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LIFE OF FAITH.
BY THE EDITOR.
THE PRESENT BLESSINGS OF THE IIis power--the manifestation of His life in us NEW CREATION.
-may be sally hindered through unbelief.
“He did not many mighty works there, because No. III.
of their unbelief." In our last issue we considered the provi- The life of inward rest begins when Christ is sions God has made for us, and which are glorified within, when the soul submits to Him essential to our holiness, as well as our use as the Controller of every thought and desire. fulness and happiness in this life.
Then it is that sin's power is met, not by our We now proceed to consider the results of own strength, but by the power of the Lord a personal appropriation of these provisions. Himself. Then it is that the strain of every What change takes place in our experience conflict is borne, not by the believer, but by when these blessings become present realities? Him who goes before and fights the battle This brings us at once to the gist of the whole (Deut. i. 30). Conflict is then followed by question- What is the “Second blessing?” victory, and the whole character of our expeIt is not so much the reception of a new rience is changed. doctrine as the beginning of a new experience.
But the moment we cease to yield wholly, The life of strain is exchanged for a life and trust implicitly to Him, that moment we of spiritual liberty and ease. The soul has lose the blessings of an overcoming life. changed its strength. Instead of being driven
We cease to abide in Him when we take the by the force of duty it is now drawn by the battle into our own hands, or endeavour to power of love. Difficulty, we know, is a rela- carry out our own plans, or seek our own will. tive term. Things are difficult of accomplish- Momentary deliverance is to be known only ment if the amount of strength at our command as momentary trust and consecration are main is limited, and perfectly easy if there is a full tained. supply
Again, another change produced in the That which would be difficult or impossible experience is a sense of plenty instead of for a paralytic to perform may be done easily scarcity. Those words in Isa. lviii. 11 come to by the same man when restored to vigorous such a one with peculiar force and sweetness, health.
“Thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like So a life of constant friction and incessant a spring of water whose waters fail not.” The strain, because of insufficient spiritual power, believer fulfils the description here given when becomes at once transformed into a life of ease he overflows with God's love. He is a spring and joyous action, when Christ has unhindered only when he overflows. And, as it has often possession of the soul. Christ is in the heart been said, it is the overflow that does other of the weak believer, as He is in the heart of people good. the vigorous saint. But the putting forth of To be “ filled unto all the fulness of God” is
BY REV. J. B. FIGGIS.
a privilege to which we are called here on
STABLISHED AND KEPT. earth. No one who enjoys that privilege can complain of spiritual dearth.
“ But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you and keep Once more, there will be gladness instead of you from evil.”—2 Thess. iii. 3. gloom. It was this that characterised the The words are a paranomasia, the commentators Apostolic days. " The disciples were filled say, i.e., a play upon words. St. Paul had said
, with joy and with the Holy Ghost” (Acts man is without faith, and he goes on to say, not the
direct opposite, God is full of faith, for faith is xiii. 52). Nothing carries with it such an attractive power as that of holy joy. Let it be hardly an attribute possible to deity; but “ the
" a a reality in the heart ; let it be not merely the Lord is faithful,” a much more important thing for
us to know. doctrine, but the experience of the believer; and
The words are a promise. You know that worl, those who are endeavouring to find happiness if not the longer one ; but I want you to remember in the world will be attracted and led to seek it, and to recall it for your comfort again and again, their own joy from the same source.
whenever you think of the text.
It is not a per“ He hath put a new song in my mouth, adventure, but a promise ; it is not a problem, but even praise unto our God; many shall see it, a promise ; it is not a prayer even, but a promise ; and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”
a two-fold promise, founded on the two-fold nature
The first part of the promise is, “ THE LORD SHALL
STABLISH YOU." Stablish is but a broken word, a All for all.
fragment of a word. It means establish. The same Mine for His. His all so like HIMSELF,
thing is said here of the Church which was said of My all so much like me.
old of Zion—" The most Highest shall establish
her." But what does it mean? To stablish is to His all, great as HIMSELF And far beyond compare ;
.nake stable. Such is the root of the word, and the
root of the matter too. An established Christian is Yet « all for all ” He asks.
a Christian made fast to Christ, confirmed in the All for all. Mine for His.
Spirit, “strong in the Lord and in the power of
His might"; and every Christian should be this.
Stable in Opinion.--"I have changed my views
greatly,” said a man to me the other day: "I do not And mine be wholly loss,
think any longer that when God pardons a man He Yet “ all for all ” Ile asks.
puts him where he was before." “ What of justi
fication then?” “Well, I cannot say; but I think it All for all. Mine for His.
very important that men should know the inherent Yea all I have and am
consequences of sin.” And so it is; but important, I offer to the LORD;
surely, also to know that “If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Now, this is an illustration of the shifting, shiftAll for all.
less way, some act as to their opinions. I would Mine for His.
rather have the way of a gray-haired friend of mine, I dedicate to Him,
who, when I asked him about some deep thing, said, The life He gave to me.
“That's on the shelf; asked, and answered, long Mine for His service now,
ago.” Try to master momentous questions, not And then in Heav'n for aye
closing your eyes and ears to truth, new or old ; I'll praise His glorious Name. but so to grasp the great verities of Christian
doctrine that you shall not be soon shaken in mind W. W. TYLER.
(as these Thessalonians were), not carried about as
that friend of mine was, but established in the and the object of faith are united, “Built up in present truth.
Him, established in the faith " (Col. ii. 7). Stable in Character.—There are some people that But besides trusting, thinking will do something. you can trust as you would the Bank of England, “Ponder thy paths, and let thy ways be established and, though now and then God allows us to be dis- (Prov. iv. 26); and again, “ Every purpose is estabappointed even in such, that we may not put our lished by counsel" (Prov. xxii. 18). trust in princes, and that they may not trust in their Our thinking, however, must all turn upon God own righteousness, yet it is a great thing to see these and His doings, not upon self and ceremony; grand, granitic souls, on which you can build with “Established with grace, not with meats, which confidence ; you can always count upon them, have not profited them that have been occupied always calculate upon them, can tell just where to therein ” (Heb. xiii. 2); and so our ultimate thought find them, and know that you shall find them about the matter leads to Thee, O God; for it is Thy always good.
prerogative: “Establish Thou the work of our hands." “I can never be like that,” you say ; “I can “Now He that establisheth us with you is Christ” never be like the stones of a crown,' or even the (2 Cor. i. 21). “ Now the Lord Jesus Christ Himstones of the city, the city of God. Why, I am by self comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every nature shifty and unsettled, and unreliable. I am good word and work” (2 Thess. ii. 17). That more like the crumbling freestone that will bear no we should have the stability, the maturity we sigh exposure to the air, but is sure to wear away under for, is all impossible with man, but always possible its abrasion; or if a tree, then not an oak, but a
with God. “If He could only be got to take it in willow.” My brother, God is able to graft on to the hand, if He could only be got to take me in hand, willow, the oak. “ If any man be in Christ he is a 'that would be glory to me.'” And that is just new creature ;” the old corrupt elements of charac- what the text says says He will. It is a promise as ter, all that disfigure and deform and weaken, are to we reminded you, and the promise is that the Lord be removed, and a new man formed within you.
you. So that to be established is possible to you; yet I And this is glory, you say, glory begun below; must add that very many Christians live as if it but glory, like gold, will make to itself wings if wo were not, and leave us, still lacking strength and do not watch. Glory itself will become gloom if grace.
we do not watch ; upon the glory there must be a The Blessing begins with Conversion.-" Thou defence, or it and we shall perish. Hence it were hast set my feet upon a rock, and established
little use for God to promise to establish if He left goings" (Ps. xl. 2.) Have you got that blessing? us there ; but He will never leave, He will not forHave you got on that rock? For not only the sake. So having engaged to establish, He goes on views and the character, but the affections of the to engage to keep; soul must partake of this quality, if there is to be EVIL," or the evil one (so Bishop Ellicott). Whether stability.
it be mischief in the abstract, or the being that You cannot get a vessel that will stand the Atlan- stirs it up, in each case it is infinitely precious to be tic rollers simply because its planks are well put promised to be kept from it. “He will keep." I together, and closely caulked ; the timbers them- am not going to trouble you to turn to passages
about selves must be heart of oak. And unless your soul this as about “establish.” be full of Christ, full of the Spirit, it is in vain to You remember the prayer of Jabez. It has often sigh and pray for this type of maturity, so needed, helped you. You have prayed it yourself many times and so longed for; that you may be one of whom -“ that Thou wouldest keep me from evil,” (so the we can say, “ His heart is established he shall not chronicler, 1 Chron. iv. 10). Here is the answer to be afraid (Ps. cxii. 8).
it: “And keep you from evil,” so St. Paul. Is it not If this is ever to be the case, there must be faith, sweet?—the prayer and the promise fit into each other so we read in the Old Testament, “ Believe in the like a cloven tally. You remember the prayer of Lord, so shall ye be established” (2 Chron. xx. 20): Jesus, too, the intercessory prayer in St. John xvii., and in the New, “The Churches were established and the petition in it, “ Keep them from the evil.” in the faith” (Acts xvi. 5); and again, where faith There Jesus prays, and here Jehovah answers, and
WILL KEEP YOU FROM
- Set a
“By two immutable things in which it was impossible within reach of those wings, I can tell you. Next for God to lie;" by the prayer of the Gospel and the time try and trust, and see if you are not kept. promise of the Epistle we have strong consolation. Or when temper rose, what did you do? Spoke “He will keep you from evil.” Yea, beloved, He will what you felt, brooded over your wrongs, let keep you. Are you sad, solitary, as a sheep having the envy, the jealousy, burn in your heart, and no shepherd ? “The Lord is ” thy “shepherd,” you then burst from your lips ? That is not the way ; “shall not want.” Are you weak, weary, as a soldier the way is to lift up the heart, and pray, in the battle? “The Lord is thy shield,” thy shade. watch over my mouth, and keep the door of my Are you fainting, falling, or, at least, ready to halt ? lips.” Try it, say it, pray it, and you will be kept. "The Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep For “the Lord is faithful.” The Lord, i.e., the thy foot from being taken." Can you doubt it? Lord Jesus Christ (Ellicott). So that, as I said, Can you
doubt Him? When Jochebed sent Miriam the double promise is based on the double nature of to watch the ark of bulrushes, do you think she God in Christ. His Godhead is a guarantee of slept at her post ? You know she did not, and yet strength ; His manhood, of sympathy-both of you appear to think Jesus will.
When Miriam ran faithfulness. for Jochebed, and Moses was given her, and she Faithfulness as contrasted with Fickleness.-Do brought him up, do you think she neglected her not let me libel a world in which I have found so charge? You know she did not. Do you think the much love. I have not to complain of the fickleness Father will? You do not know God if you think of parents, or children, or friends; but compared
Keeping is a habit with Him. He has been with His,—the fixed stars twinkle: give me the keeping Israel ever since the cradle of the world sun. I know that I have tried the faithfulness wanted rocking. Keeping is a second nature with of many, but never as I have tried the faithfulness Him. He loves the work, yes, just loves it, and of the One. I have tried Him by coldness, but He lives for it. Keeping is His nature, “For the Lord is kind; by carelessness, but He is gentle; by loveis thy keeper.” “Well,” but you say, “I am so lessness, but He is love. hard to keep, I slip away so sadly, and fall so fre- we turn to Him, He is faithful to forgive; if quently." Perhaps you would slip less if you leant we trust Him, He is faithful to fold and enfold in on the Beloved more. It is just that you may fall love's embrace; and “if we believe not, He abideth less we would have you repose in His keeping fully. faithful.” He is unalterably kind-immutably No doubt it requires constancy of care, but “He tender. His love has no moods; and its tense is that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." an eternal tense-an eternal now. It demands delicacy of attention, but“ He will keep Faithfulness as contrasted with Unfaithfulness.thee as the apple of the eye.” “Well," you say, It is required of stewards that they be found faith“I wish God would---may I say it ?- just keep my ful. Well, we are stewards, stewards all; but temper for me, I would believe in His keeping then; which of us is always and absolutely faithful ? or my tongue, which does flash out such dreadful Who is faithful to his opportunities ; to his capathings sometimes; or grosser appetites, only too ready bilities ; to the claims of all relationships? I know to rise; I wish He would keep these." Well, have only One, that is God. God is never absent, never you ever let Him, or asked Him, or thought of wanting, never indolent or indifferent. God is love asking Him ? Have you not too often been living to-day, and He was love yesterday, and He will be as if no keeping were needed ; or, if there has been love to-morrow. God keeps His word about forany keeping at all, have you not been trying to do giving sin, about sanctifying the soul, about proit yourself? Now, honestly, is it not so? Come viding for our need, about everything. I am a tell me, when the temptation came, what did you father, and try to be faithful to my children; but do : parleyed, considered, and then consented ? Of my conscience tells me that the only faithful Father course you did : to consider is to consent.
But if is my God. I am a pastor, and try to be faithful to when it came, you just looked right away to my flock; but my conscience tells me that the only Jesus, and with a touch of faith drew round you faithful Shepherd is my God; and when I think of His wings of love, methinks Satan would have the Lord as my Beloved, how all thoughts of friend. stayed a good way off. He does not like to get ship, of betrothal, of bridal, of wedded love, fail !
“The Lord is faithful.” It is the song of the THE HEALING OF THE DIVIDED TONGUE. stars
THREE SCENES IN JUDGMENT, GRACE, AND GLORY.
BY REV. C, H. HAMILTOX, RECTOR OF HORNE, SUBREY. It is the song of the sea, that
The Day of Pentecost unfolded a memorable “ Glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form Glasses itself in tempest-in all time.”
epoch in the history of the Church and of the world. It is the song of the seasons :
Many a one, who three years before had stood on “These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
the banks of Jordan, and heard the strange preacher Are but the varied God.”
of the wilderness speak of the One coming after him, It is the song of the sky. Angels sing it, saints who should baptize with the Holy Ghost and with sing it; and shall we be silent ? Nay; many a poor fire, now instinctively called these words to rememman, in the midst of his poverty, provided for, brance. As they beheld the tongues of flame which exclaims, “The Lord is faithful.” Many a tried crowned the meek brows of Christ's disciples, they soul, in the midst of his trial, comforted, exclaims, could not fail to be reminded of the Baptist's pro“The Lord is faithful.” Many a dying soul, in the phetic utterance. It was a memorable day in the midst of death living, exclaims, “The Lord is life history of the Apostles. They had seen the
, faithful.” It rings down the narrow alleys of time; risen Jesus, and He had breathed within them the it reverberates above the everlasting hills of eternity. spirit of His own risen life. They had received His “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be re- commission to preach the Gospel to every creature ; moved; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, and the keys of the spiritual kingdom had been neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, entrusted to their keeping. Yet still its gates saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” “The of blessing were closed ; they were powerless to Lord is faithful.”
speak one of the words of life, until they were enWe can all proclaim this truth, and wax warm in dued with power from on high. The gift of the proclaiming it; but God wants something more than Faithful Promiser had not yet been bestowed: “I this. God wants, not our flattery, but our faith. will give you a mouth and wisdom.”
This was That, methinks, is the best acknowledgment of what they wanted—a mouth, to speak of Jesus—wisfaithfulness. If the Lord be faithful, then believe dom, to witness for Him persuasively and willingly. His word, believe this word, that He will stablish And that was why the spirit of blessing appeared in you and keep you from evil. Nothing else will be the guise of tongues, divided, not in judgment, but so fond to His faithful heart as that. And believe in manifold gifts of grace and utterance.
The fiery it, not only now, but always; not only here, but symbol indicated the zeal and power in which they everywhere. Things are quiet here and now, perhaps; should speak words that should burn down to the but when they are unquiet, believe that the Lord depths of the sinner's heart, and kindle there a will stablish you then.
heavenly fire that should consume the power of sin When the waves are high, when the demons are and cleanse from guilt. This was the power of the desperate, when temptations are strong, believe it personal Spirit, bringing down the fire of God's then, believe Him rather, for "faithful is Ho that holiness to the polluted altar of man's heart, and calleth you, Who also will do it."
transforming it into a shrine-a holy temple, con
secrated to the service of Jehovah. “ THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH.”- Pentecost, with its divided tongues, its splendid The heart filled with gloom cannot be strong. As the sunshine is needed to bring about the fruitful gifts of grace, its ministry of glory to God in the harvest, so joy in God is needed to effectual distin- highest, carries us back in thought to the scene guished service in His cause. He who is whipped pictured in Gen. xi. There we behold the builders to duty will never accomplish great things. The of Babel-man's building-seeking to rear up an volunteer is ever more brave, and daring, and enduring monument of man's power, in opposition successful than the conscript. But of all duties, to the power and sovereignty of God.
Man wanted the service of God is the noblest in which man can engage, and if gladness should fill the heart in any to be independent of God, to make himself a fame service, it should be the service of the Lord of in the earth, in place of ministering to the glory of hosts.
God. This tower was to be the centre, the rallying