Images de page
[ocr errors]


the bank. If you have done no business with Him sympathise with the exulting joy, but I sometimes yet, I beseech you do it now, stay and see Him, go fear lest too often in the Hallelujahs there is fornot away. Do not fill up the doorway, keeping gotten the “I am ” of self-abasement, and lest in others out, but come in. God is here now, and He them there should be omitted the confession of wbat is waiting to fill up all the blank cheques of His we are in ourselves and of our own sinfulness own promises you present to Him. Present them and utter failure. Do not forget to pass from the to be cashed now before you leave, that you may “I have" of confession of failure through the “I have enough for your common use in daily needs. will” of faith, to the “I am” of self-abhorrence. Pay all your debts of past and present with it, all Some are afraid to do it honestly, and to abhor themthe debts between God and you, and between you selves, because we think that if we do it God will take and your brother, and owe no man anything but to doing the same, and abhor us too. But, nay, He love-love to God, and love to your neighbour. will not, He is too good in His infinite compassion.

Again, there is something else to be done, “Launch Listen how he receives it, “ Depart from me, for I out into the deep." Many have come here for this am a sinful man, O Lord.” “Go home to Thy very purpose, and yet you have no blessing, for you glory and Thy kingdom, to Thy Father, and leave are still hugging the shore. You hear the truth, Thy poor unworthy child here below.” But He you say it is perfectly sound and orthodox, and did not answer that prayer. He knows how to very good; there's not much comfort in that, my answer a wrong prayer rightly. Don't be afraid of

what brother ! You have heard, and been bidden by heart out, because they feel as if God would trip

you pray. Some are afraid of praying their Christ, “Launch out into the deep!” and you them up for not using the right words or asking have said, " That is good news;" but you won't do the wrong thing. Nay, don't think my Father is of it, and you don't do it. Let go yourself ! let go that sort. Don't be afraid to ask what is in your your own purposes, your own failures, let go what heart. Use all intelligence to find out what your

Father would that you should ask, and what His men will say of you; be like Christ, a man of no

will is, but do not be afraid of asking unreservedly. reputation, thus you will become a son of God. My Father will answer the wrong prayer right. If Men cling to their failures often most of all, but you unintentionally ask a wrong prayer, God will let go! Launch out into the deep of His Truth, answer it right, so it will be right after all.

Now the “I will" of determined faith arrives at into the deep of love, into the deep of His

the “I am wondrous omnipotence, omnipresence and all love “ Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

of self-abasement, and what next?

. combined. Can you? Launch out! He is waiting After the “I am” of self-abhorrence and selffor you to do it. You say it is "so hard." Nay, abandonment, the lips of the Master are unsealed, there is nothing to do but to let go. There is and there breaks from His lips, “ Fear not, from

Just what enough drist in the tide of God to carry you far out henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

I have been longing to hear, Lord the " thou to sea; don't keep tied to the shore by any bond

shaltof success. Oh, blessed sound ! And of sin or any cord of fear.

the helm swings round, for my Lord guarantees for What will follow? Why, you will find your me that I shall do this or that. That is what I empty vessel filled with the mercy and the riches want-my Lord to guarantee my success, that in of God. Blessed results of launching out ! Now

His Presence and under the power of God I should

henceforth succeed. “ Henceforth thou shalt catch what will you do next when you see the mercy and

men." Don't be afraid ; He says it. Most of us love of God filling you? You say, There will be here are workers-ministers, who have to confess shouts of Hallelujah? Nay, not only Hallelujahs, that there has not been much blessing, though you they are a blessed part of praise, but there are two have been very diligent, you have seen no result sides to that, and there is something deeper than from your speaking, your sermons, your classes, all

has been failure. Confess it now,

have toiled loud exultation and jubilant rejoicings. When all the night, and have taken nothing,”—and begin Simon Peter saw his little vessel full of the mercy again with this new “henceforth.” Yes, last night of God, he fell down at Jesus' knees, and said, we had our "hitherto," our “ Ebenezer;" now, here “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord !” is exactly His “henceforth,” to correspond with it, Ah, now the “I am," comes out at last, the “I and to continue it. God's response to our

word. Then now resolve to go forward, and having am” of self-conviction and self-abhorrence. You abandoned yourself to Him, to launch out into the will not misunderstand me. You know how I l deep at His word and with Himself. Amen.

[ocr errors]






Last of all, the testimony was perfected, every (Is.. xliii. 10.)

type and shadow found its fulfilment and substance,

when in the fulness of time God manifested HimIt is God's purpose that the earth shall be full of self, and Jesus Christ came, who is THE FAITHFUL the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the

WITNESS (Rev. i. 5). Thenceforth this text of ours sea. The time is coming when they shall teach“ no shines forth with new force and meaning, and sums more every man his neighbour, and every man his


in one short sentence the true total of the brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for they shall Christian life—“Ye are my witnesses.” all know Him, from the least of them unto the

I. Let us look at the exhibition of this fact in greatest of them." Meanwhile, until that glorious Old Testament pages—" Seeing we also are comtime when the Lord has come again, He is imparting passed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." this knowledge to His own people as they are gathered Their roll-call is written out in Heb. xi.; it comone by one into His Church ; and He imparts it prises all who “ by faith obtained a good report.” ' generally by means of “ His Witnesses.” He teaches In what manner were they God's witnesses ? men to know Him, and as soon as any soul pos

1. Israel was a witness to God by coming out of sesses that knowledge, it becomes a witness of Him

Egypt. “ The Egyptians shall know that I am the to others; just as one candle is lighted from another, Lord, when I .... bring out the children of Israel and then gives out a light of its own, from which from among them” (Ex. vii. 5). And in Joshua ii. others again may be kindled. Thus has God been

9.12. Rahab can say to the spies, “I know that working throughout the history of our race, as the Lord hath given you the land, .... for we have revealed in His Word; ever testifying of Himself, heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red and making the recipients of His testimony witnesses Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt.” The in their turn.

deliverance of His people from the present evil The fulness of His testimony is wonderful: "The world” is the first witness they give to that world he wens declare the glory of God, and the firmament concerning their Lord (cf. Gal. i. 4). showeth His handiwork." “ The earth is full of the

2. Israel was a witness to God by entering into goodness of the Lord.” “He left not Himself with the land of promise. It was the great plea of Moses out witnesses, in that He did good, and gave us rain to prevent the threatened judgment upon Israel for from heaven and fruitful seasons." “For the invi- | their unbelief about the land, that the world would sible things of Him from the creation of the world are

not receive a true witness to God. " Then the clearly seen, being understood by the things that Egyptians shall hear it, .... and they will tell it are maile, even His eternal power and Godhead"

to the inhabitants of this land ; .... then the (Ps. xix. 1 ; xxxiii. 5; Acts xiv. 17; Rom. i. 20). nations which had heard the fame of Thee will Thus Ile witnessed of Himself to the whole world, speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to and added to this outward call the inward voice of bring this people into the land, therefore He hath conscience (Rom. ii. 15). Then to His chosen slain them in the wilderness" (Num. xiv. 13-16). people, in order to make them witnesses of Himself, | The entrance of Israel into the land was thus an He multiplies His testimonies. “The two tables of absolutely essential witness to the power and faitlitestimony,” “ the tabernacle of testimony," "this fulness of God. What wonder that their forty years song as a witness," " this book of the law for a of wandering should be called “ the Provocation,"

' witness," " "heaven and earth to record,” “the altar when, throughout that time they were practically Ed for a witness,” “ this stone a witness ”—these denying God's power, giving the world a false testiare some of the countless tokens by which God

mony about Him, keeping them in doubt whether would make His people know Him ; tokens which He were the only true God or not? When once they found their most perfect development under the old entered the land, and had taken the first city, the Covenant in that temple, in which "every whit of heathen inhabitants had a testimony of God which

“ it uttereth His glory.” (Ex. xxxi. 18; xxxviii. 21; they could not reject; so that even “one of their Deut. xxxi. 21, 26, 28; Joshua xxii. 34 ; xxiv. 27; royal cities" sought a league with Israel, “because of Ps. xxix. 9 marg.)

the name of the Lord thy God” (Josh. ix. 9, x. 2). “Bible Reading,” given at the Keswick Convention.

3. When settled in the land Israel was a witness


[ocr errors]


to God by separation from all the defilements of the Thus did Israel testify to God : in general to His old inhabitants. “Ye shall not walk in the man- Holy Name; in particular to every element contained ners of the nation which I cast out before you ;... in that Name. To His holiness, when he forgave I am the Lord your God, which have separated you their sins, but took vengeance on their invention ; from other people, . . . . and ye shall be holy unto when He said to David, “The Lord hath put away me ; for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you thy sin,” but “the sword shall never depart from from other people that ye should be mine" (Lev. xx. thine house” (Ps. xcix. 8; 2 Sam. xii. 10, 13.

2 23-26.). Also in chapters xviii. and xix. of Levi- cf. Amos iii. 2). To His uprightness, when, by ticus, again and again special commands against abiding in Him, even in old age they were fruitful assimilation to these nations are enforced by the and flourishing (Ps. xcii. 13-15). To His jouer closing words, “ I am the Lord your God.” Thus for deliverance, by yielding their bodies to His Israel's holiness, and separation from defilement, service alone (Dan. iii. 17, 28, 29). To His existence, were to witness to the world of God's holiness and by their salvation through simple dependence on hatred of iniquity. The world was to learn what God Him (Isa. xliii. 12). To His unchangeableness, by was like, by beholding the conversation of His people. their continued existence, unconsumed despite the

4. Wondrous to relate, even in their captivity enemy's rage (Mal. iii. 6). In prosperity and peace, and departure from the land, Israel was still a in adversity and distress, from the beginning until witness to God. For had not God promised and now, God's word has been fulfilled—“Ye are my foretold, that if they forsook His ways He would witnesses." cast them out of the land ? (e.g. Deut. viii. 19; II. All these things happened unto them for xxviii. 63, 64). Therefore in their very banishment types. God has not altered His principle and plan and misery, in the ruin and distress of their land, of working. Having called Israel to be His witnesses they were still—though unconsciously–His wit- under the Old Covenant, He sent His own Son

" Then men shall say, Because they have to be the faithful witness at the opening of the forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their New Covenant; and before He was exalted to the fathers . ... the Lord rooted them cut of their right hand of God, He left this title and command land” (Deut. xxix. 25-28).

to His own people : “ Yc are witnesses of these 5. In their restoration after banishment the truth things," " Ye shall be witnesses unto Me" (Luke of God's word, and the glory of His name, were xxiv. 48; Acts. i. 8). Behold the wondrous height witnessed to by Israel. “The heathen shall know of His calling. Is there any higher glory than that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I this, that we should be what our Master was ? He, shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I the Head, was the faithful witness; and now, being will take you from among the heathen, and gather exalted, He leaves it to His members to carry on you out of all countries, and will bring you into the work; and as they witness of Him others are your own land” (Ezek. xxxvi. 23, 24). “ When drawn to Him, and in their turn spread the knowthe Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, .. ledge of Jesus Christians cannot avoid the fact, then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath that God calls them His witnesses. It remains for donc great things for them” (Ps. cxxvi. 1, 2). us, therefore, only to welcome the high calling, to

6. Once more, in Israel's present condition, ask of Him what witness it is that we should bear, scattered over the whole world, still they are un- and how it is to be borne ; in the confidence that conscious, unwilling witnesses to Him. There is no " faithful is He that calleth you, who also will such unanswerable proof of God's truth and God's do it.” word to the sceptic and infidel, as the existence of 1. We are to witness to Him in our outward life Israel as a separate nation, though divided among before men. “Let your light so shine before men, all the nations of the earth. Two thousand three that they may see your good works, and glorify your hundred years ago God put a stamp upon this Father which is in heaven." By this shall all nation of Israel, by which they are witnesses to men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love Him to-day: "Lo, the people shall dwell alone, one to another." "Ye are a chosen generation, ... and shall not be reckoned among the nations," that ye should show forth the praises of Him who (Num. xxiii, 9).

hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

light, . . . . having your conversation honest among our testimony: 6 Witness of His resurrection." the Gentiles; that . . . . they may by your good (See Acts i. 22 ; ii. 32 ; iii. 15 ; iv. 10, 33; v. 32 ; works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the vii. 56 ; x. 39, 40; xiii. 31; xvii. 31; xxv. 19; day of visitation." “ Having a good conscience, that xxvi. 22, 23.) Not the mere historical fact, a

.. they may be ashamed that falsely accuse truth intellectually grasped ; but the presence of a your good conversation in Christ” (Matt. v. 16 : risen, living Saviour in our own hearts; this is the John xiii. 35; 1 Pet. ii. 9-12, iii. 16).

fact to which all our life is to bear constant wit2. We are to witness to Him in our home life. ness. “ Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever yo do, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seck those do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. x. 31). By things which are above, where Christ sitteth on our walk and speech (Col. vi. 5, 6); in our domestic the right hand of God. Set your affections on

. relationships (Eph. v. 21-vi. 9); in our dress things above, not on things of the earth. For ye (1 Tim. ii. 9, 10); in behaviour to relations who are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. obey not the word (1 Pet. iii. 1, 2); the one aim of Mortify therefore your members which are the Christian at home, as abroad, should be to bear upon the earth ” (Col. iii. 1-5). The Christian who faithful witness to Christ; that He may make does not seek things which are above, nor set his “manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in mind on them--who does not inortify the deeds of every place."

the body-is bearing a false testimony, is failing to 3. But we are to witness once more, in a deeper witness to a risen Saviour. Every thought not in and more wondrous way still. In the secret of our captivity to the obedience of Christ, every word .

, chambers, in the solitude of our own heart, God not spoken with grace, cvery thing not done to the would have us to be a witness to Himself like glory of God, is so far a failure in the true Christian Job of old, to the very

6 rulers of the darkness of life as a witness of the resurrection." this world,” to “the prince of the power of the III. Is this too great a burden for us? Does it air." “Ilast thou considered my servant. Job?” make us cry out " Who is sufficient for these Twice did the Lord ask this question of Satan : and things?” Why, even Jesus witnessed, and that twice was Job the Lord's witness, even to Satan, perfectly, beyond our imitation, and they would that the Lord is worth serving for His own sake; not receive His testimony. How then can they that the Giver is better than His Gifts; that having receive our halting witness? We have tried to Ilim all things are ours (cf. Job i. 9, 21; ii. 10; witness. In the first flush of joy, when we found Ps. lxxiii. 25, 26). What a solemn light does this Christ, it seemed so simple and plain, that surely we shed upon our lives. We may have testified had but to tell it, and all must believe. Yet we told faithfully abroad, and borne true witness at it, and failed. We sought to picture the way of home, and yet have failed in the secret of the salvation more clearly, to add accuracy of logic, heart to glorify God, so that He could not point power of eloquence, force of illustration to our in triumph to us, as to His “servant Job.” The testimony; and yet men would not believe. So we la w tells us,

“ Thou shalt not bear false witness go back to the Word, and find there what we might against thy neighbour.” What then about that have found at the first, that for all true testimony to neighbour, that good Samaritan, that friend that God-whether of life or lip-one absolute essential sticketh closer than a brother? What have we is the power of the IIoly Ghost. “ Tarry ye in the witnessed about Him, to the world, in the home, city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power to the powers of darkness ? False witness or true ? from on high." “ Ye shall receive power, after that "Ye are my witnesses."

the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be 4. The special fact or truth about Jesus to which witnesses unto Me." So it is always; we are we are witnesses, what is it? Can we simplify channels, vessels, voices, lanterns; His alone the this calling that seems so wide, and keep some one power that fills, and occupies, and speaks, and thing before us to which God would have us wit- shines. Thanks be to God that power is given. ness? Yes; one phrase constantly repeated, in God has supplied it in Christ, and He means every slightly varying form, meets us so often in the Acts believer to have it; "for the promise is to you and of the Apostles, as to fix absolutely the subject of to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as

[ocr errors]




many as the Lord our God shall call.” Every

TESTIMONY MEETING,* believer has been called, and so has a right and

JULY 25TH, 3.15 P.M. title to this promise. Deal with it as you dealt with

The Rev. C. A. Fox opened with prayer that the first promise of rest and pardon. Bring it to each one who was going to speak might have the the Lord, claim it at His hands, and then go out to grace to keep self out of sight, that the power of exercise it for His glory. Look at Psalm xxxvii. 5: the Lord alone might be glorified.

Mr. BOWKER then read Acts i. 8, and spoke a very "Commit thy way unto the Lord.” Do that for few words on two kinds of witnessing : one for this gist to be granted, in the face of every fresh Christ, when we are not to be ashamed to confess work to be done, for opened lips, strengthened Him, 'and to tell others of His Gospel, and the hands, guided feet, every day and hour. Then see Trust also in Him." After com

other to Christ by our lives. We must be always what follows:

witnessing unto Him in either way. mittal comes trust; trust Him to fulfil His promise, and go out to find that “ He shall bring it to pass.” Convention in Glasgow to learn what there was to

The Rev. J. LAYCOCK, of Barrow: I went to the IV. What then will be the result of such testi- be learned about this blessing, and also to learn mony? Three wondrous blessings will be yours, as how to get it. And there, though as a Christian far as you in the power of the Holy Ghost are

man I believed I had given up all to Christ, I witnesses of Jesus.

found that I had not, and that I must give up all, 1. “ As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, and surrender all, become “ a fool” for Christ's sake, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him : for if He willed. And I found this too, that I had le refresheth the soul of his masters,"

“Knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven” (Prov; tion, a taking from Christ as well as giving to

not only to make a full surrender but a full recepxxv. 13; Col. iv. 1). The Master is glorified Him. And when I found this, and had done both, before men, and His heart refreshed, when a faith- there came a peace and power into my life and on ful witness fulfils his calling, Hark at His voice of triumph as He answers Peter's faithful testi- my work which I never knew before. mony: “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh which I received the second blessing, for I have

Mr. Hunter Craig: I cannot call the blessing and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my had blessing upon blessing. I was leading a happy Father which is in heaven.” Listen, again, to Christian life, but when I came here ; I had great the joy of His heart when He says to the true searchings of heart, and then I found the rest of disciple, “Well done, thou good and faithful ser faith. Before that, though leading souls to Christ,

Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” I was not in a right state myself. Pride was my (Matt, xvi. 17; xxv, 21).

2. “With great power gave the Apostles witness snare, but when I went to Glasgow I was much of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus ;, and great be in sanctification, first fact, then faith, then feel

helped by Mr. Hopkins's words. I found it was to grace was upon them all" (Acts iv. 33). In addition ing, and then, thank God, I accepted it

, and was to the Master's joy, there comes also added grace made willing to become a fool for Christ's sake. upon the disciples, when faithful witness is borne Since then I have found out something else, that to Him. Beholding His glory, they “are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by that I wanted Him as my Indweller. The reason

we live in the dispensation of the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. iii. 18).

3. Yet one more blessing must be added—“A why I did not get the blessing before was because I true witness delivereth souls " (Prov. xiv. 25).

had wrong views. I thought that the new nature was

As the true “witness” gives his testimony, souls are

independent, separate from Christ, and that He helps turned “from darkness to light, from the power then I found that there was only one life, and that

this particular life to work out sanctification. But of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness was Christ's life, and that was the one I had to live. of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me" (Acts xxvi. 16, 18). day only that it was through the testimony of a

Mr. CROSBY: I would not have risen to speak toThis, then, is your calling, brethren. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord.” A calling that has to be had. He said that he had been living in a

friend that I was led to see there was this blessing its difficulties and trials, for a witness is a " martyr,” and in following the steps of the garret, but now he was on the housetop. I was faithful Martyr” (Rev. i. 5) we shall share lis surprised, because I always thought he was consesufferings on the way to His glory. But which crated, and though I had not believed in there of us will shrink back from the real life to which being any definite blessing, when he said he had

received special blessing, I thought there must He calls, and for which He equips us ? Come now, and welcome gladly the blessed gift of a life, well, He had reigned in me, but it was only as a

be something in it. I heard of Christ being King. salvation grace to the Church, and refreshing joy' to the constitutional Sovereign, and that I was Prime heart of our Lord and Master,

* Keswick Convention,



« PrécédentContinuer »