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May 1st, 1888.

Mr. Bradstock.

My Dear Brother, -- I had rather explained things to you by word of mouth than in writing but will endeavour to comply with your wish. I hold nothing extraordinary, nor that any blessing given to us of Christ is matter of attainment but I am opposed to the taking up of things in such a way as practically to exclude faith and hope -- two of the essential elements of christian life.

The point as to divine righteousness is as to the force of 2 Corinthians 5:21. It is, as I understand it, the text of the ministry of reconciliation. It gives us the divine intent in Christ being made sin for us. Divine righteousness is to be displayed in us in Christ. We are to have a perfect state in a heavenly standing. God has secured this for us in Christ in glory and the moment he appears it will be absolutely true in us. So long as we have the flesh and sin I could not say it is absolutely made good in us, but it is made good in us morally as we walk in faith in the power of the Spirit. Hence it is not any way a question of attainment but of walking in the power of the Spirit in faith and hope. Paul looked to be found having God's righteousness.

In regard to eternal life, it seems to me that it is a kind of technical expression indicating an order and state of blessing proposed and prepared of God for man. With Paul it is viewed as a reward or end or hope, though the believer being called to it is to grasp it while on the road to it. With John it is present and moral (not in display) formed for us by the incarnation of the Son of God and we having entrance into it through His death. The Son, where His voice is heard, gives us the privilege and entry and freedom of this sphere of blessing which is expressed in Himself as a Man, the privilege of blessed nearness to the

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Father, and of being the object of the Father's love and joy and delight. Hence the eternal life is in the Son. He is it. So that eternal life is objective and practical rather than subjective, a sphere and order of blessing. But not only does Christ give freedom of entry into this sphere, He gives also the Spirit as the capacity, the Spirit in the believer is life. Hence the believer has the freedom of entry and the capacity to enjoy this sphere of blessing which Christ has formed, and behind all he is born of God. This is no question of attainment but I am at the same time quite sure that there are many christians who are not morally in it, yet loudly claiming to have the possession of eternal life. Faith is not in exercise and they are not free of the world. I should be thankful if the Lord uses this to set your mind at rest.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

May 8th, 1888.

Mr. Bradstock.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to reply to your note. I believe that eternal life belongs by the voice of the Son of God to every real christian (as redemption and sonship) and that he is privileged to live in what the disciples saw manifested in the Son (as Man), viz., blessed nearness to the Father and consciousness of the Father's love and joy and delight -- where sin and power of death cannot intrude. More than this that the believer has in him the Holy Spirit -- the Spirit of life -- as the divinely given capacity to live in this blessing. Hence it is not conditional, or an object of hope only. The apprehension or enjoyment may of course be another thing.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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June 6th, 1888.

Mr. W. Bradstock.

My Dear Brother, -- Pardon the delay in replying to your letter. First as to 2 Corinthians 5:21. The subject here is reconciliation not justification. In Romans 3 and 4 where the question is of offences, justification through faith in Christ's blood is brought in, and the believer is justified now -- is accounted righteous, the righteousness of God is upon him. But in 2 Corinthians 5:21 the point is not guilt, but state -- this is met by reconciliation on the basis of Christ having been made sin for us, that we might become God's righteousness in Christ. Surely to become God's righteousness is more than to be held for righteous as in Romans 4. If it means anything it means that sin is to be completely displaced in us by divine righteousness and that cannot be until the Lord comes. Looking at the believer abstractly as in Christ, it may be true now, but the verse involves more than this -- the full result of Christ having been made sin for us.

Now as to eternal life that it is a sphere or condition of blessing is evident to all from such passages as John 4:14; John 6:27; John 17:3. It is in the Son. J.N.D. said over and over again that life was never said to be in us. It is given to everyone, the youngest believer in Christ, but it is in the Son, and the believer has the Spirit of life in him -- he is born too of God, has every element. Still the having eternal life is the result of the reception of the testimony as to the Son on which it is founded -- He that hath the Son hath life. John is seeking to lead those who believed in the name of the Son to the knowledge that they had eternal life -- he shows that the believer (babes and all) is in the light, is born of God and has the Spirit -- his object being that they, continuing in the testimony they had heard (the Father and the Son) might have the present experience of the blessing of eternal life.

Your affectionate brother,

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July 7th, 1888.

Mr. J. S. Oliphant.

My Dear Brother, -- Just a line to say that should the meeting on the 17th not come off, I would readily come over and see you -- or meet Lowe and yourself.

I have thought to add a word, not as asserting my thoughts, but because I judge brethren have been a little at cross purposes in the use of terms. There seems to me two ideas in John -- 'life' and 'eternal life' -- intimately connected yet distinct. Christ is the source and head of life -- and the expression and seat of 'eternal life'. As source of life He, by His word, communicates life to the believer -- by whom His word is, as one might say, assimilated (the work of God being there) and the believer lives by Him. "He that eateth me shall live by me". (John 6:57) "He that hath the Son hath life". (1 John 5:12) It is a dependent life, inseparable from its source though in us in the power and reality of the Spirit. But more than this, in being drawn to the Son, who as Son of Man has been lifted up, we are morally out of the world and the flesh -- in the infinite and eternal blessedness which is expressed and exists in Him as Man, in a new position and relationship which He has constituted for man before the Father, Whom He has revealed. We are 'in the Son' -- and He is the true God and eternal life. I am not saying if that is right or wrong -- but it is this sense that some of us have used the term 'eternal life' -- perhaps, in appearance, a little to the exclusion of life, certainly not intentionally. I say this in the hope of helping to clear up misunderstanding.

Ever your affectionate brother,

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July 11th, 1888.

My Dear Brother, -- If it be a question of meeting two or three brothers such as you name I could raise no objection. What I dreaded was a sort of formal meeting with brothers present whose minds were in a state of excitement. I do not think I could meet them without others being there who had been prominent at Witney.

You would hardly say that John was written to such as had conscious possession of eternal life, because he avowedly wishes that they may be conscious. I think there are two sides to the truth, the gift side and the appropriation side. It is undeniable that God has given 'eternal life' to every one that has the Holy Spirit, i.e., to every christian. The christian is 'in the Son', having left, morally, the flesh and the world, and there he has eternal life -- shares that blessedness which has been embodied in the Son, as Man, before the Father. But though this be true of every believer I think there are very many not awake to it -- and this I thought was the point at Witney -- they haven't it as part of their practical christianity, i.e., the enjoyment of it.

Christ is, of course, the source of life -- the last Adam -- a quickening Spirit -- and we all live by Him, but this is, I think, a different thought to His being the eternal life "which was with the Father". (1 John 1:2)

We have to exhibit the life of Christ here in patience and suffering -- but 'eternal life' is all blessedness, it is what is in the Son with the Father. I quite think with you that in John it is 'in the Son', and in Paul in the risen glorified Man.

Ever your affectionate brother,

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November 25th, 1889.

In reply to Mr. W. J. Lowe.

My Dear Brother, -- Your putting 'formally' before me the proofs of the systematic character of evil teaching with which I am charged necessitates some reply as I suppose it to be on your part a preliminary to other steps.

Finding this I accept your disavowal of personal feeling and expression of unfeigned affection and I think I can avow the same toward you. It has been a trying experience to me to find myself in a position of antagonism toward you. I had thought after the meeting at Oliphant's more than a year ago that there was but little substantial difference of thought between us and I know of nothing which has since come to light to justify the extreme expression with which your letter closes.

In examining your letter I must first remark on the slender premises on which the charge of an evil system of doctrine is based: a passage from a letter -- a supposition of something said at a reading -- an expression from a paper written two years ago (as to which paper you spoke to me at the time taking no exception to it) an extract from a letter to a brother -- a statement at a reading: these are for the most part taken out of their connection: read in their place their meaning is clear enough, but stated by themselves their meaning may not be apparent. No brother can pretend to inspired accuracy of language and if a charge of heresy is to be based on such premises as these, no teacher would be safe. It is a human way of proceeding and not a movement of the Spirit of God and ought, I believe, to be resisted to the utmost. The practice of teachers watching one another to find out proofs of heresy is not of God. I do not for a moment pretend that my thoughts on the points in question are absolutely right or the thoughts of others absolutely wrong. I apprehend they are matters on which with patience

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light might be obtained from Scripture: but I affirm that what I have expressed as to them at one time and another has had simple reference to each point in itself and is not the outcome of any system existing in my mind save the system of Scripture so far as it has been formed there.

Before referring to the main points of righteousness, relationship and life, I touch on some points of detail: as to life and its manifestation in the Son of God I need say but a few words. What you state has mostly reference to the testimony which He who was the Light of the world bore to the Father here, and it is with this that the responsibility of the world was connected. They could not be won by the greatest testimony that could be presented to them. The prominent thought in the gospel of John is the revelation of the Father in the Son with the gift of eternal life to those given of the Father to the Son and the promise of the Comforter. Eternal life is a subject elsewhere unfolded. I can only express here what I have felt in regard to statements advanced by others that to make eternal life (which in its main force in Scripture refers to purpose of blessing for man) to be descriptive of all that was seen in Christ is on the one side seriously to obscure His true Deity (which is the prominent subject in John's gospel) and on the other the real part which He took in human life in its conditions down here and which in death He gave up never to resume.

Another point is that of knowledge in connection with John 17:3, and here I have some difficulty in apprehending your meaning. You say that knowledge belongs to the revelation made and is received in faith and when so received is possessed: and again that the knowledge which is implied in the revelation made is received by faith and is a perfect thing in itself.

I admit and so does everybody that the revelation is complete and is received in faith and that knowledge

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is inherent in the revelation. The revelation is received because it commends itself to the heart and conscience as God's word not because it is known and I am at a loss to understand the idea of knowledge being received by faith, and that as a perfect thing in itself Knowledge is in part and will always be so here (1 Corinthians 13:12) and is in proportion as the revelation is wrought in us by grace. All knowledge is in the revelation but certainly not yet in us. I doubt not that a man's spiritual stature is pretty much the measure of his real knowledge though all be his to be known. But I do not think this explains John 17:3.

The verse gives the form and character to us of eternal life and the 'know' means, I judge, the knowing which involves a kindred nature as "I know my sheep and am known of mine, as the Father knoweth me even so know I the Father", (John 10:15) though the objects must have been revealed to be thus known. I do not reject here the conclusion to which you seek to push me that the verse involves the presence of the Spirit in the believer.

This effort to make knowledge entirely objective I regard as very erroneous and tending to destroy the formative value of revelation. As to the expression 'moral state' or 'state of blessing' in connection with eternal life, I only remark that eternal life means for us a wholly new order of things for which we have to eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood and the seat of which is in Him who is the Resurrection and the Life.

As to what is implied in the distinctive names of the Father and Jesus Christ, His sent One, I say that as to what is distinctive, which was my point in my lecture at Quemerford, grace in its counsels and movements is what is distinctly connected with the Father's Name: while the accomplishment of those counsels belongs to the Son and for this end He has become Man and died and all judgment is committed to Him to secure His being honoured by all as is the Father. Your quotation from 1 Peter 1:17 is nothing to the

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point -- it is simply that the God who judges according to every man's work is invoked as Father by christians.

Now I come to the main points of your letter, namely, righteousness, life and relationship: and here I am bound to say that the defect which is apparent in your apprehension of these subjects really disqualifies you for passing judgment on what I have put forward. But to begin with, the peculiar force of the expression "in Christ" (and I do not think 'with Christ' in your sense is found in Ephesians) as denoting the distinctive position of the church in connection with eternal calling in the heavenly places and in the ages to come is frittered away. Your enquiry 'Where in Scripture is "in Christ" or "in Him" used to denote our conformity to Christ in glory?' is in the face of Ephesians 1:4 perfectly astounding. At the same time our becoming the righteousness of God in Christ as the fruit of Christ's having been made sin for us is levelled down to the truth of Romans 4, and made to be a mere question of justification in respect of guilt eked out by a vague reference to new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the subject. is a wholly distinct one not of guilt but of state. Again by reasoning from nature, relationship and eternal life are made by you to be the consequence of new birth. I say they are the consequences of the gospel though a man must be born to see or believe the gospel. Relationship and eternal life do not belong to the old man but to the new, and though of the grace of God and received through the gospel they are true to the believer only in the having put off the 'old man' and put on the new and this is more than new birth.

But your system is ruinous for it cuts away the whole fabric of experimental christianity. Life and relationship are detached from the great characteristic truth of our salvation, namely, the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, in other words, from heavenly ground and heavenly state. The entry

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by Christ's death and resurrection on to new and heavenly ground with consequent deliverance from flesh and the world, as well as the formation of Christ in the christian (as to which the apostle travailed again in birth in regard to the Galatians) by the testimony presented to him, is all swept away. For you all has been effected by new birth and yet as to relationship the testimony of Scripture is "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14) and it is by the Spirit of adoption that we cry "Abba Father". I know the effort to exclude from John's writings the light of Paul's -- but in principle there is no difference between them. With John eternal life is in the Son (not said to be in us): the three witnesses to us are the Spirit and the water and the blood, and it is not until the Spirit is received that the results of redemption, the power and efficacy of the water and blood, are really known. The one who eats Christ's flesh and drinks His blood has eternal life.

Without indulging in any strong language I believe you to be wholly wrong; your doctrine appears to be new birth, perfect knowledge received as a whole by faith and then known by the Holy Spirit. I do not accept it: it savours to me far too much of Mr. Grant's system.


December 24th, 1889.

Mr. W. Bradstock.

My Dear Brother, -- Referring to our conversation of yesterday I send a line to say that, while adhering to the substance of my letters to you of May 1st and 6th, and June 6th, 1888, there is an expression in that of June 6th which I would wish to withdraw -- it is as follows, 'if it means anything it means that sin is to be completely displaced in us by divine righteousness, and this cannot be until the Lord comes'. The sentence as it stands involves confusion between a state in us conformable to God's righteousness and that righteousness

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in itself. In doing this I express my regret at any difficulty the expression may have caused in any mind, though the circulation of the letters is not my responsibility. What I had in my mind was, as I think the tenor of my letters shows, that the full answer in us to Christ having been made sin for us is in our being perfected after His order in glory. The difference in present application to the believer between 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Romans 3 and 4 seems to me the difference between a place in Christ in the holiest and a place of acceptance as at the brazen altar down here. Both belong in God's righteousness to the believer. That I ever held that any state in the believer constituted his righteousness before God I absolutely deny, Christ is made that to us of God.

I take the opportunity of adding a word in regard to eternal life. Were I now writing on the subject I should lay more stress on a point touched in my letter of June 6th, viz., the Son being in us as life in the power of the Spirit, and in connection with it the relationship of children (1 John 3:1) into which we are brought through redemption and as the fruit of the manifestation of the Father's Name by the Son to the men given to Him of the Father out of the world.

Believe me, etc.,

December 24th, 1889.

Mr. C. Stanley.

My Dear Brother, -- Mr. Stoney has sent on to me a letter of yours bearing no date -- nor am I sure to whom it is written -- but I feel I cannot allow it to pass without sending a line to remonstrate against the injustice both of its basis and of its reasonings and conclusions. All is based on extracts of letters obtained from me by a brother eighteen months ago, and these extracts (which you have not taken the trouble to authenticate) are treated as though they were a careful exposition of a

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system of doctrine. I never knew a brother judged before on such premises. Then as to the reasoning, I venture to say that in regard to both subjects in question it is fallacious, and leads to unjust conclusions. Eternal life is said to be the eternal Person of the ever blessed Son of God. Thus the Son of God and eternal life are made strictly equivalent, and expressions used in reference to the latter are tested by their applicability to the former, I am sure such reasoning will not hold. On the one hand the Son of God is more than eternal life, He is God the Giver of eternal life -- and on the other hand expressions may be used in speaking of eternal life which cannot be applied to Christ personally. The righteous go into eternal life, you cannot here substitute Son of God. John in his first epistle declares unto us eternal life -- manifested in the Son of God -- in the character in which we possess it here. It is God's Son and we are in Him that is true. He is the true God and eternal life. It is what He is to christians. Eternal life viewed as a subject by itself has also other bearings. Further, as to divine righteousness. It is reasoned that because it is maintained that divine righteousness in its fullest sense sets and displays us in glory in the life and state of Christ, that therefore that life and state are held to constitute our righteousness before God. This latter idea is, I believe, Cluffism, but never had a place in my thoughts. The former I have no doubt is the truth, and gives the fullest place to redemption. The righteousness of God which is upon us (Romans 3) has reference to our responsibility, we are freely justified in His grace through redemption, but this is not beyond the brass of the tabernacle. The glad tidings of God's glory are far beyond the question of our responsibility, and through righteousness set us in a wholly new state and place for man -- and here we come to the gold of the tabernacle. It is the fruit of Christ having been made sin for us. This is 2 Corinthians 5:21. We

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have a place and state in Him who is righteous and holy, in the holiest of all. Anyone reading without prejudice my letters to Mr. Bradstock would see that the tenor of them is that eternal life means for us an entirely new order of things which has come to pass in man in the Son of God having become Man and into which we have entrance through His death and in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Son being our life, and that as to 2 Corinthians 5:21, the complete answer to Christ having been made sin for us is in our being perfected after His order in glory. And now I add a word or two as to the details of your letter. On page 2 you endeavour to make me say that Christ is a sphere, and by inference that Christ is a myth. What I did say is that eternal life is in the Son, He is it, is eternal life. As I have shown at the beginning of my letter I do not accept your method of reasoning as to eternal life and Christ, and I add here that if eternal life does not denote to the believer a new sphere and order of blessing he knows very little about it experimentally, "This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". (John 17:3) It is for us a wholly new order. The effort to charge me with Cluffism I wholly repudiate. I never had an idea that anything in us constituted our righteousness before God -- Christ is made that to us -- and I should have maintained this as strenuously as any. Hence the charge of undiluted Romanism means nothing, any more than the being robbed of a certainty as to reconciliation. The ministry of reconciliation is based on what has been done -- the death of God's Son, His having been made sin for us and hence reconciliation is ever 'now' though the state consequent on it, holy and unblameable and unreproveable, be in its consummation future. I suppose I have in my measure urged this as strongly as most. In conclusion I must say that the attacks made on me present ideas so foreign to my whole habit of

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thought, are so erroneous in reasoning, and in violence are so utterly out of proportion to the offence given, or the weight of the person implicated, that I am unable to recognise in them the work of the Spirit of God, and am very grieved for those who have taken part in them.

Believe me, etc.,

March 21st, 1890.

I have thought it well, I trust before the Lord, to reprint, on my own responsibility, the text of my letter to Mr. O. of December 6th, 1889, adding some notes in explanation of points that in the text may not be quite clear, or may appear open to question. The text remains unchanged, save that the last paragraph is omitted for the reason that I believe some of the thoughts therein referred to have been withdrawn or modified. I take the opportunity of avowing in the most distinct and emphatic way that I never had in my mind the thought of separating eternal life from the Person of the Son of God, or of asserting that eternal life is, for a christian, any other than Christ. I would add that I have not been nor am without exercise of heart or sorrow before the Lord in regard to the strained and painful state of feeling existing amongst us; and I regret, on my own part, the measure in which it has been contributed to by obscure or defective expressions of mine which have gone abroad, taken from letters to individuals, or reports of readings. I can only say I wrote or spoke according to the light I had, and I have since sought to make all the amends in my power, without sacrificing the truth, by rendering explanation, I trust in patience, to all who desired it, both publicly, privately and by letter. Believing that what I have sought to maintain is substantially the truth as to christianity in its proper

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heavenly character, such as it has been brought before us by those most highly esteemed, I have confidence that the Lord will care for the simple who desire God's will, and assure their hearts as to what is or is not of God.


The key to almost all that I have said lies in my objection to apply in an absolute way+ to the believer in his mixed condition down here statements in Scripture which refer to what he is, or what is true of him, viewed as in Christ.++ Such a practice results in the statements becoming mere dogmas, conveying

+That is, in such a way as to exclude every other thought about him.

++In Ephesians the believer is seen in Christ, according to the sovereign purpose and counsels of God who has raised Christ from the dead and set Him at His right hand by the working of His mighty power. Hence, as 'in Christ,' the believer is looked at as quickened together with Him by the same power of God. He is thus of a new order, morally of a new creation, which is outside the present creation or order of things in which he actually is, though the character and beauty of it are to come out in every sphere owned of God. In Romans the believer is, on the other hand, seen as alive on earth. He is justified, has peace with God, the Holy Spirit is given to him, he is dead to sin, and to reckon himself so and alive to God in Christ Jesus, and sin is not to reign in his mortal body to obey its lusts; he is dead to the law to be to Christ; not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, the righteousness of the law is to be fulfilled in him, and not a debtor to the flesh to fulfil flesh's lust; has to do with the groaning creation, though he has the firstfruits of the Spirit. It is the life of responsibility here, though carried out in divine power. Truths which view the christian in one aspect cannot be used to weaken the force of the truth about him in another aspect. A christian is of God in Christ, a new creation, where old things have passed away and all things become new, in which is neither male nor female; but the truth which describes him in that aspect does not describe what he is in himself. At the same time, what he is in Christ is for faith as positively true as what he is and is recognised to be in himself as a man down here in the world.

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little sense of reality. This may be seen in regard to divine righteousness as spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The believer is in Christ, and as there,+ is become God's righteousness in Christ; but besides this, he still is in a condition here, in which the existence of sin and the flesh are taken account of++ (the Spirit lusts against the flesh), and this is wholly distinct from our state in Christ, to which divine righteousness in its fullest sense applies. Christ in glory is the full expression of divine righteousness, and to be there as He is, is that into which grace introduces us in Christ. Hence, Paul looked to be found in Him having the righteousness which is of God by faith+++.

The above in no sense weakens or sets aside the reality of the believer's present standing in Christ; it is his true position according to grace; but it needs to be borne in mind, that it is the position of the believer before God, distinct from his actual condition here with the consciousness of the existence of the flesh in him.

I may add a word of explanation as to the use of the word 'state'. I have commonly used it as indicating that which is true of us as new-created in Christ (as seen in the new man) apart from any question of the christian's walk here.

Next, as to eternal life. It was God's purpose in Christ++++ from eternity; it was, in essence, with the

+That is, as in Him.

++Not in a judicial way, but in fact.

+++I judge that 2 Corinthians 5:21, in its full scope, refers to the saints becoming in Christ in glory the witness or expression of God's righteousness; because that righteousness was displayed in setting Him there. A comparison of verse 21 with verse 17 shows that the passage has reference to new creation, and therefore the remarks in the second note apply. The believer is made the righteousness of God 'in Christ.' It is in no sense a progressive thing in him, nor dependent on his practical state or experience.

++++That is, as to us. See 2 Timothy 1:9,10; Titus 1:1-3.

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Father in eternity,+ but has now been manifested in the only-begotten Son of God, who came here declaring the Father, in such wise as that the apostles could see it,++ and afterwards declare it by the Spirit -- but I regard it of all importance to maintain, clear and distinct from any purpose of blessing for man, the true Deity, the eternal Sonship of the Word. Eternal life is given to us of God, and is in God's Son -- for us it is the heavenly relationship and blessedness in which, in the Son, man is now placed and lives before the Father, the death of Christ having come in as the end before God of man's state in the flesh+++ "He that has the Son has life"; the testimony he has received concerning the Son is, by the Spirit, the power of life in the believer, he having been born of God to receive it.++++ He has also eaten the flesh of the Son of man, and drunk His blood. But at the same time, the believer still has part in seen things here (which the Son has not+++++ and all that is seen is temporal, and will come to an end. It has no part in eternal life though it may be greatly influenced by it. As to eternal life being a technical term, it simply referred to the fact of its having been a term in common use among the Jews without any very definite meaning. They frequently

+That is, in the Son, though I intended to convey this by the succeeding clause.

++The apostles are mentioned in the text because they were the inspired instruments of declaring what they had seen. Others also were with Jesus and saw Him to be the eternal life, who to the unbelieving eyes of men was only the son of Joseph, the carpenter.

+++This is not intended as a definition of eternal life but an endeavour to convey the thought that eternal life means for a christian a wholly new order of things, which is in its nature outside the world and seen things -- it belongs to another scene.

++++It might be added here that it is by the Son that the believer lives, he is in Him that is true, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ, who is the true God and eternal life.

+++++Though in the days of His flesh He had.

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came to the Lord with questions as to it, and thought they had it in the Scriptures.

As to our relationship with God, whether of child or son, it is of gift, conveyed through the gospel. We are sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. Christ came to redeem that we might receive sonship. It is the full fruit and effect of redemption. Hence, it is in resurrection Jesus says to His disciples, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God". (John 20:17) The full consequences of redemption belong now to every one who has faith in the Person and work of Christ; none the less, the real entering of the soul on heavenly blessing, of which relationship is the highest part, is in the putting on of Christ, and demands "the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which has been shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour". (Titus 3:5) It is the Spirit of God's Son sent forth into our hearts that cries, Abba, Father.

I may add a few words in regard to new birth. It is an absolute necessity for man, if he has to do with God in blessing. It lies at the beginning of all -- without it a man cannot see, much less receive any saving testimony. It is the sovereign act of the Spirit of God. Peter and John both recognise that those who were really in the faith of Christ were born again of the word of God, or born of God -- a seed of God has been implanted in them from the outset. None the less, new birth of itself does not conduct into heavenly relationship or blessing.+ For this, something more was needed, namely, redemption, which in its full power, sets man in Christ in glory, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which fits man for the new order of things. Of course, these are now, through grace, the portion of the believer.


+On the other hand, the Son of God, who is the life of every believer, is the source of all life for men.

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July 3rd, 1890.

My Dear Brother, -- Referring to our conversation here on June 21st, I have thought it well to send you a few lines to indicate my position and feeling in regard to things which have lately transpired amongst brethren. And first I would say, that I am not in any way identified with the letter published at the end of a pamphlet entitled 'Be not deceived', which has been recently circulated. I have not read the pamphlet. I have heard others refer to the letter quoted in it, but I have neither seen nor read it, nor had I any part in its being written, nor did I know of it before it was printed; and as it has been withdrawn by the author, I do not feel called on now to read it. I esteem the writer highly as a brother, but I am sure he would not regard himself, nor care to be regarded, as a follower of mine. To still circulate the letter as though it had been written with my sanction so as to be an expression of my thoughts, is unjust. As to the idea of my having a following, I am not aware that I ever desired, or had, or courted such. I feel rather to stand in the position of one needing consideration when suffering under charges without truth, but often readily accepted, made and spread against me, and that by some whom I have, in time past, highly esteemed. As to anything I have said or written lacking in clearness (and of this others must judge) or tending to confuse, I have already expressed publicly my regret; but I think if my letter of December 6th, 1889, with the notes, be read with unbiased mind, its purport will be understood as seeking to lead souls into a more practical apprehension of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus. No cherished truth is touched or given up, or its force lessened or unduly pressed. I can honestly say that I absolutely accept the teachings of our deceased brother Mr. Darby, which are circulated as if I were opposing them -- though I would use them as

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a means of help and instruction for myself, and not as a standard of doctrine, for which I am sure they were never intended by the writer. I do not claim to have found new light, but I have desired as a servant of the Lord, and of the saints, to remind those who will receive it of truths well known, but apt to be let go. My wish is, in my measure, small as it may be, to serve the whole church of God on earth. I have plenty of defects, but I am clear in my conscience that I have desired no following; and I maintain that neither in heart nor fact do I hold or teach other than sound doctrine, nor have I done aught to justify the charges of heresy and blasphemy attempted to be put upon me, though never presented before the assembly here. I write this with difficulty and pain; but already divisions have begun, and though humbled under the hand of God upon us, I can with good conscience say that I love the Lord and His people, and reverence His holy Person.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

July 25th, 1890.

My Dear Brother, -- I will endeavour to answer your questions, though it must be shortly, for I am much pressed.

(1) I should not like to say that Christ was not eternal life until after the resurrection, because all in which eternal life essentially consists in being and relationship was as true in Him before His death as after. Still it is when eternal life is in the heavenly, glorious condition, which the counsels of God purposed, that Christ is said to be "the true God and eternal life". (1 John 5:20)

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(2) All I meant by 'in essence' was that it was not in form with the Father until the Son became Man, but, as I said, the being, and, in a sense, the relationship was there, but I judge the thought of eternal life always had man in view. The wonderful thing being that the Son should connect Himself with manhood (become Son of man), and that we should be brought into that which is morally divine.

(3) I do not like the expression 'exhibition of eternal life', but if used at all, it could only apply to Christ as He is now -- the last Adam -- the glorious Man. When here in the flesh He had taken part in the life and circumstances of the first man (though as to His Person, the second), and hence in that condition it was no question of exhibition of eternal life, but of its manifestation by divine grace to chosen vessels, and to this John refers in the beginning of his epistle. In John 3 the Lord speaks of Himself as "the Son of man which is in heaven", (John 3:13) though bodily He was on earth.

(4) In 1 John 5:20 you could not make 'Jesus Christ' and 'eternal life' reciprocal. It is predicated of Him that He is eternal life in the same way as He says of Himself, "I am the resurrection", (John 11:25) etc. Eternal life is a condition, but existing and expressed in such a way in a person, that it can be said of Him He is it. But then that same Person is the true God and the only-begotten Son.

(5) What I meant by condition in 1 John was heavenly condition of relationship and being before the Father, which was manifested in the Son, and which we have in having Him. This is the subject of the epistle.

(6) When I think of the only-begotten Son, I think of Him in His own peculiar glory (we beheld His glory as of an only-begotten one with the Father) and the Giver of eternal life. If I think of Him as the eternal life, I think of Him as the glorious Man, though

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what gives its character to His manhood is what He was eternally and in a sense divinely.

(7) If we apprehend eternal life to consist in a condition of heavenly relationship and being, such as was ever in the Son, we can readily see that if He takes part in man's responsible life here on earth, the two things must be distinct. It is the difference between what He brought and what He entered into here, and this last He left to enter into a new condition wholly suited to what He brought. I do not quite like the sentence you quote as the substance of a letter written by me early last year.

Eternal life when Christ was here was still with the Father; but this life before men was wholly consonant with it, and in words and works He bore testimony to the Father. I add that I have never wished any letters of mine to be kept secret, but at the same time I very much doubt the propriety of all correspondence between brothers becoming public property. It will soon put an end to all liberty of communication between brethren.

Finally we must distinguish in our minds between the eternal Son and eternal life; for the Son is the object of our adoration and worship. He had part in seen things here, but looking at eternal life abstractedly, I should say it has not, either in the Lord or in us.


August 25th, 1890.

I do not accept the assertion of some that eternal life is an essential title of the Son of God. I am sure it cannot be maintained. I believe it to be a term indicating a condition, which, according to the counsel of God, was to characterise man, and which has now been made manifest by the appearing of Jesus Christ. That which was to characterise man was what had been in the Son eternally with the Father, and was in due time revealed in the second Man, the One out of

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heaven. But what characterised the second Man could not include all that was true of a divine Person, as self-existent, having life in Himself, omnipotence, omniscience, and many other attributes of a divine Person; and yet it does include what He was morally in righteousness, love, holiness, truth and nearness to the Father. Hence I said it was an integral part of His Person, but such as could be connected with manhood -- could characterise the second Man and be communicated to men. I cannot see how there can be any difficulty in it. Christ is "the true God, and eternal life". (1 John 5:20) We see the same thing in "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit". (John 3:6) It partakes of the nature of the Spirit morally, but is apart from any question of divine attributes. The proper glory of the Son we shall see but could not share. I cannot imagine how anyone could think that the second Man covers all that is true of the Son; yet the second Man was out of heaven, as eternal life was with the Father. The only time that it is predicated of Christ that He is eternal life is 1 John 5:20, and then He is presented as the One who has come through "water and blood", (1 John 5:6) is thus separated entirely by death from the first man, and is before God as the last Adam, the second Man in the virtue and power of redemption.

We are in Him and He is eternal life as the full expression and revelation of it, besides being the true God.

I trust that the above may meet your inquiry.


September 17th, 1890.

The first remark I would make on Mr. R----'s letter is in regard to purpose as connected with eternal life. I fail to understand his difficulty. I suppose it was God's purpose that eternal life should be revealed as the condition of the second Man, and that we should have it in Him.

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I am not surprised at his being unable to understand my statements as to eternal life, for we look at things from different points of view. As far as I can gather he regards eternal life as the life of the Son as a divine Person, as, in fact, equivalent to "In him was life", (John 1:4) while I regard it as a condition which, although ever existing essentially in the Son, is presented in Scripture as characteristic of the second Man. In fact, it is difficult for me to understand that he sees in Christ a real Man, the pattern (though the 'Firstborn') of the many sons God is bringing to glory. The failure to see the position of mediation which belongs to "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5) is the cause of half the present difficulty.

I fail to find in any of the gospels the statement that Christ is eternal life. On the contrary, eternal life there refers without exception to something given to man, or into which man is to enter. In 1 John the object appears to be to unfold the eternal life, which had been revealed in Christ, in order that saints might know that they had it. I do not believe that the idea of its being an essential personal title of the Son can be maintained; not but what God's purposes of grace and eternal life for man were in Him. He has this glory, He is a quickening Spirit.

Now if eternal life means a condition which (though existing eternally in the Son) characterises the second Man, it is evident that the full revelation of it could not be until Christ was wholly separated by death from the first or responsible man lifted up from the earth. In His own Person He was of course the eternal life, the second Man, when here in the days of His flesh (and was manifested as such to the apostles), but the revelation was veiled by the part which He had taken in the responsible life of man on earth, "made in the likeness of sinful flesh", (Romans 8:3) so that He might become a sacrifice for sin; and this condition was real, so that He was a real Babe, grew in wisdom and stature, and

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hence any displays of heavenly relationship and being were until after the cross moral. But in death He was wholly separated from the condition into which He had entered, and in resurrection He is the full and complete revelation of God's purpose -- the second Man, the eternal life.

As to the communication of eternal life, I have no question for a moment that a soul is spiritually alive as the result of new birth: still new birth is only a foundation, and is not necessarily in itself the reception of Christ. Eternal life is in Christ, and in receiving Christ eternal life is received, but it is in Christ (the second Man) "God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son". (1 John 5:11) He that has the Son has life. But eternal life is to live in Christ, and though it may be said that a soul in receiving Christ is alive in Him, there is no power by which the believer can be formed in the heavenly man until the Spirit is received. Hence in John 20 the communication of the Spirit was connected with the breathing of Christ. Eternal life for us is not simply 'a vital principle', but a new man.

As regards speaking of eternal life as a sphere or order of blessing, I think it is justified by such scriptures as John 4:36; John 12:25 and John 17:3; but it is as living in Christ we enjoy the sphere. I may speak of my home as being objectively my life, but I live in it.

The truth of relationship (as children) runs with eternal life, is in fact inseparably connected with it. In receiving Christ relationship is received, it is that of the second Man, and we are formed in it by the spirit of sonship.

I do not regard new birth and quickening as equivalent. In the first I believe a new foundation is laid by the Spirit in man through the word, while quickening is that a soul is made to live spiritually in the life and relationship of the second Man. In a word,

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quickening is the equivalent of 'new creation', and the result of it is that the believer has passed out of death into life.

I add one word in regard to 2 Corinthians 5:21. My object in my letter to Mr. O. was to exclude from the passage any thought of mixed condition, and to show what was true of the believer abstractly, as in Christ, apart from any question of what he is practically here. Still 'in Christ' involves not only a spiritual but an actual quickening (1 Corinthians 15:22), and it is when the saints are in this condition of life that they will be fully the display of God's righteousness, though for faith they are already become that righteousness in Christ.


September 18th, 1890.

I solemnly and sincerely declare that I have never taught, nor thought of teaching, that 'eternal life' is not in its fullest aspect the inheritance of every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, directly that believer is born again, and I now state that it is and has been my belief and I have endeavoured so to teach, that the moment a soul receives Christ it is eternally connected and associated with all the infinitude of blessing and life purposed and given in Christ to the believer; but at the same time I believe that like Israel of old we must go in and possess the land and that the actual conscious possession and realisation of all that is comprehended in the words 'eternal life' is limited to the extent in which by faith Christ has been digested into the life of our own being and we thus, in our life down here, appropriate to ourselves heavenly blessings and live in the enjoyment and power of them; though the eternal certainty of them all is not affected by our want of realisation or intelligence. This is what I have sought to teach with a view to stirring saints up

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to actual possession in experience, believing, as I do, that too often the facts of Scripture have been accepted without entering in sufficient measure into conscious possession of that which is our eternal portion. Anything which has been stated concerning any teaching which is contrary to what I have stated above is a misinterpretation of the meaning, as I never intended anything different. I fully and most distinctly believe that "Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20) though I would not say 'eternal life' means and comprehends all that is comprehended in the words 'the true God' nor do I think anyone will say so.

If any ambiguity of language has given rise to the misinterpretation of my belief I sincerely regret it as I have already stated in my published letters.


October 4th, 1890.

My Dear Brother, -- I send a line to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 1st inst. entreating me for the Lord's sake and for the sake of those so infinitely precious to Himself to withdraw the word 'helpless' in my letter to brother

I gladly respond to your entreaty and have written to Mr. accordingly. I am sorry I ever used the word, as it gives an air of irreverence to the sentence, though I believe the context is sufficient to show that irreverence was not in my thoughts. I purpose to make this in measure public.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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October 12th, 1890.

My Dear O, -- I return you the enclosed papers. I am rather astonished at the way in which H. uses J.N.D. against me, for the truth of mediatorship in connection with life is what I have maintained, and I do not know how I could be said to leave out entirely the revealed truth that the life of which we are made participants is not 'the same' life which was proper to the Son of God in His eternal existence, though of the same moral qualities. I should have thought H. might have seen that this is really what I had maintained. What he meant about the eternal life being constituent in Deity I fail to understand, unless he means the same as I did in saying it was an integral part of His Person.

The way in which he strings together John 5:26 and John 17:2 is to me most extraordinary. I could not make "So hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" and "eternal life" to be the same. The former is what is proper to the Son (though because He is Man said to be given), and involves self-existence and the power to call the dead into life, while eternal life is what is given to us, and is what is true in Christ and in us, and does not involve self-existence or the quickening of the dead. Christ is Man, and the pattern of the heavenly family; at the same time He is a quickening spirit (in Him is life), and I could not draw a line between the two. So, too, in regard to 'eternal life' and the having life in Himself: but I see things in Scripture in certain connections -- life in Himself when the Son is seen as a divine Person in John's gospel -- and eternal life (which He gives) when He is seen as Man ("from the beginning", "handled", etc.) in connection with others, the pattern of the heavenly family, the children -- when He is manifested we shall be like Him. Hence I conclude that eternal life is a truth which is connected with man, whether in

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Christ or in us; but, as I said, when I think of Christ, though I see certain things connected with Him as Man -- firstborn among many brethren, Head of the church, etc., and other things with Him as divine, such as life-giving, etc., I could draw no line between the human and the divine. I believe eternal life is what He is now as Man, but then it takes its character from what He was eternally as divine. But I believe eternal life to be the life of man according to the purpose of God and what has come out fully in Christ in resurrection, though manifested in Him even before. In a word, I believe eternal life to mean a new man in a new scene for man.

I should hardly connect John 1:4 with life-giving. T. in his paper quotes some beautiful remarks of J.N.D. on it, contrasting it with "the darkness is past and the true light now shineth". (1 John 2:8)


October 29th, 1890.

It is, I judge, a grave mistake to make any essential difference between eternal life as presented in Paul's writings and in John's. It is the same subject wherever presented. The apostleship of Paul was especially connected with eternal life. (See 2 Timothy 1:1.) It is evident that he unvaryingly connects it with the second Man -- Christ in glory. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ", (Romans 6:23) the One who has annulled death and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel. We have in principle the same truth taught in John's first epistle, "God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son". Christ is seen in this epistle as with the Father (an advocate, etc.), and in the last chapter God's Son is carefully identified as Jesus Christ who has come through water and blood, and it is of Him that it is predicated "He is the true

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God, and eternal life"; that is, as I understand it, in full revelation.

But it is also taught in John that that eternal life which was with the Father had been manifested to the apostles. Now, though this unquestionably refers to the days of Christ's flesh, it is distinct from what He was in His own Person, and had ever been, though this now gave its character to manhood. He was when here the last Adam, the second Man, though not yet clothed according to the counsels of God, in a condition commensurate with what He was spiritually in life. What was morally life in Him was what He was with God in spiritual being and relationship (as well as Himself being God), but this was for the moment clothed in a condition pure and immaculate in itself, but not commensurate with the spiritual being. The truth of His humanity is clearly seen in the meat-offering; there was pure humanity -- the fine flour mingled with oil -- the divine and spiritual principle. Hence with the Lord here, there was, as we see in the garden and elsewhere, "The days of His flesh".

Now what came under the eye of God and before the eyes of men, apart from fruits and power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit for service and glimpses of divine glory, was the perfect setting forth of man (and in a sense Israel too) after the flesh. Every detail of life down here was pervaded and governed by the spiritual principle which men knew not of -- the divine nature. What they saw was man after the flesh in divine perfectness before God, and thus everything in Christ was light; there was no part dark. But all this perfectness as man here after the flesh, in which Jesus abode alone, was to end in death, that not only might He become the sin-bearer, but in resurrection enter on manhood in a glorious condition suited to what He ever was and had been in heavenly being and relationship, even when here after the flesh.

Now this condition of heavenly being and relationship

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to which, in Christ, all after the flesh was, so to say, subjected, was made manifest by divine grace to the apostles, together with the Father's name. They saw that though Jesus had a condition in the flesh here, with the relationships and obligations connected with it, He was at the same time "the Son of man which is in heaven", and it was confirmed and verified to them in His resurrection. Hence there was the revelation to them of eternal life in its true heavenly character in God's Son.

Thus we see how in itself eternal life was outside all after the flesh, so that what was after the flesh could be laid aside, while the human soul remained, and the Son of man which is in heaven could take life again as Man, but not as after the flesh, but in a totally new condition suited to what He ever was as out of heaven; and thus He is said to be eternal life.

Now all this is utterly confused by such a statement as that He never ceased to be the exhibition of eternal life from the Babe in the manger to the throne of the Father. The exhibition of eternal life is reduced to the lowest and weakest point of man after the flesh. Christ is not honoured by it; and the perfect setting forth (in the power of the divine nature) of man after the flesh is ignored in order to connect the display of eternal life with the details of human life down here -- the life of the first man -- instead of apprehending the truth conveyed in the fine flour mingled with oil of which the memorial was burned with the sacrifices.

All that is now passed; Christ can never be known again after the flesh, and the out-of-the-world heavenly condition of relationship and being in which eternal life consists is now fully revealed in Christ, in whom it ever was both essentially and in the purpose of God. He is declared to be eternal life, as He is the last Adam and the second Man, all fully revealed in His risen glorious Person.


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October 29th, 1890.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- Looking at things from the divine side I do not think there is any intermediate state between being dead in trespasses and sins and being quickened together with Christ -- for God's work is looked at as one whole, and with Him is no such thing as time. Looked at, however, on the realisation side, I can understand a person being in the Romans 7 state (truly born again) before it could be said to be alive to God in Christ -- I doubt if this last could be said until the Spirit is received -- for it says "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his" -- still new birth is morally life, for the new-born soul appreciates what is of God -- but life by which I enjoy the new relationship and scene in which grace has placed me depends on the power of the Spirit of Christ working in the new man in the believer, without it is no such thing as liberty -- I cannot view life in any complete way apart from the relationships and scene which are proper to it, and which are for the heavenly. I have no present intention of visiting Dublin. I am not sure that they would be all well pleased to see me.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

November 21st, 1890.

Mr. J. Watt.

My Dear Brother, -- I return your letter. I think Mr.

Hornsby misunderstands my position in this business.

At the Witney meeting I was a learner rather than a teacher, though I cannot say there were many from whom I got help. It was becoming clear to me that the term 'eternal life' meant for us a wholly new order of relationship, object, knowledge, and blessing, as well as a new being suited to it, outside this scene

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of sight and sense, and that this had been brought to light in the Son having become Man; and further, that it had its full revelation as an actual condition in and for man in Him as the risen and glorified Man. But I saw also that He was in His own Person more than this, for He was the Quickener, the Giver of eternal life. I do not find in Scripture that the term 'eternal life' is employed, save in connection with manhood, either in the Son or us. When the Son is viewed, as in the gospel, as a divine Person, other terms are employed, such as "in him was life". Now while eternal life has its application to us (what is true in Christ and in us), such terms as I have mentioned would not. Morally there is no difference between life as eternally in Him and eternal life, but it is evident that divine life must be in a way affected by coming into manhood, must connect itself with qualities (obedience, subjection, dependence, etc.) which have no place in the proper life of God.

I believe the truth is that, on the one side, the Son, as God, is one with the Father, having life in Himself, and able to quicken; and on the other, as Man, is the pattern of the heavenly family (the second Man out of heaven), and here it is that the truth of eternal life comes in, though what characterises Him now as Man is what He ever was essentially with the Father. I think this maintains the glory of His Person, and shows the character of our blessing. I am printing something in regard to the charge of prevarication which will, I hope, be out next week.

Your affectionate brother,

November 25th, 1890.

As I gather the truth, Christ is the last Adam -- a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:25), and the second Man (1 Corinthians 15:47). As the last Adam He stands alone as

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Head; John 17:2; 1 Corinthians 11:3. He gives life (who but God could do this?). As the second Man He is the pattern of the heavenly family -- "as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly", 1 Corinthians 15:48. Hence, when I view Him thus (though in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily), I think of Him in connection with the family -- of what is true in Him and in them; 1 John 2:8. "As he is, so are we in this world", 1 John 4:17. And this in itself does not involve all that is true of a divine Person, as self-existence, having life in Himself, etc., etc., or it would be true also of us, which is impossible. Christ is the second Man, and there is that which we have in common with Him. We "are all of one", Hebrews 2:11. But then He is more -- as well as being eternal life He is the true God (1 John 5:20), and in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead, every divine attribute. There is that which He has in common with the Father (John 5:26); though He as Son is the eternal source of it. I cannot imagine how anyone could think that "the second Man" covers all that is true of the Son, yet the second Man was out of heaven.

As regards the second passage underlined, I judge we have Jesus presented as the last Adam in the virtue of redemption in John 20:22; 1 John 5:6; the One coming, not by water only, but by water and blood (the Spirit also bears witness), and He is the second Man, for when He is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. In resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) He is revealed as last Adam and second Man, though ever such in His own Person, for the second Man is "out of heaven".


November 28th, 1890.

I have felt the desire on my own part, and as due to those with whom I am in fellowship, to state the light in which the late most sorrowful division,

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and matters which led up to it, present themselves to my mind.

I have been greatly tried in it all by the unreal position in which I have myself been unhappily placed by the writings of those who have left us. In December, 1889, in writing to Mr. Stanley, I expressed my feeling that the attacks made on me were utterly out of proportion to the weight of the person implicated.

As to my own sense of things, I was not a distinguished teacher, but simply a brother who had desired to search things out for himself from Scripture, and who was not unwilling to state what he had gathered in the presence of brothers equally or better versed in the word than himself.

I had long been dissatisfied with the way in which certain terms in Scripture were commonly handled, it appearing to me that they had in many minds simply a dogmatic force with little clear understanding of their moral import. (In saying this, I have no thought in any way to weaken the positive force of Scripture statements, or to make their authority to the soul to be dependent on state, or on the understanding of the things they reveal.) This seemed to be specially the case in reference to divine righteousness and eternal life -- the former of which merely went beyond the question of our responsibility and guilt, while the latter conveyed at the utmost but the idea of the divine nature in the believer.

As it gradually became clear to me that in its full sense and display divine righteousness is connected in Scripture with Christ in glory, and the believer as a new creation in Him -- and that eternal life implies not only a divine nature but a new and heavenly being, formed by the Holy Spirit in the believer, and also the relationships, objects, knowledge, and sphere proper to it, outside this scene of sight and sense -- I doubt not that I blundered in expression, which I much regret. I was not disposed to print or publish

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anything on these subjects, being hardly confident in my own mind. Certain remarks made at readings, at Witney in particular, were reported abroad, often entirely out of their connection, and I received in consequence some letters of inquiry, which I answered readily, according to the best light I had.

I had no system of doctrine nor the faintest idea of propounding any.

After a strong expression had been used at a brothers' reading in London, in reference to a remark of mine, I wrote a letter to Mr. Oliphant, in answer to one from him, giving my thoughts on various points which had been in question, and in regard to which an agitation was going on; this letter was read at the close of a meeting, in December, 1889, of sixty or seventy brothers, at Mr. Hewer's, and, as far as I remember, little or no exception was taken to it. Mr. Oliphant was pressed afterwards for copies, and, with my consent, he printed it together with some extracts from correspondence with another brother. This was the first paper printed with my consent. Questions having been raised on various points in this paper, I thought it well to reprint the text of my letter to Mr. Oliphant, with some explanatory notes, and prefaced it with an expression of sorrow for the measure in which the painful state of feeling existing amongst us had been contributed to by obscure or defective expressions of mine. This was done in March last, the paper having first been submitted to many brothers of weight. Subsequently to this, being still further pressed for a simple statement of my thoughts, I wrote and printed the paper 'Eternal Life', with which I circulated the printed letter of July 2nd, which I had been urged to put out by a valued brother. I trust that consideration of the above will dispel any notion that I have been holding the position of a teacher pressing some new system of doctrine, and will prove that I have been ready enough all through to act in subjection to my brethren.

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I think that I have through grace received light on these subjects, and have sought in my measure to help others. Whatever defective statements I have made have been on the road to light, and my unwillingness to withdraw formally expressions objected to, which I may have used in correspondence, has arisen from fear of compromising what I believe to be the truth.

The virulence and. persistency of the attacks made on me, and the unhappy readiness betrayed to seize on expressions in letters to individuals, on casual and unguarded statements, and on details of conduct, to fasten on me evil intent, should, I think, have satisfied anyone that the attack was not of God, not the fruit of the Spirit of Christ.

In conclusion, I would earnestly beg that it may not be thought that I have viewed with indifference all the sorrowful work of scattering that has been going on. For two long years and more I have been under exercise and pressure which few can understand but those who have passed through it. Nor can I claim to be without reproach in the matter, for the use of expressions capable of misconstruction, and possibly defects in conduct (the effect of human weakness in circumstances of exceptional difficulty) have given a handle to the enemy of which he has not been slow to avail himself to discredit the truth, and further the work of scattering. As to all this I am humbled before the Lord, but I could not make this confession without recording my conviction that the conflict has been for the truth, from which the mode in which divine things have been handled amongst us, apart from any failings of mine, has exposed us to be turned aside.

I append a statement of the matter on which a charge of prevarication or evasion against me has been based. Those who read it must form their own judgment as to the justness of the charge.


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Major M., in a published paper, entitled 'Divine Righteousness and Eternal Life', made the following statement: That 'He (Christ) never for an instant ceased to be the exhibition of it (eternal life) from the Babe in the manger to the throne of the Father'.

Writing to a brother at Ealing, in June, 1889, I commented thus on this statement: -- 'Then again as to life, he says that Christ never ceased to be the exhibition of eternal life from a Babe in the manger to the throne of the Father. Think of a helpless infant being the Exhibition of eternal life, whatever might be there. Infancy and all connected with it does not find place in John. It is simply there "The Word became flesh". The fact is there is a tendency to lose sight of the truth that as well as being eternal life Jesus was God, and exercising divine prerogatives down here, "The Word was God"; and further that in taking part in human life down here (the life to which sin attached) He took part in that which in Him was brought to an end judicially in death, and this assuredly was not eternal life'.

Some time after, another paper by Major M. appeared, entitled 'Is the Snare Broken?' and beginning as follows: '"Fancy a helpless Babe an expression of eternal life". The above in reference to our blessed Lord is taken from a circulated document among christians'.

The discrepancies between Major M.'s sentence and mine, and the strictures in his paper on a word (fancy) which I had not used may be thought matters of secondary moment, or attributable to misunderstanding. What is important is that Major M. had not seen my letter which had not been circulated, and yet the sentence was set in inverted commas as a quotation, and was said to be taken from a circulated document among christians. His conduct as to this and other matters arising out of it, came seriously under question at Ealing.

[Page 39]

When Mr. Snell, through Mr. Barker, asked in March last if it was true that I had owned myself the author of the sentence printed by Major M., I replied, 'I am not aware that I ever penned the sentence supposed to be mine -- it is for Major M., who I believe is the author of the paper in which the sentence appears in inverted commas, to prove whence he derived it'.

A few days later when asked by Mr. Barker to put him in a position to deny not only that the sentence as it stood but that any such sentence ever came from me, I gave him in the following paragraph (3) of my reply of March 20th, the purport of my comment in the letter of June, 1889: --

'When an earlier paper of Major M.'s appeared, in writing to a brother at Ealing, I pointed out the monstrosity of an assertion of the Major's that the Lord never ceased to be the Exhibition of eternal life from a Babe in the manger to the throne of the Father. It was no question of what was there in the Babe -- God manifest in the flesh, eternal life, and all else; but of what He was the exhibition, for Major M. meant in detail. He was as a Babe the Exhibition of infancy in its helplessness, for all else, though there, was for the moment veiled, and it was His glory, for in being made of a woman, becoming Man, He came truly and really into humanity in its conditions here, grew and increased in wisdom and stature'.

I was not at liberty, while Major M. was being pressed at Ealing for many reasons to withdraw his paper, to make known the text of my letter, and indeed it was at the time out of my power, not having a copy: nor was I willing, by making public a particular sentence apart from its context, to supply the material for another pamphlet of the character of those that were being issued from the Ealing depot; I had learnt by bitter experience the use to which expressions taken out of their connection could be turned.

[Page 40]

To assume that I had anything to conceal is wholly unjustifiable. Save that, in deference to an appeal from a brother, I have withdrawn the word 'helpless' (not that I used it in any sense but as descriptive of the true condition of infancy) I adhere as firmly as ever I did to the refusal of Major M.'s statement implied by my sentence; and further, when, in July last, the letter to Ealing was returned to me with permission to use it as I pleased, I furnished an extract to anyone who desired it, and it is thus my own words have become known. I am sorry that my letters have given colour to a charge of prevarication. I can only say I had no intent to prevaricate or evade.


(Notes have been added on pages 43 and 45 because of questions raised)

I doubt if the truth of eternal life in its connection with either christians or Israel can be rightly understood without an apprehension, on the one hand, of the general force with which the term is employed in Scripture, and on the other, of its modifications in connection with dispensations. To use the term, in the literal meaning of the words, would convey little definite idea, since we are conscious that every living soul has an eternal existence with God or without God. But if we first look at the subject as referred to in the Old Testament we shall be helped in apprehending its moral force. The Old Testament, though it may give us glimpses of resurrection and heavenly hopes, in general occupies us with the world as the scene of man's responsibility and God's moral government; hence, as to the judgment and penalty of sin, whatever may have been involved, it did not go beyond death, i.e., the cutting off of man's life here; and that death was thus dreaded by saints we find with

[Page 41]

Hezekiah, "I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world" (Isaiah 38:10, 11), and so continually in the Psalms. Now it is in the Old Testament that we have the first allusions (prophetically) to eternal life. They are contained, as has been often pointed out, in Psalm 133, "For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore"; and in Daniel 12, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt". I do not think it can be contested that the thought in these expressions is of a life of continued blessing here on the earth in the favour and under the government of God consequent on the power of sin being broken, and creation delivered from the bondage of corruption. Now we know that this will be brought about by Christ as the fruit of redemption (the creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God), and will be enjoyed by the godly remnant in Israel, they being born again of water and of the Spirit, and the law written in their hearts, and by many among the Gentiles. They will be in the conditions of human life down here, while the foundation of their moral being will be the new birth. Christ will be the source of their life as of all life for man. The ministry of all earthly blessing will be to them through Christ as David's Son, and consequent on His having entered within the veil, as the High Priest, and come out to them. Heaven will pour out by the Spirit its blessings on the earth. Under such conditions will eternal life be known by the earthly saints. I have referred to this because it seems to show that eternal life stands in contrast to human life marred by sin and under the power of death which is its present condition here.

[Page 42]

When we come to the New Testament we find the thought of eternal life evidently having a certain place in the minds of the Jews; and in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) though connected by the Lord with the coming age, the testimony as to it does not generally go, in its scope, beyond life and blessing in this world. I have said 'generally' because the Lord spoke in Matthew 19:29, and parallel passages, not only according to what had been predicated in the Old Testament, but according to His perfect knowledge of the fulness of the words.

But when we come to the later writings of Paul (Timothy and Titus) we not only find peculiar prominence given to the truth of eternal life, but a scope and bearing connected with it, such as is not found in the Old Testament or hardly even in the synoptic gospels, though the same thought remains of a life and state of blessing in contrast to man's transitory life here under the power of sin, and liable to death. It is shown as promised of God that cannot lie before the world began, connected with a purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before the world was, and Paul speaks of himself as apostle according to the hope of it. But what gives to it its peculiar and distinctive character, and even contrast to the thought in the Old Testament, is that it is life 'in Christ Jesus' -- the risen, glorified Man, the heavenly Man in contrast to the earthly, the new man in contrast to the old. Eternal life is to be known and enjoyed in Him in the glorious scene into which He has entered as Man, in the virtue and power of redemption. "As he is, so are we in this world". The consequence of this is that we must connect eternal life now with the new and heavenly condition of man in glory, as is seen in Christ glorified, instead of (as will be the case hereafter) with man in human life and circumstances down here.

Now when we consider the application of this to the believer we must bear in mind that the new and

[Page 43]

heavenly Man, with which eternal life is connected, is distinct and apart from the life and circumstances of men down here. This is clearly seen in Christ, whose life is taken from the earth. It is as the risen glorified Man He is said to be the true God and eternal life.+

Hence new birth, always necessary if man has to say to God, does not wholly bring in that of which I have spoken. Christ, the heavenly Man, must be received, and that too through the testimony to a work by which He has removed, as before God, all that we were morally in the flesh that every one believing in Him might not perish but have eternal life. Thus we begin in Christ, having received Him, and live in Him where He is, in the Spirit, not in the flesh -- we begin thus as babes, and by the ministry of Christ to our souls, increase and grow up in Him, and Paul always looks to our being full grown in Him; but it is evident that this, in itself, is distinct from human life, circumstances and relationships here below. It is a life which has its source and spring and seat in Christ, and in which the believer, in the power of the Spirit, realises by faith the new and heavenly being which he is in Christ for God, in which he grows from the babe to the man, and in which he will be perfected in glory according to the image of the heavenly. It is Christ.

But there still remains to be considered the way in which eternal life is presented to us in the writings of John. I doubt if a complete idea of what eternal life is can be gathered from any single statement, as very often two sides of a truth are shown separately in Scripture, and this appears often to be the case in John's gospel. For instance, in John 3, we have the statement that the Son of man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, pointing

+So declared to be in full revelation, but ever such as to the essential glory of His Person.

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to the judgment in the cross of man's moral condition in the flesh, and the removal thus of the distance that stood between God and man by reason of sin, so that man might be in the presence of God, revealed in the Son, consistently with divine righteousness. Thus we have one side of the truth connected with the free gift of eternal life, and in chapter 4 we have the other, the water that Christ gives, the well of water in the believer springing up unto eternal life. Christ formed and living in the believer in the energy of the Holy Spirit. Man as in the flesh here is completely set aside. As the fruit of redemption he finds himself in a new and blessed order of things with a new and suited being, and an energy within given of Christ. We have much the same thing in John 20. Redemption being accomplished Christ first announces to the disciples the new and blessed place of association with Himself in the presence of His Father and their Father, and His God and their God, which He had secured for them. He afterwards breathes on them, communicating to them the Holy Spirit, to be the energy of life within them, while they waited for the risen glorious condition in which they would be fully conformed to Himself. Thus again we see the two sides of the truth. It may be added that in John truths are seen in their nature and principle, or as we might say abstractly, rather than in the mode in which they connect themselves with saints in spiritual growth. The blessings which are peculiarly ours, and the divine nature of which we are partakers, are thus shown to us in their own proper characteristics without modification because of the actual condition of saints.

It may be added further that with John eternal life is seen in its essential nature rather than in form, and this, whether as in Christ, or as given to believers -- and it is for this reason I judge that we do not find quite the same line taken in regard of growth, though the principles are the same. Eternal life is given, and is

[Page 45]

in the Son, and we have it as having Him. We are in Him, though not yet out of the old condition here, save morally by His death, and we live by Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not so much with John the question of stature, or of our being perfected, as of eternal life in its principle and nature; hence with John it is viewed as present.

Eternal life has been spoken of as consisting in the 'out-of-the-world heavenly condition of relationship and being', in which the Lord was here alone in the world. (See 'Bible Treasury', 1867.) This condition has its full display and perfection in the Son as the risen glorious Man out of death, in which, as Son of man, He had glorified God. 'He is the true God, and eternal life'. Eternal life is in the Son. But as to what eternal life is essentially (in relationship and moral being) it was ever with the Father in the Person of the Son, and manifested in Him to His disciples here in the days of His flesh, though they also saw and handled the Lord in His risen condition. It was ever an integral part of the Person of the Eternal Son,+ but such as could according to the divine counsels be connected with manhood and be imparted to men. But we must remember that in addition to this is the incommunicable glory of His Person as the only-begotten Son. The apostles, however dull they may have been as to intelligence, contemplated His glory as of an only-begotten one with a Father. Some of them were eye-witnesses of His majesty on the holy mount. We, real and blessed as is our completeness in Him, worship Him as One in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Further, the Lord prayed for all those whom the Father had given Him that they might be with Him where He is so as to have the unspeakable blessedness of beholding His glory, which the Father had given Him, for He loved Him before

+In moral qualities and characteristics, but not in itself, involving attributes proper to deity.

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the foundation of the world. All this maintains before the soul the peculiar proper glory of His Person, which every christian heart would cherish above and distinct from all the blessing into which he is himself brought in the Son. 'He is the true God, and eternal life'.

It is evident that the above statement of what eternal life consists in, involves a wholly new sphere for man, and a new man in that sphere. The garden of Eden would not have suited an 'out-of-the-world heavenly condition of relationship and being'. It belongs to and demands another scene and order of things. Hence, when for the first time the Lord refers to the subject (in John 3) He speaks of "the Son of man which is in heaven", though bodily He was then on earth. And when in John 17:3 He describes its form and character for us now that He is in glory, He says, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". I think the above is sufficient to show how essential the idea of a new sphere, or order of things, is to the consideration of eternal life. In fact, the truth of eternal life as a present blessing cannot be grasped without it. Now eternal life was essentially ever in that sphere in the Son with the Father, nor did it cease to be so when it was manifested here, though there was another side to the Person of Him in whom it was manifested, in that He had entered into human life in its earthly conditions. But now eternal life has its full and perfect expression according to the counsels of God in Him as the risen glorified Man with the Father, and we are in Him there. We see thus with John the two great thoughts, a new and heavenly Man and a new sphere for man, and both to be realised and enjoyed by the soul that has received Christ now, even before he has done with his earthly existence here.

The way in which eternal life is given to us, is not

[Page 47]

yet in the glorified condition which properly belongs to it, but in the power of the Spirit and in faith; we are not yet perfected. It must be remembered that for us eternal life consists in a new man, and not simply in a new vitality. It is a new creation in us by the quickening power of God.

I add a word to show how, in God's ways, righteousness is intimately connected with life. There is a divinely formed state which accords with the believer's standing, as may be seen in the expression, 'justification of life', in Romans 5. This is manifestly beyond justification from offences.

The latter refers to us as men down here. We are justified in the scene of our responsibility, where we had been guilty, and, as a consequence, have peace with God. But divine righteousness in its fullest sense is seen in that the One that was in death for the glory of God, is now the living Man in the glory of God, in a state wholly suited to that glory. Christ went to the Father, and the disciples saw Him no more. The ministry is now of the Spirit and righteousness in the light of the glory of Christ; and we, for whom He was made sin, have life in Him there, are a new creation in Him, and as such become God's righteousness in Him. The full expression will be in our being with Him in the same glory from whence the ministry of righteousness has come. We have the justification of life. We are alive to God in Christ, and in being so, are the expression of God's righteousness in which man has been set in glory.

This is the full height of the gospel, the answer to Christ having been made sin for us.

I might have said something as to the effect and influence of eternal life in the character and walk of the believer -- for he that saith, he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk even as He walked -- but I forbear not wishing to lengthen the paper.


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January 17th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I think some minds attach to the words 'in an absolute way' quite a different force from what I do. I have explained it as meaning 'so as to exclude every other thought'. And if you apply this to the text you quote, you will see the force of what I say -- "as he is so are we in this world". This is evidently viewing the believer abstractly. i.e., according to what he is in the Son -- if you apply it in an absolute way it would make it mean that we are like Him as He is in glory -- while the fact is that we are still living and walking 'in flesh' here, and by faith. In the same epistle we read "it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is". You could not say absolutely of a believer 'he cannot sin' yet John says of one born of God "he cannot sin" because he views the believer abstractly as born of God. The same thing applies to 2 Corinthians 5:21 and to other passages which speak of the believer as 'in Christ'. He is a new creation in Christ, a man of a new and heavenly order -- but he has not yet done with old creation and its order -- so that in my point of view, to apply new creation truths in an absolute way would make nonsense of them. They are none the less positively descriptive of what the believer is in Christ. It presents itself to me in something of the way we see, in dissolving views -- the new one has come into view before the old has completely faded away. Hence the mixed condition. Two things are true to a christian: the calling and the way -- the calling abides eternally -- the way comes to an end when we reach Christ where He is. I trust that this may tend to make things clearer.

Your affectionate brother,

[Page 49]

January 29th, 1891.

My Dear Brother, -- I return you R--'s papers. In the larger one there is nothing very new; we have had the same things in England. There are many statements in it as to Christ which I should readily accept in themselves apart from the object with which he makes them. But the defect which marks his paper is that he does not rightly divide Scripture. His object is to identify eternal life with the life of the eternal Son as a divine Person (in Him was life). If this were meant simply in reference to what the life is morally I would make no objection, but there is no hint with Mr. R. of any such limitation. As a consequence of this he confounds the revelation (in John's gospel) of a divine Person, as such, with the unfolding (in the epistle) of the features of eternal life in the Son as man -- that which is true in Him and in us. My conviction is that what the Son ever was in nature as divine gives its character to manhood in Him (and in us). But I do not believe that the Son has therefore ceased to have life in Himself in the conditions suitable to Deity. He is "The true God and eternal life". The statements as to the Son in the gospel are not all to be merged and lost in the truth of eternal life. Mr. R -- in his zeal for eternal life seems to me to be fast letting go the true deity of Christ. He says the eternal Son "Ever was, is, and ever will be in His own glorious Person and eternal being the eternal life". The phrase is high-sounding, but where does he find it in Scripture?

In his little paper he evades the force of the scripture -- 'The second man is out of heaven' -- by saying that the Person who became second Man was from all eternity. The point of the scripture is the origin of the second Man, as the pattern of the heavenly family; and so it says immediately, "as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly". Certainly

[Page 50]

he reads Scripture in a different way from what I do. He seems unable or unwilling to seize an abstract thought.

P.S. -- I add a further word in regard to the last paragraph. It is said (1 Corinthians 15:45-48) that the last Adam is "a quickening spirit", and the second Man is "out of heaven", heavenly. It need scarcely be remarked that Christ did not become a quickening spirit nor heavenly by taking manhood -- for He was already such; but the last Adam and second Man is characterised by what was eternally true in the Person of the Son. This in no way touches the fact of His having actually entered on manhood in being "made of a woman" -- though, I doubt not, it was of God in Him eternally purposed. -- F.E.R.

March 9th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I thank you for the enclosures to your letter. I am sorry that I am unable to do anything for you in regard to the printed papers of December 6th and March 21st, they are sold out and the type broken up. I send you now three copies of the paper of July 3rd.

What I have understood by the expression 'our standing in Christ' current amongst us, was that we were before God ranged under a new head in whose acceptance we stand. But then there is a corresponding subjective state of soul produced by the quickening power of God, so that we are alive in Christ -- are new created in Him -- and this, one can hardly call standing, and I have spoken of it as state. It is state that corresponds to the standing.

I think there is a distinction between what we are and what we have in Christ. We are in Christ a new

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creation -- of a new order, heavenly, as He is. We have in Him redemption, peace, acceptance, etc.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

P.S. -- Both 'standing' and 'state' in the way we use them are human terms.

March 25th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I was glad of your letter which was an encouragement to me. I think you have acted wisely at Rathmines in the position you have main-. tamed. At Westland Row they have gone beyond their proper function as an assembly and it will only involve them in difficulty. I had seen something of Mr. Hennessey's thoughts previously in letters he had written. He blunders because he does not see that the thought of eternal life is taken up from the Old Testament -- and that it means "the blessing" (Psalm 133) for man -- though it must needs have had a peculiar place in Christ, who came here at the consummation of every thought of goodness for man -- and we have it in having Him. Mr. H. insists that eternal life is actual vitality, and that it is by faith. If such were the case, where does new birth come in? He seems to me to ignore the necessity of new birth. Then he makes 'eternal life' to be the actual life of Christ when here after the flesh. It is Major Macarthur's error. If it were true there could have been no real death. I call it shocking doctrine. I believe too that he would hold that it was the life of the Son before incarnation, which is profanity -- for who knows anything of the divine life, save morally. His expression 'God in flesh' in his letter of February 2nd is in my judgment very wrong and unscriptural. I wish for his own sake he could be silenced.

[Page 52]

I have looked over your reply -- and have run out a few words in pencil as I think they may lead to question. I understand you mean in general by 'life' the result of new birth. The letter seems to me alright, but I do not think you will convince Mr. H. in his present mood. The spirit abroad is that of fanaticism, I think what you say as to John 3:36 and John 6:53-56 is right. A man comes, so to say, to the death of Christ for life (though if he does so it is really divine drawing) and keeps in touch with that death all the time that he is here. As to the correspondence between Paul and John I should connect rather with quickening than with new creation (the latter though evidently coincident, compare Ephesians 2:5 and 10, seems more connected with walk) and save as to aspect (in our case quickened by the Son, in the other together with Christ) I see no difference between John 5 and Ephesians 2. I think the result of quickening is that we are of a new order, of a new nature according to Christ. I think that Paul connects the blessing of eternal life with the thought of full conformity to Christ in glory in the full place and condition of sons according to eternal counsel (Ephesians 1:4,5). John connects it with the relationship of children which we have in a world which knew not Christ and knows not us (John 1:10 - 12 and 1 John 3:1) and it supposes the divine nature. The thought of the divine nature in 2 Peter seems different and practical. I see nothing about eternal life as to those absent from the body. It stands in Scripture in connection with saints on earth in or under Christ, and in full conformity to Christ in glory.

I enclose you some thoughts in regard to 'soul' and 'life' which kindly return when done with. I have not a copy. Also some of the answers to Dr. Evan's allegations.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

[Page 53]

April 10th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I am sorry that yours of the 3rd should remain unanswered so long, but I have been away in the Isle of Wight.

I cannot very well answer the points raised in your note without looking carefully into them, and comparison of the use of words in the Old and New Testament always presents some difficulty, the language and conceptions are so different.

'God in flesh' is an expression that I do not at all like. The Son of God, the Word, became flesh, and His body is the temple of God, and God has been manifested in the flesh, but none of these seem to me to warrant the expression 'God in flesh'. If it were simply a thought as to what was there morally I should not object, but as to actuality the flesh was the veil which hid the glory of God. It remains true of God "Whom no man has seen nor can see", Deity and humanity were and are united in the Person of Christ, the union of the two is of course inscrutable, but I do not believe it lay 'in flesh', so that we could say 'God in flesh'.

As regards the pneuma it is evident that in Scripture it stands distinct from psuche (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23). I could not connect pneuma with the beast. It is true in God as well as in man; 1 Corinthians 2:11. Such appears to me from 1 Corinthians 15:45, 46, to be the natural, earthy, or animal condition, so to say, and is common to man and beast, only that in the case of man it was 'living' as breathed in of God. It seems to me that psuche may in its use sometimes cover pneuma, but if the latter is distinguished it is since consciousness in man in which he can withdraw from the outward and can have to say to God; 1 Peter 4:6; Romans 8:16. But these things all require looking into patiently.

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Thank you for the extract you sent me. I have seen the manifesto of those who went out at Rathmines. It is a poor affair.

Your affectionate brother,

April 13th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- In our way of speaking 'quickening' has often been used (after the analogy of nature) as the first movement in the soul -- as the equivalent of 'new birth'. It has, I think, a different force in Scripture. It is used, I think, about eleven times in the New Testament and means making alive the dead for blessing (spiritually or physically), see John 5:21; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:22; and the significance of it is that those quickened live before God after a new order. A dead man never lives again after the old order. A man quickened is of the heavenly order in spirit now, and in body hereafter. New birth has hardly this force but refers directly to the kingdom in which men live after the order of man on earth. It is no use attempting to adjust the two expressions as to point of time. The importance is in seeing their moral distinction. I return your enclosures.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

P.S. -- I fear Mr. H. means no good.

May 25th, 1891.

To Mr. Hewitt.

My Dear Brother, -- I am very glad indeed that you have written to me in reference to Mr. G.'s construction of statements of mine -- but first I have a right to ask

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that you should not adopt other people's constructions of my statements. In this way anything and everything may be grossly perverted. For instance, in a printed letter of his which I saw, he would make it appear -- because I have used the expression 'in essence' or 'essentially' -- that I have talked of 'essences' in reference to Christ. Now anyone a little versed in language would know that the two expressions are commonly used with quite distinct force and sense. It is the effort to fasten on me a term or idea which, applied to the Lord, is offensive.

I have not by me the paper of his to which you refer -- but I think I can show you where he is at fault. He seems unable or unwilling in his mind to distinguish, in regard to the second Man, between the form and habit (Philippians 2:7,8) of manhood -- and what gives character morally to the manhood. The first (the form and habit -- the real human soul) Christ took of a woman and it was 'perfected' in resurrection, the second (what gives character to the manhood) He brought into it -- hence as incarnate He was the living and true bread from heaven -- the second Man is "out of heaven". The same distinction we have to make as to ourselves for we are 'heavenly' in nature as is the heavenly (holy and without blame before God in love) while still here in the form and habit and condition of the earthy.

I think the above will answer the points you have put to me -- Mr. G.'s assertion of what I believe I wholly refuse. All that he says seems to me marked by assumption and ignorance.

I am at the same time exceeding sorry for the mischief he has caused in your meeting.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

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June 15th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I will do my best to answer your questions according to such light as one has on Scripture.

(1) It seems to me that all the statements as to eternal life in John's gospel are really grounded on the death of Christ and the gift of the Spirit (see John 3:14, and John 4:14). John 5 seems to give the rights of His Person (Son of God) and John 6 the great truth of incarnation -- and as to these, they were there before or after death -- John 20:17 - 22 surely means the same thing -- but I would not wish to weaken the force of the 'now is'. It seems to me that the Lord in John recognises nothing save the heavenly things He brought which however involved the power of the Spirit (John 6:63). How far Christ fulfilled when here the office of the Spirit I cannot say -- the Spirit another Comforter.

(2) A soul is not quickened by faith. It comes into salvation by faith and receives the Spirit. This latter is on the responsibility side. When the soul is once there, i.e., in salvation, God can and does view the whole thing as His own work (Ephesians 2:5), for indeed He was foremost in it. I do not think the gospel and new birth are ever mixed up in Scripture. It appears to me that those who are in the faith of the gospel are told that they are born again, i.e., that the real foundation in them is of God.

(3) 2 Timothy 1:10 is the great truth that life and incorruptibility have been brought to light by the glad tidings entrusted to Paul. It appears to me that this refers to an actual heavenly conviction of life in a man. This life came out in a moral way in Christ as a Man here and the eyes of the apostles were opened to see it. They saw it because they were in His company(saw Him, too, in resurrection). It was a different thing from the testimony addressed to the world, and could

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be discerned only, I judge, by those familiar with Him.

(4) I do not think John by his testimony takes us into Canaan -- his great thought is eternal life here on earth though it is heavenly -- "He that eateth me even he shall live by me", comes after "he that eateth my flesh", etc. I think that as being here we have to appropriate and to be abidingly in touch with Christ's death so that we may be in the sense of deliverance -- and at the same time such appropriates and enjoys and digests the heavenly grace expressed in His incarnation and thus lives on account of Him.

(5) Life in Colossians 3:3, 4, refers, I think, to life in the sense of its sphere, associations, objects, joys, what we live to -- and these for the believer are hid with Christ in God. The object is to lead the mind there -- and hence I should rather say it is objective though it involves our being quickened.

(6) I believe the expression 'this life is in His Son' conveys an abstract thought, viz., that it is life distinct and morally apart from what we are and have naturally as men down here. I believe it to refer to what there is in actuality in the Son and not yet in actuality in us -- to the relationship and knowledge in which eternal life practically consists and into which faith enters. He that has the Son has life.

(7) "The Spirit is life" (Romans 8:10), I take to be potential. He cannot be life in any objective sense -- Christ is this -- but He is the answer in the believer to what is true for him in Christ. I would connect it with John 4:14.

(8) I believe John 12:59 refers to Psalm 133:3, and I think the same idea is found in 1 John 2:8. Commandment is, so to say, the ordinance of God -- what He has ordained, what it has been in His will to establish, and to this faith bows.

(9) I entirely agree with you. Eternal life is connected with manhood in Scripture -- but what in the second Man gives character to manhood was ever

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in essence in the Eternal Son. I say 'in essence' because it was not in human form or condition.

(10) I think life is used in Scripture in two distinct though connected senses -- both in implied contrast to death morally, first in the sense of blessing and thus given, and secondly in the sense of character, i.e., what is moral, and in connection with this of what is inherent in God.

The close of your letter was an encouragement to me. Many statements of mine have been thought bad because opposers did not see the sense in which I was using life. On the other hand I am convinced that in their own minds is an entirely wrong thought as to life. They conceive of it as the life of the Eternal Son and as something having a substantive existence so that it can be communicated as water into a vessel, thus virtually setting aside the reality of quickening and ignoring the truth that the Eternal Son who was in the form of God now lives as man. The fulness of the Godhead resides in Him bodily.

I thank God there is general readiness to receive me in England.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

July 22nd, 1891.

I was encouraged at . The brothers there were very hearty. There are some who will not have what for God has been effectuated in Jesus -- the bringing to an end of the old man, and the bringing in of the new. I suppose one must make up one's mind for conflict till the end.

As regards what you say as to John, I believe we. have there what is essentially heavenly, i.e., what is out of heaven, and what is out of heaven is heavenly and cannot change its character. It does not bring before us the exaltation of man in virtue of redemption,

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as does Paul, but the moral excellence of what has come forth from heaven -- the living bread and the Father's love. Hence eternal life is to know the Father and Jesus Christ His sent One (not exactly His glorified One), and into all this heavenly grace which has come out of heaven we enter while we are here; but it does not lose its heavenly character; and by Christ's death we are free from the system in which flesh has its life. I think that to enter into and enjoy what is essentially heavenly, as having come thence, is greater privilege than to enter into the divine counsels which have their place in Christ in glory, which is more Paul's line. If a concordance were consulted I take it heaven would be more often found in John than in Paul, only with the former it is more what comes thence, but without changing its character, and with the latter, what goes there. This may be rough, but I think it gives the idea.

July 27th, 1891.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- Just a line to thank you for your note of the 22nd and for the suggestion contained in it. Though I should naturally be a little shy of Westland Row I should not be unwilling to visit Dublin -- if the way were otherwise clear, but I could hardly say at present that I see it so -- for next week I am going, D.V., to a meeting at Newcastle and may stay a bit elsewhere on my way back to London. Should I see any possibility of getting to Ireland I would let you know. Had you been coming over here I should have been glad to see you.

I trust things are quieting down as I think they are generally in England.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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September 8th, 1891.

I am extremely sorry to hear of having been so poorly and being still so weak. Even when there is not acute pain I think weakness is a trying experience, but perhaps to some of us it is needful -- giving us opportunity of proving the sympathy of Christ. One comfort is, we shall not always be weak, for we shall live by the power of God. I think weakness is what is best suited to one's present mixed condition.

October 21st, 1891.

We began the fortnightly meetings last evening, and had a good time on the armour in Ephesians 6. I look for the mercy of God.

Hebrews 12 has come home to me (referring to the illness of one of his children), and I think with you that God in a sense prepares us for what we have to pass through, though perhaps when we come to the point we are sometimes spared it.

November 16th, 1891.

I hear that a 'keen critic' of mine takes exception to the idea of God dwelling among men save in the eternal state, in any other sense than that Christ is reigning. My point was taken from Leviticus 16, that the tabernacle remains among the children of Israel on the ground of the blood being carried into the holiest, and we find in the Old Testament abundant testimony to Jehovah dwelling among them. The last word in Ezekiel is "Jehovah is there", and I think two ideas are continually presented, viz., Jehovah their God and David their king. Jehovah and His Christ. The two may be in one Person, but they are distinct thoughts, and the association of ideas in each case is distinct.

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I stuck at the point you refer to in the paper. My thought is this, that it is of divine perfection that when a divine Person comes into the place and form of a servant obedience is there; but I cannot carry back the idea of obedience to One "existing in the form of God" -- though I see the place relatively of the Father and the Son,+ and it appears to me in Philippians 2 the Spirit of God will not bring in obedience and humbling until He had emptied Himself. There may have been the capability, but I doubt if obedience could be spoken of as characterising a divine Person as such.. .. It is of all importance to maintain that in order to take a servant's form He emptied Himself.

February 29th, 1892.

Mr. Stewart.

My Dear Brother, -- I had yours of January 18th in due course and, curiously enough, the same mail brought me one from Glenny from Sydney. He seems to be feeling his way there. He speaks of there being plenty of interest in the word there, though there is no particular gift in the meeting. The arrival of Edwards and Klein in New Zealand will have its effect. Edwards is a man who has been used a good deal in England. I never heard him, but others say that he can preach beautifully. I do not think the difficulty that some feel has reference so much to the preaching as to the mode of carrying on the work -- the sort of fever heat, the hymns, the after meetings and so on. I trust they may be kept in sobriety and conscious that God's work must be done in divine power.

I am very thankful to learn that things have quietened down in the Colony -- as in England. Those who have left make no secret now that the attack was really meant for J.B.S., and unwillingly admit that, as far as

+See letter, November 23rd, 1898, on page 147. -- ED.

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the United Kingdom is concerned, it has grievously failed. I am convinced that it has been a conflict with the sort of materialism which had crept into Evangelical christianity through the effort to bring divine ideas within the comprehension of the natural mind. I can understand man's mind being able to grasp the idea of sins and forgiveness but the moment we come to the positive character of our blessings in Christ, the human mind has no ability. This would be admitted in terms -- but the way in which it has been insisted that Christ manifested eternal life to the world shows that in the thought of those who spoke thus, it was possible for man to understand the things of the Spirit. There is little outward change in the position of things in England. One hears occasionally of one and another coming back and sometimes of one and another leaving, but this is sure to be the case when people are acted on by so many influences. Captain Barton rejoices I hear that they have no large gatherings together. I should rejoice that they are more common with us than they used to be for I think the coming together of brothers for readings in different parts of the country is a wholesome check on individual peculiarities, and I think any labouring brother worth anything would be glad of them. We are, D.V., to have a meeting at Park Street the end of this month. It will be over before you receive this. A good many have been invited and I trust we may have a good time. Abroad there does not seem to be much movement save that I believe there is still some recovery both in France and Italy. They are having a sort of conference at Novi, and Oliphant has gone down to it. Germany and Switzerland still seem to be shut up. Some time since I was told by Gibbons of Newport that the result produced on his mind by a conversation with Dr. Rossier was that Lowe's course in England was determined by the fear of having to break with the foreign brothers, for they had pretty well made up

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their minds to break altogether with England. It is certain that there has long been an unhappy feeling abroad in regard to England. Dr. R. said that they had not translated anything of J.B.S.'s for twelve years.

I am sorry to hear that you have been troubled with your throat. It is trying to get it out of order for it is liable to produce a weak point afterwards. I hope that after the rest you will be able to use your voice again. The winter has been a very trying one in England, though we have through God's mercy escaped sickness. J.B.S. wears wonderfully and seems able to carry on his work.

I trust your wife and children are fairly well, and remain with love in the Lord.

Your affectionate brother,

March 24th, 1892.

As regards your question as to the distinction between 'the kingdom of God' and 'the kingdom of heaven', the two expressions strike me as follows, viz.: the kingdom of God refers to the moral sway of God as such; a man must be born again to see or to enter into it. Our souls as christians are under the influence of what God is morally, as revealed in grace. Hence the Son could say when here, "the kingdom of God is among you", and we read in Romans that "the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit". These are the portion of the soul under the moral sway of God. I think the tenth leper (Luke 17) who returned to Jesus to give glory to God in a sense illustrates it. The kingdom of heaven refers (it appears to me) to constituted authority, as the Lord said, "All power has been given me in heaven and upon earth". It seems to carry out the principle indicated in Genesis 1:17, 18, viz., that the earth should be in the light and under the rule of heaven.

What God has established in heaven consequent on

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redemption is to illumine and rule on earth. Hence hereafter the heavenly city is the seat and vessel of light and rule; the nations walk in the light of it. We as christians are in the kingdom of heaven; we are of the day, in the light and under the rule of Him who in heaven is made Lord and Christ. I do not know if this will tend to make the matter any clearer. I think I can see the distinctness of the two things.

April 23rd, 1892. I am glad to send you a line in regard to my short visit to the north. I think I may say it turned out happily and I trust for mutual good. On the Saturday and Sunday at 5 -- we had readings on Romans 5 and Romans 8, which seemed to be much appreciated and helped, I think, in some measure out of old grooves of thought.. .. On the Monday we had the largest gathering. I tried to show from 1 Corinthians 3 the importance of recognising the temple of God (where the living oracles are), and that saints are stones in it, and that the result of so doing is that we get light on the word. I showed how it was led up to in chapters 1 and 2 -- that Christ was all for God -- wisdom and power, and man nothing, and that for the apprehension of the wisdom of God we need to be in touch with a new scene (perfect) and characterised by a power beyond and outside of man's mind (to be spiritual).. .. In the evening I took up the place of hope and faith with a christian.

June, 1892. I am glad you wrote to me on the points mentioned in your letter, because although I do not think they are my originating, I am probably more responsible with regard to them than . I cannot say that I regret so much as some do questions of this kind being

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raised, as any hard and fast system of interpreting Scripture is in my judgment undesirable, and if matters are freely talked over I am sure what is not of God will not stand.

I should not for one moment be inclined to contest the position that the word of Christ in Matthew 16:18 refers to His assembly in its full extent. It is that which He, rejected of His people, would build on the revelation and confession of Himself as the Son of the living God. Hence it takes in all saints from Pentecost to the coming of the Lord -- in other words, the whole period during which in our point of view the church has been on earth, and it will come out perfected in glory. But I cannot think that J.N.D. could have intended that we should find no present status for the assembly in Matthew 16. On the contrary, I have often heard him identify Matthew 16 with 1 Peter 2, and surely a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, is true of the saints now. In the same way the whole building, fitly framed together, grows to an holy temple in the Lord; but saints are already God's temple. They have that status and privilege. Though statements in Scripture may leave room for what may go on during an extended period, I doubt if it is the bearing in which truths are in general presented to us in the New Testament. I have heard it said that New Testament scriptures do not usually contemplate things beyond the lifetime of those addressed. The ten virgins who went forth to meet the Bridegroom are here when the Bridegroom comes. So the assembly that Christ builds would (as appears to me) have place here consequent on Christ's rejection, and the gates of hell could not prevail against it. The gates of hell are hardly in heaven. So that I think we are justified in taking our thought of Christ's assembly from Matthew 16.

As regards Matthew 18:20, I take the passage in

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its connection with the chapter, and the subject of the chapter seems to me the ordering of conduct in the kingdom of heaven. In the main the instruction in the chapter refers to individual conduct (see verse 35). The assembly, as having a voice, is brought in only incidentally in reference to a particular individual difficulty. The "again" of verse 19 seems to me to take up a point additional to the "moreover" of verse 15. It refers to two of them agreed as touching anything they should ask in Christ's name, and on this follows the statement that where two or three are gathered together to My name, there am I in the midst. You may say, that is Christ's assembly, and I should not dispute it, but it appears to me that verse 20 is given as encouragement for those agreed in verse 19, and that the two or three in the former refers to the two in the latter. I should not like to stereotype the two as the assembly, though surely they must be in the truth of it, for nothing else is really recognised; but I should be sorry for the simplicity of the passage to be marred. It is a matter of fact in your letter you apply the passage to two or three gathered to Christ's name in a day of ruin, who certainly cannot be said to be the assembly, though acting in the truth of it, and this in principle is really all that is contended for. What is of value to us in a day of ruin had its value also when all was in order.

June 8th, 1892.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I send a line in reply to yours to say that, as regards my movements, I shall not be likely to be away from Greenwich this month. I may probably run away for a few days in the beginning of July and we may all be away for the month of August, but otherwise I am to be found here at any time and

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should be very glad to see you. If a bed were any convenience we would give it you.

I thank you for the paper you sent me and think that the article on eternal life fairly represents the common idea of Evangelical Christians on the subject. What the high churchman connects with baptism they connect with faith -- but the main idea of life in itself is the same. I am not sure if J.A.T. is clear of this idea. I think your strictures on his paper are just, what he says does not alter my judgment. In the first epistle, John is speaking of what was from the beginning what they had seen, and hence (whatever it might be essentially) the thought of eternal life is connected with Christ as Man and the expression "which was with the Father" does not disprove it to my mind. It is to me a moral expression. I believe the common conception of life, as something having a substantive existence, is a material idea and not the thought of Scripture. The word 'zoe' is used in certainly three senses: (1) a blessing -- a gift, i.e., relief from the judgment of death or the passing out of death into what is morally life; (2) morally, as character or moral being, the effect of quickening -- in this sense Christ the living bread is the life of the soul; and (3) as energy. If Christ be in you the Spirit is life, but none of these senses gives the idea of a something substantive. As to God, He is -- as to us we live spiritually, because we have been made alive in our souls by God's power. It is the difference between the Creator and the creature, though morally we become partakers of the divine nature.

The word 'bios' appears to me to refer to natural life and is used for 'living', in the sense of that on which natural life is dependent, i.e., substance or circumstances. It is used in the Septuagint chiefly in Job and Proverbs in the sense of man's life on the earth "his days". In Song of Songs 8:7 it is "substance".

I do not very much think there is any immediate

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prospect of my coming to Dublin. And the more I think of their paper at Westland Row the worse I regard it, but I am very thankful there are those there that do not approve it. I am very glad you are going on happily at Rathmines.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

June 13th, 1892.

I remember a question being asked on the Saturday morning (Quemerford) as to the kingdom. For my own part I cannot see much relation between the kingdom and the house. The assembly is Christ's, and He gives the keys of the kingdom showing that He is supreme in it. Peter was a stone for the assembly, and received the keys of the kingdom -- but the assembly is a structure of a new kind (built), and the kingdom regards us individually. We come in by the word; we come into the order that rules in the kingdom.

July 20th, 1892.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- Glad to have a line from you and thank you for the enclosures to your letter, though to me the matter is now of the past. As regards your reference to J.N.D. as to 'new birth' I have had the same thing pointed out before in his writings. It is difficult to use what he may have said, in opposing each particular error, in a general sort of way. That new birth is not apart from faith everyone would admit. But faith is not natural to man, and if faith precedes new birth then faith is the

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work of God -- and is thus really new birth, i.e., the beginning. This appears to me to be really J.N.D.'s point. He is contending against the idea of faith being an 'intellectual process' and he speaks of faith as a work wrought by God in the soul, and again that faith is 'that by which we are thus born'. Thus with him evidently faith is the work of God in the soul. The main idea is that all began with God and that is how new birth is continually brought in in John.

We are well through mercy. We have just had G. Cutting here for ten days and much enjoyed his visit and I trust there is some blessing as the result of it.

I hope you are well and remain,
Your affectionate brother,

September 30th, 1892.

In regard to your questions, I think that Scripture speaks guardedly of "Christ in you", though it is what one may call proper christian state. In this way it is used in Romans 8, "If Christ be in you", and he tells you what then characterises -- "the body is dead", etc. But it is to the Colossians he speaks of "Christ in you". In the Galatians He was not formed, but they had the Spirit. Every christian has accepted the testimony of Christ as Saviour, but I think it is when they apprehend Him as the only Man before God, the pattern to whom they are to be conformed, that Christ is formed in them. This may be hindered, as with the Galatians; but till then I doubt if it can be said, 'Christ in you'. I do not say it is attainment, for it is the proper starting-point for attainment.

I think in Galatians 2:20 the apostle personifies in himself the true christian state. Romans 8:2 indicates the way in which we have life now with God --

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not, so to say, in the actuality of heavenly life, but in the Spirit, who has that character to us, "The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus", so that we can be, in a sense, with God outside and apart from our mere outward, natural life down here.

October 5th, 1892.

The questions which you have heard raised are not very formidable ones. As regards my having said that Christ died to law -- I have heard it said ever since I came into fellowship -- Christ was made under law. He bore the curse in being hanged on a tree, and by death He passed out of its application and curse, and in resurrection He entered on a condition of life as man to which law does not apply. "The law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth", and Paul had died to law in being crucified with Christ. I do not pretend to speak with inspired accuracy, but I think to say that "Christ has died to law" sufficiently expresses one's sense of the truth. I suppose the objector would hardly say He has not died to law.

As to the other question, the thought of Christ living in him is, it appears to me, individualised by Paul. I admit the title of every believer to reckon himself alive to God in Christ; and in his having the Spirit of Christ, Christ is his life, and in principle it is true that Christ is in him, as he is in Christ; but what I understand by Christ living in Paul is that he was so practically in the realisation of death to all that in which flesh lives, that Christ in the power of the Spirit was the spring in him of affections, thoughts, desires, of all in which life morally consists. I do not think this is true of every christian. I do not think it was so with the Galatians, but it is the proper christian state.

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October 15th, 1892.

We have come to an end of the meetings here, and I think there is but one feeling prevailing -- that the Lord has been with us, and that we have in consequence had light and help. You will have heard what we read (Colossians and Hebrews), and the impression produced on me is that each time we read these epistles we get an increased sense of the Person, and thus in a way become less distinctly doctrinal. Now I think there is a general feeling that the truth comes before us at these meetings in a more distinct way as bringing to light the living associations in which we are set by the Spirit of God. Many old notions which had obtained place and currency are being exploded, but the living organisation which the truth reveals is coming out in their place. I was led to speak on the first afternoon on the connection between light and love, in that light not only exposes man, but reveals God, and that the more we are in the light the more conscious we are of the love.

November 25th, 1892.

I do not think any writings make one feel one's spiritual feebleness like John's.. I have certainly not written to any one that the Lord had the nature of a man before He became Man, though I certainly hold that what characterises Him morally as Man was of Himself, and not from Mary.

December 17th, 1892.

I took up, or rather sought to bring out, the glory of Christ as presented in the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John -- official as connected with the assembly and the kingdom in Matthew 16 -- moral as connected

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with the administration of grace to men, and His service in heaven in Luke (Luke 12); and personal (the Son in distinction to the Father) in John. You may well suppose the handling was poor enough, but I trust it may serve to excite more interest in the Scripture, and lead to increased knowledge of the Lord.

December 26th, 1892.

My Dear Brother, -- I have received your letter of 10th inst. and send a few lines in answer to it. As far as I have an understanding of Scripture on the subject, it seems to me that there is a measure of confusion between two things which are presented in distinctness in Scripture -- viz., Eternal Life -- and the work of God in the soul by which eternal life is apprehended and entered on. The first of these (eternal life) as presented in Scripture comprises two essential elements, viz., relief from death (morally or physically), and introduction into positive blessing ordained of God, earthly or heavenly. In Psalm 133 we see the earthly in the blessing commanded in Zion -- the restoration and unity of Israel -- in John 17:3 the heavenly in the knowledge of the Father and the Son. It is evident that in either case there must be a state of soul produced in the saint suited for and corresponding to the blessing, and this is the work of God. For the christian we see the elements of this work in John 3:4. They consist in new birth, faith, and a well of water in the believer.

(1) New birth -- for it is evident that God must begin, there being nothing in man to be trusted -- no anchoring ground so to say for truth.

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(2) Faith in the Son of man lifted up (for the condemnation of sin in the flesh) in which the love of God to the world has been revealed.

(3) The well of water -- the Spirit of life -- in the believer which springs up into eternal life.

Thus we have the work of God in the believer by which, though still on earth, he enters into heavenly things -- eternal life. All this is, so to say, summed up in chapter 5, in which we find that the hour now is where the (spiritually) dead hear the voice of the Son of God, speaking in their souls, and they that have heard live -- and in chapter 6 we find the soul entering into eternal life in the enjoyment of the love expressed in the incarnation and death of the Son of man which has placed what is divine and heavenly within the reach of its appropriation (eating). Thus we have the truth of eternal life solved -- and now God abides in us and we in Him. There is, so to say, the reciprocity of life and spiritual affections as far as can be between God and a creature. I trust that the above may at any rate make my thought plain.

With love to the saints,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

March 3rd, 1893.

My Dear Brother, -- I send you a line in answer to your letter, but in what I write you must understand that I am not speaking dogmatically but only stating how things present themselves to my own mind. It appears to me that in breathing into man's nostrils the breath of life God gave to man a moral existence -- different from all the rest of the creation -- man became

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a living soul. The word 'soul' in the first use of it referred in itself, I imagine, to the natural part of man, his natural life as made out of earth (1 Corinthians 15:45 - 47), what he had in common with the beast (only that he was a living soul by the breath of God). Soul came afterwards to denote the individuality as seen in the expression "the soul that sinneth it shall die", i.e., the person actually sinning. From that I fancy it came to be used to distinguish the moral from the material part of man, and is commonly so employed by the Lord. A man is identified before God by his moral being; and the moral part (of necessity maintaining the man's identity) is held by God in eternal existence and if man dies (converted or unconverted) is again clothed in a body. I should not myself confound this with the term 'inner man' which is, I think, the ideal or faith existence of a christian in connection with unseen things.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

May 10th, 1893.

My Dear Brother, -- As far as I understand it, I think the unity of the Spirit is in the nature of an abstract thought. It is what would be realised if every saint were in the consciousness by the Spirit of his relationship to Christ and to every other saint. It is unity which exists not in the flesh, nor by outward agreement, but in the Spirit -- and it involves therefore the setting aside of the flesh. The secret and power of the unity remain here in spite of all failure -- and there has ever been the opportunity and responsibility to

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return to it -- but as a matter of fact it was early marred and has never since been realised in its completeness. You could not speak of the unity of the Spirit in heaven -- where the Spirit alone will be the power of the life and activities of saints. I trust the above may help, and remain,

Your affectionate brother,

May 15th, 1893.

It is very good of you to say what you do as having been helped by my ministry. I am sure I often feel tried with its poverty, though in the intelligence of divine things I am conscious of having been helped of God; and certainly I have found more opening among saints than I could ever have thought of. The Lord's ways are inscrutable. He uses whom He will. I cannot undertake to explain the sentence you quote from the reading on 1 Corinthians 10, for I do not understand it myself, although as I write it dawns upon me that I was deprecating the practice of connecting the Lord's table with discipline, i.e., putting people away, and I maintained that the Lord's table brought in responsibility in regard to our own associations (i.e., reflectively) and not in reference to dealing in discipline with others (i.e., objectively). I think this explains the sentence.

May 24th, 1893.

I am unable to understand the idea of 'free will' in any but a divine way, and then only in the sense that He does absolutely what He wills. It is not a free choice between good and evil for He cannot do evil by reason of what He is. 'God is love'. I do not believe that any creature ever was made with free will, i.e., to do good or evil as it chose. Such an idea is altogether beyond the place of a creature. If God

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makes a creature He makes it for His will and if it moves away from the place and conditions in which God has set it, it is evident that another and antagonistic will has come into operation. The creature has left its orbit. How this came to pass in the case of Satan we are not told. With man it came through temptation. He listened to another voice than God's and will came in. I suppose the beginning of departure was self-confidence. Adam did not know that he could not stand in the presence of evil without divine support. The moment he hearkens to any other voice save God's for direction he fell. Man then began on a new line governed by a will that was not God's. He might under certain influences be capable of good impulses and actions (as we speak) within certain limits, but he was not ruled by God's will but practically by the influence of what was around him. He did not refer to God because he had lost Him. Return to God is followed by return to His will; Romans 2. To the christian the Spirit is given to maintain him in God's revealed will, which is in general the ground of man's responsibility and in the case of Israel hereafter the law will be written in their hearts. Though man is in heart departed from God and will has come in, we have in looking at things morally to remember that other elements than will have to be taken into account. There is conscience which can be appealed to and aroused where a man may not be really converted, as Felix, and allied to this is the fear of consequences. Then there is the effect of early training and of natural affection. But all this does not alter the fact that man is not naturally directed by the will of God, and when the question is raised with him he is in principle and will opposed to God. In fact it needs a divine work of grace in him to overcome the resistance of man's will, to draw him to Christ, and in the case of the one who has been brought to Christ, the instant he departs from the law of the Spirit he is

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really in contrariety to God though he might still from various influences do many things commendable before men, but he is not ruled by God's will. And this is in principle sin. Grace is sovereign and unmerited. It overcomes the resistance of man's will, but in order that a moral result may be produced in its objects it works through man's conscience and sense of responsibility. We see this illustrated in Luke 15 and in the case of the dying thief.

June 23rd, 1893.

Mr. Hoare.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to send a few lines in answer to your letter, not as laying down the law on the subject on which you write -- but as giving you what seems to me to be the teaching of Scripture on the subject. I may begin by saying that if 'the communication of divine or spiritual life' in 'new birth' is understood to designate that initial and effectual work of the Spirit in the soul of man which forms the point of moral affinity with God, and is therefore the point of departure for any blessing into which that soul may be ultimately conducted, I should have no objection to the expression, and should not certainly quarrel with it -- though it is undeniable that Scripture does not speak of 'life' in direct and immediate connection with new birth -- thus in our doing so I think there is considerable danger of disconnecting life, in our thoughts, from the One in whom man is or can be justified -- and who as having borne the judgment of death that rested on man is now as last Adam a quickening Spirit towards men. I apprehend that though, in any case, man must be born again, yet that life connects itself now with faith in Christ's Person (as raised again for our justification)

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and the consequent communication of the Spirit of life. The believer is thus made alive in the Spirit, is after Christ's order. Not only is the person forgiven but God has now His end, the believer is now for Him, and His love is known. That Scripture connects the truth of life with Christ and subjectively with the Spirit cannot, I think, be contested. Christ gives the water that in the believer is a well of water springing up to eternal life. He quickens whom He will. He is the bread of life. He came that the sheep might have life. He gives His sheep eternal life. He breathed on the disciples the breath of life. He has annulled death and brought life and incorruptibility to light. The last Adam is a quickening Spirit. And as to the place of the Spirit subjectively we have the well of water springing up to eternal life. It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. The Holy Spirit was communicated (as a breath of inward life). He is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. If Christ is in the believer the Spirit is life. We live in the Spirit and of the Spirit reap eternal life. Such is, as I judge, the present form that quickening takes. I need hardly say that the above refers to life giving, the communication of life, i.e., of the power by which we live. There is another point of importance and that is the food of life by which we are sustained in life, and there it is Christ (not the Spirit) and eating Him we live because of Him; and in view of this I cannot see any possible danger of getting into an incarnation of the Spirit. Of the place and necessity of new birth I believe that I have as strong a sense as any -- without it we are nothing nor could be anything -- but I do not care to put it in the place of that which Christ came that we might have, and which He has made effectual in us in

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the communication consequent on reception of the Spirit of life. The point at which Israel may be said to live in the millennium will be, I judge, when by the coming of the deliverer out of Zion ungodliness is turned away from Jacob, the law is written in their hearts and they are freed of death and its power. Death is swallowed up in victory. I imagine they will be born again before the tribulation. At the same time if anyone said that the exercises of the Psalms are the exercises of a soul spiritually alive I should readily enough accept it, but they are not free of death. With love in the Lord to Mrs. Hoare and yourself, also to Miss Evans.

Believe me,
Your very affectionate brother,

June 27th, 1893.

Mr. Hoare.

My Dear Brother, -- I thank you for your letter -- and agree substantially with what you say -- and readily accept the counsel which you offer, but at the same time I think I can truly say that the object before me in what I have sought to maintain has not been to carry a point -- but to resist what I believe to be a wrong and commonly prevalent thought in many minds in regard to what is spoken of as the communication of life in new birth. I believe the idea in communication of life was, in its first use, substantially right and employed in opposition to the Wesleyan notion of new birth as an effect produced by preaching that might appear and disappear, but as time has gone on new birth has come to convey to many minds the idea of the communication of life as a distinct and substantive quantity, and thus the true work of the Spirit in the soul is clouded. I believe new birth to be the

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work of the Spirit in man's moral being by which, so far as it goes, moral affinity to God is begotten in the man, which is evidenced by a craving after God, but which leaves the person still undelivered and under the judgment of death, and from this state he has to find relief and life in Christ. I trust I may have the pleasure some time of seeing you at Weston. With kind love in the Lord to Mrs. Hoare and yourself.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

July 20th, 1893.

I return the enclosed, which gives no good reason for departing from what we have been accustomed to hold as to the seven churches. Paul sees the ruin of the assembly as a professing body as much as John. (See 2 Timothy.) John carries it on to judgment to make way for "the things after these", and eventually gives the judgment of the great whore before the marriage of the Lamb. But when the Revelation was written the seven churches in Asia existed and stood in the normal relation of the church to Christ, and to the Spirit. They were not in judgment, but threatened with it. Taking the extended view of the seven assemblies there must come a moment when Christ alters His position, and His body is taken, and all the arguments in the world would not convince me that this makes no difference to the professing body. The house will be left desolate, and christendom will no longer stand in any present relation to Christ or the Spirit. Judgment comes in and other things begin to operate. When the twenty-four elders are round about the throne the "things after these" have taken the place of "the things that

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are", i.e., of the assembly on earth in its relation to Christ. I do not believe that the church is any longer owned in any sense, and it cannot be proved.

July 21st, 1893.

Mr. Darby used to say that such an experience as that described in Romans 7 in which the desires were entirely right and the practice wholly wrong never really occurred. He used to speak of it as a christian's estimate of the experience of a soul under law. The soul is born again, and is looking to its own conduct as the ground of acceptance, and hence sees God as a judge, as you say. Justification is, speaking generally, that you are righteously relieved of judgment. There is no longer imputation of sin, and you are free of death (as God's judgment), for Christ has been raised for your justification. It is, I think, in the apprehension of Christ as last Adam, and of the justification of life through Him as such that you see that you are gone as to all that you are morally in the eye of God. Here it is that I think we pass out of death into life, and it is as in life, in the power of the Spirit, that the soul really learns the completeness of Christ's work through which it has been brought where it is. We ought, in a sense, to learn Romans 6 and 7 in order to enter on chapter 8, but most of us have to learn 6 and 7 after we have known something of 8, though I question if we are really established in chapter 8 till we have learnt chapters 6 and 7, and I do not think we learn deliverance until we have learnt the reality and power of what we are to be delivered from, so that deliverance should become a necessity to the

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soul. We have to know what the 'body of sin' and 'the body of this death' mean before we really enter into deliverance by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

July 25th, 1893.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to reply to your letter and to give you as clearly as J am able the thought which 'inner man' conveys to my mind. Undoubtedly there is in every man a 'within' and a 'without', i.e., what a man is in heart and mind -- and what he is in appearances and the two may not correspond -- the latter being often a blind to the former, but this does not explain to my mind the force of the Scripture expressions 'inner man' and 'outward man' -- I do not think they are used save as speaking of saints -- I do not agree with the thought in the article you sent me on the subject. The writer virtually makes the body the outward man. I doubt if a body is a man. I think the expression 'outward man' refers to the man (the christian) as to what he is in mere outward life in the world -- which perishes. But his real self or identity with God is the inward man -- that in which God has formed his soul in grace -- and this is renewed day by day -- and is to be clothed with the house out of heaven. I do not think the inner man is simply the natural faculties of heart and mind common to men but, so to say, a new moral being really formed in the christian by divine power, and true for faith, and which as before God is really himself. I trust the above will make my thought clear,

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

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August 29th, 1893.

Dear --, -- I am not acquainted with Mr. Hunt (whose letter I return), but certainly what he says does not produce a favourable impression on me. It gives me the idea of disingenuousness. His allusion to an infidel book (which he should know nothing about) as though what was accepted amongst us were tending in that direction, does not approve his letter to my judgment -- nor do I understand for what purpose he writes to you at all, save that you should accept his dictum -- for explanations on the issues involved are in his view inadmissible. He will not himself pretend to explain what Mr. Darby means in saying that 'the state described in the Psalm 16 is that of man considered apart from God' -- and yet would convey to your mind that it is something quite different in force from my statement that 'Christ is viewed as man distinct and apart from what He is as God' in that and other passages. He quotes 1 Corinthians 15:47 according to the authorised version (the second Man is the Lord from heaven) in a form which he must know is wrong, and which begs the question at issue -- all this appears to me unworthy. As regards the main point of the letter, I affirm that the Person of the Son is what He ever was and is eternally and unchangeably as divine -- the Son in distinction from the Father and the Spirit. But the Son has become man, and as such (having died and risen) He has entered into relations in regard to men into which He could not have entered simply as a divine Person -- such as 'first-born among many brethren' -- 'second Man' -- "mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" -- "Head of the body" -- "High Priest", etc., etc., and Scripture in presenting Him to us in these positions speaks abstractly, i.e., limits itself to what is appropriate to the particular

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position in hand, and does not in so speaking cover all that is true of the Person who has entered on those positions. I cannot. imagine any thoughtful person contesting this. But further, besides presenting God to man in His pathway here, Christ presented man in perfectness before God, and this is the view in Psalm 16, and further, as Son of man, the woman's seed, He bore the judgment of death that rested on man -- by man came the resurrection of the dead. How can you import the thought of God, as such, into all this in any subjective sense? though all was effected and could only be effected in One who is in Person divine. It is really irreverent and profane. The truth is that the moment those who have left us commit themselves to anything, they betray only painful inability to grasp divine thoughts. You may not care to send my letter to Mr. Hunt, but I have thought it best to speak plainly as to his letter to you. I trust you are all well, and remain with love in the Lord.

Faithfully yours,

December 7th, 1893.

Dear --, -- I send you a few lines of comment on Mr. Hunt's letter, which I return. Now in remarking on it I must say that judging it by its substance, apart from expressions of piety contained in it, the letter appears to me a deplorable performance, spite of its having taken some time to produce it. You can hardly wonder at my judging it severely when I consider that the fellowship with which Mr. Hunt is identified is based on the rejection of ourselves as heretics and blasphemers.

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There is in the letter but little light as to his own thoughts, for he hides them under the veil of mystery, and contents himself with seeking to establish what I believe to be a wholly false principle as to the apprehension of the various relations and positions into which Christ has entered as Man, and His suitability for them. By a most improper use of the statement "no one knoweth the Son but the Father", christians are virtually stopped from seeking to enter into the import of any particular relation or position which Christ sustains -- for to do this they must of necessity look at such relation abstractly, i.e., in what it is in itself apart from other thoughts as to the Person who sustains it, because it is so revealed -- and is the only way in which man (being finite) could take it in. In many cases it would not be possible to bring the thought of God as such into the particular relation -- for how could it be said of God over all blessed for ever that He had 'a head' or was 'perfected for ever', or 'entered in', or is the 'mediator between God and men', or 'the first-born among many brethren'. If anyone dares to speak of these things abstractly he is charged with dividing the unity of the Person of the Son. By such a notion all is shrouded in mystery, utterly and hopelessly obscured. Where the idea of unity of a person is got from I know not. It seems to me perfect nonsense. The idea of person does not bring in the thought of either parts or unity. A person is that person in every variety of relations into which he may enter. No one in his senses would accuse me of dividing the person of the queen because I said that in her home life she was seen distinct and apart from what she is as queen. It is two totally distinct ideas coalesced in one person, but which can be separately presented and apprehended. The fact is that those who have left us have no sense of the reality of the incarnation of the Son, and are fast travelling in the

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direction of the profane thought of M. Favez, their leader in France, that the Son of man is man united to the divinity. One sentence in Mr. Hunt's letter has amazed me. He asks whether my statement that 'the Son has become Man and as such, having died and risen, entered into relations in regard to men into which he could not have entered simply as a divine Person' does not make a distinction as to the Person of the Son when entering into those relations. How any distinction as to person is deduced from this, I am at a loss to conceive, for 'the Son' (i.e., the Person) is the antecedent to the whole sentence. Had he said distinction as to form or condition I could have understood. Existing in the form of God Christ emptied Himself and took on Him a servant's form becoming in the likeness of men. The phraseology in which Mr. Hunt couches his own belief such as God and Man one Christ, and God becoming the woman's seed, is not the language of Scripture nor in my judgment conveys at all accurately the truth of Scripture. I just add that I adhere to my former comments on Mr. H.'s first letter. I consider his referring to a book in such repute as 'Lux Mundi' unworthy, as I do his presumption that a sentence of mine was different in meaning from remarks of Mr. Darby's which he would not pretend to explain -- and his quotation of John 3:31 in juxtaposition with 1 Corinthians 15:47 certainly gives the idea that he intended to substantiate the wrong force which the interpolation of the words 'the Lord' in the authorised version gives to the latter passage. I showed Mr. Hunt's letter to Mr. B. and send you some independent comments of his -- you will see that the point you refer to has struck him -- that is how Mr. Hunt fails to carry on his thoughts as to Christ to death and resurrection, and it is intelligible, for how are

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you to bring in the thought of God in any subjective sense there though nothing could alter the truth of the Son's Person? We are all well through mercy, and I trust you are so and the party at B. and remain with our love in the Lord.

Affectionately yours,

February 3rd, 1894.

I am glad to reply to your letter, and to share with you any little light I have on the word. John 6:53-57 is a very interesting passage. I should not say that verse 53 is a sinner eating for salvation. It seems to me that the Lord is showing (while still living on earth) that His death would come as a test, and if not eaten would prove that they had no life in them. I fancy that the first true evidence of life in the Spirit is the appropriation of Christ's death. It is felt by the soul that it can no longer be in communion with the world in which sin reigns, and in which the flesh finds its life, and it appropriates Christ's death as that which is morally suitable to itself. It is its suited food -- and this appropriation becomes habitual. Then comes the eating Him as the living bread by which I am supported in life outside the course and order of this scene. The flesh and blood seem to me to be more akin to the passover than to the brazen serpent. (See verse 4). I think the prominent idea in it is grace rather than condemnation. It is undoubtedly the privilege, and, as to life, the necessity of every believer, but I fear that many christians know but little of it. Anyway, there can be no eating but in the power of the Spirit of life. The Israelites in Egypt ate the flesh on the night of the passover, but they could not drink the blood. The blood was for God. Now we eat the flesh, and drink the blood, for every claim of God has been met, and the Spirit given.

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April 9th, 1894.

I am glad to send you a few lines in answer to your note. The idea of "spiritual" in 1 Corinthians 2 is as to the question of perception, as evidently the mind of man is not competent in things entirely beyond the range of its powers, and hence the necessity of the spiritual man for entering into God's things. The thoughts connected with the "temple" and the "body" in 1 Corinthians are that they are privileges proper to christianity, and to which christians can therefore ever return. The truth of the temple (i.e., of the Spirit being here) shuts out man as such as to all his importance, he is not to be gloried in; and the thought of the body brings in the positive place of the saints to be descriptive here, by His grace and gifts, of another Man -- the Christ. One man is put out, and another brought in. 1 Corinthians gives us the present responsible place of the saints. Ephesians shows us their place in the thoughts and counsel of God; hence everything begins from the Head and the body, and the temple is seen as going on to completion, and there is added in a kind of supplementary way the present status of saints as built together for a habitation of God by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians takes in general the present responsible side of the truth and Ephesians the counsel side.

April 21st, 1894.

What is in question is not the Person of Christ but the mode of apprehending what Scripture presents. In God's ways in grace many thoughts are brought before us, as eternal life, High Priest, Prophet, Mediator, Son of man, Christ, Last Adam, Second Man, etc., each of which has its distinctiveness and value and measure, and must be so apprehended by us, for we know in part, but all centred in the Person of the Son. But to me His Person stands out clear and

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distinct amid all these official glories, and Scripture does not confound these glories with the truth of His Person, though they all have their lustre from it. There is "My glory". As regards the question of death with Christ, I think the ground on which we die is that our old man has been crucified with Christ. I think my history as a responsible child of Adam was ended for God in the cross where my sins were borne, and hence when I see this I am entitled to die under the eye of God. I was dead in sins, but as made alive in the Spirit I die to sin. But I do not think I am dead to sin save as I account myself dead to it. So too I put off the body of the flesh because of the circumcision of Christ. I do not think the thought of having died in Christ is right as a present thing.

June, 1894.

I believe the testimony of Scripture to be that Christ, while in Person divine, did not take here the place of God but of Man (Mark 10:18; John 8:40) and of servant. He came not to be ministered to but to minister. Still being in Person divine, and He could not be less, Jesus could speak with the authority of God, as we see in John 2:19; John 8:58. But He spoke and did nothing from Himself, and in this place and state as Son of man in the power of the Holy Spirit which was in Him without measure. He spoke the Father's words, and did the Father's works. Thus God was manifested in the flesh. I believe this to be the Lord's own account of Himself, and the testimony to Him of the Spirit. The miracles which He did as anointed with power attested His word and approved Him as man. But He could not be such a man without being God. He, existing in the form of God, emptied Himself, and took on Him a servant's form, becoming in the likeness of men, and as Man

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humbled Himself in obedience. But at the same time it was the Person of the Son that did this and became identified with manhood. Now I would not be prepared to say that in becoming Man He did or could divest Himself of attributes that properly belong to His Person (see Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3), though when here in the place of man we do not see Him in the exercise of those attributes, but in the truth of the state and place He had taken. How this could be is beyond human power to say. I hardly conceive love to be an attribute of God, but rather what His nature is substantively.

June, 1894.

The real point in the case is the question of Philippians 2:7. I really prefer the authorised version, for the expression 'emptied Himself' suggests to the English mind -- 'emptied of what?' and I question if this can be definitely answered.. .. I should not like, in the face of John 8:58, to say that He emptied Himself of the status of God. I am sure it is better left alone. But behind all this the question remains, Was Christ here as Man or as God? I am content to take the testimony of the apostles to Jew and gentile on which christianity was founded (Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38; Acts 13:32 - 39), and I need not say that they knew He was in Person divine, "The word became flesh", the Son revealing the Father; I think I am as distinct about that as any, and that adequate evidence of it was given; but none the less it remains true that His glory was veiled, and that He entered here into all that was suitable to man and to the servant, that God might be glorified in the Son of man, and I am not inclined to surrender this. I trust things may make for peace and not disturbance. I am content to be in the shade, and to wait on God. I know of no divergence of thought between myself and J.B.S.

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October 23rd, 1894.

As to the trouble at -- - they shut out -- - and those with him because the latter will not own them as Christ's assembly. I for one utterly repudiate that kind of church pretension. It seems to me that the only justification for our being apart from the outward order of christendom is that we are morally in the truth of Christ's body, and that the order of christendom is inconsistent with it; but we are certainly not standing apart from it to set up pretension to be Christ's assembly, or indeed any pretension at all, for if we are not morally in the truth we are the worst sect going, and if we are in the truth we shall not care to set up any pretension, because we know that we have the truth.

November 8th, 1894.

I think that in approaching the subject of atonement we must remember that of necessity Scripture regards man here on earth from God's standpoint, and that is with the sentence of death on him from God, and nothing could free him of that sentence save death having been borne for him. This has been effected in Christ, who has tasted death by the grace of God, and the blood is the witness that death has been suffered. Hence God can have to say to man here in grace. He sets forth Jesus a mercy-seat through faith in His blood. But then death, though the penalty resting on man here, is not the bearing of the wrath of God, for which sin calls, nor the real clearance of sin from before God, though without shedding of blood is no remission. Hence in the nature of things, I think we must distinguish between death and the wrath of God, which in man's case is the second death, the lake of fire. Now I believe that Christ in being made sin bore the wrath

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of God which, as I said, death is not, and drank the cup of wrath to the dregs. And sin having thus been removed, He entered into death, the governmental penalty of sin, in perfect love and obedience, so that man down here might not only enjoy forgiveness, but be freed from the penalty under which he lay. And further, the state in which man sinned against God has been removed, and in such a way as that God has been glorified in its removal; hence man can now be in a new state before God for God's glory.

November 8th, 1894.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I have sent both papers on to Mr. Wood, filling up the small one with the names of the stocks which he had proposed. I was glad of your remarks as to Hull and am pretty much of your mind -- I think that Young and those with him showed how little the breach of fellowship weighed on them by immediately breaking bread. I blame them for this more than for separating, for I can conceive it possible that the state of things in a meeting may come to be intolerable, and that, without those who separate being able to make out a convincing case to others outside the place. It was so at Barking. But I am dead against the sort of ecclesiastical pretension that has marked G.H. meeting. In continuing to break bread they went on as though the fellowship at Hull had not been broken and then declare Young and those with him disqualified in a lump for the Lord's table because they refused to own them as Christ's assembly. Where shall we get to if this is approved? As I am not going to Scarborough, and Oliphant is, I should like you to see a letter or two which have

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passed between us so I send them. It is too monstrous to think that we are to be wrecked over a miserable local trouble.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

November 21st, 1894.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- Thank you very much for your letter. I think they are a bit unmerciful in Scotland in the way of meetings, but I trust that your strength may be equal to it and that your visit may be greatly blessed. I fear that Hull may be a very serious difficulty for I think their act of G.H. declaring Young and those with him (in a lump) as disqualified for the Lord's table on the ground they give will be very hard for many to swallow. I try to keep out of it but Oliphant began it with me last evening at the brothers' reading and I had a trying conversation with him. I had a regular battle with him in the reading after, he strongly contending for ecclesiastical ground and I maintaining that according to 2 Timothy the basis of our fellowship was moral (following faith, love and peace with those calling on the Lord out of a pure heart), and refusing to allow that brethren could assume to be the assembly or were gathered on the ground of any particular truth, as if so they would be a sect. I fully admitted that in our fellowship we had no guide but the light of Scripture as to the assembly. I fear that Oliphant is strongly tinged with ecclesiasticism and that this is the root of the contention. I think I had the sense of the meeting with me though I may likely hear of hints of Bethesda ground, denying the truth of the one body, etc., etc.

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Curiously enough in the meeting a brother came out pat with the idea that the one body was our system of meetings in intercommunication with one another. I am exceedingly sorry for the attitude of Oliphant. He is losing influence in London. Give my love to Telford and his wife and with the same to yourself.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

November 24th, 1894.

What I see is that the assembly is actually here both vitally and responsibly, that is, as Christ's body and God's house. All would allow that the body is here in completeness (co-extensive with the Spirit) and that christendom has the responsibility of the house, hence my objection to the assumption by any company of christians of assembly status, etc. Even in early days before ruin came in, I imagine that there were comparatively few who entered into the proper privilege of the church as united to Christ, and hence I can see no reason why those privileges should not be enjoyed by a few now, but they are spiritual and do not necessitate the assumption of assembly status; but I do not believe we could enjoy them but as having departed from iniquity. This is of all moment. As to Matthew 18:20, I believe it was spoken for the saints when the assembly was in order, but I judge it would stand equally good for two or three now in the truth of the assembly, and apart from evil in a day of ruin. We constantly and I should say rightly come together in the faith of it, but I doubt if it was intended to constitute the two or three "the assembly" as referred to in verse 17. It seems to me that verses 19 and 20 are a distinct point from verses 15 to 18.

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My contention with was that Matthew 18:20 contemplated an actual meeting together of saints, not a fellowship, and that as the ground for our fellowship in a day of ruin we must go to 2 Timothy 2:22 where we find that the foundation of it is moral and not ecclesiastical. The Lord's table properly represents the fellowship, that is, of all the saints in a place -- as one body in the fellowship of Christ's death. But this can now only be seen in Scripture -- not now in practice. It is a great thing to be in the light of it, and as far as we are concerned, in the fellowship of Christ's death. I feel sure brethren have to get away from formalism and ecclesiastical moorings, and to remember that the church is in ruins.

November 25th, 1894.

I will endeavour to answer your questions according to such light as I have. I think that in the history of a soul (I do not for the moment speak of new birth) the first thing is that it is enlightened, in other words it receives by faith the testimony of Christ, and has thus the place of a son before God (though not yet conscious of it), because God's purpose for us is sonship. I need hardly say that without a work of God in us we never should have received light. Thus the first step is gained. The soul is in the light of Christ, and in Christ in the eye of God. Then the Spirit is received by whom we cry, Abba, Father -- but as yet Christ has not been formed in us, but all is secured to us in the Spirit given, and we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. The receiving of the Spirit is the proof that we are in Christ, God's seal on a man's faith. Then begins by God's power in us (which is well described in the two passages you quote from the Synopsis) a work by which a life, a character, a moral condition of being -- a new man is

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produced in us (Christ formed in us) so that it can be said of the believer that he is quickened together with Christ, is new-created in Christ Jesus. He is in Christ, and Christ in him. This is what I should speak of as the proper christian state, i.e., viewing state as the work of God, and not in the sense of practical condition. It is a state which faith accounts as our true state before God. Christ now lives in the christian, but this is by the Spirit, for in our present actual condition down here we live for God only in the Spirit; but there is the nature or being that is suitable -- the new man created after God in righteousness and holiness of truth; but this is not exactly life, in the sense of power to live in the relationship in which God has set us. The difference between 'in Christ' and 'in the Spirit' to me is that the one marks our position before God as in a new Head, the last Adam, and the other our state; we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. This never ceases to be true down here though it may be, and is, true of a saint before he is said to be quickened together with Christ. I think that Romans 5, where we have the thought of peace with God, does not give us christian state as I understand it, but rather the blessings in which God has been pleased through redemption to make Himself known (righteousness, peace and joy), and which are now the portion of the one justified in the power of the Holy Spirit.

December 5th, 1894.

The question of the previous meeting (brothers' reading) came up, the point being to know where we are and why we are there. I maintained that the existence of a fellowship as distinguished from actual coming together in assembly was what really marked us off from Bethesda. who. by the course they took at

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Bethesda, repudiated the idea of fellowship. Further, that the original and only possible ground of fellowship here is that of calling on the name of the Lord, the obverse being the fellowship of His death; that the difference now is that as it is incumbent on every one that "names the name of the Lord to withdraw from iniquity", we now have to look for those "that call on the Lord out of a pure heart". The truth of the one body I hold to be light and privilege for those gathered in fellowship, and it is realised in our being together in assembly. I do not know that anything was advanced against it save that the one body was said to be a bond of fellowship, a sort of ecclesiastical formation, in which case I maintained that we should be a sect.

December 5th, 1894.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I am glad that you are back again from your labours in the north and trust you are not much the worse. I am most thankful for your ministry there for there are many good men who would appreciate it. But the Scotch mind is inclined to be material and hard -- and this does not make a promising soil for heavenly truth. But I think that if they are a bit hard they are in general just. I have not the least objection to the reprinting of the little paper from the Voice if you think it worth it. I will gladly share in the expense or indeed bear it. We had a great crowd at Brixton last evening -- the room quite full -- and I am thankful to say the meeting passed off very quietly. The question of the previous meeting came up -- the point being to know where we were and why we were there. I maintained that the existence of a fellowship as distinguished from actual coming together in assembly was what really marked

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us off from Bethesda who by the course they took at Bristol repudiated the idea of fellowship. Further, that the original and only possible ground of fellowship here was that of calling on the Name of the Lord, the basis being the fellowship of His death. That the difference now was that it is incumbent on every one that names the Name of the Lord to depart from iniquity as we now have to look for those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. The truth of the one body I held to be light and privilege for those gathered in fellowship and it was realised in our being together in assembly. I do not know that anything was advanced against it save that the one body was a kind of fellowship, a sort of ecclesiastical formation, in which case I maintained that we were a sect. Oliphant seemed to me rather in a fog, and I think he has to break free from ecclesiasticism. I trust the meeting may lead in the direction of peace. I fancy very many were thankful for it. I am just off to Horsham for the day.

With kind love,
Your affectionate brother,


The attack on my lecture, which seems to me entirely uncalled for, is easily answered. The allegation is that I should have taught that Christ was only a channel of the grace of God to man. The answer is that the allegation is a deduction or inference, and that I never said nor thought anything of the kind. The omission of special reference in the lecture to the deity of Christ is explained by the fact that the subject of the lectures being 'The Church' Christ was spoken of in them naturally in that relation, assuming that my hearers were as assured as to the true deity of Christ as I am myself. Paul might have been arraigned on the same principle for omitting in the epistle to the Ephesians any statement of the deity of Christ or for

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saying to the Corinthians that to us (christians) there is one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ. I hardly need to answer the various questions raised in the letter as to the Lord's words and actions here -- they are an effort of the human mind to prove to itself the deity of Christ.. .. I have little doubt that in seeking to meet error on one side, error was plunged into on the other, and I judge it has arisen from want of appreciation of the Lord's own statement of Himself in Luke 4 and the apostle's testimony as to Him in Acts 2 and Acts 10. It was on this testimony that christianity was founded and by it the first thoughts of christians as to Christ were formed, but I grieve to say that this is dismissed, in the latter being said to be 'the lowest character of testimony to the Son'. It is no wonder then that the truth of the real human identity of Christ is missed -- the horn of salvation raised up in the house of David -- the vessel of divine grace, so that there could be the anointing with the Holy Spirit and power, the going about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Thus it was that the grace of God was presented to man in a Man, all in the pathway of obedience, and it is in Him as Man that the connection is maintained in the line of promise, and that risen and exalted, He (Christ) is given as Head to the church His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all. That the One in whom all this was true was Himself in Person divine, the Son revealing the Father, who could while here being Himself divine speak, subject to the Father's will, with the authority of God, and that abundant testimony was borne to Him by the Father, and by the works which He did is what every true christian sees and delights in, but nonetheless the truth remains that He was come from God and went to God, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself not imputing their trespasses. It seems to me that the first principles of the truth of

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Christ have not been learned in the Spirit. Paul brought out in testimony the truth that Jesus was the Son of God, but this does not set aside the first testimony of the apostles, and John's gospel is given that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and while I reverently accept the second, I am not going to give up the first. The greatest proof to one of the deity of Christ is the fact that He was such a Man as could receive the Spirit without measure.

December 17th, 1894.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- Thank you for the return of Anglin's letter and enclosure -- I have returned Young's letter to Anglin and have ventured to copy part of your remarks (not that relating to A. himself). I return the proof of the little paper -- I have altered a word -- I feel a little shamefaced at being put out in such company but the little extracts from J.N.D. and J.G.B. are very good indeed. The truth of the body is in danger at this moment. I have had a long and trying letter from J.S.O. in which he shows that he has but little sense of the body being simply the vessel of the Spirit, but seeks to make its existence the basis of what he calls corporate responsibilities, which as far as I can see is attaching to the body the responsibilities of the house. It seems to me quite sad, and all this to maintain that we are gathered in fellowship on the ground of the one body. I return your draft letter. I am quite pained to hear about Springer and am quite in sympathy with your appeal. I go, D.V., to Plymouth on the 27th for a week.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

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December 29th, 1894.

My Dear Brother, -- I am sorry for the delay in answering your letter of the 24th inst., which has arisen from my having to leave home for Plymouth. In answer to your question I should say that if a man intended to deny the Eternal Sonship of Christ I certainly should not care to remain in fellowship with him -- for "the Son" is the name that conveys to me the idea of the distinct personality of Christ; John 5:19,20; 1 John 4:14. The expression 'the Word' is much more a moral idea, and is really taken up from philosophy -- though a peculiar significance is given to it by the Spirit of God. On the other hand I fear a little of speaking of the Eternal Son as 'in relationship' lest the thought be extended according to human ideas in which we rightly regard a son as in a position of inferiority to a father. The eternal relations subsisting between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are entirely beyond our knowledge.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

January 9th, 1895.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I think I am entirely in accord with you in regard to Hull. I wrote a week or two since to young Kolkenbeck who is there and told him that what I believed would be acceptable to the Lord would be a complete surrender on all sides of all ecclesiastical pretension, and a general humbling each house (family) apart, and an earnest looking to the Lord that He would in due time provide some ground

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for the restoration of fellowship. I am wholly averse to the existence of two camps in the place, and brethren going in to judge between them. It is too human and the idea of ceasing to break bread for a week or two seems to me of no use, and unmeaning. I have had another long letter from J.S.O. in answer to mine in which there is much about the principle of the one body but it confirms me in the impression that his idea of the one body is ecclesiastical, that he fails to apprehend the mystery of the gospel and to distinguish between the house and the body. I am glad they have approached you from Belfast and should be glad to hear of your going there. While away I had a characteristic letter from Kernahan (asking as to things recently agitated in London) in which he says that he accepts the ipse dixit of no man! I wonder you are not a little afraid of attempting Germany again, but I suppose it might not be so bad if you only went to Vohwinkel. I had a very good time at Plymouth and think that the meetings there and at Devonport are prospering. I had also a good meeting at Newton Abbot. We had some of the brothers from St. Ives at Plymouth for part of the time. Recent occurrences there have served to wake them up a bit. Champney also stayed while I was there. I trust you are all well, and with love in the Lord, remain,

Your affectionate brother,

January 22nd, 1895.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I am very glad that you have written as you have to Mr. Wood. I have no doubt whatever that he is an upright man, but we cannot be trustees merely in name. I shall be glad when an

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opportunity offers of comparing the estate as it now stands with that on which duty was paid. I am much obliged for the enclosure to your letter. It is certainly a revelation. The Lord's table is put in the place of the Lord's supper and the 'assembly' appears to be held together by an ordinance. It is a sort of mixture of ecclesiasticism and sacramentalism, the moral element seems to me to be wholly wanting. I can hardly imagine that we are called upon to sanction such ideas. I send you Oliphant's letter to me and my reply (I hope you may be able to make it out). I had a second letter as long as the first to which I have not replied, for it seems to me without point. I do not think that Oliphant has any just idea of either house or body. In his second letter he is driven to the idea that Scripture gives two aspects of the body. I have heard of two aspects of the church, but this is certainly a new idea, where got from in Scripture I know not. I am very sorry for the position he has taken up. J.B.S. seemed quite out with him. We had a pretty good reading last Tuesday. J.B.S. seemed fresh and clear in mind. If D. O'Kolski should come to the meeting at Vohwinkel, he will be a help for he knows English perfectly. I knew him in England. Hope you are well and Mrs. Reynolds and her sisters.

With love in the Lord,
Affectionately yours,

January 25th, 1895.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I return you the extract from Bousfield's letter. I have ventured to retain a copy merely for my own satisfaction. I had a visit on

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Wednesday from Oliver (Croydon) and F. Cavanagh. It appears that a sister (a servant girl) has come up there in service from Hull. She brought a letter from Banfield. She had only been at Hull (having come from Lincolnshire) a month or two before the division. They hesitate what to do. I should not be greatly distressed if they received her without the thought of settling the Hull matter. Many thanks for the booklets. I should like to share the expense and will write to Morrish.

Ever yours affectionately,

January 30th, 1895.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- I return you your letters and thank you for sending them. I heard at the same time from Kernahan and have answered him that though I would be glad to go to Belfast I have a long outstanding debt to Portsmouth which I must pay off at Easter. I need hardly say that I would have been pleased enough to go with you. I went to the meeting on the marriage of R. Edwards yesterday and we had a serious and good time. J.B. S. spoke on Psalm 107, they that go down to the sea in ships, etc. He bringeth them to the desired haven. His point was that people get what they seek. Afterwards Oliver got hold of me to tell me that the brothers at Croydon and South Norwood had had a solemn meeting over Hull, and the letter they had had, and came to the conclusion that it was very doubtful if the Lord had not been displaced in the meeting by their conduct before ever the division took place. They had seen Bousfield and urged on him their giving up on this ground. He wanted some of them to go to Hull with him and to press it on the brothers there.

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In the afternoon I went to Redhill. Mrs. Lewis was there and seemed pretty well. I have had a statement of the estate from Mr. Wood but have not had time yet to look at it. I hope you will not go to Germany in weather like this.

With love,
Ever your affectionate brother,

February 14th, 1895.

To Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

Dearest Reynolds, -- The enclosed came to me this morning and I hasten to send it on to you. I have heard nothing more from Belfast, and I should think that their meeting at Easter will hardly come off. I had heard from Hull, young Kolkenbeck wrote to me last week, and I trust from what he says that they have judged their course. I trust, too, they may have judged their act of discipline. I wrote to Kolkenbeck expressing a hope that they would not be too hasty in the way of reconstruction, as it was possible that there were certain elements that would be better sifted out if they were in future to go on in peace. I sent on the cheque to Mr. Wood. The account he sent me was simply a copy of what you had let me have. One wants to see how things now stand in comparison with what they were at the time of Mr. Lewis's death. I suppose Mrs. Lewis will be getting some interest from the money invested in stocks. I imagine there will be a pretty heavy bill to pay to Mr. Wood. I trust that this severe weather may moderate before you go to Germany.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

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March 4th, 1895.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I was glad to have a line from you and thank you for the object with which you write. I do not think that I shall get to Ireland in the Spring, in fact, I have declined an invitation to go to Belfast, being under promise to go at Easter to Portsmouth. It may be that opportunity may offer for crossing over later on in the year, and if so, I would try and pay you a visit. If I could I should like to spend a little time in Ireland. My visits hitherto have been but flying ones. I have had a copy sent me of the pamphlet to which you refer -- but have not had an opportunity of reading it -- so many things crowd in that it is difficult to find time to read much of what is written. As regards the three days in John 1 and 2 they seem to me to be pretty clearly marked. The third day is evident enough in chapter 2 and bears upon it the power of resurrection in which Christ turns the water of purification into the wine of joy. The previous day from verse 43 of chapter 1 witnesses the establishment of relations between Christ and the godly remnant of Israel (as seen in Nathanael) -- and the preceding one sees the close of John the baptist's testimony, in Christ becoming a gathering point, and Simon Peter a sample stone of the assembly. It is in this way that the three days present themselves to me. I am sorry that you are so pressed in business it becomes so absorbing and in that way injurious to the soul. I trust that God is permitting you to find happiness in domestic life. We are all well through mercy.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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April 9th, 1895.

...And now in reference to your question as to Ephesians 2. The statement in that chapter is clearly of what God had by His power effected in the saints. He had (as is seen also in Colossians) quickened them together with Christ. In referring to it my point was to show what it is in which this is displayed. Evidently the first thought is that Christ risen is the centre and point on which all is formed; then we stand associated with Him a heavenly band. We have (conscious of His love) appropriated Him in what He is to God as risen from the dead, and thus we live together with Him Godward in love. (See chapter 1:4.) It may be said that this is mixing up what is in a sense experience with the power of God, but I think that the result of God's work is viewed as a whole in Ephesians, the fruit and effect of His power working where nothing was but death, and producing a result suitable and sufficient for Himself. It is seen there in its full extent, and is what is true in principle in all christians, though not realised by all. I trust that this may simplify the matter.

July 1st, 1895.

I look upon Philippians 2:6 as the place taken by Christ in the fact of assuming a servant's form; it was, so to say, an act of mind in taking the servant's form. I really prefer the authorised version, "He made himself of no reputation". It was not only that He assumed the form but the mind suited the form.... -- - accuses me of not holding the real humanity of Christ, because I will not accept his idea of a complete man, 'spirit, soul and body', distinct from Deity. He seems to me to have no idea of the Son becoming Man and giving a spirit to manhood, in fact of the incarnation.

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July 8th, 1895.

To J.B.S.

It is with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction that I send you a few lines to convey to you a sense of the privilege accorded me in having increasing sympathy and interest in the service which our blessed Lord has entrusted to you. I feel that the great point of late years was that the truth which the Lord had opened up by Mr. Darby should be maintained. Many made the mistake that it was to be guarded by insistence on the letter. I believe that the true way was in its being made good in the Spirit's work in souls, and here I see the great value of your perseverance and service. I desire nothing better for myself than to be enabled to continue according to the measure of grace on the same lines. I thank the Lord for the energy in which He supports you for what is needed both in the way of interest and inquiry in truth and in imparting to others.. .. We are having readings each afternoon at 3.30, in which I am seeking to awaken as far as I can some sense of our true place in assembly as Christ's companions -- but they are not very quick learners -- and it may be that I am but a poor expounder.

July, 1895.

Mr. J. Sandeman-Allen.

In trying to make plain my thought (as to the expression 'Lord's table') I may premise by saying that I do not believe that the truth of it is found outside our fellowship. My fear is in the assumption of it by brethren as giving a kind of ecclesiastical status when morally they may be very little in the reality of what it implies. It is a truth which, in the present state of the church, must be apprehended abstractly, i.e., in, its normal character, as being the proper fellowship for all christians in any given place. It is the fellowship of Christ's blood and body (His death). In this sense the thing in its true character

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can never be restored, and the attempt to lay claim to it by any body of saints appears to me undesirable. I think the point now is to be morally in the fellowship of Christ's death. I believe it is of all moment in these days to be in the sense of the ruin of the church, and to get away not only from unrighteousness, but from all pretension, and to get to the Lord, and to follow righteousness, love and peace with all those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. I trust that this describes the fellowship of brethren, and I am sure that the nearer we are to the Lord the more truly we shall be in the fellowship of His death, and thus really partakers of the Lord's table. To attempt to apply in these days 1 Corinthians 10:16,17 in a literal way would, I think, put brethren in the place of the assembly.

September, 1895.

To J.B.S.

Our meeting ended too late yesterday for me to send you anything. We were together from 3.30 to 7.30; though I cannot regard the meeting as a glorious triumph, for one would have desired to carry the truth with more absolute conviction, I think it has ended in the way most conducive to the peace of the saints. There was the giving up of charges of heresy, the admission of misunderstandings, and in result we parted in peace. There was long discussion on many points, but it became evident that the point on which all turned was distinguishing personality from the idea of pure Deity in the case of the Lord. We insisted on this as that on which the truth of the incarnation depends and on the complete identification of the Person with the state He took. So that it was very distinctly a personal humanity, but the Person still the same though the state was changed. Our allowing that He spoke and acted as Man according

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to the place and state He had taken seemed to clear away much of their difficulty. It is evident to me that some have gone astray in the endeavour to make out Christ from man, instead of learning what man is (according to the divine thought) from Christ.

October 8th, 1895.

I am very glad of your letter as giving me some authentic news of Mr. Stoney. Since I wrote you last I heard rumours of an accident, and hardly knew what to think of it. I can understand the shock you received in seeing him fallen, and though the injury is a bruise, a severe bruise after eighty cannot be a slight matter, and having to lie in one position must be very wearing. I am only thankful for where you are. I am sure that my heart and that of a great many more will be lifted up to God for him and for his recovery, as we can in nowise afford to lose his service. Meantime, I pray that he may have much comfort from the Lord.

November 22nd, 1895.

As far as I understand Colossians 1:22, it would appear that the statement as to presenting is abstract, i.e., a statement of the purpose involved in the reconciling apart from the question of time. It is as good for Christ now as it will be in the future. His point is to present us that, and I think it is effected as His death is realised spiritually in us. The 'holy' must be practical or there would be no reality in it. It is the nature of what we are as new created, it is like the new man after God, and nature governs the practice.

December 19th, 1895.

I had a telegram this morning from S -- -, 'Restless night, about same, end approaching', -- (J.B.S.) + ...

+It was a year and a half after this that he was taken to rest.

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The breaking of these links is hard to us -- and I am very thankful for all tenderness of affection -- but if we could see all we should see that in the Lord's light, he has finished his service -- long and diligent and devoted service -- and is about to be taken to rest; and according to his own saying the Lord shows His sympathy in drawing us to His own side. For myself I can say that there is no one on earth whose ministry and self have produced so lasting a moral effect on me as Mr. Stoney. It is a great figure removed from us whose place no one on earth can fill.

December 24th, 1895.

Dr. van Someren.

I have received your letter of November 10th, and am glad to reply to it. I am thankful that you have the little paper 'The Person of the Christ' -- and have found any profit in it. Some have found fault with it, but I am more and more convinced that it presents only what is substantially right. That others might have put the points better is likely enough, but they have not done so. My use of the term 'divine Person' in reference to our Lord was not from any lack of faith or sense on my part that He is God, but to avoid the idea of His being God in such an absolute and exclusive sense as to trench on the unity of the Godhead. That 'God is one' may be said to be the backbone of Scripture, but in the New Testament we have the additional light that in that unity are three Persons all equally divine, and I should speak of the Holy Spirit being a divine Person in the same way as I should speak of the Son being so. I have no doubt that you know something of Greek and that in the use of a noun as a predicate it makes a distinction by the use or omission of the article, which

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we cannot so well make in English. When a noun is used as a predicate and has the article the preposition is reciprocal and the subject and predicate may be reversed, for instance it says "sin is lawlessness" -- it may equally be said 'lawlessness is sin'. When, however, the article is not inserted before the predicate the predicate is characteristic, and the preposition is not reciprocal. This is the case in the expression "the Word was God", there is no article before God, God is characteristic of the Word but the expression is not reciprocal -- for if God were the Word you would exclude the Father and the Spirit from the thought of God, and thus set aside the unity of the Godhead. It is only in this sense that I would apply the term 'divine Person' to Christ, in the same way that I would apply it to the other persons of the Godhead, viewing each in His distinctiveness and yet with the sense in the soul that each is as truly and characteristically God as the others. The passages in my paper in which the term occurs would not admit of the substitution of 'God' in its place. For instance 'We have thus a divine Person presented' -- I mean here the particular person who became man. So too 'the truth of a divine Person assuming human condition' -- in neither sentence could I rightly say 'God'. The statement would not then be right. What I understand by 'God has been manifested in the flesh' is that all that God is (Father, Son and Spirit) has been set forth down here in words and works -- all the fulness was pleased to dwell in Christ. I do not think that Deity and divinity mean the same thing in common language -- the former applies exclusively to God as such. The latter is often used in a much more general sense as of writings, etc. I have no difficulty in saying that Jesus is God, but in the same way that I have referred to in the expression

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'the Word was God'. In all such statements the unity of the Godhead must be maintained in the soul. I think if you weigh the above you will see that there is no attempt to trespass on any ground other than that of what is revealed. G. W. Glenny (brother to my wife) was staying with me when your letter came and desired me, in writing, to give you his love.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

January 30th, 1896.

It is, I think, clear that the church is viewed in two lights -- as identified with Christ in the presence of the Father (all of one), He being Firstborn of many brethren, and as the vessel in which God sets forth the riches of His grace; and I think it is in this latter line that the thought of the body and the bride comes in. The church is Christ's fulness, and the vessel (in Him) in which God shows the exceeding riches of His grace. Jew and gentile are reconciled to God in one body, but they are also one new man created in Christ Jesus. Christianity, as in the thought of God, becomes increasingly wonderful to me, and I can fully echo the thought that one is only in the infancy of it. Had it been maintained according to God, what a wonderful thing it would have been in the world! Certainly it was wiser on the part of the enemy to corrupt rather than to oppose it.

March 9th, 1896.

Our subject in the main was the lordship of Christ and the sphere of His administration. I contended that this belongs to that course of things in which the will of God consists, and that we must remember that

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if He is Lord to faith He has been rejected here, and that we have to be with Him in the things in which He is. We do not know Him after the flesh.

March 15th, 1896.

As regards last Thursday (Greenwich reading in Philippians 1 to end), I am glad that you said what you did. It leads me to reconsider the point, and certainly one must attach importance to what the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 5, "willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord". I daresay I spoke too strongly, but what was in my mind was that while here we are in the activities of Christ's body, which is hardly the case when we are with the Lord. Anyway, if we are taken before the Lord comes it is a comfort to know that we enter on what the apostle desired, and are with the Lord instead of being absent from Him. But then we shall be out of the path of testimony and responsibility. I am rather thankful to have taken up the Psalms at Hazelville. I think that I see my way more through the first part of them.

April 4th, 1896.

Mr. H. Wilson.

My Dear Brother, -- I was away from home at Birmingham when your letter came, which will account for the delay in answering it. In reference to the point on which you write, I am inclined to think that though a meeting would undoubtedly be badly affected by the existence in its midst of sin that had not been brought to light it could hardly be on the responsibility of the assembly. If the saints were dependent, I imagine that God would bring it to light and then the assembly must judge it or the Lord would not go on with the assembly.

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This was the case with Israel. They were allowed to feel their weakness but the Lord did not judge them if they judged the evil. I do not understand that in ordinary cases, confession on the part of the assembly is called for, but some case of evil existing may be the means of bringing home to the assembly some state of things which has been allowed and which calls for humbling and confession before God -- but as to all these things, it is impossible to be guided by rule -- souls must feel what is true and right before God.

With love in the Lord,
Yours affectionately in Him,

April 29th, 1896.

To J.B.S.

It has been on my mind for some time past to send you a few lines to let you know what is going on in connection with the 'testimony of our Lord', so far as it comes under my observation, for I am sure of your great interest in what is going on, though you are yourself shut out from the activities save in spirit and mind. So far as I see, a great and general interest is maintained in the truth, and the old ideas of 'standing and walk' have given way to an apprehension of God's purpose in Christ and of the moral state in the believer which is the answer to that purpose and the effect of the light which has been brought to man. The experimental side from Egypt to Canaan, especially the bitter waters of Marah, the brazen serpent and Jordan, are now subjects of much attention, and seen, I think, in their true light as the line by which we approach God's purpose as to the church in Christ. It is on this line that ministry arouses interest. That there is here and there a certain amount of disaffection in one and another is indeed true; but I think it arises from the defect of clinging to dogmatism and ecclesiasticism, and failure of apprehension of the

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'living stone'. They do not, I judge, know, save in terms and doctrine, the true foundation of christianity, the Father and the Son, they lack an acquaintance with the Persons, and in the affections proper to that acquaintance.... Our readings in London are largely attended. We are still reading Matthew; we began chapter 17 last time, but harped back on the church; we held that the structure was built up in the divine nature -- love; the foundation being the revelation of Christ as the expression of that nature, and hence the gates of hell could not prevail against it.

I have been spending two or three days in Birmingham. Our subjects in the afternoon readings were deliverance (Romans 6 to 8) as necessary to the new position of the believer in Christ in regard to God.. . and in the evening the raising up of man, as seen in John 5 by the light in the heart of the Father and the Son, and the absolute separation of the saints from the world by the Spirit of truth (John 14), with a view to fruit-bearing (John 15), and the unfolding to them of the Father's things in which the Son was glorified (John 16).

April 30th, 1896.

I can hardly think any one could put such a construction on Philippians 2. He (Christ) certainly left His first estate to take a servant's form, becoming in the likeness of men; the Word became flesh to dwell among men, but I do not understand this to mean that He relinquished attributes that properly attached to His Person, though I believe that in becoming Man He entered into the reality of the place He took as Man, and that Scripture can and does view Him (when seen in relation to men) distinct and apart from what He is as God, though what He is as divine gives its character to all.

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May 2nd, 1896.

Mr. G. J. Stewart.

My Dear Brother, -- I return you the paper you sent in your letter of March 2nd which I duly received. I have read it and (though I am not much of a critic) it seems to me sound and good. The only thing that struck me in any other way was that it was perhaps necessary to guard a little more carefully the proper divine relationship of the Son and the Father -- for though the relationship into which in christianity we are brought has its character from that which was eternal, it is not identical, since in order that this relationship might subsist for us the Son emptied Himself -- in mind took a place lower than that of God in which He could say "My Father is greater than I" -- but the taking of this place could not set aside the truth and reality of His eternal relations with the Father, hence we have "no one knows the Son but the Father" -- and yet it was that emptying Himself which alone could make the relationship of sons a possibility for men. Thus I should hardly be prepared to go so far as to say 'it is the eternal relationship of Father, Son and Spirit' and then that men might be brought into this relationship. There is one other point that I will refer to. I hardly care for the expression 'He took human nature into union with Himself'. I do not like the term 'union' in this connection. It is hardly the scriptural way of speaking of the incarnation. There it is "became flesh", "took part of the same", "took upon him the form of a servant", etc., etc., none of these passages convey the thought of union, but rather identification of a Person with a state or form assumed. I have merely noted the above as points which struck me. Things go on in the main quietly in England. There is fellowship, and I think that confidence is gaining ground. The brothers who have been disaffected remain much where they were. W. Turpin has not been to any meeting for some weeks, but has not, I

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believe formally withdrawn. Those most intimately acquainted with him do not believe that doctrine is the real cause of his disaffection. J.S.O. is much the same -- not happy but finding himself without support among those in fellowship. I fancy that brethren are tired of the matter of Hull. I hear nothing at all of it. J.B.S. is for the time revived and quite himself in mind though still feeble in body. I have not yet found an opportunity of talking to Morrish about your projected periodical -- but will do so, and will see if I can find time to give you a paper, but I am fairly hard worked one way and another. Reynolds is for the time looking after the Voice, and I try to give him a little help in it. I am very sorry about Capper. His going off into this notion shakes confidence in one who should be a father. I do not much like the term 'testimony' for a title -- it is hackneyed and has become conventional. I should prefer some such simple title as 'A word for the moment', anything unpretentious. I am sorry for the trouble with regard to the room and trust that some way may be found out of the difficulty. Is there no brother that could put up a room? It is such a gain and comfort to have a room for yourselves. I have much repugnance to a room used for all sorts of purposes. It becomes in a sort of way unclean. I am glad to hear what you say of your boy George; I trust that he and your and their children are well and may be a comfort to Mrs. Stewart and yourself. Children are as arrows in the hand of a mighty man. They are his strength. I have comfort through God's mercy in my children. My eldest boy is in fellowship -- and there is nothing in any of the remainder that would disqualify me for being an elder, but I can take no credit. It belongs under God to the wife.

With kind love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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June 10th, 1896.

We had a reading last evening at -- - and they proposed 'the new man' in Ephesians 4. I tried to point out how after the epistle has given us a place in the heavenlies the great point all through is the presentation of God here. In chapter 2 we get Jew and Gentile builded together for an habitation of God by the Spirit; in chapter 3 the saints are seen filled into all the fulness of God, and in chapter 4 we have the new man created after God in righteousness and holiness of truth. It is to me a wonderful thought.

June 16th, 1896.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I was glad to have a line from you and tidings of your welfare -- and am interested to learn something of your changes in business -- and that they leave you more free for the things of the Lord -- this is a very great gain. I think that I had heard of the marriage of your sister, perhaps from your brother whom I saw in London. I hope your mother keeps well. I judge from what you say that things are changed at Dublin now -- when one of the signatories of the Westland Row notice expressed to me his regret at having put his name to it, I felt that the notice was not worth much. The time may arrive when I may, if the Lord will, pay a visit to Dublin, and should hope then to see you. Things are generally quiet in England -- our fortnightly readings in London draw to a close tonight. They have been largely attended and much appreciated. We had a very good meeting lately at Quemerford -- and I think that all there found refreshment and profit. The painful fact is that we get no sort of help on the part of those who have been prominent as champions of orthodoxy.

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I am thankful to say that through God's mercy my wife, children and self are well.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

August 29th, 1896.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I have been intending to send you a few lines in answer to yours of the 25th. I return the letter from G.H. I am sorry that an agitation has begun in Sydney -- though I suppose the questions raised are likely enough to affect the whole Australian continent. The extract of the letter from the brother at Orange is curious, as showing the way that things come to be mis-stated. Firstly the Holy Spirit is only with 'us as indwelling the believer'. It was maintained that the manner of the Spirit's dwelling here was shown in John 14:17 (He continues with you and shall be in you) -- and that His function in the believer was quite distinct from His function or operation in the house -- but I would have thought that anyone would have admitted that His being in the house was dependent on His being in believers, for when they go the Spirit is no longer here. The second point is that 'we are not gathered to the Lord on the principle of the unity of the body' -- now it has been strenuously maintained that the recognition, in the soul, of saints being one body in Christ is of the last importance in our being gathered together. What has been resisted is the idea that the truth of the one body, or indeed any particular truth, is the basis of the fellowship in which brethren are found together, for this fellowship rests on moral foundations as in 2 Timothy 2:22. The third point is 'that we break bread in the holiest not in the wilderness'. I do not know anyone

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who has said this -- but it is difficult for me to understand that where Christ in the midst of the assembly sings praises to God it can be anything but the holiest -- and it would be difficult to realise that in the praises which Christ leads there should be the bringing up of the question of sins. All these things tend to show how little the truth of Christ in the assembly is realised. I hardly know what to advise as to seeing Mr. Oliphant, he has a certain place amongst us, and one would wish that he should not fail of any respect due, but I hardly think that you will get much help from him. We are still enjoying our stay here. I saw Mr. Stoney this morning and found him very bright and cheerful.

With our love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

August 29th, 1896.

The matter as to which you write is one on which many minds are in perplexity. I think it may arise from the failure to distinguish between the christian looked at in the light of a responsible man here, and in the light of divine purpose. In the former light he is viewed as justified and sealed by the Spirit, and is to be ruled by the Spirit and not by the flesh. This is not exactly a question of nature, but of rule, and is the ground taken up in Romans and Galatians. But when the christian is looked at in the light of divine purpose, i.e., as a son or child of God for which he has been wrought by the Spirit of God, then the thought of nature comes in. He is chosen to be before God holy and without blame in love. He has put on the new man which is created after God in righteousness

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and holiness of truth. He is righteous as Christ is righteous. By nature I understand to be meant that by which a person or a substance is characterised so as to be morally what he is; but you cannot talk of the nature until you have the person. If a person is characterised by the divine nature that is his nature and that only. Sin and the flesh may be there but they no longer predominate so as to characterise. The body of the flesh and the old man have as to their domination been put off and hence I decline to admit the idea of two natures in the christian because I do not see it to be the teaching of Scripture, though very conscious that if a man say he has no sin he deceives himself. But sin is not the nature of the child of God and in that light I am entitled by faith to regard myself.

September 7th, 1896.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- The questionable words in my previous letter were 'recognition in the soul' -- I am very sorry that you should have had to write about them. We bad very good meetings on Saturday at Leeds. I should think 300 or 400 were present from twenty different meetings. In the afternoon we looked at the difference between responsibility and privilege as regards the christian and I think that there was profit. In the evening they made me give a lecture. We return home on the 18th, D.V., and after that I trust that I may see you. With our love in the Lord to Mrs. van Someren and yourself.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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September 16th, 1896.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I have been wishing to send you a line but the constant interruptions to which I am liable here have sadly interfered with my opportunities. I am very sorry that your early starting will prevent my seeing you again at this time, for we shall not be home in time on Friday to enable me to come to Miss Stewart's, but I do hope I shall have grace to bear you in mind privately, for I can feel for and with you in the difficulties to which you will be exposed on your return to Australia. I trust that you may find from the Lord both wisdom and grace to meet them.. It is pretty plain to me that so soon as any man seeks to make any move forward in divine things he finds all sorts of things tending to thwart him, and the exercise is good, for we learn in it the sufficiency of the Lord and of the truth. Our stay here is virtually at an end -- and I hope that we have in every sense gained by it. We finished with meetings in the afternoon and evening today and a tea between. Some 150 were present -- and I trust and think that there was profit. Mr. Stoney remains about the same, deeply interested in all that is going on. You may have opportunity at some time to send me a line as to what is going on in Australia. May the Lord help His saints there, I am sure they need it at this time. With love in the Lord from my wife and self to Mrs. van Someren and yourself and best wishes.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

October 3rd, 1896.

The matter in reference to which you write is one that has at one time or another exercised most. I think I may say that when I came into fellowship for a man to insure his life was considered a reproach and

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outside of the path and ways of brethren. It means that a man definitely sets aside a part of his income in order to assure the payment of a certain sum after his decease. As the duration of life is uncertain it must be more or less speculation and speculation on that which is in the hands of the Lord seems to me very undesirable for a believer, though, of course, justifiable enough in the eyes of man. It appears to me to have the effect of withdrawing so much of a man's substance (of which he is steward) from the Lord's control; which I should hardly think is well. If after a man has answered every demand which God has permitted to come upon him, he still finds himself in possession of a surplus, I can understand his devoting it for the benefit of those belonging to him -- but this is different from the artificial means of life insurance and need not take a man out of the place of dependence. But all these things form part of our discipline and discover how far faith in God is real with us -- and certainly God has His own ways of caring for His people outside of the ways of human prudence. May He give you wisdom in this and in all things.

October 19th, 1896.

I am beginning to get into the thick of things in London and am thankful to notice the apparent absence of any contentious spirit. I trust that through God's mercy we may be allowed a moment of quiet. The fortnightly readings are being looked forward to with a good deal of interest and there is general satisfaction at Romans being taken up. It has brought home to me the importance of resurrection, as the great principle of God's actings in blessing. It is by resurrection, first in Christ, then in those that are Christ's, and then figuratively in Israel, that God will set aside the whole existing order of things which is under the power of Satan, sin and death. In Romans 3

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righteousness is the basis; in chapter 4 Christ is risen on the ground of righteousness; in chapter 5 we get the setting forth of all that is established in the Lord Jesus Christ for man, in contrast to sin and death, and we are in the light of it; then in chapter 6 we accept death to sin and account ourselves alive in the One risen from the dead; it is a wholly new order.

October 29th, 1896.

I do not think that anyone can read the first three chapters of Romans carefully without seeing that what is prominent is man's moral state of which his conduct is the evidence. It is a sum up to show the state of the first man before God brings out the second. It is true that Christ was delivered for our offences but our justification is in Him risen, and I take it that it is on this ground that the believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. So few seem to me to take into account the fact that not only is man a sinner but that death is on him as regards his state here, and it is on the ground of that judgment having been borne in Christ that man is justified in the eye of God. As Mr. Stoney has put it, the man that was under judgment has gone in judgment and by the faith of His death I come into the light of all that is in Him as risen, peace, reconciliation and eternal life.


November 8th, 1896.

My Dear Brother, -- I am really glad for the passage you have quoted from J.N.D. for it confirmed what was in my mind on the point in question. It appears to me that the faculties which are suited to our conditions

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of life in this world -- such as memory, the power of reasoning and drawing conclusions, etc., will not be suited to a scene in which we shall know as we ourselves have been known. I imagine that a glorious body involves faculties of a different order in which we shall not recall our earthly course as memory now can -- but we do not know much about it. When Christ presents to us at the judgment-seat His estimate of our earthly course, I judge that is the end of it. What we apprehend then will be by the Spirit. Deuteronomy 8:2, 3 has certainly no application to heaven but refers to lessons which we learn here.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

December 5th, 1896.

I return the little paper into which I have suggested to bring a few more words, having regard that it is partly intended for christians outside ourselves. Amongst ourselves the mischief is that while in a sense the terms are accepted the great reality is so little appreciated and for the want, I think, of deliverance. I think that we but poorly enter into the meaning of Christ's death. We had the question of Romans 3 up again on Tuesday. I said the question was not the righteousness of God in all His acts, all would admit this, but of the righteousness of God as revealed in the gospel and that this was (in the words of another) in that 'the man that was under judgment is gone in judgment'. Some tried to carry on the thought of righteousness to resurrection in the case of the Lord. I maintained that in the word of redemption which was the will of God the thought of righteousness as between divine Persons is inappropriate. They tried to limit Romans 3 to sins instead of seeing the end of the man (blood) and hence they are not clear in their apprehension of the second man.

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December 10th, 1896.

I am very thankful to have had my attention turned to Romans. I see that the epistle is not intended to give us the terms of the gospel, but to show to us God's purpose in it, to bring the light of Himself into the soul of man. Hence in chapter 3 we have the righteousness, which is the foundation in the soul, and in chapter 4 it is faith (not works) which links the soul with the God of resurrection and our Lord Jesus Christ, and in fact with the world to come, in which we have a footing, in "Christ raised for our justification". Our justification has reference to God and to that world in which Christ is supreme, and hence we accept death here.

December 17th, 1896.

We did not seem able to escape the subject of the house and the body.... I had deprecated the idea of the matter being brought up at the meeting, but plunged us into it by raising the question of whether responsibility (collective or corporate) was connected with the house or the body. I maintained that the body was Christ's body, the vessel of the Spirit, and that a true idea of the body did not go beyond the work of the Spirit in saints; that if there were responsibility as to the body it must belong to the Head, and that the light of Scripture as to the body (the mystery) was given us to enable us intelligently to carry out our responsibilities in the house. Some seem to fear that something is being taken from them. They have been accustomed to depend on mere statements without apprehending their import. They divorce the baptism of the saints by one Spirit into one body from the baptism of the saints individually by the Spirit, instead of seeing that the fact of our all receiving one and the same Spirit must of necessity form one body. They have an idea

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that by being formed into one body they gain something additional, instead of seeing that it adds nothing, but that the church is thereby subjected to Christ. My impression is that the real defect lies in want of knowledge of the gospel, hence they are not prepared for the mystery. I think we distinctly gained ground.


Mr. E. L. Bevir.

I am sure there is danger in the idea that having reached an apparently correct ecclesiastical position we can go on securely maintained, or rather marked by the holding of certain doctrines. I am sure there is little security, save in the power of the truth in the soul, and where this is the case, less stress is laid on position, because position is determined by the truth in the soul. What I notice is, that comparatively few amongst us are really purposing to gain ground in the truth; orthodoxy, rather than truth, seems to be the aim. Every one is ashamed of making a mistake, and I suspect that in getting on at all in divine things we may often blunder -- though I do not justify blunders; but we are poor things at best, and it would be no great harm to us if we were a little less concerned as to our own reputation.

February 27th, 1897.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I was very glad to have your letter of January 2nd and to hear that you were once again safe in Orange. Both Glenny and myself were much interested in your account of things in Australia which is as satisfactory as I expected to hear; I fancy that your estimate of brethren out there is just. I have not seen in those who have printed or written much evidence of originality or of spiritual apprehension of

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the truth. It is the fashion over here to decry Stewart but he seems to me to have more light than many. Glenny started on the 19th for Australia, but with the idea of calling in at Ceylon on his way. Tull had started a fortnight before him, but the vessel ran on to a reef in the Red Sea, and I should think it likely that he may be picked up and taken on by the vessel in which Glenny is. These things are somewhat strange. You may possibly have heard of the meeting that we had at Weston in the beginning of January. Many went in fear and trembling -- but much grace was with us there, which for the time silenced opposition. We were together for four days, and went over a good bit of ground. Notes were taken, and I hope that in the course of a week or two they may appear. They are issued at a price considerably below cost of production. And now as to the points in your letter, which you may probably have forgotten: the first is as to the expression 'Our fellowship, etc'., in I John 1:3. I was accustomed to accept the common idea of it -- and, in the sense in which it was intended, I am not aware that there was much wrong in it. But when the question of fellowship was raised, and one looked a little more particularly into the sense in which the term is employed in Scripture, it appeared to me that the common idea was not quite justified by the scripture. It seems to me that in the two or three introductory verses to the epistle the apostle is referring to their testimony, and it is in regard to this that the apostle says "truly our fellowship is with the Father", etc. -- but then he said previously these things we write unto you "that ye also may have fellowship with us". I prefer to regard the two statements in distinctness, and to accept each in simplicity. The apostles had a peculiar and special place, and they on their part, communicate that we may have fellowship with them in what they have, but I have no quarrel

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with anyone who prefers to cling to the old thought, but mine seems to me simpler. Then as to whether, even at the first, the church could be regarded as having any ecclesiastical position -- this is a more difficult question. I incline to say no, for I imagine the church had no such relation to the world. Israel had been a centre of the nations, and God's house a house of prayer for all nations, but the church as God's house was outside (morally) of the world system separated from it by the death of Christ, of which baptism was the symbol. God's testimony resided in and went forth from the house to gather souls into the house. Of course the house was God's ecclesia, but from this very fact all there was to be in the power of the Spirit. There was no room for man as such. It appears to me that it has been the work of man to reduce the church to an ecclesiastical position -- the great house -- and I think we have seen the same tendency amongst ourselves; and it must be the case where there is any departure from the power of the Spirit. We have had, I think, much profit from the study of Romans in our London Readings -- especially in seeing how chapters 6 to 8 are illustrated by Matthew 14 and run with the truth of priesthood in Hebrews. The idea in general is that while in chapter 5 we are brought into the full light of God revealed in grace, in chapters 6 to 8 we are put in a line which leads to Christ as the revelation and expression of the purpose of God; chapter 6 is as Peter leaving the boat to walk on the water to go to Jesus; chapter 7 is the support of Christ as priest, and, like Peter, finding out our own weakness and in chapter 8 we have the hand (the Spirit) of Christ drawing us to Himself in the place (firstborn among many brethren) which He had in the purpose of God. It seems to me to show the line on which we are set. Matters at Hull seem threatening. Klein went

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there on a gospel mission taking the theatre. Brethren had hoped that there might be a getting together in prayer of the broken fragments, and a reconstitution of fellowship, but Klein's going there has altered all. A good many of those with us have gone in with him and his work, and some have stood aloof. With the former he has commenced a breaking of bread, while the latter find themselves outside of it. I doubt if brethren will be inclined to regard this as a satisfactory solution of the Hull difficulty. One can only say the Lord is above all. I hope that your wife, child and self are all well through mercy. We are so, and so too the Glennys. The Parkers are staying for a time in Greenwich. There seems to be but little change in J.B.S.

With our kind love,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

March 10th, 1897.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I send a line to thank you for your kind letter of March 5th, but I cannot say anything very definite in answer to it. I purpose, D.V., going to the meeting at Rotherham for Good Friday, and proceeding the same evening to Birkenhead, and going direct to Belfast on the Saturday, where I think of staying for a week. If possible I should spend a Sunday on my return in Dublin -- and should I think have to stay with Dr. Roberts, who has written to me at the instance of the brothers. Nonetheless I thank you very heartily for your kind invitation and hope that I may have the pleasure of seeing you in Belfast. I am very thankful that things generally look quieter. The cloud which was hanging over us at Hull seems to have in measure dispersed.

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I am glad that Mace is having an encouraging time in Dublin, and hope that Westland Row may get a lift up. I am thankful to say that we are all well through mercy, my eldest boy is twenty-three today.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

March 17th, 1897.

Mr. C. Leflaive.

My Dear Brother, -- In saying that there is but one man in heaven I should intend to convey that there is but one order of man there. I do not think that much could be said of Enoch and Elijah -- for the matter is in a certain amount of obscurity -- and they were not to be made perfect without us. Christ is firstfruits of the resurrection, afterward they of the Christ at His coming. I think that it might be said Christ is the one Man in heaven. I am not very happy about interpreting thanksgiving and prayer in the meetings to the deaf and dumb. The one doing it is turning his attention away from God to man, and I cannot think that this can be right. The time is coming very shortly when I shall be free of secular occupation, and then I hope to carry out my promise to pay a visit to Manchester, D.V.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

March 19th, 1897.

To J.B.S.

I cannot sent you on the enclosed without taking the opportunity of writing you a few lines. I saw last evening and had a good account of you, and am most thankful that you are still sustained in vigour of

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mind and comparative freedom from bodily suffering. One can take account of this as being very distinctly of the Lord's goodness. There are other proofs, too, of His interest in and care for His testimony and those identified with it. The refusal of the ridiculous performance at H --, and the bringing together on a moral platform of the scattered elements there, seem evidence of His hand. I think, too, that there are signs of a growing apprehension that deliverance must accompany life in the christian, and that life is enjoyed in the light of Christ revealed as the expression and pattern of God's purpose as to us. I think that many, and I trust myself, too, see that we have to leave the boat and walk on the water to apprehend the Lord in a quite new light. I trust that thus what we have been through in the last few years has not been lost upon us.

March 23rd, 1897.

I am very glad that you apprehend my thought in Numbers 21. I think it must be that God may approach man in the accomplishment of the counsels of His love, and this brings in the truth of the cross and the Spirit of life in Christ.

March 31st, 1897.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I duly received yours of February 13th and send you a few lines in reply, and I will give you such answer as I am able to your questions. The first point, viz., 'quickening' is. a difficult one. It is a word used, I think, some eleven times in the New Translation and I believe always with the idea of making alive out of death. Hence it might be used for resurrection. It is applied to the body; Romans 8:11. It cannot therefore be treated as

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an equivalent of 'new birth', which has not the same force. The form which quickening takes at the present time is in (the power of) an indwelling Spirit. The Lord says in John 6, "It is the Spirit that quickens". I could say in principle of every one that has received the Spirit that he is quickened, but I think that quickening in the real power of it is rather in what the Spirit effects in a man (when received) than in the mere fact of the reception of the Spirit. In Paul's writings it is said only to the Colossians and Ephesians "you hath he quickened". In John's the Father and the Son and the Spirit are all said to quicken but it must be in oneness of action. In result it makes the subject of it alive in a position and state in which he was not before, and thus anticipates what will take place in the coming of the Lord; 1 Corinthians 15:22. This will show how far it goes beyond the thought of new birth. As regards the other point, the place of children in the meeting, we have fought strongly in England against their being made to sit outside the board. It is certain to me that in baptising them we recognise that they belong to the Lord and so to the congregation. They are not unclean but holy. Outwardly we come together as the congregation, and the place of the children is with the parents. Many who do not see baptism for their children recognise this, and I should be very sorry for any arrangement that went against it. On the other hand I would not put children outside because their parents do not see baptism. I do not care for running principles to extremes in such a way. After long labour at Hull I hope that things there may be approaching a solution, but Klein and his work there have been much in the way of it. Many are carried away with the excitement of revivalistic work, instead of being exercised as to putting their house in order. We had a letter from Glenny from Aden. He was

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having a prosperous voyage with very few disagreeables -- we have not heard from him from Colombo, but I daresay may in a day or two. My time in the public service comes to an end on September 9th, after which I become free in that respect, and I trust with heart and energy enough to serve the Lord. The accounts of J.B.S. continue good, and he is still keenly alive to all that is going on. With our love in the Lord to Mrs. van Someren and yourself.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

May 1st, 1897.

And so the end has come at last and we are left without the living voice of J.B.S. My feeling is as one without a father. In emergencies and difficulties he has never been weak. I have always felt that he understood the discipline of God, and no one has so much affected and influenced me in my course here, apart, in a sense, from the light gained through him. How thankful one is that his mind and brightness remained till the end, and thus he was a pillar of the truth.

July 27th, 1897.

Mr. F. Henley.

My Dear Brother, -- I feel some little difficulty in answering your letter for I do not know the particular point as to which you wish for advice. If it be as to marriage generally, and circumstances allow of it, I certainly think it is wise of a man to enter into it -- and you are not too young. But it is important that you should get a helpmeet, i.e., one who will be a companion to you spiritually and fit to be a mother to any children that God may give you. But in these

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days it is important to remember that Christ and the relationships which are connected with Him must have the first place -- for they are eternal. Marriage is a time relationship, and is of God's merciful provision for man down here -- and the point is to use it and not to abuse it. It will bring difficulties and exercises. May God guide you aright in the matter.

Your affectionate brother,

September 9th, 1897.

I have read through your diary+ and have been very thankful for the opportunity. One cannot help being struck with the sustained spiritual energy evident both in the utterances and the writings, and it makes clear to me on what line a soul needs to be so as to have the Lord's unfailing support in the extremity of natural weakness. I think it is a mercy that we have such a record.

September 14th, 1898.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I have had your letter of July 28th, and take opportunity of being at the sea (Walton-on-the-Naze) for a few days to send you a few lines in answer to it. I am very glad to get anything like a true judgment of things on your side. I have seen Stewart who has arrived in England. I cannot but think that a time will come when they will have trouble in Melbourne. It seems to me that there is a good deal of arrogance and assumption there -- and their publication of the (most unspiritual) dialogue to which you refer, which is only a covert attack on things that have been said in England, is a bad and ill-conditioned move. That kind of thing has always hitherto

+Diary of J.B.S. during his illness written by his daughter.

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led to division in the long run. I can only say that if anyone reading it does not discern its dogmatic and assumptious tone, and the absence of unction, I am sorry for them. There would be no difficulty in pulling it to pieces, but it does not merit the labour, and I have a great repugnance to these attacks on the part of people ostensibly in fellowship. I regard it as being a grave breach of fellowship. I learn from Stewart that a tract depot has been started from Stawell and suppose that it will be employed for the issue of what is thought to be orthodox matter, and practically set aside the one at Melbourne. I do not think their literature will find much acceptance in this country. I am sorry to say that we have had another defection in the person of R. Edwards. Since Hull, he and Klein have been very uneasy, fretting against what they regarded as limitations and restrictions imposed on them by brethren. I do not know of anything in this way beyond a general feeling of disappointment in the use for the gospel of theatres and opera-houses, and the issuing of appeals, broadcast, to christians for fellowship and prayer in the work. But they cannot apparently bear this, and so Edwards has gone, and Klein is only detained, I fancy, by the influence of his wife's relatives. I very much question if men of that stamp can afford to be apart from restraint. Edwards's brother has gone, too, but I have not heard of anyone else being affected. I do not know whether they will have any influence on your side. In one sense it is sad and humiliating that we should not have had spiritual power to hold such, but I am persuaded that there is strong self-will at work in them. I do not know of any other disturbing element over here, but one can only count on the Lord to keep us. We are to have a meeting at Birkenhead in the beginning of October and I think it is just as well. We can there compare notes a bit. I am surprised that you should not have heard from

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Glenny. I had a letter a few days ago, but it is not by me at the moment. He was still working with Kirkup in W. Australia and I should think with some degree of encouragement. Bagshaw, I learn, is active in Sydney, and seems to be accepted. In answering your enquiries on the Weston notes I do it without having the notes by me. I think that in 1 Corinthians we get the fact of the one body, but it is brought in as a corrective of disorder in the local assembly. I do not think we have 'the Head' brought in as such, nor are taught the real import of the body as that in which Christ is set forth or expressed down here -- for that, I think, you must go to Colossians or Ephesians, where saints are viewed as risen with Christ and quickened with Him, and the body knit together makes increase, the increase of God. As regards the point on Matthew, I think it is interesting that it was ordered that the birthright (with its rights) should be in Joseph (son of Jacob) while the genealogy is in Judah -- it makes the two parts of the nation indispensable to each other -- they must be joined in one stock. I do not feel much disposed to discuss with anyone the question of dying or death to sin. I am inclined to say that if objectors find what they hold on the subject satisfactory and effectual, by all means to hold to it. It is certain that J.N.D. opposed the thought of dying to sin as asceticism -- on the other hand I think that a doctrinal death to sin is powerless -- and that though we have been baptised to Christ's death, we ourselves have to drink the bitter waters of Marah -- and the doing so becomes to us the way of deliverance. I am afraid that the prospect of my coming over to Australia is remote. Though I have moved from the College I am detained at my post until next June -- and I doubt if my courage would be equal to more than crossing the Atlantic. I doubt, too, if a visit from me in the present state of feeling would be advisable. However, the Lord must guide.

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I cannot say much as to the last point in your letter, the passover lamb. I think that I can in a way enter into the thought of its being roast with fire -- but am not so clear as to its not sodden with water. It may be what you say -- but I am inclined to think that it forbids the idea in its eating of accommodation to man or to man's taste -- the lamb roast with fire has to be appreciated in that light, i.e., as exposed to the searching fire of God. I am glad to hear of improvement in the health of Mrs. van Someren and your boy, and am thankful to be able to give a good account of ourselves, which is something in a large family. My second boy is just about starting in life in the construction department of the Navy and we imagine that he will go from home to one of the dockyards. With our kind love in the Lord to Mrs. van Someren and yourself.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

October 5th, 1897.

So far as I understand John 5, I think that the clause "So hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" refers to the place which the Son has taken as Man. He takes as given what was really proper to Himself as a divine Person (see chapter 1:4). What I understand by it is, in Him was life outside of all the scene of death here, and that He could not be holden of it.

October 10th, 1897.

I much doubt if it was in the mind of the Lord when here to assert His deity. I judge that He ever held to the place which as man He had taken. But He was here in the testimony and in this sense the truth of who He was could not be hid. In John 5 the Lord lays out the whole position as regards the Father

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and Himself, and hence there was a full revelation of what was in God towards man. The Father showed the Son (for testimony) all things that He Himself did, and the Son could do nothing but what He saw the Father doing. Still the Lord spoke as from His place as a man here, though evidently divine. To do His own will as an independent Being was a moral impossibility, for the Father and the Son were one in the unity of one Spirit. Passing out of death into life, passing is, I judge, into a sense, so far as the creature can, of that love with which the Son is loved; John 17:26. The Father's name is declared to this end. As regards Romans 1, I fancy the expression "by the resurrection from the dead" is abstract, but at the same time in contrast with "of the seed of David". It certainly gives the idea of an order, but I do not know that it is necessary for the mind to go beyond the resurrection of Christ Himself. He appealed to His resurrection as being the sign (John 2:19) and could not be holden of death. I am still inclined to think that it is by the word of the Son that a man is raised to life, and that word is the revelation of the Father which becomes operative in the soul. I think that John 5 makes this clear. The difficulty with many is to get away from material thoughts.

November 17th, 1897.

I have been at -- for some weeks and trying to bring before them the platform of resurrection. It is evident that it is the only platform on which we can really be with God outside of sin, the flesh, and the world, and it is as much God's mind for us as our justification. Concurrent with it is the work of God in us which brings with it practical deliverance. This is all very plain in Colossians 2.

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We were on 1 Corinthians 13 on Tuesday and I was glad of the thought that love puts us with God where there is neither knowledge nor prophecy, nor faith nor hope. It never fails and is greater than all.

December 16th, 1897.

As regards the point to which you refer, I think that faith apprehends the testimony which God presents. It appears to me that Christ risen is now the great testimony of God. In Him thus God has expressed His mind and pleasure in regard of man, and it is not only that man is justified but that he should be before God outside every order of man down here, in association with the One through whom he is justified. This is true for every believer, but I do not think that it is available save as there is in us the corresponding work of God, that we are quickened together with Him, and thus we can enter into the light of God's pleasure. But it was God's testimony from the outset in the operation that raised Christ from the dead. Ephesians and Colossians speak so much of the work of God in the believer and its effect that it would be impossible to apply them indiscriminately to all christians. Romans is God's testimony and therefore to all. "Raised up" in Ephesians is what God has effected in Jew and gentile, not exactly the light of His testimony in Christ. I do not know if the above will at all make matters clear but I think it runs with J.B.S.'s thoughts.

January 31st, 1898.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter of November 6th, and am sorry that it has remained so long unanswered, but as you know my time is limited.

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The days pass very quickly and I do not find that one's energy increases. I was reminded of you yesterday by seeing Wells, who read me an extract from a letter which he had from you. This brought home to me the sense of being your debtor. One seems to hear less of Australia now so I hope things may be quieting down there. From what I hear both Bagshaw and Glenny have gone pretty much on the line of avoiding particular questions that have been in agitation there. If they could do this without detriment to the truth it is well, but they must not be very much astonished some day to find it used against them. My impression is that it is on the whole better that saints should know where one really is about things, though they may judge that he that is not against us is on our part. Reports are sure to be not wanting in regard of those who seek in any way to stand for the truth, but I think I would, in spite of them, identify myself with such, though the truth never stands in need of a party. We are going on quietly in this country at the present time. I think that the meeting at Birkenhead greatly confirmed the effect of the Weston meeting, and tended much to re-establish confidence -- and I suppose many points came much more clearly before the minds of the brethren, among others that of the body. Oliphant, Trench and Dennett were all there, and there was really nothing in the way of friction or opposition. This was a great mercy; and all went away with the sense that there was a platform on which we could come together and quietly speak of the truth without jumping down each others' throats. Klein was at Birkenhead with his father-in-law, Oliver. He was evidently very restive. He has now gone to India and is carrying on at Calcutta pretty much as he has been accustomed to do in the past. He has taken an opera-house and a theatre and is making appeals by printed papers to all christians for sympathy and prayer. I do not believe that this can go on very long in connection with

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brethren, and he will have to follow Edwards outside. The latter is now unfettered and goes anywhere and everywhere. I cannot myself think that men of such unsubdued wills can really be under the influence of grace. I fancy their wills are at work in a determination to affect and influence others. It appears to me that the object of the discipline and admonition of the Lord is to subdue our wills, and such only are fit vessels for the work of the Lord. Our fortnightly readings in London go on well enough. We have been on the latter part of 1 Corinthians, and are now going on to the beginning of 2 Corinthians, first the assembly and then the ministry. The meetings are very largely attended. I only hope that the truth may be effective. The present state of christendom is a great hindrance to our getting a true sense of either one or the other. It is no easy matter to go back to what was from the beginning. I hope that, in spite of weakness around you, and of many things disappointing, you are still encouraged. It is a great matter to be in our minds on the divine side of things, for there nothing can fail -- and I think that one gets the support of the Spirit. There is not much stirring here in Greenwich, but we go on in peace, and I hope and think, to profit. My second boy seems to be getting on well enough at Portsmouth. He likes his work but does not much like being in lodgings. I think he will make a change and board with some sisters. So far I feel that we have had experience of much mercy in regard of our children and I hope that we shall continue to desire for them that which we have desired. I hope that Mrs. van Someren and your boy and self are well, and with kind love in the Lord, remain,

Your affectionate brother,

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March 5th, 1898.

To Mr. Menzies.

My Dear Brother, -- Your father has allowed me to see your letter to him of the 3rd, giving an account of your interview with Mr. Dunlop and I feel constrained to send you a line to express my sympathy with you in your being subjected to this. I was glad to see the way that you met him. It is certain to me that they know nothing of Christ as Priest or Head, i.e., on our side, representative of and identified with us (the Sanctifier and the sanctified are all of one) or they would not object to the thought of His being viewed in Scripture distinct and apart from what He is as God. Had I said 'distinct and apart from what He is as a divine Person' it would have been wrong; but it is as plain as anything can be in the paper that the idea is connected with presentation -- there is the perfect presentation of God to man, and of man to God, in one and the same Person, but it is plain that the two thoughts are quite distinct and apart, and plenty of proof of this is in the paper. The attack is not upright. Again as regards eternal life, they do not really mean by their expression that 'Christ is eternal life' but that eternal life is the life of Christ and their idea of our participating in that life is a very material one. They have no sense of the truth that everything for us is set forth in another Man, and that we reach that Man in spirit and mind -- grasping eternal life to which we are called, while at the same time actually here in flesh. The expression "the Son of man which is in heaven" is characteristic, as are very many similar forms of expression in John. My conviction is that they are profoundly ignorant in divine things and prey on the simple and uninstructed. Mr. Dunlop was always a morbid legal kind of man, scrupulous as to the letter but entering probably but little into the mind and spirit of Scripture.

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I have had a long and piteous appeal from Mr. Ely. They begin to feel their position. I hardly know what to answer him. May the Lord give you all the grace you need.

Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

March 8th, 1898.

People may pass away sooner or later with all the attendant disruption of natural ties and laceration of human hearts, and the only one thing abiding is Christ, for whom all else must in result give way.

March 24th, 1898.

I think it is interesting to compare the armour with the marks of Christ as He came out in revelation. My fear in regard to saints is as to whether they are prepared to put themselves at the disposal of Christ. They enjoy the truth and engage in certain activities, but there is more than this when a heart is under the influence of Christ's love, and that is the only secure place for a saint down here.

April 30th, 1898.

I had not realised that twelve months had passed since the departure of Mr. Stoney, but it does not do to allow the mind to go back on the things behind, and one can look forward to the time when J.B.S. will be conspicuous as "a pillar in the temple of my God, and go no more out", and we shall see all God's ways having their result in the heavenly city. I do not know that my mind has any well-defined distinction between our being formed in Christ or Christ formed in us. I may have used the expressions interchangeably.

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We are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus; that I suppose is wholly God's work; on the other hand Christ being formed in saints appears to be an initial work, and the work of ministry, the "apostle laboured in birth till Christ were formed in them". It may be something of the same thought as the saints being Christ's epistle. Had the Galatians appreciated Christ they would not have turned to law.

June 27th, 1898.

I think that we are now exercised as to the subjects to be taken up at the (so-called) conference. I think there is a good deal of prayer about it.. .. It is pretty much agreed that the evening meetings are to be lectures, but my anxiety is as to the readings. I earnestly pray that we may have the mind of the Lord in the matter and that we may be occupied with great principles of truth and not with points. In the existing state of christendom, great responsibility rests on brethren that they should set forth the mind of Christ.

(The following extract from a letter -- not by F.E.R. -- is inserted here as being of peculiar interest. It was written from Chicago on October 14th, 1898, by Mr. Broomhead, of Greenwich, who accompanied Mr. Raven on his 1898 visit to U.S.A. The reading referred to was held at Rochester on October 11th, 1898, and will be found in the current New Series. -- ED.)

The reading on Tuesday morning was on 'Deliverance' and Colossians 2 was read. An important point was that F.E.R. thought that salvation was the breaking the power of the enemy and liberating the captive, but that deliverance was more in connection with details gone through experimentally,

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and would not be needed if a christian left this world at the moment of his conversion. In the latter part of the meeting there was a very interesting digression as to the way in which divine Persons have been revealed. F.E.R. thought that 'the Son' is used in special reference to the Father and the name 'Son of God' in reference to man, but that none of these titles are applied to Him in Scripture until incarnation, and therefore we are not authorised to carry these titles back into eternity. The reading was exceedingly free and greatly enjoyed.

October 20th, 1898.

From Chicago.

My desire has been (referring to the meetings they had had at Rochester) to lead saints to look at things in a moral light, so that they may apprehend truth as a whole, the revelation of God and of His will, that thus they may be led into the knowledge of God and of His calling.

November 23rd, 1898.

I was naturally glad to reach home again, but I was very happy in contact with the saints in America, where are many whom I very highly esteem and am thankful to have been in contact with. I feel that I have gained by it. I am sure that I shall not forget them and I trust they will not forget me. I am now extremely busy with the notes of our meetings, which have been very fairly taken, and will be published in America.... As to what you refer to, my point was that it was permitted to us to know divine Persons AS and WHEN revealed and only so. In view of that revelation the Son has taken a new place relatively, that is, of inferiority to the Father, coming to do the will of God, though of course there would be no change

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morally or in affection. The names under which we know divine Persons, that is, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are, I judge, connected with this position, and I doubt if we are allowed to enter into the eternal relation of divine Persons apart from this revelation. No one knows the Son but the Father. What I think led me to it was a fear lest in our minds we should almost insensibly give to the Son a place of inferiority (save as regards revelation) in our thoughts of the Godhead, which could not be right. The point is to be within the limits of Scripture and not trading on what is merely orthodox.

November, 1898.

Mr. E. L. Bevir.

As to the point in the other letter, I will quote what I recently wrote to a brother, 'The point as to the Word resolves itself in my mind entirely into a question of standpoint of the speaker, (i.e., in the gospel) for as to what is substantial, I am sure that we should find no difference of thought'. My impression is that in John 1 the apostle is speaking by the Spirit of One who had been commonly known and designated among them as "the Word" (see Luke 1:1), and that the point was to identify as God the Person so known and designated. The same kind of thought is found in Philippians 2, which speaks of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, etc., the Person so designated existed in that form before taking the servant's form. I hardly understand the idea of 'Word' save as 'expression' though the thought or mind to be expressed may have been long there. Hence it is when Christ comes into the place of testimony that He is apprehended as the 'Word' though personally divine and ever existent. A prophet had the word, He is it (see Hebrews 1:1, 2) but, of course, I may be mistaken and am in no way disposed to press the matter.

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December, 1898.

I do not think that we have got to the bottom of the thought of the Logos. Philosophy had an idea of a logos of the material universe. John, I judge, gives the logos of the moral universe. From Luke 1:2 it appears to me that 'the Word' was what Christ was in the apprehension of the apostles, and John speaks from this standpoint. The Word to them was the substance and expression of all that was divinely blessed for men (the intelligent and the intelligible) and thus the soul of that vast system in which the blessed God is displayed. But all this hangs on incarnation, the introduction to John's gospel gives the real genealogy of 'the Word'. He was with God and truly God, and being such He became flesh, and is full of grace and truth.

January 23rd, 1899.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- On Saturday evening a brother whom I had known in times past, named Allinson, from Sheffield, called on me. He would not shake hands as, he said, he was out of fellowship. In course of conversation he told me that some eighteen months ago he had been asked to sit outside on the supposition of unrighteousness in regard to his business -- but that this being proved to be groundless he was afterwards put out of fellowship on a charge of railing -- he says further that he does not know in what the charge consists, and wrote in October last asking for information, but has had no answer to his letter. Can you tell me if there is any ground for withholding this information? I do not know if I should have written in the matter, but for knowing something of yourself.

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I hope that through mercy you are the better in health for your change from London.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

January 30th, 1899.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- Many thanks for your letter. I have not written to Allinson, as the brethren are moving in the matter, and I do not want to give him the impression that I am taking up his cause. Apart from the question of his state I should think he has been roughly handled. When one charge breaks down, it is hard to deal with a man on another -- it gives an impression of a determination to get him out. I am always a little doubtful of charges of railing -- the term is made to do duty for things hardly included in the idea. Railing means reviling -- as they reviled Christ -- or as Paul reviled the high priest speaking to him as "thou whited wall". If a man spoke of the Queen as a wicked immoral person I should call that railing. But we do not put a person out for railing, but as a railer -- that is as one commonly given to it, and in that way unfit for fellowship. If a man has any light or conscience, so that when put out he is unable to turn to the sects or systems, it seems to me that excommunication (in its effects on a man's family) is a most awful punishment, and ought only to be resorted to in the last extremity. From what you say I should think brethren might have marked their disapproval of Allinson's course and conduct in some way short of that. I am very glad to hear a better account of yourself, and remain, with love in the Lord,

Your affectionate brother,

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March 1st, 1899.

My Dear Brother, -- I am very sorry to have been so long in answering your letter, but have been for three weeks very poorly, and unable to apply myself to anything. In regard to the opening of John's gospel, I do not know that I can say much more than I have said in the little paper in the 'Food'. All appears to me to depend on the standpoint from which the evangelist regards Christ. If, as I judge from verse 14, John is writing from the point of the apostle's apprehension, and the term 'Word' conveys what Christ was in their thought, there the passage is simple enough. The One commonly known and designated as 'the Word' is traced back to His true source, "He was with God and was God", and, being such, He became flesh. It is, in a word, His genealogy. I am very much inclined to doubt if any presentation of Christ is intended in the passage in any light in which the apostles had not apprehended Him when on earth. By 'intelligent' I understand, as you say, the mind that thinks, and by 'intelligible', the expression of that mind, the latter is essential to the idea of Word. I am thankful to say that we are all nicely on the mend. Hope you are well and remain,

Your affectionate brother,

March 10th, 1899.

Though still weak I am gaining ground.. . I am thankful in some ways for the enforced retirement from activity. It seems difficult to get it when in health and strength and I am sure of the need of it. Going on continually in service may prevent one from finding one's true measure spiritually, and this is very needful. I made an effort to go to the brothers' reading on Tuesday and do not think I suffered any harm. We

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had a pretty good time on Luke 17 and 18, dwelling on the moral character of the kingdom of God in the time when the rights of the Son of man are in abeyance.

March 12th, 1899.

I think that comparatively few see that the basis of the Word of God is the world to come. They look upon it simply as light come into this world, hence they fail to apprehend the significance of baptism as in figure the passage from the one to the other.

March 20th, 1899.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- Many thanks for sending me the enclosed. I am hoping to be at Rotherham and may find an opportunity of speaking to you on the matter of Allinson. The case seems a miserable one, and the brothers might perhaps find some way of approaching him. I have been at the sea for a few days and am, I hope, really on the mend.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

May 19th, 1899.

Mr. R. Anson.

My Dear Brother, -- I have observed in the writings of Paul the absence of the designation 'the Lamb' as applied to Christ. It is used by both Peter and John, but two are used-one in John 1 and 1 Peter 1 which I think refers to sacrifice -- and another in Revelation 5, which is a diminutive, as in John 21, and as such probably a term of endearment. I think the designation

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is connected with God's ways on earth. Christ is at once the lion and the lamb, and hence the idea is not exactly connected with proper christian worship. In the Revelation the entire heavenly company is viewed as one in their interest in what is transpiring on earth, and they worship God and the Lamb. Hence I cannot see anything wrong or inappropriate in the introduction of this designation in hymns, though they may not come up to the height of proper christian privilege. Should I be coming north I may hope to run over to Hull. I should be glad to see you.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

June, 1899.

I am very glad to send you a few lines in regard to the meetings here (Quemerford). I can say I am thankful for it, though I do not think that it has been marked by any great display of power, but we were helped of the Lord, and the bulk have gone away brighter than they came. I think Mr. Reynolds was pretty much on the line of practical piety, and maintained that, until we had in spirit passed the judgment-seat, we had not much entrance into privilege. My main point lay between our instruction in divine love, in connection with discipline, purging and the like down here, and our touching the scene where love can rest because all is according to the divine glory. The readings were fresh, and turned mainly on divine teaching and the true place of the Scriptures. There seemed pretty hearty fellowship all through.

(The following note and letter from Dr. van Someren are inserted, being relevant to the three subsequent letters. -- ED.)

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June 18th, 1899.

At a meeting of brothers held on Friday, 16th inst., to come to a final decision concerning charges made against certain persons amongst us, it was decided that these charges were not proved and untrue. With reference to those brothers that have left our midst, repeating and maintaining these charges from which we have now decided our brethren are clear, we have to announce that if they return, it must be to find these questions finally decided by us, so that if again raised, such conduct will be treated as evil-doing, according to the principles of Deuteronomy 17. We have also to add that in our judgment, it has not been comely that those who have taken part in these accusations should have been engaged in any prominent service or ministry among us, till the confidence of brethren had been restored. As to the accused, we think that a more conscious sense of the presence of the Lord in the midst might have led such also to refrain from any prominent place whilst labouring under such charges.

December, 1899.
From Dr. van Someren
To Mr. F. E. RAVEN.

In reference to above notice, at an interview with the two most prominent brothers (Tunks and House) responsible for it, it was emphatically stated: that it was never meant as an assembly judgment or supposed to have the force or endorsement of the gathering and that it was meant to be an authoritative dictum of brothers to close up finally what was ever a source of disunion and scandal, claiming that a brothers' meeting was a tribunal contemplated in Scripture for just such a purpose and this on the ground of Acts 15 and the passage in 1 Corinthians where it speaks of the least esteemed judging between brethren -- and others supposed to be equally to the point.

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The point then seems to be, Can a brothers' meeting claim such a part scripturally and is there an authority residing in it to settle aught in matters which it is judged need not come before the gathering? I have no doubt that if brothers looking into a matter feel that it is not one which the gathering need have cognisance of, they can leave it there, or if judging wrong attaches to certain ones, can express that judgment to those brothers privately and seek to exercise them, but this only in an individual capacity, and not collectively as brothers having any collective capacity. If this is incorrect, I would like to be set right.

January 24th, 1900.

Dr. van Someren.

I have never heard of such a thing as brothers arriving at a decision and then announcing it to the assembly. It is arrogating to themselves an authority which does not belong to them or to anyone save the assembly. If they had come to the conclusion that there was nothing calling for assembly action, there was no need to say anything to the assembly. They appear to have been trying to guard against contingencies and we are never called to do this, but only act on what may come before us. I think that there is always danger in brothers' meetings. I can understand that it may be necessary for the elders to investigate but brothers' meetings have not, so far as I am aware, any sanction in Scripture.


Mr. J.G.E.

My Dear Brother, -- I have just had your letter of 19th. I am in your debt in regard of letter writing. I know of the difficulty that has arisen in Sydney, not so much on account of the problems of the case, but as being probably the outcome of a state making it

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impossible to call a meeting for discipline. It has always been understood that such a meeting be called on the testimony of two or three and those enjoying the confidence of the assembly, otherwise any man might call such a meeting in mere self-will. When it is called together, it is not to discuss matters, but to hear the results of the investigation brought before it in such a way as that there is no difficulty in its arriving at a judgment, which is really its function. I am at a loss to understand brothers arriving at a decision and then announcing it to the assembly. I have never heard of such a course. It is arrogating to themselves an authority which does not belong to them and might result in the meeting being ruled by a committee of brothers, which I am sure would not be right. The course adopted at Sydney seems to me very strange, however well meant it may have been. They announce their decision to the assembly in order to provide against a contingency. Now we have not to guard against contingencies, but only to act on that which is before us. If they felt that charges had been improperly or needlessly raised, they had no need to go on with them, but there was no reason for saying to the assembly anything. And further, their expressing their mind to the assembly as to persons taking part in the meetings was going beyond what they were entitled to do. Everyone admits the necessity of cases that may arise being investigated by the elders, but it will never do for this to become the means of the assembly being ruled by the judgment of the brothers. I do not suppose that this was intended at Ashfield, but I think there is danger in what they have done.



Mr. Davis.

I have already written to V.S. in regard to his question on the enclosed. I believe the ground taken to be entirely unscriptural whatever good purpose it may

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have been intended to serve. The authority of the Lord is vouchsafed to the assembly in a city and I would not recognise any authority as resident outside it. The reference to Acts 15 does not justify the action taken. The apostles (who had authority) and elders came together to consider the matter, i.e., to investigate but the decision was ultimately made by the whole church. As regards the reference to 1 Corinthians 6:4, can this be other than a matter between two brothers being referred to the arbitration of one brother, but this is a very different thing from a collective action which might in practice become a very dangerous thing. In cases where it is necessary to enquire into details I can understand the investigation of the elders of the assembly being necessary but they have no authority in Scripture to settle anything so that it cannot be raised again. Such actions have no sanction in Scripture that I know of.

March 28th, 1900.

As regards the Scripture I have always maintained most carefully that as being the inspired record of God's communications it is the word of God. But the word of God has in my mind a different force. It means to me the revelation of God and of His mind directly or immediately to man. In the case of the fathers this was by direct communication. In the case of Israel God speaks on the mount. He gave His commandments to Moses on the mount. With the prophets it was by the Spirit of Christ in the prophets. Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In the incarnation the Son of God was Himself the Word. In the apostles God gave the Spirit of God that they might know the things that were freely given of God. In the Revelation the mind of God was made known by visions. We find then that there was another stage, namely, that the things

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made known were recorded or taught in words that the Holy Spirit taught, hence we get the body of doctrine. And indeed, without it we could not well communicate with one another. Scripture itself tells us its own value; we find this in 2 Timothy 3:15,16. But I am sure that its good would be frustrated if it hindered our seeing how God has given His mind in a living way, for whatever may be said Scripture never can be other than the letter. The point is to get to the Spirit. I am very sure in my own mind that many of us have put the Scripture in the place of the Spirit of truth as the means of teaching, and when one tries to cast saints more on the anointing, there is a cry that the Scriptures are being made light of. I think that it is extremely important to see that God's communications to man are directly by the Spirit of the living God. As regards the question of standing, I have no objection to the term being applied to the christian as a justified man here on earth. But the christian is a child of God, and here the term is quite inappropriate. My objection has been to applying the term to such ideas as 'in Christ', being 'risen with him', 'dead with him', 'quickened with him', and the like. These all speak of the work of the Spirit in the saint and it is meaningless to speak of them as standing, and further leads to unreality, because the christian takes credit to himself for things which are true for him as though they were true in him.

June 17th, 1900.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- Many thanks for your letter, which I have been unable to answer till now, as it arrived while I was away from home. I had had a line from Hamilton giving me some information as to the state of things in Dublin. I am very sorry for all

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there. Things would not be half so difficult did not Colossians Gahan find some measure of sympathy in Mr. Trench. It seems to me monstrous that he should talk of erroneous doctrine when the only one that was putting out anything contrary to Scripture was himself. He maintained that eternal life was communicated, and I said that I could not see any such thing as the communication of life, but that a man lived, either naturally or spiritually, by the operation of God. A man was said to be born of the Spirit, quickened, or new created, all of which speak of man being the subject of the power of God. No one can possibly deny this, he may quibble at the expression 'that it is an effect produced', but it is certain that it is the man who is the subject of the operation. The Lord said, "Ye must be born again". He has no warrant that I know of for the idea of communication of life. The expression 'I give unto them eternal life' will not carry it. To begin with, it is to His sheep who know His voice and follow Him that He gives eternal life. He does not give them eternal life that they may become His sheep. Then again the mere word 'give' does not carry the idea of communication of life as a vital principle. God may give us an inheritance. The Father has given us that we should be called children of God. Anything may be the subject of a gift. He may say what he likes, but life is the man himself. He lives, and his life cannot be separated from himself. And though he dies as regards men, the saint lives for God. I can understand speaking of the communication of the Spirit, but then the Spirit is not myself, though the Spirit is life in us in this present time when we have to mortify the deeds of the body. But Colossians Gahan does not mean the communication of the Spirit, but of eternal life, a thought he cannot substantiate from the scripture. A man hates his life in this world, and keeps it to life eternal. How can you bring in the thought of communication here. The error is not with

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me but with him. He may appeal to Mr. Darby but this will not satisfy all. The situation is a difficult one but we shall have to wait on the Lord to see what He brings out of it. It is difficult to me to understand a man remaining in fellowship when erroneous doctrines are admitted and accepted. In reply to your questions, I would say, that I understand that the Spirit is life in us at the present time when, instead of the body being a competent vehicle, the deeds of the body have to be mortified. He is life potentially. We are quickened as regards affections, but not yet as regards the body. As regards Luke 20:38, I think the expressions "living" and "live" indicate the account that God takes of saints who have passed off this scene, they have died for men, but they live for Him, and this involves their being raised. In regard to the term 'reconciliation' it appears to me that when the preposition 'apo' is prefixed it must bring in the idea of 'from', the recognition of a previous state in contrast. The word is intensified in force. As to the difference between 'soul' and 'spirit' in the passage in Luke, I can say little. I imagine it is often in the Psalms and elsewhere a parallelism, and if so, though the word is varied, there is not much difference of signification. The spirit seems to go the deeper of the two. But I am not learned in such refinements. We are through mercy well, and I trust you are so, I am glad you are going to have a change. Give my love in the Lord to your mother and brother, and to your own circle, and believe me,

Your affectionate brother,

July 27th, 1900.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I thank you for sending me the enclosed. It is as bad a thing as I have ever seen,

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betraying an amazing amount of self-assertion, and an utter disregard of the feeling and judgment of his brethren. It makes matters very difficult for you all, and I do not know what counsel to give save of patience, so that. the character of things may be made manifest. I am sorry for anyone who could support such a brother. It would be well to make plain to him that the brothers have no sympathy with the course which he is taking. The practical result will be that Dublin will become practically isolated. I trust that you all may be much benefited by your stay in Wales, though I suppose that the weather is very hot. I am going today to Brighouse for meetings, and on from there to Carlisle.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

Letter by F.E.R. to a young brother -- a London bank clerk (Mr. A. N. Walker, now of New York) -- who enquired of him as to what his judgment was in connection with the young brother's exercise to go out to India (Bangalore) under an evangelistic impulse!


Dated Scarborough, August 24th, 1900.

My Dear Brother, -- In answer to your letter I send a line to give you my impression on the rather serious matter on which you write. I say 'serious' because I imagine that the carrying out of your desire will involve the giving up the ordinary way of obtaining a living in the world. I think you will have in the first place to discern whether your desire is a sentiment, or a call from the Lord -- Samuel was a child given in answer to prayer, and devoted of his parents to God -- but he had to receive a call from the Lord for his service. Peter and Paul, and even Timothy and Titus,

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were very distinctly called. Epaphras had received a ministry from the Lord. Now one thing is attendant on a man being called of the Lord -- and that is that call is recognised by the spiritual -- Eli perceived the call of Samuel -- Barnabas recognised the call of Saul -- Paul recognised that of Timothy and Titus and Epaphras. It seems to me that this principle is important, and hangs on the presence and fellowship of the Spirit. May the Lord guide you aright in the matter -- that you may be here for His pleasure.

Your affectionate brother,

October 27th, 1900.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I reached home from France on Thursday and found your letter awaiting me. I thank you much for the tidings of things in Dublin, though it is not altogether encouraging. And I really do not know what is to be done. If brethren have not the power to maintain what they know to be right, and Colossians Gahan is determined to insist on what he thinks to be the truth, things are virtually at a deadlock. I think that his conduct at Dublin when I was there was bad. And I am at a loss to understand how he is prepared to go on with those who are in his mind holding serious error. One thing is clear to me, that is that in the present state of things Dublin is closed to me. I hope that grace may be given to the brothers there to walk in all grace, and yet not to accept the practical setting aside of that which they know to be right. I returned from France on Thursday, after an interesting stay there. We visited the three districts in which there are meetings, and stayed a week at each. It gave me the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the French brethren, and I hope of bringing before them that which might help them. They are

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mostly simple and timid, and it takes some time to assure them, but when you have their confidence then they will be free to exchange thoughts with you. In fact they are very much like the Irish in that respect. I hope that Mrs. Joseph and yourself are well, also your mother, and your brother and his wife, and with love in the Lord remain,

Your affectionate brother,

I am going to Stourbridge on Monday, D.V., for the meetings there.

January, February, March and May, 1901.

Note by F.E.R., that led to the correspondence. 'By "dying to sin" is meant the arriving at that conclusion or state of mind in which the believer is in accord with the death of Christ, in other words, reckoning himself dead to sin. Evidently, Romans 6it encourages him to take this view'.

The point at issue is, whether we reckon ourselves dead because we are dead, or whether our having died or being dead really consists in the christian in the reckoning. I do not believe that the former is the thought of Scripture. Christ, with whom we are going to live, has died to sin, and we are to account ourselves dead with Him. All lies in the reckoning. What has taken place in fact in Christ, commands the consent of our mind, and in this way governs our practice. I cannot see anything in that of the nature of asceticism. It is a conclusion arrived at in the mind for once and for all, and that is not what I understand by asceticism, which implies an effort to die. The reckoning is in no way a question of will, but is reached by the Spirit of God, and the mind is maintained in it by the Spirit.... Our having died is an important matter for us, but it in no sense affects what we are for God as the fruit of His own work.. .. Doctrinal death has worked most prejudicially.. .. It has been a part of orthodoxy to

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believe that we are dead, and it has been urgently insisted on. It is all right if it be true, but I cannot see the good or even the honesty of attempting to maintain it when it is evidently not true.... I suppose the Spirit of God can bring one in mind into accord with the import of Christ's death, and that this is desirable for the christian, so that he may be able to say as the apostle: "I am crucified with Christ". If we are risen with Christ through faith, we are certainly dead, for the two are correlative, but this is a question of realisation, or it means nothing: for God all were dead when Christ died. I can see no object in our death with Him save that of deliverance from the world system.. .. In the eye of God we were already dead, and then God sent His Son that we might live through Him, and that He might be the propitiation for our sins. God then gave us His Spirit that we might live in Christ. Our having part in the death of Christ is of no value to God if we were already dead in His account. Death with Christ is a practical thing, of all importance to us who are left in the scene in which we have been alive, and it lies in the mind being in accord with the death of Christ, which is based in Scripture, not on faith but on baptism.. .. It is not arrived at by faith but by consistency with our baptism, by the Spirit of God. I entirely admit that when we have arrived at this we have the right and privilege to account ourselves alive to God. If the apostle admonished the Romans to account themselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, he did not mean to imply that they were in Adam not in Christ, for it is evident that he thought of them as in Christ by the possession of the Spirit of Christ, but he is speaking in a practical way to lead them to part company with things in which they had once lived, and to account of themselves as belonging to another system of things. As I have already said, what can be the value in the eye of God that I am dead with Christ? He justified

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me as a sinner because Christ died for me, and He gave me of the Spirit simply because I believed, without waiting for any accord of mind on my part with the death of Christ. I am totally unable to find any basis for this idea of doctrinal death with Christ. The two points you touch on are on the one hand the fact that if Christ died for all, all were dead, and on the other, that in the face of the exhortation to account ourselves dead to sin we are regarded as having once been alive in sins. I agree that this latter is brought to a close in our identification with the death of Christ. I judge the first statement to refer to where all men were in the eye of God, that is under the judgment of sin, death. By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and death passed upon all men. All were there in the eye of God, and Christ entered into that place, but to rise again. His entering into it proved that a]l were there. But I cannot see that this is contrary to the fact that as a matter of fact we were alive in this world in the practice of sin, and in this connection have had to die to sin to live to God. The law was the ministration of death, bringing home to men where they were as under the judgment of God, but the gospel brings to light the necessity of our being separated from a world of sin by identification with the death of Christ, in order that we may live to God. It is only too true that the man who is lying under the sentence of death can be alive in sin in this world. The answer to the first in grace is that a man receives living water, and to the second that in the power of the Spirit he parts company with the world of sin in which he was living. The one depends on the other. As a matter of truth there can be no link between the man that was under death and God; the judgment of God lies between. But Christ has come in and has borne the judgment, so that as Head of every man, He can address Himself to every man with a view of communicating to him living water; and

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having received this, I am free of the judgment under which I was -- God has formed a link with me by Christ, and now I die to the world of sin in which I was once alive. The fact of being at the same time dead and alive is possible when one views each in their proper relation, the first in relation to God and the second in relation to the world. The Spirit has relation to the first, baptism and reckoning oneself dead to the second.

January 8th, 1901.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I am distressed to hear of the state of things in Dublin, and of the false position into which things have got. Colossians Gahan appears in the eyes of many as an injured man. They forget that he gave the offence, in speaking of what came out at the readings as abominably false doctrine. And this was because I would not have an idea that he could not substantiate from Scripture, viz., the idea of the communication of life, as a something substantive. I think that his course is very unhappy, and am sorry that any support him. But if there is no power to meet him at the meetings I do not know what is to be done. The utterance of which you speak is an unhappy one, and although it may have been often used it leaves out too much the fact that Christ is God. In matters affecting the sufferings of Christ it is wiser to confine oneself to the Scripture mode of expression. I am inclined to think that the mode in which you dealt with the matter is open to objection, and that you were under obligation to speak to Colossians Gahan first before going further. He did not mean any heresy, he is too orthodox for that, and does not wander off into any originality. I should be inclined to admit this if I were you. The actual expression I consider unwarranted, for what was not in the favour of God was the

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sin which Christ represented, not the Offerer who had offered Himself by the eternal Spirit. I think he fails to see that Christ was both offering priest and victim, and that while the victim is not revived, the priest abides in the favour of God. But if he disavows anything wrong I do not see how the matter can be pursued further. It is very unhappy for Dublin. If I should come to Ireland in the Spring I shall certainly give Dublin a wide berth. For it is not only the question of Colossians Gahan, but of others who cannot or will not see what I have no doubt is the truth. I trust that the Lord will give you and all others the needed grace, so that you may be enabled to avoid any semblance of feeling as to the Colonel save what is engendered by the truth. I trust that you are all well, I have returned after about a week from the north of England, where I had an encouraging time, the ferment after Klein having died down. I suppose that I may see you at Belfast in the Spring if the Lord will.

With love in the Lord, believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

January 10th, 1901.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- In answer to your note I send a line to say that the passage you quote from the third chapter of the first of Timothy is a difficult one. The reason is that the reading is contested. Many read instead of "God was manifest in the flesh", 'He who has been manifested in the flesh'. I think I incline rather to this last reading, because it seems difficult to speak of God being received up into glory. In any case I am not prepared to adopt the thought to which you refer. The entire passage appears to me to forbid it. I do not enter into the idea of there being a

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manifestation of God in the church, though the church is here as a witness to God morally. 'If we love one another God dwelleth in us and His love is perfected in us', but this is hardly the same thing as a manifestation. And if God has been manifested I do not see that He needs still to be manifested, the manifestation is maintained by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The only thing in the way of manifestation at the present time is, I think, the Lord manifesting Himself to the one who keeps His commandments. What you speak is a new notion, and at present I should not be prepared to endorse it. I trust that your little one is gaining ground, and that you are keeping well, and remain, with love in the Lord,

Your affectionate brother,

March 16th, 1901.

To W.J.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to answer to the best of my ability your enquiry. The difficulty is in that we use words in a loose way, and often Scripture words with a sense not quite in accord with that in which they are used there. I have looked up the word 'sanctuary' and find that in the Old Testament it means 'chapel, hallowed place, holy place'. This evidently conveys the idea that it meant that which was, so to say, enclosed. David was charged to build a house for the sanctuary. In the New Testament there is no distinct word for sanctuary, it is simply an adaptation of the adjective 'holy'. The plural word indicates the 'holiest'. In regard to the word 'temple', two words are employed, namely, one signifying the whole including the courts, and another signifying the building. These words are used carefully and never confounded. It is clear that the

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sanctuary answered to the latter view of the temple. Hence we cannot take the temple and sanctuary as synonymous. My impression is that the sanctuary is presented to us objectively, as that into which we enter: we are not spoken of as being the sanctuary, as we are of being the temple. We are not the holiest. I imagine that that is the revelation of God and of His will in Christ. Evidently in Hebrews the idea is objective. Yet we are said to be the temple, and that in the sense of the actual building. The conclusion to which one is compelled to come is that there were two ideas in the temple, one as the sanctuary, and the other as where God dwells among men, so as to put Himself in touch with them. We retreat into the sanctuary, and there learn the secret of God: this thought comes out frequently. On the other hand, the temple is where God puts Himself in touch with men. In times of distress in Israel faith was taught to look to God's holy temple. This thought is realised in the church, the Spirit of God dwells there. As you say, 'house' is a more general idea, and consists of those that have access to God's courts, and thus come under His discipline. The temple is a type of the church as a building, but I cannot quite see the tabernacle is this, it refers more exclusively to Christ. I do not know whether the above is plain but I trust that it will serve to make plain what is in my mind in regard to a very interesting point. I hope that you are well, and remain, with love in the Lord.

Your affectionate brother,

May 3rd, 1901.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter of February 27th, and have been waiting an opportunity of answering

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it. I am very sorry if I am a letter in your debt, but was unconscious of it, nevertheless I am glad to be brought to the point of writing to you now. The matter of Australia has been brought somewhat prominently before me of late through a certain amount of pressure put upon me to promise to pay a visit over there. A good deal was said as to it by a brother named Patterson of Melbourne, who was over here for a visit, he even wanted me to go back with him. But I could not undertake the matter in such haste. You know in some way how I am situated over here, with a large family, all at home and I am unwilling to leave my wife with an undue burden on her shoulders. I have heard from Patterson since his return to Melbourne, saying that it is the general wish of the brothers that I should pay them a visit. I have written back to the effect that I cannot possibly think of it this year, but if I should at all see the way clear in the coming year I would write him again. I am not anxious at my time of life to undertake such a trip, but on the other hand if it were the mind of the Lord, and this came to me in the way of a general expression of desire on the part of the saints, I should be hardly ready to take the responsibility of an absolute refusal. I have written to Glenny in regard to it to ask his advice, and I just wait to see the mind of the Lord, as one is at His disposal. If you have any thought as to it I should be very glad to hear. I am interested to hear what you tell about the various labourers. I learn that Stewart has an idea of going over at the end of the year, or the beginning of the next. Mace is, I suppose, on his way, but his stay in America is uncertain, as there seems to be considerable interest in the preaching. Mr. Oliphant has gone for a short visit to Chicago. We are going on quietly in England, but there is not that energy of the Spirit that one would desire to see. I feel more and more that in any condition of things down here there is the necessity of being

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an overcomer, or one will be overcome. The current here is strong against Christ, and the influences of the world are so subtle and seductive. People are not prepared for the reproach of Christ, and there is a widespread idea that saints are not to be denied the best things of this world. I do not see much of the faith of Moses. The fact is the system of which Christ is the Head and Sun, in its breadth and length and depth and height, is not in the view of many, hence they are not delivered from the system of this world. But one has to go on patiently in season or out of season. It may be that the Lord may allow something to come in some of these days to test us. We have just had a large meeting at Bristol, and it passed off without any painful element, and many were helped. We took at the readings the steps from the gospel, in the first faith of it, to the holiest, and this as preparation for efficiency when we are gathered in assembly. I am glad that you have raised the question as to James. I have had it before me and am putting out something as to it, I will send you a copy when it is out. The point to me is that James is teaching christianity, and in his first chapter I see the system of the world to come, of which the church is a kind of firstfruits, and in the second, in principle, the unity of Jew and gentile in Abraham and Rahab, and in the third, in principle, the old man, in the tongue, and the new, in the wisdom which is from above. But you will see it at more length in the paper. I regard the epistle as being most important in making life essential to faith. I am thankful to say that we are all in fair health through mercy, though we have not been without exercise in this respect. I hope that Mrs. van Someren and your boy and self are all well. I note your kind invitation to stay with you in the event of my coming over, but it would be premature to say anything as to it at this stage.

With kind love in the Lord, believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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May 25th, 1901.

Mr. A.J.T.

I think that the action of Phinehas in Numbers 25 was hardly in itself a priestly act, for Moses commanded the judges of Israel to take the heads of those that sinned, and I do not suppose that these judges were priests. But if what Phinehas did was not a priestly act, it was one that could only be done with the same readiness by a priest, for none but a priest would have seized the gravity of the moment in the same way. It is the man that is in the enjoyment of access to God who is alive to the moment and what it calls for. It proved that Phinehas was a true priest, and therefore the priesthood is confirmed to him by an everlasting covenant. It was the same with the tribe of Levi. They acted for God in a critical moment, not in any way connected with their peculiar function, but in a way that proved their fidelity to God, and to the best interests of the people, and therefore their privilege is confirmed to them. What tended, at that time, to corrupt Israel was evil associations, through the counsel of Balaam, and this kind of thing has been repeated in the experience of the church. It was so with the Corinthians, and the apostle detected it. It was really because he was in the reality of priesthood that he had discernment of that which was working to corrupt, and he takes action accordingly. This was hardly priestly work only, it was because the apostle was a priest that he had perception of the effect that the evil would have on the people. I have thought that the two things that mark a priest are access, and consequent on that, discernment. The one naturally follows on the other, but any action one might have to take consequent on discernment might not have a distinctly priestly character, for it might be a question of common responsibility. The detection and exposure of the evil is the real point and this power

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is not possessed by every one. This was notably the case in the Bethesda separation, many godly people were not alive to the character of the evil, or how it would compromise the testimony; this required the priest, but when discerned it became a matter of common responsibility. The existence of evil or leaven calls into question the very existence of the assembly as such, and the purging of it out is the responsibility of all, if they would have the Lord go on with them. They must be a new lump as they were unleavened. I do not know how this will serve as an answer to your question, but it is the way in which the matter presents itself to me.

May 31st, 1901.

The+ position I have held has never been other than that of a help. I fully admit the importance of there being no uncertain sound about the teaching. But nothing I have said ought to produce any sense of uncertainty as to what is really the subject of the teaching. It refers only to the condition in which the good of the teaching is realised. And every one must prove this for themselves. Very much more has been made of this question of 'the holiest' than the matter called for. The sum total of what I have said is that it appears to me that the teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews refers to saints individually, and not to the idea of the saints come together in assembly, though it does say they were not to neglect this. I do not know that I have ever thought anything much different from this, though I may have mixed up the two things rather in my mind. The fact is that it has come home to me that we must take the assembly come together as we find it, and that the principle is that they come together right as to one another. One may have in one's mind

+This letter refers to its having been said that Mr. Raven had changed his views as to the Holiest.

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an idea of the church as typified in Aaron and his sons, but this is hardly likely to be realised in practice. And I think we have to take things as they are and to be content with that which comes from the heart. All this does not indicate any radical change of thought, only things getting more into their places, and we cannot desire other than this. I have no doubt that the pioneers in the truth were upheld in a remarkable manner; we that have followed have taken many things on trust, and we have to feel our own feet. But all this does not seem to me to touch the great principles of truth: it only affects the question of how we are going to hold those great principles, and anything that tends in this direction can do no harm to anyone. What I deplore is that there are those who go away from a large meeting and magnify the importance of any modification of what may have been previously said; and further there are those who are prepared to make bad use of it. However, one has to go on in patience, holding faith and a good conscience.

June 1st, 1901.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I send you a line without delay to acknowledge your letter, and its enclosures, and to express my appreciation of and thanks for such a practical expression of your good will and fellowship with me in the path of service. The Lord encourages us betimes in His way, and I hope that you yourself may not fail of your reward. I am very glad to hear of your being left now in comparative quiet in Rathmines -- but what is to become of Westland Row? Are they to live ever in a state of unquiet, or are they to give in completely to Colonel G.? We do not go to Scarborough until well in the month of August -- I have to go in several directions

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between this and then. You will find two or three nice brothers there -- Ramsden, Drake and Gibson, and you will be there before the crowd comes in. I hope you may enjoy your stay. We had large meetings in Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday last, and there was interest and, I hope, profit. We had for subjects the Gospel, the Spirit, the House of God and the Holiest. I trust Mrs. Edmondson and your boy are well through mercy -- as I am glad to say we are.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

June 28th, 1901.

Mr. R. Anson.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to send you a line though I cannot pretend to much intelligence on the points which you raise, though they have come at times under my notice. As regards the use of the word rhema in Ephesians 5:26, I think that the idea there is the fiat or utterance of God, which is the sword of God. It is this rather than the moral idea, though both are necessarily intimately connected. I do not think Scripture says ever that Christ is the rhema. He is the logos. Other cases in which the word rhema is used seem to confirm this. The fiat or utterance of God is that which is enduring, and it is with that one has to be girded. As regards Numbers 19, I do not know why the heifer was to be red. I have heard a reason suggested for its being a heifer, not a male, and that was that it was Christ in connection with Israel that was in view in the heifer, that is that in the death of Christ was the end of the system that God had formed in connection with Israel in the world, all with its glory came to an end in death, and thus the water of purification is furnished. We are cleansed in this way from the pollutions of the world. But this

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will not explain the meaning of the red, and I fear I cannot help you in reference to this. If all goes well, we shall hope to go again to Scarborough in the coming August, and if I see an opportunity of paying you a visit at Hull I will take care to give you timely notice. Please give my love in the Lord to Mr. Young and with the same to yourself, believe me,

Your affectionate brother,

July 25th, 1901.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter of the 11th June, and thank you for your thoughts as to my coming to Australia. The position has not much altered since I last wrote to you. I have lately heard from Patterson to the effect that the matter is still before their minds, but leaving it to me to bring it to a point. I have also heard from Glenny, who says that he would like to be with me if I came, but advises rather against coming while Mace is in the country. I am inclined to think that he is right. When Mace will be coming on I do not know, but one will have to wait in the matter, anyway I should not think of starting before next Spring. I have no definite thought of going to America at present, in fact I think that they are getting visitors enough from this country at present. In the autumn I am purposing to go to Germany with Mr. Reynolds. I have no anxiety to go abroad at all, for I am well occupied at home, and having all our family at home I do not care to leave too heavy a burden on my wife. However, our safety in these things is waiting, and I have confidence that the Lord will not fail to guide. I have an impression that anxious times may be at hand, for I feel pretty sure that the various bodies that call themselves brethren will not long hold together,

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and then the question arises, what will they do. There are signs that the Kelly party is falling to pieces, and I am sure that the remains will not hold together after Mr. Kelly is gone. I am glad of the account of things in Australia that you give me. I feel with you as to the undesirability of starting new meetings unless there is locally some material, so that there may be some assurance of permanence. If it is otherwise the thing labours in weakness and ends in disaster. Still we have to consider the weak, and those who find difficulty in going long distances. But before a start is made, the point is whether there is material. I hope that all will be made plain to you. We have been recently having a meeting at Burford, and had a talk as to the hymn book. I think that the general feeling of brethren is against any great disturbance of Mr. Darby's work. If a few hymns that are never used can be eliminated and some more suitable ones put in their place, well and good, but the dislike is against any drastic treatment. I hope that Mr. Reynolds will take in hand what is to be done; he is the brother and will command most confidence. The collection of additional hymns has not commanded general satisfaction, they are felt to be too much 'to order'. There are a few of them that may be selected. We are going shortly to Scarborough for a few weeks. This seems to have become a sort of yearly institution. Mrs. Stoney remains much in the same state. A good many collect there, and some, I think, in genuine hope of getting some spiritual nourishment. You will remember the place. Mr. Oliphant has been in America for some months, and is now on his way home. There seems to have been some move at Chicago, but of course it remains to be seen how much of it will stand when it had not the support of excited preaching. I do not see it is much use souls coming amongst us unless there is faith for the path, they will be surely disappointed.

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I hope that Mrs. van Someren and your boy are well, I am thankful that it is so with us through mercy.

With our love in the Lord, believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

August 10th, 1901.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- as we only reached this yesterday -- you will understand the delay in answering yours of the 4th. I am sorry for what you tell me in regard to the meeting at Athercliffe. Their course appears to be a denial of the unity of the assembly in a city, a point to which Mr. Darby attached much importance. I should think that some remonstrance should be addressed to them, on the part of the two remaining meetings -- and if this produces no effect, that the two brothers who do not go with them should be allowed to break bread at one of the other meetings, and that intercommunication with Athercliffe should cease, and the neighbouring assemblies be informed. I suppose that they are acting on their own account, and not under the counsel of any one else -- but, whether or no, this will not alter the character of their action. I wish that you were here, to have the benefit of the change. I hope that your little one is better, and remain, with love in the Lord,

Your affectionate brother,

August 26th, 1901.

Mr. F. Fentiman.

My Dear Brother, -- Many thanks for your note -- I suppose you have found it necessary to print the

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circular, though personally I very much dislike the printing -- it will very likely lead to the Athercliffe people printing some rejoinder. Their conduct seems to have been self-willed in a very high degree. I am very glad to hear that the baby is in any measure better.

With love in the Lord,
Your affectionate brother,

December 16th, 1901.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I received your letter of October 4th but my absence in Scotland prevented my giving you a speedy answer. I am always interested in hearing anything of things in the Colonies. I was at a meeting two nights ago for commending George Stewart to the Lord on his return to Australia. I believe that he starts on the 20th. I understand that he is going to Sydney. I hear, too, that by this time Mace will have arrived in New Zealand. I suppose that it will not be long before he finds his way to New South Wales. I have no doubt that he will be very popular in the Colonies. And I feel that the present is hardly the moment for me to be attempting anything over there. So that I shall let matters rest for the present, unless I should get some unexpected light. I am interested in what you say as to the meeting of difficulties in Sydney. There are many that would take up the working of an ecclesiastical system, which does not call for spirituality. And I think that this is to be dreaded. Many efforts have been made to set brethren on this line, but all have ended in failure. I fully admit that if a few of us have been brought near to one another by the power of the truth, we have no course but to seek to order our ways in the light of the church. But it is of all importance that

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we should be kept simple and free of all thought of forming any kind of organisation here. I see the justice of seeking to act on the principle of one assembly in a city, but the simpler this can be maintained the better. The Saturday meeting in London has been beset with dangers, especially when the minds of brethren have been agitated about any pressing question. The meeting is then in danger of being turned into an occasion of discussing difficulties. Thus it departs from its only proper character, that is of a purely business meeting, to means of intercommunication. Mr. Darby was very jealous of the meeting assuming any other function than this. But brothers go up to this meeting, and are often well satisfied that the meeting should be invested with a little importance. In a simple way it is almost a matter of necessity in a large town where there are several meetings. But it will set nothing right, or compensate for the want of spirituality of those in the various meetings. As regards gospel effort, I am not sure that this is not an accompaniment of a low state in the saints. It is perfectly certain that often when saints are very much in the world they will be prepared to make great efforts in gospel work, and I should think for the reason that it does not rebuke their worldliness. And I am afraid that some of the preachers are content to accept countenance on these terms. As things are, it appears to be impossible to expect great things in gospel work, but there is no doubt that if brethren are content to go quietly with gospel work there will be result, but then I think the presentation of the gospel should be of a different character from that which is around. The painful thing to me is the disposition in many to copy the modes that are around. If we claim to have the truth, we should be prepared to show the way, and not to take an example from others. We do not want to see the truth of the church, in that which it is to Christ, swamped in revivalism.

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I trust that the time may come when you may seethe way clear for a meeting nearer to where you live. It is a great thing when it is possible for saints to go to the meeting without any very great labour. One has to consider the weak, and those that have not their time at their disposal. I do not know that I have much to say as to things in England. Outwardly we are going on peaceably, but I feel that we are always in danger of being swamped by a number of people that have come into fellowship for various reasons, but who have no faith for the path. This is true in regard to many of the children of those already in. It is very nice to see the children there, but I do not know that one is prepared to help to keep a system going for people that have not faith for themselves. However one could not readily desert things, for this would be cowardly. We must wait on the Lord, who is able to make a way. I hope that you are all well, through mercy I can say this as to ourselves, though we have had the usual autumn colds, and so on. With our love in the Lord to Mrs. van Someren and yourself, believe me,

Your affectionate brother,

February 5th, 1902.

My Dear Brother, -- I am glad to answer your letter according to the best of my ability. It appears to me that it is possible for any one of us to apostatise so far as we ourselves are concerned, but there is another consideration, and that is that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last times. I have not a doubt that God will keep those that are really His. It may be sometimes through trial and sorrow, but He will keep our souls alive so that we should not be overcome by the influence

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of things here. And herein is our confidence. Anything is possible if I were left to myself, but God will not do this. If a man that had been esteemed a christian were to apostatise, and such cases have been known, it would show that there had never been really a work of God in him, he had stood in his own strength.

With love in the Lord, and hope for your spiritual prosperity, believe me,

Your affectionate brother,

February 8th, 1902.

We had a good reading on Tuesday; of course the thought of eternal life became prominent, but I think more are beginning to look at it in its moral light rather than in the material way in which it had so long been regarded. It appears to me that to look at it as a certain substantive thing received through faith deprives it of all reality. The work of God in the soul of a believer will undoubtedly result in experience and practice, but it does not affect the truth that the man is still subject to death. The Lord says in John 6, "I will raise him up at the last day". This hardly looks like a man having eternal life in himself. On the other hand, all the conditions of life, all that which is essential to living, never varies, it is unseen and eternal. I wish that it could be indeed said that one lived in the world to come; one is ashamed at the way one is affected by the present world, and I know of nothing that will deliver one's soul out of it but the knowledge of the Son of God. It is a mercy that there is a witness to Him in the believer. "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" May God in His grace lead us all into this more and more.

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March 10th, 1902.

I am very sorry that you are subjected again to the trouble of moving. With some people there is a pleasure in moving into a new house, but I am sure that this is not so with you, and that it is simply a question of pitching your tent elsewhere. When one is accustomed to value things down here at their moral worth, it is astonishing how it takes one's interest out of many things. I had rather a trying time at Manchester, being poorly most of the time. I can only be thankful that I was not hindered from going to any of the meetings, in which there was much interest. We had one good reading, at which I tried to show how salvation runs concurrently with eternal life; they professed to get help from this.

March 10th, 1902.

My Dear --, -- I am glad to answer your note to the best of my ability. I have often heard in times gone by the thoughts suggested by the persons that you refer to (i.e., that it was possible for the Lord to have yielded to the temptation). In fact they are quite common among dissenters. I think that anyone having the sense that Christ is really in nature God would at once reject the thought that He could take up anything morally unsuitable to Himself. We are told that sin is lawlessness, and to attribute the idea of lawlessness to God is simply nonsense and worse. All things are said to subsist by Christ, and how could this be if there were lawlessness there? Even regarded as Man, He is the Son of God "according to the Spirit of holiness". That is, so to speak, His generation. Christ was begotten miraculously of the Holy Spirit, and as born of the woman He was designated 'that Holy thing'. Nothing can be more carefully guarded, and to maintain peccability in Christ is going right in the face of Scripture, and I am sure that I do not know

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what would be gained by the thought. One great point was that perfect evil should be confronted by perfect good, so that the two should be brought to an issue. And I judge that this was the meaning of the temptation, and this is of the greatest value; we get in it a true idea of both, and how evil is to be met. I take it that Christ enters into the temptation on account of man and Israel; He was in a sense tested, but only to bring out a sweet savour. And now we know what is of evil, and what is of God -- presented to us in a way in which it could not have been presented apart from the incarnation.

Affectionately yours,

April 16th, 1902.

My Dear Brother, -- A sharp attack of lumbago which has confined me to bed for the last two days, has hindered my answering your letter sooner, so I must ask you to excuse the delay. I am very sorry that you should have been disturbed by any statements that have come under your attention, at the same time you can well understand that I can hardly accept responsibility for things that are put forward by brothers as their own apprehension, though I may and do regret the bold way in which things are sometimes conveyed, and the unnecessary forcing on the attention of saints of points as to which there might be divergence of judgment. This does not make for peace and is to be deprecated. As regards the particular matter to which you refer, I can hardly believe that there is any brother in fellowship who would deliberately assert that the Scriptures are not the 'word of God', or any meeting that would tolerate such an idea. Of course much would depend on what has been in a man's intention in making a statement, and many modifications might be brought in. If it were in the

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intention of a brother to lay stress on the intensely moral force of the expression 'Word of God' in its use in Scripture, in contrast to the formal liberal thought, or on the contrast between revelation and inspiration, I could sympathise with him, but this would in no wise deny that the Scripture is the Word of God. It is probably the fact that there never was any revelation of God or of His mind that was made directly through Scripture. In the earliest, God spoke on mount Sinai, or to Moses from off the mercy-seat, then holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, then the Word of God came to John the baptist in the wilderness, then He whom God sent spoke the words of God, for God gave not the Spirit by measure to Him, then the mystery was made known to the apostles and prophets by the Spirit. The true idea of revelation is the direct communication of God's mind to man without the intervention of any agency. And in the present time the truth is maintained here by the Spirit of truth. God in His mercy has been pleased to give an inspired record of His communications, and of the circumstances in which they came, and the effects produced by them, and this as being inspired and authoritative is the Word of God and cannot be broken; but this cannot set aside the living way in which God has seen fit to put Himself in communication with men, especially in 'the Son'. I only throw this out as possibly the meaning of the brother to whom you refer, though I have no idea who it may be, and do not intend to hold myself responsible for his statements, but only suggest what may have underlain his thoughts. May the good Lord give us grace to follow the things that make for peace and whereby we may edify one another.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

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May 8th, 1902.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter of February 10th, and was much interested in the contents. I trust that the return of Stewart to Australia may be for good both for himself and the saints. I fancy that he is a little lacking in the understanding of men, a quality very essential in one who would seek to serve them. Undoubtedly he had a trying experience in this country, where he perhaps hardly received the consideration that he deserved. I feel much for him in his bodily weakness and in the responsibilities in which he is placed at his time of life. The case of Davis is painful, it is perfectly certain that a man cannot make the best of two worlds, they exist together, and their principles are antagonistic, and if a man succeeds in one, he is sure to be diminished in the other. I fear that if he has got in the running of this world, he will never be much use in the testimony of the Lord. When I came into fellowship I quite understood that it meant giving up worldly prospects, and the Lord ordered that this should be true to me, and I am thankful, for I have suffered no real loss in the long run. I am sorry for what you tell me as to the giving up the readings for gospel preaching. I would have thought that Hawkins would have been beyond this. It is impossible to carry on the gospel as at the day of Pentecost, and in those early days I very much doubt if they would have suspended all that tended to edify and feed the saints on the plea of preaching the gospel. Of course, there is this to be said, that the preaching of the gospel in the present day partakes much of the character of a ministry, and saints may need it almost as much as many that come to hear it. But the tendency of many of the preachers is to make all to give way before them, instead of going on with their own work quietly and patiently. I suppose that Mace is still at San Francisco,

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he is not a man on whose movements reliance can be placed. I fancy that the uncertainty has been a little trying to Glenny. I am sure I do not know how Mace will get on in New Zealand and the Australias, I hope that they will receive him soberly. I have been compelled by consideration of home responsibilities to put aside for the time the thought of a visit to your side, it may be that the matter may in time be made plain to me, it is not so at present. I purpose going in the coming June for a short visit to France, and in the autumn for a short visit to America, but this latter is not definitely settled. I expect that my son and Miss Mary Reynolds will be married at the end of the year. I have seen the book of Neatby to which you refer, and it produced on my mind the same impression as it has done on yours, it is the work of an Edomite, not a trace of sorrow for the breakdown of that which was fair. He and others had better leave brethren alone. There is no lack of abuse, but at the same time it is being more seen that the old, dogmatic, material way of taking up divine things must go, and that in christianity no one can claim to possess that into which he has not entered, this must be the case when the things presented are moral. Things are generally quiet in England, though there is not anything of striking interest. It is a mercy that we are kept in peace. Moore has arrived from the Cape, and is, I fear, rather a wreck. I hope that Mrs. van Someren and your boy and self are well. I am thankful that it is so with us, though we have not been without little ills.

With our kind love in the Lord, believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

P.S. -- Mrs. Stoney passed away on the 30th ult., aged eighty-five.

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June 17th, 1902.

There are not many in the present day that one can reckon on as having all their interest in the truth; so many seek to save themselves in this world, seem so afraid of losing any advantage in this world. I am sure that no one will afford what is grateful to God save as they are affected by the love of Christ. It is a wonderful and most blessed thought to me that we are attracted to Him so that we are delivered from all lawlessness.

June 27th, 1902.

It is a great comfort and support that there are those that have sympathy with the truth, and are not disposed to be limited to the ruts of orthodoxy. It comes more and more before me that christianity is vital, and that no one can do much good save as they apprehend Christ as the beginning of a new order of things, and understand that they have been attached to Him by the Spirit so as to bring forth fruit to God. The mere holding of correct doctrine is no power in the soul. Correct doctrine is gained by abiding in Christ.

August 23rd, 1902.

Mr. P. R. Morford.

My Dear Brother, -- It becomes necessary for me to look forward to the time that I shall be absent in America, D.V., and to make arrangements for the preaching at Greenwich. I shall be away for eight Sundays, beginning with September 21st, and I should be very glad to know you were free and able to take up three or four of these Sundays, if possible at the beginning. This would be a great service to me. Perhaps you will send me a line at your convenience. I heard from Mrs. Monteith that you were going to

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stay with her in Scotland for a time, I suppose that this is now over and hope that you enjoyed it and are the better for it, though I fear that you had not favourable weather. This is judging by our experience here, where the weather is very broken. Still we are enjoying it and have hearty fellowship with the saints. Mrs. Parker is at Filey, but has caught a very severe cold. I hope that all is going on prosperously with you at Clapham, and generally in London, though I suppose that many are out of it now. One feels anxious about things sometimes, while there is the use of means amongst us that are not of the Spirit of God. Unity is in the Spirit, and therefore anything outside of the Spirit must in measure tend in the direction of disunion. However, the Lord is over all. I hope that Mrs. Morford and the children are well, and with kind love in the Lord, remain,

Your affectionate brother,

August 23rd, 1902.

I was very glad to have your letter, as indeed I always am. There are so few with whom one can count on complete sympathy. And I do not know why this should be, for I am sure that I for one desire nothing but the advance of the truth both in myself and in others. I am so pleased that you are so happily situated at, and have found the poor brethren there having interest in the truth. There is this to be said about the working men, that the truth is all to them, and that they have not luxury to divert them. I am not sure if they are not the best off. We are enjoying the time here (Scarborough).. .. There are two or three severe cases of sickness, which have a sobering effect. The arrangements are as usual. Besides the readings we have a weekly lecture, which

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brings a good many. I have been endeavouring to bring before the saints the course of divine ways which culminates in the heavenly city. And to lead them on to desire the knowledge of God, I took up on Wednesday a passage in Jeremiah 9:23, 24, and sought to show them that this is our present education in order that the glory of God may be set forth in the heavenly city.

August 25th, 1902.

Dr. van Someren.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter of June 30th, and take the opportunity of being here to send you a few lines in answer. We are again in Mrs. Chimes' house by her kindness, and she is staying next door in the house that the Stoneys occupied, but which Miss Stoney has given up. Miss Stoney, is however, staying with her. I am purposing to start on the 18th of next month for America in company with Mr. Allen of Birkenhead, and Mr. I. Allen from Croydon. Mr. Pellatt returns with us. It may be said that if I can go again to America, why cannot I come to Australia. But the cases are in fact very different, the one entails an absence of two months and the other an absence of eight months, and it is this question of time that makes all the difference. My wife will consent to spare me for the smaller time, but is not at present prepared to be without me for the longer period, and I fear too prolonged a strain might be prejudicial to her. Things may change and the way may clear, but I feel that I have to wait the Lord's time for this, as one cannot afford to do things so as to make a sore. I am glad to hear what you say as to Stewart, and I hope that he may have the grace to go on wisely. I think that I know certain links that he has in this country, and if my surmise is correct he is not likely to be helped by them. There is an effort to reconcile

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what has come into view, with that which has been customarily held, and this temper is not one conducive to the apprehension of truth. The habit of mind to be desired is that of readiness to surrender anything that does not help, so that the truth may be held in divinely-given form. The truth has to be got hold of as that which is part of oneself. And no one has rightly hold of any truth until he sees how he is affected by it. As regards the thought of eternal life, I have no doubt that the idea of it in Scripture is objective, just as all the conditions of life are objective to a newly-born child, and yet the child cannot live without them, and when the child is living all these conditions may be said to be abiding in the child. What I refer to are the conditions of natural law (rule), atmosphere and light. These are the necessary conditions of life, and they are all objective, but when the child is living in them, they may be said to be abiding in the child. The child requires to be nourished with good food that it may live in these conditions, but however well it may be nourished it is never independent of these conditions, they are its life. So it is spiritually, we may be well nourished by the suitable food of grace, but are dependent on Christ in whom are found all the necessary conditions of life. He is life to us. We find in Him the principle of rule, so that we are kept in the orbit of God's will, we abide in Him and do not sin; in Him is the love which forms the atmosphere of the christian circle, and which the lungs of the believer must breathe, and in Him is the light of God in all His mind toward us in our pathway here, and by which our hearts are gladdened. Thus we have in Christ all the conditions of life, He is the eternal life. And if we are abiding in these conditions, they abide in us, but they do not abide in a murderer, because the murderer does not abide in Him. People need to get hold of things intelligently and not like parrots. I am glad to hear what you say of Giles, I trust that he may be kept.

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There is a brother going out from Croydon named McBride, a devoted man, and I should think will be a help. I hope that he may be happily received. I trust that you are all well, and with our love in the Lord remain,

Your affectionate brother,

September 18th, 1902.

I have only time for a line of farewell.. .. I can say that in many ways I go in fear. I am not fond of the sea, nor of leaving home, but all that has to be put aside, and all has to be trusted to the mercy of God, and there all is safe.

October 16th, 1902.

We had thee days' meetings at Rochester, and I think they were profitable. We glanced at the principal points in the gospel of John. The light of God coming into a dark world and living water into a scene of thirst. Then the light in which Christ is to be known to the believer. Then the effect of the light as to that which existed religiously. Then the witness borne to Christ, then the effects of the coming of the Comforter. We spent a week at Chicago. We took up the first epistle to the Corinthians in connection with the particular way in which Christ is presented in that epistle as the power and wisdom of God to bring to nought all that existed and that held man in bondage, and to establish what was of God -- the temple and oracles of God as the medium for the diffusion of the light. With this was the victory over death.

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November 28th, 1902.

Miss Pryor.

Our visit (i.e., to the U.S.A. and Canada -- ED.) was a great refreshment to us, and I hope to the brethren out there. The large increase at Chicago and the visit south gave us the opportunity of seeing many that we had not known before. They were very glad of such help in the truth as we were able to give them. We endeavoured so to present Christ as that He might be the Centre to which all the truth they knew might attach. I was very sorry that we were unable to go to Toronto on account of the state of division prevailing there, but we saw many of the brethren there at Rochester, and we gave such counsel as we were able, but they are rather obstinate, each party standing on its rights, or what they think to be so.. . I am glad to hear of the prospect of breaking bread at Blakeney, and trust that they may be sustained in it. I am very busy with the notes of the meetings in America, which are to be published.

With our love in the Lord, believe me,
Affectionately yours in Christ,

February 17th, 1903.

I am glad to send you a line on the point to which your letter refers. I have never heard it asserted that Christ bore the sins of all. If such were said it would imply that all were individually in His thoughts in His sufferings. We have no ground for such a thought. The apostle says, Christ 'loved me and gave Himself for me'. I do not think it is going too far to say that Christ had the elect individually in His thoughts in His sufferings. But at the same time it is equally true that He did a work in virtue of which He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. The Head of every man. The sufficiency of the work for the

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position that He occupies must be admitted. In the gospel that the apostle Paul preached he said that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and through this Man the forgiveness of sins is preached, and therefore the bearing of the work must be unlimited. "Through one righteousness toward all men unto justification of life". But I cannot see that this necessitates that all were individually in the mind of Christ, as bearing their sins in His work. I certainly think that substitution is more limited in its bearing than propitiation. The latter is evidently the basis of the gospel.

March 3rd, 1903.

Mr. F. F. Jackman.

My Dear Sir, -- I have received your letter, it does not appear to me that any good is likely to result from re-opening questions of twelve years ago. You speak of the necessity of separations, but I was always unable to understand why a difference of judgment as to the force of a Scripture term should necessitate separation. I am in no sense disposed to accept the burden of the separation, I have no doubt that many simple people were led away by the cries that were made, but I never had any particular sense of the honesty of those who made them, for if I am not grievously mistaken, the attack made on certain things that I had said, covered up a spirit of opposition to the teaching of a brother far better known and of much more account than myself. As for myself, I hold still as I held at the time, that it was a mistake to put eternal life in the believer in place of the Spirit. The Lord taught that the water that He would give would be in the believer a well of water springing up to eternal life and the apostle Paul teaches that he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. I am content to leave the matter there, not professing to be wiser than

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what is written. I may say that I have a very grave objection to a system of doctrine that, in its effects, puts the creature on a level with God, as having life in himself. Every created being is dependent for life on conditions which God has appointed. A new-born babe is dependent on rule (law), air, heat and light, and it is only in these conditions that it could live. They are life to it. The same is true in spiritual things, one born of God is dependent for living on conditions that God has appointed and which are all found in Christ. He has to abide in Christ, to breathe the atmosphere of love in the christian circle and to enjoy the light and warmth of divine love, which are witnessed to him by the Spirit, and it is in these conditions that eternal life is realised. It is God alone who is independent of all conditions. The Spirit is life in the believer and leads him into the realisation of these conditions. I have said thus much in answer to your letter, but I have no mind to enter afresh into controversy on these matters. Many have taken their course influenced largely by the world and they must be content to abide by it.

Yours faithfully in Christ,

March 5th, 1903.

I very often feel depressed at the poverty of my service, for though one may be useful in some little way, there are deficiencies which largely tend to counterbalance this, and hence one can find but scanty satisfaction in one's work. I daresay that this is well. I pray that you both may be greatly and increasingly enriched of the Lord in all that is good and enduring. I reached this (Manchester) yesterday, and this afternoon we began our meetings. A good many will be here from one place and another, and from what I gathered from a number of brothers whom I met last evening, there

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seems to be some expectation from the meetings, which I hope may not be disappointed. We had a good reading on Tuesday (brothers' reading in London), and the thought of the house of God came before us. There was a good deal of conversation, and I think that there was the disposition to accept the thought of the house as a spiritual house, which could not lose its character. I sought to maintain that Christ was the Builder of God's house, while the work of man was connected with christianity as a system of profession in the world.

April 10th, 1903.

To C. S. Romanes.

Dear Sir, -- You will pardon, I trust, the delay in answering your letter. It has arisen from my having been laid aside by sickness. I am glad to seek to remove from any mind any difficulty that may have arisen from anything that I have said. But I may remark in the first instance that no one is bound by anything I have said except myself, for no one is called on to receive it. The point is what does Scripture intend to convey in the use of certain expressions? I am not ashamed to put out my convictions as to its meaning, but they have no authority over anyone else. The root of all I have said in regard to eternal life lies in this -- that I am wholly unable to conceive of it in any intelligible way without the apprehension of a moral universe of which Christ is the Sun and Centre and in which the seat of every wholesome influence lies in the centre of the system, and where every part of the system comes under the influence of the centre. It is a system analogous to our solar system. In the latter the conditions that are essential to life reside in the sun. It is the seat of light, warmth and rule, without which all animal life would be impossible.

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These conditions are divinely appointed and every being that comes into existence down here is formed in correspondence to these conditions, so that when it comes into the scene the conditions are life to it. A newly-born child has eyes that can take in the light, lungs that can breathe the air and a body that is susceptible of rule and all these come into exercise when it is born because all the necessary conditions are existent in the sun and are available. Now I believe the same to be true in spiritual life; in Christ, the Son of God, the Sun and Centre of the moral system, subsist all the conditions essential for spiritual life. Hence when Scripture speaks of the gift of God it is "eternal life in Christ" and again "God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son". Christ is the Eternal Life. Life subsists in Him in the sense that every condition is there that is essential to our living. Light is there in the fact that He is the revelation of God. Love is there, which is the proper atmosphere of the christian circle in which we breathe a pure air, and rule is there, for it is the influence of Christ acting on the entire new man that holds the christian in the orbit of God's will. Our part is to abide in Him and we are thus delivered from the lawlessness that is in the world. These conditions are in a sense external to the christian, but as he is fitted to live in them by the work of God, they may be said to abide in him. You will say that I have made little allusion to the work of God in the believer. I regard this as distinct from the conditions that are essential to his living. It evidently begins in his being quickened by the voice of the Son of God so that he is morally alive to God in the Spirit, and his spiritual constitution is formed by the living bread that came down from heaven, it is digested into his moral being. But in connection with the moral universe of which I have spoken, one must distinguish between the conditions that are essential to life and the person that enters into these conditions.

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Judging from the terms of Scripture, it is the conditions that God has commanded that are designated 'eternal life'. And yet, as in the case of the new-born child, there must be the most perfect correspondence between the person that enters into the conditions and the conditions themselves so that it can be truly said that the conditions abide in the person that abides in them. It is in this light that the matter presents itself to me, though the thoughts that are common have once had place in my mind. As regards your last question, I believe the wicked will have their part in the lake of fire for ever with the devil and his angels for they are his children.

Faithfully yours,

April 21st, 1903.

Mr. J. Edmondson.

My Dear Brother, -- I had your letter this morning, and was glad to hear that you had been to Belfast, and had enjoyed the meetings there. I only regret that I was unable to be there, it was with great disappointment that I gave up the thought of going, and when the moment arrived I was so poorly that it was out of the question. I have consulted at the wish of my doctor a physician in London, and they are agreed that the root of the mischief is a thickening at the top of the right lung, with some corresponding thickening of some of the glands of the chest. They are now watching to see what this may develop into. I trust in the mercy of God that the evil may be stayed. For the present I am an invalid, going out only for a little time in the best of the day. As you say, it is in some sense a mercy and gives one time to review things. One has to learn how one can go on without the activities of service. I trust that I may learn what is true for the simplest saint, that Christ is enough. It

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is a great point to be tested as to whether you are in the good of that which you have ministered. I am glad that Lewis Myers went back with you. He is a worthy fellow, and it is good for him to get a little change from his ordinary surroundings. I have understood that Mr. Broomhead is going into Dublin, I wonder how he will be received there. And now allow me to thank you very heartily for your kind thought and consideration of me in temporal things. I do not suppose that you will be the poorer in result for your liberality, and you have the more blessed place of giving. It is a great thing to give of that which we have. No doubt the present illness will entail considerable expense. Give my kind love in the Lord to your wife and mother, and brother and his wife, and believe me,

Your affectionate brother,

April 27th, 1903.

Miss Blaycock.

I trust that in the mercy of the Lord I may be enabled to overcome the present unfavourable symptoms. I am in God's hands in every way and can only leave the matter with the Lord. I should grieve to be taken at the present moment out of the path of service for the need is urgent, but one thing is certain, that the Lord can do without me -- I would only like to finish my little service.

May 2nd, 1903.

Mrs. Stedman.

I am sure that I have the sense of how poorly I have been able to minister spiritual things, and if the saints have been in any degree helped through me, it is of the Lord's goodness. I pray the Lord to refresh you greatly in all those things that are in the Spirit; you may have heard that I have been laid aside for some weeks from all activity; it is a time when I am learning how far those things

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that one has sought to bring before others are good for oneself, I suppose that is wholesome. I am at present in a good deal of bodily weakness with a troublesome cough and other trying symptoms which are not ready to give way. The doctors are inclined to find the cause in a slight thickening at the top of the right lung. I do not know what the issue may be, but God is good and may raise me up again. In His mercy my wife and I go to St. Leonards on the coming Wednesday for a little time.

May 7th, 1903.

Mr. Telford.

I thank you for your kind enquiries. I do not know that I can report much progress. I think that I am a little stronger, but there is not as yet any subsidence of the trying symptoms, and indeed the doctors have not given one much expectation of their removal. I am still very weak and the breath very short with the least exertion and at night my cough is very trying, still so far the lung does not show any change for the worse. It was thought that I had better get away to the sea, so we came here, and I am very glad for the change, it will enable me to be more out of doors. It is now nearly six weeks since I went to a meeting, this is a new experience for me, but perhaps wholesome, for I have to learn how far truth which one has ministered to others is sufficient for myself. One thing at least I have wished, that I might know in my soul the power of resurrection so that if it should please the Lord to raise me up again, this might more characterise the ministry. Miss Evans. May 14th, 1903. I AM laid aside completely for the time and no one can say what the issue will be, naturally, for the sake of my wife and family I pray that I may be restored, if it

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be the Lord's will. I would well like still to bear a part in the conflict of the truth, but the Lord has His own mind, and in the meantime I desire to know in my own soul the power of His resurrection.

May 21st, 1903.

To have reason to believe that one's work has been of real service to the saints is a matter of great comfort. It has pleased God to reveal the whole divine system of blessing which is before Him, and whether we are faithful in testimony or not, He will display it in due time to His own glory. But I would greatly desire that the saints should have a clear sense of the testimony of the Lord, and that their lights should be burning. For the present I am out of all activity; whether the Lord will allow me to have part in it again I cannot say. In any case I would desire that He should be glorified in His saints through Jesus Christ.

May 25th, 1903.

To H. D'A. Champney.

I feel I should like to send you a line in answer to yours. My illness had had rather a stunning effect, coming on me as suddenly as it has done. This is going off in a measure.... It is a great disappointment to be shut out, at all events for a time, from all service of an active nature; but I doubt not I have to learn the power of the truth in its reflex effect on myself. I have learned one thing since I have been laid by, and that is the place one has in the affections of the saints, far beyond all I could have thought, and one can find in this the grace of our Lord. All things are in His hand, and He knows how fully to provide for all the need of ministry. I trust that the time at Quemerford may be exceptional in blessing and refreshment. My heart will be with saints there.. .

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May 26th, 1903.

Miss Binney.

I have had such a poor sense of my service that I can hardly understand its being rated so highly by others. I have only endeavoured to set before the saints the scheme of divine counsel in Christ, and their part in it, and this in a very feeble way, if they have been helped the praise is due to the Lord and not to me, as to myself I know not what will be, it is hidden from me. In many ways I should be thankful to be left here for a season, but the doctors say the mischief is progressive, and if this be so the Lord alone can interfere, and I can only say 'The will of the Lord be done'.

May 26th, 1903.

Mrs. Tilton.

This illness has entirely shut me out from meetings and service. I have no doubt that I have many lessons to learn which could be learnt in no other way. Probably the reality of death can hardly be felt but in the presence of it, and if death be learnt, resurrection is also learnt, and this is great gain.. I have had so poor a sense of my service that I can hardly understand its being so highly rated by others. I have only endeavoured to set before the saints the scheme of divine counsel in Christ, and their part in it, and this in a very feeble way. If they have been helped, the praise is due to the Lord and not to me.

May 27th, 1903.

You may be sure how gladly I would be with you at the meetings.+ I hope that the grace of the Lord may be abundantly with you all. Conscious as I am that there are many brothers with you far better than myself, I could not presume to send you a message, but I trust it will be remembered in any ministry that all truth centres in Christ, and not in the saints. It is

+Quemerford (ED.).

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their privilege to be in Christ by the Spirit, and thus in the full light and blessing. "In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily". While expatiating on the blessings that belong to the christian, I doubt if the saints are really touched, but if once their eyes are opened to an apprehension of the universe of bliss of which Christ is the Head and Centre, and of His capability to fill it, their souls will be lifted up, and they will readily learn their own part in the blessing.

June 1st, 1903.


It appears to me far too late in the day to be occupied with the failure of the church, however sensible we may be of it. I can understand a prophet like Jeremiah lamenting the condition of Israel, about to be set aside for thousands of years; but the case of the church is different, whatever is here of the Spirit of God can never fail, and if it comes to its termination here, it is only that it may come out with the glory of God, and her light like to a stone most precious. I think that the Lord has drawn attention to the vast system of blessing and glory that He has centred in Christ, and it will be a sad thing if this be lost sight of. I cannot report much about myself, things remain much the same, and there is no sensible progress in one direction or another. There is at present no abatement of the grave symptoms. All is in the Lord's hands and man appears to be able to do but little. I get out of doors a little but am very deficient in strength.

June, 1903.

I trust that my mind may be more under the power of resurrection so that one may be more in accord with the Spirit and understand better the power by

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which God will accomplish all the purpose of His will. A man has to lose his life in this world if he is to keep it to life eternal.

June, 1903.

Mr. I. W. Bodman.

My Dear Brother, -- I need hardly say perhaps I was taken back by your letter this morning and its enclosure. I am sure I need no proof of the gratitude and love of the saints, for I had not the shadow of doubt about it. It has ever been a great pleasure and privilege to do my little bit in their service. I have myself been abundantly compensated in spiritual things, however, anything that is proof of divine grace working in the saints cannot but be grateful to anyone that cares for the Lord and His service: the saints have seen fit in this way to evidence their interest and love towards me. I have nothing to do but to bow my head and thank the Lord and them. I was very thankful for the grace you experienced in the meetings, nothing could afford me more satisfaction than that the saints should gain a clearer apprehension of that vast system of blessing which is to be filled by the love of Christ and that they and I should enjoy that love now. It has been a painful experience for me to be thus cut off from all service, but the will of the Lord is good. The doctors are not very sanguine as to the future, but the Lord is above all, what He does is good and enduring. I do not suppose that you will have much opportunity of thanking the contributors, or I should ask this favour on my behalf.

With kind love in the Lord, etc.

Written after receiving the bounty contributed at the Quemerford meetings.

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June 4th, 1903.

I have been intending to send you a line of thanks for sending me the copy of notes of the Quemerford meetings. It was a great deprivation to be absent, but it was the will of the Lord, and so one can find ground of rejoicing. I am pretty much a prisoner, and have ample time for meditation. I can thank God for all that He has brought before one, for it furnishes light and brightness amid the weakness of nature. I trust that the Lord will uphold me and bring me more and more into the greatness of the revelation that He has brought us of God. There is no limit to what He can do in one that has the Spirit. My condition does not change materially.. .. One feels in such a case that man can do but little. I hope that I may get some relief in the mercy of God.

June 5th, 1903.

I am pretty much a prisoner, and have ample time for meditation. I can thank God for all that He has brought before one, for it furnishes light and brightness amid the weakness of nature. I trust that the Lord will uphold me, and bring me more and more into the greatness of the revelation that He has brought us of God. There is no limit to what He can do in one that has the Spirit.. .. I would well like still to bear a part in the conflict for the truth, but the Lord has His own mind, and in the meantime I desire to know in my soul the power of His resurrection.

June 6th, 1903.

Mr. H. Allen.

I suppose that if, humanly speaking, things take their course, my stay here will be cut short. It is a trial to me in measure to have no more opportunity to serve the saints, but this must be ruled by the will of the

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Lord. It is a great thing to have followed the ark of the covenant over Jordan, for it is there, on the ground of resurrection, that every purpose of God must be fulfilled, and if this be the case it makes the article of death far less terrible. One sees Christ at the other side, ready to welcome those who pass over. The passage is but narrow.. .. I think I can witness to the sustaining grace of the Lord amid my present weakness.. .. It is wonderful how grace can sustain in the appropriate moment.

June 6th, 1903.

I had so recently been ministered to by the saints, that it makes me almost ashamed to receive more from them, but since it is their pleasure thus to deal with me, I can only thank them, which I do in the name of the Lord, and desire that they may be very abundantly prospered in the things which are unseen and eternal. God uses circumstances to bring these things more distinctly into view, and when the possibility of the earthly house of this tabernacle being taken down is in sight then the power and reality of the eternal things is needed. I do not differ very much, but the symptoms do not abate. We had Sir D. Powell down here to see me on Wednesday and his opinion does not materially differ from that of the other doctors that have seen me. But doctors may be at fault, and all is in the hands of God who loves His people. This is a great comfort. I will ask you to convey my love and thanks to the saints at Nutford Hall. This was the last room that I was in.

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June 8th, 1903.

Mr. T. H. Reynolds.

With the present uncertainty of life, it has come before me that it is a great help to have followed the ark of the covenant over Jordan, for when it comes to the article of death, one sees Christ at the other side ready to welcome those who pass over. The passage is but narrow. I think I can witness to the sustaining grace of the Lord amid my present weakness.

June 11th, 1903.

I cannot report much progress. I have just had two very trying nights and days, but last night was a little less trying and I had more sleep. It is a time when I have much time for reflection, but little power for it, in the sense of great bodily weakness; still I can find great satisfaction in the thought that the Lord is above all and that one can rejoice in Him. It will be a great day when God shall shine in light divine in the fulness of that love of which Christ is the object and into which we are called and from which nothing can separate us. And we all have our portion in it.

June 20th, 1903.

Mr. E. Goodwin.

I need hardly say that it is a cause of unfeigned rejoicing to have been in the hand of the Lord an instrument of blessing to others, and in it I have certainly reaped a blessing myself, for in this time of being laid aside I have been enabled to review with pleasure the truth on which I have sought to dwell. It is a great thing to have before one a living system centred in a living Person, who has power to subdue all things to Himself, and who is at the service of such as we are. I hope that brethren will get dislodged more and more from the old doctrinal methods, so that they are not only learning about Christ, but living Christ.

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June 22nd, 1903.

To Dr. Morrish.

I send a line to thank you and the brethren at Peckham for the very kind expression of love and sympathy conveyed in your note of the 18th inst. It would hardly have been my choice to have been laid aside in the way I have been from the path of service and I would fain have had a little more opportunity of serving the saints, but the Lord has willed it otherwise and He knows what He does. It is now a time of suffering in measure, and I trust, too, of learning more of the reality of things, and I pray that I may not fail to use the opportunity, at the same time I have besought God that I may not be overpowered with bodily pain. The whole system of eternal things is not far off and if one has to make the passage of death the Lord is on the other side; so Stephen found it.

June 25th, 1903.

My being put aside has not at all dimmed the sense of the importance of the things which I have sought according to the measure of grace given to minister. I hope that the saints will get a clearer glimpse of that resurrection land where Christ is waiting to take the place appointed of the Father's love. We all await it. Some may join the Lord earlier than others, but it is a common hope.

June 25th, 1903.

Mr. R. G. Mitchell.

The affection of the saints is a very precious thing in this world, for it is pure and unalloyed, and it is a witness to me of the ability of Christ to fill all things, for if He can fill many a heart in such a scene as this, in the day of His power He can surely fill all things. This is a great thing to hold fast. I am thankful to say that the land that is over Jordan is precious in my thoughts -- the land that God loves, because it is

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of His purpose, and the true ark of the covenant is found there. I look for the mercy of God in this time of great weakness, and trust that one may not be overcome by bodily suffering. I think that one can count on the goodness of God in this way.

July 1st, 1903.

At present my mind is clear, and I am in a measure free to meditate on the unseen things and their blessed Centre, who descended into the lower parts of the earth, and has ascended far above all heavens, that He may fill all things. It is indeed wonderful to contemplate a universe that is morally of God, and which will be filled by the Son of God. Resurrection is the way into it.

July 2nd, 1903.

To Mr. Menzies.

My Dear Brother, -- I will not attempt more than a line in acknowledgment of your kind and sympathetic letter. Certainly my illness has called forth a surprising amount of affectionate regard on the part of the saints. If any have received help from my ministry I am thankful enough, but the praise is to the Lord. One can certainly rejoice in the prosperity of the brethren. I remain much the same, some days are more trying than others. Being so weak the hot weather prostrates me a good deal. I trust that Mrs. Menzies and the children are all well, and with love in the Lord, remain,

Your affectionate brother,

July 11th, 1903.

To Mr. E. L. Bevir.

Beloved Brother, -- Notwithstanding what you say, I feel I ought to send you a line in answer. Thank you for your allusion to your conversation with Mr.

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Darby about death. It is remarkable that before getting ill I asked myself whether I was ready to face death; now in my great weakness death is distinctly before me, and, although I feel the pain of the point of death, it is precious to know that the Lord awaits us on the other side, having died Himself but now alive again for ever. The true ark of the covenant has gone over Jordan and with it there is the full extent of the counsels of God, of which Christ is the Centre. I can face things now distinctly that my mind is not distracted by hopes and desires of this life. Then as to what concerns all that might make me anxious, I have left it all with the goodness of God which endures eternally. It would be impossible for me to descend to the level of scientists who recognise God as the Author of natural laws, but do not believe that He troubles about His poor intelligent creature who loves Him. I am always pleased to receive news from you .. . and hope you will be encouraged in every way.

Your affectionate brother,

July 14th, 1903.

To Mr. Graves.

I have thought you may like to have a line from me, and I wish to express my sympathy with you all in the very serious illness of Mrs. Geo. Graves. I have heard that she has undergone a very serious operation and I only hope that through God's mercy it is successful, and that she is recovering. I cannot give you a very hopeful account of myself as I think the weakness increases from day to day and I seem quite incapable of any sustained effort of mind or body. It is a time of weariness and trial and one is cast very much on the mercy of God though surrounded by every comfort.

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The practical difficulty in such a condition as this is to get one's thoughts away from one's own things into those things which God has prepared for them that love Him. In a lawless world such as we are in, it is a great mercy to think that there are those who love God, because they have been made acquainted by the Spirit with God's love to us in Christ, and although they have to suffer the common infirmities of humanity, it is blessed to think that there are unspeakable things laid up for them, we can look forward to the time when we shall all participate in those things, and that without bodily infirmity.

I think it should be clear to any one that faith brings light into the soul. Life is the work of God. I maintained at Birmingham that there were three steps in the work of grace in the soul, as seen in John 3 and 4. First, new birth, the sovereign act of the Spirit; second, illumination, God is made known to the soul in His love, and in this faith has its place; and third, the communication of the Spirit as life, i.e., power to live -- a well of water springing up into eternal life. And that the believer reaps eternal life of the Spirit. I further said that the expression in John of "every one believing", or "whosoever believeth in him" indicates the kind of person that has life rather than the way by which we get it. Life is the work of God.

There is much that is interesting in the distinction drawn in General H.'s letters in the Indian extracts, but it seems to me that what I would call the moral element is wanting in the force which he attaches to both the words psuche and zoe, and to the latter he gives, I judge, a too exclusively objective import.

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Psuche appears to me to be the actual living principle in a creature which animates the body, and uses it as a vehicle. Hence it is common between man and the brute creation -- the difference with man being that psuche was in his case derived from the breath of God, and was therefore a living soul with moral elements and characteristics, and hence immortal. A character of responsibility also attached to it, and inseparable from this is the idea of individuality. Every man has his own soul, and soul is commonly used for person and to imply individuality. "The soul that sinneth it shall die". Zoe on the other hand, though employed in more senses than one, is a general idea, not in itself conveying the idea of individuality. We can speak of our life or life in general. I may be mistaken, but my impression is that, like light, life is employed relatively in Scripture, i.e., in actual or implied contrast to death. Now death comes before us in two aspects, viz., moral and actual, hence we read "has annulled death and brought to light life and incorruptibility" -- death here meaning distance from God and the power of the devil. In another scripture we have "Son, thou in thy lifetime". Here life is evidently the period of a man's natural life on earth, bounded by and closing in death or dissolution. Zoe is evidently, therefore, used both in a moral and actual sense. Now in the vast proportion of cases in which zoe is employed in the New Testament its force is undoubtedly moral. It is unquestionably used for life in the subjective sense, as "In him was life, and the life was the light of men". Men saw One in whom was (morally) the life of God, and those who followed Him had the light of life. Hence I can well understand the thought of life being communicated to a soul: it is quickened, i.e., made to live in the appreciation and enjoyment of another (the Son), and it is said having

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the Son it has life. The Spirit is life if Christ be in us. The result is that life is manifested in character, the moral qualities of the life of God are seen in the believer, who, being in the fellowship of Christ's death, is delivered from the flesh and its workings. And the body will be quickened so that it may be in every way a suitable vehicle for the quickened soul, and when this is the case life becomes an actual condition. Mortality will be swallowed up of life. Meantime the body is to be presented a living sacrifice. But zoe is also evidently used in an objective sense as indicating the conditions, i.e., the relationships and surroundings in which life practically consists, and therefore there is constantly connected with it the expression 'enter into'. This is more often than not its force in the New Testament. It is specially the case where an adjective is attached to it, to characterise it, such as 'eternal'. Many of Daniel's people that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life -- the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. A man hates his life (psuche) in this world, and keeps it to life eternal, and the form in which eternal life is now realised is in the knowledge of the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The present condition of eternal life is faith, which apprehends the objects in the enjoyment of which that life is realised. It will be seen from the above that the senses of psuche and zoe are totally distinct, and that the one in no way displaces the other. In Christ was zoe, and He took a psuche, which had a moral character from the zoe (though His body was also the temple of God), and He could lay down His psuche (not zoe), and take it again; and further that the two senses in which zoe is employed with a moral force meet in the believer, faith coming in (so long as we are here) in the second sense.

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We did not seem able to escape the subject last night. I had told Mr. O. privately pretty much what I thought of his letter and had deprecated the matter being brought up but Mr. Higgins plunged us into it by raising the question of whether corporate or collective responsibilities were connected in Scripture with the house or with the body. I maintained that the body was Christ's body, the vessel of the Spirit, and that being Christ's body a true idea of the body did not go beyond the work of the Spirit in saints -- that if responsibility could be spoken of in connection with the body it must belong to the Head and that the light of Scripture as to the body was given us to enable us intelligently to carry out our responsibilities as in the house. It seems to me that O. and others have the fear that something is being taken from them. They have depended on mere statements without apprehending their import. They divorce the baptism of saints by the Spirit into one body from the baptism of saints individually by the Spirit instead of seeing that the fact of all receiving one and the selfsame Spirit must necessarily form one body. They have the idea that by being formed into one body they gain something additional instead of seeing that it adds nothing but that thereby the Church is subjected to Christ. My impression is that the real defect lies in the want of knowledge of the gospel, and hence they are not prepared for the mystery. I think we distinctly gained ground though I felt much for O. He prayed nicely at the close.

Mr. Stewart.

May have terms but he lacks entirely of the divine idea in them, and charges us in England of defection from what has been held. One great point with him is union as connected with the body. Now

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it is pretty clear to me that the thought connected with the body is not union but derivation, as Eve was taken out of Adam then she becomes his bride, is united to him and shares his honours. Unity by the Spirit is the thought in the body. I do not believe that the figure of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12 goes beyond the saints down here baptised by one Spirit into one body. Christ is Head over all things and as such is Head to the body. This is taught both in Ephesians and Colossians, the character of His headship is given in Scripture -- 'the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church'. I cannot think that D.F. can long go down. The difficulty that we have to contend with is the opposition on the part of some to everything that they do not understand. It is a comfort to know that the Spirit and the Bride say come. There will be the voice till the coming of the Lord. I trust you may be comforted and encouraged in your service. I think that on the whole things are encouraging over here.

With love in the Lord,
Believe me,
Your affectionate brother,

I think there is mischief in trying too much to balance; a judgment is thereby formed more by what is said than by Scripture. All know well enough that I have no kind of difficulty in speaking of an Old Testament saint as alive spiritually in his soul. My contention is against the idea of the communication of life (as a substantive quantity) in new birth. I believe the thought entirely misleading and hindering souls from seeing that the One who bore the judgment of death is the One who is a quickening Spirit towards man. Whatever there was of God in man before,

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Christ came that the sheep might have life. Before that they were not free of the judgment of death. I do not think I ever connected born again exactly with John 5. It seems to me more the question of the Son of God in testimony and its effects; the one that has heard His voice shall live. In chapter 6 we have the sustenance of life -- the living bread.

In common with many others, I have abstained from writing anything on the subject of baptism, it being a matter on which all amongst us are not agreed, not that I have any doubt on the matter in my own mind. The subject is left in a sense obscure in Scripture, and we have little to guide us but the practice of the apostles. Paul does not add anything in the matter; he says, Christ sent me not to baptise but to preach glad tidings. The twelve were commissioned to baptise, and Paul took it up for them. I think this is enough to prove that the institution is not connected with the truth of Christ's body, but the house of God, in other words, with christian fellowship. Baptism appears to me to be an expression of God's mind as to our position on earth, identified with Christ's death: and in that way dissociated from Jew and gentile, and introduced into that which is owned of God as the fruit of that death, God's house. Now this had application to the children as well as the parents, for they are owned of God as under the Lord -- are said to be not unclean but holy and are to be suffered to come to Jesus, the kingdom of heaven is of such. If things are as they should be, we bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, rather than think of their being unconverted, and we commonly accord them the warmth and advantage of our fellowship.

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If we do not I think it is only right that we should by baptism formally identify them with Christ's death, and in our training of them seek to maintain consistency with it. I hope these remarks may help you in the consideration of the subject.

The question which you raise is one of interest, and one which I have often heard raised. I think that to understand the matter one has to take into account the position of those addressed. They were Jews, who had been guilty of the rejection of Christ, but who had repented and fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the resurrection and glory of Christ. The point of the epistle is that they should hold fast the hope, and the proof of this would be in separating themselves from the existing Jewish system. If they failed in this they would involve themselves in the judgment that was coming on Jerusalem and the Jews. They would prove themselves apostate and nothing would remain for them but fiery indignation. The point is as to the application of this in the present time. It is difficult to find a parallel case. There is certainly an immense profession that will not go when the Bridegroom comes. They will be judged according to their works. But I doubt if this gives the idea of perishing in the wilderness. This is spoken of those who believe not, and in the sense of departing from the living God. This would be apostasy. I think the departure would be manifest. I should hesitate to apply it to those who are admitted to be believers, but who from one reason or another fail to enter spiritually into God's purpose in Christ. I doubt if the expression would apply. As you say, they are linked with Christ by the Spirit. Failing in apprehension is not the same thing as perishing in the wilderness, and I do not think that any who perish will find their place in heaven.

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Extract from a letter by F.E.R. as to pamphlet by C. E. Moore on the Sufferings of Christ. To begin with, the construction of the type is wrong, for in the sin-offering the ending of the victim in judgment (death) took place before there was any burning at all. Hence the burning must have some other significance. The truth is that his idea of an offering for sin is limited in the paper to the outward shame and reproach of the cross, and the ending and removal of the representative. Now I do not see that in becoming an offering for sin Christ properly represented anyone (He did as bearing our sins). He represented the principle of sin which is wider than man (see the serpent of brass on the pole) and which was to be put away for the glory of God. I admit that the shame and reproach of the cross, suffering outside the gate, and the ending of the victim (in His then condition) were incidental to the sin-bearing, but they were not the sin-bearing itself. "God made him to be sin for us" goes much deeper than that. I can only understand by it that, as to His own consciousness, Christ on the cross was as sin in the presence of the holy judgment of God; and that, speaking in a moral sense, He was consumed by the terror of that judgment. I do not think anything short of this gives an adequate idea of the forsaking of God, or of the dealing with sin so as to remove it from before God.

Letter by C.A.C. as to the above pamphlet.

I cannot, of course, speak for others, but my objection to what Mr. Moore teaches is that he makes atonement to be in the ending of the life of flesh in the Person of its sinless Representative. It seems to me that to make it only this is to rob the cross of its eternal value and moral reality. "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" conveys to my soul much more than the public and visible rejection of the Representative.

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Mr. M. seems to suggest that brethren hold that Christ was personally the object of God's wrath. I can only say that I have never heard of such a thing. What He was personally is carefully contrasted with what He was made sacrificially, in the words, "He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin". Surely brethren have ever insisted that the burnt-offering shows what He was personally in all that wondrous offering of Himself, in which aspect all was "a sweet savour unto the Lord". But sacrificially He was made sin, and this by God; and, as made sin He felt in His holy soul all the terribleness of sin, and of the wrath of God against sin; and, as being made sin and bearing its judgment, the desert and consequence of it all, and of the sins of the people, came upon Him and was borne by Him so that full judicial satisfaction is made to God. There was a Victim able to know all that the wrath of God was against sin, and who, as made sin, felt it all and bore it all, and this before the actual moment of His death. Is it not all this which gives moral value and atoning efficacy to His death? Had He not, as made sin, entered into what the wrath of God was against sin, and felt it all so as to be in spirit consumed by it, before the actual moment of laying down His life? And am I not right in saying that, apart from this unspeakable experience, His death would have had no power in itself to make judicial satisfaction to God? When I read that He "tasted death for everything" it presents to my faith that the blessed Lord has entered into all that death was as the wages of sin and the judgment of God. It all came upon Him, and was felt and borne by Him, before the actual moment of His laying down His life. The darkness and the actual death were indeed the public and manifest accompaniment of this -- necessarily so -- but what gave them their moral value and efficacy as a judicial separation was the fact that the One thus publicly disowned and cut off

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was able to enter into and bear in His holy spirit the judgment of God upon sin -- the deep reality and awfulness of which no public and visible acts or circumstances could ever fully express. I admit the importance of all that was public and visible, and I trust I should not be slow to present it as needed truth, but I firmly believe that those public and visible acts derive their value as a judicial satisfaction in the first place from the greatness and moral excellence of the Person who was made sin, and in the second place from what I might venture to call His sacrificial capability -- His capability to enter into and to bear the judgment of God upon sin; and this not only in its public and visible manifestations, but in the hidden and unknowable experience of His forsaking -- an experience which, as to all that was morally involved in it was ended before He laid down His life. Brethren are jealous that the moral reality of the work of the cross should not be lost to our souls. They believe that Mr. Moore has pressed a part of the truth beyond its place, and that this has resulted in his denial of that which really gives value to what he seeks to press. They have been led to believe, by his own statements, that Mr. M.'s teaching weakens and destroys the apprehension of that which constitutes the great moral reality of the cross, and gives us instead merely the outward and visible acts of forsaking and death. We believe that what was public and visible derived its power to make judicial satisfaction from that which was secret and only known to God and to the blessed One whom He 'made sin'. That brethren may have expressed themselves in ways not warranted by Scripture is very probable, but it is not expressions that we are concerned about or wish to defend. I conceive that it would be impossible to overstate or exaggerate the experience of which they have sought to speak. Often they have weakened it by the introduction of human ideas concerning it

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into their preaching and praise. But the thing in itself is so immeasurably beyond our conception -- the reality is so much greater than all our thoughts concerning it -- that there may well be imperfection in the expression of what the heart feels is inexpressible, and yet that which it would fain speak of to others or in praise to God. It is just because Mr. M.'s teaching enfeebles the sense of this -- of all that it was to Christ to drink the cup -- that brethren have repudiated it. Mere theology they think as little of as he does, but they are not prepared to give up what they hold to be the great moral reality of the scene of Calvary.

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Taken in the form in which they appear here, from MSS recently available, and from some of the older periodicals.

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Eternal life is conveyed through the gospel, it is had by the believer. If you speak of consciousness and realisation, it is not apart from the Holy Spirit. There are two sides to 'hath', which Scripture does not distinguish between, viz., the gift side and the realisation side. 'Hath' supposes both senses. Eternal life reaches us mediatorially and there is the formative power in which it reaches us. I do not deny that the disciples had eternal life before the cross, it was an anomalous moment.

John 5:25 -- Christ was a living Christ on earth, not so now, the whole ground changed. They had it not in the same way as we, for the corn of wheat had not yet died; He was with them, He was the life, and no doubt He supplied pretty much for them what the Spirit now does for us in His absence.

Acts 8 -- the Samaritans had it as a gift before the apostles came down, without the realisation till they had the Spirit.

John 17:1-3 is what eternal life consists in and the Spirit must be there to know the Father, "the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". The Spirit forms me, moulds me in the new man. Your mistake is taking eternal life as a vitality connected with the first man -- it is in the Son. I have it in the Son -- He goes on high that He might give eternal life, etc., He must send the Holy Spirit.

Eternal life is a positive thing, its effect is that I am introduced into a new scene, new for man -- into a new circle of association and I am fitted for it. Not new to Him the eternal Son -- but new for man and only possible through His incarnation, i.e., mediatorially. John 5 is the absolute divine side, chapter 6

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is the realisation side, chapter 3 is the objective and chapter 4 the subjective side. The Son became the second Man and eternal life is in Him -- responsible life is in the first man. The babes have it but not in the same stature.

I would not separate Christ and eternal life for an instant. That which characterises the second man is eternal life which was in the Son eternally for He never became it. Eternal life makes me think of Him, not of myself, and the Spirit forms me after His pattern. This is the renewing of the Spirit, which is not the same as possession of Him as a Person -- the seal. J.N.D. said eternal life is a possession. It is a very large thing; it is made up of nature or being and position -- relationship. He was the eternal life before incarnation, but He had not come out as the new man. By death, the cross, all link with the responsible man was broken. I fear our losing sight of the new man, the heavenly man.

Acts 1:9 -- they had eternal life, but knew nothing till the truth of it was brought out, after that Israel was given up.

With regard to 2 Corinthians 5:21, etc., we are not 'in Christ' at one time and out of Christ at another. There are two sides to the christian, he is heavenly and new created, but he has not yet done with the responsible life. In Christ is new creation, there is no responsibility in new creation. It is only a question of applying Scripture in its proper connection.

Hazelville, 1890.

John 14

Chapter 13 shows the various things we have to meet with down here, in ourselves or in others -- defilement, treachery, unfaithfulness, weakness, etc. Whose heart has been uniformly faithful to Christ?

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Chapter 14 contemplates desolation and their comfort, and is introductory to chapter 15 (Christ for fruit-bearing) and chapter 16 (Christ for joy). Christ is the only source of comfort -- not even the communion of saints will do. (1) We have a place, we know its character (Father's house) and we have a representative there. (2) We have the Spirit of truth in us and all that hangs on His presence. All this the fruit of redemption.

The gospel, Romans 5, gives relief from pressure of death, etc., in order that we may be now in the enjoyment of God's love. Verse 5 is the Spirit on God's behalf, on God's side. Chapter 8 is the Spirit in us, on our side. The greatest happiness for the creature is the sense of God's love, to be under its influence. We get comfort in the company and sense of love (verses 18 - 24). We have lost all place here, but we have one in the Father's house.

'Believe' in John is not receiving a testimony, it is committing yourself to a person. Love delights in company; love and not our need is the reason for God's acting in Ephesians 2:1-6. Love would have us with Him and we are privy to it. Grace is peculiarly known to the church -- grace (less than love), verse 8, is for display. The Father is God revealed as love.

Verses 16, 17 -- the Spirit, in contrast to Christ, would abide with them -- Christ was objective -- a revelation of truth in Him; Spirit is subjective -- in you.

Verses 10 and 20 -- "I in the Father and the Father in me", etc. This is reciprocity of affection; we in His affections -- He in ours. This separates from the world -- all here was abhorrent to Christ.

Light reveals love -- also removes obstructions. In John 1, light, the portal to what is revealed in the epistle. Verse 21, subject heart to Christ.

Forest Hill, November 9th, 1892.

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John 15

Fruit-bearing is by Christ and is the natural product of healthy vitality. Leaves show vitality but not healthy vitality. Sap -- the principles which keep the christian in healthy vitality. Comfort (chapter 14), is necessary before fruit can be borne. Verses 21 - 23 mean that after the Lord's departure, the disciples would get by the Spirit the real present good of the revelation made by Christ when here, viz., of the Father in the Son, they would not lose it; what they had known objectively was to be then known subjectively by the Spirit's power.

Romans 5:1 -- I am relieved of the judgment of death; Christ is risen, death is annulled. Israel was not set in movement till after the passover, at the Red Sea the experimental ground commences ("by faith they passed", etc., Hebrews 11).

Romans 5 is the evidence of the relief from judgment, the Holy Spirit is given. Verses 14 and 17, the last Adam. We have part in the grace and righteousness which He has brought in and we look to reign in life. Chapter 6:10, we are buried to die, by fact of our baptism, are severed from the first Adam and are alive in the Head, Christ. Chapter 7:4 goes further than the last Adam (5) or the new Head (6) -- new husband, one who loves me and maintains me. Grace flows from the husband and thus fruit is produced. The pressure of chapter 6 is body of sin and chapter 7 is body of death. Fruit is found only in the measure in which a christian abides in the sense of Christ's love.

John 15:1 -- He supersedes Israel as the vine. In verse 7 the vine is dropped and we begin what is present during His absence. Fruit is morally after Christ; by it they would be manifestly His disciples, learners of Him. In Galatians 5 the fruit of the Spirit -- qualities inaugurated in man by Christ; never

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seen in man before, now to be seen in His disciples -- morally His traits reproduced.

Romans 6:9-13 -- practical righteousness of the christian. A new principle of righteousness was inaugurated by Christ, viz., He was towards others according to what the Father was towards Him (verse 9). He took the place of obedience and this was the principle of righteousness (see 1 John 3, "we ought to lay down", etc.). Continuance in the sense of love was the spring of Christ's conduct. Constant consciousness of His love, or no fruit -- legality must thus be got rid of. He loves us because we were given to Him by His Father -- not for any worth in us. I am to order my conduct here by what Christ is towards me. John 15:12, different from law, "thy neighbour as thyself".

The second principle of healthy vitality is the consciousness of His confidence; John 15:15. Friends, not servants -- He committed Himself to these poor fishermen. Third, His appointment for us (verse 16). Fruit is for God, testimony is for man. Chapter 15 in principle applies to us as much as to the disciples. Christ is here inaugurating new principles. We must get back to the first love; Revelation 2.

No efforts for fruit-bearing -- only sap, consciousness of Christ's love which we then reciprocate to Him and carry out to others.

Forest Hill, 1892.

John 6

Chapter 7 brings in the power of the Spirit; the energy of the Spirit in connection with Christ in glory. Chapter 4 the believer is to get eternal life from the Spirit, "springing up unto eternal life".

Three steps in the history of the soul: first, faith in the blood; second, the sealing of the Spirit; and then we get eternal life from the Spirit.

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Chapter 5 supposes you have the Spirit; you cannot have any apprehension of Christ as Son of God apart from the Spirit and He leads you into the knowledge of the Father -- you are put into the divine circle by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then there is another step, you are to be in it constitutionally.

I am to feed upon the bread and the Spirit produces something totally different from all before. You are formed by food as you take it, and the food is the living bread come down from heaven. The Galatians had the Spirit but were not formed by the food. There are many in the present day who think when they have the Holy Spirit they have all; but they have to learn. The Galatians had John 4.

Chapter 3 is the great divine proposition, then up to chapter 7 we get a series of developments.

The great end of the gospel is that we should get the Holy Spirit -- for instance, Acts 5:32, also Cornelius, Acts 10:44, "While Peter spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word"; and the Samaritans, Acts 8.

Verse 62 of chapter 6 brings us back to the starting point in chapter 3:13, and in the next chapter we are brought to it; two great truths, Son of man which is in heaven (chapter 3) and the Spirit makes alive (chapter 4). Quickening is not equivalent to new birth.

In chapter 3 we get the great divine thought, the proposition to be worked out into result in the succeeding chapters -- how the love of God to the world is going to find its satisfaction (chapter 3: 16), not merely that you will not perish; but the result is not fully reached until chapter 7. In chapter 5 the full revelation of the Father and Son, and we brought into the circle. In chapter 6 we are in it constitutionally. In Romans the Spirit is life; in Colossians you are quickened, you are constitutionally in it. John 6 brings you into it constitutionally.

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Food forms my constitution. John 6 runs with Colossians; bread is food which ministers satisfaction. My constitution is formed by the food l eat.

Security for the christian all lies in the Holy Spirit. We do not get the Spirit in John 3 because it is the divine side, not the work in the soul. There are two 'musts' in John 3 and each is for God.

I do not believe that anyone can touch John 5:24 without the Spirit; "He that heareth my word" is the Son's revelation of the Father, what He had revealed in the verses before as to the Father. Then it is that the believer is passed from death unto life; it is not so much the mode by which he passes; it is characteristic of the believer.

When Christ was first here He called some to follow Him, but when His rejection comes in He ceases to call, He falls back entirely upon the work of the Father, and He gets the church as a compensation for Israel.

Chapter 5 comes to Romans 5:11, "We joy in God" -- here we have full light. Romans does not carry us to John 6; that corresponds to Colossians. Giving life to the world goes on to the new heavens and new earth.

The word 'came' gives us the historical side, 'comes' the characteristic side. Verse 33, "the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven", that is characteristic; verse 38, "I came down from heaven", historical. Verse 41, historical, verse 50, characteristic.

The living bread is in contrast to the manna, it is not the manna. You must appropriate the death of Christ, must die to the system of things in which flesh lives; you must cut off your hand if you would enter into life, as the Lord says; Matthew 18.

Christ is the living bread, the satisfaction of God's heart, because He has carried out what is in the heart of God, He has expressed God's heart. Our part is to

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eat the living bread, to appropriate it. Some limit the thought of the living bread too much to a humbled Christ, but it is an incarnate Christ and this brings in the glory of His Person. Christ in humiliation down here answers to the manna, not to the living bread. "The Word was made flesh.. . and we beheld his glory", this is incarnation. Verse 58, we cannot understand our relation to the Father unless we know there is One who is there by personal excellence. He is become Son of God by being Man; He acquires the church by becoming Son of man, and He retains the church. No one could be in the presence of God as Father without One to support Him there -- the living bread -- it would be impossible.

We find as a rule that when He is spoken of as Son of God it refers to Him as Man, and when it is 'the Son' it is His eternal Sonship.

In Romans 8 you get the Spirit of sonship but no light as to what it is; you must go to Ephesians 1 for that, verses 3 - 6. There you get the truth of sonship, and at the end of the chapter you get union; full light as to sonship and full light as to the body. Romans 8 does not give you the true heavenly character of sonship -- outside of earth entirely. A person in the experience of Romans 8 is a son, but it is one thing for that to be true, and quite another to get the import of it.

The sign of life in a believer is that he appropriates the death of Christ -- that is the real proof of christianity. You could not appropriate the death if you had not the Spirit of life.

Ventnor, 1894.

1 John 3

The nature of a thing is what is characteristic of the thing, and you cannot talk of the nature being there until the thing itself is there. Take sugar: sweetness is what characterises sugar, its nature is sweetness, but

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you must have the sugar before you can have the sweetness.

The nature of the christian is that he is righteous even as He is righteous. The christian has not two natures; the flesh in him is like a foreign substance, it is not his nature. I may get a foreign substance in a lump of sugar, but that is not the nature of the sugar.

You cannot understand your relationship as a child of God unless you know there is One in that place before God who is there by personal right and title. If you take your place as a child of God you are bound to take your place with a rejected Christ (verse 1), "therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not".

The Father gives you to the Son in order that the Son may bring you to the Father, and the Son reveals the Father's name. There are three things: the Father's gift -- love -- the Son gives the title to take the place, John 1:12; and in Romans 8 the Spill witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God,

Nothing can go wrong with the christian because he is the object of the Father's love. I see the idea of righteousness in the burnt-offering; Christ's object was God, and the principle on which He acted was that He acted towards man according to what the Father was towards Him, "As my Father hath loved me, so have I loved you". Love in us is a consequence "We love him because he first loved us". God loves because He is love; I cannot say God is righteousness God is love; righteousness is a necessary qualification of love with God. My first obligation is the children of God; righteousness with the christian is an obligation; he must act towards others as God has acted towards him. "Hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us", then the obligation "and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren". The christian circle is the first obligation; those who have the first claim upon me, if I an

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walking in obedience, are the children of God. The christian circle comes first, and then the natural obligations. 1894.

2 Peter 2

What we get in Paul dispensationally we get in John morally. Paul gives us Jew, gentile, church of God; John gives us the children of God, the children of the devil and the world. I see these three classes in 1 John 3I will tell you who I believe to be the children of the devil in this day; the scientific men of the day, the philosophers who reject revelation, who limit their knowledge of things to man's mind, and reject what God has revealed, reject light from God. And this is sure to lower the practice and bring down the morals of man.

Then again Paul develops the truth of the church, the house and the body, while John gives you what is essential to it -- eternal life. It is of no use to have the plan of a house, architecture, etc., without the substance!

1 Peter gives us Matthew 16, the assembly, living stones, etc.; 2 Peter gives us Matthew 17, the kingdom.

2 Peter 2:4 -- "that ye may become partakers of the divine nature"; this is not new birth here. New birth alone does not make us partakers of the divine nature; you cannot reason about divine things in the same way you do natural things.

Verses 19, 20 -- If we want to understand prophecy we must have a knowledge of Christ; we get at prophecy by Christ, not at Christ by prophecy; we must begin at the right end. You must make the New Testament your own before you can understand the Old. You understand prophecy in the light of the

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day. The day has dawned, the day-star has arisen in the christian's heart, but the day itself has not yet come.

Ventnor, 1894.

Notes at a Reading Ephesians 2

Quickened -- a moral condition -- the word not used of Christ in this place.

Verse 7 -- display to others of God's satisfaction to have us in His own place.

Quickened is God's side of it -- new created is our side. First, new birth; second, enlightened by the gospel; third, Spirit is received; and then the formative work begins.

In the glorified body the Spirit will be the source, volition, etc., it is a spiritual body.

September, 1894.

Colossians 1:12, etc.

There are two lines of truth, viz., (1) God in Christ, and (2) the Father and the Son.

(1) Christ is the vessel of purpose as Man -- His body displays Him -- the Bride is the vessel in which the glory of God will be displayed; Revelation 21. Display is the thought.

(2) There are more blessed ideas here, viz., what the church is to God, what He secures for Himself -- greater than outward display. Ephesians 1, sonship -- to Himself. Here it is the line of the Father and the Son.

Verse 18 -- the Son of His love is the Head of the body in this passage, because it is what we are to God -- not display. 'Son' is the antecedent in the whole passage. See also Ephesians 1:4, the moral side of sonship is to know the Father's love, to respond

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to it, crying Abba! Sonship takes in the whole church, it is not individual altogether. The whole system of divine affections is in this line of truth -- we are loved as He is loved, etc.

Of course the two lines converge in the church.

Notes of a meeting at Hazelville, January 29th, 1895, to commend Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Edwards to the Lord. John 2:9, 10

I only just want to say one word. I feel the gravity of an occasion like this especially in regard to one who has been distinctively in the place of the Lord's servant, and if you consider what the result has been in the case of many such that married life has not been successful. That proves to me there must have been some defect.

I feel we have less prospect of prospering on natural grounds than most people. In the case of a servant of the Lord there is a paramount claim which must come before natural happiness. Married life may be very happy in regard to natural affections but we have less chance of being supported by it than people of the world.

I want to try to say one word as to what I have arrived at. If you take this instance, The wine ran out. That is what the natural things must come to. In the world people may greatly avoid it by what is artificial, but in divine things you cannot be maintained on that ground. Now Christ comes in and He acts in divine power and goodness and then they are bound to confess "Thou hast kept the good wine until now". Divine things are on a ground of sure footing. There is no reason why marriage should be a failure -- it is a course of things that may lead to good or to evil and I am sure every heart would earnestly desire that in the case of our beloved brother and sister it may lead to great good.

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As has been said by others the wife must be content to merge her own individuality in her husband. When there is undue assertion of her own individuality on the part of the wife, it will not tend to happiness, and a very heavy responsibility devolves on the husband. The husband is to give character to the wife. You see it in the church. The church takes its character from Christ. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. What for? That He might give character to it. It has been said that even the appearance of the wife may change, so intimate is the relationship. The principle at all events is true. The husband should imprint a character upon the wife, but there is only one thing will do it and that is love, pure unselfish love. The church takes its character from Christ but it is because He loved it and gave Himself for it. That is what love will desire, to conform its object to itself. The husband (if things were ordered rightly) will imprint a character upon his wife; the wife is to merge her interests and individuality in subjection to her husband. It is of all moment that the heart of the husband should be kept right in the blessed light of the love of Christ. Nothing can go right except this is so. That is, you get the thing set upon its proper basis and it will not fail and it will be said, "Thou hast kept the good wine until now". How can we thank God enough that Christ has brought these things on a divine basis. You cannot take them up artificially or naturally but only in the divine light of the revelation of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3

In these chapters all is God's.

(1) THE WITNESS OF GOD -- before which the things that then were have come to nought. The heathen, Roman power, and civilisation -- and Judaism -- have

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been overthrown by the preaching of the cross. God's intervention here was Christ, the wisdom and the power of God. The cross sets forth man's true condition before God, viz., under curse.

(2) THE WISDOM OF GOD in a mystery, viz., the one body -- in which the absent Christ is reproduced (see Colossians -- Christ in you the hope of glory -- here, the Lord of glory). Chapter 2, verse 9, "Them that love him", this brings in condition -- the love of God.

(3) THE WORK OF GOD in the saints which results in the temple; verse 9, the work is God's, He uses instruments but God makes all effective.

God is the source; verse 5, the Lord is the administrator, and there are the ministers -- Paul, Apollos or others. Verse 11, what the foundation is morally is the knowledge of God -- not mere doctrine, which may not be effective in the soul. It is God known in the heart of man and this is only effective by Jesus Christ.

There is a revelation of God in three ways, viz., death, resurrection, glory -- not by creation nor by law. First, by death -- Christ's blood; God's righteousness declared -- Romans 3 -- you can trust Him. Second, by resurrection; His power -- Romans 4 -- hence peace with God and hope in God. Third, Spirit given from glory -- Romans 5 -- from which we respond to God's love. The effective principle in the soul is always the knowledge of God -- the government of the world does not give the knowledge of His presence and power. The solid foundation in souls of knowledge of God is often lacking.

Verses 12, 13, the superstructure -- gold, silver, etc. -- is what could deliver the saints from present things, thus they might enter into the light of God's revelation. Death must be accepted first, for deliverance from the course of things down here -- viz., sin -- which governs all. Accept it, for it lay upon us -- I identify myself with Christ's death in order to live into God; Romans 6.

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Wood, hay, stubble: sacramentalism, ordinances, etc., what christians take up in common with what men in the flesh can take up -- not spiritual.

The temple: each stone is living, reflects and radiates the glory of God, viz., the light of the revelation of Himself. Verse 17, corrupting the temple, is a subtle effort to corrupt christians by principles inconsistent with the revelation of God -- to induce them to recognise the god of this world, to make associations with the world.

Streatham, 1896.

1 Corinthians 4

The place of the servants. In chapter 12 each member in the body has its function, none superior to others nor superfluous -- there is no prominence of any member. In this chapter we have Christ in relation to the servants.

Chapters 1 and 2 -- Christ in relation to God -- crucified (1), wisdom (2). Chapters 3 and 4, Christ in relation to us as foundation (s), as to the servants (4).

Chapter 1 -- Christ crucified. A wonderful testimony: true representation of man's state in God's eye and under sin and the curse -- by One Himself perfect. God's power, His intervention which subverts philosophy and Judaism -- God's wisdom, i.e., His resource. Satan has since brought in Mahometanism, rationalism and ritualism.

Chapter 2 -- God introduces heavenly wisdom, the body of Christ to perpetuate Christ here -- a new man, endued with the sensibilities of Christ Himself. Be here intelligently for the will of God in this day of ruin. The new man is inexplicable to the world. The moral conformity now, precedes the material conformity -- Christ in you, the hope of glory.

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Chapter 3 -- God is the builder, Christ the foundation, the temple the climax -- where God can dwell. The foundation is God revealed in Jesus Christ in suitability to Man's state; Romans 3, 4, 5. The superstructure is Christ as what He is in God's presence, Romans 6, 7, 8; 6, live unto God (i.e., the Father); 7, married to Christ; 8, in the Spilt.

Chapter 4 -- from the servant, the saints take their character. There is what the servant is as well as what he says. Verse 4, not conscious of defect in his service, but we cannot estimate now a servant's course -- it is not the time for it. I am not entitled to exhort others beyond what I am or have done myself; the servant is to be the pattern of what he says.

The Corinthians wanted to make christianity a name in the world, thus falsifying it.

1 Corinthians 1, 2 -- Christ presented in relation to God: (1) Christ crucified; (2) hidden wisdom. 1 Corinthians 3 -- Christ presented in relation to us. 1 Corinthians 4 -- The servant's place.

In Chapter 1 -- Christ crucified, One altogether for God's glory -- a perfect presentation of man's real condition in God's sight. John 3, 'bitten' -- what had bitten Israel, represented before God, it could only be set forth in the Son of God. Here was God's power, His intervention, His wisdom, His resource. Thus (1) to subvert Judaism and philosophy and (2) to introduce christianity. God meets us in the entire condemnation of the flesh and now by the gift of the Spirit we are led to expect everything -- "the flesh profiteth nothing".

In Chapter 2 -- we see what God intended to introduce -- the reference is to the introduction of the body of Christ: not Christ as He was, nor Christ as

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He will be: but Christ presented and expressed in His body. The new man -- Colossians 3 -- a body endowed with the sensibilities of Christ Himself. All the grace of Christ expressed. In order to be here intelligently for God, we must know God's purpose. To walk about in a religious garb is a denial of all this: it is not needed for God, it could only be for man and to seek credit from man for what is outward rather than what is moral. The world is to see Christ morally and spiritually reproduced in the saints down here, "Christ in you, the hope of glory". What is outward (in display) follows the moral.

In Chapter 3 -- Jesus Christ is the foundation, God is the builder and planter. The temple of God is formed -- the Spirit of God dwells among them. A builder employs servants, and a husbandman, men, but he is said to be the builder, etc. Jesus Christ is the foundation in the saints because in Him we have the revelation of God: righteousness (Romans 1), power (Romans 2), love (Romans 3). Then the superstructure has to be raised, i.e., what Christ is in the presence of God: this is by the knowledge of this revelation -- the result is to make saints the temple of God, His shrine. Every stone suitable -- the whole a suitable dwelling-place for God here. Woe be to the man who defiles the temple! The house becomes corrupt -- the temple not so: is holy; Ephesians 2.

In Chapter 4 -- the servant and his responsibility. Converts take their character from the servant -- a person must be largely affected by the one who puts the truth before him. He judges of the effect of the truth by what he sees in the servant; 2 Timothy 3:10. There should be nothing in the servant inconsistent with the truth he brings. The Lord is the Judge here, not man: and the present time is not the time for judgment. "Every man have praise of God", i.e., not man. None of us is competent to judge any servant. The servant is to be a pattern to all the saints. I am

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not entitled to exhort any to do a thing I have not done myself; "my ways as they are in Christ", the apostle says. He had been the right and true expression of christianity before them. We cannot affect others save as we are under the power of the truth ourselves. The apostle was not on a pedestal here, though they make him so now, calling churches and cathedrals by his name!

Streatham, 1896.


Romans 1:4 -- The statement there is abstract; and hence indicates the order of those in that line. Christ came after a new order -- according to the Spirit of holiness -- everything now partakes of that line. The link with Christ is after the Spirit of holiness -- it is the divine state by the Holy Spirit, and is worked out as to us in chapter 8. It is true in Christ and works down to the saints. The victim is not raised, referring to the question of the righteousness of God.

Romans 5:12 -- end -- The recurrence of 'much more', 'much rather', etc., shows the immense difference in the two persons, the two heads -- the one a poor feeble fallen man, the other the Lord from heaven, the Lord of glory.

Death reigns notwithstanding all skill, sanitary arrangements, etc.; death cannot be got rid of. Verse 17, "reign in life" -- you can hardly say 'life reigns', but we reign in life. Verse 18 "one offence", "one righteousness" -- one act of righteousness, the whole life and death of Christ viewed as one act. Verse 20, law came in by the bye, a retrograde movement in many ways; God could be more free and

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familiar, as it were, with the patriarchs -- see Him with Abraham, revealing to him what He was about to do. After the law, God was limited, He must punish the violation of His law. We find God's people always returned to what was before law, the promises.

In chapters 3, 4 and 5, we see the mediatorship of Christ: in chapters 6, 7 and 8, His priesthood. The former brings God to us -- the three latter bring us to God. Peter in Matthew 14 is an illustration of these chapters 6, 7 and 8: in the 6th Peter leaves the ship to join Christ; in the beginning of the 7th there is the priesthood of Christ. There is a change of law, then the priesthood of Christ comes in. In the rest of chapter 7 we see Peter beginning to sink. In chapter 8 Christ's hand is stretched out to uphold and save.

Romans 6, 7 and 8 -- The first thing to recognise is that there is only one Man now before God, for there is only one Man out of death, therefore to be alive, it must be in that one Man. In these three chapters we get three elements which are formative and deliverance from three things. The first element is to count yourself alive in that Man; second, that Man is law to you; third, the spirit of that Man dwells in you; then you get deliverance from sin, the law and the power of the flesh.

Piety is not exactly practice, but it is practical. It is the acquaintance of God that issues in practice.

Love craves love -- claims love -- and gets love. All the testimony of God centres in Christ -- God blesses, dwells and rules. The first testimony of blessing was

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to Abraham; He made known His purpose to dwell, to the children of Israel; and to rule in David. All is fulfilled in Christ, He was and is the vessel of blessing; then "in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" -- also He will subjugate all evil -- "reign over all".

The thought of the kingdom is power, but power acting in peace.

Babes are those who have no pretension to righteousness or strength.

The word of the kingdom is the light of God's administration.

The new and living way is from the cross to the heart of God. Christ came from the heart of God to the cross.

If the Lord does not introduce us now into the Father's house, He does introduce us to His heart.

Leaving your first love is when you give up the sense of Christ's love.

London, 1896.

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Exodus 14

I desire to trace the progress experimentally from Egypt into the call of God, viz., raised with Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2). There are distinct steps in it: --

  1. Justification.
  2. Acceptance of death (Marah) for deliverance.
  3. Realisation of resurrection (Jordan).
  4. Going up into the land (Jericho).

I will speak of justification in that sense that we are brought beyond the power of the enemy, out of his reach, his power is broken. He is the accuser, but now who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies (Romans 8), there is no charge possible.

All types fail. In Israel we have the experimental side typified; they trod the whole way, from Egypt, through the Sea, the wilderness, the Jordan, and round the walls of Jericho, on their feet. In the New Testament another side is also presented to us -- the divine side of the truth, the administrative side, and this must be seen first -- it is the pleasure of God expressed in His ways.

First God justifies Himself, as it were (Romans 3), in order that He may make known the pleasure of His love through a Man -- the administrator. This is God's answer to Satan's work; Satan corrupted man, sin and death are here; God sets forth His pleasure in a man -- the Son of God. In the first Adam God's judgment is made known, viz., death (Genesis 3); in the last Adam, God's pleasure, and this is revealed in Romans 5 -- peace, favour, reconciliation, and finally eternal life -- all through our Lord Jesus Christ, the administrator. This is for man here -- on earth -- not in heaven.

Righteousness -- the blood of Christ -- the whole state of man taken up in the cross -- Christ made sin (Romans 3). Then power -- God's power set forth in

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a Man raised out of death (weakness). Then glory -- He ascends that He might administer, thence He sends down the Spirit, through whose power the administration is being carried on during the interval; the next and second act of Christ will be to transform our bodies (Philippians 3). This is all the divine side of which the Old Testament has no type.

Now the experimental side

1. The first thing is that the soul gets the sense of God's justice and of its guilt, its emptiness; that is at conversion -- the prodigal came to himself. The earliest effect of the work of grace in a soul is an impression of God's righteousness, and of its evil (Romans 3).

2. Then He died for our sins, was delivered for our offences. Without this there would not have been an opportunity for Him to maintain God's character in respect of evil (No. 1). I can then appropriate Him "for our offences", this is the Passover -- shelter in Egypt under the blood!

3. Raised again for our justification. I appropriate Him and I am cleared; I am then free to enter into God's pleasure for men as it is declared and set forth in the Lord (Romans 5). I am clear in the eye of God, the measure of it is Christ risen who is our righteousness before God. I am not clear in myself (evil is still in me), but I am justified in Christ -- in the eye of God I am as clear as He is.

I am conscious of this by the Spirit. The Spirit given is the proof and answer to Christ being my righteousness. In Christ, not in myself, am I justified. The importance of this comes out further when (Romans 5:12, etc.) we find we must change our man -- the last instead of the first Adam.

We accept God's side by faith, but on this side there is appropriation. What was done for God I cannot appropriate, but "for our offences", "for our justification", I may appropriate, and by the Spirit I am conscious of the link with Christ. We are beyond the

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reach of the accuser; are there not inconsistencies in me? Yes, I plead guilty to them. But God Himself does not look for improvement in me -- Christ is now to be my life, Christ formed in me. If I were justified in myself, how could Christ be my life? He is both our righteousness and our life, "Alive to God in Christ Jesus", Romans 6.

Everything with God is great, worthy of Himself. Accept the light from God, as to His side, then coming to our side -- appropriation. Christ died, He rose, and we are linked with Christ our righteousness before God! He truly began to administer when risen (John 20),"Peace be unto you" -- still He had to ascend and then send down the Spirit.

The next step is Marah -- the acceptance of death and living unto God (Romans 6).

Kennington, 1896.

Exodus 15:23; Exodus 16:4; Romans 6 Justification is our beginning, before anything experimental is entered upon. In Romans 3 God condescends to show man how He is just, viz., through the blood; His righteousness is vindicated. This is on God's side. At the end of chapter 4 follows the declaration of our righteousness -- Christ risen is our righteousness, thus we are beyond the reach of Satan's accusations -- this is the wedding garment. We are by the Spirit livingly linked with Him who is our righteousness. All this is true for all believers, it is not experimental; it is divine grace, divine light, sovereign grace, made effectual. Now we can distinguish God's work to effectuate His purpose, a Man brought in to fill all things -- the first man being displaced morally in Genesis 3, and now judicially. All this is light from God, not experience.

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All is made good here by the Spirit -- the Spirit will be on all flesh in the kingdom and will pervade all in the eternal state, for it is by the Spirit that God will be all in all.

The Spirit is in the believer for Christ; all that is not of Christ in me is to go, for Christ is to be all. If Christ is to be all, Christ is in the believer. In the whole universe Christ is to be all, for Adam is superseded. This principle of God's ways is now being made good in the believer, and this according to truth. For instance, Israel was not suffered to overlook anything -- they had served Egypt and its gods willingly, so they must experience the fear of Egypt. If the blood screens them, they must eat the lamb with bitter herbs. If the Red Sea delivers them, they must drink its waters at Marah. They had no food until the manna came. All must be learned experimentally according to truth.

There must be a sense of sin and its slavery, of death as God's judgment of my inability to keep the law. In the flesh you cannot please God, have no resources. All this must be learned experimentally, after justification; the real truth of what my state before God was must be learned step by step -- and God's goodness with it. This is in the wilderness, there will be no exercises in heaven. Job's lesson was the acceptance of God's appointments to us in an evil world and to trust God under it all.

Romans 6 -- we were under sin and death; we could not help it, it was through Adam, but it was our condition and it must be recognised after having the Spirit. Marah must be accepted, Christ has been in death, i.e., the tree that sweetens the waters.

There are three points as to deliverance from sin Red Sea, verse 17, in the past they had obeyed the truth from the heart. Marah, verse 11, present account of themselves. Manna, verse 14, not under law -- but grace.

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Living unto God -- superiority to all the power of evil here, resulting in newness of life, i.e., character, really Christ; dependence, obedience, love, confidence, meekness, grace, etc. He overcame the world. Being in accord not with sin but with Christ who is living unto God. Christ's character is brought out in us by manna, for walking as He walked. The Spilt gives the sense of Christ's perfectness when down here.

Galatians 2 -- I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me -- that is manna -- going on under the influence of His love -- good overcomes evil. The love of Christ and the sense of His perfection down here. Not under law but under grace -- this is manna. We escape moral disease by accepting death.

Twelve wells, seventy palm trees, an oasis; realised in the assembly -- the Spirit of God and the evidence of moisture -- life.

The initial deliverance from sin (verse 17) is not enough, it must be maintained by death accepted and company with Christ -- in life (verse 11), and verse 14 -- under grace -- the manna. Walk as He walked, being delighted with what has come in with Christ, suited to such a scene as this, viz., dependence, obedience, etc. -- the qualities which came out in Him here.

Kennington, 1896.

Joshua 4; Colossians 2

It is difficult to speak on the experimental side of truth, for you have to be in it yourself, the dogmatic side is easy: christianity is marked by the Spirit of truth, not the letter of truth. The letter is important and it must not or cannot be contravened.

Resurrection is something man had no title to; death is properly his portion. Resurrection brings in

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power -- it is the glory of God; John 11:40. The cross is the foundation of all God's ways, 1 Corinthians 1; man was judicially terminated even in Genesis 3, but at the cross he was judicially terminated to the glory of God.

The Spirit is the greatest gift -- often it lies dormant or only checking flesh and it takes long years often to know the great gain of the good given. The realisation of power is an agreeable experience -- as weakness is a trying experience.

For the realisation of power, there must first be the learning of the truth of our state, "then were all dead" (2 Corinthians 5:14), viz., death on me and in me: this is learned after having received the Spirit. There is the extremity of weakness as to pleasing God (Romans 8:8); distance from God is death. This is met by distinguishing between I and the flesh (Romans 7) and now I and the Spirit are identified (Romans 8). The second man has to be known in measure, before I can accept death (Romans 6).

How we get the good of the Spirit is seen in Colossians 2. The order of the types is reversed, i.e., (1) circumcision, (2) resurrection, (3) quickened. In the spiritual order circumcision is realised in the power of the Spirit before you reach resurrection. The Spirit lusts against the flesh -- you put off the body of the flesh, the rule of the flesh, you have no confidence in flesh -- and then you are ruled by the Spirit.

Circumcision is moral separation to God. In Genesis 17 it was the beginning of relationship between God and Abraham; he got a new name, viz., a basis of relationship. The cross is our measure and standard of separation (Galatians 6) -- separation lies in the power of the Spirit.

Next comes resurrection; you are shaken out of the power of sin and of the world. God raises a man to live in the presence of His love after all that is contrary to God has been removed. Risen, you are

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now in Christ's company and now you enter upon collective privileges.

Then quickened with Him -- brought into life; the love of God is a present reality -- dwell in the presence of that love (1 John 4); this is the joy of my soul.

Reconciliation is realised when in the consciousness of God's love; there is no vacuum in the christian's heart -- no distance.

Kennington, 1896.


I would like to make a few remarks in the hope of elucidating a passage in Hebrews 10 which sometimes presents a difficulty to the minds of christians -- "A new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh". It appears to me evident that the 'flesh' is brought in here instrumentally as the means by which the way has been made. The flesh served as a 'veil' in the case of Christ, hiding from men's eyes the glory of God which was present in Him, until the time came of His death, in which the love of God was fully declared. Short of the cross there was not the full declaration of God's love. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that they who are to approach still have sin in them, and are in mind naturally legal. They are not perfect in themselves. Now both these difficulties are met in the way of entering the holiest. The answer to the first is in the blood of Jesus, the witness as before God of death -- the removal of the man that was unsuitable to Him through sin, in the righteous One; while the answer to the second is in the new and living way which Christ has made in the revelation to us

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through His death of the love of God. Legality begets fear, while perfect love casts out fear. Our way to God is dependent on a way having been made from God to us. He has approached us in love, expressed through Christ's death, and in the apprehension of that love all difficulty in approaching Him is removed. By the body of Christ's flesh we are become dead to law, for law, as a principle of requirement, is incompatible with the love of which Christ's death is the expression; and hence the bond must become powerless when God reveals Himself.

It is striking that the flesh, which in Christ hid God, has become the means by which His love has been expressed. While, on the other hand, the man after the flesh has been removed, God has, in the removal, been fully revealed.

It should be added that we on our part have to take the way by which God has come to us -- in the acceptance of the truth that our old man has been crucified with Christ, and that consequently we cannot approach God after the flesh, but only as formed by His power according to His nature, in which He has been pleased to make Himself known to us. We have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. God is Himself the standard of our cleanness.

Hebrews 4:12-16

I do not care to be an expositor of Scripture but rather an exponent of what Scripture reveals. There are things which affect people most deeply when apprehended -- things which underlie the letter of Scripture. It is waste of time and playing with the things of God and with people to occupy them merely

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with the letter. I have studied doctrine, as many, but doctrine does not affect you; what is merely mental passes away, is forgotten. If but one thought is seized in divine power it will form a link in your soul, and I shall be satisfied -- the rest will be forgotten. There are three things which do affect people, viz., the revelation of God -- the light of God; the love of Christ; the power of the Spilt.

The revelation of God is by the gospel and has its effects. "The word of God is living and powerful.. ".

that is not the letter, a Bible, but the word received is living in a christian's soul -- apart from this you cannot live 'unto God'. The living principle in me is the revelation of God; as one has said, Whatever is presented to me as an object for my faith, becomes the principle of life in me when received -- I live by it, my relations with God are formed by it. Scripture is not history, but is intensely moral throughout; its object is to make God known.

The first thing we know of God is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried and was raised again the third day (1 Corinthians 15); the gospel, according to the commission in Luke 24. Facts are preached, but what lies behind these facts? The revelation of God! God has laid Himself out in His goodness to secure the affections of man's heart. Christ's death is the declaration of God's righteousness, this is the moral basis of God's work in the soul. God's righteousness is for cleansing us from sins, but also for deliverance from the power of sin -- which is effected in the light of His righteousness; you apprehend His rights and you are thereby set free.

The resurrection -- God's power. Death is the extremity of man's weakness (1 Peter 1), like Abraham I now have hope in God. I am not afraid of His power, nor of His righteousness now, for they are in my favour.

The Spirit is given upon faith in these facts, and by

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His power I respond to God's love (Romans 5). Thus the word of God is now quick, it lives in me. Light is my life.

Further, I now find the word is analytical; it searches me, various contrary elements in me are manifested -- will, sin, unbelief, are discovered; all this that I might be maintained in deliverance. There is no good dwelling in me, e.g., death is in me as well as on me. Let the heart be kept under the sense of God's love. Flesh and its tendencies are there and remain to the end, but the Spilt delivers. The conflict between flesh and Spirit is not, or should not, be continual, but by His power the body of the flesh is put off.

All this is very absorbing; let the word be paramount and accept death to all that is here. According to the will of God we have our work here, occupations, but they are not "our living".

South Norwood, 1897.

Galatians 5:16 to 6:2

The truth of the presence of the Spirit has affected us most strongly -- both the individual and the collective side of that truth. It has changed our thoughts about everything in christendom -- we saw there was no room left for the Spirit's presence in the sects, and this drove us out of them. The recognition that the Spirit is in me individually had an immense effect on me -- it must be so; firstly the flesh must be displaced by His presence (verse 24).

Christ has done everything for us, the Spirit does everything in us. Christ has taken the place of a servant towards the believer for ever -- even in heaven, there He will minister its joys to us (Luke 12); the

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Spilt is not a servant to the believer (He may be to Christ) -- the Spilt takes sole control of you, like a house under new management. He becomes the well of water in you springing up, i.e., He displaces.

All that the death of Christ is to God, must be made good in us. There are these three types of Christ's death -- Passover, Red Sea and brazen serpent; the last is that the state of man in flesh has been condemned. All this has been effected at the cross for God; we learn it in detail. Passover -- God's righteousness, so that He is free to act, gets a free hand; this is effected in us by our becoming "servants to righteousness" (Romans 6), you get the light by the gospel but it is effected in you by the Spirit.

The Red Sea -- the power of the enemy has been broken (Hebrews 2) and death now expresses God's love, so that I am no longer afraid of Him, but make my way to Him through the death of Christ. All men were under death and in the Old Testament approach was only by the witness of death, e.g., Abel, etc. God came out to man through Christ's death, in love; it is no longer the witness of God's judgment on man but the expression of His love to man; John 3:14-16. It is now the way to God, thus the enemy's power is broken. This is effected in us when the Spirit sheds abroad God's love in our hearts; the gospel brings the light of God's love but the Spirit gives the sense of it in the heart, the warmth, the sense of God's love and holiness, His nature.

Brazen serpent -- Romans 8:3 -- for God, flesh came to an end there in order that the Spirit might be given to man and when He comes, He cannot tolerate the flesh which God has already condemned. Hence the strife of Galatians 5:17; it should read, "that you should not do the things to which you are prone". This is the well springing up, i.e., it begins at the bottom, its active energy to take sole possession of me for ever, it displaces the flesh (verse 24 is what is

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normal of christians); He gives deliverance from the dominion of flesh.

Love and holiness are nature, righteousness and power are attributes of God. People are largely formed by their associations. We have new associations, viz., with God's love and holiness, and the Spilt forms us to make us at home in these associations. He does a double work; He delivers from flesh, and He forms us after God's nature in the new associations. Some people desire to be introduced at court -- here court is brought to us by the Spirit (Romans 5:5) and we go to court in the holiest -- led by Christ. The holy oil was not intended to sanctify and to invigorate flesh (Exodus 30).

This wonderful work is going on now. Scripture does not refer much to us in heaven, but says much about what goes on in us now. Christ's death must be effective for me as well as for God. Monks had no idea of the function of the Spirit to form us in the divine nature. Not only am I risen (which is delivered), but I am quickened (i.e., made alive in the divine nature).

South Norwood, 1897.


Luke 24:36 to end

Though the assembly was at this time not yet formed, at all events the disciples had the Lord with them, and as one of themselves. He was not a being of another order of existence such as a spirit without flesh or bones, but a real man like themselves, though in resurrection. In verse 44 He shows them that all the fulfilment of Scripture centred in Himself, and all the counsels and purposes of God were connected with

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who He was. Not in the details or events of prophecy, but in connection with Himself. And yet a further point. Their understandings were opened that they might learn the special favour conferred on the assembly now, i.e., to know the mind of God as light from Himself, unfolded by His spirit. For the moment they had to wait until clothed by power from on high, to enter fully into privileges of this day, but this favour was theirs as the Lord gave understanding in what He had accomplished. The assembly is the home of the testimony, that from which it goes out to the world, and was once set up as the witness of the truth, and God has yet a special testimony for every day as it comes. The gospel testimony which goes out from it is repentance and forgiveness of sins, the favour of God rests upon it, and there in fact is found 'the secret of the Lord' revealed to His own. Whatever may be the failure and confusion to look back upon, and as all around us now, surely in remembering what was at the beginning, and what will yet take place when gathered with Christ in glory, may well cause thankfulness, and give us encouragement! In leading the disciples out, before departing from them, the Lord left them where as a company of His own we stand today, i.e., under the shelter and blessing of His outstretched hand! May we abide in the consciousness of what this speaks to our hearts.


Colossians 1:12 - 18

Here in Colossians as distinct from Ephesians, Christ takes pre-eminence in His own right. The place is not given Him, but He takes it as His own. He takes it because He is that which is here stated of

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Him. In Ephesians it is more the place as given Him in connection with the counsels of God. It is in 'the Kingdom of the Son of God's love' that we have the connecting link with the Father. As man He takes Headship over all, and in this way all created things have a link with the Father whether they are in heaven or upon earth, visible or invisible. When Christ as Man takes dominion over thrones, principalities and powers, He will rule all and fill all to the complete satisfaction of God the Father, and they will then be entirely agreeable to Him. The Son of God's love is also the beginning as Firstborn from the dead, that is He is the first-fruits in resurrection for God, the very beginning in that sense, and an entirely new departure. Who has right and title to rise from the dead? This is His alone, and as man He accomplished it! He went into death to abolish us, but He rose to present a new man to God in whom He could delight for evermore, a new and perfect creation! In this He is pre-eminent and first as Head of His body the church, and it is the pre-eminence of love, for the church is nothing without love, and this is her link with the Father. It is only as we appreciate the love of Christ and respond to it that we are near the Father. "The Father himself loveth you because ye have loved me", etc. The answer to our appreciation in loving His Son is that He makes Himself known to us. "If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him". Our hearts are called into this appreciation of the Son that we may know the Father, and it is the only way we are brought near to Him.

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Matthew 11

The change of dispensation comes in verse 11 of this chapter, where the least in the kingdom of heaven is said to be greater than John. The revelation of the Father depends upon the Son. There was no such revelation in Old Testament times. It needed the Son to come here to reveal the Father, and He did it perfectly. The change began with the testimony of John, and more fully by Christ Himself in mighty works. This all caused attention, but there was no repentance in the people. Outward things did not bring the light of God into their souls. In place of the two last was the revelation of the Father or kingdom of heaven. The least in this was greater than John. It was to make known to man the heart of God, so that they might come under the yoke of Christ. What prophet could unfold the heart of the Father? The Son alone could do this. "No man knoweth the Father but the Son". The kingdom of heaven depends upon the exaltation of Christ. In it we are brought under the moral sway of the Lord. No one rules in heaven but the Lord, and it is only in His light that we get guidance for our path here. The natural sun gives light in guiding people on the earth, without which they are without discernment. The christian's sun is in the heavens! "In thy light we shall see the light". The Father is a name by which God can be known by man down here. He can be on the ground of this name and in the light of the love of God. But for this a man 'must be born again', and when a christian, there is no advance in light unless he is quickened together with Christ. There is no progress step by step in light unless there is an antecedent work of God in the soul. It calls for this. The testimony of John the baptist and of the Lord was the closing testimony down here, but it brought to light the fact

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that it is only by the work of God in us that there can be any advance in light. We may hinder the work of God in us by the allowance of will. The way to advance in light is to have no will, earnestness alone will not do. If we are without will we are ready for the yoke, and under it we learn from the meek and lowly One finding rest of heart. "The path of the just is as the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day".


1 John 4:16 - 18; 1 John 5:14

The effect of grace is to lead the soul into the love of God 'that love with us may be made perfect'. The effect of law was to judge with severity any departure of soul from God, or any one who had in any measure turned aside from following His will. And this is what we are naturally still ready to allow in thought when things come in to cloud the soul. But grace ever works by love, and the object of this love is not to condemn, but to show us the point of departure or that which may have caused distance, in view of recovery. It enables us to detect and free ourselves from that which hinders the soul in order that we may be fully blessed. Hence the apostle says, "ye are not under law but under grace". Grace is that which conducts us to glory, not only as is generally thought when at the end of life down here, but it leads us to glory now outside the natural scene we live in. It brings us into the apprehension of the unclouded joy of the scene in which Christ now dwells who is our life, and where it is our privilege to behold Him with unveiled face. Thus grace is our side of it, so to speak, and glory more properly God's, and to which He

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brings us. The two main points in these scriptures are deliverance and confidence. Deliverance from all fear that clouds the soul, and confidence in God and His perfect love. The last thing that often hangs about a saint who may be delivered from other things, is the fear of death. He cannot meet it when in full health and strength without shrinking from the sight of it. Depend upon it this disquietude is the result of not perfectly apprehending the love of God to which we are brought, and in which He would have us dwell. But the one with whom 'love is made perfect' has all fear in this respect cast out, for he can recognise that which merely conducts us into the actual sunshine of love. This is how love works in delivering us from such fear. Then in verse 14 of chapter 5 we have the confidence in God when on the line of His will where all intelligent christians are brought, and here we ask and receive, being instructed in that will. And this perfect will of God is ever ordered and carried out by the sovereignty of divine love, which is the blessed background of all God's dealings with us, and where He calls our hearts to rest. Thus we are led by grace to glory both now and at the end of the journey, we are delivered from all fear, and have full confidence in asking from God in the line of His will, because 'love with us is made perfect'. "We have known and believed the love God hath to us".

1 Peter 1:3-9

The disciples could but little enter into what it was to be in the presence of death when the Lord took the last Supper with them. They had been accustomed to sight and sense and knew what it was to touch the Lord in a human sense. Their hands had handled Him, and their eyes looked upon Him. But all was to

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be changed through death. There was to be a complete dissolution of everything connected with sight and sense, and they were to know and love Him after a completely new order, all of the old order forever passed away. If they had known Christ after the flesh, they were henceforth to know Him thus no more. It is after the new order that we love Him whom we have not seen, and believing in we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We have been introduced into a sphere where sight and sense have no part, and where by faith we know Him after a heavenly order. Every attribute of God has been reconciled to His nature by the death of the cross, and He has before Him now One who can satisfy His heart and ours. The two main points with which the Lord now occupies Himself with regard to His own are discipline and sympathy. Discipline means 'the nurture and admonition of the Lord', or that through which He effects His purpose and our blessing in us. We are dealt with or disciplined to effect what was effected in Peter when that which is the root of failure is reached and judged by us. It is of great moment for us to recognise and accept this discipline in which is infinite gain. The Lord could say to Peter, "I have prayed for thee" and how much this meant! The bodies of the saints are in great measure that upon which the Lord works out His discipline, as well as other ways down here. At His appearing every power of evil will be scattered, but it is now at this present time that we are kept by His faithful dealing for that which will be found to be to His praise, and honour, and glory when He appears. Meanwhile it is love unfailing and unweary which serves us to this end, and in the discipline He gives us to know His sympathy, that our hearts may be led into the confidence of love.

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1 John 4:16 - 19

It is of great importance to apprehend the connection between righteousness and love. In the death of Christ love has been so perfectly served by righteousness that the very nature of God has been reconciled to and by His attributes! What it has effected for God is that He can now have to say to us as believers entirely apart from the 'old man'. The latter has been completely and forever removed from under His eye, so that He has now His pleasure in not only regarding us as justified and thus clear of guilt and the judgment of it, but as risen with Christ and thus on a resurrection footing, "as he is so are we in this world". That is, God can delight in us as in His Son, because we are in Him in resurrection life. It is alone on this ground that He can give us the Holy Spirit, whereby love is shed abroad in our hearts. Activity is the essential characteristic of love, and the formative result of this power in the heart is to exclude fear and give practical deliverance from the old man even as this deliverance has been effected for God. It is only as we are formed in love that fear is cast out, and that we are personally and practically divested of the 'old man'. Deliverance as to these two things goes on in preparation as we grow in the divine nature. It is impossible for the heart to be divested of fear until we see how God can according to righteousness and in His good pleasure have to say to us, and delight in us entirely apart from the 'old man'. It is of immense moment when we reach the point of deliverance which enables us to put off the old man and put on the new! There must be first the apprehension of what has been effected for God in the removal of what was obnoxious to Him, and then what on our side answers to it in the faith of our souls by the Holy Spirit. There can be no such answer unless we allow the Spirit of God to

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form us in love, however much we may know about it as a truth. Deliverance from fear, and the practical putting off of the 'old man' can alone be true in us in proportion as the formative power of love goes on in the soul. This is God's way but it often and indeed generally takes nearly a lifetime before it has practical effect in us, as the fruit of His Spilt and the desire of His heart.


Deuteronomy 16:3; Numbers 29:12 - 16; John 7:37; Revelation 21:10, 11; Revelation 22:1 - 3

Blessing can only be in connection with God's throne; man is all upside down and withered under the curse.

The tabernacle (dwelling) is not yet fulfilled. God's purpose will be accomplished in a vessel, viz., new Jerusalem. Rejoicings come after the accomplishment of God's ways, then His purposes get fulfilled. Mysteries are connected with His ways; when these have come to an issue, then He displays purpose in a vessel. The harvest is all for God, the vintage is vengeance.

In Numbers, in connection with the burnt-offering, you get the extra day -- the eighth, the heavenly. The kid of the goats for a sin-offering shows it will not yet be a perfect state. Joy is in the connection of heaven and earth.

The bride is of Him and expresses Him. The wife is declared relationship, celebrated and owned. Purposes are accomplished in the New Jerusalem; God's throne is there, God's sway in righteousness a sine qua non -- no temple, tree of life and river of life.

The sway of man brings in infidelity and darkness; the city has the glory of God, i.e., perfect conciliation of righteousness and love. Measured by the reed, it

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answers to all the requirements, and all is precious stones -- reflected light. A reflex of the cross, the medium is the Lamb; it has the gain of all the names of God.

Testimony was given to purpose when Christ was here (the church has no inherent value). Christ being rejected personally -- now the purpose is fulfilled in the church.

In ChristIn the city
Reigning: Matthew 2. Nations and those that enter the city.
Dwelling: 'Emmanuel' -- a river from His lips -- words 'spirit' and 'life'. River from throne.
Blessing: Works of blessing, goodness and power. Source of blessing for man.

Saints are now here in Christ's place -- the christian is a continuation of Christ; the time of display is not yet because the vessel is not complete yet. We are now in the place of testimony that God's purposes are accomplished in Christ.. .. He is glorified (rule, kingdom subsists), the Spirit is here (dwelling), and the water flows through the saints (blessing). It is all witnessed to by what we are.

The kingdom is the celebration of righteousness -- God's delight in what was accomplished at the cross. Jesus is glorified -- resurrection is a testimony to righteousness. The Spirit is here and brings us into the joy of the kingdom, not merely into subjection. The Spilt establishes unity here -- flesh hinders it, also worldly ways. "Out of his belly", because all is enjoyed inwardly. Speak the truth, i.e., the revelation of God and of His will.

Watford, May 18th, 1898.

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Romans 8:28 to end

Death terminates all down here, and rests upon everything in this scene. It is the end of the best thing created, i.e., man himself, the best of God's creatures upon earth. But what is pointed to in this Scripture as outside of all this scene of death is the purpose of God. It is a line of life and light outside the whole order of things which have been marred by sin and death here below. The purpose of God brings us to conformity to His Son out of death, and where nothing but life pervades the whole scene. And if the Son of God is thus brought forward in resurrection as the Man of God's purpose and delight, the next point is that He must have companions. He delighted in companions while upon earth, He delighted in them after He rose from the dead while still here, and He delights in them now, and will do so for evermore. We are to be conformed to His image "that he should be the firstborn among many brethren". It is the purpose of God to surround His Son with the companionship of those who are called to glory! What He looks for now before we reach actual conformity to His image, is moral conformity to Christ in the power of the Spirit. The next point is that the called ones while on earth have a Priest at the right hand of God. He lives there to make intercession for weak ones, not for the strong. If we are conscious of weakness we can appropriate the Priest and prove His strength and sympathy. If Priesthood is alone for weakness then the strong cannot thus appropriate Him, and the weak only have claim upon Him in this, though He is there for all saints. He intercedes for us on high so that all that may happen to us here such as 'tribulation, distress, persecution', etc., can in no wise separate us from Him or His love. When we have to face the fact that death rests upon us down here we shrink

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from it as painful, for the bitter waters of Marah were not pleasant to take, but thank God we can rise above it all into the light and joy of the purpose of God, and dwell in spirit where death can never intrude, for death can never enter where Christ is in resurrection life! What saints need is to get away in spilt from present things, and the world, and sorrows here, into the light of God's purpose. In verse 28 the called are those who love God, so it can be said without hesitation of any one who loves God, that he is plainly called of God, but in verse 39 we get God's love to us from which there is no separation. No power in heaven or on earth can turn away infinite love from resting upon those who are the objects of it according to eternal purpose. We need to rise up to the spring and centre of it all which is Christ Himself, and while abiding in the light of His love, be the expression of it in gladness of heart before a world that knows Him not.


Matthew 14:24 - 33

There are two things put in contrast here. We get the present path for God's people, and also that which will eventually take place for Israel, when rest from trouble sets in for that nation. In christianity we are called into a path where it is impossible for man as man to walk. The call is to come out of the ship and to walk on the water to go to Jesus. It is a path entirely apart from the natural order of things, so that only those formed by the Spirit of God can respond to the call. The Lord calls out of the ship as the shepherd calls out of the fold, so that all may be left behind which pertains to the old order of things, and that like the flock led out into liberty and pasture, we may

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walk on the water to be with Him. It is difficult to explain, and only those who are Spilt-taught can enter into it, for who can naturally take in what it means to have living association with One whom we have never seen? "Whom having not seen we love". It is to walk in the light of this love that we are now called out of the ship, or that which expresses suitability to man. The ship was this, and to secure safety in crossing the waters according to natural means. But christianity is apart from all this in a path unknown to nature, and it is now during this present interval, that we are called to walk on the water to go to Jesus. It is He who says to His own "Come!" By-and-by the people of God will enter the ship again! The Lord will appear for Israel and all their tossings and turmoil be forever ended in the calm of His presence who will speak peace to the nation. But christianity unfolds something else to us, and in leaving the ship to join the Lord, we shall find what the wind and waves are, but it is here we shall prove His sustaining power and love to the end. But we must leave all here if we would answer to the call or prove the sufficiency of His grace. Thus in the scripture before us we get the present path for the Lord's people and in contrast that which points onward to Israel's day of blessing.


Psalm 20 and Psalm 21

What we find unfolded in Psalm 20 is that there is trouble in the world, and in Psalm 21 we get enemies of God and His King. It is a sorrowful fact, but one that has always existed from the time that sin came in, of which it is the fruit, i.e., that there is trouble in this world, and enemies of God. Death is perhaps the

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chief trouble man has to meet, and Scripture speaks of this also as an enemy, though it is not the point here. It destroys all that man sets his heart upon down here, upsets all his plans, and breaks up all the natural relationships which God Himself has formed. The Lord Jesus Christ who is God's King here spoken of, had to meet both trouble and enemies while here, for He was in Himself the testimony of God on earth, and 'the truth'. In Psalm 21 we get mention of His enemies, and whose right hand shall find out those who hate Him, etc. Nothing could be worse than what has already taken place as to the hatred and enmity of man, when this reached its climax against God's testimony in cutting off His King in death from the earth! And ever since then man has continued to make a dead set against the testimony of God here: and mark, it is not against those in it, but against God Himself and His truth. In Psalm 21 we find the outlet from both trouble and enemies. God has set His King where neither trouble or enemies can come, and Stephen who had to encounter both for the testimony here saw Him there. Looking up to heaven He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand. Death is the answer and end of trouble, and a place in resurrection life at God's right hand is the answer to enemies! They are left behind in the scene where they belong, and resurrection glory is the entrance upon that which is endless! "He asked life of thee, and thou gayest it him, length of days for ever and ever". And what has become the outlet from trouble and enemies for Christ has become ours. When we get in spirit outside this scene we leave it all behind and present peace is the result. Our path is now to identify ourselves with the testimony of God in connection with His King, accepting both trouble and enemies for His sake and thereafter we shall reign with Him. We are called to trouble here, for "in the world ye shall have tribulation", and as surely as we are set

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upon identification with the testimony of God, so surely must we suffer. But to identify ourselves with Christ and His interests now is to have present peace in Himself in the very midst of trouble and enemies, and when the glory shall be revealed all will come to life as to where truth has been, and those who were connected with it here. Then too, shall the enemies of God and trouble be scattered in judgment. "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger". In Psalm 22 we have another point which refers to the present time. "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee". This is Christ identifying Himself with His brethren in the assembly now, and declaring the Father's name to them. On the one hand it is given us to stand for His testimony and interests here where He was cut off and had nothing, and at the same time to recognise with gladness of heart that He identifies Himself with us in present association and relationship. May we awake more to a sense of what we are called to in a world of trouble and enemies, i.e., to suffer with Him now and hereafter to reign with Him.

Revelation 21

Every mark, every characteristic of the heavenly city is to be formed down here. See the contrast between Paul and John. John does not carry the church to heaven, Paul does. You get in Revelation, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience I also will keep thee.. .". The church is included in the twenty-four elders but it is not distinguished. On the other hand the testimony of Paul carries the church to heaven. Paul gives us the rapture and the

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place of the church in Ephesians. Every characteristic of the heavenly city must be gained here. You get Christ cleansing the church, all that is down here. He is going to present the church to Himself and He would not present anything to Himself which was unsuitable to Himself; all is effected down here by the washing of water and the conformative working of the Spirit of God down here. John brings the church out of heaven bearing the marks of identification with the whole course of God's ways down here. There is the record in the heavenly city of all the detail of God's ways down here. The church does not gain in heaven, it is presented in heaven, but comes out in all the beauty of the characteristics it has gained down here. We want to apprehend not what the church is in its ruin, but what it is in the mind of God. The church has the glory of God -- glory is distinction in contrast to that which has been refused here.

We get the glory of man in Babylon -- Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold -- gold is symbolic of glory. The glory of God is where everything of God harmonises. The source of human glory is not God, it is derived from man. In the transfiguration we see the contrast -- He received from God the Father honour and glory. The names of the twelve tribes show that nothing of God can fail; the twelve tribes record God's faithfulness, it is recorded in the church. Then the twelve apostles -- we get recorded those who were the special vessels. So there is the testimony of God's faithfulness in regard to the twelve tribes, and God will not allow the apostles' names to be forgotten (name means 'renown').

The angel measures the city with the golden reed -- there is no trace of sin because Christ was made sin here; all in the city answers to the strict requirements of divine righteousness -- not one single trace of that for which Christ suffered. The application of this now is that we are made the righteousness of God.

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In Christ we are outside of all connection with sin that we may be the expression of the righteousness of God. God gives the answer to this in the holy city. The holy city is set forth as meeting every demand of divine righteousness, it is the witness of divine righteousness, meeting every requirement of the measuring reed of the angel.

How could saints have access to the presence of God if they were not before Him entirely apart from sin in the grace of God! It comes out here in the new man -- saints walking after God. God has already given the answer to it in the new man. There are three things: foundation of precious stones; the gates; the street. The precious stones are reflective; reflect the nature of God. The virtue of precious stones is that they reflect the light and in various ways, not all in the same way -- all comes out in the saints now. He has given us the appreciation of His love, then we get reflection, "We love him because he first loved us". We love saints because God loves us. God is the fountain of all love; God works in you the appreciation of His love; in that way the nature of God is reflected and shines in the precious stones; all are brought into the light and reflect the light. God has pleasure in that which is moral -- that which is an answer to Himself. Every adornment and characteristic of the holy city is gained down here. There is the temple there; all the ways of God are gathered up in the holy city, nothing of them is lost, 'no need of the sun to shine in it' -- no need of man's mind -- all perfectly understood in the light of God. We get darkness here, light there -- sin here, holiness there -- the nature of God coming out there, the lust of the flesh here. The nations shall walk in the light of it -- they shall apprehend in the holy city the great expression of the grace of God.

Croydon, 1899.

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Deuteronomy 10; Romans 12

We get in these Scriptures two points which though widely apart as given here, in reality go together. A principle underlines what the ten commandments contain and this is of all importance to apprehend. 'The letter killeth', but we may know the declaration of God's will. There was nothing of this given to Adam, nothing moral, but rather arbitrary. After God had redeemed a people out of the world He saw fit to give a declaration of His will. The tables of stone were broken, but it must stand as a declaration of the divine will. What is the law of God? It is love and the law of God, i.e., what God is, is the principle that is to govern the world. Man was to be ruled by the love of God, and in return he was to love his neighbour. This is the underlying principle. In Psalm 40 we find God vindicated by a man upon earth. The law of God was within the heart of Christ, and this was the doing of God's will in love. So what was to govern the universe was there in His heart! The man morally who brought sacrifices was removed in His death, and He Himself was left as the expression of the law and will of God, i.e., the ruling spirit of love, the man offensive to God being removed according to His glory. This was the tables in the ark. God is to be all in all in the universe. God presents Himself in grace first in testimony in order to save and disentangle man from all that is contrary to Him. Thus the kingdom is established in his heart in order to deliver him from the enemy's kingdom. When grace is established then divine teaching comes in, and this is the love of God made known consciously in the soul. This will never fail until we are according to glory and in the glory. It is true practical sanctification. No one can be sanctified except by the knowledge of divine love which instructs in the will of God. We are set apart for God from an evil world by the

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knowledge of divine love. In Romans 12 we prove by practical walk the declaration of the will of God, and then the knowledge of divine love. We measure ourselves in the presence of this love, and are able to arrive at the true judgment of self and man. 'Oh, keep us, Love divine, near Thee, that we our nothingness may know'. Here we are capable of serving God, for in the presence of divine love we learn our nothingness and become sober. Next we recognise the one body, and that demands that each member should wait upon God for His will towards the members, one of another. Every social link is second to our place in the body and our function or office there. Each one has a place there given by the Holy Spirit who baptises into it. Why are we to "show mercy with cheerfulness"? Because we are ruled by the love of God. Why is a teacher to wait on His teaching? Because He commands the love of the saints. The least thing is done in a right way because the spring of it all is divine love.


Genesis 3, Luke 15; Ephesians 2:19

The Jews as a nation are a standing testimony to the Scriptures, and so is christendom. Each were foretold in their present development as the kingdom of heaven and the mustard tree; and to dismiss as mere fables what we find in Scripture is to do so to our own destruction. God has allowed confirmatory testimony to that which Scripture refers to. The decay of God's house was also predicted in the seven churches. There is no phase in the church's history down here, never a moment in which Christ had not His mind, and He is pleased to let this be known.

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What took place in Genesis 3 has great significance. It meant the complete break up of the system which God had established as the foundation of this world. Verse 22, etc., shows this clearly. Cain is the type of the Jew as murderer of his brother (Christ) and now a vagabond upon the earth, but by-and-by brought into earthly advantages. "He builded a city, and was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ", etc. In Genesis we find roots of truths which are brought to light and confirmed throughout Scripture. Adam as head of the garden where God had placed him as centre of blessing to the earth, should have dispensed this blessing from that spot to all around in God's creation. But he had to be driven out of it, and so God's ordering of blessing for this world was broken up, and in a sense God Himself was morally driven out of the world He made by man's sin. It was all broken up for Him. But the moment this world's moral foundations were broken up, God had before Him the world to come, and everything since then for Him has been in view of this. "We are not brought to mount Sinai", etc., but to that which speaks of eternal blessing to come through grace. The first principle of this world now broken up was innocence, but the principles of the world to come are centred in Christ crowned with glory and honour. The great answer to God being driven out of this world by man's sin is that man brings Him in by building Him a house to dwell in. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from among the dead". If man drove God out, it is man who brings Him in. This is God's principle. It is founded upon redemption, all things being purged by blood. It was impossible for God to go on with man after the flesh, so Christ had to establish a footing upon which God could be with man according to Himself. So in resurrection He established a ground whereon we are brought to God in association with Himself. John 20 gives it to

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us after peace had been made, and He comes into the little company of His own. Christ had not given up manhood, but He had forever left every order of man down here. Redemption was accomplished but Christ was still man, and not ashamed to call them brethren. The link was now the Holy Spirit, and He could- say "he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one". He was no longer with them after the flesh but in a new order. This is the real force of reconciliation. Where distance existed there was now complacency, not in Jew or gentile, but another man, our association with Him depending upon the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. These are the great principles of the house of God, i.e., redemption accomplished, and Christ on new ground in the presence of God, and we with Him there. We have lacked in the apprehension of the house of God by limiting it to what is here instead of Christ's place there. We get the thought of the house of God in chapters 14 and 15 of Luke. God has found a ground upon which He can receive the Gentile without interfering with the rights of the Jew. This causes the merriment in Luke 15 where the elder brother is the Jew.

He is not encroached upon as to rights. He does not care for the house of God: he is apostate, but God's house is maintained in christianity. The true hope of Israel is maintained in the spiritual house, but Israel's portion is not hindered. The sanctified company are they who are quickened together with Christ and maintaining His rights in His house as Son. Christendom has abused this by going back to Judaism and rites and ceremonies. We are companions of Christ in spiritual affections. Our bodies shall be quickened when He comes, but meanwhile we are to be "holy and without blame before him in love". The merriment is over the gentile who is taken in upon the ground of mercy for sonship and association with

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Christ, while Israel's portion remains untouched. "All that I have is thine" remains true, while "it is meet that we should make merry" tells out the joy of God in finding a way to admit the gentile upon a distinct footing. In Ephesians 2 we get the household of God composed of living stones, and God's household is His house. "The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands". Christ in resurrection has established a ground in the Father's presence upon which Jew and gentile are brought in one family by one Spirit to the Father, and this is the household. We are buried with Him (out of sight) and quickened with Him as companions in living association and these make the living stones of the structure builded together for God's habitation. The first man drove God out, the second Man brings Him in, and brings us in in order that we may bring God in, the basis being redemption. The Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost and formed in a little company then gathered the house of God upon earth. The house of mere profession must not be confused with this. It properly belongs to the land of purpose across Jordan. We stand morally before God according to what the second Man has accomplished for Him, and are called to carry out the obligation in endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

John 1:35 - 42; John 1:1 - 3

The announcement made by John the baptist with regard to the Lord attracted the two disciples to Him as followers, and led to the enquiry, "Master, where dwellest thou?" One thing is certain, the Lord was not found among the high ones of earth, or in homes

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of ease, but in lowly circumstances among the poor of this world. This was His actual place of abode as Man upon earth. His answer to those who enquired was "come and see", and when they found where He dwelt they were detained there. Spiritually this is the point with us. There is no question as to where the Lord dwells now, though actually once in an earthly habitation where the disciples found Him. He dwells now with the Father, and it is His desire to make known to His own where they may find Him. It is certain He has left this world, and we meet to announce His death which has forever detached Him from all in this scene. He has died to all here, and He lives now in an entirely new circle and order of things. He is outside this world and its systems of things, but He comes to His assembly where He makes known His present abode, saying to His own thus gathered, "come and see". Are we ready to respond to this invitation, and to be detained in His presence? He dwells now with the Father, and it is in the affections of His Father that He is found in connection with His assembly. "The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me", etc. This is outside all earthly circumstances, but it is where He dwells. He waits to carry our hearts there, meeting us when gathered in assembly to draw us consciously to His dwelling place in the Father's affections that we may share His joy! His disciples as in 1 John 1 had seen and handled Him when manifested upon earth, and in a deeper and more blessed way we may now have fellowship with them in reaching Him where He dwells today! And this indeed is the holiest, into which there is no other entrance than through response to divine affections, where we are free to go and see where He dwells, and abide with Him there. 1899.

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Deuteronomy 12

There were two characteristics of the land of promise, i.e., rest and gladness. Though morally we have wilderness responsibilities, the soul can enter now upon the ground of purpose, which answers to the land. This is to serve God here in the line of His will. People do now what is right in their own eyes, but in the land all is ordered according to God and His purpose. God can only be worshipped and served according to His mind across Jordan. All that is centralised as the worship of God is according to the Spirit. The practical result of losing the sense of the Spirit's presence is people doing right in their own eyes. There are two points of practical moment connected with the presence of the Holy Spirit, first the establishment of the kingdom of God in the believer's soul individually, and second the Spirit has baptised into a body. The house of God composed of living stones gives character before Him of a family. Man's failure of it cannot alter this. One characteristic of this is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Also that holiness belongs to the house. It is properly placed on the other side of Jordan, because unity brings in eternal life and is connected with purpose. Baptism has to do with the house of God (not the profession side) and it is not only buried with Christ but risen with Him, so if a man is in the house according to God he is on the other side of Jordan in the fellowship of the Spirit's unity. The unity of the Spirit can only be arrived at in the mind of the Spirit, with man's will set aside. It is an impossibility to arrive at unity by the will of man. Only by the love of God can unity be arrived at. The Spirit is here to set aside the will of man, and unity can never be arrived at except in the power and light of the love of God. John 17:21 and 23 is both for now and by the heavenly city future. God never comes in practically until unity is brought

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about. If you are to get "the fatness of his house" every heart must come under the instruction of divine love which produces unity. The holiest is connected with the house of God, and this is connected with rest and gladness. The consciousness of what we are to God should characterise our ways as to worship and service. We are "quickened together with Christ", so we can worship and serve in the light of His love. Righteousness is manward, holiness Godward.


Colossians 1:18

The Head is mentioned first because the ground of reconciliation existed, and the members of the body were to enter into the fact, or "Christ in you the hope of glory" would not be true of them.

So each member is to accept the blessedness of what Christ has done, and to accept the suitability in which he is regarded by God, this is, as suitable to Him, not only accepted (for I might in grace accept a thing not altogether suitable to me), but regarded positively suitable, and the blessedness of what Christ has done could not stop short of making me suitable. I am to accept this and to enter into the meaning of it.

God looks upon the whole body with a perfect complacency, and each member is to enter into it in the displacement of all that is inconsistent; putting off the old man in very fact, we lose sight of self and as we do we come to one man presented to the soul by God -- "by him to reconcile all things to himself".

You see the same thing in Luke 15, the prodigal has become so suitable that it must be made clear to him, therefore the Father says, "Bring forth the best robe

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and put it on him"; as if it had been said, he is suitable for the best that I can give and I want him to know it by the manner in which I cover him; by the ring by which I bind him to Myself, and by the shoes in which he can walk before Me. The soul is to enter into this, to be taken up with it; then other things lose their power; you come to give up all natural advantages, natural gifts and influence without regret -- they are things that will pass away with death or the change of the body; but suitability to God when entered into and accepted, lifts the soul into heavenly and eternal things. You see that everything is centred in one Man -- you lose sight of yourself in Another, and your soul rejoices that all the fulness is in Him, and none in you. Thus Christ is in you the hope of glory, and the complacency with which the Father regards Christ passes to you -- as you are lost in Him, you are reconciled, settled, blessed, loved, preserved in Christ Jesus and you know it.

From knowing this the soul is encouraged to turn to account so much grace, and leaving those things which are behind and which once held me so that my feet were spiritually in fetters. I now press toward the mark and count all natural advantages but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. Thus having begun by losing sight of myself in Another, the things which helped to keep me back I lose sight of, also other things now present themselves to draw me on.

Belfast, 1899.


The Spirit is given to bring us into the light of Christ glorified, and to lead us thus into the good of the world to come. In order to take that in we need

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to apprehend that every thread of divine dealings is gathered up in Christ, and in the church which by the Spirit is in the light of the glory of Christ. The church will constitute an immense body in the world to come, and it is so instructed in every thought of God that it will be able to exercise an influence in the whole universe. Her light is like unto a stone most precious. She will have a wonderful place in the coming age.

If we look at the present state of the people of God, we must remember that it is the end of the dispensation, and one cannot look for much outwardly to be effected in them. The one who overcomes will be a pillar. In the existing state of things very much depends upon individual faithfulness; the Lord looks for it, but there is no restraint with Him. He could give deliverance to Israel by Jonathan and his armour- bearer, and there is no knowing what He would do now where there is fidelity. It is a great comfort to know that we can never find ourselves in a state of things which had not been foreseen.


Mark 1:19, 20; John 13:23-26; Revelation 1:17,18 +

We have in these three passages three distinct incidents in the life of the apostle John.

In the first, the Lord's call is evident. James and John are attracted to Jesus; and feeling this attraction, they abandon their nets and leave their father Zebedee in the boat.

+This is an unrevised short summary, made from memory, of an address at Fay-le-Froid in France, June 30th, 1902.

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In the second, John is leaning on Jesus' breast, and in the sense of His love, the beloved disciple has the consciousness of the Lord's affection.

In the third, the apostle falls as dead at the feet of Jesus, struck by His majesty. But the Lord lays His right hand upon him, saying, "Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of death and of hades".

Let us now apply these grand truths to ourselves. The beginning of our christian path is attraction to Jesus. He calls us; we are attracted to His blessed Person, and thus we leave all to follow Him. In our case, we leave all that is perishable in this world to follow the blessed Saviour.

Then, secondly, we find out that He loves us. He makes us feel His love toward us. No doubt the full expression of His love to us is seen in the cross, but He would have us to feel His love now.

To make an application of the third incident to our own case, we must think of death. If the Lord come not first, we shall fall asleep, and so this passage may be taken figuratively. But He will raise us up with His mighty right hand. He is the resurrection and the life; He has annulled death and brought life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel. Death is conquered, and Jesus, who holds the keys of death and hades, will know where to find our souls and bodies in the day of resurrection.

This third incident, then, is a figure of the crowning joy and triumph of those who have been attracted to Jesus, and kept in the sense of His love. They shall rise and be glorified to be with Him for ever.

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Philippians 1

What is the gospel of the Christ? Many divers answers would be given. It is now still the time of the "sufferings of the Christ". The gospel is sure to be opposed on account of the principles of the world which are opposed to God's. Babylon -- the system of man's glory -- refuses the light of God. God will build a world according to Himself out of the wreck of this world -- and it all depends on one Man who is the light of God. He is the revelation of God and in Him is redemption -- He is the attracting centre for all men. If God is to reveal Himself to men -- it must be in a Man: salvation is not for this world -- nor forgiveness -- but is with a view to attachment to the Head of another world. There is no scapegoat for us, only for Israel -- it is administrative. We get all in the Spirit's witness that we might draw nigh to God.

The Christ really means peace in contrast to the moral confusion produced by lawlessness. Christ is not to be detached from God's world and connected with this world -- as christendom would do -- He is not in honour here. Attraction and attachment to Him are by the Spirit.

Paul preached and defended the gospel. It needs defending from dilution and corruption. The gospel was vindicated in Paul's case (verse 13) and in the saints' case (verse 27).

The testimony is the bond or rallying point today. Saints to be in accord with it in righteousness and true holiness (new man).

Righteousness: not lawlessness -- is being here under Christ's influence -- God's will.

Holiness: state of mind produced by love -- God's holy love -- beware of contamination.

Forest Hill, December 2nd, 1902.

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Philippians 2

Gives us the idea of what is that conversation that becomes the Christ, viz., Christ seen in the saints. Paul said, "To me to live is Christ" and the saints are to be luminaries in this world. Chapter 2:15 connects with 1 John 3; it is proper for the children of God to abide in Him -- as a Sun, and they thus sin not. This is not details of practice, but what is characteristic, what they are governed by. There are lawless ones, abiding ones and apostates.

Christ is presented in various lights in the epistles, and always connected with the 'all things'. The 'all things' are under Him, He fills them, they are given to Him, etc. Verses 3, 4, are two admonitions and do not be finding faults (you cannot do so when praying!). Others with less light than I have are more faithful, probably, thus I can esteem them better than myself; go out in thought to others.

Verse 5 is an important principle, viz., you disappear from this seen world. Christ passed out of it in the reproach of the cross; Hebrews 12I -- we do by our baptism. There was the curse and the reproach; Christ took the curse alone, but we share the reproach. Retirement from the world by death -- we are not conspicuous in this world -- the exit is salvation from it. Verse 15, you are reflecting luminaries like the planets.

Salvation is always accompanied by something else, and is realised in the measure we realise that something. For example, Ephesians 2:8, accompanied by, quickened and raised with Him; Philippians 2:12, accompanied by, God working in you; 1 Peter 3:21, accompanied by, answer of good conscience by resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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The sunshine is the revelation of God's love and righteousness and mercy -- abide in it and you will shine, holding forth the word of life, i.e., the gospel, the "testimony of the Lord".

Forest Hill, December 17th, 1902.

Philippians 3

Paul is like Caleb and Joshua in the Old Testament; they entered the land and afterwards ran the whole race -- only for them there was no Man as yet. Paul was caught up to paradise and he knew the Man of God's purpose. If Christ is to be the gain, there must be the loss of all things -- you cannot have Christ in part and them in part.

Verse 9, Paul desired to be found in Him, he was lost to this world -- had disappeared from it, chapter 2.

Verse 10, "To know him", i.e., as Centre of God's world and over the "all things".

Verse 17 are the true leaders, not those who call themselves such, but who go on and can say to others, "follow me".

Forest Hill, December 17th, 1902.

Philippians 4

This epistle does not give doctrine, but the relations between servant and saints. This chapter gives the christian's exterior and limitations. We have to flow like a river within the banks appointed to us. Happiness and contentment go together, people seek their own gratification and are not happy.

Chapter 1 gives their care for Paul, chapters 2 and 3 Paul's care for them.

The gospel is a bond, i.e., the testimony of the Lord; the Spirit also is a bond; and love is the bond of perfectness. The gospel is often an occasion for contention.

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Chapter 2, the saints' relation to Christ, attached to Him. Chapter 3, the saints' secret life of the soul; secret of continuance is in verse 8, engagement with the Person (the best wine). He is the embodiment of perfect grace (bread of God, John 6) and He when here exposed the character of all. He dwells in God's love -- Where dwellest thou? Come and see! 1 John 4:15,16.

Philippians 4Verse 5 -- not assert our rights! not get soured. Verse 6 -- our outlet -- prayer, and get a quieted mind. Verse 8 -- be men of discernment, avoiding what is

detrimental, accept limitations. All

minds need relaxation at times, but

avoid contamination. Forest Hill, December 31st, 1902.

The blood is never applied to us in the holiest. There are three steps for the christian: (1) he comes into the court of the house; (2) he is part of the house; and (3) he is in association with Christ for the service of the sanctuary. Everything begins with the court of the house, and there he learns the value of the blood.

Living always connects itself with God and the world to come. Everything is living and in contrast to a world dominated by death. There is the living God, Son of the living God, church of the living God, living way -- it presents God to us in relation to a living order of things. The living way is to the living God. The moment the Son came out He is the

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revelation of the living God. The moment He becomes Man, He is the pledge of another order of things. All is living now.

Psalm 23

In Psalm 23 it is all individual, "My shepherd", "He maketh me to lie down", "He leadeth me".

In Psalm 22, the sufferings of Christ and in verse 22 we have the assembly as quoted in Hebrews 2. This is divine order, we must know something of the privileges of the assembly before we can take up the wilderness path according to God. In the wilderness we get the experimental knowledge of what God is, and I do not believe we can rightly learn this until we have learnt the assembly privileges. I cannot think of anything more wonderful than an experimental knowledge of God -- we shall not get this in the same way in heaven. We come from the assembly to find out the suitability of God to meet our need.

"He restoreth my soul" -- restore in the sense of revive. All is for our comfort, even the discipline is that which will be our comfort -- "Thy rod and thy staff" -- a table is spread and the cup runs over. I know there is the other side of the wilderness where we learn the perversity and weakness of the flesh, but here it is the experimental knowledge of God. Psalm 23 follows on Psalm 22.

Philippians 3 is collective: if you want the individual walk of the christian you must go to Romans. Three things in John -- life, unity, fruit. Life in the first chapters, then unity in the tenth and fruit in the

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fifteenth. You must have unity to produce fruit. "Mind" here is not the faculty of thinking, it is purpose. The great thing is to lose sight of yourself; we are all of some importance in our own eyes and do not like to be made nothing of. In verse 7, "emptied himself" is the act of mind -- not the overt act; the positive act comes out in "took upon him a bondman's form"; like "Lo, I come, to do thy will, O God" -- that is act of mind -- then the overt act, He takes the body prepared for Him. In the form of God He empties Himself, in the form of man He humbles Himself; we cannot humble ourselves, we have nothing to surrender, not a queen even has anything to give up because death is upon it all. Obedience implies humility. He did not esteem it rapine, being in the form of God to be equal with God in contrast to Adam who snatched at the thought of being like God, "ye shall be as gods". Christ could not go lower than to be made a curse. He is exalted as Man, as God He could not be exalted, it must be as Man. A name in Scripture means what God sets forth in a man. Abraham, for instance, Isaac, it is renown. The name here is all that He is -- not only Lord and Saviour, but Judge and all that God sets forth in Him. When it is God's name it is the revelation of Himself, but when it is the name God gives it is renown. In this chapter it is collective, he guards against quarrelling; if there is quarrelling, there is no unity. It is fruit in testimony from the saints collectively. All status in the flesh gone. J.N.D. said the only use position in this world is to a man is to give it up. I would not subvert respect to one another in daily life unless it is brought in to make anything of one. There is so little unity because there is so little affection.

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There could be no resurrection to life if sin had not been put away, that is perfectly certain, because resurrection is the annulling of the sentence of death, and the sentence of death could not have been annulled if sin, which brought in death, had not been put away.

The great object of the gospel is that God may be known. People do not see that enough in connection with the gospel. The object is, not simply that man may be saved from hell, but that God may be known in the heart of the believer. The object is not attained till the Holy Spirit is received and has brought God to us. God could not have been fully known if evil had not entered, but I am inclined to ask those who raise questions about evil being allowed, Are you prepared to take in hand the government of the world? If I could undertake to govern better than God, I might be entitled to raise some of these questions.

The poor men (the apostles), fishermen, men of no acquirements, who had never been to college, nor had any training, had Christ as Head to them, they continued in Christ, and the wisdom of Christ was at their disposal. The effect was amazing .. . all the world was afraid of them. How did they turn the world upside down? Simply because they abode in Christ and His words abode in them.

Our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God our Father. Man may

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boast of education, social reforms, progress, etc., but Christ has been rejected, and this means everything evil in the sight of God. There is nothing in the world that corresponds with God. "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" covers everything in the world. Christ's place in the world is that of the crucified One, and in being drawn to Him the believer is necessarily drawn away from the world. "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world". The moment the Lord was crowned in heaven, crowned with glory and honour, that moment the kingdom of God began on earth. "It is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". Righteousness was accomplished when Jesus died. Peace was announced when He rose again from the dead. Besides the forgiveness of sins, God has a stupendous gift to give to men. It is a gift which renders its recipients independent of the world. The gift of God is the Holy Spirit, and when He is received you are fitted for God's own dwelling place on earth. You are a guest at the great supper. Your heart will be filled with heavenly peace. You will be in the light of heaven's own joy consequent upon the exaltation of Christ on high.

There is nothing I cherish more than the light of God. Do not resist the light; you can get nothing without it. The way God works in a soul is to introduce light. Then if that light is accepted He comes in to work by it. There is nothing I covet more than that.

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If you abide in Christ, it involves the surrender of your will, like a mariner adjusts his compass by the sun. Walking in darkness, a man stumbles; if you walk in the light of the sun, you see the pathway. You keep the commandments of Christ; you are swayed and controlled by Him.

The following article was written for reproduction in Braille.


What strikes one as the great witness of the Scriptures being the Word of the living God is the one great voice that is speaking all through them in powerful moral accents. It is evidently from beginning to end the same voice, speaking different things, but never things that are really inconsistent with one another. It is a mighty voice with no uncertain sound, always addressing itself to men. Had sin not come into the world there might not have been the necessity for this voice to speak, but since the time that man departed from God this voice has never been silent. This voice will at times address the most solemn questions to man, questions which man must at some point or other furnish an answer. It may be well to consider the earliest of such questions, which indicated an estrangement of man from God. The first is that addressed by God to Adam, when the latter had in the sense of shame hid himself from the voice of the Lord God in the trees of the garden in which God had placed him. It was a very pertinent question "Where art thou?" Nothing could be more strange than that the man that God had just created should be hiding himself from God. It indicated an immense moral revolution in the man. And it was a very poor answer

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that he could return, he could but give an answer that exposed him. He was afraid, what a change! He had no reason to be, for he had had good proof of the goodness and consideration of God. But when once estrangement from God had come in, sin made rapid progress, and we soon come to another question that God had to address to man, not indeed to the same man, but to his immediate descendant. Here the question is of a different character, "What hast thou done?" Cain was not in the garden, nor could he hide himself amid the trees of the garden, perhaps he had no mind to do so, for he was a man of violence.

The only true answer that he could have returned was, 'I have hated my brother, and murdered him'. How sad that there should have been the necessity for these questions to come in. But they have come in and everyone is concerned to find an answer to them. My object is to point out the only satisfactory answer that can be found. If we might suppose for a moment these questions being addressed to the younger son in the parable of Luke 15, they would have been sufficiently pertinent, and what answers could be have given? To the first he must have said, 'I have come into the far country that I may be out of reach of my father so that I may have my own will'. And to the second, 'I have wasted the goods that my father gave me in riotous living'. No other answers were possible for him, and these would have been self-condemnatory. And the truth is that every man will have to find an answer to these questions, and his answer cannot ever be other than such as will condemn himself. Nothing can be more certain than that man is well content to be in darkness and ignorance of God, and to use the means and opportunities that God has given him, not for the praise of God, but for his own pleasure and according to his own will. Now what I would point out is the answer that God in grace has found, for man, to these questions in Christ. In the warning to

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the serpent there was an intimation on the part of God that He had in His mind purpose of mercy to the man and woman that He had created. All was bound up with the seed of the woman. And in due time the seed of the woman appeared, who was found to be the Son of God, and He was manifested to undo the works of the devil. Man was to find in Him the answer to the two solemn questions in which he was concerned. The truth is that in Christ, God came out of His place to seek man in his distance from God, so that He might find him, and not only so, but that an answer might be found in redemption to all that lay on man. The two issues that God had raised with man were thus to find a perfect solution in Christ, the Son of God. Christ entered in spirit into the sense of man's distance from God, and suffered all that that distance entailed, becoming thus the propitiation for our sins. This was the way in which God intervened in grace on man's behalf. And now, as the answer to it, Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, the witness that the work of offering is done, and He is there as the Head of every man, so as to be available to every man.

He has accomplished redemption, so that every right of God has been discharged, and through redemption man may receive remission of sins. Such is the position of Christ at the present moment, and the testimony is going out to all the world to show men that God has furnished answers to the questions that at the outset He had put. But if God has furnished the answers, it remains for each one of us to find the answers in their application to himself. The questions are there whether one has found the answers or not, but there are no answers apart from Christ, and it is a great point when we have come to God, having found them in Christ. Of necessity we must have the answer to the second question first, for there can be no change of place for us till we have remission of sins, the blessed answer to the question, 'What hast

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thou done?' This is received through the gospel, it is made known in the gospel as the mind of God in regard to all; and if a man believes the testimony of Christ, he turns by it to God, and finds that he is without his sins in the sight of God. He has remission of sins. And now being with God he has a perfect answer to the question 'Where art thou?' In all this we see the blessed way in which God has come out in grace to meet the questions which if man had had to answer he could only have answered to his own condemnation. It is in the apprehension of this that we confess Christ as Lord, and so come into the reality of salvation; we desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby unto salvation, having tasted that the Lord is gracious. We find that God has not only provided righteousness, but that He is our Saviour to deliver our souls from all the entanglements in which sin has bound us.

May God lead us into the great reality of that grace that brings salvation to all men.

Every moral quality of the Lord was of Himself. He derived nothing in that sense from man. He did not even get learning from man; the Jews said, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" Whatever moral quality we see in Christ as a man down here upon earth, the perfection of faith, or confidence, or allegiance, or devotedness, nothing was derived, all was of Himself. He became man, and in becoming man He beautified and adorned the humanity that He took; and every real trait of beauty in humanity in His case was Himself; He took that state and form that He might glorify God in it completely. He was manna come down from heaven, and everything was carried out down here in heavenly grace, in that which was of Himself.

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The great principle of christianity is ascension. Study the connection in which it is used, in the gospel of John: the angels of God ascend; the Son of man ascends; "I ascend unto my Father .. ".; it is the principle of ascension. Descent is according to the laws of nature, but the principle of christianity is ascension. You get the same thing in the epistle to the Ephesians. It is a great point to get hold of in the apprehension of divine things. In connection with that I want to lay down another principle: the greater the glory the greater the grace. If I had time I could easily work it out, but I think you will find the principle true. If you take a high churchman, his idea of grace is all in connection with descent and humiliation; he would connect all the thoughts of grace with the coming of Christ into the world; and the practical working of that is that he connects the grace of God and the humiliation of Christ with the man that is here. In the idea of the high churchman the sacraments are an extension of the incarnation, and his ideas of grace are limited to Christ having become a Man, thus putting a kind of sanction on humanity to revive or restore the man here.. .. The true principle is, the greater the glory the greater the grace. The greater apprehension you have of glory in Christ, the greater the grace; "we see Jesus .. . crowned with glory" -- that is the climax. The first man has gone in Christ's death. Christ has ended the man after the flesh. He is raised again for our justification, and, at the same time, you have a place with God beyond death -- "risen with Christ". That is the effect of the resurrection of Christ. You begin then to apprehend the exceeding riches of God's grace. If you appreciate the death of Christ, you must be prepared for the end of man after the flesh; on the other hand if you pass on to the resurrection of Christ, it means that you are

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apart from man here, from every man. You are on a new footing and belong to a Man of an entirely new order -- you are risen together with Christ. But there is a step beyond that; and that is, the same one is crowned with glory and honour. In His resurrection we have a new place before God that man never had before, justified and risen with Christ, but at the same time He has gone to the right hand of God, and we are accepted in the Beloved. The greater the glory the greater the grace.

F.E.R. Saints who are hindered by social links do not get the benefit of ministry.. .. I am certain that if people are not free in regard to associations they will make no progress in divine things.

I.S.O. You cannot help getting on the level of people you associate with.

F.E.R. You cannot help being affected by them. Separation may appear hard with some people, but down here it is an absolute necessity for any one who is going on with God. The fact is this, I think God knows the world and the effect of influences upon His people better than we do, and He is wiser than we are, and so it is better to take the path He has indicated.

If the Spirit of God works in a man He does bring home that which is revealed in Scripture. Many a one has been born again through a dream or some providential thing which brought God home to him.

'Doing good' is the way you put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. It is not 'talking good'.

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The ways of God are severely retributive, and it is so with us as christians. If you are hard and severe, it will return upon you some way or other.

Righteousness is not simply paying twenty shillings in the pound, but giving to Christ what is due to Him.

There are those who have heard the voice of the Son of God, and who live; there are those who are satisfied; and then, too, there are those who have rivers of living water flowing out from them. These things cannot be gainsaid. They are standing evidences of christianity.

In the latter day all the literature which is right and morally refreshing will go out from Jerusalem.. What Jerusalem will be in the last days the belly of the believer is to be now; John 7:38.

Young people look after one thing and another.... They say there is no harm in them, but I say these things war against the soul, and people who go in for them are not going on. It is a grave question with all of us who have to do with young people. We have our responsibility in regard to it. They look up to us, and we have to seek to influence them. In natural things we do not give our children poison instead of good food, and so I think spiritually we ought to try and keep our children from poison.

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The lower people are in the social grade, the more opportunity there is for testimony. When a man is wealthy he has to be divested of the thought that it is a mark of divine favour.

I think prosperity may be a mark of divine favour, but I question if it ever was the thought of God that man should amass wealth.

(The book of) Proverbs is specially written for the young.

I believe the Jewish mind is infidel, for the Rabbis have given up the promise of His coming, both the first and the second. The result is, they get into materialism, and seek to make wealth here. The same thing has come in among ourselves; the coming of the Lord has not much place with us. I suppose no two facts affected us more, to begin with, than the coming of the Lord and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It appears to me that if God saved everybody it would seem as if man and Satan had gained the day. When the fall came in, the only hope was in the sovereignty of God's mercy, but I believe the moral effect on man would not be good if all were saved, for it would not leave God His own proper place as God.

I believe there must be an eternal witness to the presence of sin having been here. The lake of fire is God's eternal witness to His righteous judgment of sin.. .. The 'lake of fire' is eternal separation from God, with, I believe, inflicted punishment.

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The cross was the accomplishment of righteousness for God.

The resurrection of Christ is God's testimony to righteousness accomplished.

The glory of the Lord is the celebration of righteousness.

Ques. What are the chief traits of a christian?

F.E.R. Superiority over circumstances, perfect satisfaction.

Ques. What are the chief traits of a spiritual man?

F.E.R. Thorough self-judgment, and formed in the divine nature.

Forgiveness of sins is the end of every man forgiven. It is the last word that God has to say to him.

The thought of 'children' is that the Father is with us in love; 'sons' is that we are with the Father.

The servant of God must hold loosely to things here, strive lawfully and labour patiently.

New creation is presented in connection with the persons more than the sphere. (See 2 Corinthians 5 and Ephesians 2.) 'In Christ' is the truth of new creation. It is as the result of a work in us that the sphere is realised. "Quickened together with Christ", that is, we are made to live after His order. Quickening is a real work of God in us.

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Where can you know mercy or grace except in the heart of God. I want nothing more than the knowledge of God's heart for man. I have come to the greatest thing, the greatest good, when I come to the knowledge of God. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". He will make them all acquainted with the heart of God, and you cannot find rest anywhere else.


All pretension was foreign to Christ. He was meek and lowly in heart, and with all our conceit and pretension we have to come down if we want to enter the path of service.


The idea of the Holiest is that God is towards us as He is toward Christ. We are loved with the same love. The proper privilege of the assembly is realised when Christ is known in the midst. Christianity is not simply that God has come out, but that we go in with Christ into the place whence the light has come -- the Father's presence. Christianity is a most wonderful thing if you really get the idea of it; the more we realise the place that Christ has taken up as Man, the more we are filled with reverence and the more tenacious we shall be of the glory of His Person. It is a wonderful thing to find out that we are objects of God's love. It is this which calls out worship.

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The discipline of the Lord comes in to help the work of the Spirit. The Lord breaks down in us all that which opposes, and He helps us in that way. How much do we know about the discipline and admonition of the Lord? The Lord does not discipline us in circumstances, but in our bodies. The body is the Lord's, so the Lord deals with the body, so He tells Peter in John 21"Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and bring thee where thou dost not desire".


John 2:23 - 25

I shall speak of the idea of exclusiveness. We have been in reproach because of what has been termed our exclusiveness. Now I want to be exclusive of all of which Christ would be exclusive. I do not think Christ is exclusive of men. I am sure He desires to receive every man, and would save them all, but men are not willing that He should. I am not exclusive of men, but shall I tell you what Christ excludes? All that is in man. What is in man? Why, the world is in man and Christ will not tolerate it, nor will I by grace go on with it, either. I want to be exclusive of all that He excludes; lust and pride are in man's heart, that is really the world. Now what is it that will make me exclusive? Love will do it. I know that many people think the opposite of this and that our exclusiveness is anything but love, but I am sure of my ground when I say that nothing but divine love will enable you to be exclusive of what is in man.

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Matthew 13:44

We are to be here in the reproach of Christ, not in honour and glory, but in the eyes of Christ a treasure for which He gave all. It was not the mind of the Lord that 'the treasure' should come into publicity to the world. When the treasure was found He hid it. "The which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath". Think of Christ really having joy in having found a few men on earth who were given to Him of the Father.


We have to see the completeness of the work of Christ (1) for God, and (2) the completeness for-man. It was complete for God when Christ said, "It is finished". Death must come in, too -- it must come in for our side for we were under death. Death adds nothing to the removal of sin. The first death has reference to the separated condition of soul and body; the second death has reference to their being united -- soul and body in hell.

When Christ was made sin He was exposed to all that was called for on the part of God on account of sin. This must not be toned down. He actually bore and suffered what was due to God on account of sin. He suffered at the hand of God. "After death the judgment". This latter is what Christ bore.

Christ entered into death when sin was removed, and therefore when He entered into death instead of being shame it is glory and honour to God. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself -- a sacrifice -- that is, He devoted Himself, gave Himself up to it absolutely, that is, to remove sin from the eye of God.

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When being made sin is the question, it is the sin- offering that is in view. In the sin-offering even the fat was burnt. The strength and perfectness of the Victim was consumed to the glory of God. Sin calls for wrath on the part of God; so if Christ was made sin He came under the wrath of God. This is of fundamental importance, and I would allow of no toning down. Now the wrath of God has been revealed against all unrighteousness. This could be said when Christ had gone under and borne the wrath of God.

Man was under the sentence of death, and what could expiate death save death? Blood and water were the witness that the man was gone -- the state, the offending state, was gone. The offending state could not be removed until what produced the state is removed. Sin is removed first and then the state is removed, and this so that man might enter into a new state.

We have to see that what gave effect and character to the death of Christ was that His death took place when there was no sin under the eye of God, and therefore it was to the glory of God. In the type the carcase was burnt after death -- in Christ the order is reversed. He bore the judgment before He died. Nothing could meet God but the removing of the state.


"Strive lawfully". You must not resort to human resources and expediency. All has to be met with the light of the testimony. You must employ no other weapon. People want to accommodate Scripture to science. Light from God excludes all else, whether it falls in with science or not is no concern of mine. I leave it with God to reconcile the facts of nature with Scripture. I believe Scripture. I have nothing

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to do with science. If a living God is addressing Himself to a fallen creature what is He going to speak to them about science for? A servant must strive lawfully. Do not give up one hair's breadth of the light and truth of God. Scripture if not light from God is the greatest imposture that ever was. We are in a world of darkness. What an immense mercy from God it is that we have light from Him!

In Christ all His manhood took character from Himself, from what He brought. We cannot understand christianity if we do not see this. In becoming Man Christ revealed God, but He also took His place as Man before God. The gospels are (as some have said) really the setting forth in Christ of what man is for the pleasure of God. "Good pleasure in men". Where? In one point only -- in Christ.

Once Christ has been here nothing short of that -- of Christ -- will do for God. God's object in the 'body' is that Christ should be reproduced here. The great thought in the mind of God in the body is that it should be a vessel for the reproduction of Christ here.

Study the gospels and see how totally opposite Christ was to man! See the tremendous contrariety between Christ and even the disciples, faithful men though they were. The disciples say, "Send the multitude away". "Send her away; for she crieth after us". Again, they say, "Master, we saw one casting out devils, and we forbad him". Jesus said, "Forbid him not". Their thought was always different from Christ's. It was the human in them -- the divine in Him.

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In Genesis 24 we get foreshadowed in type the church being conducted to Christ, not conducted to heaven. He Himself will come to take us to heaven, but the Servant, the Spirit, is here so that He might conduct us to Christ.

The riddle of all the confusion sin has brought in is solved, for we know a spot where there is no confusion, and Jesus as Man set down there. The world says, 'Might is right'; but none can unravel the confusion where man's will works, but there is one way out of it all, and that is in Christ. Our hearts can rest where Christ is -- He is salvation, sanctification, and High Priest. He suffered being tempted; there was no temptation inwardly in Him, but temptation brought suffering to Christ. Now He is able to succour them that are tempted. The Lord succoured Peter when he fell: "I have prayed for thee". He is a merciful High Priest. Christ has reached the goal, and that goal is ours, and He stretches out His hand for us and gives us a helping hand on the road, and I cannot doubt as we realise that, our hearts are drawn to Christ where He now is.

2 Corinthians 1

There was no man in the Old Testament in whom the promises could be taken up -- that is the subject of Stephen's defence. The patriarchs all died, but Stephen looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus. He saw the Man. Out of Him rivers of living water flowed. The infidelity of the

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present moment is against the Man -- not exactly against God. There are but few atheists. The spirit of antichrist and the liar go together. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?" (1 John 2:22). In acknowledging God, people satisfy their conscience.

If we can divest ourselves in mind of all that is not according to God in us, and take account of ourselves according to what is of the work of the Spirit, then we are according to that glory. In resurrection bodies we shall take account of ourselves only according to what we are in connection with the Spirit's work in us.


There is a real exit from sin and death in the present time in being in Him. We want to know more of the meaning of "I know a man in Christ". In Him is the exit from sin. You are in the Man in whom there is no sin; you have, therefore, got an exit from sin. When Christ comes He takes away the sin of the world; we get an exit now. In Him as Head, if you derive from Him you escape from sin. The epistle brings out Christ as a real living Person. It is everything for you to continue in Christ. I cannot see how eternal life could come in if there were not an exit made from sin and death for man.


The principles which claim the rights of God here in the world are only known to the one who has the Holy Spirit. The foundations are destroyed and the refuge of the righteous is in the Holy Spirit.

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If divine rights are let go you have no security for anything. If there is no such thing as righteousness there is no such Being as God, and if there is no such thing as sin and righteousness there is no such thing as judgment; they are all correlative expressions; and if these principles are not maintained, it simply puts God out altogether. They are principles which are consequent upon the existence of God. The foundation cannot be destroyed, the Holy Spirit gives us the sense of this.

It is useless to talk of glorifying Christ and all that, if you have not got the principles that maintain the rights of God.


When Christ was down here He was entirely for God. Everything about Him was fragrant for God. There could be nothing so wonderful. There was a Man for God on earth, One with every feeling of a man with whom the Spirit could identify Himself. It is not that the Spirit produced the feelings, but they were all there: everything that was perfect and proper in man for God was there, and the Spirit could come down to be identified with everything that was there, otherwise the Spirit must have remained in the Deity, and we could not have had the Spirit as the Spirit of Christ.

It is wonderful that we should have the Spirit of Christ, so that Christ should be produced in us by the Spirit of Christ.

In baptism we are committed to the death of Christ; in the Lord's supper we have communion with it.

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We have to carry out the law, not to speak evil one of another. We talk too much about one another; we are to speak truth with one another .. . for that tends to edify. This advice, 'that in conversation it is better to talk about things rather than persons', is good.. .. There is a disposition to judge one another's motives; many things in the church which come out never would come out if there were more love and more pastoral care.


The true light of christianity is displayed in the Lord; you cannot learn it elsewhere. Therefore I can understand the apostle saying to the Philippian jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ"; as much as to say to him, You get into the light of what is displayed in the Lord, and you will be saved, and your house. I think it is very beautiful to know that there is one point where you can fully learn what is in the heart of God toward man, and you see it displayed, not in weakness, but in glory, in power. There is no power to equal the power of the Lord Jesus Christ! Talk about power in this world, and what nations and man can do: it is not to be compared to the power of the Lord Jesus.

If you ask what is my greatest glory -- and a man's glory is what his heart cherishes -- I can honestly say that the glory of my heart is that I know God in the wonderful way in which He has been pleased to reveal Himself. There is not a single attribute of God which is now a terror to me, whether it be His righteousness, or holiness, or power. It is a most wonderful thing

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when all fear of God is completely expelled: that is love made perfect with us, "that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world...". I know the love of God; my heart is burning; I am lit up with that wonderful light that has been revealed in the Son.

I think life practically is the enjoyment of the relationships in which it has pleased God to place us. In one sense, it is the power to enjoy the relationships; in another sense, it may be spoken of as the enjoyment of the relationships.. .. If we are to enter into the enjoyment of these spiritual relationships there must of necessity be the fellowship of the death of Christ.

All the relationships which God has been pleased to establish in grace are living, because they are of the living God. There is no thought in Scripture which is more suggestive to my mind than the expression, "the living God". We read of the Son of the living God, the Spirit of the living God, the church of the living God, the service of the living God, the word of the living God -- all is living.


I will tell you how you 'work out your own salvation with fear and trembling', as I understand it. I think it is in the acceptance of death, that is, that in Christ God has in grace brought death in upon the man that offended, and reconciliation to God is in the acceptance of that great truth. We must not revive the offender, and I think it is in that way we

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work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; the offender has to be kept practically in the place of death, because God has, by the work of the cross, condemned the offender in the One who stood in his place.

I understand the glory of God to indicate the completeness of moral perfection in display. The moral perfections of God are all proportionate and harmonious. Every attribute of God has come into display; all is set forth in the face of Jesus Christ, and in that light I am to walk down here in the will of God in the midst of imperfection.


With regard to the study of the word, I would rather set more on prayer. You cannot understand the word apart from the state to understand it. In Ephesians 1, the apostle prays that God might give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of their heart being enlightened, that they might know -- it is divine power to give you the state that you may know. And then in chapter 3, it is "strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to apprehend with all saints". You could not get at it simply by the study of Scripture, but you have to bow to God, and to look to Him that He may give you the spirit of wisdom. I was an ardent student of Scripture at one time, but I do not think I got things in that way -- not that I have much any way at all.

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In Romans Christ is the mercy-seat; the point with God being to declare His righteousness.

In 1 Corinthians He is the wisdom of God and the power of God; the purpose of God being by Christ to overthrow all that existed and to establish what was of Himself.

In 2 Corinthians He is the "yea, and.. . amen"; that is, the confirmation of the promises of God.

In Galatians He is the vehicle of Abraham's blessing to the gentiles.

In Ephesians He is the One who has ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.

In Philippians He is the life and the aim of the christian.

In Colossians He is the Head, in whom the reconciliation of all things comes to pass.

In 1 Thessalonians He is the Deliverer from the wrath to come.

In 2 Thessalonians He is the Destroyer of antichrist.

In Hebrews He is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.

In James He is the Lord of glory.

In 1 Peter He is the Living Stone.

In 2 Peter He is the Day Star in the heart of the christian.

In 1 John He is the true God and eternal life.


Use all within your reach to distinguish Christ. It is wonderful that we should have the Spirit of Christ, so that Christ should be produced in us.

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You are kept, whatever the condition of things in the world, by the power of attachment to Christ; you are saved, are in liberty and find pasture.

In christianity the principle is that you get what you are prepared for; if you seek, you will find; and if you ask, it will be given to you. People get what they want: it is all a question of asking and seeking. We pray for a good many things, but the question is, Do you want them? If you really want things, you will get them.

It is by the Comforter that Christ makes Himself real to us. There is no solid comfort to be found outside of Christ: real comfort and strength are only found in what He is to us. Though He be absent, having gone to prepare a place for us, yet none the less His heart is down here. If the heart of Christ be down here, He Himself is not far distant, and He puts Himself in evidence to those who love Him, by the Comforter.


The great importance of deliverance to every one of us will be admitted, since we cannot be for God here except as delivered; and deliverance has come to that end. God has taken in hand to set us free from all that to which we were in bondage, in order that we might be for Himself.

For a christian to attempt to practise righteousness, unless as set free from sin, is out of the question; you must have died to sin if you are to live to God. How is deliverance from sin and the world effected for the christian? The death of Christ is your title to die to sin and to the world. Our old man has been crucified with Him: that is your title to die to sin. And the

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world is crucified to the believer in the cross of Christ -- that is your title to die to the world. If a christian is to travel that path, and to enter into the thought of God about him, he must be attracted by the grace of God and by what God presents.

'Sin', we are told, 'is lawlessness'. The principle of sin is in the indisposition of man to be under restraint to God. If one is to be for God he must be set free from sin and the world, for if I am in bondage to sin and to the world, I am practically under the power of Satan, the enemy of God; and more than that, sin and the world are so totally opposed in nature and principle to God that I could not possibly be for God if I were not free from their power.

Christ "gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father". It is a great thing to understand where the secret of deliverance lies -- how you are practically set free from sin and the world in such a way as to live to God. It is a blessed thing to live to God, as dead to sin!

It is in the apprehension of Christ as the second Man that the soul is drawn away from all that is connected with sin, and from all that in which sin is operative. That is the leverage by which a soul is enabled to die to sin, that is, to reckon itself "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord".

The question has to be raised in people's souls whether they prefer Christ to Adam; the second Man to the first. If I prefer the second Man to the first, I am delighted to think that I can be in His life in the presence of God, entitled to account myself alive unto God in Him. Then comes in the other point, that if I am to be in His life I must part company with the first man, and in this everybody has to begin with himself.

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I have often coveted the ability to present Christ in glory to the saints. Who of us has an adequate idea of the greatness and glory of that risen Man? The first great thing is to see that He is a Man of another order, not only that He has gone to glory, but that He is from heaven: He is heavenly. And now He has gone to the Father, and we see Him no more; but He has put us in the Father's presence; He has gone there in a condition which is the full and adequate expression of the mighty power of God in resurrection.

I would not desire anything more than the ability to minister Christ to the saints, as Paul says, "Whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom". Do you. know that you are going to be like Christ? "As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly". We are going to be perfectly like Christ. We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. The apostle John could dilate upon the present blessing: "Beloved, now are we children of God"; you will never be more truly the object of affection to the Father than you are now, and therefore the apostle says, "Now are we children of God"; but he says, it is not yet manifested what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him. If I am going to be like Christ, in the image of the heavenly, Christ becomes the standard of purity for me down here. I would not be content with a lower condition of things; I have the blessed joy of being placed with God apart from everything that is contrary, and the consciousness that I am going to be perfectly in the likeness of the Man in glory.

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All nations shall call Him blessed. Men are to be blessed in Him -- not only the priestly company in heaven, but men upon earth shall be blessed in Him. They will be blessed under the peaceful rule of the King's Son.

As the true David He will subdue His enemies, and as the true Solomon He will reign in peace. Moses and Aaron combined give us a type of Christ: He will come out as King and Priest and will bless the people, and men will be blessed in Him. I picture to myself the world to come as something like Israel in their tents, as Balaam saw them abiding in divinely-appointed order, in the vision of God. That will have its application, in a certain sense, in the world to come; all will, so to say, be covered by Christ under the eye of God. It will be a great thing, beloved friends, when the true Moses, the true Aaron -- King and Priest -- comes forth and all nations call Him blessed.

That will be a very blessed time down here, a time of peace, security, and contentment. How much are these things known now?

There are two things about the flesh which commonly hinder us, as shown us in the case of Israel in the book of Numbers: these are the reminiscences of Egypt, and indisposition for the land; all that has to be overcome in the power of the Spirit. You must get this freedom first -- not but that a person may see the purpose of love, but entering into it is another thing. It is painful to think of our indisposition to be conducted into the purpose of God; no one who knows anything about himself will deny that.

People very little know what it is to be in faith -- they believe the Scriptures. It is only a very few minutes in the week I am in faith, i.e., the soul is

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lighted up by what is revealed to it -- this is the light of unseen things.

Ques. What is the difference between the 'inner man' and the 'outward man'?

F.E.R. The inner man is in touch with heaven -- the outward in touch with earth. Nothing could mar or interfere with that hidden life.

Life -- there is of course a starting point, and that is when God is known, when there is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ -- then that is the starting point of life. What makes me say this is 'The letter kills, but the Spirit quickens'; then later in the chapter you have, "now the Lord is that Spirit". When your soul apprehends the Lord in resurrection, you have got hold of the quickening Spirit.

Ques. That is across the Red Sea?

F.E.R. Yes, exactly, that is just it. Until that point is arrived at, there is deliverance from the judgment of death, but when you come across the Red Sea and apprehend the Lord risen, you apprehend life -- the Spirit makes alive -- you know the life of God -- you get an insight into life. Faith is what you cannot verify, but you take upon the testimony of God -- I feel sure that the resurrection is the true test of faith.

If you ask what is the moment when a person lives to God, I can tell you with positive certainty -- it is when the soul apprehends the love of God; when the love of God is apprehended in the soul, that moment that soul begins to live to God.

Grace acts with reference to our condition, but love acts to satisfy itself.

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I believe a man is what his glory is. If a man's glory is in his shame, it describes his debasement; if Christ is your glory, it describes what you are morally; a man's glory is what he cherishes.

The spring of the (Christ's) work was love, and are you going to allow anything to compete with that -- and neglect the love of Christ which lies at your service? If you do, you damage yourself for time and for eternity, for you will remain small. The love of Christ has changed everything. God has called us to a very blessed path, to appropriate the love of Christ, and it leads to very great happiness.

Mystery is, I judge, something that is set forth in testimony before it is displayed in power.

Paul interprets the witness of the Spirit, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit", etc. When Christ ascended up on high He sent down the Spirit, the promise of the Father, and it was in order to make our hearts conscious of the love of God. This is the witness of the Spirit, you have the heart of the believer assured of the love of God by the Spirit. The effect is that you are consciously in the sense of holy love. The Son has revealed to us the Father: you know the Son and are conscious of being in the Son by the Spirit. You have thus come into the scene of holy affections in the power of the Holy Spirit, and if you are come there you are outside of the death scene, because you are introduced by the Spirit into the scene of holy love.

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Ephesians 1:3 - 5 -- Three things in these verses: the calling, the state that befits the calling, and the proper scene of the calling. I thus refer to them in the reverse order to that in the passage.

Sanctified and perfected (Hebrews 9) must not be confounded; sanctified is by far the greater thought of the two -- set apart for God.

Children -- sons: the idea that children of God conveys to me is that we are partners of Christ's rejection. Sonship is that we are the companions of Christ in glory. Sonship and priesthood are intimately connected in Scripture, because the great idea connected with priesthood in Scripture is access, and it is sons who have access. A further privilege of sonship -- intelligence of the mind and will of the Father.

Matthew brings in the truth of the kingdom of heaven, Luke gives us the truth of the kingdom of God. I think you will find that the truth of the kingdom of heaven centres round the Person of the exalted Christ, who has been rejected here; the truth of the kingdom of God in its present aspect centres round the Spirit given. The kingdom of heaven centres round the great fact of the exalted Man, the One who is in heaven is exalted to bear sway over the earth. You will find the first part of the gospel of Matthew goes on the

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ground of the presentation of Christ after the flesh to His people here; from chapter 16 and onwards all goes on the ground of His exaltation.

Union is not the thought in connection with the body. Union brings in the thought of the bride. The idea of union is that the church will share in the glory and exaltation of the Head. In Romans and 2 Corinthians it is the one body; in Colossians, His body because the Head is brought in.

When Christ was down here, He was the hope of glory -- the pledge of all the fulfilment of the purposes of God. Christ in the saints is now the pledge of all the fulfilment of the purposes of God -- the counsels of God -- Christ in the gentiles, the hope of glory.

We live with Christ exactly in proportion as we realise we are dead with Him. We must accept death, then the acceptance of death is deliverance from it, that I might live where Christ is and live to God. Galatians 2:20, our link with Christ is Christ risen. It is not in everyday life I bring forth fruit to God -- it is as married to Christ raised from the dead that I bring forth fruit to God. We are married to Him -- joined to Him that we might bring forth fruit to God. There is a link between Christ raised from the dead and the christian.

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Luke 24:47 -- "In his name". I believe 'name' in Scripture to indicate that which God is pleased to set forth in any person. If God gave a name to David, to Abraham or to whoever it might be, the name indicated what God was pleased to set forth in that person.

Apart from the knowledge of God, I do not think you can understand grace. The first principle of grace is, I think, God's adaptation of Himself to man in man's state of sin and weakness. Grace is not exactly the thought of love -- love works for its own satisfaction.

In Genesis 17 there are three things: first, God reveals His name to Abram -- a name characteristic of Himself -- His relationship to Abram. Second, He gives Abram a name, a new name, characteristic of what his position and relationship with God would be. Third, circumcision, separation from all to God. In application to us -- God reveals Himself to us as Father -- then our new name is Christ, anointed -- then complete separation even from ourselves to God.

Christ came down here to reveal, bring down the Father's love -- but when He went back to the Father, He did not take away the love He brought down, but left it here with objects suitable for it and capable of enjoying it; John 17:25.

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John 13

Christ is the beginning; everything originates with Him. The world is worn out, it is all gone for God -- everything as to the world was gone for God at the death of Christ; now if there is to be anything for God it must originate with Christ.

You may find people very good, upright and charitable, but if it has not its origin with Christ it is nothing at all. Like Mary, who anointed the Lord, they thought it waste; they might have been a charitable kind of people, but it was all nothing -- Mary appreciated Him.

Here in this chapter the origin of feet-washing is with the Lord Himself, "I have washed your feet". They were to wash one another's feet because He had washed theirs. Feet-washing is not so much removal of defilement, though it is that undoubtedly, but it is a grateful and refreshing service which we are to render to one another: it had its origin in Christ. We are to refresh one another with spiritual things, that is, with things which have Christ for their origin and centre, and by this the defilement which we have contracted will be removed.


What I understand by the gospel of the glory is God's satisfaction in the complete bringing to pass of His will and purpose of blessing in the hands of One in whom He is perfectly revealed. The will of God is all that which is in His heart to bring to pass; all is centred in the One in whom God is effulgent, and there only is God fully revealed. Where did God shine out in all His fulness? I believe it was in the death of Christ. He went into death to bring into it the testimony of God's love. God is effulgent in

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Christ; the glory of God shines in the face of the One to whom is committed the full accomplishment of God's purpose.

I wish I could say a little more about the glory of God. I feel for myself how little I am affected by it. God has been revealed, and every attribute of God magnified. The love of God was revealed in Christ, but it was made effulgent at the cross. The Son of God came here to make God known, and He did this; and as the Man who glorified God, He has now gone up to God. He came out that God might be effulgent; and, on the other hand, as the Man who has glorified God, has gone in to God -- one and the same blessed Person, but viewed in two distinct lights. That is what faith apprehends. Faith is now the light of the glory of God in the soul, and if we are rightly affected by it the result will be most marked. Where the word has entered the soul, and brought in the light of the love of God, that man is completely subdued to God -- he loves God; and the moment a person loves God a most wonderful and complete revolution is produced in him.

Many have been affected by the grace of God, but I do not think we have been so much affected by the love of God. God has come out in love that He may secure man's heart for Himself. He will have the love of man, He has set Himself to gain the heart of man -- but how? By making known His love. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". The believer is in the light of the glory, and he rejoices "in hope of the glory of God".

Paul said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved", that is the first point; the next point is being brought to God, not only for salvation,

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but to be according to His nature. We have peace as far as God is concerned, and we have security and rest as far as evil is concerned; then we are brought to God by divine teaching, and when we are brought to Him we joy in Him. When Israel is brought to God, then they will know the Lord, they will be brought to Him. We are brought to God, as to the state of our souls, by divine teaching.


From Luke 1:2, it appears to me that "the Word" was what Christ was in the apprehension of the apostles; and John speaks from this standpoint. The Word was to them the substance and expression of all that was divinely blessed for man (the intelligent and the intelligible), and thus the soul and limit, so to speak, of that vast system in which the blessed God is displayed. But all this hangs on incarnation. The introduction to John's gospel gives the real genealogy of "the Word". He was with God, and truly God; and, being such, He became flesh and "dwelt among us full of grace and truth".

Colossians 2:13-19

It cannot be said of any who are not in the truth of the assembly that they are holding the Head. Not that one would ignore their faith as believers, but merely to know the grace of God in connection with salvation and the forgiveness of sins does not enable one to hold the Head in the light of this scripture, nor introduce one into the position to do so. In order to hold the Head we must be brought consciously into the truth of the assembly as the body of Christ, and thus know

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the support and supply of the Head from which the body by joints and bands increases with the increase of God. It is the love of God and not merely the grace of God which effects this for us when we apprehend the truth of the assembly. It is the response to love known and enjoyed, the answer to that which flows from Christ as Head and supreme in connection with His assembly, that enables one to hold the Head. In verse 13 we have the first thing toward it as "quickened together with Christ". For this there must be the apprehension that the death of Christ has been the complete exclusion of ourselves, and the introduction of the love of God. That which excluded us has introduced love, and opened the new order of things for us apart from the old order altogether. It is only those who are quickened together with Christ who can hold the Head, and for this there must be a moral condition. There are multitudes of christians in christendom around us who are not in the truth of the assembly and who are like units scattered about, losing the apprehension of their true place and privilege, and all the blessings in connection. How can such be "quickened together with Christ", or hold Him as Head? To be quickened thus is to bring us morally and consciously into the sphere of His present life. They may know the grace of God in forgiveness, but this is quite distinct from knowing what the love of God introduces us into as a company or His assembly upon earth. The term Son of God has been often used by christians without the consideration or knowledge of what it implies. Scripture speaks of believers as the sons of God, and this always in connection with the purpose of God which is never attached to an individual. All the purpose and counsel of God centre in the Son of God, but in Him alone as a Son. The term sons of God implies the company or assembly, His body, of which there are many members and joints of supply. When we stand in the

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light of this truth we begin to hold the Head, and to know our responsibility to minister nourishment from the source of supply. All true service flows from this, and there is nothing in order without it, as coming from the place where love has introduced us, and looks for an intelligent response to its own desire for us.

Psalm 132

God never departs from His own mind or is diverted from His own purpose, even though this is not as yet completely fulfilled. The thought here is a dwelling- place for Jehovah, and His pleasure to dwell among men in Zion. Revelation 21 carries us on to God's fixed dwelling-place in the new heavens and earth in the eternal state. When God dwells with men all sorrow, etc., will be effaced from hearts, for nothing of that kind suits God! It was only on the basis of redemption that God could dwell with men in the wilderness when divine writing made known His will. David, the man after God's own heart, had a ruling desire, i.e., to build a house for Him to dwell in, but as yet this has not been fulfilled. There is an 'if' attached to this in Psalm 132 which has never been carried out. Verses 13 and 14 have never yet been fulfilled, but there is the certainty of divine purpose. God never forgets a right prayer or holy desire, so He will fully answer those of David, and this ensures the kingdom in the future. But what about now? The true David has come -- "the root and offspring of David", and He has come to establish a dwelling-place for God upon earth, and has accomplished it! He came to accomplish redemption, and lay the foundation of the house of God. Israel was not gathered, but a little company was gathered round Himself as we find

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it in John 20:19, and this was preparing an habitation for God. This was 'the Zion', the rest that God desires! Here God can "rest in his love", since that which hindered its outflow has been removed in death. Acts 1:14, etc., and chapter 2 tell of a little company in the light of God, and this was the fruit of Christ's coming. God ever begins with small things, not like man's way in building Babel of old, but calling out one man. The greatest event that the earth ever saw was a Babe laid in a manger because there was no room for it in the inn! The contrast is in Revelation 19 when Christ comes out with the armies of God. Contrast, too, the little beginning of Acts 2 and the heavenly city! Man begins great and ends small, but God's way is opposite to this. The little company in peace was held by affection for Christ round Himself, and here God took up His abode as His house upon earth. There is no lack where Christ is. He "abundantly supplies with bread" (verse is). There may be much in ourselves to hinder our being fed, but taking the place of 'poor' we are sure to know no lack. If there is a house for God there must be priests for His service, so He clothes them with salvation, and causes them to shout aloud with joy! Ephesians 2:4, etc., means that quickened and raised with Christ we may go in as priests in worship. Ephesians 6:10, etc., gives us the armour wherein we may be "strong in the Lord" as in His dwelling-place here, and through which His enemies are defeated, and clothed with shame! We stand here in testimony with the sword of the Spirit, and claim the inheritance for Christ. It is only as in the consciousness of abiding in God's house that we can do this, and when Christ comes to whom the inheritance belongs, He will take it with us. When the church comes down from heaven the throne of God is there! Everything is then set right in heaven and established on earth. God makes His full display though His glory is veiled in the church, and nations

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walk in the light of it! God dwells with men, and good is dispensed to all. John 17 is then fulfilled, i.e., "that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me".


The new covenant is brought in in 2 Corinthians because the Judaisers wanted to build up law (the old) on Paul's foundation; old and new covenants cannot go together.

Christ will be a Priest for ever -- we shall want Him as such in glory -- He will ever be the Sustainer of all. We shall never cease to be creatures and shall never be self-supporting. Moses, though not called of God a priest, did priestly acts and had access at all times, which Aaron had not.

We need the spirit of Scripture, the letter kills. The Lord is that Spirit. Scripture was never really understood until Luke 24:27. Christ is the spirit of all Scripture; there is a consistency thus in Scripture; "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy", Revelation 19:10. There is the full assurance of understanding, not merely the acceptance of divine testimony -- not dogmatic.

Two ideas run through Scripture with regard to man, viz., (1) what God would convey to man -- coming to dwell with him, etc.; (2) where God would bring man to, viz., to His own habitation. This is illustrated in Israel brought out of Egypt, the sanctuary in their midst -- and Canaan, to which God brought them. Also in the day of reconciliation (Leviticus 16) the blood brought inside -- and the goat of departure.

The new covenant is connected with the one,

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reconciliation with the other. The new covenant ministry is how God presents Himself to us, to man, down here; reconciliation is that I am brought to God's house. The first covenant, i.e., the law, presents God as an exactor demanding of man what is righteously due. Thus the law made effective in the soul -- God's penalty, death (see Romans 7:9). The new covenant is the contrary -- it is based on the work of the cross and God comes out as a testator disposing of property down here -- death gives force to a will; Hebrews 9:15-17. We get the good of what Christ has done -- the property -- peace with God, grace, etc. (Romans 5) through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ disposes of all God's property for the blessing of man -- in the place where He is, and where the transgressions were committed. It is not man brought into a new place (that is reconciliation), "The tabernacle of God is with men", Revelation 21.

The other thought is God having man in His own place. Ephesians 2 gives God's motives -- "rich in mercy", "great love", "exceeding riches of his grace", and He has brought us into heavenly places. This is not a covenant, a disposal of property here -- to satisfy us, but it is He satisfying Himself; reconciliation is connected with this.

New covenant is connected with the removal of transgressions -- sins not remembered. The parable of the good Samaritan illustrates it; I get relief, power and am cared for here; the parable of the prodigal illustrates reconciliation. Both are things true to us in the present; there will be no elder brother in heaven.

New covenant -- He was delivered for our offences, etc. Reconciliation is that sin having been removed from before God, all distance is now done away, God's judgment of death is annulled. 2 Corinthians 5:21 is the basis, verse 19 is the attitude of God when Christ was here on His behalf. For the moment He was overlooking all that Israel had done, breaking the law,

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persecuting prophets, etc. Now, reconciliation having been effected, the word of reconciliation is committed to Paul. It is a great mistake to think of reconciliation as a change of feelings in us -- it is that sin having been put away, distance is removed. This is what the prodigal finds in verse 20 on his return. The father kisses him -- a great way off from the house; this was not a change of feelings in him -- nor of place -- for it was outside the house. The father proved to his surprise that there was no distance with him. This is not forgiveness -- receiving him as a servant and feeding him would have been forgiveness.

There is a purpose in reconciliation, viz., that we may be brought into God's own house and made happy there. The moment of the prodigal's entrance is not marked in the parable -- he went in as soon as he was ready -- when Christ was put on him. He could not enter the house as a reformed or converted prodigal and in a kind of artificial acceptance; he enters in a new character, in order to be at home there. We enter in the life of Christ, "In the body of his flesh through death", "a new and living way". One first apprehends that Christ lives, then one begins to live, "Because I live ye shall live also" (John 6, the living bread, etc.). Our apprehension of Christ as the living One who is the disposer of all that God has for man, is the measure of our living -- practically. He who was delivered for our offences -- is risen -- is Lord -- the living administrator -- Mediator.

The robe is ministered to us -- you drop your antecedents; no 'converted burglar' ever enters, but Christ. You enter by the new and living way in the life of Christ -- on a new footing having dropped self.

Now you glory in God and the Father delights in the prodigal -- fruit of Christ's work and of the Father's calling. They began to be merry. Without this you can know nothing of worship.


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1 John 5

We have life in divine power before we get into the state proper to it. Eternal life is with the Father (where God lives), no angel could have it. Outside the range of sense entirely: occupation with the Lord brings you into it -- "beside myself", the apostle says. 'Water' -- purified by His death; a clean removal of all from God's sight. 'Blood' -- sins all gone. You have to keep up what is thus absolutely true of you. The result is you live in another region, a circle in which the Father lives and in which Christ ever lived and which He never left. He always was in keeping with the scene to which He belonged. John 3 is the earthly thing. In the millennium the earthly man is not swept away: "the law written in his heart". "Death to the world" does not apply to the earthly family -- we belong to One rejected here and His honours are ours. Indwelling Spirit characterises the heavenly family. You cannot have eternal life apart from its source: He (Christ) is the true God and eternal life. Eternal life never is said to be in the believer.

Romans 4; 2 Corinthians 3 and 4

Righteousness was perfect in the resurrection of Christ. The Holy Spirit is connected with the glory of Christ.

(1) Paul's ministry -- righteousness and presentation in glory. He begins with Christ's death, his culminating point is Christ's glory.

(2) John's ministry -- Christ coming down, eternal life manifested here. Eternal life -- nearness to the Father. We are brought near to the Father in the life of the Son.

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Sin -- the will of man; 1 John 3. Righteousness -- the rights of God.

The death of Christ enabled God to come in where sin was. I submit to the death of Christ, and am entitled to all the results of that death. I am cleared in the 'righteousness of God'. The offering of Christ left God a debtor. (Israel does not get justification, but forgiveness of sins.)

John 12, Son of man lifted up -- separated from the world and sinful man, that he might accomplish the will of God. He took this place Himself, that He might do so and He also bore the judgment. The believer is in the place of His death; and apart from the sin in the world, his place here is fellowship with His death. He has to carry out the judgment of the cross in himself, to "keep the feast". Christ never took afterwards another place in this world. "Outside the camp", "unto Him" -- our place.

We need to apprehend the place the Lord Jesus took here in order to fulfil the will of God. Knowing present acceptance with God, I have power to walk here in the power of His death. The whole of the present period is only as one moment to God (2 Peter 3) and it is characterised by the death of Christ. How can you sanction in yourself what was judged at the cross?

1 Corinthians 8:5, 6; 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:4-6

The relative position in the economy of grace of divine Persons, not their eternal place.

Christ is first presented to us as man -- it is afterwards we learn who He is as the eternal Son.

'The Lord' is a title of administration and it applies to us in our responsibility down here. His authority over us is absolute: we are here in His name and for His will. In many things we have to

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exercise judgment, but in the word you have divine principles to guide you. All must be consistent with the Lord's will. Paul says, "I think I have the mind of the Lord", etc. Many things come in in connection with which God has no particular mind and in these things we are tested. If all your things are subordinate to His things you can ask His guidance. In James "If the Lord will" comes in to test us. Christ administers all for "the will of God". Ephesians 4

"One faith" -- the revelation of God's will.

"One baptism" -- you are cut off from all here.

The Lord is out of this sphere: not so God (cf. Philippians 4). You can go to God in every detail. The christian has the Holy Spirit and has to exercise spiritual judgment. If you teach children principles, they will then know how to act in detail. Turn to the Lord to keep your spirit quiet amid difficulties here. The Lord concerns Himself greatly about you, not about your circumstances: as 'Priest', on our side for sympathy, support, etc., that we may not be disqualified to exercise our priesthood.

It is important to see the order of things in which Christ is Lord. Ephesians 6, you come out "strong in the Lord", etc. If we always had divine guidance in so many words, direct, there would be no exercises at all -- everything would be right.

In Revelation things that are, etc. -- nothing about the world. Change in chapter 4 and from chapter 5 onwards the political world.

Two things occupy 'the Lord'. The testimony (as Lord) and the sanctuary (as priest).

In Ephesians it is remarkable there is not a single statement that Christ is God. The epistles are occupied with the work of God in us. You begin with the Spirit -- the Spirit is life; Romans 8. You have everything in the Spirit. In Ephesians all is effectuated in you.

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Ques. What do you understand by quickening? Made to live in the love of God?

F.E.R. The Spirit takes the place on the part of God, of shedding abroad the love of God in the heart, but I understand quickening to be the birth and nourishing of divine affections in the heart of the christian; I would say it is the birth and origin of spiritual affections in the heart of the christian. The Spirit so brings the heart of the christian under the influence of the love of God, that He creates a response to it, He awakens spiritual affections in the heart of the believer. Here (2 Corinthians 3), it speaks of the Spirit giving life.

You may depend upon it, the ministry of the new covenant is a point of the very last importance, it is that that the bulk of christians needs to know -- what the disposition of God is towards them, and I am very sure they will not go on to reconciliation until they know that. You will never get confidence, I am sure, except by the knowledge of love. Nothing short of that will beget confidence, and until there is confidence you are not prepared to accept reconciliation, for that means that all is for God, and no one is prepared to accept that until there is confidence and affection as to the fruit of the knowledge of God.

Ques. What glory was it that Moses veiled?

F.E.R. Well, in going in to God there was a certain effulgence; if a man goes in to God, you may be sure he does not come out as he went in. The glory came out in connection with the second tables; after God had announced that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy -- that is, He declared His sovereignty. God did not allow the people to see to the end of that to be abolished. What was seen in the face of Moses was typical of the Lord; there is no doubt about it, that the glory in the face of Moses really looked on to a glorified Christ. There was in Him the end, the determination of everything for God,

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"beholding the glory of the Lord with unveiled face"; for us everything is settled and centred -- it is settled and centred in the Son of God. It is not simply that He is the perfect expression of what is in the mind of God for us, but for God everything is settled and centred there. In the Old Testament, whatever might have been the disposition of God towards a man, it could not be expressed -- nothing then was secured for God. But now when we come to the New Testament I see everything is secured for God, and therefore in Christ there is the perfect expression of all that is the mind and heart of God towards us.

Luke 14 and 15

It is easy to see that Luke 15 is a continuation of chapter 14. I need not say that the chapters are often a hindrance in reading God's word, they may be sometimes convenient but the subject is often broken off by the division into chapters. Read the last few verses of chapter 14 and see the connection with chapter 15. As I was saying last week, chapter 14 gives us the house and chapter 15 gives us the guest, or the fitness required to be in the house.

In chapter 14 we have first Christ coming into man's house, and then God's house, and those who are compelled to go in. At the beginning of the gospel of Luke we have peace on earth, and at the end peace in heaven. When Christ was born it was peace on earth, then if you read chapter 10:17-20, the Lord says, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven". It was not that Satan was then cast out, I do not think he is cast out yet, but the Lord is speaking prophetically, as it were; they were to rejoice that their names were written in heaven. Satan came into this world and corrupted man, but those who had been corrupted

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by Satan had their names written in heaven -- it was God's answer to the work of Satan. Through the death of Christ, God has annulled the power of Satan and there is no distance from God, there is peace in heaven.

At the end of Luke Christ lifts up His hands and blesses them and is carried up into heaven; it is not now so much that our names are written in heaven, but there is a Man there before God, there is peace in heaven. He went up into heaven and received gifts for men. I notice the word 'receive'; Psalm 68 puts it, "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive", that is the power of Satan annulled, and not only that "Thou hast received gifts in Man" and its adds "yea, for the rebellious also" -- this goes on to the millennium, it no doubt refers to rebellious Israel -- that the Lord God might dwell among them -- Israel in the millennium. Luke 14 the house, Luke 15 what makes me suitable for the house. The first two parables I only just glance at. What strikes me here is the joy in heaven when there is the first movement in the sinner's heart. No doubt in the parable of the lost sheep we get the work of Christ and in the next the work of the Spirit, but in both it is the first movement in the sinner's heart which gives joy in heaven. The parable of the prodigal is another thing, it is not here the being sought but the reception. I can very well imagine the prodigal thought he could cater for himself in the far country, and the first thing which was used to bring him to himself was providential circumstances, a famine. There are three steps in his history, and he is a representative man. We see the process of the divine work in his soul and we all go through this process although there may be different ways of learning it:-- First, his eyes are opened. Second, he received reconciliation. Third, he is brought into the house.

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His eyes are opened through the famine; I know many a young man in the world, so long as he has health and strength and money it may be, he has plenty of friends, the world likes those who can be useful to it, but if he lose his health and strength he loses most of his friends, too. Then he receives reconciliation -- but he is not in the house yet; he must be made suitable for the house. A great deal was made years ago of faith and standing and they are very important, but what are the use of faith and standing if there is no experience? Undoubtedly the best robe is Christ; it is spoken of as the best robe because there is no better, and in the Father's house it is all Christ -- Christ is the Object of the Father's heart. Do not say the Father's house is going to heaven; it is for us now; of course, we shall be actually in the Father's house, but it is true now.