« PrécédentContinuer »
him that believeth.” Why then is there such stress believe that fasting is the great underlying want of
” laid on faith? Is not faith a human thing? Nay ; the great Church of God in all lands. What do I "for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that mean by “fasting”? I mean what Christ meantnot of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” No, says what the Bible means by it—abstinence. Abstinence another, you have misread that passage, it is the from what ? " Abstain from fleshly lusts which
“ “ grace” which is the gift of God. Nay, but faith war against the soul.” “Abstain”—there must be is the gift of God, and this is the reason why we a holy, positive abstinence. We must withdraw find the Lord making so much of faith, and laying from—flee from evil, not argue with it, not go and such stress upon faith; it is not to honour us, not fight it out, and try to overcome, we are not to deal to honour human effort or possibilities, but to put with it in that way, but we are to flee from it. honour on the Holy Ghost whose work alone it is Flight is the truest fight. In the name of the Lord, to make it possible to men to believe. He recog- I beseech you flee from temptation. And not only nises where the Holy Ghost had been before- must there be a fasting, a holy abstinence from “ The Holy Ghost enables you to take in from fleshly lusts, but also“ from all appearance of evil" Me, the Blesser."
(see 1 Thess. v.). This fasting is very much wantBut let us pass on to another important point. ing. An abstinence not only from grosser sins but The Lord goes on to say, “ Howbeit this kind also from the very appearance of evil—from all that goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Prayer may be mistaken for evil—from all that is on the and fasting are the two hands of faith. Prayer is border lands-from those neutral tinted things that faith audible. Fasting is faith visible. Prayer is one cannot tell what they are. This is a thing we the hand of faith stretched out which fastens itself greatly need. Again, “make not provision for the on the Throne of Omnipotence and will not let go, flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. xiii. 14). and therefore actually possesses Omnipotence. 1 What does that mean? Starve out the flesh-if believe in the grand power of prayer. In God's you don't give it food it will die out. We want dispensation He has given a great place to prayer. a wider separation-a withdrawing and parting Conventions will not lo-services will not do in company from what is dangerous and doubtful and the place of quiet, whole-hearted, surrendering deceitful, and to steal away into the wilderness with prayer. We live in a time of fever heat-we Jesus. “Behold, I will allure her into the wildermust always be running out to see the flames; but ness and speak comfortably unto her, and I will this is true,—that we cannot overcome sin, that there give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley cannot be any victory, unless we are alone with God of Achor for a door of hope, and she shall sing in prayer.
you would stay more in your room, there as in the days of her youth.” That is where the devil would go out of yourself and your vineyards come from—from being alone with Jesus. children. We say, we have heard a glorious " Such a God I am–I can turn the desert of piece of truth, now we are going home to cast the distress into the valley of redemption through devil out;" but nay, go home and get down on your Jesus." He says, “I remember thee when thou knees. The Christian can never afford time to get wentest after Me in the wilderness.” He remembers off his knees; when we are willing to pray, when the time when you were first separated unto Him. we stay beside the altar of prayer, then we know Oh, do not some of you remember it too? He where to work and how to get near souls. Prayer remembers the time when you were newly betrothed is casting ourselves on God-prayer is believing to Him, and the loving looks which went after that the whole Heaven is full of the mercy and Him, and He yearns for them again. compassion of God, and claiming it of Him. sweet were those first embraces of love between
But we must not pass over this further point. the soul and Him. Remember the tender pathos Faith's right hand is laid on the Throne of God, of His look as He gazed at you then, and you
first but her left hand is laid upon self, that is fasting. gave Him your heart. Must you not sigh with We need fasting. It has gone out of fashion in shame as you remember that time? But yet He the Church of God, but the Divine fashion of fast- says to you, Come back to Me to-night. You must ing has not gone out. There must be fasting—this repent and do the first works, and return to Him. is the great want in our religious profession. I He will allure you into the wilderness and give
your vineyards from thence. Every sorrow, such as spirit-God empties by coming in Himself. You that which has fallen over Keswick now, is His can get water out of a vessel by putting into it taking us into the wilderness that He may give something solid, until the water is all driven out. fruit from thence, so that clusters of grace may Let Him in—He will burst the bolts and barriers, hang where the sorrow hangs, to enrich the soul, and He will free His Temple of all that offends. and that the voice of melody may be heard in our
Let faith be divine, Children of God, learn how to
use your failures so that they become a source of souls.
wealth in God's kingdom. I close with this word of great importance from God knows how to turn the devil out, and if He Acts xv. 29—“Abstain from meats offered to idols.” | does let the devil hold the sieve, well, he gets all What does this mean? It specially means abstinence the dross left at the top, and the good grain falls from compromised compliance with sin. Abstain out, and the Lord gets all that!
Brethren, give witness to devils being cast out. from things which may not have sin in them, but There are miracles now as real as when the Lord which
may lead to sin. We need this very important was on earth. “Greater works than these shall ye part of fasting in the work of casting out devils. do, because I go unto the Father.” Shall we yield “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." ourselves to be miracles of grace and mercy to the When the Lord speaks of it, He says, “When thou glory of the great Master, and yield to Him, to be
or do as seemeth Him best, with body and soul for prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast His glory and His great name's sake ? shut to thy door, pray to thy Father which seeth in secret. And when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto THE LORD OUR DWELLING PLACE, IN men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret." WHOM WE HAVE REST IN BELIEVING. Do you know anything of this? Do you ever go Rest! How ardently is this desirable state of out of the world to look at the Father ?—to catch soul longed for by the unrestful, heavy-laden, the light from His face, that is what this fasting is. weary, anxious, perplexed, and disquieted unbeIt is to follow Him from out of the world, to fast liever! There are many Christians who know not from the world to find Him. Do you know what the uniform peace and quiet rest that is the priviit is to come to an entertainment at some great lege of the simple child-like believer in Christ ;house, and to arrive late, and you have to pass rest of conscience; rest of soul; rest in service; through one room to another, for the host has gone waiting for the rest that remaineth—the rest in into an inner chamber with his guests, and you glory! pass through until you find him.
Have you ever Rest is one of the first blessings we are called to gone into the inner sanctuary to gaze on your enjoy in the Lord Jesus Christ : rest from fear of Father ? You will find that there shall be divine wrath ; rest from fear of evil; rest from anxiety feasting where there is real fasting.
about anything. "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye The evil spirit can only be cast out by fasting in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, and prayer. Let me add this one thing, which is where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye important. The disciples said, “Why could we shall find rest for your souls ” (Jer. vi. 16). We not cast him out ?” There had been failure on
are to BELIEVE God, yield up ourselves to Him, and their part, and they said, “Why could we not
cease from our own will, our own way, our own cast out the evil spirit without Thee ?” They had
work. “ We who HAVE BELIEVED do enter into left Christ on the Transfiguration Mount. You
rest.” He that is entered into His Rest, he also could not cast out, because you had not Me with hath ceased from his own works, as God did from you. I fear many have left Christ on the Trans- His” (Heb. iv. 3 to 10). figuration Mount. This is a divine lesson of failure.
To the mind of the writer, REST IN BELIEVING You must be emptied out by failure. Men think
in God's full and free Salvation in Christ, is very
In this psalm we have three speakers : one who
sincere believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and found Thy goodness which Thou hast laid up for them Rest in Believing, as shown in verse 2. The next that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them speaker is a prophet, who directed the inquirer, that trust in Thee before the sons of men! Thou verse 1, and, on the confession of his faith, told him shalt hide them in THE SECRET OF THY PRESENCE of some of the blessings that he would enjoy as a from the pride of man : Thou shalt keep them believer (verses 3 to 13). The third speaker is the SECRETLY in a pavilion from the strife of tongues"
( Lord Himself, who confirmed what the prophet (Ps. xxxi. 19, 20). said, and also made known additional grace and
SECRET PLACE” is God's love to us in Christ. honour, and eternal glory, as shown in the last This “secret place” is represented by the mercy three verses of the psalm.
seat—the inner sanctuary—the Holy of holies— When any man who has slumbered in carnal where the High Priest went to make an atonement security or ignorance, has been awakened to a sense for the sins of the people ; where the ark of the of his great danger as a sinner, he cannot rest until covenant was, and the two tables of the law ; where he finds the place of safety.
the Shekinah was manifested. Yes, the “secret We conclude that the one whose words are place,”—“the secret of His presence,”—is none recorded in verse 2 was known to the prophet to other than the Person and work of our Lord Jesus be longing to enjoy rest in the assurance of salva- Christ; “ for God so loved the world, that He gave tion; for he at once very clearly and briefly points His only begotton Son, that whOSOEVERBELIEVETH out the only way of salvation. He says :
IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life' Verse 1—“He that dwelleth in the secret place (John iii. 16). This is the Gospel of Christ, which of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of is the power of God unto salvation to every one the Almighty
that believeth (Rom. i. 16). As Paul said, “We
. “He," that is, any one, answering to the compre- preach Christ crucified " (1 Cor. i. 23). hensive word “ Whosoever," as found in the New the only RESTING PLACE. We are commanded to Testament, in John iii. 15, 16 and elsewhere. The prophet, with all confidence, says, that the one who
“ REST IN THE LORD” (Ps. xxxvii. 7). dwells in this “ secret place” is safe — perfectly Our ordinary dwellings are places for rest and safe and may be sweetly at REST from fear of comfort. THE LORD IS THE DWELLING PLACE of evil.
the soul, in whom we find true rest, and comfort All who abide here always have Almighty power of love. overshadowing them; there is no possibility of any Though the types of the Old Testament had not danger or harm ever befalling them. No power been fulfilled when this psalm was written, the way can penetrate or overcome Almighty power, and of salvation by Christ was clearly made known to before the one who dwells in “the secret place" the devout Jew. can be hurt, the enemy must pass through the Immediately after Adam's fall, Christ was revealed overshadowing of the Almighty, which is utterly as the restorer, the Redeemer, the substitute for the impossible! The thought of the Almighty ever sinner who believes in Him, the dwelling-place of being overcome, would show base ignorance or safety and blessing; as Moses said, “ LORD, THOU blasphemy. Then how perfectly safe is every hast been our DWELLING PLACE in all generations”
“ that dwelleth in the secret place of the (Ps. xc. 1). Yes, The Lord, who redeemed us by Most High!"
His blood, He is OUR DWELLING PLACE, as He said Does the reader desire that this "secret place” when on earth, “ He that eateth My flesh and should be explained ? The place is “ secret,” not drinketh My blood, DWELLETH IN ME AND I IN because it is not to be known: it is known to faith, HIM" (John vi. 56). and only seen by those who believe, but quite hid Christ was Abel's substitute, DWELLING PLACE, from all who fear not God. “ The SECRET OF THE and REST. This is made very clear by Gen. iv. and LORD is with them that fear Him, and He will show Heb. xi. 4. Also, He was Abraham's joy, them His covenant” (Ps. xxv. 14). “The froward said to the Jews, “ Your father Abraham rejoiced is abomination to the Lord : but His Secret is with to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad” (John the righteous" (Prov. iii. 32). “Oh, how great is viii. 56).
Upon Adam’s fall, the shedding of blood was fessed his faith openly. When we are convinced immediately commenced, and continued to be the of the truth and embrace it, we are called on to type of Christ's death, till He, the antitype, came, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that
confess it: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth “ Who His OWN SELF bare our sins in His own body God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be on the tree” (1 Peter ii. 24), and thereby
saved” (Rom. x. 9). Many hear the free and full peace through the Blood of His Cross ” (Col. i. Gospel preached; they are familiar with the letter 20).
of the truth ; but, alas ! THEY DO NOT BELIEVE with Those of old, from Abel to the coming and death the heart, and, therefore, THEY DO NOT ENTER INTO of Christ, who rightly feared the Lord, knew that
REST ! there was no safety but under THE BLOOD, and no
Some may ask, “Why make so much of DEacceptance but in THE BELOVED; “neither is there
Because the soul cannot be at rest, salvation in any other; for there is none other cannot delight in the Lord and His salvation, till name under heaven given among men whereby we He is believed in. If a rich man were to send a must be saved” (Acts iv. 12). Christ, and He cheque for ten thousand pounds to a poor man, it only, is made unto us, in the wisdom of God, would be in the poor man's power to enjoy all the “Righteousness, sanctification, and redemption
good that the ten thousand pounds would procure (1 Cor. i. 30). Christ is the power of God unto for him ; but if he had no faith in the gift he would Salvation to every one that believeth (1 Cor. i. 18, not make use of the cheque, he would not receive 21, and Rom. i. 16). He Himself said, “I am the the money; all would depend on his believing. way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto Much more must all depend upon our believing the Father but by Me” (John xiv. 6). “I am the God; for we can only have to do with Him in door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be spirit
, and this we cannot do unless we believe Him, saved” (John x. 9). “I am the resurrection and for the only way the spirit—the heart-can receive the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were the Lord and His salvation is in believing (Rom. dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and
x. 10). God gives, but we MUST RECEIVE, and we believeth in Me shall never die" (John xi. 25, 26). do so IN BELIEVING (John i. 12). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth
“ Them that honour Me I will honour” (1 Sam. My word, and BELIEVETH on Him that sent Me, ii. 30), and how can we honour God unless we believe HATI everlasting life, and shall not come into con- Him? “Without faith it is impossible to please demnation : but is Passed from death unto life” Him” (Heb. xi. 6). Unbelief is unrest, but every (John v. 24). And again (a solemn word to the believer finds REST IN BELIEVING. unbeliever), “ If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins. Whither I go, ye cannot come” (John viii. 24, 22). John the Baptist UNION OF ALL FOR JESUS' DISCIPLES. said of Him, “He that believeth on the Son hath
MONTHLY NOTICE. everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son
December, 1883. shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John iii. 36).
1. Text: 'Righteousness
shall set us in the way The Lord Jesus, then, is the secret place of the of His steps' (Ps. lxxxv. 13). Most High, where all who dwell are safe, and have
This is an Advent Psalm. Primarily, it, no doubt, referred all good, and are made children of God, as the to the difficulties and needs of the Jewish people under cirApostle John said, “ As many as received Him, to cumstances of then present troubles; and tells us of their them gave
power to become the sons of God, earnest appeal to God, and their expectation of effectual even to them that believe on His name” (John i. deliverance. But the Psalm covers a larger field than this. 12). “He that hath the Son hath life” (1 John Surely, we have in it the deeper, intenser needs of mankind v. 12), and, having life, eternal life, the soul is at through the opposition of sin and Satan—the cry to God for REST; yes, has Rest in BELIEVING. We know that His promised interposition—the character of the deliverance the blessings promised, contained in the following God would bring to pass—and then, the holy walk of His verses of this psalm, appertain only to the believer redeemed in the way of His steps.' ABIDING IN CHRIST. Also, we know that all who, In our last monthly Notice we thought of, and pondered by faith, dwell in Him, have these blessings secured over the way of His steps. It was, indeed, a welcome and to them.
delightful study. Doubtless, many an A. F. J. D. turned the Whatever uncertainty may be in any man's mind text at the head of the Notice into prayer, and said: Set as to what this "secret place” is, the one listening me, O Father, in the way of His steps!' What a joy to put to the prophet knew well what he meant by “the our feet into the print of His feet-to follow Him-to walk secret place of the Most High.” He understood it even as He walked! How safe, beneficial, and full of blessing to be none other than the Lord Himself, and he such a course! The Lord bring to pass our hearts' desire, then became a believer in Him, chose Him as his ' and establish us in His holy footsteps. Let us not however Saviour ; and not only chose Him, he also con- , forget the 'nominative to the verb. It is important-all.
important. God will use the 'nominative,' for certain, if He attractive, are they not? But the Dearest of all has gone set our feet in the way of the Lord's steps. Let us, at once, on.' A holy track is before us. He wants us to follow ! apprehend God's mind and will about this; and be assured
INTERCESSIONS (Daily) : that, according to His fixed and gracious purpose, 'Righteous.
For-(a) The Union; (6) The Members ; (c) All Chris. ness' sball set us in the way of His steps.'
tians; (d) Missions beld to-day ; (e) Meetings for Holiness Of course, there is no possibility of walking as He walked, held to-day. unless He Himself take us by the hand, avd, so to speak,
REQUESTS : start us in the good way. Verse 10 might have been written
Pray forat the foot of the cross. It is there, and there only, the true
• The conversion of my father, ninety years of age.' following begins. No doubt religious' unconverted people
'My husband, that he may be enabled to lay hol don can, now and then, get into the footprints, as they go to eternal life ; and for myself, that I may live and work conchurch, and as they proceed on errands of charity to homes tinually under the power of the Holy Spirit.' of poverty or sorrow; but, just finding a few footprints, and
• Guidance to a spliere of service for the Lord; and that I walking in them occasionally, and ' in between' going in ways
may be a blessing, by His grace, to many.' of worldliness and sin (in which not one single footprint of
Complete restoration of mind and soul in one, for whom the Lord's can ever be found) is a far different thing to being prayer has already been answered.' 'set in the way of His steps.' The 'religious' worldly people
• Mission Services in Canada, conducted by an A. F. J. D.' would not at all like to be so 'set'; and the reason is because
* Ex, xii. 3 (last clause); Acts xvi. 31; Josh, iii. 12-17;
John iv 46-53. May faith be given to plead for the "whole they have never, to begin with, been set right with God as
house” of each of our members this month.' guilty, lost, sinnere, through the righteousnees of Christ, at Much blessing on a series of meetings now being held at the foot of the cross. No; we are well started in the
Dover.' of His steps' with the experience indicated in Romans v. 1,-
• The conversion of my sister, recently struck down in
paralysis.' and well 'set' therein with a new relationship, a changed For the conversion of one very dear to me, who is heart, a right spirit, and a mind not only at peace with God, addicted to drink.' but entirely and most blessedly εubject to His holy will — • Me (a District Nurse), that the Lord may be pleased to His own sweet will.'
use me for spiritual blessing to the sick and dying under my
care.' The word 'set'implies continuance. It means not merely
3. PRAISE : being started, but established. This is important. 'Ye did For run well,' said the Apostle to the Galatians, 'who did hinder •The return of the backslider to his Father, weary and
worn and sad.' (This case was mentioned in the Notice, for you ?' 'I marvel that ye are 80 soon removed,' he remon.
October, 1882. strated. Alas! some, even now, turn away from the holy
My instantaneous recovery from severe paralysis, in track, and leave the way of His feet.' But God's mind gracious answer to the prayer of faith.' undoubtedly is, that the footprints of Jesus shall be the • Answer to prayer for one purposing to enter a convent.' only attraction for our feet, and that we never leave the (See Requests, May, 1883.)
Wonderful answer to prayer in my recovery.' (Requests, course they mark out for us.
How can this be brought | October, 1883.) to pass ?
He tells us. He says that, as righteousness • Answer to prayer for me. I believe I am healed! I am always went before the Lord Jesus, and ordered all lost in wonder, love, and praise.' (A cufferer for twenty.
See October Requests.) His step; so, similarly, righteousness shall set og'-shall eight years.
Restoration to health.' start us and establish as ' in the way of His steps.'
'Great blessing, as an A. F. J. D.' Now, mark, a mere emotion will not do this. Strong feelings of appreciation, and even of attachment, may influence 'Grace be with you all. Amen.' us in keeping the track for awhile ; then a departure may
St. Paul's, Newport, Mon.
J. T. W. occur. The power that 'sets,'—that establishes and confirm8,-is that of righteousness,' i.e., of holiness, under the alone efficacious presence and operation of the Holy Spirit. Or, to put it in other words, God the Spirit having full
Bible Study. possession of us—spirit, soul, body—and ourselves in willing and delightful subjection to Him, He will lead us on in the
POWER. holy life alway, will ó set us in the way of His steps.'
III. A few winters ago, an A. F. J. D., one morning when the
We have been considering briefly-very brieflysnow was lying on the ground, started from the rectory to visit some of the dear poor people of her husband's parish. for the subject is unfathomable as respects its Wisbing to let him know exactly the course she took (as she depth and fulness—the Authority and the Power expected be would follow, when at liberty to do so) she wrote now committed to our Lord, and exercised by Him in the snow, at different points of the way, · Gone on,
on behalf of His Church. Let us now as briefly * Gone on. He could have no difficulty in overtaking her look at a few of the statements as to the exercise of
Dear A. F. J. Ds., many a one, dear to us, has gone on. We like to think of their lovely lives ; and the foot that power in the Sanctification of those who, prints they have left us in the heavenward way are very I believing, are trusting Him for all things.