Young Christian: Volume 9, 1919

Table of Contents

1. Contents
2. I Wish I Had Known It Before
3. Acknowledging the Lord
4. Scripture Study: Luke 20
5. The Two Mines
6. The Bible and the Early Church: Part 1
7. Absent From the Body
8. The Captain and the Quadrant
9. Correspondence: Day of: God, Christ, Lord
10. A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar: Part 1
11. Sunday School Work
12. The Bible and the Early Church: Part 2
13. Scripture Study: Luke 21
14. Waiting to Be Caught Up
15. God's Word Our Food
16. Correspondence: League of Nations; Return of the Jews to Palestine
17. A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar: Part 2
18. The Only Lever
19. He Careth for You: 1 Peter 5:7
20. Scripture Study: Luke 22
21. With Thanksgiving
22. He Dwelt Among Us
23. Correspondence: Psa. 78:67; Rev. 18:4; Lord's Table vs. Supper
24. A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar. Born 1848. Died 1915: Part 3
25. The Painted Text!
26. Scripture Study: Luke 23
27. The Sculptor: Heb. 12:5-11; 2 Cor. 4:11
28. Family Prayer
29. Influence
30. I Being in the Way, the Lord Led Me: Genesis 24:27
31. The Sequel
32. Discernment
33. Correspondence
34. Holding On
35. God's Salvation: Is It Yours?
36. A Whisper
37. A Clean Way
38. Scripture Study: Luke 24
39. The Perfect Man
40. What Will the Lord Do for Me When He Comes?
41. Faint, Yet Pursuing: 1 Samuel 30
42. Correspondence: John 15:2; Doing Good at Any Time
43. The Solemn Choice
44. Peace and Rest
45. Rejoice With Me: Luke 15
46. In and On
47. The Bible
48. Scripture Study: John 1
49. The Hours of the Lord Jesus
50. Have You Not a Word for Jesus?
51. Christ Is All
52. Correspondence: Phil. 2:8; Heb. 10:18-27
53. Looking Up
54. What Will Be for Christ's Glory?
55. Seek
56. Found, Led, Instructed, Kept
57. Scripture Study: John 2
58. The Lord's Supper as the Moral Center, the Object of the Assembly
59. The Power of Prayer: Part 1
60. The First Resurrection
61. My Father's Care
62. Lord Jesus, Come!
63. Extract From Notes on Exodus 14
64. Genesis and Revelation
65. The Source of Power
66. Loss
67. Fragment: Nothing Left for Us
68. Correspondence: Understanding Hebrews 4:1-2
69. Willie's Last Entertainment
70. O, What a Debt I Owe!
71. Little Tangles
72. The Gospel Trust
73. Scripture Study: John 3
74. Christ's Wonderful Love
75. The Power of Prayer: Part 2
76. Our Great High Priest
77. The Coming of the Lord
78. Until He Find
79. Speak of Him
80. Correspondence: "Ye are Gods";Circumcision; 1 Cor. 3:21-22; Psa. 88 and 22
81. Is It Going Home?
82. Counting the Cost
83. The Prayer of Jabez: 1 Chronicles 4:10
84. Serving and Waiting
85. Real Joy
86. Scripture Study: John 4
87. Not the Fag End
88. A Look Into the Future
89. The Path of God's Sons
90. Correspondence: Divine Healing; Is Satan in Heaven?
91. From Darkness to Light
92. The Gospel Message
93. Fragment
94. Psalms 37:5
95. A Word to Christian Parents
96. Real Life
97. Scripture Study: John 5
98. His Beauty
99. A Look Into the Future: IV - Turkey and Russia
100. Correspondence: Heb. 4:8-10; Col. 2:16
101. A Solemn Warning
102. The True Neighbor
103. A Bright Example
104. Scripture Study: John 6
105. Secure in Christ
106. The Heavens Declare
107. A Look Into the Future: V - The Jews
108. Extract From a Letter
109. Faithful Unto Death
110. Correspondence: Pray for Peace; Feet Washing
111. She Believed
112. Sins Forgiven
113. The Bible
114. The World Cannot Satisfy
115. Scripture Study: John 7:1-24
116. Scripture Study: John 7:25-8:1
117. An Earnest Appeal
118. The Lord's Approval
119. Coming
120. Suffering
121. A Look Into the Future: VI - The Millennium
122. Praise Ye the Lord!
123. Satisfaction
124. The Altogether Lovely One!
125. Correspondence: Rev. 3:3; Heb. 12:14

Contents

“In the Lord’s Service.”
A short sketch of the life of Mary Slessor of Calabar. Born 1848. Died 1915.
How many of, us have proved the sweetness and comfort of those words, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want!” To know that the One who made the heavens and the earth has undertaken to care for my every need for Time and for Eternity, and does it in the same loving, thoughtful way that a good shepherd cares for his sheep, only a great deal more so, because His love and His power are Infinite. Could there be a richer, fuller blessing than this?
But every blessing carries with it a responsibility and this same Shepherd has said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd.” And is it not well for you and me, too often ask ourselves the question, “What am I doing about those other sheep—those many millions for, whom Christ died just as much as He died for me, but many of whom have never heard of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?”
We are so apt to say; “O, this is the day of small things,” and then settle down and be content with the small things. But every now and again, the Lord takes up some weak vessel and uses it in some special way, as though He would prove to us, that He could use us too, were our hearts on fire with love and devotion to Himself. Such a one was Mary Slessor, and her life is a wonderful proof of what one weak woman can accomplish when she goes forward in a strength other than her own. She had the simple, childlike faith that can remove mountains. Her love for souls was only second to, her love for her Saviour, and this was such that it made the hard places easy; and the disagreeable things a joy and a delight.
A Scottish factory girl, who spent thirty-nine years as a missionary in that part of Africa known as “The White Man’s Grave,” and dying among the people for who in she had labored so long, was the beloved “white mother” of thousands of the black people. Such was her story in brief; but the years between were filled with adventures and experiences that have seldom, if ever, been the lot; of any other woman; and very few men have had the courage to brave the dangers and difficulties she encountered. We often hear it said that the day of miracles is past, but Mary Slessor’s life was a miracle from first to last. She heard the, Master say, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;” and she went relying on the promise, “All power is given unto Me,” and “Lo I am with you always.” No one could have, been more deeply conscious of her own inability, but in this strength she proved to be one of God’s giants.
In her early life she learned to “endure hardness,” and in looking back she knew that this had been the best possible preparation for her life work. Her mother was a devoted Christian and brought her children up in the love and fear of God. But while the children were still young the father drifted into habits of intemperance and for this reason their’s was a sad home. The mother was not strong, but she had to go into one of the, factories in Dundee to provide for her family. When twelve years of age Mary went into one of the factories as a half-timer—working half a day and attending school the other half. At fourteen she was the main support of the family. She thirsted for knowledge, and would fasten a book to her loom to snatch a little, while at her work: would read going to and from her work, or would sit up far into the night reading and those who knew her marveled at the development of her mind.
She always loved her Bible and read and studied it diligently. To, her it was an inexhaustible treasure store. Once a girl asked her for something to read, and she gave her the book saying, “Take that, it has made me a changed lassie.”
When a mission was started in the tenement district of the city she offered herself as a teacher and was given a class of boys of the roughest sort. Her bright eyes; her sympathy, and her firmness shaped them into order and attention. One lad, a bully used to stand outside the hail with a whip in hand, driving the young fellows into “Mary Slessor’s meeting” but refusing to go in himself. One day the girl-weaver faced him.
“If we changed places what would happen?” she asked, and he replied, “I would get this whip across my back.” She turned her back, “I’ll bear it for you if you’ll go in,” she said.
“Would you really bear that for me?”
“Yes, and far more, go on I mean it.”
He threw down the whip and followed her in, and gave himself the same day to Christ.
Her influence over the lads was wonderful! They adored her and gave her shy allegiance; and the result was seen in changed habits and transformed lives. As one of them said in after years, “She possessed something we could not grasp something indefinable.” It was the glow of the Spirit of Christ which lit up her inner life and shone in her face, and which, unknown even to herself was then and afterward the source of her distinction and power.
From her earliest recollection Mary Slessor had been deeply interested in mission work in foreign lands, but especially in the mission at Calabar on the west coast of Africa, and she had a growing desire to serve the Lord in this field. When asked why she chose this field, her reply was, “Calabar was the post of danger and was therefore the post of honor.” Few would volunteer for service there, hence she wished to go, for it was there the Master needed her.
When she told her mother of her desire, this dear woman was overjoyed, although it meant parting with the one who had been her greatest help and comfort for fourteen years and she was now a widow. But it was the Lord’s work and she felt that her best was not too good to give to Him. In her heart she had dedicated her two sons to this very work but one had died in childhood, the other in early manhood.
Mrs. Slessor was only a poor woman, who was little known or heard of in this world, but in that day when all the redeemed ones shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we know that her reward will be very great. For He, who when here upon earth saw “the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury at the temple, and saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites,” said of her, “this poor widow hath cast in more than they all, for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God, but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had” (Luke 21:1-4). And this same Jesus will measure all our gifts in the same scale. “For the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.”
It must be clearly understood that, only those who are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) to receive the result of their works as Christians as to the matter of rewards or loss of rewards. But all believers will be saved, even those who receive no reward (1 Cor. 3:11-15).
The believer is never brought into judgment as regards his salvation. That question is forever settled the moment he accepts Christ as his Saviour, the Lamb of God’s own providing, “who bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” and the word is, “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; (or judgment) but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24).
But let us return to our story; Mary Slessor was accepted by the Mission Board on the recommendation of those who had known her work at the City Mission. Her only special preparation for the work was three months spent in the Normal school at Edinburgh, and in August 1876 she sailed for Calabar.
We will pass over the first twelve years of her life there. They were spent at the Mission base on the coast, where her ability was readily recognized by the other missionaries. She learned the language with wonderful rapidity, and it was not long before the natives said she spoke it better than they did themselves. She quickly came to understand the workings of the native mind and entered into their thoughts and feelings in a sympathetic way that won their confidence.
But her heart went out continually to the tribes further inland, many of whom had never seen a white face. They had never heard of the Saviour’s dying love and she longed to carry the glad tidings to them.
There was bitter enmity between these inland tribes and those at the coast. Then too they were continually fighting among themselves, and the British Consul had no more control over them than over the wild beasts of the forest. They were steeped in all the worst superstitions of heathenism, fierce and lawless, but these were the people to whom Mary Slessor longed to carry the gospel message. She had asked her mother if she would be willing for her to undertake this dangerous work and her reply had been, “You are my child given to me by God and I have given you back to Him. Where He needs you and where He sends you, there I would have you be.”
(To be continued).

I Wish I Had Known It Before

Wounded, bleeding, dying,{br}Beneath a foreign sun,{br}Three soldier boys were waiting{br}As the summer day was done.{br}{br}The battle now had ended,{br}The smoke had cleared away;{br}Revealing bleeding comrades—{br}Grim War’s relentless way!{br}{br}But one had there a Bible{br}Someone had kindly given,{br}And opening its pages{br}They learned of God and heaven,{br}{br}“Ask, and it shall be given;{br}Seek, and ye shall find;{br}Knock; and the door shall open.”{br}O, words—so wondrous kind!{br}{br}And one whose life was passing{br}Fast to eternity,{br}Exclaimed in breathless accents—{br}In dying agony,:{br}{br}“To knock, I am not able;{br}I can not rise to seek;{br}But if I ask; believing;{br}Will heaven hear me speak?{br}{br}“Will God Almighty listen?”{br}While tears their eyes did fill,{br}Two comrades answered quickly,{br}Assuring, “Yes He will!”{br}{br}“I wish that I had known it,{br}That I had learned before,{br}That Christ receives the sinner,{br}And opens heaven’s door!”{br}{br}His life-blood fast was flowing—{br}“But I must trust He will!{br}Goodbye,” his white lips faltered;{br}A moan—then all was still.{br}{br}O Christian, send this message:,{br}To men—for men must die—{br}That God Almighty listens,{br}That heaven hears their cry.{br}{br}“I wish that I had known it!”{br}O, hear that anguish cry!{br}And millions never knew it{br}Before they said “Goodbye!

Acknowledging the Lord

“Did you ask the Lord about it, Nellie?” said a Christian girl to a companion who had engaged herself to a Roman Catholic mistress as nursery maid and who was prohibited by her mistress from going to a Bible class for young believers on the Lord’s Day afternoons, where before she had received much help and instruction in the things of God. “You know, Nellie, the Word says—‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’ I have always found it true, that the Lord does so order my paths, and give me situations in which I have the privilege of doing His will, and assembling with His beloved people, since I learned to acknowledge Him, and seek His guidance in the matter of service. I once had the same difficulty as you have, but it was owing to my taking my own way, and not seeking guidance from Him in the choice of a place.”
The girl hung her head, and with a tear in her eye answered, “No, I did not ask Him about going to this last situation. I thought it would be so nice and so much better than my last one, that I engaged before I thought of praying about it at all.”
“I thought so, Nellie; and now you are reaping the bitter fruit of following your own desires, without the guidance of the Lord. You must just bear it patiently now, and confess your sin to Him who is faithful and just to forgive. But, O, remember, my dear sister, that the truly happy path is to acknowledge the Lord in every step of life. There is nothing too small for him to order, and such is His love for us, who are His loved ones that He delights to choose for us, when we leave Him to do it.”
The lesson was not lost on the young servant maid. She never forgot it in her afterlife. That engagement without asking guidance from her Lord, and the trials she had to endure as the fruit of her own choosing, taught her that it is a bitter thing for a Christian to move along life’s path, without in all our ways acknowledging the Lord. It is no uncommon mistake among the Lord’s redeemed ones so to do. But it is an evil way. The world, of course, arranges its affairs without acknowledging the Lord. Those who “know not the Lord”, and cannot therefore seek His counsel, choose their situations according to their own desires, but it should not be so with the children of God.

Scripture Study: Luke 20

Verses 1-2. The Lord with unwearied patience goes on with His service, teaching the people in the temple and announcing the gospel. On one of these days the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came upon Him. They could not destroy Him. His time was not yet come, but they tried to hinder His work, assuming the right to question Him. “Tell us, by what authority doest Thou these things, or who is He that gave Thee this authority?”
Verses 3-4. He answered and said unto them, “I will also ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven or of men?”
The priests had some authority from God, but with the others it was only assumed. Also their moral condition was far from right. The Lord proved this by the answer they gave to His question.
Verses 5-7. “They reasoned with themselves, saying, “If we shall say, from heaven; He will say, Why then believed ye him not? But if we say, of men; all the people will stone us; for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered that they could not tell whence it was.” Jealousy and untruthfulness, hypocrisy, and the fear of men ruled them, and had not any desire for the glory of God. Their pride of heart would not submit to John’s call to repentance from, heaven. Yet they dared not say anything against him for fear of the people. Their heartlessness is manifest.
Verse 8. And Jesus said unto them, “Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” They were utterly incapable to judge anything according to God.
Verses 9-16. In this parable He shows their failure in responsibility to bring forth fruit to God. Israel had returned no fruit for all God’s care, and they, the husbandmen, had persecuted His servants, and lastly the Lord of the vineyard said, “What shall I do? I will send My beloved Son; it may be they will reverence Him when they see Him.” But when the husbandmen saw Him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, “This is the heir; come, let us kill Him that the inheritance may be ours.” So they cast Him out of the vineyard, and killed Him. “What therefore shall the Lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.” These were plain, forcible, words, and they reached their mark. They felt the parable was against them; it was truth and they feared it. And when they heard it, they said, “God forbid.” Yet how truly it all came about up to that moment.
Verses 17-18. And He beheld them, and said, “What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Would not that look of His convict them, and pierce their consciences? Doubtless the Lord felt sad needing to speak such words, for they had stumbled on the stumbling stone and would be broken. Yet He was the head of the corner, as it will be seen in Psalm 118, and they were the builders that rejected Him. The words, “But on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder,” speak of His coming in judgment on the unbelieveing Gentiles when Israel is restored.
Verse 19. These wicked men the same hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people. The lesson taught but hardened their hearts and stirred up their anger against Him.
Verse 20. Instead of crowning Him King, they lay traps to catch Him, that they might deliver Him up to the authority of the governor. They watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words.
Verses 21-22. And they asked Him, saying, “Master, we know that Thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest Thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly; Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or no?”
Verses 23-24. But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, “Why tempt ye Me? Show Me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it?” They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”
Verses 25-26. And He said unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” It was an answer that reminded them of their sin against God. They had not rendered unto God the things which are His, and because of it they were now under the Roman’s power. And now they must submit to it till God’s time to restore them comes, through their repentance. Again their attempt was defeated; they could not take hold of His words before the people; they marveled at His answer and held their peace.
Verses 27-38. Then came to Him certain Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection, and they asked Him, trying to perplex Him, about the law of brothers taking their deceased brother’s wife. Whose would she be in the resurrection? The Lord answers from Moses’ writings also, and gives us valuable teaching and proves how blind they are to the things of God. In answer He said unto them, “The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage, but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from (out from among) the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.”
“This world” and “that world” are contrasted. Those accounted worthy to obtain it and the resurrection from among the dead, (see new trans), speak of believers in the resurrection of life. They are called the children of God and the children of resurrection. The unsaved will not be raised at the same time. Further, notice, all live unto God no one is dead to Him. There is no sleep of the soul. Believers who die are asleep as to this world, they know not anything, but they are absent from the body and present with the Lord. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.
Verses 39-40. Certain of the scribes answering said, “Master, Thou hast well said.” After that they dared not ask Him any question.
Verses 41-44. But He has something to ask them, “How say they that Christ is David’s son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,’ David therefore calleth Him Lord, how is He then his son?” They cannot answer. Thank God, we know who He was. “Jehovah,” the great “I am.” The Almighty, “The Word,” “in the beginning, with God and was God.” “Whose goings forth hath been from of old from the days of eternity.” Great David’s greater Son “Jesus” our Lord.
Verses 45-47. In the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples, “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts.” It is seeking honor of men, but “they devour widow’s houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”

The Two Mines

Lines found among the papers of a young man who recently fell asleep in Jesus. He had been to the gold diggings, where he realized a large amount, of which he was afterward robbed. The hardships he endured, at the mines, brought on an illness, in the progress of which, the Lord revealed Himself to his precious soul.
I once deemed that contentment was bought with gold,{br}And I went to the land where the rich tide rolled,{br}And I eagerly sought, ‘mid disease and death,{br}To grasp it; nor feared I the withering breath{br}Of the damp chilling mine, When I saw it shine.{br}Nay, I laughed when I thought of what wealth was mine.{br}But it fled—and it left me diseased and worn;{br}And I grieved ‘mid a night which might know no morn;{br}But I was not deserted; for Jesus came{br}His suff’ring blood-bought one from Satan to claim.{br}And He opened the mine{br}Of His love divine,{br}And His Word bade its gems round my heart to shine.{br}O! how softly He whispered, “ ‘Tis Mine to roll{br}The mountain of sin off thy laboring soul.”{br}How full was her freedom, relieved of her load!{br}And He gave me a name, ‘twas—“a son of God.”{br}And He said, “In its mine{br}Leave earth’s gold to shine;{br}The riches of grace are eternally thine.”

The Bible and the Early Church: Part 1

We saw last month that the New Testament was finished before the close of the first century. We can see from the last epistles that even before the death of the apostles the church had lost her first love, and a time of decline had set in. It is evident that there was no one in the church great enough or devoted enough to carry on the work of the apostles. Individuals there were, and many of them who were willing to seal their confession with their blood, but there was no one with a grasp of the truth, or spiritual discernment and power, which was able to turn back the tide of error which was slowly creeping over the church.
Some writings of that early time have come down to us. The most important are as follows: The two epistles of Clement, Bishop of Rome, about A. D. 95.
The epistles of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, written on the way to his martyrdom in Rome about A. D. 107.
An Epistle of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, also about A. D. 107.
A letter of Barnabas.
A curious allegory called “The Shepherd,” written about the beginning of the 2nd century.
All these writings, though coming so soon after the New Testament, are immeasureably inferior. They show in a wonderful way the difference between an inspired writing and the mere work of man.
The later writers, Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp, and others, of course do not pretend to claim inspiration. Their epistles are full of quotations and allusions from the Old and New Testaments, and they speak most humbly of the difference between their position and that of the apostles.
We must remember the difficulties of the Christians of that age. The writings of the New Testament had not been collected, though they were known individually by assemblies scattered all over the world. Although their authors wrote by the inspiration of God, yet not all the epistles definitely state that they are inspired, and probably there were other epistles by equally holy men which have been lost, and no doubt were permitted so by God because they were not inspired. “He that is of God heareth God’s words.” John 8:47. May we not say that the guidance of the Holy Spirit was needed to discern, and acknowledge the inspired writings, just as it was needed to write the words?
But just as the New Testament was written spontaneously, without concerted action, “not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” so during a century it was gradually being received, acknowledged, and collected into a whole. During those days, sometimes some books which we accept as inspired were not so accepted by individual assemblies, and on the other hand, they sometimes received books which we regard as apocryphal. But at last, at the end of the second century, the judgment of the church was almost unanimous in accepting the Bible as we have it.
This is shown by two translations of the whole Bible which appeared almost at the same time, a Latin one in the west, and a Syriac one in the east.
The Syriac version, known as the Peshito, that is, simple or literal version, is the oldest. Nothing is known of its translator, but it was in use among the assemblies of Syria early in the second century, and manuscripts of it are still in existence.
The Old Testament of the Peshito was taken directly from the Hebrew, and therefore its contents are the same as ours. The New Testament contains the four gospels, the Acts, the 14 epistles of Paul, including the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistles of James, 1 Peter, 1 John.
The remaining Epistles, that is, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelations were translated and added later on.
The Old Latin version of the Bible, known as the Old Vulgate, was made in Africa about the middle of the second century. The Old Testament was a translation of the Septuagint, which it will be remembered was a Greek translation of the Old Testament made in Egypt about the middle of the third century. It therefore contained the books of the Apocrypha which had been included with the Septuagint.
The New Testament lacked, at first, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Epistles of James and 2 Peter. This old Latin version of the Bible was the one habitually used by Tertullian. It is worth while quoting some of his words on the authority of the Bible which he regards as one “Divine Instrument.” (that is, record). He appeals to the historic tradition of the churches to show the authenticity of the apostolic writings. “The Epistles of Paul have been preserved in the churches which he founded; so too the four gospels have been handed down to us in due succession on the authority of the Apostolic churches.”
(To be continued).

Absent From the Body

“Absent from the body,... present with the Lord”; (2 Cor. 5:8) or, “At home with the Lord.” These few but precious words give us full information upon a matter of deep importance—the dwelling place of the spirit of the believer after the death of his body, until the time of his resurrection.
The individuality of the person is shown to be untouched by death, as also where the Apostle says, “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ,” surveying the two conditions of being at home in the body, and at home with the Lord; and speaking of himself in each state.
The blessing of the person who is absent from the body is also indicated. “We are... willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,” and again, “To depart and be with Christ is far better.”
“To die is gain.” There is greater privilege, richer blessing, higher joy at home with the Lord than there is at home in the body.
Further, the place which the spirit of the believer occupies is distinctly stated— “With the Lord!” Where He is. This is express. It allows no room for unhallowed fancies of spirits hovering about the earth. Of what gain, indeed, would it be to them? Nay, how sorrowful would they be in witnessing the ills and sufferings of this life without any ability to relieve or help! Was it not their pleasure to soothe and serve us here? The only reason Paul desired to remain upon earth was that he might help the Philippians and others; for his own sake, he preferred to depart and be with Christ.
“With the Lord.” What does this word not embrace? The truly happy hours for the believer upon earth are those spent in sweet communion and soul intercourse with Him. There it will be uninterruptedly, unbrokenly, undistractedly with the Lord. The origin of many of the prevailing painful thoughts concerning the state of the spirit severed from the body is, doubtless, owing to the feebleness of our faith in grasping these words, “With the Lord.”
What strange notions float through the mind as to the departed. They are not singing among the angels, they have not harps or white robes—the resurrection has not yet come—for these they wait, and wait patiently in His patience, with Whom they are. But they are supremely happy, this hallowed period is spent alone with Him who loved them. He ministers to them, they are near Him. We witnessed their deep peace and overflowing joy, in their last hours, and our spirits caught somewhat of their blessedness; they, in the feebleness of dying bodies, testified to His being with them, and now theirs is peace more deep, joy more overflowing, they are with Him. Dear Christian reader, let no misplaced affection draw your mind from the essence of the joy of departed saints.
And if this morsel should fall into the hand of one, who finds no sweetness in these words, “with the Lord,” O! let him consider that the highest bliss of the eternal state is here—“So shall we ever be with the Lord.”
“Blessed are all they who put their trust in Him.”
Lord, now we wait for Thee to come{br}And take us to Thy Father’s home;{br}O, what ecstatic joy ‘twill be{br}To spend eternity with Thee!

The Captain and the Quadrant

A Godly man, the master of an American ship, during one voyage found his ship bemisted for days, and he became rather anxious respecting her safety. He went down to his cabin and prayed. The thought struck him, if he had with confidence committed his soul to God, he might certainly commit his ship to Him; and so, accordingly, he gave all into the hands of God, and felt at perfect peace; but still he prayed that if He would be pleased to give a cloudless sky at twelve o’clock, he should like to take an observation, to ascertain their real position, and whether they were on the right course.
He came on deck at eleven o’clock with the quadrant under his coat. As it was thick and drizzling, the men looked at him with amazement. He went down to his cabin, prayed, and came up. There seemed still to be no hope. Again he went down and prayed, and again he appeared on deck with his quadrant in his hand.
It was now ten minutes to twelve o’clock, and still there was no appearance of a change; but he stood on the deck waiting upon the Lord, when, in a few minutes, the mist seemed to be folded up and rolled away by an omnipotent and invisible hand; the sun shone clearly from the blue vault of heaven, and there stood the man of prayer with the quadrant in his hand; but so awestruck did he feel, and so “dreadful” was that place, that he could scarcely take advantage of the answer to his prayer. He, however, succeeded, although with trembling hands, and found to his comfort, that all was well. But no sooner had he finished taking the observation, than the mist rolled back over the heavens, and it began to drizzle as before.
This story of prayer was received from the lips or the good Captain Crossby, who was so useful in the Ardrossan awakening; and he himself was the man who prayed and waited upon his God with the quadrant in his hand.
“Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw; Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw; Gives exercise to faith and love; Brings every blessing from above.”

Correspondence: Day of: God, Christ, Lord

Question: What is meant by “the day of God,” “the day of Christ,” and “the day of the Lord.?” S. T. G.
Answer: The context in each passage helps us to know its meaning. “The day of God,” is found in 2 Peter 3:12, 13. It is past all dispensations—the eternal day—when everything that can be shaken has passed away, and nothing remains but the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. And the lake of fire wherein all unrighteousness of men and angels finds its eternal judgment. (Rev. 21:1,8).
“The day of Christ,” or “Jesus Christ,” or “Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil. 1:6,10; 2:16; 1 Cor. 1:8; 2 Cor. 1:14), point to the time when the Lord Jesus, having called us to meet Him in the air, will have His full delight in all His glorified saints, when as to them, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.”
“The day of the Lord,” (1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; 2 Thess. 2:2 should read “the day of the Lord,” instead of “the day of Christ,” see New Translation), is when He comes with His saints to judge and reign and fulfill all the prophecies. And this day will extend from then over the Millennial Kingdom, and include the judgment of the dead at the great white throne. (2 Tim. 4:1).
See Volume I of “The Young Christian,” page 167 for answer to your question on the difference of “the Kingdom of heaven” and “of God.”

A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar: Part 1

Born 1848. Died 1915.
Having obtained the promise of protection from the chief men of the district she determined to go. When she moved to the Okoyong district she took with her five children who formed the inner circle of her household, the eldest a boy of eleven, the youngest a babe in arms, all of whom she had rescued from tragic deaths. Under her loving care and careful training these children grew to be a great comfort to her and in later years a great help in her work. From time to time their number was added to—and today these boys and girls are all helping to carry on the work she began.
On her arrival in Okoyong she was allotted a room in the woman’s yard or harem of Edem the chief, which had been previously used by one of his free wives, who had left its mud floor and mud walls in a filthy state. Here she and the children had to live for many weeks. Two cows occupied the apartment next; goats, fowls, cats, rats, cockroaches and centipedes were everywhere. It was not these things that troubled her, but the moral and physical atmosphere of the harem—and these were such that she wrote of these days, “Had I not felt my Saviour close beside me I would have lost my reason.” But her days were full, “mothering her bairns,” nursing the sick, and teaching all whom she could gather round her, old or young. In her simple, direct way she would tell them the story of Jesus and His love. Some of the younger ones learned to read quickly; but singing was their special delight.
The natives are never in a hurry but with a great deal of good, humored patience and persuasion on her part she finally prevailed on them to make a clearing in the bush and build two mud huts for her which were to be used later for rear parts of the mission house proper.
And in course of time this, too, was, under way under her directions and no small amount of labor on her part.
About this time Mr. Ovens, a Scotchman of the fine old type, offered his services to the Mission at Calabar as a carpenter. For a number of years this good man served the Lord with hammer and saw, in this dangerous field, adding much to the comfort of the missionaries and instructing the natives in this useful art. On his arrival in Calabar, he was sent at once to Okoyong to finish Miss Slessor’s house, and under his skilled hand the work was progressing splendidly, when something happened, which brought everything to a standstill for several months.
Since coming to Okoyong, Chief Edem had, faithful to his promise, protected her and shown her much consideration and now his eldest son had met with an accident, which at the end of a fortnight resulted in his death: and Mary Slessor was sick with fear, knowing the customs of the country. To Mr. Ovens she said “There is going to be trouble; no death of a violent character comes apart from witchcraft.” She had a number of times encountered the witch doctors but this was to be her fiercest fight and her greatest victory.
The natives believed that sickness and death were unnatural, and that death never, occurred except from extreme old age. When a, free man became ill or died, sorcery was alleged. The witch doctor would be called nay; and would name one individual after another, and all bond or free, were chained and tried and there would be much grim merriment as, the victims writhed in agony. To prove a, person’s guilt or innocence, boiling oil or the poison cup were resorted to. In the one test boiling oil was poured over the hands and if the skin became white and blistered it proved the victim guilty, and he was punished accordingly. But the surest and least troublesome test was the poison cup. If the body ejected the poison the person was innocent; but if guilty the investigation, sentence and judgment were carried out simultaneously!
The fact that a man’s position in the spirit world was determined by his rank and wealth in this one, demanded the sacrifice of much life, when chiefs died. A few months before Miss Slessor went up amongst them, a chief of moderate means died, and with him were buried eight slave men, eight slave women, ten girls, ten boys, and four free wives. These were in addition to the men and women who died as a result of taking the poison ordeal. Even when the death was due to natural decay the retinue provided was the same.
When Chief Edem’s son died, he shouted, “Sorcerers have killed him and they must die. Bring the witch doctor.” When the medicine man arrived, he laid the blame of the tragedy upon a certain village, to which the armed freemen at once marched. They seized over a dozen men and women, the others escaping into the forest, and after sacking all the houses returned with the prisoners loaded with chains, and fastened to posts in the yard which had only one entrance.
Miss Slessor went to Mr. Ovens and told him he would have to stop all work, for this was going to be a serious business. We can’t leave these prisoners for one moment, she said, “I’ll watch beside them all night and you’ll take the day.” And time and time about in that filthy yard, through the heat of the day and the chill of the night, these two brave souls kept guard opposite the wretched band of prisoners, with the half-naked people, armed with guns and machetes dancing and drinking about them. As one barrel of rum was finished another was brought in, and the supply seemed endless. The days went by and Mr. Ovens lost patience, and declared he would go and get a chisel and hammer and free the prisoners at all costs; but Miss Slessor begged him to wait a little longer.
Prayer had been her solace and strength during all these days and nights. She had told the father and uncle of the dead boy that there must be no sacrifice of life. They argued that only those guilty of causing his death would suffer. Her only reply was to sit quietly on guard. The chiefs became angry. To have a white woman—and such a white woman amongst them was good, but she must not interfere with their customs and laws. The mother of the dead lad became, violent. Even the slaves were openly hostile and threatening. The crowd, maddened, by drink run wildly about, flourishing their guns and swords. “Raise our master from the dead,” they said, “and you shall have the prisoners.”
Mr. Ovens had gone to the hut and Miss Slessor was keeping vigil when a stir warned her of danger. Several men came and unlocked the chains of one of the women—a mother—and ordered her to the front of the corpse to take the poison cup. Miss Slessor was in a dilemma. Was it a ruse to get her out of the yard? If she followed, would they bar the entrance and wreck their vengeance on the others who remained? “Do not go,” they cried, and gazed at her pleadingly. But she could not see a woman walk straight to death. One swift appeal to God and she was after the woman. The table was covered with a white cloth, and upon it stood a glass of water containing the poison. As the victim was in the act of lifting the glass she touched her on the shoulder and whispered, “Run.” She gave one quick glance of intelligence into the compelling eyes and off both bounded, and were in the bush before any one realized they were gone. They reached the mission house where the woman was quickly hidden and Mary flew back to the yard. “Where is she?” the prisoners cried. “Safe in my house,” she answered. They were amazed. She herself wondered at her immunity from harm. It might be that the natives were stupefied with drink—but she thought of her prayer.
By her patience, tact and quick wits she finally succeeded in gaining the release of all the prisoners, but not before she had had many heated arguments with the father of the dead boy, when he would become very, angry. He said he must at least do his son the honor to give him a retinue in the spirit land, but neither would Mary consent to this, and finally he was buried and only a cow had been placed in the coffin and her joy was great. But her troubles were not over.
A party of natives coming to the funeral met another party returning, drunk with excitement and rum. Recalling some old quarrel the latter killed one man; fighting became general between the two factions and many were wounded. This kept the whole district in an unsettled state for many weeks more, and there was much blood shed.
When peace and order were once more restored, Chief Edem came to Miss Slessor quietly and alone, one evening, and kneeling down held her feet, thanking her again and again for her wonderful love and courage, for her action in forbidding them to take life at his son’s death and for all the peaceful ways which she was introducing. “We are all weary of the old customs,” he said, “but no single person or house among us has power to break them off, because they are part of ‘Egbo, system.’”
And one by one, secretly and unknown to each other, the free people came to her and thanked her gratefully for the state of safety she was bringing about, and charged her to keep a stout heart and go forward and do away with all the old fashions, the end of which was always death.
Yes, it is just as true, whether in Africa or Europe or America, “the wages of sin is death,” but it is just as true “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. If there is anyone who may read this story who is sinning against God in refusing to accept His Wonderful Gift, may they accept it now as freely, as gladly as it is offered.
(Continued from page 8).
(To be continued).

Sunday School Work

“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9.
“Dear Mrs. W.:
It was indeed quite a cheer having such an encouraging letter, especially when there had been so much to discourage in starting a Sunday School here.
You know how this work has been much upon my heart, in fact, ever since I was gathered out from system, and I felt so for the dear children that never hear the gospel, pure and simple. Well, your visit among us stirred up this desire, so that I felt it was of the Lord, and that the time had come to make a start.
There was much discouragement at first, both in the children who promised to come, and a little opposition in the meeting. The one thing I encouraged myself with very much was, the thought that when God begins to work, Satan is also very busy, and it was a comfort to know this work was of the Lord, therefore blessing would follow in His own blest time.
There was a family who lived near the meeting, in whom I was very much interested, and used to give them magazines, so when it was thought to start the Sunday School, I called and asked the parents if they would be willing for the children to come, for I knew they went nowhere. The parents were quite willing, and this I felt was an answer to prayer, for they are such a godless set, however I had not been seated but a few minutes when there was a tap at the door, and who should be there but one of these children hand in hand with her friend, and said, “Here is another for the Sunday School.”
With the hope of having three children, it was decided to start the school, so I went to the room and arranged everything. Three o’clock came, but no children arrived, and so the time went on, and there I waited until nearly four o’clock. You can little imagine what I passed through that afternoon, and returned home very, very sad.
The following Saturday afternoon I looked up some more Children. Well, I had the promise of twelve children, and the next day only one came, which was Lucy H. At the close on looking around, she said, “Those other children are very naughty in not coming to Sunday School. They will have the policeman after them.” It was an amusing remark, although at the time I felt too sad to take it as such.
The next Lord’s day I had two children, the next six; The next nine, then twelve. So you see it gradually grew, and as one looks back, one sees how needful the exercise was in those days of discouragement. We now have over thirty children, and had it not been for some families moving away, we should have had over forty. Such are the sorrows of a Sunday School—children leaving when one is so attached to them.
We get on very happily together—both children and teachers. Celia has a class, also Annie and Avis.
We had a great, sorrow last Autumn, a family of six moved to B. These children were quite the flower of the Sunday School—so regular and well behaved, and for some time it seemed, dreadful to see their empty chairs. They left rather, sooner than expected, so the, three girls came to say goodbye, which gave an opportunity of speaking to them. Florrie, aged twelve, said she believed in the Lord Jesus, so I said to her, “Do you know what it is to have your sins washed away in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus?”
Her reply was, “I do,” which was most decided. So we can only trust she is saved. It certainly seemed a clear, simple testimony.
We have a boy, James H., who is nearly teen years. He confessed, a few months age, that he believed on the Lord Jesus.
I have a little girl in my class in whom I am very much interested. She seemed so dark When she first came to the Sunday School, but now it is encouraging to see how clear she is about God’s things. One afternoon, While having the class, all of a sudden she looked up and said, “Teacher, if I have my sins washed away in the blood of Jesus, can I go to heaven?”
It was said in such earnestness as though it had been a meditation of hers. She is so clear about the Lord’s coming. At one time when I had a new girl, I was asking her if she had ever heard about the Lord’s coming, to which she replied, “Yes, in the last day.” Lily, the little girl I have been telling you about, so eagerly wanted to answer, which she did, by saying in such a sweet way, “He might came at anytime, He might come this afternoon.”
Lucy H. is another very interesting child, and it is remarkable the many things she goes home and tells her mother. Once when she had the measles, she said, “I shall be glad to go to Sunday School again to hear about Jesus, for I do like to hear about Him.” The other evening, when her aunt was putting her to bed, she said, “There may not be a tomorrow, because the Lord Jesus might come.” So her aunt said, “It will be only those who believe on the Lord Jesus that He will take when He comes.” Lucy’s reply was, “I know He will take me, because I believe on Him.”
You will be interested to hear that I have started a sewing class. This was in my mind for some time, then the way seemed clear. The children seemed very much delighted about it when I mentioned it to them. With one voice, so to speak, they exclaimed, “May I come?” I have the class on Wednesdays. They look quite a busy set of bees.
I feel so happy when among the children and I love the work.”

The Bible and the Early Church: Part 2

This is the bare history of the New Testament h the second century, but the scanty records of that time yet give us some glimpses of the way in which the Scriptures were woven into the lives of early Christians.
The first account of early Christian worship is found in a letter of Pliny, governor of Bithynia, to the Emperor Trajan. He was alarmed at the number of Christians in his province; had arrested some, and the following account is from the lips of some persons who said they had been Christians, but had given up their profession for some years. Pliny says that they “assured him that this was the sum of their fault or error, that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before light, and repeat a fixed form of words among themselves, in order to Christ as God, and bind themselves by an oath not to the commission of any wickedness, but not to be guilty of theft, robbery, adultery, not to break their word, not to withhold a pledge entrusted to them when called upon to restore it. When this was done, they said it was their custom to separate, and again to meet for a meal, which was, however, of the most simple fare and innocent; and that they had ceased to do this after Pliny’s edict.”
A little later Justin gives an account with more detail. He says that on the day called Sunday all Christians of the town or country came together. They began by reading many passages from the Scriptures. “When the reader has ceased,” says Justin, “the presiding minister addresses to us the appropriate admonitions, and invites us to imitate the noble examples found in Holy Scripture. Then we all rise up together and pray. And when we have ceased from prayer, bread is brought and wine and water, and the presiding minister offers up prayer and alike thanksgiving, according to his ability, and the people joyously respond, saying the ‘amen.’”
It was at such a meeting in Scilla, a little town in Africa, that nine Christians, three of them women, were suddenly seized and brought before the governor. We have the account of their trial, taken probably from the proconsular records: “You persist, I see, in being a Christian,” the proconsul said to Speratus, the chief of the martyrs.
“This Christian persistence I trust I have,” was his reply; “not by my own strength, but of the gift of God. If you would know the set judgment of my heart, I am a Christian.”
“Perhaps,” said the proconsul, “you wish a space for reflection.”
Speratus said, “No second deliberation is required for so good an object. For we decided not to abandon the worship of Christ when, renewed by the grace of baptism, we renounced the devil and followed the steps of Christ.”
“Tell me,” said the proconsul “the substance of the teachings in your religion?”
Speratus replied, “The books of the gospels, and the Epistles of Paul, the Apostle, a most holy man.”
“Take a respite of thirty days,” said the proconsul, “that you may retract your confession of this sect. Perhaps you will return to the sacred ceremonies of the gods.”
Speratus replied, “A respite of thirty days will not be able to change our profession, but do you rather choose to take this space for deciding about life, that you may abandon the base worship of idols, and prove a lover of the Christian religion. But if you are not worthy to receive it, withdraw the respite; read the sentence. Doubt not that after the pause of thirty days, we shall be such as you see us today.”
Judgment was then given. As they had confessed that they were Christians, and refused the opportunity of recanting, they were condemned to death.
Speratus said, “We give thanks to Christ,” and one of his companions added, “Today we are martyrs in heaven. Thanks be to God.”
Another of the innumerable company of martyrs of those early days was Marinus, a young soldier of Cesarea in Palestine. Eusebius, who tells the story, says that there was peace throughout the churches just at that time, about 260 A. D. The laws against, the Christians remained, however, unrepealed, and Christians were always in danger of being called before the magistrate and ordered to sacrifice to the emperor.
“Marinus was about to be promoted to be a centurion, but just as the honor was to be conferred on him, one of the other soldiers objected, saying that it was not lawful for him to share in the Roman honors, as he was a Christian, and refused to sacrifice to the emperor. The judge, whose name was Achaeus, roused at this, first began to ask what the opinions of Marinus were; and when he saw him constantly affirming that he was a Christian, he granted him three hours for reflection. But as soon as he came out of the pratorium, or judgment hall, Theotecnus, the bishop of the place, coming to him, drew him aside in conversation and, taking him by the hand, conducted him to the church; and having placed him within by the altar, he raised his cloak a little and, pointing to the sword that hung by his side, and at the same time showing him the book of the holy gospels, told him to choose either of the two according to his wish. Without hesitation he extended his hand and took the book.
“Hold fast, then, hold fast to God,” said Theotecnus, “and strengthened by Him mayest thou obtain what thou hast chosen—go in peace.”
Immediately upon his return from thence, a crier began to proclaim before the pretorium for the appointed time had already passed away; and being thus arraigned, after exhibiting a still greater ardor in his faith, he was forthwith led away as he was and suffered martyrdom.”

Scripture Study: Luke 21

The contrast between the widow and the rich men suggests the difference between the devoted, yet poor, remnant of the Jews, and the self-satisfied state of the leaders, who with outward display of religiousness, yet were, as we have seen, far from pleasing Jehovah.
Verses 1-4. And He looked up and saw rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, “Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow had cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.” The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. So it is here. He looks on the heart’s motives. The rich men gave out of their superfluous abundance, it was no trial; it brought no freed of carefulness or scantiness to them. But the poor widow gave from a heart devoted to the service of the temple, still owned of Jehovah her all. She was “a widow indeed,” and her heart trusted in Jehovah for her next meal. Her confidence was in Him, so she gave all the living she had. The Lord saw her wholeheartedness. She kept back nothing. They kept back their abundance, and gave a little of their superfluity, for selfishness controlled their hearts. And may they not have been some of those who devoured widows’ houses, and for a show made long prayers? (Chapter 20:46,47). And as their prayers there, so their giving here was abomination to Him who could read their hearts. (Isa. 1:11-15). Verily I say unto you they have their reward. And what a warning they are to us, as the widow on the other hand is an encouragement. We might argue, how foolish of her to give her all to such a failing testimony, but it is better to see in these days of weakness, that we have a like privilege to go on with what is of God, and own with our company and interest the little remnant who are truly gathered to the Lord’s name, and have His presence in their midst (Matt. 18:20).
Verses 5, 6. And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said, “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Verse 7. And they asked Him, saying, “Master, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be, when these things shall come to pass?”
Verse 8. And He said, “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and the time draweth near: go ye not after them.” “The time draweth near,” speaks of what was about to occur, and did take place after Christ was risen and glorified, and the Holy Spirit had come to form the church of God on earth. This warned them of anti-Christs of whom they were to beware. (1 John 2:18, 19).
Verse 9 warns of wars and commotions, but tells them not to be terrified. These things must come to pass, but the end was not immediately.
Verses 10, 11, tell of the fearful things that were to happen, and did, before Jerusalem was destroyed.
Verses 12-19. The believers are told of the trials to come on themselves as God’s testimony for Christ’s namesake, but they were not to be disturbed in their minds and hearts, and not to premeditate what they were to answer. He would give them a mouth and wisdom, which all their adversaries would not be able to gainsay nor resist. Yet He would allow them to suffer even from their own relatives, and some would be put to death, and they would be hated of all men for Christ’s namesake. But whatever was allowed to happen to them, not a hair of their head would perish; all was in the Father’s keeping; it was the Father’s will, so they could rest, possessing their souls in patience, receiving the end of their faith—soul salvation (1 Peter 1:9). They would be preserved for God’s heavenly Kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18). Man’s wrath but works out for us the will and glory of God (Psa. 76:10). Their home and portion was not in this world.
Verses 20-24 gives them the signal when to flee to the mountains. (Notice the difference in Matt. 24, which is still future. “The abomination of desolation.”) Those in Jerusalem were to depart; those outside were not to enter into it. For these be the days of vengeance, that all that was written may be fulfilled. In Luke 4:17-20, the Lord read Isaiah 61:1, 2, but closed the book at “the acceptable year of the Lord,” for then the day of vengeance had not come, but now He tells of its coming. And we can see it has come. Jerusalem was destroyed with great suffering to the Jews. God’s wrath has come upon them to the uttermost (1 Thess. 2:14-16), and there they remain scattered. Jerusalem and the land is under Gentile power, and so to continue till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The nations will have power over them till Christ’s government is set up. The Turks had it for years; others have it now more favorable to the Jews. The Roman Beast will have it (Rev. Chaps. 13 and 17). But Hosea 3:4 declares the condition of the Jews now. The terrible tribulation will take place before Hosea 3:5. Cain’s mark is on them, and they are vagabonds (Gen. 5:14).
Verses 25-27. This is future and gives some description of the scene before the Son of Man appears, “distress of nations.” “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” This affects the Gentiles as well as the Jews. (Compare Hag. 2:21, 22; Heb. 12:26, 27). Yet many of both—Jew and Gentile—will own the name of Jesus as the Messiah before they see Him. It will be a fearful time on earth and outside of the present time of the gospel of God’s grace, for when He appears we shall appear with Him, He having come for His saints as seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
Verses 28-31. When the believers on earth see those things happening it will tell them to look up; their deliverance is near. As trees, the fig tree and all the trees, shoot forth and tell that summer is nigh at hand, so they who have eyes to see the signs of the times will know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand—the time when Christ will take His Kingdom and reign (Rev. 11:15).
Verse 32. Verily, I say unto you, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” Alas! how true this is of the Jewish character. And this unbelieving, blind state will be with the Jews as a nation till Christ comes.
Verse 33. Come He will, and all must be fulfilled. Man cannot hinder God’s purposes. “Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away.”
Verses 34-36 are words of warning to the disciples of that day, for they desire to stand before the Son of Man on earth. They are warned to be ready; not to be carried away with this life, and the pleasures and cares of it, for Satan will do all he can to lead them into his snare, therefore they were to watch and pray always. In principle they speak to us also that we might be in the watching and waiting attitude, dependent upon and cleaving to our Lord, till we see Him when caught up to meet him in the air.
Verses 37, 38. The Lord goes on with His ministry till the last. In the daytime teaching the people in the temple, and at night in the Mount of Olives (outside of the corrupt city), alone with the Father in the place where He ascended from (Acts 1), and where His feet shall stand when He returns (Zech. 14:4). And the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple for to hear Him. Does He not still love to speak to the hearing, diligent soul that makes an effort to get early into His presence. May we, like Mary (Luke 10), make choice of it, and taste the blessedness of John 14:18, 21, 23.

Waiting to Be Caught Up

The true Christian attitude is, waiting for the Lord from heaven, waiting to be caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:15-18); and a fine example of this expecting spirit is found in the Thessalonian believers. But all are not thus waiting. To strangers to Jesus, His coming will be a day of terror, and the thought of it causes them unhappiness even now.
Dear reader, young or old, how is it with you? Is Christ’s coming a prospect dear to you? This question is a good test of your soul’s condition, for if your sins are not put away, you can only regard Christ’s coming with distress. The Thessalonians knew that Jesus, who was coming for them, had delivered them from the wrath to come. On the cross Jesus cried, “It is finished;” and, surely when He said so, it was so! If, then, the claims of God’s justice were satisfied upon the cross, why should not you be satisfied that His death has met the guilt of your sins? Never, until you are assured of salvation, will you be able to say from a heart filled with Christ’s love, “Lord Jesus, come. Come quickly and take Thy beloved ones home to Thyself, to dwell forever in Thy blessed presence and to go no more out.”
Yet, while many do indeed know that Jesus has bought them for Himself, alas! how few are really “waiting for His coming!” If we really lived in the power of this “blessed hope,” how little the troubles and cares of this world would affect us! And, as for its so-called pleasures, they would be indeed contemptible in our eyes! If we lived in the power and hope of a coming Christ, what different Christians we should be! When we went out in the morning we should feel that, perhaps, we might be “caught up” before evening, and when we went to rest at night, it would be with the thought that we might be with the Lord before another sunrise!
Thus, fellow believers, we should show to the world that we had real faith in the promise of our beloved Lord. We should be manifestly a people “waiting for God’s Son from heaven.” The Lord looks for us to go through the duties of our present life in the constant, lively expectation of His return. And if we were in this spirit we should be like Gideon’s three hundred men, who lapped the waters with their hands to quench their thirst in passing, and who did not stoop down on their knees to enjoy it; we should use the things of earth only in passing, and not seek our enjoyment in them. When we follow earthly things because of the enjoyment they give us, we have relinquished our waiting posture. The Lord keep “His own” true to Himself in these days of abounding evil and lukewarmness!
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matt. 25:13.

God's Word Our Food

Of this you may be sure, that as is our body when it only receives food once in several days, so is our soul when it is not frequently nourished by the Word of God. As hunger, and the want of food, make our bodies meager, so the soul which neglects to strengthen itself by the Word of God, becomes feeble and barren and unfit for any good work.
“Great peace have they which love Thy law.” Psalm 119:165.

Correspondence: League of Nations; Return of the Jews to Palestine

Question: We hear much of the proposed League of Nations. Do you think we (Christians) shall be here to see it formed? Or, shall we be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before its formation?
Answer: We do not know when we may be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; it might be today. It is the first scriptural event we are to expect. His promise is, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” He will not fail to keep His word. When the proper moment of the Father’s will arrives, He will not tarry any longer.
The League of Nations now about to be formed, add current events that have taken place or are taking place now, may in a way foreshadow or look like a fulfillment of prophecy, but what is prophesied is yet to come, We must keep distinctly before us that the league of nations headed by the Beast of Revelatioin 13:1 and 17th chapter cannot be formed till the church is with Christ in glory. When the Lamb (Rev. 5) takes the book out of the hand of the One in the midst of the throne, the glorified saints are there on the twenty-four thrones. It is after that the Lamb breaks the seals, and prophecy begins to be fulfilled. We do not see the Beast yet, nor the woman that sits on it, but we see how rapidly developments take place.
Let us earnestly keep before our souls the coming of our Lord for us. Very soon we may see Him, and then, when we are with Him, we shall be like Him.
Question: Is the present return of the Jews to the land of Palestine the fulfillment of Isaiah 54? J. W.
Answer: Isaiah 54 looks on to Israel’s full restoration as a nation to the Lord, and His delight in her (see vs. 3-10) and His future care over her. It is all a beautiful picture of the love of Jehovah, and His forgiving grace, and that in righteousness to the nation of Israel.
When the Lord Jesus was rejected by the Jews and crucified, God raised Him from the dead and crowned Him with glory and honor, and sent His Holy Spirit down into this world to gather out of it those who are to compose the bride of Christ. And ever since the Holy Spirit came down here, all who believe the gospel of God’s salvation are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and so are members of the body of Christ. God’s last act toward the Jews was to send His armies to destroy the temple and city of Jerusalem, and to scatter the Jews among all nations. (Matt. 22:7; Luke 21:24). The Jews are not the Lord’s people now. Salvation is not national now, but individuals of both Jew and Gentile are now being gathered out.
During the period when the church is being gathered, there are no prophecies concerning Israel and Palestine to be fulfilled. What the Lord gave His disciples to expect personally is that He is coming to receive them to Himself, and this they were to wait for. Not one line or word of prophecy did He put in to take place first. He is coming for His people, and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 describes how it is to take place. And at their conversion it is said, they “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven.” Chapter 1. They were not to be shaken from this hope by any reports as if the apostles had taught otherwise. And he beseeches them to keep in mind the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him. (2 Thess. 2:1).
The wars and rumors of wars, the pestilences, the famines and the earthquakes that are happening during this time of the church’s sojourn on earth, are not the fulfillment of prophecy. “He is faithful that hath promised.” “He that shall come will come and will not tarry.” (Heb. 10:23, 37).
The only signs that we have to indicate the nearness of the coming of Christ is the state of the professing church on earth. (2 Tim., 2 Peter, Jude., Rev. 2 and 3rd chaps). And there we find much to tell us He will soon call us home, just as we find it in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18. All who are the Lord’s, both dead and living, will be taken to heaven at that time.
After that, the Jews will be gathered back to Palestine (Isa. 18), but as unbelievers in Jesus. Some will be converted, but many will remain in unbelief. The Lamb in Revelation 5 will take the book and begin to break the seven seals. Then will be the days of “the beginning of sorrows,” and it will deepen down to “the great tribulation,” as in Mattew 24. Then the Scripture—wars and rumors of wars, the pestilences, the famines and the earthquakes will begin to take place, and the desperate battle talked of as “Armageddon” will take place; till the Lord will come in flaming fire to judge the living wicked, and to deliver the Jews, and to begin to set up His Kingdom, which will cover a thousand years. The wicked dead will stand before Him at the end of that time, to receive their doom. Further questions will be welcomed.
“In the Lord’s Service.”

A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar: Part 2

Born 1848. Died 1915.
It would take too long to tell even briefly how Mary Slessor won her way into the hearts of the people of Okoyong and how she won the hearts of very many of them for Christ. How in the early days of her stay there she had gone, at the risk of her life, to attend the chief of a distant tribe who was thought to be dying and who sent for her. She had never seen him and his tribe were much feared by those among whom she dwelt. Her own chief was much opposed to her going. She never hesitated where duty called her; and she had the joy and satisfaction of seeing him recover; and of winning the confidence and friendship of him and his people. At another time she nursed a whole village that were down with smallpox, and many of them died.
When she first went to Okoyong it was the rainy season, and she found her hat and shoe an encumbrance, so discarded them for all time. She would tramp for miles through the bush in her bare feet and was never known to have anything the matter with them, although the bush paths abounded with snakes, jigger; and poisonous plants.
She never boiled or filtered her water or used mosquito netting, precautions which other Europeans consider essential to the preservation of health in that deadly climate.
Does it seem as if we were watching the career of a woman of hard, self-reliant, and masculine character, capable of living by herself and preferring it, unconscious of the natural weakness of her sex? In reality Mary was a winsome soul, womanly in all her ways, tremulous with feeling and sympathy, loving love and companionship and not unacquainted with nervousness and fear. Her womanly sympathy and tenderness were never better exhibited than in her relations with her dark sisters about her. She entered into their lives as few have been able to do. She treated them as human beings, saw the romance and tragedy in their patient lives, wept over their trials, and rejoiced in their joys.
When people saw, or heard of her toiling with her hands and of all the work she would undertake and accomplish, they were apt to imagine she possessed a constitution of iron, never realizing that her life was one long martyrdom, for she was seldom free from illness and pain. Still she seemed able to do things that would have proved fatal to other people. She had deliberately given up everything for her Master, and she accepted all the consequences that the renunciation involved. What she did was for Him, and as she was not her own and had taken Him at His word, and believed that He would care for her if she kept in line with His will, she went forward without fear, knowing that she might, through inadvertence, incur suffering, but willing to bear it for His sake and His cause. Her faith and devotion led her into strange situations, and these shaped the character of her outward life and habits.
At times the loneliness and isolation of the life would seem more unbearable than at others, especially when suffering much in body; but she wrote: “My one great consolation and rest is in prayer.” So invariably was she comforted: so invariably was she preserved from harm and hurt, that her reliance upon God became an instinctive habit, and it conquered her natural nervousness and apprehension.
She had frequently to take journeys through the forest with the leopards swarming around her. “I did not use to believe the story of Daniel in the lions’ den,” she often said, “until I had to take some of those awful marches, and then I knew it was true, and that it had been written for my comfort. Many a time I walked along praying, ‘O God of Daniel shut their mouths,’ and He did.”
And yet naturally, she was as timid as a child. Once when at home in Scotland on furlough, she was walking with a friend and could on no account be persuaded to take a short cut through a field because there was a cow in it.
At one time she was traveling on the river in a native canoe when they were overtaken by a tornado. At another time their canoe was attacked by a savage hippopotamus. In each case the native paddlers were overcome by fear and it was only her courage and quick wits that saved their lives.
The dangers and difficulties of the work were innumerable and in her letters to her friends at home was the repeated appeal, “Pray for us here; pray in a business-like fashion, earnestly, definitely, statedly.”
At intervals is was necessary for her to return to Scotland to regain her health. The effects of the climate and repeated attacks of Malaria would completely exhaust her. It was always a joy and a delight to her to be in the homeland among her loved ones and dear friends. But as soon as her health would permit the Mission Board would arrange to have her address meetings in different places to stir the interest of the people in the work, and this was always a special trial to her, for she was naturally very diffident. On no account would she address a meeting if gentlemen were present, although they often listened from concealed positions, so eager were they to hear her. But there was often, expressed disappointment when instead of telling of the thrilling experiences of her life in Africa, she would give an evangelistic address. She, however, deprecated surface interest and would say, “If the heart was right and the life consecrated mission work would be well supported.”
She said it often grieved her when at home to find so little depth and so little of God’s Word in the speeches and addresses she heard. She believed that the only way to reach souls, whether at home or in heathen lands, whether high or low, was a thorough knowledge of the Bible as a whole, and to know Christ as the object of the heart’s affection. To tell the love of Christ was her passion, and this was the secret of her power. To gain this power one needs to be much alone with Him. As another has said, “What secrets we get from the Lord in the wilderness with Himself; and if we care not for the secret of His presence, what cares He for all our boasted service. It is ourselves He wants, and it is only service flowing out of the joy of His presence that is worthy of the name. It is only such service that will stand the fire of the judgment, (1 Cor. 3:11-15), and bring joy in the day of Christ that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.”
Few have labored so long and so faithfully as Mary Slessor, nor under more trying conditions, and yet she often felt discouraged when she thought of the great needs of that vast country, and of how little she felt she was able to do to relieve their darkness and suffering. The appeals in her letters to friends at home, for others to enter the fields that were white unto harvest, were very touching. To one she wrote, “When Sir Herbert Kitchener, going on to conquer the Soudan required help, thousands of the brightest of our young men were ready. Where are the soldiers of the Cross? In a recent war in Africa, in a region with the same climate and the same Malarial swamp as Calabar there were hundreds of officers and men offering their services, and a Royal Prince went out. But the banner of the Cross goes a-begging. Why should the Queen have good soldiers and not the King of kings?”
At another time in describing the kind of women needed for such a work, she said, “They should be consecrated, affectionate women who were not afraid of work, or of filth of any kind, moral or material. Women who can take everything to Jesus and there get strength to smile and persevere and pull on under any circumstances.” And from time to time not a few such men and women did go to that difficult field and of their work Miss Slessor speaks in warm appreciation. It always vexed her to have her work lauded and she always insisted that she did no more than any of the others. But we know from “the others” that what she undertook and accomplished was simply gigantic.
A Government doctor who visited her soon after she had moved to a new station, writes, “What a picture it presented, a native hut with a few of the barest necessities of furniture. She was sitting on a chair rocking a tiny baby while five others were quietly sleeping in other parts of the room, wrapped in bits of brown paper or newspapers. How she managed to look after all the children, and do the colossal work she did passes my comprehension.”
She was missionary, teacher, doctor, nurse, mother and even judge of the people among whom she labored. Another writes, “Her power is amazing—she is really their queen.” “When visitors arrived they usually found her with a baby in her arms and a swarm of children about her—or on the roof nailing down the sheet iron which the tornado had shifted, or holding “a palaver” from the verandah or sitting in court—but always busy and always rejoicing in her work.”
She always had a wonderful vision of what the power of the gospel could make of the most degraded, and she proved more and more as the years went on that she had a true vision. Her fame had spread far and wide and deputations of chief men would come long distances, sometimes a hundred miles to get her to settle their disputes, or to beg her to send them a teacher.
As soon as it was possible for the Board to send two lady missionaries to occupy her post at Okoyong, she set out to do pioneer work, traveling long distances and seeking out the best places to open a school, and here she would leave one of her boys or girls in charge. On returning to one of these places a few months later one of the women came to her and said, “Ma, I’ve been so frightened you would take our teacher away because we are so unworthy. I think I could not live again in darkness. I pray all the time. I lay my basket down and just pray on the road.”
This woman sometimes prayed in the meetings and electrified the audience, and she had begun to have devotions in her own home, though her husband laughed at her.
Calls came every day from other regions, and they would plead, “Give us even a boy!” Another brought a message from an old chief, “It is not book I want; it is God!” And most pathetic of all, one night, late, while she was reading by the light of a candle, a blaze of light shone through the cracks of the house, and fifteen young men from Okoyong appeared before her to say that the young ladies who had come to take her place there, were already gone, and they were left without a “Ma.” She sent them to a shelter for the night, and spent the hours in prayer.
“O, Britain!” she exclaimed, “surfeited with privilege; tired of sabbath and church, would that you could send over to us what you are throwing away!”
When two deputies were sent out by the church in Scotland to visit the Mission stations and report on the work being done, the people crowded to the meetings and said, “Take our compliments to the people of your country and tell them our need is great, and that we are in darkness and waiting for the light.”
(Continued from page 36).
(To be continued).

The Only Lever

With what are you seeking to move those dull, heavy sinners heavenwards? You will never stir one of them an inch with aught else save the cross of Christ. Not all the army of morality, education and reasoning will bring one soul out of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s glory. All the excelsior’s of the day lift no soul higher than earth.
And what lever is it with which you would raise the saints’ souls above the world? Would you use a tool made out of the world? There is no power for practical godliness like the cross, and none at all apart from it. Leave out the cross, and what is Christ to you? It is the crucified Christ who is glorified, none other. And if you know Him not as the One who died for sinners, in all plainness, you are ignorant of Him altogether.
When we see Thee as the Victim,{br}Nailed to the accursed tree,{br}For our guilt and folly stricken,{br}All our judgment borne by Thee,{br}Lord, we own, with hearts adoring,{br}Thou hast washed us in Thy blood:{br}Glory, glory everlasting{br}Be to Thee Thou Lamb of God!

He Careth for You: 1 Peter 5:7

He cares for us in everything,{br}In grace, so sweet and true.{br}Then cast upon Him all your care,{br}“For He careth for you.”{br}{br}He cares when thou art lone and sad,{br}He cares when friends are few.{br}He cares when thou art in distress,{br}“For He careth for you.”{br}{br}Then be not thou at all dismayed,{br}When thou hast comforts few—{br}When keen afflictions cross thy path,{br}“For He careth for you.”{br}{br}His faithful word is all our trust,{br}For all He says is true.{br}O! let His peace control your mind,{br}“For He careth for you.”

Scripture Study: Luke 22

In the closing events of the Lord’s life on earth, what moral degradation! What enmity against God is seen in man’s rejection of Christ? Priests, scribes, rulers, disciples, all witness to man’s departure from God. The higher a man’s position in the world, the more is his wretched condition manifest. But in the Lord, what a contrast! His lowliness, meekness, patient grace, with others, while Himself in suffering, shine out in all this contradiction of sinners.
Verses 1, 2: The time for the Passover lamb to be slain, and the feast of unleavened bread to be kept, drew nigh. The chief priests and scribes, that should care for the oppressed, sought how they might kill Him; they were the oppressors.
Verses 3-6. Satan found a ready instrument in one of His disciples: Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, offered himself to betray Him, and these leaders were glad, and ready to pay the money his avarice demanded. He arranged to betray Him unto them when the crowd was not there, for they were afraid of what the people might do.
Verses 7-13. The day came, when the Passover should be killed, the day of unleavened bread. The Lord sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.” He tells them where and how to find the place. A man bearing a pitcher of water, follow him, and say to the good man of the house, “The Master (Teacher) saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with My disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.” And they found everything just as He said, and there they made ready the Passover.
Verse 14. And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Perfect in all His ways, He is a lesson to us, a pattern of punctuality, an example for us. He does not keep His disciples waiting for Him. They should not keep Him waiting for them, when the hour is come.
Verses 15, 16. He tells out the intense desire of His heart to eat this Passover with them before He suffered. Redemption was in His mind, not looking back to Egypt as they would do, but redemption from sin, and death and Satan’s power. He was the great sacrifice, the true paschal Lamb. They could not fully enter into it yet, but His love desired that as His friends, they should share His feelings. And He tells them in eating it, “I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.
Verses 17, 18. The Passover cup (the joy of redemption in figure), He could give thanks for and give to them. He would eat the Passover, but not drink the cup, until the kingdom of God shall come. He could not have the joy of it, till it was accomplished in His death and resurrection. As yet He was the Nazarite separated from His brethren.
Verses 19, 20. The memorial supper is distinct from the Passover, and could only be entered into when He had gone on high, from whence it is given to Christians. (1 Cor. 11:23). It is the precious remembrance of the Lord in death. His body given for us, His blood shed for us. It is a dead Christ that is before us in the symbols. We know Him risen and glorified. We remember Him in His sufferings and death.
This cup is the New Testament (covenant) in My blood.” The covenant will be established when Israel is returned to their own land and acknowledged as Jehovah’s people. We, the church, have a nearer place as His body and His bride, and in the friendship of this are called to share in all His joys. We are accepted in Him, “the Beloved,” and it is becoming that we should share the spoils of His victory and celebrate His triumphs and proclaim His worth.
Verses 21-23. What a sadness must have fallen on them as He said, “But, behold, the hand of Him that betrayed Me is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goeth, as it was determined, but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed.” Alas! one of themselves was the traitor. They believe Him, and begin to inquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing.
Verses 24-27. And yet there was a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. They could not hide their selfish desire for a place among men, even at such a solemn moment. The Lord brings the true character of the Christian out—the leader must be servant of all, and that is what HE was. “I am among you as one that serveth.” He does not reproach them, but gives them credit for their following Him.
Verse 28. “Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations.” He knew their hearts, their faith, and their failures, and encouraged them on to think of the glorious future and reward that awaited them.
Verses 29, 30. “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; that ye may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” How He appreciates our heart’s desire to please Him, though our ways are sometimes so full of failure.
Verses 31-34. And the Lord said: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” This gracious warning should have aroused Peter’s fears and stirred him to prayer to be kept, but he did not know his own weakness. Confident in his own strength and in his love for the Lord, he answered, “Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death.” The warning is unheeded and the Lord makes it still more alarming. “I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me.”
Peter’s faith was sustained by Christ’s intercession, it could not fail; he was wheat, but he must be sifted; he was one of Christ’s brethren, but he would be turned aside, and so would need to be “turned again,” the meaning of “converted” in this passage.
What sorrow and sin it would have saved Peter had he hearkened to the Lord’s warning! What a lesson this is for us all to keep humble and dependent on the Lord.
Verses 35-38. And He said unto them, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” And they said, “Nothing.” They were as well off under Messiah’s care as in the days of Solomon’s plenty when Israel was in full blessing. (1 Kings 4:27). In everything they had been supplied. Now a change was to take place, He was going away. He prepares them for it, saying, “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” This was in view of the fact that He was to be “numbered with the transgressors,” as the Scripture foretold, “The things concerning Me have an end,” meant that He was not to be King for the present, and they would need to know what resources they had in God by the Spirit dwelling in them when He was gone on high. Individual faith would need to be exercised by each one. They did not understand the figurative language, and thought He was talking of material things, and so said, “Lord; behold, here are two swords.” He would not explain further, but replied, “It is enough,” as if He would say, you cannot understand this now. Christianity is entirely different from law. It does not interfere with the world, nor try to shape the world’s course, but brings in love and grace to meet the present exigencies. It was an officer in Caesar’s army that was a man of greater faith than all Israel (Matt. 8). It was another centurion that was the first Gentile received into the church of God. Philemon and others in the New Testament had slaves. They were received without putting them under conditions or laws to give up these things. The Lord did not take Peter’s sword, or these two swords from them. There was room for grace to work, and doubtless it did work. Philemon set Onesimus free. And Peter by and by would be ashamed of his sword. He would only need the spiritual kind the Lord here refers to. (1 Peter 2:23). “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me,” provides for us, all we can need, though rejection and suffering may be our lot still, but only by His ordering. Bless His Name!
Verses 39-44. He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him. And when He was at the place, He said unto them, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” He felt their need of prayer, as He felt His own. He goes on about a stone’s cast from them and kneeled down and prayed, saying, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done.” His is perfect submission to His Father’s will, cost Him what it might. It was deep and real need, and there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly still, till His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. None can tell the depth of sorrow of that moment of strong crying and tears to Him who was able to save Him out of death. (Heb. 5:7). And He was heard in that He feared. He takes the cup from the Father’s hand, and gave Himself up to the death of the cross.
Verses 45, 46. And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”
Verses 47-51. The temptation soon came: While He yet spake, behold a multitude, led by Judas, one of the twelve who drew near unto Jesus to kiss Him. Some began to think of fighting, saying, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” And one of them smote the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. The only one that was calm was the Lord. He said, “Suffer ye thus far,” and He touched his ear and healed him. Thus He gently rebuked His servant and put right what he had put wrong. And what would it be to the man? We think such grace may have touched his heart to learn more about this Saviour; perhaps we shall meet him in glory.
Verses 52, 53. He had power as well as pity and compassion, but He will yield up to the enemy for He had taken it in hand; and He said to the chief priests and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to Him, “Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against Me; but, this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Verses 54-62. Then took they Him, and led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And now around a fire a maid points out Peter as one who had been with Jesus, but he denied that he knew him three times, and the cock crew. And the Lord turned and looked on him, and Peter remembered the word of the Lord and went out and wept bitterly. Poor Peter! When he should have been praying, he was sleeping. When Jesus was yielding Himself, Peter was fighting. When Jesus was standing, guarded and treated as a felon, Peter was warming himself at the fire. When Jesus confessed the truth, Peter is hiding himself under a lie, and to prove that he was not of Jesus’ company, he curses and swears. (Matt. 26:74). But that look of love brought him to his senses. It broke him down completely as to what he had done. For Peter truly loved the Lord, and we know the Lord loved Peter with an eternal love, and this look of His is another proof of it. Yes, and He will follow him up to restore his soul again to its communion which it had lost.
Verses 63-65. The men that held Jesus mocked Him and smote Him, blindfolded Him and smote Him on the face and said, “Prophesy who smote Thee?” And many other things blasphemously spake they against Him.
Verses 66-71. When it was day, the great men came together, and led Him into their council, saying, “Art Thou the Christ? Tell us.” And He said unto them, “If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer Me, nor let Me go. Henceforth shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Then said they all, “Art Thou then the Son of God?” And He said unto them, “Ye say that I am.” They are condemned out of their own mouth. They refused Him as the Messiah, condemned Him for telling the truth as Son of Man and Son of God! He could not say otherwise. He had nothing to conceal. He confesses who He is and this condemned them. His place henceforth is at the right hand of the power of God. They condemn Him for His own confession, as they rejected Him before as their Messiah. Their blind religious enmity, the worst of all kinds, has destroyed them.

With Thanksgiving

It is to be feared that the Lord’s beloved people make but little use, comparatively, of their great privilege of prayer. We might well add, responsibility, for it is one of the great departments of a Christian’s business: “We will give ourselves to prayer.”
There is, however, one element in prayer to which we desire to call special attention, as expressed in the two words quoted. The Lord’s people have very much to pray for; they have even more to give thanks for.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 1:3). These include every spiritual and eternal blessing—forgiveness, justification, peace, eternal life, sealing, glory. They may be summed up in that word of the Apostle, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” Now these blessings are ours, we do not have to pray for them, but let us not forget to give unceasing thanks for them.
Coming next to what may be called the ordinary mercies for the way (although most extraordinary, so far as our desert is concerned), do we remember to give thanks for life, health, food, shelter and the countless temporal mercies we enjoy in common with a thoughtless and thankless world? If they are silent, shall we not much rather return our daily and hourly thanks?
Then there are the special mercies—of answered prayer for recoveries from illness; for guidance; special provision for emergencies; employment, and more. Let us count the answers to our prayers, and be as sincere in our gratitude as in our supplications.
And as to others: has God heard our prayers for the conversion of this one; the deliverance of another; for reviving in our meeting? Let our thanks go to Him.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

He Dwelt Among Us

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”- John 1:14.
He “dwelt among us”, and we saw,{br}Though veiled in human guise,{br}The mighty God, the Prince of Peace,{br}Omnipotent, All-wise;{br}He who upholds the universe,{br}And all its need supplies.{br}{br}He “dwelt among us”, and we saw{br}His power to raise the dead;{br}That mighty power of old displayed,{br}At which the darkness fled;{br}He spake, ‘twas done! and death itself{br}His high behest obeyed.{br}{br}{br}He “dwelt among us”, and we saw{br}His pity to the poor,{br}His kindness to the fatherless,{br}His help where sorrow bore;{br}Dispensing freely, as He went,{br}His precious, heavenly store.{br}{br}He “dwelt among us”, and we saw{br}In Him the Man of Prayer;{br}Upon His God and Father, too,{br}He rolled His every care;{br}Content, whatever was His will,{br}To suffer and to bear.{br}{br}He “dwelt among us”, and we saw{br}Perfection in His mein;{br}Yes, perfect grace, and truth, and love,{br}In Him were ever seen:{br}Unmoved and undismayed He passed{br}Through Calvary’s awful scene.{br}{br}He “dwelt among us,” and subdued{br}The powers of death and hell;{br}And now He’s gone again to heaven,{br}And O! with rapture tell,{br}He’ll shortly come to take us home,{br}That we with Him may dwell.

Correspondence: Psa. 78:67; Rev. 18:4; Lord's Table vs. Supper

Question: Why did God refuse the tabernacle of Joseph (Psa. 78:67) when in Genesis 49:24 we read, “From thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel?”- M. G.
Answer: God gave Joseph a double portion, because he received the birthright instead of Rueben who sinned against his father.
Joseph is a type of Christ. The path of Jesus is shadowed out by his sorrow, rejection and separation from his brethren, and then of righteousness and testimony, and it ended with praise, and honor, and glory in the kingdom and inheritance.
Now notice Genesis 49:23, 24, that the good and great and chief Shepherd and Stone of Israel was from the mighty God of Jacob—not from Joseph.
Then God in His sovereign electing grace chose the tribe of Judah and the House of David for His Royal family. He accepts no other line of Royalty for Israel. (Gen. 49:10).
God has the right to choose whom He will.
Question: Who are those called to “come out of her?” (Rev. 18:4). Could there be saints in her at the time of her judgment?—F. S.
Answer: “Come out of her, My people” is a voice from heaven telling that her judgment is coming. The ears that hear the Lord speaking in these scriptures are to regard it as a voice to them now.
Do you apprehend the wickedness of this system, “Great Babylon,” that will combine all of men’s religious societies into one great system? Then come out of her! It is a spiritual call to saints now to leave the religious babel of men’s religions, and come out to Christ alone. All that are left behind of the churches of men when the Lord Jesus takes His own (1 Thess. 4:15-18) will have church union at last with popery as its head.
“Come out of her, My people,” is God’s call. (See also 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Tim. 2:19; 3:5; Heb. 13:13).
Question: What is your judgment of the difference between the Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 10) and the Lord’s Supper? (1 Cor. 11).
Answer: In the 10th chapter it is fellowship.
In the 11th, it is remembrance.
In the 10th, it is corporate.
In the 11th, it is individual.
In the 10th, we judge our associations.
In the 11th, we judge our state.
In the 10th, it is the blood and body of Christ.
In the 11th, it is the body and blood of the Lord.
In the 10th, it is our title to be there.
In the 11th, it is what we enjoy there.
In the 10th, the cup is first at the Table.
In the 11th, the bread is first in the Supper.
The Lord’s Table (10:21), the Lord’s Supper (11:20), and the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), are so mentioned only once.
If I were to ask you, “Who have the right to sit at your table?” you would reply, “My wife and my family and those we invite.” That is the leading thought about the Lord’s Table. It is those whom He has invited, and from 1 Corinthians 10:16 we gather who it is the assembly, which has the responsibility, should receive among them to partake of the emblems that express Christian fellowship, and in which we remember the Lord in His death.
In chapter 10:16, 17, the first thing we notice is that here the cup comes first. It is the communion or fellowship of the blood of Christ. It assumes that for one to be there, he must know his sins washed away in the blood of Christ. If he, did not know his sins washed away, he has no title to be there; he could not remember the Lord aright. The first question, when any want to be at the Lord’s Table is, “Are they truly His, do they know peace with God?” That is the main reason, I believe, for the cup being first. It is the fellowship of saints washed in the blood of Christ.
Next, we get, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread (loaf), and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread (loaf).” Here we get the unity of the body of Christ expressed in the one loaf, for we are all partakers of that one loaf.
If a person has believed the gospel, he is washed in the blood of Christ, and sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; John 7:39), and he is consequently a member of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12, 13). These are his title deeds.
The ground or principle on which Christians should meet together is, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. Using all diligence to maintain the unity of the Spirit, in the uniting bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3, 4). In carrying this out, we are gathered to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Head and Center. His name judges all evil, and so teaches us to judge all our associations. The saints at Corinth could not have fellowship with idols. The Lord’s Table and the table of demons could not go together. In our days it is not demons’ tables that we need to refuse. It is something more subtle. It is tables professedly the Lord’s but gathered by the wills of men. As it is written, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30). We could not call these who are of our selves (that is, Christian men) grievous wolves (ver. 29), but we do call them divisions, men-centers, gathering around their own ideas, and these we are to avoid. (Rom. 16:17). Such gatherings are not in the unity of the Spirit, nor in separation from evil. Nor could we link the name of the Lord with evil doctrines. (Gal. 5:9; 2 John 9, 10). Nor could that name be linked with immorality. (1 Cor. 5:6, 13). The name of the Lord is “Holy” and “True,” and Holiness becomes His house forever.
Notice, in chapter 10, we have nothing about remembrances of the Lord’s death, for while it is together we eat the Lord’s Supper, the enjoyment of remembrance is individual.
The Supper speaks about what we partake, but not of our title to partake. In the Supper, the Lord took bread and gave thanks and brake it, and said, “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.” This brings His love before our hearts—love that gave Himself for us. We think of Him in His death and sufferings, and in eating, it is in remembrance of Him. It is not fellowship but remembrance. Then He took the cup and gave thanks in the same manner, and said, “This is the new covenant in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.” In the gospels he adds, “which was shed for many,” “for the remission of sins,” “which was shed for you,” thus claiming our heart’s adoration. The church is not a covenant people, Israel is. He speaks to us as His friends who can rejoice with Him, and celebrate His victory over sin and death, and the power of Satan, rejoicing in all He has accomplished. Verse 26 announces the Lords’ death till He come; that is, every time the Lord’s Supper is taken, it is a witness that the world is guilty of the death of Christ.
The condition and behavior of many in the Corinthian assembly made it, for such, not the Lord’s Supper. They did not discern the Lord’s body. They were still the gathered company, the assembly where the Lord’s Table is, and it is nowhere else, but their behavior in not discerning the Lords’ body, and the disorders that were there, made the partaking, to them, not the Lord’s Supper. They were eating and drinking unworthily—in an unworthy manner—and they brought upon themselves as saints the Lord’s discipline. Some were sick, and some were put to sleep.
Many of us, however (and the writer is one), can bear witness to how much we enjoyed the remembrance of the Lord before we knew anything about being gathered as members of His body to Christ the Center.
Where hearts are sincere, the Lord meets and refreshes them, and leads them on to see more of His way. As with the two on the road to Emmaus. What He taught them soon brought them to the true Center.

A Short Sketch of the Life of Mary Slessor of Calabar. Born 1848. Died 1915: Part 3

(Continued from page 65).
The Government had now a firmer foothold in the country and roads were being made and a railroad was under way. But in the districts where the missionaries had not reached there was often serious trouble between the natives and the Government troops. One of these tribes were so disturbed by the appearance of armed men that they persuaded a lad, who had been used as a guide by the soldiers, to lead them to the “great white mother” for her advice and help. She and they talked long and earnestly and they returned consoled and hopeful. Some time afterward the guide came down on his own account, bringing a few other lads with him. Her influence was such that they wished to become God-men; and they returned to begin the first Christian movement in one of the most degraded regions of Nigeria. Miss Slessor knew nothing of the place save that it was away up in the Northwest, on one of the higher reaches of the river, and a two days’ journey by water. Some months later the young men again came to her, saying that there were forty others ready to become Christians and begging her to come up. She felt hardly able for such a long journey, for she was suffering all the time now, but she could not refuse them. She found the town larger and more prosperous than she had anticipated, but the darkness was terrible and the wickedness shameless. The younger, and more progressive men gave her a warm welcome, but the older chiefs were sulky.
The would-be Christians had begun to erect a small church, with two rooms for her at the end. That they were in earnest was proved by their attitude. She had eager and reverent audiences, and once, on going unexpectedly into a yard, she found two lads on their knees praying to the “white man’s God.” After a short stay in their midst, she returned to her own station promising to return later, but a serious illness prevented her. During the interval twenty young men from the district came to see her, but before stating their business said, “Let us pray.”
On her next visit to this district, Mr. McGregor, the principal of the Industrial Institute at the coast, accompanied her. The natives were delighted and asked if he were the man who had come to lead them out of darkness, and were bitterly disappointed when she told them he was not the man yet.
“Ma, you always say, ‘Wait.’ We have waited two years, and again you come and say, ‘Wait.’ When are you coming to us?” This was as great a disappointment to her as to them, and in the end she went to them herself, “I must go,” she said, “I am in honor bound to go.” She heard that services were being held regularly on Sundays and weekdays, and yet none of them knew more than the merest rudiments of Christian truth; none could read. They were groping for the light, and worshiping what to most of them was the unknown God, and yet were already able to withstand persecution. She lived to see wonderful changes wrought in the hearts and lives of these people. At one of the places where she had stationed native teachers, messages came telling of the persecution of the infant church by the chiefs, who threatened to expel the teachers if they spoiled the old fashions. “And what did you say to that?” she inquired.
We replied, “You can put us out of your country, but you cannot put us away from God.”
“And the women?”
“They said they would die for Jesus Christ.”
As her bodily strength diminished, the work increased and became more difficult, but the “white mother” was always singing in her heart psalms of thanksgiving and gratitude.
If during sleepless nights of suffering she would feel burdened, she would rise and cry, “Calm me, O God, and keep one calm.” Then she would go and look at the sleeping children, and be much comforted by the sight.
“Surely,” she would say, “I have more reason to trust God than childhood has, after all the way He has led me.”
“My life,” she wrote, “is one long, daily, hourly record of answered prayer. For physical health, for mental overstrain, for guidance given marvelously, for errors and dangers averted, for enmity to the gospel subdued, for food provided at the exact hour needed, for everything that goes to make up life and my poor service. I can testify with a full, and often, wonder-stricken awe, that I believe God answers prayer. I know God answers prayer. I have proved during long decades while alone, as far as man’s help and presence are concerned, that God answers prayer. Cavilings logical or physical, are of no avail to me. It is the very atmosphere in which I live and breathe and have my being, and it makes life glad and free and a million times worth living. I can give no other testimony. I am sitting alone here on a log among a company of natives. My children, whose very lives are a testimony that God answers prayer, are working around me. Natives are crowding past on the bush road to attend palavers, and I am at perfect peace, far from my own countrymen and conditions, because I know God answers prayer. Food is scarce just now. We live from hand to mouth. We have not more than will be our breakfast today, but I know we shall be fed, for God answers prayer.”
Not everyone would count it a privilege to live alone so far as companionship of their own kind was concerned, amidst the perils of the African forest, exposed to all the dangers of that tropical climate and amongst a people of filthy habits, but Miss Slessor wrote to a friend, “Mine has been such a joyous service, God has been good to me, letting me serve Him in this humble way. I cannot thank Him enough for the honor He conferred upon me when He sent me to the Dark Continent.”
The love of Christ constrained her and that love transformed everything for her, and that too was the power that transformed the lives of such numbers of those poor people. For even the most degraded of the human race will understand and respond to the touch of real love. Love will overcome all, was her belief; and love, to her, included all the qualities of the Christian faith—simplicity, kindness, patience, charity, selflessness, confidence, hope. It has been said of some, “They loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God,” but how different was it in Miss Slessor’s case. The Governor-General of the Colony and other British officials who knew that her heroic work had done more than anything else to open up the country for the Government, felt that her services should be brought to Royal notice. This was done and the king conferred on her special honor, but the publicity greatly troubled her.
“It isn’t Mary Slessor doing anything,” she said, “but Something outside of her altogether uses her as her small ability allows.” She did not say, “My plan,” or “My scheme,” but “What God wants me to do,” and His approval was the only honor she craved.
She was much broken in health and her friends urged her to return to Britain, to spend the rest of her days in comfort and quietness, but she held to her post to the very last and to the very last doing the very difficult work of a pioneer missionary. To the very last breaking new ground.
Then came those dark days of August 1914, and when word reached her that Europe was at war, the tragedy of it all completely prostrated her. She became very ill and finally lay in a stupor as if beyond help. It was a scene that suggested the final act in Dr. Livingstone’s life. The girls were crying. The boys stood alarmed and awed. Then they lifted her in her camp bed and marched with her five miles through the African forest to the river where they placed her in a canoe and took her two days’ journey down the river to the nearest place where a doctor could be obtained. One of the lady missionaries from another station came to her and helped the girls nurse her back to health. In a very wonderful way she was restored and again took up her work for a short time.
For a time the horrors of the war lay like a weight on her heart. She had been trying to teach the natives that God wanted them to live at peace and now what could she tell them. But after a time she became calmer; she knew God has His own wonderful purposes in all that He allows, and she explained it as best she could to her poor bewildered people, and left the rest with God. To friends at home she wrote, “Thank God our nation is not the aggressor”—and to another, “May our nation be sent from its pleasures to its knees, and the church awed and brought back to Him.”
In January 1915 the end came and she went to be with her Lord and Saviour, whom she had loved and served so long. As many stood about her open grave, weeping, one old colored woman said, “Do not cry—do not cry; ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ Ma Slessor was a great blessing.”
And there on that far coast of Africa her body lies awaiting that soon coming day, when body and spirit shall be reunited; that day we look and long for, when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1. Thess. 4:16-17). For “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1. Cor. 15:51-52).
But her spirit had gone to be with Jesus and cannot we follow her to the very gates of heaven. What ‘an abundant entrance’ she would have! Can we not hear the Saviour say, “Well done,” and see His smile of welcome as He received her into the “Home” He had prepared for her. (John 14:1).
And then there would be her dear mother to welcome her; she had gone to be with the Lord many years before. In the Glory land “we shall know even as we are known.” (1. Cor. 13:12). And there would be also many other loved ones to greet her, and many of her black people whom she had loved, and who through her had learned to love the Lord Jesus, and who had gone before her. Many more would follow after; all to join their voices in the grand redemption song— “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” (Rev. 1:5).
May the memory of Mary Slessor’s life of self-sacrifice stir our hearts to seek out fresh ways in which we can prove our love to Him, “who loved us and gave Himself for us.” For we hear Him say, “I gave My life for thee, What hast thou given for Me?”
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these ...  ... ye have done it unto Me.” (Matt. 25:40). (Concluded).

The Painted Text!

An aged, man was dying in his own little cottage near the seaside. A young Christian lady and her father heard of his sickness and called upon him. The daughter, who waited on him, said, “I will take you up to his bedroom, but he is so deaf that I do not think you will make him hear a word.” And so it proved. The poor old man turned his restless eyes toward his visitors, and when they spoke he exclaimed, “I cannot hear you! it is too late now to come and talk to me; but I’ve been a good man, and always paid my way, so I’m not afraid. God will have mercy upon me!”
Very earnestly did Mr. and Miss A long to tell him of the blood of Jesus, of that which alone “cleanseth from all sin,” but their efforts were useless; he could not hear them. So they left him with saddened hearts, for all his remarks showed them that he did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and that he was trusting to his own good works and respectability as a reason why he should be saved.
Miss A. determined, however, that she would, if possible, tell the poor dying man of the love of God; and in answer to her prayer for guidance, God graciously helped her. Remembering that; although deaf, he was not quite blind, she painted in long black letters very clearly on a large sheet of white paper the words: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). When finished, she carried the text to the old man’s cottage, and had it put up at the foot of his bed, so that he might easily see and read it.
They were blessed, blessed words—the good news, the gospel, telling of God’s wonderful love to sinners in the gift of His Son—and they were made a means of blessing to the soul of this poor old man. He read them over and over again many times; and before he passed away, he confessed that he was a guilty, hell-deserving sinner, but that he was now happy through the certainty that his sins were washed away by the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit so applied the Word to him that he said no more about being a “good man,” but taking his true place as a sinner, and being justified by faith, he had “peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The last words on his lips were those of the painted text; his daughter mentioned that he repeated them till the time of his departure.
Dear young Christian, take courage by this little narrative. Be very earnest for the blessing of others—seek to win souls for Christ—and because you are thoroughly helpless unless God strengthen you, always ask Him to direct you and give you wisdom, for He can remove all obstacles, and always honors the prayer of faith. Have confidence in God’s own Word, for truly it is “quick and powerful,” “able to make wise unto salvation.”

Scripture Study: Luke 23

Verses 1-3. The whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate that the Gentile power might carry out their base and murderous intentions. They pour out false accusations in the ears of Pilate. To all of which Jesus made no reply except when asked if He was a king, He confessed, “Thou sayest it.”
Verses 4-25. Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.” But this only stirred up the fire that burned against Him the more fiercely. When Pilate heard that He was a Galileean, he sent Him to Herod, who was glad to see this wonderful man, of whose miracles he had heard, but the Lord took no notice of him. The chief priests continued vehemently accusing Him. Herod and his men of war set Him at naught, and mocked Him; arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him to Pilate and these two enemies became friends over Him that day. Pilate called together His accusers and told them that neither Herod nor he could find any fault in Him. “I will therefore chastise Him and release Him.” It was a law to release a criminal to the Jews at their feast, but with one voice they cried out, “Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas,” who had been guilty of sedition and murder.
Pilate tries again, Nit they cried, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” Again, the third time, Pilate asserts the innocence of Jesus, but they were instant with loud voices requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. Open-eyed, flagrant injustice to please men: priests, whose business it should have been to defend the weak, were His accusers. The judge knowingly condemns the innocent, and plows up His back with the Roman scourge. The murderer is preferred before the Saviour. “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth” (Isa: 53:7). “They compassed Me about also with words of hatred; and fought against Me without a cause. For My love they are My adversaries: but I give Myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded Me evil for good, and hatred for My love.” Psa. 109:3-5.
Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required: the murderer whom they desired is released, and Jesus is delivered to their will. Verse 26. They laid hold of one Simon, a Cyrenian, whom they compelled to bear the cross after Jesus, an old writer says, “The decreed burden of every saint.” We trust he got blessing through it.
Verses 27-31. There followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning unto them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are earning, in the which they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.’ Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us;’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” It would be for them judgment for their rejection of Him, and wrath to the uttermost they brought upon themselves (Luke 1.9:41-44; 21:22-24; 1 Thess. 2:16). Yet His heart breathed out forgiving grace through all.
Verse 33. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and another on the left. “He was numbered with the transgressors.”
Verses 34, 35. Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And Peter’s address in Acts 3 is in answer to this prayer. (See also Matt. 5:44). It was all the love and the obedience the Father delighted in. It was a bright light shining amid the darkness of man, blinded by the enemy. The soldiers gambled over His clothes. The people stood beholding. The rulers also with them derided Him. He was the song of the drunkards. They say, “He saved others, let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the chosen of God.” Yes, He saved others, they had to own that. But Himself He could not save; love’s stream too deeply flowed.
Verses 36-38. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering vinegar, and saying, “If Thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself.” And there above His head the inscription was written, “This is the King of the Jews,” in three languages, so that all might read it.
Verses 39-41. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, “If thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.” The two were railing on Him shortly before, but with one a change has come, and he answers the railer, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? and we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss.” Here grace is seen doing its work in the man’s soul. Its first evidence is: he takes the place of a sinner against God and condemns himself and others before God; and second evidence is: he justified God and declares that this Man hath done nothing amiss. He before all declares the Lord’s generation (or character, Isa. 53:8). And then his faith turns to the Lord to find its answer there, nor can the Lord ever disappoint faith in Him. Nay, it will find far more than it sought, for God delights to give.
Verses 42, 43. And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom.” This was both the boldness and the confidence of faith! Great boldness, for had he not reviled the Lord a little while ago, and what could he expect if the Lord gave him what he deserved? And great confidence, for he had read aright in Jesus’ name and prayer, the grace that delighted to forgive the guilty, then this poor man owned Jesus as Lord and King, and marvels that he should so own Him at the very time when He was a dying man. He owned Him as the mighty Son of God, who would rise from the dead, and in the future appointed time of the Father, come back to set up the Kingdom, and he boldly asked to be remembered then. Yes, surely he will have a place with Him then, but the Lord has something now for him to enjoy before the Kingdom comes. And Jesus said unto him, “Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” Here we get the truth unfolded, that when the believer dies, he is with the Lord, and that when Jesus died, that very day He was absent from the body, He was present with the Father in Paradise, which means a garden of delights, pleasures forevermore. There is no thought in Scripture of Jesus going to prison. Where Jesus’ spirit was, there also was the thief, “With Me.” That would surely be the joy of Paradise. And how different this is from waiting for an earthly kingdom to come; yet the earthly kingdom will come, but all the saints who die will have the heavenly kingdom.
That day, when everything was finished, Jesus said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit,” and then gave up His Spirit. And the soldiers brake the legs of the thieves, to kill them quickly, sending the one, as far as we know, to eternal woe; and the other to be with Him whose precious blood had fitted him for that place. “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” And no other preparation was needed for this thief. It was on the ground of the work He was accomplishing on the cross that the Saviour could take the thief to Paradise with Him that day. Jesus rose from the dead, and is now a man ascended and glorified, but the thief’s dust still is on earth, awaiting his part in the resurrection of life with many others who have died in faith, and who cannot be perfected in glory, till we, with all the heavenly saints, are perfected also. (Heb. 11:40). What joy to the poor guilty, yet forgiven, sinner to be with the Lord Jesus. What grace that can say to a sinner like that, I want you with Me in Paradise! It was truth, comforting the Saviour as well as the sinner.
Verses 44-46. It was about the sixth hour, and darkness was over the earth until the ninth hour. It was during this period that Jesus was forsaken of God, the work of atonement was wrought, and much more not mentioned in this gospel took place. Here it mentions the vail of the temple was rent in the midst. It is God declaring all is done. He can come in righteousness and bring sinners into His own immediate presence. “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The work of the Lord Jesus on the cross tells of holiness that must judge sin, and of love that provided One to meet the claims of God in atonement. His loud voice proclaimed His finished work, God has raised Him from the dead, and He has entered in, our forerunner.
The vail is rent—our souls draw near{br}Unto a throne of grace;{br}The merits of the Lord appear{br}They fill the holy place.
Verse 47. The Centurion, when he saw what was done, glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” Well, we may see that Centurion along with other Centurions (as Matt. 8 and Acts 10), who were godly men and believed on Jesus, when we meet the Lord on the cloud, with us praising and adoring the One he saw put to death by the Jews under Pilate’s instructions.
Verses 48, 49. With what mingled feelings the people would return to their abodes that day, for many had not in heart consented to His murder. Joseph of Arimathea was one of this kind.
Verses 50-53. He comes forward, went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Isaiah 53:9 in the New Translation reads, “And (men) appointed His grave with the wicked, but He was with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was there guile in His mouth.” So he and Nicodemus, two counselors, took the body down and wrapped it in new fine linen, and laid it in a new sepulcher, hewn out of the rock, wherein never man was laid. Thus again men’s plans were defeated, so that no felon’s grave held His body, and in going into death, He had the holy confidence given in Psalm 16, “Thou wilt not leave My soul in Sheol (separate from the body), neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy One to see corruption.” So decay was not allowed to touch the body of the Son of God. Soon the time came when He was shown the path of life, and He was saved out of death in answer to His prayer (Heb. 5:7).
Verses 55, 56. The women also watched where the body was laid, and with what time was left before the Sabbath, prepared spices and ointments (though never used, how precious this would be to the Lord), and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. They did not yet understand that all this was set aside and shadowed in the rending of the wail. May we know in our souls the liberty it gives us from all laws and ordinances, as now dead with Christ, and risen with Christ.

The Sculptor: Heb. 12:5-11; 2 Cor. 4:11

I saw a Sculptor, all intent{br}Upon his marble white;{br}And all his energies were bent{br}To mold it day and night.{br}With mallet hard, and tools of strength,{br}And many a stroke severe,{br}The block was made to feel at length{br}That skillful hands were near.{br}And I beheld a child look on,{br}And gaze with wondering eye;{br}She saw the splinters one by one{br}In all directions fly.{br}The doubts that filled that simple mind{br}Were hard to understand—{br}Like curious things that children find{br}Upon the ocean strand.{br}The marble chips at every stroke{br}Were scattered, one by one;{br}When childish doubts broke out and spoke:{br}“Father, why waste the stone?”{br}“It is,” he said, in accents mild,{br}“By strokes and heavy blows{br}That, as the marble wastes, my child,{br}The more the statue grows.”{br}{br}Are we not all but children small,{br}In doubt and want of sight?{br}And, like the child, we call{br}In darkness for the light.{br}How many curious questions still{br}Are asked by children here,{br}As we behold a Father’s skill{br}Excite our childish fear?{br}We see our dear ones pass away,{br}Whom we have loved so long;{br}Our little ones, who could not stay,{br}Whose life was rich in song.{br}We see our loved possessions fly,{br}And leave us with such haste;{br}Then ask, in our simplicity,{br}“O, why was all this waste?”{br}And then amidst our trembling fears{br}A Father’s voice is heard,{br}Who wipes away our falling tears{br}By His most gentle word.{br}“It is,” He says, in accents mild,{br}“By strokes and heavy blows{br}That, as the marble wastes, my child,{br}The more the statue grows.”

Family Prayer

A young married man had been awakened and happily converted, who lived in a fashionable quarter of New York City. He determined he would never be ashamed of his Lord, and said to himself: “Now, I must obey God and honor Him in my family. I must set up family worship.”
Composing the household was his fashionable young wife and a worldly-minded sister. The tempter immediately suggested: “Wait; don’t be in a hurry; not tonight; you never prayed in your life. Wait and learn first.” No, he must pray now. That night was the time. He did not know what his wife would say, nor his sister, but his purpose was fixed.
Going into the library, he asked his wife if she would object to his reading the Bible and praying, having informed her he had been converted. With great politeness she said: “Certainly not, if it is your pleasure.” He sat down and read a portion of Scripture, then kneeled down to pray, while both wife and sister sat upright, looking on. He cried out in the earnestness of his soul, and soon the two hearts heretofore uninterested began to be moved. First his young wife, yielding, got down beside him, and put her arm about his neck, crying. Immediately the sister knelt on the other side weeping. As he prayed the Lord moved upon both sister and wife, and there was a homemade anew by the grace of God. And family prayer was ever afterward kept up in that home.
What if this young husband had never had the courage to take up family prayer, or had refused what his conscience approved? Would such results have taken place?
“The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7).

Influence

A man is known by the company he keeps, says the proverb, and real greatness affects those who approach it. If we would be like Christ, we need be much in His company. When the wisdom and boldness of the apostles staggered their enemies, there was but one way of explaining the difficulty— “They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.
“We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18).

I Being in the Way, the Lord Led Me: Genesis 24:27

Following a wild storm that had blown the snow in heaping drifts, the sun broke through bright and clear, and the wind having abated, the men were busily engaged in clearing the roads that had become almost impassable.
It was on Christmas day, and while others were eagerly opening or sending out their presents, the Lord led me to think of some who perhaps at this very time might be in need. Acting upon this impression, and after filling a box with neccessaries, rather than Christmas presents, I started out into the country.
My little horse, now dragging the cutter over bare ground; then, plunging through drift after drift of snow, finally came to a small cottage. Remembering that an old man lived there alone, I went to the door and knocked.
“Come in,” was the response.
On entering, there sat the poor old man endeavoring to keep warm by the scanty fire which he had.
He bade me sit down, and we entered into conversation. After a few words about the storm and things in general, the “Old, Old Story” was retold, and what the Lord in His love and mercy had caused to enter my own soul only a short time before, now went forth as “living water,” and as the dear old man listened to the wondrous tale of God’s love, and how He had proved that love in sending “His only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The tears coursed down over the withered cheeks, and he there and then drank of that stream, of which, if a man drink he shall never thirst. His soul’s need was so great, and his interest so deep in learning how abundantly that need had been provided for, that he had not even mentioned his temporal need, though, as I afterward learned, not a morsel of food was in the cupboard.
Before leaving, I carried the box in from the cutter, which on receiving he thanked me for over and over again, and I trust in his heart, thanked “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,” who so distinctly “led me” on that memorable occasion to this dear old man—the object of His grace.

The Sequel

After a lapse of more than thirty years since the above related incident occurred, I was, with my companion, spending a pleasant hour one Lord’s day at the home of an aged Christian couple. After a while the old lady said: “Mrs.—, I am going to tell you a story about your husband and what he did for me. Many years ago my father, then an old man, lived by himself in his cottage. Being dependent on us for support, we went regularly, once or twice a week, taking with us such food, or anything else he might need. On the occasion of which I speak, a severe storm had raged, and the roads were so blocked with snowdrifts that I could not as usual go on this errand, and I cannot tell you how I felt as I thought of that dear one perhaps suffering from hunger and cold, and even illness in consequence. Rest assured, as soon as it was possible, we started out, and on reaching the house, imagine my surprise to find my father already supplied with food, and looking so bright and happy. When questioned as to where the food came from, he replied:
‘O! the Lord sent a young man here with all I needed.’
‘You believe there is a Lord, then?’ I said. (She explained that for years he had denied even the existence of God).
‘O, yes! there must be a God, for He not only sent me food to eat, but gave me rest and peace, as the young man read to me from the Bible of how God pitied me, and gave His Son to die for me. O, no! I don’t doubt Him anymore.’
My father, from that on, never doubted the Lord nor His goodness, and soon after went home to be forever with Him.”

Discernment

There is a certain person—I doubt not he is a Christian—whose ready eyes find out that which is wrong in everyone, and he considers this perception spiritual discernment! He told someone he believed his spirituality exhibited itself in the discovery of evil!
Well, friend, Satan is a spirit, and he is the great fault finder of God’s people, and accuses them day and night. (Rev. 12:10).
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21.

Correspondence

Question: Why did God refuse the tabernacle of Joseph (Psa. 78:67) when in Genesis 49:24 we read, “From thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel?” —M. G.
Answer: God gave Joseph a double portion, because he received the birthright instead of Reuben, who sinned against his father.
Joseph is a type of Christ. The path of Jesus is shadowed out by his sorrow, rejection and separation from his brethren, and then of righteousness and testimony, and it ended with praise, and honor, and glory in the kingdom and inheritance.
Now notice Genesis 49:23, 24, that the good and great and chief Shepherd and Stone of Israel was from the mighty God of Jacob—not from Joseph.
Then God in His sovereign electing grace chose the tribe of Judah and the House of David for His Royal family. He accepts no other line of Royalty for Israel. (Gen. 49:10).
God has the right to choose whom He will.
Question: Who are those called to “come out of her?” (Rev. 18:4). Could there be saints in her at the time of her judgment? —F. S.
Answer: “Come out of her, My people,” is a voice from heaven telling that her judgment is coming. The ears that hear the Lord speaking in these scriptures are to regard it as a voice to them now.
Do you apprehend the wickedness of this system, “Great Babylon,” that will combine all of men’s religious societies into one great system? Then come out of her! It is a spiritual call to saints now to leave the religious babel of men’s religions, and come out to Christ alone. All that are left behind of the churches of men when the Lord Jesus takes His own (1 Thess. 4:15-18) will have the church union at last with popery as its head.
“Come out of her, My people,” is God’s call. (See also 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Tim. 2:19;3:5; Heb. 13:13).
Not Ashamed.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, sir,” said a worldly church member to a young man, who stood outside the entrance gate to the racecourse holding a banner, with the words inscribed in bold letters:
“Flee from the wrath to come.”
“After death the judgment.”
The pointed words, culled from the Book of God, had pierced his conscience and, unable to find fault with them, he vented his spite on him who held them up to the gaze of thousands.
The young man looked into the angry man’s face, and softly said— “So I am ashamed of myself, sir, but I’m not ashamed of the Word of God. Are you?”
Aggressive efforts to reach the careless crowd will always meet the sneer of Christless men, and even of worldly believers. But shall it be given up because of this? Certainly not. It is a blessed service to carry the Word of God right into the enemy’s camp, but it needs courage. God blessed His Word on the banner that day to awaken a young lady to concern about her soul, and she is now saved and serving Christ.
Thus the Lord’s young servant was amply repaid for the sneers and scorn of the worldly man.
Be not ashamed, dear young Christian, of the Word of God. Speak it freely, scatter it abroad, hold it forth, always, and in all places, and God will give the blessing.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16.

Holding On

There are people whose great fear of entering upon a religious life is that they shall not hold on and hold out. They see something of the dangers and difficulties in their way, and have no conception of the mighty forces which are leagued together for their good. They fear they shall let go, and that having started in the heavenly course they shall fail and falter and fall. If they only knew the love of God, and His power to keep and save, they would dismiss many of their fears, and rejoice in His unfailing grace.
The sailor does not distress himself for fear that he cannot hold on to his anchor; he expects the anchor to hold him amid the fury of the storm. The sheep do not keep the shepherd, the shepherd keeps the sheep. The child may throw its arms about the father’s neck, but its clasp is weak and it might fall but around about and underneath the little one are clasped the father’s strong arms, and the child is safe.
“Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” As the shepherd watches his flock by day and night, so the Almighty Keeper watches over His wayward ones. As the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and shields them from every harm and ill, so the child of God who lodges beneath the shadow of the Almighty is covered by His feathers and sheltered by His wings. As the arms of the Father encompass and uphold the child, so to Israel it is said: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
The trusting Christian commits himself to God for salvation and for preservation. He is kept by the power of God, by the grace of Him who is able to keep him from falling, and present him before the presence of His glory, faultless and with exceeding joy. It will be a glad day for many Christian hearts when they have learned the lesson of their utter helplessness, and have committed the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing “as unto a faithful Creator.” Then whatever of sorrow, trial, toil or tears may come, all will be well. We shall be “kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.” Instead of holding fast our hope, our hope will hold us fast; instead of holding on to the Lord with our trembling and feeble clasp, we shall find that He holds us with a grasp of never-failing power, and loves us with an everlasting love. No one can pluck the sheep of His pasture from the grasp of that Almighty hand; trusting in Him they are safe from every ill.

God's Salvation: Is It Yours?

The great, honorable, mighty, valiant, but leprous Naaman, the proud captain of Syria’s hosts, thought that he could get cured of his leprosy when he brought with him ten talents of silver, also six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment to present to the prophet of Israel. But no, the prophet quickly let him know, to the wounding of his pride, and the grief of his heart, that the cure could not be obtained for money.
“What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” was the question addressed to the Lord by the motley crowd of John 6.
He answered: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (Verse 29).
“What must I do to be saved?” was the all-important and momentous inquiry made by the awakened jailor, of the servants of Christ he had so unjustly beaten. The answer was: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
When the sense of guilt is felt, when the sinner is aroused to a true sense of his awful condition in God’s sight, then distress about the past, and solemn dread of the future bring such soul agony that the awakened man seems almost to skirt the very abyss of despair. What a critical moment this is in the soul’s history, and one not by any means to be trifled with. Better to be awakened on earth where God’s mercy is shown, than to wake up in hell, where one drop of water (the smallest conceivable mercy) was denied the man who fared sumptuously every day while here upon earth.
But a person may say, Are we not told in James that Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac upon the altar? And does Paul not also say, “By which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I have preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain?”
Both statements are quite true, and although they may at first seem difficult to reconcile, do not in reality clash with what has been said in the beginning of this paper.
We must ever remember that Scripture never contradicts itself. There may be, and doubtless there are, difficulties, but we may rest assured the ignorance is in us, and the Holy Spirit, who indited the Word, is the One who alone can make it plain, and will to those who in simplicity and lowliness desire to learn.
It is important to see that James takes a man on the profession of his faith, and asks him to show his faith by his works. He rightly says, “What loth it profit, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works”? He is not content with the mere saving or confession of a man’s lips, he says, “Show me thy faith without thy works,” and I “will show thee my faith by my works.” As much as to say, I cannot read your heart to see whether you have faith, but I can see your conduct; and he brings Abraham forward to prove his point.
The apparent conflict between Paul and James vanishes when we see that Paul speaks of our justification before God alone, which is by faith only, while James speaks of our justification not before God but before men. Paul speaks of Abraham’s justification before Isaac was born, when God promised him a son, from whom a seed should spring which would be more numerous than the stars of the sky and the sand by the sea shore. He believed God, and was thus accounted righteous.
When Isaac was not only born, but had grown up to manhood, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to offer up his only son, from whom all this seed was to spring. God had no need of any proof of Abraham’s faith. He knew it was there already, but men cannot see where God’s eye sees, and hence they look for us to prove our faith by a consistent life of true godliness and good works. All works to be acceptable to God must have faith as their spring, else they would be what Scripture calls “dead works.” For “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. l 1:6). And though faith could not be called a work, yet “it worketh by love”.
As to “believing in vain”, a reference to the context will show at once what the apostle meant. Paul devotes nearly all 1 Corinthians 15, in which this statement occurs, to prove what some among the Corinthians were boldly denying, namely, the resurrection of the dead. He refreshes their minds with the gospel he preached when he was among men, which was that “Christ died for our sins, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures”, and divinely assures them, “By which also ye are saved, unless ye have believed in vain.” He then brings forth evidence to prove that Christ was raised. There were those who saw Him after His resurrection. And so strongly does he speak on the subject (thus showing its great importance) that in the 14th verse he says, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith (or believing) is also vain.” And again he asserts in the 17th verse, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins”. But, thank God, Christ is risen, having died for our sins and having borne the judgment of them. He settled the whole question of them with God, and eternally vindicated God’s righteousness in doing so; and as the righteous answer to His finished work, God raised Him from the dead, and enthroned Him in the highest glory, where Paul saw Him, and from whence he was converted through Him. So then the believer is no longer in his sins, nor has he believed in vain.
What a glorious triumph was the resurrection of Christ. It was the fullest vindication of Him and His finished work that God could possibly have shown. And He being raised as “the first-fruits” the harvest is sure to follow. All who are Christ’s will be raised like Him, as Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
As to continuing in the faith, we ought to do so, and will, if we are truly saved, as Peter says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” And Paul said to the Hebrews, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak” (Heb. 6:9).
“Far as is east from west, are sundered wide{br}Thou and thy sins: no whirling tide{br}Of righteous condemnation e’er shall roll{br}O’er thee, believing sinner—Christ has died{br}To save thy soul,{br}Has died and lives, to show the work complete:{br}Kneel, kneel, adoring, at the feet{br}Of Him, Jehovah-Jesus, Christ, the Word{br}That was—is—shall be. With hosannas greet{br}Our coming Lord.{br}Coming to judge the earth and all therein{br}With us—the Bride He died to win;{br}Caught up, in mid-air, to His loving breast;{br}No more vain longings—ah, and no more sin;{br}‘Tis peace and rest.”

A Whisper

Hark, I hear a heavenly whisper{br}Soft as breeze in summer days!{br}“Almost all the saved are gathered,{br}And their harps are tuned for praise;{br}Now in Jesus’ presence resting,{br}They await the glorious day,{br}When in resurrection bodies,{br}‘Glistening in bright array,{br}Saints on earth shall rise to meet them,{br}At the heavenly trumpet’s sound,{br}At that moment, in a twinkling,{br}All His jewels shall be found.”{br}{br}Then again the passing zephyr{br}Questioned my attentive ear—{br}“Art thou ready, art thou waiting,{br}Thus thy Saviour to be near?{br}Dost thou follow in His footsteps,{br}Hiding not thy feeble ray?{br}Helping on a drooping spirit{br}Through a dark and gloomy day?{br}Breathing words of love and comfort,{br}Waiting here a little while,{br}In the shadow of His presence{br}‘Neath the sunshine of His smile?”{br}{br}As upon the words I pondered,{br}Answering echoes spoke to me—{br}“Dwell not on a sad tomorrow,{br}Christ shall come and call for thee.”{br}So I stood and long considered,{br}Till the eve was drawing late,{br}When again the zephyr whispered,{br}And the echo answered “WAIT.”{br}Then I turned me to my bower{br}Where I hear the zephyr’s play,{br}I am waiting and I’m watching{br}For the resurrection day—{br}I am waiting and I’m watching{br}Till the risen Lord shall come—{br}I am waiting and still watching{br}Till the church be gathered home.{br}

A Clean Way

The question is asked in Psalm 119:9: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” and the answer given is, “By taking heed thereto, according to Thy Word.”
On the day of our conversion, we were made “clean every whit;” cleansed from all our sins, and set on the way to glory. This washing never needs to be repeated: it is “once for all.” But between the day of conversion, and the day of the believer’s entrance to heaven, there is the pilgrim pathway; the daily walk through a world filled with defilement and corruption. In order that his “way” may be “cleansed,”
God has given him His Word. The “plain path” in which the Father desires His children to walk is there marked out, and warning given concerning the snares and pitfalls that lie alongside that path. By “taking heed” to his way according to that Word, the child of God is preserved from the surrounding defilement that he would otherwise easily come in contact with, and have his communion with God disturbed and broken.
But, be it remembered, it is only as the Word is obeyed, that this is secured. It is not enough to know the Lord’s way; it must be trodden. He not only requires to see the tempter’s snare, but to avoid it—to flee from it. Some seem to try how near they can walk to temptation without falling into it, but the believer who “takes heed” to his way, by the warnings of the “Word,” will give it as wide a berth as he possibly can. He will “abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22).
This, dear young saints, is the safe and happy path. If you want to have the sunshine of the Lord shining upon you, as you journey along to your home above, then let every step of your way be ordered and controlled according to God’s Word. Follow wherever it leads you. Keep clear of all that it warns you of. Thus, O Lord, shall our way be cleansed, by “taking heed thereto, according to Thy Word.”

Scripture Study: Luke 24

Verses 1-8. It was the first day of the week, very early in the morning, when those dear women came to the sepulcher, bringing with them the spices they had prepared for His embalming. What a surprise awaited them—the stone is rolled away, the sepulcher is empty. They found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were much perplexed about it, two men in shining garments stood by them. Being afraid, they bowed themselves down to the earth. The men said, “Why seek ye the living One among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” Then they remembered His words.
What news! A risen, living conqueror over death and the grave. They could not receive it, till it was accomplished before their eyes; yet He had plainly declared it in the hearing of them all.
Verses 9-11. They returned and told these things unto the eleven apostles and to the others with them, but their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they did not believe them.
Verse 12. But Peter arose, and ran into the sepulcher and, stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed wondering at what had happened. And what would be his feelings as he thought of his own behavior?
Verses 13-16. And, behold, two of them went that same day to Emmaus, a village about seven and one-half miles from Jerusalem. They were talking over all that had happened, and were evidently going away disheartened; their hope that Jesus would set up His kingdom in Israel had died out, and they were sad. How graciously we see the Lord here following them up. While they talked, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. That also is significant, as we shall see.
Verses 17, 18. He opens the conversation by asking them, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” Cleopas, answering, said unto Him, “Art Thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?”
Verses 19-24. He said unto them, “What things?” They said, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher; and when they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher, and found it even so as the women had said: but Him they saw not.”
Verses 25-37. Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. What an instructive discourse that would be on the sufferings and the glories of Christ, the Messiah of Israel. It seemed generally the way for the Jews to expect a glorious kingdom, but they left out the sufferings. The sufferings of rejection from men, and the sufferings of making atonement before God. Now our attention is directed to them, and how plain these are in such scriptures as Genesis 22; Exodus 12; Numbers 21; Psalm 22 and 69; Isaiah 53. The Lord expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. We would like to have heard such an exposition.
How remarkable it is that they did not know Him. And as they drew nigh to the village, He made as if He would have gone further (that was not His resting place), but they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent,” and He went in to tarry with them. There is yet another lesson they needed. They sit down to food. He took bread, and blessed—that is, gave thanks—and brake, and gave to them. Then they knew Him. None could give thanks like He could. And He vanished out of their sight. Just when they knew Him, He vanished. How significant! He was there teaching them and leading on their souls. Now they must act on what they knew. And they said one to another, “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened unto us the Scriptures?”
They rose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together with the others. There they are met with the same story. “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Simon.” That would put Peter all right. Then the two from Emmaus told their story, what He told them by the way, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Just then Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, “Peace be unto you.” But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Verses 38-53. And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.” He showed them His hands and His feet, and while they believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, “Have ye here any meat?” And He took from them a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and He ate it before them. He proves to them that He was a real man with flesh and bones. Yes, and He is a real man now on the Father’s throne, and forever will be a real man, though Himself the blessed Son of God, God blessed forever.
Then again He opens out the truth of all the Scriptures. It all concerns himself! What full clear truth is here seen that Scripture is the Word of God. Yes, all scripture. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And behold I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
This is not setting up the kingdom in Israel, nor the gathering of the nations. It is the gospel that takes in both Jew and Gentile, as repentant, believing sinners, and begins at Jerusalem guilty, deep-dyed Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. (Isa. 1:18). God’s grace can meet them, and the disciples were to be His witnesses, bearing His testimony, strengthened in the Lord, walking up and down in His name. (Zech. 10:12). The promise of the Father, the enduing with power from on high, was to be given them. Acts 1 tells us He was seen of them forty days, instructing them in the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. We have by the Holy Spirit, and our complete Word of God, all this instruction, and more than they could take in before the Spirit was given. Then He led them out as far as Bethany, that place of sweet refreshing to His spirit, as the outcast at Jerusalem. And He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And as He blessed them, He was parted from them and carried up into heaven; that was the last they saw of Him—His attitude of blessing—it is what He delights to do. Acts 1:10,11, tells us they will see Him again. We know Him as the blesser, and wait for His coming again.
And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. It is now joy in a risen and glorified Saviour whom they serve, and for whom they wait.
Going back to the two on the road to Emmaus, we find an illustration of how the Lord leads on souls in the truth, and gathers them to Christ the Center. (Matt. 18:20).
These two on the road to Emmaus did not know that Christ was risen. They were disheartened, their hope of seeing the kingdom set up by the Lord was dead, but Jesus drew near and went with them, drawing out their souls, and opening out to them the truth of the Scriptures concerning Himself. This warms up their hearts, yet they did not know Him. He made as if he would have gone further, but they constrained Him to tarry with them, and this He does, for they are eager learners, and He is there to feed them along. But they do not know His presence, He is still a stranger to them. Now they sit down to food, and He took bread, and blessed or gave thanks. He is at once made known to them. It was not the Lord’s supper, but it was the Great Shepherd of the sheep speaking to His Father and that was enough. They know Him now, and He vanished out of their sight. He is risen; they know it now, and back to Jerusalem to their own company they go with the news. When they get there the rest are gathered by the same truth, “The Lord is risen indeed.” Jesus comes into their midst, Himself the center of their gathering, and now they are not hearing about Him, they are hearing Him, occupied with Him. He is unfolding the Word to them. On the way to Emmaus, He made their hearts burn within them. It was the light and warmth of the Word ministered to their souls. But at Jerusalem, they had the joy of His presence, as well as the ministry of the Word. How often we see this wonderful way of God leading on souls who are sincerely seeking His way, till they find the heart’s satisfaction in His own presence. He is indeed the Good and Great Shepherd who thus delights to feed and care for His sheep.
“He feeds His flock, He calls their names, And gently leads the tender lambs.”
But He wants the joy of having them gathered to His Name, where His presence in the midst can be realized.
Here Luke’s first Epistle to Theophilus ends. How it refreshes the heart to go over the narrative and see Jesus in the place that He has won. A glorified Man at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The Holy Spirit has come down to witness to the acceptance of the work of Christ on high. It is the sound of the golden bells that tells us our Great High Priest is there ever living to make intercession for us.
Israel will not know of that acceptance till the Lord comes out as Moses and Aaron, King and Priest, to bless the people. (Lev. 9:23).
We know it now by the Holy Spirit given to us. (1 Cor. 2:10,12).

The Perfect Man

The Lord Jesus Christ was the only perfect man that ever trod this earth. He was all perfect—perfect in thought, perfect in word, perfect in action. In Him every moral quality met in divine, and therefore perfect proportion. No one feature predominated. In Him were exquisitely blended a majesty which overawed, and a gentleness which gave perfect ease, in His presence. The scribes and Pharisees met His withering rebuke, while the poor Samaritan, and “the woman that was a sinner” found themselves unaccountably, yet irresistibly attracted to Him. No one feature displaced another, for all was in fair and comely proportions. This may be traced in every scene of His perfect life. He could say, in reference to five thousand hungry people. “Give ye them to eat;” and when they were filled, He could say, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” The benevolence and the economy are both perfect, and neither interferes with the other. Each shines in its own sphere. He could not send unsatisfied hunger away; neither could He suffer a single fragment of God’s provision to be wasted. He would meet, with a full and liberal hand, the need of the human family, and, when that was done, He would carefully treasure up every atom. The self-same hand that was widely open to every form of human need, was firmly closed against all prodigality. There was nothing niggardly, nor yet extravagant in the character of the perfect, the heavenly man.
What a lesson for us! How often with us does benevolence resolve itself into an unwarrantable profusion! And, on the other hand, how often is our economy marred by the exhibition of a miserly spirit! At times, too, our niggard hearts refuse to open themselves to the full extent of the need which presents itself before us; while, at other times, we squander, through a wanton extravagance, that which might satisfy many a needy fellow creature.
O, my young reader, let us carefully study the divine picture set before us in “the life of the man Christ Jesus.” How refreshing and strengthening to “the inward man” to be occupied with Him, the perfect One in all His ways, and who “in all things must have the preeminence.”

What Will the Lord Do for Me When He Comes?

This is a momentous question, frought with answers of the richest blessing for the Lord’s people, but laden with sorrowful replies to such as love Him not. Should a despiser of His love read this, let him consider this solemn, this terrible word, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” Let him be cursed at the coming of our Lord. (1 Cor. 16:22). But, we trust, our reader does love the Lord Jesus, and in this hope we invite him to consider a few of the blessed things which the Lord will do for him when He comes.
1. “He will change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to that working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” (Phil. 3:21). This poor frame, liable to constant ills, decaying day by day, having the sweat of the curse and the lines of guilt upon it, turning gradually to dust—this body of humiliation is to he changed. Jesus Himself—no angel hand—Jesus Himself will give it the fashion, the beauty, and the perfection of His own glorious body. The shining of His countenance is “above the brightness of the sun at midday,” and He will make every single believer—the weakest—the youngest—as well as the strongest and oldest, glorious like Himself.
2. He will give to each of His saints a full knowledge of Himself. Now we understand but little of His wisdom—little of His love—little of His heart. “Now I know, in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12).
3. He will take us to be forever with Himself. Here He is absent in person from us, and here, alas, we too often wander in spirit from Him, but when He comes we shall be “forever with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:17).
4. He will bring us Home—bring us to the special place which He Himself has prepared for us, up there, in His Father’s house, so that where He is, there we “may be also.” (John 14:2,3).
5. He will give us again our loved ones whose spirits are now with Him, but whose bodies are in the grave. We shall be “together with them in the clouds.” (1 Thess. 4:17). We shall be “together” once more! Severed now—joined there once more, and “forever.” Never to weep at parting again. No, blessed be the Lord, never!
This is a sweet morsel, dear believing reader! The Lord Jesus, when He comes, will make us like Himself in body, and in heart, and mind. He will take us to be forever with Himself—He will receive us to Himself in His Father’s house, and He will unite us with our beloved ones whom He has put to sleep.
Was ever prospect sweeter? And it is all true, word for word, for He has said it. His own great love for us will never rest until He has done for us all that He promises, and then “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied,” and we shall rest in His love. It will be impossible to want any one single thing at that day, the heart will be full.
Do you believe all this, dear reader—have you this hope in Christ? What then saith the Scripture? “Every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1 John 2:3).
His whole course, while here, was pure; He did the Father’s will every step of the way, amid sorrow and distress, amid temptation and persecution, always, at all times He was pure. (He could be nothing less). And whoever it may be, even the feeblest believer—whoever it may be—every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as His is pure. He becomes more and more like the Lord and less and less like the world.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know, that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2).

Faint, Yet Pursuing: 1 Samuel 30

Faint, yet pursuing,{br}We go on our way,{br}The Lord is our leader,{br}His word is our stay;{br}The suffering and sorrow{br}And trial be near,{br}The Lord is our refuge{br}And whom shall we fear?{br}{br}He raiseth the fallen,{br}He cheereth the faint;{br}If the weak are oppressed,{br}He hears their complaint;{br}The way may be weary{br}And thorny the road,{br}But how can we falter{br}Whose hope is in God?{br}{br}And to the green pastures{br}How gently He leads,{br}His flock in the desert,{br}How kindly He feeds!{br}His lambs in His bosom{br}He tenderly bears,{br}And brings back the wanderers{br}Safe from the snares.{br}{br}The darkness surround us{br}Our God is our light,{br}The foes rage around us{br}Our God is our might,{br}So faint, yet pusuing,{br}Still onward we come,{br}The Lord is our leader{br}And heaven our home.{br}{br}And there all His people{br}Eternally dwell{br}With Him who has led them{br}So safely and well,{br}The toilsome way over,{br}The wild desert past,{br}And Canaan the blessed{br}Is theirs at the last.
J. N. D. 1850.

Correspondence: John 15:2; Doing Good at Any Time

Question: Who is meant by the branch that is taken away (John 15:2)? Is it like one in 1 Corinthians 11:36, or is it a Judas, or a castaway? (1 Cor. 9:27). Is the man in verse 6 the same as the branch in verse 2 that is taken away? Is it final destruction there? P. W.
Answer: When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was the True Vine. His disciples were the branches. Israel had proved to be a degenerate vine. This was their relationship with Him, and abiding in Him proved their reality.
In such as Judas and the disciples that walked no more with Him, we see the branches taken away by the husbandman, and it means that they were lost forever. (John 6:66).
Those that were real could not go away (John 6:68, 69), so they were purged to bring forth more fruit.
Now that the Lord Jesus has gone on high, there is no vine. Believers are children of God the Father, and members of the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. (Rom. 8:16, 17; 1 Cor. 12:12, 13).
We learn similar lessons, and especially on fruit-bearing, by this parable, and the epistles open up our portion more fully.
We see in 1 Corinthians 9:27 how even preachers are lost forever if they have no salvation through the death of Christ. And in such verses as Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 3:6,14, the reality of Christians is proved by their “continuing in the faith,” “holding fast the hope.” We also see in 1 Corinthians 11:30, 1 John 5:16, that the Lord sometimes takes away His own people in chastisement, and sometimes puts them on a bed of sickness. And happy it is for us all to recognize His chastening in the many things that are allowed to come to us, and ask Him to help us to profit by them (Heb. 12:5-11; Rev. 3:19), and learn the lesson, that without Him we can do nothing.
Question: Is it contrary to any principle of Scripture for Christians to do good and to communicate toward one another, or toward the world at large, at any time of the year? M. G.
Answer: We are told in Hebrews 13:16 and Galatians 6:10 that we are to do these things and God is well pleased with our sacrifices, if we can do it in the name of the Lord and for His glory. (Col. 3:17).
But I apprehend that your question has in view this custom of giving gifts on certain religious holidays—church days, they are called. For light on this we might read Galatians 4:10,11: “Ye observe days, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”
The Galatians had teachers trying to put them under law, from which the death of Christ delivers us. In Scripture we get no days to keep, except that we own the first day of the week as for the Lord, “The Lord’s Day.” (Rev. 1:10). We have no ordinances to fulfill, except that we have been baptized, and now we remember the Lord in His death.
May we, like the Apostle, say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” and that is both the social and the religious world. (Gal. 6:14; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Col. 2:20-23; Heb. 13:13).

The Solemn Choice

C. was a more than usually attractive girl, and had much to make her loved by those who knew her. She was often spoken to about being ready should the Lord come, but C. saw no beauty in that peerless person and put off the solemn question,
“What must I do to be saved?”
Satan had blinded her eyes, and deceived her heart; she would not give up the world and its passing pleasures, which were just opening up bright and attractive before her. She turned away, and claimed the world for her own. Solemn choice!
For a few months I heard nothing of my young friend; but one morning the postman brought me a deep black-bordered letter. C. was dead! Only nineteen! but not too young to die. The letter gave no particulars as to her end, but I afterward found that her friends had supplied her with works of fiction to amuse her in her dying moments. And as far as I could learn, there was no one to speak to her of Christ and His precious blood in her dying hours.
“Who could be fit to die if she were not?” said poor C.’s friends; “she went to church, and never did any one any harm.”
Would these serve as a robe in which to stand before the holy God? He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and cannot look upon sin. Did not He hide His face from His holy Son when His Son was made sin for us.
Dear reader, if death should come to you, as it did to poor C., would you be ready?
“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.

Peace and Rest

“Far as is east from west, are sundered wide{br}Thou and thy sins: no whirling tide{br}Of righteous condemnation e’er shall roll{br}O’er thee, believing sinner—{br}Christ has died{br}To save thy soul.{br}{br}Has died and lives, to show the work complete:{br}Kneel, kneel, adoring, at the feet{br}Of Him, Jehovah-Jesus, Christ, the Word{br}That was—is—shall be. With hosannas greet{br}Our coming Lord.{br}{br}Coming to judge the earth and all therein{br}With us—the Bride He died to win;{br}Caught up, in mid-air, to His loving breast;{br}No more vain longings—ah, and no more sin;{br}‘Tis peace and rest.”

Rejoice With Me: Luke 15

These touching words unfold to us the deep joy of the Lord Himself, in the matter of our salvation. This is not sufficiently seen or thought of. We are apt to forget that God has His own especial joy in receiving back to His bosom of love, the poor wanderer—a joy so peculiar that He can say, “Rejoice with Me” —“Let us eat and be merry” — “It was meet that we should make merry and be glad.” He does not say, “Let him eat and be merry.” This would never do.
God has His own joy in redemption. This is the sweet lesson taught in Luke 15. The shepherd was glad to find his sheep. The woman was glad to find her piece of silver. The father was glad to embrace his son. God is glad to get back the lost one. The tide of joy that rolls through the hosts above when a sinner returns, finds its deep, exhaustless source in the eternal bosom of God. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10:) There is no one has such deep joy in the salvation of a soul as God Himself.
The thought of this is most soul-subduing and heart-melting. Nothing can exceed it. It gives a full, clear and convincing answer to Satan’s lie in the garden, and to all the dark suspicion of our hearts. Who could listen for a moment to those accents, “Let us be merry,” issuing from the Father’s lips, the Father’s heart, and continue to doubt His perfect love?
How could the prodigal have had a doubt in his heart when he saw that there was not one in all the house so glad to get him back as the father himself? Surely the words, “Let us be merry,” must have fallen upon his heart with peculiar power. He could never have presumed to hope for such a reception. To be let in at all—to be made an hired servant—to get any place in the house, would have fully equaled his highest expectation. But O! to hear the father say, “Let us be merry!” This truly was beyond all human thought. Yet these were the father’s veritable words. It was really true that he was glad to get back the poor, undeserving spendthrift. He could not tell why, but so it was. The father had embraced and kissed him, even in his rags. Without a single upbraiding word, he had received him to his bosom. At the very moment when he was full of doubt as to whether he would be let in at all, he found the father on his neck. And, as if to crown all and banish every trace of doubt and every shadow of fear, he hears the father’s cry, “Let us eat and be merry.”
Reader, pause and think of all this. Think deeply of it. Remember, God is glad to get back to Himself the very vilest of the vile. A returning sinner makes God happy. Wondrous thought! Profound mystery of love! A poor sinner can minister to the joy of God! O! who can cherish a doubt or harbor a fear in the presence of such grace? May the sense of it fill my reader’s heart with sweetest confidence and peace.

In and On

“I do not believe what you say. I have listened to good preachers for many a day, and I never heard any of them speak like this. I feel puzzled.”
The person who spoke these words was a mild-looking woman. She unmistakably had life in Christ, but of liberty in Him she knew nothing.
“I have only to repeat,” said the Christian to whom she spoke, “that though sin is IN you, it no longer rests ON you. Now, remember these two little words for the rest of your life, IN and ON. Your own nature, the flesh, remains unchanged; in you—that is, in your flesh—dwells no good thing; but on you God’s eternal favor rests without shade or cloud; ‘for the Lord hath laid on Him (Christ) the iniquity of us all’ (Isa. 53:6), and as Christ now is, so are you in this world (1 John 4:17). No sin rests on you, for He has borne it all.”
“It makes me happy to listen to you, but if I do wrong—say, fall into some sin—I do not think I could be a saved soul at all then. I know some people that I thought were Christians, but they got into what was wrong, and now they do not seem to be Christians at all. And this I am afraid for myself.”
“My friend, you are making a great mistake. To walk here as Christ walked, is the Christian’s standard and aim. But you are confusing Christ’s work FOR you and the Holy Spirit’s work IN you. I gave you two little words to remember, and now let me ask you to keep these other two, FOR and IN, also in your heart and mind. The work of Christ for you is a finished work; with His dying lips He pronounced it so. But the Holy Spirit’s work IN you is progressive, going on in you day by day; and if you grieve the Holy Spirit, the sanctifying work will be greatly hindered.
In the first you have neither hand nor act, nor part. Christ alone was the actor in the scene; and He completely finished that work, and satisfied and glorified God by the wondrous death of the cross FOR you. But regarding the second, the Holy Spirit’s work IN you, you bear a responsible part. Your relationship, as a child, with your Father, can no more be touched or broken than your little daughter being disobedient would make her not your child because she was disobedient. These truths are not my thoughts; they would not be worth the time taken in telling, were they. They are God’s revealed mind in His Word, and you have but to accept and be happy, rejoicing in all that is yours in Christ.”

The Bible

“Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.” Psalm 138:2.
What must I think, or what believe,{br}And what must now my refuge be?{br}On every side they would deceive,{br}And take God’s blessed Word from me:{br}And yet man’s life is pain and woe,{br}In this his pilgrimage below.{br}{br}One makes a pen to suit his hand,{br}Applies the knife, now here, now there;{br}But that God’s Word, who all things planned,{br}Should be so handled anywhere,{br}Is that indeed which should surprise{br}An age like this, reputed wise.{br}{br}The Book of books, th’ Eternal Word,{br}Which God’s own Spirit gave to me,{br}Is, in these times, by ways unheard,{br}Attacked by infidelity;{br}And Satan’s craft, in this our age,{br}Obtains more conquests than his rage.{br}{br}For boasted reason sits enthroned,{br}And intellect’s pretensions high,{br}Have well-nigh Deity disowned,{br}And hurled defiance at the sky;{br}Planting their shafts of wit and sense{br}Against Thy truth, Omnipotence!{br}O! if what these “Enlightened” say{br}{br}About my hope in God most just;{br}And they could reason all away{br}My shelter, confidence and trust;{br}And make God’s Word a seeming lie,{br}And revelation quite deny.{br}{br}What must I think, what must I do{br}For peace or comfort anywhere?{br}If what the skeptic says is true,{br}I’ve trusted visions light as air.{br}If Moses wrote untruths on earth,{br}What can his song in heaven be worth?{br}{br}Away, deceivers! mark it well,{br}Ye boast a mission pure and wise;{br}It needs no skill or wit to tell,{br}Nor should it cause the least surprise,{br}That Satan, who man’s ruin sought,{br}Would revelation set at naught.{br}{br}The Bible teaches man to fear{br}The very God who gave him breath;{br}To love his neighbor far and near;{br}Commands the conscience, “Thus God saith!”{br}Tells of man’s ruin to his face,{br}And shows a remedy in grace.{br}{br}Thrice welcome is my precious Book!—{br}My Bible—thousand-fold more dear!{br}It bids me hope, and upward look{br}To regions pure, and bright and clear;{br}Where the redeemed walk in and out,{br}Without a conflict or a doubt.{br}{br}And for believers there is rest—{br}A long eternal Sabbath day;{br}Secure in Jesus, fully blest,{br}Himself the Light, the Life, the Way;{br}There shall we hear our God proclaim,{br}His Word is higher than His Name.

Scripture Study: John 1

How different this gospel is from the others. Matthew told of the Lord’s title as Son of David to the throne of Israel, and as Son of Abraham to all the promises.
Mark brought before us the perfect servant.
Luke kept Him before us as a man, dependent on and obedient to the Father.
In each we see that His Godhead glory is also fully owned, and each owns that all the glories which the others tell of belong to Him. So it is with John, but in entering into this gospel we find, in a special way, infinitude comes before us, and we need with child-like faith to receive what is said, as the only way to enter into what God would communicate.
Verse 1. “In the beginning” takes our minds backward. We think of when the heavens and the earth and all created things began. We can think of who was before all things, and we say, God was. There our finite minds must stop, and there our gospel begins: before angels, or men, or the heavens, or the highest part of the dust of the earth was called by the Creator’s word into being. There we see God, who speaks in Genesis 1:26, “Let us.” And further on we find God, the Father; the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three persons who have but one mind and object in all they do. In the Word they are declared.
John’s object is to bring before us in this book the wonderful person of the “Son of God.” “The Word,” in whom alone God is fully revealed. Where only the Father can be seen or known (Col. 1:9).
“In the beginning was the Word.” These words speak of His eternal existence. He did not begin to be. He was.
“And the Word was with God.” This shows distinct personalities.
“And the Word was God,” tells emphatically of His absolute deity.
Verse 2. “The same was in the beginning with God.” This tells us that the Word was not an emanation as of something that began later.
Verse 3. “All things were made by Him: and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Everything that had a beginning, or being, received being from Him (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). The Word is the Creator. Colossians 1:15 refers to His coming into this world. He must necessarily be “the firstborn” (the highest part) of all creation. Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 3:14 refer to His new place as a man risen from among the dead—the Head of God’s new creation, Verses 4, 5. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” This life that was in Him is not the created life that man has as born into this world. It is that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested here on earth. So it is the light of men. But alas! man was in sin and distance from God—darkness—so it comprehended Him not. The darkness was not dispelled by His shining. Man’s lost estate is here fully declared.
Verses 6-9. God in mercy sent a man, fitted and prepared by Him, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth (or shineth upon) every man that cometh into the world. It is not a testimony to Jews only; it is for every man. Thus He shows that all men are sinners, and that God sends His Word of Grace to all.
Verses 10-13. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” He was a stranger in the world His hands had made. “He came unto His own (kingdom and people), and His own (people) received Him not.” But there was a class that received Him. Who were they to whom He gave a right to be called the children of God? They were those who believed on His name, “who had been born” (again) “not of blood”—as of earthly descent like the Jews—“nor of the will of the flesh”—no religious efforts could accomplish this—“nor of the will of man,” for man’s will led him away from God, but did not lead him back. No, these were born “of God.” In Chapter 20 we see this place as children conferred upon the disciples; Mary Magdalene carried the message.
Verses 14-16. Jesus’ history begins here on earth. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” In a parenthesis the evangelist says “And we beheld His glory, a glory as of the only begotten with a Father,” and it was indeed the Son in the Father’s bosom who was come into this dark world. Only begotten is His name as the eternal Son with the Father. John bore witness and cried, saying, “This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.” It was God come down in flesh full of grace and truth. In Him was seen all the love of the Father. The Light showed man’s distance from God. Truth showed what man was. Grace meets man’s need. In the Father’s name, His words were spoken and His works were done. “And of His fullness have all we received, and grace upon grace.” That is, the favor of God abundantly, divine blessings (the fruit of His love) heaped one upon another upon us.
Verse 17. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The law demands righteousness; truth witnesses that man had none. Grace coming in supplies it.
Verse 18. Now, we have God revealed in the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father. Up till He came and declared Him, no man ever saw God’s full character. God hath in these last days spoken unto us in His Son (Heb. 1:1,2). The only one who could reveal God was Himself, God manifest in flesh; He hath declared Him.
Verses 19-28. John gives account of himself. He is not the Christ; he is not Elias; he is not that prophet of whom Moses told was to come. Who art thou? He said: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord,” as said the prophet Esaias (40:3). He is only a voice for them to hear. They ask him, “Why baptizest thou then?” “I baptize with water: but there standeth One among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” John was truly a voice that bore testimony that Jesus was Jehovah, as seen in Isaiah 40. John was the messenger to prepare the way of the Lord.
Verses 29-34. Now, John gives straight testimony to Him as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. It is not here as Messiah, but as the One to accomplish that great work, by which sin was to be taken away. This is the One he spoke of that was preferred before him, for He was before John. The Lamb of God, provided and sent by God, to meet the need of a lost world, and to glorify God about sin, so that lost men might be restored according to divine righteousness.
“His work shall be the eternal basis of these relations in the new heavens and the new earth, sin being entirely put aside as such. We know this by faith before the public result in the world.” (J. N. D.)
The Lamb to be slain was the Lord Himself become a man that He might, die.. John knew Him, and yet came to prepare His ways and now he bears testimony as to how he was to know Him. John bore record, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him, and I knew Him not, but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I saw, and bore record that this is the Son of God.” Here we find a man sealed with the Holy Spirit for the first time, witnessing, that a man without sin was now in this world. A Lamb without blemish and without spot. Every other person sealed by the Holy Spirit witnesses that he is redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. Another thing John says about Him prophetically is, “The same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” This was done after Christ had ascended and sent the Holy Spirit down, according to the promise of the Father (Acts 2:33). And John proclaims Him “Son of God.”
Verses 35-37. Again we find John with two of his disciples, looking upon Jesus as He walked, and as he contemplates, his heart overflows with the words, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
It is not His work that is before John here, but Himself, His beauty and excellence are shining into John’s soul and, rapt in admiration, he bears his witness. It was not preaching, yet it was ministry of the highest kind. It was worship, and such ministry as won two disciples for the Lord. John’s ministry here gathered to Jesus, and it awoke no discord in his soul that they had left him. His meditation on the Lamb of God caused his heart to overflow. What a lesson to us. Occupation with Jesus fits us for both worship and ministry. And these two disciples had their eyes opened. It is not likely that at this time they saw Him as the great sacrifice, the great antitype of all the sacrifices, but they saw the One who was that, though they only knew Him as the Messiah. The voice had introduced them, and they entered a new day. The voice is passed, and they have come to the person of the Son of God. And they followed Jesus.
Verse 38. But will Jesus accept them? Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said unto them, “What seek ye?” They replied, “Teacher, where dwellest Thou?” He said unto them, “Come and see.” Yes, He wants them more than they want Him. These represent the godly Jews attaching themselves to Christ as the Messiah.
John does not give us church truth, but this finely illustrates that gathering also. For, as in Matthew 18:20, Christ is the center, and He is the only attraction. He draws them away out of sight, where they spend the time in His presence. So it is ours now to follow Him within the vail, as well as outside the camp, and there offer up the sacrifices of praise to God continually; that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name (Heb. 10:19,20;13:13,15). Able to delight in Him, for our sins are gone, no terror now, we are children of God, members of the body of Christ, sealed with the Holy Spirit—such are all true Christians.
Verses 39-42. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” O, happy day! a day their souls could never forget, a day spent in Jesus’ company! But all was over too soon, for it was only time, yet from the tenth hour. (John seems to follow Roman time). Now, they go to tell others of Him, and the first they find is Andrew’s own brother, Simon. They tell the good news: “We have found the Messiah,” which is, being interpreted, “the Christ.” And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and called him by a new name, “Cephas” (or “Peter”), which means “a stone.” He is now Simon Peter. The old name reminding him, and us, of what we are in the flesh; and the new of what we are by grace. The Lord calling them thus shows that authority belongs to Him.
Verses 43-46. We have now the Lord’s own testimony with His followers. Philip is called, then Philip found Nathaniel, and told him of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph, the one Moses and the prophets wrote about. But Nathaniel answered, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip does not discuss about it, but says, “Come and see.”
Verses 47-51. Jesus knew all about it, and as He sees Nathaniel coming to Him, He saith of him, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.” Nathaniel was surprised and said, “Whence knowest Thou me?” Jesus answered, “Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” Nathaniel’s unbelief is gone; no one but Jehovah could see him and read his heart under the fig tree. And he answered, “Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel” (Psa. 2). The fig tree, Israel in the flesh, can never bear fruit, though it will bud again, but the remnant under the fig tree, the Lord did and will own.
And the Lord now makes a further revelation to Nathaniel, and this is the glory of the Son of Man, who is not only King of Israel, but Lord of heaven and earth (Psa. 8).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Here the rejected Son of Man is seen in full glory of His Kingdom, the object of heaven’s highest ministry—the ministry, of the angels of God, What wondrous glories belong to our Saviour God! Well may we sing:
“Fairer than all the earth-born race,{br}Perfect in comeliness Thou art;{br}Replenished are Thy lips with grace,{br}And full of love Thy tender heart.{br}God, ever blest! we bow the knee,{br}And own all fullness dwells in Thee.”

The Hours of the Lord Jesus

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

Have You Not a Word for Jesus?

“O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.” Psalm 51:15.
Have you not a word for Jesus?{br}Not a word to say for Him?{br}He is listening through the chorus{br}Of the burning seraphim!{br}He is listening; Does He hear you{br}Speaking of the things of earth,{br}Only of its passing pleasure,{br}Selfish sorrow, empty mirth?{br}{br}He has spoken words of blessing,{br}Pardon, peace and love to you,{br}Glorious hopes and gracious comfort,{br}Strong and tender, sweet and true;{br}Does He hear you telling others{br}Something of His love untold,{br}Overflowings of thanksgiving{br}For His mercies manifold?{br}{br}Yours may be the joy and honor{br}His redeemed ones to bring,{br}Jewels for the coronation{br}Of the coming Lord and King.{br}Will you cast away the gladness{br}Thus your Master’s joy to share,{br}All because a word for Jesus{br}Seems too much for you to dare?{br}{br}What shall be our word for Jesus?{br}Master, give it day by day;{br}Even as the need arises,{br}Teach Thy children what to say.{br}Give us holy love and patience;{br}Grant us deep humility,{br}That of self we may be emptied,{br}And our hearts be full of Thee.{br}{br}Give us zeal and faith and fervor,{br}Make us winning, make us wise,{br}Single-hearted, strong and fearless:{br}Thou hast called us, we will rise!{br}Let the might of Thine own Spirit{br}Go with every loving word;{br}And by hearts prepared and opened,{br}Be our message always heard!{br}{br}Have you not a word for Jesus?{br}Will the world His praise proclaim?{br}Who shall speak if ye are silent?{br}Ye who know and love His name.{br}You, whom He hath called and chosen{br}His own witnesses to be,{br}Will you tell your gracious Master,{br}“Lord, we cannot speak for Thee”?{br}{br}“Cannot!” though He suffered for you,{br}Died because He loved you so!{br}“Cannot!” though He has forgiven,{br}Making scarlet white as snow!{br}“Cannot!” though His grace abounding{br}Is your freely promised aid!{br}“Cannot!” though He stands beside you,{br}Though He says, “Be not afraid!”{br}{br}Have you not a word for Jesus?{br}Some, perchance, while ye are dumb,{br}Wait and weary for your message,{br}Hoping you will bid them “Come”;{br}Never telling hidden sorrows,{br}Lingering just outside the door,{br}Longing for your hand to lead them{br}Into rest for evermore.{br}{br}Yes, we have a word for Jesus!{br}Living echoes we will be{br}Of Thine own sweet words of blessing,{br}Of Thy gracious “Come to Me.”{br}Jesus, Master! yes, we love Thee,{br}And to prove our love, would lay{br}Fruit of lips which Thou wilt open{br}At Thy blessed feet today.{br}Many an effort it may cost us,{br}Many a heartbeat, many a fear,{br}But Thou knowest, and will strengthen,{br}And Thy help is always near.{br}Give us grace to follow fully,{br}Vanquishing our faithless shame,{br}Feebly it may be, but truly,{br}Witnessing for Thy dear name.{br}{br}Yes, we have a word for Jesus!{br}We will bravely speak for Thee,{br}And Thy bold and faithful soldiers,{br}Saviour, we would henceforth be:{br}In Thy name set up our banners,{br}While Thine own shall wave above,{br}With Thy crimson Name of Mercy,{br}And Thy golden Name of Love,{br}{br}Help us lovingly to labor,{br}Looking for Thy present smile,{br}Looking for Thy promised blessing,{br}Through the brightening “little while.”{br}Words for Thee in weakness spoken,{br}Thou wilt here accept and own,{br}And confess them in Thy glory,{br}When we see Thee on Thy throne.

Christ Is All

Leigh Richmond, in his “Dying Cottager,” tells of his last visit to the deathbed of the young convert he had led to Jesus.
He asked the girl what was her hope for eternity. Putting her thin, wasted fingers on the Bible that lay beside her, she said, “Christ there!” then placing her nigh transparent hand on her bosom, she said, “Christ here!” and then pointing upward, she said, “And Christ there!”
Glorious hope! Sure three-fold pledge of the safe arrival in glory of that passing soul!
And, my friends, even just so, it is most striking to notice, has this Jesus Himself done. Three times to express the same identical truths, He has used this title: First (Rev. 1:8), “I am A and Z” of the written book.
Second (Rev. 21:6), “I am A and Z” of the thirsty heart.
Third (Rev. 22:13), “I am A and Z” of the coming home.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the all and in all of that Bible, this soul and yonder heaven.

Correspondence: Phil. 2:8; Heb. 10:18-27

Question: He humbled Himself: Why did He need to humble Himself? (Phil. 2:8). C. W.
Answer: Adam by robbery sought to be equal with God, but He who was equal with God, made Himself of no reputation (or emptied Himself), and took upon Him the form of a servant, saying, in the volume of the book of God’s counsels, “Lo, I come, to do Thy will, O God.” Then He was made in the likeness of men (a sinless, holy man). “And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death,” for death had no claim on Him, “even the death of the cross.” As God, He emptied Himself; as man, He humbled Himself. It was to glorify God, to defeat the enemy, and to deliver us. And it surely is an example to us to keep in the lowly place. The lower down we get, the more like Him we are. In Romans 12:16 the word condescend should read, “Mind not high things, but go along with the lowly.” Condescend flatters our carnal pride. True humbleness is to feel we are nothing. Christ is everything.
Question: I do not understand why, in Hebrews 10:18-27, the pronouns “us” and “we” are used, as if they applied to all alike; as if the believers could be lost after having been sanctified, and sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, and then nothing but judgment remains for them. What does it mean? I am glad I understand John 10:27-30 as mine. M. J. A.
Answer: Yes, there are no “ifs” in John 5:24 and John 10:27-29. Each epistle is a link in the great chain of inspiration of Scripture. All are alike true. We need prayer in reading them, that God by His Spirit may unfold to us God’s mind in each one, and be ready to forget ourselves, and look at them as God speaks them without question.
In Hebrews we find an epistle addressed to those who were in the past a nation, a people, separated to Jehovah. God spoke to them by prophets. Now He speaks to them in His Son. In chapter 1, He unfolds the glories of the Son of God, greater and higher and better than angels. In chapter 2, He is lower than angels for the suffering of death, and so accomplishes atonement, and brings in His companions as trophies of His victory. Greater than ‘Moses, David,’ Joshua and Melchisedec. He is the great Apostle, and our Great High Priest. The covenant is better; the priesthood is better; the place of worship is better; the one sacrifice eclipses all, and brings in perfection. And brings all who are His into perfect blessing, and a place on high with Him, and a place of worship now in the holiest of all.
No true believer can have a less place than perfected forever by that one sacrifice, and everything for the believer is eternally secured now.
When Israel crossed the Red Sea we find many there who never reached the Jordan. (See 1 Cor. 10:1-11).
That is what we see in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The profession is looked at, and so we get (chapter 3:6, 14), “If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
Are you a believer? Is there any danger of your going back to the Jewish sacrifices, or saying, “Christ is not the true Sacrifice, He is not the Son of God”? Well, if you say that, then you are no believer at all, and nothing remains for you but judgment. Christ will not die again.
You, as a poor, weak believer, might say, “I am afraid I am not a Christian.” Peter denied that he knew the Lord, with oaths and curses, yet all the time he really loved Him, but that is the believer’s weakness, whereas in Hebrews it is denying the person of Christ. The willful sin is the unbelief that denies Christ to be the Son of God. Could that ever get into your heart? Dreadful thought! If so, and you despise Him, there is no other Saviour, and nothing for you but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.
But the writer of the Hebrews was persuaded better things of them than these, and things that accompany salvation (6:9, 10). What accompanies salvation? God sees in the heart of those who are true believers a work and labor of love, which ye have shown to that blessed name in your ministry and love for all who are His. The believer’s faith is divine (Eph. 2:8; and see Phil. 1:6).

Looking Up

There lay in a large, pleasant room of a fine old residence a young woman suffering from spinal affection, brought on by a fall upon the ice while she was skating.
She was the only daughter of a proud, ambitious, haughty man, many of whose ways she had inherited. She had been envied for her beauty, her wealth, and her position, and now here she lay, helpless and hopeless.
The surgeons had said after their examination, when she insisted upon knowing the worst: “You may live for years, but you will be an invalid and a great sufferer as long as you live.”
The burden of her cry was, “I am doomed to lie here, doomed to lie here!”
“Doomed to lie and look up!” said a timid voice one day, and turning her eyes, the sufferer saw a woman from a cottage near the village, who was moving about wiping the furniture in her room, and who, as she turned to leave, ventured to emphasize her words by a glance and a smile of sympathy.
“What can she mean by that?” the invalid thought, too surprised at the woman’s presumption to be angry. “If it is meant for preaching, I will have none of it!”
The thought remained with her. She could not see the ground anywhere, but her windows looked out into a large tree; and because her eyes must rest on something, she soon became familiar with the birds who made the tree their home. She noted the shadows cast by the sunlight, and the drip, drip of the rain. She gazed up at the clouds, noted the surpassing beauty of dawn, the glory of the sunsets, and watched the first star that smiled at her with its never failing beauty.
Those who took care of her noticed, that while she did not suffer less, she ceased complaining so much, and her mind seemed to have some new occupation.
When the woman came next, with her gentle step and her dust-cloths, the girl said: “Tell me something more about looking up.”
The woman replied: “It is a wonderful thing to look up—to see a glorified Saviour on the throne of God, and to know Him and trust Him.” “How did you learn all this?” asked the invalid; “You who are so busy.”
“Work is a blessing,” replied the woman.
Then she told her the precious gospel of God’s grace to man in giving His Son to die for our sins, and she there and then believed it and the love of God was shed abroad in her heart—she was saved.
“But now,” said she, “I want to tell a wonderful thing that once happened to me. I was at work for a lady, and one day when I was dusting the outside shutters, she called me to mind the baby—who was sleeping in the cradle under the trees—and she said in the kind and gracious way she always had to everybody: ‘Lie in the hammock, and look up; that is what I like to do when I am tired—I look up to God—I look up and love and trust Him.’
“I did so for nearly half an hour, and did as she told me, and looked up, up, until my soul reached God.
“When the lady came back she said, ‘Thank you; I hope you have seen that although we each have our different duties here, the life above is for us all in equal measure.’
“Well, I went back to my work a different woman.”
And then she said to the invalid:
“You were that baby, and the gentle lady was your mother. She lived less than a year after that morning.”
From that time forth the dear young lady lay and looked up. Her whole life and conduct became Christ-like and happy. She rose superior to her circumstances, and became a witness for God.
“They looked unto Him and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed.” Psalm 34:5.

What Will Be for Christ's Glory?

It is impossible for us to ask this question if the matter of our salvation be not settled. How can I be thinking of what is for Christ’s glory, if I am pondering as to whether He has perfectly saved me?
Job’s heart was not happy in God, and all that came upon him tore his heart to pieces.
Paul was happy in Him, and let all outward things go on as they might, the inward joy in God was not disturbed; nothing took him by surprise.
“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17,18.

Seek

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4.
God brought to my remembrance something today, that we will have to take a bit of trouble to enjoy the Lord’s beauty.
Someone said, “How is it, I have known the Lord so many years, but I don’t know Him any better than I used to?” I could not tell him.
Later I noticed Psalm 27, and was struck by the word seek. Also “The soul of the sluggard desireth and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” John the Baptist was thus taken up with the Lord.
If the Lord should ask the question, “What seek ye?” what would we answer Him? Would it be “To get on in the world”? Some could not honestly say, “I want to be near Thee.”
Mr. McIntosh had a large family. While sitting in his study one day, one of the children, a little tot, ran into his room and said: “Me want to be with you.”
I would know the Lord better if I had been seeking after Him. “Seek, and ye shall find.” To seek His beauty—out of this grows service.
I have found myself asking the Lord to help me to serve Him, instead of going after Him for His own sake (John 20:10-17).
Jesus said to Mary, “Whom seekest thou?” She gets into service after her seeking. She was not seeking for power for service, she wanted Himself.
May we learn to seek Him for His own sake. If the Lord does not satisfy our hearts, we will seek for something else.
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

Found, Led, Instructed, Kept

“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.” Deuteronomy 32:10.
The Believer’s History in Four Words
“Found” in a desert land,{br}Far, far from home and light:{br}“Found” captive ‘neath a tyrant’s hand,{br}Wrapped in the shades of night.{br}{br}“Led” forth from slavery’s thrall,{br}“Led” into liberty;{br}“Led” to obey the Saviour’s call{br}Inviting—“Follow Me!”{br}{br}“Instructed” by His eye,{br}Led through the wilderness;{br}“Instructed” where, and how, and why{br}In blessing He doth bless.{br}{br}“Kept” from the tempter’s power,{br}“Kept” for the Lord alone;{br}“Kept” unto resurrection’s hour,{br}“Kept” as His loved—His own!

Scripture Study: John 2

The first prophetic day mentioned here was John’s testimony (chap. 1:1-36).
The second day is the Lord Jesus gathering the godly remnant of the Jews to Himself.
The third day is when the Lord publicly owns His people Israel.
Verses 1-10. The marriage in Cana of Galilee is a foreshadowing of it. The mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. The Lord honors such an occasion with His presence. It is a happy occasion. We are not told who the marriage parties were. It is intended to picture another time yet to come. But nature’s joy does not endure, and when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, “They have no wine.” She knew that it had only to be mentioned. But it was not the time to own Israel yet, as figured by the mother. He replied, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.” And there were set six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece—evidently empty, or had to be emptied. They were used to hold water to wash things in according to the manner of the Jews—Jewish washings (baptisms, Heb. 6:2). Jesus saith unto them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them to the brim. And He saith unto them, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.” And they bear it. It is a mysterious scene; the bridegroom is not seen. Jesus takes the place in the foreground, as the main feature; the Host, and the Bridegroom, providing the joy and gladness for the blessing of all. And so will it be in Israel’s nuptial day, when He will say in a fuller way, “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” (Song of Sol. 5:1).
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew): the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”
Little did they know that this marriage scene had been pre-arranged long ago in the purposes of God as a mystic foreshadowing of the blessing of God’s earthly people Israel.
At other times men had well drunk to satisfy their desires. But the wine, the joy, that Jesus supplies, does not intoxicate, but delights and strengthens the heart (Psa. 104:15; Prov. 31:6); does not satiate the soul, but satisfies the heart (Song of Sol. 7:9, 10; 1:2).
Verses 11, 12. This beginning of signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him. It showed to them that He was the Messiah. Then He went with His company to Capernaum.
Verses 13-16. Then the Passover was at hand. Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and going into the temple He found those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. This might be a business convenience to those coming from foreign countries, but the Lord of the temple is there, and shows His authority. He made a scourge of small cords, and drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, “Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.”
Verse 17. And His disciples remembered that it was written, “The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.” This scene foreshadows the purging of the kingdom in the latter days before the Lord can take possession of and own it.
Verses 18-22. The Jews said unto Him, “What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?” Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then said the Jews, “Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?” But He spake of the temple of His body, and of the resurrection from the dead, that declared Him to be the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4). But it was a sign too late for their unbelief, for they rejected and crucified their Messiah. But His disciples after He was risen from the dead, remembered that He had said this unto them: and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said, and rejoiced in the blessing of a Christ risen and glorified, who could send down the Holy Spirit, that other Comforter, to make good to them all that He had said.
Verses 23-25. With this verse a new section of the gospel begins. There seemed to be a great work going on at that Passover feast in Jerusalem, for “Many believed in His name when they saw the miracles that He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men.” He could read their hearts, and what He saw there was just the sincerity at the best of the natural heart. It was their own faith, wrought by seeing, and not souls who had found out their need of a Saviour. They had not learned the first lesson.
The first step toward God is not trying to be good, but is owning oneself a lost, ruined, undone sinner, whose only hope is in the mercy of God to pardon his sins. They were not born again. It was not faith that was God-given, such as we see in Ephesians 2:8. It was faith like Simon’s in Acts 8:13. So they could turn away again when what the Lord said did not suit them (John 6:66).

The Lord's Supper as the Moral Center, the Object of the Assembly

Let us remark some of the thoughts of the Spirit in connection with this ordinance.
1st. He links the affections with it in the strongest way. It was the same night on which Jesus was betrayed that He left this memorial of His sufferings and of His love. As the paschal lamb brought to mind the deliverance which the sacrifice offered in Egypt had procured for Israel, thus the Lord’s supper called to mind the sacrifice of Christ. He is in the glory, the Spirit is given; but they were to remember Him. His offered body was the object before their hearts in this memorial.
Take notice of this word Remember. It is not a Christ as He now exists; it is not the realization of what He is: that is not a remembrance—His body is now glorified. It is a remembrance of what He was on the cross. It is a body slain, and blood shed, not a glorified body. It is remembered, though, by those who are now united to Him in the glory into which He is entered. As risen and associated with Him in glory, they look back to that blessed work of love, and His love in it which gave them a place there. They drink also of the cup in remembrance of Him. In a word, it is Christ looked at as dead: there is not such a Christ now.
It is the remembrance of Christ Himself. It is that which attaches to Himself, it is not only the value of His sacrifice, but attachment to Himself, the remembrance of Himself. The Apostle then shows us, if it is a dead Christ, who it is that died. Impossible to find two words, the bringing together of which has so important a meaning, the death of the Lord. How many things are comprised, in that He who is called the Lord, had died! What love! What purposes! What efficiency! What results! The Lord Himself gave Himself up for us. We celebrate His death. At the same time, it is the end of God’s relations with the world on the ground of man’s responsibility, except the judgment. This death has broken every link—has proved the impossibility of any. We show forth this death until the rejected Lord shall return, to establish new bonds of association by receiving us to Himself to have part in them. It is this which we proclaim in the ordinance when we keep it. Besides this, it is in itself a declaration that the blood, on which the new covenant is founded, has been already shed; it was established in this blood. I do not go beyond that which the passage presents; the object of the Spirit of God here, is to set before us, not the efficacy of the death of Christ, but that which attaches the heart to Him in remembering His death, and the meaning of the ordinance itself. It is a dead, betrayed Christ whom we remember. The offered body was, as it were, before their eyes at this supper. The shed blood of the Saviour claimed the affections of their heart for Him. They were guilty of despising these precious things, if they took part in the supper unworthily. The Lord Himself fixed our thoughts there in this ordinance, and in the most affecting way, at the very moment of His betrayal.
Extract from Synopsis. J. N. D. (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

The Power of Prayer: Part 1

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

The First Resurrection

When the Word of God speaks of the first resurrection, a second one is implied, and, also, that there will not be a general rising of all people at the same time.
The Lord Jesus tells us that there is a resurrection of life, and a resurrection of judgment (John 5:29), and we read, “Blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:6), and that the “rest of the dead,” such as are neither blessed nor holy, “lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Hence the resurrection of life takes place at least one thousand years before the one of judgment.
It is a solemn, a fearful consideration, that there is a distinction between the very dust of believers and unbelievers. The same family vault may contain their dust, but those who have life in Christ will rise ten long centuries before the others. The former will be awakened flora their slumbers by the voice of Jesus, who is the Life—their Life; the latter, by His voice, as their Judge. The Lord expressly says that he who hears His word, and believes in Him who sent Him, shall not come into judgment, but he is passed from death unto life (John 5:24). The sins of the believer have been borne already. Jesus bore them in His own body on the tree. The believer has thus been judged already in the person of his spotless substitute; and he will not, cannot be judged again as a sinner for his sins, and hence will never stand before the great white throne. He will rise, not to the resurrection of judgment, but to the resurrection of life.
As our resurrection hangs upon Christ’s, all who have life in Him—that is, all who believe—will rise together— “Christ, the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” All who belong to Christ He will gather in; the harvest would be imperfect and incomplete otherwise. From holy Abel to our own day, everyone who is Christ’s shall rise or be changed at His coming. Myriads of redeemed, countless multitudes, shall assemble around “the First-born from the dead.”
When shall these things be? Our Lord, when He was here upon earth, said, “The hour is coming;” the time now surely draws near, the long silence of the grave shall soon be broken, and we shall be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. The trumpet shall soon sound. Let us be continually expecting its call. “We shall all be changed,” while remaining still our own selves, while retaining our own individuality, while knowing each other and rejoicing together, we shall all—the living and the sleeping—be vastly changed.
It is not possible as our bodies now are, subject to death at any moment, or as many beloved saints now are, dust and corruption, that we can inherit the kingdom of God. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” We shall all be changed; our natural bodies will become spiritual bodies. “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body.” We have been like Adam, but we, shall be made like Christ. “As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:44, 49, 50).
“Our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to His body of glory.” Phil. 3:20, 21 (New Trans.).
What a glorious change from sickbeds, from separations, from this region of frequent and recurring grief, and from these minds and hearts fitful in zeal for and love to our Lord! What a change from the divisions of Christendom, and the contentions and strifes of this mournful wilderness! May God, by His Spirit, enable us to live in the power of that day, to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord!”

My Father's Care

I have nothing to do with tomorrow,{br}My Father will make that His care;{br}Should He fill it with trouble and sorrow,{br}He’ll help me that sorrow to bear.{br}{br}I have nothing to do with tomorrow,{br}Its troubles then why should I share,{br}Its grace and its strength I can’t borrow,{br}Then why should I borrow its care?

Lord Jesus, Come!

Rough is the wilderness,{br}Barren and drear;{br}Pleasure or happiness,{br}Who would seek here?{br}There, where the Saviour is,{br}Is our blest home;{br}Longing, our spirits cry,{br}“Lord Jesus, come!”{br}{br}We, of the Spirit born,{br}Sealed as God’s own,{br}Passing the desert through,{br}Cannot but groan.{br}Jesus while waiting for,{br}Far from our home,{br}Can we forbear to say,{br}“Lord Jesus, come!”{br}{br}Soon shall we see Thy face,{br}Know as we’re known;{br}Glory shall crown Thy grace,{br}There on Thy throne.{br}We, then, encircling Thee,{br}No more shall roam;{br}Till then our cry shall be,{br}“Lord Jesus, come!”

Extract From Notes on Exodus 14

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.” (Psa. 107:23, 24).
How true this is, and yet our coward hearts do so shrink from those “great waters”! We prefer carrying on our traffic in the shallows, and, as a result, we fail to see “the works” and “wonders” of our God; for these can only be seen and known “in the deep.”
It is in the day of trial and difficulty that the soul experiences something of the deep and untold blessedness of being able to count on God. Were all to go smoothly, this would not be so. It is not in gliding along the surface of a tranquil lake that the reality of the Master’s presence is felt; but actually when the tempest roars, and the waves roll over the ship.
The Lord does not hold out to us the prospect of exemption from trial and tribulation; quite the opposite: he tells us we shall have to meet both the one and the other; but He promises to be with us in them, and this is infinitely better. God’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial. The sympathy of His heart with us is sweeter far than the power of His hand for us.
The Master’s presence with His faithful servants, while passing through the furnace, was better far than the display of His power to keep them out of it. (Dan. 3). We would frequently desire to be allowed to pass on our way without trial, but this would involve serious loss. The Lord’s presence is never so sweet as in moments of appalling difficulty.

Genesis and Revelation

In Genesis, I see earth created;
In Revelation, I see it passing away.
In Genesis, sun and moon appear;
In Revelation, I read they have no need of sun or moon.
In Genesis, there is the marriage of the first Adam;
In Revelation, there is the marriage of the Lamb, the last Adam.
In Genesis, there is the first appearance of the great enemy, Satan;
In Revelation, there is his final doom.
In Genesis, there is the inauguration of sorrow and suffering; you hear the first sob, you see the first tear.
In Revelation, there is no more sorrow, no more pain, and all tears wiped away.
In Genesis, we hear the curse proclaimed because of sin;
In Revelation, we read, “There shall be no more curse.”

The Source of Power

If in conscious weakness and self-renunciation we lean on Christ, His strength will lift us above all circumstances, as we read, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” No matter, then, what evil comes against us, even if it be to suffer and die for Him, as many have done, we are, through Him, superior to the circumstances. The power over every circumstance depends on being near Christ.

Loss

I think many fail to see just what the Apostle means when he says, in Philippians 3, that he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
“Counting” is faith; and faith is the God-opened eye, which simply realizes things as they are. It does not color them. A good eye imparts nothing to the object it takes in, but only realizes it as it is, adding nothing; substracting nothing.
The Apostle was not generously giving up what had real value in it. It was not even a self-abandonment, which does not count the cost of what it does. He had counted; and his quiet, calm, deliberate estimate is here recorded. Pursuing what he saw alone to have value, he says: “Yea, doubtless, and I do count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (or ‘have Christ for my gain’), and be found in Him.” Philippians 3:8, 9.
This is not “sacrifice,” as people speak; for to make that, there must be worth (at least, in our eyes) in the thing we sacrifice. The Apostle’s deliberate conviction was that in his pursuit—entire, absorbing pursuit as it was—of Christ, there was no sacrifice. This is the estimate which eternity will confirm, as the Apostle’s abundant experience had already confirmed, for he was no mere theorist. To occupy himself with what he had given up would be loss indeed.
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14.

Fragment: Nothing Left for Us

Christ has made peace by the Blood of the cross. Christ has done all, and has left us nothing but thanksgiving and praise.

Correspondence: Understanding Hebrews 4:1-2

Question: How are we to understand Hebrews 4:1, 2, “Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”? M. J.
Answer: The subject in Hebrews 3:7-4:11 is the rest of God, and who will enter into it. This rest is future. It is not like Matthew 11:28-30, which presents two different kinds of rest, namely: 1. The laboring and heavy-laden ones are invited to come to Jesus, and He says, “I will give you rest.” Here the soul ceases to labor, for the finished work is complete that puts away the heavy burden, and gives present rest. The Lord Jesus gives the rest to those who come to Him, and He gives also the knowledge of the Father. Those who come and trust in the Saviour are God’s children.
“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.” Here we find that the second rest is walking in the steps of Jesus, doing the Father’s will. It is only on these conditions that we can enjoy it, and this rest is also for the present.
The rest in Hebrews is future. Notice, it is His rest—God’s rest. These Hebrews were professing Christians (3:1), but no one could say they were all real. They are looked at in the wilderness, and if they hold fast their confidence steadfast unto the end, that will prove their reality (3:6, 14).
We see in John’s Gospel that if they have eternal life, they cannot lose it (John 5:24). So to warn them and stir them up from settling down into the world as if this were their rest, the Apostle gives such verses as Hebrews 3:7, 8, 12; 4:1, 2, 11 and Israel’s example of unbelief.
A Christian might get so far down as to say, “I am no Christian,” but could a Christian say, “Jesus is no Saviour”?
Moses, Joshua and David did not bring them into the rest; this is proved by the quotations. And as Israel’s faith was tested, so theirs would be, and they are told to labor to enter into that rest, lest any man, fall after the same example of unbelief (ver. 11). It is not laboring to save themselves, but it is laboring in fellowship with God against the evils of an ungodly world. It is only the real believers who shall enter that rest, and the Apostle had confidence that they were real (6:9).
God’s rest looks forward to the eternal state when
“All taint of sin shall be removed,{br}All evil done away;{br}And we shall dwell with God’s Beloved,{br}Through God’s eternal day.”
Paul and all the saints who have died, have entered into their own rest, as God did into His when He finished creation, but the rest of God has not come yet. Such verses as 1 Corinthians 15:24, 28; Hebrews 12:26, 27; 2 Peter 3:12, 13; Revelation 21:1-4, allude to that time.
Again we notice that each epistle has its own view point and line of teaching. In Hebrews we are passing through the wilderness, and it is profession that is considered. Only the real believers will enter into the rest of God.
“A blessed rest remains for us, in which our hearts will repose in the presence of God, where nothing will trouble the perfection of our rest; where God will rest in the perfection of the blessing He has bestowed on His people” (Synopsis).

Willie's Last Entertainment

“Do not bother me, Annie, about conversion; I know all about it, but the truth is, I like the pleasures of the world, and I’m not going to turn religious yet. Take your way, and I’ll take mine. Go to your meetings, sing your hymns, and pray, but don’t trouble me anymore. I’ll be all right, someday, no fear,” and with these words Willie left the room where his sister sat reading.
He was the only son of a fond mother, a kind, affectionate boy, but not saved. His sister Annie was three years older, and had been converted to God two years. She wanted to see her brother on the Lord’s side, and prayed and sought every opportunity to bring the gospel, and his need of it, before him. Once and again he had been awakened, but the fear of his companions’ sneers had kept him from deciding to be the Lord’s. He was far from happy; indeed, at times he seemed thoroughly miserable, for whatever his lips might utter in the way of excuse or defense, he was fully aware that the path he was treading had its end in hell, and that his mother and sister had the best of it for time as well as eternity.
All the afternoon, Willie had been preparing to go out with some friends to enjoy an evening’s “entertainment,” and just as he was putting on his coat to go, Annie ventured to say, “I wish I saw you going out to spend the evening in the service of the Lord, Willie. I wonder when that will be?” The reply he made we have quoted above, and then Willie hurried off to join his companions. Annie heaved a sigh as she saw him go, and her oft-repeated heart-breathing went up to the throne, that God, with whom all things are possible, would lay His hand on Willie and bring him to Himself.
The evening passed away, and Willie returned about ten o’clock. He spoke very little, but from what he did say, Annie gathered that the evening’s entertainment had been disappointing. It had not come up to his expectations. Like most of the world’s affairs, it was less brilliant than it had been represented, and Willie seemed out of temper over it. Perhaps there was another reason, too; his conscience was ill at ease, and that often spoils a worldling’s joy. He retired to his room shortly after he came home, and, of course, Annie had to remember his rule, and say nothing to him on the subject of conversion, but she sang to herself the familiar lines—
“I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,{br}But ah! the waters failed;{br}E’en as I stooped to drink they fled,{br}And mocked me as I wailed.”
Willie knew the meaning of the words full well, and for whom they were intended, too, so he quietly said, “Goodnight,” to his mother and sister, and passed into his room, to be alone with God. What passed there between the awakened youth and his God, I cannot tell; but in about half an hour, Annie heard a sound coming from Willie’s room, as if someone was speaking aloud, and fearing that he might be ill, she gently tapped at the door. Willie opened it, and before Annie had time to speak, he threw his hands around her neck, and bursting into tears, he said, “We’ll sing the chorus of your hymn together now, Annie,” and he led off himself, with the words.:
“Now none but Christ can satisfy,{br}None other name for me;{br}There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,{br}Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”
Annie joined, but she scarcely knew what she sang. The whole matter seemed like a dream, such as the Psalmist knew, when “the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion;” and they were “like unto them that dream, their mouth was filled with laughter and their tongue with singing” (Psa. 126:1, 2). Had Willie trusted Christ? Had he passed out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of God? Yes, indeed. There he stood, confessing with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and owning Him as the Saviour and Satisfier of his soul. There was great joy that night under the widow’s roof. Mother, son, and daughter knelt together, and gave God thanks.
“But did it stand?” you may be inclined to ask. Yes, of course, it stood, for it was the workmanship of God. He was a new creation, wrought of God’s Spirit, and the same is wrought in every sinner who casts himself wholly and only on Jesus Christ. The next morning Willie went straight to the circle of his companions, and confessed the Lord, told them he had been converted, and would by grace follow in the Lord’s ways. And he did follow heartily and joyfully, testifying to all around him, by his lips and life, of the saving power of Jesus’ name.
Reader, have you been converted? If not, Why not? The world has nothing new to give, its pleasures do not satisfy, and death will end them all. Then comes eternity—an eternity without God, without Christ, in hell.
Reader, can you with open eyes, choose such a portion, or will you today choose Christ? “Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” Jeremiah 21:8.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2:12.

O, What a Debt I Owe!

All that I was, my sin, my guilt,{br}My death, was all my, own;{br}All that I am I owe to Thee,{br}My gracious God, alone.{br}{br}The evil of my former state{br}Was mine, and only mine;{br}The good in which I now rejoice{br}Is Thine, and only Thine.{br}{br}The darkness of my former state,{br}The bondage—all was mine;{br}The light of life in which I walk,{br}The liberty is Thine.{br}{br}Thy grace first made me feel my sin,{br}And taught me to believe{br}Then, in believing, peace I found,{br}And in Thy Christ, I live,{br}{br}All that I am, e’en here on earth,{br}All that I hope to be,{br}When Jesus comes, and glory dawns,{br}I owe it, Lord, to Thee.

Little Tangles

At one time there was a great king who employed his people to weave for him. The silk, and woof, and patterns were all given by the king, and he looked for diligent work-people. He was very indulgent, and told them when any difficulty arose to send to him and he would help them, and never to fear troubling him, but to ask for help and instruction.
Among many men and women busy at their looms was one little child whom the king did not think too young to work. Often alone at her work, cheerfully and patiently she labored. One day when the men and women were distressed at the sight of their failures, the silks were tangled, and the weaving unlike the pattern, they gathered round the child, and said: “Tell us how it is that you are so happy in your work? We are always in difficulties.”
“Then why do you not send to the king?” said the little weaver. “He told us that we might do so.”
“So we do, morning and night.”
“Ah,” said the child, “but I send as soon as I find I have a little tangle.”
Dear young Christian, we all have “little tangles” in our lives, and are discouraged because we cannot make them straight; so instead of singing at our work, we are heavy-hearted and complaining. But is there really so easy a remedy always at hand? May we send at once to the King? Let us hear what He says about it Himself, for if it is true, why should we go on carrying all our burdens, and keeping all our sorrows pent up within?
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything; by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6.
Every word of the Bible means what it says: “Thy burden,” “All,” “In everything,” mean just what they say. There is not a single thing we cannot go to the Lord about, from the smallest everyday care that worries, to the greatest sorrow that nearly breaks the heart. “His ears are open to their cry.”
Take, then, ye toiling and troubled ones, the comfort offered you. Act upon them daily, hourly; go to the King as soon as you have a little tangle, “in everything,” “all your care.”
If you take Him at His word, you will find Him true to His word: “The crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.” “The peace of God... shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

The Gospel Trust

“Put in trust with the gospel.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
I have a calling high,{br}A charge to me is given,{br}To bear to men who die{br}The saving word from heaven.{br}O world and flesh, give way, ye must!{br}I’m with the gospel put in trust!{br}{br}‘Tis trust to own the land,{br}Great trust to sit on throne,{br}But greater trust to stand{br}And Jesus Christ make known.{br}Throne, earth and princes all are dust,{br}I’m with the gospel put in trust!{br}{br}Swords may a glory reap,{br}And trumpets blare a fame,{br}And slain and slayer sweep{br}Down to eternal flame;{br}But, O, to save men, died the Just!{br}I’m with the gospel put in trust!{br}{br}Above me is my God;{br}I hear His urgent voice,{br}He speaks of Jesus’ blood{br}And resurrection joys.{br}No time have I for ease or lust,{br}I’m with the gospel put in trust!

Scripture Study: John 3

Verses 1-4. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night”—at an hour when the eyes of the world would not be upon him. He was a religious man, a ruler of the Jews and a teacher of Israel. He had desire in his heart for God. He was not satisfied with religion and its forms, and he saw in Jesus a power beyond man, and owned that Jesus was come from God. His miracles proved it: “No man can do these things that Thou doest, except God be with him.”
He wanted some instruction, but Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This was teaching away beyond him, and he asks in a surprised manner for an explanation of what was so contrary to nature.
Verses 5-13. Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 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.” This teaching shows the depravity and incorrigible character of the flesh in man. It is utterly unfit for God, it cannot be made better, and unless the Word of God (the water) is applied by the Spirit of God to man, so that by it he is born again, there is nothing in him that can enter into the kingdom of God. The natural man understands not the things of God, nor can he receive them or know them. (1 Cor. 2:14).
Then that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, and the flesh remains flesh, but this work of the Spirit has begotten a new life in the soul, so that the man that is born of God can enter into and know the things of God by the Spirit’s teaching. It was therefore a positive necessity for even the religious man, yea for every man, “Ye must be born again.”
Again the surprised Pharisee exclaims, “How can these things be?” The Lord reminds him that in his own Scriptures it speaks of a change to come to Israel just like this (Ezek. 36:24-27), and that the testimony that He bore was sure, “That we do know,” “That we have seen,” yet it was not received.
If He told of what concerned the earth and he would not believe, “How shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?” Then this marvelous verse comes in, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven.” Wonderful Son of Man, in heaven, yet here on earth, God manifest in the flesh. How different from all other men! He as a man was “that Holy Thing” born of the virgin. We are the fallen children of Adam. It is said truly of us, “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing,” and again, “So then they that are in the flesh can not please God.” (Rom. 7:18;8:8). The believer has a new life, he is born anew. Israel boasted in their parentage, in their flesh (Phil. 3:4,5), but believers are “born of God” (John 1:12,13), “Not of blood,” not of some special family or tribe or nation. “Nor of the will of the flesh,” not of some religious efforts or works of men. “Nor of the will of man”—man’s will led him away from God, but did not lead him back. It is always so. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed,” like Israel; “but of incorruptible,” so proving its divine origin; “by the Word of God,” the divine instrument; “which liveth and abideth forever,” its abiding character (1 Peter 1:23). And like the wind, we can see and feel its effects, but cannot explain life, for it comes from God. And faith in God believes what He says and does.
Verses 14, 15. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Sin had reigned unto death with those bitten Israelites (Num. 21), but God had ordered and provided a means of life to those who looked to it. It taught that sin had ruined man, and God, in sovereign mercy, had brought in blessing for whosoever believeth in Him. But how can a just God bless guilty man? In only one way, “the Son of Man must be lifted up.” For none but He could bear the judgment of the sinner, and God in righteousness can bless, because the Son of Man has been lifted up as a victim upon the cross to die for sin. In verse 7 the “must” shows the necessity of a work of the Spirit in our souls. The “must” of verse 14 shows that atonement for sin must be accomplished before God in grace and righteousness can forgive and bless whosoever believes on Him. But how did it come about? It was love, it was from God:Verse 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.” How this would strike the heart of a religious Jew. Could God love the world in its guilt, its depravity, and so much as to give His only begotten Son? This looks on to the cross where He was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. And though sin has reigned unto death, so now, for all who believe, grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 5:21).
It came from the heart of God. He did not need to be reconciled to men. Men need to be reconciled to God, and Jesus Christ has died that they might be reconciled, and the message now goes forth, “As though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, Be ye reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20). This is God’s message today, proving that His love to man is unabated, and His message is from the same loving heart. O, that our hearts were bathed in that ocean, that we might feel for the unsaved as God feels!
Verse 17. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Verse 18. Divides between the believer, and those who will not believe.
Verse 19. The light has shone on them, but they hasten out of it because their deeds are evil; they love darkness.
Verse 20. Those who do evil hate the light. for it shows their true character (John 8:9).
Verse 21. He that “doeth truth”—not good works, trying to put away your sins; it is owning up before God and men what a sinner you are by nature and by practice, and from the time you take that place, it will be manifest that your doings are wrought in God. You will judge evil in all your ways. It is then forgiveness is known; that is, when the soul takes its place as “guilty before God,” for he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Verses 22-34. John’s testimony is seen here contemporaneous with Jesus, but decreasing as the voice or forerunner, and when some come and tell him of the crowds attending the words of Jesus, John answered, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.’” John said he was like a bridegroom’s friend, rejoicing in the bridegroom’s joy. “This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure.” How John exalts his Lord and Master! And he is so willing to pass out of sight, as he was willing at the beginning to go on before as a voice, heard and used, but not to be known any longer. John was of the earth, Jesus was from heaven and above all. Jesus was the Christ. John was glad to be His friend. John owns, “He came from God,” and spoke only the words of God, for God giveth not the Spirit by measure. He was the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit had taken up His abode in Him as a man. How could His testimony be aught else, but declaring all that God is?
Verses 35, 36. Here our evangelist gives by the Spirit the divine testimony concerning Him: “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son (is not subject to Him) shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Reader, how are you treating Him?

Christ's Wonderful Love

“Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).
Ninety million miles come the sunbeams through space, before they touch the roots and grasses and the flowers in the Spring days, warming and quickening them into life and beauty. Through thousands and thousands and thousands of years out of the great past comes the love of Christ, that today touches our hearts and blesses them with its divine tenderness. Christ loved His church. He loved us from eternity. This dear love of His is not a sudden warmth, a recent affection, a thing of yesterday, an emotion kindled by our love for Him. He loved us when He hung on the Cross; He loved us before He left heaven and came to earth drawn by love to us. He loved us in the eternal ages and planned to redeem us. Then His love will be forever unchanging, everlasting. Loved once was never written or spoken of Him. O! love of Christ that passeth knowledge!

The Power of Prayer: Part 2

Thus from the Gospel of Luke, and the Acts of the apostles, we have deduced seven striking examples of the importance, the prominence and the mighty power of prayer. We shall now bring forward a number of encouragements and exhortations to engage in that holy exercise.
1. “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19). What an encouragement is here! Even two disciples, the smallest plurality, agreeing together to pray, can get anything they ask for! Amazing truth! Do we believe it? Do we avail ourselves of it?
2. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matt. 21:22). Here again we have unlimited resources placed at the disposal of believing prayer. The simple prayer of faith can get us “all things.” Do we believe this? Do we avail ourselves of it?
3. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9,10). What ample encouragement is here! Do we believe it? Do we avail ourselves of it?
4. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13,14). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23, 24). Could we desire aught beyond this? Faith, using the name of Jesus, is assured of getting “whatsoever” it asks. O, reader, do we believe this? Do we avail ourselves of it?
5. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph. 6:18). The man who has on “the whole armor of God” will be able to pray “for all saints.” Such an one will not be occupied so much about himself as about others. He will think about the people of God and the work of God.
6. “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7). Here, one’s own need and difficulty are fully provided for. Believing prayer is the unfailing resource in everything.
7. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” (Col. 4:2, 3). “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all have not faith.” (2 Thess. 3:1, 2). In these quotations, the progress of the gospel is more especially pressed upon the faithful, as a proper subject of earnest prayer and intercession.
Having thus placed before the reader so many examples of the importance, the prominence and the power of prayer; and also having furnished him with so many encouragements and exhortations to engage in this most hallowed exercise, we shall now close with a precious clause from the Epistle of James, namely, “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”
My God! is any hour so sweet,{br}From blush of morn to evening star,{br}As that which calls me to Thy feet—{br}The hour of prayer?{br}{br}Blest is that tranquil hour of morn,{br}And blest that hour of solemn eve,{br}When, on the wings of faith upborne,{br}The world I leave.{br}{br}For then a day-spring shines on me,{br}Brighter than morn’s ethereal glow;{br}And richer dews descend from Thee{br}Than earth can know.{br}{br}Lord, till I reach that blissful shore,{br}No privilege so dear shall be,{br}As thus my inmost soul to pour{br}In prayer to Thee.
(Continued from page 188)

Our Great High Priest

Our blessed Lord Jesus is the anti-type or fulfillment of all the types of the Old Testament. This is very interestingly seen in the garments and work of Aaron.
I. The Day of Atonement.
On this day once a year, the high priest, clad in a pure white robe, entered into the holy of holies, with the blood of the sin-offering, and sprinkled of the blood upon the mercy seat and seven times before it. The pure white speaks of the sinless purity of our Lord— “holy, harmless and undefiled,” who was thus fitted to be both the sacrifice and priest.
II. The Garments of Glory and Beauty.
When it is a question of access to God, the emphasis is put upon the sinless purity of Him who has offered Himself as a sacrifice, and thus entered the presence of God with the witness of His work. But in the daily ministrations of the high priest, the emphasis is upon the glories and perfections which He exhibits before God. These are set forth in the gorgeous robes described in Exodus 28.
1. There was (taking them in inverse order) first of all the white “linen garment,” next to His person. This speaks of the personal purity and perfection of our Lord, without spot— “Jesus Christ the righteous.”
2. Next to this was “the robe of the ephod,” all of blue, with an opening at the neck, like a coat of mail, bound around so that it could not be rent, and adorned about the hem of the skirt with golden bells and pomegranates in alternate order. The blue speaks of heaven, and suggests the heavenly character of our Lord, in which He ministers in His priestly office. Nothing can rend or mar the robe of heavenly blue—He “abideth a priest continually.” The bells and pomegranates upon the hem seem to speak of the testimony of the Spirit that our Lord has entered within the veil, and the fruit which He takes from this earth as the result of His death, is His beloved people.
3. Next to that was “the ephod”—the characteristic priestly garment. This was a sacred garment, never used except in connection with the priestly service—or that which intruded into it, as in the book of Judges (chaps. 8, 17, 18). We may say it designated the priesthood much as a crown would the king. It was an elaborate garment, composed of four materials, blue, purple, scarlet and fine linen, curiously wrought or embroidered with gold thread. It was composed of two parts, the front and back, with clasps to hold it at the shoulders and a girdle wherewith to bind it at the waist. Everything here is significant of the priestly service of our Lord.
(1) The gold speaks of His divine glory, as set forth in the first chapter of Hebrews. Our Priest is divine.
(2) The blue tells of His heavenly character and position, as the blue robe has done.
(3) The purple speaks of Gentile royalty, of His worldwide glory—King of kings, and Lord of lords.
(4) The scarlet tells of His royal dignity and glory, as King of Israel.
(5) The linen, like the robe of the same texture, reminds us of His sinless purity.
These were curiously wrought or blended together to make a harmonious and yet variegated garment, in which all these characteristics were present. So in Him of whom they speak no attribute or grace was lacking—all was there, harmoniously blended into one perfect priestly garment.
Upon the shoulders the ephod was held together by the clasps of gold in which were set onyx stones graven with the names of the twelve sons of Israel. If these clasps were taken away the ephod would slip from the shoulders. The shoulders speak of strength, and our Lord bears His people up by His own strength. If one of the feeblest of His people were to be lost, it would rob the Lord of His priestly glory.
Similarly the names were encased in settings upon the breastplate, and in the breastplate “Urim and Thummim” (“lights and perfections”). As the shoulders speak of strength, the breast speaks of love, and that, in our Kinsman-redeemer, fails no more than the power
“Whose love is as great as His power{br}And knows neither measure nor end.”
The girdle of the ephod reminds us that our Lord is still the intercessor for His people, girded to serve even in glory.
4. The miter with its golden crown tells of the full priestly dignity. As the crown designates the King, so the miter does the Priest. All speaks of that dedication to God in perfect holiness which marks Him out in the unique perfection of His love and grace.
“With joy we meditate the grace{br}Of God’s High Priest above.”
“Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-16).

The Coming of the Lord

The knowledge of the Lord’s coming is the most purifying and separating truth; but is the most difficult for us to keep before our minds.
“Every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3.

Until He Find

O tender Shepherd, climbing rugged mountains,{br}And crossing waters deep{br}How long wouldst Thou be willing to go homeless{br}To find a straying sheep?{br}“I count no time,” the Shepherd gently answered,{br}“As thou dost count and bind{br}The weeks in months, the months in years,{br}My counting Is just until I find.”{br}“And what would be the limit of My journey?{br}I’d cross the waters deep,{br}And climb the hillsides with unfailing patience{br}Until I find My sheep.”

Speak of Him

The question of speaking to souls is a question of personal love to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not say, young believer, that you have no gift for it. Do you love Christ? If so, you will never lose an opportunity of speaking a word for Him.
“Of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45.

Correspondence: "Ye are Gods";Circumcision; 1 Cor. 3:21-22; Psa. 88 and 22

Question: What is the meaning of, “Ye are gods,” in Psalm 82:6, and John 10:35, 36? M. G.
Answer: It means judges or great men. In John 10, they found fault with the Lord for saying He was the Son of God. He silenced them by quoting that men are called gods in Scripture, which cannot be broken. And why should they say of Him, whom the Father had set apart, and sent into the world, “Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God.” Look at My works, they are the Father’s, as My words had been the words of the Father. But they hated Him and tried to take Him. In vain; His hour was not yet come. He escaped out of their hands.
Truly, our hearts by nature, even at their best, are enmity against God. (Rom. 8:7).
Question: What does circumcision mean for Christians? D. C.
Answer: Circumcision in the Old Testament was a mark of subjection put upon the flesh of Jehovah’s people; it signified death. Its teaching for us is, that as men in the flesh, we are put to death in the death of Christ (Col. 2:11), “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” In His death on the cross as men in the flesh, we have been put to death before God.
Philippians 3:3 says, “We are the circumcision,” that is: those who have owned that there is no good in the flesh; in contrast with the concision, that is: those who are trying to improve it. We are to bear about in our body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be manifested in our mortal body or flesh. (2 Cor. 4:10,11).
Christians are not under the law or ordinances, but under grace. (Rom. 6:14).
Question: What is meant by 1 Corinthians 3:21, 22? How are all things ours? E. C. D.
Answer: The Christians in Corinth were carnal; they followed men (1:12, 13; 3:1-6). The Apostle tells them all these teachers were for their benefit. They are to take all as the Lord’s ordering for their good. And so of the world; they had it from God, the Lord. Life was from Him; death, it was His servant for them; things present were His ordering for them; things to come were just what He would send. All was settled and sure, for they were Christ’s and Christ was God’s.
Question: Are Psalm 88 and 22 similar? Does the 91st follow the 88th, as the 23rd follows the 22nd? H. C. W.
Answer: Psalm 22 is the experience of the Lord while making atonement for sin. Atonement is completed (Verse 22), and Christ is seen in resurrection declaring the Father’s name to His brethren (John 20:17; Heb. 2:12). In the Psalm, it is Israel and the nations; it is blessing to the ends of the earth. And the Psalm closes with, “He hath done this.”
Psalm 23. Jehovah is the Shepherd caring for the sheep.
Psalm 24 is His coming in glory into His kingdom, and the character of the godly who receive the blessing of Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Psalm 88 has some expressions of suffering, similar to the Lord’s sufferings under the judgment of God, but the soul in Psalm 88 speaks under the sense of God’s wrath lying hard upon him in his lifetime. It is the experience of a godly Israelite under the broken law, without the knowledge of Christ’s redemption. The Psalm closes leaving him in darkness. A dreadful state truly, yet there is faith, for he calls on Jehovah, God of his salvation. It is Israel in their trouble before deliverance comes.
It was only on the cross, when bearing our sins, that Jesus was forsaken of God. He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. All His lifetime He walked in the sunshine of His Father’s approval, though outwardly a man of sorrows. If we apply any language like this to Christ, we must think of Him on the cross at the time. We need to be careful how we apply the Psalms to Him personally.
Even Psalm 69 is not the atoning sufferings of Christ, but the godly man suffering for righteousness’ sake, and for Jehovah’s sake, suffering from his persecutors for his godliness, and while specially applicable to Christ on the cross, it is also true of others who suffer in the same way. His prayer is unto Jehovah and is accepted (Verse 18), and judgment comes to the persecutors.
Psalm 91 is specially Jesus as the Messiah, but also takes in others as far as they walk in His steps.
Verse 1, as is usual in the Psalms, gives the theme. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” “Most High” is (absolute supremacy) God’s Millennial title (Gen. 14:18-22). “Almighty” (complete power), He was this to Abraham (Gen. 17:1).
Verse 2. (Jesus) Messiah claims this, “I will say of Jehovah, He is My refuge and My fortress: My God; in Him will I trust.”
Verses 3-8 is the Holy Spirit’s voice speaking to the Messiah.
Verses 9-13 is Israel’s voice also speaking to Him in the same way.
Verses 14-16 are Jehovah’s words to that faithful and true One.
The Lord Jesus was perfect in all His ways. He needed no chastening. All we believers need it. In applying this Psalm to ourselves, we must mark the difference, and submit to needed chastening.
The Lord, in grace, resigned this place of exemption from suffering, to walk in a lowly, suffering path, rejected and despised of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, but all His sufferings were in fellowship with God, and only on the cross He suffered for sin, our sins. We, too, suffer now with Christ in a world whose ruler is Satan.

Is It Going Home?

It was a bright summer day, and the windows of the many wards in the large hospital were opened to let in the sweet air and sunlight. Many of the patients were walking in the pleasant wooded grounds surrounding the building; others were sitting at the open windows. Among those seated at the windows was a young girl about sixteen years of age, of very attractive appearance, but with the bright flush of disease very evident upon her cheeks. On this day her name had been called out to tell her that a visitor had come, but as Annie caught sight of the well-known face, she turned away, and hurriedly left the ward, refusing to see the visitor, who had entered the hospital at the request of Annie’s friends.
Soon after this the nurses and doctors spoke plainly to Annie, telling her that life was only a question of a few short months at most. She grew worse and worse, and at last was taken home to die.
But God, who is over all, had His own blessed purposes about the poor, proud girl—she who would turn away from anyone who spoke faithfully to her, was yet to be brought to a knowledge of His love, and to bow to Christ.
Annie reached her home in the country, and, contrary to all expectation, rallied so much that she was able to visit friends in the village. Among these were some earnest Christian people, who for many months had been praying to their gracious God and Father for her conversion.
Time went on. It was mid-winter when a young Christian visited Annie. She was struck with the frightened, appealing look in her large dark eyes, and yet there was a half-defiant expression, too, as though she thought she was again to be troubled with religious talk.
But her visitor came to tell of love so deep, so tender, so unceasing, that the hardest heart could scarcely hear of such love unmoved. A few minutes were spent in seeking to bring before Annie G. the blessed person of the holy Lord Jesus—God over all—and yet coming down in tender love and pity to seek and save the lost. Then her visitor left, with a prayer to Him who alone could save, that the words might be blessed.
The hand of God could now be seen working. One day Annie said to the young Christian, who again visited her, “I think no one in the village can be so wicked as I am,” adding, “I know only God could save me. I think of what you’ve said very often. I am never quiet by myself but I think of it, and something seems always to tell me, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’” And the calm, trustful, humble manner in which she spoke, made the heart of her friend hopeful.
Annie was led on, step by step, until at last she could rejoice in Christ, and sing, as she said, because she could not help it, she was so happy.
“Is it going home, Annie?” said her friend one day. A quiet, happy smile was the answer. To others she spoke of her readiness to go, and her peace at the approach of death. Yes, one more had been saved through “the blood of the Lamb.”

Counting the Cost

Two young soldiers were talking about the service of Christ. One of them said, “I can’t tell you all that the Lord Jesus is to me, or what He has done for me. I do wish you would enlist in His army.”
The young man answered, “I am thinking about it, but it means giving up several things—in fact, I am counting the cost.”
An officer, passing at that moment, overheard the last remark, and laying his hand on the speaker, he said, “My friend, you talk of counting the cost of following Christ, but have you ever counted the cost of not following Him?”
“The words of the wise are as nails fastened,” so that this question rang in the mind of the young man, and he got no rest till he found it by trusting in the Saviour of sinners, whose faithful soldier and servant he has now been for twenty-seven years.
“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:34, 35.

The Prayer of Jabez: 1 Chronicles 4:10

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “O, that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!” And God granted him that which he requested.
Seeking Divine Blessing; Divine Enlargement; Divine Power; Divine Keeping.
It is a beautiful instance of individual faith, which rose to the privileges of God’s earthly people, and counted on the God of Israel.

Serving and Waiting

“Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven.”
1 Thessalonians 1:9,10.
“To serve Him! Do we think it hard{br}To hear that word of old{br}Which tells us of the place on earth{br}Our Lord would have us hold?{br}{br}The place where we can work and serve,{br}While waiting for Him here,{br}While rays of glory beaming down{br}Sustain our hearts from fear.{br}{br}“To serve Him!” Does it mean some work{br}That history’s page will hold,{br}And thousand grateful hearts and tongues{br}Will to the world unfold?{br}{br}“To serve Him!” Nay, ‘tis but to go{br}To those His heart holds dear;{br}To soothe the orphan’s bitter wail—{br}To dry the widow’s tear!{br}{br}“To serve Him!” ‘Tis within your home{br}To shed that sunshine round,{br}Which tells, with louder voice than words,{br}The treasures you have found!{br}{br}“To serve Him!” ‘Tis the angry word,{br}Checked, ere it well began;{br}It is to make a stream of bliss,{br}Where once but discord ran!{br}{br}“To serve Him!” ‘Tis to bow our hearts,{br}Though He our cup should fill{br}With deepest sorrow—and, through all,{br}Have faith to trust Him still!{br}{br}“To serve Him!” ‘Tis with little deeds{br}No other eye can see,{br}But His, whose voice will one day say,{br}Ye did it unto Me!{br}{br}“To wait!” These hearts too often ask—{br}How long, O Lord, how long{br}Must we amid the world’s rude scorn{br}Still battle with the wrong?{br}{br}“To wait!” O is it to look on{br}Through heavy clouds and gloom{br}To that bright light, whose rays e’en now{br}Shine out beyond the tomb?{br}{br}“To wait for Him!” Nay, it is to watch{br}With faithful hearts and true{br}For His return, while all around{br}Grows darker to our view.{br}{br}“To wait for Him!” ‘Tis just to find{br}His absence such a loss,{br}That, pained, we turn from earth’s gay scenes{br}And gladly clasp His cross!{br}{br}“To wait!” ‘Tis like some brilliant light{br}Through darkness shining clear:{br}The “day-star” rising in our hearts—{br}The Lord will soon appear.{br}{br}“To wait!” ‘Tis day by day to cry,{br}And in our hearts to be{br}Ready to go or stay, blest Lord,{br}As best may seem to Thee.{br}{br}Be this our one desire, O Lord,{br}Whate ‘er our earthly state;{br}And sweeter may it prove each day{br}To serve Thee and to wait!

Real Joy

You need Christ, you cannot be really happy without Him. The happiness of those away from Him is for an hour, and is never full, cannot be.
The joy Christ gives to those who come to Him is full, has no sting, and will go on forever. What a joy He gives, the joy of knowing Him, of loving Him, of knowing His love for us and seeing His care for His people.

Scripture Study: John 4

Verses 1-26 The Lord would not let the jealousy of the Jews hinder Him, nor would He dispute about their questions about purifying, but knowing that He was rejected in Judea, He departed to Galilee, and He must needs go through Samaria. It was considered by the Jews an unclean place. They had set up a worship of their own, independent of the true temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem. The Jews would hurry through it, lest they be defiled, but Jesus must needs go through Samaria, not only because it lay on His road to Galilee, but because He, the Son of God, would meet a wretched outcast woman there, to whom in His love He would bring salvation, and reveal the Father. The disciples were ignorant of His purpose of grace, and He, by His divine overruling, had disposed them to go into the city to buy food, so that He was alone, sitting on Jacob’s well at Sychar, as a wearied traveler taking a rest, when this woman arrived with her water pot to draw water. Little did she think of whom she was to meet, and of what blessing He had with which to fill her heart, and drive away her misery, and to deliver her from a life of sin. But here she is, and Jesus, to gain an audience, said unto her, “Give Me to drink.” Strange indeed that a Jew should say so, but stranger still would she think it afterward when she found Him out to be the Son of God, the Lord of life and glory.
But she asks the question, “How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?” He answers her, “If thou knewest the gift (or the free giving) of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, ‘Give Me to drink,’ thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” He did not speak condescendingly, but as a lowly man, willing to drink out of her water-pot, that He might give her a well of living water in herself. Words like these should surely strike her attention; but her poor, sordid mind did not yet rise up from earth, and she questioned how He could do what He said. She replied, “Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence, then, hast Thou that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?”
Jesus answered, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
And we wonder why such plain, blessed words are not listened to even now, and why men and women turn to the broken cisterns and brackish waters of the pleasures of sin, that are only of a moment’s duration, and forsake Him who is the Fountain of Living Waters, who gives pleasures forevermore and who still says up to the last moment of this time, “Now is the day of salvation,” “Now is the accepted time” (2 Cor. 6:2). “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
This daughter of Samaria is no exception, and only sees in His words a convenience for this life, and answered as if she did not understand, as surely she did not, yet the words would come back to her. She said unto Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
Now He becomes deeply personal. He has come in grace, but also in truth, and He is God, and she is a sinner, and she must learn it, so He says, “Go call thy husband, and come hither.” She replied, “I have no husband.” Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband; for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”
But how did He know? Her mind owns that God has something to do with this. And she says, “Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet.” He has brought God before her conscience, and perhaps she thinks she might divert Him to the difference of their religion, saying, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and Ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” But the Lord must treat both as departed from God; the dead formality of the Jews, and the willful independence and uncleanness of the Samaritans, and answers her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Thus He taught her that she must have to do with God, and whether it were Jew or Samaritan, there must be reality of worship, “in spirit,” and for this a sinner must be cleansed, a man must be born again, “and in truth.” They must know a holy God as the Father.
The poor, wretched woman has come to an end of her self-defense. She can only think of one thing more, and that is the very thing she needed, the long promised Messiah. The One Isaiah 9:6, 7, and 53:4-6 spoke of, who was wounded for our transgressions, and who was indeed to be the Son of God, God Himself come down in flesh in grace. She said, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.”
The Lord does not withhold the good news one moment longer, but says, “I that speak unto thee am He.” O, what a flood of light and love flows into her soul! The Holy One, God, and yet the Saviour of the world, is before her. How she would forever ponder the words He spoke to her, and gradually her blind eyes would see into their depths, depths of love and condescending grace, that could cleanse and forgive all her sins which He knew so well, and make her feel at home in the Father’s presence to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Verses 27-30. Upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, “What seekest Thou?” or, “Why talkest Thou with her?” And the woman took no notice of them. Her mind and heart were full of a newfound joy, of a bliss divine. Her old wretched, sinful life was gone, she knew the Saviour, the Man who told her all things that ever she did, and she thus has a new object in life. She is, as it were, a new creature. She left her waterpot. The shame of her past life does not hinder her now, and the satisfaction of her heart must find vent in telling the story to others, and down in the city, among the men of Samaria, she tells it out, “Come see a Man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” Her fervent story takes effect upon them, and out of the city they flock to hear Him for themselves.
Verses 31-38. In the meanwhile His disciples prayed Him, saying, “Master, eat.” But He said unto them, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” They said to one another, “Hath any man brought Him aught to eat?” Jesus answered, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.” Blessed Master! ever ready to serve. His weariness finds rest in serving others. His spirit drinks in the joy of meeting the need of others. His food is to do the Father’s will, and to finish His work. And His heart goes out to the need of others.
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors.” His heart took in the great need, the fields white unto harvest. The sowers and the reapers would rejoice together. Other men labored, and now the apostles were but following up their labors, and each would receive his wages and would gather fruit unto life eternal. Blessed encouragement to speak the Word for Him.
Verses 39, 40. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, “He told me all that ever I did.” And they were bold enough, because of His love and grace to them, to beseech Him to tarry with them. But what will the self-righteous Jews say or think? That does not matter to Him. He was there to do the Father’s will, and to seek the good of souls. He was not defiled, but brought cleansing to them. And He abode two days with them.
Verses 41, 42. And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” Another writes, “Those two days at Sychar were to Him a little of the joy of harvest. They were some of the most refreshing which the wearied Son of God ever tasted in this world of ours. For He found here some of the brightest faith He ever met with; and it was only the faith of sinners that could ever have refreshed Him here. Nothing in man could ever have done this—nothing but that faith which takes man out of himself.
Verses 43, 44. After two days he departed and went into Galilee among His own people, and well knowing, as He said, “That a prophet hath no honor in his own country.”
Verse 45. The Galileeans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
Verses 46-54. Here He is back to where He made the water into wine, filling their joy full in that scene that expressed their full restoration to the Lord. And though rejected in the meantime by His own, in obedience to the Father’s will, glorifying Him and to fulfill His purposes, He ministers still among the little remnant who receive and believe on Him, and works the second sign to heal and save the life of that one who was ready to perish. He fulfilled the desire of faith, in restoring the nobleman’s son, a faith that rested on Him before the eyes could see the blessing that was promised. “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29. This is the faith of the Jewish remnant, before the Lord appears.

Not the Fag End

A gentleman having called at a house in the evening, the servant was sent to obtain a candle for his use. She was some time in bringing it. When asked how it was she had been so long, she replied, “I could not give a fag end to a gentleman.” She had procured a complete candle, feeling that this alone was suited to him.
Do not give the “fag end” of your life to Christ. He is Lord of Glory, He is Son of God. He is worthy of a whole life. Come, then, now in the heyday of your youth, in your freshness and vigor, and yield yourself to Him, to be employed by Him in His service, howsoever and wheresoever He may appoint.
What shame would fill you at the end of your pathway if you had burnt nearly the whole of your candle of life for yourself and had only the last few flickers to give to Christ who gave His all for you!
Bring, then, your whole candle to Him, that He may use you to shine for Him, employing you to give light to His people and to those who know Him not. Put yourself into His hands. Let Him use you for His glory. Let Him use you for the blessing of others. Let Him use you in the way He pleases, at the time He pleases, and in the place He pleases.
It will be the beginning of days when you thus yield yourself to Him.
“I beseech you therefore... by the compassion of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your intelligent service.” (Rom. 12:1, N. T.).

A Look Into the Future

I—Prophecy
“Coming events cast their shadows before.” Today the shadows are falling heavily upon all Europe and indicate events of the gravest character, clearly foretold in the Word of God.
We are not left to mere speculation to read the signs of the times. The Bible speaks in certain and unmistakable language of the future of this world.
How very important, therefore, to consider its teachings. No one can afford to neglect the voice of prophecy, “to which ye do well taking heed, as to a lamp shining in an obscure place, until the day dawn.” 2 Peter 1:19. N. T.).
The Word of God has revealed beforehand the very things that were to take place, with such accuracy that in some instances even the names of the men whom He was to use were given, though they themselves had not yet been born. Josiah is mentioned 350 years (1 Kings 13:2) and Cyrus 100 years (Isa. 44:28) before they lived. “Prophecy was not ever uttered by the will of man, but holy men of God spake under the power of the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21, N. T.). So we need not doubt or wonder at what God has said of the future, since “He declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’” (Isa. 46:10). “God is not a man that He should lie, neither a son of man that He should repent. Shall He say and not do it, and shall He speak and not make it good?” (Num. 23:19, N. T.).
II—The Lord’s Coming
Before matters proceed to any great length as to the principal developments in the crisis of the world, there will occur a very great event for which every believer in Christ is waiting. It has no relation with old testament prophecy, which is connected with the earth only. This event will be to the child of God the eternal realization of his every hope and blessing which “God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 2).
The Lord Jesus will return for His redeemed. Previous to His leaving the world and going back to the Father, He said, “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.” (John 14:2,3). “Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear to those who look for Him the second time without sin for salvation.” (Heb. 9:28 N. T.)
“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. So shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17).
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:52).
When the Lord Jesus was glorified at God’s right hand after His ascension, He, according to His promise, sent down the Holy Spirit into the world that hated and crucified Him. He has been dwelling in every believer in Christ until now. But when the true church is taken to glory, at Christ’s coming, the Holy Spirit will go with it, and the unsaved, who have heard the gospel and have turned the deaf ear to it, shall be left behind for certain judgment.
“And they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (Matt. 25:10). Solemn fact; shut! This leaves out all who have refused to be cleansed by the blood of Christ, to bear God’s wrath and judgment. No more mercy will be shown to those who have heard the gospel of God’s grace and rejected it, “only a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.” (Heb. 10:27).
III—The Nations of Western Europe
The Spirit’s presence is what now restrains evil, “For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only there is He who restrains now until He be gone, and then the lawless one shall be revealed.” (2 Thess. 2:7, 8, N. T.) The events which are now taking place among the nations of Europe are but the beginning of a transformation which shall take place in their form of government.
God chose the Jews as His earthly people and gave them His holy law that they might know what He expected of them. Yet their sins and idolatry exceeded that of the heathen God bore with them “until there was no remedy.” For this cause He permitted them to be taken captive by the Gentiles. Ten tribes were carried away by the Assyrians and are lost to history. The other two, Judah and Benjamin, were taken in the year 586 B. C. by Nebuchadnezzar. For seventy years they were captives in Babylonia and from that day to the present the government has been in the hands of Gentiles and shall remain there until Christ comes to take the government upon His shoulder. (Isa. 9:6). Then He will reign in righteousness for a thousand years. This has been foretold in the prophetic Word by “Daniel the prophet,” and Revelation 20:4-6.
Daniel in his vision sees four beasts—explained as four kings which were to arise out of the earth. These represent the four great empires that succeeded one another upon the earth in their respective order—Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian (Macedonian) and Roman Empires.
The Roman Empire is symbolized by a ten-horned beast. The ten horns are ten kings “which shall arise.” This beast is described in Revelation 13 and 17. In thee latter chapter it is said the ten kings “have received no kingdom as yet,” nor have they to this days There has never been a time in history when the Roman Empire had ten kings or governors subject to one.
Since the year 500 A. D. it has ceased to exist as the Roman Empire. Revelation 17:8 shows it is to reappear. The beast “that was, and is not, shall be present”; what is now taking place in Europe is paving the way for the revival of the Roman Empire.
Already there have been references made in newspaper articles to the “United States of Europe.” A Washington dispatch to the Chicago Herald says: “The secret understanding on which Italy joined the allies involves remaking not only the map of Europe, but regrouping all the nations on the continent.” When God deals directly with the government of the earth, He will cause His purposes to be quickly carried out.
After the ascension of the church, terrible judgments shall fall upon the earth. According to Revelation 6, peace shall be restored by a “rider on a white horse” or very likely “the beast,” the head of the Roman Empire, who conquers without bloodshed. This cannot last, however, for “when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them... and they shall not escape.” (1 Thess. 5:3). Fearful slaughter shall again take place. Anarchy shall break out “to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another.” (Rev. 6:4, N. T.). The result will be famine, pestilence and death.
Anarchy will reign universally, and because of providential judgments men will think the great day of the wrath of God has come and will hide themselves in dens and in the rocks of the mountains and say to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” (Rev. 6:16). But instead of repenting of their evil deeds, they will blaspheme the God of heaven. (Rev. 16:11).
As to the head of this vast and mighty empire, Scripture is explicit in describing his character and personality. Arising as he will, in his Satanic character, after the formation of the ten kingdoms, he will subdue three of them. He will speak great words against the Most High (God). In his mad impiety, he will also dare to take the ground of open defiance and blaspheme the name of God. (Rev. 13:5). Men are now calling for this mighty leader or head of the future confederacy of nations of Western Europe. We quote from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 29, 1915, part of a speech delivered in the House of Commons, London: “What we want in this country more than money and shells is a leader. For God’s sake, give us a man who will lead, without fear of the consequences. Believe me, the whole world from Vladivostok to San Francisco is looking to see if we can develop a leader who can lead, and can shape into line with the new conditions.”
The question may arise, “Why are these empires or their representatives called ‘beasts’?” The answer undoubtedly is found in Psalm 49:20, “Man that is in honor and understandeth not is like the beasts that perish.”
In Daniel, 9th chapter, a Prince is referred to in both the 25th and 26th verses, but they are two distinct persons. In the 25th verse the term Messiah the Prince refers to the Lord Jesus, while in the 26th verse “The prince that shall come” is the beast or head of the revived Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire of the future shall, in its greatness and grandeur, surpass everything of its kind known to history. “All the world wondered after the beast.... and they worshiped the beast, saying,.... ‘Who is able to make war with him?’” (Rev. 13:3,4). But what shall be the end of this mighty empire which arrays itself against the God of heaven in blasphemous arrogancy? Let the Word of God answer, “And I saw the heaven opened and behold, a white horse, and one sitting on it, called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head many diadems, having a name written which no one knows but Himself; and He is clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is called the ‘Word of God,’ and I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against Him that sat upon the horse and against His army. And the beast was taken and the false prophet (antichrist) that was with him... Alive were both cast into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:11, 12, 13, 19, 20, N. T.).
How solemn! This time is fast approaching. It is difficult to realize that such shall soon be the doom of the rulers of these western lands. They shall be found gathered together for battle near Jerusalem. Such is the crisis which, as God shows plainly in His Word, awaits the world.
“Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” (Psa. 2:11, 12).
(To be continued)

The Path of God's Sons

God had but one Son without sin, but He had no son without suffering. His only begotten Son was a Man of Sorrows; and the Holy Spirit assures us, “If ye be without chastening, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons” (Heb. 12:8).
Let all Christians prepare for affliction, on account of having an interest in God through Christ; on account of having sins pardoned and purged; on account of having peace with God; on account of having hearts crucified to the world; and then when troubles come, let us bear them as Christians, neither murmur nor repine, but patiently receive everything from His hand, knowing He intends all for our blessing. Not desponding nor fainting, but remembering that our troubles are no more, but infinitely less, than we have deserved. “He will not lay upon man more than right.” (Job 34:23).
God perfectly understands our need, and knows our strength: “If need be, ye are in heaviness.” (1 Peter 1:6). “He is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” (1 Cor. 10:13). It is the wise, just, and gracious God, that mixes our cup for us.
Many earthly parents do not correct their children as they should, being ignorant of their nature and disposition; and therefore their correction does them no good.
Many physicians mistake the constitutions of their patients, and therefore do them more harm than good; but God knows our need and strength, and suits all His remedies accordingly.
In our affliction, let us search our hearts, and try our ways; let us fly to God by prayer, and resign ourselves to Him, and trust in Him, casting our cares and burdens on Him. (Psa. 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7).

Correspondence: Divine Healing; Is Satan in Heaven?

Question: Will you kindly explain “Divine healing,” or, “The Fourfold Gospel”? C. S.
Answer: Scripture does not speak in that way. God answers prayer, and often heals those prayed for, and we have had many times to praise Him again for raising up sick ones. But it is not what we should always expect or seek. Paul, the Apostle, who writes guidance for the church on earth, did not heal Timothy (1 Tim. 5:23), nor Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:27), nor Trophimus (2 Tim. 4:20). He owned God’s discipline on His saints, and did not seek to remove it (1 Cor. 11:30). So did John (1 John 5:20). So did James (5:14-16).
But this does not apply in every case, while it applies in some. It is very wrong to make a system of these things, as if we could compel God, or as if God did not love His people more than ever we can do. God gives faith where He sees fit to do so, and “Have faith in God” demands submission to His will.
“The faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), in which we are to build ourselves up (verse 20) has many more points than four.
Question: Is Satan in heaven? (Rev. 12:7-9). M. W. W.
Answer: We gather from Scripture that “the great dragon,” “that old serpent” called the “Devil” and “Satan,” is still allowed by God for the working out of His all-wise purposes. He is used by the Lord for the blessing of His people, and cannot go any further than he is allowed of God.
(See Job, chapters 1 and 2; Zech. 3:1; Luke 22:31; 2 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 6:12, margin). He is in the heavenlies, that is called heaven. We do not find him in the third heavens, but in an official place, where the angels present themselves before God (Job 1; Jude 9).
We are to resist him and he will flee. He is a defeated enemy, though he roars loudly at times, and deceives very subtlety (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 2 Cor. 2:11). We are delivered from his power (Col. 1:13) and he will be bruised under our feet shortly (Rom. 16:20), that is, when the Lord comes for us.
Revelation 12:7-9 is future. We, the heavenly saints, are with the Lord, and our voice celebrates the casting out of the accuser of our brethren on earth who are still suffering under his wrath (verses 10, 11). These suffering ones are Jewish saints, the believing remnant of Israel.
Michael, the Archangel, is called “your prince,” that is, he stands up to carry out God’s purposes concerning Israel. (Dan. 10:21; 12:1; Jude 9).
Let us ever remember that we are delivered from his power. “Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.” How important this is for us.

From Darkness to Light

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

The Gospel Message

The gospel is much clouded by terms, conditions and qualifications. If my doctrine were, “Upon condition that you did so and so, that you believe and repent and mourn and pray and obey and the like—then you shall have the favor of God”—I dare not for my life say that is the gospel. But the gospel I desire to preach to you is, Will you have a Christ to work faith, repentance, love, and all good in you, and to stand between you and the sword of divine wrath?
Here there is no room for you to object that you are not qualified because you are such a hardened, unhumbled, blind and stupid wretch. For the question is not, “Will you remove these evils and then come to Christ?” but, “Will you have a Christ to remove them for you?” It is because you are plagued with these diseases that I call you to come to the Physician that He may heal them. Are you guilty? I offer Him unto you for righteousness. Are you polluted? I offer Him unto you for sanctification. Are you miserable and forlorn? I offer Him as made of God unto you complete redemption. Are you hardhearted? I offer Him in that promise, “I will take away the heart of stone.” Are you content that He break your hard heart? Come, then, and let Him take your hard heart into His hand.
“Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise east out.” John 6:37.

Fragment

The faithful steward gives, because he has, and has, because he gives.

Psalms 37:5

Commit thy way, O weeper—{br}The cares that fret thy soul—{br}To thine Almighty Keeper{br}Who makes the world to roll.{br}{br}Unto the Lord who guideth{br}The wind, and cloud, and sea:{br}O! doubt not He provideth{br}A footpath, too, for thee.{br}{br}Trust also, for ‘tis useless{br}To murmur and forbode;{br}Th’ Almighty arm is doubtless{br}Full strong to bear thy load.{br}{br}In Him hide all thy sorrow,{br}And bid thy fears goodnight;{br}He’ll make a glorious morrow,{br}To crown thy head with light.{br}{br}And He shall bring it near thee,{br}The good thou long has sought;{br}Though now it seems to leave thee,{br}Thou shalt ere long be brought{br}{br}To pass from grief to gladness,{br}From night to clearest day,{br}When doubts and fears and sadness{br}Shall all have passed away.

A Word to Christian Parents

The day of the Lord draws near. The judgment which will end this present time of God’s long-suffering approaches. The flood of wrath which will soon sweep over this earth piles up like the held-back Jordan of old. The worse than the fiery storm which overthrew the cities of the plain, gathers speedily. In view of this day, let us briefly trace some of the ways of God towards the families of His people in past times of special judgments.
The principle of “Thou and thy house” is not confined to our present gospel era, though, doubtless, it finds fresh force in this day of grace, and the privilege of “Thy house” is greater to us than it ever was to believers of the days of law, or of the still earlier times.
Noah, the preacher of righteousness, the foreteller of the old ungodly world’s overthrow, was not saved alone. The covenant was established with him only, but the blessing of salvation extended also to his family: “Everything that is on the earth shall die; but thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.”
Rahab, who perished not with disobedient, ungodly Jericho, was not saved alone; her prayer for her relatives was heard. “Thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household home unto thee.”
At the time of the exodus of Israel the “little ones” went out from captivity as well as the grown persons. “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons, and with our daughters.” And in vain did the enemy seek to hold the families of God’s redeemed people.
Again, upon the eve of destruction of the cities of the plain, the word came to Lot, “Nast thou here any besides? Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place, for we will destroy this place.”
These gracious and encouraging testimonies should stir up our faith in this gospel-day, to lay firm hold upon the largeness of the word, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
True religion begins, in every sense of the word, at home. Our most earnest prayers, our strongest desires, our firmest faith should be for our near relatives. The unbelieving may—if they so determine—leave us, but we are not to forsake them, “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.” God saves one in a family so that one may be the means in His hand of saving others. It is His most gracious and loving principle that His people should be centers of blessing, and what so near the center of the Christian parent’s heart as his little ones.
Quite true it is that Noah’s family entered the ark for themselves; that Rahab’s relations passed within her door for themselves, and that each soul must be in Christ for himself. But equally true is it that “when Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, ‘Son thy sins be forgiven thee.’” Our faith for others goes not further than laying our beloved ones in their sinfulness and helplessness at His feet, yet blessed is the answer to such faith when Jesus says, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee,” and “Arise and walk.”
The mothers of Jerusalem did no more—they could do no more—than bring their little ones to Jesus for Him to touch them, but “He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.” Jairus besought Jesus “greatly” for his little daughter. “I pray Thee come and lay Thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him.”
Another “cried out, saying, ‘Master, I beseech Thee look upon my son: for he is my only child,’ and Jesus answered, ‘Bring thy son hither.’”
Thus, not only does the plain and loving word say to us, “Thou and thy house;” but the examples of the ways of God with others speak as plainly and as lovingly. Do we read of one really earnest parent seeking his child’s blessing being turned aside by the Lord? May be the Lord tested the faith of some, but only that by Himself strengthening their faith He might make the reception of the blessing more sweet.
Doubt not, distrust not, Christian parent. Pray on, plead on; plead earnestly, ceaselessly, for your child’s salvation. Agonize in prayer—be in pangs of desire, in throes of longing. Nay, and if you be like that father who came so overwhelmed to Jesus—so overwhelmed with the condition of his child—as hardly to credit the power of the Lord, saying, “If Thou canst do anything for us,” still hear the Master’s word of tender encouragement, “All things are possible to him that believeth.” And let that word of Jesus so break down your heart as to make you say with tears, “Lord, I believe, help mine unbelief.” Ah!
“Why should we distrust or fear Him?{br}O! how He loves.”
Yet we will not forget the grave responsibility which attaches to the believing parent. Lot failed to receive the blessing contained in the words, “Nast thou here any beside?” And why? He had deliberately chosen the neighborhood of the wicked cities of the plain for his abode, and had by degrees so forgotten his pilgrim character as to become great in Sodom “He sat in the gate!” He had become a leading citizen in the city of destruction. He brought up and educated his family there, and only too well did they learn Sodom’s ways of immorality, and of mocking at God’s word. Alas, so well, that when Lot was really in earnest for his family’s salvation, and came, the eve of the city’s destruction, knocking at his sons’ doors, beseeching them to escape for their lives, saying “Up, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city,” “he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law.”
Christian parents, beware of the neighborhood of the cities of the plain! Beware of leaving God’s companionship for a lodging place close by Sodom. You will be enticed into the city, you will become a respected citizen and form alliances there, maybe, not for yourself, but for your children. Vain will it be for you when in Sodom, to vex your righteous soul because of your godless surroundings; you will have no spiritual power with neighbors, servants, family, or children. Take heed lest you thus become their destroyer, though you yourself be saved. Shall they be left behind for the hastening fiery storm? You cannot bring them out from the power of evil, if you are yourself in the evil? Can anyone fulfill the exhortation of “pulling others out of the fire,” if he be in himself?
Ah! Lot, with what agonized gaze didst thou in Zoar behold the smoke of Sodom arise to heaven? Didst thou not then exclaim, “Had I turned away from Sodom, instead of making the city of destruction my home, my children had not been consumed.” Yet what availed thy tears then? Of what value were thy regrets then?
Let our prayer be so to walk with God before our children, that we may have moral power with them. To live a daily sermon of Christ before them, and to manifest a Christ-like example before them, is what we should seek after.
The word of God’s grace to us is, “Thou and thy house;” but if we become like the world, let us take heed lest His hand be against us, for what a man sows that also shall he reap.
We look for the whole family to be in heaven, dear Christian parent. There will be no graves above, nay, no sighing, no tear, no sorrow, no separation. The coming day will be a day of blissful reunion. Yet, O, how terrible the, thought, Will one child be left out? Shall we not all assemble above? May God in His mercy stir up hearts afresh to cry to Him for the speedy conversion of our loved ones, as the coming of the Lord draws nigh.

Real Life

Coming to Christ is finding what is really life, what satisfies, what gives real rest of soul, what fills the deepest needs of our being.
How good to have God say to sinners, “Come;” to be invited to come to Him for all we need, now and forever.

Scripture Study: John 5

Verse 1. There was a feast of the Jews. Strict observance of the ordinances is seen here. But why change its name from a feast of Jehovah? (Lev. 23:4). Does it not suggest that the Lord had lost His pleasure in it? Because they worshiped Him with their lips, while their hearts were far from Him. (Isa. 1:14; Matt. 15:8).
Verse 2. Bethesda—House of Mercy—for it was a mark still of Jehovah’s mercy in Israel; yet inadequate to meet the need that was there, but suggesting how Israel had turned from “The Fountain of Living Waters”. And even this mercy of occasional relief to one who had strength to use it, did not suggest to them to turn back to Jehovah, the true and great Physician, (Ex. 15:26,) who could heal them all.
Verses 3-4 Bethesda’s five porches contain a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, and withered, waiting for the moving of the water. What a weary wait; almost hopeless, yet each hoping he would be cured next. What a picture of wretchedness, while men observed their Sabbath as if all was right with them before God.
Verse 5. A certain man was there which had an infirmity thirty-eight years—the same length of time as Israel wandered in the desert. This is the one the Lord selects in whom to display His power, and to witness that Jehovah was now visiting His people, and the only One who could meet their need.
Verses 6-7. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew how long he had been in that case, He saith unto him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” But the man has no hope outside the pool. How often during these years he had tried, and he had no one to help him to reach the pool first. How little he thought that this was the Great Physician who was now speaking to him, a picture of Israel dwelling upon the ordinances and outward observances of Jehovah’s law, and forgetting Jehovah’s mercy and power.
Verse 8. Now he is to know this mercy and power which was present in Jesus, the Son of God, come in grace to needy man. Jesus saith unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
Verse 9. What a surprise to the man who was immediately made whole and took up his bed and walked. And on the same day was the Sabbath.
Verse 10. What an offense to their religion for a man to carry his bed on the Sabbath. Had Israel been right with God such a thing would have been wrong.
Verse 11. But the One that healed was his authority for doing it, and if there is blame, it must rest on Him.
Verses 12-13 The man cannot tell who it was that had healed him, till Jesus afterward came to him in the temple,
Verse 14. And said unto him, “Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” It is not faith in Jesus that is seen here in the man, but the exercise of power in government as flowing from Himself, therefore Jesus treats him as still under the discipline of government in Israel. We are not told if, or what, the man learned through his cure.
Verse 15. The man departed, and told the Jews it was Jesus, who had made him whole.
Verse 16. Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and tried to kill Him because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. His action, they felt, was an insult to their national pride. The Sabbath was the seal of the covenant between Jehovah and them, and it was saying the covenant is broken. (Exo. 31:16, 17).
Verse 17. And Jesus’ answer tells it is broken, and that God His Father cannot have a Sabbath while His people are sunk in sin and wretchedness. So He answered them, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” And this is to them a fresh assault on their religion, for now He not only had broken the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. In the other gospels He speaks of the demand of need, the cause for setting the Sabbath aside, as an ox, or an ass, fallen into a pit, or an animal needing water, or the priests in the temple working that day. But here, the reason is the highest, and He is in company with the Father, working in the midst of a fallen creation to deliver man from sin and its penalty and results, to set up a new sinless creation. The Father and the Son, in divine love, could not rest in a scene where everything was ruined by sin, and where man was under the power of Satan. God’s Sabbath could only be in love and holiness. Man’s sin had broken God’s rest, and He must needs begin a new creation united to His own character as light and love. Jehovah had given the Sabbath in Israel as an obligation by the law, a token of the precious truth that His people should enter into the rest of God. They forfeited their claim to it by their disobedience. God will give it to them by grace, but this is still future, (Heb. 4,) and will be through redemption which unfolds God’s glory. This is seen in type in Adam and Eve’s coats of skin, clothing the naked sinner with the righteousness of God through the death of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21).
Verse 18. The Jews sought the more to kill Him, treating Him as a blasphemer, and if it was not true that He was equal with God, He was a blasphemer, and this should shut the mouths of those who speak of Him as being only a man. To all such God says, “Woe unto them.” (Jude 11).
Verse 19. Had they the heart and mind to understand, His explanations should have satisfied them. He answered them, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” His perfect submission to His Father’s will in the place He has taken is seen here. He acts as in dependence on the Father, and shows thus His oneness of mind and purpose in all His actions.
Verse 20. “For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” What love! What intimacy! What confidence is here expressed in His perfect dependence.
Verse 21. As the Father raises the dead and gives life; so the Son gives life to whom He will. He is the life giver.
Verses 22-23. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. The One slighted, despised and dishonored by men, is the One to be their Judge. Men must give account to Him, that all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him. If men refuse His grace, they shall be compelled to bow before Him in judgment. All we can do to honor the Son is also honoring the Father. And a slight put upon the Son is slighting the Father. As believers we have communion now, by the Spirit with the Father and the Son. Unbelievers will have to answer for their sins and unbelief before the Man, Christ Jesus, whom they have rejected. Believers are quickened and saved and love to honor the Lord Jesus.
Verse 24. Full assurance of this is given by His own words, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My words, and believeth Him that sent Me, (believes the Father by hearing the Lord’s words,) hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment; but is passed from death into life.” How simple and full this verse is! His word to the believer is, “Hath everlasting life.” It is the present portion of every true believer. The Lord declares it with, “Truly, truly,” attached, to give emphasis to this truth, and of such He further declares, they cannot come into judgment. He Himself has borne their judgment. No judgment remains for the believer, and he is passed from death into life. Out of the state of death and judgment, into the state of life eternal, to which nothing but blessing attaches.
Verse 25. “Verily, Verily, I say unto you. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. The dead here are those who are not born again. They are spiritually dead, though alive on earth, dead in trespasses and sins. The present time is the hour the Lord referred to which was begun when He spoke. and is still going on. All who believe the voice of the Son of God now receive life and are put into the blessings of the 24th verse.
Verses 26-27. “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son (as in the dependent place) to have life in Himself. And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” (Acts 17:31).
Verses 28-29 This is a future hour and a display of the power committed to the Lord to raise the dead out of their graves. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” Here are two resurrections; the resurrection of the just, those who are quickened, do good and are justified by faith; and the resurrection of the unjust, those who have died in their sins. (Acts 24:15). who will be judged according to their works. (Rev. 20:12, 13).
Verse 30. All this showed His divine person, yet again He says, “I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” Having taken the subject place, He is perfect in it, and so learns obedience in this, to Him, new way.
Verse 31. And His testimony did not depend on His own words.
Verses 32-35. John bore witness of Him, and they were willing for a season to rejoice in his light, and John bore witness to the truth, and the Lord told them these things that they might be saved.
Verse 36. Then the works the Father gave Him to do, bore witness that the Father had sent Him.
Verses 37-38. And the Father Himself bore witness of Him, but the Father they did not know, and did not receive the message, nor the Messenger that He had sent. Him ye believe not.
Verse 39. Then they searched the Scriptures, for in them they thought they had eternal life, yet they did not see that “They are they which testify of Me,” but with all these to witness to Him they did not see because their wills were wrong.
Verse 40. “Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.”
Verses 41-44. “I receive not honor from men, but I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in His own name, Him ye will receive.” (This is referring to the false king, the antichrist, yet to come. 1 John 2:18). Such was the condition of the leaders of the Jews, their hearts were away from God; honor from men they sought and not the honor which cometh from God only.
Verses 45-47. He would not be their accuser, but that very law in which they trusted, “even Moses, in whom ye trust,” but Moses condemned them. “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?”
How fully such words answer the irreverent and blasphemous criticisms of modern teaching. If Moses’ teaching were not true, the Lord Jesus and His teachings are not true, for He declared that Moses’ writings were true.

His Beauty

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21.
“The love of Christ constraineth us.” 2 Corinthians 5:14.
Dost thou know the love of Jesus?{br}Then is thine a raptured heart;{br}“Chief among ten thousand” own Him,{br}Joyful choose the better part.{br}{br}What has stripped the seeming beauty,{br}From the idols of the earth?{br}Not the sense of right or duty,{br}But the sight of peerless worth.{br}{br}Not the crushing of those idols,{br}With its bitter void and smart,{br}But the beaming of His beauty,{br}The unveiling of His heart.{br}{br}‘Tis that look that melted Peter,{br}‘Tis that face that Stephen saw,{br}‘Tis that heart that wept with Mary,{br}Can alone from idols draw.{br}{br}Draw, and win, and fill completely,{br}Till the cup o’erflow the brim;{br}What have we to do with idols,{br}Who have companied with Him?
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4.

A Look Into the Future: IV - Turkey and Russia

There will be another great man to arise who has a very prominent place in the prophetic word. His destiny is closely linked with that of Russia.
This person is termed the king of the North. Since Palestine was and is again to be the center of God’s counsels in the earth, all geographical positions in Scripture are given in relation to it.
This king of the North shall occupy a position north of Palestine, now possessed by Turkey in Asia.
It is a matter of history that on the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was divided among four of his generals, and two of these came into conflict with Palestine. They are designated in Scripture as “King of the North” and “King of the South.” (Dan. 11).
The king of the North occupied Syria and Asia Minor, which were then part of Assyria. The king of the South ruled over Egypt.
There is yet to arise a great king who shall represent the third beast, (Greece), as the “prince” will the fourth beast (Roman Empire). He shall play a very important part in the future of the world, especially that of the Jews.
“At the time of the end shall be the vision,” “in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences shall stand up.” The king of the North, probably Turkey (?) (Dan. 8:23, 24) But though his power shall be mighty, it shall not be by his own power. There shall be back of this fierce and powerful king another power (Russia), who shall be mightier than he.
The Jews are soon to return to their land. There is to arise among them the man referred to in a previous chapter, as the “lawless one.” He is also called the “man of sin,” the “false prophet” and the “antichrist.” He shall be a Jew (see Dan. 11:37), claiming to be the Messiah, deceiving the mass. He shall sit in the temple which is to be rebuilt “showing himself that he is God.” Many of the Jews will worship him.
There shall be a treaty between the beast and the Jews for seven years (Daniel’s seventieth week) to insure protection to Israel from the king of the North, their aggressor. This alliance, (another scrap of paper) is to be broken by the beast at the end of three and one-half years. The “overflowing scourge” (the king of the North, Isa. 28:18) shall pass through, the Jews shall be trodden down and Jerusalem taken, at least one-half of it. Thence, he will carry his conquest down into Egypt. While there, tidings out of the East and North shall trouble him (Dan. 11:44), and cause him to return with great fury.
At this time shall take place a great battle around Jerusalem. “When the Lord hath performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish... the king of Assyria.” (Isa. 10:12). “Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man,” for it will be directly from the hand of God. (See also Micah, 5).
As early as 587 B. C. the prophet Ezekiel not only prophesied of Russia, which is destined to become a mighty nation, but even mentioned it by name. (Read Ezek. 38 and 39 N. T.). “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying ‘Son of man, set thy face against Gog and the land of Rosh (Russia), Mesheck (Moscow), and Tubal (Tobolsk) and prophesy against him.’
This nation, with its Eastern allies, China and Japan, will form the Northeastern confederacy. The alliance of Russia with France, England and Italy cannot last; for these last three will be included in the coming Roman Empire, while Russia will be the dominating power in the North.
Russia today occupies half of Europe and the whole of northern Asia. Europe is alarmed at her progress and fears the rising again, through her, of what they are now trying to put down—militarism. Russia and many peoples with her, shall come up against the Jews as a cloud to cover the land, but they shall fall upon the mountains of Israel. So great shall the slaughter be that it shall require seven months to bury the dead and seven years to burn the weapons of war. (Ezek. 39:9-12).
God is about to deal with the earth—with men in the midst of their plans.
(Continued from page 251).
(To be continued).

Correspondence: Heb. 4:8-10; Col. 2:16

Question: Does Hebrews 4:8, 9, 10, mean a Sabbath for us to keep?
What does Colossians 2:16 mean?—A Subscriber.
Answer: The first mention of the seventh day, as a day of rest, is Genesis 2:2, 3, but there is no indication that it was given to man at that time to keep.
The first time it is given to man is Exodus 16:5, 23-26, and it is the nation of Israel and those who dwell among them, redeemed out of Egypt, to whom it is given.
Next, the Sabbath is given in connection with the law (Ex. 20:8-11). The law, which includes the Sabbath, was given to Israel alone, and includes the strangers dwelling among them (Ex. 12:13).
God did not put the whole world under the law. Only one nation; that is Israel.
The law is not dead. The Jew is under it still, and can only be freed from it by believing on the Lord Jesus. Paul by the Spirit writes (Gal. 2:19, 20), “I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ.” “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4), and believers are not under the law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14). The law is not dead, but believers are dead with Christ. (See Rom. 7:6, marginal reading). The unbelieving Jew is still under the law, and will be judged by the law (Rom. 2:12). People who put themselves under the law now, are delivered from it by seeing themselves dead with Christ.
The Sabbath was the sign of the covenant between Jehovah and the children of Israel (Ex. 31:13-17). They broke the law and did not keep the Sabbath and are thus cursed (Gal. 3:10; Ezek. 20:12, 13, 16, 20, 21).
The Lord Jesus did miracles on the Sabbath day to show that man’s sin had broken God’s Sabbath, and neither He nor His Father could rest where sin is (John 5:16, 17, 18).
There is not a word in Scripture to tell us that the Sabbath is changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. The Sabbath is the seventh day, and is entirely Jewish. The first day, the resurrection day, the Lord’s day, is Christian. In the reign of Christ over the earth, Israel will then keep their Sabbaths (Ezek. 45:17).
Colossians 2:13 addresses “you,” the uncircumcised Gentile. Colossians 2:14 is to “us,” the circumcised Jew. Verses 16, 17, set aside these Jewish feast days and Sabbaths, and give us Christ, the substance. These are only shadows, the body is of Christ.
Verse 20 sets all believers free from laws and ordinances, because of being dead with Christ and risen with Christ. Hebrews 4:8, 9, 10, points the Hebrew believers on to God’s eternal Sabbath day. His rest. Into which all true believers in heavenly glory shall enter. The rest in Genesis 2 alluded to in Hebrews 4:4 is a type of this.
It does not say in the New Testament, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The gospel has set that aside for all true believers. Christ rose from the dead the first day of the week. The Holy Spirit was given the first day of the week. The gospel was first preached that day; and Acts 20:7 tells us, that was the day when the disciples came together to remember the Lord as having died for them.
Revelation 1:10 calls it the Lord’s day (there is no Christian Sabbath), and while Christians are not under law, Christ’s love reigning in their hearts, would lead them to give the day specially to Him as free from all secular employment, as far as it is possible.
Since it is the Lord’s day, may we devote it to His service. Let our hearts delight to own His claim upon us in this matter in sweet communion with our risen Head.

A Solemn Warning

A few years ago, the writer was informed, by one who professed to know the circumstances, of the following solemn and sudden event. A lady, who moved in the higher circles of society, was induced to attend one evening, what was called “revival preaching.” She was convinced of sin by the preaching of the Word, and became much alarmed about her state. Deep convictions followed. She struggled against them, but could not get rid of them. She thought of her many engagements, and the difficulties of her position in life. Conscience said, “Decide at once for Christ.” The world said, “Not now, but by and by—such a step should not be taken hastily.”
In this state of perplexity and distress, she retired to her bedroom. But here the curtain drops—the scene closes to mortal view. As she did not appear the following morning, or answer to any call, her room was entered. But O! what a sight to the family! The struggle was over—the stillness of death reigned. There the body lay, cold and lifeless; but—the soul—where now? It was gone—gone to its eternal place. All was changed—changed suddenly—changed forever.
Her diary lay open on her table. Two entries had been made the previous evening. They were to this effect.
“I am determined, this day six months, to give up the world and become a Christian.” But, as if the conflict in her soul had deepened and conscience crying still louder, “Be decided now for Christ;” she made a second entry.
“This day month I am determined to be done with the world and follow Christ.” Beyond this last entry we cannot follow her. God took the matter out of her hands. All her intentions, however good, were vain. The present moment only is ours. It is daring work to treat God as if our days and months were in our own hands in place of His. He will sometimes visit such rashness with marked judgment. It is always dangerous to trifle with convictions, and delay decision for Christ. It is really to trifle with the strivings of the Spirit, the truth of God, the claims of Christ, the salvation of the soul, the glories of heaven, and the torments of hell. But no one on earth can tell what may have passed between her soul and God during that solemn night. It is but fair to infer from these two entries that she passed through deep exercise, if not real agony of soul. O! what a night! it was the dark shadow of a night of endless woe, or the breaking morn of eternal day. What a night for heaven—what a night for hell—what a night for her! Who is to gain the victory? Christ or Satan—the truth or a lie? Solemn thought! Eternal happiness or eternal misery quiver in the balance. But it is comforting to know, that one look of faith to the blessed Saviour would settle all for heaven and the blessedness of her soul forever.
But is the case before us an uncommon one? Alas! no. Convictions, struggles, resolutions, and re-resolutions are what go on for a length of time in many awakened souls. Comparatively few, we fear, yield at once and entirely to the Saviour’s call— “Come unto Me;” and to His fair demand— “Give Me thine heart.” But this is always a personal question. Dear reader, how is it with thee? Thou knowest the gospel—Jesus died for sinners—He died for thee—His precious blood cleanseth from all sin. Pray, tell me, art thou decided for Christ? I mean fully decided now—just now. Or art thou saying in practice, though not daring to write in thy diary—“This day, six months” or, to ease the pangs of conscience, art thou reducing the period of thy purposed connection with the world, and of thy surrender to Christ, to— “This day month?” God forbid! Beware, my dear reader. I tremble for thee if this be thy state. Dare not, I pray thee, trifle another moment with the convictions of thy conscience. God speaks; bow, obey, or He may arise and vindicate the claims of His beloved Son. In His holy and righteous government He may solemnly judge such daringness, even though in grace He may save the soul. He ever cares for His Son.
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear Him;” is His sweet testimony to thee. Let thy happy response from earth be, through these opened heavens, “This is My beloved Saviour, in whom I am well pleased; adored be forever, His blessed saving name!”
Then, O then, thou art one with heaven, Thy sins, which were many, are forgiven; thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace. The Lord hath left these comforting words for thee, and for all who believe in Him. Receive them as spoken directly to thyself. Look to Jesus only. Let thine eye be fixed on Him, and let His word be the only rule of thy faith and practice. He who loved thee and died for thee will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Trials, difficulties, disappointments, and sorrows, as to this life, may come—are sure to come—but trust all to Him, and wait His time of deliverance, and never, never, never doubt His love, or His care for thee.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.

The True Neighbor

He found me robbed, and wounded, and half dead;{br}No eye to pity, and no hand to aid:{br}His arm salvation brought—His love so free—{br}E’en to a sinner and an enemy!{br}{br}The Priest passed by and left me in my pain!{br}No blood of victims on his altars slain{br}Could meet my wretched, ruined, hopeless case;{br}Naught could avail, but all-abounding grace.{br}{br}The Levite looked upon me, then passed by!{br}His ritual could not aid one doomed to die!{br}Vain are earth’s altars—ceremonials vain—{br}Jesus, alone by Thee we life obtain.{br}{br}He came just where I was, and took my part;{br}Compassion in His eye, love in His heart;{br}With His own hands my wounds He gently dressed,{br}Dispelled my fears, and filled with peace my breast.{br}{br}He brought me to an inn, and bade the host{br}Supply my present need, and paid the cost:{br}“And when I come again,” I heard Him say,{br}“Whate’er thou spendest more I will repay.”{br}{br}Thus to the end, whatever may befall,{br}I ne’er shall want—he has provided all.{br}Now at the inn I wait His face to see,{br}Who loved me thus with love so rich, so free.{br}{br}Well may I then to all around commend{br}This wondrous Neighbor and this matchless Friend;{br}And tell to every lost and ruined soul,{br}How perfect is His grace who made me whole.

A Bright Example

She had neither position in the world, nor money. I do not know that she was in any way distinguished by her intellect; but she had what is better far, a large heart—a loving, Christ-like heart. Seeing many poor boys employed in the foundries, who, early taught lessons of vice, could say, “No man careth for my soul,” she had compassion on the lads. “I am but a poor working girl,” she said to herself, “but I will try, in a loving spirit, if I can win them to Christ and to what is good.”
A noble resolution! So soon as formed, she sought to carry it into practice, asking and getting the use of a room below the factory where she wrought. She opened it one Lord’s day in June, 1862; and before long had gathered in some forty ragged and dirty lads from smoking clubs and back courts, where they were wont to spend their Sundays in gambling and rude play. For two years the factory girl persevered in this course, willing to spend and be spent for Christ; nor did she abandon a work she loved so well till failing health compelled her to resign it into the hands of others. Her efforts to bless and save those boys were not confined to Sundays, for they engaged her spare time throughout the week.
Abundant in labors, in season and out of season, as soon as the day’s work was over, this noble girl took her way to the homes of the boys—if homes many of their lodgings could be called. She knew all the boys—their sad histories, their dangers and hardships; and by her Christian principles, her winning ways and overflowing kindness, she gained an influence over them which was productive of the happiest results. God owned her labors, and several of the lads underwent a saving change. Some are now adorning the doctrine of God their Saviour, who, be it remembered, were not turned from the error of their ways by ministers, preachers or parents, but a poor factory girl. So distinguished, indeed, from others of the same class and calling were those under her training, that “Mary Anne’s boys” became a proverb in the foundries.
It makes one sad to think how many Christians, with tenfold more time, more money, more education, more influence, have not done a tithe of the good this girl did. If any might have justly pleaded the excuse, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” it surely was one who found it hard to keep herself, and who, starting each morning to the sound of the factory bell, and hurrying along dark and silent streets, had gone through hours of work ere half the world was awake. Her story may make the writer, and also most of his readers, ashamed of the little they have done. Let the best and busiest of us resolve to do more for Christ, more for a perishing world.

Scripture Study: John 6

Verses 1-6. The multitudes followed Him because they saw His miracles that He wrought on them which were diseased. His divine compassion thinks of their need, and begins an exercise in the disciples’ souls of how this need is to be met, while He Himself knew what He would do.
Verses 7-9. Philip says, Two hundred pennyworth of bread would not suffice to give each one a little; and Andrew’s supplies are only, “Five barley loves and two small fishes” that a lad has brought with him. “But what are they among so many?” God made one cake of barley bread upset the host of Israel’s enemies before. (Judg. 7:13-14). And now He can feed the multitude with five. Man’s extremity is the time for God’s power to be seen. And man’s weakness expressed in five loaves and two small fishes, declared the power of God.
Verse 10. But everything must be done in order. They are directed to sit down, and it is in green pastures they sit, very suggestive of the Lord, our Shepherd, feeding His flock.
Verses 9-11. The dear lad gave up his lunch, and had the pleasure of receiving it back from the Saviour’s hand with a rich blessing upon it; doubtless, feeling happy that his little could feed the many. And he was not any the poorer. The Lord by it had fed five thousand men. And it suggests to us to put ourselves into the Lord’s hands, and while our name, like the lad’s may not be publicly recorded, we shall see what is much better, our blessed Lord glorified through our giving up of self.
Verses 12-13. They were all filled, and twelve baskets of fragments left that the disciples took up, as the Lord said, “that nothing might be lost.”
Verses 14-15. The effect on those who saw the miracle, made them declare, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” (Psa. 68:10, 132:15). But such scriptures declare Him King as well as Prophet. Why then should they not crown Him at once, and they are about to do it by force. He could not accept the Kingdom under such conditions. Atonement must be made, He must die first (John 12:24). He therefore departed again into a mountain Himself alone, and that pictures His priesthood when rejected on earth. (Heb. 8:4). Thus His three offices are here shadowed forth.
Verse 16. The disciples entered the ship, as He had arranged and went on toward Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not come to them, and the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
The lonely and adverse circumstances of the godly remnant during the tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble, when the Lord is absent are here shadowed forth. (Isa. 50:10 Jer. 30:7).
Verses 19-20. Then they see Him walking on the water, and drawing nigh to the ship, and they are afraid till His voice reaches them, “It is I: be not afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the ship; and immediately they are at the land whither they went. So Israel’s godly remnant will be delivered from their sorrows, when the Lord comes with His heavenly company of saints and angels.
Verses 22-27. The following day, other boats and people were seeking Him in the same place, and not finding Him there, they start for Capernaum seeking for Jesus. That sounds like a real work of grace, but Alas! the Lord who knows the heart, tells them their motives were selfish. They want to know how He got there, their inquisitiveness is aroused. Jesus solemnly brings before them eternal things. The food that perishes had been their object. He puts before them the food that endures unto everlasting life, which He, the Son of Man, shall give unto them, for Him hath God the Father sealed.
Verse 28. This arouses them a little, and they ask, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”
Verse 29. Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.”
Verses 30-31 And after all they had heard and seen, they say, “What sign showest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee? What dost Thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Verses 32-33. Jesus answered, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”
Verses 34-40. Then said they unto Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” It seemed like the woman at Sychar’s well, “Give me of this water that I come not hither to draw,” and the Lord’s reply seems to convey it. He said unto them, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The blessing He has brought is eternal and goes beyond resurrection, beyond millennial blessing.
Verses 41-51. But the Jews murmur because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And their unbelief speaks of Him as the Son of Joseph, just a man like themselves, but they could not do His works. And Jesus answered, “Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him; and I will raise Him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets ‘And they shall be all taught of God.’ Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father.
Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Verse 52. What perplexity all this seemed to the Jews. And they strove among themselves, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” In their law they were not allowed to eat blood, and now the Lord adds to their perplexity by adding,
Verse 53. “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Unless ye shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and drunk His blood, ye have no life in yourselves.” (N. T.).
In the light of the gospel we can see that it is feeding spiritually on the death of Christ. It is not the bread and wine of the Lord’s supper, which are a remembrance of Him in death, but this is faith in the death of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. If we are taught of God, (Ver. 45) we learn that we are lost vile sinners, and nothing can fit us for God’s presence but the blood and death of Christ. And this is applied to us in coming to Him. And so the Lord goes on Verses 54-57. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” It is eternal salvation. It is the one who by faith makes the death of Christ as for himself, that comes into this blessing. And the Lord goes farther, for this life He gives needs to be sustained. His flesh is thus meat indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. And he that feeds thus upon Him, “dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” This is daily communion. And it is as He lived on earth, in communion with His Father. “As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father:” (that is, sustained as a dependent Man by the Father’s living). “so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.”
Verse 58. “This is that bread which came down from heaven,” (not like the manna of old that perished with the using,) this bread endures to eternal life to all who partake of it.
Verses 59-60. This lesson in the Capernaum synagogue was a hard one. Many of His disciples said, “This in a hard saying; Who can hear it?”
Verses 61-63. But there was something harder still. Jesus said to His disciples, “Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. Was He not the true Passover lamb to be fed upon? but they could not take it in. It is really truth for those who have the Holy Spirit given to them. (1 Cor. 2:10, 12). Such can see in the Lord Jesus the substance of all the shadows, the spirit of all the Word.
Verses 64-65. But it divides between those who felt their need of Him, and those who only came because of His miracles. Jesus knew from the beginning the real ones, from the false, and who should betray Him. And He said, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given him of My Father.”
Verse 66. “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.”
Verse 67. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, “Will ye also go away?”
Verses 68-71. Simon Peter answered Him as spokesman for them, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter had felt his need of Christ, a need none other could satisfy, he could not go away, and he thought so of the rest. But Jesus answered, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” Judas Iscariot is thus pointed out as His betrayer, and yet was in such close company with the Lord. Truly “the flesh profiteth nothing.”
Verse 62. The Son of Man’s ascension is alluded to, but not unfolded.
Verse 4. The Passover is near. The Lord’s death is its fulfillment.

Secure in Christ

Jesus His holy soul poured forth{br}A sacrifice for sin,{br}Enduring all Jehovah’s wrath,{br}Our souls to win.{br}{br}His spotless life death could not claim,{br}The living One was He,{br}Who bowed in grace to death and shame,{br}Upon the tree.{br}{br}Believers now in Him are seen;{br}No condemnation theirs,{br}No hand can separate between{br}Christ and His heirs.{br}{br}One with the risen Christ they stand{br}In righteousness and life:{br}A justified and heavenly band{br}With blessings rife.{br}{br}Behind them death’s dark Jordan flows,{br}Its depths are past for aye;{br}Before, the golden Canaan glows{br}In God’s own day.{br}{br}O! God! we would Thy love adore.{br}Triumphant o’er the fall.{br}Blest is the heart for evermore{br}Where Christ is all.

The Heavens Declare

A dear friend was telling me the other day how the Lord spoke peace to his heart. He had been under deep anxiety about his soul and conviction of sin for some time. One night he had gone to meeting with the hope and almost expectation that he might be saved that very night. He had some out of the meeting as hopeless as ever, and stood out alone in the darkness, with sad thoughts as his companions.
He looked up into the bright sky over his head; its beauty and glory caught his attention, and instantly that familiar verse of Scripture, learned perhaps in his childhood, came to him, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” He continued gazing upward and thinking, “All that is the work of God. It shows His power, His wisdom, His glory. Why should not I trust the Word of such an almighty God as that—that Word in which He has told me that if I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ my sins will be forgiven, and I shall be saved?” At once his soul leaped into the joy of the truth, and, quickly seeking out the friend who had been deeply interested in his case, he said, “I am saved,” and told him the simple, blessed story.
Without knowing it, he had really passed, through the teaching of Psalm 19. It begins with the glory of God as shown in the heavens, and then passes to His word, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul”; and from that, to Him to whom it all points—the Lord, his Strength, and his Redeemer.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14.

A Look Into the Future: V - The Jews

Not the least important event shall be the return of the Jews to the land of Palestine.
God, in His Word, has said that they shall return, and whatever nation thinks to hinder them shall have to do with God. “I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered against it.” (Zech. 12:3) He has given them that land. “It shall not be sold forever.”
“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is His people.” (Deut. 32:8, 9)
“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24). This nation, “scattered and pealed,” is the only one without a country. This also is a matter of prophecy. “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king....a prince....a sacrifice.... an ... . an ephod or teraphim.” (Hos. 3:4).
Preparations are going on now among, Jewish societies for the return of the Jews to their land. “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land.” (Isa. 14:1).
This event is so important in the purposes of God, that He has let us know through the prophet Isaiah that He has in view a nation, or confederation of nations, whom He, at the proper time, will summon and which, with the aid of swift ships, will take His people back to their land. (Isa. 18).
“Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: that sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers to a nation (Israel) scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!” (vs. 1 and 2).
It is evident that the nation whom God will command to accomplish His designs shall be master of the seven seas.
The following article from the Philadelphia Evening Times, shows what extensive plans are under way for this event. “The Jews are preparing to restore the temple of Solomon. The whole world is being stirred by a startling movement of the Jews toward their home land. Ten years ago there were only one thousand Jews in Jerusalem; there are now a hundred thousand. More than two hundred thousand Jews are found in the colonies recently established in Palestine. More than twenty million dollars are being invested in railroads. Within the next few months Jerusalem shall have become a city of electricity; rails are being laid for electric cars. The Jews have five million dollars in a Jerusalem bank; they have purchased a large amount of land, Until forty years ago the land of Palestine was arid; there were few inhabitants....Rain has come in abundance in the last few years. Palestine again blossoms.”
It is true, that for the present, things have changed greatly for the Jews in Palestine. Owing to the war, they are suffering privations; but this condition can only be temporary and does not alter God’s ultimate purpose concerning them or their land.
Thus man is unwittingly carrying out God’s plans. The Jews shall restore their own religious rites, sacrifices and temple worship, which however, shall not be accepted of God because of their unbelief. Yet God, from among them, shall have a remnant for Himself.
These God-fearing Jews shall bear witness that Jesus Christ is their promised Messiah; they shall publish the glad tidings of the kingdom for which cause they shall be special objects of persecution. Some shall be martyred for their testimony and for refusing to worship the image of the beast and have his mark upon them. “These shall have part in the first resurrection.”
As to the mass of the Jews, they shall receive the antichrist, worship the image of the Beast set up in the temple, take his mark in their hand or on their forehead, without which none may buy or sell. (Rev. 13:17). The setting up of this idol shall take place in the middle of Daniel’s last week, after three and one-half years, superseding the sacrifices arid oblations.
It shall be the sign for the instant flight of the faithful remnant of Jews to the mountains of Judea.
“When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination (idol) of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (temple) ... flee into the mountains.” (Matt. 24:15-22). As these persecuted Jews flee, they shall carry the good news of the Messiah’s coming to set up His kingdom.
Whosoever will have compassion upon their sufferings and succor them shall receive a reward at the coming of the Son of Man. “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matt. 25:31-33). Those on the right hand shall enter into life eternal; they shall be rewarded for their kind treatment of the persecuted Jews, His brethren. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Those on the left hand shall be sent away into eternal punishment. “Inasmuch as ye did it not. . .”
This latter class includes all apostate Jews and Gentiles of that day, alive at that time, who have heard the gospel of God’s grace and rejected it. To them is addressed the words, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41). Awful words from the lips of the Lord Jesus who today is saying, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28). Beware, ye despisers.
Thus the earth shall be cleansed of all the enemies of Christ and His people.
(Continued from page 280).
(To be continued).

Extract From a Letter

“The Lord took her some weeks ago, after a lingering illness, with considerable physical suffering; but the dear, aged sister’s mind showed wonderful clearness almost to the last, and her whole thought was Christ.
It was very sweet to hear her repeating passages of Scripture, and evidently finding great joy in them to the last. It was a beautiful witness to the superiority of what we have in Christ, to all else. She was very deaf, blind and helpless. All that the world depends upon for its joys was gone for her; and yet she found the joy she had in Christ did not fail.
How priceless the portion we have in the Lord! And in these dark, degenerate days, when men seem more and more determined to have nothing to do with Christ, how great His grace to us is, in causing us to know Himself in some measure, and to feel the drawing power of His love over us!”

Faithful Unto Death

Revelation 2:10.
An old martyr once said in the face of threatening persecution, “You cannot confiscate my possessions, for I have laid up my treasures in heaven; you cannot banish me, for my Lord has said, ‘Lo, I am with you alway,’ and when He is with me I am always at home: You cannot kill me, for I have been dead forty years, and my life is hid with Christ in God.”

Correspondence: Pray for Peace; Feet Washing

Question: Is it consistent for Christians to pray for the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem, or to help along any of the present schemes to reinstate the Jews in their land? W. S. M.
Answer: God has given Christians a heavenly calling; (Heb. 3:1). A heavenly inheritance; (1 Peter 1:3, 4;) and blessed them with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. (Eph. 1:3).
For their sins the Jews were driven out of Pales tine. They smote the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek....Therefore Jehovah gave them up as a nation till the time when she which travaileth hath brought forth. (Mic. 5:1,3). Then Israel as a nation will be restored. At the present time, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24). God’s word about Israel now is, “Not My people.” (Hos. 1:9). And they are now as described in Hosea 3:4. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for the Gentiles’ sakes; they were broken off from the olive tree of God’s testimony on the earth, that the Gentiles might be grafted into it. Their only escape now from judgment is in the mercy of God shown alike to Jew and Gentile. (Rom. 11:28-32). Those who receive the gospel of the grace of God, cease to be Jew or Gentile, and are in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28).
Consistently, therefore, as Christians, we pray for their conversion to the Lord Jesus (whose name they now hate), that they might be saved, (Rom. 10:1) and thus be children of God, the Father; (Gal. 3:26) members of the body of Christ; (1 Cor. 12:13) temples of the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. 6:19). Israel, as a nation never had, nor in the future ever will have these blessings. Every Christian has them now, and for eternity.
We know also that their national place will never be theirs in possession until the coming of Christ, their true King, in His glory. (Zech. 12:10; 13:1; 14:4, 5. Rom. 11:26, 27).
The Apostle Peter, who was chosen to feed Christ’s sheep, converted from among the Jews, (John 21:15-17; Gal. 2:7-8) wrote 1 Peter 5:8, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” He said nothing of them getting back to their own land.
Christians have nothing to do with that, except that we look forward to the day when our Lord will reign and we shall reign with Him.
Question: Why is not feet washing an ordinance like baptism and the Lord’s supper? C. O.
Answer: The Passover feast lasted seven days. (Num. 28:16-24). The Passover is entirely Jewish. What it typifies is ours. (1 Cor. 5:7, 8). The Lord’s supper is for Christians. (1 Cor. 11:18-34).
“And as they were eating,” (Matt. 26:26) that is the Passover supper. “Jesus took bread,” and “the cup,” (Ver. 27). That is the Lord’s supper. Mark 14:22 is similar to Matthew.
Luke 22:15-18 is the Passover; verses 19, 20 is the Lord’s supper. 1 Corinthians 11:18-34 is all about the Lord’s supper, (nothing about the Passover) but they were abusing it, connecting it with their own supper, so the rich were full, while the poor went hungry. Then the Apostle sets all that right. They were to have a set time for all to come together, and all to eat the Lord’s supper at one time. It was to be observed apart from everything else. No love feast was to be allowed there. We sometimes have love feasts. Jude mentions them. (Ver. 12). Acts 20:7 is the Lord’s supper. Verse 11 was a meal through the night.
In Christianity we have no ordinances or institutions except baptism, and the Lord’s supper, two symbols of the death of Christ. We do not get the Lord’s supper in John’s gospel. In John 13:1-30 it is during the Passover supper, the sop, a piece of bread dipped in the sauce that accompanied the feast, was given to Judas Iscariot, and he went immediately out.
Verse 2. “Supper being ended,” should read, “During supper.” The Scripture speaks both typically, and by precept, of washing of water by the Word. In the consecration of the priests, and in the cleansing of the leper, we get washing their bodies with water.
(Ex. 9:4; Lev. 8:6; 14:8,9; Heb. 10:22). These scriptures answer to being born again, and the moral cleansing that accompanies it. (John 3:5,7;15:3; 13:10; 1 Cor. 6:11; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23).
The laver is for the priests to wash their hands and their feet before ministering. (Ex. 30:18-21). The water of separation of the ashes of the red heifer was to cleanse the Israelite that contracted defilement. (Num. 19). Psalm 17:4; Psalm 119:9 answer to the washing or keeping clean the feet that tread the heavenly path, by obedience to the Word (John 13:8). Water as well as blood flowed from the side of Christ when He was dead. The blood witnessed to atonement made to God, and the water brings its cleansing power to us. When the Lord came into this world, He came by water and blood, (1 John 5,) that is, He came fulfilling the Word of God in His perfect life, and then made atonement by His blood shedding.
Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, (Eph. 5:25). That was on the cross. Since then by His Spirit He is sanctifying and cleansing it with the washing of water by the Word. So that the Word is the water that is used for cleansing us morally day by day, as well as for giving us new birth.
In John 13:10 the disciples were all “clean every whit,” (but Judas Iscariot was not) and being washed, (that is, bathed all over) now need only day by day, the feet to be kept clean, led by the Word into paths of holy obedience.
There are no instructions about feet washing, as there are about baptism, and the Lord’s supper, because it is not a literal thing, but figurative and spiritual. It is helping each other on in the things of the Lord.
Jesus laying aside His garments and girding Himself with a towel, teaches us that He took the servant’s place, and this He does now in the glory. Peter, and the rest, could well understand the lowly place He took at that time, but none of them could understand the meaning of it till the Spirit came. Peter said, “Lord dost Thou wash my feet?” Jesus answered, and said unto him, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” The meaning of it could only be understood after redemption was accomplished, and Jesus had gone on high, and sent the Holy Spirit down. It is the Lord on high, ministering to us by His Word and Spirit to keep our souls walking in communion with Him. He is our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. He made atonement for our sins.
We get by the Word, instructions as to our heavenly portion, and character, and guidance and exhortations how to walk consistently with our heavenly calling as holy brethren. (Heb. 3:1).
The Lord shares with us His service in washing each other’s feet, and teaches us to seek to help each other to walk in the steps of the Lord Jesus. This is our business with each other, not at stated periods, as once a month, but everyday and all the time; because the loyal heart, like Peter, wants to have part with the blessed Lord Jesus, We have in Scripture, baptism administered as the initiatory rite only once to the same person. We have the Lord’s supper every Lord’s day, (Acts 20:7, Rev. 1:10,) but feet washing is spiritual, a figure of the cleansing daily of our ways by the Word of God.
May we, like Psalm 139:23, 24, earnestly seek that the Lord may wash our feet. And pray also, that the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in His sight, who only is our strength and our redeemer (Psa. 19:14).

She Believed

A few Christians were gathering at a house for reading the Scriptures and prayer. The weather was uncertain, and rain began to fall heavily as the little meeting was about to commence.
A young girl, a Jewess, was hurrying quickly by the door on her way to her home, when a lady who was entering the house, asked her if she would like to take shelter until the rain was over. She was glad to do so, though she was unaware that the gracious Lord was going to lead her that day to find a shelter in Himself of which no storm henceforth could deprive her.
Ida’s father was an infidel; her mother was indifferent to religion, and Ida, though brought up in the faith of her fathers, had well-nigh become infidel, too. But shortly before the incident we have mentioned, the Lord graciously brought her within the sound of the message of redeeming love.
A Christian servant came to live in the house, from whom Ida heard the power and preciousness of the name of Jesus. The glad tidings of peace, through the blood of the cross, were a new sound to her, and the Lord inclined Ida’s heart to listen, and awakened in her a desire to hear more.
As Ida and the lady who had asked her to shelter from the rain, entered the room, a gentleman was speaking on those words in John 11:45,
“Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.”
The words at once caught the girl’s attention, and the speaker, without knowing he was addressing one in a like condition, went on to show the need and the supply, the disease and the remedy.
Truth, which often falls wearily on thoughtless souls, because so often heard, was listened to eagerly by Ida. She heard of Him who went down into the dust of death for her; heard that God is just, and the Justifier of him who believes on Jesus. To her the glad tidings were as the rising of the sun in the darkness of night.
She believed, not because her intellect was satisfied, or because reasonings of unbelief were stilled, but because she found in the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, enough to satisfy both heart and soul, and give rest forever. She heard the things which Jesus did, and believed on Him.
Ida had now learned the blessed truth that in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, but that Christ is all and in all.

Sins Forgiven

Is it your complaint, that you do not feel your sins forgiven? We do not wonder at it, and for your consolation, we may add, you never will. It is a matter that does not come within the sphere of feeling. What a poor up-and-down sort of thing it would be if we had to determine by the state of our feelings whether or not we were forgiven. Nothing more changeable, nothing less worthy of trust.
“The Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever,” speaks with no uncertain voice. Its testimony is simple, bright and clear. Listen to this, “Be it known unto you... that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38, 39) Could you wish for anything plainer?
Allow your thoughts to rest upon two things: the perfect work of Christ on the cross where He bore our sins and made atonement for them; and the faithful Word of God whereby He assures us that all who believe are justified from all things. Can your feelings add to the value of the one, or to the trustworthiness of the other? Were they always at high tide, would the blood of Jesus be more precious to God, or His Word more sure?
If you were in abject poverty, and some one gave you a ten dollar bill, would the gladness that might fill your heart increase the purchasing power of the money? Would it buy you more loaves of bread and pounds of meat? “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Ephesians 1:7.

The Bible

“The Word of our God shall stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8.{br}One day I paused beside a blacksmith’s door.{br}And heard the anvil sound the vesper chime;{br}Then looking in, I saw upon the floor{br}Old hammers worn with beating years of time.{br}{br}“How many anvils have you here,” said I,{br}“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”{br}“Just one,” the blacksmith said with twinkling eye;{br}“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”{br}{br}“And so,” said I, “the anvil of God’s Word{br}For ages, skeptic blows have beat upon;{br}Yet, though the sound of hammers thus was heard,{br}The Anvil yet remains—the hammer’s gone.”

The World Cannot Satisfy

What is the world? It is not just the earth, nor even the people that live upon it. Nor is it even the business that engages us. We use the term in all these ways, but they are not the thought conveyed in the present connection.
We may go a step further, and say the world is not even pleasure. None have a better right to be happy than the children of God—to enjoy God’s good gifts; to be carefree; to take a bright interest in what is going on.
We have a definition of the world in God’s Word: “The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” What marks the world is this, the Father is left out. Christians are children of God, and if in what they engage—whether business, pleasure, or whatever it may be—the Father is left out, it is the world.
It is of this that God speaks in saying, “The world passeth away and the lust thereof.” You may set your heart on success, on riches, position, pleasure, and be sadly disappointed in the hour of greatest apparent attainment. What is the reason? Christ alone can satisfy. He who made known the Father, alone can fill and satisfy the heart. This is to have His peace and His joy. What else can compare with it? Can you do without it?
“O worldly pomp and glory{br}Your charms are spread in vain;{br}I’ve heard a sweeter story,{br}I’ve found a truer gain.”

Scripture Study: John 7:1-24

OH 7{The Passover feast had its antitype at the cross. (1 Cor. 5.) Pentecost was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit descended. (Acts 2.) The feast of Tabernacles has yet had no fulfillment, but will have when the harvest and vintage of Israel has come, and Israel can look back and celebrate all the way by which the Lord hath brought them. The eighth day, the great day of the feast, will be when God’s rest has come.
It was therefore impossible that the Lord should go up to Jerusalem to keep this feast, and not proclaim Himself the King and Judge, and it was not yet, in the purposes of God, the time for this. He would go up to Jerusalem to teach those who had ears to hear of the Father who had sent Him, and in spite of man’s enmity and opposition, show Himself to be the Fountain of living waters to the soul that thirsted for God, and to make such a soul rivers of living waters to others.
Verse 1. He is aware that they want to kill Him.
Verse 2. The feast is called the Jews feast of tabernacles. Jehovah could not delight in it.
(Isa. 1:10-15.)
Verses 3-5. His brethren did not believe on Him, and He cannot explain His actions to them. They could not understand.
Verses 6-9. They were of the world, and could go as they pleased, but He must abide his time to do the Father’s will.
Verses 10-13. Afterward He goes up, but it is not to show Himself, but as it were in secret and to teach them.
Verse 14. He is outside of all that was going on at the feast. He, the Son of God was outside as in fellowship with the Father, a heaven-sent Messenger to wait on their need. if the Father was rejected, so was He, but they were of the world.
Verses 15-24. They are surprised at His teaching, they do not see beyond the human vessel. “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” They know not that His teaching came with Him from heaven. Like the blind leaders of the blind of the present hour of greatest apparent attainment. What is the reason? Christ alone can satisfy. He who made known the Father, alone can fill and satisfy the heart. This is to have His peace and His joy. What else can compare with it? Can you do without it?
“O worldly pomp and glory{br}Your charms are spread in vain;{br}I’ve heard a sweeter story,{br}I’ve found a truer gain.”

Scripture Study: John 7:25-8:1

The Passover feast had its antitype at the cross. (1 Cor. 5). Pentecost was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit descended. (Acts 2). The Feast of Tabernacles has yet had no fulfillment, but will have when the harvest and vintage of Israel has come, and Israel can look back and celebrate all the way by which the Lord hath brought them. The eighth day, the great day of the feast, will be when God’s rest has come.
It was therefore impossible that the Lord should go up to Jerusalem to keep this feast, and not proclaim Himself the King and Judge, and it was not yet, in the purposes of God, the time for this. He would go up to Jerusalem to teach those who had ears to hear of the Father who had sent Him, and in spite of man’s enmity and opposition, show Himself to be the Fountain of living waters to the soul that thirsted for God, and to make such a soul rivers of living waters to others.
Verse 1. He is aware that they want to kill Him.
Verse 2. The feast is called the Jews feast of tabernacles. Jehovah could not delight in it, (Isa. 1:10-15).
Verses 3-5. His brethren did not believe on Him, and He cannot explain His actions to them. They could not understand.
Verses 6-9. They were of the world, and could go as they pleased, but He must abide His time to do the Father’s will.
Verses 10-13. Afterward He goes up, but it is not to show Himself, but as it were in secret and to teach them.
Verse 14. He is outside of all that was going on at the feast. He, the Son of God was outside as in fellowship with the Father, a heaven-sent Messenger to wait on their need. If the Father was rejected, so was He, but they were of the world.
Verses 15-24. They are surprised at His teaching, they do not see beyond the human vessel. “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” They know not that His teaching came with Him from heaven. Like the blind leaders of the blind of the present day, they do not know the Son of God. And the doctrine He teaches is only known to those who desire to do the Father’s will. “He that speaketh from Himself seeketh his own glory,” but He was seeking the Father’s glory, and there was no unrighteousness in Him. They boasted of Moses, but they did not keep his law, and murder was in their hearts. (But this was the Jews of Jerusalem, the people were not all like them. Compare Verses 20, 25, 31, 49. They were angry at Him for healing a man on the Sabbath, yet they would circumcise a man on that day. Mercy to the needy was in the Father’s heart, and seen in His ways. Theirs was law keeping. “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
Verses 25-27. He spoke boldly, (fulfilled Psa. 40:9,10). His teachings and His works witnessed who He was.
Verse 30. Again they sought to take Him, but his hour was not yet come. And many of the people were convinced that He was the Christ.
Verse 32. This only stirred up the Pharisees and Chief Priests to send officers to take Him.
Verses 33, 34. The Lord announces that He was with them only a little while, then He would be gone to Him that sent Him, and they would seek Him, and would not find Him. They would be shut out forever.
Verses 35, 36. Eternal things are beyond them, and their hearts are enmity against God.
O! had they but known, had they but hearkened.. He would have fed them with the finest of the wheat. He would have made them drink of the fountain of living waters. (Jer. 2:12,13. Psa. 81:13-16).
How could the Lord sanction a feast with such moral darkness filling their soul? They had no title to the rest it spoke of, and were He to act as King, He must judge their wickedness. What will He do now? Is He not still the Fountain of the water of life? Yes, and He will prove His blessed sufficiency for the thirsty one who will drink.
Verses 37-39. In the last day, that great day of the feast, (the new eighth day, Lev. 23:39, is pictured by it, when blessing to the earth will be full,) Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” This looks on to the time when He is glorified, when each believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit, not till then would the Holy Spirit be given to men.
The thirsty soul is not only satisfied, but is also made a source of blessing to others from the inner man of his soul should flow streams of living water.
Is this not what we Christians should be? Jesus is now glorified. Believers are now sealed. Do streams of living water flow out from us to others? Is the testimony of the glorified One seen in our ways? Is it filling our hearts to overflowing? Israel’s rejection of Christ has postponed their blessing. Only postponed, for God’s promises cannot pass away unfulfilled. But let us who are Christ’s members now think what a portion and privilege we have to be channels of blessing to the world around.
Verses 40-43. Here is another discussion which shows how little the facts of His birth were known. The people are divided over it.
Verse 44. Some would have taken Him, but they are powerless till He allows it. No man laid hands on Him.
Verses 45-49. Then came the officers to the Chief Priests and Pharisees, who had sent them to take Jesus, and they said to them, “Why have ye not brought Him?” They answered, “Never man spake like this Man.” Another testimony from His enemies to His superlative worth. The Pharisees answered with bitter enmity, “Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers, or the Pharisees believed on Him? But this people who know not the law are cursed.”
Verses 50-53. Nicodemus, one of themselves, and one of Jesus’ secret disciples, saith, “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” That was enough to mark him out as a sympathizer. They turn on him, “Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” It scattered them for the present. Every man went to his own house.
Chapter 8, Verse 1. Jesus retired to the Mount of Olives, to the place where He so often held communion with His Father.

An Earnest Appeal

Christian reader, I feel constrained to make an earnest appeal to your heart and conscience, in the presence of Him to whom you and I are responsible, and to whom our hearts and ways are fully known. I do not mean to judge you, or speak invidiously to you. Neither do I wish to write in a bitter or complaining spirit. I only desire to stir up your pure mind—to wake up the energies of your new nature— to exhort and encourage you to a more earnest zeal and wholehearted devotedness in the service of Christ.
The present is a deeply solemn moment. The day of God’s long-suffering grace is rapidly drawing to a close. The day of wrath is at hand. The wheels of divine government are moving onward with a rapidity truly soul-subduing. Human affairs are working to a point. There is an awful crisis approaching. Immortal souls are rushing forward along the surface of the stream of time into the boundless ocean of eternity. In a word, the end of all things is at hand. “The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.”
Now, my reader, seeing these things are so, let us ask each other, How are we affected thereby? What are we doing in the midst of the scene which surrounds us? How are we discharging our fourfold responsibility, namely, our responsibility to God, our responsibility to the church, our responsibility to perishing sinners, our responsibility to our own souls? This is a weighty question. Let us take it into the presence of God, and there survey it in all its magnitude. Are we really doing all we might do for the advancement of the cause of Christ, the prosperity of His church, the progress of His gospel? I candidly confess to you, my friend, that I very much fear we are not making a right use of all the grace, the light, and the knowledge which our God has graciously imparted to us. I fear we are not faithfully and diligently trading with our talents, or occupying till the Master return. It often occurs to me that people with far less knowledge, far less profession, are far more practical, more fruitful in good works, more honored in the conversion of precious souls, more generally used of God. How is this? Are you and I sufficiently self-emptied, sufficiently prayerful, sufficiently single-eyed?
You may perhaps, reply, “It is a poor thing to be occupied with ourselves, our ways or our works.” Yes; but if our ways and our works are not what they ought to be, we must be occupied with them—we must judge them. The Lord, by His prophet Haggai, called upon the Jews of old, to “consider their ways;” and the Lord Jesus said to each of the seven churches, “I know thy works.” There is great danger of resting satisfied with our knowledge, our principles, our position, while at the same time, we are walking in a carnal, wordly, self-indulgent careless spirit. The end of this will, assuredly, be terrible. Let us consider these things. May the apostolic admonition fall, with divine power, on our hearts, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” (2 John 8).

The Lord's Approval

“I want a heart not heeding{br}What others do or say.{br}I want a humble spirit,{br}To listen and obey;{br}To serve Thee without ceasing,{br}‘Tis but a little while.{br}My strength—the Master’s promise,{br}My joy—the Master’s smile.”

Coming

“What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”{br}“At even, or at midnight, or at the cock{br}crowing.”{br}{br}It may be in the evening,{br}When the work of the day is done,{br}And you have time to sit in the twilight,{br}And to watch the sinking sun;{br}While the long bright day dies slowly{br}Over the sea,{br}And the hour grows quiet and holy{br}With thoughts of Me;{br}While you hear the village children{br}Passing along the street,{br}Among these thronging footsteps{br}May come the sound of My feet:{br}Therefore I tell you, Watch!{br}By the light of the evening star,{br}When the room is growing dusky{br}As the clouds afar;{br}Let the door be on the latch{br}In your home,{br}For it may be through the gloaming,{br}I will come.{br}{br}It may be in the midnight{br}When ‘tis heavy upon the land.{br}And the black waves lying dumbly{br}Along the sand;{br}When the moonless night draws close{br}And the lights are out in the house,{br}When the fires burn low and red,{br}And the watch is ticking loudly{br}Beside the bed;{br}Though you sleep tired on your couch,{br}Still your heart must wake and watch{br}In the dark room:{br}For it may be that at midnight{br}I will come.{br}{br}It may be at the cock-crow,{br}When the night is dying slowly{br}In the sky,{br}And the sea looks calm and holy,{br}Waiting for the dawn of the golden sun{br}Which draweth nigh;{br}When the mists are on the valleys, shading{br}The rivers chill,{br}And the morning star is fading, fading{br}Over the hill;{br}Behold, I say unto you, Watch!{br}Let the door be on the latch{br}In your home,{br}In the chill before the dawning,{br}Between the night and morning,{br}I may come.{br}{br}It may be in the morning{br}When the sun is bright and strong,{br}And the dew is glittering sharply{br}Over the little lawn;{br}When the waves are laughing loudly{br}Along the shore,{br}And the little birds are singing sweetly{br}About the door;{br}With the long day’s work before you{br}You are up with the sun,{br}And the neighbors come to talk a little{br}Of all that must be done;{br}But, remember, that I may be the next{br}To come in at the door,{br}To call you from your busy work,{br}For evermore,{br}As you work, your heart must watch,{br}For the door is on the latch{br}In your room,{br}And it may be in the morning{br}I will come.{br}{br}So I am watching quietly{br}Every day,{br}Whenever the sun shines brightly{br}I rise and say,{br}Surely it is the shining of His face,{br}And look unto the gate of His high place{br}Beyond the sea,{br}For I know He is coming shortly{br}To summon me;{br}And when a shadow falls across the window{br}Of my room,{br}Where I am working my appointed task,{br}I lift my head to watch the door and ask,{br}If He is come!{br}And the spirit answers softly{br}In my home,{br}Only a few more shadows,{br}And He will come.”

Suffering

A bar of iron worth $5.00 when worked into horseshoes is worth $10.00. If made into needles it is worth $350.00. If into pen-knife blades, it is worth $3,250.00. If into springs for watches, it is worth $250,000.00. What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passes through the fire, and is beaten, and pounded, and polished, the greater its value.
May this parable help us to be silent, still and long-suffering. Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most, and it is through pain that God is getting the most out of us, for His glory and the blessing of others.
“I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake,” was said of Paul after his conversion. (Acts 9:16). It will be all right some day; we shall see it and be satisfied.
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21.
“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dross, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him.” Philippians 3:8, 9.
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7.

A Look Into the Future: VI - The Millennium

The millennium is the period in the future of this world’s history, when the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall take into His own hands the rule and government of the world.
The despised and rejected Jesus of Nazareth has been cast out, but “God has 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 Lord Jesus shall reign with His heavenly saints over the earth. At the present time the whole creation groans (Rom. 8:22), but in that day it shall be “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Satan shall be bound by an angel, in the bottomless pit for the thousand years and shall no longer be able to make this world the sphere of his wiles and delusions, leading men captive in their sins. At the beginning of the reign of Christ there shall be the erection of a magnificent temple. “Behold the man whose name is The Branch....He shall build the temple of the Lord.” (Zech. 6:12). Connected with this shall be the restoration of the Jewish sacrifices and worship according to the ordinance of God. “In those days.... David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests, the Levites, want a man before Me to offer burnt offerings and to kindle meat offerings and to do sacrifice continually.” (Jer. 33:161.8). These shall point back to the Lamb of God, once offered as those of old had pointed forward. There shall be no ark in the temple (see Jer. 3:16-17). “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord.” “In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zech. 8:23).
As to the brute creation, “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb; the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf, the young lion and the falling together, a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11:6-9).
Instead of the present short span of life—three score and ten—the days of the Lord’s people shall be compared to the days of a tree. “Neither shall there be any more a child that dies untimely or an old man that shall not complete his time, for the youth shall be a hundred years old, and the sinner who dies at a hundred years also is accursed.” (Septuagint version of Isa. 65:20).
After the thousand years Satan shall be loosed for a little season. This time he diligently employs in seducing the nations in a last attempt against Christ and His saints. He shall know well that his time is short, God shall come upon the scene, in quick, unsparing judgment when all the living wicked shall be destroyed by fire. (Rev. 20:7-9).
VII—The Everlasting State
The judgment of Satan and of the living nations at the end of the little season brings us to the end of time and the dissolution of the present conditions of the heavens and earth. “The heavens shall pass away with a rushing noise and the elements burning with heat shall be dissolved and the earth and the works in it burnt up.” (2 Peter 3:10. N. T.)
There shall be a great white throne and one shall sit on it, before whose face the earth and the heavens shall flee away. This person shall be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, once the despised “Nazarene,” the “Man of Sorrows,” “the Saviour;” then a righteous judge.
The wicked dead shall be raised to stand before the throne. (Rev. 20:12). They have not eternal life—nothing but dead works. Books will be opened, probably the record of their works. Another book, the book of life, shall be opened to show that their names are not there. The Bible shall be there (John 12:48). The sea, death and hades shall give up their dead. Though the ashes of the infidel may be scattered to the four winds, “There shall be a resurrection.” (Acts 24:15). Death and hades, no longer needed, shall be cast into the lake of fire, and “Whosoever was not found written in the book of like was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15). “The fearful, and unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8).
In Revelation 21:1-8 is given a description of the everlasting state. It does not so much describe what it shall be, as it does what it shall not be. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.”
The church, the bride of Christ, symbolized by the holy city, “New Jerusalem,” is seen by the Apostle John in his vision, coming out of heaven “prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband,” having reigned with Christ through the thousand years. How blessed to see her still maintaining her bridal affection and youthful beauty, her attire unspotted, entering the everlasting state in the full strength and fervor of bridal days, in the most intimate relationship.
There shall be no more sea. Israel and the nations shall have no more place as such; everything that shall recall to mind the present world shall pass away forever.
God’s purposes shall be fully realized though opposed by Satan and man from the beginning. “God shall dwell with men.” “They shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them and be their God.” All that hinders the full outflow of the heart of God to His creatures shall be removed.
(Continued from page 305).
(Concluded)

Praise Ye the Lord!

It is said that when the sun is going out of sight, the pious Swiss herdsman of the Alps takes up his Alpine horn, and shouts loudly through it, “Praise ye the Lord.” Then a brother herdsman on some distant slope takes up the echo, “Praise ye the Lord.” Soon another answers still higher up the mountains, till hill shouts to hill, and peaks echoes to peak, the sublime anthem of praise to the Lord.
Philip Henry used strongly to recommend singing at the family altar, saying that is was a way of exhibiting godliness, like Rahab’s scarlet thread, to such as pass our windows, within sound of our voices.
A Western Captain, as he lay on the battlefield suffered greatly from a fatal gunshot wound through both thighs, and from thirst.
He said, “The stars shone out, clear and bright above the dark field, and I began to think of that great God who had given His Son to die a death of agony for me; and that He was up there—up above the scene of suffering, up above those glorious stars. I felt that I was going home to meet Him; and praise Him there, and I felt that I ought to praise God, even wounded, and on the battlefield.
So I sang that beautiful hymn, ‘Forever with the Lord.’ There was a Christian brother wounded near me. I could not see him, but I could hear him. He took up the strain, and beyond him another and another caught it, all over that terrible battlefield.”
“Children of the heavenly King{br}As ye journey sweetly sing.”
Sing in your families, and other hearts and other households will catch the song and be cheered by it, and the praise of God shall resound from many hearts and voices.

Satisfaction

“I shall be satisfied.” Psalm 17:15.{br}I shall be satisfied,{br}But not while here below,{br}Where every earthly cup of bliss,{br}Is wisely mixed with woe.{br}When this frail form shall be{br}Forever laid aside,{br}And in His likeness I awake,{br}I shall be satisfied.{br}{br}“He shall be satisfied.” Isaiah 53:11.{br}He shall be satisfied{br}When all He died to win,{br}By loving kindness gently drawn,{br}Are safely gathered in.{br}When, in the glory bright,{br}He views His glorious bride,{br}Sees of the travail of His soul,{br}He shall be satisfied.

The Altogether Lovely One!

O! Thou art fair, Lord Jesus,{br}Fairer than all beside;{br}Fairer than earth’s fair sunshine,{br}Or ocean’s glittering tide—{br}Fair in Thy shadeless glory,{br}Fair in Thy changeless love,{br}Fair in redemption’s story,{br}Fair on the throne above.{br}{br}But, O! to my soul Thou’rt fairest,{br}As I muse on the bridal morn,{br}When the home which Thou preparest{br}Thy blood-bought shall adorn;{br}Then, then, shall she rise to greet Thee,{br}Thine own, Thy chosen bride,{br}Then, then, shall mine eye behold Thee,{br}And I shall be satisfied.

Correspondence: Rev. 3:3; Heb. 12:14

Question: Will you kindly explain Revelation 3:3? Will the Lord come to those that are His and watching for Him, as a thief in the night?
W. W.
Answer: 1 Thess. 5:2 tells us that “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” The day of the Lord is His coming in judgment with His saints—His appearing. When He comes thus, we shall appear with Him. He comes for His heavenly saints long before this. To them He is the bright and morning Star. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4. Revelation 3:3 shows us how the church has sunken down and become like the would, with a name to live, but dead, as a church. All that are His own will be taken out of it. (John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:15-17). Those who are left behind, are left for judgment. (Matt. 25:10-12; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). They are not Christians except in name.
Hebrews 12:15 is a warning to the Hebrews to see that they stand in the grace of God. Forms of religion will not avail; they are to see that divine things are real to them and appreciated by them.
2 Timothy 3:5. Those described here are a mark that we are now in the last days of the church’s history. Real Christians are to separate from such company.
Question: Explain Exodus 12:10. What is that to us? H. A. C.
Answer: This would suggest to us that we cannot feed on Christ apart from the thought of His blood which shelters us from judgment. The sprinkling of the blood, and the feeding on the lamb go together. (See also John 6:53, 54).
Question: What does Hebrews 12:14 mean, special reference to the later part of the verse “Follow... holiness, without which no man can see the Lord”? A. E.
Answer: This holiness or sanctification is the practical outcome of the divine life which is in every believer. Every believer is born of God, and has thus in him a life that is given him from God. (1 Peter 1:23).
While the Epistle to the Hebrews does not mention life, it implies it. This we see in such verses as: Chapter 3:6,14; where the confidence of faith carries the believer on steadfast to the end. And in Chapter 6:9, 10, this divine life is seen in its work and labor of love toward God’s name and to His saints. In Chapter 10:18 its faith to live by is seen.
And here its desire for a holy life; practical sanctification is put before the believer as what he is to follow.
No one could be a true believer without these desires, for they flow from the life given from God. And no one but a true believer has these desires, without which no man shall see the Lord.
The law demanded holiness and man could not give it. Grace meets the sinner’s need, supplies the desire for holiness and works it in the believer.
Though sin is still as a root in the believer, yet the believer is no longer under its power. “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.
In Hebrews 12:5-11 we see how God’s chastening love deals with His children to make them partakers of His holiness. And by His exceeding great and precious promises we become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3,4).
What a blessed portion is ours in Christ. Our sins all washed away in His precious atoning blood; sin, the old nature in us, condemned and put to death in the death of Christ, (Rom. 6:6,) and we have now life in Christ, risen from the dead, so that we should no longer live unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:14,15). His love is the constraining power to live by.
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