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An article on the subject of “Hearing God's important step towards being preserved from Voice" appeared recently from the pen of one falling into it. well known to our readers.* Amongst other In the article referred to it is truly observed valuable and suggestive thoughts contained in that working for God is closely connected with that article, occurs the following important waiting upon God.

“ The two are linked caution :-“There are more dangers in the together. You will never be able to wait upon way of hearing God's voice than in almost God till you have fully and truly taken, first anything else. The best things are the most the position, and then the attitude, of one who easily perverted. For instance, people may fall serves.” “True servants are given up to the

“ into mysticism or false spiritually, into self-will interests of their masters." We may be engaged or fancies, whilst they think they are guided by in God's service without the spirit of true serthe Spirit."

vants. In some subtle way we may be seeking Let no one who would walk wisely and safely to gratify self even in the work of winning ignore these dangers. That there are dangers all souls. Pride changes its front continually, and along the path of life we know from the testi- at each step forward we make in our spiritual mony of Scripture. This fact need not, how- progress it can assume a fresh phase. Because ever, fill us with discouragement. Let it only the old phase has disappeared we may fall into deepen the consciousness of our need of the the delusion that pride is no longer at our elbow wisdom, grace, and power of God, continually, to tempt us, and all the while we are in its and each step of the way. To suppose that we presence, but it is before us under a new mask. have reached a point in the road where the It is in this way some of the most zealous of dangers no longer exist, and to rush on heed- God's servants have been misled, and turned lessly in unthinking zeal, is sooner or later to aside from the path of soberness and truth. fall into the snare of the devil, and to bring The only remedy against this danger lies in discredit on the cause of Christ. No such keeping low at the Master's feet. Let us bear spirit can possibly be cherished by that one who in mind that all along the path of true progress is, of a truth, walking humbly with his God. the sense of our own personal unworthiness A sense of need and the realisation of its being deepens. supplied moment by moment in Christ, will not If we have escaped from the danger of being foster pride, but, on the contrary, will fill the satisfied with unrenewed self, we may still be soul with a spirit of deepest humility. And on the verge of falling into a more subtle form yet the danger of being beguiled into pride of the same snare, namely, of being satisfied exists even along the path of humble depend with sanctified self. We may be unconsciously ence upon God. To recognise the danger is an glorying in self by being taken up with the

effects of Christ's power to cleanse, rather than Pastor Stockmayer. (See the Christian, Nov. 3.)

with Christ Himself. That is finding my

comfort in what He has made me rather than

Growing in Beauty, Lord, in what He is.

Likeness to Thee, To guard against this danger—and it is a

Growing in Holiness,

More and more free. real one-to which those especially are exposed

Free from the love of sin who are seeking to follow the Lord fully, there

Reigning so long within, is only one remedy; it is found in keeping in

Pure let me be ! the Master's presence, looking off unto Him, being so taken up with Him, that not even

Growing in knowledge, Lord those blessings which He is bestowing, and

Teach me Thy way, with which He fills our souls with gladness,

Lighten my darkness, Lord, shall allure our gaze away from Him.

Send forth the ray,
“Jesus! I am resting, resting

Brighter than noon-day light
In the joy of what Thou art;

Changing my inward night
I am finding out the greatness

Into God's day.
Of Thy loving heart."

Growing in gladness, Lord,
The article referred to concludes with the

Gladness like Thine, following direction :

Joy of the Lord my strength, “We may make this a general rule, whilst

Can I repine listening to the voice within--1. Have your

Though 'neath the sorrow-cloud eyes turned without, above yourself, to Christ

Low in the dust I'm bowed. sitting at the right hand of God, never to

Jesus is mine. Christ in you. He in us, we in Him, never we in ourselves. 2. Stand on redemption ground, ,

Growing in strength, my Lord, i.e., through the word of God, by faith, keep

Angel-like be the consciousness of your position in Christ,

Service of daily love, the position of a redeemed, a dead, a risen one.

Happy and free,

Strong in Thy strength I'll go, "Perhaps in our intercourse with others we had better never avail ourselves, in any special

Ready to meet the foe,

Never to flee. case, of God's speaking to us. Let us be quite sure in ourselves before God, but let others

Ready for service, Lord, judge how far our walk is Christ-like.”

Lukewarm nor cold,

Meet for the Master's use,

Fervent and bold, " Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and

Meet for Thy Royal Hand,
Saviour, Jesus Christ."-2 l'eler ji. 8.

Fit for Thy Palace grand,
LORD of this New Year's Day,

Vessel of gold.
Grateful I sing,
Blessings unnumbered,

Closer communion,
Gifts of my King:

Master, I pray,
Sunny and cheery days,

Ilolier fellowship
Cloudy and dreary days,

Cheering the way;
Sweet mem'ries bring.

Spirit of joy and love
Dim though my future path,

Come from Thy Throne above,
Thou know'st the way

Fill me to-day !
Where Thou wilt lead Thy child

R. D.
Day after day;

(T’une 289 “ Hymns of Consecration.")
Nearer my Home above,
More like the Lord I love,

Only I pray.


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piepares the solitude, and then waits in it to meet

His child. “ He blessed him there." - Gen. xxxii. 29.

II. The next is the place of defeat ; for there is O God, who art here, bless us here ! Bless us as

something further than even the place of solitude Thou hast said, “ Blessed are ye that hunger and and darkness before we reach the place of blessing. thirst after righteousness, for ye shall be filled.” “And there wrestled a Man with him until the Fill us now, as we hunger and thirst for Thee.

breaking of the day. And when He saw that he He blessed him there." I would briefly bring prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of before you how God fulfilled His word in the in- his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out stance of wrestling Jacob.

of joint, as He wrestled with him.” When He sees There is, as it were, a whole series of rooms, open

that He does not prevail over us—when He sees the ing out one into the other, to be passed through obstinate self-will which will not yield to Him, even before this point is reached.

in the darkness of impending danger--then God, in I. There is first the place of solitude. Jacob was

the person of Jesus Christ, comes closer, determined “ left alone.” All need to be brought to this, to that we shall not miss the blessing, and also deterknow what solitude with God means; all must meet mined that we shall not get it in our own wayGod alone, if they want to be blessed. It may be a

then He comes, seeing the self-will which hinders ug place of darkness, a place of apprehension, of con

from getting it, and encompasses us with His arms, troversy, but let it be with Goil. When in this and puts His Hand on the hollow of the thigh, and place of solitude, what do we see? We see ourselves. destroys our strength in its strongest point. Do you We seem to stand by and see ourselves passing before say this is unworthy of God? Nay, it is the utmost ourselves. In the dark we cannot see other people tenderness of God! He sees you striving with any more, we see only ourselves. God brings His your self-will, He sees that you are not able to overchildren into this place of solitude, “Behold, I will come yourself, and Ho comes and puts His finger allure her, and bring her into the wilderness." He

on the self, on the sin, on the self-sinew, and it canbrings us there by wondrous providences, and shows not stand before Him; it shrinks at the touch of us how He will meet with us there. It is one of the living strength of the Living Christ. For He is the great and blessed principles underlying Scrip- omnipotent, but yet so tender. ture, that God is dealing personally with us through

“So tender is His multitudinous strength”His Providence; that through the fine, invisible web that He will not break the bruised reed, but He will of circumstances, He is feeling His way to each heart; subdue, and tenderly bring you down to His feet, and the first step towards the blessing is when He and bless you there. reveals to us the nearness of Jesus Christ. So It is a very blessed thing that He knows the here, Jacob had been praying—the first prayer re- strength which is our weakness. We do not, or else corded in Scripture—he had been kneeling upon the only in a vague, doubtful way. Are you asking Him promises, saying to his covenant God “Thou saidst” to put His finger upon it-upon your besetting sin, (that is a good word to hang upon. Do we use it ?) which you hardly know yourself-on the self-will

— He said it, when Esau was travelling to meet him, which is always wanting to prevail-on that point with 400 armed men, the brother from whom he in which lies all your strength to resist Himhad been separated for twenty-five years, from whom until you can cry, “Thou hast prevailed over me !" he had parted in that strange scene of anger and fraud, It is very blessed to know that it is the out-of-joint now he is on the verge of meeting him again, and he ones whom He blesses. The man who is vigorous, is left alone. And now God meets him in the erect in his self-reliance, proud in his own strengthlonely place : the God-man, the human God," the he is not the man whom God blesses thus. That man man Christ Jesus.” He meets us always in a place alone, who is broken in his own strength, out of like this. For Christ is waiting in every solitude, in joint by God's touch, defeated by God, is the one every lonely place, in every darkness, to meet His who is blessed by God with anything like full child. He is so resolved to meet with him, that He blessing.

III. A yet darker room opens next, the place of * Address given at Stafford Rooms, November 25, 1881. desperation The Christ cries, “Let me go, for

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the day breaketh." But Jacob answers, “I will that we are brought to depend only upon God, then rot let Thee go !” Mark the immediate revival of we are close to the place of blessing. When our Jacob, the defeated one. He, the defeated, disabled, self-will is brought down, our power of resistance powerless one,—the out-of-joint one,-helpless in broken, and we are utterly out of joint so that we the hands of God's grace ! It is of him God begs, can wrestlo no more, then we fall right over upon it is to him God cries, Let me go! You have me God, and we cling because we cannot claim. Then now, Jacob !

I cannot go unless you give me we prevail, as Jacob dil, not by the strength of his leave !” Friends, it is the disabled ones who have wrestling, but by the weakness of his clinging; not God in their power ! the broken out-of-joint ones by muscular strength of limb, but by the adhesive who can claim Him. It is like a father returning power of faith's arms and the hungry hands of prayer; home, and all the hearty, strong children run out crippled he clings, unhinged he hangs. The touch of with vigorous limbs, and eager bound. And the of the cross is the first touch of kingly power. father greets them all with love ; but within, there IIave you held God thus in solitude, in the dark ? is a cripple child, a poor broken one, who cannot Have you clung to Him in desperation, and said to run out with the others, and the father comes in Him, “I will not let Thee go ?" You did cling so with his firm, steady step, and goes straight over to once, at the beginning of your Christian life, when his poor broken child, saying, “ I come to thee, my you were first brought to God. Was it not when child! Thou art not able to come out to me, but I you were brought to the end of yourself, that you come and give myself to thee. I take thee up in abandoned everything and accepted the Blood for the arms of my strength.

All mine is thine now. your justification? It is just the same in the matThou art no more disabled and helpless, for all the ter of sanctification. It is when you find you have power of God is thine !” I speak because I know no power left, when you are utterly drained out that it is thus that God deals with His broken child. after ten long days' waiting, as at Pentecost, it may

How was Jacob brought from the place of defeat. be, then you take yourself to God, and are made strong into the place of desperation ? By a giving body, by His strength. This is one of the main principles and a going God. God going stirred him to des- through Scripture, the Old Testament is the book of perate faith, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou the strong made weak, and the New Testament is bless me.” The desperation of faith is Divine faith. the book of the weak made strong. When everything else is abandoned, and with both IV. There is another room still. The place of arms you give yourself to Him, and cling only to confession : for Jacob is not low enough yet for the Him, this is Divine faith, Divine despair. Let me blessing.

. Let me blessing. Not only must he be brought into the go ! Thou sayest ? Nay, I will not let Thee go!" place of solitude, the place of defeat, the place of

_“I will not !”-Strong words from the poor, desperation, but now there is reached the place of disabled, out-of-joint one! The Lord had His re- confession ; and now God saith to poor broken-limbed ward now, when He heard it, for this was what He Jacob-defeated, desperate Jacob, clinging to Him by meant. When He makes as though He would go, the invisible hand of faith—“ What is thy name ? " further, it is that His children may constrain Him The answer was not merely as we read it in English, to tarry with them. You notice this in His words, “ Jacob.” It was as though he said—“My name is “Let me go, for the day breaketh." The very word The Dishonest Supplanter.” When he gave his speaks encouragement. It is as much as to say, name, he expressed the character of his life, for the “Day is breaking—is it possible you can let me go, Jew wore the secret of his life in his name (and we Jacob? Help is coming, dawn is at hand, the find this custom running over into the New Testavictory is near!”—“Nay, my Lord, I will not let ment), and when he answered “ Jacob,” he said in it Thee

go, for to Thee only I look. Disable me as “I am that false forger, the supplanter, the sinful Thou pleasest, dislodge me Thou canst not, Thou one, deceitful, designing Jacob.” This is what He shalt not!” The blessing is near now. It is when does before He fully blesses. He brings us into the we are shut up to this, to expect only from Him; place of confession. He is that wondrous Lord when we are brought to the point of waiting wholly who draws out of us what we are, extracts our upon Him—when our own hope is gone, our own shame from our own lips. Like that poor woman strength has failed, and everything has given way, so who pressed up to Him and drew virtue out of Him

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by her touch, she was slipping away silently, but | any more. Blessed funeral where Jacob dies, and He recalled her, and by His look He drew out of her | God Himself alone buries him ! “ all the truth,

“ for what cause she had touched Then see the sequel. “ As a prince hast thou Him.” And I believe that it is because the Church power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed.” is so behind-hand in this most needful and blessed Here is the Resurrection Israel, risen from the dark exercise of confession, that she has so little sense tomb of Jacob. Like the grub, dull and unsightly, of forgiveness. If we confess our sins, lle is only able to crawl, which, wrapt in its own chrysalisfaithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse shroud, dies, and lo, there emerges a beautiful butus from all unrighteousness.” Many a soul is terfly-a thing of life that soars aloft in God's free festering in the dark because he will not confess. air and sunshine, with spirit wings all glowing and He sees the sin, he knows the sin, but he will not diamonded with the breathing hues and heraldries come to the point of confessing in distinct words, not of heaven. And so the worm Jacob " is transonly that he is a poor broken sinner in general, formed into winged Israel. The prince Israel has but that he has failed in this and that definite risen from the ashes of dead Jacob. There is no particular.


he has not now, he prevails both with God and V. There is something still further. The next man, far behind indeed, yet after the image of the room (the darkest of all) is the place of death. Divine Israel to whom all power is given in earth “ Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but and heaven. Israel.” Jacob is no more ; he is gone; he is dead; This is the way to arrive at “the place of blessburied by the hand of God. Oh, how blessed it ing." He calls you ever down, down these dark would be if this were true in each of our lives! stairs, until you reach the place of death, and then And it is what God intends; it is what the Epistles He calls you forth from your grave, “Lazarus, come dwell on so strongly. “I live, yet not I, but forth !” and the living Israel comes forth from dead Christ liveth in me.” “Ye are not your own.” Jacob, a risen man, a new creation, a servant of God “Reckon also yourselves to be dead indeed unto now, but self's servant no more ! sin ; " therefore mortify your members daily, and let VI. But there is one step further. Jacob has yet mortification set in now. When Jacob left Jabbok, to know something deeper still. “ And Jacob how would he act ? Surely he would think, “I am asked Him, and said, Tell me, I pray Thee, Thy name. Jacob no more, no more Jacob. I am Israel. I And He said, Wherefore is it thou dost ask after reckon my old self dead.” And just as he ignored My name?” He had passed through death and reJacob, Israel the prince would prevail. This is surrection, now he has come to the place of unsupdenying self. But you say, “ It is so easy in theory, ported faith ; the most magnificent place in all the but so difficult in practice.” Precisely so. But universe of God; the place of boundless wealth, you must begin in theory and then go on to prac- where all the riches of God are at our disposal. tice. They are very close. Reckon yourselves

“ Wherefore is it thou dost ask after my name ?" dead; mortify therefore your members which are Jacob has to go forth without knowing. We must upon the earth.” Having put yourselves into the walk by faith, not by sight; our life is to be a place of death, keep yourselves there in all definite literal faith-life. Many who have been brought cases of daily detail as they arise. If here now you thus far are trying to see the faith by which they accept the place of death, when you leave the room, came.

came. They know what it is to have been brought and come into practical dealings with others, there will low by the touch of God, they have been buried be plenty of use for the "theory.” Contradicted or with Christ, they know many things of death and opposed, you

say, “I am dead.” You cannot resurrection, they have confessed like Jacob, “ I am permit your appetites to rise as before. “I am dead, the false forger," and they know what it is to have Jacob no more, Israel now.” No more Jacob, plan- been made a prince with God; but now they want ning in his own strength, full of power, to get his to see who it is who has been doing all this with own ends in his own way; no more Jacob, full of them; they want to see their faith. Nay, my prayers for blessing, even blessed as they are, but friend, you began right by faith-live on fully by Israel for ever; a broken one, given away to God; faith. Through every dark difficulty, through every so broken that you cannot keep out God anywhere unsolved problem, believe your way upward, by


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