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reference is again and again made to Jehovah's arm. This will be Israel's cry in the future, and our need is to lay hold on the “arm” of our God now. “ Set me as a seal upon thine arm," is the bride's desire in the Song. God would have us turn our thoughts back to the omnipotence of divine power shown in the resurrection of Christ from the dead, when He divested Himself of all that which bound Him, and spoiled principalities and powers.

How was this done? Through weakness. Where we fail is in expecting power without the cross; in expecting to live without first dying. We do not realize the power of God, because we are not prepared to follow in the footsteps of our Lord, and unless we do this, God cannot put forth His power in us.

He who never slumbers nor sleeps, echoes back to Israel the word “Awake.” “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem." This word also occurs in the epistle to the Ephesians, “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” 'It will cost us something to arouse ourselves, and put on the beautiful garments of resurrection life and power.

(H. G.) “The exceeding greatness” of God's power to usward who believe, is what we are to know by the Spirit's wisdom and unveiling, even the power that raised up Jesus from among the dead. This power makes us like Him, now inwardly, and hereafter outwardly. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory. The climax of this will be when we see Him as He is, and are in a moment made like Him. That which makes us like Him now is seeing Him by faith day by day. If our eyes are dim our strength will fail. When the Philistines got Samson under their

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power they put out his eyes to hinder any use of his strength. Paul prays for the Ephesians that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened to behold the Pattern to which they are to be conformed.

In writing to the Hebrew saints the apostle reminds them of what they had endured when their eyes were illuminated—they were then like their suffering Lord. God grant that our vision also

may

be cleared. How can it be? By reading more and more His word, which shows us we were Gentiles, down in the mire, and are still needing the Spirit of God to unveil Christ to us as the Risen One, and ourselves as one with Him.

The apostle's prayer in Eph. iii. is, that we might be strengthened with might in our inner man, and that we might know the love wherewith we are all loved. May we in our hearts be strengthened to receive that love, that we may pour it out on others, and as we do so, God will pour in more.

“The power that worketh in us” is the power of the

" Holy Ghost.

Let us not grieve Him who is the Revealer and Teacher and Strengthener.

(H. D.)

LETTERS OF THE LATE MR. J. L. HARRIS.

XXI.

Thoughts on the Psalms. “Surely it will be our blessed occupation in heaven itself to witness the unfolding of Scripture as to the fulness which is in Christ Jesus. The seventeenth Psalm is one I often ponder. None but Jesus can say, except in a very qualified sense, 'Let my sentence come forth from Thy presence, let Thine eyes

behold the things which are equal.' It is only as introduced into the grace wherein we stand by faith in Jesus, that we can appropriate in any measure such language to ourselves. And this is the beauty of the Psalms, that we need to realize all the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ to enable us to read them with self-application.

“ You refer to 1 Peter i. 5. Who could have written so pointedly on this subject as Peter ? Compare his words, ' kept through faith, with the Lord's words to him, 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.' It seems to me a miracle to be kept, when one realizes that one's heart is · deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;' and if I judge aright the knowledge of its deceitfulness is the fruit of more matured experience than the knowledge of its desperate wickedness. There must be a daily putting off and putting on.

In Colossians iii. there is a double putting off, and putting on; and I must say that I feel most consciously poor, as yet, in my spiritual wardrobe.

“ Before we came down to breakfast this morning, I asked my wife to read to me Psalm xc., the tenth verse of which• The days of our years are threescore years and ten,' &c.is

very present to my mind; and growing infirmities warn me that my sphere of active ministry is becoming, not only yearly but I

may say daily, more and more limited. I often turn to Ps. xxxi., where we evidently find Christ, as is apparent from v. 5, 'Into thine hand I commit my spirit.' But I desire, as having this spirit, especially to make my own (in my measure) that word which was so perfectly applicable in Him, My times are in Thy hand (v. 15). I desire submission to His will ; whether it pleases God to measure my times by days, weeks, months, or years.

J. L. H.” Feb. 15th, 1873.”

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FRAGMENT.-In Christ we have, as believers, put off the “old man,” and have put on the new man ;' but our difficulty is to get rid of the habits of the old man, and to 'put on habits becoming the new man. This is an inward work; thus, “anger" has to be replaced by “bowels of mercies.”

THE FALL: WAS IT A NECESSITY?

FEw subjects have exercised the minds of Christians more than that of man's fall. The question naturally arises : As God might easily have prevented the fall of our first parents, why did He place them in the garden with a possibility of sinning, guarded only by a solemn warning, perhaps not well understood by them? Some, looking at the Fall in the light of the glorious results of the redemptive work of Christ, with too little regard to the unutterable woe of the lost, are prone to exclaim with Augustine of old, as he contemplated the Fall, “Oh, happy fault!" assuming that God could find no other way of accomplishing His purposes in connection with the redeemed. Some, on the other hand, regarding perhaps more the miseries of the lost than the bliss of the redeemed, and thinking it derogatory to the character of God to say He could find no other way of accomplishing His end than by the allowance of sin and its terrible consequences, are bold to say, “The Fall is no advantage.”

Now, in both these views of the Fall, it has to be observed that the thoughts of the reasoners are occupied with the creature, rather than with the Creator. Christian doctrine, and in all Bible truth, the question of God, His honour, and His glory, stands first : the question of the creature, its blessing and its good, stands second. To invert this divine order, though it may not be so intended, is to put the creature in the place of God, and to forget that creation, with all its untold mysteries, spiritual, moral, and physical, is designed to subserve first, and chief, the glory of that Almighty One who created things for

In every

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Himself, and in the knowledge of whom alone is the creature's fullest good.

The path of faith in regard to all the mysteries of God is the path of child-like trust. Many mysteries are unveiled to us in that divine revelation which has been put into our hands, and many more yet remain unrevealed, awaiting the unfoldings of the world to come, when we who now know but in part, shall know even as we are known. Faith is happy and rejoicing in what it knows, and is also trustful and thankful regarding that of which it is ignorant; for truly there is not only much grace in revealing what is open to our view, but much goodness in veiling what is at present shut out from us. He who in wisdom revealed to His apostle in the Isle of Patmos the meaning of the seven trumpet sounds, said, when the seven thunders uttered their voice, “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” God alone knows what He can wisely communicate to us, and faith can rejoice in a blissful ignorance that hangs implicitly on God.

Let us suppose for a moment that there were two ways by which the All-wise could accomplish the same end, though we do not allow for a moment that it is so. Supposing, for argument's sake, that God could have accomplished all the good He designs to accomplish, either with or without the Fall, and yet that the God of all grace allowed the Fall to supervene and mar that creation-work which He had pronounced very good, faith will at once say, whatever the natural thought might be, that the Fall was the very best, if not the only means whereby God's purposes of self-revelation and of blessing to His creatures could be accomplished. Faith would also regard as little short of blasphemy, the assertion that the Fall has no advantage; for it must be borne in mind that in the

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