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BY THE EDITOR.
THE PRESENT BLESSINGS OF THE an improvement of the old creation. The new NEW CREATION.
creation does not make me as yet either innocent or sinless. The flesh is not eradicated. “The
flesh lusteth against the Spirit (i.e. the Holy No. 1.
Ghost), and the Spirit (Holy Ghost) against the “If any man be in Christ there is a new flesh” (Gal. v. 16). The power of evil is present, creation.” The old and the new creations are but if you are in the Spirit you are not under represented by, and summed up in, the first it; but you have the benefit of a superior and second Adam. The new creation is the power with which to meet it. You are in the new sphere into which the sinner passes when power of God. That power not only meets but he believes in Christ. Faith is an act by which overcomes the flesh, so that you need not do the the soul passes into Christ. To be in Christ is things which you would otherwise do. You to be in the new creation. And to be in the shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. new creation is to be a new creature.
Adain was made sinless. He had no evil The fact that there is a new creation—that nature. In his original condition he did not it was necessary—is of itself sufficient to prove possess that evil principle which the Scripture that the old has failed. The Old Testament calls the “flesh.” He stood by virtue of his records the complete failure of the first Adam. own innocence. But he failed. His own sinIt contains also the promise of the coming lessness was not sufficient to keep him from and triumph of the Second Adam.
falling The New Testament is a revelation of the Adam, in his original condition, had no need new creation. It proclaims the fact that the of the blood; the holiest saint to-day needs it Second Adanı has come, that the battle is over, every moment. that the victory is won.
Adam, in his original condition, did not stand Salvation comes by believing into Christ. by virtue of Christ's risen life. But the believer In Him we find all the blessings of the new needs that life every moment.
He is saved in creation. And if we ask what becomes of the His life (Rom. v. 10). The believer has the former state of things--the conditions of the flesh in him though he is not in the flesh. The old life ?—the Scripture answers, “Old things flesh, of course, here not being understood in are passed away: behold all things are become the sense of our mortal bodies. We believe
that what the Apostle says, in the fifth That is to say the children of the new chapter of Galatians, is true of the holiest saint creation-believers in Christ-are introduced on earth. There is nothing in that chapter to into a new condition of things; they are put discourage him, or, on the other hand, to give on an entirely new basis, a new footing. It is him the slightest excuse for sinning. There is not a restoration to the Adamic condition. Not nothing in that chiapter which would lead him
to think that complete and continual deliverance
FAITH. from the power of sin is not possible in this life.
APPROPRIATING"-" HOLDING Quite the contrary. In spite of the presence
FAST." of evil, in spite of the power of the flesh, the My faith looks up to Thee ! power of God is present to give a full and
My faith so small, so slow,
It lifts its drooping eyes to see complete triumph over all, and so perfectly to
And claim the blessing now. take the strain and burden of sin's assault that
Thy wondrous gift some delivered souls have fancied that even
It sees afar; the flesh itself was gone. They have not been
Thy perfect love conscious even of its presence, and if they have
It claims to share,
And doth not, cannot fear. spoken from their consciousness, they have said the evil was eradicated. To guard us against
My faith takes hold on Thee !
My faith, so weak, so faint, this delusion, we believe 1 John i. 8 was
It lists its trembling hands to be, written. By all means let us live in Christ's
Trembling: but violent. delivering power to the very full; but in our
Thy kingdom now estimate of what we are let us take the witness
It takes by force, of God's written Word, rather than that of
And waits till Thou,
Its last resource, our own consciousness, as our guide, however
Shall seal and sanctify. blessed our experience may be.
My faith holds fast on Thee ! Thus the trusting soul is more than conqueror
My faith, still small, but sure, through Christ. But this is brought about not by Its anchor holds alone to Thee, restoration to a state of sinlessness, nor indeed
Whose presence keeps me pure. by a restoration to the first Adam's condition of
And Thou alway, things at all, but by being translated into a
To see and hear,
By night and day, new condition of things, into the new creation.
Art very near-In the first we see the trial and failure of a
Art very near to me.
W. B. B. perfect creature. In the second we have an imperfect creature renewed, preserved and kept by a perfect Saviour. It is not the sinless man “MORE THAN CONQUERORS." keeping liimself, but it is Christ, who was
(Romans viu, 37.) begotten of God, keeping the imperfect creature so that the evil one toucheth him not (1 John v. THERE is a strong tendency in our times to apply 18). It is safer to stand enclosed in Christ, though all language implying privilege to merely nominal you are imperfect, than to stand by virtue of Christians. It is quite usual to console a person your own sinless perfection. In the one case destitute of real faith by repeating, e.g., the promise,
But Satan cannot touch you, in the other you be- “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” come an easy prey to his devices, even were
the truth is that such a promise cannot be approit possible for you to stand in the sinlessness priated by him at all. Men, in fact, are simply lulled
into carnal security when encouraging passages are of unfallen Adam. In our next we propose considering some of regarded as applicable to them which God does not
intend for them. the blessings that belong to the new creation;
It is true, indeed, that there are rich and glorious those provisions which God has made for His
promises for any and every sinner approaching God children, and which are essential to their peace, through Christ, sustained by the faithfulnes3 of purity, and power in their pilgrimage here on Him who cannot lie. Within reach of the returning earth.
sinner are the boundless resources of God's grace; but let it be said decisively that there are no promises to those who are yet in their sins. We cannot
BY REV. J. ALEXANDER JACOB.
say to an unconverted man, as we can to a Christian, when, beginning by giving our affairs into God's in reference to some great earthly anxiety: “Trust safe keeping, we put out our hands to keep them in God that it will work for your good." Being
from going wrong? what he is, he has no promise that God will listen all that is outwardly adverse to us.
But we are “ more than conquerors” in regard to
There is a to him, for “God heareth not sinners.” Take the remark made somewhere by Coleridge, that the old largest promise you can think of, as--1.9., “Him | Pagan drama represented man as conquered by cirthat cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." cumstances, while the modern drama, in its best Yes, but that is no promise to him who will not form, represents man as conquering circumstances. “ come.” “Whosoever will let him take of the water are conquered by circumstances; with, in, and by
There is a great truth in this; without Christ men of life freely." Yes, but that is no promise to him Christ, it is they who conquer circumstances. who does not “ will.” A solemn thought it is that freethinker, so called, may draw on all his the impenitent have no promises ! The heaven above help him to face the dark future. He may amuse them is brass, and the earth beneath them is iron. day, and if he be un feeling or short sighted he may
himself with his books, or with the questions of the How mysteriously terrible is sin, which can thus
partially succeed. But he does not conquer circommand the sky to rain no rain upon the withered cumstances. Surely a poor imposture is philosophy heart, and which chokes the channel by which God's at such a moment! The stoic may set his teeth, may enriching grace can stream into the poor, parched, never move a muscle, or utter even a sigh, but he is lifeless soul ! Yet so it is. We may clutch our
conquered nevertheless. The Christian, on the
other hand, following his crucified and risen Lord, idol; we may cry out, “Oh Lord ; anything but conquers all ill, and even when he dies conthat! He that touches that touches the apple of quers death, the last and greatest ill. To him my eye. I cannot give it up. It is there I have gar- | the end of all is not death, but life, and therefore nered up my heart. Is it not a little one ? Just let existence to him cannot be failure. He challenges me keep it, and I will surrender everything else.”
death to do its worst. It may wrack and convulse him, Little, yes; but not too little to make void for us of defeat, but the signal of victory; no longer tho
but the yielding up of the spirit is not the confession every promise in the Bible. And it is a profane plunge into nothingness or ruin, but the step over misuse of God's consolations, an unwarrantable the threshold of this dark, outside world, into the cheapening of His offers of grace, to claim them presence of the King. for the impenitent when they are meant for Christ's Let us believe in the possibility and the blessedown followers.
ness of this conquering life. Tell me not that you Here, at least, is a promise which no man who is are poor, despised, delicato, unnoticed by the world, not abiding in Christ has any right to appropriate. conscious that your life has been a failure, with To you, Christians, it belongs. You shall be con- few to love you, and few whom you can love. querors alike over the enemy within and the enemy No matter. You may have this conquering life. without. Now all that exalts itself against God Say with the patriarch, “ All these things are against within our hearts may be comprised in one word of me." Be it so, but God is for you. Count up the four letters—self. Have we never been forced to things which make life a weariness or a crushing cry out, “ If only I were true to myself! If only disappointment, and when you have closed the there were perfect loyalty to Christ! But I am enumeration, say (if you can truthfully say it), wrong within ; weak, wilful, tormented with lawless “Christ is mine, and I am His," and you will have inclinations. Lord, save me from myself.”
grasped a reality which will enable you to break the Yet the majority of us expect great things from thraldom of all those hateful influences, and say with improving self! we say more prayers, go to more St. Paul, “None of these things move me.” Do you services, do something more for others. Is then ask, “ How can these things be?" Yet why should your experience of self such that you can really they not be, if it be no longer you who live, but trust it in the matter of your soul's salvation ? Christ who lives in you? You cannot break the Have you not found that in exact proportion as power of these terrible things, but Christ can. Allow you built upon self, your failure was complete and Him to perfect His strength in your weakness. Come, humiliating? Have you been led to believe that Lord, and enter in, and make our hearts Thy a partnership would do ? Christ does not favour citadel. We cannot face these enemies which are these joint undertakings. He is willing and able thundering at the gates, but Thy right hand shall to take your soul's affairs into His hands. He only teach us terrible things. Scatter Thou the people asks you to place and leave them there. There is that delight in war; so we, Thy people, shall give much instruction in the account (2 Sam. vi. 6) of Thee
nks for ever. In the Lord we have rightthe man who would put out his hand to steady the eousness and strength. " Thanks be to God which ark. Do we not fall into precisely the same sin, 1 giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
C. A. FOX.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE-A FOURFOLD
if anything does not please us, we may give our PARADOX.
testimony, if need be, and take the place of death, and submit. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,
. "Put not forth thyself in the presence of the King." saith the Lord.” Let the Lord go forth and fight
The King is present with us now in the midst; for you. Open unto the Lord of battles, and keep and this word suits me as I come to speak to you in the gates open. How? By keeping in the place His name.
I desire to speak behind Him, let us of death. Dead hands cannot keep out the living hear behind Him. 0 King, our crowned Lord Christ. Then keep dead, that there may be room Jesus present with us, according to Thine own for the incoming of the Lord of Hosts. He will promise, hide me behind Thee ; let me not put forth give us power to keep in the place which is ours, myself in Thy presence; hide each hearer that they for the wages of sin is death, and nothing else may listen in Thy name. May Thy transcendent belongs to us. So shall the living power and preglory be seen to-day, humbling both speaker and sence of the Lord be seen with us to-day. hearers, that we may both see and hear only Thee ! When we have learned this first paradox, we Yea, we see only Thee! Transfigure us now in reach another; that we have Rest through a yoke. Thee, that Thine shall be all the praise !
The Lord's yoke is a yoke of rest. He has brought The Christian's history is a paradox, an ever- us into rest, saying, “Come unto Me, and I will increasing paradox. Therefore we need not wonder give you rest.” Now comes the crucial test. He if we meet with constant surprises in it, for every says next, “ Take My yoke;" and it is just here step is a paradox.
that there is the source of the most of the failures To begin with, the Christian lives by dying. Do in our Christian life-that we refuse to take His you recognize this tremendous fact? That we yoke. He says to us, “ Thou hast found justifying begin our life by leaving our life, and losing it rest, my child, by My taking thy place; I stood in with Jesus; that we are left there, dead with thy place, now do thou take Mine; take My yoke.” Christ on Calvary; that there He not only died for What is it to take His yoke? It is to take His us, but that we died there in Him. But you may Will. We must each pass through our own Gethanswer, “I thought that we were dead; that He quick- semane, saying, “Not my will, but Thine, be done;" ened us when dead in trespasses and sins, and that and this must be continually, every day, in all we are alive now.” Nay, not so in one sense ; now circumstances. And speak plainly to Him, not in it is, “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ conventional terms, but as to a dear Father, as He in God.” Now we must maintain that position of did—“Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass death ; we must keep ourselves always where Christ from me." Oh, the triumph of Gethsemane ! oh,
. Always bearing about in the body the its peace and power! Do you know it? Is there dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus anything in you striving against the will of God; might be manifest in our mortal body. We which any stray affection or wish independent of Him? live are always delivered unto death." We cannot Put it now under the yoke ; say, “Nevertheless, not live unless we die. Keep yourselves by the Holy my will, but Thine, be done." There you shall attain, Ghost in the place of death, and then the Lord will there you will maintain, the perfect rest of being live out His life in you : He will have room to live under His yoke. “Take My yoke upon you, and in you. It will be then as when He cleansed the learn of Me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Temple, “Take these things hence ! He will There is a third paradox. Not only do we live enter and live in you as King. Remember, when by dying, and rest under a yoke, but we triumph the Lord crucifies you in any way, either by bodily by a thorn. He can make of the thorn in the flesh or spiritual weakness, it is the hand of God upon a palm in the spirit. He can make of its wound an you, keeping you in the very place of death in open door for the incoming of His glory. That is which He can show forth His glory. Indeed we do why He answered Paul thus—“For this thing I need to remember that, “ Except a corn of wheat besought the Lord thrice; but He said, My strength fall to the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if is made perfect in weakness.” And He left the it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” We need it thorn; but Paul gained by it an inheritance for the more and more. We need to die in temper, so that whole Church of Christ—“My grace is sufficient
for thee.” Many have doubts whether He answers There are just two dangers which threaten Chrisnow except in Scripture words. It seems as un- tian workers in their work. First, it may be said likely as if a father living in the house with his of us “ No doubt he is a murderer”; something children were to keep on writing letters to them, dishonouring the power of God, or a hinderer of and giving them only written directions. And we
And we His grace. Then, when that is proved untrue, they live in a spiritual dispensation; and He holds com- turn round and exalt us," they changed their
— munion with our spirit—“He is the Father of my minds, and said that he was a god.” There is spirit, and He speaks in Spirit-language"—not only special danger at these meetings of exalting the speaking to us in His written Word, but right into speaker into a saint, idolizing him, and giving him my heart, by His living personal Word, by His the glory instead of God. Do take heed that we do spiritual Presence.
neither. He pierces into us by a thorn, and speaks through If we are working for Him, and a viper comes it; and whatever it be, it is but one thorn dropped out of the very fire which we bave been the means out of His crown of thorns. Ho would have us of kindling, fear not! Shake it off into the fire. crowned like Himself, and so He answers, "My He will deliver you from the viper as He has dono grace is sufficient for thee. Thou shalt be humbled from the shipwreck. He will save you in little to the dust; thou shalt have My Gethsemane expe- things as well as in great ones, and you shall rience, Paul ; thy thorn shall become thy triumph. glorify Him in every trial. My glory shall be seen on thee by it; Míy strength And if He is using you, and honouring you by shall be perfected in thy weakness.” Is it not so? success and gaining you praise, go and pour it all Ask any Christian whether the time of God's full-out at His feet. If through your speaking souls triumph was not when they were utterly prostrated are being won, there is great danger of self being in the dust, and they knew that they were a perfect exalted, shake off the praise into the heat of the fire failure ; so that the Lord had free course in them of His love: make it a reason for humbling yourself to go forth conquering and to conquer.
before Him, bend your knee before the living Lord, There is yet one further paradox in the Christian adore His glorious Majesty ; see Jesus as you have life-that we may have victory by a riper. Our
seen Him before ; see Him only. Then we shall
lose ourselves in His Presence, and shall be as Lord can not only make us triumph by a thorn, but though we were not. the very viper is permitted to become a source of May God, by the power of the Holy Ghost, bring victory and glory to Himself and to His people. us all into the place of death, and keep us there : Turn to Acts xxviii. Paul was received with "
and thus be glorified in each of us. So then that little kindness ” (as we have been at Keswick, and shall be true of us which we read of Isaiah, that the
man of unclean lips” is transformed into the pure Christian hospitality is a blessed thing ; I thank messenger of the Lord of Hosts, and all the earth Him for the way in which it is shown here, for we that is in us shall be filled with His glory! can glorify Him by receiving strangers in His name), and as they kindled a fire, “there came a viper out
It is the virtue of the Christian life to rivet and of the heat, and fastened upon his hand.” And in seal the Christian faith in the depth of the soul. the very midst of our service, in the very act of Truth becomes clearer and dearer the more sacrifices
we make for it. What we do for it renders it more putting a faggot to kindle a fire for some poor, cold
proper to us, unites it more and more closely to our heart, or outcast soul, there comes a viper out of soul. We prove this by experience in proportion as the heat of our work. If we are doing work for the we apply it to our life, becanse a life of obedience, Lord, and being used by Him, some viper of slander, holiness and love, is a life of order and truth ; and some unkind word, some cold suspicion, or unchari
we cannot call that faith deceptive in which we see
all the fruits of truth budding as upon their proper table supposition, will fasten upon us, but by His stem. It is very difficult for error to shake a faith grace it shall become as this viper, a source of glory which already has so many monuments in our life, to Him. “No doubt he is a murderer!" Yes, that is and to which graces, unequivocal graces, are so what even Christians are ready to say—“No doubt!" evidently annexed. The certainty which results Oh, shame on the pitilessness of Christians to each Hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience,
from such experience must be above all assaults. other. But “he shook off the beast into the fire, and neither philosophy nor tradition shall evermore and felt no harm,” and it shall be so with you. | be able to dissever it. — Vinet.