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And this is enforced by Paul, in the fact stated by him, that each of us must stand at the judgment seat of Christ

bow and confess to Him-give account to God of why we acted as we have done. A solemn and an important truth to induce us to look well to what the regulating motive of our actions down here is. Oh, how little do the Christians of one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five think even of these things! Surely they therein forget their own mercies, mercies of the wildernesspilgrimage, under the guidance and eye of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But if “to me to live is Christ,” points me first to Him as my motive, it secondly points me to Himself Christ, likewise, for energy, the energy or power which a Christian wants to carry him right up against the current of all here below, and to enable him to stem the tide of difficulties from the world and self and Satan here below. This we have shewn to us in 2 Cor, chap. xii. and also in chap. i. It is the principle of resurrection from death. Paul got his first lesson ere he entered upon service. Caught up into the third heavens by a power not his own, the body made nothing of, so that, whether he was in it or out of it, he could not tell; he found himself in and amid all the circumstances of the glory of Him that had loved him. But the Lord knew His captive better than the captive knew the captor. And the Lord would

e Energy is according to its source; and the end accordingly; and each kind of energy, the human and the divine, has a way peculiar to itself. A godly man cannot get into the use of human energy without all going wrong with him. This, to a great extent, explains the failure of all the religious societies of the day. To print and distribute bibles, to send out missionaries to the heathen, and to the dark parts of Protestantism, England too, is all right,-but, where right in the starting point and in the end proposed too, many have failed from human energy, ways and means having been unconsciously substituted for divine. "Let it be remembered, that when “Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified" (Lev, x. 1-3).

use Paul as a vessel and channel by which to set forth. not the knowledge of the glory, but the present grace of the Lord Himself. Lest he should be puffed up 3 thora

. in the flesh, the messenger of Satan is sent to buffet him. The inconsiderateness of the piety of a good man appears He will go straight to the end at once.“ Take away this thorn. Take away this thorn. Take away this thon." Such is his prayer. Instead of which the Lord sets “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." The Lord knew all the secret counsel of God-all that Paul was-all the Dead His own heart felt to have Paul dependent upon and consciously and willingly dependent upon the everlasting arms which were underneath. He would not go at once to the end. Death and resurrection were the principi He had owned and acted upon all through His vers course; He would have Paul, also, willingly to appropriate death and resurrection as the principle on which he meant to walk too. Would you rather be strong yourself, and strong because there are no difficulties is the way, or crippled_and crumpled up in weakne but strong because He that has bought you wa His own blood is perfecting His strength in your wear: ness? Surely anything that makes me see the need, I have, and makes me willing to profit from the dair grace of a risen and ascended Lord, who is obliged cripple Paul, yet has the heart to put His own arm unde the cripple’s weakness ever after, is most precious. Pisa can now speak out freely: he had no account to give the glory, none of that which he heard when in it; to now he can speak out freely. The stream of the wate of life flows through his own soul and fills his circun stances. What can Satan, what the thorn, what to buffeting, avail to silence a man who finds that the liver: Christ of God, though in heaven, is now graciously per fecting His strength in the weakness of His servar The triumph fills His soul, and He gathers from around occasion for triumphing. “Most gladly, there fore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the powe" of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take please in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutics in distresses, for Christ's sake; for when I am resi

then am I strong.” Such seems to me to have been the principle which the Lord taught Paul ere his service began; namely, that the power was God's in which he had to run; and that that power wrought in an unhuman way, a divine way-as in the Redeemer's own course – through death and resurrection.f

This was fourteen years before the first chapter of the epistle, in which he relates another thing-how, being in his work as apostle, when the question came out at Ephesus of whether idolatry could stand against the word of the gospel, he found himself thrown into prison. Had he forgotten the principle taught him fourteen years ago?that he should have despaired even of life, being pressed out of measure beyond strength. Well, if he did forget, the Lord, who was, all the while, nearer to him than his weakness and than any of his circumstances-yea, was using them too to show that the work was His and not Paul's—acts on his soul. And then he can write: “ But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” The expansive power of faith, too, is shown, and a past deliverance leads to a calculation for the present and for all future needs. " Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." “ All things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. viii. 28). And as to all circumstances - tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, the sword, - if they can reach us they can not reach Christ, to extinguish in His heart the love which He bears to us; nor hinder our saying, “ Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ

* This is one of the fine turns which the Lord's hand gives to things. He endears Himself to us, while He discovers to us the pitifulness of what we are in ourselves, and separates us thus from self and makes us count on Him, and find occasion to triumph over all that the adversary or circumstances or we (in ourselves) may be in His sight. His grace is sufficient. His strength made perfect in weakness.

Jesus our Lord” (ver. 37–39). What can changes or remove from His heart the love which Goddess us in Christ? And what can take away the kaupa of it from us? Man's

way is to prove his own competency sa sufficiency by at once towering up to the point he * to attain to; this he cannot do, if he is walking God will not give His glory to another. Aai: takes up a poor sinner, to lead him through foes difficulties, He will have the poor sinner to kn:re is “ not by might nor by power, but by Mysur the end is to be gained. And note here, that ter. present purpose gained by the Lord perfects: strength in weakness. He gets glory now. A:: servant gets honour too, as being thus used by 10t for the display of His grace.

To the Chris application to himself, by the Lord, of the pride death and resurrection, in daily experience, is : precious thing. The cross is to the Jew a star block, to the philosopher foolishness. But unu who are called, whether Jews or Greeks, Christs: power of God, and the wisdom of God. No fies glory in His presence. But he that glorieth, is 3 glory in the Lord (1 Cor. i.).

There is nothing which more unsuspectingly les 2 and worldliness into a godly soul than human Paul set out with divine motives, and an object or e his mind which were in perfect harmony with the e which the Lord meant to be his, and the path thate runs in. “ He is a chosen vessel unto Me to be name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the of Israel: for I will show him what great things be suffer for my name's sake.” (Acts ix. 15, 16) Tes find this special vessel breaking down. Whethe honour was too great for the vessel, service was too great for his measure of communs: broke down: broke down too on the blessed side af : care for what his Master loved. It may be that he not sufficiently keep before him the difference beni obedience and fellowship, between serving his masters not be stopped by fear of bonds and imprisonmentdoing. But he would go up to Jerusalem; and

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he not ready to die, also, at Jerusalem? And he went up, and shaving of heads, vows, appealing to the prejudices of the Pharisees against the Sadducees followed thereupon: things which were not according to the divine energy, and which had no savour of death and resurrection in them. But if he had overstept himself, his divine master allowed bonds and imprisonment to roll in, that in the crippled state of His servant He might Himself be able to show his grace, and to cheer His servant therewith. “ And the night following, the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul, for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” (Acts xxiii. 11). Perhaps the Lord saw that the bonds and the captivity which followed were the best preparative for the testimony before the kings and rulers before whom Paul is now to appear,—and the best testimony, too, to them, as to their position and state. I am persuaded that it was so with Peter in his falls, whether in the denial of the Lord, or the compromise of the gospel at Antioch. He loved the Lord : 0, how loyally! The end before him was in accordance with this motive power. But until he had judged the energy in which he ran, he could not judge the ways into which that energy would lead him, and did lead him. And when he came to his death, his own energy, plans, and doings were all to be set aside; and the Lord to have the honour of putting the crown of martyrdom upon His servant. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spaké he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, “Follow me.'” (John xxi. 18, 19). And Abraham in Egypt, and in the matter of Hagar; and Isaac with his Rebecca; and Jacob at Jabbok; and David, and Job, etc., etc., in olden times; all had to learn the same lesson. False energy (not of faith) has not the Spirit,and where we walk by sight, sense rules us, and our minds get hold of plans and ways not of God. O how much of this lies at the root of the modern Christianity.

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