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dent upon the vital currents which come from the may help us. God has given us many illustrations vine. So the life of the branch is not the branch's of spiritual things in the life of the lower creatures. life; it is the life of the vine in the branch. So Look at the history of the dragon-fly as an illustrawhen our Lord says, “ Abide in Me, and I in you,” tion of the point before us. It is born at the bottom He means, abide in Me as the branch abides in the of the water. For a considerable time it lives there, vine, and as the life of the vine abides in the a narrow, low, greedy life; for this particular grub branches. An illustration frequently used by Paul is said to be exceedingly voracious. It gropes about is to the same effect. The hand is not with the the submerged parts of aquatic plants, and lives on body, but in the body. It lives only so long as it aquatic insects. It breathes the air only as other is in the body. So our position in Christ is like inhabitants of the water do, content to get out of that of the hand in the body.

the water such small quantities as manage to filter There is another illustration used by our Lord, into it from above. So it lives in utter ignorance which perhaps expresses more closely the point of of any higher or better life, of any larger or more view given by the words in which He introduced generous supply of the vital element by which it the subject at the first. It is suggested by the lives, until one day there comes a wondrous change. word “Spirit,” which means breath, or air, and also This cannot be better described than in the words of by the simile used by our Lord in the passage : the Laureate :“ The wind bloweth where it listeth. ... so is every

" I saw the dragon-fly one that is born of the Spirit.” The nearest analogue

Come from the wells where he did lie. in nature to the spiritual, as distinguished from the

"An inner impulse rent the veil bodily presence, and to the Omnipresence as dis

Of his old husk : from head to tail tinguished from the local presence, is air. It sug.

Came out clear plates of sapphire mail. gests the spiritual because we cannot see it. When “ He dried his wings : like gauze they grew : it is still we cannot feel it; therefore it is possible

Through crofts and pastures wet with dew to be surrounded by it and yet not to be at all con

A living flash of light he flew." scious of its presence.

Then, whither can we go The same animal as before; but, oh, how different from its presence? If we ascend to Alpine heights, the life! " Old things have passed away, behold all or go into the deepest mines, it is there. If we take things are become new.” And the change cannot the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost be more comprehensively expressed than by saying parts of the sea, there shall we find it. Not only that it now lives in a new element. Formerly it are we always in it, but it is in us. It is as neces- lived in the water ; now it lives in the air. Its old sary to our life that the air should be in us, as that grub life is gone ; its new ethereal, heavenly life, has we should be in it.

begun. It is true that even when it lived under In all this we have a very helpful illustration of the water it could not get on without air ; but it what the presence of Christ in His people is, under knew nothing about it; it simply took in so much the dispensation of the Spirit. Now we know that water, and got the air out of it, which the water He is in the Father. His human presence here on had absorbed. earth, as He veiled His glory in mortal flesh--that And so, in the same way, even those that know human presence is withdrawn from us. So far as not Christ, and have no experience of the power of our power to recognise it is concerned, it is merged His resurrection, are not independent of God whom in the Divine. Instead of a local and temporary Christ reveals. They are not conscious of His prepresence, it is now an Omnipresence and a Perpetual sence; and yet they could not live without Him; presence. It is like this elemental air, which fills though they get from Him every breath they draw, all things, and therefore the preposition with becomes they have no conscious relation to Him ; in works inadequate to express the intimacy and interpenetra- they utterly deny Him-are just as much strangers tion of the new relationship. There is one respect to Him as the grub living at the bottom of the in which the simile fails. We know that the natural muddy pool is a stranger to the glorious sunshine air is in us, and we in it, by necessity; those who in the upper air. But when by faith we take hold are in Christ, and He in them, are there by choice. of Christ, we are lifted out of the muddy pool,

Even with respect to this spiritual life, a parable crucified with Him, buried with Him, and risen




with Him. We are drawn from the waters of sin Father.” How do we know that the sun is shining which have submerged us, and then we not only in the heavens? Only by the light that streams owe our life to God, as all along in a dumb uncon- down from it and reaches our eyes.

In the same scious way we have done, but now we know that way “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by we are in Him, living a new life in a new element; the Holy Ghost; or, as it is in the Revised Version, bathed in the sunlight of His presence, surrounded “No man can say Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy by the fresh breezes of His Holy Spirit—a life Spirit.” At that day ye shall know that I am in which is no longer bound by the narrow element My Father.” “And ye in Me." On a bright but of a little muddy pond, but which stretches out on chilly day in early spring you see your friend all sides to the dim horizon of indefinite distance walking on the shady side of the street, as some will and possibility. When bounded at all it is by the do; you call over to him, “Come and walk in the everlasting hills, over which, as over all other, is sun with me.” The sun is many millions of miles spread the infinitude of God's glorious sunshine away, yet you speak of being in it, and walking in and sky.

it, when you are bathed in the light and warmth And how different the temperature ! There was, continually proceeding from it. In the same way indeed, power to sustain life, such life as there was, are we in Christ, when we are surrounded by the in the air which was mixed with the water, but gracious loving presence of His Holy Spirit. So there was no generous and genial warmth in it, and “Ye in Me." these gill-breathing animals are a cold blooded race. “And I in you.” Not only must the light be But how different the upper air, air that is warmed around us, but in us, before we can be said to live in by the rays of the glorious Sun of Righteousness. it and walk in it. A blind man is surrounded by

And the light! How different it is. Here again the sunlight as any one else is, but he does not live we have a favourite illustration, both of our Lord init; he does not walk in it, he cannot enjoy it. Why and His apostles. The light of the world, which not ? Simply because it is not in him. We must seemed to go out on Calvary, has been rekindled in have eyes ; and these eyes must be opened to receive the heavens. He who descended into the lower the light into the body, so that we may live in it, parts of the earth has now ascended above earth's and walk in it, and enjoy it. And in the same way horizon, as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in must the eye of faith be opened to receive the His wings. Have you observed the force of the heavenly light into the soul before we can beautiful metaphor which the prophet Malachi be aware of its presence ; and it must be kept open employs in the last words of the last Old Testament in order that we may “ walk in the light, as He is promise? What wings? They are the wings of the in the light." Christ must be in us by His Holy Holy Dove, the other Comforter whom He promised Spirit, in order that we may live in Him. to send. How beautifully expressive is the sacred Such are some of the views given us in the emblem. Christ Himself is the Sun, now exalted Scripture, of the nature of that union with Christ in the heavens. The Holy Spirit is the light, which in which is found our security, our strength, our streams perpetually from Him. The sun in the fruitfulness, and our joy. And now it would be in sky has its local presence in one particular place in order to show that in this union, and in it alone, the heavens, but light is by no means confined to are to be found our security from condemnation, that spot; with those wonderful wings it fills every from sin, from death, and from all fear of evil. But bound of space, wherever its rays are not cut off by the subject is too large to be gone over in one single intervening obstacles. So, too, the Sun of Righte- address. I therefore leave out these points, hoping ousness has His local habitation in the highest the subject may be followed on these or other lines heavens, and yet is not confined to it; by His by those who come after. Meantime may the Lord Holy Spirit He is present everywhere, except where fulfil to all of us these precious words of His : "At He is shut out by barriers of wickedness erected that day shall ye know" (not only be in Christ, but against Him, or excluded by soul windows fast know it) " that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, closed within, by those who love the darkness and I in you." This is the only ground of our rather than the light.

security, as of our strength, and fruitfulness, and At that day shall ye know that I am in My joy.



receiving, which comes to us as a ceaseless stream of energy from the central source of all spiritual life

--the Lord Jesus Christ. There must be vital union In reopening our subject, it would be well if we were to begin with those truths which we all accept

with Him who is the power of God. as fundamental. We all believe that the essential

But then, you say, all believers are united to condition of spiritual power is union with Christ. Christ. As we read, “ He that is joined to the The power of which we speak is power for practical if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is

Lord is one spirit.” The converse is also true, that

" godliness, personal holiness, and effective service. This power is not from ourselves. It is not some

none of His.” A man may hold the doctrine of thing lying dormant within us, something that has Christ, and yet may not be united to Him; but been covered up, and only needs to be awakened, he cannot have the Spirit of Christ without union. called forth, set free. It is Divine power. Origi- all believers. This union is not a matter of attain

This is true of

The Spirit is the essence of union. nally, God put power into the hands of man, but he lost it at the Fall. Now God has put power in ment in holiness

. It is the starting point of all life.

. Christ. He does not give it to each one separately, It is the beginning of all holiness. Life comes by but He has bestowed it on Christ. He has laid it receiving the Living One. Identified with Christ up in His own Son. There it is eternally safe, and in His atoning death, we are united to Christ in His

risen life. there it is for all the members of His body.

There is one Body and there is one But while it is there, and there for us, we cannot Spirit,” and the body bears the same name as the

Head-the Christ. have it apart from vital union with Him. It is not

So also is the Christ" (1 Cor.

xii. 12). Christ is the Head of Angels. But He is a gift that He bestows, just as you can communicate flame to some combustible material, as, for instance,

the Head of the Body of which every believer is a when you light one candle by another. In that case

member, in a far higher sense than that. Angels the newly lighted candle, whatever the source from form part of the company of heaven. Believers are which it was lighted, has an independent flame of members of that Body which is the Bride of Christ. its own, and burns of itself.

Spiritual power is not

This union is no figure of speech; no mere dreamcommunicated to the soul after this fashion. It is it is a reality, literally though spiritually true.

. power by virtue of union. You go into some large

Now, however, a difficulty arises : it is lack of factory; you pass through various departments ; you power in those who are thus united of which we are see, in each, machinery at work; you see power and we approach the subject as believers. Those of

now to speak. We have come here as believers, accomplishing marvellous results, and you ask :

us who rejoice in the fact that we are in union with What sets all these things in motion? Where is

Christ, are seeking to know what the secret of power the source of all this activity? Then you are taken

is. How are we then to understand it? First of into the engine-house. There you see the centre of

all, let us bear in mind that of no believer can it be all the power that is put forth throughout the whole

said absolutely that he has no power. Power, in of the factory. The machinery in each department works, not by its own independent force, cither there is life there is power. It may be life in its

some measure, every child of God possesses. generated in itself or derived from some other source, but by a force received moment by moment, be accompanied by some power, however feeble. But

very lowest forms; but if there is life at all, it will and continuously, from the central engine. The

now we are speaking of overcoming power, not only essential condition for the communication of the power from the engine to the machinery is union, power which struggles and offers some resistance to Break the connection, and the power ceases. So, that of temptation ; which is able effectually to withstand

sin, but which rises triumphantly over every wave power which we must have if we are to live overcoming lives, must be Divine power, God's power-give its witness to the grace, to the sufficiency,

every assault of the Evil One, and courageously to not something that has been lying latent, not some- and to the faithfulness of God. We can underthing that we have derived from God, and which we

stand how there may be union, and yet a lack of have stored up in ourselves, but that which we

power in that sense. Look at a man whose arm is * Address delivered at the late Mildmay Conference, withered. There is union between the hand and



6 How

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the body, but for all practical purposes there is no the power of God, our faith must grow. Whatever power for action or service. There, then, is a figure increases our faith will increase our capacity, will of the condition of things between many a believer open the avenues of our being to God, and the power and the Head,-union but practically no power; will flow in. and yet union is the secret of power.

There are three things that our faith needs : frecThis presses the subject still nearer home; and dom, food, action. Faith needs freedom. Thoroughnow we come to ask what are the hindrances that ness liberates faith. If our eye is not single then stand in the way of the manifestation of power in our faith will be crippled, fettered, chained. those who are in union with Christ. We are all can ye believe which receive honour one of another, necessarily subject to limitations,-limitations that and seek not the honour that cometh from God are inseparable from our moral and physical con- only?” “I cannot trust Him," says one. Why stitution-hindrances that exist in the fact that we not? Is He not trustworthy? “Oh, yes, but I

— are finite creatures. God's power is infinite; but feel something is holding me back. I feel, when I our capacity is limited. No amount of growth or try to believe that my faith is bound hand and spiritual progress can so enlarge our capacity that it foot.” Just so; and I want you to see that someshall even be equal to God's own fulness. There thing is needed in order to snap the fetters; and are therefore limitations, but God does not expect what is it? Have you obeyed the words of the us to remove these. But let us remember there are Apostle in Romans xii., words addressed to believers, other hindrances for which we are responsible. addressed it may be to people very much like yourWhile our capacity can never become infinite, it is selves ? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the capable of endless increase-inconceivable expan- mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sion. Take, for instance, such passages as these : sacrifice," &c. Consecration to God liberates faith, “ All things are possible to him that believeth.” snaps asunder the fetters, and faith, like a bird, “ That ye might be filled with all the fulness of rises and spreads her wings. God.” The vessel I bring to be filled may be But faith needs food. The Truth of God is the empty, or it may be partly occupied with some food of faith. In order to trust, faith must have thing else. Worse than all, I may be keeping my something to trust to, and a Person to trust in, and hand over its mouth, and thus preventing the water the Word of God unfolds these objects of faith. If from flowing in. In that case it is not a question my faith is starved it will soon begin to feed upon of the sufficiency of supply, but of the condition of itself; that is to say, it will be occupied with its reception. Well, the provision is infinite, and the own activity. When faith begins to be occupied channel that connects the vessel with the fountain with itself, instead of with the Lord, very soon it will is established—there is union. And yet there may lose its efficacy as the receiving channel of spiritual be a hindrance to the inflowing stream of power. power. Oh! see to it then, that you are feeding on What are those hindrances? To discover what they the Word of God, for the Word of God is the warare, and to have them removed, surely this is one rant of faith, and in proportion as you can grip the object of our gatherings at this Conference.

Word your faith will be strengthened, but you must It would not be difficult to show that, after all, not be occupied with your act of trusting. the one great hindrance to our being filled with the Then faith needs action, for faith in action is power of God is unbelief. We limit God by our obedience, and, of course, faith must carry out into unbelief, and we also limit our capacity by unbelief. practice that which it believes, just as with the body. “Oh, but I am a believer. I do believe.” Yes, of Unless you give it exercise as well as food, of course course you are a believer. But our faith may be at the man will become indolent and slothful, and suffer a very low ebb indeed. Our spiritual life may be from indigestion. I think there are many Christians suffering from a kind of moral paralysis. The who are suffering from spiritual indigestion. You avenues of our being, which bring us in contact with must be continually putting into practice, carrying Christ, may become contracted, and the vessel into out, translating into active obedience, all you have which the power is to flow may have been reduced received, and what you say you have fed upon. But to a very small capacity, all through the chilling do not fall into the other mistake. You may be very influences of unbelief. If we are to be filled with zealous and doing wonderful things in the way of


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aggressive work for the Lord ; but remember if you Let the enemy find you thus entrenched, he cannot do not feed your faith upon the Word, all this activity touch you. Here is the secret of resistance. " Resist will come to an end, and you will find that you are the devil.” How? By having the power of God worn-out-used up.

between your soul and the enemy. Christ is the power; in every conceivable direc- Then, again, there is transforming power,-the tion in which we feel our need the Lord Jesus power that fills us. Believers in this dispensation, Christ is our strength. Now, let us look at this if living up to their privileges, should be men and power in some of its various aspects.

women whose abiding and habitual condition is this: There is conquering power. The very first enemy “full of the Holy Ghost;" not simply having seasons that must be conquered, if we are to become con- in which they get special fillings, but always full querors, is self, and the only power that can conquer of the Holy Ghost. You say, “ I know what that self is the


of God. Acknowledge it, submit means. I have realised something of it, but I find to it, get under it. If you would know what it is it does not continue." Is there not a cause? How to be led triumphantly by Christ, you must first about those secret leakages ? If you take a vessel become His captive. He is always going forth as and fill it with water, it will not continue long full the Conqueror, and there are no conquerors but if there is a leakage, however small. Are we really those who are included in His train-conquering thorough before God? May God's Holy Spirit because conquered by Christ.

come into every department of our being that we Have you noticed the reason that the Centurion may see to this. God transforms by filling us. gave why his word was power, and why he could He purifies by casting out all evil, and conforms us rule? He does not say, " because I am a man set unto His image by taking full possession of us. over my soldiers,” but, “ because I am a man under When the Tabernacle was finished then God's preauthority.There is the secret of reigning over sin. sence filled it. .

The glory of the Lord filled the We must know what it is to get under the power of Tabernacle. Now we are to be temples of the Christ, and controlled by the power of God; then living God, but not temples without the glory. shall we know what it is to reign. 'Humble

your- Lastly; there is overcoming powerfor testimony selves therefore under the mighty hand of God." before the world, for service, for aggressive work, Get under the power of God. Oh! for more humility. and for suffering. When the foregoing conditions Oh! that we might be brought to that point now. have been fulfilled, then we shall know what this There are some of us who are afraid of being means. It is the remark of a well-known preacher humbled. Remember, all discouragement comes that “the Church has in it a power that is ever from the devil. God never discourages, but he adequate to the conquest of the world” (Maclaren). humbles us. Let Him take you and humble you. Do you, do I, believe that God has already blessed

. He will exalt you in due time.

us with all spiritual blessings, and bestowed upon But then there is sustaining power. We want us the exceeding greatness of His power? When that, too-power to rest on; power on which we we understand the conditions, when we are willing can cast all our weight. There are some Christians to fall in with God's plan, and God's method of who seem to be always struggling to keep them- bringing it about, that is to say, when we are

You see that man in the water. How brought into complete subjection--under the power ; he is struggling to keep himself from sinking. Now when we cease from our own struggles and selfput him in a boat. Now his struggling is over. energy, and just rest in the Lord; when we are Why? Because he has found a power that sustains brought to know what it is to be in Divine him, and he rests upon it. So it is with the power keeping; when we are filled with the Holy Ghost, of God. What we want is power to sustain us. that is power over us-controlling us ; power unier “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will us-sustaining us; power around us-protecting us; sustain thee."

power in us--filling us, transforming us—then shall And then there is protecting power - not only we know what it is to go forth in power as witnesses power over and under us, but power on every hand for God. Then will the Church shine forth, " fair as -encircled by the power of God. “We are being the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army guarded in the power of God”—a fortress of power. with banners.”

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