toward them and toward all; and in their supplication for you full of ardent desire for you on account of the exceeding grace of God (which is) upon you.” (verses 12-14, JND)
The Apostle in these verses is anticipating the results of the warmhearted giving when the gift should reach the needy saints in Jerusalem. Filling up the measure of what was lacking, many thanksgivings to God, and the prayers of those saints to God for the Gentile believers who had opened their pocketbooks for them, Paul foresees, but a greater gift fills his eyes: “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” (verse 15). The gift of His beloved Son it is, of course, that is in view. Our little giving’s for the needy are as nothing in comparison with the gift of the Son of His love, that we poor rebel sinners might live through Him.

Food for the Hungry

We may store our intellect with biblical knowledge; we may have the doctrines of the Bible, and the letter of Scripture, at our finger-ends, without having one particle of unction or spiritual power. We must go to Scripture as a thirsty man goes to a well; as a hungry man goes to a meal; as a mariner goes to a chart. We must go to it because we cannot do without it. We go not merely to study, but to feed. The instincts of the divine nature lead us naturally to the Word of God, as the newborn babe desires the milk by which he is to grow. It is by feeding on the Word that the new man grows.

The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 1

Part 1
The coming of the Lord, beloved brethren, is the subject of which I wish to speak to you a little.
Till the Lord came into the world there was very little about heaven in the Scriptures. But when He came to earth, immediately there was a testimony from heaven to the shepherds, that now there was glory to God in heaven, and on earth good-will to men. And the first word of testimony to Him was from heaven—God’s voice saying,
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Then we find Him, in John 17, conversing with His Father in heaven about His heavenly people, and pouring out His heart about them; and afterward, when He had gone up again into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father, the glory could shine down out of heaven, because God wanted the glory of His beloved Son to be seen. This glory it was which come out literally when Stephen was martyred; he saw the Son of Man occupied with himself, and got into conversation with Him.
And in the Epistle to the Hebrews we get wonderful things, because this Man is in heaven. All the different things in that epistle are put out by the Holy Ghost to feed our souls with heavenly things. If my citizenship is in heaven, what would you expect? That there would be more of the things of this earth in my mind—more of the things of this earth in my heart; or, more of the things of heaven in my mind—more of the things of heaven in my heart? O! surely more of the things of heaven in my mind, and more of the things of heaven in my heart!
And I have, so to say, the best of my portion now. You and I have not come to the Father’s house yet, but we have the Father’s heart. And which is it best for us to have—the Father’s house, or the Father’s heart? Surely the Father’s heart! It will eventuate in our getting into the Father’s house, and then we shall surely know the Father’s heart better; but it will be the same subject, the same song, then as now.
But now as to this coming of the Lord.
I would take the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, which shows out this truth. There is there, so to say, a lamp shining down, putting all circumstances in the light of it, throwing its light on all things down here.
There are two verses I would refer to in the first chapter, and, on entering on it, I would just say that the first epistle is the coming of the Lord for His own people; the second is His coming to the world.
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.”
Those three words—faith, love, and hope, and those other words, intensified by what is with them, work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope, tell us pretty plainly where these Thessalonians were, and what characterizes the place where you and I ought to be.
It is the “work of faith.” Knowing “the substance” that there is before God, our faith can work down here. When we get home it will be rest, but down here it must be work.
Then again it is “labor of love.” Here, in the Thessalonians, there was labor connected with their love. They had much to go through. Times were hard. But then, again, there was hope connected with it, and “patience of hope” too. It could not be worn out. It had to endure, and it did endure.
But there is another thing that you and I will do well to take notice of, and that is, that all this was “in the sight of God and our Father.” I have not only faith and hope and love, but I am wearing them before God. He looks down not only to see what is shining from me, but looks to see that these three things are shining out in His presence. The poor Ephesians lost their first love (Rev. 2). There was plenty of labor, but when God looked in upon their hearts, there was no love in them. This work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope, must be all in the sight of God and our Father.
And then he says,
“We need not to speak anything, for they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”
Their faith bore witness to what Paul’s work among them had been, and thus bearing witness, they were waiting for God’s Son from heaven. If the heart does not get the assurance that He who is coming is the Deliverer from the wrath to come, that coming could not be borne. But you know we are “kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time,” and, being thus kept by God for a certain salvation, we can patiently await it, and not only await it, but await a certain Person, even “Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.”
And that, beloved brethren, is the brightness of the hope to me. As to myself, I may not have everything as right as I could wish in my desires; I may not have everything set to rights in my house. Ay, but there is another set of thoughts altogether! He says,
“Surely I come quickly!”
And He must come! He is the one whose coming is the plan of God. The purpose of God is that He should come down, and that, so coming, He should put all God’s enemies under His feet, and bring in a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, and He will be true to His God and Father. He will accomplish all that God has given Him to do.
No wonder, if we look at our walk in the light of His coming, that we should judge it unworthy of Him, and I would not wish it otherwise. But I wish the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, rising up from the Father’s right hand, were always before our minds. I believe it would soon make our walk consistent. I believe it would set both affections, heart, and thoughts in order.
But is it not a bright hope? He will come forth; and in His coming forth He will claim the church, as He says in John 14, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
He has not fulfilled this promise to Peter yet. Peter is with the Lord, but he has not yet been taken to the Father’s house, and will not be until we all go to be with Him there. Now is there nothing lovely in that? Nothing in this thought of going to be in that Father’s house? Nothing wonderful about the heart of that Son, who, though He has been sitting nineteen hundred years at the right hand of God, is still thinking of coming for His people here? Is there nothing emphatically lovely in it?
He will come upon the cloud of glory. He will come to take His people home. There is Himself to see. We have never seen Him yet. We cannot do without Him, and He will not do without us! We shall see Him for ourselves! We shall hear Him for ourselves! In all things we shall be like Him in the glory.
(To be continued)

Wake, Brother, Wake

When He comes, then the time for love’s labor is o’er,
We can preach, we can visit, can wrestle no more:
The sword will be sheathed and the race will be run,
The harvest be reaped, and the victory won.
The third watch of the night, or the fourth may be past;
Of the twelve hours for working, this may be the last;
Then wake, brother, wake; work, brother, today:
Tomorrow, the Master may call us away.

He's Mine, and I Know He Loves Me

In company with a brother in the Lord, I was giving away some tracts at F—. A woman was carrying a bucket of water, and as I went up to her to offer her a tract my brother in Christ said to her,
“Would you like to read something about Jesus?”
“Yes, thank you,” she immediately replied, her face beaming with joy; “He’s mine, and I know He loves me;” and at once offered us her hand in Christian affection.
We entered into conversation with her, and learned she had been brought to the Lord about five years before, during a time of large awakening.
We may not meet that dear woman again down here, but we shall surely meet and spend eternity—a cloudless, praise-filled eternity—together. Her words became fixed on our hearts, and enshrined there.
“He’s mine, and I know He loves me.”
And this was not only a note of joy to our ears, but, far better still, it was a note of praise in the Lord’s ear. It was the language of the Bride in the Canticles.
“I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine,” a song which some poor, trembling, but believing sinners are not able to sing all their life long; but a song the trusting sinner is entitled to sing the moment he trusts. Yes, the moment the sinner trusts Christ, that moment is he entitled to sing, with joy unspeakable and full of glory,
“I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Sol. 6:3).
And what security, what holy joy, what deep, deep calm of soul is the portion of the trusting sinner whose song this is!
This, this indeed is peace!”
But it is more than that—it is the all-powerful motive to a life of devotedness to Christ—whole-heartedness for Christ—a life whose every action tells,
“Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
“For me to live is Christ.” (Phil. 1:21).
Beloved reader, can you say that this Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Saviour and the “Eternal Lover” of His trusting ones, is yours?
If so, you can use the words of that dear woman,
“He’s mine, and I know He loves me.”

Faith Healing

The epistles that mark the distinction between Christianity and Judaism, show that healing is not characteristic of Christianity, and that faith is the gift of God, and not the manufacture of the natural mind. Forcing the mind into believing that they are healed, is not subjection to the will of God, but it is blinding their minds, and allowing Satan to lead them away from God, to get their own will done. That God can heal and does, we all know, but it is done in such a way that we can own God in it, but not make a system of it. How many are thus led into delusions of the mind.
True faith rests on the Word of God, submits itself to the will of God, and has the glory of Christ before it.
If, as in James 5, a brother feels the hand of the Lord upon him in discipline, and asks godly brethren, in whom he has confidence, to pray with him, they confess their and his faults before the Lord, and the Lord removes His hand from him. That does not say that we are to expect healing in every case of sickness. The Scriptures do not lead us to expect it.
The Lord did not atone for sickness. It is the result of sin, but is not sin. The Lord made atonement for sin, and sympathizes with the sufferers. It is of this Isaiah 53:4, and Matthew 8:17 speak.
Death had no claim on Jesus; no decay could ever touch His blessed, holy Person, yet He laid down His life for us.
It is good to take every matter to the Lord; we are exhorted to do so (Phil. 4:6-7). It is ours to say, “Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight.”
There is nothing too great, or too little to tell Him. Our times are in His hand. What blessed lessons are taught us in the desert path of earthly experiences where the soul finds its refuge in God. We might be as poor as Lazarus, and as sick, too, but like him, our “help is in God,” and our blessings are spiritual ones, blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. His God is our God, His Father is our Father.
Paul would not heal Trophimus, or Epaphroditus, or Timothy, and the Lord would not take away Paul’s thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan the Lord had sent to buffet him, lest he should be exalted by the abundance of revelations the Lord had given him. And the Lord sees the needs be in every trial He sends upon His people. He sends them because He loves them. Shall we not say, “Thy will be done?” Without this, the trial must remain bitter still. Marah was on the way to Elim. (Ex. 15). We must not stay at Marah.

Thou Art Coming, Mighty Saviour

Thou art coming, mighty Saviour,
“King of kings,” Thy written name.
Thou art coming, royal Saviour!
Coming for Thy promised reign.
O, the joy, when sin’s confusion
Ends beneath Thy righteous sway;
O, the peace, when all delusion
At Thy presence dies away.
Thou art coming, loving Saviour,
Coming first to claim Thine own.
Thou art coming, faithful Saviour,—
Thou couldst not abide alone.
In Thy Father’s house in glory,
Sinners saved shall dwell with Thee;
O, the sweetness of the story,—
Love’s own record we shall be.
Thou art coming, gracious Saviour,
Ah, to see Thy face we long;
Thou art coming, blessed Saviour,
Righting all creation’s wrong.
Nation rises against nation,
Trouble spreads from shore to shore.
Thy art God’s supreme salvation,
Come, and chaos shall be o’er.
Once Thy coming, Holy Saviour,
Expiation made for sin.
Wondrous coming, lowly Saviour,
Wondrous Child in Bethlehem.
Thine the wisdom in the manger,
Thine the power upon the cross,
Thine the glory as the stranger!
Riches, though in utter loss.
Thou art coming, crowned Saviour,
Not “the second time” for sin.
Thou art coming, throned Saviour,
Bringing all the glory in.
All Thy Father’s house, the glory,
Hangs, by sure behest on Thee!
O, the sweetness of the story,—
Saviour, come, we wait for Thee.

Correspondence: 2CO 4:7-11; Receive: Holy Ghost/at New Birth/Power; Born Again. .

Question: What does 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 mean?
Answer: The Apostle Paul applies the truth to himself to illustrate how God deals with us that the light of the knowledge of the glory of God which He has put in our (bodies as) earthen vessels might shine out.
In chapter 3:3, Christ is written in our hearts; and in verse 18 we have Christ as our object in glory, to transform us into His image.
In chapter 4:7-11, He deals with our wills, sending us circumstances that bring us, and that keep us, in dependence on God, so that His power might work in our weakness, so that in the trials sent, we realize the sustaining power of God, and are carried through all, in dependence on Him. And so the life of Jesus, who ever walked in dependence on God His Father, is manifested in the believer, always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be manifested in his mortal body. And it is “for Jesus’ sake,” “on account of Jesus.” It helps us, as we think of this as the reason for all the discipline of our Father’s hand, in what He puts us through, to patiently, and also with joy, submit to His will, knowing that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (Verse 17).
Question: What does one receive by the New Birth?
Answer: One receives a new life, an incorruptible nature, that hates sin (John 3:6; 1 Peter 1:23).
Question: When does one receive the Holy Ghost?
Answer: We receive the Holy Ghost when we believe the gospel of our salvation (John 7:29; Eph. 1:3).
Question: Do we receive power to live for Christ when we receive the Holy Ghost?
Answer: The Holy Spirit is the power of the divine life. He works in us by unfolding to us the truth, and helping us to have Christ before us (Rom. 8:2; John 16:13-14; 2 Cor. 3:17).
Question: Is being “born again” and having “eternal life,” the same thing in this present time?
Answer: Yes, at the first, feeling our own lost and sinful condition, and on receiving the truth of the death and resurrection and glory of Christ, growing to full knowledge of the Father. In 1 John’s Epistle, the youngest—the babes—know the Father (1 John 2:13; John 1:12-13;17:2-3; Col. 1:12).
Question: Is John 3:16 sufficient to believe in order to have eternal life?
Answer: John 3:14-16 are connected, and so it involves the whole gospel, and distinctly states that “whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Afraid of the Consequences

Like showers upon new-mown grass had the glorious gospel fallen on the little country town of B—. The Lord’s children had been revived, and many unconverted awakened to their lost condition, and led to accept God’s proffered salvation. Now the meetings were about to end, and a group of bright youthful faces, lit up with a new-found heavenly joy, surrounded the tea table of an aged Christian. The evangelist, whose services had been so richly blessed, had a beaming smile and an earnest word for all present, prayfully striving to confirm the newly born souls in the faith. Specially did he press on them the blessedness of confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus, deprecating the action of one member of a family being converted and not making it known to the others.
“Janet, that’s like you,” impulsively said a young man who was present, to his sister; “you were converted a long time without ever speaking to me about my soul.”
“O, surely I did, Tom,” she answered confusedly.
“Well, maybe you did it; if I were from home, you put it in a letter.”
Come, sisters, how are we acting toward our unregenerate brothers? Are we quietly enjoying the favors bestowed on us without exerting ourselves in their behalf? May not our apathy be disclosed in a similar way? At the same time we do not seek to justify the young man’s conduct in thus exposing his sister.
It was not long before Tom’s own faithfulness to the truth was put to the test. A week or two later some friends came to spend the afternoon at his father’s farmhouse. They occupied a farm some miles distant, and with one of the sons, Alick, he was an intimate associate.
Alick found Tom’s society unusually dull that afternoon. As for Tom, he was greatly dissatisfied with himself.
In the first transport of joy in the love of the Saviour he had found, he felt as though he could triumphantly proclaim His worth to all the world; now, when an opportunity occurred for telling it simply to a friend, he felt strangely lacking in courage. He, who had been so ready to accuse his sister of timidity, was now full of scruples himself. This grieved him intensely, and taught him his own weakness, while an earnest prayer arose from his heart, pleading for strength to tell his friends of the great things God had done for him. No such prayer remains unanswered.
“Whosoever believeth on Him, shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 10:11).
“Come, Tom,” said Alick, “what is the matter with you today? Let us hear a song from you; have you any new piece?”
In answer to this request, Tom ran his fingers nimbly along the keys, accompanying the notes with a clear tenor voice. His friends listened in silence as the words fell on their ears,
“I am Thine, O Lord;
I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.”
His vocal powers were exceptionally fine, and he sang the hymn through with a pathos which thrilled his listeners. Alick broke the silence which followed the singing of it by saying,
“That is a new kind of song for you, Tom.”
“Yes,” he returned, “the Lord hath put a ‘new’ song into my mouth, and I earnestly desire that all my friends may hear it, and be glad to trust in the Lord.”
Having thus boldly hoisted his colors, the young believer experienced the peculiar joy that springs from confessing Christ’s blessed name; and now he had done so, his timidity all vanished, he felt “bold as a lion,” and spoke earnestly to his companions, telling them how he had, as a lost, guilty sinner, fled for refuge, and found shelter in the blood of Christ.
“The Lord hath given a banner to them that fear Him, that it may be displayed because of the truth,” and once that banner is fully unfurled the battle is half won. Those who do not rank under the same ensign, soon fall aloof from the standard-bearer, and Tom soon found his former companions at variance with him. This did not move him—he was now a member of the “household of faith,” and in that relationship found many with whom he held sweet converse.
Eighteen months passed. It was the annual show and sale of cattle at B—, always a fete day in agricultural districts. Tom and Alick were there, each attending to his father’s interests. Since the day Tom had frankly avowed his allegiance to Christ, Alick had sedulously evaded him; but that night, on leaving the market-place, he made up to him and appeared desirous of his company. Tom quickly noticed the change in his manner, and attributed it—rightly it turned out—to concern in spiritual matters.
Their ways home lay in different directions, but Tom was too earnest over his friend’s conversion to allow a few miles’ walk to deter him from speaking a word in season to him. Soon Alick acknowledged that ever since he had startled him by the singing of his “new song,” he had been a spirit-wounded, convicted sinner. He had endeavored to stifle the appealings of his conscience, but in vain. Next he tried weeping and praying, but these afforded no relief. Then he thought he would wait patiently till some wondrous change came over his heart, but all to no purpose. Theoretically, he knew the gospel well, but no amount of head-knowledge will suffice to bring comfort to a sin-burdened soul.
Simply and fully did Tom explain to him the “old, old story,” how “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself,” that
“It is not our tears of repentance nor prayers,
But the blood, that atones for the soul;”
that the moment faith lays hold of the wondrous truth that “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin,” in that moment does the soul pass from “death unto life.”
Still Alick hesitated.
“Tell me,” said Tom, with deep feeling in his voice, “what it is that stumbles you?”
The two young men walked on for some time in silence, then Alick said, apparently with an effort,
“I do long for pardon; my sins keep hoverling like a dark specter round me; I know the Lord Jesus has suffered for them, and that now He is offering me the gift of eternal life, but, but—”
“But what?”
“But I am afraid, if I accept it, of the consequences.”
“Afraid of the consequences! You may well be afraid of the consequences of rejecting so great salvation, but afraid of the consequences of accepting it, you surely cannot be, when it will bring you ‘love and light and lasting joy.’ What do you mean by being afraid of the consequences?” Tom asked.
“O, I am not afraid of the benefits I will derive from it, quite the contrary, but I shrink from the reproach it might bring me. For instance, you today preaching in the market-place, where everybody knew you, and telling the decent farmers they were lost, and except they were born again they could not enter the kingdom of God. Most of them were laughing at you, and you have made the whole country-side ring with your name. I tried to picture myself—supposing I were getting converted—testifying as you were doing, and it quite unnerved me.”
“And no wonder,” said Tom quickly; “you were depicting yourself suffering for Christ’s sake before tasting the wondrous fruits of His sufferings for you. To me it seems a special gift ‘not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake;’ but with that you have, in the meantime, nothing to do. God, in grace, is now offering to you His unspeakable gift, and it is at your peril you refuse.”
More conversation followed, which need not be related here; then Tom, who was now a long way off his own route home, retraced his steps, praying unceasingly that his friend might not close his eyes against the light.
Alick, left to pursue his journey alone, did so with laggard step and cloudy brow. The road led across a hill, behind which lay his home. The mental anguish through which he was passing, seemed to have weakened his physical strength. He dropped on his knees on the road-side, exclaiming,
“I can’t go any further till I know my sins are forgiven.”
It was not now quiverings about after-testimony that harassed him, but deep heart-yearnings after peace. And peace came. In the deepening twilight, on the lone hillside streamed the light of the glorious gospel of Christ on his troubled soul. He rose from his knees animated by a new life, and, with a joyous burst of song, walked quickly home.
In the farm-yard he met his sister Ellen, and with a gladsome mind he communicated to her the joyful news. She listened rather dubiously, and said,
“It may be true, but it is a funny thing to happen in our family.”
It was undoubtedly something new. He was the first in that household on whom God set His seal, and very marked was the change it made in him. Previously he feared he might succumb to the taunts and jeers he would encounter, but now, realizing himself to be a “chosen vessel,” it was his delight to bear the name of Jesus before all with whom he came in contact.
Naturally his brothers and his sisters were his first concern. He labored fervently in prayer for them, and was careful to let no opportunity pass of “speaking the truth in love.” His work was not fruitless. Ellen was the first to be told of his conversion, and she was also the first he was instrumental in leading to the feet of Jesus. Marvelous was the difference in that household as one by one of its members were turned from “darkness to light.” In the course of three years the whole seven of them were in the divine sense of the term “children of one Father.” Blessed, glorious consequences!
O, you who are halting between two opinions, who long to be supremely blessed, but fear to venture your soul to Jesus’ keeping lest it might bring you a scoff from your companions, a jeer from your friends, or, you fear, might hurt your business, may you be enabled to say truly,
“Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul!
Guilty, lost, and helpless,
Thou canst make me whole.”
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9).

What Amazing Grace!

The Son of God came down from heaven in grace; He is gone up in righteousness; He is coming in glory.
The Father sent the Son; the Son gave Himself for us, and it was by the eternal Spirit that He offered Himself. Now God is for us, Christ in us, and the Spirit’s seal upon us. We are children of God, members of the body of Christ, and temples of the Holy Ghost.
We have righteousness, and we wait for its hope. We have the earnest, and wait for possession of the inheritance. We have redemption as to our souls, and wait for the redemption of our bodies.
We have the salvation of our souls, and look to the Saviour to change our vile bodies. We have received the Holy Ghost, and wait for the Bridegroom.
What amazing grace that could thus set us in such blessing!

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 10

Rebellion against divinely given authority in the church or assembly of God, which the spiritual believer sees on every hand, is not a modern development. It existed at Corinth as we shall see.
“But I myself, Paul, entreat you by the meekness and gentleness of the Christ, who as to appearance (when present) am mean (weak, or not authoritative; making nothing of himself) among you, but absent am bold toward you; but I beseech that present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I think to be daring toward some who think of us as walking according to flesh. For, walking in flesh, we do not war according to flesh.
“For the arms of our warfare (are) not fleshly, but powerful according to God to the overthrow of strongholds; overthrowing reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and leading captive every thought into the obedience of the Christ; and having in readiness to avenge all disobedience when your obedience shall have been fulfilled” (verses 1-6, JND).
Enemies were at Corinth, who had crept into the assembly; enemies of Christ, they had succeeded in turning some of the saints against Paul, as part of their scheme to rob them of the truth of God. Very probably they were Jews, for from the unbelieving among them, came most of the opposition to the gospel.
Paul’s answer to the charge of inconsistency or cowardice—weak, when present, bold by letter when absent—was to beseech the Corinthians by the meekness and gentleness of Christ (powerful weapons, indeed, if there were a work of God in the souls of those addressed!) that they should not compel him to deal sharply when he should come again to them. We may be sure that the meekness and gentleness of Christ characterized the Apostle when he was at Corinth, and wherever he went.
The weapons of his warfare were not those of man, but powerful according to God to the overthrow of strongholds. By them reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God are overthrown; every thought is led captive into the obedience of Christ. What were these weapons? The power and the guidance of the Holy Spirit acting in all patience, to bring to obedience every saint who gave ear to God. Thus, the Word of God operated in human hearts and minds, and when the work of grace was done, obedience was fully established, God was glorified and souls were blessed.
Happy would it be if all bowed to God; there perhaps would become manifest an unbroken state in some; for these persistently disobedient ones, the authority given of God must be exercised in discipline.
Verse 7. The Apostle asks, Do you look at what concerns appearance? He is referring to what was said about him (verse 1). And then he adds, If any man trust to himself, or has confidence in himself, that he is Christ’s, let him think this again in himself, that even as he is of Christ, so also are we. They should have had that in their thoughts, but a saint of God walking out of communion is not wise.
Verse 8. Paul says little of the authority the Lord had given him; it was for building up, not for overthrowing. In the first epistle, chapter 4, verses 18-21, however, he speaks of the possibility of his coming with a rod; and in the second epistle, chapter 13, verses 1-3, he declares that he will not spare the evildoers when he comes; in 1 Corinthians 5:3-4, he has, he says, judged as present with the gathered saints, to deliver to Satan the wicked person there spoken of, for the destruction of the flesh. Then in Acts 13:6-11 The incident of Elymas the sorcerer, blinded by the Apostle, is recorded.
Verses 9-11. He had no thought of frightening the Corinthians by letters—and Paul repeats what his detractors had said of him:
“His letters are weighty and strong, but his presence in the body weak, and his speech naught” (JND); and, he adds:
“Let such an one think this, that such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such also in deed, when we are present.”
In verses 12 and following, the Apostle contrasts with his own, the conduct of those troublemakers who in his absence were seeking to commend themselves (and measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, were not intelligent). They had thought to take advantage of Paul’s labors among the Corinthians, and a measure of success must have been theirs, for Satan has traps for the unwary. Paul, as he points out in verses 13 and 14, had gone, according to the measure which God had apportioned to him, where Christ had been unknown, even to Corinth, seeking to bring to them the gospel of their salvation.
And, he hoped, with their faith increasing, when he came again to Corinth, his ministry would be enlarged among them in order that he might go on beyond their city and district to more distant lands where all were still in the darkness and ignorance of God that had marked the Corinthians who now believed.
“But he that glorieth (boasts) let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
So the Apostle concludes his comment on those would-be, and unworthy leaders who were seeking to commend themselves in his absence.

Thinking About Christ

“When we think of Christ, it keeps the bad thoughts out,” said a young Christian to us the other day. He “had proved the truth of His doctrine.”
By occupation of heart with Christ, the Christian grows practically like Him. As a measure well filled with grain has no room in it for chaff, so a heart stored with Christ is preserved from evil and folly.

The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 2

Part 2
In the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians it was a difficult night they were passing through. Ay, but, says Paul, when you get out of the wood, then you will see it all.
In the second chapter, he takes up the difficulties through which he had to pass, and while he looks at them, he does not see any of them apart from the Lord Himself.
He says, I have suffered torture in trying to get to you, and you have suffered dreadful things in my absence from you, but when we are once at home in the glory, there will be no difficulty in my getting at you then! All these difficulties, which have been permitted to keep me away from you, will be no more, and in that day you will be my glory and joy—the Lord’s too. This is a truth, and a blessed truth; but we shall have it with Him. Not one portion of the glory or the grace, but will have flowed through Him; and I shall say, O! I know the one who has done it all, the effectuator of all this glory. One labor in one direction, and another in another; but, whatever the results, all that is really subordinate. It is Jehovah’s fellow who has done it. He is the worker of it all. And what a joy it will be to Him to see the little circles around each laborer. Here, in one corner, Paul, surrounded with his dear Thessalonians, his joy and crown; and there, in another, some other laborer, with his around him; and in them Christ will see all that His own grace had wrought.
I do not believe we think enough of that communion in the glory which will be the counterpart of our communion here in the wilderness. All the details and difficulties of the wilderness journey will have their blessed counterpart in the glory. Our crown of rejoicing is Christ. Ay, but, says Paul, are not even you this to me? In the day when all these difficulties will be done away, my glory and joy will be what God has wrought in you by me!
What a heart has Christ! No heart so unselfish as His! He loves to give away all He can give away. He might have converted every one Himself, just as He called Saul of Tarsus from the glory, but He would not. He loves to work by others.
And is there no work to do? Are there no eyes to be wiped? Are there no broken hearts to be bound up among the saints? Is there nothing of this sort to be done among His people? Well, then, go in for it! Bring out this patience of Christ, for in that day that will be a blessed counterpart of all labor among the saints.
In the next chapter he brings out another thing. The Lord is here bringing all His people out from heaven with Him.
“To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
“With all His saints.”
It is what we call the Epiphany—the manifestation of Christ. It is after 2 Corinthians 4,—after the bema of Christ. We have met Him, gone with Him to the Father’s house, and now He brings us out again. He comes forth with all His saints.
I do not suppose that the apostle could have let out his heart more simply than he does in these words. Christ has His retired place to take the church into—the Father’s house; but divine love will bring us forth with Him in manifested glory; and the desire of the Apostle is that there may not be a single thing in us now that may in any way mar the time when He will bring us out with Himself. Is there nothing peculiar in the expression,
“He shall come to be admired in all them that believe”?
He will be admired in His saints! Is there, then, no separation—no separation between Christ and His saints? None! There is none as to His blood shedding. He gave His life a ransom for them, and there will be none in His place in heaven. When He goes into His Father’s house, He comes to seek His people first. No separation between Him and the church. He comes with all His saints! O, what a heart Christ has!
And what a mind God has! He has chosen one around whom He can safely wind all His plans. If you want to wind anything round a thing, you must consider the weight of what you want to wind, before you can decide whether you may safely do it. You would not wind a coil of rope round a feeble twig. And thus God could not, so to say, have any center but His Son. All His saints are wound round Him, and He will bring them out with Him in the glory.
And what if I am suffering down here? Surely there is power in this part of the hope to encourage the heart now. What if I am borne down now by difficulties? I shall come forth with Him, and shall be displayed as the one who is with Him, to teach the world to rejoice, and who will keep evil in check. I shall come forth with Him.
Now, in chapter 4, there are some things that are very remarkable brought up in connection with His coming.
The first thing is covetousness, or, as he calls it here, “the lust of concupiscence.” It is the heart that is not satisfied with God and His portion—that is snatching at things round about it down here. It is just the power of the wicked spirit upon the heart that is separated to Christ, and that yet tries to satisfy itself with things down here; and that finds, like the young man in the parable, who tried to feed as the swine did, that he cannot satisfy himself in any way with the husks. He will only just find himself in the pitiable plight of trying what swine’s food will do for him. He will find the husks are only fit for a swine’s belly, and are no food for his.
And then he introduces mourning. What will be a satisfying portion? I have none down here. I have to wait, not only for happy association, but for the Person whose innate power will show itself forth in the midst of the difficulties in which He will find His church when He comes. Paul says to them, God will bring with Him those very friends and relations of yours, you Thessalonians, who you think have lost their chance of being with Him in the glory. And these words tell upon every heart since, that is in like circumstances.
I have this thought, beloved friends, and I think it rather deepens upon me. It is, that that which shines forth from Christ is what gives the power of looking upward.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
(To be continued)

Extract: A Broken Will, a Subject Mind, and a Single Eye

It is quite impossible to overestimate the privilege of being permitted to betake one’s self to the oracles of God, and there find the most ample guidance as to all the details of one’s faith and service day by day. All that we need is a broken will, a subject mind, a single eye. The divine Guidebook is as full as we can possible desire: we want no more. To imagine for a moment that aught is left for man’s wisdom to supply, must be regarded as a flagrant insult offered to the Sacred Canon.

My Father and Your Father

Saviour, when Thine hour of anguish,
On that awful cross was past,
Where Thy soul was left to languish,
For our sins alone at last:
Mighty Victor, from Death’s prison,
Death despoiling of his prey,
O the blessed, glorious vision
On that resurrection day!
Seen by her who of love’s essence
Brought to Thee the best she had;
Brought a breaking heart; Thy presence,
And Thine only, could make glad:
Tribute sweet, how Thou esteemed it!
Thou who hadst rejected been!
In Thine absence Mary deemed it—
Deemed this world an empty scene.
O our Master, much it shames us.
That so often we forget
How Thy love most fitly claims us,
Constantly on us is set.
Guerdon sacred Thou did’st render
To Thy “brethren,” Mary bore
That dear message, true and tender,
Precious then and evermore.
Thou that cup of joy wert drinking,
Peace and love with them to share,
In Thine hour of triumph thinking
On the objects of Thy care.
Homeward! upward! now directed:
“Father”—brought to God so near;
By the Father’s love protected;
Guarding them while strangers here.

Fruit Bearing

“Every tree is known by his own fruit.” Not only bearing fruit, but fruit that Christ produces should be ours. There is fruit that an upright nature produces, such as that of the young man who came to Jesus, but that was not divine fruit— “its own fruit;” and where Christ is the root and stock, it is Christian fruit,—fruit that will remain (John 15:16).
Two men may go together up to a certain point, and then some test for Christ comes; one goes on with Him, and the other turns aside. “Its own fruit”—fruit shows itself—springs of itself.
There will not be the question of:
“What harm in this or that? What harm in being rich?” as a person once asked me.
“If it shuts you out of heaven, is there any harm in that?”
“O, I did not think of that.”
But the secret is, you like the things. The evil is not the things themselves, dug out of the earth, but the love in the heart for them.
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
An impatient word betrays the heart. A blow I may restrain, yet utter the word.

Only and Early

There is a sweet and profitable lesson taught 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 human aid 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 should be sure to seek Him “early.”

Correspondence: 2 TI 4:1 "Quick" and "Dead"; Matt. 23:9

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

A Child of God!

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

Avoid It

“Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and pass away;” remember these words. For how many a soul has been wrecked through not giving evil and temptation a wide berth. Sin is like a rock—a whirlpool; therefore keep as far from it as you can. There is plenty of sea-room, so avoid the danger. Give sin as wide a berth as possible.

Extract: Judgement

Fancy Paul going to be brought out of heaven after being there for nineteen hundred years, to be judged, to see if he were fit to be there! There is nothing so absurd as the thought of a future judgment to settle my case. It is too late to judge if a man is fit for heaven when he is raised in the likeness of Christ!

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: 11

“Would that ye would bear with me in a little folly; but indeed bear with me, For I am jealous as to you with a jealousy (which is) of God; for I have espoused you unto one man, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craft (so) your thoughts should be corrupted from simplicity as to the Christ” (verses 1-3 JnD).
It was “folly” to Paul to speak of himself, even as a servant of Christ, but he was compelled to do it here, because the truth of Christ was at stake. The Corinthian saints had not discerned the Satanic character of the teaching that had been allowed an entrance among them in the Apostle’s absence; to dishonor Christ, and corrupt the church or assembly of God was their aim, and as a direct way to accomplish this, the false leaders were attacking Paul.
All through both of his letters to the saints at Corinth, one purpose is evident; to correct the things in their lives that stood in the way of likeness to Christ. Perhaps they had not thought of the letters in that light until they came to verse 2,
“For I am jealous as to you with a jealousy which is of God; for I have espoused you unto one man, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Nor was it for the Corinthians only that the Apostle wrote these impressive words with the pen of the Holy Spirit; it was for others too, so that we, believers in the twentieth century, may also be exercised in our souls to the end that we shall put away every thought, every habit, every word, every association unsuitable in one with such a high destiny.
Christian reader, this is addressed to you; may it, in view of the difficult times in which we are living, find and retain a large place in your heart.
The Apostle’s reference to the serpent, and Eve, in the third verse is, of course, to the third chapter of Genesis where Satan so easily deceived the unsuspecting bride of Adam, that she believed the fair appearing enemy who cunningly led her to distrust and disobey God, to whom she owed everything. This enemy, Satan, is our enemy and has lost none of his cunning; can he corrupt the thoughts of young (and old) Christians from simplicity as to Christ, from what a faithful heart would retain in simplicity, as taught in the truth? O, yes! there is no safety apart from holding fast to the truth of God’s Word, being always watchful against the wiles of the devil.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:6-7).
Verses 4, 5. If the Corinthians had received another Christ from the teachers who had been received among them, or if they had received another Spirit, or another gospel, not what Paul had made known to them, they might well bear with it. But these teachers had nothing new, only to decry Paul, and praise the twelve in their ignorance of God’s ways.
“For I reckon that in nothing I am behind those who are in surpassing degree apostles,” is his answer. He had not failed in setting forth among them, all that was needed for their instruction, and they had felt its power.
Verse 6. “But if (I am) a simple person in speech, yet not in knowledge, but in everything making (the truth) manifest in all things to you” (JND). To the worldly-minded Corinthians, there was in Paul, we conclude, a lack of the fine polished style of a Greek orator, and for this he offers no word of apology, nor was it needed. Need it be said that to tickle the ear with attractive sounds after the manner of man, has no place in the work of God?
In verse 7, the Apostle asks if he had committed sin, abasing himself that they might be exalted, because he announced the gospel of God to them without charge. No doubt this was offensive to those who loved display, but Paul, guided by wisdom from above, in Corinth would receive nothing from those to whom he ministered Christ. (Read in this connection Acts 18, verses 1-11).
“I spoiled other assemblies, receiving hire for ministry toward you, and being present with you and lacking, I did not lazily burden anyone (for the brethren, who came from Macedonia supplied what I lacked), and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will keep myself. The truth of Christ is in me, that this boasting shall not be stopped as to me in the regions of Achaia” (Verses 8-10, JND).
In 1 Corinthians 9, the right of the Lord’s servants to the support in natural things of those to whom they minister spiritual things, is made altogether plain, though Paul, there as here, declared that he had not used that right. In so acting he was cutting off “the opportunity of those wishing for an opportunity” that wherein they boasted, they should be found even as he; the false teachers lately come in at Corinth, had no advantage of the Lord’s servant in this respect, that he, long before they had labored there, receiving nothing for his work.
It was time now to speak without reserve about these teachers, and (verse 13) Paul did so; such were false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And, he adds, “It is not wonderful, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (verses 14-15, JND). Solemn word!
But again Paul asks, as at the beginning of the chapter, to be borne with while he speaks as a fool, in speaking of himself.
“What I speak, I do not speak according to the Lord, but as in folly, in this confidence of boasting” (verse 17). It was not possible to tell of the ministry of Christ which he bore, without speaking about himself and his service.
“Since many boast according to flesh, I also will boast. For ye bear fools readily, being wise. For ye bear if anyone bring you into bondage; if anyone devour (you), if anyone get (your money), if anyone exalt himself, if anyone beat you on the face” (verses 18-20, JND). This then was the character and the behavior of the false teachers, when once established in the Corinthian assembly. Nor would it be difficult to find in our own times, such a situation as this, where man has been allowed to take the place of the Spirit of God, and the light of God’s truth has been dimmed by human imposition.
As to dishonor, says the Apostle, I speak as though we had been weak. His course, taken in subjection to his Master, was the opposite of that of these self-exalting men. But if anyone is bold, or daring (he speaks in folly), he also is daring. Were they Hebrews? He also. Were they Israelites? He also. Were they seed of Abraham? He also. All that they could claim as being of the ancient people of God, was equally true of Paul. But this was low ground indeed to him. He turns to something vastly higher.
Were these men (really ministers of Satan), ministers of Christ? The apostle has been saying, “I speak in folly,” so far was he from his wishes in speaking of himself; now he says, “I speak as being beside myself”—as wandering away from a right mind; his own heart, as another has said, did not allow him to say, “I above measure so” (verse 23, JND) without judging the expression, though forced to use it for these foolish Corinthians.
And at this point Paul begins an account, not of his miracles, nor of the number of souls converted to God by his preaching, or aught else which might have served to exalt himself, but of his labor and suffering for Christ which we never should have learned of, had it not been for the low spiritual state of the Corinthians. What a pattern of Christian devotedness we trace in the Apostle’s reluctantly given account! Never, we may be sure, has another servant of Christ equaled Paul’s measure of devotion through suffering.
Concluding his brief statement of suffering and care, the apostle says,
“If it is needful to boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows—He who is blessed forever—that I do not lie” (verses 30-31, JND).
The inspired account was complete, save to tell an incident which occurred near the beginning of Paul’s ministry, recorded in Acts 9:23-25; it was a circumstance in which there was nothing that could reflect glory upon himself; there was no heroism in being lowered over a wall in a basket.
All that we have been reading is inspiration; all the language is chosen of God; it was far from Paul’s desire to speak of himself and his ministry, but the bad state of those to whom he wrote, made it necessary, and he calls it folly, though all true, and needful, and for our profit, too.

My Glorious Lord

Lord Jesus, all to me,
Thy praise I sing;
In heaven there’s none like Thee,
Thy praise I bring.
Thou all my heart hath won,
Thou blest and glorious one—
The Father’s Beloved Son!
Jesus, my Lord.
Great was Thy love to me,
Jesus, my Lord!
Precious Thy thoughts of me,
O, Thou adored!
Fairest of all the fair,
None can with Thee compare—
Decked with all graces rare,
Jesus, my Lord.
What griefs and cares were Thine,
Thou Man of woe!
For all the sins were mine
That laid Thee low.
Dark, dark the night to Thee,
Thou Man of Purity!
Dying to ransom me—
Lord, Lord adored.
Lonely, Thy path on earth
Jesus, my Lord!
Thou Man of heavenly birth
Perfect in all Thy ways,
Display of richest grace,
Showing to man, God’s face,
Thou, worthy Lord.
Full of compassion sweet,
Lord Jesus, mine
I worship at Thy feet—
Glad I am Thine.
Love without bound or tide,
Flowed from Thy riven side—
Love, for the loveless died,
Jesus, my Lord.

The Lord Himself Shall Descend: Part 3

Part 3
There is everything to rouse the attention in the way that the subject is introduced: Himself, the Lord, shall descend from heaven. When? Does it say? No! It is not made known when. But, O! to think of that one without whom nothing that has been created was made—that one into whose hands everything has been committed by God—to think of that Man about to descend again from heaven!
It is a wonderful thing, the stupidity of the mind of man! To think of people trying to make out that the death of saints is the coming of the Lord! If I die tonight, I go to the Lord; the Lord does not descend from heaven. When Stephen was dying, he looked up, and saw the Lord waiting for him in heaven; he did not see the Lord descend from heaven.
But the Lord will descend. He will come off that throne at the appointed time. He will come down out of that glory upon the cloud. He will descend out of heaven.
There is everything to arrest the soul in the way it is put, and to cause it to inquire; and then, besides, it is so guardedly put— “the Lord Himself.” There is only one Lord.
And then see the glory! Ay, and the grace too! It is with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.
I never read those clauses without certain thoughts waking up in my mind in one way or another. His voice was heard on earth before this. He was heard to pray by His disciples. In that hour when He asked them to watch with Him, His voice went up in prayer to His Father, and He was heard in that He feared. But He did not take upon Him then the regulating of anything. He let His Father do everything in His own way. What do you take your sword, and smite the servant’s ear off, in that way, for, Peter? He laid His hand on it at once, and healed it. He would not be delivered, because He had to give His life for the sheep.
Of course, on the other hand, He did regulate, in a hidden way, as when He let Saul of Tarsus be at the death of Stephen, and when He spoke to Saul out of the glory. In a quiet way He spoke and regulated them, but He will speak in quite a different way in the day that is coming. The “shout” spoken of here is a regulating sound, such as a call to men to present arms; and its tones will be heard as announcing that the time is come. Ay, and the tones of that voice will be gladsome too! Himself will leave the throne! Himself will call His people! He is the one who regulates it all! He is the perfect servant. He does not leave the Father’s throne a moment too soon; but when He does, it will be with a regulating shout.
And then there is “the voice of the archangel.” The Lord takes it up. The time is come; and what angel in heaven would not gladly render up his place to the Lord!
And then there is “the trump of God.” God takes it up. From the throne of His Father He is coming forth, the regulating introduction of blessing.
Then, besides this (no new thing to us here), there are two things that He brings in. He says,
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
Now we are already associated with Him in resurrection-life in the heavenly places. He has given us to know that, but He is going to give us another exhibition of it.
Do you ever think how Christ is keeping the bodies of the dead? Do you never say, O, what a heart He has! How tenderly He is caring for them! How He knows that the dust of Stephen is there, and the dust of Paul here, and how He has His eye on very bit of it! And He is ready to bring it all forth when the moment comes. It is Himself that does it. He does not say, I will let any mighty power put the finishing stroke to it. No, it is Himself. He says, the dead in Christ shall rise first.
O! what a part of the hope is this to one who has had to battle with death, to one who has had to part with loved ones, and to lay them in the grave! It is “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” O, death! I will be thy plagues, He says. He is coming to avenge the controversy, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. He is coming to make the display of His own glory as the resurrection. The Lord coming, and the dust giving up the dead that belong to Christ everywhere! Ah, yes! it is that which He is putting forward here!
Would you like to see the resurrection accomplished—every corner of this earth opening up to let out the dust that is sleeping in it? There is love supreme to the weakest and feeblest whose bodies are sleeping in the dust.
And then there is “the life!” There are you and I. If He appeared this very evening, He would so let the stream of life flow into us that there would be nothing but immortality left in us.
One often hears that text in Hebrews wrongly quoted. People say, “It is appointed unto all men once to die.” It is “men,” not “all men.” If the Lord were to come tonight, we should not have to lay aside the body at all.
And then he shows what a comfort, too, it is. What is? The resurrection and the life? No! but the Lord who will be that!
Now, in the last chapter, he enters a little into the state of the world when Christ will do this. They have no idea of the Lord’s coming. They are of the night; we are not of the night. His people are waiting for Him, but He shows us that the people of the world are not of that class.
And then He gives this as the desire of His own spirit, and the desire of the Holy Ghost also.
“The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:23).
Here it is a very strong word, and a very simple word, and a very blessed word. The thoughts of the Spirit of God and the thoughts of the Apostle were not that I should be brought to know the things of heaven, of God, and of Christ, and then mar my walk by intercourse with the things of Sodom and Gomorrah. But this was His thought:
“May your spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
He does not speak of taking the law of sin and death out of my members. He does not say that He sets me in a place where I shall have no more conflict. He does not speak of taking me out of the wilderness. But He does speak of this grace which shall preserve me blameless. He does talk of God finding us blameless in that day.
As to his own walk, he was fully persuaded that Christ would be magnified in his body, whether by life or death. And when he thus said that he was positive that Christ would be magnified, he did not get the idea of being blameworthy in his own particular walk. No! This word is to strengthen the hearts of the children of God. It is He who has called them, and He will do it.
Is God going to keep you blameless? Then, mind, you are invincible! Mind, you are to overcome! Mind, you are not to flag! You will overcome, because He will keep you blameless. I see God putting Himself forward, saying, I am the Person who will keep you blameless unto that day.

A Striking Contrast

Have you ever noticed the striking contrast between verses 19 and 22 in Luke 12, so instructive in the everyday life of a child of God?
“Take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry,” arising from much goods laid up for many years.
“Take no thought,” nor be of doubtful mind, arising from the assurance of what your Father knoweth, and is!
Two grand motives should act on us as Christians; one, that our Father in heaven takes thought of us; and the other, that our precious Lord is coming from heaven to take us thither. Thus our faith has another horizon than sight and sense, one peculiarity its own; our heart’s treasure the Morning Star; and cherish the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of the Lord, whose day it is.
Till then, three things are at work in the inner man: the power of the Spirit whereby we are strengthened with might, loyalty and devotedness in the true confession of Christ Jesus the Lord; and the Father’s love maintained in our hearts by the Spirit of adoption, the true spring of all loving obedience.
While in the world as it is, but of which we form no real part, the only proper use we can now make of it is, to shine as lights therein; and if there be a secondary one, to make it the place of trial of our faith that it may be found “unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7).

Extract: Judged

It is vain to speak of approaching judgment, while finding our place, our portion, and our enjoyment in the very scene which is to be judged.

Correspondence: Explanation of Hebrews 10:26-29

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