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our loving them as belonging to earth. We should love as ourselves living in spirit above, in that scene to which we belong as children of God, begotten again in Christ Jesus.

It is quite lawful for the Christian to love, and to love intensely, his wife and children, and for them to love him likewise. But how? As an unbeliever does, with mere natural affection ? No. The Christian husband loves his wife “as Christ loved the church.” This is a far higher love than that of nature, for it is connected with heaven, from whence it is derived. If a husband so loves his wife, and the Lord sees well to take her to Himself, how different will be his sorrow from that of an unbeliever under like circumstances! The sorrow of the child of God is quite as real and as keen as that of the man of the world, yet he sorrows not without hope. The earthly link has been broken, but the heavenly one is thereby rendered only more real and more precious : in spirit he ascends to heaven to hold communion with Him who has taken His loved one to be for ever with Himself.

So also is it when Christian parents are bereaved of their children. Look at David as portrayed in 2 Sam. xii. In his case the Lord's hand was dealing with him in chastisement on account of his sin. Was not his sorrow both real and deep? It surely was. God had struck the child so that it was very sick, and the father keenly felt the blow that God had measured out. David besought God for the child, and fasted and wept. But the child died. Will not David mourn and lament a thousand times more now that the child is dead ? The servants thought so, and very naturally, too. But David from the earth and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped.” His conduct perplexed those who had witnessed his sorrow, and in answer to their enquiry he said, “While


the child was yet alive I fasted and wept, for I said, Who. can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now that he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Was this callousness on the part of David ? Had all his love for the child vanished with its death? On the contrary; his love was linked the more strongly and blessedly to the child in the hope of a bright reunion in eternity. But he had learned practically the truth as to the believer's strangership while passing through the wilderness to the “rest that remaineth to the people of God."

May we all learn more and more to be in heart "strangers and pilgrims," "strangers and foreigners” in this world ; for only as we do so shall we be able to enter into the present enjoyment of the truth that we are "fellowcitizens of the saints and of the household of God.”

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C. F.



Is the cleansing from sins in Lev. xvi. 30, purely ceremonial ? FROM the Epistle to the Hebrews we learn that the Levitical law was a . shadow of the good things to come, but not the “image” of those things (see contrast in Col. i. 15, where Christ is said to be “the image of the invisible God”): hence we learn that the sacrificial cleansing under the law only shadowed forth the sacrificial work of Christ, and could not make the conscience perfect, as the apostle tells us. Yet they accom. plished a divine object under the Jewish economy, in that they secured to Israel, so long as they were outwardly obedient, a right and title to the land which they possessed. The “blood of bulls and goats" did sanctify “to the purifying of the flesh," and through these outward observances Israel occupied their land, and enjoyed their promises, as children of Abraham “according to the flesh ;” but the whole law in its ritual and service contains types and shadows of the eternal realities and precious certainties which belong to those who in Christ are the : children of Abraham by faith.

What is the meaning of 2 Tim. i. 10, • Who hath abolished death, and

brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel ? ” THE force of the word “abolishedneeds to be understood. In connection with “ death” it implies a setting aside, and a making null and void of death’s judicial claim. Till Christ died, Satan could claim the power of death, as it were, by judicial authority, according to the sentence pronounced by God in the garden. Hence we read in Heb. ii. 14, that Christ through death destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. The word “destroy” in this verse, is the same as that under consideration, and implies in no sense the destruction of Satan, but the absolute and judicial making null and void of his claim, as the one who had exercised the power of death. Now, the Lord is presented to us as the One who holds in His hands, by virtue of His cross and passion, the “keys of Hades and of death” (Rev. i. 18); as if part of the victory of the cross had been to wrest the keys from the grasp of Satan. Till Christ died and rose, life and incorruptibility were necessarily hidden, and hence the gospel of the grace of God is that through which they are now brought to light, and through which the glories of the world to come will yet be brought to light. One of the great efforts of Satan now is, to prevent the enlightening power of the gospel of the glory of Christ from shining into the hearts of men. (2 Cor. iv. 4.) What are we to understand by “the rudiments of the world” in

Col. ii. 8-20 ? The rudiments or elements of the world seem, in this epistle, to refer to the things of men, in contrast with the things of Christ.

The danger of the Colossians was similar to that to which we are exposed. are led away by worldly philosophy and vain deceit, we get occupied with theories of evolution, of human development, or of moral improvement, from which, as believers, we have been delivered by the cross of Christ. In Him we profess to have died to everything that could be evolved or educed from human nature, and all our resources are in Him “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” We are not to subject ourselves to the world's dogmatic teachings, or to its speculations, for we are complete, filled up, in Christ, and have no need of aught beside. To any

who are troubled with doubts or difficulties arising out of the evolution theories of the day, whether infidel or semiChristian, we would especially commend this second chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians, which, if intelligently read and pondered, meets the whole question, and leaves to such theories neither root nor branch.

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Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.”—HEB. xi. 26 ; xiii. 13. OUR perishing fellow-sinners around us boast themselves chiefly in three things—their wisdom, their gold, and their religion. The love of gold and pride of religious ritual are now more than ever prominent in these lands and wherever the English tongue is spoken. We know, alas! how easily formal worship on Sunday can combine with making haste to be rich the rest of the week. Man's gold and man's religion are readily welded together. Awful illustrations of this are seen in the priests' gifts of "thirty pieces of silver” to Judas Iscariot, and“ large money” to Roman soldiers (Matt. xxviii. 12), in order that they might uphold their corrupt temple-religion against “ Jesus and the resurrection.” This evil combination was and is the only way to be popular. Man's busy world hates poverty, and equally hates simple worshipin spirit and and in truth,” such as the Father seeks from the “true worshippers."

Hence Christ's reproach was twofold. The first was the reproach of poverty, for He had not “where to lay His head.” The second was the reproach of separation from Jewish outward religion and its temple hypocrisy and guilt, for He suffered“ without the camp.”

The Epistle to the Hebrews sets in contrast Christ's holy brethren of the heavenly calling and man's professing world, and it is in this epistle that the reproach of Christ is twice mentioned.

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In Heb. xi. 24-26 the subject is the “faith ” of Moses, as seen in his refusing Pharaoh's palace and throne, for which apparently he had been trained, and choosing rather to suffer affliction with the Hebrew brickmakers. He thus shewed that he esteemed the “reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” He knew that any reproach of poverty for the coming Messiah and His people was of infinitely more worth than gold that perisheth, and he endured the scoff and sneer heaped upon him by Egyptians of rank and wealth in Pharaoh's court, his former associates. It was a genuine reproach of Christ on account of his poverty.

We trace the same reproach all through the Master's footsteps as given in the Gospels. “There was no room for Him in the inn.” (Luke ii. 7.) Is not this the carpenter ?” (Mark vi. 3.) Have any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, believed on Him?” (John vii. 48.) Yes, one reproach of Christ was His poverty. As has been often said, He had a manger for a cradle, a borrowed ass to ride upon, had nothing to bequeath to His own blessed mother, and was laid at last in another's grave! Though He was rich, yet in grace and for our sakes He “became poor,” that we through His poverty might be rich. But how could money-loving, covetous Israel receive such an one for their Messiah ?

In Heb. xiii. 13 the "reproach" is of a different kind, and one that our Lord must have incurred all His days, owing to His separation from the nation's corrupt religion. Obeying God's law perfectly from the first down to His being baptized by John in Jordan, that He might “ fulfil all righteousness," He nevertheless stood aloof from all the commandments of men. He refused to wash hands at their bidding, and when they made much of clean and unclean meats, going beyond the Scripture, He openly

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