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As to -------- he is quite mistaken, he confines the work of Christ too exclusively to the sin offering. Christ embraced every offering. In one offering He surpassed each and all. The simple thing to lay hold of is Christ's work. His work determines my place. Where His work puts me, a believer, there I am. This is a great point. The thief on the cross got the benefit of Christ's work without any break -- from the deepest degradation to the highest elevation. "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43); that was the effect of the work, and there the work brought him. The work of Christ embraces the beginning and the end; of course it does, or it would not be finished. There must be an end as well as a beginning: out of Egypt and in the land; out of the far country and in the Father's house, as you get in figure in Exodus 24, the blood shed and heaven in sight. Hence our blessed Lord begins with the finish of His work to the woman of Samaria, and He calls His work there God's work. "I have meat to eat that ye know not of.... My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work" (John 4:32 - 34).

There are four aspects of the death of Christ from Egypt to Canaan -- the blood on the lintel and the Red Sea, which are God's side; the brazen serpent and the Jordan, which are our side. But Christ did all. in one death, in one stroke, as I might say. Thus all the offerings were at one and the same time. I do not learn them without a break, but they were done without a break, and the good of the work is assured to me without a break. The blood of the bullock on the day of atonement gave God liberty to have the high priest and his house inside the veil, and the blood of the goat sprinkled on the mercy-seat gave

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God liberty to send from within Melchizedek to bless Israel outside. The same blood gives the blessed God liberty to do two very different things -- to put two companies of believers in totally different positions; the blood is the same, but the blessed God blesses each according as His grace leads Him -- one inside, within the veil, and the other outside or in earthly places.

PS. -- It was, of course, the one blood in Christ's work, but there were two bloods in the type to mark the difference of effect.


... I have been deeply interested in studying Christianity. I think we have learned salvation and relationship, but very little of intimacy or the essential distinction between us -- the bride of Christ -- and His earthly subjects. I begin with the gospel; if you preach the antitype of the two goats (Leviticus 16), you would preach a very full gospel -- eternal redemption in the presence of God and all your sins carried away into the land of forgetfulness, entitled to the possession of every good thing on earth. Add the bullock to the gospel and then you are on Christian ground. I must leave it to yourself to describe the difference. As a rule, the measure and nature of the acceptance which the bullock ensures is not known. Now if there be a defect in the gospel, there must be a defect, only more glaringly, in every other stage. If we knew that our special privilege and right were to accompany our Aaron into the holy place to enjoy our portion there, and that being of the priestly company we were precluded from an earthly portion, nothing earthly would divert us from it. Nothing diverted the sons of Aaron from their holy and peculiar calling. Their service was within the veil. Now- the Christian is first a priest before he is a Levite; though many prefer the Levitical service to the priestly. Christendom has lost or surrendered the priestly, and the pious are satisfied with the Levitical -- service to man. There are the two classes -- those who go to war and those

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who abide by the stuff. See 1 Samuel 30:24. The first take the spoil, but they must divide equally with those who do not go to the war. Apparently there would be no difference between them, but there is a great moral difference. Say the spoil is 1,000 head, each class gets 500; but the first gives only one out of the 500 to the priests. The other class (who remained by the stuff) gives one out of fifty, ten times as much, and never rises higher than the Levites. Priestly service is Godward; Levitical is manward; very useful and very active, but with very little personal intercourse with the Lord. The Lord prefers your company to any and every service you could render. The attempt is to be a Levite before you know that you are a priest. I believe this is impossible: the Levites were given to the priests. You must descend: Every good and perfect gift cometh down ... One may say, as to snares that entrap us, 'Why does the Lord allow it?' He allows it to prove to me (see Ezekiel 14:4) that I have an idol in my heart, and He lets me have it as Lot got the green fields or as Jacob got Shalem. You may try to conceal it, but the Lord sees it, and He lets you have it, and after a time, if you are true to Him, you are very glad to surrender it. It is not at all unlikely but that you may, after you have been freed from one lust, be ensnared by another.


I must send you a short review of the state of Christians in general, or rather of the measure in which Christianity is known. I do not refer to mere professors: I confine my remarks to really converted souls.

No one has any hope of safety who does not believe in the efficacy of the blood of Christ in the eye of God, as we read in Exodus 12:13, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you"; and Romans 3:25. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God".

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This is the first step. Thus you have assurance that you will not be lost; you are like one in a lifeboat, saved from drowning, but you are still in the water, or in the place where all the danger is. From Abel down this step or state was known to the man of faith.

The next step is the new state, never known until Christ was raised from the dead. There was no resurrection of any sacrifice until Christ rose. Until the resurrection of Christ is apprehended as it is in the sight of God, you are not out of the lifeboat; no happy place, be assured, though there be a sure hope of safety. But no one who had been rescued from a watery grave would like to remain in the place where death stared him in the face; he longs for the shore, and however he may be assured of his safety, his hopes, his thoughts, his enjoyment never rise beyond safety. Safety is the only bright prospect before him. Now through the resurrection of Christ you reach the shore -- the new, the Christian ground. In type Israel (see Exodus 14) found a way through the Red Sea. God's light showed them the way; they walked it; they appropriated the way made for them through the sea. By faith the Christian appropriates the way made through death, through Christ's death and resurrection, so that like Israel he can sing, "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea". See Exodus 15:1. So can you, when you believe that God raised Christ from the dead, for "being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). All our enemies have sunk like lead in the mighty waters. Until the value of the resurrection is seen, there cannot be any Christian progress.

It is here the divergence of one Christian from another begins. Christ was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification. You cannot enjoy justification until you believe in your heart that God hath raised Christ from the dead. It is seeing a Man, who had borne the death due to you, raised out of death, which obtains peace for you. The man (Adam) under the judgment of death has been judicially ended in the cross of Christ, and "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection

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of the dead" (1 Corinthians 15: 21). God now can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). The man under judgment has borne the judgment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; hence, as you believe on Him risen, you are entirely on new ground; you are on the shore; you are in the cloudless favour of God. God has effected your reconciliation; He can receive the returning prodigal with open arms. Adam, the first man, has for every believer, to the eye of God, disappeared in judgment in the cross; hence the Christian can say, 'I did belong to the man under the judgment of God, but I am through grace freed of that man in the death of Christ; I have passed out of death into life'. "If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him" (Romans 6:8). If you believe in the resurrection of Christ, and therefore see that you are seen by God as now belonging to another Man -- the Man risen from the dead -- you begin to progress as a Christian. You are freed from the old man in the sight of God, but if you truly enjoy this, you will seek to be freed from sin as to yourself, "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). It could not be otherwise. If the blessed God sees you to His heart's delight in all the acceptance of Christ, surely, when you know this, the next step must be that you should be practically as clear of the old man, and this is made true to you as you "walk in the Spirit", for then you would not "fulfil the lusts of the flesh". See Galatians 6:16.

It is lamentable how little Christians have believed in Christ risen. The reason is, as far as I see, that they, though thankful to be safe, are not prepared to be severed from the old man and to be now exclusively for and of Christ. They do not prefer Christ to Adam, and you cannot apprehend the resurrection of Christ except you see one man gone in death and the second Man risen out from among the dead. If you are of the Second you cannot be of the first, the two cannot go on together

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There are two parts in our Christian history. The first is apprehending by faith the full gain of the work of Christ. This is what He is for us, and ever continues, and it captivates the heart more and more. The other is our relation to Him. This is twofold. You are a living stone, and a member of His body -- different privileges, both belonging to the one person. If you are truly a living stone, owning Christ's supremacy over God's house, you are practically part of the house now on the earth, otherwise you are not in function -- a very serious delinquency.

Timothy was bound to find those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. I think you will agree with me that a living stone is out of course if it be not in function, for it must ever be a constituent part of Christ's assembly, and certainly you cannot exercise your membership on the earth if you are not in the house character. The "wise woman" is not apart from the house.

I am not referring to any of your recent troubles in connection with the assembly. I merely address you as one who desires to be for Christ where His treasure is. No one can do anything rightly for Christ here who does not begin from the assembly. See Romans 12:4, and Ephesians 4. Take the earthly walk of the Christian in Romans, or the heavenly in Ephesians, in both you must start from the same centre. It is only in conscious union with Christ that you could understand Christ's interests. The wife only understands the husband's interests. I can tell you from the word of God what you are called to; but I cannot tell you how to do it. I can feel that you are in a difficulty, but "by my God have I leaped over a wall" (Psalm 18:29).

I heartily desire that you "might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing" (Colossians 1:10). I. like to think of you as you were in 1867. The blessed God always remembers our brightest day. See Jeremiah 2:2.

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I have been thinking much of the difference between our place on earth, and that of the saints before the ascension of Christ. Since the rejection of Christ and His sitting down in glory, the whole of this world is unproductive of anything for one of His. Before His rejection, even during His walk on earth, the earth yielded something; He was here, and from His hand it was made to yield. He obliged evil and adverse things here to give way; infirmities were overborne, and made to yield present blessing to His people. Now since the rejection of the Lord, and His sitting down in heaven, there is a new scene where the blessing is unhinderedly enjoyed, and the "man in Christ" is there with Him. There I find I am blessed with all spiritual blessing. If I am blessed with all there, then I am of course not to expect to find any here; but this is quite a new and difficult lesson for the saint to learn. If I can find no spiritual blessing here, then I must feel this to be a desert. If spiritual blessing is now known to my soul as the true blessing, then I must accept this -- that there is none of that order to be found here, but all in heaven. This of itself in a very peculiar and distinct way diverts the soul from this scene, and turns it to heaven. But even after one has learnt that there is no spiritual blessing anywhere but in heaven, there is exercise of soul in walking through this scene, even though we may have ceased to expect from it. This is not an easy thing for the saint in full consciousness of the rights of God. A "young man" who had "overcome the wicked one" would naturally say to himself that God has rights in the world, and that he was at liberty to claim them and possess them, and therefore it is said to such (1 John 2:15): "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world".

With an Old Testament saint there was the power of God here to produce from things here an expression of

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God's thought and love for His people, such as they could appreciate. Now that expression of His love is made in heaven, where there is no force used to produce it. It is all for acceptance on our part, and our enjoyment depends on the amount or extent of our acceptance of it. There we are furnished as Paul was, outside and above all of earth and man, and when down here, instead of finding anything to help me, and to afford strength and joy to me, I find everything the reverse; so that instead of its being the garden of the Lord, as it was to the Old Testament saint when he walked faithfully, it is a desert, where not only there is nothing that contributes to me, but where I must resist the very air, because it is pestilential, and I must, on this desert island where I am set as Christ's witness, draw all my supplies from elsewhere. The harbour where the supplies come in, is the only cheering spot in this dry and barren land where no water is. I must seek and receive from outside of this desert land, but I must refuse all in it. The Old Testament saint sought, and received in it; the mighty power of God fed him -- the faithful one, with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock satisfied him; but now, while you are here, there is not anything for you here, but all your supplies must come to you from above; you must enjoy them above; and here, you have only the power of Christ to make you strong in your weakness, so that a sense of weakness is a gain. I am looking to Christ who is above this scene, and I know His power in my weakness, and my enjoyment is not from this scene but completely outside of it, with Him in heaven. The Old Testament saint had joy from God's gifts to him here, and knew His power in making things here contribute to him. I know and have joy outside of it in heaven from what God has given me there, and here I do not seek that anything should contribute to me, but while I resist everything in the power of Christ, I become a contributor of the grace which nourishes and comforts me outside of it in heaven. But I need Christ's power to enable me to rise above my sense of infirmity in this scene, so that not only does this scene not contribute to me, but it makes me feel my weakness and need, and that I not only have to rise out of it to find

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and enjoy my blessing, but that I need Christ's power in it, and as I prove His power I take pleasure in infirmities.

With the Old Testament saint the infirmities were removed, and everything was by the power of God made to contribute to His people. Hence it is a great change, and often a difficult lesson to accept fully that nothing contributes to me in this scene, but on the contrary that I take pleasure in my infirmity in it, in order that the power of Christ may rest on me. I am not only not contributed to here, but my infirmity is exposed, and it becomes a pleasure to me that Christ's power may rest on me.

We had altogether a happy morning at ----------, at any rate I enjoyed the breaking of bread -- my soul seeking company with Him who gave Himself to be broken here, and now calling me to remember Him, and to bear Him company in that act.


Every believer likes the gospel, but no one really apprehends the gospel who is not across the Red Sea, and no one enjoys union with Christ who is not over Jordan. I do not think that any one can accept Jordan until he is drawn over by the object of his heart; with Israel it was the place, with us it is the Person. Many a one can delight in God's grace to him who is not sufficiently attached to Christ to leave everything here to join Him outside of everything here. There is a large field of blessing belonging to the gospel while we are here on the earth; but in the church we are united to the glorified Man in heaven, and as you apprehend it an entirely new world is opened out to you, in which you cannot be but in Christ's life, out-side of your senses. I believe if saints had truly known their relation to Christ, that they would have been preserved in the late sifting.

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Brethren with an increase of light on scripture have departed from the separation, the body of light, which at first gave them so much moral weight. Our separation from the world then may have been in a measure legal, but surely now that we have more heavenly light we should be still more separate, whereas with the increase of light we are as a company, socially and every way, less separate. Once any Christian becomes in any measure socially on terms with the world or a worldling, he is on the worst incline on the road; the more he is on it the more he will keep on it, until he be lost to sight.

The way every progressing soul learns death practically is very interesting and very solemn.


Of course you have heard of the death of Professor Tyndall. He was connected with Darwin and the evolution school. It is amazing to me the way man, professedly Christian, is being corrupted with infidelity; the specious way by which the delusion is effected. It is a standing miracle the way the Latin kingdom (I mean the old Roman territory commencing with Constantine) accepted the Bible as the standard for good government and good conduct. All the countries agreed in this. At this point, the huge system in these countries, called the Church, has been necessary to the State. Hence we have had church and State. Of late years the Bible is not the standard. There have been many innovations even in my time not sanctioned by the Bible.

The theory of evolution has helped on and prepared men's minds for infidelity. Evolution is the attempt to trace the development of man from a mollusc upward. It is to begin at the lowest in order to construct or reach up to the highest. The principle itself is unsound. I am amazed that men of great minds can be caught by it. Everything great descends. Every good and perfect gift cometh down. Devolution is the true principle. The least

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is derived from the greatest. You must find out the greatest first before you can obtain any adequate idea of the least. The sun rules the day, and philosophers will tell you that all the light in coal, in wood, &c., came originally from the sun and was deposited in the coal and in other things. Man is the highest creature. No other creature is in any way his equal, though in every lower creature you may discover a trait of man. The Satanic object in evolution is that there can be development. Man is trying to throw off Christianity. No system of ethics among the Greeks elevated man as the Bible has done. The evolutionists are like the wren that ascended under the eagle's wing and then attempted to fly higher by its own power. But the evolutionists will, I see, produce men of mentality and scientific taste, but without any of the morality which, naturally speaking, elevates a man.


I have been much interested in Hebrews lately, you will see some notes on it in the November 'Voice'. The services of the High Priest in Hebrews 4 and in Hebrews 10:21 are very interesting. In Hebrews 4 He serves me with reference to my infirmity. In Hebrews 10 He serves me in relation to God. I believe that we must know the first service before we can know the second, and when one is looking for the second one is glad to find the first. The tendency is to limit the Lord's services to the first, that is helping me out of my infirmities, not seeing that He relieves me of the infirmities on my side, in order that He may conduct me to His own side in the sanctuary. It is very blessed that He lends Himself to my side, but it is unspeakably blessed when I am in company with Him on His own side. The loss is in confiding one's expectations only to one's own side, for then we are not prepared for the immensity which through grace is ours.

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I see this is a defect often in what is spoken or written of eternal life. It is limited to Christ's life down here on the earth where He humbled Himself. Surely His life here was most blessed and necessary for us, but we must also follow Him where He is now in glory, where He is the full expression of eternal life. He was the manna here; we need it every day; but He is now the old corn of the land. He was always that; but now He is that to us. "As ... I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me" (John 6:57).

Another subject has interested me much -- our gain from a glorified Christ in addition to all we gain from Him in His death and resurrection.


I see three steps in the Hebrews:

First. The sympathy of the Lord in my weakness or infirmity. There are three classes of infirmities. The first circumstances -- or pressure of any kind from them -- too poor at one time, and too rich at another; when I am set for heaven He helps me out of the infirmity, lifts me above it.

The second is weakness of the body.

The third -- bereavement, sorrow. Now being helped out of the infirmity, I am occupied with His side. I am in company with Him, and as I am, I come forth in a new way. I am encountering and surmounting every obstacle between me and heaven; and this is the race. It is then strength through faith. I may begin every day with an infirmity, but I ought to go on to strength. I ought to surmount difficulties. By my God I have leaped over a wall.


The great point brought out, the other night, in Hebrews was that we on earth have to do with a great Priest in heaven, either for our infirmities from which He raises us into company with Himself, or in approach to, God,

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we have a great Priest over the house of God. There was a great deal of interesting discussion as to the way He connects us with heaven, and whether Hebrews was the "house". It was admitted that the congregation was there because the Holy Ghost was there, but more as the synagogue -- Christ in the midst -- the sanctuary morally. In Ephesians, the great point is that there is the relationship of sons -- the highest relationship is declared, and from Christ in heaven we descend (chapter 4) from the church, which is first, to the family circle, but all is from heaven. I think they were particularly interested in seeing the difference between Romans and Ephesians. In the latter we act from Christ, and every ordinance of God is marked with the grace of Christ.


We had a reading for two hours on Hebrews. I felt the great truth that we arrived at was that we are heavenly by calling, and that there can be no increase in blessing nor in knowledge until we accept our position; we cannot be blessed nor edified anywhere else.


(Romans 8:1 - 13)

Remember that the first trait of being in the Spirit and not in the flesh (see Romans 12) is that your body is the Lord's.

We have had a reading on Romans 8:1 - 13. The first act of the Spirit in us (see Romans 5:5) is to shed abroad in our hearts the love of God, while for liberty to oneself He is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus -- "hath made me free from the law of sin and death". First, He assures me of the heart of God toward me, and then, when I have learned that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, He -- the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus -- makes me free from the law of sin and death. On God's side He sheds abroad love in my heart; and on my side He is life, to

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make me free from the law of sin and death. There must be great love where there is the same life, and there can be no personal acquaintance with the risen Christ but in His own life. When this is known we enter on a blessed day.


We had a reading in this house, only a few of us, on the traits of the new company on the earth. You begin at the end of Luke 10. The law is not adequate to meet the misery of man. The man who fell among thieves, cured, carried and cared for in the inn, is in type the first of the new company on the earth. As long as you are in the inn all your expenses will be defrayed, you are a pilgrim travelling to the Lord's coming. Then we get the traits of the new company.

First trait. The word of God and prayer (Luke 10:39; 11: 1 - 14).

Second. A body of light (verse 34), because your eye takes in the light you are waiting and watching. These two traits are continued from the end of Luke 10 to the end of chapter 12.

Third. You are in your body superior to the power of Satan (Luke 13).

Fourth. You are at the great supper, and in the Father's house, and you know what your reception is there (Luke 14, 15).

Fifth. The way to use your master's property (Luke 16).

Sixth. The world and all the Jewish system are opposed to you (Luke 17).

Seventh. As to dependence, you are to be an infant in arms, clinging and crying to make known your wants (verse 17). This is one part; the other part is that, like the young man, you are to surrender everything to follow the Lord (verse 22).

I have given you a very meagre sketch, but I am

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sure you will get more for yourselves. The Lord bless you both much, may you delight yourselves much in the Lord. I was contrasting this morning John 4 with John 2. The resourcelessness of man in the latter, and in the former the never-ending resources he possesses through Christ.


(John 20)

My impression is that you would distort the divine order if you make John 20 universal, or extend it beyond the church. You will bear in mind that the Lord is rejected in John, so that the Jews are called "the world" in John 15. Now is fulfilled the words (John 12:28), "And will glorify it again". The Lord is risen. Hence what relates specially to Himself is the beginning of the new order. The first creation finished with a man -- Adam. Adam fell, and all that creation was made subject to vanity. Now the new has come and it begins with "the second man out of heaven". Hence, I repeat, the circle of interest to His heart -- the bride in its twofold aspect as heart and hands, are present to us in John 20. Mary Magdalene represents one, and the eleven the other. The finest trait of the heart is there in perfection. She gathers, as has been said, the disciples. All are there but Thomas, who represents the Jew (who looked for the Messiah as visible to the natural eye), but the Jew is at length in this hallowed circle (verses 26 - 30), which is administration for Christ here on earth; indeed as in one sense it will be during the millennium. There is no administration in the millennium, as far as I see, connected with the kingdom, save through the New Jerusalem. When Lazarus was raised you might say there was then the opening for universal display on the earth, and as to fact, our Lord's entry into Jerusalem as King took place the next day. J.N.D. makes John 21 a millennial scene. Peter was out of the current of the Lord's mind when he proposed to go a fishing.

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In conclusion, I may add that it is deeply interesting to apprehend from the word of God the portion and province of each company of His saints, if it were only to open out to us the peculiar distinctiveness of our own portion.


I am glad to get tidings of you and of those dear to the Lord around you. I rejoice to hear that you are going on. "Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing" (Philippians 3:16). No one gets more but as he is going on, and prizes what he has received. I like to hear of additions, and if they are in the power of God they will be a gain to us all. I am often afraid that the acceptance of a truth is considered equal to the practical adoption of it. I see many have come into outward fellowship who have never in their souls "left the ship" and walked through death, the death of Christ, to join Him at the other side of death. See Matthew 14. I have seen in print that 'coming to the Living Stone' is conversion, building on the rock. This I am sure is incorrect. You are converted if you have "tasted that the Lord is gracious", but when you have come to Christ risen, the Living Stone, you are consciously of the same order as He is; you are of His kindred, His brethren, and you never know Him in resurrection until you come to Him. You come to Him, in His own life; you have appropriated His death, the water, and you are with Him who has breathed on you.

I may surprise you, but if you examine you will find that while many enjoy peace at times, very few are in the liberty of Romans 8:2. The Corinthians and the Galatians had not liberty. Liberty is that in the life of Christ you are free from the law of sin and death. Many imagine that they are dead to sin by the reckoning of faith -- a great deception. How could you believe that you are holy?

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Holiness by faith is a delusion. If you were to say that in the eye of God you were perfectly clear, and that He does not impute sin, I should fully agree with you, but when any one says that he is holy by faith, I say he deceives himself. How could he believe that which is not true? The old man has been judicially terminated in the cross for every believer, and hence you are in Christ in the eye of God, and He never reverts to the flesh; but you and I do revert to it; hence we cannot say that we are free from sin but as each of us can say: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). It is by the Spirit of God and not by my faith that I am free from sin and death, and if I am not walking in the Spirit, I am in the flesh. I have been greatly helped by seeing that when you are enjoying Christ living in you, it is then the world becomes a wilderness, a dry and barren land where no water is.

'Tis the treasure I've found in His love
that has made me a pilgrim below.'
(Hymn 139)


As to your question 'whether the Lord comes into our midst when we are gathered to Him', my thought is, that when either a few or many saints, separated from association with evil, come together to recall the Lord in His death, that He comes to this company, makes His presence known, though not more than two or three may have faith to expect Him. Those who have come to Him, the Living Stone, can recognise Him; they know that they may see Him in His glory and have boldness to go in with Him to the holiest, and they see and seek Him there, not for their own individual state, but to be in company with Him, and they receive from Himself His present mind as to His present interests. I think the faith of two or three will draw Him into the midst.

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The disciples in John 20 were waiting for Him. I look upon that scripture as describing the pattern of the assembly characteristically. All that should characterise it was there in the very beginning, and therefore it is true to the end, and for every beginning.

Mr. Darby used to say that we ought to know when the Lord comes into the room -- in our midst. I could better say, when He had left it -- one feels that the sense of power has gone.


We remember Christ in death, but we know Him in glory. We know Him not only in the Jonah aspect, but also in the Solomon aspect.


... We had a warm discussion on the difference between the Lord's Supper to us, and the remembrance of the Lord's death by the millennial saints. -------- would insist that he could combine the benefits with the Benefactor. I, on the other hand, insisted that unless we are in the benefit of His death, we are not fit to be there; but we are there, not to think of our gain from His death, but to remember Him in death, and our hearts to be drawn out in love to Him.


I am very thankful to the Lord for my time in London. I think some are beginning to see the difference between the altar and the door of the tabernacle. The former is in figure the cross the latter the presence of Christ. I spoke on this in the morning. Any one referring to his own state is no further than the altar. Christendom has not got beyond the altar. At the door of the tabernacle you are in a new sphere and you are occupied with the perfection and blessedness of Christ as the consecrated company feeding on Him.

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I have been pointing out the difference between the Saviour and the Priest. The Saviour's work was on the earth, the Priest's is in heaven. If we had only the Saviour we should in our infirmities look for His help, to be like Job under them. But when we know Him as Priest we are drawn away from the pressure and the scene of the pressure, to the solace we find in Him.... It is a great point that it is not the work merely that we have before our hearts but Himself. I see all through Luke's gospel the great blessing which followed coming to Him. See chapters 7 and 17. There are three steps in Romans 3:25: you come to Him and you have forgiveness; 2nd, you believe on God who raised Him from the dead; now you are justified, you are in the favour of God, you have received the Holy Ghost (Romans 4:24, 25; 5: 1 - 5); 3rd, you are so assured that all that was contrary to God has been removed in the cross, that you can come to Christ in glory. Now you are in Christ, and the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made you free (chapter 8). Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and the effect is, that beholding His glory you are transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18).


The first great thing to ascertain with regard to the Lord's Supper is His own mind in instituting it. It was evidently to be a remembrance of Himself in His death. He addressed Himself to the eleven, so thoroughly bound in heart to Him. It was a request which each heart then most eagerly responded to. To remember Him was the paramount feeling in their hearts; He asked to be remembered by those who were most willing to accede to His request.

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A sense of His love would be engendered in us, as the remembrance of Himself in death for us was revived to our hearts. His love led Him to give up all things here that He was divinely and rightly entitled to as a man -- for us; and the more this love and the manner of it came before our hearts the more should we be attached to Him and in heart dissociated from all that He had surrendered for us. I would not call it a command -- I feel I am invited by Him to do what my heart delights to do. It is addressed to loving hearts, and hence I am -- the deeper and fuller my remembrance of Him -- where His love came out most fully, the more attached to Him. I do not say that I bind myself to think of nothing but His death. It is His death which draws my heart more to Himself in a very special way, which results in the responsibility which the Table expresses.

The Supper leads me into His great love for me, and the Table, which is fellowship with His death, is my answer to it. I quite feel that the remembrance of my Saviour in death for me so affects me, that at that time He is more than ever before my heart, in the depths of His love for me, which many waters could not quench; but I always find that where there is a real effect produced on me, that I am then not so much occupied with the work which produced it (though the effect must carry with it the sense of the nature of the work) as with the One who did the work, and hence I believe the corn of the land accompanies the Supper, or rather follows it, as in the land, and as it did in John 14, which surely is the corn of the land, or Christ in glory. Confining the mind to the mere act of Christ's death, though that is the door by which we enter into this new region, would be limiting me to that which produced an effect, and would not leave room for the range and scope into which the effect would lead me. Because when, by a fresh remembrance of His death, I enter into His love for me, I feed on Himself in death and in glory, and I am determined in purpose of heart to be identified with His death here, which is the Table side. It is the very sense of enjoying Him in glory to which I reach afresh in remembrance of His death, that prepares me in heart and desire to have fellowship

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of His blood here. I walk along the Jordan the rest of my days, but on the heavenly side of it. Thus death and glory are mine; glory where He is, and death where He was. As I recall His death I am renewed in His love and I rise to Himself where He is -- the corn of the land; and I am prepared for the responsibility of being identified with His death in this place where He died for me! I feel that any one who loves the Lord will easily agree with me.


As to your question, I do not think that it would help you to institute a comparison between the worship in the assembly and the worship in heaven. The only scripture I know of, alluding to worship hereafter is the worship of the heavenly company with reference to the Lord on the earth as Redeemer and Creator, and not simply as Head of the church. If I am right as to this you would not gain anything from the comparison. I shall try and explain to you, as well as I can, the true state of heart towards Him in the assembly. You come to meet the Lord; He is Son over God's house. Properly your first thought is to remember Him as He left this earth. You are in company with Him risen from the dead (Hebrews 2:12). You are in the efficacy of His accomplished work; the more you are in the consciousness of your acceptance, the nearer you are to Him, the more deeply affecting it is to your heart that He died where you are. It is His death which engrosses your heart; it is not your gain; you are in the gain of His death, and the more you are, the more is your heart affected in recalling His death. It is not His sufferings you recall but His death; He died where you are, you live where He lives. The effect is that you are severed from the place where He died and correspondingly attached to Him where He is. The Lord's Supper and Table is brought before the Corinthians because they had lost all sense that they were in the place where Christ had died; they were reigning as kings. You shew forth the Lord's death until He come. There is no relief to your heart from the fact of His death here until He comes;

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you are identified here with His death. He has borne your death, and has freed you from it, but now your heart is so attached to Him that, like Ruth, you can say, "Where thou diest, I will die". If you think of your own benefit at such a time, I am sure you will weaken your remembrance of Him. If you think of any one near and dear to you among men, it is not his acts, however great, that you think of, but of himself, and as you do, you are in heart severed from the place where he is not; his death is ever before you in that place. But with regard to the Lord, your consolation is that you see Him alive from the dead, as He is in the assembly: then you know the peculiar worship consequent thereon. "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22).

I trust I have now conveyed my mind to you. The pious in Christendom do not go beyond the Passover in Egypt: we are really over Jordan to remember Him. If we were not in the benefit of His work, we could not reach Him. We must be clear of that for which He suffered, before we can enjoy His presence as the One risen from the dead.


... As to remembering the atoning as well as the separating side of His death, His death terminates His connection with man as He was here; He is dead as to man here; we announce His death until He come. There is no change from His death here until He come; His death gives the true character to everything here: that He died here, entails on the heart true to Him, to be identified with His death; communion with His blood and with His body -- that is His death. But besides that He died here, it greatly intensifies His death that it was for us. I have tried to explain it by saying, that the place where my father died would recall his death to me, but that if he died there for me it would make his death very affecting to me. Still, it is about my father I am thinking and not the effect on me of his death. Hence I regard "for you" as rendering His death unspeakably affecting to us, and I think this will supply the lack which you have rightly felt there

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would be in remembering His death without including that He died "for you". I have pressed His death for you as rendering His death more affecting to us, though generally it is used to renew to oneself the assurance of the benefit derived from it. In Christendom they recall the fact of His death in the same way that a pious Israelite would view the paschal lamb, as shelter from judgment.

The effect, blessed be God! of His death and resurrection, is our reconciliation. God has effected the reconciliation, but it is the One who has effected it that we remember.


I fear many have accepted the truth as to the unity of the body -- that all Christians are united together -- who have not laid hold in their souls of the great fact that Christ is Head of the body, and that the mystery is that the body -- the Christ, is Christ's body, His complement, and I feel that all the turning aside which betrays a low state amongst those who have tasted of peace, is traceable to this, they have not gone on to the knowledge of the mystery. It is a great favour to be allowed to stand really for Christ, not only for the gospel -- His blessed service to man, but for the mystery -- the centre-piece with the blessed God for ever. Why should it not be our centre? I believe the great lack is from not seeing the difference between where the gospel puts us and where the mystery puts us. Much that is very edifying is simply gospel. 2 Corinthians 3 and 4 are gospel, though no doubt one who was there would very easily enter into the truth of the mystery. The Lord give you grace to withstand every buffeting, and having done all, to stand.

I was speaking on tithing last evening. The Lord is not to be shorn of His dues; you come from worship to service, to render to Him His due -- the tithes. The tithes belong to the conqueror. See Abram -- the conqueror, gave them to the priest. "I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for

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any unclean use" (Deuteronomy 26:14). There are two great ways in which the Lord is deprived of His rights. You must have a heavenly state to have a heavenly practice. You must have the state first. The worm shows the colour of the leaf it feeds on. We come from wisdom's feast to walk down here. Forsake the foolish and live. For this we must have been feasting first at wisdom's feast.

I quite enjoyed hearing -------- speaking on, 'If the Lord delight in us, He will surely bring us in.' Hedoes delight; may we rejoice in His delight.


I think it is of the greatest importance to hold to the truth committed to the church, as Paul exhorts Timothy, "Thou hast fully known my teaching" -- the gospel and the church. The gospel comprises all Christ has done for us; the church or assembly all He has made us for Himself. If you do not know the first, you cannot be in the truth of the second. Even in John you get the gospel, I may say, from chapter 3 to nearly the end of chapter 10, which I call the first volume; and from chapter 13 to 17 you are taught His grace in fitting you for Himself here during His absence. I do not see that any one could enter into chapter 13 but a lover of Christ. He is going away; Do you miss Him? Do you desire to have part with Him where He is? Do you seek to be for Him here? This is the second volume.

You will derive much help from studying John's gospel. I feel that some are painfully dark as to the church or assembly -- what it is to Christ; and also as to the judgment on the sinner. You would hardly think that these two apparently different subjects could be so intimately connected. The body of Christ is His complement, derived from Himself. We are members of His body. You do not understand the mystery -- the church which is His body, if you do not see that as is the heavenly [Man], such are

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they also that are heavenly. You must apprehend the second Man, but you cannot do so, unless you see that the first man has been totally removed judicially -- that is, in the cross of Christ. The present judgment on every sinner (every unconverted soul) is death; not only is there guilt as a sinner, but there is the weight of death on him, which cannot be removed but by death. So if he dies before he is relieved -- ransomed, he is eternally lost. Now our blessed Lord judicially ended the first man in the cross, and He so glorified God under the judgment that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. In Him the first man under judgment has been historically ended, and He has risen from the dead -- the last Adam. If you do not see the old man crucified, you cannot be fully relieved of the weight that is on you, and you do not fully enjoy the gospel; you have not travelled in faith through the Red Sea to the other side; literally, through the death of Christ into the bright day of the resurrection. And if you have not come to the spot of unspeakable joy where you are in the favour of God, you are not able or ready to accept that you are a member of His body -- "all of one". That He has fully cleared you of all that lay upon you, and set you in the presence of God to His infinite satisfaction, is the gospel; and that you are a member of the body of Him who has effected all this for you is the mystery of the gospel -- the church.


I see nothing of any avail now but well-trimmed lamps -- going forth to meet the Bridegroom. It was the devotedness, not the intelligence of the earlier brethren which awakened inquiry at the first. Now the effort has been to persuade souls by much light on scripture, and this even when effectual produces a very different type of testimony from what devotedness produces. I feel that separation from system has been regarded as the testimony to which we are called, instead of the introduction in marked lines

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and colours of the life and ways of the blessed One who is rejected from this scene where His body is left in order to express Him and to maintain His name. While adhering to the service and usefulness which commends us to men, we have disregarded too much the weightier matters of unworldliness and devotedness. There has been often a convulsive activity without a vigorous constitution. I feel we must be sifted. The Lord cannot continue His light to us unless we use it. The laxity must be repudiated. The more simply we accept that we are here for Christ, and to suffer for Him, the more brightly we shall get on. If we be reproached for Him, happy are we! The nearer we keep to the Lord the more encouraged we shall be. When he gives the word, who can stay it? I see everywhere that men to whom the Lord has given anything for the church are right and clear as to God's mind in matters around us. How could they be otherwise? The mixed multitude may wander, but the Lord will preserve the faithful. Nothing will stand but faith.


I am quite certain that there must be, at any rate, a moral separation everywhere, between the ten spies and the two; or the two and a half tribes and the nine and a half. But there is this immense difference with us, who are members of the body of Christ, that any advance that any member or members of the body make must now conduce to the help and encouragement of every other member. What is good and right for one member, is good and right for all the other members, and the one who takes the step in advance should take it with the sense that he is not a unit, but part of a great whole. I believe it is of immense importance to seize by faith the intention of the Lord in giving back to brethren the truth as to the church of God. Do we accept the truth with the conviction that a fresh energy of the Spirit of God is connected with it -- that it is not to be held as an abstract truth, but that every one who truly receives it is in communion with the present energy of the Spirit? The energy of the Spirit was always connected with that truth; but now, in the close of the church period, He has enlightened

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souls anew respecting it, and every one so enlightened is in a very favoured and responsible position, for if he truly answers to the light of it he is enabled to be in the testimony in power. Do you feel that you are called of God to be in this new and great and, I believe, last revival? I am sure you do, and the more you feel it the more you will encourage and help others to be there also.... "Thou ... hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). It is not enough to come out of Egypt; you have to come into the land, and to stand there for God. If we do not know our vocation we are not only blundering, but we cannot avail ourselves of the power and resources given of God to maintain the testimony. The captain of the Lord's host is only in the land, is only connected with the testimony, for our vocation is according to it.

The Lord keep you doing His pleasure that the light of His countenance may be so the cheer of your heart, that you will be immediately conscious whenever you have in any measure stepped aside. May you go on side by side with Him.


I believe the opposition increases at every step which we take in advance. The conflict in the Spirit is at the other side of Jordan, and when there, Christ is everything and Adam is displaced. I believe if the gospel were fully known, the truth as to the church would follow. I think that the gospel would give me the grapes of Eschol, and victory over death here, in the place where death faces me; but in union with Christ I am over Jordan and eating of the old corn of the land. I trust that souls are waking up to the deep interest which Christ has in the church. I can never act rightly towards any member of the body, but as I am in concert with the Head about him. The feet may refuse to obey the counsel of the heart; the Head alone can give impetus and enforce concerted action in

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the right path. I do not believe that any one who is not on heavenly ground, and consequently not in the present power of the Spirit, can keep the unity of the Spirit. We should have before us the simple fact that our blessed Lord has an object on this earth to which His heart is devoted, and the more we desire to act for Him, the more must we seek to share in His mind touching every atom of that object which is of so great interest to Him. The more I know of the heart of Christ, the more I shall care for all His own, and as He gives me grace and opportunity I seek to lead on souls by ministering Christ to each of His own. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, I have to refuse the evil but I have to choose the good.

I do not look in the present ruin for a perfect church. I look for a company set on following Christ, and I seek to help on every true soul. To edify, feed and cherish souls is the great thing, and it is thus that evil is exposed. There is no way in which darkness can be removed but by light.... I am sure we may be too much occupied with the evil. First love cannot be indifferent to evil; but it is engrossed with its Object, and what suits its Object determines everything: what He likes is good, what He does not like is bad. The Lord bless you, and lead you into the heart of the bride, and thus into the gladness of full concert of heart with Him.


I could have wished that the subject of the church had been more dwelt on. Surely nothing can be more consolatory to us than that we are here the members of Christ's body. To think that in this world of evil I am here for Christ, as part of Him, reconciles me to all the trials here. No doubt we are here also for another purpose, even to fit us each one for a special place in the future temple.

Here the education, the hammering, goes on. I remember, many years ago, when I was occupied with benevolent

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activities, a brother said to me, 'you are a citizen of heaven'. It came with power to me, and I felt -- 'then I am no longer responsible for the disorder and misrule here'. It was a great relief to me; and afterwards I astonished some in -------- by saying, 'You will never be truly heavenly until you feel it a relief to be so.' In the shaking of all things now I do trust the saints may rejoice that they have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. My impression is that the whole character of society will be altered by the political distractions. We have only to think of it as to how it may affect the saints. I trust it may awaken us all to a greater sense of our insulated position in this world, that though we are in it we are not of it.


The Lord Jesus is not now on earth, He has ascended up into heaven. What a very peculiar position then is mine here! Sensible of the worthlessness of the first man, and of the absence of the Second; my own life -- that of the first man -- I hate; the One I love -- the Man who has glorified God upon the earth -- I find no longer here. How can I get on? Only as united to that One in glory. He is my life. One with Him I can walk here, not to cultivate my own life, but to manifest His, which is mine in Him. Thus the Lord says, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth" (John 17:19). His sanctification as expressed in those words is positional. He has ascended up into glory, and is wholly apart from this scene, that we might by the Holy Ghost be associated with Him there, and this is our moral sanctification. But how am I led into this association? See Acts 7:55. Stephen, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God". Now there was a new and distinct action of the Holy Ghost, enabling Stephen's soul to penetrate through everything, and to find Jesus

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where He is, even in the glory of God. It was a new thing brought out at that moment. It was, in a sense, contrary to Stephen's own preaching, for he had been preaching that Christ was to come down -- to return. In chapter 1 the disciples were distinctly told not to gaze up into heaven, but now Christ's rejection was completed, and there was no longer any present possibility of His return to earth to take His rights, and the Holy Ghost takes a new line of action. He finds Jesus in the glory for the saint, and links the soul of the saint with Him there, all hope for the earth being cut off. For Stephen, it was the preparation for his own dissolution, and raised him completely superior to all the tribulation of the scene here. Riveted to that scene, linked with the One whom he saw there, he has only to bear his simple testimony, and to pray for his murderers -- grand testimony to the mighty power of Christ, thus placing His disciple above all the misery here.

Now every new revelation determines the character of the action of the Holy Ghost during any given period. When everything has failed on earth, He directs me to where there is no failure, He turns my eye to heaven. He accomplishes in me the very same action that He did in Stephen.

In 2 Kings 2:11, 12 we get an illustration of the very same thing, that is to say, of the way in which the Holy Ghost leads the soul of the believer now, turning the eye upwards. Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. The answer he gets is, "Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, if shall not be so". Do you not think Elisha kept his eye fixed upon his master after this intimation? Gazing on the one who went up, the one who remains gets a double portion of his spirit. And what is his first action? He rends his own clothes; he has done with himself; he has the mantle of the one who has gone up, and in the power of that he can walk through the scene here. "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2, 3). It is the strangest of all anomalies that we should be left here to live, where our

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life is not. Tell me where your eye is, and I will tell you what your conduct is. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). There we get the moral consequence. One spirit with that Lord, the glory claims me as its own. It must, for when I am in company with Christ, I am in the very same order of things as Himself. Moses had to veil his face, but now, on the contrary, I can behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled face, and be transformed thereby into the same image. I have no shrinking from the glory, my heart rests in it. I can look up into that glory as one with the blessed One who is there, and who has made for me a free entrance into it by the ministration of righteousness and of the Spirit.

John 14 gives us the normal state of the saint now, the Spirit of truth is given to comfort us during the absence of Christ. But is that all? No; the Lord says, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:20). Aye, know. How wonderful! It is "that day", the Spirit's day, that we are now in, the day of the distinct and peculiar action of the Holy Ghost.

If I am not in conscious union with One who is there, I cannot "hate" the life that is here. I must be in His life in order to turn from my own. He has ended the first man in His cross, where He met every claim of God's righteousness, and endured God's righteous and terrible judgment, and having exhausted it, having borne the whole penalty of sin, He declares the name of the One whom He glorified when bearing the judgment to the uttermost. In resurrection He declares the Father's name: "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (Hebrews 2:12). We are freed from the judgment which He bore, and in the life of the blessed One who has borne it we can sing praises with Him.

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The endeavour "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3) is the right principle, but the unity of the Spirit exists, and therefore the many members are but one body. The unity of the body could never be seen by the world, for it is by and in the Spirit. The oneness, being of one accord and of one mind, ought to be seen and was seen before the truth of the unity of the body was revealed. The unity being by the Holy Ghost always exists independent of man; the oneness which would be the practical working of it has failed, because of the unfaithfulness of man. The unity of the Spirit if maintained in power would necessarily lead to oneness, which is spoken of in John 17, where it is not unity of the body, but oneness of mind as with the Father and the Son. The saints baptised by the Holy Ghost are one body; that is the unity of the body, and this I endeavour to adhere to, and according as it is owned as already existing, oneness follows, but there was oneness (Acts 2) before the unity of the body was revealed; the external unity was never visible save as there was oneness, "one mind in the Lord" (Philippians 4:2). The unity exists in and because of the Holy Ghost. The house is the visible thing on earth, the body of Christ is not visible. The truth of the body was revealed after the church was set up, and consequent on the rejection of Christ from the earth. It was then revealed that when He is personally rejected from the earth, His body is here by the Holy Ghost. We read "the church, which is his body"; but the church was the visible thing constructively set here on earth, and it was spoiled in man's hands. The body cannot be spoiled, for it never was in man's hands. The church was not always spoiled: it began well. It was and is still God's habitation on earth, but ruin came in. The body remained intact, though the oneness was indeed soon lost, but there never was a thought of 'manifesting the corporate unity of the body of Christ',

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as you say. It could not be. The powers and principalities may see it now, the world will see it in the character of the bride, the heavenly city, hereafter. We must take care and not confound what is really the body of Christ -- "the Christ", with the constructive thing -- the assembly set up here on earth. I admit the assembly ought to exhibit the power and grace belonging to Christ because it is His body. If failure has disorganised the assembly, as indeed is the case, and as a whole it is no longer what it ought to be, it becomes every true heart, while its history(Revelation 2, 3) continues, to be an overcomer -- to overcome the state of things current, to purge himself from the vessels to dishonour, to ally himself openly and succouringly with those who are like-minded in this action, even they, who thus purged, "call on the Lord, out of a pure heart". It is simple enough. The unity of the body remains -- it is by the Holy Ghost; I endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. All the members ought to own the unity of the body, but they do not. I seek to do so, and one member being right helps all the rest. In seeking to own it I join with those who seek in like manner, and as we seek we succour others, we honour our Lord, and are helped and encouraged by the Spirit, who, according to the will of God and the heart of Christ, is ever working to this end. There is no schism in the body, there could not be. The church is divided and split up into different sections, but the body is not. There is but one body. To talk of bodies is inconsistent and unscriptural. The faithful member acts faithfully to Christ, and when he and one or more do the same they are in practical concord -- of one accord and one mind, and they are a voice and a witness to the rest of their brethren, who are still involved and entangled in the corruptions which have disorganised the church and made it a huge outstanding worldly system. Christians have the Spirit, but they are not alas! endeavouring to keep the unity of Spirit. If they were they would be faithful to the Head and to the members too, for you cannot be faithful to the one without being so to the other; but in Christendom there is neither the one nor the other. Souls are saved, and they are content. The ark that saved them, I may say, is little thought

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of. If Christ is thought of and known as Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the members here are sought and nourished and known to be in the unity of the Spirit, and then, when known, we endeavour to keep in the bond of peace with every saint.


It is a relief to me to discover from your letter that you do not seem to understand what I understand by the unity of the Spirit. I consider it a closer bond than the nerves of the human body, and any abrasion in any part or in any way affects the whole; and this abrasion, if persisted in and justified, is more mischievous and ungodly than any moral misconduct. If you understood the unity of the Spirit as the constitutional bond of the church, the body of Christ compacted together by that which every joint supplies, you could not have spoken of 'Providence' in connection with --------'s act, nor have put any moral conduct as deeper in sinfulness than a persistent and wilful denial of the constitution of the church of God. Paul was the most moral and amiable of men, and at the very time he was the chief of sinners because he persecuted the church of God and wasted it. How much worse the one who professes to have the Spirit and at the same time persists in and justifies the grieving of the Spirit to the pain and loss of every member of Christ over the whole universe. I am only myself awakening to the gravity of the responsibility of the unity of the Spirit. I feel we have adopted the truth too lightly, and, therefore, we must have great forbearance with one another.

I consider in every relation we are to be controlled by this new bond; an undutiful child, an unloving husband might feel the immorality of his conduct, but unless he feels it with reference to the Spirit he really is unable to comprehend the uniting bond of peace.

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Your friend's view is that because scripture says you have to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12), then you cannot be sure of being saved until you get to heaven, and may be lost in the end! In reply, I begin by stating that no one can understand Christianity or the grace of God unless he sees that man is not only a sinner, but that he is lost. The judgment of death is upon every child of Adam, and it is in the Man who bore the judgment which rests on man, and who was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, that every one who believes in Christ is found. In Adam all die, in Christ shall all be made alive. If you do not see the distinction between the first and the second man you will never understand what the grace of God is in its fulness. He has cleared away the man that offended, and has brought in the Man of His pleasure. Hence we read, Every one in Christ is a new creation. This could never be lost. "All things are of God" (2 Corinthians 5:18). Peter says, "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:9). God has given us salvation; we have to work it out in our daily lives. As to the passage brought forward where Paul says, "Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27), "Castaway" refers to his preaching -- that he would not get his reward if he was not a profitable servant. We get the same idea in John 15:2. "Every branch ... that beareth not fruit he taketh away". It has not to do with your safety for heaven, but with your service for God in this world. It is not to get salvation, but to bear the fruits of salvation.

'Returning sons He kisses,
And with His robe invests;
Eternal love dismisses
All terror from their breasts.' (Hymn 184)

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The judgment of death on man has been borne by the Man Christ Jesus. This judgment on man must be removed before eternal life could be given; it could not be entered into or enjoyed, save by those no longer under judgment -- such have passed from death to life. Hence it is said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14, 15). Man is lost; the world is under judgment, and out of it Christ has been lifted up. Faith in Him lifted up is our step out of all that was under judgment. We pass out of death into life. Eternal life could not be given to the man under judgment of death; therefore it could not be conferred until the Son came, through death to destroy him that has the power of death, and it is in the Son that we have it. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). The saints, prior to the death of Christ, were all their lifetime, through fear of death, subject to bondage. But Christ, having borne the judgment, and having bruised the serpent's head, is henceforth the life of every one believing in Him risen from the dead. Hence, the life is not in the man who was under judgment, but in Him, the second Man, who has borne the judgment and is beyond it. As with Israel, when the one bitten of the serpent looked at the brazen serpent lifted up, he lived; so now, as there is faith in Christ lifted up, and as the eye of faith rests on Him there, so is there assured possession of eternal life in Him. While there is any uncertainty or indistinctness in the soul as to life being not in the man under judgment, but in Him, who by death has. gone out of the whole scene of death and judgment, there is not an assured sense of the great gain accruing

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from the gift of God. The gift of God is eternal life, but this cannot be entered into until a complete transfer has been accepted from the man under the wages of sin, to Him who is alive from the dead. Eternal life is in Him, the Son of God; it is beyond everything of sin and death. He is our life, and He is outside of everything in any way connected with man's state. He has died unto sin, and "in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God" (Romans 6:10). You must not only have faith in His blood, you must feed on His death; that is, you must appropriate His death before you can know Him as your life. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53). You must feed on the death of the One who bore the judgment of death, and removed it, before you can know that He who has done so is your life. When you are enjoying Christ in glory, you are enjoying life in its own proper sphere and fulness. The soul must pass this step before Christ can be known as He is. You are fully clear of the judgment, and of the man under judgment by faith in Him lifted up. He is the beginning of the eternal and heavenly things, which were manifested here in His Person. I must be morally out of the one before I know the other.

Hence, in the epistle of John you travel from light to love. All inconsistent with God is first removed, and then the love is entered on; and then you are assured that as Christ is at God's right hand, so are you in this world. Life in Christ can only be enjoyed and entered into in the sphere where Christ is, and the Holy Ghost ever leads to that sphere. It is not enough that one is over Jordan -- that he has died with Christ, but he must be in the sphere of life to enjoy Christ, who is his life. Such an one now seeks the things which are above, where Christ sitteth. He is dead, and his life is hid with Christ in God. Once the Spirit has been received, He always tends to, and reaches up to Christ in His own sphere; hence it is said of the Spirit in the believer, "springing up", not to heaven but "unto eternal life".

Now mark, that having died with Christ and being clear of the old man, as at Gilgal, the rolling it all off being known, circumcision, consequent on, and subsequent

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to, being risen with Christ and seeking the things above, I reach that point in the history of my soul where I have been instructed in Him in "the truth as it is in Jesus", the having put off the old man, and the having put on the new Man; that is, I practically enter into it; but it is true of every believer, as in Christ before God. The first step is, that Christ having died for me, and that I having died with Him, am apart from everything connected with sin and death; and now, in the second step, I accept the practical severance from all of the old man, both as to will and habits. I am outside of the man on whom man in the world can act, while I walk in faith.

Now, as in the type, the old corn of the land was not eaten of, and the manna had not ceased until the day after the Passover. When I have accepted "the truth as it is in Jesus", of having put off the old man, and having put on the new, I reach Him where He is everything and in all. Then we eat of the old corn of the land. We enjoy Him -- the Eternal Life, where He is. In the heavenlies you do not eat manna, but the old corn of the land.

One word more. There are three witnesses that God hath given us eternal life and that life is in His Son -- the Spirit, the water, and the blood. The Spirit, who is the truth, is first in order, though last in finishing. He leads me into it, and connects me eternally with it.

The next witness is the water -- second in order, because it conveys the assurance that I am purged from every moral pollution by the death of Christ, typified by the two washings in Leviticus 14. And this really does not come out effectively and fully, until I am at Gilgal; that is, in the realisation that I am apart from the old; and that, in the putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ, I am in the new.

The third witness (the one we know first) is the blood. There is a full and complete expiation of my sins.

Unless you are in spirit where Christ is, believing on the Son of God, you are engaged with a conflict which is not heavenly; and though you may have the support of Christ here individually as the manna, yet you are not with the consecrated company feeding on the old corn of the land, because you are not in spirit where it is.

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As Christ lives in me, I walk here as He walked. He did everything here consistent with eternal life, in which He ever was, but there was a great difference between His life as a Man, and as in the Father's bosom, and yet they were concurrent. You are to walk here as He walked, and concurrently, to be in communion with Him where He is; but in the one you are walking among men -- "The life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God"; and in the other you are in communion with Him, who now lives unto God, and to 'nothing else', as J.N.D. says. As I am near the Lord, He enables me to conduct myself here as He did when here. He did live here, in the old order, He now lives in heaven, in the new and eternal order where everything is in perfect consonance to His mind, and you are united to Him there, and can enjoy Him there in unclouded light, and when you are with Him there, you will not need the support necessary for the wilderness.

I think all are "in the light" of the revelation of God, but I have no ground for stating that all are in communion, though I fully admit that all are called to it. I see that communion is a very great thing. It is concert with Christ in His present thoughts. I can enjoy His help and sympathy, and be much cheered by the sense that He never leaves me, but communion with Him is far beyond this, and implies that I am in present unison with Him where He is. Mary, in John 11, was in the effect of His sympathy before she was in company with Him, as in John 12. None of us have more than a measure of communion, but ever so small a measure of it is very different from the sense of His care for me down here, though the greater would include the lesser. Your child might be very happily sitting beside you, and yet not in communion with you.... It is right and proper to be exercised as to a correct apprehension of such a great subject, and surely this is the great gain of speaking often one to another.

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It is miserable work detecting error, instead of feeding on the pure word of God. I feel thankful for the way that the truth is opening out to my own soul. Out of the eater comes forth meat. The very fact of the truth being assailed makes it, through grace, only the more precious to me.

I have been very much interested in seeing the way eternal life is connected with the Father. It is in eternal life that we have knowledge of the Father and the Son. It was manifested in the Son. Abraham knew God as the Almighty God. Moses knew Him as Jehovah, but in boundless blessing, we know Him as Father, which includes all that they knew, and very much more. As we read their histories we are sensibly distanced from them in the sense of their practical power, as so beyond our own; yet we must not go back to them. This is just what the systems have done. The knowledge of the Father is, I fear, but little experienced or cultivated, and yet it is the relationship to God, or at any rate the highest, that we are brought into now, and it is the privilege of babes. It is only in the life of Christ that I can have any idea of the Father, for it is as Christ is my life that I enter into this great relationship. The better son one is to a great father the better he understands his great father. It is only as I know the nature of God, that I can know anything of His dignity. "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 marvellous how the care of God in a fatherly way is manifested for us in all the ordinary things of our path down here. The Old Testament saints could say, although He was not then known as Father, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him" (Psalm 103:13); and so can we. But to know Him and His love, as the Son knew it, is another thing, and infinitely surpasses His care for us in natural things, and it is in the life of Christ that I know Him thus.

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First, the question (as to eternal life) was never, as I understood, whether it was given to every believer now, but whether every believer is enjoying the gift.

Secondly, I admit that John and Paul are distinct lines, but surely the spiritual man can recognise where they coalesce, as the up line would with the down line. Paul is the up line, John the down line. J.N.D. says that the child in John is not up to the perfect in Philippians 3, that he has not learned himself. Neither the babes nor the young men are in a bad state (I never heard that said); but they are in a young or immatured state. The babe in John is not at all the same as the babe in 1 Corinthians. The babes in 1 Corinthians were carnal; but in John it is that they were not as matured as the fathers; they had to combat, step by step, the antagonism in this scene, just as a tropical plant would have to be strengthened to be proof against an ungenial climate. I do not see how any one could be a father unless he had been first a babe.

Thirdly, the main question, as I understand it, is, What is the nature and condition of the life which the fathers intelligently realise? The three classes have it as God's gift, but the fathers really are consciously in it. You say it is the basis for walk; I admit this in a way, but surely walk is not all? Walk certainly is the path here, but there is the life of communion with the Father and the Son. The great point of John's epistle is, that we might be in conscious knowledge of eternal life. See chapter 5. It was manifested by our blessed Lord. Though He humbled Himself, became a Man, and walked here in the life of flesh, in all His ways as a man He acted consistently with His own proper life in which He was all the time in the Father's bosom; so that in leaving us an example to follow His steps, we are not only to seek to live as He lived here, but as He now lives unto God....

Paul was not only set for living Christ here, but he desired to know Him in glory, and he means this when he writes to Timothy, "Lay hold on eternal life". I hold that there is a great difference between realising the blessed life of Jesus, as He was down here, and being

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in communion with Him where He is now, where, as Paul says of Him, "In that he liveth, he liveth unto God" (Romans 6:10, and as J.N.D. adds, 'and to nothing else'.

The babe and the young man must be real; they must surmount the antagonistic influences here; they must verify their new position, through grace. They are in the true Christian position, but they are not in the communion in which the fathers are. The fathers would not retain their advanced position if they were not sustained by Christ's grace on the vantage ground to which He had conducted them.

I believe that we all shall learn much if we are patient one with another and really wait on the Lord, seeking to be near Him.


I am not surprised that you should be depressed by the contention which prevails amongst us. I find that the only true way is to be assured first from the Word what eternal life is, and when you are assured divinely of what it is and what it confers, then you will be proof against all perversions and misrepresentations.

It is said that a clerk in a bank first learns what a good banknote is, that he is kept in a room where the bank-notes are until he knows a good one, and then when any note which is not good is presented to him he knows it to be bad.

I do not believe that any one apprehending the greatness and blessedness of eternal life could fail to see where the truth lies at the present time. Some do not see any unsoundness in the teaching itself who do not enter into the positive side, that is, the greatness and joy of it. These latter, though they do not actually oppose, do not help. The one seeking to have a conscious knowledge of having it (which is the object of John's first epistle, as he says, "These things have I written unto you ... that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:13)) is sure to be a help. The very fact that eternal life is outside of my senses -- To God I am beside myself -- is enough to show me that it must be opposed or evaded because it is, as Mr. Darby says, 'an

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out-of-the-world condition of things'. Every one who has a heart like Peter (Matthew 14) would leave the ship (what suits man) to join the Lord in His own life outside and apart from all that refused Him here. Christians, as a rule, do not seek it. Paul says to Timothy, "Lay hold on eternal life", though it was his all the time. Grace has given me much more than I yet enjoy or have appropriated. The Lord grant that you may appropriate and enjoy it.


Life is in Christ for every believer in Him, but it is in Him you have it, and it is as you are in Him, you are "alive unto God". Under the law it was, "This do, and thou shalt live". Under grace it is, "Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:15). Is it the same man who is to do and live, who under grace is told to believe and have life? It is here all the darkness on the subject lies. The old man is told to do and live. It is the newly-born one who is to believe and find life in another Man, Christ Jesus. Until you come to Christ risen, declared to be the Son of God with power you do not touch life, though life is in Christ for every believer. It was in Christ for His disciples when He was on the earth, but they did not enter on it until after His resurrection.

The mistake is in thinking that it comes to you. You are brought to it by the Spirit; you live in the Spirit.

I see the design of the enemy in the present assault, to spare the man -- Adam; for if that man be not ended on the cross, then there is really no eternal life. The Son of man must be lifted up.


Have you seen a copy of an indictment against us circulated among the Swiss meetings? We are accused first of denying 'the personality of eternal life'. Secondly, that we

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deny that faith accompanies new birth. As to the first, the personality of eternal life is an entirely unscriptural expression. Life is not a person, though I cannot know the Person if I am not in His life. Secondly, as to faith and new birth, who begins? If God begins, then faith comes after God's beginning. It matters not how soon after, but God must begin.

It is a great relief to turn from these discussions, and enjoy in some little measure Him who is our life. I believe the first great defect is that, while Christ's service is enjoyed, the love in which He rendered it is not known, like Joseph's brethren in Genesis 50:15, who had been for years the objects of his care and nourishing and yet had never known his heart. If intimacy with the Lord is known, His perfect love in washing our feet and restoring us to communion with Himself where He is would be deeply valued; we should then taste of His life, and Himself would be increasingly known to us.

'And thus Thy deep perfections
Much better should I know;
And with adoring fervour,
In this Thy nature grow.' (Hymn 51)


I am glad and thankful that, though often wishing it, and thinking of it (for you know I desire you to be fully perfect), I have not written to you on this subject until your own mind was exercised about it.

Baptism is the declaration of the end of the first Adam in the death of Christ, establishing that we are all dead. The believer takes his place there by faith; he renounces, as becomes him, the first Adam, and therefore is baptised unto the death of Christ. He rises out of the death into

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newness of life. This is simple. Now all belonging to the believer is properly placed in the same standing with himself. It is a principle with God from the beginning. The little ones were brought to Mount Ebal to be present at the reading of the curses. The believer's belongings are put in the same standing as the believer himself; we read of the Philippian jailor, he "was baptised, and all his straightway" (Acts 16:33). There can be no question as to the fact, and the principle everywhere through scripture authorises the fact. All belonging to the believing jailor ("believing" is in the singular) were baptised. Baptism separates me avowedly from the first Adam, which is condemned in the death of Christ. By right all men should acknowledge the fact; I do so in faith, and I place my child there as being the only place where God can deal with him, seeing, furthermore, that my child is now "holy", that is, not better in nature than other children, but now belonging to God -- God's property, just inasmuch as a lamb given to the priest by a Jew is holy to God and His property; so I cannot therefore arrange for or do with my child as I like; I must regard it as holy -- God's property.

The old Adam can never again be presented to God. We are entirely on new ground, and therefore we are instructed to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and how can we do so if we fail to set them in the place that is honouring to Christ and His work, in which He ended, by bearing death, the man who brought in the judgment. I do not believe any one sees clearly and fully the end of the first Adam in God's sight who does not see his responsibility to baptise his children. Get the truth and faith in the truth before you go to any one. The tree ought to take root first before it is subjected to storms. Truth is the rail for the engine of faith to run on.

"He that believes and is baptised" (Mark 16:16) is certainly more than water baptism. It is, in fact, believing with the heart and confessing with the mouth. It is the surrender of man as man unto Christ -- putting on Christ.

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First let me tell you that if you are looking for authority or ground for faith in the faith of another you will surely miss it, though you may find, and you will find, confirmation for your faith in the way the one who has like faith has acted, and has learned of God. You (every one) ought to see the divine mind first about any point, and that is faith, derived from no circumstances or example though afterwards it is often corroborated by both. Baptism is the expression of the end of the first Adam in the death of Christ. A believing parent holds this truth without limitation or qualification, and the one who enters by faith into this great fact would shrink from being the parent of the first-Adam-being, if he could not avow before God that he does not recognise its existence (morally) in Adam, but that he can place it before God as an existence gone in the death of Christ, even as through grace he has found himself to be gone there. Dreadful if a Christian should be the reviver and author of an existence judged in the cross of Christ, unless he were permitted to place it in the same standing before God and man, as he had through God's grace been placed himself. If it were not so, it would be better never to have a child to perpetuate the race which was judicially ended in the cross of Christ, and if there were no liberty or privilege granted to me -- a Christian parent -- to place my children there and to avow them as unto Christ, apart from the race judicially terminated in His death. Here then I state that no careful reader of the example of faith in the Philippian jailor can fail to see that all rests on his faith. In the latest and most correct editions it reads (as J.N.D.):--'with (it is' with 'not' and ') all his house' -- or rather literally, 'they spake the word to him with all in the house', and 'was baptised himself and all his straightway'; and he having believed in God, rejoiced householdly; (an adverb); it is simply an expression of how joy filled the house! for certainly it refers to the joy, not to the believing, nothing can be plainer. But I rest nothing for a soul without faith, nor do I indeed press this truth, because I believe daily that it involves a home faithfulness that I. for one, feel little experienced in. I

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believe it is a truth which touches on the first Adam in a fatal way. If man is buried, where should he be? But adult Baptists, unintentionally I believe, go through baptism as Noah through the deluge, and rise up out of it to take a fresh start in the old Adam. If their baptism were true they ought to be buried; we do not like to see buried people; and if it be, as they say, in the baptism they are risen by faith in the operation of God, then they are not risen before baptism, which proves too much!


Your letter reached me here. There are really two great questions, the rights of Christ and the state of souls. If I only had Paul, or was a dissenter in the true meaning of the word, I should confine myself to the second -- the state. But when I see that the rights of Christ are widely extended beyond the state of souls, as Peter, John and Jude teach me, then I must not deny either, but seek to put each in its proper place. Christ has been given power over all flesh.... The clergyman who does not see Paul's truth confines himself exclusively and injuriously to Christ's rights, and says every soul in the parish belongs to him as Christ's pastor, and he would baptise every one of them. Now a Baptist, or a dissenter true and proper, would not baptise any but as the state of each warranted it. Hence he attaches to baptism not a simple renunciation of an old standing in order to be introduced into a new, but an improvement of state. I admit the clergyman thinks the standing confers state, but there he plainly errs. Now the servant of Christ claims the believer in the heathen country, or the Jew, for Christ, and requires him to be baptised, and not only him, but all his. When any of the household refuse, it indicates that they are not under his (the head of the house) authority, and where there was a decided refusal I should not like to insist on it because the right of Christ was clearly impugned; for surely the believer's children are, through the death of Christ, placed in a new position as "holy".

Baptism does not entitle to the Lord's supper. It is

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the act and responsibility of another. The Lord's supper is your own act and responsibility, and not another's in any way. One is really the initiative, and is connected with the house, the other is connected with and assertive of the body, to which baptism does not at all relate.

I do not see any use in educating people in baptism merely. I might find many who would approve of household baptism who really have not the truth of which it is the leaf.

I feel that saints must be conversant with the large subject of Christ's rights as Head of every man before the truth of baptism will be of any use to them.


I am cheered with your progress in the truth. The Lord is very gracious to you, leading you not merely to see the truth, but to make it your own. There can be no real advance until the spiritual meaning of baptism is understood -- that Adam is ended in the death of Christ. Then if Christ has died (as we call to mind and "announce" at the Lord's supper), where is there any place for man's glory?


As to "holy" and "unclean" in 1 Corinthians 7:14, the offspring of Israel (see Ezra) were unclean if they were the fruit of a mixed marriage (Jew and Gentile). Now the children of a believer and unbeliever are not unclean, but holy. There is this great contrast through the death of Christ. The children of a believer are now holy, though either parent be an unbeliever. "Holy" means simply that they are God's property, acknowledged by Him. He has a title to them, like a lamb given to the priest, it was "holy to the Lord", and could not be taken back. It was handed over to the Lord. Thus the children of believers are holy, they are entitled to the place of privilege, but as it is through the death of Christ, they must in baptism, the figure of His death, submit to the claims of Christ. The believer is entitled to the house of God by faith, and thereon he submits to baptism; hence

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he places his children in the death of Christ, and submits that they should take the name of Christ in baptism as the only door to it. I hope this is clear to you.


I never said or wrote that the children of believers in this dispensation were born into the house of God. Baptism introduces them into the place of privilege. The children of a believer now are in a more favoured position than with Israel. The children of a Jew and Gentile were unclean. See Haggai. The children of a believer and an unbeliever now are not unclean, but they are "holy" (see 1 Corinthians 7:14); that is, they belong to God as every devoted thing under the law was holy unto the Lord. This is my authority for baptising them, refusing for them the first man in the figure of Christ's death, the only way of salvation, and because, as I am the bondsman of Jesus Christ, everything I have belongs to Him; the children of a slave belong to his master. You must either have your children connected with Adam, or connected with Christ; and He, remember, is the Head of every man; not merely the Head of His body -- the church -- but the Head as to authority of every man.

In baptism the children are claimed for Christ. It is not in any way a question for fellowship. It relates to Christ's rights on the earth.


There is no subject more difficult to make a rule about than discipline in the assembly. No two cases are alike, and the course which it is quite of the Lord to adopt in one case would not answer at all, that is, would not be His pleasure for us to follow, in the next, or in any other

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case, however similar in character and name, because, as I have said, no two are really alike. The great principle is that the leaven should be purged out, that is the end in view, because it is the holiness of God's house with the welfare of the saints which is the end desired. The assembly is defiled by unjudged leaven. I cannot sanction it until I know it. The Corinthians knew of it, but were indifferent to it. The leaven therefore worked. If I heard of a saint who had transgressed, and if on expostulation I was assured that the leaven had been judged, I should not think it necessary to name it to the assembly; but if I were not assured, I should name the case to another, and if he agreed with me that the leaven was still there, it must be brought before the assembly. I believe everything should be done to arouse the conscience and produce self-judgment before the assembly is called upon to purge out the leaven by excision. As soon as the man in Corinth was repentant, the apostle was as strong with regard to his restoration as he was before as to his excision.

As to the scandal in the world, no church discipline would satisfy their ideas of morality. The only way to silence the world, or to obtain exoneration from it, is by a strict and unremitting separation from the former manner of life.

If a transgressor desired to confess to the assembly, I do not see how any one or two could interfere.

Where there is an assembly meeting to consider a case of discipline, and the discipline has been there and then decided on before the Lord and the assembly, there is no need to mention it at the Lord's table. But in London, where there are many assemblies, the decision can only be in one, and therefore it is necessary to mention the decision there, as the assembly is there present, but it is not necessary to do so in the place where the decision was arrived at in the meeting for discipline.


There is nothing plainer in scripture than that certain brothers in an assembly consulted together with regard

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to matters which eventually were or were not to be submitted to the whole assembly. What do we see in Acts 15:6? "The apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter", and in Acts 20:17, Paul "sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church", and in Galatians 6:1, "Ye which are spiritual" intimates that all are not qualified to deliberate. The Levites were not qualified for the charge of the tabernacle until fifty years of age. It is plain all are not qualified for deliberation, though the conscience of the assembly must be exercised respecting any decision arrived at affecting it. Surely many a case of failure comes before a true pastor, which being confessed and judged is no longer a grief to the Spirit of God, and remains unknown to the assembly. But supposing the case become inveterate, then the judicious pastor would confer with one or more of the spiritual elders as to it, and surely they would seek counsel respecting it from all the elders in the place, truly worthy of the name, for elders have a character (see Titus 2:5), and this council or meeting of brothers is preliminary to the executive one, where the conscience of the assembly must be exercised as to the decision as of the Lord. It is to the Lord it is done, and hence it is not so much whether every one in the assembly agrees, but that the conscience, the answer of the heart before God, is assured and clear as to the decision. It seems to me a mistake to assert that there are no brothers fit to deliberate, no spiritual ones qualified to restore, because there is no brothers' meeting. I see the value of a brothers' meeting composed of elders of the scripture type, or "spiritual", yet I am sure that a meeting where all brothers may come is much to be dreaded as a kind of republic. I can feel for the two at -------- on this ground, for if they would not gain in their deliberations and exercise by increasing their number, I can well understand their declining an addition which could not help them. But if there are brothers besides them who are "spiritual", or elders in the scriptural sense, surely they would gain by admitting and inviting them to their deliberations.

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... That is a wonderful statement, brought nigh unto God. The prodigal son would like to be safe and happy. "Make me as one of thy hired servants"; he had no idea of the near place he was to occupy.

We generally measure grace by the debt. In most minds the debt cancelled, or sins forgiven, defines the grace; that is man's idea of grace. But with God, blessed be His name, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, so that we cannot tell the measure of the grace.

Man lost by sin the paradise of man, but in grace, as in the case of the thief on the cross, he through grace is placed "with me in paradise" -- the paradise of God! Surely the grace has immeasurably abounded where sin abounded. What a wonderful place to be brought to -- with Jesus in the paradise of God, transferred from the deepest degradation to the highest position before God -- and to be there as Christ is!

But there is in the natural mind a great reluctance to accept this grace, because the nearer we are to God the farther must we be from man as man is naturally. Even in the awakened soul there is a desire to limit the grace of God. He would not like to miss grace altogether, but he wants to have only as much of it as could be held with what also suits man. There is a reluctance to come so near as to find that all things are of God; and yet once we have tasted of this nearness, and have begun to be merry in the Father's house, nothing else can fully satisfy us, as nothing short of it satisfies Him for us. May we each know it better.

It is a great thing when through His grace we are a cheer and a help to one another. The eyelash is an immense help to the eye, though apparently holding a very small place, yet it is a most necessary one; so that we all are necessary.

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I quite agree that the best robe is Christ. It is Christ subjectively; but though it is ours for ever by the grace of God, and though no one can enjoy the fatted calf without it, yet many are not in their true dress. It is pure Antinomianism for a saint to say that it is his dress, though he is not walking in it, not enjoying the access to the Father's house which it secures for him. The Galatians had so departed from it that the apostle writes to them, "I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Galatians 4:19). And again in Romans 13:14 we read, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof". The robe for ever belongs to every saint, but every saint is not always walking in it, and in consequence always enjoying the Father's house. The fact is that very few do enjoy the Father's house and the feast. I have been trying to call the saints up to their privileges, and my opposers are seeking to give them a false rest.


I am glad of your remarks about state. I think the clothes that were put on the prodigal are state. Christ has accomplished everything for us according to the will of the Father, and the Holy Ghost begins with us at the most distant spot, and conducts us up to the finish. The prodigal received kisses, they never alter, they ever remain in the heart of the Father. The feast ever remains; whether he enjoys it or not, it remains. The clothes are put on him, they are for ever his, and they cannot be worn out; but if he does not walk in them he cannot be at the supper, he cannot feast with the Father without them, and this I call state, but it is a state given of God.

I was on the first eleven verses of Romans 5 last evening. This is the first spiritual state you should be in. It is

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because of the work done for us. It is the state the prodigal should have been in because his father had received him with so much affection. The One we had offended is now known to us in His boundless love; nothing about our side yet. The Father loves us now for ever, though no doubt the expression of His love is checked by our perverseness, but it can never alter, and the more we are in the spiritual state proper to this great reception the more shall we seek to be free of sin and all perverseness.


There is no returning to God in the man who was driven out of Eden. Still, through grace, man is compelled to come into the Father's house, but he must come in in new clothes, not only forgiven, but in a new state. The place is so holy, that we must be holy for it. No flesh can glory in His presence. The old man must disappear; and, figuratively speaking, the feet which have crossed over are the feet to hold possession, and that is Ephesians 6. The possession can only be assured in practical holiness. The right to go over is grace, but the actuality of acquisition in possessing can only be known in holiness -- created in holiness -- created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

None of the offerings expressed the bruising of the serpent's head.


There are two sides to the gospel -- God's side and man's side. Every believer has relief when he knows that he is safe from judgment, but that is only his own side. It is when I see from whence the grace comes that I begin to be "merry". The grace comes down to me in the lowest place from the heart of God in the highest place; and when I have truly learned grace I come to the highest from the lowest. It is not then relief from the lowest that occupies me, but an eager pressing on to know more

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of the highest. It is the same grace that has saved me from the lowest place which has given me the highest place, but the more I enter into the grace the more I press on. Grace is like a rope let down to a drowning man, not only to deliver him from a watery grave, but to place him in the very spot where the rope came from.

Through grace you have as much right to be at God's end of the rope as to be out of, and free of, the misery on your own side. If you are only occupied with your own side, the most you arrive at is relief, but when you reach God's side you begin to be merry, and then God is the strength of your heart and your portion for ever.

Do not be too ready to lend yourself to the sorrows around you without seeking to enter into the joys which are yours in His presence.


God has secured through the work of Christ all that His heart desired for His children, and all of it is our property for ever. Each believer is a son in the life of the Son with a place in the Father's house for ever; and if we were with the Lord (either if He came or if we went to Him through death) we should be in the full enjoyment of our own.

The only question is -- How are we to enjoy our own now? If we be dead with him we believe that we shall also live with him. By His death all has been obtained for us, and we by faith accept death with Him. We enjoy Him who is our life. I hope you understand all this.


I came here last week. I have begun a series of readings for one hour each evening; a great many are attending. The first reading was on Luke 15 -- acceptance and the enjoyment of your acceptance. Many have peace who are not in liberty, and until they know that they are in Christ they are not free from the body of this death. Many

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have the relief of knowing that the man under the judgment of God has gone in judgment in the cross, who do not see that the old man in themselves is crucified with Christ, that they are free from the law of sin and death. "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free" (Romans 8:2). I see many who make peace stand for liberty: peace is because of what God is to me; liberty is because I am, like the prodigal, in the best robe in Christ. I see that there is no real progress until you are in liberty in the life of Christ.

The second reading was on 2 Corinthians 3:7 to end, and Galatians 4:27 to end. In these scriptures we learn how we are established in liberty. The Lord in glory so entrances you that there is no place for your own wisdom, and when Isaac has His right place in your heart Ishmael will not be tolerated.

The third reading was on the assembly, its purpose and object, the way you are a part of it, the privileges and responsibilities, and the moral effect on you from being there. This was our subject last evening....

As to --------, one very simple sentence makes all plain to me. The church is the complement of Christ. It is the complement of Him as Man. There could be no complement of God. God was manifest in the flesh, and the church is the complement of that manifestation.


We had a reading on the gospel, which was very good. The preaching of the resurrection was pressed. You cannot speak of a man risen without including that he died. Many have found relief on believing that Christ died for them who have not seen that our old man is crucified with Christ in the eye of God. Christ's death (figuratively the Red Sea) is our way out of the death which is on us; thus we are clear before God of the man under His judgment, and we are received by Him on the ground of Him who was raised from the dead by the glory

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of the Father. In the gospel we know that God has removed the man under His judgment in the cross, and now He can be just and the justifier of every believer in Jesus.

Many a one would be quite satisfied to know that his sins were pardoned and to live as a forgiven one here in the life of the flesh. They do not see that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. In fact, the gospel which would be most acceptable is the one which would reinstate man in favour with God on the earth, as typified by the two goats (Leviticus 16). There is an immense difference between the acceptance set forth in the antitype of the two goats without the bullock, and the one with the bullock.


I think it is too much lost sight of that the child of Adam was the responsible man, and the more he sought to act up to his responsibility the more practically incapable he was found to be. Now, freed from the responsible man we are responsible to be practically up to our new calling, and the more we are set for it the more capable we are in the power of the Holy Ghost. Responsibility under law only exposed man's incapability. Responsibility under grace discloses our capability. The body has been set free from the judgment of God to glorify God here, for it is His, and is the temple of the Holy Ghost. I do not think that the difference between being a member of Christ and a member of the body of Christ is generally apprehended.

As to your question about service and testimony, I understand from John 15 that service refers to man and testimony to the Lord. Stephen was a servant, and he was also a witness; the latter is more what you are in the race (Hebrews 12).

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In Romans two things are complete. You are freed from all on your own evil side, and you are in the life of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Ghost your body is a living sacrifice. You are on God's side, with the armour of light in a world of darkness. In Hebrews the question of sins is settled (chapter 1: 3). Then you are better off in approach to God than the Jew was; you have entrance into the holiest. Jesus is in the midst of the assembly. He is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. He first helps us out of our infirmities -- not sins; sins are settled in chapter 1. Now we are helped by Him, and that is not mere relief. We are so relieved that we are in company with Him -- able, as freed from every blemish, to enter with Him into the holiest, where we not only hear His present mind, but we taste of heaven and heavenly power, and hence, as to our walk, we are occupied, not with our infirmities (as living on the earth), but with the obstructions between us and heaven. We are now in the race, by faith scaling the heights until we reach Him where He is (chapter 11 and 12). "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Romans is more college learning to a saint. Hebrews more the harvest time -- ingathering -- packing in the fruits.


You do not get new creation properly in Romans, though you get newness of life.

The life is new, and it is Christ's life, and this in connection with the lost state. Every one likes to have an easy conscience, but to be consciously in an entirely new order of life is very rare indeed.... We have "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" in the wilderness, and you

do not go further than this in Romans.

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(Colossians 1:11; Ephesians 3:16)

---------- asked me last evening the difference between Colossians 1:11 and Ephesians 3:16. The former is in reference to things here, it is to effect "patience"; the latter is for the greatest things in heaven. The energy of the Spirit is greater for the first than for the second. Empowered with power according to the might of his glory (for patience) is Colossians. According to the riches of his glory, strengthened with power, etc., is Ephesians. I do not attempt to explain the difference, though I see there is a difference; but it is significant that there is a greater energy of the Spirit to enable us to endure here than to raise us up to the things in heaven. I might illustrate it by Rebecca's journey to Isaac; it requires a greater energy to maintain her in continuance in the journey than to present her to Isaac.

... Patience or endurance is a wonderful quality. I am convinced that the sense of the Lord's support under a pressure not only attaches us to Him in a peculiar way, but nothing so weans us from this place.

Relief makes this place more agreeable, but support detaches us from everything here, and He is increasingly endeared to us.

I have been dwelling much on the mystery -- the church. As far as I see, no one is ever sure of his position who has not conscious knowledge of the church as it is in God's mind. See Ephesians 4:14, 15. I have not seen any one who has really been divinely taught on the subject (I do not mean head knowledge of it) turned aside.

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... As to the Lord presenting the church to Himself, it refers, I conclude, to the type in Genesis 2, where we read of Eve, He brought her to the man.... I believe that in one sense you are right in saying that she is as much united to Him now as she can ever be, still there are great additions connected with the presentation and marriage. First, you will have a glorious body, you will be like Him, an immense addition: you will have uninterrupted intercourse in the Father's house, and finally, you will have passed in review before His own eye, that you and every one may receive the things done in the body. Thus the wife is made ready to accompany her Lord to the earth; the white linen is the righteousnesses of the saints. Our place in heaven is in pure grace, but our place on the earth is determined by our righteous acts here. I do not think the presentation is the same as the public display at the marriage, but I need not say that it is subsequent to the present time, and will embrace the public display.

My thought about the passage in Ephesians 5 is, that there you have the true order: the past -- He gave Himself; the present -- He sanctifies; the future -- He will present; and, as I gather, He will do so as soon as He can....

I believe that the real lack in souls in general is that the resurrection, and all involved in it, is not truly seen: the first man dead, and the second Man risen from the dead; the first man judicially terminated in the cross, and the Man who bore the judgment raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, for He had glorified God in bearing the judgment on man. Unless all this which the resurrection of Christ embraced is seen and accepted, the real import of the resurrection is not apprehended.

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As to your fear that brethren might now relax into indifference, there is this danger with some but though I feel that in a marvellous way we have been delivered out of a rut in which some are still stuck fast, yet I am weighed down under the sense of the small and imperfect measure in which we have realised union with Christ. The lamentable part to me is that men who have spoken so much on church truth have, as far as I see, never touched the reality of union with Christ, and therefore have not the consequences of it. The sovereign power of God in raising us together with Christ is regarded more as confirmatory of the gospel, than of the great fact that while the gospel confers untold blessings on us on the earth as heirs of heaven, we cannot enter on, or realise union with Christ unless we are at the other side of Jordan in the sphere where He is. In the gospel you cross over Jordan when you leave this earth; in the church you must cross over Jordan before you can realise union. Do you understand this? I do not find it easy to explain where the ministry of the gospel ends and where the ministry of the church begins. Of course, if you have not the first fully you cannot enter into the other.


I have lately been struck with seeing how much more the gospel is used by the generality of preachers as a passport to heaven than as the power of God to set us in a new character here for Him on the earth, and it is remarkable that those who dwell exclusively on the passport, least enjoy it when they need it; whereas the one living Christ here would have the conscious enjoyment of life out of death before death supervened.

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The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The word of God is the only instrument for the Spirit. He, blessed be His name, stands to what He has said. I find in this day that there is a readiness to contend for anything in which the natural feelings will get some place, but where it is simply for the truth of God and the calling of the saints there is remissness. I believe the only way to arouse any one in this day is to be like the wise virgins going forth to meet the bridegroom. This cannot be done without power. Those whose lamps are going out may well say that all is over -- that there is no hope, and so on, no more corporate testimony and the like. But "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Ghost is here, and in Him is all the power that there ever was, and all the love that Christ ever had for the church He has still; going forth to meet Him is what is defective. Who is the man for this day? A Timothy who has fully known Paul's doctrine, manner of life....

There is no real advantage in making a person the battle-ground. The mischief he has done is that which claims our undivided attention, and sure I am that if any one really enjoyed the Lord's presence for one moment in the sense of the freedom he has there from everything of self, he would not only recoil from a teaching that belies it, but he would challenge all comers whether they were on the Lord's side with respect to it. If this were done the lukewarm would be soon exposed, and I believe that if brethren would be further used of God to testify of the exalted Man in heaven, that it must come to this. The man who fights under this banner must make great sacrifices, or he would be nowhere.

I hope you may return to this country very much invigorated. There is only one thing worth living for; Christ's chief interest must be ours if we would be bright, vigorous and useful.

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As far as I know, there is not a clear apprehension of Christ as the dependent Man. In the form of a bondman He always pleased the Father. He was ever in His bosom; but He set forth to God's pleasure what a man should be. Man is God's purpose. The first man failed, but God has now a Man fully to His pleasure. He was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief", and He declared the Father. He was in the weakest place and He set forth the greatest, but always as the Servant. If He were not a Man, we could not be saved; if He were not a Man, there would be no mystery, no body for Him -- no complement on earth. If He were not a Man, there could be no manna, no grace for us now in our life in the flesh here on earth. In my judgment, there cannot be any true apprehension of the humanity of Christ until you apprehend, in some degree, God's secret. I quite admit that if the full gospel were known you would get it, because if you believe that man has gone from the eye of God in the cross, you see that a Man was there. Many look at Christ and His work as nothing more than the Paschal lamb -- a perfect sacrifice, and they do not in their souls apprehend that the man of the first order was judicially terminated in the cross before God. Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit.


I cannot see that there is anything wrong in the page of the paper which you refer to, when the writer expressly states: 'As Man He entered on the path where He learned obedience by the things He suffered.' I think it is essential and of all importance to maintain that our blessed Lord was in Himself the origin and source of every moral quality.

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He never learned anything from man. From the moment of His birth to the close (His death) He introduced and maintained an order entirely His own. As a Man He had to learn obedience by the things which He suffered; but He came to do the will of God; He could have no will but God's. I dislike this kind of discussion, but there is a side of it which is of all-importance, namely, that He was cast upon God from the womb! He was unique, or, as J.N.D. said, sui generis of His own order. He took part of flesh and blood, the life under judgment must go in judgment. He bore the judgment, He dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him. "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more" (2 Corinthians 5:16). There was an entirely new man in the mind of God, and He is that new Man, He is not the perfection of the first man, He is "out of heaven", and no one else can ascend to heaven. This surely is nothing new, as men speak.


There is really no difference between the nature of man and the old man. The word old nature I do not think occurs. The effort is to spare in some way the first man. Let us begin by insisting that such as the heavenly one, such also are the heavenly ones, and then it is easy to see that there is an entire change of race.

That is the truth to be contended for, and the truth that in every heterodoxy is undermined. There is a total change of race -- "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Corinthians 15:49). Nothing but personal identity will remain of the first man. I shall know that I am a new man, but all the ideas and feelings of the old man will have passed away.

The idea with those who seek to spare the first man is, that if the evil nature were eliminated, that then the old man would be free of all that is objectionable and would be continued. Not so at all.

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I am of the order of the great heavenly One -- and hence the old order has terminated in judgment on the cross.


The mass of Christians do not see that a Man has come from God, the Son of man which is in heaven. Many a Christian would be glad that his bad qualities were replaced with good ones; but that all must be crucified, as said to the young man in Mark Hymn 10, is too much for them.


I disapprove of analysing the Lord Jesus Christ, but I see every day clearer and clearer that the mystery of God is unknown to you if you do not know Him as He was here. In writing to -------- I finished with, 'Until you have learned that you have changed your man, that now, not I, but Christ, liveth in me, you are not ready for manna, and you will not be able to comprehend Christ's humanity until you are ready for manna.'

If you are in communion you are looking at the blessed One here as God was looking at Him. God was not looking at His Deity, but He was looking at Him as a Man in whom was all His delight. I am not afraid that His Deity will be compromised. My fear is, that the mystery, the reality of His body, is morally unknown. The church as His complement is the display of the magnificence of His grace here on the earth. If you have not the manna you do not express Him as He was here, you are not in the "life of Jesus". Then conscience is not up to your faith.


... I said to -------- about the humanity of Christ, 'You are not up to it; as soon as you are really set for manna, then you will understand the humanity of our blessed Lord.' John 6 is the contrast to manna. You

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must know Christ as the bread of life; that is, you must appropriate His death to get out of the death which is on you before you can have life in Him; and when you have, then you receive grace from Him to be as He was here in unqualified dependence on God, and that when He had everything in Himself. We speak of dependence when we are in a strait, but manna is simple dependence on God when I am, as to things here, quite independent -- a very rare experience you may be sure.


I have been studying the difference in my soul between the manna and the old corn of the land. The manna is Christ's life as He was here in the days of His humiliation. He gilded everything here in His perfectness. As you walk in the Spirit He feeds you with this grace in every detail of your history here. His life as manna ceased when He died, but it does not cease for us, it is stored up for us in Him. Christ glorified is the old corn of the land. As we feed on Him there, we are in communion with Him as He is at this moment. The manna is as He was, you are to be here as He was here, but He is not here now, He is in heaven, and your heart is not satisfied to know Him as He was; according as you are occupied with Him, you want to be in concert with Him as He is, and that is the old corn of the land. Tell me if you understand this, and if you see the difference between the two. I do not mean see it only, I mean do you know it?


There is a great difference between knowing Christ as Lord and as Head. No man can say that Jesus is Lord

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but by the Holy Ghost. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, etc. When you believe in Christ risen you own Him as Lord, and as you walk in this faith, whatsoever you do, you do in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:7). Your body is the Lord's. Your bodies are members of Christ. He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit. Every Christian is joined to the Lord -- is a member of Christ. This is not union, it is responsibility. See Romans 12. In everything you should be under the rule of the Lord all the day -- in temporal things as well as in spiritual things.

Now as to the Head. You do not know Christ as Head until you are dead with Him from the rudiments of the world. You must be over Jordan, you must be insensible, as if dead, to every influence here before you are in the sphere of Christ's life. You are when dead with Him, outside and apart from the influence of everything in the world. You might be a young man, as in 1 John 2, strong and the word of God abiding in you, and yet not know Him as Head. It is when you are risen with Him that you enter on the sphere of His life; and thus you practically appropriate the circumcision effected for you in the cross. All has to be removed which God has removed in the cross. As with Elisha when he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces, he rendered them useless, so you practically put off the old man and put on the new. You now so come to Christ that you are in the new man where there is neither Greek nor Jew, &c., no man of any kind, but Christ is everything and in all. Now you know the Head. He is your life, and He directs you as to His pleasure in His own circle. The direction of the Head is confined, as far as I see, to His own circle. As an individual, He is my Lord in everything, I am properly the servant or slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. When I know Him as Head His own life in me is directed by Him. I derive from Him, and in His own circle I am under His dictation.

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The Lord has been very gracious to us in the meetings. I believe the true measure of His favour is the measure in which He confides His mind as to His own interests to us. I spoke from 2 Timothy 3:10 to end. Paul's doctrine and the scriptures the remedial measures in the "difficult days". I attempted to explain the two ministries (Colossians 1:23, etc.), the gospel and the church -- how in the first everything against us has been removed, and that we are not only brought to God, but supported by Him who did the work and who is made higher than the heavens; all for us is perfectly secured. Secondly, our Saviour is the Head of His body and of each believer; we are members of His body, and by the Spirit's power we are seated in the heavenlies in Him. This is our dignity, while He, dwelling in our hearts by faith, is our endowment, and we are here for Him. The scriptures corroborate all this. In Hebrews 11 you begin with Abel, and you finish up with Rahab in the land.

Mr. ---------- spoke from the end of Luke 18 and the beginning of 19, how the Lord indicated when here the nature of the blessing. He would confer this grace, first opening eyes, then becoming the guest in the sinner's house or heart, and then opening out the affections of the Father.


I was speaking a little on John 16 this morning. I have thought I might recall some of it for you. The subject of the chapter is the action of the Holy Ghost here on earth. He convicts the world -- exposes it, as we might say -- of sin because they do not believe, of righteousness because the One they do not believe in has gone to the Father;

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the Holy Ghost being here is evidence of it, as He is also evidence or demonstration that the power of the prince of this world has been overcome. Therefore He is judged; another power is here for Him who overcame him. This is one action of the Holy Ghost on earth, the next is that He glorifies Christ -- He glorifies Him who is no longer seen by men. See how this is fulfilled with Stephen; his difficulties are stupendous but in the midst of them, and in the very hand of his murderers, he thinks not of how he might escape, or of what he will do; but he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looks up stedfastly into heaven, and sees the glory of God and Jesus.

What a relief! What a victory over all his trials down here; he found that the glory of God could be surveyed and entered by him, and that Jesus was his link to it. Never had any one been able to see and dwell on the glory of God before without tumult of heart. Now the man full of the Holy Ghost, surrounded and besieged by the most ruthless and wicked men (his own nation), exposed to the bitterest trial and shame on earth, enters into and finds his home in the glory of God, where his Saviour is -- he rises from the depths of misery and the sin which is all around him to the heights where Jesus is in glory. If the greatest trial can be thus overcome, of course so can the smaller ones. The action of the Holy Ghost is to fix the eye stedfastly on heaven. This is the mode and manner by which He relieves us; we naturally look around us for relief, but the Holy Ghost glorifies Jesus, and seeing Him in glory is the fullest relief to the heart. The Lord says: "In me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

The third action of the Holy Ghost is, In that day (in His day), whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it unto you. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. The nearer we are to Christ the more shall we seek only what suits Him. Who could be near a friend much loved and like things which would not suit him? Whatever we ask in Christ's name we shall receive, and thus even in this sorrowful scene our joy is full.

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I should feel it a personal favour from the Lord (and I look for it) were you so far relieved in spirit from your sufferings that you might be unhindered in communion with the Lord. I believe the Lord often vouchsafes this in a very peculiar way -- very much as Shimei's life was safe while he abode in Jerusalem, or as the manslayer was safe in the city of refuge, or as a diver is safe and happy when preserved and kept within a very narrow enclosure, but exposed to danger, and a return to trial and suffering when outside, as the dove in the ark; and this discipline we often need. What I ask for you is the consciousness of an assured retreat, where you will be distinctly and absolutely free from every disturbance, and that if you wander like the dove, you may immediately feel that this is not your rest -- it is polluted!

How gracious our Noah is! When you fly to the window of heaven, as the dove to the ark, He will put forth His hand and pull you unto Himself into the ark. May this be the blessing and favour richly known to your soul.


We had a very interesting talk together (five of us) as to when we are "in Christ". Some of them thought that I did not make it a matter of experience enough. I, on the other hand, wanted them to accept that there is a great difference between the way the blessed God approaches the converted soul, and the way the convert approaches Him. God can come to the repentant sinner, as the father to the prodigal, with open arms, in the boundlessness of His love, and in the full virtue of Christ's work. He, blessed be His name, never improves in His approach. This is the gospel of the glory of Christ. But, on the other hand, the prodigal, or Saul of Tarsus, has really to part company from himself in the cross before he can enjoy the nature of the acceptance in which God can have him; and this was the side they were contending for, and which

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I fully accept, but not by it to measure how God can come to me.... It is remarkable the way the Lord is exercising hearts and consciences as to the very foundations of the faith.

I believe deliverance from the "body of death" -- from "the law of sin and death" -- has not been enough before souls; they have put up with the flesh as an appendage which they submit to, rather than to be free of it in the Spirit, and in the Spirit only.


As to our readings at -------- we read Hebrews for two hours every evening, and Ephesians for two hours every morning. In the former the truth of our present position as God's people on the earth came out well. As were the sons of Aaron, so are we the consecrated companions of our High Priest who is greater than Moses and greater than Aaron, the great Priest over the house of God. Through Him we have entrance into the holiest. The Lord in the midst of the assembly leads our hearts into His things, in moral correspondence with Himself. Hence we are running the race on to Him in heaven, while our testimony is outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

As in Hebrews we are true to a heavenly calling, and are moving on to heaven, so in Ephesians, as belonging to heaven, united to Christ there, we are in heart there, and descriptive here of the heavenly Man in all the details of daily life, in such spiritual power that we withstand all the wiles of the devil, that is, we are in moral armour, and also in unceasing dependence on God, praying for the proclamation of the mystery of the gospel.

In the one, through the effect of being in Christ's company we are running on to heaven, and here outside the camp bearing His reproach; while in the other, being united to Christ in heaven, we are descriptive of Him here in every detail and able through His power to maintain our heavenly portion in moral superiority to all the wiles of the devil.

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As to the Songs of Degrees, I do not remember saying that there were seven steps. I think "degrees" should be translated 'steps'. There are fifteen steps, and they describe the exercise of soul which the captives of Israel had before they reached the house of God. I think there is a voice to us in this day from them. The house of God is in ruin now, but every heart true to the Lord is set for reaching the place where His honour dwelleth. In the time of the captives there was the house in Jerusalem, and for us there is the house of God still on the earth.

But mark! In the time of the captives they were estranged from the house; they had to be extricated. The house was to be formed, but they had to pass through much exercise before they reached it. Now, in this day, the house has not to be formed, but we have to be extricated from the moral distance from it into which we have lapsed, and when we are thus extricated we are sure to find it. The assembly, which is the house, began with Christ's rejection. It is the only spot on the earth where He is at home. He has been rejected, and He has taken His seat at God's right hand, but He comes to His own -- His own building, and there He teaches His own as to His interests here, while He -- a greater than Moses, declares the Father, so that we are made acquainted with His things, and the holiness which becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever. It is not heaven, but we are in the presence of Him who is supreme, above all the evil here, and the true Peter (or stone) passes from the natural side of things here to the other side of death to join Him in the assembly where He is in our midst. We do not join Him merely as our Saviour; that He was here, but as the Son of God -- Son over God's house; otherwise we reduce the assembly to a believer's meeting.

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I do not think it helpful to occupy minds with the church's state on earth, that is -- its invalid state. It is quite clear to me that in Revelation 2, 3 there are four churches, or four aspects of the church on earth which run on to the close; and I apprehend that one of these predominates at any given time, but where is the great profit from having a correct diagnosis of the professing body? I believe that if we were more imbued with John 17 -- the Lord's heart opened out to His Father about His own to the end -- that we should not only have the clearest diagnosis, but we should be ministering the suited food to help on His own in accordance with His desires. There are seven phases of the church there, and I cannot accept that one should be cast off. I believe that Laodicea is the exaltation of Adam through Christianity -- Christ as the new creation left out, and this I see going on far and wide every day. I should be very sorry to take the ground which your correspondent does, that Christ is outside of us. Through grace, I know that this is not true, and I must not deny His grace to us; and as a remnant in the truth of the assembly, we study to retain Him, instead of being content to go on without Him as the systems have done.

The arrogant ignorance of your correspondent is that because brethren have failed there can be no more hope. It is nothing to him that the church as a whole has failed and is in ruins, but that the brethren, the recovery before the end has failed, and therefore that there is no more hope, as if God could not revive His testimony where He had given most light through those who were faithful to it; the Lord could raise up witnesses for Himself, however great the failure. Has there not been failure from the days of Paul and Barnabas? Has not every failure only left the field more open for the Lord's special acting when there was simple grace to follow Him? Thus it was with Paul. Thus it was at Plymouth over forty years ago. Thus it was at --------'s defection, and thus

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it will be now. I believe there is a most earnest ear now, not only in the meetings which I go to, but generally. I believe the great thing in the present day is setting forth the new creation, our completeness in Christ, and this always in connection with the destruction of the body of sin. This necessarily leads to the heavenly man with his new manners, like a uniform, the manners of heaven set forth on the earth. Look at Ephesians 4, 5; you will find there a range from the church down to the servants that you will not find in the Romans.


... Be assured you will find the snare of the day amongst us is to exalt the standing or status of the Old Testament saint in order to bring him so near to the New Testament saint that the heavenly character of the latter may be ignored, and that thus the great difference between them -- one earthly, the other heavenly -- is effaced. And thus Christendom has done effectually. What the church did at the earliest date when decline set in is the snare now to us to whom the Lord has committed the recovered truth. No Old Testament saint will be of the heavenly city though he will be in it; and this is an immense difference. The Old Testament saint could use anything on the earth for God's service; we are precluded from using anything of man for God. We are confined absolutely and entirely to the one Man in heaven for motive, for joy, for life, for dictation, for direction in every detail of daily life.


I enjoyed seeing that while at Marah the Egyptian -- all that which was condemned in the cross-is refused; I have the manna -- the life of Jesus -- in its place. What an

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exchange! The greater I am in Egypt, the more difficult it is to deny myself, because I have the ability to indulge myself. I must put a knife to my throat, but I am richly compensated, I have the life of Jesus here. Marah is death in the world to one who has given up the world, and who is not of it -- who has to live in it, and yet not live from it; therefore he must be dependent on God for everything while in it. At Gilgal it is far more serious. Nothing of the flesh in any form is to be admitted. It has been cut off (Colossians 3). The nearer I am to Christ the less can I retain what necessitated His death. It is absolute putting off of the old man. In the wilderness the great lesson is dependence; and the cross -- the tree in the bitter waters -- sets me free from the self-seeking which refuses dependence; but in the circumcision in the land there is, as it were, an extermination of the motives and habits of the old man, to make way for the new man only. To be divested of the old man and to be invested with Christ is an interesting process, and I believe they go on together. It is not the badness of myself that I see by itself, but while I see it, I see at the same time the beauty of Christ, so that I surrender the one for the other, and I get the benefit of the exchange. This is self-judgment, and there is no growth when this is not going on. How blessed to get near the Lord, to enjoy Him more, as we find Him in Corinthians and in Hebrews. He never leaves or forsakes us in our wilderness path, and in the sense of His love we ascend to the scene where He is, and where all is in perfect concert with His mind. May your heart be much enriched in the effects of His company.


We are not only of Christ's nature, but we are united to Him by the Spirit. This is the great mystery. I can understand a believer who is going on in the world being afraid to accept the truth that he is verily a part of Christ.

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Thus the church, the body of Christ, is His complement. The bride is relationship, and the figure of marriage defines the relationship; but the body is participation. Thus we have -- "Holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God" (Colossians 2:19).

You are quite right in what you say about the Spirit. I receive Him consequent upon believing; the blood has done its work to my faith; and then comes the oil. Once I receive the Spirit, I have all that the Spirit imparts -- sonship, earnest of the inheritance, and union with Christ and with one another. Then His formative work in me begins to bring me into the reality of these things, to make what is true of me true to me. But there is but the one giving of the Spirit, and now He does not visit, but He abides, and where He abides (as every one does ordinarily) He has a home and furniture, so to speak, suited to Himself.

You ask about Christ overcoming the world. When He was here He was in moral superiority to it. It did not sway Him, He overcame it. Now, as risen, He is supreme, not only morally but positionally. We suffer in it, but He says, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33); and then He connects us with His own scene -- with heaven. Many an ardent Christian, though very devoted, has not overcome the world, even though he may have overcome the "wicked one", but he may still be susceptible of the attractions and influences of the world. Such an one requires to believe in the Son of God. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God. The dignity of Christ's Person, when laid hold of by faith, enables him to overcome the world. The queen of Sheba forgot all her own honours when she was occupied with Solomon's things. So with us. When we see Christ in glory, the world is eclipsed. I suppose no one is really out of the world until he is over Jordan; I mean in spirit; and no one enjoys Christ where He is unless at the other side of Jordan. To overcome the world is a great thing; it is not by effort, but by faith in the One who is outside of it all, and who is the object of our hearts.

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The readings at -------- will I trust bear fruit. We had the parallels between Paul and John. Paul leads the sinner to know that he is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. John starts with "the Son of man must be lifted up". The first man must go in judgment. The man out of heaven can only go to heaven. Once we learn this by the Spirit even that we have changed our man, that it is no longer Adam, but Christ, our path shineth more and more to the perfect day. It came out clearly the difference between the Holy Ghost in us individually, and His acting in us collectively as builded together, or as members of the body of Christ.

Romans 8 is individual -- you could not properly make it collective. 1 Corinthians 12 is collective. This is of much importance because so many cannot think of the Lord but in relation to themselves; they cannot be so free and happy as to themselves that they can give themselves to Him for His pleasure and service.


If asked to describe John's gospel in one sentence, I should say that it presents a Man who comes altogether from God, who derives nothing from man, save that He was born of a woman and for this purpose -- that He might bring to an end judicially the first man, in order that every one who believeth on Him should be of His order -- the second Man -- the last Adam.


There are four forms of evil against us. The first -- Pharaoh -- has been destroyed. He has destroyed him that had the power of death. He has abolished death. Satan in that form is gone, but Amalek, Balaam, and the seven nations remain. Amalek is the power of Satan to

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hinder you in the wilderness, to turn you back; with us, literally, it is the effort of Satan to prevent us from taking the pilgrim's place as in the wilderness dependent on God. Then there is Balaam. Balaam is the power against us when we have, in a sense, left the wilderness. In another sense, we never leave it while we remain here, but it is when we are marching to heaven as the children of Israel were marching to Canaan, after Numbers 21, that Satan, in the Balaam form, seeks to hinder us, and this power is very subtle. The attempt is to draw you into social intimacy with the world, and then you are defiled by their false worship. The Thessalonians suffered more from Amalek, and the Corinthians from Balaam.

The seven nations are the wicked spirits in the heavenly places, and we suffer from them when we take our place here as heavenly men, and for them we require the whole armour of God.


... I have been struck with the two wave loaves being the type or shadow of the company of 120 in Acts 2. In the type there are the two loaves together, in presentation to the Lord, and we get the antitype or substance in the 120 persons who one and all at the same moment receive the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, so that they are in church function (if you understand me) before they had time to apprehend the greatness of the gift which they each personally had received. The two wave loaves have been presented -- the day of Pentecost had fully come.

I think you must distinguish between the action of the Holy Ghost in the house and in the body. The latter is properly the organisation, and there the gifts are. The house is God's habitation by the Spirit; but further, as we are with the Lord we enter the holiest -- the oracle, and there His present mind is declared for every ear thus present to hear it.

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I said a little on Leviticus 8:22, etc. The consecration came after all the offerings necessary for approach to God were offered up. In announcing the Lord's death, we recall what He went through here, and with His death fresh before our hearts, we, as the consecrated company, are in the holiest of all, His companions. As we recall Him in death here, He in the assembly makes Himself known to us in glory. He was here in the lowest place for us, we remember Him there, but we are with Him even now in the assembly, in the highest place, in the presence of God.

I have seen it stated that we are companions of Christ in the wilderness. That is not correct. He is not in the wilderness. He would not be a priest if He were on earth. We are called to be companions with Him in the holiest, the consecrated company, as Aaron's sons with their father. If it be meant that we are to walk here in the wilderness as He walked, I agree, but that is not companionship; and if we are companions with Him it must be on the other side of death, and unless we are, we cannot walk here as He walked.

So many do not see that until you have been purged from your sins, you cannot understand the priesthood of Christ. It is as the consecrated company we are introduced into the holiest where communion and the deep things of God are enjoyed.


Jesus is in the holiest as High Priest, and we are with Him there. In Him we stand a heavenly band; and as to Himself He is also there as Moses -- king of glory -- to carry out in person all God's purposes on earth. I feel I enjoy a gleam of the wondrous place in which God has set me. Love likes to have my company, and shares with me its own greatest joys. This is the church's place, and no other company has this place and portion.

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I have been deeply interested in seeing that if "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death", I can enjoy my acceptance with God. I think many believe in Christ risen, and know that every shade of distance between God and them has been removed in the cross from the eye of God, who do not enjoy it. Like the prodigal before he was clothed, who, though assured of his father's love, could not enjoy it because he was not fit in himself. The first voice of the Holy Ghost when He is given to you is of the love of God, how God feels about you, but if you are not in Christ, if the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has not set you free from your old condition, you cannot enjoy your acceptance. You are not enjoying the supper (see Luke 14) when you are engrossed with any natural favour. Land, oxen, or wife are natural favours -- favours to the natural man, and when the favour is made an object, you are not enjoying your acceptance with God, however well you may know the perfectness of it, because you are not free from the man under the law of sin and death. The Holy Ghost who assures you of the love of God, who begins His indwelling in you by assuring your heart of the heart of God towards you, is the same Holy Ghost who in the life of Christ Jesus makes you free from your old condition. When we are drawn away by any earthly favour, when the natural man resumes his place, we are drinking of the old wine, and there is no taste for the new. I hope you will understand me. It has explained so much to me, even that if you are not in the Spirit you do not enjoy the great supper, and if you are in the Spirit you are not only assured of God's heart, but you are also assured that you yourself are free of the old condition of sin and death. This accounts for the sad and frequent loss of liberty in saints; a very little old wine diverts from the new -- you do not lose your acceptance, but you do not enjoy it when you are drawn away by any earthly favour, anything

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outside of the Father's house. Your body is the Lord's, and he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. The privilege of grace is that we should be in the enjoyment of the great supper; it is the best and greatest favour which could be given us here, and it is very sad how soon one is diverted from it by an earthly gain. It is as we enjoy the supper that we taste of heavenly things, and assuredly if we do not enjoy our acceptance we cannot be ready for the revelation of the Father's things by the Spirit (see John 16:14, 15), and we are not witnesses of Christ. The servant as we see in John 15 reproduces Christ as He was here. The witness describes Him in His exaltation. Do you see many witnesses? Be assured when the servants are not witnesses they are hindered by some earthly gain, something which ministers to them naturally.


I had to reiterate that everything was accomplished for us, up to the measure of the Father's heart, and that if we were dead, we should be in it all. But God has given us the Holy Ghost that we may enjoy now what has been accomplished for us. My enjoyment is the result of the Spirit's work in me; He attracts my heart to Christ, and then God, by discipline, removes everything that hinders or checks the leading of His Spirit, so that we who live are always delivered unto death.

The ascetic tries to do this, but God only can do it. He attracts my heart to Christ, and He severs me by His hand from that in me which hinders. So it is all His work.


Christ's work is one great whole. It translates His own (Aaron's house) from Egypt to Canaan at one and the same moment. From the deepest darkness of distance to the brightest nearness. We take time to learn it, and we only learn it in parts. First, sheltered by the blood from judgment; then the Red Sea; then practically the brazen serpent and the Jordan; but these parts formed one whole in Christ's work, and He carried us from dead in sins to heavenly places. His work in its finish determines our place before God. How you could have

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read --------'s pamphlet and not have protested against it with indignation is a wonder to me. Surely at one time you would. May God grant that you may still come "to the help of the Lord against the mighty" (Judges 5:23).


I have been much occupied with "my assembly" and the characteristics of those "who call on the Lord out of a pure heart". You may remember my contention with -------- long ago; he was for getting people in, in any way. I wanted that they should be made acquainted with the nature of the step. It never helps a soul to assume a place, however good in itself, without faith for it. It is on the contrary very hurtful. Many can accept mentally the doctrine of the one body, and deduce from it that all Christians should be together, who have no idea nor liking for the arduous path which a Timothy must adopt in this evil day -- a day of ruin and confusion.

I think "the dying of Jesus" is that you by faith reckon yourself to be dead with Christ. Your own will is in such total abeyance that the life of Jesus is manifested in your body. He was in man's life here, but never under man's will. He did everything as a real man, but ever in perfect consistency with the life proper to Himself, and hence always in communion with the Father. To feed on Christ as in John 6 is in contrast to the manna. The latter was eaten as it was seen or given. In order to feed on Christ, you must feed on Him through His death. Hence all the confusion in Christendom springs from a misapplication of John 6. The Romanist and the ritualist reduce this eating to a complete similarity to the manna, the former calling the wafer the body, soul and spirit of the Lord; the latter asserting that as you partake of the sacrament, you appropriate the nature of Christ. The Lutherans are not clear of this leaven. The truth is I appropriate His death to escape from myself, and thus I know I live by

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Him; He is my life. If I am dead with Him, it is plain that I live with Him, and thus, as down here, I am under an entirely new government, and I need always to bear about in my body the dying of Jesus. The one thought which comes before me constantly is -- Do we really know that we belong to Him? Have we realised what it is to be nearer to Him than John was at the supper? (John 13:23). I might say to myself that if I were once where John was, my cup would be full, but that is looking for sight and not faith. Truly a greater blessing is mine. Oh to enjoy it more in the Spirit! And this I truly desire for you.


It is very encouraging to me the way scripture opens to one when the heart is set upon it; I mean that when near the Lord one gets the mind of the Lord of which the words are the exponents. One values the words and studies them in proportion as the mind which uses them is valued. Even naturally it is the mind of one in whom we are interested that we like to reach, and how much more do we when in the Spirit seek the mind of God from the words used, for in scripture no other words would do, our Lord uses the very words which would alone convey His mind. We often use words which do not truly convey our minds.... What a homily I have written you as a note on the blessed fact of verbal inspiration. It is so assuring to feel and know that no other word used but the one used by the Spirit could fully or truly convey to us the mind of God, and yet the mind behind the word is what we reach through the word.... It is a great comfort to me to feel that the path of faith is not explained to the natural mind however one may be assured of it, but there is in us a constant tendency to try and prove to the natural mind that the path which faith leads us into, and ably keeps us in, is the wisest, in order to get nature's approval of it.

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In reply to your letter as to 'the mental faculties of man' -- Man's mental faculties, as far as I see, do not help him in receiving the truth. If a man does not understand the truth which he is attempting to present he cannot bring it home to the conscience. The plainer you speak and the more you address the conscience the more you leave your hearers without excuse, but very often the plainer you make it the more incomprehensible it is to the natural understanding. Take for example John 4:14: He that "drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst". The more you expound "never thirst" the more incomprehensible it is to the natural mind, because it is contrary to all human experience. Some will say it is splendid, but impossible. I do not see that your natural mind is any help to you in acquiring the things of God. The natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God. The Corinthian snare is man's wisdom. The Galatian snare is perfection in the flesh. When you acquire the meaning of scripture by the human mind you reduce it to the human level. This is the great mischief of the human mind. As far as I know there is not a doctrine in the Bible which is known according to scripture in any of the systems of men. I admit there is a measure of truth. Man's side is in a way accepted, but God's side is left out. Try any of the doctrines and you will see that I am right. The Lord's supper according to scripture is, "In remembrance of me". In Christendom it is -- 'Take and eat this bread in remembrance that Christ died for thee', and so on. Even among ourselves it has been said that the resurrection of Christ was the receipt that all our sins were atoned for. It is true that it is so, but it is very much more. The Man who glorified God, while bearing the judgment due to us, has been raised from the dead -- the Man of God's pleasure. It is by the word of the kingdom being received in the human mind

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that the "mustard tree" has been constructed. See Matthew 13.

I admit that man's mind as a human instrument in voice or language is used to convey the words of God to man; no doubt Paul was an accomplished man; but the moment you try to establish the truth by mental ability, or by working on a man's mind or feelings, you are denying, however unintentionally, the great truth of the gospel -- that our old man has been crucified with Christ. If you address man's mind you acknowledge him, instead of pressing on his conscience that he is lost.


I have been much interested in studying the havoc the human mind has made of the truth by attempting to interpret the word of God. I remark that the human interpretation always omits God's side in the gospel, and in everything. The resurrection is regarded as only a receipt, the gospel as only a clearance before the throne, and so on.


(Hebrews 6)

As to your question about Hebrews 6, it does not refer to a believer, but to one who, though professedly in the church, has not the wedding garment. There is not an allusion to his conversion, but all the privileges of the house of God are enumerated. Just as Noah might have recounted to his sons all the advantages they had in the ark, and yet how they would be lost if they despised them, as apostates, which is the force of the word "falling away".

Indifference or worldliness is not apostasy. Apostasy is the deliberate abandonment of the Christian doctrine for Judaism or paganism. A man cannot be converted if he deliberately refuses or abandons the doctrine of grace. He may not listen to it, or he may have been a backslider; but he has not "fallen away", he has not apostatised, if he has not renounced the Christian doctrine of grace

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for the law or infidelity. A man may have been at one time under the impression of the truth, and have imagined that there was a work in his soul, but the impression may have died away like the seed on the rock. Yet all the time he is not an apostate, and his very desire to avoid being one, proves that he is not one in the scriptural sense of the word.

I trust the Lord will lead your soul, now possibly only sensible of the serpent's bite, to see the Son of man lifted up. Do not dwell on what you are. Do as the prodigal did. He thought only of his father. Think only how God can receive you; not how you can get to Him, but how He can receive you. Think of the love that is in His heart, how He delights to receive you, and when you are received it will be time enough for you to bewail your unfitness and condemn yourself as entirely unworthy of His grace.

The Lord vouchsafe to you full deliverance.


As to your question about 1 Peter 4:1, I think you must read from verse 18 of chapter 3 to understand chapter 4: 1. Christ has suffered for sins. He was put to death in flesh. We should not suffer for sins. We should be here (as the ark typified) always under cover of the death of Christ, of which baptism is the figure. Christ then having suffered for sins, do you "arm yourselves likewise with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin". Here it is actual sins, in Romans 6 it is sin -- the principle of sin. In the latter you by the Spirit reckon yourself to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God in Jesus Christ. Here it is that you do not commit sins. Christ has suffered for them. If you by the Spirit arm yourself with the same mind, that is, that Christ having suffered, being put to death in flesh, you suffer in the flesh, and you cease from sin. If you see anything that is not yours, and if you wish for it, you commit sin; but if

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you refuse the wish and do not take it you suffer in the flesh, and the sin is done with. If you were walking in the Spirit you would mortify the deeds of the body, and you would not desire anything which did not belong to you, but if you do desire it, if sin works, if you suffer in the flesh in not gratifying it, you are done with the sin.

I hope I have made 1 Peter 4:1 plain to you. I always connect it with Marah (Exodus 15), the tree that was put into the bitter water -- the cross, really Christ's death, makes it sweet to me. The fact that Christ died for my self-gratification makes suffering in the flesh (refusing to gratify myself) sweet to me.


We cannot 'cut off', but we can refuse to have any fellowship; the latter we have done; we have placed -------- on the same footing as Bethesda. We cannot put any one out of the house, we cannot unchurch any assembly; but when an assembly has professed to be on the ground of the church of God, and has departed from it, we do not receive from it or commend to it. We receive from all Christian denominations, Church of England, Baptists, etc., but never from Bethesda, or any who are on that ground.

The misrepresentation given to my words springs from a mind determined to obtain authority for its own laxity. I believe that where the heart is simply set to vindicate the honour of the Lord, and preserve the truth of the gospel to His own, there is increase of vigour in word and conversation. When self-vindication in any form engages the attention, there is a lack in heart and walk. -------- tells me that -------- says that I overlook the cross, and that he spoke on Moses and Elias on the mount of glory speaking of His decease as a proof that the cross is the subject of the glory. This is quite misapplying scripture. There the saints are speaking of a thing not yet accomplished in connection with the glory manifested to the

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earth. I speak of glory being my place with Christ because of the cross, and what it has accomplished, and hence in glory the slain Lamb will ever be the witness of it and the subject of praise to the redeemed for ever in the glory. Before the cross saints on the mount of glory could speak of His decease anticipatively as the greatest event in the history of the world and of man, and so it will always be; but as yet saints had no title to the glory because the cross had not removed the hindrance on God's side....

The burnt offering is a great relief to the heart in all the din and dust of human strife. Christ in glory is necessarily the centre of everything to the heart. He was in the glory and He came down to us to bring us to a place that He knew, but which was quite unknown to us. Aaron only knew the holiest as he went in. Moses knew more, he knew it better, because he came out from it. Our blessed Lord is both Moses and Aaron. He knew what was within before He came out, and He came out to bring us in; and where He is there shall we be also. But down here He was the meat offering: 1, in private life; 2, in serving suffering man; 3, as He was to the sinner (see John 4 and Luke 7); 4, as He was to His own (see Matthew 8; John 11) and at the cross committing His mother to John -- how He counted on them! 5, to Israel; 6, to God.


In a day of difficulty what can we be but exclusive? What has preserved the great truths which you and I lately enjoyed so much together but exclusiveness? If we are true to the body of Christ as God's purpose now, we must separate from all the looseness which self-will argues for. Feebleness or ignorance is no ground for exclusion. The principle for exclusion is not only that a person holds the wrong doctrine, but that he gives any acknowledgment to one who does. Saying "fare-well" marks, we find in 2 John 10, 11, the character of the indifference. It is from this indifference that we

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desire to separate, and this indifference we charge on Bethesda....

Indifference is not of the Holy Ghost, who baptises us into one body; on the contrary, the unity of the Spirit is exclusiveness, and I rejoice before my Lord in acknowledgment of His mercy to me in that He allows me, so conscious of my personal nothingness, to be exclusive for Him in this loose, indifferent day. I want nothing from -------- but to renounce his indifference ... he seemed to desire to know the truth of God, but I must admit he seemed more afraid of it than eager to adopt whatever it would inculcate. I see every day that when the leaven of indifference creeps in the Lord ceases to instruct and to unfold His mind. I challenge you to point out to me one who is in His thoughts about the church now who is involved in this leaven of indifference. I think brethren, like --------, are the more responsible, because they know more, and are not acting up to their knowledge, and therefore should be treated accordingly.

No doubt many are feeble and ignorant. These I should receive, if not self-willed in the maintenance of indifference. If you were faithful to -------- perhaps the Lord would use you to arouse him as to his true place for Christ in this world. For myself I must seek to maintain the truth for you, though, if it must be so -- separated from you.


Christian fellowship without discipline just suits the mass. When will the true-hearted be content to have an exclusive path for Christ on earth?


I have been much interested in seeing that in John's gospel, though the Lord's grace is made known to me on the earth (that is to the man on the earth), every part of His grace is outside the man on the earth, and outside the earth where the man is. It is all from Himself, and

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heavenly. Take the new position of the sheep in chapter 10. Every supply comes from Himself, although the sheep are on the earth. Take John 14, the ministry begins with our place in the Father's house and concludes with Christ's peace.

It is marvellous to see a man on the earth receiving everything from a Man in heaven. "As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly" (1 Corinthians 15:48). He was ever while here, the Son of man which is in heaven. John brings everything from heaven to us on the earth. Paul conducts us from earth to heaven. Which is the most heavenly?

May you have great festivity in things that eye has not seen. Everything by the Spirit of God is from Christ and leads to Him. He does not merely come down to me from Christ, but He leads me up to Him. In the Spirit I am over Jordan, even though I may not have accepted that my only place is at the other side and not at this side. Like Stephen, we are led over first, and then we learn death here. We may enjoy a truth a long time before it masters us. Surely Paul was not mastered by the truth of 2 Corinthians 13, until he was cut off from everything earthly in the prison at Rome, where he wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians.

JOHN 16:8 - 11

... If you read the note on John 16 in the New Translation it will convey my meaning. The Holy Ghost is sent to us. His very presence demonstrates that sin is in the world. If sin be in the world because of the rejection of Christ, and He has gone to the Father, righteousness must be there. The Spirit here by His presence demonstrates this; and lastly, that the power which governs this world is judged, so that as you are in the Spirit here you are apart from the world where the sin is, you are with the Father where the righteousness is, and you know that the power of Satan is broken here where you are. Thus you are a witness.

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I do not think that John 17 is the same as Ephesians 3. I think in John "I in you" is different from "the Christ dwelling in your heart by faith" (Ephesians 3). In John it is more what you find in John's epistle. It is Himself -- the eternal life; I quote from John 14:20. There it is Himself, their present acquaintance with Himself. He was leaving them, and He comforts them by saying that in "that day" (when the Spirit came) they should know Him as He was at that moment, though absent, whereas in Ephesians (though you would, of course, not lose what you have in John) you are in union with Him, and your individuality is merged, because He is now everything to you, His heart doth safely trust in you, and all that He is interested in personally, and as He is interested, is your interest -- the Christ, dwells in your heart by faith.

All His interests as "the Christ" dwell in your heart by faith. In John you are consoled for His absence in knowing Him as He is this moment in you. In Ephesians you are swayed and directed by Him dwelling in your heart as to His interests personally.

I hope that I have in some measure explained the difference to you.


I have been much interested in John 17 -- the Lord's desires for us -- and in the thought of its having been given to the church since the break up of 2 Timothy: for John's gospel is considered to be the latest scripture that was written. His desire that we all should be one remains as true to His heart as if it were an accomplished fact; and hence we never can lose sight of it or overlook it. But His other desires for us -- to be kept in the Father's name and to be sanctified -- precede the expression of His desire for our oneness, and therefore this latter cannot be without the preceding ones. The more we are answering to His first two desires, the more we are helping towards the third.

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As to the expression, "Christ in you" -- in Colossians 1:27 we find it definitely stated, and in Galatians 2:20, "Christ liveth in me". It is evident from Colossians that the great point there is, that Christ may altogether supersede the Adam man, for we find the result of the teaching in Colossians 3:11 -- there is no other man of any kind, but "Christ is everything, and in all". This, to my mind, is the meaning of Christ in you. He gives you the hope of glory. Now accepting this, which cannot be denied, let us see the effects. It is plain that in Colossians we have not left the earth, and hence all the practice there refers to this present time, whether in the home circle, or in the assembly. This is important, because it determines the measure which Christ works in me. It is never said that eternal life lives in me, but that Christ, who is the eternal life, lives in me; He is my life -- a life not independent like my natural life. The life I have is in Christ, and He lives in me for heaven as well as for earth; but in the one I know Him as the old corn of the land, and in the other as the manna. The church (Jew and Gentile) is the one new man in Himself, and the Holy Ghost is given that we may express Him in the place where He is not, but in which we are. As you walk in the Spirit He enables you to walk here as Christ walked, and this many call eternal life, which is not true, though it is quite true that it was the walk of His Son (who is the Eternal life) while down here on this earth in the days of His humiliation. That is the manna, but it has ceased, though it is stored up in Christ for us, and supplied by Him to us now; but as we are in communion with Christ in glory, where He is, and where we are united to Him, we know Him there, and in company we feed on Him as the old corn of the land, where (laying aside the type) the eternal life is in its own sphere, and where we have communion with the Father and the Son. The difficulty in apprehending this great truth lies in not distinguishing the two. He lives in me for heaven as well as for earth; but He is the corn of the land in the one and the manna in the other.

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Evidently the meaning here is to know Him as He is. We cannot properly speak of knowing a person as he was at some former time; you do not know him if you are not intimate with him at the present time. It is necessary to say this because many think that they know Christ from the gospels. It is quite true that in the gospels, as you are spiritual, you see His manner of life in the days of his flesh, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps. But though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. This is a very definite statement and of the deepest importance: He does not return to the order of man to which He died....

Often it is a long time before we are severed from the man after the flesh. Even after your heart has owned that the man after the flesh has gone from the eye of God in the cross, you still cling to it in the life of Jesus on the earth where it was in perfection; but though it was in perfection there, and though He left us an example that we should follow His steps, we know Him no more after the flesh. Nor is it possible for any one to follow His steps here on earth but by the Spirit in the life of the risen Christ....


I had a very happy day at -------- through the Lord's mercy. I said a little in the morning on the difference between Psalm 73 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. In the former the saint's judgment was changed, while in the latter the saint

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himself is transformed. The word for transformed is used only four times in the New Testament and twice it is translated "transfigured". This is very interesting.

In the evening I spoke from Acts 9. The very beginning of the gospel is, the light comes out from heaven and the seal of the blessing is the Holy Ghost who had come down from heaven. Does not that make the gospel heavenly, though some say it is not. I fear that there is a tendency abroad to exaggerate the standing and state of the Old Testament saints in order to make little difference between the church and them, and thus the heavenly exclusiveness is weakened or lost. The aim of the enemy from a very early date was to draw the saints from their heavenly calling. See the Hebrews. Once heaven as a present portion is surrendered, all the great privileges and position of the church are frittered away. The Old Testament saints were wrought on by God, and they may put us to shame by their fidelity and devotedness and cleaving to God, but if we descend to them we lose sight of our own calling. It is quite true the heir should embrace all that the infant has, but not this only, but a great deal more!


"Go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). I illustrate or explain this by John 14, which is in and John 16, which is out. We are fed in each place, and the food is different according to the nature of the place. In chapter 14 you have a new place where He is. In chapter 16 you are in the place of His rejection. Keep to this thesis, and much will come out of it to you. Chapter 16 is testimony to a glorified Christ. Now mark what this leads to! There is really nothing about a Christ crucified in John 16 except that for a "little while" they would not see Him, but they would have "joy that a man is born into the world". Chapter 14 is comfort inside, and all that He was on earth is reproduced, as well as union in life. "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and

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I in you". In the one case you have everything from Him who was on the earth, or as He was on the earth; and also as He is now in heaven -- "In that day"; but in the other case you have Him altogether in glory, and of Him there -- the testimony is. Chapter 14 is the barracks, you are made a soldier there. Chapter 16 you are in the battlefield doing duty as a soldier; you are a soldier. John is intensely divine; he never alludes to our human position either in the family or as subject to the powers that be. Stephen is the soldier and witness of John 16, he gets all from the Man in glory.


It is remarkable that in John's gospel the Lord never alludes to ruin or separation. His own are ever His own, and from heaven; everything is divine -- Life, words (intelligence), word (counsel), unity, sanctification, glory, love. Such we are, ever in His heart.


The parallel between John and Paul is very interesting. John 4 with Paul would be joying in God or the fatted calf. John presents what it is in God's mind; Paul, what it is as apprehended by us.


I am trying to describe the new creation, or rather the creation of God; man's new relationship to God -- Luke 15 and John 4; the new position of the sheep, the saint on the earth -- John 10 and Hebrews. The new ministry -- John 13, 14. The new power -- the Holy Ghost. The new centre, or metropolis -- Acts 7:55. The new testimony -- John 15:26. The new prospect -- All things new. You will find great interest in this subject.

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I said a little yesterday morning (having read about the consecration of the priests from Leviticus 8) as to the difference between the altar and the door of the tabernacle. The former is a type of the cross, the latter of Christ's presence. Christendom has not got beyond the altar -- all that Christ has done for us. At the door of the tabernacle we are not occupied with our side, but we are appropriating the perfection and blessedness of Christ. There is a very great difference between the two places. When any one refers to himself and the work done for him, he is at the altar; when he is delighting and feeding on the preciousness of Christ he is at the door, he has entered on an entirely new sphere....

Surely, as we were saying together after breakfast, how much better and fuller the Lord has answered the desires of our hearts after Him than we had ever contemplated.


The priests accompanied Aaron into the holy places (not the holiest), fresh from the offerings (see Leviticus 8) on the altar of burnt offering, as it were entitling them to go in, and they entered only the figures of the true with Aaron. Now we begin with the Lord's supper. We are remembering His love in His perfect work for us. We are full of Him who did the work, not as Aaron's sons, full of the need of the work to be done. We are full of Him who finished the work, and who told out His own heart in doing it, and thus full of Him, we accompany Him in the holiest, the august scene where He is.


The meeting did not begin brightly. There was a weight, but afterwards, I think and trust many were cheered. I had the sense of His presence much at the breaking of bread. Afterwards I spoke from Matthew 18:20. I

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gave three marks of His presence. 1. That I am absorbed in Him -- beside myself; no spirit left in me. 2. Worship, my cup full, my tongue blesses Him, the Father, who has blessed me. 3. I am so controlled by His presence that I do His pleasure. I read about the two going to Emmaus, and in John 20:21, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you". Also of the three mighty men who were made acquainted with David's desire for a drink of water after they had come to him. The heart, answering to His pleasure, is therefore a very great and distinct mark of being in His presence. To see thy beauty and thy glory as I have seen it in the sanctuary.


We had a very happy time last evening; the subject was Stephen, with which you are very familiar. The point which came so freshly before me was the new action of the Spirit of God. He had come down (Acts 2), but now He conducts up. In John 14 He was promised to come down, because Christ was going away. How He 'opens the heavenly door' and brings Stephen to the favoured hour. We must regard this as an inauguration of the new order. Saints amongst us generally are quite satisfied to be assured that the Holy Ghost has come down, there is seldom a desire to be led up. I was much pleased to hear -------- say, 'I should like to know the Lord where He is.' He is nowhere else now! He made the path of life through this dreary scene, but He is not here as He was then, and never will be again.


I read the latter verses of Acts 7, dwelling first on Stephen's realisation of his own portion, shewing that the Lord prepared His servant for his work by feeding and nourishing his soul with Himself in glory, illustrating it by the case of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 when he was given two breakfasts before the journey to Horeb, the mount of God.

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I shewed how the work of Christ had secured this new place for Stephen, and now he must set forth the new centre, the new testimony, which is a Man at the right hand of God -- how He was there because He was rejected here, and the testimony is that He is in heaven. Thirdly, how the witness has to confront everything which opposed our Lord here, but in His power, and therefore triumphant as Stephen was. The Man in heaven is now the centre of all God's ways.


I have been much interested while writing on 'What is a Christian?' in seeing that besides deliverance, which Jordan expresses fully, there is circumcision (Colossians 3:1 - 11). Everything of man as he was must be relinquished; all the temptations of Satan which act on my flesh are now left behind and I encounter the direct opposition of the enemy against my dwelling in assured possession of the land.


In the type, and morally, we are called to possess after we have entered the land, yet I have no doubt that as united to Christ we are in possession, and in Ephesians 6 we have to keep possession. I have long seen the difference between the type and. the antitype. I have possession, but I have to keep it, and here the energy of the Spirit is known, and here your faithfulness is proved.


The rending of ties here and there is very harassing, but the heart-sorrow part to me is the ignorance of the Christian position which is betrayed at every point. Many, though converted, are not much beyond Exodus 12 in their souls though well versed in word as to the truths generally held by brethren. I do not believe that many (hitherto among us) apprehend in living faith that they are sons of God and that they belong to the divine circle. A natural man would understand what it is to belong to the royal circle, but

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the natural mind could not take in the vastness of the divine circle outside and beyond all human conception. I feel as if we should have to begin again from conversion up. The impression left on me by the way some speak of new birth is that they do not know what it is. Surely it is God's work and entirely independent of man. The first work is creation. He said, "Let there be light: and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). So it is as to His work in the soul.


We had, thank the Lord, a good time at Q--------. I trust that there is an awakening up to the fact that there is more than the gospel. That while the gospel embraces all that we as sinners need; nay, so abounds that we are placed in divine festivity in the Father's house -- everything done for us that could be done; yet there is more. We are not only children of the Father (this we have in the gospel), but we are brought to share in the position of the Son. We are united to Christ; we are members of His body -- the exalted Man. I do hope saints and servants are awakening to this the first circle of interest in the heart of Christ. If our hearts were with Him in heaven we should soon know that His heart is on the earth in His assembly, in the saints "in whom is all my delight". No one could realise union with Christ except over Jordan, and no one could be over Jordan in man's life. The fact is, if the true calling were in any degree known, Christ as our life would be known.


I spoke on life and light -- If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. Himself is the light, and if you do not keep to the source of light, though you may have seen many things, you are not in the power of the light. The Morning Star is the light, not merely a prophecy. It is Himself, as the light, and your soul knows it.

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I was this moment (before I began to write) thinking that we can hardly be in full company with the Lord's mind as to His present interests unless we have a sense of the state of captivity in which His people as a whole are in. I mean that however happy we are in Him, there must be a deep fringe of sadness encircling us because the carved work of His house is so broken down with axes and hammers, and hence ostensibly we hang our harps on the willows. It is ignorance of how He regards things if I can enjoy Him personally without a sense of what His mind is in walking amid the seven golden candlesticks. It is quite possible to enjoy Him and delight in Him in relation to myself, and yet to have little or no idea of how He feels about the state of the church. See an infant, and often even an older child, rejoicing in the love and company of its widowed mother, and it never yet has been awakened to the deepest, most prominent thought in the heart of the mother whom it loves and delights in so much. This world must in a sense be a blank to our blessed Lord, and though He has a home in His assembly, and His heart can delight in those who open to Him and with whom He can come in and sup, yet the one in real nearness to His heart, while deeply and fully enjoying His love, must feel this a strange land, and that we must remember Jerusalem above our chief joy. I think there is a double cause for estrangement and strangership now; we are here where our Lord is not; the people of God before never had any idea of this save when they were in captivity, then they were conscious that they were strangers in a strange land. This is our true position here, because of the rejection of Christ; but besides this we (the church) have gone down into the world; in unfaithfulness we have made friendship with the world, and hence we are not only (when our divine affections are revived) strangers here because Christ is absent, but we are also returning captives because of our own unfaithfulness.

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I see, to my sorrow, that there is a growing tendency to make what is called 'standing' everything. Light is put for faith. The babe in Corinthians is in perfect acceptance, but surely not in acceptability. Moral correspondence to the glory is produced by beholding the Lord's glory.

Because Christ is written on the fleshy tables of my heart, and the Holy Spirit is given to me, I am bound to live Christ. I am not called to try to be anything, I am called to be what I am, and in this I am opposed by the rival man -- the old man -- backed up by Satan; but the Spirit lusteth against the flesh. In Philippians 3 this Christian life is, as J.N.D. says, 'On the road to Canaan.'

The sad part to me is that with the increase of knowledge there is less conformity to Christ, and well I know that no one's power, no matter how clear and beautiful he may be as to interpretation, is beyond the effect of the word in himself. The sure indication of declension in every age has been the acceptance of the word of God without moral correspondence to it, and this is working at this present time.

It is not the knowledge of Christ that is paramount, but the knowledge of scripture. Objective knowledge is not everything, you must not leave out conscious knowledge.

In my judgment brethren are better acquainted with the interpretation of scripture than they are with the mind of the Lord. In nine cases out of ten the ideas of saints among us are more in correspondence with the saint of the kingdom than with the Christian in the height of his calling now.


The Psalms are the utterances of the remnant, not written after experienced, but to help them in the experience.

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Those who wrote them had the experience before they wrote them, but they are the word to comfort the remnant in the latter day, so that they may be assured in heart of being able to surmount the trials through which they are passing. The Lord Jesus Christ has passed through these self-same trials on their account, but He takes up the trials as from God, and hence His part in the Psalms is generally only occasional, like a great singer lending his note and voice to particular parts of the song. The Lord is bearing them company in sympathy; He does not generally use all the psalm Himself, but He aids them by His sympathy when He can, and then speaks. Thus I understand them. Even to us the Lord does not lend us His sympathy unless when we are in His own path.


As a rule I think the scriptures should be read with the thought that God is making Himself known to me -- communicating to me how He views everything and how He determines with respect of everything. I ought, in fact, as I read the scriptures to be so in the spirit of scripture, not in the mere letter of it, as to imbibe His mind and so to learn Himself, and this in a variety of ways.

In the Old Testament He is dealing with man as man is, feeble and hindered by the intervention of any difficulty or power stopping his way, at one time no water to drink, at another time too much of it. Satan is not so much seen, but it is more all creation and man ostensibly hindering and balking any one who is faithful to God on the earth, and God shewing His people that He is above circumstances for their support; the way in which He does this is most interesting, and not only that, but it also discloses to us His own nature, so that as we apprehend the record by the Spirit we grow in the knowledge and understanding of Him.

Now in the New Testament His heart is declared to me by the Son of His love, and I am taught, not so much

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that He is above circumstances for His own, but that He places His own in the Son of His love above all the circumstances here. Christ walked here above everything in full rest of heart in the Father's love; as I read the record of Him I comprehend not merely the goodness and the ways of God in His goodness as I find it in the Old Testament, but more, I am in company with the heart of God fulfilling its own unspeakable will, and in and according to that will which I see accomplished, I find myself included and set by Him in the majesty of His purpose, above every power and hindrance, in the cloudless and unfading blessedness of His presence and home, in that nearness and glory which satisfies His love. There is no fear of your getting 'too full of scripture' (as you say) if there is real apprehension of the spirit of scripture; and if with this there is conscience and faithfulness, God will place you in circumstances where you will learn practically the truth of Himself, which verbally He has committed to you; so that it will become not only His own saying of Himself to you, but it will come to be your own saying of Him from yourself in your own experience. The study and apprehension of God's ways as a whole impart a breadth and strength to the mind, enabling it to view all things before God in their order and subjection to Him. It enlarges the new mind and gives a quickness in adaptation of truth which is so necessary for us here and which can only be acquired by the study of God's mind. You may cheer your spirit with detached portions of scripture, but you do not acquire that breadth and volume in the power of which you can reduce everything into its place before God, unless you in some degree apprehend His mind in the greatness and variety in which it is revealed as a whole.


... My impression is that the objection arises from viewing Christ as He is (in a way) to us, instead of looking

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at Him as God was looking at Him when He was here glorifying God as a man. I see that from the beginning man was before the eye of God. The first man utterly failed, but God had a Man in reserve. His Son would become a Man, and through Him the church, the complement of Christ as a man, would be unto God's glory by Christ Jesus throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21). There can be no question as to His divinity. Old commentators held that His miracles were recorded to prove His divinity, but we see that they are recorded to set forth how God was revealing Himself in grace to man. If I am in communion with God, I see Christ as He was here to God, and however fully I may see His personal greatness ("In him all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell" Colossians 1:19), I am not diverted from seeing the greatness of His work and ways as a Man on the earth. I think that the mystery in its magnitude is very little apprehended. How necessary it is that we should have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him in order to conceive what the church is as the complement of Christ. The world could not contain the books which could be written of Him, but the church -- millions upon millions of saints will be His complement, each one of us a bit of the wondrous Man who glorified God here.


The blessings peculiar to Christians cease as soon as Christ moves off the Father's throne. If you apprehend their special peculiarity you will see this must be the case, and therefore there cannot be anything of the order of the church here after the rapture. Why do saints enjoy hearing of all that Christ is to us and at the same time are, apparently at least, uninterested in all that He is in His own circle of things? Because they like Him to come to our side, but are not drawn to His side.

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I want to send you the enclosed paper. In it I confine my remarks altogether to the bride elect before union is known. Dear -------- in his letter travels to both sides -- the Bridegroom's side and the bride's, and it is evident that the subject has furnished him with much interesting meditation. But I am in this paper confining my remarks to the time before union is known, and I have done so on purpose to discover the nature of the affection that one is advocating or seeking. The affection after I have conscious union must be of a very different order or nature to what it is before union is known. When union is known you can say, at any rate -- I am His, and all His is mine, and His interests must be mine. Now the union of the church with Christ can never be typified according to its nature, though it is illustrated in Ephesians 5 by the relationship of man and wife. But no man and wife ever had the same spirit, and that is what the church has with Christ, and the Spirit is the Holy Ghost. It is not merely like nature or like life with Him, but I have the same Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9).

The Lord bless you abundantly and keep you in the sense that He makes us to lie down in green pastures before He asks us to walk.


We need to know what the church is to Christ, and you cannot know that until you understand union with Christ. You may look at it from God's side and see that in His purpose you are united to Christ, but there is also our side. You may see where the Epistle to the Ephesians puts the believer, and yet fail in the practice which God would produce in us by the knowledge of its teaching. The apostle prayed (chapter 1: 18), "that ye may know what is the hope of his calling". He would not have prayed that they might know, if the Ephesians had known these things; and you may know the epistle well, and yet you may not have grasped the reality of

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what the church is to Christ. You cannot have suitability to the position if you do not understand it. The church is the fulness of Christ. The holy city, New Jerusalem, gives us an idea of the magnitude and magnificence of the church.

Paul's gospel and the church came out together. If you do not know Paul's gospel you do not know the mystery. Christ in heaven is Head to His body, the church. In order to reach Christ as Head you must get completely outside the present order of things, and come to a spot where Christ is all and in all. It is outside of man. You know union by the Holy Spirit; it is not the subject of Colossians, there it is more life; the prayer in Ephesians 1 is that you may know union. The Lord has brought me so close to Himself that I am part of Him; and He leaves His mark on each of those who know Him thus.

John does not speak of union, but he describes the holy city. It is descriptive of Christ. You must have divine power in order to be descriptive of the heavenly Man upon earth. The thought of a true wife is how she can make much of her husband, and as united to Christ you are descriptive of Him; His interests are yours. I am not now speaking of service, but of the wonderful nature of our union with Christ. Some of us know what we passed through before having peace. I do not think any soul ever got peace until he wanted it, and no one realises union until they are set for it; but you must first know that you are "accepted in the Beloved", that you are of the same stock, "all of one". We are made partakers of the divine nature.

Eve is the first type or illustration of the church which is given in scripture. God brought Eve to Adam. This will be fulfilled at the coronation day in Revelation 19. The marriage of the Lamb takes place when Babylon, the rival, has been set aside. God calls out the church apart from man's city -- Babylon, and He will shew her to the world as God's city -- New Jerusalem. There is no such joy as we find in chapter 19 when Babylon is judged, and the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready; that is, she has passed the judgment seat, and comes forth arrayed in fine linen, clean and

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white; "the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints". Abraham and other Old Testament saints will be there as guests. They are children of the bridechamber, but they are not united to Christ as the church is. The Spirit of God now brings us into the things which are set forth in the heavenly Jerusalem. We sometimes sing:

'And see the Spirit's power
Has ope'd the heavenly door.' (Hymn 74)

If you know that you belong to the blessed Lord up there in heaven, and have never been there in Spirit, you cannot be a happy man, nor can you act as a heavenly man down here. The Spirit of God conducts us to heaven. The same power that wrought in Christ works towards us. It is not merely that God has a purpose as to us, but He has quickened us together with Christ, and has raised us up together, and made us sit down together in the heavenly places in Christ.

The first thing that you learn when you know union is that you have a new interest. Christ is your interest. You know Christ first as your Saviour, then as your Priest, and in the assembly you learn what suits Him. His interests become paramount with you, and you come to understand what will further those interests. In Ephesians 3 we get the great and present endowments that belong to union. First, Christ dwells in your heart by faith. Secondly, You are able to survey the greatness of your property; you may not be able to take it all in, but you do know something of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. Then in the last verse you have the result, "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end". It goes on through the millennium to the eternal state.

The one unmistakable mark of being in conscious union with Christ is identity of interest with Him, simply because it is the consequence of relationship. Union, however, may be known and yet not enjoyed because there is not communion. This is what I so desire for the Lord's people and what I seek to retain undisturbed myself. This it is that makes us suitable to Him down here. To

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be suitable to His immediate interest in our immediate circumstances is very blessed.

May each of us know the blessedness of conscious union with Christ so that we may be suitable to Him here. It is a great thing to get clearly before one's soul that I am here for Christ.

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From October 1895 to May 1897

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The entries in the following collection were written, dictated, or spoken, by the Lord's beloved and honoured servant -- J. B. S., during the time of extreme bodily prostration which elapsed between the beginning of his illness in October 1895 and May 1897, when he entered into rest. A few of the earliest extracts of the letters were written by himself, until he became too weak to hold a pen, after which he dictated letters as well as papers; the latter are printed elsewhere. It will be observed that some of the entries are marked with a dagger †, which is intended to distinguish them from the dictated pieces, as they were uttered at different times (sometimes in the night) and jotted down, without his knowledge, and with no thought of publication, but for the comfort of those who loved him. Both the letters and utterances are interesting as giving a little insight into the blessed way in which the Lord led him from the beginning to the end of a period of such constant weariness, and often suffering of body, keeping his heart and mind free from its pressure for heavenly things, by so graciously ministering to him His support and sympathy, and giving him such deep enjoyment in Himself, in 'the scene of His glory and power, outside of everything here', as he himself expressed it. How he was sustained by the Lord up to the last moment, in vigour of mind, and unclouded joy in Himself above, as well as in unfailing devotion of heart to His interests on earth, may be gathered in a measure from the extracts. They are sent forth with the simple desire of encouragement to the Lord's people in shewing how His gracious ministry can be known in nature's extremity, by one whose heart is set on Christ in glory; and as an illustration of the word: "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).

November, 1897.

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From October 1895 to May 1897

October 1895

In the lonely hours of the night I get a sense of what Jordan is. In complete helplessness as to myself, and apart from everybody, there is wonderful solace and satisfaction in being so drawn to the Lord that one's heart is absorbed with Himself. The great loss to souls is their not being absorbed with Him. They will gladly speak, read, hear of Christ, but are not absorbed with Him. No one understands Him but as they are in company with Him.


I had a nice word with -------- as to the difference between acceptance and deliverance. It is impossible for any one not knowing deliverance, and what coming to the living Stone is, to have any idea of God manifest in the flesh beyond human speculation.


I have been meditating much on faith and the Spirit, and have been thinking of the way in which Christians put faith in the place of grace and of the Spirit. Faith apprehends God's grace in giving, but grace is the power of God. By the grace of God I am what I am. I see how souls are deceived by putting faith in the place of the Spirit, who is the power.... Faith is the gift of God. Faith sees God, and counts on God, and there is the work of faith with power; but it is the Spirit who leads me into God's counsel for me.


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I feel my weakness more as my energy increases. It is a great lesson to learn that you have no one to turn to but the Lord Himself, and that He is sufficient for you. Death must be learned. How much I require my own teaching now! People think they can enjoy Christ's life without learning death on themselves, but they cannot.


I have to learn in this protracted helplessness that there is no resource but in the Lord; no friends nor letters nor anything but Him. It is a happy lesson to learn in any degree.

I wish I could convey to you the way the Lord's supper opened out to me last night in connection with John 6. You appropriate His death which you remember, and you enter into His life. In a sense you cross the Jordan. I am learning that with even one step in Jordan, things here assume their true colour -- a dry and barren land where no water is, but the sphere of His life gleams before me on the other side, where His presence is perennial joy.


I feel the body is the Lord's. I look to Him to keep me from being occupied in bodily weakness with myself, and that I may be free from myself to think of Him.

I have been meditating on the dispensations. This is the Spirit's day on the earth. Anything that is not of the Spirit is not acceptable to God.


I believe there is the greatest gain from being in the Lord's company -- it is the "manifold more". I have been meditating on "I ... will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). In the one, He is my guest, He comes to me. In the other I am His guest, I go to His place. You prepare yourself to receive a great guest, and you prepare in another way to be His guest -- to be with Him in His own home or place.

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As far as I see Laodicea boasts of all that grace confers, without any of the grace, or "little power", that marks Philadelphia. It is very interesting to see that it is closest association with Christ that corrects that state. "I ... will sup with him, and he with me". I do not think gold is the righteousness conferred but practical.

... Many suppose that they know union with Christ, because in God's grace they are united to Him.

... Nothing understands divine love, but the love that is of God.


The history of a soul taught of God is very interesting; there is a divine order of teaching which the Spirit of God does not depart from.

First, we learn acceptance with God, everything of the old man removed from the eye of God in the cross, so that you are in Christ before Him.

Secondly, you are delivered from the body of this death through the death of Christ, and you by the Spirit are in Christ free from the law of sin and death.

Thirdly, the more you enjoy your deliverance in the life of Christ, the more you realise that He is not here; and that to reach Him here (in the assembly) you have to cross the water (see Matthew 14), to the other side of death, and come to Him, the living Stone, and thus you are built up a spiritual house.

Fourthly, in your infirmities down here you find that He is touched with feeling for you, and as a Great Priest He draws you to His own side, not only to relieve you, but to conduct you into the circle of the consecrated company, associated with Himself in the holiest of all.

Fifthly, the more you are with Him in the Holiest, the more you are in the race, drawn away from the world to where He is, and eventually you find that Jordan is privilege -- that in His death you have died, and are clear of everything in this scene, to enter upon the sphere of His life where you know Him as Head.

Sixthly, when you know Him as Head you soon realise that you are united to Him.

Seventhly, united to Him you are not only in His

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heavenly power but His interests absorb your heart, and you are able to stand for Him here, against all the power of the enemy. See Ephesians 6.



I was very glad to hear from you and of your exercise about faith and the work of the Spirit.

To begin simply at the beginning; the first thing for the soul is faith in God; that is, what God in His grace has wrought for you. Of course, faith is the gift of God, seeing what He has done. In Hebrews 11 they died without having received the promise, but we have received it, and now we come to the Spirit's work -- a work in us. Not I, but Christ liveth in me. So that faith is seeing how God sees me. The Spirit of God enables me to be what God sees me to be -- not in Adam but in Christ. The Spirit of God sets me in Christ according to Romans. God sees me in Christ and not in Adam, because of the work of Christ. The old man is crucified, and by the Spirit I am delivered from the body of this death through the death of Christ; in Christ old things are passed away, all things are become new. By faith I see how God sees me in Christ, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, and by the Spirit I am in Christ.


I have been thinking that I have known Christ's sympathy as to circumstances, and in bereavement, but very little until now as to illness.

I have been dwelling on the greatness of His love, that He would like to have us with Himself, and then I turned to the greatness of His grace in allowing us to be here for Him.


†My world is now very circumscribed. It circles round Himself.


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†I paid a visit to the heavenly regions. To see what I have seen is quite enough to keep one from sleeping. Corruption shall put on incorruption; but I got such a view of it -- of His own glorious body!


†Oh, if every one could see the world as I have seen it these last few weeks they would be afraid to touch it in any shape or form. If we had each accepted the cross all through our lives, how different our lives would be!


January 1896

†You will find the Lord's sympathy better than any human support. Do you know what it is in weakness to find support outside this world? Remember the new ground you are on.


†I am learning a new road in dependence upon Christ all along the road. He has fought the battle, and we get the good of it. Thank Thee, glorious Lord!


†The more you follow one Person alone the more simple your path will be. The reason people find their path so difficult is that they have not a single eye for a single Person.


†I have learned to do without any thing or any one but the Lord. He is enough without letters or friends or anything else.


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†The hindrance in every soul, from the eldest to the youngest, is not being set for the glory. You cannot reach the purpose of God any other way.

Does your heart rejoice in the love that would draw you away from your own darkness into its own light?


†Reading 2 Corinthians 4. Do we belong to the scene where the brightness is, or to the scene where the blindness is? It is not only that the scene is bright, but the Person in it. He belongs to it. It is a great thing for us to belong to it. Wonderful way to open heaven ... by a Person!


†If man would only dwell on the divine reality of God's world, he would see that this is only man's world. In God's world all is divinely beautiful. This is a beautiful world, but it is only like a flower. In God's world all is according to God. I am roaming in beautiful worlds, and I rouse up and find myself in this world.


†Everything is getting so small in contrast to eternal things. I always begin with God; the difficulty is to go on, and not let other things come in.


†There is a great gap between God's things and man's things.... I began with, "I will delight in the Lord", and it brought me to the end of all things here.

A man may get a place in the church, but unless he walks in the Spirit he is not thoroughly for God. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord" (Zechariah 4:6). That is my text.


It is hard to explain my present experience. The great thing before me is that all things are of God. The great

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text before me is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord". I feel I am only at the infancy of Christianity. How small everything is in contrast to eternal things!


†I see an open door -- fulness of blessing, and power to carry one through this world in devotedness to the Lord, but when I look at anything of man it is all confusion and failure. But all is bright up there!


†There is a great contrast between things outside this scene and the things here; but no matter what they are, you must look up to the Lord for small matters as well as for great. My rest is, that I am not conscious of anything here until I open my eyes; I am above the things here in the sense of His power; that is rest even in the night. Outside of everything with the Lord, that is communion; that is what I call rest -- the great thing is to stay in it. Make the Lord your delight and not any circumstance; when lost in Him, that is rest.


†The first thing that made me love the Lord was finding that He loved me. I found that the Lord loved me, and that I could go to Him; I think that is what Peter felt; it was not Peter's love that made him go to the Lord so much as finding that the Lord loved him.


A day's experience in bed. I began with grace and I came to praise. Then I came to see what service is. I see that the great lack in the servant is that it is not the purpose of God that is his ideal. If it is not, if he does not know the purpose of God, he cannot lead souls to glory. You must begin with grace in order to end with

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glory. Your knowledge of the glory is according to the measure of your knowledge of the grace.


I had a thought in the night. Glory is the goal and climax of everything -- the glory righteously displaying itself. We see good and evil together; good overcame the evil in such a way that the glory is displayed righteously and the glory is the climax. God's purpose in the saints necessarily runs along that line, and if they are set for the glory they must be in the purpose, and if they are set for the purpose they are sure to be in the glory, which is the righteous display, or the display righteously of all God's attributes, so that the good has obtained the victory. If this were truly known it would work wonderful advancement in souls, and in the testimony down here.


I have been thinking much of the early chapters of Revelation. Christ among the candlesticks. He has an establishment on earth, and now He is in heaven ready to come for us. Then in chapter 4 He is acknowledged in heaven.

How beautifully John's gospel opens up the new man, new order, new line of things, and starting us with new power.

It is a great favour to be allowed to keep up our acquaintance with one another about heavenly things.


†I should like to make a sketch of the history of the first man and the second. The first man who brought in all the ruin coming to an end in the cross; and the Second Man starting, not from the cross, but from the glory, bringing in everything according to God. Think of a Man in glory! That is a Man according to all God's attributes. Think of knowing Him there! And He is your Saviour, and you are united to Him. What a wonderful picture

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it would be if I could portray it as I see it. It is constantly before me as I lie here musing, so that I am never lonely.



†I had a wonderful night. The whole sky seemed lighted up, the light circling round, and the Lord in the midst, immensely great, surveying the earth. I was there too. It seemed as if He were shewing it to me, or at least there it was for me to see at a distance, and I was but a speck looking at it.


I wish I could convey to you the whole scheme as I have seen it from the first man to the reign of Christ -- the whole sky seemed to be lighted up, and the Lord filling the whole space.

In connection with Antichrist the Latin kingdom is transformed into Babylon -- man's greatness. To make Antichrist a magnificent man is the aim; everything on earth used for this purpose.

Next, Babylon is destroyed, and then the power all comes from heaven. The king comes from heaven. The Lord of glory comes. Then you have the New Jerusalem down here. It comes with the glory of God.


†What a difference it makes in any one to be set for the glorified Man! If you give up for the Lord you get on. If the glorified Man is your object you cannot make anything of yourself. It is such a great thing to colour your whole life, to know that you belong to a Man in glory. Seeing Christ in glory takes you out of everything here.


If you know that you are accepted you want deliverance to enjoy it. Then you find that Christ, who is your life,

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is not here. He is rejected from and by everything in this world. You look about to find Him, and you discover that He has a company -- an assembly, to whom He comes, and where you can meet Him. This separates the heart to Him, not only from system, but from everything here. You find that He is the living Stone, and that you are of Him, as the stone in the quarry was a part of Solomon's temple.


†I have been in the courts of glory. What do you think is the first thing you learn when you get there? You find that glory is your destination.


Read Colossians 3:1 - 4. Wonderful! but if you understand the glorified Man you know how He brings it all in. He has overcome in righteousness. He is glorified in the setting aside of every man.

There is a voice from heaven -- one man is cleared away in judgment, another Man has been introduced, something perfectly new; that is salvation, you cannot make it too simple.


†If you lost a person who was dear to you in one place and found him in another place, it would alter the place to you. You could not be with a person without being in a place. If you leave the place, you lose the power.... It is a great thing to be travelling to the spot where your affections are.

Is it the work of the Lord you are set on, or your own gratification?


The subject before me is the impossibility of diverting a soul from the smallest touch of divine grace. If a soul is saved it cannot be lost. How much time is lost in seeking to establish the fact of election instead of enjoying

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the bloom and freshness of it, seeking excuses for unbelief instead of walking in the power of our calling. If ye do these things ye shall never fall.... If the same time and anxiety wasted in seeking corroboration of salvation had been spent in seeking instead that there should be no soil or shade upon it, how different the walk would have been. When we walk worthy of the calling we have the corroboration of it.


†If you have failed and are looking for restoration where would you begin?

Answer. -- The Nazarite began over again.

That will not do; it is improving the old thing. You must begin at the other side of the failure; you must get on another line -- the line of the glorified Man. When Peter was fully restored he had got hold of the Man in glory, and was occupied with Him; and he could say, "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just". See Acts 3:14. Just what he had done himself. You begin with the good, and go on with the good. That is where I am now. It is a different thing to see a thing and to go the road. You begin on the new line, and the new line leads you to Christ where Christ is. Then you have two things -- power and place. The power of the glorified Man takes you to the place of the glorified Man.


It is a good thing to be in that solitude where nothing can be any light to you but the word of God; you see everything and every one there.

I had a very helpful meditation upon the resource the Lord is when all around is darkness and weariness.


†(Question asked -- 'Why are you not sleeping?') I was thinking of the church, and what the effect would be of a true servant; how it would tell on the saints.

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How many make everything of preaching, instead of seeking to be a pattern man, one standing here for God.


I am trying to study what the course of a servant, a witness, in the true sense, would be -- one really coming from God. I was reading John 17. If a servant came that way into the midst of His people here, altogether from God, what an effect it would have on the saints. I was tracing it through Ephesians. What a blessed thing to come out here as a heavenly man expressive of Him, apart from all connection with the old man!


I am glad that my little meditation on Revelation is put in the Voice as a whole. It is a great thing to present things as a whole. I never remember getting such a sense of God's ways as when I saw it portrayed before me in that book in the dead of night.

... I am trying to write on the true servant. There is nothing very new in it, except one thought which has cheered me greatly, that it is as Christ is endeared to us, and as we really know Him, that we value union with Him, and this is the servant's great business, to make Him attractive to souls.



I had a wonderful night, contesting in my sleep with a man on spiritual subjects. I hope I have got good by it in seeing more clearly that the side I was contending for was Christ only. I had great joy in seeing that Christ alone fills the whole scene.

... I am very much interested in the subject of communion. When do you know communion first?

... I am writing on Laodicea. It is difficult to believe how any can assume to be the church who do not know

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the gospel. The deficiency is really in gospel truth; without that church truth cannot be known. I reproach myself constantly as to how very little I have helped the church when I see what darkness there is on what is really the gospel.


I was thinking this morning that there are two great processes always going on in a Christian, the object being to get morally clear of the old man and to bring in the new man, Christ Jesus. One process is "Beholding the glory of the Lord", bringing you into moral correspondence with Him. The second is a very different action -- "always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus", the life of Jesus manifest in our mortal body. You might have the first in private contemplation, but the second -- the bearing about the dying of Jesus -- would transpire in every movement of your life; on the one hand you receive of Christ, and on the other you part with what is not of Him.


I think you and -------- would like to hear of my experience last night. I awoke in the night with great fervour, occupied with a verse, saved by the mighty power of God. I had been contending for it in my sleep, but the people were making such a rant of it, and I was panting like a hunted hare. I tried to explain to them that salvation was effected on the cross, and that the believer is given the power of God to enjoy it. My great text for myself was, I sat under his shadow with great delight; but that only in the Spirit of God I could enjoy it. The moment I went to sleep the rant began again, and I awoke in excitement. I looked to the Lord to establish the fact to myself, that it is only in the Spirit of God that we can get clear of excitement in the flesh, and the Lord in a marked way made me know that I was free from the flesh, and could enjoy it all in the Spirit.

When I awoke this morning I felt like a man after a race; and in reviewing it, my meditation was, that the first great thing is to overcome the man that was removed in

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the cross, and the next great thing is to walk in the power of God -- to walk in the Spirit.

Those I was contending with were all imaginary people whom I did not know, but you can imagine the sort of night I had.


The Holy Ghost demonstrates to us the character of the world -- no righteousness here, all power broken; this world is an awful place, a great desert without any power for the heavenly man; he can take no position here if he takes the ground of the Holy Ghost; with Christ rejected here he cannot take a place of rule. A man with earthly position might be in John 14:26, but he could not be in John 15:26.


I do not think you understand what I mean by three orders of communion. I mean by individual, having Christ the centre of everything; His own individual connection with us gives this. When I say personal, I mean it is all about Himself -- John 13:14, and general. Any one who is in communion with Him, has the two former. The Son is always in communion with the Father, but as we get into communion with Christ we then share in the communion with the Father. You make communion too much a work instead of the happy outflow of nearness, and this is the beginning of the mistakes about communion so often made.

If I were near you and we had a subject of common interest, I should soon know if we had communion one with another; but in divine communion Christ is the centre. Christ is already in communion with the Father, and as we get into communion with Him we advance into communion with the Father. It is not so much the greatness of the things we know in communion, as the fact that we are in concert with Him. It is the concert with Him and not the knowledge that is prominent with us.


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We do not begin with communion on the same line. I begin from Him down, and I think you are occupied with us. You must find His side. If you had the individual it would not be where we are, but where He is. You would see what it was to Him to place a man in Eden, and so as to all His works. Next will grow what I call personal, how He is displayed in it. Communion is different to every other blessing. We are entirely outside of it; we never are the objects of it, though we are the subjects of it. When before the Lord we are allowed to see what He sees in order to give us an idea of the magnitude of what He is connected with, and as we are near Him we grow connected with it.

Moses had a very different idea of communion to what Paul had. Moses was seeing a new order of things in order to alter the existing ones. Paul was caught up in order more thoroughly to establish him in what he had received. Communion really culminates in eternal life....

The Lord blesses me in order that I should be blessed, and I know that the blessing is from Him. "The blessing of the Lord maketh rich"; but in communion it is more to bring me on familiar level with Himself.


It is a comfort to me that you begin to apprehend the great subject of communion. I am sending a paper on the necessary place feet-washing holds for fellowship with the Lord. I hope you and -------- will read it carefully and understand it. I cannot tell you how it weighs on me that there is an attempt to be in communion with the Lord without being clear of that which caused the distance and judgment. If one truly realises what it is to be cleared, what a joy to Him and what unspeakable gain to us! In society people prepare themselves before they come into company, and this is really what is required to enjoy the Lord's company. The feet must be washed. We must be clear of the flesh, and in the Spirit.


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I have been very much helped lately, though through much conflict, in judging myself as to whether it was that I had faith in the Lord's love for me, or faith in His power (Philippians 4:13 -- "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"). Naturally speaking, you could have more reliance on a friend that has means than on the friend that has no means; but the friend that has no means, if he has love, is a better friend. Therefore if I know that the Lord loves me personally, the more I study that love the more I see, not what He could give, but what He could be to me; and when His love to you begins to be attractive, you are surprised to find where it will lead you, and what it will open out to you.

Every Christian has learned Him as a Saviour, but the first real beginning in the soul of this attachment is your discovery that He loves you. As He said to Peter (Luke 5:10), "Fear not", I will advance you from a mere fisherman to be a fisher of men; for Peter had said, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". It is not only that He is the object of my heart, but I find that the One I love has made me an object to His heart! A great day for the soul! People are ready to say how they love Him, but how far can they say that they are conscious of His love to them? that they so prize it, that it is the greatest secret of their heart? When the Lord's love is before you, you find this love is drawing you from darkness to light. He begins by shewing His desire for your spiritual advancement, and not by advancing you in earthly position. It is beautiful to see that the work of true love is to set aside darkness, or whatever would interfere with association; and therefore it is not esteemed as it ought to be, because we are looking for something on the earth, and the tendency is to judge of His love by earthly gifts or favours down here.

The bride in the Canticles 1:4 began rightly when she said, "Draw me, and we will run after thee". The unfailing mark of true affection, if I know He loves me, is that I seek His company, and therefore plainly, if you keep your first love, you will seek to have company with Him. The Ephesians had given up their heavenly position when they lost their first love. If you are thus

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true in heart to Him, you can follow out what you get in chapter 2:3 "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste". It is very plain that company is dearer to the heart than any gift, and in the end you find -- "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love" (verse 4).

But alas! like the bride, though one knows the peculiar sweetness of sitting under His shadow with great delight, yet the tendency is to think of oneself and one's own interests here, to drop down into selfish engrossment, and sleep like the bride in Canticles 5. Sleeping is not doing anything actually wrong, but it is making oneself happy without the Lord, and a state of inactivity with regard to Him. It often follows a very happy time; but then you feel you have had an irreparable loss, and you want to return to your first love. This we see in chapter 5 brings out great exercise, and the peculiar exercise connected with it, is that which is always fruitful in occupying you with Himself personally, so that when you reach Him again you are nearer to Him: "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine". I would not dwell so long on this point, only that I see it is where the weakness of Christians lies: they do not expect the Lord to draw them out of this place, to make it an unrestful place; on the contrary, they are looking to find rest here.

Surely Mary Magdalene, when in the agony of her heart she could not find the Lord, was indifferent about everything here; but He, true to His love for her, and not merely seeking to relieve her present distress, tells her not to touch Him, but to tell His disciples that He is going away -- a great practical lesson, a deep dark disappointment it must have been to her, but it was the Lord's love which would not conceal from her that the only way henceforth of reaching Him was outside of everything here, which, in the long run, the true heart gladly accepts -- that we can be where He is fully accepted, and be clear of the place where He is refused: as she found before the close of that day, when she met Him again on resurrection ground -- an unequalled moment to her soul! This prepared her for the great history of those who belong to the rejected Christ, set free from everything

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in the purity and perfection of His work, so that she could say: "As he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17), and that, consequently, she is part of the consecrated company; and relieved of every human pressure she can enter the holiest to share before God in all the fragrance and acceptance of Christ, of which we have no type; the fulness and magnitude of it are only made known by the Spirit of God; it is not detailed in scripture. She is united to Him, made a member of His body, and therefore shares in all His interests and all His power, and can come forth to act here unhinderedly according to His own pleasure; and it is then only that the greatness of worship on God's side is fully known.

Now we see how the love of Christ conducts one all along to His own company to be in unclouded communion with the Father and with Himself. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3): we cannot get any higher than that -- a most amazing height; and yet it is from that height, where all things are of God, that we must look down if anything tries us here, instead of trying to scramble out of the trouble by one palliation or another.

I trust you will see very fully, how blessedly one is conducted by His love to a scene where everything is solved, and where your heart is assured that the love that has brought you to the top will order for you all along the road below. But, if you understand it, you look at it, not as being in the trouble, but as living with Him out of it, while marking His gracious way of freeing you from it.



I have had happy times turning to my great resort -- the shadow of His wing, where His fruit is sweet to my taste.

I am writing a paper on the walk and service of the saints. I am especially pleased with two thoughts: 1.-- There is nothing for God here but the Man who came out of heaven, and the more our hearts are drawn to that

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Man the more we part with everything that is not of Him; and 2.-- When we are severed from everything not of Christ, then we are ready for union with Him.


†I have been so happy sitting under His shadow with great delight; so cheered to know that I have a right to be there; and that I may stay there. But I have been learning also the practical side of it -- that the way to keep there is "I am crucified with Christ" -- and therefore no consideration for myself has any place. If I allow any consideration for myself, I am not saying, "Not I, but Christ liveth in me".

Every one has to learn the relief by going through the circumcision. Do not forget that! I say to myself when the panting comes on -- "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me"! -- or else some senseless consideration of myself comes in my way.


... As I ponder here it seems to me that if we had faith all would be simple and grand to us. The Man who died for us to clear us in the sight of God from the offender -- now raised to glory, living in us by the power of His Spirit. If we were clear about the first, we should soon be in the full joy of the second.


†I have had great experience of everything being gone, not by myself but by Another -- that I am set free from everything. I have had such a sense of being carried above everything by the Spirit of God. It is a great thing to go back to your beginning with the Lord -- to find that as He is the only One before God, so He is your only One.


It is very cheering to me to see that the more we realise the true character of the wilderness, the more we feel it a

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privilege to be over Jordan, and dead with Christ, so that we can enjoy Him in His own sphere of life. May this be abundantly enjoyed by you....

I see that the great hindrance in every one is not having accepted the crucifixion of the old man!


... You will find that there is no real attachment to the Lord until His company is valued; friends or business or anything must be secondary to Him. It is not now and then to have His company, but that, that is where you come from, -- from Him. "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee" (Ruth 1:16). I have written a paper on the effect of His love. You will see it in the Voice.


The greatest proof of love is to seek the company of the one you love. I had great joy in the night in finding myself alone with the Lord. The sense of companionship with the Lord is a great delight to me.


Very glad to hear you are leading souls to the knowledge of deliverance. Many believe in it, have faith in the doctrine of it, who have not yet been able to say by the power of the Spirit dwelling in them, "I thank God" as in Romans 7. Adam has been superseded by Christ. I am not in Adam but in Christ.

I believe the great weakness in the collective company is from not apprehending the meaning of the communion of His blood and His body.


If you minister from the study of the Word, you will be interesting and attractive to your audience, but if you come from Christ with a word you will speak in the demonstration of the Spirit.

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Holding the Head is knowing Him as the source of everything.


I have been thinking how little we know of what "eye hath not seen nor ear heard", ... and yet it is revealed to us by His Spirit. I have been longing to get a glimpse of it. I think we can form some idea of it if we enjoy the Lord outside of everything.


If I trace the history of a man of God on earth I see that there is nothing of God for him here; he sees nothing on earth that he wants as a man of God. Nothing can be more enjoyable than absolute devotedness to One whose goodness, love, and worth command your whole heart.


Very few cultivate the Lord's presence as a place to retire to or make it a retreat. Meetings and friends often divert us from His company. No meeting or teaching can make up for His company to the true heart.


I have an interesting subject before me -- that of prayer. Your comfort in prayer depends so much upon being near the Lord. "If we know that he hears us"; we must be near Him to know that. How would you know His mind in prayer -- His pleasure? We do not bear in mind sufficiently that no prayer but by the Spirit can go to Christ. People often think that a well-expressed word is prayer. Sometimes we are sure of reaching the Lord, and sometimes not.

I am weak as to doing anything, but comforted with the assurance that I am under the protection of His wing. I so enjoy the feeling that it is my place to sit under His shadow. It is so secure, so true, so abiding.


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I was glad to hear from you, and have been very thankful to get tidings of you and P-------- Street from time to time. I continue much the same as to health -- very thankful for the Lord's ministry to me. Everything here seems to take a smaller place and everything with Him a greater place. I think if the first great step in the Christian course were divinely understood the saints would have a happier time. If they saw that the old man is removed in the cross and that they are before God in Christ, by the Spirit, in their own eye as in God's eye, they would walk here in deliverance.


I have just been reading part of Matthew 14 and John 17. I have much before me the entrance into the church -- the assembly.

In prayer I have got used lately to take a survey of the places where the Lord's name is named, and I have those who are set for His service especially before me. But when I think of His grace I think what a poor affair our service is. I begin at Dublin and travel on to Edinburgh. I like to have all the chief labourers before me, and also the women who laboured with me in the gospel.

I have been thinking of the dispensations. 1. From the flood to the call of Abraham. 2. Promises to faith. 3. Kingdom in man's hand. 4. Christ here. 5. The Spirit. I am wishing to write on them in order to bring out No. 5 - The Spirit's dispensation.


Many thanks for your letter on man's assumption of Christ's rights in the church. It is a terrible delusion. The Roman power conceded it to the church as if they could restore to Christ His rights, but the clergy were glad to snap at it in order to have power here, and the end will be that Antichrist will assume it as his right. No man walking in the life of Christ will be drawn into the delusion.

As to your question about stones and living stones, every one is a stone who has received the Holy Ghost --

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he belongs to the building, but the question really is -- Is he in his place? Has he answered to his responsibility as to that?

Knowing that you belong to Christ is not the same as being conducted to where He is, outside the scene of His rejection.


Do you understand that there is no man before God here? The Man before God is in glory, and every one believing in Him is before God in Him. The Spirit of that Man -- the Holy Ghost is here. I wish I could convey to you how it came before me in the night and hindered my sleep -- the wondrous fact that there is no man on the earth before God; the responsible man removed in judgment. It is the day of grace and not of responsibility. If you adhere to responsibility you refuse the grace. I could not convey to you what a scene it appeared to me last night -- no man before God here, and the only Man before Him the Man in heavenly glory, but the Spirit of that Man with His own here.


Glad to get your letter. The saints at -------- have been much on my heart. I enjoyed the many times I was with them. Many thanks for all your kindness and love. I would only say one word -- It is a great thing for a servant here to have before him the purpose of God, which is that each member should know that he is united to Christ. Then he works here for Him and from Him.



If you felt that the death of Christ had blighted this world for you as you say that of -------- did, you would be a happy man, because your heart would have found an object outside this world who is able to satisfy you completely, not only now but for all eternity. If you look

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for happiness in things here instead of in a Person who is not here you will never find it.


About the bride in Canticles 5. First, there was indolence of heart as one who is away from the Lord. She had not His company. Next, He desires to resume company. He knocks; that is circumstance, not love exactly; a knock is not a voice, it is a circumstance. He knocks, but she is reluctant to join Him. I am more and more convinced that as love increases the desire for His company increases. The company of friends diverts from it; when the heart is true to Him it is not satisfied without being in His company. Preaching or going to meetings cannot satisfy it. There is no real attachment but as His company is valued. Do you ever go to the Lord without wanting anything from Him, but just wishing to be in His company? You cannot be in the Lord's company without being transformed into His image.


It is very evident that if the truth does not produce an effect upon a man himself he cannot be the instrument to produce an effect by the truth upon others. Nothing more palpable as to the servant of God than that it is not what he knows that affects others, but what he is. If you do not know what God's purpose is you do not know what you are working for. A builder would not work without a plan. A great deficiency in saints is that they have no clear idea of God's purpose. Some would say it is the salvation of souls; the fact is, it is to prepare a bride for His Son in glory; this is the mystery kept secret from the foundation of the world, so that even an evangelist, if he comes from Christ, ought to know what his finish is, what he is set for, though he has only to do with the beginning.


It is wonderful to me to see that nothing here helps you in the Lord's service. It is not only that we have to

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travel through the wilderness, but one day we have to cross the Jordan and to realise that we are severed from everything here to enjoy the sphere where He is, even though we have to resume links here. It is a wonderful day to the soul when we can realise the perfection of being in His things, severed from everything here and thus really capacitated for His interests by being so identified with Him.


It has pressed on me how little labouring brethren know and prize the gifts they have received from the Lord for His service. The gift is as definite as your salvation, but if you know the gift, you know how He has empowered you to act. If I were to remain with my brethren, what I trust I should press on them would be that each should know the gift which he had received of the Lord. Praying and ministry of the word are put together in scripture; therefore if I know what He has called me to, I pray for those whom I seek to serve; I learn what they require. Every fresh bit you get for yourself it is not merely to strengthen yourself, but to enable you to meet their need. This would make a very peculiar servant, but a very useful one. For instance, if I look abroad among the mass of your hearers, I rejoice that they have found peace with God, and are assured of the eternity of it on His side; but I believe that neither you nor I have an idea how little deliverance is known in the full sense of the word according to scripture. I think many are quite sure that they stand accepted, clear in the sight of God for ever, and they find rest of heart in the sense that God sees them without a cloud; but they cannot look up to God and say, that they are without a cloud; they are not yet delivered from the old man, no longer in Adam but in Christ. You see yourself clear because in the Spirit of Christ. People try to get deliverance because of the fulness of their acceptance, but it is only as they are in the Spirit of Christ that they have deliverance.

The work of the Cross for acceptance, the work of the Spirit for deliverance; once this is known it imparts great power to the servant, because then he sees not only the

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negative, but the positive. A man who believes in the grace of God is very strong on the negative, he sees that everything must be removed, but the man of real vigour, the man in divine power, is the man who has himself touched the positive; and therefore he is a good guide to conduct you to it. He knows that it is God's grace to all, but he has tasted of it himself. I know men amongst us who can denounce the old man in a very strong way, who can tell you nothing about the new man.

One word more; a question that has very much interested me, is whether the workman is set for the purpose of God, to lead the saints into the present enjoyment of union with Christ?

How few labourers have it prominently before them!


Two duties are plain -- one that you are to use the gift that the Lord has given you for His service, the other -- that "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Genesis 3:19). Now, if you cannot carry out the second, while fulfilling the first, it is clear that the first must get the preference; then you are cast on His love through the saints for maintenance.

I am sure that while a man can carry on the Lord's work, and work for his own maintenance at the same time, it is the most blessed path. I have not found that men of private means, as a rule, are the best servants. On the other hand when the labourer begins to look for his reward for his work, he is more occupied with his faith for himself, than with his work.

I feel a servant of the Lord ought to do his work leaving results to the Lord, and not depending on any one. The one who has helped him this time might not do so next time, and where there is least apparent means there is often a greater tribute because of love. I stuck to secular employment myself until I was advanced in years, and since then I never wanted anything; in fact I found saints more ready to give in every way than I required to receive.

The secret is to keep your service before you, and if you are not recompensed at the moment, you will be recompensed in time. I do not think any one is truly in

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the Lord's service, if he does not work as hard in it as he would in his secular employment.

The Lord direct you to Himself, because if you keep Himself before you, all the rest will come right.



Your fragrant gift has come. Your love for me has been fragrant for many years. We may receive gifts from any one, but we can only know love from nearness of association. Many judge of God's favour or love by His gifts. Mary, who sat at His feet, knew more about Him than that. His love is greater than His gifts. May you be kept so near Him, in company with Himself, not only to get from Him, but so to know Him that you know you have parted from the resource of your heart when you have parted from Him. Love delights in being rather than in doing. May you increase in the knowledge of His company.


†What joy to find that the old man is crucified with Christ. To one like myself practically apart from this scene, it is a source of unspeakable joy and comfort.


Very glad to get your letter, and that you see the importance of combining the objective and subjective. If any one cannot rejoice in God's grace he is not in conformity to it. My meditation today has been that very few know how the old man is disposed of.

I can quite understand your feeling about Quemerford, but if my absence is a loss, every one interested in the Lord's work ought to try and make up for it. If you go there to the Lord you are sure to be supported. I am better today; tried to finish my paper on the objective and subjective.


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I have been greatly interested, and I hope helped, by seeing the imperfect way we learn truth; not that the truth is imperfect, but we have learned it imperfectly. Some of us have been more occupied with seeing that we get the truth accurately, as revealed in the word of God, than we have been with understanding the state that is necessary in ourselves to our apprehension of what is revealed. Many have been satisfied with seeing the purpose of God's grace, but I find that there is a great deal more said about the state that is to enable us to receive it. For instance, in Ephesians 1 the prayer that you may be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation is before you have received the truth; that is, that you must have got the mind of God in its breadth, before you can understand the mind of God. We have been too much satisfied with clear exposition of truth, and have contented ourselves with thinking that we had the truth because we had the exposition of it, instead of seeing that we require a divine state to enable us to apprehend the truth. This is most important as shewing how necessary the subjective is for the apprehension of the objective. Generally the former has been put after the latter, but if we study the ways of God, we shall find that He prepares us for the truth by giving us a state which can appreciate the truth before He enunciates the truth to us. We have thought everything of getting a clear idea of truth, whereas getting a state that can appreciate the truth is the great grace of God.

We get a striking example of this in the parable of the sower. The same seed had a very different effect on each heart. The state of the heart gave effect to the seed. It enhances God's grace to us very much when we see that when He makes known His grace He gives a state that can appreciate His grace. I am sure I have sought to bring heaven before souls, but I find that I have too much overlooked the journey to heaven. Though Christ is the great object there, we must remember that there is no way to heaven but through the wilderness and over Jordan. We have thought that we had got there because our faith was in Christ who is there, but the real proof that we have reached any truth is that we have the state that fits us

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for it. The state of one risen with Christ is having put on the new man. No one knows what it is to be in heaven with Christ until he knows what it is to be severed from every link here, with Christ to walk through Jordan. He may resume links here, but he can never lose the state which fitted him for being in heaven. And there it is not what we have lost that occupies us, but the immensity of the gain where we have been entranced. I think a great defect in souls, is that they have not crossed Jordan -- have not realised what it is to have died with Christ, and to be thereby severed from everything in this world. And if you are not in heart and experience over Jordan, you do not know the Lord as Head.


Glad to get your letter. How beautiful the experience is that it is the Lord's work. How different to an account of one's own feelings and desires. If we understood better the gracious way He leads us on, and had more experience of it, we should be greatly delighted.

At present I am trying to understand the experience of being over Jordan. I see what it is to be severed from everything here, and to find absolute satisfaction in Him -- a very interesting knowledge; but for those who have to resume their links here it must be very different from those who need never resume them; so that over Jordan is a deeply interesting study with me. I cannot but think that those who look only at the objective truth lose the sense of the Lord's interest in leading them little by little into the taste and ability to enjoy His things. It seems even common sense to know that when a thing is immensely beyond you, you could not appreciate it if you had not the nature and ability for it. If you have not it is like the hen that found the diamond which was of no value to her.


I was much pleased with each of your letters telling me of the grace of God to each of you in a different aspect. Wonderful the grace of our God!

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I have been very much interested in seeing that you must have the state to enjoy God's grace. It is a divine state; you must get the best robe to enjoy the great supper (Luke 14), and you never lose the state. The state is yours, though you are not always enjoying the supper. I think this is of great importance. You must have the state to enjoy the grace. The state you are given to cross the Jordan remains yours though you may have to resume things here. The state that is given to you is not so much the enjoyment as your being able to appropriate the grace. It is on the subjective side you have the joy. Faith is subjective and it is when you enter upon the subjective that you enjoy the grace and have the best robe to enjoy the supper; and when we receive ability from God -- the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him to understand the mystery, it is that we may enjoy the mystery. It is when we are in the subjective that we enjoy it.

... The state for risen with Christ is having put on the new man.


I have had a lovely meditation on John 17 and a splendid view of the gospel -- man put away and another Man before God.... I have new light on the objective and subjective; I have been thinking of it for two days. How long one takes to learn truth! I feel like a dog at a marrow bone, only reaching now what I have been at for years.


It is a great thing when the Lord continues His own here for His own pleasure. When I think that He knows so well the difference between this place and His place I am sure He would not continue any one here who wished to go to Him but for His own pleasure and their benefit.

Of course I am thinking a good deal of Quemerford, and have expressed my desire that they will insist upon the truth that the Lord revived to Mr. Darby, that Christ is the Head of the body. I find as I look around that what is so little known is new creation; so many are not clear

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of the old, and do not see any divine way of getting clear. Many an honest man has not got on because he is not clear of the old man; he may be clear as to salvation, and yet not be clear that old things are passed away and all become new. Until this is known the new man is never heartily embraced.

My nights are good, but my strength does not increase and I am often very weary in the day time.


I want to send a message to each of you four, though I cannot apply the truth to each as it suits each, yet I hope each one will be able to apply it to herself.

In our journey to the Lord, one day or other, sooner or later, we must cross the Jordan. Every one now that is spiritual when he gets near the Lord is over Jordan in spirit, but it is not every one who is over in spirit who has really walked it over and knows what it is consciously to be over. So many are leavened by the tendency to confine ourselves to the objective truth, that all is ours and that we have it. But God is very gracious; He not only gives us everything, but He gives us the nature and ability in order to enjoy His gifts. I desire for each of you that you may understand the grace of being really over. When you are, you have the sense of being severed from every link here, but you have no loss because you are enjoying the Lord and His line of things. No one can really minister Him in power until he is brought into this experience. Every one must in spirit be over Jordan to be with Him for the enjoyment of his own soul. Do not content yourselves with knowing that it is all yours, though it is all yours through divine grace; but see that His grace has fitted you for the practical enjoyment of it; and then if you resume links here you do so with the consciousness that you belong to a place that is radiant with all His interests, and that your severance from things here is no loss to you. Let this be the study for each of you in the secret of your souls and you will be greatly blessed.


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... I am glad to think of you as the Lord's servant....

The more you are the Lord's servant, the better you will fulfil every other relation of His appointment. The greatest devotedness in a servant of the Lord is to follow Him. "If any man serve me, let him follow me" (John 12:26). It is a path the vulture's eye hath not seen, and if you follow the Lord you not only know Him for yourself increasingly, but you are better able to tell of Him to others.

It is quite possible for the servant to be truly receptive, and to be able, as he is spiritual, to judge all things; but the great aim of the servant should be to make His Lord known. You may be sharp in seeing distinctions between the expositions of truths, but what really gives power is being able to state what is of Christ. Locke says, that a man of judgment nicely distinguishes between two points in which there is the least difference. Human cleverness likes to dwell upon the distinction, but the great thought of the servant of the Lord is to connect the soul with that which is of God. If this be your aim you will be a useful servant, but you must be much with Him or you will not be up to it.

The Lord bless you much.


... It is very cheering to me to hear that they were contending for the truth about the living Stone, because I see from Scripture that the Man who glorified God where we dishonoured Him is in glory, and therefore on earth there is no man. There is another Man accepted before God, but the Holy Ghost is here, and if we are of Christ we must be led by the Spirit of God; and we could not find Him here risen and in glory but as outside everything of man. Thus we know Him in the assembly as the living Stone at the other side of death. I have often remarked that John 6 and Matthew 15 occurred together. You could not be in Christ's company but in Christ's life, therefore He breathed on them in John 20. -- His first interview with them as risen.


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(Reading Numbers.) The part that cheered me most was seeing that truly accepting the way to Canaan (heaven) is through the wilderness, leaving everything behind because of what was before them until they finally crossed the Jordan, and were in the sphere of His life. I think I see it in my own history. When I was living with Mr. D. in 1835 I tried to write a hymn, one verse was:

'To us the world is vile and dross,
Whate'er was gain we count but loss,
Yon heaven is our home!'

My comment on it now is, It is a great thing to get hold of the place definitely, but as I consider it now, I had then very little idea of the way to it; and now that I have in some measure learned the way to His place I can truly say,

'The world is a wilderness wide,
I have nothing to seek nor to choose.' (Hymn 139)


... It is a great hindrance to souls to begin exclusively with the gospel; that is, occupied only with the great benefits of grace; they thus confine Christ to meeting their own need, and do not see that it is the purpose of God to unite them to Christ in heaven; just as one might dilate very largely on Christ in the ship as in Matthew 8 and not venture to say a word about Christ walking on the water as in Matthew 14. In Paul's gospel he brings you to glory -- he begins with Christ in glory. If souls understood this better they would understand from their start that this world is a wilderness, and would learn more and more every day that there is nothing for Christ here, and that the heart that seeks Christ must seek Him where He is. This is the great teaching of the book of Hebrews; you are drawn away, first through your infirmities, by Christ who is not here to find yourself with Him in the cloudless light of God. In the book of Hebrews nothing is conferred on you here; everything is conferred with Christ outside of the world, so the great result is that we

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are inside the veil and outside the camp. There is no other road to heaven now but through the wilderness and over Jordan. You get no taste of what Christ is to you but as you are really in heart over Jordan with Him. For any special light or power, such as knowing Him as Head, you must be over Jordan if it be only for a moment, and I believe, besides this, there is an actual sense that you have crossed the Jordan with Him, so that you are severed from every link here, and find unspeakable happiness in being with Him. A great day for the heart, and a journey you must take one day, for there is only one way to heaven. I hope you will not find this very difficult to understand. Study it until you do understand it. Give yourself to it before the Lord until you do.


I must tell you that I have begun a paper on Jordan. I dare say some would be surprised when I say that I see the measure of every Christian's power here is the measure in which he knows death with Christ. There is no judgment in Jordan. It is really liberation from everything here connected with the first man. According as you are with Him -- the second Man, who is out of death, you are in power.

I have not studied --------'s questions yet, they are not easy to answer. As to No. 1, What are the snares of a servant? One man's snare is not another's. The greatest snare is the thing you like best naturally. Advance is always in proportion to surrender. When we do surrender we have manifold more.

We can see very plainly that where gospel work carries the day there is no thought of Christ beyond what He would be in His grace to us here. I have often described the work current as good gospel, good conduct, good works. The gospel of the glory takes a new line.


It is a great thing that God is not demanding anything now. Before it was, Do this and live. Now it is,

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"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 45:22). How very little one walks under the control of the Spirit of God! If people really felt that the first man is gone in judgment they would feel there is no use in trying to improve him. If I walk in the Spirit I am directed about everything by the Spirit, and the first man is gone from me as he is gone from God. I notice how quickly one is betrayed into the natural will, but we are Christ's slaves, under His direction. We have no right to anything of our own will or inclination. It is all at His pleasure. Ours is a wonderful history.


No one is really proof against the world who does not know the love of the Father, and no one is proof against the flesh unless he is in Christ. One going on in devotedness to the Lord is like a spring in the desert. I am learning more every day that the more absolutely I am freed from the old man, the more I rejoice in my freedom, and also the more I find that Christ can be more to me than all. It is not only relief, but "my cup runneth over". How much is lost by occupation with oneself and present things! How much I now enjoy having only to do with what is unseen and eternal.


I rejoice in your decision for the Lord. It is plain that if a man work not neither shall he eat; but when the Lord calls, His service must be preferred to one's natural duty, and if you are really in His service you will have to work as continuously as if you were in secular employment. The Lord keep you in the freshness of faith in Himself, going forth in His work, not undertaking more than He gives you grace for. I have pressed upon my brethren not to give up their secular employment until the work of the Lord so increased upon them that they must give up one or the other. The Lord bless you much.


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I was very glad to get your letter, it cheered me much. In early days you were always ready for fresh light; it is a great thing to see it, and greater still when you follow it. I am thankful I have you in remembrance before the Lord I might say almost daily. The more I look back and judge myself, the more I see that it is some small thing that diverts one from following the Lord wholly. It is wonderful to me to see that nothing here helps you in His service. It is not only that we have to travel through the wilderness, but one day we have to cross the Jordan, and to realise that we are severed from everything here to enjoy the sphere where He is, even though we have to resume links here. It is a wonderful day to the soul when you can realise the perfection of being in His things severed from everything of man, and thus really capacitated for His interests here by being so identified with Him.

The Lord bless you much and increase you in your service to Him.


... My word to you is, "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them" (2 Timothy 3:14). I think that in a day like this we have to cling to our beginning with the Lord, and as we cling, we are led into fuller light. It is a great thing to be sure as far as you go on.

The first thing for a man of God in this day to be assured of is, that there is now no recognition of the old man with God. The Son of God became a Man that He might set aside that man in judgment. Now, if you have got this first step -- to know as a fact that the Man who glorified God in all His attributes is the only One with God, and that He is your only One, because we are born of God, it is an immense start for the servant of Christ; he starts from one Person who is God, and who has glorified God as a Man. When we receive the Holy Ghost we know our relation to God on His side, and on our own. On His side it is God's love perfected with us, 1 John 4; and on our side we know that we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; we are in Him, in the Man who glorified God. This is deliverance, "As he is, so are we in this

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world". Many a one tastes of God's love who does not know in himself by the Spirit, that he is not in Adam but in Christ, that he starts from Christ.

I think that the next step, as to gathering souls together, is quite secondary to the first, and you have always to refer to the first as a pivot, and the source of everything. If you are really set in heart for this, those you draw to Him will be of Him, and as they behold Him, they will be transformed into the same image. I think any faithful man having these two points can effect great blessing in this day, and if you were faithful in these two points you would have the brightest company.

Everything is in ruins; the church about to be spued out of His mouth. Three things characterise those who are faithful to the Lord. "Thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8).

I think it is fearful to anticipate the scattering and darkness consequent on the church being spued out of His mouth, and it is a great thing to fall back upon what cannot be shaken. Two things I commend to your heart, your place with Christ, and the saints' place with Christ, only known as His heart is known; so the servant has a wide field outside of all the labyrinth of questions around, through which he can only find his way as he clings fully to the Lord.



I want to interest you in what is much before me, to bring before the brethren how little the truth made known to Mr. Darby has been maintained and pressed by us. I am trying to write a review of the way it has been opposed and refused, and I want it to be made a prominent subject at Quemerford, in order to lead the saints to give more thought to what was given by the Lord in this century. Each one is responsible for its maintenance. This is my message to them with my best love.


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I feel it is a very important time. I hope the Lord will lead out His servants fully for Himself at this time. I have written a short review of the way the truth which was given to Mr. Darby in the beginning of the century has been opposed, and how little accepted. My desire is that the saints should be exhorted, that if we do not value what the Lord has been pleased to restore, we cannot expect more. How few really do know anything of new creation! How slowly we accept that the old must go! And there are very few who are occupied with the new. They look upon it more as a future thing than as a present portion. The idea that all is mine through His grace, and that is enough, has worked much harm in souls, because they were satisfied with the belief that all was theirs, though they were not enjoying it. Even in our own day I can see that when there was less light there was more piety. Now with greater light there is less piety. As if God could separate His gifts from the enjoyment of them. But, of course, if we only want the gift and do not want Himself, He does not give the grace to enjoy it. When near Him you learn what His grace is; and the nearer you are to Him the more true piety you have, and the more you learn of His grace. I see very often that a saint with much piety learns more quickly than the one with much truth. Mary Magdalene was very ignorant, but she was very devoted to the Lord.


I quite agree with R. that the corn of the land is collective and the manna individual. Manna applies to all the variations of the individual path down here, whereas the corn is Christ in heaven glorified. Mr. D. used to say that we do not find the corn in John 6, and that the corn of the land is where it grew, therefore we get the first taste of it in the assembly.


The doctor reports that I am going on satisfactorily, and wants me to get out the first fine day; but I cannot see this for myself. My one desire is to know the Lord's

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mind. I am afraid to express any wish as to it, fearing that it might not be in consonance with His.

I have been greatly interested in dwelling on one simple fact, that while we all admit in one shape or other that the old man must be removed, hardly any one is occupied with the new man or new creation. I cannot tell you what an interest it is to me now to turn from all and to ponder what the new man is. Many look upon it as future, and many a one has been turned back, because he was not ready for the new. It has been a great help to me lately seeing more clearly how completely the old has passed away, and that the new is dawning on us. May we really apprehend what it is to put on the new man.


As to the question about John 6 -- John 6 is the way into life. It is neither the manna, which is the grace of Christ's life in the wilderness, nor is it the corn; but He is our life, and therefore we have His life whatever place He is in.

Of course -------- is right in saying that every Christian who is going on is not advancing in this world. He is so attracted by better things that he becomes indifferent to things here.... I have finished my paper on atonement, and am pondering one now on the purpose of God. We see all through scripture the way the enemy diverts from the purpose of God.

I have been writing to -------- and --------, that I look to God to lead them each to have an understanding with Him in private, that He may be their object; with the text, "My soul followeth hard after thee".


I enjoyed F.E.R.'s paper in the Voice+ very much. 'God in Christ -- Father and Son.' I think we very slowly get into the latter. It is entirely outside us, as John 17 shews us. Sonship is greater than membership of His body. The great defect is, that while we see clearly

+Volume 30, 1896.

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acceptance with God, we do not enjoy in ourselves the fact that the old man is gone in judgment. I knew it for myself for years after beginning with dear Mr. D., but I had no idea of getting rid of the flesh except by coercion. I was happy while looking up to God, but miserable when looking at myself -- mourning over the terribleness of the flesh; I had no idea that it was gone. I was always pressing death, I meant my own death, because Christ had died; but I had not yet seen that, if walking in the Spirit, the old man was gone for me, and it was useless to be occupied with him. The discovery of this is a wonderful deliverance, and you make no progress in Christ till this is known.


I quite agree with you as to deliverance. People have a very feeble idea of what deliverance is. Some think it is deliverance from judgment -- the Red Sea. I see that God sees me apart from the old man in the cross, and in Christ before Him, and that the Spirit of God can supersede the old man in me and make me know that I am in Christ, so that I am a new "I", and the life that I now live in flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved and gave Himself for me.

I have been much interested in seeing the beauty and importance of breaking bread. It gives the heart such a sense of the love of Christ to us; and on the other hand all man's hopes and honours are gone. Nothing can save him but the death of the Lord. Christendom loses the power in saying, 'Remember that Christ died for thee.' Of course you could not exclude that, but the paramount thought is to remember Himself in His death.


... I see very plainly where all our difficulty lies. First we have not seen and enjoyed the entire removal of the old man according to the greatness and extent of God's mind; hence we are not prepared to enter upon the new. It is wonderfully beautiful when fully accepted that the One who died to clear me from the old man now lives in me

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to the delight of God. I cannot know Him but by association with Him. The objective school have done irreparable mischief -- it is like having light without an eye. You and I can remember how much more piety there was as to practical life, houses, etc., when there was less light.


Beloved Brethren, -- It is not the Lord's will that I should be with you at this time, but I rejoice in His constant special care of you, in sending His dear servants to help you on in His mind.

I have only one suggestion to make to you, and that is, that you not only follow Him in heart adoringly for His wonderful service and interest in you down here, but that each of you study to know something of "beholding His glory" -- not so much what you say to Him as what He is to you; not so much your prayers as the sense of being lost in the blessedness of being near Him, outside this world; and this you will find will have a greater effect on you than even His hearing your prayers.

For the Newport Brethren on July 1st and 2nd.


Somebody said of ---------- that he dearly loved the Lord, and that he is now with the One who loved him. He now knows Love, where it is satisfied, I will rest in my love. I think the practical difficulty with souls is to realise the fact that this world is a wilderness because Christ has been rejected and put to death here, and if we are true to the profession of the communion of his blood, the reality of His death -- not alone the benefit of it -- would be more touchingly prominent to our hearts, and like Mary Magdalene we should learn to find Him where He is, and in learning Him thus risen out of death, we should be not only richly blessed ourselves, but able to help others, able in truth to say --

''Tis the treasure I've found in His love,
That has made me a pilgrim below.' (Hymn 139)


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I look upon the twelve stones in Jordan as figuratively Christ for Israel in Jordan, and the twelve stones on the bank, Christ in resurrection. The great thing for us to learn is the three waters: first, the Red Sea, which is the judgment of death, a way opened through the death and resurrection of Christ. Next, Marah; in the wilderness we have nothing but Marah; death is our portion here; Christ, having passed through it, sweetens it for us. Then Jordan, which is our death with Him, and the moment we touch it we find that all judgment is passed. He is gone to the other side of death, and we have to do with Him on the other side of death; we are in His life -- He is our life.


I think if -------- studies the end of Luke 10 he will see that grace came in when law was not able to meet the need of man. The man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho was going downward, and was left half dead. Neither priest nor Levites could do him any service, because he could do nothing. A stranger -- Christ -- came and poured in oil and wine and relieved him, first of the death wounds, and then set him on his own beast. The power which brought Christ into our circumstances, brought us out of them. An "inn" is not the same word as an hotel, it is more a courtyard or a caravansary, and there He took care of him, bearing all his expenses, while he is a stranger and a pilgrim here. This is the earthly side of the gospel, how a man is set up here -- cured, carried, and cared for. The prodigal is the heavenly side.

As to the mixed condition, the body is the Lord's, as we learn from Romans 12, and it belongs to the Lord just as much as a horse belongs to its owner. You have to do the Lord's pleasure in your body whatever you have to do, whether to buy or to sell. The body is not yet redeemed, but you are born of the Spirit, and you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.

Your friend is in the future, but not in the present. We see in meetings how much this is the case with souls. How often when there is a stir for Christ in the meeting some one gives out a hymn about the Lord's coming, to shew

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that by-and-by they will be for Him; but the thing is to be for Him now; that is the present.


We have been reading John 17. Everything in it is outside man. It is very interesting to see how it unfolds to us the way we learn the Father. The first verse and the last shew what the character of it is. I say to myself how much better I know the love of God than I know the love of the Father. I see the great point in the admonition to young men (1 John 2) is, that if they love the world, the love of the Father is not in them; it is so unique, and outside the comprehension of man. We begin (John 17) with eternal life -- knowing Him, and then we come from Him, by whom we are sanctified. Though in the world, we are preserved from the evil in it; our hearts are drawn away to Christ who is entirely separated from it. This is all apostolic; where we come in is verse 23. I believe the new Jerusalem will be the great expression of this. The world that will be then, will believe that the Father sent the Son, and I believe if we were more in keeping now with what we are called to -- supposing all the saints were united, all going on together in one spirit and one mind -- it would have a wonderful effect upon the world! It is only the world in us that can cause a difference of opinion between us, and those who get nearer to the Lord are really nearer to one another in mind and thought. I cannot understand being estranged from a saint who is as near to the Lord as myself.


I quite agree with you as to 'effort'. I have found nothing so difficult to myself, and I perceive it in others, as to realise practically as an absolute fact that the old man is gone in judgment from the eye of God in the cross. If we accepted this simply we should neither look for good or bad from that which is judicially terminated; and then, as this is realised, Christ would be our entire occupation; the Spirit would lead to nothing else.

The Lord comfort you much.


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If I look at myself and others I see how slowly one has really accepted the fact that the old man has been removed in judgment from the eye of God. I believe if we kept this distinctly as an absolute truth before our hearts, we should look at everything in a different light. It is a beginning that has a great fruition. I rejoice to think that you know what it is to reach the Lord at the other side of Jordan. May He increase this more and more to you.


These months have been a profitable time to me; I have been able to trace all the Lord's grace to me in spite of all my failure, so that now to pass away to be with Him is better than the brightest circle of things that could be offered to me here.

I find some who have known what the Red Sea is, and have travelled through Christ's death to Him risen, and are thus at full peace with God, yet do not heartily accept that this world is a wilderness where Christ is rejected, and therefore are not set for Jordan -- to be dead with Him from everything here -- to taste of the unclouded joy that is in His presence in glory.



I am greatly interested in Psalm 73. When the presence of the Lord is before the soul how differently everything comes out! Though then His presence was only known in a cloud; how much more now in a living Person.

I was writing this morning that we must not think more of God's gifts than of Himself. Love gives most to those to whom it has given most. If you value His gifts more than Himself your heart has declined. I have been pondering on the love of the Father. It is remarkable that --------would not accept that we are loved as Christ is loved -- so dark as to the new order.

... Fancy its being said that 'Dead with Christ'

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is only standing! The great joy to the heart is that man is not only gone to God, but in the Spirit he is gone to us. We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, a wondrous joy. May we keep more in the joy of it.


It is remarkable that as we advance we like best those who are advancing. Those who never gave up the world honestly are sure to go back to it. If we receive light and do not walk in it we are sure to be ensnared. It is a sad thing to have a head full of knowledge and a heart following its own will.


Putting on Christ is profession, as I have contended before now. Paul says, I stand in doubt of you. "In Christ" is the state you begin with, as transferred from Adam to Christ, but you have not put on the new man -- Christ, fully until you have morally parted from the old man, and that is not until you are in spirit at the other side of death.

I feel more and more every day that the objective school leads to Laodicea. Poor -------- in trying to establish the subjective turned to Laodicea instead of clinging to Philadelphia. I can see in so many the mischief of being solely subjective; it is the opposite snare of being solely objective.


I have begun a paper on the love of the Father. It is opening more to me as I go on. With the Lord's help I hope it may be useful. I hope that you will both study it carefully. I will give you one idea. There is a great difference between descending love and ascending love. The love of the daughter to the mother is ascending love.

I was awake a little while last night and greatly interested in seeing the difference between manna and eternal life; manna is the grace of Christ's life in the most incongruous circumstances in the form of a servant, while

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eternal life in its own sphere is according to its own order. Do you see the difference?


I enclose a paper, 'The Love of God and the love of the Father.' I am not up to much today. You cannot confound the words of Christ and the words of the Father. Christ's word is to the man down here; the word of the Father is from the Father to His own. Christ walked down here in the love of the Father.

"Without me ye can do nothing" is a very sweeping statement, but very encouraging.


I was glad that you had such a profitable reading at --------. I think if you read carefully my paper on the new man you will see that I not only agree with -------- but I give reasons why it must be so. I say in Ephesians those to whom this is addressed come from being seated in heaven, or they could not come out in the new way. In Colossians I shew that holding the Head you have put off the old man, and your knowledge is increased, but you do not come out in the full way that you do in Ephesians.

Putting on Christ as in Galatians I connect more with profession.

When you come from heaven you come out on the earth as a new man, not only in your own private circle, but as in Ephesians 6, you come out here superior to all the power of the enemy. You will find it interesting to trace the progress from Ephesians 4 to end of Ephesians 6.


I think there is great blessing from meditation. Truth gets fitted in, in all its parts, and greatly enlarged to your view as you ponder on it. It is important that we meditate on what is present. Every Christian refers to the past or the future; very few to the present. You get an example

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of what I mean in Psalm 73. The individual gets his answer from the Lord, when there is only a cloud of glory, a most blessed answer, shewing the effect of being in God's presence. But we get the Lord's present mind by beholding His glory (2 Corinthians 3). You are transformed into His mind, like the two disciples going to Emmaus, not from reading scripture but from being in His presence. You might give chapter and verse and not be in His presence. But if you come from His presence you would be sure to light upon the right chapter and verse, and to take the right path.

The Lord bless you in this meditation more and more.


I am thankful I can greet you entering on another year. The Lord grant that you may be so with Him, gathering the manna before the sun is up, that you can be assured of His support all the way in the circumstances here. I give you a text, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35). We first love Him for what He has done for us, which is shewn in our readiness to surrender for Him, like Jonathan to David, or like the woman in the Pharisees house (Luke 7); but when we love Him for what He is to us, we are in Him. He is our life. Then it is not surrender for Him, but we suffer with Him. It is not merely His work now, but His love. Every Christian knows something of His work, but many lack in not knowing His love. It is in Him who is our life that we learn His love; we do not lose sight of the blessedness of His work for us, but the heart delights in His love. Therefore we read, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" I need not add more. The Lord bless you much in every way.


To Brethren in America and Australia.

Dear Brethren in the Lord -- I have been asked by our dear brother J. R., who is going to you on the Lord's

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service, if I had any message to send to you; so I send a few words, which I trust may prove a help and encouragement to you.

I wish to direct your attention to the beginning of God's grace, and to the finish. It is clear if we do not know the beginning, we can never arrive at the finish. It is in the beginning that most Christians are defective. It is an old saying, 'The beginning is half the battle.' The Galatians did begin well, but they were hindered, and they had to begin in a deeper and fuller way. The beginning of God's grace is that He has laid help upon One that is mighty -- His own arm has brought salvation. Now while every Christian will accept this in words, not many enter into how it was effectuated. God's Son became a Man, that He might bear the judgment that rested on Adam and his race, and remove that man in judgment from the eye of God; and He so glorified God in this, that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, and in Him the believer is accepted by God, so that the first man might be altogether removed from His eye for the believer, and he is in Christ; no longer in Adam, but in Christ: the believer can say "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). Now this is the beginning; hence when Christ is formed in you, you know that your old man is crucified, and you can say "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). It is not merely that the man who offended is gone from the eye of God, but experimentally he is gone from you because you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.

Now the finish is, that while in the counsel of God every believer is united to Christ, the Spirit's present work in him is to conduct him in spirit now to where Christ is, as Rebekah was conducted to Isaac, in order that he may realise union with Christ in heaven; and from thence he comes forth with heavenly power as a new man on the earth, in the church, and in the natural relations in which God has placed him, so that he is able to stand for Christ here against all the power of the enemy.

I need not add more, dear brethren. The Lord bless you much in understanding the scope of His grace. I can

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understand how you are specially hindered in a country of human progress like yours, where the first man is made the most of; you will be greatly hindered, unless you fixedly go against the tide; the living fish always swim against the tide, the dead ones go with it.

Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.
J. B. S.


I send you my little word to the American brethren. I hope you will approve of it. The Lord bless you much in your mission. Seek direction from the Lord as to the subjects you bring before them, and be not satisfied with knowing the subject, but seek to be in the power of it yourself. As some one has said, 'If you speak from the conscience, you speak to the conscience.' You may know a thing from the Bible, but you must be in the Spirit to be in the power of it.


Your letter was a great cheer to me ... I rejoice especially at the profitable time you have had during your severe attack. I think there can be no greater evidence of the Lord's interest in us than that He should enlighten us as to His own mind in the hours of our weakness. It shews that He judges that we would like to know more about Him, so that though "our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). One thing that I have learned during my long confinement is that many things I have had but a glimmer of before, I now see more in their divine accuracy.

I am thankful that I have you all in daily remembrance before the Lord, and every brother whom I can remember at O--------.


I have never noticed what -------- refers to in the gospels, nor have I found it safe to be diverted from the object of each gospel. The object of John's gospel is plainly the work that is done in you. It begins with the brazen

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serpent. Matthew's gospel is chiefly to the Jew. Mark is the servant. Luke is the man in general.

In reading scripture if you keep the object of the book before you, you have power, like a retriever keeping to his game. The great intent of the word of God is to shew how man has been removed from the eye of God, and how the Man of His pleasure has been brought in, and the more you ponder the scriptures, seeing this intention, the more power and efficacy you will have with souls. Some have been unable to grasp the gospel of John because so wedded to the objective they would not see the work in you.


The Lord bless you much in entering on another year. "I am my beloved's, and his desire is towards me". It is not only that you belong to Him, but the sense He gives that He takes an interest in you will have a wonderful effect on you. Love alone understands love. Nothing would preserve you all the day long like the sense that you are an object of interest to the Lord. The company and circumstances which your conscience would see no objection to, would bear another character. As He was your object, you would judge what would suit Him, and not merely what would meet the requirements of your conscience. Conscience does not go beyond your moral sense, or your knowledge of God. Peter could meet the Lord with a restored conscience (John 20), but his heart was not restored until chapter 21. If you once have the sense of what it is to be His object you can judge everything that would cause the slightest estrangement between you and Him. Many walk with a good conscience who are not answering to the love of His heart, because they do not know it themselves. The bride in Canticles could not reproach herself for doing anything not according to her conscience, but 'sleeping' she was not responsive to, nor in accord with His heart towards her. Hence when she recovered, it was Himself personally who came before her in all His divine beauty.

The Lord grant that you may know daily the blessed consolation of being an object to Him, so that you may

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judge of everything, not by whether it suits you, but whether it suits Him.


... I hear that they had a nice time this morning. -------- spoke on three chapters in John. I had been saying this morning that chapter 14 is inside, intended for those who go outside, not for those who are at once going to heaven. The assembly is for the earth....

I am full of my new subject -- the effect of company, and I am surprised how it opens out in scripture. I was reading Numbers 6. Mr. D. says it is a perilous thing to undertake service without a pure conscience. If one is really devoted how much one shrinks from what interferes with the Object of one's devotedness; thus we appreciate the better the Lord's service now in washing our feet. The Nazarite lost his vow by the touch of a dead bone.


You ought to go to the meeting. The assembly is for those who are staying in this world, to learn the mind of the Lord, not for those who, like me, are going out of the world -- going to Him.


... We have all been more occupied with the past than with the present. Surely as we see in Psalm 63 and 73, which are past, how the psalmist remembers in the wilderness what it is to be in the sanctuary, which was only a cloud of glory, how much more should we get from the presence of the Lord in the assembly. The remembrance of it is blessed in my (as I might say) weary hours here. "My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me" (Psalm 63:8).

Again, amid incongruities here, as in Psalm 73, how cheering to turn to Him in glory and learn more than the psalmist learned. So we do not lose the past, but the present -- the sanctuary, is more to us. In John 14, we have to learn what He was on the earth before we can come out, as in chapter 15 for Him. We can never lose the past,

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but the great point is to live in the present; and thus the past is fulfilled to us, and we are prepared for the future. The darkest night will end in the brightest day.


I quite understand your difficulty about the past, but if David could have been comforted in his remembrance of the glory of God in the sanctuary when he was in the wilderness far away from the tabernacle, and be able to say, "My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me" (Psalm 63:8), how much more should I be able to say it in remembrance of the Lord in the midst of His own; so that I do not lose the past, but I get more than the past in the present. We get the same in Psalm 73. There it is your individual difficulties you get solution of in the sanctuary. How much more now in the presence of the Lord Himself. The past teaches us what wonders we may expect in the present.


My thanks for your letter. I find it is not at all easy to lead brethren to see the difference between the past and the present. There are many who can talk nicely on Psalm 53 instead of dwelling on the Lord in the assembly. I said to a brother who wrote nicely on Matthew 8 some time ago, 'Now let us have a paper on chapter 14.' Almost every speaker speaks upon what has been done, not what Christ is doing -- what Christ's present interests are; the present transforming power of the glory is almost overlooked. I see all the grace that came out from Abel down to Christ were only types, figures of what is to come, but any grace which any one has now is grace that has come, the grace of Christ.

I had not looked at the words you quote in the light that you do. But I can quite see that they may convey your interpretation. Surely everything here to the Lord was most desolate. Our enjoyment is never complete until we can pass out of it all with Him, even for present service in it.


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I quite understand the alternations which you pass through. I feel assured the more you are with the Lord, the more He will console you in company with Himself for your loss. The first great service we know of Him is as High Priest. When Peter was sinking (Matthew 14) the Lord stretched out His hand and drew him to Himself. This sets forth His sympathy, His priestly service to us in trouble and difficulty.


I trust you are so drawn to the Lord in your deep sorrow that His sympathy consoles you for the loss of your beloved sister; she has gone to Him, so that in His company you do not feel your loss. Remember we are appointed unto Marah, the water of death; we are cleared of the judgment of death, but of the fact of death we are not cleared, and it is only as we are in communion with the Lord that we cross over Jordan, and are in the sphere of life with Him. It is there I like to think of you. It is a blank to lose one much beloved in this world, though we know all love is in the Lord Himself. The Lord grant that each of us may know what it is to be outside of everything with Himself, enjoying His company.



†Divine love makes you its object yet never makes you self-centred as natural love does. In divine sympathy you are drawn away from your weakness or sorrow to a scene of imperishable bliss to where He is Himself.


What souls want to know is the Lord in glory. It is not only attraction to Him, but it separates from earth. Seeing Christ in glory takes you out of everything here. Keep Christ in glory before you as your polar star and you will be kept right.


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I have had a beautiful meditation. I saw the old man completely set aside by God in judgment, and the Holy Ghost setting up Christ here on earth. I got such a view of it -- that God should have totally disposed of the man under judgment and brought in a Man after His own pleasure -- the totality -- the completeness of it! Not an atom of the old man left before Him. You must ponder it to see its immensity.


... Though there is break up in the church there is no break up in the Head of the church. The gifts today are as true as ever they were.

As to service, the Spirit of God does not occupy the servant with the exercise of his gift until he has done with himself. Paul himself did not go into service until he had spent three days where he did neither eat nor drink; and afterwards he spent two whole years in Arabia. The difficulty in all the confusion now is to get hold of what was right at the beginning. On the Lord's side all remains the same.

We have been reading John 14, 15 and part of 16. You could not be in chapter 15 until you are in chapter 14.


... I hope you may have a season of enjoyment of the Lord in your new quarters. What I look for for you both is that you may know what it is to enjoy the Lord outside of everything. I see some studying the word and hearing with avidity everything about the Lord who do not seem to know what it is to enjoy being with Him without their own mind being brought in. I like Mary's sitting at His feet. I do not think that means humility, but she was in a humble place near Him. I see those who learn the Lord only from the word are like those who know a relation through a biography. How differently would the biography be read if they knew the relation himself. So as to Him; when we know Him how differently we read His word.


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In Ephesians we have the calling. Unless you are in it practically you cannot experience it. You are not in the possession of it properly, although you may know it. There are eight points in it: new creation; new man; quickened; one body; access; one Spirit; holy temple; assembly on earth.

The favour that brings you nigh gives you a sense of the love. Where the greatest grace is, there you have the greatest exercise. There is a wonderful difference between opening out the word of God and knowing the mind of God. The unique thing to know is what things are to Him, not what they are to us.


†When did you taste of the feast in the Father's house? What is the difference to the prodigal when he was kissed and when he was feasted? In the latter he got company. The prodigal kissed got his own measure full, but the prodigal feasted gets God's full measure, which is infinite. It is God who makes merry. Who lives in the joy of that?

I am enjoying the sense of being at the great supper, feasting on the fatted calf. If the prodigal is kissed all judgment is gone, but when he is at the feast he knows God's present feelings about him. Many get the kiss and rejoice in it who never go on to making merry with God.


... I want to interest you in a few Psalms (Psalms 120-- 134), songs of degrees, which describe Israel from the captivity, seeking the house of the Lord, and at length reaching it. In Israel's time there was something ostensibly for God on the earth. There is nothing ostensibly for Christ now. The grievous deception into which Christendom has unwittingly been led is beyond any deception known in the world; it is that Christ has now a place on the earth. So churches and chapels are built as if He had a place here. This deception of the enemy is all to cover His rejection by man. He has no place on earth; the only place in which He can be found here is in the assembly,

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and that is in divine seclusion with His own, as we see in John 14; even there He is only seen by those who, with feet washed, are able to be in that divine seclusion with Him -- now the Holiest of all. I say all this to interest you in the assembly. You must first see what a great attempt there is to conceal the grievous fact that He has been refused in this world; and when you are enlightened by the Spirit you see then that His place is outside of everything here, one to which He draws you, as He drew Peter from the waves here to His own side, so that you must turn from this place in order to find Him in His own place....

May the Lord increase your interest in everything belonging to Himself.


... The Lord in divine sympathy understands the weakness I am in, and He conducts me from it to the scene of imperishable bliss in which He is Himself. I am greatly struck with the way our blessings are connected with heaven. If it is the gospel, we are not to be moved from the hope of the gospel, which for us is heaven; for the earthly family salvation was for the earth. If you want comfort, you are drawn to heaven -- the Holiest of all, to the scene of imperishable bliss.

I have nearly finished my paper on the gospel and the church+. I have been greatly struck with the fact that if you have not God's gospel, you never get to God's purpose. It has put the gospel in a more important light to me than ever. The Reformation began with the gospel....

PS. -- Tell Mrs. --------, with my love, to look at Luke 18:30, it is "this present time" -- "manifold more in this present time", and it is the same word as is used for the "good part" in chapter 10.


What I feel is that so many seem to take up preaching without waiting in the assembly to get sure of their gift, and whatever they know, they never will preach beyond

+Voice to the Faithful, Volume 30.

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forgiveness. I said to -------- 'You will fill the room if you preach forgiveness, but if you preach the end of man you will empty it'. He said I was quite right. It is not seen that it is God who works first, and evangelists have to deliver the message. Shew me one convert who goes beyond the man who was blessed to him. A man cannot deliver a message unless he knows it. It is unworthy of a servant to deliver a message that he is imperfectly informed of. Inside with the Lord every one is taught of Him to be for Him here. Apollos was blessed, but he did not know his gift at first, for he is not afterwards spoken of as an evangelist. I think it a great loss in many young brethren that they do not stay long enough learning of the Lord in private before they take public service. -------- said to me, 'A great many at -------- are ready to preach.' I said 'Do they ever pray in the assembly?' 'No,' he said. That was enough for me.

I think many of the evangelists of the present day are so little alive to the seriousness of their calling. I am struck as I study the subject with the gravity of the mission. See 1 Thessalonians 1:2. Great results to those who come from God. The great thing is to begin with God. Evangelists usually begin with the sinner. I was only nine years old when I heard -------- preach in the drawing-room at -------- on Acts 9, and what arrested me was the fact that the Lord would do such a thing as send a light out of heaven! After I was converted and had given up going to the Bar (which I thought a great sacrifice) to serve the Lord, I heard Mr. D. preach on acceptance. That was quite a new word to me.


The brightest work of the gospel will decline if it is limited to the benefit of the convert.... It is remarkable that often where the brightest work of the gospel is, there is the greatest decline, and no divine progress in souls. Now divine progress is moral correspondence to Christ in glory, and this latter is only produced by proximate association with Christ Himself. In the work of the gospel, grace comes to the sinner, and the first divine

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sense he gets is, as we see in the prodigal, that the father is on good terms with him, he fell on his neck and kissed him. Grace has come to the prodigal to relieve him of the distress under which he lay. If he gets no more than this -- a sense of safety, it is constantly repeated, but he does not advance. But when he is drawn to God -- to the source of grace, he finds that it is not merely his own relief that is met, but he touches all that is in the heart of God, to fulfil His pleasure; and while the first is a limited acquisition, the second is unlimited, and with this unspeakable satisfaction -- the opening out to him of the heart of God, who once was at a distance. Then, not only is his relief complete, but his new relation to God is unrivalled, daily increasing, and daily more opening out the treasures of His grace; enabling him so to apprehend God's purpose, that he is able to stand for God in this world -- to have the eyes of his heart enlightened, that he may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.


If the sun or great source of natural light comes to me, it does not enlighten me beyond its power, or the occasion of it, but if I am drawn to God, the source of all light, I am necessarily affected by getting into the power of it, and if I get near it I must be in the power of it. Beholding the Lord's glory with unveiled face we are changed into the same image from glory to glory. This is not the light coming to me, but I am brought to it; and it is always as you are brought into the atmosphere of Christ's glory that He attracts your heart. You are then always advancing; you do not know what is so interesting and blessed there until you get there. Gospel work may not be in the same vigour as it once was, but if you are going on with Him, He has power to maintain you according to the range of His present interests, and you are always advancing in the knowledge of the Lord, and are daily more engrossed with His interests. It is when one tries to confine oneself to one line of His interests, that one begins to lose power. It is the bride who is near Him,

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who knows Him as the Morning Star, and who says to Him "Come".


I like your thought about the church. I have often used the word reproducing Christ, John 15, which connects it with growth, makes it plainer. The more we think of the church the more wonderful it is. The world could not contain the books written, and yet the church is to be an expression of it all.

I have been reading Psalm 18, John 14, 20 -- the freshness of the resurrection morning. The new day has begun for us to find Him risen in the assembly.

I had a nice visit from -------- yesterday; he quite enters into the importance of deliverance, and has been pressing it. He asked me for another word for himself. I said, 'What is your aim? Is it union with Christ in heaven?'


... I have spent my morning writing my new paper on the Spirit of God. The first point is the difference between and in, the Spirit on you and in you. In you is the promise of the Father in answer to Christ's request. I think I have made an interesting discovery in seeing that it is when you accept that you are in Christ (Romans 8), and have changed your ground from Adam to Christ, you first know that you are in the power of the Spirit. I am greatly struck with the force of "in Christ" -- a new personal identity; Isaac is in his right place; you have not a good conscience if you cease to acknowledge Him there, and you never would err if you did acknowledge Him.


Any spiritual person must see that the Lord was the holy thing born of God and could have no human taint. He began from the lowest point to encounter everything for man here -- a Man for God; and He unswervingly maintained it, so that a voice came from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). He was

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truly Man, but all His springs were in God, therefore He was an exceptional Man; but He maintained man in all that was due to God in the smallest details from babyhood to manhood. His life was like His garment, without seam, woven from the top throughout.


... I think God often enlightens a man without any human ministry; for example -- the thief on the cross. I should think that Mr. Darby never heard the gospel that he preached. The light shines upon the silver piece. It is light that brings in God. Men love darkness rather than light. I think -------- gets too much exclusively from the reading of the word. I see some who love to hear and read and think and speak of the Lord, who still want one great thing, that is, to be alone with Him. It is the most unspeakable blessing that God has given us a Person to be the comfort and solace of our hearts, so that at times one can truly say, 'Never less alone, than when alone'.

I asked -------- what the saints want most, and he said, Deliverance which I believe is true.


I should be distressed for your present time of trial only that I know that "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28), -- and further, we who live are always delivered unto death. We are appointed to Marah here. We are clear of the judgment of the Red Sea, but in our journey through this wilderness it is Marah, and it is only as Christ is our life that we can bear up in the wilderness. This should comfort you much.


Very glad to get your letter and to find that you are exercised upon such an important point as justification. The words justification and reconciliation do not occur in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. There could be no

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justification until the resurrection. See Romans 4:25. In 1 Corinthians 15:17 we read, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins". There could be no reconciliation until the man under the judgment of God (in Adam all die) was removed in judgment from the eye of God in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now He has been raised by the glory of the Father, so the believer is accepted in Christ, the Man of God's pleasure. Like the thief on the cross, a new thing goes into paradise, and the old remains here. You will never understand the grace of God until you see that there are two men. In Adam all die -- in Christ all shall be made alive. No one in Adam is justified before God. In the offerings you allude to in the Old Testament, faith in the blood shelters from judgment, as with Israel in Exodus 12. They were sheltered, but not clear of Egypt, nor of Pharaoh, nor of the Egyptian. This is the state of many true believers, safe but distressed. A soul has not reached the resurrection until he travels through the Red Sea -- figurative of the death of Christ. The great practical difficulty with every one is to understand what has been effected in the cross, not only sins forgiven but sin made an end of. He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. I need not add more -- but till you see one man set aside and the Man of God's pleasure raised and glorified at His right hand, in whom we are accepted, you will never grasp the full grace of God, nor be in the enjoyment of His favour on the earth, for reconciliation is the removing of that which caused the distance. It is not only sheltering you by the blood, but removing the distance and that which caused it. The Lord bless you much.


... I had no letter today but yours. I think those who only know that their sins are forgiven, when troubled, only seek to get back the sense that their sins are forgiven; they have no idea of the Spirit as their bond with the Lord.

What produces a "brother" is often merely that he believes on Christ risen, and has received the Holy Ghost, and will not listen to ordained ministry; but it is one

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thing to have received the Spirit, and another thing to walk in the Spirit. How rare the latter is! I should like to write on the Spirit, but it is such a large subject I feel hardly up to it.

The great thing that souls have to learn is Christ in glory. When you reach Him there you are not only attracted to Him but you are separated from this place. Your heart is so drawn to the Lord in glory that you are apart from all here.


... I had a nice visit from --------, he thinks the truth is growing. I was saying to him that the saints who know that in the counsel of God they are united to Christ, and who yet never go beyond the gospel, are as if Rebecca after her marriage was only occupied with her birth and rearing, and not with the high position of nearness to which she was brought.

-------- agrees with me that it is the gospel which people want; the word gospel occurs more than sixty times from Romans to Philippians. You could not understand being united to Christ until you are, like the prodigal, making merry with the Father.


... There is no type of the gospel in Rebecca; she is chosen because she is of the stock and lineage of Isaac. It is properly what we get in Hebrews, "all of one"; but the way I used it was as if that after she was brought to Isaac she was dwelling on the days of her youth and her bringing up, etc., before she was found in grace by Eliezer, rather than with all the great favour she received afterwards.

I think what -------- wants is deliverance, it is there the mass of Christians are: they have not got real deliverance. I was thinking this morning that if you learn God's mind from the word only you are in the past, but if you learn the word from your nearness and knowledge of the Lord you are necessarily in the present. I hope you will have a happy day. We have been reading Psalm 68, in connection with David bringing up the ark; also Exodus 28,

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John 14 and 1 Chronicles 16. The tent was nothing until the ark was brought in; then the Lord was supreme. Thus we may know Him now -- supreme above every shade of evil.

PS. -- Did I tell you that "the gospel" occurs more than sixty times in the epistles?


... Marah is the water of the Red Sea; we are free of the judgment of death, but there is nothing here for us but death. Christ having passed through, sweetens it for us. The great thing to learn in the wilderness is yourself. In Egypt it is the enemy.. It is inveterate how much we are occupied with ourselves instead of with Christ, how little we practically carry out not in Adam but in Christ, how little we say, as to things when they arise -- that is of Adam, not of Christ....


... Many a one has been turned back because he was not cleared of the old creation, and was not ready for the new. It has been a great help lately getting hold more clearly and fully of how the old thing has passed away, and the new is dawning on us. May we really apprehend what it is to have put on the new man.... I have been thinking much of the difference between reading the word and holding the Head.


... As to --------'s question. I think we get in John 14 what the Lord is inside with His own, in the Holiest. The great idea in 1 Corinthians 14 is edification; so that the more we are. with the Lord in the assembly, the more we are edified, and the more fitted we are to shew forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. While at the same time every individual servant received instruction from Him, as the Head, with regard to His interests here, so that he knows what his

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Lord would have him do, even though he be debarred from being with those who are assembled. For my part I read as a rule John 14 every Lord's day. I get a deeper acquaintance with what He is to His own inside, though I am not permitted to be at the meeting.

I think the individual can worship. The blind man (John 9:35) worshipped Him when he got into His presence, but you cannot worship unless you are near Him, and He is especially to be found in the assembly. He is there for all, though all do not worship Him, all are not near enough. Once in the assembly you are always in the assembly; wherever you are you belong to the assembly; though you may not always come together, you share in whatever good comes from it. Those who are near the Lord and learn of Him manifest the good outside the assembly. Whether you are there or not it is always a matter of deep interest to you what transpires there. I have been reading 1 Kings 8. I commend it to you with John 14 and 1 Corinthians 14. The great point in the assembly is edification; you are built in first, and then you are built up....

I rejoice that you enjoy the solitude you refer to; I trust that you are enriched by it. It is a great thing to know that the Lord is an object to you, and that you can realise the feelings of Ruth, Entreat me not to leave thee.

I had a nice visit from --------. I asked him why do people talk of what the Lord was, and so little of what He is. Men do not talk of those they love in that way. He replied, 'I am learning a little of that myself.'

I have had a happy meditation on the difference between the comfort you get in the Psalms here in this world, and the priesthood of Christ which carries you outside this world and above the sense of your trouble to the One who is out of the trouble.


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I wrote a few lines to --------, and finished up by saying -- If Christ in glory be your polar star you are sure to be kept right.

I find that the Galatians were defective in deliverance. When Christ has His true place there is no thirsting. John 4:14 is then known. This the Corinthians did not know, nor their full acceptance in glory. If they had, they would not have been led away by their own wisdom.

It is interesting to see how people can take true church position, and yet not be in a state competent to be occupied with Christ's interests in His own. This to my mind accounts for the great hindrances which occur in ministry in the assembly. Until saints are really settled as to their own state they are not competent to enter on the circle of His interests.

I had a nice visit from --------. Telling her of what I pray for her, I said, 'I pray for every one differently.' I meant, for every one with whom I was intimate.


†When I last saw you I was sitting under His shadow with great delight. Now I am with Him in heaven. I could not express what He brings before me -- the sense of His love and favour....

Keep yourself in the love of God -- in the love of God. I delight in the love of God.

In the beginning of my illness I used to say that my body is the Lord's. Now I say that I am a member of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:15).


I intended to answer your question yesterday. I do not think as a rule that the Lord alters our circumstances. My impression is that He uses them, not merely to detach us from present things, but as an occasion of making Himself more necessary to us, in drawing us away from them to Himself. If you remark, the first thing you know of the Lord is that He is a solace to you in your infirmities;

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for instance, in sickness, or in bereavement. Alleviation of your trials and sorrows here only makes you more wedded to the place, but He weans you from the place by drawing you into company with Himself. You get this in the case of Peter in Matthew 14when sinking, he cried out, Lord, save me, I perish, and the Lord drew him to Himself.

I said to -------- when taking leave of her, 'Christ is not here; a heart that cares for Him would like to know Him where He is.' Though He comes down to us, He does not connect Himself with anything down here.


... As to your letter. The Spirit has come down to the church, not to the world; He has no link with the world. The world seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him. The great work of the Spirit in each of us is to carry us up to the sphere of Christ's life -- to where He is in His own sphere; and where the things above are. We should all know much more, and have a higher range of heavenly things, if we more truly answered to the leading of the Spirit. There we could drink of the fountain which never fails. The tendency in us is to decline.

You see every meeting is characteristic of the leaders there. You may notice where places are dead and cold, you find no one leading in power there. Even a woman who is walking with the Lord may have a great effect upon the company.

We had John 14 this morning and went over my new paper on the Spirit, which is nearly finished. I think many get a taste of being across the water with the Lord in the assembly who are not over Jordan. This taste increases, for the more we know it the more we like to renew it -- and it increases. There are many devoted who are not over Jordan. The Spirit is not free to conduct us to the things of God until we are clear of the world.


Very glad to get your letter. I rejoice greatly that you find resource in the Lord in your loneliness. It is the one

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thing I daily desire for you. I see that one can read, and pray, and hear, and serve, and meditate on the word, and praise, and yet be very deficient in sitting alone with the Lord. As I said to someone: 'Do you go to Him when you do not want anything?' I like the idea of C.H.M.'s little child knocking at his father's door, who, asked him what he wanted; his answer was, 'I want to be with you.' If that is applied to the Lord in glory, where only He is to be found now, it is just what I mean. I am very thankful that dear -------- is going to you. I believe he is calculated to be of great use. His answer to me to one little question elicited a great deal. I asked him, why do people dwell more on the past than on the present. He said, 'I am learning a little of that myself.' I am glad to hear of dear --------, I pray for her daily, that she may get the "manifold more"....

The Lord bless you much.


Thank you for your letter and for your account of the lecture on Matthew 15. I have read that chapter in connection with chapter 14. He is preparing the disciples for the new structure in chapter 16. Chapter 14 is Christ supreme above all the evil here, drawing us to Himself. Chapter 15 is our worthlessness, and so great is His grace that He gives to those who have no claim. Many are not like Job, who, while admitting his own worthlessness, turns in prayer to God. Many admit that they are very bad, but they do not count fully on grace.

I often think of you in your solitude and am glad to think that you have so much. Nothing really tests so much our resource in the Lord as how we get on when we are alone. I hope you will be preserved from all the leaven of relations, etc. The more your heart enjoys Christ in glory, the more you feel that you are in a place where Christ is not; the very fact of the dearth here makes you enjoy more the brightness and favour of His presence.

The Lord bless you much.


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Glad to get your kind letter. I often remember you in your sphere of work. I am more and more convinced every day that souls do not practically know deliverance. They do not know what it is for Adam to be superseded by Christ. They know the doctrine of it; and many would say that deliverance is not by the reckoning of faith but by the Spirit of God; but I think it is a wonderful thing when one can truly say -- I thank God that Adam is superseded by Christ; so that Christ becomes the new "I" instead of the flesh. I feel it is deepening in me more and more what it is to be in Christ.

The Lord give you grace to help His people in this dark day, and bless you much in the circle of your own family. Kindest love to each and to all the saints.


... As to your question about being in Christ. When you look to the future of the church we are all of Christ; in one sense our individuality is lost. Now that we are in the mixed condition we are in Christ; and besides that, as to the life which I now live in the flesh, the body is the Lord's; He had bought it, and has the right over it, as an owner has a right to his horse. I have no right to choose anything for myself. This does not clash with my new position. "I am crucified with Christ". There used to be a discussion as to whether we keep the responsible "I", but we have changed the "I" altogether. My conscience is not happy if I am not walking in the Spirit. As to my body I have to do many things, such as business, etc., which properly do not belong to the new "I". We can do the things which are incumbent on us, as in the body, in the grace of Christ, which is the manna.

I am dwelling much on what a guide should be.


I thank you much for your very interesting letter. Will you kindly convey to dear -------- my heartfelt thanks for her gift -- an odour of sweet savour acceptable to the Lord, and assure her that I have every comfort that I

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could require, but I prize her gift greatly, as David did the water from the well of Bethlehem. The Lord give her greatly to enjoy His love. It cheered me much to hear of you all; and I am thankful to be able to remember the few I knew at W-------- .... I heard of you through dear --------. I wish he would dwell more on what Christ is than on what He did.


I have intended for some time to write to you to send you the enclosed. This morning we heard that you have been very ill. Thank God you are better.... Referring to your last letter I did not in the least censure you for your deep sorrow, but I wanted to point out how the Lord uses these great trials in order to draw us away from the place where the trial is, to Himself, where there is no trial, to find solace in His own company, and this solace I pray for daily that it may be your portion....


... As to your question about "holy and without blame before him in love", it is spoken of as what God has called us to in Ephesians 1:4; and in chapter 5, where it ought to be translated as the same words, "holy and blameless", it is what is effectuated in us.

What is the most absorbing state known to any one? To have an object, whose goodness, love, and worth command your whole heart, so that you enjoy being absolutely devoted to Him. Do you know much of this incomparable enjoyment? It is very blessed to feel that the Lord is more to one than ten thousands of gold and silver. I do not mean what He does, but what He is.


Thank you for your letter. It was a cheer to me to find that you had resumed your oar in the church-boat, and were working in company with your brethren. I am meditating on the calling of a guide. I should like to send it to you when printed, as it embodies all that I

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can gather from scripture on the subject. As far as I know, the great lack with servants is not having taken a sufficiently separate place, because you cannot lead any one beyond where you have been led yourself. I see Moses was himself many years in the wilderness before he leads the people. I cannot ask any one to leave anything that I have not left myself. Elijah and Elisha were altogether cast on God, before they could be a help to the people of God. It is not the man who sees defects, but the man who removes them who is doing the Lord's work, like Nehemiah....

I rejoice that you say the Lord Himself and the prosperity of His people are the one thought before you. The Lord increase this more and more to you, and my whole heart will go out for your blessing.


The great thing in ministry is to get directly from the Lord. A man who gets from the Lord is acceptable to those who are near the Lord. A human opinion claiming to be derived from scripture, backed up by sayings of pious men, is what is more generally acceptable. This often has more acceptance than what is spiritual. There are students of the Bible who dwell on the past and the future, who are not in the present. I see more and more every day that every one must learn for himself before he can reach anybody truly.

We were reading John 14 and Revelation 3. How the true company are marked by being very weak but very faithful -- faint yet pursuing. What is the difference between a Philadelphian now and the bride of Revelation 21? One is faithful to Christ in His rejection; the other is expressive of His glory.


I have been a long time in acknowledging your letter. It is a great thing to be in the spot that the Lord would have one to be in. I feel the servant has just to learn that he must get his help exclusively from the One who is not

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here to serve those who are here. I see so few understand what a solemn thing it is to be a servant of the Lord. If really led by the Lord you are sure to be in company with those led by the Lord.


It is a great mistake not to see that sin is completely put away by the sacrifice of Himself. Of course, the sin is here still, but if I look at Christ, sin is gone before God in the cross. It is not gone anywhere else.

I meant, as to not being occupied with the 'rags', that people are too much taken up with denouncing the bad, instead of bringing in the good. Nothing but good can really supersede evil. You can denounce badness, pointing out defects; but you do no good until you bring in the good. Then you supersede the bad. I am writing upon the guide, and am greatly struck with the unique place he must hold here on the earth, where the most pious man in Christendom is a slave to Satan's greatest deception -- that Christ is not rejected here.


... I send an answer to your friend in Scotland about atonement and reconciliation. If there is no atonement there is no forgiveness. Romans 3:25 sets forth that without shedding of blood there is no remission, but reconciliation is the removing of that which caused the distance -- removing sin.

May you know practically what it is to gather the manna before the sun is up -- apart from all influence of the world.

Tell -------- that many a man can preach the gospel who is not called to be an evangelist. After the scattering from Jerusalem they went everywhere preaching the word.


†What a shake I got as to everything here when I first saw that the Lord has bought the world for the sake of His treasure in it. He has nothing else in it now. How

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can I receive position or status from it? Nothing would so affect us as the Lord's rejection, if we entered into it deeply.


It is a great thing to learn death in three aspects. First as typified in the waters of the Red Sea -- the judgment of death -- a way opened through the death and resurrection of Christ. Next, in the wilderness -- there is nothing but Marah. Death is our portion here, but Christ having passed through it, sweetens it for us. Then Jordan -- our death with Him, and the moment we touch it, we find that all judgment has passed. Sorrow is gone, and we have to do with Him on the other side of death; but we are in the life of Christ, He is our life.



I was glad to get your letter which is a great cheer to me.

Dear C. H. M. is now in the sunshine of eternal love. It is cheering to me to hear your account of the assembly at --------. I was delighted to hear of your speaking in the assembly. I may venture to tell you that it is my daily prayer for you that utterance may be given you that you may open your mouth boldly. No light or truth is given to you but is given for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:7). We cannot be too much interested in the assembly, which is all that is of Christ on earth. I feel that many true-hearted ones take assembly ground, and I would not discourage them, but they have little apprehension of the deeply solemn moment of fellowship with Christ's death, not only His death for you, but that He died here. You rise up with a sense of the desolation of the earth because of Christ's death. Israel were idolaters because they did not feel the absence of Moses. They sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. We can see how this leads to

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our seeking Him in glory. The Lord bless you much. I cherish the remembrance of your visit.


Very glad to get your cheering letter. I am meditating on what I may call a spiritual vein or mind which is quite distinct from a natural mind. We may be very happy in spiritual things while occupied with them, and yet we may easily turn to natural things and be engrossed with them, as in Romans 7:22 - 24, "I delight in the law of God" -- that is the spiritual mind; but with the natural mind I am a "wretched man". In Romans 7 the contrast of the two is felt, and deliverance is sought for and found. But one who has not deliverance alternates from one to the other, and the loss is in that which he delights in -- the spiritual things. If he is not clear of the old things, he is no expression of the new.

How true --------'s remarks about the funeral! How often we disclose our weakness when we attempt to do anything! I have thought that the intention in speaking at a funeral is to encourage the hearers in a heavenly course.


My idea of the burial of a saint is to set forth the transcendent blessedness of being with the Lord. Every one knows something of the blessedness of His being with us; but no one tastes now of the fulness of His love unless he is with Him outside of everything, and there it is I like to think of you. Human feeling is right in connection with human affection, but divine love seeks nothing but company and concert. I hope you are like the bride.


... I often thought of writing to you but could not.

I am sure you feel the blank of dear C.H.M.'s absence. I am sure he had great joy in all the Lord did for him and was doing; his heart was charmed with His grace down here. Now he knows fully what it is to be with Him up

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there. Though the first is so delightful, the second is more; it is in figure what Solomon was to the queen of Sheba; no spirit in herself, but her heart absorbed with him. And even now, wonderful to say, according to 2 Corinthians 3:18 -- we beholding His glory (not there yet), are transformed into the same image from glory to glory. He is not only thinking of and caring for you in every little detail according to the love of His heart, but it is as consummation to your happiness that you are made like Him, and in concert with His own mind, whether in your individual path, as Psalm 73 explains, or in the assembly. We get a good illustration of this in the two disciples going to Emmaus (Luke 24). The effect of being in His presence is that they lose sight of their own interests, their hearts are so taken up with His; and without any verbal direction from Him, but from the mere effect of seeing Him, they go to the circle of His interest.


I think we may speak of the human element in connection with ourselves. Paul said of Timothy, "Being mindful of thy tears"; but it is a great thing to be able to distinguish between real divine affection and natural affection. When I think of the Lord, the second Man out of heaven -- though we have known him after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more -- I feel how little the new order is apprehended, and how taking the human element is with Christians, even in preaching.

I know quite well the love you bear me, and that you remember me before the Lord. I have nothing to seek nor to choose, nothing to regret nor to lose.


It is many years since we met on the way to glory. No doubt the Lord uses the occasion of bodily suffering as an opportunity of making Himself more indispensable to us, so that we return to our natural circle with a deeper sense

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of being with the Lord, like the holy anointing oil which could not be imitated. The Lord bless you much.


†Faith has to do directly with God. Providence or human wisdom will only divert you from faith. See Abraham setting out for the place appointed him of God (Genesis 22). It took me a long time to get to the top of mount Moriah. When there you find that it is all darkness on your side, but you have the light of God in the resurrection of Christ. Wonderful history!


Glad to get yours this morning. I had a visit from -------- here yesterday. I wanted him to hold meetings at --------, to teach them the assembly. I am writing on the subject, deeply interested in seeing how thoroughly it would alter everything here if we truly remembered the death of Christ; man's day would be over for us; every touch of honour or distinction would be avoided. While death on the one hand clears us of all that is of man, we have to think of Him in glory with amazing satisfaction.... What is the difference between joining the Lord in the Holiest and John 14? ...


I commend to you both Psalm 63. In verse 2 change the word sanctuary to Holiest, and let your daily life be in moral correspondence to it.

I see the remarkable character of the closing hour. The faithful have but one object, and that is, Christ Himself. To me it resembles the disciples at first, not thinking of anything to do but of getting to Himself, and I think the end will be just like that. The close of the church will be like the beginning of it. The saints make the Lord their one absorbing object, not the church nor anything else. So in Philadelphia; it is all subjective -- little power, but keeping His word and not denying His name. The candlestick

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and everything is gone, but the faithful one clings to Himself.

I am getting on with my new paper. I intend to call it 'The Grace and Blessing vouchsafed in the Assembly'. I feel it humbling to write on the assembly; how little is known of it! If the Lord were more known as a resource, outside and apart from everything here, the good of the assembly would be better known.


Glad to get your account of the reading. You will see from my letter to --------, which I enclose, where I think the hitch is. Many do not see the gospel as God's work, and look upon Christ as greater than the Passover; but they think that they have to offer Him instead of seeing that they are powerless to do anything.

I think it is very interesting to see that Philadelphia is all subjective, and the heart of the faithful is so set on the Lord that the desire of their heart is satisfied, and thus they are the bride. I think the crown in Philadelphia is the Lord Himself.


I was glad to get your letter with its tidings of London. I rejoice that the brethren are learning more of Romans, and entering into the divine meaning of deliverance. God has got rid of the man from His own eye in the cross, and there is no answer to this in me, unless the Spirit supersedes Adam in me by Christ; so that I have changed my "I". I have not to ask, Is there any harm in this or that? but is this Christ, or is it the flesh? -- the old "I" or the new "I"? I have the new "I" by the Spirit; I have the old "I" by the flesh. In one way there never has been a greater delusion than holiness by faith.

As to your question about company with the Lord and union, you may enjoy company as the consecrated company in the assembly. That is not union. People write and speak of the sense of union. I do not understand it. In union I am led by the Spirit to Christ, as Rebekah was led to Isaac -- never can be separated from Him. You

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may enjoy His company as one of the consecrated ones, but that is not union. The Lord bless you much.


I was glad to get your letter and to know that my little paper gets an echo in your heart. I quite feel with you as to the close; that the one absorbing thought is following Himself. In that sense the church ends as it began, so that it comes forth as the bride, and in Philadelphia it is not the objective that is presented but the subjective -- little power -- hast kept My word -- hast not denied My name.

I hear you had an interesting reading on Tuesday. I have for a long time been trying to present the gospel from God's side. Those who are so imbued with the offerings under the law cannot see that God has done the work from Himself, that the ministration of righteousness is from the glory, not merely clearance of guilt. It is put very strongly by Paul in Philippians 3. He uses quite a new word, "which is of God", (verse 9) to express how entirely it is of God. May you be greatly blessed in a faithful presentation of the truth....


I thank you much for your kindness in telling me of your work in New York. It is cheering to hear of the advance in truth, but I find many will accept an advance who have not as yet begun in divine power in their own souls. I think many have rest as to the forgiveness of their sins through God's grace, who have not learned that by the Spirit of God they are freed of the old man, and that they are in Christ. In the flesh they are in Adam; in the Spirit they are in Christ. They content themselves with the fact that God has removed the old man in the cross, and has accepted them in Christ, and they believe that they are delivered. This is simply objective, and has done incalculable mischief to souls. God makes me to correspond with Himself by the Spirit, so that I can say, I thank God Adam is superseded. Christ is in His place in me.

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I am glad you had a prosperous time in the gospel. If you take notice very few preachers present the gospel from God's side.

There is a great stir as to the righteousness of God. J.N.D. used to say that the righteousness of God is that which suits God. Many are so brought up under the law that they think they have to bring the offering, and that Christ is a better offering than the paschal lamb. They have no idea of the ministration of righteousness from the glory of God. They can understand a landlord forgiving his tenants, but they cannot understand that He in His grace changes the tenants, head and ears in debt, into sons to dwell in His house for ever....


I was looking for a subject to write on, and as I did not get any, I got a very cheering thought -- that a member does not suggest, he only acts from a suggestion. It gives great restfulness, because if you belong to Him, He can suggest to you as He likes. I am thinking that every truth, when known in power, imparts a character of its own. The subject of my new paper brings you into the Holiest, into the presence of the Father. Glad to hear that -------- is on the worshipping theme....


I thank you much for your care of me and for the very gracious way you write.... I do not get more physical strength, but I thank God I can think and listen without any trouble, and through His tender care I have very little suffering except from weariness. I am very thankful that you like the papers, they interest me much thinking them out. I have great interest in going over and praying for the places and persons I know who are in any wise set for the Lord. I am glad to hear of the places you name.... The more I ponder, the more I feel how little one has entered upon the Christian history in divine power -- how little we get to Christ as He is, though we

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delight in hearing of Him as He was here. Nothing can satisfy true love but company.


... It is a cheer to me that you like my paper on the gospel. I fear that many have not reached deliverance. I think it is a wonderful experience to know by the Spirit of God dwelling in you that you are delivered from Adam and are in Christ, so that it is not whether I may do this or that, but would Christ do it? Not I, but Christ liveth in me. Through His goodness I have happy seasons. It is no trouble to me to think or to listen, though I cannot use my hands or my feet. I am sorry to hear you complain of increased feebleness though your letter does not indicate it. I often think of my happy times with you. I rejoice in your prosperity in the assembly. It ought to interest us more as Christ's only interest on earth....


... I hope you had a good journey to --------. My love to -------- I was thinking this morning as I was praying, how little we know of the Lord or value Him outside of everything. I was thinking if she were to awake in the morning and find herself in a ship with plenty of food and clothing, and light, and no one there but the Lord Himself -- no friends -- no letters, nothing but the Lord, I want to know would she be satisfied? I have been thinking how little we know of what eye hath not seen or ear heard, and yet it is revealed unto us by His Spirit; I have been longing to get a glimpse of it. I think we can form some idea of it if we enjoy being with the Lord outside everything....


... I have begun my new paper -- the effect of truth in power, or the journey of faith in Hebrews 11. I find it very interesting, but difficult to explain. Can you say where you are? My point is that your character and appearance indicate where you are. Do you see the

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difference between the faith of Abraham and that of Moses. What is the climax of Abraham's faith? What the climax of the walk of faith impersonated by Abraham? I think the mass of Christians are only as far as Noah -- saved from judgment. Though they do not combine with the world they like independence. The mark of a person who is really delivered is "The life which I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). This in principle is the life of faith as depicted in Abraham.


... Tell -------- with my love that the Lord will never ask her to be satisfied with Himself until she is ready for it, or wishing for it.

I am thinking of writing a few lines to all Christians -- simply 'In Adam or in Christ'. I think great darkness exists as to this. When it is known it is beautifully simple. God in the cross removes from His eye in judgment the first man who offended Him, and every one believing in Christ is no longer in Adam before Him, but in Christ, to the everlasting joy of his heart, while the Holy Ghost dwelling in the believer necessarily supersedes Adam, and maintains him in Christ to his inexpressible delight; so that he walks about the world quite in a new way -- in all the moral efficacy of what baptism is the form of, but his joy is in the Lord.

We were reading this morning Psalm 84 and John 17. How few enter into the great longing of Psalm 84!


It is plain there is a difference between the way "Head" is used. I heard J.N.D. say that you might ask a man in the street, Was he answering to his Head? "Head over all things to the church" (Ephesians 1:22) is quite another idea. The main point for us is the Head in Colossians 2. No one really holds the Head until he has died with Christ. Much of the teaching going is simply derived from the study of scripture. The great importance of holding the Head is that you get right direction; this you can never get from

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the study of scripture alone; you may present a great many interesting things from scripture, but they do not edify. Edifying is adding a piece where the piece is wanted, so that you cannot know what really suits souls unless you come from Christ in the sphere of life the other side of Jordan. This is knowing Him as Head; it is then you put on bowels of mercies, you are suited for His own circle. You may retort that there is very little ministry of this kind, but I believe ministry would be more effective if it were more to the needed point.

A brother writes to me that we ought to look for results; I quite agree; but there is no result beyond the truth that produces the result. Many amongst us have no deliverance beyond the reckoning of faith, and this is evidently from imperfect teaching; and many again do not know what it is to come to the Living Stone, because they think every believer is there; this again is from imperfect teaching.



Your welcome letter was a joy to my heart. I am through the Lord's goodness wonderfully well, though I feel the cold much; it keeps me from sleeping sometimes.... but I have interesting times, thinking of all the places and saints that I know. I generally have some subject of interest before me. I am studying at present the effect of truth received in power, or the journey of faith, as you see in Hebrews 11. I think many are as far as Noah, safe from the judgment of God, in the sense of His favour here, enjoying earthly things, and seeking independence, though they do not join the combination of the world to build Babel. I have not got on much in the path of faith yet, but I see it is looking for nothing but God -- seeking His place. Writing to a brother, I asked him how he would like to be in a ship with every bodily comfort, and no one in it but the Lord Himself. Could you fall down and say, 'Oh, Lord, thou art enough for me?'

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I am very thankful that you have been led in such a simple, clear way to see the difference between being in Adam and in Christ. It is a great cheer to my heart. I have written a short letter to all Christians, bringing before them the simple truth, that there must be a change of man before God, not a change of character; even that is not enough.


Glad to get your letter this morning.... You must keep acceptance and deliverance quite distinct. Acceptance is because of what God has wrought in the cross -- the work of Christ. The prodigal knew it in his father's loving feelings towards him; but the more he did, the more he felt how unfit he was for him. This shews he had not deliverance. I used to say everything was bright above, but what troubled me was myself. I had not deliverance. Deliverance is that you are by the power of the Spirit as free of the old man as God is, that is to say, it is as much gone from your eye as it is from God's eye for you in the cross.

As to the past, present, and future, I do not think any one in the present could forget the past; when the past is in power, the present is known; but unless the present is in power the future is not known....


Many thanks for your letter. It is cheering to hear that my little meditations are a comfort to you. I see that so many have dwelt upon the blessedness and perfection of Christ's work for us, and on His services to us here, and it is a great comfort to the heart that He has been in our circumstances, but I find that nothing gives real solid satisfaction of heart like knowing Him in His own circumstances and beholding the Lord's glory. I have said to some, do you dwell on the past or on the present? We can learn something of the past by reading the gospels. Beautiful reading it is, you get there the manner of His grace in exquisite touches; but we can only have the, knowledge of the present by being with Himself,

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and His directing us to some passage of scripture which is a real ministry of the Spirit. I have said -- Do you get your subject from the word or from the Lord Himself? ... People can gather from the past a great deal to say, but you cannot get the present mind of the Lord except from Himself.

A devoted man is like a spruce fir-tree; one shoot striking upwards, not detracting from, but encouraging all the other branches to follow.


I was glad of your letter and to get some tidings of --------. I quite agree with you that we ought to look for results, but bear in mind that results will never be beyond the producing power; that is, the truth that produces them. For instance, many are clear about acceptance who are not clear about deliverance. The fault is in the way the latter has been presented. Many have thought, and do still, that because they are clear in the sight of God, that by faith they are clear in themselves, which is a delusion. A person cannot be too strong on the fact that he is clear in the sight of God, but you are never clear of self until you can say, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:25). Then you have changed your "I", you are not in Adam but in Christ; and the Spirit assures you that you are free from the law of sin and death. I only give this as an example. I see so many nice people, and even preachers, who do not really know what deliverance is. Acceptance is God's side. You might be in acceptance but not in deliverance. I was myself for years. I used to say it was unspeakably happy to look up, but in myself I was not free of the old man. You cannot be free but by the Spirit of God who dwells in you.


I have been writing to -------- that you cannot have results beyond the truth that produces them. The two disciples going to Emmaus had an exposition of scripture that made their hearts burn, but it was the sight of Himself

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that really diverted them from their own business to His, so that late at night they take a long walk to Jerusalem. I only give this as an example to shew that you cannot have results beyond the truth that produces them.

As to depression, there are two kinds: one is when you are not sure of God's acceptance -- do not see the work perfectly accomplished in the cross; the other, when you have not deliverance. The great difference is that it is all darkness in the one case, while in the other, you have, though depressed, a bright spot, for you can look up....

We had a variety of reading this morning -- Isaiah 53; Psalms 135, 136 -- after you reach the house. Then John 14 and 17.


... I had a good night -- going on with my paper on the journey of faith. It is intensely interesting. I think it is so striking that we do not hear of Moses in Hebrews 11 after the Red Sea. His faith has reached its climax. Then comes the disclosure of the rebellion of the heart, and God's desire that we should approach Him. I look upon Moses as one personation for faith and Abraham as another.

All the faithful are called children of Abraham in Galatians 3. His faith ends with seeking a bride for his son. Moses's surmounting all the power of the enemy, and ending with the song; and the history of ourselves in the wilderness is made known. Over Jordan we enjoy new relationship with the Lord of Sabaoth. In Abraham you have the faith that reaches up to God. In Moses the faith that surmounts all on our side, so they coalesce in Canaan, or in heaven. The bride reaches Him there, and there the heavenly power is made known, so they come out in a new way on the earth.... Are you of the four little things upon earth that are exceeding wise? See Proverbs 30:24 - 28.


I have been very much interested and occupied with the subject now under consideration at your readings.

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I think I may venture to send you my meditations. It is plain that Christ is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world (and there shall be new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness). It is in that character He does it, and this is the name He bears almost all through the Revelation referring to His work on earth. But while we see that in death all the power of evil was broken, and all that was contrary to God was removed, the man who was under judgment removed in judgment, He was here the impersonation of everything that was according to God even to death. The righteous Lord loveth righteousness; as J.N.D. has said -- righteousness is that which suits God. In His death He was the burnt offering gone up to God in all the perfection and sweetness of Himself, and this before the burning without the camp took place. He was everything to the eye of God, so that all righteousness was fulfilled; He not only removed the evil, but He established the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. He could say at the close as a Man "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:4,5). That was before resurrection. Resurrection is the proof that at the very moment in which He was bearing the judgment on man who had dishonoured God, He was glorifying God so fully that the glory claimed Him. Resurrection is the proof that all has been accomplished according to the will of God. If there was no resurrection, death which is the judgment is not overcome, and it was predicted as well as His death. "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:18). We, believing that God has raised Him from the dead, are justified. He "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25). This is clearance. We come to another thing in the justification of life. Christ is there our righteousness, which is ministered from the glory. The prodigal son could know that he was reconciled, but he was not in a condition to enjoy it until he had the best robe on.

I need not add more. The great point is not to confine

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yourself too exclusively to the removal of evil, bruising the serpent's head and the like (He was made sin for us, who knew no sin), but that the Person who did so, fulfilled all righteousness beforehand; He was set upon maintaining everything due to God in the darkest moment when bearing judgment. I once said to dear J.N.D. 'How much the Lord was thinking of us in those three hours of darkness'. He retorted -- He was not thinking of us; He was thinking of glorifying God.


... I think it is a great point His doing everything as the Lamb of God, that is the sacrifice, and surely if He glorified God and finished the work here, the resurrection did not add to it. "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work ..." (John 17:4) is before the resurrection. Look at 1 Corinthians 15, and see that our resurrection depends on His. There could be no righteousness to us if there were no resurrection. It entitled us to it....


Glad to hear of your intended readings.... There are two subjects which I believe are much wanted. 1. The scriptural meaning of deliverance. 2. What is the simple meaning of "This do in remembrance of me". I believe that if anything of the gravity and the blessing of the latter were known, it would affect those who come to the breaking of bread; and certainly it would characterise in a marked way those who had broken bread, to remember the Lord in the perfectness of His love, and at the same time the end of all the hopes of man as to honour and distinction of any kind, or as to any hopes of saving himself. Man a complete ruin, without hope and without God in the world....


Many thanks for your letter. It interested me much. I had been intending to write to you in, I hope, true guardian care for you, that you might be preserved from soil in your visit to --------. There is danger in even what

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is right in itself of drawing the heart away from the Lord. I like to think of you in your solitude where you can get such a sense of what Christ is, that you can be prepared for the attractions and difficulties of this present time. One little word. Do not depend on going to the Lord, but depend on coming from Him. I was very much pleased that when I said to --------, 'If you come from your own room happy with the Lord to the best ordered family circle, you would find a great difference between the two'; he quite agreed with me. Careless nurses take their children out cold and bring them to the fire to get warm, but careful ones take them out warm. This is what I want you to be, as the little hymn says,

'And with adoring fervour,
In this Thy nature grow,' (Hymn 51)

because the light is the only power to resist darkness.

I am glad the truth is coming out so distinctly. I believe it is an immense thing to see that not only is sin removed, but that all that is pleasing to God is brought in by the Lord Jesus Christ here. It was here He glorified God. Though He was the Rose, He was not manifested. The church which is His complement, is the Rose in full bloom, to perpetuate all the blessedness of Himself here on earth....


... I have been thinking over a subject to write on. I think a paper on putting away of sin would be helpful. Many understand forgiveness of sins by the blood who cannot see that sin in itself is not forgiven. It is condemned, as we see, in Romans 8:2. The more I think of it the more I see how it runs through scripture that the man must be removed in order to put away sin. He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, is a very strong passage.

-------- will find an answer to his question on Romans 1:17 in J.N.D.'s note on it....

No one can know love except near the Person who loves.


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... I had when awake last night half an hour's very happy meditation on the removal of sin. I see great significance in the washing of water, which culminates in the three witnesses (1 John 5). There must be entire separation from the taint of sin for the enjoyment of eternal life. The offerings for acceptance include the death of the sacrifice. But in the case of the sin offering, the sacrifice was burned without the camp. I have written this in my paper on the removal of sin. How important it is to connect the death of man with the work of the atonement! I have been deeply interested in going through scripture on the subject. I am impressed with the sense in my own soul that sin is not forgiven but removed. This affects your sense of acceptance in every stage of your journey....


... I thank you much for --------'s letter. It is encouraging to me, for it is only lately that I have begun to pray for the few I know at --------.

I was going to send you a little parable that I had sketched out for you. If you awoke one morning to find yourself all alone, as if at sea in a boat, with every comfort, but no one else in the boat, no helmsman, no crew, etc., none but the Lord Himself, would you be able to say, He is enough for me?

It is important for our present blessing whether we are occupied with the present, and with the Lord where He is. We cannot forget the past; this is true even in natural things; but to know the object of your heart in the present moment is the greatest satisfaction. Every one can dilate upon the past, but you must come fresh from Himself to speak of the present.


... As to my message to the dear sorrowing --------s. While Peter was set upon the best thing -- joining the Lord, he learned his own weakness; he began to sink; but the Lord relieved him by drawing him to Himself. I think it is often so now, if we truly seek Him. The Lord is

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endeared the more to us in our infirmity, and we join Him in His new place above all the power of evil here. It is thence He comforts us.

I have been greatly interested in studying Hebrews 11. Many are as far in the walk of faith as Noah, but do not follow up the faith of Abraham which rises to the highest point with God, and that of Moses, which is to surmount all the difficulties on our side. It is very beautiful and instructive, but I hope you will see my meditation on it in print....


I was glad to get your letter.... There is great comfort in the word: "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4). The second will follow the first. He gives us our desire if we delight in Him, and the desire of our heart is Himself. Every one is characterised by the object which controls him. Thank God, Christ claims our hearts, and we could have no greater object before us. But the more devoted we are to Him, the more we like to be devoted to Him. Nothing satisfies love but love. "If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned" (Song of Songs 8:7), and as you remark, to know His love is the chief thing; but remember, it is only near Him that you can know His love, and the better we know His love the more we are drawn to Him. You must be near Him for His love to be known. Many look for the love of God in the mercies of the day, and no doubt it descends to the smallest things -- the hairs of your head. But it is only as we are near Him that we can rest in His love; as we read of Himself, when everything is done, He rests in His love. Acts never exhaust love. The assurance of love satisfies the heart. Like a fir-tree, the top shoot taking the lead, and then every branch will follow the leader.

Glad to hear of your children and your dear son. I hope he will not be contaminated with the world in his new circumstances. There is great comfort in the fact that God never forgets our brightest day, and you must return to it. See Jeremiah 2. I long that dear -------- may find such a retreat in the presence of Christ in glory, that

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she may be able to face the difficulties here in all the freshness and vigour which His presence affords....


... In thinking over the history of souls I feel how slowly any one gets on, and how far one must go before one understands the greatness of His grace. I am much interested in that passage, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). Few have really got as far as that. It is there that all the manifold blessing begins....


... We had in our reading today, the account of the crucifixion in all four gospels. How very affecting it is to remember that scene! I do not believe any one will be much affected with Christ's death unless they know Him in glory and see the contrast, and how much better it is to be with Him in the place where He is, than in the place where He is rejected.... I hope you have got out this morning (Lord's Day morning), and that in remembering Him you have seen something greater than what David saw. We see in Psalm 73 what a little sight of Him gives blessing! It is not a cloud of glory now, but a Person. I often think what mercy it was that I was never debarred by illness from going to the assembly.


Through mercy I get on wonderfully well from day to day, and sleep better I think than I used. I have plenty of time for meditation, and I enjoy calling to remembrance before the Lord those whom I knew in different places. I have been greatly struck with seeing how little souls have got beyond acceptance; rejoicing in their salvation seems to be the acme! As far as I see few have entered into the greatness of deliverance. I do not think you enjoy life in Christ until you are consciously in Christ. I think that sometimes souls get it morally, though they have not

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got it doctrinally. If one were like Mary Magdalene, feeling this place intolerable without Him, what would it be to find Him where He is, outside of everything! There we must be in liberty, and we could not be there but in His life. It is remarkable how many like hearing of Him, and reading of Him, who know very little of His company.... I hope you have happy times with Him, more than consoled for every loss. The Lord bless you much....


I was glad to get your letter as to my paper on the relation of the gospel to the church, and to find that you in the main agreed with it. As to the two objections you make, I do not object to earnest appeals, far from it; but you, yourself, disavow human wisdom, and if you do, I think you must not approve of human eloquence. I think a man must feel a thing deeply himself, or he cannot make others feel it; but if you address the human mind you interest it, and many are impressed just because the human mind is acted on; and it is like the seed upon the rock. The evangelist's business is to bring the light of God into the conscience, and there is seldom much depth of feeling where there is much impassioned expression.

I think the work of the gospel is too solemn to be treated in the levity of eloquence. Every one knows that human eloquence can work a man up to a desired conclusion. It has often been practised; even Christians are greatly moved by an eloquent discourse; they are excited and pleased; whereas when it is purely spiritual, when heart and conscience are touched, they are subdued and solemnised; they have to do with God. The human mind cannot go beyond the human mind; you may get an assent from many without any real work of God. When you address the mind you get a mental assent to the truth, but when you have touched the conscience you have brought God in. When a servant is in the power of the truth he does not address the old man, for he knows that the old man can have nothing to do with the grace of God. As a simple man once said to an eloquent preacher, 'You began by telling us that the old man must have no

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place, and now, sir, you are using your old man to awaken poor sinners.'

Next as to Apollos, I did not mean to convey that he was more fully in heart for the Lord when he was refreshing the saints than when he preached the baptism by John, but that though with little light he was blessed to souls. We find eventually that he was not really an evangelist, but his service was to the saints. I believe the gift of an evangelist is a great gift. I do not say that he may not get another gift, as Paul had, but as a rule, as far as I know, I have not seen an evangelist give up his proper calling, and settle down to teach, who has not lost his power. I look upon a gift as some special presentation of Christ to the soul, and as has been truly said, when an evangelist stands up to teach, he is sure before long to preach; on the other hand if a teacher stands up to preach he is soon drawn into teaching. The Lord bless you much. Come from the Lord, and come for the Lord, and you are sure to be blessed....


... I am getting on slowly with my paper. When do you know eternal life? I do not believe you know it till you are in deliverance. You are always entitled to it, but you do not know it. He that hath the Son hath life.

It has been thought that beholding the Lord's glory is reading the Bible; I do not think so. It is contemplating Christ, on whom rests all the glory of God -- His satisfaction according to all His attributes. The difference between reading of Him and being in His presence is illustrated in the two disciples going to Emmaus. They had an exposition of scripture which made their hearts burn, but it was seeing Himself that sent them to the circle of His interests.


Very glad of your letter.... I like the subject of your lecture in America very much. I do not think any one ever knows Christ personally who has not gone through the experience of John 9. As I understand, the question of sin is treated of in chapter 8, and in chapter 9 we have

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the religious man, the best side of man. The blind man, though very faithful, and suffering for the Lord, did not know Him personally until he was in the solitude of light. Then it is not only that you know that He is the Son of God, but you know Him as the Son of God -- a wonderful moment to the soul. When you know Christ in glory you must necessarily accept the grievous fact that He is not here, but rejected; therefore the first coming together of His own is to remember Him in death. Christendom has added -- 'Remember that He died for thee', which is not the prominent idea, and diverts from it. No one with a particle of real love to Him could come in the glitter of the world to remember Him, much less continue in it. It is very plain to me that if you have not passed through chapter 9 experimentally, you will not understand the cross. I rejoice to find you on this great subject....


... I am interested in seeing how many devoted people enjoy beyond their knowledge. The woman in Luke 7 did the act of a forgiven person before she knew that her sins were forgiven. I have often said many have a glimpse of being over Jordan who never took the step; and many are glad of the grapes of Eshcol who do not go to the place where they grow.

Rebekah coming from Syria to Canaan is only a wheel within a wheel. We have to come from Syria to Canaan in a great many things in order to acquire maturity.


January, 1897

Had yours this morning. I hope you may enter on this year in simple confidence in the Lord. I give you John 14:23, and F-------- chapter 15: 13.

I have finished my paper, but not to my satisfaction. I cannot convey the sense I have of knowing the Lord as Head, and being united to Him. In knowing Him as Head

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you have reached Him in the heavenly country, and there you get instruction from Him touching His interests in the old country. But when you know the exceeding greatness of His mighty power, you have a home in heaven, and you come out characteristic of your home....


I have received --------'s interesting letter. Thank her much for the texts. May I be true to them....

I send you --------'s. It is dangerous to touch the Old Testament unless you know the grace of God.

As to the remark that the shadow of the cross makes the world a wilderness, that is not true. It is the death of Christ that makes it a wilderness, therefore we have to drink the water of the Red Sea -- Marah. Peter says "Arm yourselves ... with the same mind" ...


I feel for you much in your deep sorrow. If I can feel your loss, how much more must you feel it. Be assured the Lord is able to fill the blank and draw your heart to Himself, as He did Peter when he was sinking in the water. Peter was taking the step that love led him to take to join the Lord, but in doing so he was made conscious of his own weakness, and he cried out to the Lord on his own account. But his desire to reach the Lord was greater than ever, and the Lord drew him to Himself, and thus He would now sympathise with you, He, the glorified One, drawing you to His side above all the sorrow and desolation here, where your heart will be abundantly satisfied. May this be fully known to you....


Your letter cheered me very much.... I am not surprised that you have conflict, no one progresses without conflict. I have found great interest in Galatians 5:17 (New Translation). There is conflict, but immense comfort. The Spirit always gains the day. Many are exclusively occupied with the joy of salvation, but it is when

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you seek real deliverance that the conflict begins, and Christ is not formed in your heart until the Holy Ghost is in you as a well of water springing up. Then Christ lives in you.


... My comfort is that I can commit you to One who knows all your circumstances and who cares for you infinitely more than I do. I think your beloved husband is right in wishing for the prayers of the brothers who really take an interest in him. I have joined in such prayer meetings before now with decided blessing from them.

When I think of you and your large family, I compare you to a boat at sea surrounded with every comfort; but if you were bereaved of the helmsman what would you do? My answer is that if your heart is fully set on the Lord you will find that the Lord Himself is at the helm, and you will be surprised and affected by His tender solicitude for you and all yours. It is an immense comfort to realise in any degree what it is to have lost everything but Himself, and to be able to realise in any measure the last verse of John 17. I cannot think of anything more touching than the Father's love -- the love wherewith He loves Christ....


It was good of you to send me such a nice shawl. I was sure of your loving interest without any gift.... I am glad to be able to remember you before the Lord. May you be able to realise that the Lord is a Friend who sticketh closer than a brother. Many are satisfied with their acceptance, and the joy of being saved, who have never yet learned what it is to live in the life of Christ, which is deliverance -- the law of the Spirit of life setting them free from the law of sin and death. It is here that the first conflict begins, but as you know it, you not only love Christ for His work, but you love Him because you know Him, so that you can say, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35). I give you this as text for the new year. The Lord bless you much....


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I have good accounts from Weston. It is very encouraging to find so much amity among the brethren. I hope there is a corresponding work in their souls....

What will you say when I tell you that I have begun another paper, entitled Devotedness. It is very interesting. I trust I may be helped to bring it out. What causes the first great exercise to a devoted heart? It is wonderful to see that the devoted heart's great aim is to reach that which was lost when ruin began. I see how much depends on a man being thoroughly devoted, and what a peculiar course he must take if he is to be devoted. I think Mr. Wigram was devoted, but I see very little of that kind of devotedness now-a-days; but there is no reason why there should not be. The Lord is as good now as He was then. If we were more devoted, we should find a way of escape better from the various things that tempt us....


I thank you much for being the willing medium of conveying to me the loving message from the much-loved brethren. Thank the Lord, I can truly say that the progress and advancement of each of them is unfeigned pleasure to me. May they more and more stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. I rejoice to hear of your profitable meetings, and that unity and cordiality seemed so much restored.


... I do not think there is restoration without repentance, and the measure of the restoration is according to the measure of repentance.

... It is painful to find how easily we have passed on to advanced truth without being established in the foundation. I am trying to write on "Take heed how ye hear". I think it very sad to see how people take up truth so lightly....


... I do not see how any one can get on here who does not come from the Lord outside and apart from everything.

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What I pray for -------- I pray for you both, that you may enjoy the Lord so in seclusion with Himself that you may come forth prepared for everything here, but not looking for anything here except to do His pleasure....


... I like your reference to being alone with the Lord. How much I require it myself, though I am in such happy seclusion here. I am getting on slowly with my paper. I have been very much interested in seeing that those who received a full gospel -- the gift of God's sovereign grace, if they do not know deliverance as the work of the Spirit, however well they may have learned the purpose of God in all His grace for His own, and be able to speak of it freely as the work of His grace, yet they never seem to have any enjoyment beyond the gospel. This is consistent; for if they refuse the first work of the Spirit as dwelling in them, it could not be possible to get any further....

I had an interesting time with --------;he quite entered into the point you refer to, and was especially pleased with the thought of making the Lord prominent. I think, when apprehended, it lets in great light on you.


I find the great secret is to come from the Lord. Every one is ready to go to Him. If you come from Him who is outside everything, you are coloured by a scene that is entirely holy and of God; and be it individually, or collectively, you know you are under His influence. It is not anything here that influences you, but Himself who is not here. I find nothing more difficult than to get people to cultivate seclusion with the Lord. They will read, pray, visit, but to be alone with the Lord they are slow to seek. If quite alone with Him it is Himself who fashions you, not anything here. The Lord bless you much.... I send you 2 Corinthians 3:18.


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Glad to get --------'s letter, and to find she can write of seclusion with the Lord as she does.... We have been reading Psalm 63 and 84, and John 20 and 14....

I have been writing to -------- that I see the great defect in preachers is that they make the text the prominent thing and not the Lord. I think -------- makes the Lord prominent.

I like all I have heard of the reading on Romans 6. What -------- calls formative, I call the man changed from Adam to Christ; that is the first step, and it is effected by faith and appropriated by faith....


... It is clear that 1 Corinthians 15 refers to the first resurrection. I looked at the Synopsis and I see J.N.D. connects the second resurrection with the destruction of death in His kingdom when He reigns. This I think makes it all plain. Surely no unconverted person could in any way be in Christ.

The whole range of God's purpose for us from salvation to union with Christ is simply His grace to us, but though all is apprehended by faith, the first step alone is appropriated by faith. The first step for the believer is that he is transferred from Adam to Christ. He is accepted in the Beloved; he is then on new ground, and every additional step is by the work of the Spirit of God in him. Now the great loss is that because the first is appropriated by faith, it is thought that all the rest are appropriated by faith. For example, deliverance has been said to be by the reckoning of faith. This is a great delusion and has damaged many. Here was the root of the last division. They held that all the grace of God was apprehended by faith, which is quite true, but many can speak of truth from salvation to union, who know nothing of the great grace which they acquire by being practically in the blessings of this new position. You cannot be in deliverance but by the life of Christ, and so on up to union. Nothing is more damaging than that a person should be able to speak of the greatness of God's grace in giving so great a position, and yet to have acquired nothing of the blessing or greatness of it. I hope you will understand

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this for it is of all importance. I was glad to hear from you and that you had such a happy time at Weston.


I am much pleased that you so fully understand my letter. The subject of it has been a great help and light to me. My great question is how to convince souls who are not delivered. Many accept the truth of it in terms who have not the reality.

As to the remark about being over Jordan if one has to return to things here, I think no one who has really been over Jordan ever loses the sense that it is a fact. Many have an imagination, or even a glimpse of it, but that is not the reality....

I think a person once over, in the Spirit, has accepted death, and he knows what it is, though he does come back here. It is quite possible to contemplate being over without being really over. I think at times of great spiritual enjoyment you may get a real glimpse of being over.

You get a correct account of my health every day. It is the Lord's pleasure to keep me here still, but I often contemplate my departure.


I have been dwelling much upon the marks of a man who has learned that he is in Christ, and not in Adam. This has led me, with deep interest, to the subject of God's purpose for the church, suggested to me by the words -- "Take heed how ye hear".

I see that there are seven steps or stages in the range of God's purpose for us, beginning with salvation and ending with union. They are all to be apprehended by faith, but the first only is appropriated by faith, and therefore one can speak of them, and have beautiful imaginations about them, without being in the experience of them. The first -- salvation, is appropriated as well as apprehended by faith, because it is God's grace transferring you from Adam to Christ. In Christ you are on new ground. If you do not accept this, you make no

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advance, because it is only in the life of Christ you have deliverance. But the other steps though apprehended by faith are only appropriated as you are in the Spirit. There are many who hold that these other steps are appropriated by faith, but they are greatly deceived. They can learn them clearly from scripture, and speak of them accurately and interestingly, as one would write poetry, which is really carrying you in imagination beyond your experience; but they have not appropriated them, and consequently do not enjoy them.

If you have learnt that you are in Christ, in His life, you know His love; you know something in addition to salvation. Next -- When you reach the Living Stone in the assembly, your heart will rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. You gain immensely because you are led into the blessedness of His acceptance before God in the holiest of all. Then, according as you are led, you can serve Him here, you are occupied with His interests here, which is quite a new day to you. Next, when you enter into the great fact that you are dead with Him from the rudiments of the world, you have reached Him in His own sphere; and you are serving Him according to His direction. Now is made known to you that you are united to Him in heaven; you enjoy the wonderful blessedness of being so near Him, knowing His love, and being in His perfect confidence. And finally, you come out as a new man in heavenly power, to maintain for Him, in the face of all the opposition of the present scene, waiting for His appearing.

How many know only the first -- salvation, and have no joy beyond the joy of salvation! They may be able to speak correctly of all the other stages, but they are not in the enjoyment of them. It is mental acquisition instead of experimental. I think this accounts for the fact that many, though happy in their salvation, do not seem to have acquired anything beyond their salvation, and all the immense blessings which follow are unknown to them.


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I was so glad to get your letter. It is a great comfort thinking of you and your beloved husband, as knowing the Lord outside of everything here. I do not think anything fits us for the contrariety of things here except absolute seclusion with the Lord. I see many who like to read, pray, serve, who do not know what it is to be alone with the Lord. I hope you are not troubled about the commotion at --------. I think ignorance of the assembly is the defect there, and they must begin afresh. I have all along felt that there could be no healing until they understood the assembly. This applies more or less to all of them.

I see a great difference in the preachers who preach only the work, and those who present Himself. Many speak of a text, but the Person is the great object for the soul, and this you can never get to the end of, for you can never get to the end of Him. I have enjoyed very much Hebrews 11.


It is good for you to be exercised about deliverance. God's purpose for the church from salvation to union is all grace, but there are several steps from salvation to union.

The first step is that He has terminated judicially in the cross the man under judgment, and has accepted the believer in Christ risen from the dead. This you not only apprehend by faith, but you also appropriate it by faith. You apprehend all the steps by faith, but you can only appropriate the first by faith. It has been a great damage to souls to say that because you apprehend all by faith you also appropriate all by faith.

Now in deliverance you are on new ground, you are in Christ, and that is the work of the Spirit in you. It is in His life you have deliverance. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). If you are not truly established in this step, you never enjoy the other steps, though you may believe they are all yours. Hence many can speak of the beauty and greatness of the calling of God who are not

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enjoying more than their own salvation, whereas every step in the calling is a new day and a new joy to your heart.

First, you are free from the law of sin and death. Christ lives in you. Second, you reach Him in the assembly, and your joy is full. Third, by His grace you serve Him here. Next, you know that you are dead with Him from the rudiments of the world, and you have, in the Spirit, reached Him in His own life, on the other side of death -- a moment of unspeakable bliss. People can write poetry about it, but few have been there experimentally.

Finally, you know you are united to Him in heaven, and have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

In union with Christ heavenly things are made known to you, and your position is inconceivably blessed.


It was with sorrow of heart I heard of your great bereavement last week, but I delayed writing until you had entered on the new and untried path to which the Lord has appointed you.

There are many passages in scripture shewing how God cares for the widow and the fatherless; but I do not turn you to them; I turn you to Christ Himself simply, and desire that you should find the consolation in Him that Mary of Bethany found (John 11). We see in Hebrews 4 that He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and the heart that is really seeking Him, finds Him as Peter did, who when he left the boat to reach Him (Matthew 14), found his own infirmity required the Lord's help, for he was sinking; so the more you are set upon being with the Lord, the more you find that you need Him for your own infirmities; and it is not only that the attractiveness of His love is drawing your heart to Himself, but also you want Him for your own need, and near Himself you will be not only perfectly happy, but you will be consoled for your irreparable loss.

To me, you are like a ship at sea, surrounded with your family, and every comfort, but without any human support, for the one in whom your heart rested is gone to

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your future home, and Christ, if you really confide in Him, is now your helmsman.

There is nothing around you to trust in, but the more you trust in Him the more He will assure you day by day of His faithful support.

May you and yours be thus abundantly blessed is my true desire.


... It is inconceivably blessed to me to know that God has a love in His own heart for each of His own. Sometimes when I pray for the weak and insignificant, it is an immense encouragement to appeal to His own heart, however little they may know of it -- the same love that He has for Christ -- I think it is a theme of great refreshment to oneself.

We had John 6 today, as well as chapters 14 and 17....

I am getting on slowly with my paper -- 'Transformed.' I find it interesting but very searching. How partially any one is transformed! There are some who admire truth greatly who are not transformed. They are too satisfied with admiration, and know too little of the Lord personally.


(Question asked as to what he thought about breaking bread with an invalid in his own room.)

†We remember the Lord's death because we are living in the place where He died. It is our proper start. Instead of seeking something for ourselves, we begin our week by the remembrance of His death, and if we know Him in glory, it only draws our hearts more to Him and severs us from all human expectation here. I think it is quite different with an invalid -- one who is about to pass out of this world. I am afraid it is often done as a sort of consolation; and in Christendom as a means of grace.


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It was very kind of you to write of dear Mr. --------'s funeral. The better I knew him the more I was drawn to him.

I was very glad to get tidings of you all at M--------. I am glad to hear of the additions, but the great secret is, not the shoots, but the roots. As in a tree, there is no shoot without the root first. So you must begin with the Lord in secret. It is true in everything that He that seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Many are looking for bloom and fruit, and are disappointed when they do not find it; but the defect is, that they have not been deeply and constantly with the Lord. It is a great point to lay hold of, that the Lord is in glory, and outside of everything here, and we can bring nothing of Him into this scene, but as we have been with Him there. See 2 Corinthians 3:18. The Lord bless this truth deeply to you, and the dear brethren at M--------. Give my true love to the dear brethren.

Very glad to hear of the reading at -------- on Ephesians 6. I connect it with John 16. The prince of this world is judged for the man in the power of the testimony of Christ. No Christian in John 16 could be conformed to the world. It is there heavenly power for the earth.

I hope you had a happy morning at P-------- Street. I generally confine myself to prayer for the labourers on the Lord's day. My great desire for them today has been that they might seek His presence. I think many in seeking the Lord have got enriched with the virtue of the truth without knowing the doctrine of it. Dear Mr. Wigram knew a great deal more of the good of the truth than he knew of doctrine. No one would be spiritually near the Lord without knowing that he was apart from the flesh, not in the flesh but in the Spirit. The greatest light I think that has come in of late is the knowledge of deliverance. I used to press being heavenly, but the first thing is deliverance from the flesh.

I have been reading part of Canticles and David's

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song in 1 Chronicles 16. Marvellous instance of the magnanimity of grace, that though like the bride you may sleep and seek your own ease -- in a way forget the Lord -- yet you never lose what the Spirit has given you of Him. The "father" if he sleeps does not awake a "babe" he awakes a father, and in the greatness of the grace, where there is true awakening -- restoration -- he is nearer to Him than before he went to sleep....


†May we know the Lord in His place of greatness and splendour, and remember Him here in His death -- His presence our one desire. Not looking for anything here, but for His presence, which is fulness of joy. May we be drawn to Him in glory, not only as a future hope but for present joy and blessing.


... I have been interested in seeing the difference between the experience of the Christian as to Egypt, the wilderness, and Canaan. First, the enemy; secondly, yourself; thirdly, how you behave as a heavenly man. Marah is the water of the Red Sea. We are free of the judgment of death: but there is nothing here for us but death. Christ having passed through, sweetens it for us. The chief lesson of the wilderness is yourself. In Egypt it is the enemy.

It is lamentable how much we are occupied with ourselves instead of with Christ; how little we practically carry out -- not in Adam but in Christ, how little we say as to things as they arise. That is of Adam, not of Christ. I was glad to hear of the good prayer-meeting at P-------- Street....


... Glad to get your account of P-------- Street. The great thing in the assembly is to be with Him risen, to remember His death where He died, so that you are in heart dissociated from the place where He died, and

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attached to the place where He is. Then you come forth to express Him in the place where He is not. Mr. -------- asked me what I thought about breaking bread with invalids; I said, if they were recovering, and likely to resume their place here, it is very nice, because it keeps fresh in your heart what this place has been to Him; but if you are going out of it to Him, the real meaning of it is lost. In Christendom they take the sacrament as a means of grace for those departing.

That is a nice intelligent letter from --------, but she could not mortify the deeds of the body unless she was in experimental deliverance. Every one must learn what it is to appropriate Christ's death for himself. Christ is not formed in you until you are crucified with Him....

The great thing I see every one wants more or less is deliverance. I used to say that saints do not realise union, which is true; but now I begin at the beginning, and say what they want first is deliverance.


I had yours this morning. I am glad dear -------- is coming to you. I hope she is above her sorrow. Job was relieved all round, but he had no sympathy. I do not desire that she should be relieved only, but that she should know the sympathy of Christ outside everything -- happier outside everything with Himself, than here with everything one would like, under the care of God. I know no one who loves hearing and reading of the Lord or serving Him more than she does, but there is no resource for the heart until you know Him outside everything here.

As to my paper on self-improvement, my intention is to shew not only that there is no improvement, but what living Christ is. We are all more or less ensnared by self-improvement, which is unintentionally denying the grace of God....


†Always have a definite aim before you in the Lord's work. Perhaps a tower has to be battered down -- an obstacle removed; keep at it until it is done. Thus you

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will be useful and effective, and your hearers will be thankful.


†At the end of Acts 7 first I see Him in glory; secondly, I am with Him in glory; thirdly, I can speak to Him in glory -- not merely about things as I see them, but as He sees them. What hinders us is looking at things as we see them. I must get into the glory to see things as He sees them. That was my education when awake last night.


†I have been pondering for many hours yesterday and again today. My great subject is, that you are not only cleared from the old; that you see in Romans; but that you are in the new, as in Colossians 1; and in Colossians 3 you use it. You are not conscious that you have it until you use it. I reproach myself much that I have not led others into it more.


I thank you for your letter. It is a cheer to me to hear that there is an exercise in -------- as to the holiness which becometh the house of God. I think in general many are ready to hear and to accept truth without being near enough to the Lord to know the responsibility as to their course which the truth involves. A remark was made to me lately about a district, that while they appreciate God's grace in transferring them from Adam to Christ risen from the dead, yet as a rule, they do not apprehend the great moral effect of this truth. They are ready and diligent to reform their habits and tempers, but never seem to grasp the idea of being transformed. According to Romans 12, in the sight of men we are not to be conformed to anything in this world, and according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, we are brought into moral correspondence to Christ in glory. The work of the Spirit in the believer is not reformation but transformation.


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I rejoice in your faithfulness for the Lord....

It is quite true that many Christians after being freed from the judgment of Egypt by the death of Christ -- the Red Sea -- go back in taste to Egypt, and attempt to use in the Lord's service the old man, from which they are delivered through the death of Christ, not seeing that they are acting in open defiance of the greatness of His grace, because they are seeking to use in His service the man whom He has terminated for them in the cross -- removed for ever from God's holy eye. Our true place is the wilderness where there is nothing but Marah, death on every side, on the human side; "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass" (1 Peter 1:24), but we have the manna from heaven, and the smitten rock for our joy and strength.

The Lord bless you much, and strengthen you for His service.


I had --------'s letter this morning. It must be an interesting subject. I had been wishing that -------- would give a course of lectures from Egypt to Canaan. The eye is to be on the cloud of glory. Wherever the cloud was the manna was. Another thing, I find you do not take your proper place in the wilderness until you are set for Canaan. In Numbers 21 the full enmity of the heart against God is disclosed, the unmendability of the natural man. I find that no one discovers really the enmity of his heart against God until he has accepted the wilderness in its true character.

I have been thinking there is no idea of the church in professing Christendom. The idea of the gospel came with Luther. I should like to see a good paper on it, but I do not know that I am up to it. I should like to write a paper on the gospel partially accepted, while the church is completely unknown. It is a deplorable fact that except a few among us, no one seems to take any interest in what the church is in God's mind.


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Your letter interested me. I am truly thankful for the way the Lord has led you. I think we are not sufficiently awake to the solemn fact that while the gospel is partially accepted since the Reformation, the Church, as it is in the mind of God, is so very little known. To begin at the very beginning -- to join the Lord in His own place, outside everything of man, as you truly say, I think many among us, though true and earnest in the gospel, have never really learned. Peter in Matthew 14 sets forth in figure what it is to leave all human support, and seek Christ Himself in the supremacy of His power, at the other side of death, which is really coming to the Living Stone. If you have not taken that step you are not set for what is God's great and wondrous destination for us, not only as His own sons in glory, but as members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, to share and take part in all His counsels and interests. The Lord keep you fervently answering to the desires of the heart of God for you.

As to your exercise about preaching -- If you are not hampered by any sectarian rules, you might, I think, tell out the gospel, as the Lord has taught you. If you are faithful in that which is least, you will be faithful also in much. The Lord bless you much.


I was glad to get your account of the reading. I quite like what was said of Marah. Many pious people accept baptism, thinking they are really dead and risen with Christ, and without knowing that it is in the power of the Spirit.

I have begun my new paper on the gospel and the church, attempting to shew how unknown the mystery of the gospel was until it was revived to Mr. Darby. I remark that every one who has departed from the acceptance of that truth is sure to lose power, and to decline; while any one who adheres to it, however feebly, is marked by support from the Spirit of God. Like Israel going through the wilderness, those who stood up for the land were those who succeeded....


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... I am glad to hear of the lecture on Numbers 15. I had been reading that chapter and was thinking what was the character of the offerings after the failure. It is wonderful how prominent Numbers is becoming. I remember Mr. Darby agreeing with me that Romans 3 answers to Exodus 12 and that Exodus 14 answers to Romans 5 and how plain it is that Romans 7 answers to the brazen serpent.

We were reading today Psalms 24 and 115 and Revelation 21 and John 15. How wonderful to think what the church will be on earth for Christ's service, and would be now assuredly if it had the characteristics of the new Jerusalem, though in a minor way....


†I think all are more or less defective in two things. (1) in not being delivered, (2) in not having come to the Living Stone. All God's purposes are to be enjoyed by-and-by, but it is only as we experience them step by step in divine order that we have part in His purpose now.... I feel it is such a favour to be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, I am only just beginning to realise it myself.


... As to a servant of Christ advertising or using the world in any form, it is plainly not according to the word of God. We read in John 14:26 that the Holy Ghost would be sent in Christ's name to bring the disciples into the knowledge of all that He had said, which is detailed for us in the gospels; but we read in chapter 15: 26 that the Holy Ghost would be sent from Himself in heaven to testify of Himself, and we see how this is carried out in John 16. So that no one having received the Holy Ghost from Christ in heaven could use the world in any form to help on the testimony. The Spirit would first demonstrate that the world is sin. Who could use it then to help on the testimony? Secondly, there is no righteousness here, so that righteously you could not use it; and thirdly, the prince of this world is judged, so that in the

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power of the heavenly Christ, in accordance with Ephesians 6 you can withstand the wiles of the devil; and having done all to stand, glorifying Christ in this world, learning from Him of the Father's things, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.

Paul when he first came into Europe, and the woman with the spirit of divination proclaimed him (where he was entirely unknown) as the servant of the Most High God, refused her support, feeling that the devil wanted to have a finger in the work; and the result was, that the whole community from the magistrates down to the mob, the whole power of evil, was arrayed against him; so that he was beaten and cast into prison.

Everything seemed as if the enemy had succeeded, until the quiet hour of midnight, when God interposed, and not only set Paul and Silas free, but the man of Macedonia was so wrought upon by the power of God, that he called for a light, and sprang in, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? It is a simple question now whether it is better to use worldly power, or to be content to go on in a way unnoticed by man, but eventually, through God's grace, with the greatest effect.


I thank you much for your hearty response as to my little paper -- 'In Adam or in Christ.' I was especially cheered by the exercise of the brethren as to whether they understood the meaning of the word themselves. I often ponder with myself as I lie here, how little we really apprehend the magnificence of God's grace in transferring us from the man who dishonoured Him to the Man of His pleasure. What rays of divine light shine in upon the soul as one in any measure believes it? One feels daily how little one answers practically in our ways and words, to being in Christ and not in Adam.

I think in general many are ready to hear and accept truth without being near enough to the Lord to know the responsibility, or the course which the truth involves.

I have been dwelling on what a true servant would be like in this day of Christ's rejection. It is not so much

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what he does as what he is. A man here for God is like a star in the sky; he may have a peculiar mission besides, and may help others. Nothing but what is of the Spirit of God will abide. As to man all his thoughts perish, but every thought and desire he ever had by the Spirit of God will remain. My whole contention is, how much remains? What is mere human cleverness, and what is the power of the Holy Ghost, and the Lord's own work? I know that I am of the glorified Man, and that whatever belongs to Him remains.


... I am glad to hear you had such a good meeting on the Lord's day. I think it is quite possible for true, earnest souls to be happy together remembering the Lord's death, who have not yet known what it is to come to Himself as the Living Stone.

I think very few in the meetings know what it is to be built up a spiritual house. I do not mean the whole company; but if there are even two or three who do know it there is a good beginning in the company -- a beginning which must help others. I think it is a wonderful moment when you are conscious that you have come to Him -- the Living Stone, God's foundation, and that you now form a part of the spiritual house. Your blessing and power in the assembly is your enjoyment of the Lord in His own place, and not merely your enjoyment of the ministry, however beautiful. A brother, I suppose twenty years in the Lord, said to me lately that what he is looking for is the consciousness of having come to the Living Stone. I was cheered to see this exercise in him. Some of the evangelists hold that every believer is on the Living Stone. The truth is that every believer is a stone, but he is not built up until he comes to the Living Stone, the foundation chosen of God and precious.

I find that the two things the saints are most ignorant about are -- deliverance, and coming to the Living Stone. The happiest among them seldom get beyond joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom they have received the reconciliation. This is the joy of

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salvation. Deliverance is the next step. When in deliverance you know that you are set free from the body of this death, that you are in Christ, that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made you free from the law of sin and death. No one really advances in his soul until he knows this, though he may know the scriptures well, and be able to explain every passage in Ephesians, but he is not in it on God's side. You must come to the Living Stone first; otherwise you cannot know Christ in the Holiest, or know Him as Head. You must know these two before you can know what union with Christ in heaven is.

I hope you will be able to see that you must begin in divine order. All God's purpose will be enjoyed by-and-by, but it is only as we are led in these successive steps that we can have part in it now.


My conviction is, that if even two or three in the meeting at -------- had found the Lord as the Living Stone on the other side of death, as Peter had to learn in Matthew 14, when he left the boat to meet the Lord on the water, they would have held on in dependence on Him, and thus have been able to help any earnest soul to find what through grace they had found. I have had to learn this practically for myself where there was no adverse party. The Lord give you grace to make Him your one object.


... It is a true remark of --------'s about the objective. I see so many who think they have everything -- that because they have faith everything is theirs. Men of the world do not care for title if they do not get anything with it.

I thought it so nice of -------- to tell me that he desired to know that he had come to the Living Stone. It is the first journey out of the world to Christ. Vain to talk of being in the Holiest and knowing Him as Head if you have not left this place.

We have had Exodus 15, Numbers 18, with John 14.

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I am sorry to hear of poor --------. The only remedy for depression of the kind is reading the gospels, and keeping the eye on the Lord Himself, thinking of Him and not of your own state, and by-and-by you find that the depression is gone.


What I desire for -------- and --------is deliverance. I think they know a great deal but they are not able to appropriate it until they are in deliverance. It is for that I pray for them.

I hope my new paper is getting on.

I think so few understand the links in the great chain of His purpose.... It is interesting to see the great position to which God has called us; but how few under-stand or enjoy it! If one were really in the enjoyment of it there could not be enjoyment in anything connected with the earth.


I had your long interesting letter this morning.... I pray for -------- that she may have the joy of knowing the Lord outside of everything. I am beginning to really taste for myself what a favour it is to be dead with Him from the rudiments of the world.

As to my paper, my great point is that while saints were allowed to believe that all is theirs, which is true, they were prevented by the device of the enemy from having present enjoyment of it. I want to make this emphatic, that though all is mine by the gift of God when I believe it, yet it is only by the Spirit that I can enjoy any of it, except the first step, which is salvation, and which is known by faith....


I rejoice to hear that your beloved husband is so much better, and that you are also. I feel the Lord is taking great pains with you in all this trial. I hope now that He is about to restore to you your natural helmsman, that your heart will rejoice in finding how He could supply his place if

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you had lost him. Mary of Bethany could never forget what she discovered of the Lord in His walk with her to the grave (John 11). She learned His heart in such a way that she really felt His death more (chapter 12) than she had felt the death of Lazarus. I hope you may have a deeper sense of the blank here in Christ having died, but that your heart will rejoice to find Him where He is, and to know what a resource He is to you. True love to you both.


I thank the Lord that you are still continued amongst us, for you are very dear to us, and I trust that this little retirement with Himself has been greatly blessed to you. I find it a great thing for myself to know the Lord outside everything -- supreme in His own glory, so that if everything here in this land of Marah were to fade away, we have unbounded joy and light for evermore with Him; and having a taste of it now, fits us for this death scene in a wonderful way. The Lord bless you much.


I have been wishing to write to you.... I think it is a great thing if you do not know where to go, to feed the kids beside the shepherds' tents (Canticles 1:8) -- to be within reach of helpful ministry. It is a great cheer that wherever the cloud was there the manna was, it is not that the cloud was where the manna was. If your heart is set on the Lord He is sure to lead you to the spot where He will feed you with Himself. I feel how much happier you would be if you were in a bright circle of His interests as you were at --------. The Lord bless you much and direct you as to His own will.


I have heard of the deep sorrow the Lord has caused you and Mrs. -------- to pass through. I should like to say one word in sympathy for you -- how the Lord uses our infirmities as we see in the end of Hebrews 4 to attach us to Himself. There are three great classes of infirmities --

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pressure of circumstances, bad health, and bereavement. Job was called to pass through all three; and though he was relieved eventually, he had no sympathy. In the affliction the Lord puts us through now, if the heart is following Him, He only uses the affliction to increase our desire to be with Him, as Peter going to Him on the water; when he began to sink, his own infirmity occupied him with the Lord, and then the Lord stretched forth His hand and caught him, so that his infirmity only increased and promoted his desire to get to the Lord. Thus Mary of Bethany was comforted by His walk with her (John 11). He had given no promise of relief, but His company was so affecting to her, He so endeared Himself to her, that we find in the next chapter that she felt the prospect of His death more than the death of Lazarus.

The Lord grant to each of you that He may be more endeared to you by the way He has drawn you each to Himself in this sorrow.


... I rejoice that your beloved husband is better. I remember him daily as the Lord's servant. The Lord bless you both much. Only one thing is needful -- "Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42). The "good part" is the "manifold more" at the close of chapter 18.



I hope -------- now understands what I mean about the device of Satan into which some have fallen. The whole range of God's purpose in grace is their main point, and they are right so far. We have only to believe it; but there is no appropriation by faith except for the first step, which is God's work for us. It is only in Christ that we can enjoy the other steps, though they are ours. It is true that many among ourselves can speak clearly on these points, though not in the practical power of them, but

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then they do not make it all faith as the others do. They would agree that it must be the work of the Spirit. To any simple soul it must be plain that the first step -- salvation, must be by faith only. The next step is deliverance -- "in Christ"; and then a new day begins; you begin to enjoy your possessions. We all agree that we have the possessions; the right is ours by faith; they are God's gift; but if we were enjoying each link in the great chain it would make a wonderful difference with us.

Excuse this long explanation which I have given because I do not think -------- quite catches my meaning....

I am meditating a new paper, 'As is the heavenly, so are they that are heavenly.'


I am, thank the Lord, very happy, though sometimes parts of the nights are somewhat disturbed. I have plenty to interest me in praying for those in different places which I have visited. I find it cheering to see what the Lord does; His way is perfect, yet nothing so comforts me as to be occupied with what He is. You see the difference in John 14:26, where what He has been to us is brought out, and in John 15:26, which is what He is at this present moment. This explains what you get in 2 Corinthians 3:18. One gets a sense of being satisfied with Him outside and apart from everything.

I am glad that the meeting is prospering. I feel the great lack in many is not having a clear idea of how we are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood. People come together as true believers, but they do not know what it is to come individually to the Living Stone. They have not taken the step that Peter took in Matthew 14. This is too much looked at as leaving system to go to the Lord. It really means leaving everything, to go to Him at the other side of death, and no one has really come to the Living Stone till he has taken this step. We should have brighter meetings if even a few in the assembly knew what it is to have taken this great step; but though many are quite happy in their salvation, they are not in true deliverance, which simply means that you are in the

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life of Christ; not occupied with refusing Ishmael, but rejoicing that Isaac has his place, and that what belongs to Christ comes easy to you. The Lord bless you much. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free.


I send this message to -------- with much love. Divine food prepares for the path of understanding (Proverbs 9). Wisdom's feast -- "Eat of my bread, and drink of the wine".


I have begun my new paper. The great point is that there is no other road to heaven but through the wilderness, and Numbers shews you the divine path, God in His goodness meeting you, and your own evil exposed, as I have said. We see from Colossians that heaven is the hope of the gospel. I do not believe any one reaches Romans 8 until he is set for heaven. Numbers is a wonderful book; I think it describes the experience of every one truly going to Canaan. If you are not set for heaven you try to make the wilderness a resting place. We leave the path to heaven if we seek anything to enjoy here. We are idolaters if we seek to enjoy ourselves where Christ died.


... I am sending you my paper, 'As is the heavenly.' It is very difficult to convey the effect of beholding the Lord. I fear it will not be interesting to any one who does not answer to it experimentally.... I do not believe any one has deliverance until he is first disgusted with himself. No one discloses the real enmity of his heart until he is set for heaven. Therefore the wiles of the enemy are to occupy him with himself in some form.... What I pray for Mrs. --------, is that she may now realise the comfort of drawing near to the Lord and finding His sympathy.


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It has been such a comfort to me to see the great grace in connecting the Lord's death with Marah. Fellowship with His death sweetens death to us. I had long seen our side of it. The sense of Marah here is relieved by fellowship with His death. If our hearts are set on the place where Christ is we have our anchorage there within the veil.


There is a difference between knowing the Lord's love and knowing Him as the wisdom of God. In the first you have confidence in Him, in the second you have confidingness. You know Him as the One who can solve everything for you, so that your self is lost, like the queen of Sheba in the presence of Solomon -- there was no more spirit in her.


I am truly thankful that the Lord Himself has been your solace in the hour of your sorrow and great bereavement. It is very blessed to taste in any degree how He as Priest bears us above the infirmities of humanity, be it pressure of circumstances, bad health, or bereavement. He draws us to Himself as He drew Peter when sinking. Some know that He has freed us from the claim of the law through His death, and that we are delivered from the old man -- "the body of this death", through His death, who do not know Him as Priest, bearing us above the weakness of humanity. It is a blessed moment when one weighed down by bereavement is by His own hand drawn so near to Himself that in His company the bereaved one is consoled.

The Lord bless you much.


I am disappointed to hear of --------. The very fact of her sense of loss of enjoyment is a proof that she had it. The man that has lost his eyesight feels that he has lost it; one who never had it does not know of his loss. Her only way of relief is keeping more before her what Christ is, and not thinking of herself.

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Do you see the difference between Romans 7 and Hebrews 4? In the first you are dead to the law by the body of Christ, and in the second you are delivered from all the weakness of humanity. The first step in the heavenly path after your salvation is Marah, death on the human side. If you have little or much, death is on all, and as you have fellowship with His death, death is made sweet to you.

I need not tell you more of my paper, but the subject is very interesting to me. I only ask that I may do the subject some justice. I am much interested in the end of Hebrews 6, the anchor of the soul. Have you a good anchorage? If not, you will drift on the shore of the world....


I had through mercy a lovely night. Your letter came early. I like much what you relate was said in the lecture about Light and Life. The gospel begins with light and goes on to life....

I have learned three things especially from the study of "the heavenly". First, the scene of Marah is relieved by fellowship with Christ's death, as we realise His death; secondly, our hearts are not set on this place, but on the place where He is gone; otherwise we have no direction, and may drift into the world; thirdly, the great service of His priesthood to us is to bear us above the weakness of humanity.


In the history of the soul light comes before life, but in the gospel of John, life is treated of before light.

As to your question, do you not understand that if the anchor of your soul is not in heaven, you will be stranded on the earthly side? I have begun a new paper and am trying to get a good title for it. I am trying to set forth the distinct power belonging to and given for every fresh step, every definite advance in grace, so that one might be assured of what step one had really entered on. People know them all so well mentally, and they think they have them all without the special grace needed for taking each step....

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I think if a person knew the Lord outside everything it would be very easy to see that he does; though he would not feel things here less, he would know where the relief is. It is sad to me to see some who love the Lord, and faithfully serve Him, and still so little cultivate acquaintance with Him outside everything here.


I am glad to hear of the additions, and that brothers have come into fellowship. I hope the part they take in the meetings will be from their own experience, and not merely what they have read. I do not mean by experience their own feelings, but their knowledge of Christ. I see some who pray, and read, and serve, and delight to hear, who I am sure lose a great deal, because they do not, like the queen of Sheba, enjoy the One greater than Solomon. In beholding His glory you get impressions of what you had no presentiment; the word seems newly opened to you; but I have written on this in a paper called 'Transformed', which you will see. I feel that the objective school has leavened many. Mr. Darby was used by God to correct Wesleyanism, and to bring out in the fullest way the perfection of God's grace, yet his teaching was deeply subjective.

There are seven links in the great chain of His purpose. They are all to be apprehended by faith. The first is salvation, where God's heart has expressed itself fully. The man under judgment has been terminated in judgment on the cross. Every believer in Christ risen is accepted in Him; he has peace with God, and the love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. This is immense grace; and few souls, however devoted, get beyond it. You are no longer in Adam, but in Christ before God, to His entire satisfaction. As far as I see, the greatest evangelists of our day do not get beyond this. You may say it is a great theme, and so it is. But the leaven that has hindered many, is the thought that because the first link of grace is appropriated by faith, that all the others are appropriated by faith. This led to the recent division. The truth is that the first alone is appropriated

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by faith, because it is God transferring us from one man to another. The second is deliverance, which is only known when we are in Christ, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. You do not enter on this but as you are in the Spirit of Christ, though all the links of His purpose, from salvation to union with Christ, are all yours, and to be enjoyed hereafter; but you only enjoy them now as you are in the Spirit of Christ.

I want to call attention to the fact that the weakness of our meetings arises from not knowing what it is to come to the Living Stone, chosen of God and precious. Every believer is a stone, but he is not in his true place in the spiritual house, until he comes to the Living Stone. Now if he had not deliverance he never could get to Christ on the other side of death, and I do not believe that any one does know it, until he has gone through experimentally Matthew 14 and John 6. Though the two chapters are so apparently diverse, if you study them carefully, you will see that they happened at the same time. One is the way we have to go, the other -- the power by which we can go -- the life of Christ.


†People think that sleep is better than the Lord's ministry to one. It is not. The Lord's ministry is a wonderful thing, and it is the greatest rest.


I had a long visit from -------- yesterday. They had good readings at --------, but I do not see any prospect yet of their having light or grace to come together to break bread. The more I dwell on the fellowship of Christ's death the more I feel how solemn it is, and how little understood. If we truly had fellowship with His death how little we should expect from this place, and how our hearts would cling to Him where He is....


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I had your letter. When I say that you cannot properly say "heavenly" until Ephesians 4, I mean till you come from heaven. I quite agree with R-------- that the new company start from Numbers 21; they have been learning themselves in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8).

I think Matthew 14 is connected with deliverance. What is the third step in the chain of grace in the purpose of God? The first is salvation; the second deliverance. What is the third? I make the third "part" with Christ. It is there the assembly comes in....


†The bride in Canticles made herself comfortable and went to sleep. We would naturally like the Lord to shew His love to us by giving us rest here, but He shews His love in doing just the reverse -- in making no rest for us here, that He may draw us into company with Himself.


†Does your heart rejoice in the love that would draw you away from your own darkness into its own light? It is a joy to my heart to know that is where my portion is.


I had your interesting letter this morning early. I like greatly the distinction between Joshua and Moses. The great defect is not following the Forerunner. If you are not set for heaven you are trying to make the wilderness a resting place. If you are not anchored in heaven, you are sure to drift into the world.

We had our little reading, Luke 22, John 20 and 14. I have been trying to realise what being over Jordan is. It is a grand day when you are free from the influence of everything here, of every visible thing. The new man has touched his own sphere, and is not trying to refuse things here, but is in the sense that he virtually belongs to another place. But still there is a greater day, when you know that you are part of Himself in heaven, and are walking about here in the power of His Spirit to be His witness.

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I am writing to -------- that I feel daily more and more that the path of the Christian is unique. If your heart is not set on the place where Christ is, you are diverted by any advancement here, and you are sure to give up Paul's line....


... I am getting on but slowly with my new paper, trying to trace the believer's moral journey from the far country until he can say

'... The Spirit's power
Has ope'd the heavenly door'. (Hymn 74)

Then I hope to set forth the characteristic of a heavenly man on earth....

J.N.D. used to say he was not a man for detail, but that others made beautiful things out of his gold....

What gives power to a speaker is his having the Lord before him in the passage that he speaks on. Many speakers have only man and the good of man before them....


Where does ministry culminate? In love! The prodigal gets kissed; he begins with love. The saint is united; that is the finish of love.

Every convert gets the kiss, but the one who gets to the Father's joy and the Father's interests is always advancing, no matter what the circumstances, or what the trouble here. It is only three years ago that I saw that, though the truth set forth in the parable of the prodigal son was the first I ever knew. How wonderfully rich that scripture is!


It is delightful to contemplate that when we realise union with Christ we know His love which passes knowledge; and if we can at all anticipate the bliss of being around Him, it adds greatly to it that we should love one another with His love. The satisfaction of love is when

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its object wants nothing. As we read of the Lord, "He will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).



Your letter was very welcome, and though I hear of you constantly I was glad of a line. I fully agree with you about deliverance. It is only in the life of Christ that we can have any real deliverance from the law of sin and death. I see that we are not only freed from the claim of the law by the body of Christ, so that we can say our old man is crucified with Him, but as we seek Him we find the greatness of His priestly service in drawing us above all the weakness of humanity to Himself; so that any one who knows Him where He is, supreme above all the power of evil here, would never seek for any help from the world around him. I do not believe there is any communion with Him or enjoyment of Him in the assembly without knowing deliverance, nor do I believe that saints ever know the wretchedness there is in themselves until they are set for heaven where He is, as Israel in Numbers 21, which you rightly call the new company, were set for Canaan. The Lord bless you and yours.


I had --------'s by night mail. Much pleased with her account of the last lecture. I like what was said about the two and a half tribes.

I had been meditating in the night a message to Rotherham, and I see very plainly that if heaven as a hope wanes, you have lost the present anchor of your soul within the veil. I believe nothing will keep us in this like having fellowship with His death. I think fellowship with Christ's death gives us a real idea of the place we are in, and sets our hearts on His place; but if our hearts are really set on where He is, we do pass over Jordan while still here, and we learn Colossians. But how few have truly learned

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Colossians If you are really enjoying Christ as Head in the sphere of His own life, though still on the earth, surrounded by all the things that used to please you naturally, you are seeking the things above, and receiving from Him power to do according to His pleasure here. I think it is a great favour to know that we have a Head in heaven, and that we belong to that sphere before we are taken out of this sphere. I see that even in the type we are to be brought to the place -- to God's habitation (Exodus 15).

... I often think before the Lord of some who love Him and who would do anything to serve Him, and yet who do not know what it is to be alone with Him, outside everything here. If I were to say, 'I love Mr. Darby and Mr. Darby loves me, but I never spent half an hour with him', what would that prove? Being with the Lord is so peculiar. How different the Old Testament times to ours! They could delight in Jehovah, but they could not understand what we may know -- delight in One who has been and is a Man, and who is acquainted with all about us. Such intimacy! ...


Glad to hear such a cheerful report of your little circle. I have been greatly interested lately in seeing that we are saved for heaven, not merely as a future home, but for the rest of our hearts even now. I think it is a wonderful thing to know that I am given to be over Jordan with Christ through grace, as much as my salvation. Therefore the two great things that mark a Christian in this world are fellowship with Christ in His death here where He died, and association with Him where He now is. If any one is truly in the first, his only rest is in the second, and therefore it is the anchor of the soul. If you are diverted from it by anything here you lose your anchor, and drift into the world. I think we have been too much satisfied to be saved for heaven by-and-by, instead of seeing that it is the actual hope belonging to salvation (Colossians 1:5, 23).

If you have Christ before you it is fellowship with His

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death here and His glory where He is. Between those two -- death and glory -- you have to walk daily. On the one side, as you look at Him as He was here, it is His death; on the other side -- you behold His glory.

You would never have a cloud if you were beholding His glory, and if you keep up your intimacy with Him your feet will be washed. The Lord does it.


Matthew 14 is not coming to the Living Stone, but it is the preparation for it. You must get clear of your own infirmity, His priestly hand bearing you to His side, before you can seek Him. It is when you are free of yourself that you become occupied with Him. If you look into the history of your soul, you will see that you cannot come any other way. You must have deliverance first before you can have part with Him....

It is a wonderful thing that each one can be a living stone contributing to God's assembly.


... It came very freshly before me this morning, that as Christ is rejected from this world, nothing that is not of Christ could be owned of Him, and any spiritual help must come direct from Him, and not from anything in this world. I awoke so cheered with what also came so freshly before me -- that it is as much part of the grace of God that we should be over Jordan as our salvation is of His grace. By grace I am saved by the work of Christ, and so am I over Jordan by His death. If we valued the latter as we do the former, we should have a wonderful time. But the Spirit does not lead us into it until we seek it, and are ready for it. I see more and more every day that Christianity is the path the vulture's eye hath not seen.


I am glad you had such a happy meeting on Thursday. J.N.D. used to say that Paul had reached nothing fully in Philippians 3. I think this helps us to see that though

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Paul knew what it was to be over Jordan, and knew union, that he was not yet in the fulness of either.

Some fail to see how unique the Lord's nature was, so that instead of His being one with us, we are one with Him.

How very easy the path would be if the heart were kept true to Christ in fellowship with His death here, where it occurred, and associated with Him in glory where He is....

Did you notice my remark about the evangelist -- that he comes from Christ to seek and enlighten the members of Christ? ...


... I have been thinking very much how one begins to be turned aside, and how to treat it. What is the first indication that you are off the line? Your first decided move after a new occurrence? This is especially true after having received light from God. Your next move indicates the ruling purpose of your heart. Ponder this well....

I like the letter from --------, but it is not merely Christ risen, but Christ in glory; so that in beholding Him you are like the queen of Sheba, lost, no more spirit left; you gain instead of lose; and what an immense gain it is to get the sense of being with Him! ...


I thank you much for your comprehensive letter. I have been for some time wishing to write to you. I was pleased to hear a few days ago of your intention to write to me. First let me say I rejoice much at the prospect of your being free to give your time more exclusively to the Lord's service. May the Lord fit you for it fully....

There are many who have not seen clearly how the first man is removed from the eye of God, and that the Man of His pleasure is exclusively before Him. How many receive it as a doctrine who have no idea of the reality of it, and so they cannot heartily take in that Christ is entirely de novo, as J.N.D. used to say, 'sui generis'. I remember saying years ago to dear Mr. Wigram, that

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the Lord was perfect china and we broken china. He corrected me by saying, 'He was not china at all.' Now I see how wondrously unique He was in the eye of God.

There are many who have not really reached deliverance in their own souls; and some, I think, who look for good conduct, and to keep a good conscience, who have never known what it is to be delivered from the "wretched man" (Romans 7). If you are really delivered you are in the life of Christ, and a new scene altogether opens out to you....


I hope the Lord will strengthen you both for the meetings on Friday if it be His will, and that he will send a plentiful rain on His inheritance. I am sending you my little message to the brethren to be read to them. I have been very much struck lately, pondering over my life, how much happier a time I should have had, and how many sorrows I should have been spared, if heaven had been more definitely the anchor of my soul. One is so apt to look for something in this place while passing through it. I feel now that it is marvellous grace that I am as much entitled to be over Jordan with Christ, as I am to be saved by His work on the cross.

May you know the unmeasured love of His heart.


To the brethren gathered at Rotherham, April 16th, 1897

Dear Brethren, -- Though I am not able to be among you, my heart is fully with you, and I have you in remembrance before the Lord, I am thankful to say, daily. I may just briefly express great desire for you. We are delivered out of Egypt -- the world -- what man has made of the earth, to be in God's habitation. "Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation" (Exodus 15:13). Now if this is definitely before you, even that you have been delivered out of the present evil age for heaven, you must take the only true road to reach it. The divine path to heaven is through the wilderness. This world is a wilderness, and there is nothing for you here

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but Marah, that is, death on man's side; and the more you have fellowship with Christ in His death, the easier the path becomes to you, because you see the true character of this world; and the more truly you do, the more you seek Him where He is. "That ... we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil" (Hebrews 6:18, 19).

Now, if you are diverted from His place -- where Jesus is entered as Forerunner, by anything here, even the mercies of God, you have lost the anchor of your soul, and you drop into the world; but if you cleave to Him, and to His place, you learn, as in Colossians, that heaven is the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:5 - 23). You will find that it is God's grace to you that you should be morally dead to everything here, though fulfilling all the ordinances of God, and you are in living enjoyment of the things above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. No one can conceive a more wonderful position as set here on the earth for Christ. The Lord incline each of our hearts more and more to follow Him there for present enjoyment.

The Lord bless you much in your meeting. My love to each.

Yours very affectionately in Christ.


... I rejoice in the tidings from you this morning of the meetings....

I have been wishing for myself to know more of what the queen of Sheba is the type of when she came to king Solomon. Surely it is our privilege to come to Him who is greater than Solomon, and to be so absorbed with Him as to have no more spirit in us -- so entirely under His influence. I remark that many dwell on the love of Christ who do not dwell much on the wisdom of Christ. As I see His love I have confidence in Him, but as I know Him as the wisdom of God I have confidingness. He can solve everything for me. The Lord bless you abundantly.


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... I had, thank God, a good night -- plenty of time to meditate, but have not found a title for my subject. I feel that such a line of things is much wanted.... I see that so few have had a good start. The prodigal's start was making merry with his father.

Do you remark that when -------- speaks of Christ risen as an important truth it is only seeing that He is on new ground. It is when you behold Him in glory that you are absorbed with Him.

I had a visit from dear --------. He seems to think that my happiness in my illness has made things real to people....


I have had good tidings of the Rotherham meetings; I like the line of things taken up very much. The reading on Saturday was on Romans 10....

Though I was pretty comfortable last night I could not go to sleep, and I was pleased at getting a title for my paper, namely, there must be heresies among you. I think the force of that is that something hinders them from adopting the truth in its fulness, and they set up an opinion of their own. In the case of Christendom it is one huge system of heresies; for example, they have no idea of the removal of the first man and they limit the Lord's supper to the remembrance of your own benefit. When a man qualifies the truth it is because it is too much for him, not because he intends to be wrong. Lot looking for a place for himself instead of following Abraham is an example of it....


... I began my new paper today. I feel I have much material but I do not know if I am able to put it in order. It is only a divine eye that can take in divine light. If there is human admixture with the word it is leavened. I think it is very important to see, as the similitude of Matthew 13 shews, that it is not that the meal is refused, but there is an addition to it. The man with most power is the man who quotes scripture most accurately. J.N.D. used to say that if you were lecturing in the Spirit you would

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remember a text correctly. I have often said that Satan quoted scripture to the Lord incorrectly....

What is it that turns people aside? Bring them to the water is one thing.


It was very cheering to me to get your letter after your long silence. I felt that you were exposed to the north wind as well as the south winds. I hope the spices did really flow out.

I have often tried of late to press the distinction between the coming of the Holy Ghost to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, and His work in us, which is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which has made me free from the law of sin and death. I think that many are happy in their salvation, as the prodigal knew he was in favour when he was kissed, who are not in deliverance from the "wretched" self, with the best robe on, enjoying the great supper in the presence of God. I think the evangelists would take a very different course if they had more before them the simple fact that they were sent to find the members of Christ's body -- that they come from Christ, and have to answer to Him for the work. They see it too much as the benefit of man, which is only philanthropy.

The Lord bless you both much. My daily prayer for you is that you may know the Lord on the other side of Jordan. It is a wonderful truth that by the same grace by which you are saved you can say you are over Jordan with Christ in the sphere of His own life while you are still on the earth.


Thank you much for your kindness in writing to me about the meeting in -------- and for your desire to gratify me by sending me tidings. I am greatly interested in your account of the gospel address, and also in the difference between deliverance in Romans 6 and in Colossians 2. I see one is from the man, the other from the place where man has all his interests. Romans is known a long time before Colossians.

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I hope the Lord will lead you to Himself daily outside everything. That is my great desire for you, that you may come from Him to the things of this poor world.


I am sending you --------'s letter. I am greatly pleased with --------'s gospel sermon. How fully he has got hold of the gospel of the glory! It is remarkable to me that those who do not see the gospel of the glory, however devoted they are, and however vigorously they dwell on Christ on our side, yet they never seem to have a thought about Him on His own side.

I see how much depends on knowing deliverance according to God's word. Many a devoted one has lost it because he made deliverance the reckoning of faith -- the human interpretation of it. No one who has not divine deliverance can enjoy Christ in His own place.


(Message to one who wrote of the low state of a meeting)

Tell -------- with my love, the low state of others is his opportunity to shew the right way; he can be a leader in lowliness and devotedness.


I thank you for your interesting letter.... I hope dear -------- will enjoy much being apart with the Lord. It is quite possible to know Christ risen, entirely on new ground, as Mary Magdalene did; but there is a great difference between that and knowing Him in glory. In the one case it is all new ground to you, but in the other, you are so absorbed with Him, that it is not the newness of your position that occupies you, but the greatness of your acquisition. I think it is a great moment when you are led by the Spirit to know that you are over Jordan with Him, and this by the same grace as that by which you are saved. It is a wonderful thing to know that you belong to another scene, and not only to know that you

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belong to it, but to have been there, and like Caleb to come from it to the wilderness. This ought to be our true path every day.

I am very glad that you are enjoying the priesthood of Christ. Every Christian looks for relief from his trials, like Job; but Job had no sympathy. To us the trials are often not removed, but we have the Lord Himself personally as the compensation.

It has been much before me of late, that heaven is where the heart ought to be, not the earth.


... Some speak of company with the Lord when they mean His coming to them -- to their side of things. Every earnest soul when praying thinks he is in company with the Lord. But it is quite another thing to be apart from everything to enjoy Himself, absorbed with Him, like the queen of Sheba in the presence of Solomon. It is really to be over Jordan in spirit; over Jordan is the perpetuity of it. It is surprising to me how few really expect Jordan as a present thing. They expect it when they die. To me it is almost inconceivably blessed to be morally dead to everything here; not turning away from it like a monk or a nun, but because of brighter things above, which are entirely new to you.

-------- has read my new paper doctrinally; I hope you will read it experimentally.


I ask for you to get blessing in this time of separation from everything here. I think souls are often led over Jordan by the Spirit and get a sense of the blessedness of being there who have not yet entered practically into the reality of being dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world. I cannot conceive greater joy, not only to be consciously in His sphere of life, but that you are exempted from all the contrariety and confusion here, so that you come back, not seeking anything from this place, but deriving all your joy and comfort completely outside it.

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The Lord bless you much. I am thankful I have such an interest in your blessing.


I was glad to get your note. I delight to think of you daily as loving the Lord so much, diligently serving Him, rejoicing in everything which brings you nearer to Him. It is easy to commend you to Him in any circumstance. One thing more I desire for you, and that is, not only that you may have His company in your own circumstances; many limit His company to this; but what I ask for you is -- that you may know Him as outside everything here, so that yourself may be in abeyance, and that He may entirely satisfy your heart. This is really to be in spirit over Jordan. This experience is continuous. I thank the Lord that I can bear you in fervent remembrance before Him.


I am truly rejoiced to hear that your beloved husband is so well as to be able to undertake a voyage. I hope it will be a distinct benefit to his health, and you may both, while going to the Cape of Good Hope enjoy more and more the hope which you have in heaven, which we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. I have been greatly struck lately with how little we look upon heaven as our actual home. You will find that if our anchor is not there we are sure to drift into the world.


... I often find it trying to reconcile sleeplessness and weariness with God's tender love and Christ's personal interest, and yet I am quite assured always that all is ordered in perfect love.

Dear Mr. Wigram used to say that we were always passed through some trying circumstance before we were given some fresh sight of His grace. The Lord bless each of you more and more.

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... When I think of God, I am sure that everything is ordered in the wisest way, and the body is the Lord's, but I sometimes feel as if I expected Him to give me more sleep.

I think that is an interesting remark that God never gives us faith about ourselves but about Himself.

I am interested in the two deliverances in Romans and Colossians; both were effected at the same time, and in the same way, and both described by one baptism; yet there is often a vast interval between knowing No. 1 and No. 2....

I always think Mr. Wigram had many things spiritually which he had not doctrinally, as J.N.D. had. He had the spiritual experience of eternal life, but he was only acceptable to those who also had spiritual experiences. I think I learn truth experimentally before I get it doctrinally.... I see now what is really denied in the objective school is new creation. No one could se new creation who did not see the old creation removed....

I feel that so few servants get the knocking about for fifty-six years that I did. They enter on service too hastily....


I long to say a word to you, and yet I hardly feel equal to it. It is a solace to my heart to think of him in fulness of delight with his Saviour. I cannot speak of my loss when I think of yours. He loved you I may say both naturally and spiritually. I have been comforted in thinking that I have been asking for you of late that you might know the Lord outside of everything, and surely you can have no solace now but so knowing Him. He can prepare you for all the contrariety and difficulty here.

With deepest love and sympathy.


Your letter was very welcome. It was most kind of you to write. I am thankful that I have an interest in the Lord's things at --------. I heard from -------- also, and I rejoice that there is a bond of fellowship between you and him.

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I think the subjects of deliverance and priesthood are of deep importance. One is what we are clear from; the other, what we are brought to. I am much interested in seeing that the deliverance in Romans and the deliverance in Colossians were effected at the same time, and by the self-same work, and baptism describes both, but practically there is a long interval between our knowing the deliverance in Romans, and the deliverance in Colossians. The first deliverance is from the old man; the second is from the place and things that suit the old man. I believe many think they have deliverance when they have not. I do not think any one has deliverance who is trying to do right; when I have deliverance I am occupied with what Christ would like.... Much love and constant remembrance of you all.

April 30th.


†How little we realise what the Lord actually went through here! May we know how God has made us to share with His own Son, not only in glory by-and-by, but in the path down here. May we understand that our little sufferings here are for discipline, and as necessary, in the place where Christ died, and where He is rejected.


J. B. Stoney entered into rest at 4 a.m., May 1st, 1897.

"Absent from the body, ... present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).