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shall all families of the earth be blessed." Abraham “I will put enmity between theo and the woman, understood this doctrine, as we see by chap. xv.- and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise “ Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield and thy exceed thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (ver. 15). ing great reward." But Abraham wanted to be There is the blessing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; blessed by being made fruitful. It was as if he there is the possibility for us to be cursed because had said, “If Thou wilt not make me fruitful, do He was, in the eyes of God, hanging on the cross not speak to me of shield and reward."
before the foundation of the world. Let us here Let us go back to creation, higher than Abraham. remember one central word of revelation : "Of His You will see on the first page of revelation what Godfulness have all we received, and grace for grace ; did and what He intended in the creating of man. for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth As soon as the earth was prepared, God said, “ Let came by Jesus Christ ” (John i. 16, 17). The law the earth bring forth grass and herb yielding seed was a barren dispensation, but grace is a dispensaafter his kind ” (Gen. i. 11). Then when the living tion of fruitfulness. The dispensation of the law creature comes you find God first creating and then must reveal to man his fallen state-how he was blessing. What do we understand by blessing ? separated from God. What a monstrous thing to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the think that you can bear fruit unto God separated seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth” (i. 22). from Him! There is only one eternal Fountain of As with the beasts, so far more with man. God Life—that is, God. created man (ver. 27); God blessed them and said, Now let us take the two great ministers of the old “ Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” covenant-Moses, through whom the law came, and (ver. 28). The only meaning of blessing was to be Elias, the restorer of the law. These two great men fruitful.
were faithful in what had been committed unto them Now comes again the question of yesterday: “How as servants of the house ; but they were not the to appropriate the blessing"-how to get into the Son. Some days before the death of Christ we see glorious position out of the fallen state-still fallen these two men upon a high mountain with Christ. creatures, but redeemed ; So that God is able to While the disciples were busy looking, not knowing manifest Himself through man, who haih been what they saw, these two men knew what it meant. created for God. For the end of redemption is to They were speaking with Christ ; and of what were bring fallen man into such a position that God will they speaking? Of His death. They were looking be able to reveal Himself through man. In the uni- to see the dispensation of which they had been verse there is no creature through which God can ministers come to an end. There was Moses, whose manifest Himself so fully as through fallen man tomb had never been known, and there was Elias redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul says he who was taken up to heaven ; they came back to knows nothing save Christ, and will know nothing earth again because of their longing to see Christ save Christ; he immediately adds“ Christ crucified." finish the old dispensation. They spoke to Him I have only one desire this morning in my heart, of His death. and that is to bring you to, and to bring before you, Then there was John the Baptist, the greatest the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. There, prophet of all. When he saw that his ministry in the death of Christ, has been taken away the was ending, he was full of divine joy, because he curse, which has never been pronounced on humanity, saw the Lamb slain for the sins of the world walking because Christ was before God as the Lamb slain along by the waters of Jordan. He knew that he from the beginning for the sins of the world. In himself was no more necessary when the Lamb of the death of Christ is the secret of life. Out of the God was come. So the servants of Christ on this death of Christ flows all blessing. There is the platform have only one ambition—that the time secret of all fruitfulness.
may come when the youngest and the oldest shall Let us go back once more to the first pages of all know the Lord, so that no one any more needs to revelation. We heard yesterday that the ground has be told by his brother, because the Holy Ghost is been cursed (Gen. iii. 17), and the serpent has been teaching us all, taking of what is Christ's, and giving curse (ver. 14), but not man, because there in the to us life and light-all that we want. beginning God saw before Him the Lamb slain. And now, let us go to Christ Himself. Moses
and Elias were not satisfied with the incarnation. that those members of our body should henceforth Humanity could do nothing with this incarnation, be at his disposal, to be used by Him and for Him. I speak reverently—so long as the Lamb was not And so far, my brethren, as you understand the slain. There He walked—the Lamb of God, the meaning of the death of Christ in that sense (see fulness of the Godhead, -all the treasures of wisdom Rom. vi., 2 Cor. V., Gal. ii., and other passages), and of knowledge in Him, and like sunbeams flowing you will realise freedom from self in oneness with forth. But His true life was shut up in Him till Him. He has identified Himself with my sin, and He was broken down. Let us take His own words. so far as, through faith, I identify myself with Him Certain men desired to see His glory (John xii. in His death, I am one with Him-I am dead, 21). Then said Jesus, " The hour is come that the crucified to sin and to self. I have in Christ, Son of Man should be glorified. . . . Except a realising by faith my union with Him, the fruits of corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it redemption. You find in Rom. viii. it is through abideth alone ; but if it die it bringeth forth much the flesh of Christ that sin is condemned, “ that the fruit" (ver. 23, 24). In the beginning of the chapter righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us we read of that wonderful alabaster box brought by who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" the beloved woman to anoint Christ for the burial. (ver. 4). In Heb. x. 16 you find the conditions of This is the Alabaster Box-Christ Himself. His the new covenant: “I will put my laws into their body was the Alabaster Box, full of the precious hearts, and in their minds will I write them ;" it is ointment of life; but it must be broken before the through the flesh of Jesus Christ (ver. 20). The odour can fill the house. He became an Alabaster Holy Ghost has freedom of movement and of action Box, and it was broken in His death. This after- only through the death of Christ. As Christ offered noon we will proclaim the death of Christ by our Himself through the eternal Spirit, so that eternal gathering in one company around His table. Spirit, the Holy Ghost, can reveal His grace and
He became an Alabaster Box, that we might all establish in us the new covenant only through the become alabaster boxes. After the creation men revelation of that new and living Way consecrated became blessed and fruitful. So in the new crea- for us, that is, the flesh of Jesus. tion, through the Holy Ghost, we can only be fruit- In 2 Tim. i. 7 we are told that “God hath not ful through our oneness with Him who was the given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, Alabaster Box broken for us. We have been cruci- and of a sound mind." In the calling of Ezekiel fied with Him that our life may flow forth through the prophet, you find that he must first be brought the Church, and through the world, no more kept under the power of the glory of God. Then only back by the flesh and by self. Immediately after could God bring him into the presence of a rebelthis He saith, “ He that loveth his life shall lose it, lious race. So we need to be brought under the and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep power of the Cross, the glory of the New Testait unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let him ment, to be able to go into the presence of rebellious follow Me" (John xii. 25, 26). How? “I, if I Christians, and much more into the presence of be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto rebellious sinners. Only when we are brought Me” (ver. 32), to the fellowship of My death and down to the dust, before the glory of the Lord, can My burial, and so to the fellowship of My power, My we stand against the devil, against the principalities resurrection life. If we would become fruitful it and powers, against the rebellious ones who will must be through the death of Christ; that is the not believe because they have been blinded by the secret of fruitfulness. He came in the flesh, that in devil and cannot see the meaning of the death of His flesh He might break the resistance that the Christ. flesh had opposed to the law of God. The bodily There are children of God who are still living organs of man were the seat and centre of sin-as, under the old covenant; the law of God is not for instance, the stomach is the organ of sin to the written in their hearts and in their minds; they are drinking man and so forth. So God asked the Son not free through the power of the Holy Ghost, if He would take to Himself a human body. He because they do not permit the Holy Ghost to have prepared and gave Him a body, that through the His way. And the way of the Holy Ghost is to offering of it He might endure the curse of sin, so bring to the Cross, to the blood of Jesus Christ, into
union with the death and resurrection of the Saviour.
ZINA AND HER LAMP. Then, like Ezekiel, you will be able to speak to a rebellious
and at the same time you will have the spirit, not of cowardice, but of power and of a
“Without a parable spake Ho not unto them." sound mind. As the Lord shut or opened the mouth
CHAPTER 1. of His prophet according to His mind, so you will It was a sultry day in July, and the children be free to serve the Master, to resist the flesh and were more than usually restless ; Dick was looking the devil, to have the mouth opened to testify, or to at the pictures in the Bible, and Nellie and little be silent in a corner, happy to be nothing till the May were gazing out of the window. Lord has opened the door of service through prayer. “Oh, dear!" sighed May, “what a tiring day Never angry against the brethren because they do not Sunday is; I do get tired of doing nothing ; I like receive you; never impatient; only desiring to be the singing at church, but I can't understand Mr. used of God, where He will and when He will; Leigh when he talks, and I do think we ought to prepared like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus, or like have some pleasure. I wish mother would tell us Martha, for service. The secret of service and of a fairy tale." silence is Calvary. The only place in the world Yes, so do I,” said Nellie ; “I've read all the where I can be sheltered against my own self and nice parts of the Bible through till I'm tired of it ;. my own heart is the wounds of Jesus. I will never I wish some one would make a children's Bible.” glory in anything but the Cross of Christ. There I "I tell you what," broke in Dick; "you girls are see all the past submerged under the blood of Jesus, saying very wicked things. If mother heard you and there, by the Holy Ghost, I am taught to be she wouldfruitful, to work in the way and in the measure “What would mother do, my boy?" said Mrs. in which He will, according to His own mind and Hilton's voice behind him. Spirit.
Why, mother, they are wanting fairy tales on And now, my brethren, through the Continent, Sunday, and Nellie says she's tired of the Bible," and in England, and over the sea, there is only one
said Dick. people—a redeemed people-redeemed by His death, “ Truly I am, mother,” said Nellie ; "it's just and made ready to serve Him, and to show forth the same all over again.” His glory. Blessed be the Lamb slain for the sins
“ The wisest man in the world felt a little as you of the world. Amen.
do, but he was not the best man. He said, “There is no new thing under the sun;' but one, whose heart was full of love to God, was glad of just that
thing; he said, and rejoiced in saying it; “ Jesus There is a sort of God's dear servants who walk Christ, the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever." in perfectness: who perfect holiness in the fear of Now I want you and Nellie, Dick, to tell me who God; and they have a degree of charity and divine these two men were. May can come with me; and knowledge more than we can discourse of, and more
then in about half an hour take your Bibles, and certain than the demonstrations of geometry. But
come to me in the summer-house." I shall say no more of this at this time ; and they
and will you tell us a tale ?” said who never touched it with their fingers may secretly May, eagerly. perhaps laugh at it in their hearts and be never the
“Not just such a fairy tale as you have on other wiser. All that I shall now say of it is that a good days, but I hope one that will interest you quite man is united unto God. As a flame touches a
as much," said her mother, smiling at the look of flame and combines into splendour and glory, so is wonder on her face. the spirit of a man united unto Christ by the spirit
Mrs. Hilton had been ill for a long time, and of God. These are the friends of God and they best had been obliged to leave the children to the care know God's mind; and they only that are so know of servants; now that she was stronger, and could how much such men do know.–Jeremy Taylor.
more interest herself in their little joys and sorrows, she found how neglected their minds
"Well, my darlings, have you found the names was there, as He said ; “The Master has come, and of the men who spoke those words ?” said their calleth for thee'” (John xii. 28). mother, as the children clustered round her.
“But how shall I know," said poor little Zina, “Solomon was the wisest man, mother, so I with a fresh burst of grief," how shall I know how looked all through Proverbs, and at last I found it to find the messages? Thou hast always read and in Ecclesiastes; but we could not find the other," explained to me the words upon thy lamp." said Dick.
“Zina, my precious little one," said her grand“ Turn to Hebrews xiii. 8, and you will find the mother, still more faintly, “I leave thee in my words.' Can you tell me who wrote them ?" King's hands. This only I beg thee to remember,
I “No, mother," answered Nellie ; " I thought the thy lamp is thy greatest treasure—walk in the path Epistles were for grown up people; I never read upon which its light shines, and if only thou dost there."
look earnestly enough, thou wilt find thy message “Well, dear, I am sure if we read the Bible (Deut. iv. 29). together, and ask God to belp us by His Spirit to The birds sang on; the flowers held up their understand it, we shall find all parts interesting; heads to the sun, until he became gradually lost to and for this reason I want to have you every sight behind the western hills, and the crimson Sunday afternoon that we may study together.” glow faded away.
“Oh, mother," exclaimed May, “I did think Then came the King's messenger again ; and you were going to tell us a fairy tale.”
Zina, bending over her aged grandmother, heard her Mrs. Hilton smiled; then taking up a paper from whisper, “I am ready, 0 Emalcuel ;” and then, as the table, said, “I think you will find this quite as she closed her eyes, “I shall see the King in His interesting, dear;" and commenced as follows :- beauty.”
Zina threw herself forward, and cried, “Oh take ZINA AND HER LAMP.
me too, Emalcuel; has not the King children in The sun was shining brightly, and the birds His palace ?"
, singing among the leafy boughs were unusually
Emalcuel shook his head, and with a sweet smile lively; the flowers scented the air, and all naturo
-sorrowful for her sorrow, and yet radiant with seemed in a joyous mood. But though all these joyful trust in his King—he pointed to the lamp things usually attracted Zina's attention, this morn- Zina then held in her hands, and faded from her ing she thought of nothing but her grandmother, sight. who sat exhausted by the side of the bank.
Zina looked down upon it, but there was no “ Zina,” said she, “ Zina, my child, this morning message for her on its broad rim. She pressed it early, when thou wast sleeping, I saw beside me
close to her heart because it had been her grandone of the King's messengers. • My name is
mother's, and soon forgot all her troubles in sleep. Emalcuel,' he said, and my message is to thee;
When she awoke in the early morning and found and the message thou wilt find upon thy lamp.'"
herself quite alone, sorrow seemed again about to “Say not that thou wilt leave me," cried Zina, in
overcome her ; but with the sorrow came a thrill of an agony of grief, “I cannot walk alone ; thou hast pleasure in the novelty of her position. always led me in the way that I should go, and
“I will take that pleasant road," said she to hertherefore have I been preserved from all evil
. The self, “ under those shady trees.” But to her surroaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may prise, though she saw no one, she heard some one devour (1 Pet. v. 8), who came so near me on the
singing : day when I ate the fruit which thou hadst forbidden -I shall have nothing to drive him away with, and “There is a way that seemeth right (Prov. xvi. 25), oh, I cannot be left alone."
But there Thy lamp has shed no light;
The end thereof is the way of death, “Hush, my child, if thou dost wish to hear my
And the flowers fade at the wind's cold breath." last words. The King himself has promised to be thy Guide ; and He has commanded me to leave Zina looked at her lamp, and thought she saw a with thee the lamp which has guided my feet for tiny spark of light, but it pointed in the direction many a long day; and Zina, my child, the token of a rough, stony road. ;
And while she hesitated
about taking that for her path, she heard another have not harmed thee, wherefore hast thou set a voice singing
snare for me?” (Ps. cix. 110.) “Come away, oh come away,
But, with a scornful laugh, they turned from her, Spend the time in feast and play.
and she hid her face and wept. At last she thought You are welcome to our bowers ;
of her lamp, but how could that help her ? Beside, Eat our fruit, and wreathe our flowere.
it was beyond her reach; so she lay during the long We live a life of mirth and glee ;
dark night that soon came on; and she heard the For the end that cometh what care we?"
howling of the wild beasts, but they did not harm And then Zina saw, on the road she first wished her, for she cried to the King in her distress (Ps. cvii. to walk, a number of gaily-dressed girls of her own 6); and He sent Emalcuel to loosen the cords from age, who looked contemptuously upon the quiet her right arm. She then regained her lamp, and dress she wore, and they sang again
with its flame burned away the cords that bound “Gaily we dance in our youth and our beauty,
her, and she found that her cords were fine links Dark is the pathway of truth and of duty,
coiled together (Song of Sol. ii. 15). Earth lends her treasures, and of them we borrow.
Zina found the way more pleasant then, and by Tread we our measures, and think not of sorrow."
the bright light her lamp showed, she thought the But a sweeter voice thrilled Zina's heart, and caused King must be pleased with her. While she thought her to turn from them,
of these things her lamp grew dull, but she noticed “ All earth's pleasures fade away,
it not (Prov. iii. 5, 6), till suddenly it fell from her Riches, pleasures cannot stay,
hands, and the light was extinguished, and darkSharper than a two-edged sword
ness came over her, for it was just sunset. Then Is the word of our great Lord ;
poor Zina was almost in despair, till she remembered And the message comes to thee, * Take up thy cross and follow Me.'”
having heard these words
“And some sball fall to try them, Zina looked eagerly at her lamp; was that message
(But the King will not deny them); there for her? Yes; there she read it distinctly on
To purge them and to make them white, the shining rim of her lamp—“If any man will fol
To purify them in His siglit” (Daniel xi. 35). low Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
When these words came again to Zina's mind, she and follow Me.” (Matt. xvi. 24.) And under these stretched out her hand that she might find her lamp, words, “I love them that love Me, and those who and when it came to her touch, she earnestly tried seek Me early shall find Me."
to fan the still smoking wick into a flame; and she “It is the King who sends this message ; so He cried aloud to the King, “For the sake of Thy great loves me," thought little Zina.
love, oh! my King, send me help.” Before the But which road should she take? Her lamp could light revived she felt near her an Unseen Presence, show her the road, but she must herself decide and a voice, sweeter than any she had ever heard, whether to take it or not. Then she heard a voice
whispered in her ear ye
shall ask anything in again
my name, I will do it” (John xiv. 14). " This is the road which wisdom takes,
And with a great joy thrilling her heart she whisHere all earth's follies cease;
pered, “ Abide with me, for it is toward evening, Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and the day is far spent” (Luke xxiv. 29). And all her paths are peace" (Prov. iii. 17).
Then the unseen Presence was ever with her, and So she followed where the light of her lamp led; kept her from all danger, until at last Emalcuel but she had lost time while hesitating, and the piece came again, and with a loving smile upon his face of the road on which she must walk had no shade pointed to her lamp, and showed Zina these words : from the burning sun. The heat tired her so much
“Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. xxii. 12). And that on reaching a clump of trees she fell asleep, and she answered, “Even so, come Lord Jesus” (Rev. woke suddenly to find herself unable to move, and xxii. 20). there, just out of her reach, were some of the girls she had seen in the morning.
“What a pretty name Zina is, mother,” said Come to me, and set me free," cried Zina.