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Christ's finished work is the ground on which a righteous God, whose name is Holy, can honourably acquit all who believe on Christ Jesus. In Him we are justified“ justified by His blood,not by His life ; but being reconciled by His death, we are also “saved by His life.” By virtue of Christ's endless life, with all its activities and capabilities, we are preserved to the end, to eternity, for He has said, “Because I live ye shall live also.” Faith enables our souls to apprehend the value of His justifying blood, and unites us to the living Christ of God, so that we are “justified by faith ;” and the faith by which we are thus justified “without works,” produces good works; and therefore, as James teaches, we are also “justified by

“ works."

What grace of God to pardon and accept in the Son of His love everyone who rests in Him and in His finished work! What more could He do? Yet one thing more which forms the last link in this chain: “Whom He justified, them He also glorified.


In answer to the prayer of the Lord Jesus in John xvii. 1, God has glorified His Son (Acts iii. 13), taking Him up from the dust of death into which He had brought Him for our sakes, receiving Him up into heaven, and seating Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but in that which is to come, the age of millennial glory. God“ raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory," and in Him, the members of His body, the church, have been raised up also, and made to sit together with Him in the heavenlies, so that, virtually, we have been "glorified.” Yes, God who reached us by the wondrous stoop of His beloved Son unto

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death, has uplifted us by His power through the cross, and has brought us to HIMSELF, to participate in the glory He has given to Christ; and that glory will yet be manifested, for “when Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall

ye also be manifested with Him in glory.” God's foreknowledge and predestination of us were before time; we have experienced this calling in time, and give God thanks. On the testimony of His word we rest, assured that we are justified by His grace through faith, and we rejoice; but for the last link-our manifestation in glory—we hope, and are called patiently to wait.

“ When He shall be manifested we shall be like Him," and shall be glorified together with Him.

Thus, beloved fellow-saints, we see that God has, for His own eternal glory and our eternal joy, bound us to Himself by this golden chain of inseparable links; and may the knowledge and belief of this move us to diligence, to constant, simple trust, and to whole-hearted devotedness in service, and also enable us joyfully to endure whatever suffering He is pleased to lead us through. To Him be glory. Amen.

H. H.




In the early chapters of the Acts we see the Church in its best state. It was built up by prayer and testimony. The 3000 were added, and obedience to the Lord followed in baptism and the breaking of bread. Further on we read that the churches had “peace,” and were edified" and“ walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” This is the normal state of the Church of God, and it is a rightly ordered church which walks after this pattern.

If in our assemblies it is otherwise, our business is to: deal with God as to the cause. God makes a church by turning sinners and enemies into children, and then filling them with His Spirit. It rejoices God to see sinners trusting His Son, but we are apt to forget that the great desire of His heart is to have obedient children, who may be glad with Himself.

The natural course of things, so to speak, is that God's love should ever be flowing into our hearts, and flowing out from us. If this is not the case there is some hin. drance within us. It would not have required much to stop the flow of the golden oil to the lamps through the golden pipes of which we read in Zech. v.; and so it is with us; a very little thing will grieve the Spirit, and our love will wax cold and our light become dim.

Walking in the fear of the Lord " is the highest pattern, and if we thus walk, though the Lord does not give power to work miracles, we shall have power without them, and shall be content, because we have the Spirit of Christ.

The great business of Satan is to lead us to follow the men of the world in self-will and self-exaltation. The great business of the Spirit of God is to fill us with selfabasement and the desire to please God after the perfect pattern of the blessed Lord. Keeping Him before us, and seeking to be like Him, we may count upon the fulfilment of that promise of promises, “ If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.” God will show us any secret fault that may be hindering our souls' progress and conformity to Christ. Instead of forgetting past attainments, we may be indulging some lurking selfsatisfaction which needs to be laid bare.

God would first teach us self-discipline, and thereby would teach us how to deal with the sick fellow-members


of Christ. The discipline of God in which we have to exercise ourselves is, first, that of the Father towards us as children ; and secondly, that of the Lord towards us as servants. Christ is the perfect example of a son to a father, and of a servant to a master.

In Paul we have an example of the peculiar discipline of the Lord towards His servants. In the expression, « Lest I should be exalted,” we perceive a disciplined man; there was given me,” he adds—not by the Father, but by the Lord Jesus, who was dealing with him as a servant—"a thorn in the flesh.” Discipline does not always mean positive correction for faults; it may be godly training. Paul's thorn in the flesh was given, not because he was exalted, but to prevent his being so—to keep out the thorn of pride from his conscience.

The rules by which we are to discipline ourselves are found in the Word of God, and the power is that of the indwelling Spirit of God. “ He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” said our Lord, and He who gave precept and example as to humiliation is now the highlyexalted One.

When the apostle learned the value of the thorn in his flesh, he welcomed everything that would serve the purpose of keeping down his flesh and helping him in the work of self-judgment. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me: therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions.” Instead of seeking to gain deep soul-profit by the difficulties that try our flesh, are we not too much occupied with getting rid of them? After thrice beseeching the Lord, Paul learned his lesson.

If every company of saints were self-disciplined ones, having Christ before the heart and conscience as the

pattern whereby to walk as children and servants, each one would be filling the place for which he was baptized into the body by the "one Spirit.” There would then be as many shepherds and overseers, teachers, and evangelists as God would have. If the Spirit of God were unhindered the overseers would be doing their work, the evangelists theirs, and so with every gift. But from lack of selfjudgment there are many who do not fulfil their obligations, who will see their accountability when it is too late--in the day of the Lord.

If we fail to exercise self-judgment the Lord bids us to expect His own exercise of judgment. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.Having disabled heart and conscience they could no longer discern the Lord's body, and were taken away from service by the direct judgment of the Lord. Sickness and death are not, however, always in judgment. Many are weak

, and sickly, and yet pleasing to God, like Timothy. Some of Christ's most faithful servants have been taken away in their early days, not in judgment to them, but possibly to others.

The pattern of a church is naturally in the line of John xvii., in which the oneness between the Father and the Son is so manifest. There should be among us oneness of mind and judgment as to the things which please God. Contrary judgments call for humiliation and forbearance, and searching of heart as to giving up our own will; but there is no need of giving up one jot or tittle of the will of God. In dealing with diversity of judgment we need to know God in the character of the “ God of patience and comfort,” and to receive the “patience and comfort” which the word of God supplies. There is, perhaps, nothing that we have need to grieve over so much as the conscious want of patience one with another. Rom.

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