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THE WORKS AND THE WORD.
the hands of the Ruler of the Universe alone, who in the Beginning “divided" the Light from the
Darkness, and in the End will “divide " His sheep LIGHT AND Sound.
from the goats—and yet we stand and behold them The Reflection of the one ; and the Echo of the mirrored forth before our eyes from day to day, and other.
fraught with double teaching, were we but able to Before I begin, I want just to give a note of receive it! warning: do not let these thoughts be only a kind LIGHT AND SOUND! Both positive, active, and, of mental exercise. I feel there is this danger to as such, apt symbols of Life ; while their opposites, my own soul, lest this polishing of our weapons Darkness and Silence, being negative and passive, should be only" for the sake of the keen enjoyment are fit emblems of Death. Again, the comparison of the process," and, in the end, for “ that which which Darkness bears to Light, Silence also bears to doth not profit." Let it be before the Lord, and Sound; and what non-reflecting surfaces are to for the Lord ; then, and then only, will it be safe. !
Light, non-sonorous substances are to sound. It is impossible now to enter into the hundredth Light may be reflected, and again from one body part of what is enfolded in these two wondrous to another; but the Source of light must be selfmysteries of creation, either in nature or in grace; luminous. So Sound may be echoed and trarsmitted, though such a study would repay a thousandfuld but the Cause of scund must pre-exist. When the anyone who could trace their labyrinths taught of conditions of each are fulfilled, Reflection or Echo God. But very briefly we will glance at the two in are involuntary acts. “ He wist not that the skin their relative position to each other; and then, as of his face shone while He talked with him" (Ex. the Lord shall lead, gather up very broken frag- xxxiv. 29). ments of His divine teaching, through His Word. I hardly know how to interweave the Word into
We have a positive, and a negative; an active, these “wonderful Works;" it seems to me as though and a passive; if I may so speak, a life and a the whole thing were a parable in itself, inlaid with death side to almost every created thing. In other thoughts ! God pierced the darkness, and said, “Let words, we have strong, clear contrasts given us on there be light," "the True Light” (Gen. i. 3; John every hand. More than this, we have absolute i. 9), in the natural and spiritual creation," and contradictions presented to our view in such forms there was light.” He broke the silence; even He, that they are incompatible one with the other, and “the mighty God, the LORD, hath spoken, and called cannot be co-existent in the same sphere or body. the earth,” and “the Word ... dwelt among us” Yet the lines which separate each are often so (Ps. 1. 1; John i. 14). And having "shined," and
. subtle, so quickly dissolved, or so mysteriously having “spoken,” He has a right to expect and to overlapping each other, that human ken fails many demand Light-reflectors and Sound-bearers. While times to detect where they begin, or where they the natural world is ever true to that which her end.
Ruler requires of her, obeying unbroken laws, the Throughout nature we perceive these lesser con- spiritual creation too often fails, having despised trasts and greater contradictions, all outward em- His commandments and ignored His supremacy. blems of inward things in grace, till they culminate Light is sevenfold, composed of seven rays; and in that strange, strong, incomprehensible division of Sound is sevenfold, comprised of seven notes; though life and death among men; true type of the stranger, we know thousandfold varied are the blendings of stronger, and more incomprehensible division of life the one and the murmurings of the other. Were and death among the souls of men.
Light formed of one uniform colour, there would be This is a deep for which often we have no no beauty; and were Sound to consist of one single sounding-line; a height for which no measuring- note, there would be no music.
But the Lord prereed is within our grasp. We cannot count the pared His works for the man He was preparing to changes, nor tell the tones of colour or of sound, set over them; and different objects reflect different any more than we can hold within its prison-house colours according to the construction of their surface, a spirit called to heaven, or breathe upon dead souls and different substances give forth different sounds that they should live--such dividing lines are in according to their composition and form.
- For ye
picture it is of the “diversities of gifts” emanating sound that do not reflect the oscillations of light. from the one Divine Source! We have to reflect It is “ line upon line, and precept upon precept,” in the light" we have seen,” or echo the sound “we nature as in grace; one may hear, and believe (Rom. have heard,” according to what we are, according to x. 17); another may look and be saved (Isa. xlv. 22). the nature He has bestowed on each of us. He The patient teaching Lord bears with us as with would not have His people like “ eggs in a basket,” very little children. as one has said. We are not to imitate one another; A solemn fact, true of the past of each one of us but all are to give back-render to the Giver-what is this : the power to repulse light. Some surfaces they have received at His hands. There is no will not reflect the light-waves which reach them, inherent light in an object that reflects, and there therefore they cease, and that object remains in is no inherent sound in a rock that echoes; each darkness black. “I am black” (Cant. i. 5). only yields what has been “seen ” or “ heard.” So “ The god of this world hath blinded the minds of it is with the Christian—the seer and hearer of the unbelieving, that the light .... should not spiritual light and truth. You may be able to dawn upon them” (2 Cor. iv. 4, R. V.); "dead in
, reflect but one feeble ray, a single colour; let it trespasses and sins.” Then we come to the imposshine back as from a polished corner-stone." You sible of nature being possible in grace. may have but one note to sing, and that but a were sometimes darkness, now are ye light in the whisper on the breeze ; but let it never be silent. Lord” (Eph. v. 8). “Seeing it is God that said, If “the trees of the wood sing out," how much Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in more yon, “O ye of little faith!” Each one faith- our hearts to give the light . (2 Cor. iv. 6, fully reflecting only his part, will not mar but R.V.). That which was black, now, in the present, make up the excellency of the whole, whose glory reflecting colour, cach according to the gift beis of God alone.
stowed upon him; and for the future we have the Also these rays or notes have strangely correspond glorious contrast given us, not only power to reflect ing characteristics. The violet ray—the top ray of one ray, but to reflect Light as a whole, to be as Ho the spectrum, because most refrangible-is the high is : He is “the Light” (John i. 4). Some things treble vibration of light; while the red, or lowest are so constructed that all the rays are reflected ray divided by the prism, corresponds to the deep together; and they are white. Such are the lily and bass vibration of ether; the former being formed of the snow. “ His raiment was white as the light,” undulations of the greatest rapidity, and the latter “as snow” (Matt. xvii. 2 ; Mark ix. 3); and He
. . of those as slow as is possible to be apparent; yet says, " They shall walk with Me in white for they are this slowness is utmost speed ! so far at least as “the worthy, .... clothed in white raiment,” “as the unknown cause of visibility ” has as yet been dis-lily” (Rev. iii. 4, 5; Hosea xiv. 5).
Not only covered. The blind are not altogether in the dark, “ with Him to behold His glory”; not only seeing when they tell us that certain chords produce Him as He is, but being one with Him as He is. certain colours to their mental vision, the deep “The glory Thou hast given Me, I have given blast of a trumpet being “like scarlet.” There is them” (John xvii. 22). This is the glory which a wondrous connection, and these light waves (if is the consummation of Grace; ability to reflect they exist) are luminous in motion and dark in light, being the reflection of His image, even as He repose, just as the sound-waves produce sound in is the "express image" of His Father. Such is the
“ motion, and are silent in repose. "Two rays of glory of the “joy set before Him," and prepared
“" light intercepting each other at opposite places will for us. Now broken rays; then the brightness of produce darkness;" so “two sounds intercepting light. Now trembling notes ; then the harmony each other's oscillations in the same way will both of a full chord. Sound perfected, “as it were a new be silenced.” This is only a picture, a parable. It song before the throne” (Rev. xiv. 3) for ever and is as if God appealed to us in a two-fold manner to ever. grasp one great thought, enveloped and developed in a double form ; and if by one sense we cannot A few words as to certain laws of reflection. perceive it, that peradventure we may learn through Whether it be with regard to reflected light or another. Some substances reflect the oscillations of reflected sound, an object must be in the light, if it
is to reflect but a single ray; and within hearing of (Ps. xix. 3). Again, the rarity of the air diminishes the voice if it is to echo but a single tone. Thus the the intensity of sound; when the air is exhausted absolute condition of shining is to "walk in the (e.g. in the receiver of an air-pump), it becomes almost light” (Isa. ii. 5), and of cchoing is to “hear His inaudible. “Even so the things of God knoweth voice" (John x. 3). There is no other possible way no man, but the Spirit of God, ... because they
. of doing it, unless we substitute the false for the true. are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. ii. 11, 14). "They In relation to Light; some things are so transparent heard not the voice of Him that spake" (Acts xxi. 9). they let the light pass through them ; others only Lastly. Light is to the organ of vision what Sound reflect it back : but even then some, such as paper, is to the organ of hearing; and in each, as far as can be made transparent by oil, which fills up their science has as yet penetrated, the atmosphere is the spaces to a uniform density; thus they acquire supposed communicating medium. The eye and the the ability to transmit vibrations of light, and what undulating ether bear the same relation to each other can be for some things in nature we can have for as do the ear and the vibrating air. And the Lord “ all things" in grace. “All”-the most unlikely the Creator hath prepared each for the other, natu
can become Light transmittors, by the power of rally and spiritually; and some are blind and some he Spirit. There is another thing—objects which are deaf, through sickness or through sin. But the absorb rays are dull, while those which reflect them touch of the Healer availeth even yet. We need are bright .We are not to absorb light; God wants to have“ opened eyes, that we may behold wondrous LIGHT-REFLECTORS !—those who will give out freely things" (Ps. cxix. 18); and we need bored, "digged
; what they have received. Take care you do not ears,” “to hear as the learned,” “that we should absorb light, use it for self, or keep it for self— know how to speak” (Ps. xl. 6, marg. ; Isa. 1. 4). you will not be “a shining one ” if you do so ; you | The Lord is here to do it for us, and to breathe upon will not be “a light of the world” (Matt. v. 14); us; for it is not only the seeing eye or the listening: in your own world! Even deserts can dazzle as a car, but the Breath of the Holy Ghost that we need sun! because cach grain of sand reflects like a to render the Light visible, or the Sound audible, to mirror. That is what God wants His Church to do, our spiritual sense. In the inner secret chamber, and His Church, as a whole, can only do it in first of all, and then flowing forth, freely as it is proportion as each individual soul is doing it! “But received, dawning upon the darkness and breaking we all, . . . reflecting as a mirror the glory of the in upon the silence of earth with heavenly light Lord” (2 Cor. iii. 18, R.V.)—"as in a mirror;" and the angels' song of “glory” (Luke ii. 9, 14); "a glass." Glass is transparent and sonorous; turning others “from darkness to light” (Acts a good reflector of light or sound. God says: xxvi. 18), and "holding forth the Word of Life" Reflect as in a glass. He wants the best we have. (Phil. ii. 16); transmitting rays and echoing notes In relation to Sound, it is reflected when there according to our measure-each one faithfully-till
. is any object which forms a barrier to the sound. God shall testify of us “ye shine as lights in the waves, and throws them back, thus causing an world” (Phil. ii. 15). "Yea, verily, their sound echo. I believe the Lord wants us to be just went into all the world, and their words unto the that a barrier which shall receive and echo ends of the earth” (Rom. x. 18); and yet not theirs, His words, and pass them on to the world, but His that sent them. We do not want any higher so that they may “not return unto Him void" record than that-written in the annals of heaven ! (Isa. lv. 11), and more than even that! When the But we do want that. Then let us be TRUE—true echoing substance is very near, “the echo is blended to every ray of light, scorch us though it may ;
and with the original sound, and the two produce but loyal to every tone, cost us wliat it will to obey. one impression on the air"; thus we hear no echo in Some eyes are just getting used to the Light--soon a small room. He would have it even so with us ; | they will begin " to see ;" and some ears are getting He would have us so very near to Him that it should accustomed to Sound-soon they will recognise His be one Voice, one sound that is heard, and heard Voice, if they are true, step by step. But it is a alone ; first, in the chamber of our heart no two solemn thought : In proportion as we are not true, sounds; and then issuing from it, till “there is no we sink into grosser darkness and a deeper silence speech or language where their voice is not heard” | than we were in before that ray or that note reached
BY REV. EVAN HOPKINS.
us, which we have not followed. May we learn to
ABUNDANCE OF PEACE-HOW TO be true to the least glimmer of light we have, the
ENJOY IT.* faintest tone of sound we hear. “ Faithful unto death”—the death of everything that is not His life,
What is the nature of this blessing? not only which cannot die. This is being TRUE TO God; and
peace, but the abundance of peace; that is to say, for this—that we may behold and do, which means
Peace without limit, without scarcity, without re. living, remaining in the Light; that we may hear straint-Peace in all its fulness. Abundance in its and obey, which implies living, abiding, within depth and duration. A Peace which fully meets
, sound of His voice-for this we need the fulness
our needs, perfectly satisfies our desires--abundant of His Spirit-a Pentecostal “ wind” of the Holy
Peace. Ghost-overwhelming our own souls and “ filling
Now, let us consider it in three aspects : in conall the hcuse.” Absolute loyalty to our King glori- nection with Christ's work; in connection with fies Him; and, for the glory of God's King, I believe Christ's rule ; and then in connection with Christ's He will fill us with the “fulness" we are seeking,
presence. yearning after; but He will not do it for anything
I. PEACE IN CONNECTION WITH Christ's WORK.— short of that — for anything beneath His glory.
The Peace of reconciliation. This is not an expeMeanwhile He is searching us, testing us, putting rience so much as a state of relationship; not someus in His crucible, to try what metal we are of. Oh! may He find us true; meet to be trusted with thing wrought in me, but something wrought for
We may call it the work of peace. It is, His honour, able to be clothed upon with His indeed, a fact : one of the grand facts of Christianity.
, power from on high,” that we may very
In Christ there is Peace with God. Peace already be “ rcitnesses unto Hum," so impelled, constrained, made. “Having made Peace through the blood of by the “mighty rushing” of His Spirit, that we also His Cross ;" i.e.
, Peace between God and man. “ CANNOT but speak the things which we have seen Not a feeling in my heart, but something wrought, and heard” (Acts iv. 20). “As the Spirit gave them utterance” according for me by Christ on the cross. True, when I am
apart from me, by Christ; something accomplished “ to "that which was spoken” (Acts ii. 4, 16).
brought to a knowledge of my relationship, and of B. G. L. H.
what He has wrought for me, there will be Peace in
my heart. I shall have the feeling of Peace; but THE WILL.
that is the effect, not the cause. The external fact, It is a holy will that rules the universein which loving-kindness is locked up, to be in due Christ's work alone. About this Peace it is not my
that Peace is accomplished, is the cause, and that is time displayed. It is a solemn thing that one and all creatures are at the disposal of pure will; but it purpose to speak, for we meet together to-day as
those who, being justified by faith, have peace with is not merely free will, it is the free will of the holy God. We may not be as lappy as we should like, Lord Jehovah, and therein it is distinguished from and our experience may not be exactly what it the abstractness and apparent arbitrariness of mere will. For the theology of this, I may have been ought to be ; but, nevertheless, we have received .
by faith our sentence of justification from God, and learning more as time has run on; but for the
we find ourselves transferred in relation to Him into principle of its inmost nature, I believe that God
a state of Peace. And the things which secure it to taught it me during those three days at Aberdeen, us, bring it within our reach, and make it permanent when my will surrendered at discretion. I was
, taught of the will's independency through a most and abiding, we may say, with truth, are abundant
terrible experience. I learned the Divine Sove —there is ABUNDANCE OF PEACE.
II. PEACE IN CONNECTION WITH CHRIST'S RULE. — reignty once for all, as by a flash of lightning, and
“Of the increase of His government and peace
there a mournful tranquillity came down. I felt that I
shall be no end.” That is true now spiritually as had been blameable every way.
The spirit was
it will be literally hereafter. In a very real sense broken ; and I remembered that the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and I looked
Address delivered at the Crayford Conference, April 18 up, and lo! the burden was gone !-John Duncan.
Christ's reign begins in the heart of the believer had a thorn in the flesh, and I suppose that this is now. If we would know the blessedness of Christ's my thorn.” Not so, brother. Stop a moment. Paul's keeping, we must begin by knowing the reality of infirmity was a weakness, but it was not a sin, or he His reign. “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace could never have gloried in it (2 Cor. xii. 9, 10). whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth That temper of yours is a sin. Call it by its right on Thee.” What does this imply? That there has name.
You ask, “ What am I to do?” Well, been entire submission to Christ's control. A man's instead of trying to control yourself, put yourself heart is like a city. Is there peace or tumult? Is and your temper under Christ's control. Get down there order or confusion? Is there loyal submission in the dust before Him. Do not strain to keep or rebellion? That depends upon whose shoulders your temper under; that is what you have tried to the government rests. If the believer is trying to do, but have found it too strong for you. Seek to manage himself, to take the government into his get under Christ's controlling power. “Humble own hands, peace can never be established or yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” If you abiding. There may be seasons of comparative want to feel the benefit of the power of God's tranquillity, but how often the rebels will be in hand get under it. Humble yourself under it. revolt, and sin will be found to be too strong even We do not mind trusting; but we do not like for the renewed man. But if the Prince of Peace the humbling process that often has to precede has come in—if the gates of the city have been the trusting. If necessary, acknowledge your need thrown open to receive and welcome Him—if He before others. And the greater the humbling has been enthroned in the heart—the city is at the greater will be your realisation of the abunpeace. Everything within will be under His con- dance of peace. Christ is able to control that temper trol, and there will be abundance of peace.
and to fill up with His strength the place where you How many who understand all about a right are the weakest. When He takes possession, He position, are very far from enjoying a right conii- controls, keeps under, and reigns as the Prince of tion. They see and recognise their standing in Peace; and you then understand what is meant by peace, but they know little practically of an abiding the abundance of peace. experience of peace. Let me trace some of the
he Again, many are strangers to peace on account of causes of this.
First, there is rebellion within. the anxieties, the worries, the trials of daily life. Our desires, though perhaps to some extent sancti. Now what are you to do with these things ? What fied, have not been brought wholly under Christ's is your present habit of life in reference to them? control, and hence they are continually overstepping Are you trying to manage your own affairs, and their legitimate bounds. Our wills, though to some carry your own cares and burdens ? You will not extent subdued, are not wholly yielded to Christ-know what it is to be kept in perfect peace unless to His keeping and direction. Hence there is every you fulfil the threefold command contained in the now and again more or less resistance to the appoint-fourth chapter to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the ments, and purposes, and leadings of God. So long Lord alway; and again I say rejoice." “Let your as this goes on there may be a kind of peace at moderation ”-gentleness—“ be known unto all men. times, but the heart will never know what is im- The Lord is at hand.” “Be careful ”—or anxiousplied in the expression the abundance of Peace. “for nothing." Do you rejoice in Him? Is your
Take another point—the matter of temper--only moderation or gentleness known? And then, are a few seconds of ebullition of temper, and our con- you anxious about nothing? If so, what then ? dition of inward peace is destroyed. Up to that “And the peace of God which passeth all underpoint you seemed to be making some progress, but standing shall keep your hearts and minds that wretched temper got the mastery and spoilt it thoughts—“in Christ Jesus." all! The grief and sorrow which follow do not put You have reversed this order, it may be, and you back where you were before. What is to be have been trying to keep God's peace; but if you done? You may say, “I have tried hard to con- do what He bids you, He will undertake to do what trol my temper; I have struggled and striven He promises. His peace will keep you. The very against it, but to no avail. The truth is it is con- things which you say it is impossible to keep, God stitutional. It is my infirmity. I read that Paul undertakes to keep, namely, your heart (the seat of