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2 Corinthians 5

In "reconciliation" -- everything removed, not merely justification. Few know the nature of the distance, though all admit it exists. For the reconciliation of two at variance, the cause of the distance must be removed. Sin -- me -- gone in judgement. "End of all flesh is come" by God; Genesis 6:13. I do not address a man in the flesh by God. God is the first relieved in the gospel. The first action of the Holy Spirit in the believer is the love of God known; Romans 5:5.

Coming to the living stone is not conversion. This is illustrated in Peter; Matthew 14. The first thing with a soul in earnest like Mary is, Where is He? The other side -- death; you must cross the water to reach Him. (Matthew 14 and John 6 are same time.) Affection leads to this, no circumstances in any combination could surpass "the Person".

All is to come out new. In Revelation 21 it comes out fully, but it is true for us in the Spirit. Christ is the beginning of the creation of God. There is to be nothing original -- it is all in Christ. He glorified God when atoning for my sin. Christ was not of the old order, though a real Man.

In Luke 15 the elder brother was a very good man, as they say, 'never transgressed', but as such he was not entitled to a kid; the prodigal was received on the ground of another Man altogether -- grace -- he gets everything on the ground of the "shepherd". You must change your man -- God has got a Man, man in Christ, a new creation.

In Ephesians you have more -- union. Nothing can be united to Christ but what is of Him. Christ would not be complete without His body. The church, His body, comes from Him. Every man's gospel is according to his idea of the church. Reduce 'light'

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to a human level and you will be popular. For instance, the 'resurrection' is illustrated by a receipt for debt. The idea of two natures is wrong - nature is the characteristic of a thing. Scripture never supposes that you will be characterised by two things. The greatest power in the world is love. The work of the Spirit is to form you by the association in which the grace of God has placed you.


Philippians 3:20

Our associations of life are in heaven; we belong to another country, though here on earth. As Englishmen in the bush endeavour to carry English life and things there and have their living associations in the Mother Country, so is it with the saints. We are not saved for earth, our joys come from the Father's house. The Spirit brings them into our hearts. There is the place and the Person; you must be in the place to know Him. It is not Christ where He was so much as Christ where He is. Where! Colossians 3:1! John 1:38. Over Jordan, the old corn of the land; Joshua 5. Whenever I have looked for blessing on earth I have always been disappointed; but when I have looked for it in heaven, never! (Hebrews 10). I am in a condition for heaven (2 Corinthians 3), glory also a condition. In one case it is being at home in the place, the other, with the Person.

As to testimony for Him here, John 16 is active, not passive. To be in companionship with the Spirit, I must be dead against the world. The way is not getting rid of everything round us that may be called 'worldly', but to know the place and get taste for heavenly things only. There is 'compensation' for loss of all things. There is very little taste for heavenly things! Compare Philippians 3 - "from whence",

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etc., and Matthew 25. The hope of His coming was restored sixty years ago. Are we ready for Him? Rebecca was fitted and made ready before she was asked to go. Three trumpets of the Roman armies. Are you ready? We are ready! Self-renunciation is needed to be a true servant of Christ.


1 Peter 3

We are all Christ's bondmen, we and all ours belong to Him - wife and children, too. Hence an unbelieving wife is sanctified in the believing husband. It is a matter of righteousness, not of grace - we are His bondmen, bought with a price. There is a righteous foundation for the kingdom and for all else - so here.

Jonah's will (chapters 1 and 2) and his heart (chapter 3) are broken. Jonah is a student at college - Paul, in Philippians 1, a graduate.

It is our duty to serve Christ, but if I love my Master my duty will not be irksome. In Proverbs 31 the wife does the work; the husband (Christ) gets the credit. She provides food and clothing (for inside and outside), nourishing and cherishing.

Gifts are more connected with the assembly than we are aware; Acts 13; John 20. This was when in order, but I must know order (1 Timothy) to know how to act in disorder (2 Timothy). It is more now like the time of the Judges when the servant is prominent; there is a distance between the servants. Men of God and the gatherings - so different from Acts 13.

A thought gets expression in the assembly. In my own room the Lord may come to me, but it will be more in relation to my own affairs; but "in the midst" I get Him in relation to His own affairs.

Anything that pleases the Master is service.

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All saints are over Jordan, though all do not enjoy it. In Colossians 2 it is enjoyed, in Colossians 3 it is accepted; after that comes conflict. Romans 6, the brazen serpent - the old man gone. Colossians 2, Jordan - the place of the old man gone. Jordan is, "hath abolished death" - no water there - all passed abreast.

1 Peter 4 is like Marah. Gilgal is the rolling off the old man who brought the judgment of God on Egypt. In the land failure came from lack of obedience and courage. Compromise with the Canaanite and you are victimised.


A Summary of Seven Readings at Scarborough, November 1892

No. 1. - SINS PURGED. - The first morning, part of Matthew 14 was read. Here we see that when the light of the world has been refused and rejected, He, blessed be His name, does not cease to shine; but though He is outside the world, "walking on the sea", He draws Peter (a sample of His grace) to Himself. This necessarily implies that by His death He opens the way for us to join Him where He is. John 6 unfolds this, and it is of special interest, for what is related there occurred at the same time as Matthew 14. It is, so to speak, God's side, and shows us how we can join the Lord, cast out of this world. He was refused by the Jews as "the living bread which has come down out of heaven", and then He gave His flesh for the life of the world. Hence, except we eat His flesh and drink His blood we have no life in us (verse 53). We appropriate His death to escape from the death, the judgment on us; and we live by Him; we have passed out of death into life. We are in Him on the other side of judgment, He, having purged our sins,

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"sat down". The exaltation that He is in is the guarantee that He has removed everything against us. This is more specially insisted on in Hebrews 10:12. It is of all importance to apprehend in faith that all sins are removed from the eye of God for ever for the believer, because Christ has sat down; and hence, that the great blessing vouchsafed to His own, consequent on His rejection and exaltation to the right hand of God, is that sins are all removed; there is no remembrance of them before God; there is no more offering for sin. Where there is a recurrence to sins which have been put away by His work, as there will be in the millennial day (see Ezekiel 46), the believer is connected with the earth, and to this the Lord's supper is reduced by many; there is not a full and sure sense of the first blessing vouchsafed to His own who are in the place of His rejection, but are blessed by Him because of His exaltation.

It will be found that none of the blessings peculiar to christianity can be known but as the rejection of Christ from the earth and His exaltation to the right hand of God are strictly maintained; there is always a marked tendency, even with true believers, to a mixture of the earthly blessing with the heavenly. The earthly has not yet come, and is not of the same order as that vouchsafed to, and conferred on, christians. Thus, the first christian blessing is that sins are for ever removed from the eye of God. The second we can now consider.

No. 2 .- THE HOLY SPIRIT. - "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which ye behold and hear", Acts 2:33. It is consequent on Christ's exaltation to the right hand of God that the Holy Spirit was sent down; so that the Lord said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you". His leaving the

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earth, being rejected of men, would indicate, as it did to the two disciples going to Emmaus, that all was lost; evidently the sun had gone down at noonday; but, by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit comes down to each believer in Christ from the place of His exaltation. Where there is faith in Christ there is, through His name, the remission of sins; then the Holy Spirit is given, as we see in Acts 10:43,44. "To him all the prophets bear witness that every one that believes on him will receive through his name remission of sins. While Peter was yet speaking these words the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were hearing the word". In the type the blood was put on the ear, on the hand, and on the foot, before the oil was put on. It is not only that the blood had been sprinkled on the mercy-seat, but the blood is on the believer; you, personally, are under the virtue of the blood. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us", Romans 5:5. The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift which could be given to us, and He is given consequent on Christ's exaltation. In Christ's death all that was contrary to God in us has been removed; and by the Holy Spirit given to us, we are introduced into all that is according to God. The Spirit is given to us; He dwells in us; but if it is not apprehended that He comes from Christ glorified, there will be on every hand, and in every connection, an imperfect apprehension of His work and purpose. You must bear in mind that He is here for Christ, while He is absent, in order to apprehend His services and operation. He is here where man and the whole world are at enmity with God, for, as the Lord says, "Now they have no cloke for their sin.... now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father". The only One to connect us with Christ, and to enable us either to enjoy Him, or to stand for Him here, is the Holy Spirit; hence if we do not simply, and without compromise, rely

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wholly and solely on Him for power against the world, the flesh and the devil, we shall be checked and hindered here.

No. 3. - OUR (THE CHRISTIANS') PRIEST IS IN HEAVEN. - Hebrews 7:23 - 28; Hebrews 8:1 - 4. It is plainly stated in Hebrews 8:4, that if Christ were on earth He would not be a priest; so that, being rejected here, and exalted to God's right hand, He is the Priest for all believers during the period of His rejection. It is of the deepest importance to seize in faith this great blessing. It is altogether and singularly from heaven; and it is only as the believer is drawn to Him where He is now, that he enters into and enjoys the priesthood of Christ. If you bear in mind that it is only in heaven that He is a priest, you are necessarily drawn to Him there. You must start with the assurance that your sins have been removed, and that it is not your salvation you are seeking, but that it is simply approach to God. The question of sins has been settled by your Saviour; now the point of interest is to enter into the presence of God. Hence, first, your infirmities engage the attention of our Priest. Hebrews 4:14,15, reads: "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin". Infirmities are not sins; they are weaknesses. Man is naturally liable to them. It may be pressure of circumstances, or bad health, or bereavement - any human weakness.

The word exposes to us whether we are set for the rest of God, and then the sympathy of Christ is vouchsafed to us, as to Mary of Bethany, to raise us above the pressure under which we are, into company with Him who has passed through all these sufferings, but

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is now higher than the heavens. Though the pressure may not be removed, we are so supported by Christ under it, that we are borne above it; and we, in company with Him, enter into the holiest of all. We rise with Him into the spot of cloudless light. How blessed! Though our Lord has been refused where we are, we know His support in our infirmities here, and are conducted by Him to be in company with Himself - as Aaron's sons with their father in the holy place typified - in the holiest of all. And as we know Him there, we run on to Him.

No. 4. - OUR (THE CHRISTIANS') PLACE IS IN HEAVEN. - Hebrews 6 20. - "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec". The Forerunner has entered within the veil. Christ, having been rejected here and exalted to heaven, has secured a place for us. The earth, or a city for the earth, was the portion of the saints before the ascension of Christ. Every christian, as a rule, accepts Christ's ascension to God's right hand, but there is not power in this truth except it be maintained in connection with His rejection here; for if the latter is truly apprehended you expect nothing from the place where He was rejected, but all your hopes and gain are from Him from the place to which He has been exalted. You have no place where He has been rejected, but you have a place assured to you where He is exalted to the right hand of God. If you look for anything here you are diverted from your true place; and here many christians suffer loss.

No. 5.-THE ASSEMBLY (THE HOUSE AND THE BODY) CHRIST'S ONLY PLACE NOW ON THE EARTH. - 1 Peter 2 1 - 9. The assembly as the house is first set forth in Matthew 16:18, when Christ had been rejected by Israel. He had been rejected by His own people, but He will have a structure on the earth built by

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Himself. ".... I will build my church (assembly), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". He is supreme above all the power of evil and death. He is the Son of the living God. To be a living stone in that structure is more than conversion. In 1 Peter 2 we read, first, "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious", then "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious". The believer comes to Him, the only true foundation, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God. You must come to Him as the One rejected by men, but chosen of God, the Living Stone, the Son of the living God, outside of all the evil here, supreme. You accept your place as a living stone. If you were not converted you could not be a living stone, and you are convened with the purpose of being a living stone, but you have not found your place in Christ's building till you come to Him, the Living Stone; until you apprehend in your soul the true ground of the assembly which He builds. Coming to Him in His greatness, you become through grace material suited to Him. Take the man building the tower in Luke 14:28 - if Christ is not the material it cannot be finished. Each one is built in individually by Christ; and then, as we find in Matthew 18, the two or more are gathered to His name. It is very evident that if every saint had come to Christ as God's foundation stone they would have been placed by Him in His assembly, and then there would have been one united company - one church on the earth. The assembly was first formed in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit filled the house where they were sitting, and each one was filled with the Holy Spirit, according to the Lord's promise in John 14: 17. Thus assembled, as each was led by the Spirit, Christ was paramount.

The tendency, as we see in Corinth, is to be merely individual in the assembly; and where this is the case, those who take a part are only governed by the Spirit's

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action on themselves, which they offer to the assembly as if it were intended for the assembly. And this has led to the idea that if you have anything, hymn or prayer on your heart, you are justified in presenting it to the assembly. When one is led by the Spirit for the good of the assembly, under the direction of the Head, there will be edification; but until the mystery is known, you will not be preserved from individual ministry; that is, a ministry where the individual is prominent, and not the assembly. Hence the knowledge of the mystery is a great addition to the knowledge of the assembly.

The mystery was not divulged until after the stoning of Stephen, when in reality the citizens sent the message, "We will not have this man to reign over us". The offer made to Israel, consequent on the Lord's ascension, was deliberately and wantonly refused in the murder of Stephen. In Acts 8, we learn the true state of things from Philip's mission to the Ethiopian eunuch. The scripture which the eunuch read declared it, "His life is taken from the earth". The believing eunuch accepts this great fact, which leads him to ask for baptism. As to earth, all the light has gone; hence in chapter 9 the light comes down from heaven to arrest Saul of Tarsus. The gospel from a Saviour in glory is revealed to him; and not this only, but the mystery was now divulged in the words, "Why persecutest thou me?" The mystery then is the church, the body of Christ. Not only is each stone built in by Him to form a temple for Himself, but each believer is a member of His body, set there by God, and united to Him where He is, by the Holy Spirit. It is not only that He has a house on the earth built by Himself, but each believer is in the closest tie to Him in heaven now. I do not say that all apprehend and enjoy this favour, but nevertheless it is true for one and all. The knowledge of the mystery is a great addition to the knowledge of the

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assembly, the habitation of God through the Spirit.

It is evident that the Colossians did not hold the mystery, and many now genuinely seek to be true to Acts 2, who do not in faith apprehend the mystery. The part of the mystery presented in Colossians is the Head. If Christ is not known as the Head common to every believer, then the mystery is unknown. If He is known as Head of each member of the body, then the rest of the mystery easily follows. The mystery cannot be known unless you realise that you are complete in Christ (see chapter 2 10). If you are complete in Him nothing can be added to you, either from tradition or from learning. Then you are "circumcised with the circumcision not done by hand, in the putting off of the body of the flesh". If "the body of the flesh" be cut off in the cross, it cannot in any way contribute to Christ. There is no opportunity for either rationalism or ritualism. As the body of the flesh is put off in the cross, then we, being dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, and risen with Him in His life, mortify our members which are on the earth; we practically embrace all that has been effected for us in His death; we put off the old man and put on the new; we exchange the old for the new; and now, apart from man of every class, Christ is everything, and in all. We know Him as our Head. If He were truly known as Head to each one in the assembly, if each were "holding the Head", it is plain that every service would be directed by Him, and each one would be consciously assured of His ministry. When He is known as your Head you are apart from all that suits natural life, you taste an out-of-the-world condition of things. He is your life, and now you are prepared, like Rebekah led by the servant, to rise to Christ where He is. When you are conscious of the power which wrought in Christ, you are brought by the Spirit to the place where Christ is; then you realise union with Him.

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When union with Christ is known, then the qualities of this great position are made known to you. The Christ dwells in your heart by faith; you comprehend with all saints the range of His possessions; and you so know the love of Christ, that passeth knowledge, that you are filled unto the fulness of God. Now you come out in the power of the heavenly Man, first in the church, secondly in your own family, and finally, "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might", you withstand all the force of Satan, the universal lords of darkness, and spiritual wickedness. Wonderful truly is our position on the earth where our Lord has been refused. Though we encounter every form of hindrance, yet as we walk in the Spirit we are made conscious of the greatness of our Lord's exaltation, in the very place of His rejection.

No. 6. - "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN". - Matthew 13:18 - 48. - The kingdom of heaven is quite distinct from the church. Though the church is formed in the kingdom of heaven, yet it is quite distinct from it.

The kingdom of heaven is the rule of the word of God on the earth during the absence of the King. When Constantine accepted the christian religion he assumed to govern by the word of God, and eventually the rulers of the Latin kingdom avowed that the word of God was their authority. Very markedly it was so in this country, though of late there has been a grievous departure from the authority of the word of God. Romanists, Jews, and atheists are now admitted into Parliament. Every christian should be known as one who is ruled by the word of God in all his relations in life; while ever obedient to 'the powers that be', it should be evident that he is governed in his own life and ways by the word of God.

There are seven parables in this scripture; four of them are public, to be recognised by every eye; while three are private, only known to those who are in seclusion with the Lord.

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The first is the parable of the sower. The sower is the Son of man; the seed, the word of the kingdom. There are four classes of hearers.

The second parable is that while men slept the enemy sowed tares among the wheat: professors are found amongst the real ones on the earth.

The third parable is the grain of mustard seed, "which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof" (verse 32). This is a great system which has grown as a tree - the glory of the earth.

The fourth parable is the leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened. Everything is corrupted, distorted, and estranged from its natural simplicity. Thus far we have the so-called christian world described.

Now the Lord sends the multitude away and goes "into the house" (verse 36), and then explains to His disciples the parable of the wheat and tares. And then He enunciates to them three more parables. First, the treasure hid in the field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field" (verse 44). For the sake of the treasure the field is bought. The second is the pearl. "When he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it". And the third, "A net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away" (verse 48). The good fishes are separated from the bad ones by those who understand what the church is to Christ, as indicated in the two preceding parables.

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I conclude that as each saint is in the kingdom of heaven now, so will he be in the future kingdom of God, that is, when the King reigns.

No. 7. - THE TRAITS OF THE COMPANY ON THE EARTH WHO WAIT FOR THEIR LORD'S RETURN AND HIS KINGDOM - Luke 10:33 to 18: 30. - The new company on the earth is introduced consequent on the inability of the Jewish or legal system to meet the case of the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves; chapter 10: 30. The Lord is the Good Samaritan, despised and rejected by the Jew; and by Him is the wounded man cured, and carried, and cared for in the "inn" until He comes again.

Then the company who wait for the return of the Lord and will reign with Him here are described. There are seven traits, but they are not consecutive. A person has various traits, and these combined form the person; so it is here. They are not described in the order in which they are received, but in their moral order. The first is the word of God and prayer, set forth in Mary, who sat at His feet and heard His word (chapter 10: 39); and in the parable of the man who went to his friend at midnight for bread; chapter 11: 5 - 13. The true way to learn the word is to be really near the Lord, affectionately desiring His mind; and in prayer to be really cast upon God as your Friend, knowing that He can help you, and He only; so that you are absolutely confined to Him, assured that you will receive the greatest gift, thus indicating the immense gain from praying.

The second trait is more external - YOUR BODY IS LIGHT (chapter 11: 34). The lamp of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single thy whole body also is light. The whole body, your external appearance, is a contrast to the darkness here. You describe a line of light in the darkness, but in order to do this, there must be no dark part within. The light

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must rule within before it rules externally. The Pharisee is attracted by this discourse; "And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him" (verse 37). The Pharisees are all for appearances without internal power; they "make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness".

The characteristics of the body of light are described in chapter 12. You do not fear them that kill the body (verse 4). You "take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on" (verse 22). But you seek the kingdom of God, "a treasure in the heavens, ... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (verses 31 - 34). Your loins are girded about and your lights burning (verse 35); not only are you waiting for the Lord's return, but you are watching (verse 37); you are so vigilant during the night, and proving your assured expectation of His coming, that you are interested in the welfare of His household, and "give them their portion of meat in due season" (verse 42). In plain language, if you love Him that begat, you love them begotten of Him; 1 John 5:1. The more He is to you, the more His own are to you.

The third trait is in chapter 13: 16. - THE BODY LOOSED FROM THE POWER OF SATAN. The attempt to amend man by culture, "digging and dunging", had proved ineffectual, but the body of the believer is the Lord's. In apprehending and acquiring each of these traits, we must keep in mind that we have to confront and overcome the Jewish or legal element. On the earth the kingdom of heaven is a huge system in which the fowls of the air lodge. It is this externally, while internally all that was pure and simple is leavened. It is a narrow path now. Jerusalem, God's city, the Lord says, is desolate - "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say,

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Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (verse 35).

The fourth trait is THE GREAT SUPPER (chapter 14: 15). When one of the company said to the Lord, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God", the Lord, in reply, announced the great supper. The great supper is in the house; the Jew, and everyone with an earthly mind seeks for earthly blessings, and thus loses the supper. The work of the servant is to compel those in the poorest place and most abject circumstances in this world to come into the house.

The prodigal son in the next chapter (15), is the sample guest. He has been led by the pressure of circumstances in the far country to think of his father. The goodness of God leads to repentance; he comes, and his father kisses him. God has effected the reconciliation. He is clothed, made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light; he feeds on the fatted calf. The joys of the Father's house are made known to him; "they began to be merry".

The fifth trait is THE STEWARD (chapter 16). When Christ's rights on the earth are disallowed, no one can have divine title to anything. All property is the "mammon of unrighteousness". You have no divine title to any property here. It is really the Lord's; but if you are His steward, and make friends of it by ministering to those in need, you will invest for the kingdom, the day when Christ's rights shall be acknowledged. The important fact is that riches are of value now only in proportion as they are expended in making friends, that is, in rendering service to others. It is the Lord's will that the rich man should have every needed comfort; this is His love and care for each of us; but the more the rich man spends in serving others, the more he lays up for himself a good foundation against the time to come. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon".

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The sixth trait - AN OUT-OF-THE-WORLD CONDITION. The world is the greatest obstacle to the saint. It is man's organisation, and with legal religion, or the Jewish element, it is still more difficult to overcome. Faith only can say unto this sycamine tree (the wild fig), "Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea", chapter 17: 6. Hence when the ten lepers are cleansed by the word of Christ, only one by faith overcomes the world, and rising above every influence within and without, "turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks" (verses 15,16). He was led into his true place in relation to Christ on the earth. He was really a stone of Christ's building.

The seventh trait - SEEKING THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The snare in the present day is the same as in the days of Noah, and as in the days of Lot (chapter 17: 26); to be completely indifferent to the coming crisis. You cannot seek the kingdom of God if you are not expecting Christ to come and reign. There will be a very distinct separation between the two classes in that day; "the one shall be taken and the other left". The Jewish remnant will not be forgotten, as we see from the beginning of chapter 18. If you are of the kingdom, you are characterised in a twofold way: first, by being a little child (verses 16,17) - no antecedents, but absolutely dependent on God; the other, that you are not held by an acquisition here, but that you surrender all, even your own life, to follow Christ (verse 22). For everything which you have left for the kingdom of God's sake, you shall receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting (verses 29, 30).

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Reading on Hebrews 10

You must get into the holiest before you can come to the Father; Ephesians 2. Hebrews gives liberty to go in - not what you find when you do go in. Conscience is the sense that God has a demand upon me. If you talk of sins it shows you are not clear of them. The assembly is not where you meet the Saviour (i.e., a believer's meeting), but where you meet the Son of God in the 'out-of-the-world' condition. Infirmity even - not only sin - may hinder us in the presence of God. Baptism is brought in to correct doctrine, and the Lord's supper to correct conduct, levity, laxity.

One side of the veil was inside the holiest - God's presence; and one side outside - Christ's flesh. "Having an high priest" (verse 21), i.e., you go in in company with the great High Priest.

The Supper is the remembrance of death, that is on earth. Millennial saints will remember His death as the ground of their benefits. We show forth His death, not sufferings - when death came the sufferings were over. In 1 Corinthians 10 the communion of His blood and body is that we are identified with His death. I go out from the Lord's supper and have to encounter sin in this very world where my Lord died.

Worship in Hebrews 10 is very much connected with the assembly. In John 4 worship is beyond.

John 17 gives me the best idea of what the holiest is.


Jottings of Reading on LUKE 10 - 18

Luke 10. Judaism is now useless, and a new company is formed on earth; its traits come out in chapter 10:38 to chapter 18:33. Judaism, the earthly religion, is to be dreaded; it is legal, Martha was

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doing. The first thing is seen in Mary - they hear the word and take it in; prayer is the consequence.

Luke 11:5. He is my Friend and He is able to give, I am shut up to Him. In verse 33 the body is lost in judgment of death (Genesis 3); but the thief went to paradise, for Christ has died and given him a body, a heavenly, he has "in him" - he lost it in Adam, but now Satan is annulled. Our exterior is indicative of the interior - why do the clergy wear black coats and white ties? We must do so morally. A Pharisee invites Him, thinking He was like themselves - for the exterior.

Luke 12 is what we ought to be. There are two kinds of hypocrisy - covering up what you are, and pretending to be what you are not. Verse 13 is the natural element, having property here. Take no thought - no fear - no care. Verse 35, lights - and then serve. Watching is being occupied with His interests, what belongs to Him.

Luke 12. Do not expect to be anything recognised here on earth, to have an appearance here.

Luke 14:15 is what we get given us - he who does not seek eminence here gets blessing. Supper is in the house.

Luke 15:6 is the house and the joy of the finder. Chapter 14 is the joy of the found one. Supper is the celebration of grace. Chapter 14:26 - you hate all on the ground of nature, but take up the relationship in the new Man. See Ephesians and Colossians. A tower is defensive - an army is offensive - the question is, what have you in Christ?

Luke 15. The shepherd went out. The heart of God does what it likes with us (i.e., grace) on account of the work of Christ.

Luke 16. Earthly property is the Lord's - we can have no divine title to property here - stewards.

Luke 17:16 illustrates verse 6; He left the system and had approach to God.

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Luke 18, a prayer. A child clings to its mother. There are four kinds of infant's cries, and a good mother distinguishes them-viz., cry of pain, hunger, want of sleep, and passion.


2 Corinthians 5:10 - 21

We need to know the Lord in order to understand Scripture - an acquaintance with Him in order to understand His sayings.

The judgment-seat (verse 10) will determine our place with Christ in the kingdom as regards earth - heaven is given to us by grace. Union is now, presentation (Ephesians 5) is in heaven; marriage (Revelation 19) is public and declares the relationship already established.

The testimony of this hour is preparedness for Christ's coming. It is devotedness that tells on people - and that is the result of acquaintance. Look at Him! One hour looking at Him, beholding His glory, will do more for you than two hours reading the word. We need "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him... that ye may know", etc. (Ephesians 1:17). The queen of Sheba in the presence of Solomon, and David in Psalm 27:4, illustrate this. In an ecstasy to God; to the Hebrews it is entering into the holiest of all; to the gentile Corinthians it is "Beholding ... the glory of the Lord", etc.

The testimony now is in waiting for the Lord. In the letter to Thyatira - the last historical church - the morning star takes the place of the candlestick. It is not a restoration of the church here, a being something in christendom, but looking out for Him in devotedness.

From verse 16 we have the reconciliation: God has

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removed the distance from His own side by death. The man is gone; the end of all flesh came before God. He has effected this by the cross and He feels about us according to it. In Exodus 12 their safety was assured, and in chapter 15 they were reconciled.

If you are in the power of the positive truth you do not need the contrasts. Worship (proskuneo) is expressive of a dog fawning on his master - you are absorbed. In the assembly we are "in Christ" and on the new ground.


2 Corinthians 5 17 - 21; 6: 1 - 10

In reconciliation it is that all is for God's own pleasure; it is from His side. We come under His eye for His satisfaction. Romans 5 only just touches the subject.

God's righteousness is ministered; this is difficult to illustrate. What if a landlord, instead of receiving rent from the tenant, changes places with him and pays rent to the tenant! The prodigal's reception is not understood by the elder brother - the good man; the ground of the father's dealings is the glorified Man Christ Jesus. The more you advance the better you are received, as in Dr. Doddridge's dream.

God works downwards from Himself, but man seeks to work up - as it were evolution versus devolution All the recent trouble about eternal life was from wanting to work man up. In the gospel it is Christ comes to me - in the church I go to Christ.

In chapter 5:21 sin is gone from the eye of God and Christ subsists - new creation. Do you prefer Christ to Adam? For this we have to depend upon God. God's feelings towards you, rather than, Are you happy now? is reconciliation, which many conceive to be a change in their own feelings towards God.

In chapter 6 we have the minister: verse 4 is the outside condition, verse 6 the inside condition and

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verse 8 things from others, opposition, etc., but the minister is superior. Here are 'orders' to be taken - we all want the credit of being servants, or wish to be servants. The servant's path does not brighten towards the end - on the contrary. In Asia Paul did most work, yet "all who are in Asia... have turned away" - his sun set in obscurity. It is not pleasant rest in the evening of your days, but deeper trials rather.

In verse 2, Christ is the One heard and succoured in the passage quoted, but it is for us; as in chapter 3, "the Lord is that Spirit" so here. It is new covenant. If I say, I am not up to this or that, there is succour now for me; I must not cry, "I am undone" as did Isaiah in the presence of His glory, for there is help to be had - succour commensurate with what He received. He is accepted and we have stepped into His acceptance. Otherwise we should be receiving this grace in vain. (Compare 1 Corinthians 15:10, "by the grace of God I am what I am", etc.) Grace here is on our side,


Notes of Meeting at Hazelville, January 29th, 1895, to commend Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Edwards to the Lord

Psalm 107:23 - 32

What I specially desire to commend to our beloved brother and sister is verse 30, "Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven". The thought before me is, What is the desired haven? What is the paramount purpose of the heart of our beloved brother and sister? What is the thing you are looking for? What is the thing you have most before you? It is clear how the Lord comes in, He brings them to the desired haven. Many may be the trials, many the tossings and difficulties, but if your heart is set on Him, He will bring you to the place you desire to come to.

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You get the principle in the manna. It was gathered before the sun was up. The principle is this, What is the purpose of the heart? It is not what may come in between, but what you seek you will find, you will get in the long run, In Ezekiel the Lord says to the people that He will answer them by their idols. If that is the first thing in your mind, your idols, you shall be answered by that. There are four classes in the Psalms: the first I think are natural difficulties; the next two are failure. There is a very true saying in the world; the things you try, try you - but I do not go into that.

Well, it is a terrible voyage; but you have the Lord with you in the voyage, and not only so but the Lord says, What port are you making for? Is it for earthly happiness? To enjoy yourself in the place where the Lord is not? Surely not; He bringeth them to their desired haven. The Lord grant that our beloved ones may have the Lord so simply before them and be able to praise the Lord for His goodness who bringeth them to their desired haven.


Jottings of Readings

2 Corinthians 5

Reconciliation is the beginning and union is the end. Reconciliation was typified in the deluge, the distance is removed, the man is gone for ever and he cannot be repaired. Next, you are "in Christ".

  1. The impression of God's love - Romans 5.
  2. The action of the Spirit of life - Romans 8.
  3. In Hebrews 2 the Priest is on the divine side, and we are of His order.
  4. Now be with Him - having part with Him (John 13); for this and for intimacy according to John 10 there must be no soil.

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Know Him more in His exaltation and you will take a share in His rejection here.

He is the Head - death to the world in connection with that - Colossians.


1 Peter 2

A spiritual house - man is not the builder here. Christ is on the other side of death and I come to Him there by the Spirit. Christ is not here, but something of Him is here.

Saviour, Priest, Son of God, Stone.

The priesthood is to sever you from earth and draw you to a Person in heaven - the holy place is the sphere of life. In Matthew 14 Peter cries, "Save me", and the Lord drew him to His side - this is the priest's work. The epistle to Hebrews takes you up at the point of consecration (Leviticus 8), and you go in a consecrated company.

Christ's own ministry is declaring the Father's name and singing praises, etc. (Hebrews 2:12). See also John 17.

The gospel goes out from the centre - from Himself. It is the Lord Himself, and not the reading of Scripture, which transforms into His image. Effective service is through knowing His presence and your telling out what you know.

In the disorder of the church - Revelation 2 and 3 - Christ is the resource (Philadelphia). Abigail went contrary to Nabal - she is the remnant owning Christ's rightful place; a purged person will always find the purged company.

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John 14

Our service and our testimony! Chapter 13 is the internal state of things in the church and chapter 14 is preparation for our service and testimony. Verses 21 - 23 are the only part that is individual; the rest is "ye", the company.

In chapter 13 Judas is the apostasy; man goes out and immediately the Son of man is set in the highest place - He is glorified. Peter fell through fear, but Judas barters Christ for earthly gain.

Chapter 14 is a provision for chapter 15; you get prepared with the Lord for whatever is to come, for a scene of contrariety. Verses 1 - 13 is faith and verses 14 - 26 is love. Verse 18, "I will come to you", is fulfilled in the assembly in chapter 20. Verse 20 enables me to understand Paul's doctrine. Your resources for your responsibilities are dwelt on by John. John 4 is like Romans 6, namely, life.

In chapter 15 fruit is something of Christ - your service for Christ in the earth,

John gives what is essential, hence you turn to it in the day of ruin. In verse 26 Christ is in glory and this is essential to Ephesians.


Philippians 3

The Supper in Luke 14 is the celebration of divine grace: "Come in, that my house may be filled" - heavenly festivities before we go to heaven. Are you sick of the first man and sick of this place? Earthly favours divert us more than anything else. Sounds of joy awoke the elder brother.

In Hebrews 4 you are drawn by His Person away from this place and you run a race towards Him. The instances of faith in chapter 11 extend from acceptance (Abel) to the fall of Jericho's walls. When

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He comes into the midst, He brings in the halo: "the holiest" for us; as to Him it is "heaven itself".

John 14:2 shows that we do not belong to the place where he was rejected, but to the place where He is exalted. In Colossians 2:20 we are dead to principles, and the Jordan involves being dead to things here. In Ephesians 2 we are united to Christ in heaven. No one can be heavenly in character till he knows union, heavenly tastes, enjoyments and power.

Christ liveth in me: state.

Christ dwelling in me: His interests are in my heart; Rebecca.

Christ in you: dead to sin on my side, and hope of glory on His side.


Ephesians 4

There was opposition before Christ came; then it was to turn them to idolatry. Now a Man has come who can dislodge and destroy Satan. We should know the present character of the opposition. He is a vanquished foe if you are in heavenly power. A 'dispensation' is whatever God is set for at the time.

Simply holding to the objective side and to what has been done for you, ignores the Spirit. Is the subjective side all attainment? No, what is wrought for me is arrived at in me, is enjoyed by the Spirit.

Light (objective) first - then the Spirit's work (subjective).

Faith (objective) is not appropriation (subjective).

Christ - Spirit

The Ephesians had lost the sense of union; the top shoot is the first to wither. You can never lose the Spirit's work. Appropriation is by love, and priesthood is a question of affections. Many have thought themselves in possession of what they only had a title to.

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Colossians 3:1 - 4

What this scripture sets out is 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. One man is cleared away in judgment, another Man has introduced something entirely new - that is salvation - you cannot make it too simple.

I have had a good deal of helpful meditation upon the resource the Lord is when all around is darkness, weariness and temptation.

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 we have all lost in seeking to establish the fact of our election, instead of enjoying the bloom and freshness of it, seeking excuses for our unbelief, when we might have been walking in the power of it. "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall". (2 Peter 1:10). If we had spent the same time and anxiety that we have wasted in seeking corroboration of our salvation, in seeking instead that there should not be a shade or a soil upon it, how different our walk would have been! And when we walk worthy of it, we have the corroboration of it. The trial I have had was feeling myself in this place of soil and confusion - I thought, how can you talk of glory? But I found that glory is the most separating thing possible! Not a bit of the soil of this place sticks to me. It is all perfectly new - when you find out relief in this way, it establishes the power of the truth immensely.

If you have failed and are looking for restoration, where would you begin? (The Nazarite had to begin all over again.) That will not do - it is improving the old thing - you must begin at the other side of the

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failure - get on another line, it is the line of the glorified Man, not the line of the failing Man. How do you apply that to Peter? He went out and spoke boldly - he was above his failure, he had got hold of the Man in glory and was occupied with him. See Acts 3:14, "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just" - just what he had done himself.

Well, where do you begin? With the good. And how do you go on? With the good. Well, that is where I am now - you have been there for a long time. Yes, but it is a very different thing to see a thing and to go the road - "Ye have not passed this way heretofore". Well, have you found out what you do when you have failed? Begin on a new line. Where does your new line lead you to? To where Christ is. Two things, power and place, you must have both; power leads you to the place, the power of the glorified Man takes you to the place of the glorified Man - Colossians 3, "where the Christ is". The heavenly Man comes from heaven; he is not going there - he has gone there first.


Brief Notes of an Address on REVELATION 3

It is inexpressibly strengthening and encouraging, it fills one with a sense of courage and calmness to see the Lord Himself coming on the ground as we have it in Revelation 1, covered as He is with all the marks, all the qualities and everything that distinguishes Him as the power of God - sufficient to carry right through the ages until the final moment. You need have no fear that things are going to break down in the hands of the Captain of the army of Jehovah.

There is absolutely nothing that has happened in the history of the church, or that is happening under our eyes today that is not fully and succinctly laid

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open for us to look and see and then to contemplate in connection with each phase - the Captain of the army of Jehovah coming in to give His people in that day under the circumstances and with all those surroundings, that courage, that strength, that phase or aspect of the truth which will enable them to stand as the army of Jehovah.

What an immense thing it is to have our ears opened to the voice that speaks in connection with all; to get His estimate, to get His resources, to get His wisdom, His sufficiency and His power. The assurance of the victory comes in connection with the Captain of the army of Jehovah.

It is perfectly wonderful, perfectly beautiful to see how the Captain of the army of Jehovah keeps account and speaks in a voice that every consecrated ear can listen to, and recompense is coming to all in the kingdom.

What is overcoming? Standing and having done all, to stand. Men that are breathed into, that are able to stand shoulder to shoulder, that are able to keep rank, men that the Lord can take account of as men of God. The drifting goes on, but they stand - the testimony of the Lord is upheld.

What do you need in order to get the mind of the Spirit? You must have the circumcised ear, you must have an exercised heart, and you will get enlightenment as to the course of things around, and the Lord's judgment as to it all. We need the whole armour of God that we may be able to withstand, and having done all, to stand.

We shall miss it all, we shall be swept away ourselves, unless the eye is clear, the ear circumcised, and the heart exercised in deep love and affection for Christ to hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

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Luke 5:1 - 11

I want to show you the progress of grace in our souls. Peter was lending his boat to the Lord, just as much as one who has come to Jesus does now; they are willing to serve Him. But after the miraculous draught of fishes, Peter comes to another point. He discovers that he had come to God. This makes him say, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". This is a Jewish experience, perhaps, but he learnt two things: the holiness of God, and his own uncleanness. But after the Lord's word, "Fear not" - what a change! "When they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him". This is the effect of first love, we give up for the Lord. In leaving all they got the Lord's company. Peter had learnt what the Lord's heart was for him, and he never lost this, for it never changes. In John 21, when in the boat with the other disciples whom he had led astray, directly he knew that it was the Lord he girt his fisher's coat about him and cast himself into the sea; he knew the heart of Christ for him; although his love had failed, the Lord's love was the same - unaltered, and he knew it.

Now to turn to John 6:67, "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God". This connects itself really with Matthew 16, but it is very important to know that Matthew 14 took place at the same time as John 6. One gives our side, the other God's side. We have to go to the other side of death to reach Him. In Matthew 14 Peter says, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come". He had the affection to take the step. The proof of love is that it wants the

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company of its object. Every one knows this. No service can take the place of company, or make up for it. Love must have company. This is the great blessing vouchsafed to us in the assembly. The Lord said to His own, "I will come to you", that is to the company, it is not individual there. If He comes to me individually, it is in connection with my own things, but when He comes to us in the assembly, it is in connection with His side of things. May the Lord give us to know these steps of progress in grace! Not only would I serve Him, but I love Him, and His company is the one thing my heart craves. When Peter had confidence in his own love to the Lord, he broke down, but when restored, the Lord placed confidence in him, and said to him, "Feed my sheep", and in the long run he gets the desire of his heart, that he would go to death for Him.


I wish to speak of what appears to me to be especially on the Lord's mind at the present time. Little one apprehends it; still we ought to be occupied with it. It may be that something good occupies us; but it does not follow that it is the right thing at this present time.

The knowledge of Scripture is not sufficient without knowing what the Lord is doing at this moment. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you". (John 15:15) I trust every heart here bows to it. What is the prominent thought in my Lord's mind at this moment? I believe many a person would be set straight in his course if he were in the secret of the Lord's mind, and that you never can get, if you are not with Him. Gideon never told the multitude the order of battle, but to the three

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hundred that could stand the earthly favour, the water, he committed the secret, "as I do, so shall ye do". It is simple devotedness that qualifies one for receiving this wonderful favour. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". (John 15:13) Well, if you would die for the saints, He would tell His mind to you. Tell me what is really your love for the people of God - Christ's interests? Are they dear to you because they are Christ's? I believe it would be immense blessing to us all, if in the very smallest circumstances we have before us what He is doing. I might be occupied with a very useful line of Scripture and still not be in His mind. I find there was always some one thing peculiarly before Him. One finds continually people are not up to it. The disciples, however true and faithful, were not travelling in company with His mind at all; and what He seeks is to lead them to it. They do not understand Him, but it is the thing He is leading them to. He told them of His death, and they did not enter into it; neither did they follow Him as to His resurrection; they were weeping because He had died. After His ascension the Holy Spirit was the great thing before His mind. After Pentecost the assembly was the prominent thing. What was the cause of their trouble? They had not His mind; they were not in the secret of His working.

I turn to the end of Revelation 3. The Lord leads His people to what He is about to do and doing. When I am watching for His mind, what He would do, I am not guided by circumstances. Supposing I heard of a great number of conversions, I should be thankful for it, but if I am in His mind I am not carried away by it because I know there is another thing more prominently before Him. Sincere people can go on in a great way of usefulness and yet be apart from His mind and therefore they are not told "the thing that I do".

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Luke 23:39; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20

The blessed Lord by the sacrifice of Himself so thoroughly removed all the judgment of God resting on the thief that He can say to him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise". From the deepest moral degradation here he is translated to the highest spot above. The thief has no hand nor act in his salvation. Jesus, blessed be His name, frees him from all the judgment on his body, and now his body is the Lord's, and He will raise it a glorious body like His own glorious body. The body of every believer who is remaining on earth is "the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God; and ye are not your own, for ye have been bought with a price: glorify now then God in your body". First, you are so freed, to God's infinite satisfaction, from all the weight of judgment which rested on your body in the sight of God, that you are raised from the lowest spot to the highest; and secondly, the body thus set free belongs to Christ, is a member of Christ to glorify Him by the Holy Spirit, marvellous grace! in the place where He died to redeem it.


2 Timothy 1:8, 15

The great failure of the church was giving up Paul. "All ... in Asia" did not give up evangelical truth but they gave up Paul; anything popular you may have, but not Paul. Why? Because he is heavenly.

Colossians 2:20 is "over Jordan". In Romans, "dead to sin" - dead with Christ - out of the man; but in Colossians you are out of the place where the man is. Gilgal is the actual spot: all of man goes. Many understand Marah who do not understand Gilgal.

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Marah is that I refuse the thing that would draw me from the wilderness. In Gilgal you drop it all: it is cut off, and cannot be resumed.

The children of Israel ate the passover when they got over Jordan, and the day after they ate the old corn of the land! That passover was a type of the Lord's supper in which I can say, I have reached the consummation of His accomplished work; I begin a new day, and I eat the old corn of the land.

What has hindered souls from understanding the mystery is that they are not consciously on heavenly ground. No man gets clear of the intrusion of the flesh until he gets to Gilgal. We ought to be able to say to every offer of the flesh, I do not want your learning, I do not want your sanctimoniousness, I want nothing but Christ, for I am "complete in him" and He is everything and in all. I am looking up.

You know very little about a person if you only know what he was, and not what he is; and that is the difference between the manna and the old corn of the land.

There is nothing a man so revolts from naturally than to see that this scene is gone. But though this scene is gone for me I am supported down here by supplies from the place where my Lord has gone. By the Holy Spirit I walk the path He has trod to the place where He has gone; where He is. There are many who have for a moment tasted it; and I would ask, Had you your relatives, your property, there? No, I had only the Lord. And were you happy without them? Perfectly so! There are many in heart over Jordan who have never accepted it. Your acceptance of the new place necessitates dropping everything connected with the old place. Like a recruit brought to the barrack gate; he drops the old, the civilian, to get the new. The apostle said when he was caught up into the third heaven, he did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body.

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They say that a man in a balloon loses first the sense of feeling, then the sight of things below, then his hearing and lastly consciousness. You do not get the right idea of sanctification until you come to this. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul has come down from the place where he did not know whether he was in the body, and now he will have a crippled body. The more I understand the exaltation, the more I shall be crippled here.

Once you separate the church from the gospel, I am prepared for any departure, human subsidy, and carnal support of any kind. I have no doubt Laodicea springs out of this (carrying on christian things without Christ). How often the evangelist deplores the state of his converts: your converts are the pattern of yourself. No one ever understood the gospel thoroughly that did not understand the church.

I never saw the brother who left the heavenly ground who did not become Babylonish - not Egyptian, for Egypt is the gross world, but Babylon is the refined, or if you will, aesthetic world.

Laodicea is christian religion without Christ Himself. Do not give up the heavenly side! Do not give up Paul! Do not be ashamed of "the testimony of our Lord nor of me his prisoner".

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No. 1

Song of Solomon 2:3,4

The better any one knows the Lord, and all He can be to one individually in one's own circumstances and need, the more one is ready and really longing to be with Him in His own circumstances, where, so to speak, He is at home. The disciples knew Him well, and when Peter said, "We have left all, and followed thee", the Lord answered him, "There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting", Luke 18:29,30. Peter had received nothing but Himself; the Lord's company was his compensation.

The indifference we manifest as to seeking the Lord in the assembly, and our ignorance as to it, arise from our not knowing Him well individually. In John 14:18, when He says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you", He refers to the company; but in verse 23 He refers to the individual. "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him". How blessed that He and the Father should have an abode in our hearts!

It is the same word for 'abode' as for 'mansion'. Hence the Lord can say in John 16:22 "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you". They were to see Him in His glory. He has come to our side, and has endeared Himself to us, and as He is endeared to us, we desire to see Him in His exaltation.

The blessing to Adam was a garden. Mary Magdalene found the Lord in a garden, but it was Himself she sought. Now, it is not in a garden, it is Himself in glory. It was said at the first, "It is not good that

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the man should be alone", (Genesis 2:18) and now we have been given One who can surely be everything to us so that each of us may say, Never less alone than when alone.

May we know this more and more, and as we know it, we shall rejoice to be with Him in His own place.

No. 2

Hebrews 11:28 - 31

We must bear in mind that in this chapter we get the traits of faith, from Abel until we reach Canaan, which is figuratively heaven. It is one faith, whatever the circumstances. Christ Himself is the Leader and Finisher of faith. There is nothing original in us; all comes from Him, all is accomplished by Him.

"Through faith he (Moses) kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them". You have shelter from the Judge by the blood, and as a rule, in christendom the most devoted do not go further; there is faith in the blood of Christ, but, like Israel, they are not clear of Satan and the flesh (of Pharaoh and the Egyptians), and as has been said, there is always a large company spiritually at Pihahiroth; that is, not delivered from the power of the enemy.

Now comes the next step: "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land". By grace they have found a way out of death through death - figuratively the death of Christ. Now they are out of Egypt, and if you are true to this, there is nothing for you on your own side but death; you got out of Egypt through death, and you can keep out of it only by death. When you accept that you are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, you are spiritually over Jordan. The old divines looked on Jordan as simply dissolution. They could speak of standing shivering on the brink and fearing to launch away, The fact is that there is no water at all in

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Jordan. In the Red Sea the water was a wall on the right hand and on the left - you are made conscious of the judgment due to you. Some commentators say that the passage was so narrow that Israel had to go in single file. Be that as it may, it is individual experience; and anyone who has passed out of the judgment of death, through Christ's death, appropriating His death as due to himself, knows that all has been removed from the eye of God - that death has been abolished. Any of us may have seen that the nearer a christian comes to the point of death, the less fear he has, for there is no water there, no indication of judgment. It is true that many christians are troubled when they come to die, and pass through much exercise of soul; but I believe it is with them the passage of the Red Sea - it is the death of Christ for them that they are occupied with, to clear them from death, and not simply the Jordan experience of their death with Christ. Stephen knew that there was nothing between him and Christ in glory. Hence, Jordan should be a known experience now; you cannot know the next step, you cannot be in possession in Canaan until you have crossed the Jordan. If you appropriate the death of Christ, you pass out of death into life; and as you feed on His death, and always bear about in your body the dying of Jesus, you are truly in the wilderness; and you are across Jordan when you, by the Spirit, accept that you are dead with Him. Then the next step is possession in Canaan. We do not fight for it, it is ours. We have to fight to keep possession, to maintain spiritual ground.

No. 3

Hebrews 12:1 - 11

Consequent on knowing Christ in the holiest, and thus knowing access into the presence of God, you

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run on here, your eye steadfastly fixed upon Christ on the throne of God. It was a strange thing to a Jew to suffer from circumstances when he was faithful, as hitherto when he was faithful he had been blessed in the basket and in the store. Now the christian has to run on to Christ, and to surmount every difficulty in the way. He must lay aside every weight, that is more outside things, some habit or taste, such as the love of music or a newspaper - anything which is a hindrance to you, or detains you in the race. And inside, the sin that is in you, not merely a besetting sin, but sin in its principle, not fully done with until you are dead. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin; you have not died as a martyr. Now the blessed God turns all your sufferings into discipline, all for your benefit. Do not 'despise' it, do not be indifferent, as man in his pride tries to be, when a blow falls on him; and do not 'faint' under it, do not be overwhelmed by it - endure the chastening as chastening and for your benefit. There are two kinds of chastening, one to correct you when you are inconsistent, the other to help you when you are faithful. Jacob suffered much at Shalem, he was very inconsistent. God told him to go to Bethel; and when he went there, and was in the path of faithfulness, Rebekah's nurse died, and he called the place "Allon-bachuth", the oak of weeping; he was not ready for the discipline until then.

When you are going on and come to any hindrance by persons or property, that is the stone before the wheel. God takes it away; He waits until the wheel, that is your inclination, is ready for the removal of the stone. We who live are always delivered unto death. A christian might think that he was all right because things were going on so smoothly with him; just as a horse, turned out to grass because he was of little use, might suppose that he was more favoured than the horse every day at hard work, simply because of

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its usefulness. The discipline here is more to help you. The great end in view is that you should be partaker of God's holiness, apart from everything here as He is. "For their sakes I sanctify myself" (John 17:19); this sanctification is immeasurable. It is only as you are near God that you can understand anything of His holiness, and surely, as you are exercised by the suffering, you are occupied with Him, not to find out the cause of the affliction, but that He is your resource in it. If God is before you, if you are in the Spirit, you make God paramount; He is first; if not, man is first. It is here where many christians fail; they are devoted, but man is more before them than God, and therefore neither in deed nor in word can they rise above man's judgment and man's feelings.

No. 4

Genesis 4:3,4; Genesis 5:21 - 24; Romans 5:5; 8: 2

The great end of the gospel is that all the offence has been so removed by the death and resurrection of Christ, that the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. God testified of Abel's gifts. Under the law there was the sin-offering, but also the burnt-offering. In the one the sin was taken away, but the other went up to God as a sweet savour, typical of the resurrection of Christ. Noah was safe from judgment in the ark, as Israel was safe under the shelter of the blood; but consequent on the burnt-offering Noah knew that he was in favour with God. The good tidings of God's grace is that He can be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; that He can receive the returning prodigal in the fulness of His love; and consequently, the first sense of the Spirit in our hearts is the love of God. The great end of grace is that God can make known His great love to us.

Many souls are hindered and delayed by trying to

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feel happy and sure of their salvation, instead of first being assured of how God is towards them because of the sacrifice of Christ. All this effort to be happy hinders and obstructs true enjoyment. The gospel is that God receives the returning sinner with the gladness of His heart. You must first know this, and everyone does know it who has received the Spirit of God, because His first work in your heart is to assure you of the love of God. Now comes our side - our enjoyment of God's grace. When the prodigal was kissed he must own that his father was in full love to him, but he could not enjoy it until he was made fit for his father's house. We learn from Enoch how to enjoy it: "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" - he was translated that he should not see death.

The Holy Spirit who first assures you of the heart of God, which is the gospel, is the same Holy Spirit who assures your heart that you are free of all the distance between you and God - free from the law of sin and death. While you are trying to have right feelings in yourself as to God's grace, you will never succeed, you will never enjoy the gospel; but when you accept that the same Spirit who assures you of God's love is the one and selfsame blessed Person who assures your heart that you are free personally of all connected with sin and death, then you "joy in God", which is the true effect of the gospel. In John 4 our blessed Lord, in speaking to the woman of Samaria, takes up the second or the Enoch side; I suppose because, while the gospel in terms might be known, yet no one could really enjoy the grace of God but by the Spirit dwelling in him, Anyone who has in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life, will never thirst; and he will also know that he has passed out of death into life, that he is in Christ, and that in heavenly festivity he has begun to make merry. May we fully enjoy His grace!

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No. 5

Acts 7:54, 55

In the case of Stephen the Holy Spirit opens and inaugurates for us the way to Jesus in glory. Ezekiel 1:26 is fulfilled to Stephen. There the cloud of glory was departing from Israel because of their perverseness, but though it was going away, yet in the brightest spot there was a Man. Stephen sees the Man in glory. The glory never returned to the earth from Ezekiel's day until the scene in Luke 2, when it came to announce the coming of Christ to the earth. Now Stephen sees Him in glory, and thus he is prepared to suffer from the religious man here, man under the law, the council, the elite of Israel; at their hands he suffers a cruel death because of their unrelenting antipathy to Christ, the Man in glory. The more Stephen suffered from those who assumed to be for God here, the more he was established in the blessedness of being with Christ in glory.

The way is open now for us by the Spirit. Every christian knows Christ as set forth in Jonah, but when He is known as Solomon you are so entranced that you own that though you had heard you did not believe, until you had come and your eyes had seen, and, behold, the half was not told you!

Beholding the Lord's glory supersedes yourself, so that, as an individual, you would always bear about in your body the dying of Jesus. And beholding Him in the assembly, you are so interested in His interests that you come out to manifest Him where He has been refused, prepared by association with Him in glory to have fellowship with His sufferings down here.

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No. 6

2 Kings 2:9, 15; Mark 2:1 - 16

The work of grace is all of God. New wine must be put into new bottles; this is the secret of grace. Some think that they can begin and God will go on, or that God begins and they can go on. No, grace is all of God. We find in Luke 14:17, "Come; for all things are now ready", and the servant is directed to "compel them to come in", that is, not merely to come to Christ, but to come into the house, to the supper, to the enjoyment of your reception as brought to God. This is the first work of the Spirit, making you to know your acceptance and to enjoy it. There are two great marks of grace, one, that you are in the favour of God, the other, that you have the power of God to be so superior to yourself that men may see that it is the work of God. Elisha was conscious of his powerlessness here without Elijah, and he asked that when Elijah went away he might have a double portion of his spirit; he received it because his eye was fixed on Elijah taken up. Now he comes out in a new way, he rends his own clothes; he has done with old appearances, done with himself.

In Mark 2, we see that faith, the work of God, brought the palsied man to Jesus. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee". But this was not all. Many do not know the gospel beyond this; they do not get to the "fatted calf", the making merry with God, which is the first work of the Spirit in the soul. If you are not in favour in the Father's house, you cannot be in power in the sight of men. If you, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, you live; you are outside among men in quite a new way, you are superior to all your old tastes and habits, you are like Matthew, free for Christ (Luke 5:28), and every step you go you drop yourself more and more. You

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begin as nobody, as a sinner; but when you get to the top, that is to union with Christ, your self is left behind altogether; you belong to Another. No one gets on who does not enter into what is the Lord's thought about him. Until deliverance is known souls have not an idea of what the Spirit's thought for them is. The mark of a man who is characterised by the Holy Spirit is his acquaintance with Christ's present ministry to His own.

No. 7

Hebrews 12

The Hebrews were converted Jews, and though they had begun brightly, as we see from the end of chapter 10, yet they became discouraged. As the earthly people they had been taught that faithfulness to God would be rewarded on the earth. Now, as christians, they found that the more faithful they were the more they suffered. In this scripture they are told that not only will faith in God enable them to surmount every difficulty, but that their very sufferings would be turned to good account; they would be more separated unto God. "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way"; pursue a straight and distinct course, that the lame may be helped (see Isaiah 35:3). "The path of the just is as the shining light" (Proverbs 4:18); there is no going to the right or to the left, but straight on. Lameness was a blemish which debarred the sons of Aaron from entering within the veil. Anyone now engrossed with his infirmity, his sickness, or his sorrow, is lame, and cannot be in the holiest. If he had found sympathy he would be above infirmity, because in Christ's presence he had found complete relief. Paul could say, "I take pleasure in infirmities" (2 Corinthians 12:10)

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he had gained so much of Christ through them. Follow peace with all men, but without holiness you cannot see the Lord, you cannot come to Him; hence - "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God". Watch the beginning of evil, turning from grace; the root of bitterness is the flesh, whereby many are defiled. They are warned against apostasy. Esau for a meal sold his birthright - figuratively, grace - and there was found no place of repentance. In verses 18 - 24 we get the christian's portion in contrast to the Jew under law, We first have the right of entrance to the holiest, full approach to God; we come to our portion. A worldly man does not see our portion, but a christian who knows it, who has come to it by faith, bears in his walk and ways unmistakeable evidence that he has a full cup. The things here do not draw his heart, because he possesses far greater things in another place. Faith is counting on God, seeing things as God sees them. A great man in the world has faith in himself, he feels he can do something; he may be conceited and fail, he imagined he had an ability which he had not. They say a horse will not easily attempt a fence that he is not up to; this is faith in oneself. But faith in God is counting on Him; you have His word, and you go on cheerfully, you must succeed. In prayer there should be the consciousness that you are so near Him that you speak into His ear; and no one ought to give out a hymn or minister in the assembly until he is assured that the Lord will support him in it. We have to walk by faith (verse 25). We are warned not to refuse him that speaketh; the speaking is now from heaven. "Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear". As there is no more offering for sin, if you sin and do not judge yourself, you are judged of the Lord. Our God is a consuming fire. The flesh you indulge is where you will suffer; the body of sin has been destroyed

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for God in the cross, and if you return to it and do not judge it, He will judge it; the flesh that sins must be destroyed; either judged and condemned by you bringing the cross to bear upon it, or by the judgment of God falling on you.

No. 8

Hebrews 13

Here we are described as we should be known among men. In chapter 10 we are inside with God; in chapter 12 we have, in hope, come to mount Zion. Before men we are content with our present circumstances, "for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee". The greatest blessing in the Old Testament was, "I will be with thee". This continues to us, but there is a greater - "part with me". Many seek and appreciate the former who do not seem to care for the latter, though this is immensely greater. "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle". We appropriate Christ in the holiest. It is as we know Him in His glory that we go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. It is remarkable that though Moses had seen all the mighty works of God in Egypt, and in leading the people of Israel, his one desire is, "Shew me thy glory". (Exodus 33:18) In type Solomon is connected with Jonah: the latter sets forth the sufferings of Christ, the former His glory. Surely we should desire to see His glory. Only the back parts could be shown to Moses, but his desire was afterwards fulfilled on the mount of transfiguration. It is the deepest joy to us to behold His glory. We recall Him in death, we remember Him in the lowest place here, but at the same time we are in the Spirit with Him in the brightest place. If it were only His death we had before us it would be like a Romish Good Friday;

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but we remember His death, and we know that we are with Him in the holiest of all. And as we are with Him there, no other place suits us here but to be with Him outside the camp. The better we know Him in the brightest place, the truer we are to Him in the darkest.

No. 9

Jonah 2; Acts 9:1 - 17

Many who believe in Jesus are not happy. They do not joy in salvation. Why? The reason is that, though truly converted, they have not learned what is between the sinner and God. Jonah had to learn it in a painful way. It was will, and this is the real cause of restlessness in souls; they do not see that all in them contrary to God has been removed. Will brought Jonah to the whale's belly. He had to pass through death in figure, and then he is alive without a will, entirely at the control of another, and this is the only place of happiness for a christian. No soul has real clearance in the sight of God who has not passed through this, and unless you know the greatness of the salvation, you cannot be in the joy of it. It is not only your sins that have to be cleared away, but your will. The Lord went through what we get in Jonah 2 - death. You have to appropriate His death. Israel had to walk through the Red Sea; they did not make the way through, but they walked it. There is no other way to be free of your will but to appropriate the death of Christ. That which caused the distance between you and God is gone in Christ's death. If you enter into the great reality of that fact you will say, "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God", Jonah 2 6. In learning this a man

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comes to say, "Oh, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?" Romans 7:24. Then he finds the Deliverer, and he says, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". Then he sees that Christ Himself has opened the way out of it. Saul of Tarsus was struck down by the light of the glory; and after three days and three nights of deep exercise of heart, he who had thought himself so incomparably good, but who, having a will against God, was the chief of sinners, found that through the death of Christ he was clear of that man altogether; that all of Saul was gone in the cross, and he had found Another - the blessed Lord; and his link with Him was the Spirit of God. It took him three days to learn this; some take thirty years to learn it, and some never learn it till their deathbed; but sooner or later, every soul must learn that it is by Christ's death he gets free.

No. 10

Colossians 1:26, 27

There are two ministries, the gospel and the church. In the gospel we learn how Christ cleared away all that was against us. In the church - the mystery of His body - we have nothing of the flesh. The most beautiful quality of the first man is not acceptable to God; nothing is acceptable to God but Christ. He could love the young man so naturally amiable (Mark 10:21); yet the Lord said unto him, "Take up the cross" (come to execution) "and follow me". It is deep joy to every loving heart that Christ is in you the hope of glory; the more we are attached to Him, the more we rejoice that He is in us. I like the same things that He likes. I act as He would act. His glory is my hope. In Romans 8:10, the same expression, "Christ in you", is used, but there it is for your own side; the effect is, the body is dead because of sin. Christ

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in you - He acts and not your own will. In Colossians "Christ in you" is His side. If you do not know this as it is taught in Romans, you cannot know it as we get it in Colossians. It is not trying to put off the old man: you have done it if you are established in grace. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me", Galatians 2:20. Every knowledge of Christ has an effect of its own, which could not be produced in any other way. If you know His work you give to Him, like Jonathan to David. "And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle", 1 Samuel 18:4. If you know Him as your life you suffer with Him. If you know Him as Priest you know where consolation is; the sorrow is here, the consolation is with Him, and there we are severed from the earth. When you know Him as Head you derive from Him according to His own life. Your acts, your manners, everything about you is of Christ. No human refinement can imitate this or apprehend it. It is as you are with Him that you grow into moral correspondence to Him. You cannot acquire His sense of things but as you are with Him. When you are with Him individually, you are learning Him for your own circumstances; when you are with Him in the assembly, you learn Him for His things.

There is no greater satisfaction to love than to be like Him; we shall be like Him to see Him. "When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is", 1 John 3:2.

May each of us rejoice that our blessed portion is to have "Christ in you the hope of glory". The more you meditate or ruminate on it, the greater and fuller it will appear to you, and also the plainer it will become to you.

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No. 11

Psalm 110

The Lord is seen in two positions here. He is rejected by man. He quotes this psalm in Matthew 22:44: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool". Christ was rejected after His public service, after setting forth the heart of God to man. Man had been always perverse and rebellious, but "now they have no cloke for their sin ... now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father". He is here called away to sit down at God's right hand, and His sitting there (see Hebrews 10:12) is a proof that the work for us is finished. But this is not all; His new position in heaven is that He is great Priest after the order of Melchisedec. As you accept Him in His rejection, you know Him in His exaltation. As your heart has any true sense of His rejection, that He died here, the shadow of His death is over everything. The more you feel His rejection, the more you rejoice that you know Him in His exaltation, and you will find that if any one (each one beginning with himself) does not feel His rejection down here, he does not realise His exaltation at the right hand of God. Any heart that had a true sense of His death would not look for any bright thing in the place where He died; even the cultivation of a flower would be incongruous.

In christendom the Lord's supper is reduced to 'remembrance that Christ died for thee', and thus they are diverted from the Lord's desire in asking us to remember Him. He counted on the eleven when He said, "This do in remembrance of me". (Luke 22:19) Even the natural man will share his joys with many, but he confides his sorrow only to his chief friends. If we are not in concert with the Lord in the one - His rejection, we cannot be in concert with Him as to the other - His exaltation.

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Jacob can say, Rachel is dead; he looks for nothing here. How much more should we be able to say that we look for nothing here, seeing we have a compensation in knowing our Lord in His exaltation. In the assembly we remember Him in death, but we know Him in the holiest. We have the right of entrance into the presence of God, and there only can we worship. The deeper our remembrance of His death here, the more absolute our association with Him in glory. The past and the present are both before us in the assembly.

No. 12

Exodus 3:8; Luke 14:15 - 23

In the gospel you are not only saved from judgment, but you are given a new place. Israel was not only delivered out of Egypt, but they had to come to Canaan. It is a great point to apprehend the fulness of God's grace. The Lord says to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise" (the third heaven), Luke 23:43.

The word to the servant is, "Compel them to come in"; not merely, as some say, come to Christ, but come to the new place. The prodigal did not enjoy his father's reception until he was fit for his presence - the best robe on. It is only in the Spirit we can enjoy our acceptance, and there we have new tastes and interests, and the more we make merry there the less we like mere natural things. No believer has answered to the heart of God who has not enjoyed his acceptance; he has not responded to the love of God. He may be sure of his safety, but he has not answered to God's desire for him; he has not entered into the joys of his Father's heart in having him, the prodigal, in His own house. It is of deep importance to insist on the new place for the believer. An evangelist has not

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properly finished his work until the convert is brought to the house The Jews refused the great supper - heavenly festivity; they preferred, like many christians now, their earthly blessings, good in themselves, the land, the oxen, the wife; but these do not come from the house - the Father's house. When the believer is drawn away by earthly favours, he assuredly is not enjoying the great supper. "No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new". (Luke 5:39) The natural taste when gratified governs you, but great is the loss of blessing when it is so. The convert has lost his true place with God, he has not answered to God's pleasure, he has not reached the joys of the Father's house, he is not walking in the Spirit, he is not in liberty; he cannot be free of the natural man, because he is engrossed and pleased with the things and favours that suit the natural man. He is not in the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:5), and all that is consequent upon knowing the gospel cannot be known if the gospel be not known; and the gospel is only known in part if the new place given to the convert in the Father's house be unknown. You may be out of Egypt, but you are not in Canaan.

No. 13

1 Timothy 1

Timothy is the pattern servant for the last days, and is especially fitted for this service. At Ephesus, where the church was most advanced, he is instructed as to the true order of the assembly. As God's witness among men Timothy was left at Ephesus. The end of the commandment is love, that is God's testimony to the world. The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. The pure heart is the heart controlled by the Spirit of God. My hand or my eye when directed by the Spirit is for God, but the same

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hand or eye directed by my own will would not be for God. Timothy would encounter much opposition from those who desired to be teachers of the law. The law addresses the man in the flesh. The first lesson we have to learn, and the one we have not fully learned as yet, is that the flesh profiteth nothing. The law is for the unrighteous; it condemns. Everything is unsound that is not according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God. God's heart towards man is fully declared in it, and Paul, the minister of it, is in himself a sample of the grace of God. Timothy was to keep in mind that he was gifted by the Lord. It is important to see that a gift is some power specially imparted by the Lord. No one can tell what the Lord will impart, but he who receives it knows that he has received it; as was said to Saul of Tarsus, that he was to be a "minister and a witness ... of these things which thou hast seen" (Acts 26:16); as the burning bush was to Moses, and the man with the drawn sword to Joshua. The more you use your gift the more useful it is. It cannot be judged of by delivery or fluency of speech, but by spiritual power. The servant has to fight a good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience; he must walk up to his light. The greatest failure has occurred where there was much light, but where the conscience was not up to the light. A very conscientious person is afraid of light, because the more the light the greater the demand on his conscience. The servant who is progressing becomes more separate as he receives more light; things he may have tolerated last year he will refuse this year, because he has more light; he walks up to his light.

No. 14

1 Chronicles 16:7 - 36

The ark of the covenant was the one great object of interest. David had failed in his first attempt to

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bring back the ark (1 Samuel 6), but now he had learned that the levites only should carry the ark; the levites were the servants of the priests. No one who is not in communion can come near to minister Christ. He is the antitype of the ark in the tabernacle; the tables of the testimony, and the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded were in the golden box. Christ is the fulfilment of all, and He should be the one absorbing Object of our hearts. If I look on the earth, His death is before me. If I look to where He is, I see Him now in the presence of God, crowned with glory and honour. It is not things that are given to us now, but a Person. No accumulation of things could be the same to me as a Person. "Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his Sanctuary". As you know His love you are filled with the fulness of God. He is the fulness of God. He satisfies the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with gladness. At all times, and especially in coming to the assembly, the one absorbing Object before your heart should be the Lord Himself.

No. 15

2 Corinthians 3; Exodus 3:2; Joshua 5:13,15

The law, the demand for righteousness, came from the glory of God. It was a ministration of death. Now in the gospel there is a ministration of righteousness from the glory. An amazing contrast! There was grace from the glory to Isaiah; the seraphim took the live coal from the altar, and touched his lips. This intimated that there must be judgment before grace, before it could be said to him, "Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged". (Isaiah 6:7) But now a Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, having glorified God in bearing the judgment on man, has been glorified, and the light of the gospel comes down from Him there. "If

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our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them", 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4. The light comes from the finish to the dark soul to enlighten it, though it may be long before that soul enjoys its acceptance in the glory. The burning bush is the emblem of grace, Moses gets his commission there, and he effects deliverance for the people of God. The man with the drawn sword in Joshua 5 sets forth the power of Christ glorified. There is grace and also the glory. You are not only delivered from all that which was against you, but your home is in the presence of God. The nearer you come to Christ in glory, the more assured you are that the righteousness of God is ministered from the glory. So the nearer you get to Him, the more assured you are of His finished work; and in the power of it, you are transformed into the same image. This is not the gospel, but it is the effect consequent upon knowing the gospel. The grace of the father to the prodigal made him feel his own unworthiness the more; but the work which enabled the father to receive the returning prodigal so fully is the same work by which the prodigal can be freed from his old state, and be brought into his father's house in an altogether new state. The believer in Christ can enjoy the Father's reception because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made him free from the law of sin and death; Romans 8:2.

No. 16

Hebrews 13:1 - 17

Here we have the christian's character among men. In chapter 10 we get the christian's place with God, in the holiest. In chapter 12 we get his prospects and

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possessions altogether outside this world. His first characteristic among men (chapter 13) is brotherly love. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another". (John 13:35) The more your heart realises that Christ has been rejected, and that He is not here, the more you care for everyone belonging to Him. Secondly, you are to be hospitable (verse 2). Thirdly, you are to be really considerate for your brethren, entering into their sorrows, if they are in prison or in adversity, seeing you are yourself also in the body. Marriage, God's ordinance, is honourable. Let your conversation or intercourse among men be without the love of money, content with your circumstances, "for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". The widow (2 Kings 4) learned that only a pot of oil, where there is faith, can supply more than is required. Many are cast down by their circumstances, instead of looking to God to use the little He has given to meet their need. "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". This was the greatest favour vouchsafed to the Old Testament saint; it remains true to us, but there is also a much greater favour for us, that is having "part with me". Christ truly has come to our side, but now He desires that we should go to His side. How few answer to His desire that we should have part with Him! In verse 7 the leaders are those who are gone before. In verse 17 the leaders are those who are present. "It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace". Grace is the contrast to law and works. Grace is altogether apart from the man in the flesh, and every acknowledgment of the man in the flesh diverts you from the great supper, that is, from your portion in the Father's house. "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle". To serve the tabernacle was religion after the law, your altar, your worship, indicates your place with God, you cannot rise higher than your altar. You may know

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every one's state by his altar. Jacob at El-elohe-Israel is different from Jacob at Bethel. We are now privileged to come into the presence of God in company with Him who is a great Priest over the house of God, but as we are with Him there, we have to go forth unto Him without the camp here (the camp is any ordered system on the earth) bearing His reproach; instead of seeking or maintaining any position here, we are to be as unrecognised as He was. By Him we offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, praising God and doing good to men in general, and communicating to our brethren. Finally, obey them who guide you, because they must give account. There is no greater joy to a servant than to see souls prospering in the truth, while on the other hand, it is an ever-present sorrow to him when anyone is not thus prospering.

No. 17

Luke 10:38 - 42

Here we have the beginning of the new company on the earth. In the history of the man who had fallen among thieves, Judaism is proved to be inadequate to meet man's need. These two women, Martha and Mary, set forth the beginning of the new company; one acts according to man's mind or human feelings, the other acts in simple attachment to the Lord. Mary studied His mind, literally she sat near Him, not on the ground as one now might suppose; she studied Him; Christ Himself was her attraction. Martha was trying to be useful, she felt her responsibility to her guest, but Mary was occupied with Himself, and not with all that she could do. If you do not understand Mary's gain in having chosen the "good part", which is the beginning, you will not

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understand the "manifold more" of Luke 18:30, where the description of the new company ends. The "manifold more" is the company of the Lord Himself, and this is the "good part". Nothing can satisfy real affection but company. You get a touching instance of this in John 1:38. The two disciples want to know where He abides, and the Lord says to them, "Come and see". He ministers to their love, and when going to leave them He says, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you". Hence the season of the deepest joy to us now is in the assembly. Mark how Mary gained when she was in sorrow in John 11, because of the death of her brother. She was disappointed that Jesus had not come, but when she heard that He had come she rose up quickly to go to Him, and seeing Him she fell at His feet; she was quite conscious of His greatness. He walks with her, He endears Himself still more to her, so that in the next chapter, when His death is apprehended, she anoints Him for His burial. That which would have added most to her own distinction here she buries with Him. The alabaster box in Luke 7 was bestowed on Him to make much of Christ on the earth; many have done likewise, but few have acted like Mary. The love of the Lord culminates in this, that we should be with Him. He died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. I find the one who is set on usefulness does not advance like the one set on personal affection to Christ. Thus we learn in Canticles the reciprocity of affection.

The Lord give us to be more personally attached to Himself; then we shall be useful according to His pleasure.

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No. 18

Leviticus 23:4 17; John 1:29 - 38

It is very interesting to see that the first feasts of the year for Israel were types of the grace of God. The death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the descent of the Holy Spirit, are set forth in the passover, the wave-sheaf of the first-fruits, and the feast of weeks; while the "two wave-loaves", the new meat-offering offered after fifty days, typify the believing company all together before God.

Now in John we learn the grace; God does not abate His righteousness, but He provides the lamb Himself; He removes the offence from His own side. This is marvellous grace. He laid help upon One that was mighty, His own arm brought salvation, sin is taken away. Where there is a man after the flesh there is sin. There is no justification from sin but by death; he that is dead is freed from sin, sin is condemned. He bare our sins in His own body on the tree. This He did once when He offered up Himself. The moment He died (see Matthew 27:51) the veil was rent from the top to the bottom, the distance has gone from God's side. Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. All that is contrary to God has been removed for ever in the cross, but He who has effected all this on the cross has been raised from the dead. He is the wave-sheaf, and now from Him risen the Holy Spirit is sent down that we should be according to God here. There is no improvement in the flesh, but every act and thought is to spring from the Holy Spirit, the fountain which is in you, springing up unto eternal life. The two disciples who leave John (verse 37), the man under the law, not only follow Jesus, but true to the spiritual sentiment, they want to be with Him where He abides. Like the wave-loaves, they are gathered together in one.

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No. 19

John 10

Levi sitting at the receipt of custom could leave all to follow Christ; this is the great characteristic of the work of grace in the heart. In the language of Canticles the believer can say, "Draw me, we will run after thee". (Song of Songs 1:4) The more anyone surveys the greatness of Christ's work, the more he will see that nothing less becomes the recipient of His grace than following Him. It is not attaching oneself to any religious community, it is simply and wholly following Christ. John 10 opens with the great fact that Christ had entered the fold, He had fulfilled all that was under the law of God, He had come into the fold, not to remain in it, but to lead His sheep out of it. He calls them by name, the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. He is the door: "By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture". He gives life abundantly, and He knows His sheep, and is known of them. This characteristic of grace, following Christ, affects all our history here. Peter and others left all and followed Him; John's disciples left him and followed Jesus. He loves His own; all His heart seeks and asks for is that you should follow Him. "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be". (John 12:26) The Lord values love more than anything; "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied". (Isaiah 53:11)

No. 20

John 14:18 - 23

If you have the death of the Lord truly before you, nothing can solace you but to know Him alive; thus you can always judge of the measure in which His death is before you, because as it is, so your one thought is to know Him alive. Thus it was with Mary

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Magdalene, and thus with the two disciples going to Emmaus. If we fully accepted His death here, we should not look for anything bright in the place where He died. This makes the assembly of such deep interest to us. He says, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you"; this is collective, He would come to the company. In verse 23 you have the way He comes to us individually, "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him"; He will have a place in your heart. But in verse 19 He comes to the company, and He says, "The world seeth me no more; but ye see me". This is the first part, we are comforted. His own side is made known to us. We remember where He was in death, that is the past; but the present is to know Him as he is in the assembly. "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you". The more you dwell on this, the greater and more deeply it will open out to you.

No. 21

Genesis 8:20

The more we ponder on the deluge, the more two great things come before us, the terrible nature of the judgment on man on the one hand, and the fulness of the salvation on the other hand. When the waters had abated and they had left the ark, they were all safe; but Noah is not satisfied with being safe, he seeks to know how he stands with God, he offers up a burnt-offering. The ark, a figure of the death of Christ, had sheltered them from the judgment. The burnt-offering is a type of Christ glorifying God. "I come to do thy will". (Hebrews 10:7) The effect of the burnt offering was that Noah was in the favour of God, and he is set up here in power. In the gospel not only has Christ died, but He was raised for our justification.

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You are through grace safe, if you know that He died for you; but if your heart truly enters into His death for you, you desire to know that He was raised from the dead, and when you believe that God raised Him from the dead, you are justified. If you believe in Him risen, you must believe in His death; you see that your judgment has been borne by Him, and that He so glorified God that God has a Man to His own pleasure, and on the ground of His acceptance you are accepted by God. By Him we have access into this favour wherein we stand; and not only this, but the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which He hath given unto us. Not only is everything removed from the eye of God in the cross, so that He can now receive the returning sinner into favour, but the Holy Spirit, as the link and evidence that we belong to Him who saved us, is expressly to assure our hearts of the love of God. As the father impressed the prodigal with the assurance of his affection, so the Spirit's first work in our souls is to assure us of the love of God.

No. 22

1 Corinthians 13

The Corinthians were occupied with spiritual gifts; the end of the commandment is love. We get the passive qualities in this chapter more than the active ones. We have love here and in John 13; the difference is that in the latter I remove from my brother all that hinders communion; in the former (1 Corinthians 13) I remove from myself what I am myself, and what interferes with love. I cannot act in love if I do not understand love. All service should spring from love; I cannot serve if I have not real love. I ought to be known as one who would die for the saints. We should look on one another as a gardener looks on his plants,

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things to be watered and cared for. It is only as we advance in Christ that we become more practically clear of the flesh. The first lesson we learn is the one we finish with, that the flesh profiteth nothing. We never get on to another step until we have learned the one before it. The Corinthians were exhibiting their gifts. Edification is to meet the conscience; the great principle in ministry is, does it edify? A man who has love is more useful in a meeting than one who has a showy gift. It is wonderful how a man who has the welfare of the saints at heart gets on himself. There is great responsibility connected with the house of God. I have not merely to rebuke a brother, but to remove the defilement, I must wash his feet. All ministry is for the edifying of the body, so I have to consult the Lord; we are of Him. He is Head of the body. From Him we derive all that suits Him. We are members of His body; according to the type, she shall be called Ishshah, because she was taken out of Ish. This is the great mystery.

No. 23

John 1:35 - 39

It is very interesting to see the simplicity at the beginning. The two disciples just follow Jesus, He attracts them; they not only follow Him, but they want to know where He abides. The heart set on Him is sure to come to this: "Where dwellest thou?" The place where He dwells is the goal of the heart. Most graciously the Lord responds to the true heart. He said to them, "Come and see". They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day. It is only in company with Him that we know Him. There is a marked difference between the way His presence affects us individually, and in the assembly. In the former He influences us with respect to our

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state, in the latter He makes known His own mind and interests as we are ready to receive them. As the queen of Sheba was entranced by the wisdom of Solomon in his own house, you can never get His mind for yourself individually, as you get it in the assembly.

No. 24

1 Corinthians 14

The true aim and object of ministry is edification. If it be ever so little, so that it edifies the assembly: "I had rather speak five words ... that ... I might teach others also" (verse 19). If you do not understand the truth yourself, you cannot honestly and truly convey it. Exposition of Scripture is only effective so far as the minister himself has appropriated it; if he is propounding beyond his own experience, he cannot insist on it as knowing it himself. "I believed, and therefore have I spoken". (2 Corinthians 4:13) The Corinthians, with all their spiritual gifts, did not know Christ as Head. They were occupied with their gifts; they lacked the love which would have sought the benefit of their hearers. In the assembly everything should be done for edifying. In giving out a hymn, it should not be one which merely suits myself, but one which suits the assembly. I am so far the organ of the assembly. No one should come there intending to take a part, but every one should be ready, as every string of a harp is tuned before it is played on. Everyone may be ready, but the Lord may not call on everyone. If the Lord were known as Head, every one would be directed by Him, but if even there were true desire before the Lord to edify, there would not be the state of things that prevailed at Corinth. The assembly is a great test to each of us. No one is in power in any circle beyond what he is in the assembly. There you

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approach God, you rise to your highest point. If you are lacking in any circle at home or abroad, the defect is in your altar You cannot rise higher than your altar. Jacob's altar at Shalem was El-elohe-Israel; he could say, like many now, that he was on the right ground, and had the right truth, but he confined God to himself; he was at the time inconsistent with his calling, for he had bought a parcel of a field where he was given no inheritance (see Acts 7:5). He suffered deeply, as we read, at Shalem. Eventually the Lord told him to go up to Bethel. It was more than twenty years since he had been there, but he so recalled it that he said unto his household and to all that were with him, "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments". (Genesis 35:2) The nearer you are to God and the better you know Him, the better you can judge of everything in relation to Him. Inside we are a holy priesthood, and from thence we come out a royal priesthood.

No. 25

Luke 7:37 - 50; John 12:1 - 8

Though the action is similar in these two scenes, the motive is different. The woman in Luke, having believed in Christ as her Saviour, seeks Him that she may publicly express her heart to Him. She follows Him into the Pharisee's house, her heart was full of His grace, she loved much, she was forgiven much; we all know something of this - of His work for us. Mary, in John 11, knew the Lord not only as her Saviour but as the solace of her heart. He was this to her in the hour of her sorrow. We have to know not only His work for us in death, but to be in His life, as He said, "Because I live, ye shall live also". (John 14:19) The first, His work for us in death, is incomparably great, and can never be forgotten. "Greater love

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hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13); but it is only as you know Him at this present moment, where He is in the sphere of His life, that you can act as Mary acted. She does not make any public manifestation of her love, but that which would naturally contribute to herself she buries with Him. As He was about to die, the most valued of earthly distinctions had lost its attraction for her. Her heart is so set on Christ that all which would add to her own distinction here is buried with Him. This is always the effect of knowing Him where He is at this present moment. He is not here, and the effect of knowing Him outside this world, and rejected by it, is that He is so endeared to the heart in that other scene, that there is nothing attractive to us here where He is not. Every believer knows something of His work, but do we know Him as our life, all He can be to us at the present moment? It is this latter that we enjoy in the assembly.

No. 26

John 20:11 - 17; Psalm 110:1 - 4

It is very affecting to see Mary Magdalene's sense of desolation because she does not know where the Lord is. "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him". He does not resume natural or human associations. He says, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father". It is a great fact that He is not here. We may think of His work, or of His path as He was here; but He is not here now, and if you do not enter into this solemn fact, that He is not here, you arc not set on finding Him where He is. In this psalm He is called away from this place to sit down at God's right hand, and not only this, but He is to be there a great Priest after the order of Melchisedec. If you do not

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feel that He has gone away, you do not know Him as your Priest in the presence of God. The attempt in christendom is to ignore His rejection, and to assume that everything is done to honour Him here. Hence they have no idea of knowing Him as Priest in heaven. They look on the minister as the priest between the congregation and God. If you do not know Christ as Priest in heaven, you do not know the blessedness of His nearness to God, you do not enjoy what we read in 1 John 4:17: "As he is, so are we in this world". It is not as He was, but as He is. God has no other standard, and if God's love shines in its reality into your heart, you would know that as He is, so are you in this world. But it is only as you are with Him now that you can know all He is to you. When you know union with Him, it is then you know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge. The more truly you accept the fact that He is not here, the more - as your heart is true - will you seek to find Him where He is.

No. 27

Matthew 13:44 - 48

The Lord is now alone with His disciples. He had sent away the multitude (see verse 36), and now He tells them the three similitudes of the kingdom of heaven, as seen in His hand. The other three set forth the effect of the word in the hand of man. It is an immense help when we apprehend and enter into Christ's interest in the church, to know that not only is each of us an object of this great interest, but that we can be in concert with Him in His chief interest. He buys the field for the treasure. His treasure is on the earth. His delight is with the sons of men. After He rose from the dead He was forty days on the earth. His interest is with those who are still here. The similitude of the net sets forth that there is selection,

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the good are put into vessels. If you do not know Christ's interest in the church, you will not be able to select for Him. The first parable, the sowing of the good seed, sets forth the preaching of the gospel. The more the evangelist knows Christ's interest in the church, the better he will do his work. The evangelist comes from the Head in heaven. Christ's centre of interest must be ours if we are working in concert with Him. We are to begin with the church. The eleven in John 15 were to "love one another, as I have loved you". Each was to begin there. The servant who is watching for his Lord's return cares for His household, giving them meat in due season. All service properly begins with the assembly, and it is there one is really enlightened to serve. You see the true order in Revelation 22:17: "The Spirit and the bride say, Come". Then the saints are before you: "Let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come". Finally the offer of the living water to every one.

No. 28

Ephesians 5:25

It is most important to enter into Christ's interest in the church. He loved the church, and gave Himself for it. We often speak of His death for us, but this conveys much more. He gave Himself. In Psalm 16:3 we read: "The saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight". Note that it is to the saints in the earth; those who have passed away are in perfect rest. It is to those who are still here, as we see in John 20 how His heart lingers with His own down here; He does not ascend at once. We read in Song of Solomon 5:1, "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb

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with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved". But there is no response from the bride. She says, "I sleep, but my heart waketh". There is not a continued concert with Christ in His interest in His own, and as the heart is awakened to it, extremes are resorted to (verse 3), because there is not full restoration. The keepers took away her veil. At length she ponders on His personal beauty, and then she is restored. She can say (chapter 6: 2), "My beloved is gone down into his garden". We gain much when we are in communion with His interest and delight in His own.

No. 29

John 17:26

The Lord said in the beginning of this chapter, "Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee". He had declared the Father on the earth - God's heart to man; but now He would declare Him as He is in heaven. The Lord can say of His disciples, "They... have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me". Now He closes, saying, "I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them". Every believer enjoying his acceptance with God has a sense of the love of God. God has commended His love towards us, but this is much more - the love wherewith the Father loved His Son down here, as we read, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again" - the Father's heart resting on the One who had drawn out His love. It is almost inconceivable that we should be objects of such love; but as we in any measure enter into it, we are so consciously favoured that,

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with Christ in us, we can be morally superior to everything down here. The young men in 1 John 2 have overcome the wicked one, they are out of Egypt, and the word of God abides in them, but they are not proof against the world and the things of the world; if they love the world, the love of the Father is not in them: "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him". It is not that they do not know the Father; little children know the Father, but the love of the Father in them would draw them into a circle of things altogether outside of and apart from this world and the things of the world; it would not then be an effort to retire from things here, for the taste and joy of the heart would be in the Father's things.

No. 30

Exodus 15:1,2

The thought has been before me as to what characterises a soul who is out of Egypt. Many are safe who are not out of Egypt. There are two places, out of Egypt and in Canaan. For us this is heaven; the work of Christ is the ground-work of both for us. It is grace that delivers us from Egypt, and it is grace that takes us to heaven. What marks a person who is in Egypt is that he is occupied with Pharaoh and the Egyptians. There are three things which mark one who is out of Egypt. First, he celebrates the work which has brought him to new ground, to a new position before God: "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea". All the enemies are sunk like lead in the mighty waters. Secondly, he is occupied with God; God's interests here are before him: "I will prepare him an habitation". If you want to know more about this, read the Songs of

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degrees, Psalms 120 to 134, the steps by which they went up to the house of the Lord. Have you ever come to what the soul there comes to? "I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob". This is the second mark of one who is practically out of Egypt. What interests him in this world is the house of the living God. The third mark is that he is going to heaven. Is this what you are set for? What tests us all is the journey between, we find out ourselves in the journey. We have left the port, and the haven is sure, but between these we have to learn that we are unmendably bad, that there is nothing for us but God. He is a happy man who has come to this. God will minister nothing to the man whom He has removed in judgment on the cross, but He gives manna, bread from heaven, to sustain us on the road to heaven.

No. 31

John 14:26; John 15:26

There is a twofold ministry of the Holy Spirit in these two passages. We all know something of the first: "He shall .. . bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you". It is what Christ was down here, and this must be known first, for it is the first work of the Holy Spirit, and inexhaustible in its greatness as unfolded in the gospels. Very few know the second, in chapter 15: 26. This is the Holy Spirit testifying of what Christ is in glory, it is the second ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter sent by the Father. You may take up books or hear people speak; they all tell you of the past or of the future, but they do not touch on the present, on what He is now. It is the present that I want to hear about, what Christ is occupied about. The difficulty is that

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people do not like to drop their own things, and their own interests, and to be occupied with Christ's things and His interests. A person said to me lately, When I knew the Lord was caring for me down here, and His shelter and care over me, I was very happy; but now that I want to get to His side of things, I am not happy. The earth is man's sphere, and he does not care to leave it for God's sphere; that is the difficulty with us all. I own it is very blessed to know what He was on earth, and we could not do without it; but He is not on earth now, and I want you to know Him as He is, and His present surroundings. "We see Jesus .. . crowned with glory and honour" (Hebrews 2 9; that is what He is now, and what is the effect? If you know Him as He is now, you will be a witness here of what He is, you will reproduce Him here. You may be a friend or a disciple, but you will never be a true witness until you know Him where He is. May our hearts be led into this second ministry of the Holy Spirit, that we may be witnesses in this world of Him who is not here.

No. 33

John 16:22

Our great expectation in coming together ought to be to enjoy Christ's presence. We remember Him in death - He died here where we are; but we know Him in glory, and there is a marked effect from His seeing us again. "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you". To know Him in glory in His own things must have a most wonderful effect, and the better we know the effect the more we should expect when we come together. There are two types of Christ found together in Scripture (Luke 11:29 - 32), Jonah and Solomon. Jonah is a type of the death of Christ, Solomon of His

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glory. We remember Him in death, but we know Him in glory. In 1 Kings 10:3 - 9 we see the effect that Solomon's glory had on the queen of Sheba. First of all her individual questions were solved, and then she was introduced into Solomon's own circle. The first effect is that there is no more spirit in her; she is entranced with the blessedness of his presence. This must ever be the effect of being near Him who is greater than Solomon. To God we are beside ourselves. Christ so absorbs the heart that one's self is in abeyance. Next, as the wisdom and prosperity of Solomon absorbed the queen of Sheba, so we, as our hearts behold the glory of Christ, or rather, as we behold Him in glory, must declare with her, "Thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard"; and finally, like this queen, we are praising and blessing - we worship and we bless Him who has blessed us. The greater the sense of the blessedness of our portion, the more our hearts will estimate the blessedness of Him who has blessed us.

No. 33

Acts 10:30

Every one admits that there is a distance between God and the sinner. Cain knew there was a distance, but he did not know the nature of the distance. Many are truly converted, turned to God; but they do not joy in God because they do not see that all the distance, and all that caused the distance between them and God, has been removed to His glory. Death, as the judgment of God, is on every child of Adam; nothing can remove death but death. There must be a victim, as Abel set forth, not chargeable with our offence, bearing the judgment of the offence, and at the time of bearing it having a personal excellency, as the type expresses it, "and of the fat thereof".

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Man after the flesh must go in judgment, hence man cannot do anything to retrieve his position, he is entirely a debtor to grace. Conversion, turning to God, is the work of His grace. The gospel is that God has laid help upon One that is mighty, His own arm has brought salvation. He sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. Peter, in opening the kingdom of heaven to the gentiles, insists especially on the resurrection of Christ. Death is upon every child of Adam, and there cannot be any atonement but by blood, yet there is no new ground until Christ is risen from the dead. "Jesus who was of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power; who went through all quarters doing good, and healing all that were under the power of the devil, because God was with him .. . whom they also slew, having hanged him on a cross. This man God raised up the third day, and gave him to be openly seen, not of all the people, but of witnesses who were chosen before of God", Acts 10:38 - 41. A man altogether to God's pleasure, who did all His will, has been put to death; for this end came He into the world. He, the Holy One of God, has in death judicially terminated the man who is according to the flesh. Therefore "through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins". For the awakened soul the great object of faith is the Man Christ Jesus risen from the dead, the Man who not only bore the judgment due to me, but who glorified God where I had dishonoured Him. The man after the flesh has come to an end before God in the cross; and when Christ, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, is before the eye of your soul, and as you believe in Him, you receive the Holy Spirit, the confirmation of your new position.

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No. 34

John 9:35 - 38

It is important to see when the man in this chapter becomes acquainted with Christ. He had received his sight, and he knew something of the work and the power of the light. The more he maintained that it was Jesus who had opened his eyes, and that it was the work of God, the more he was refused by his neighbours, the Pharisees, by his parents, and eventually by the Jews. He is cast out of the synagogue; he is outside everything of man; he is in the solitude of light. Divine light leads to this. Now the Lord comes to him, and says, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" and further, "Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him". This man knows Christ now, according to John 10:14, 15: "I ... know my sheep, and am known of mine". Verse 15 explains the character of this acquaintance or intimacy. It is of the same character as that which exists between the Father and the Son: "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father". Hence it is by seeing Him as the Son of God that we are led into it. This man had never seen Him until now, and now he knows Him; he has come to the living Stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious; he believes and he worships. The greatness and the blessedness of the Person of Christ absorbs his heart, now that he has seen Him and known Him.

The sense of the immensity of His grace impresses you before you comprehend it in any degree; but the more you are occupied with it the more you acquire. In John 14:20 we read, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you". You may not understand much of this, and I could not explain much of it to you; but are you interested

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in it? Is it before your heart? I commend to you two verses of a hymn:

'Yet sure, if in Thy presence
My soul still constant were,
Mine eye would, more familiar,
Its brighter glories bear.

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

No. 35

Romans 6:23

There are two great subjects here, neither of which is correctly apprehended in christendom. The wages of sin is death; that which has sinned must die, there is no other way in which it can be discharged. Now many think, like Cain, that they can do something to commend themselves to God; they run in the way of Cain. They do not see that sin cannot be removed in any way but by death; the man who has sinned can only be cleared by death. Again, many who truly believe that Christ died for our sins look at His sacrifice as the pious Jew looked at the paschal lamb; they assure themselves that they are forgiven their sins, and, like the Jew, they seek to keep the law; in a way they enjoy natural things more than ever because they are forgiven, and when they sin they look for a fresh application of the blood. They do not see that in Christ's death the man after the flesh was judicially terminated before God, and that our old man was crucified with Christ. They confine or limit Christ's work to His death. When you believe that God has raised Him from the dead, you have a Man out of death, and then you are justified. He "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification"; Romans 4:25. Then the Holy Spirit sheds

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abroad in your heart the love of God; Romans 5:5. The first work of the Spirit of God in you is to make known to you the love of God, even that the One whom you had offended has Himself laid help upon One that is mighty, His own arm has brought salvation. To a child suffering in disgrace because he has broken his father's clock, the gospel I bring him is, Your father has mended the clock himself come to him. The prodigal found when he came to his father that he had removed the distance from his own side; the Spirit of God not only assures your heart, as you believe in Christ risen, of the love of God, but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes you free from the law of sin and death. The Spirit is life because of righteousness; Romans 8. As natural life is in the blood, so is the eternal life in the Spirit, as we read in John 20:22: "He breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit". The last Adam is a quickening Spirit. Eternal life is not merely perpetuity of existence, but "this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". As we read in John 4:14, you will never thirst; the Spirit will be in you a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.

No. 36

Psalm 73; 2 Corinthians 3:18

It is interesting to note the difference of effect when there was only a cloud of glory, and of beholding the Lord's glory. The psalmist, bewildered by the state of things here, goes into the sanctuary; he expects an effect. Do we expect a distinct effect from being in the presence of the Lord of glory? The effect on the psalmist was very marked, the first was that the greatness of God so occupied him that he saw everything in a new light, everything in relation to God. The

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second effect was that he was conscious of his own littleness. "I was as a beast before thee". Thirdly, he never was so sure of his place and acceptance with God; he says, "Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand". And fourthly, he can now say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee", or more literally, With Thee I do not want anything beside. This was from the cloud of glory. The glory of God is that all His attributes, love, righteousness, truth, etc., are rightly expressed. It could not be shown to Moses, but now the light shines, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now beholding His glory, no veil on Him, mark the effect! This scripture tells you the effect of beholding the Lord's glory. If the effect of coming where the cloud of glory was, was so great, surely beholding the Lord's glory now will have a much greater effect. The queen of Sheba said to Solomon, "It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it". (1 Kings 10:6,7) Many are like her; they have read about beholding the Lord's glory and the effect from doing so, but they have not come, and their eyes have not seen Him and His glory. If they had they would be able to say with her, "The half was not told me". They think that they will come to it by reading the Scriptures, but they will not. The Scriptures tell you the effect of beholding the Lord's glory; if you behold it you will be transformed into the same image, you will gain all that was conferred by the cloud of glory, and much more, you will be transformed into moral correspondence to the Lord at the time. Who could be near Him without being influenced and formed by Him? If we knew more of beholding Him in His glory in the holiest of all, we should know better the blessed effect produced by being in close association

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with Him. The Spirit of God tells us in the Scriptures the goodness of God to us, and as we walk in the Spirit we are led into the blessings which through grace are ours. May we not only read of them, but know them for ourselves.

No. 37

Genesis 8:16; Genesis 9:1 - 3

Noah was safe from the judgment when he was in the ark, and this safety was confirmed to him after a year and ten days. He was on the earth in full safety, but assurance of safety was not enough for him; he desired to be assured of the favour of God. He offered a burnt-offering - typically, Christ offering Himself to God and glorifying God. Hence He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. In consequence of the burnt-offering God smelled a sweet savour; Noah is now in favour and in power. Every christian believes that Christ died, and they rejoice that they are safe, but many do not know that they are in the favour of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. They are not in the acceptance of the burnt-offering, that is, of Christ raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. The resurrection of Christ is not denied, but He is not the Son of their hearts. His death is not lost sight of because the eye is fixed on Him risen, for if He be risen, He must have died; and if you do not believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you are not assured of your justification and of your acceptance with God. You do not see that there is a Man now before God, who so glorified Him where you had dishonoured Him that, on the ground of that Man, God can receive every believer in Jesus. If you believe in Christ risen you are justified, you are in the favour of God, and the Holy Spirit is given to you to shed abroad in your

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heart the love of God. The first work of the Spirit in the heart of the believer is to assure him that God, whom he had offended, loves him. This is his first impression; then he knows that his eye, the eye of faith, is resting on Christ as the burnt-offering, and not this only, but the same Holy Spirit (as we read in John 4:14) is in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life. Where there was wrath righteously, there is now love righteously; and where there was sin and death, because of the fall, there is now by the grace of God, through the work of Christ, entrance into the life of Christ. The more you enter into it the better you will prove that you are wondrously blessed, that your cup is full, that you can never thirst again, nor have a sense of deficiency.

No. 38

Joshua 5:10 - 13

It is interesting to see the difference between the passover here and in Exodus 52:8. In the latter it is not remembrance, it is appropriation; Israel was not yet out of Egypt. In christendom it is said, 'Take and eat this bread in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thine heart'. It is the benefit of Christ's death that is before the mind, and not simply the Lord in death. "This do in remembrance of me". We come to remember Him. In Joshua 5 you are over Jordan, on the heavenly side. You are there in the full benefit of His death; the passover is kept at Gilgal, where the twelve stones taken from the bed of the river were placed. It is in remembrance; you cannot remember anything if you do not know it. I remember the Lord in death, I know Him in glory; and remembering Him in death puts everything here in its true place. You could not look for enjoyment where your Lord died. Jacob in

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his last moments worships God and blesses Joseph's sons; but he seeks nothing here; he says, "As for me .. . Rachel died by me". (Genesis 48:7) If we in heart remembered Christ's death we could not seek anything in this world. "As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart" (Proverbs 25:20); you feel your sorrow the more. Hence an idolater is one who can enjoy himself here in the absence of Christ. "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play" (Exodus 32:6); not a word is said about the idol, but the manner of life indicates that you have an object for your heart besides Christ, as Israel could enjoy themselves in the absence of Moses.

If you remember the Lord in His death you call to remembrance that which has been. Christ our passover has been sacrificed for us; we pass through His death to the heavenly side of death where He is our life. In remembering His death we are thinking of Him, we are in His presence in the full benefit of His death, and in order to see everything in its true character here, we begin with remembering Him. The next day is a new day, and they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover; we first remember Him where He was on the earth, and next, we know Him as He is. The very remembrance of His death enhances to us the greatness of the new day that we have entered upon. The passover was in the evening; the old corn of the land next morning.

No. 39

Isaiah 6:1 - 7; 2 Corinthians 3:7

Under the law there was a demand for righteousness from the glory of God on mount Sinai. From Christ in glory there is a ministration of righteousness. There

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was grace before Christ came, as we see in the case of Isaiah, who was a prophet, but he could not endure the sight of the King, the Lord of Hosts. Then he received grace: "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand ... and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged". There was grace - he was forgiven; but there was no righteousness ministered to him from the glory. He did not know a Saviour there, and he was not at home there. The light now shines down from the finish from Christ in glory. "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them". (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) The first light which reaches the dark soul comes from the finish, that is from Christ in glory, and you are not in the fulness of the gospel until you have come to the finish. The great delay in souls is that they do not see that all that is contrary to God has been removed in the cross - the flesh, that which the live coal refused and repelled. Man after the flesh was brought to a judicial termination in the cross. "In that he died, he died unto sin once". (Romans 6:10) He bore the judgment due to me, but He not only bore the judgment due to me, He glorified God where I had dishonoured Him. God is indebted to a Man for glory! All the attributes of God were declared and met in the Man Christ Jesus - love and righteousness, truth and holiness - all. He so glorified God that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. There is no live coal in the glory now for the believer in Jesus; on the contrary, the nearer you come to the glory of God which shines in the face of Jesus Christ, the more assured you are that you are not only justified, but that the righteousness of God greets you in the light of the glory. You are not only

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justified, but you are in the justification of life, in the righteousness of God where there never was a stain. As the prodigal found that the nearer he came to his father the more assured he was of his father's reception, so the nearer you are to Christ in glory the more assured you are of your place there with Him. The gospel is that as He is, so are we in this world, but beyond the gospel or the fruition of the gospel, as you behold the Lord's glory - He is without a veil - you are transformed into the same image from glory to glory; so that not only are you at rest as to heart and conscience with Christ in the glory - which is the gospel - but as you behold His glory, you come out here in a way suitable to Him, to be for Him in this world.

No. 40

Hebrews 2:12

This is a quotation from Psalm 22, the first part of which describes the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we have come to remember His death, and we are in His presence, we know His present work. We learn from John 17:1 that when He was glorified He would glorify the Father. In His service on the earth He had glorified the Father, He had finished the work that the Father gave Him to do. All that was required to declare the heart of God for man had been accomplished, but now in glory He would make the Father more fully known. As we read in the last verse of John 17"I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them", etc. In Hebrews you have entrance into the holiest, you are in the place where you can worship the Father, though you do not get so far in this book.

In Ephesians 2:18 we read, "Through him we

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both have access by one Spirit unto the Father". This is known when union with Christ is known. In Ephesians 2 our calling as united to Christ is described. When we take into account all the blessing which accrues to us when we are in conscious union with Him, it as indicative of how little personal affection we have for Him, that we are not set in full purpose of heart to know our union with Him. Once we were set to know salvation, and now we ought to be set to know union with Him who saved us. United to Christ we know that we are in the presence of God as He is there. Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father, a new sphere altogether. A child understands the difference between the nursery and the parlour. In the nursery we have all we ourselves require, while, as if in the parlour, we are shown the Father's things, apart from all temporal things. The young men in John, though they have overcome the wicked one, typified by Pharaoh, yet have to learn not to love the world, nor the things in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. It is inconceivably blessed to be loved by the Father as Christ is loved. I can in some measure comprehend God's love for a sinner saved by grace, but I feel that if I knew His love as He loves Christ it would impart to me a calm dignity which no other possession could confer. As we know Him we adore Him, our hearts can rise and bless the Father.

No. 41

1 Samuel 17:57; 1 Samuel 18:1 - 4; Luke 5:4 - 11

In the type we see that it is not so much the work which David had wrought that occupies Jonathan, but David himself. Many believe in the work of Christ who are not in the fulness of His grace, because they have not come to Himself It is remarkable that all

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through Luke's gospel, from the first announcement to the shepherds in chapter 2, on to the thief on the cross in chapter 23, the main point, the moment of assured blessing, is when the believer has come to Himself. Himself is the "good part" which shall not be taken away, and Himself is the "manifold more" for every loss in following Him. Peter was very exemplary in placing his ship at his Lord's disposal and subject to His word. At Christ's word he let down his net for a draught, and so great was the take that their nets were broken, and the ships so filled with fishes that they began to sink. Peter, instead of being entranced with delight at the great earthly favour shown to him, falls down at Jesus' knees and says, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". (Luke 5:8) He realises that he is in the presence of God.

Now Peter had the two marks of a godly Jew; his conduct was excellent, and he was highly favoured by God. But he so felt his unfitness for Christ that he asked Him to depart from him. Peter has now come to Him, and the Lord says to him, "Fear not"; he now knows the heart of Christ, perfect love casts out fear. It is like Jonathan to David, but Peter does more than Jonathan did; he leaves all and follows Him. In the gospel the main point is that the man, the child of Adam, who had dishonoured God, is displaced by the Man Christ Jesus, who has glorified God where the child of Adam had dishonoured Him; and when this is absolutely known, you are in the fulness of the gospel of God.

There are three great steps. The first is Romans 3:25, Christ is the mercy-seat; and as you believe in Him, have faith in His blood, you have forgiveness of sins, typified by Exodus 12. Secondly, you believe that God has raised Christ from the dead; now you are justified by faith, you are in the favour of God, and you have received the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, you have so appropriated His death, you are so cleared of

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the flesh in His death, that in His life you approach Him in glory; and you find that the nearer you come to Him, the more assured you are that there is a ministration of righteousness from the glory; that you can be in company with Him in glory, and then you are free from yourself. You are beside yourself; "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty", (2 Corinthians 3:17) and the effect of this is that beholding the Lord's glory you are transformed into moral correspondence to Him; you are so far like Him. Thus you can see the importance of having the Lord, the Saviour, personally before your heart.

No. 42

MATTHEW 8:24 - 27; Matthew 14:25 - 31

In this first scene we have our Lord in the ship with His disciples, which sets forth His being with us in our circumstances; though there was a great tempest He was so restful in His confidence in God that He was asleep. But "his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.. .. Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm". If they had had faith they would not have been afraid while He was with them. He is not here now, but we see the way He behaved in the tempest, and we cannot be like Him, but as His power works in us. "Without me ye can do nothing". (John 15:5) It is only as He lives in me that I can do as He has done. But in the second passage (Matthew 14) we see that He has taken a new place supremely above all the winds and waves here, and now what we have to do is to leave the ship and join Him where He is. When Peter cried, "Lord, save me!" the Lord did not quell the storm, but immediately stretched forth His hand and caught him, and drew him to His side, where there was unbroken calm. So He draws us

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to His own side, where we are not only consoled for every pressure and infirmity here, but we are conducted individually into the holiest, where, as the consecrated company (Leviticus 8:33), we appropriate the blessedness of His nearness to God. When we have part with Him we know that "because I live, ye shall live also"; and then the tempest here, which would overpower us, makes Him indispensable to us; and as we are drawn to Him, we are not only consoled, but looking up to Him, the Author and Finisher of faith, we surmount every difficulty which was between us and Him.

No. 43

Song of Solomon 5; Song of Solomon 6:1 - 3

The thought before me is that unless you have known the Lord's presence you do not know when you lose it. Many have never enjoyed His presence, hence they do not feel their loss. When you have known it in the most elementary way as it is here, you realise your loss. It is only in the Lord's presence that we become divinely sensitive, so that we know we have lost that which we had enjoyed. He had come into His garden, and it was after having had a happy time with Him that the bride declined. "I sleep, but my heart waketh". When you decline, the brightest joy is clouded, the top shoot is the first to fail. Hence we read, "Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing". (Philippians 3:16) When you decline, the best part goes first, and there is no advance until you are restored. The great thing is to know His presence; if you do not know it in a day of difficulty, you do not know your resource. You must purge yourself first, before you can follow with them who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. If you are not right yourself you cannot discover that which is right.

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The more you are in Christ's company the better you will know that which suits Him. Jacob has an altar at Shalem, El-elohe-Israel, but there every kind of worldliness could be tolerated. God tells him to go up to Bethel, and now he says to his household, "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments". (Genesis 35:2) He remembered the character of the place, and what suited God; and it is thus we are taught, even as to our dress, to turn away from that which is unsuitable to the Lord. We may not be able to give a text for every change we adopt, but the more we know of the Lord in the assembly, in His garden, the more we are according to His taste. We shrink from the influence of the world; we not only purge ourselves from mere professors, but we fear even more those who are nearest to us if they are not with the Lord. To babes it is said, "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things". (1 John 2:20) They have an inward consciousness of what is right. Now after decline, you may go into extremes like the bride here before you are restored; you may offend against constituted authority, you may suffer from the watchmen, your veil taken away. The only way to recovery is occupation with the Lord personally. It does not help you to be occupied with your failure; occupy yourself with the Lord, get His portrait morally before your heart; then you will be like the two disciples at Emmaus, who followed Him to Jerusalem, where His people were. You trace Him to His garden, and thus restored you will be nearer to Him than you were before, and then your joy will be, "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine".

No. 44

Luke 10:29 - 35; Luke 15:11- 24

You have in this first scripture the misery of the sinner, his state, how he has suffered here; he fell

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among thieves who stripped him and wounded him, and left him half dead. This is man's state as a sinner; the grace of God that bringeth salvation is described by the Samaritan, who, as he journeyed, came where he was. Christ came to the place where the sinner is, He was beside the thief on the cross. The light from God shone into him, and he could see in Jesus One who had done nothing amiss, and that He could deliver him from all his misery. The sinner is not only relieved, his wounds bound up, and oil and wine poured in, but the very power which brought Christ into the place of our misery carries the sinner out of it; he is brought to an inn and there cared for. This is the grace to the sinner respecting his own state; he is relieved, he is carried by a new power, and he is cared for all through his pilgrimage. "Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5); he is to be taken care of as a traveller in an inn until the Lord returns; there is nothing for him on earth till then.

Now in chapter 15 we are taught that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Many confine the gospel to the sinner's side, to the relief of his misery. The cause of all man's misery is that he has offended against God. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin". (Romans 5:12) The younger son is man in his natural state; the greater his abilities the more abandoned he has become. At length grace works, all his resources as a man have failed, he is compelled. No one is converted easily - he is reduced to the lowest point, death stares him in the face - no one is converted who is not made conscious that he cannot stand before God. He comes to himself, he counts on his father's goodness, for he has not a word to say for himself; he comes, but when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and ran and fell on his neck and covered him with kisses; all the

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offence has been so fully removed that the heart of the father can fully express itself. We must bear in mind that if the shepherd had not gone out and given his life for the sheep, the father never could have come out in righteousness, and if the light that fell on the silver piece had not shone into the prodigal's heart, he never would have come to his father.

All has been so fully removed by Christ, who followed the lost sheep to the dark mountains whither it had wandered, that the love of God in all its mighty volume can flow out righteously to the returning prodigal. And it is not only that all which offended Him has been removed from the eye of God, but He fits the returning one for Himself, He enables him to enjoy His own presence. Not only is His love shed abroad in your heart, so that you know the heart of God as it is towards you, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes you free from the law of sin and death. You are in Christ, and you have begun to make merry.

No. 45

Genesis 24:63 - 67

It is very interesting to note the steps which lead to union - the knowledge of it. We know Christ first as Saviour; until you know Christ as Saviour fully you do not seek His company; you must be so assured of His love that nothing can satisfy your heart but company with Him. The heart assured of His grace and love soon realises that He is not here, and earnestly enquires, Where is He? Then you know Him as "great priest over the house of God" (Hebrews 10:21); you are with Him in the assembly. You can be with Him in the assembly and not know Him as Head. You are not consciously united to Him until you know Him as Head. We ought to take it much to heart that so few

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consciously know the blessedness and climax of God's love, even that we are united to Him who has so loved and served us. No one learns Christ as Head until he is outside of this world.

We do not get the gospel in this chapter. Abraham's steward is sworn to bring a bride of Abraham's lineage; no one can be of the bride who is not of Christ in life and nature. The steward found out Rebekah by her grace; when he asked for a drink for himself she volunteered to give drink to his camels also. Next, she had to break from her family; they would have detained her ten days, but she was decided, she said, "I will go". This is a great step, but it is not all. There must be also continuance. Rebekah journeys through the wilderness. You may have broken from your family and yet not continue in the weary journey through the wilderness, leaving everything here behind, dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world. When your heart is set on Him, the more you know Him the more you will seek to be near Him. Rebekah continues; at length she sees Isaac. This is a great moment. The Spirit's power has opened the heavenly door. Rebekah has now a new and absorbing interest. The first great effect of union with Christ is that "the Christ" dwells in your heart by faith. This is not the same as "Christ liveth in me", (Galatians 2:20) this latter is your state. The Christ dwelling in your heart by faith is your new interest - all that concerns Him. Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent. The church is in the place where Israel was; Isaac loved Rebekah. It is when you know union with Christ that you know His love which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with the fulness of God. Finally, as Isaac was comforted after his mother's death, so will you, when in union with Christ, be a comfort to Him where He has lost Israel. May each of us be more set on being to Him according as His heart desires.

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No. 46

Acts 9:1 - 17

There are three accounts of Paul's conversion given in the Acts this, the general one; chapter 22, to the Jews; and chapter 26 to the gentiles. The gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the resurrection had been preached. Now it is the gospel of the glory of Christ. Saul was at the height of his reckless course, when a light out of heaven arrested him, and he fell to the ground. This is God's work. The Lord reveals Himself to him - "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest"; he is blind because of the glory of that light. The beginning of every conversion is fear and distress; he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink. In those days he learned that through Christ's death there was a way out of his own death, out of the judgment that lay on him. He had met Christ in glory, he knew that Christ was risen and in the presence of God, but now he knows that through the death of Christ he, Saul, is clear of the flesh in which there is no good thing, and hence he prays; he turns in confidence of heart to the One whom he had persecuted. He believes that He is, and that he can count on Him.

Now Ananias is sent, who tells him, "The Lord has sent me, Jesus that appeared to thee in the way in which thou camest, that thou mightest see, and be filled with the Holy Spirit". Saul's sight was restored in the power of the Holy Spirit. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in a special way was made known to him, he was the apostolic channel of it. Next we read (1 Corinthians 2:2) that he determined to know nothing among them (the Corinthians) save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is often quoted as if it were Jesus Christ crucified, and thus the distinction between Him as He is and as He was is lost. If we turn to 2 Corinthians 3:7 we learn there

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the gospel of the glory of Christ and the effect of seeing Him in glory. The great characteristic of this gospel is that it is in contrast to the law on mount Sinai; it is a ministration of righteousness from the glory. The law was a demand for righteousness from the glory; there is now a ministration of righteousness from a Man in glory. There is not only grace as in Isaiah's day, but now the righteousness of God is from the glory, so that the nearer you are to Christ in glory, the more assured you are that through grace you are entitled to be there. I have heard of a landlord forgiving his tenants all rents due, but I never heard of greater grace than that, until I knew the gospel, which is that God has not only forgiven those who believe, but as it were He says to them, You are no longer tenants, I do not claim anything from you; you are sons, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

No. 47

Luke 5:1 - 11

It is interesting to trace the progress of grace in Peter. In the beginning of the chapter we see his readiness to lend his ship for the Lord's service. This is very exemplary. Again when the Lord said, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught", Peter, contrary to his own judgment, obeyed, saying, "We have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net". We see here how much the believer can do though knowing Christ only as Jesus. Next, we read, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; but Peter, instead of being delighted with this special gift from God, falls down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". He is now consciously in the presence of God. It is a wonderful moment when we know that Jesus is Lord.

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No man can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit. Now the Lord's words, "Fear not", have the most blessed effect on him; he knows now that Christ cares for him. Perfect love casts out fear, hence they forsake all and follow Him. When the heart knows His love, nothing can satisfy it (the loving heart) but His company. In John 6 we find Peter saying, in answer to the Lord's question, "Will ye also go away?" - "To whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God". John 6 happened at the same time as Matthew 14 and Matthew 16. In Matthew we read that when John was beheaded, the Lord went into the desert; and next we see Him in a new place, walking on the water; figuratively, He is supreme above everything. Peter sees Him, and true to his first love, he would join Him, hence he says, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come". (Matthew 14:28) First love will forsake everything for company with its object. Here you get the first works, and in John 6 you get the light from God which establishes his heart. We know that after this Peter denied the Lord, he was too self-confident in his own love to the Lord. But he could so count on the heart of Christ that in John 21, though he had led some of the disciples to go a-fishing, yet when the Lord was recognised, he girt his fisher's coat about him, and cast himself into the sea. And eventually Peter, when restored, was to strengthen his brethren. The Lord has full confidence in him, saying to him, "Feed my sheep". (John 21:16) The Lord also signifying by what death he should glorify God, concludes by saying, "Follow me" (John 21:19).

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No. 48

Leviticus 16Hebrews 13:10 -13

It is evident from this scripture that there are two companies, both saved by the blood of Christ, one company on the earth, and the other company within the veil. Christ's work for the one company is represented by the two goats, the blood of one goat carried into the holiest and sprinkled on the mercy-seat, while the live goat, as representing the effectual sacrifice of the first goat, bore away their sins into the land of forgetfulness. This is always and for ever the beginning of divine grace, but this is the measure vouchsafed to God's earthly people. There is more given to those who are Christ's own in the day of His rejection; they are represented by Aaron and his house. Christ's work for His own is represented by the bullock which Aaron offered for himself and his house. Now while Christ's work, represented by the two goats - for it was all one work, the greater included the lesser - sets the believer on the earth in full forgiveness and in peace with God, the work of Christ as represented in the bullock gives every one of His own a place with Him in the holiest of all. This is the day of His rejection, and blessing for man on the earth has not yet come, though in christendom, as a rule, there is no apprehension of grace beyond forgiveness of sins, or what is typified in the two goats. The fact that Christ has been rejected here is overlooked, hence that all His own must be blessed with Him where He is, exalted to God's right hand, a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, is also overlooked. Because His rejection is not seen, the gospel is limited to the work represented by the two goats. But when His exaltation consequent on His rejection is seen, then the gospel of the glory is the rest and delight of the believer's heart - that He has not only cleared us of everything that was against us, but that we have boldness through

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His blood to enter in, to share with Him in His own blessedness in the presence of God. Every one who has seen His glory inside the veil will be so transformed in taste into moral correspondence to Him, that it would be ever inconsistent with his feelings to be found here in any place but going forth to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. In the type everything was effected before the carcase was burned. We must begin with God, and then we can truly bear the reproach of Christ here. We can have no sense of the blessedness of Christ but as we are in the holiest. When we are defective in the lower circle, it is because we are not fully in the highest. We have no power in the lower circle but as we are furnished from the highest. No man ever rises higher than his altar, that is, he can only be for Christ here in the measure in which he knows Christ where all the glory of God rests on Him. If you are inside the veil with Him, you must be outside the camp for Him.

No. 49

John 20:19 - 22

Here we have the first assembly meeting, and we get here the chief characteristics of the assembly. Personal attachment to Christ brought them together. Mary Magdalene describes to us the true heart for the assembly. She is inconsolable without Him. Neither angels nor disciples can make up to her for Him. Her tidings to the disciples had the effect of drawing them into the one place. I suppose they counted on His coming to them; He came and He said, "Peace be unto you". He, risen from the dead, can declare to them that there is not an element of disturbance between God and them. It is not merely forgiveness of sins, but every element of disturbance is removed; as a soldier would say, We have crushed

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the foe! Then He showed them His hands and His side, and now the chief characteristic of the assembly is known: "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord". The more your heart is drawn to Him, the more you must desire to see Him. The more deeply you are affected by all He has suffered on your account, the more you desire to see Him on the other side of death. Now is fulfilled to them, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you". (John 16:22) This joy is ours only as we know Him risen from the dead. He has been rejected here by man. The desire in christendom is avowedly to build a house for Him; but they have no sense of the great fact that the world sees Him no more, yet that in His love He comes to His own, who have come to Him, the living Stone, and are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, etc. This is now the only spot on earth where He can be seen again. He said to them, "Peace be to you as the Father sent me forth, I also send you"; and then He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". Surely they were conscious of receiving from Him a sense of His life which they had not experienced before. Romans 8:6 answers to this, for "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"; you could not be with Christ risen but in His life. In Matthew 14 we see Peter leave the ship to join Him, supreme above all the power of evil here; we learn from John 6, which occurred at the same time, that as you feed on His death you are in His life. It is only by the Spirit that you can come into His presence. Are you conscious of the great change in you on entering His presence? No one can know it until he comes into His presence. In Romans 8:6 we read that the carnal mind is death, but the Spirit's mind is life and peace. In John 20 you have first peace and then life, the order in which

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they were brought to light, while in Romans they are in the order in which you enjoy them. If you are in Christ's life His peace will rule in your hearts. May we have a deeper sense of the blessing and joy of being with the Lord in the assembly, where we are moulded by Himself into His own mind, so that we are the more enlightened by His word.

No. 50

Exodus 15:12; John 7:37, 38; Acts 7:55

The gospel, the good tidings from God, sets forth that by the work of Christ the believer is delivered from the judgment of God which rests on everyone in this world, so that there is peace with God. Next, that the Holy Spirit is given that the believer should be here in this world without any lack, never thirsting, but more - out of his belly should flow rivers of living water. And thirdly, that by the Holy Spirit he could anticipate his portion with Christ in glory. First, like Israel in Egypt, every one in the world is involved in the judgment of God. As the blood of the lamb sheltered Israel from judgment, so now every one believing that the blood of Christ is before the eye of God is sheltered from the judgment. But as Israel was oppressed by Pharaoh and the Egyptians after they were sheltered from the judgment, so is the believer oppressed by the power of Satan and the flesh, for there is no peace until he appropriates the death and resurrection of Christ, typified by the passage through the Red Sea. The only way out of death, which is the judgment on man, is by the death of Christ. God made the way for Israel through the Red Sea, and God gave them the light to see the way; and when they had walked through it, they not only knew that they were out of it, but they could sing, "The Lord... hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider

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hath he thrown into the sea". Now there is peace with God. When you believe that God raised Christ from the dead you are justified by faith, and then you know that you have peace with God. Next, believing on Christ risen you come to Him, and you receive the Holy Spirit. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given unto us" (Romans 5:5); you are in the power of God. Who can describe the magnificence of the grace of God; made free from all that is against you, and now in the Spirit fully according to God! Thirdly, by the Holy Spirit you can see Christ in the glory of God. When the glory was departing from Israel, Ezekiel saw it, and in the brightest spot there was the figure of a Man. Though the wickedness of man was driving away the glory from the earth, yet in the grace of God there would be a Man in the glory. From that day the glory did not return to the earth until it came to the shepherds in Luke 2 to announce the good tidings of great joy - "Unto you is born this day .. . a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord". (Luke 2:11)

No. 51

John 9:35 - 38

It is very affecting to note the Lord's interest in the man who had been blind. This man knew the work of His grace, and had suffered much for his faithfulness; he was refused by every class of society - by his neighbours, by the Pharisees, by his parents, and eventually by his nation. Cast out of the synagogue, he was outside all that is esteemed and respectable among men, he is now in the solitude of light, but the blessed Lord finds him, he is now to be made acquainted with the Lord. When the Lord had found him, He said unto him, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Does your faith rest on the living Stone,

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disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious? Does our faith rest on Him risen from the dead, declared to be the Son of God with power? Now verses 14, 15 of chapter 10 are fulfilled; in fact chapter 10 mainly sets forth the new ground on which the sheep, set forth by the man who was cast out of the synagogue, are set. In christendom they attempt to find room for the christian in the Jewish system; this scripture is not apprehended, and hence these two verses are not understood. The meaning of them evidently is that Christ and His sheep should be in the same kind of intimacy as that between the Father and the Son. Most blessed and inconceivably great! You enter on a divine sphere. This man, who was in the solitude of light outside everything of man, was ready for this great grace. Many seek to be separate from system and the like, but they are not absolutely outside and apart from man, for if they were, the Lord in His unfailing interest in His own would not leave them solitary, but would come to them, and make Himself known as the One "chosen of God and precious". (1 Peter 2:4) The answer of this man was, "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" He was ready for it. Blessed moment when we make acquaintance with the Son of God! no longer in solitude, but in company with Him who can fully satisfy the heart. Wonderful moment when you hear the word, "Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee". This blessed intimacy has begun for this man, for he says, "Lord, I believe", and he worships Him. He had been cast out of the place of worship, but he has found the One who draws forth the worship of his heart. He is detained by the Object that controls him, and his delight is in doing homage to Him.

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No. 52

1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 3:5 - 15

Christ personally is presented, as well as His work. In christendom it is generally read as if it were Jesus Christ crucified with no 'and' between. The meaning of the scripture is, Jesus Christ (personally) and Him crucified, that is, seen in another aspect; as crucified He bore death judicially, but as Jesus Christ He is risen, and hence your blessing is as you see Him. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth". (Isaiah 45:22) Does your eye rest on Him? If you see Him in death you see the sacrifice for your sins, you are sheltered from judgment. All is accomplished in the eye of God, but you do not enjoy the fulness of the gospel yet. You have assurance of your salvation; God testifies of the excellent sacrifice; you are like Israel, under the shelter of the blood in Egypt, but still exposed to Pharaoh and the Egyptians; you have not peace. There cannot be peace until every disturbing element between God and you has been removed. There is often an attempt made to approach God through ordinances and religious services as under the law; but in order to enjoy peace with God, you must believe that God has raised Christ from the dead. When our blessed Lord came into the midst of His disciples after His resurrection, He said, "Peace be unto you". (John 20:19) When this point is reached, peace is known and the Spirit received; but there is yet another hindrance, the tendency is to be like the Corinthians, that is, being now at rest as to your salvation you may become engrossed with your own blessings; Christ personally not being before your heart, your own mind is in the ascendant. The greatest light is overlooked, and hence the natural light gets a place. When we come to the second epistle and find that the Corinthians were restored, we learn where they had been lacking. The apostle had not been at Corinth between writing

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the first epistle and the second, but they are restored, and hence in 2 Corinthians 3:5 - 17 he dwells on the efficacy of the gospel of the glory of Christ, not merely His death nor His resurrection, but that the glory of God rests on Him. There is now, because of Him who had glorified God where we had dishonoured Him, a ministration of righteousness from the glory. Isaiah, in chapter 6, was afraid when he saw the King, the Lord of hosts. Grace is shown to him, but the live coal is an evidence that the judgment had not been borne. Now, on the contrary, the nearer you are to the glory the more you are assured that it is your place according to God, and the effect is that your heart is absorbed by Christ personally, more than the queen of Sheba was by Solomon. It is not your own blessing or anything about yourself which now engrosses you, it is Himself. Further, you behold the Lord's glory; the glory is the expression of God's satisfaction according to all His attributes. That satisfaction in Moses' time had not yet rested on a man, but all has been met in the Lord Jesus Christ, and as you behold His glory you are transformed into moral correspondence with Him.

No. 53

1 John 1:1 - 4

It is deeply interesting to us that the blessed One who was on the earth and who died for us is our life. The eternal life that was with the Father had been manifested to the disciples - "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ". It is not merely that we live for ever, but that in eternal life our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We belong to the divine circle, we

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are translated from the human circle to the divine one. Here on the earth we are cared for like children in the nursery or schoolroom, but it is new and pleasing to children when they are brought from the nursery into the company of their parents, into their circle. No one could have an idea of the divine circle until he had been in it. Fellowship with the Father and His Son is the crown and climax of all blessing. It is not so much the measure of your apprehension as the simple fact that you are there. We know life in Christ first for deliverance. "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) Next, in His life we know Him as Priest. In His life only can you know Him in the assembly. In His life only are you in the wilderness, that is, this world is a wilderness to you. In His life you cross over Jordan; you are then in the sphere of His life, you know Him as your Head; and next you are in fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Now you know union with Christ, and your joy is full. Most blessed!

No. 54

Numbers 21:9 - 16; John 3:14,15; John 4: 14

It is of great importance that we should learn from Scripture that while the gospel is largely proclaimed, and many receive a measure of the good tidings, yet there is little or no sense of the greatness of the blessing as a present possession.

Israel, as we learn from Exodus 12, had known the shelter of the blood, and were ever secure under the eye of God through the shed blood; still they were harassed by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They were not free from Satan and the flesh until they walked through the Red Sea, figuratively the death of Christ; Exodus 14. His death has made a way for the believer

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out of the death of judgment which had rested on him. In Christ's death he knows that the one who had the power of death has been destroyed, and now he can sing, The Lord hath triumphed gloriously, all our enemies have sunk like lead in the mighty waters. It was after all this was known and experienced that Israel was taught that the flesh was the great and persistent obstacle to their joy and progress in divine blessing. No one can enjoy the great supper, the celebration of grace, who has not learned Christ in John 3:14,15, or as typified in Numbers 21. We see in the prodigal son that he was not satisfied with the greatness and love of his father's reception, but he wanted to enjoy it I think this accounts for John beginning at Numbers 21 instead of at Exodus 12; the one great obstacle to anyone's joy or progress is that he has not deliverance or liberty. God's grace is listened to and often accepted, without the heart exercise or experience described in Numbers 21. When in distress because of the serpent's bite the sense of innate sin that is in me, that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing - you look to Jesus, He who knew no sin made sin for you, the holy, spotless One, the delight of the Father, made sin. God, sending His own Son in the likeness of flesh of sin, condemned sin in the flesh. He, the holy, immaculate One, bore the judgment due to man. He died, the man under judgment has been judicially terminated on the cross, so that there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. When the prodigal gets the best robe on - figuratively is in Christ - he can make merry and can joy in God through Jesus Christ. Many have supposed that because they have accepted the grace of God by faith that they can reach deliverance in the same way; they overlook the fact that the work of grace is God's work, and His work is perfect and lasts for ever; whereas on our side it is only as we walk in the Spirit that we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

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No. 55

2 Kings 2:9 - 14; John 14:15 - 17

When Elijah was about to be taken up he said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee" - a great offer. Elisha can ask the full desire of his heart. If such an offer were made to us, would we answer as Elisha did? Elijah was going away, and Elisha would be left alone on the earth, and the one thing he desired was that a double, that is a full portion of Elijah's spirit might be on him. He so realised his loss in the absence of Elijah that he felt nothing could compensate him for that loss but a double portion of his spirit. Love desired this more than anything. Hence our blessed Lord when going away said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide (or remain) with you for ever". There are two activities - faith and love. Faith acquires things; love seeks personal nearness. Elisha gets the desire of his heart, and immediately he rends his own clothes, and takes up the mantle of Elijah. When we are in the Spirit and thus near the Lord, we are severed from our own things, and we are transformed into the same image, into correspondence with Christ. He does not leave us orphans, He comes to us as a company and even to us individually. He says, "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him". The more our hearts are attached to Christ the more will the gift of the Spirit be enhanced to us. Though He is absent He has given the Spirit as the closest bond between Himself and us. May we realise more to the full satisfaction of our hearts that we have received the Holy Spirit and that thus we can be in unbroken nearness to the Lord, and do His pleasure though He is not here.

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No. 56

Job 42:5,6; Matthew 15:21 - 28

In every soul that turns to God there is a twofold sense awakened, which continues and is ever deepening throughout all your history here. The twofold sense is that you are evil and that God is good. They are simultaneous; you see this in the parable of the prodigal son. When he comes to himself he has the sense that he can say nothing for himself, but he has confidence in the goodness of his father; he will arise and go to him. If we look at the thief on the cross we also see this; he said to his comrade, "We indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss". (Luke 23:41) Then he says to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom". (Luke 23:42) It is supremely blessed to see that when the soul is near God, when the light of God has shone into it, while on the one hand one's own unworthiness is most patent, on the other hand the goodness of God gives confidence to the sinner in his deepest misery. Thus Jonah, though a prophet, was cast into the sea in order that he might practically learn this twofold sense; he said, "I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple". (Jonah 2:4) No one is absolutely for God until he has learned that God is absolutely for him, that it is all grace. This we see in the woman of Canaan. There is the pressure of Satan on the one hand, but she has confidence in the Lord, she accepts that she is entitled to nothing, and yet she can count on His grace. This confession obtains immediate relief from the Lord. "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt". This twofold sense is expressed in Scripture by "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ". (Acts 20:21) Job was approved of God, but when afflicted by Satan he was disappointed that God did not appear on his behalf. Eventually

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he learns to abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes, and at the same time his confidence in God is in the ascendant; he prays for his friends, and the Lord turns his captivity. Many will admit that they are sinners, but they are not near enough to God to have the sense that the goodness of God leadeth to repentance. If you go on with God this twofold sense will deepen throughout your whole history here. And while the outer man perishes, the inner man is renewed day by day.

No. 57

Luke 9:28 - 36

It is very important that we should apprehend the Lord's presence. He is now in glory. When we behold His glory He is exclusively before us, as set forth in this scripture - Jesus only. So when we apprehend His presence in our midst He exclusively absorbs us. You must be in His presence to understand the peculiar blessing of being completely apart from yourself, and from everyone else, but rejoicing that you are with Him. I turn to 1 Kings 10, where we get in type our present portion. The queen of Sheba is introduced into Solomon's private circle; she was not occupied with his great works, but with his home circle. In the assembly we are in Christ's home circle, and there His wisdom is seen in detail. It is in that circle we properly learn everything. It is in the assembly you learn your gift or your service for Him, and the effect on you is the same as on the queen, "There was no more spirit in her". (1 Kings 10:5) All on our side is in abeyance, and a greater than Solomon commands the homage of our hearts. It is very blessed to see that to the end, in the darkest day, the Lord is the light and joy of the assembly. As the remnant of Israel in their darkest day looked for and found the

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house of God, as we learn from the fifteen steps, Psalm 120 to Psalm 134, so the Lord is our resource, as we see in Philadelphia. The two or three who have come to Him, the living Stone, will surely find Him in their midst, and the darker the day the more will He be to them, as at the close. "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:16) - not only the morning star, but He is bright, so that the Spirit and the bride say, "Come". He is exclusively the resource and attraction of His own, and they know that He is so.

No. 58

Isaiah 38:1 - 5; Luke 2:25 - 38; Acts 7:55

It is interesting to see that while Hezekiah had faith in God - "The just shall live by faith" - yet he was distressed at the thought of dying. He had been in active service here, and as he had no prospect before him at the other side of death, he wept sore at the thought of leaving the earth. The first tabernacle was still standing, and hence the way into the holiest was not as yet made manifest. Christ had not yet risen, the first-fruits of them that sleep. Many who have faith in God and through His mercy are eternally saved, prefer the earth to heaven, because they do not see that to die is gain. Paul could say that he was "in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you". (Philippians 1:24) If not with Him, Paul would be here for Him. Now in Luke 2 we learn the blessed effect on Simeon when he saw Jesus; he is a pattern to us. "Then took he him up in his arms" - do you embrace Him in faith? - "and blessed God and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace .. . for mine eyes have seen thy salvation". He is in faith at the other side

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of death, he sees Christ in resurrection glory, "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel". The prospect and joy of the heart is to be with Christ. The Lord said to the thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise". (Luke 23:43) His desire is to have His own with Him, that whether we wake or sleep we might live together with Him.

As Simeon is a pattern of the heart resting on Christ in faith, so is Anna the prophetess a pattern of those who are here for the Lord, until they are with Him.

Finally, in Stephen we get the fulness of the gospel; he had believed in Christ risen, and had received the Holy Spirit. Now, being full of the Holy Spirit before a stone was thrown at him, he looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus. The new line is open, he saw his bright home with Christ; and now he is able to bear unswervingly all the violence of the enemy, and to enter death as a stepping-stone to cloudless light with Christ for ever. He is so superior by the Spirit to his sufferings that he can kneel down and with a loud voice cry out, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge"; he had overcome evil with good.

No. 59

Joshua 5:10 - 12

It is important to mark the difference between keeping the passover here and in Exodus 12. In christendom, as a rule, the Lord's supper is looked at in the light of Exodus 12. There it is not remembrance; it is appropriation, entering into the great fact of the death of the substitute; whereas in Joshua 5 it is plainly remembrance. In type you are at the other side of death, and you recall the wondrous way by which all has been accomplished for you; but morally you are at the heavenly side of Jordan, you eat of the

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old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover. A new day is opened to you, you are in the sphere of eternal life. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him". (1 Corinthians 2:9)

No. 60

Psalm 73; 2 Corinthians 3:18

This psalm describes the experience of the individual in the presence of God, while 2 Corinthians 3:18 sets forth our collective blessing in the presence of Christ. It is not merely that one has the sense of his unfitness for God, but here you are transformed into the image of the Man in the glory of God.

No. 61

1 Peter 2:2 - 5

It is a solemn and blessed fact that every christian is called to be a component part of God's house. As the stones were taken out of the quarry to build the temple, so every christian is a stone. I do not say that every stone is built in. I just call attention to the great fact that each christian is called to contribute a part to the spiritual house. Christ has been rejected from the earth, and He has no place in it now but in the assembly built by Himself. Each one is called to share in forming a place for Him. This is the first point; the next is that each one is built in, and this is by coming to Him, the living Stone. This is the step we learn from Matthew 14; Peter desires from affection to join the Lord on the water at the other side of death, above all the power of evil; in doing so he learns his own weakness, and then the Lord stretches forth His hand, and draws him to His own side. He does not calm the sea as in chapter 8. It is

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a wonderful moment when we come to Christ at the other side of death. You received the Holy Spirit when your faith rested on Him risen from the dead; but now you join Him there, and like the man in John 9, who had been blind, and who was brought into the solitude of light, you know Him as the Son of God. The history of the queen of Sheba illustrates this coming to Christ in glory, and it has the same effect on us as seeing the glory of Solomon had on her; there was no spirit in her; she was introduced into Solomon's private circle; you cannot know Christ except in His own house. In christendom the most pious go to church to thank God for their salvation; they have no idea of the favour and blessing of being in God's house. Jacob had to learn the great moral difference between El-elohe-Israel and Bethel. At the latter he knew something of the presence of God.

It is inside with Christ as in John 14, that we acquire ability as the royal priesthood, to show forth the virtues of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.

No. 62

1 Samuel 22; 1 Samuel 23

David, chanting Psalm 34, leaves Achish and escapes to Adullam. He is once more in the land, though it be but a cave; and there not only his own house, but all that were in distress or in debt congregate to him. Having learned the place of dependence for himself, he can become a centre and guide for the poor of the flock, whose heart did not own the rule of Saul; and they can follow his faith, considering the end of his conversation. Why David placed his parents with the king of Moab I cannot say, unless he desired to escape from their influence and fears. (We know how our Lord had to rise above His parents'

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counsels.) While in this cave he utters three psalms (Psalm 142, Psalm 57 and Psalm 52) - the latter, I think, after he was joined by the prophet and priest. He expresses full confidence in God, "until these calamities be over-past", (Psalm 57:1) though at the same time sensible of the dangers with which he is surrounded. His heart is prepared, therefore he will "sing and give praise". We naturally shrink from trials and sorrows, but where we find ourselves, like David, enjoying the resources that are in God, which our trials have caused us to have recourse to, we remember no more the path of affliction which led us thereto.

Psalm 52 is David's utterance when he hears of Doeg's conduct. He sees God's discipline in all his sorrow: "I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it ". How the Spirit of God was converting every trial into an occasion for engaging his soul with the deep chords of spiritual song and the day of glory. If Paul in Arabia was caught up to heaven, surely in the cave and the wilderness the outcast David was hearing in his soul the sublime strains of God's victory over every foe. He not only heard the harpers harping with their harps, but his own heart was attuned of God; and the divine music cheered the spirit of the rejected king.

Keilah is the next page in this interesting history; chapter 23. Whatever be the pressure or trial of our own position, if we are in the spirit and condition of soul answering to Psalm 57, we could not hear of the distress of any of God's people, which we could alleviate, without being ready to aid them. Consequently, when it was told David, "Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshing-floors", he inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go and smite these Philistines?" And the Lord says, "Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah". The man of real might and experience in God's succour appeals to God before he embarks in

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anything . David's men try to discourage him from it, and after he has mastered his own heart and its sorrows, he must learn to be superior to the unbelief of his associates. He inquires yet again; and a further assurance being given him from the Lord, he goes down to Keilah with his men, and is completely successful; he saves the inhabitants. But this was only to bring about another order of trial and exercise of heart for him. Once more his services are unrequited. Saul goes down to besiege Keilah, and David inquires of the Lord as to whether the men whom he had just delivered from the Philistines will deliver him up; and the divine answer is that they will. And here let us mark the difference in David's mode of inquiry in this and in the first instance (verses 1 - 4). It does not appear that he made use of the priest when seeking counsel as to relieving Keilah; but here, when he "knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him", and he wanted to know what should be his own line of action with reference to it, he says to the priest, "Bring hither the ephod"; and thus he makes the inquiry. This difference is interesting. In the first instance, it was a simple question as to whether he should or should not serve others, and, without questioning his motives, he has only to turn to the Lord for direction. But when our own interests are concerned we are much more likely to be led by our own will and to lack singleness of heart and purpose; and thus we need the more to realise our full acceptance and to sift our motives; and here the priesthood comes in. But in either case the answer is prompt and distinct; and it is most instructive to note the manner of the intercourse between David and the Lord - what confidence and simplicity there was between them. David asks his plain, simple questions, and the Lord answers as plainly and distinctly. He had no resource but in God; and this he was learning more and more in each stage of his life. Any soul in

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the Lord's presence, and truly reliant on Him, would experience the same. The simpler such a soul is, the more it is qualified for great and exalted service. The one great with God is he who can devote all his energies according to God's counsel to aid and serve others, but whose dependence is entirely on God, proving that his resources place him above recompense from those whom he serves. It is plain that we are not told all the services which David rendered, or the experiences which he passed through. I suppose a specimen of each particular line is recorded for us. That of Keilah I should designate, how the rejected king serves this people without requital, and this is necessary discipline for him, for any one who will walk with the true David through this evil world.

No. 63

Genesis 25

The more intelligent and impressed the mind of man is with the purpose of God, the more does it need subjection to God, for otherwise it will seek to accomplish, by natural means, what ought to be left to the ordering of God, and this produces restlessness. When this is the case the Lord allows His servant to find by sorrowful experience the fruits of his own plans. Jacob is a remarkable example of one appreciating blessing but ever and anon intercepting and anticipating the ways of God by his own plans.... The possession of the birthright failed to give Jacob that assurance of the blessing which it represented, for if it had he would not afterwards have so readily complied with his mother's unworthy expedient to secure it for him. And why? The desired mercy had been grasped by him in a natural way, and he derived none of the satisfaction from it, which he would have experienced

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had it reached him in a divine way; for a divine way always connects the soul with the Lord.

If a mercy is not connected with the Lord it may often make me more miserable, but if it is, if I know that it flows from His love, the heart receives it in tranquillity and confidence, for I know that though I may lose the proof of His love, I cannot lose the love itself, and that the love cannot exist without declaring itself.. .. The Lord in His grace will teach us sooner or later to connect all our mercies or services with Himself, because He knows that without this we cannot reckon on His strength in supporting us. Jacob was one seeking for blessings, but too unsubdued to confide the ordering of them to the Lord alone.

No. 64

Hosea 2:14

"Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of .Achor for a door of hope and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt". It is very interesting and encouraging to remember all the way the blessed God has led you, so that eventually you shall sing in all the fervour of first love; I have learned this practically. For many years I asked the Lord that I might serve Him; at length I was brought into the wilderness. This world is a wilderness to you when you enjoy Christ in glory. Sorrow and disappointment do not make the world a wilderness to you. ''Tis the treasure I've found in Thy love that has made me a pilgrim below'. When I know Him in the holiest, as my resource in the presence of God, I am as one out of my element in this world; it is a dry and barren land to me, where no water is, but He sustains me to

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do His pleasure here. I may add for your encouragement that now, through the unaccountable goodness of God, I have more joy of heart than in my brightest day. The sense of His favour is better than life itself. Be assured that the highest and brightest desire of your heart will be more than fulfilled, but it will be in the wilderness that He will "speak comfortably" to you, and then He will be more to you than your heart could ever have desired.

May this greatest blessing be yours, so that you may enjoy His favour with unhindered delight.

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She enters the land of Israel, inseparable from the once Naomi (pleasant) now Marah (bitter), but resigned to her circumstances, nay, content in them; she addresses herself to the smallest opening which is presented to her, which is always an evidence of a healthy and vigorous soul, and without hesitation or demur she embraces it. She says, "Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace". (Ruth 2:2) It is the most unequivocal proof of true energy, where in any strait we are not only resigned, but ready to embrace any little opening to us, able to humble ourselves thereto, and testify to every one, even to our own souls, that God has not forgotten us, and that what is directly before us is quite sufficient to meet our necessities. We only require to be humbled to find it so. If we were to say or feel otherwise, we should impugn His care or interest on our behalf. Ruth sees that there is no opening for her but in gleaning, and to gleaning she addresses herself, and this was the Lord's opening for her. Very humble, inconspicuous labour no doubt, but He sees not as man seeth, and He led her by the right way. "The meek will he teach his way", (Psalm 25:9) and therefore "her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech". (Ruth 2:3) "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted". (Luke 14:11) When we are docile we are led to fulness of blessing. Unless we embrace the humble opening presented to us, we shall never reach the goal of blessing.

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"If thou knewest the gift of God". (John 4:10) No one could have apprehended the greatness of the gift, that it should be in him; not like the wine, outside of himself; and instead of running out, it should be "in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life". (John 4:14)

Next, let us look at the nature of the gift; it is the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is given to every believer in Christ. "In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise". (Ephesians 1:13) "Do ye not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God; and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19) We do not dwell sufficiently on the simple fact that we have received the Holy Spirit. If you have not received the Holy Spirit, you have not believed on Christ personally. In that sense you have not come to Him, I do not say you have not faith in His work, but as in the case of the ten lepers (Luke 17) all were cleansed, but nine of them went back to ritualism to find approach to God. Many converted are here; only one of them came direct to Christ, he had now a living link with Him: this in pattern is sealing by the Holy Spirit. Not only has Christ saved you, but you are of Him, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his". (Romans 8:9) I press on you that it is His gift. I could not exaggerate this grace. It is surely marvellous that God has not only effected the greatest work, the work of our salvation, but He has given you the greatest gift which you are to enjoy now on earth. If we were more cast upon the Lord as indispensable to us, we should receive more. You should ever be able to say, "Thou anointedst my head with oil; my cup runneth over". (Psalm 23:5) We are very often counting up our mercies, the different ways God deals with us, and we say, Well,

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we are happy. There is a great deal more for us. "Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased". (Psalm 4:7)


We read (Exodus 33:11), "Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle". He had learned what it was to abide in the secret of the Almighty, and though the service of Moses might call him to go to and fro, this young man, whom God was instructing, knew it better for him to remain with God in the separated tabernacle. Service did not call him to the camp, and therefore he remained entirely apart from it with God. Moses has a service to render, and he enters the camp. But if there be no room for service, let us be as separate as possible, for the separation will prepare us for the most effectual service when we are called to it. Mere knowledge of God's will and counsel is not the full effect of nearness to Him, but the sense of what suits Him and meets His mind: in fact holiness, and this is the great end of the Father's discipline.

But Joshua is still a learner. The next notice that we get of him is in Numbers 11, where he misapprehends the mind of God. That very truth which had before saved him from defiling association, and preserved him in unison with God's mind, he would now make use of to circumscribe God. It is very important to remember that it is God Himself who is to counsel me and determine my judgment, and not any single line of His truth. To remain in the separated tabernacle was plainly the way of truth and blessing when Israel was in apostasy, but when Eldad and Medad prophesy in the camp, God's Spirit must be acknowledged, though they do not come to the tabernacle.

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So Moses rebuked Joshua as savouring of the things of men and not of the things of God.

The heart is right, but it has taken counsel from the flesh, and must be rebuked. This is necessary and bitter discipline, but effectual in preparing one for the entirely new and divine way in which God leads His people.


Acts 12:6

When you are faithful you will find that the Lord does not remove the pressure from off you until you are asleep in it, until you are able to take it quietly. You learn His grace first, and then His mercy. Look at Paul and Silas at Philippi singing praises. Look at Peter asleep in the prison. People seem to forget Deuteronomy 8:2, "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee". You remember the mercies, you forget the trying of your faith. You are troubled and have no faith, then you cry to Him and He relieves you, for He is full of tender mercy. You may awake Him as the disciples did when they cried, "Lord, save us", (Matthew 8:25) but then you lose His power, which would have sustained you in the trial.

'O child, my heart's beloved! sweet to me
As psaltery and as psalm
The voice of him, who on the midnight sea
Can praise through storm and calm'.


I do not think it necessary for a christian to suffer bereavements in order to learn sorrow. It is true that bereavement gives a very positive impression to the soul; but I am sure if our consciences were more exercised, the daily failures and small incongruities of

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life would greatly solemnise and impart to us a holier depression than any amount of personal grief. There is nothing more important than to mark how differently things look according to the light they are seen in. If we were to walk in the 'beam of light', how we should judge and feel about everything down here!

I was cheered today in seeing that the light of the glory (Mark 9) concentrated the vision on the Lord. And I think that is the light that enables us to see "every man clearly". The light that shows Him will show every other in his true place.

How the Lord was disappointed in the fig-tree, which illustrates that nature could never meet His expectations; but God will! "Have faith in God", and whatever you desire, if you believe you shall have!


2 Peter 1:4

The exceeding great, precious promises are given through "glory and virtue", the former the consummation, the latter the habit of soul in which we are progressing thereto.

All the promises are fulfilled, either in the glory or in the energy of life leading us thereto. It is evident then, that in proportion to the virtue, or energy of life now, so is the conscious apprehension or entrance into the consummation or the glory, but it is from realisation of the glory that there is vigour and inclination to act down here with reference to it. The root must be in the glory, on this principle, they that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God; (Psalm 92:13) If divine life in me, though rooted in Christ in glory, is not manifesting its abilities, developing the divine nature in me down here, it is plain that I cannot be realising the vigour and gain of my roots being in glory. I am not sensible of their

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living there. Whereas if the energy of life is constant and consistent to itself in manifestation here, there must be a daily deepening conviction of my grasp and portion in the glory. Elijah manifested much energy of life the last day before he was taken up. Thus an abundant entrance was ministered to him. So with Stephen the "virtue" was most vigorous, and surely the entrance was most abundant. So with Paul, "I am now ready to be offered .. . I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course .. . henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness". (2 Timothy 4: 6 - 8) The more the vigour of that life down here, the easier and the brighter the transit; for it is only the one and selfsame life in different regions. The products of virtue assure the soul of three great blessings first, not barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord; second, election sure; third, abundant entrance into His kingdom and glory.


I have been contemplating the earth as formed by the Son, and man on it, as the reflex of God. Everything in it boundless and various, a correlative to the mind of God. The creation as a whole expressed God, and for a moment the one vast whole in daily worship offered incense unto Him, was very good.

Then sin entered, and overcast all like a funeral pall; constructively it seized the whole globe as an atmosphere, or rather, man breathing the impure atmosphere grew into a consolidated confederated mass which is the world. Now the blessed Son of God comes into this world, into this scene where all is against God, though once expressive of Him and for Him, to remove this incubus, this hindrance to the full expression of the heart of God. He comes in as

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the weakest, as in infancy, bears up against, and repels the whole course of it. He will do two things: He will manifest the Father on earth; He will make the Father known where He is not known. And He will bear the judgment on all, destroying the works of the devil, in order that the love of God may have liberty, in righteousness, to reach unto man. He encounters it all, He removes it all, in order that God, in the fulness of His own love, may reassume in satisfaction the whole creation. Thus the Son, who made it at first to fulfil His pleasure, now by His own blessed self sets all to rights again, and establishes every work of God in new and eternal blessing before Him. Every hindrance to the love of God being removed, God introduces, according to the delight of His love, everything into the brightness and blessedness of His own glory, the church being the vessel of it to the earth.


The word connects us with the Lord. It is wonderful, when we reflect on it, that our minds should be influenced by and made to comprehend the mind and counsel of our God; and all His word is connecting us with His Son, a Man in heaven, not connecting us with the mere destiny of man or of nations, but all rolled round, and rolling us, if I may so say, round this blessed One, the Lord of life and power. The Scriptures give us the judgment of God regarding everything in relation to His Son, and as the word abides in us we are able to meet and overcome everything in this judgment - you know your own proper course and also the true course of everything. A spiritual man "judgeth all things". (1 Corinthians 2:15) I think it is a great matter to connect the Lord with the Scriptures - souls lose much when they separate them in any degree. I believe the Lord's way with the two disciples going

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to Emmaus is often His merciful way with ourselves. He is near us, and we see Him. Sad perchance like them, He opens the word to us, connecting all with Himself. What a moment of deep education! and then at length leading us to a full recognition of Himself in that which typified His death. I do not say the Lord's supper, I merely trace this interesting scene to mark the manner of His ministry to ourselves. He is on the other side of the grave, but He is filling the mind and heart with Himself. He educates the soul first with the word and then draws on their feelings, and responds to them in making Himself known to them. This is very striking, the word is the groundwork in their souls, that Christ must have suffered and gone to glory; but this being laid, and laid by the master hand, so that their hearts burned within them, He now makes Himself personally known to them in that which symbolised His death, because His death declared the nature and quality of His love. The living Christ conducted them to where the "weeds were wrapped about my head", (Jonah 2:5) in order to convey to their souls the love of the heart of the living Christ. It is quite a different thing to emerge from the grave to glory, to what it is to descend with my living Lord into the bars of the grave, and to obtain from Him an idea of the heart of Him who lay there, having gone under judgment for me, not merely now to occupy me with this one act, inconceivably great as it was, but to teach me the heart of the blessed One who did it. Our feeling may be too much confined to mere acts, and thus lose the deeper blessing of being rooted and grounded in love, and thus comprehending "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge". (Ephesians 3:19)


In John 6 I get the Person of Christ satisfying the whole soul of man; therefore we abide in Him and

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He in us. In chapter 7 the Spirit; chapter 8, light in the conscience; chapter 9, light in the understanding; but as to chapter 17 my thoughts are these that the prayer was answered; and is being answered after a fashion. It was an earthly expression, the unity contemplated there. Was it, or was it not? If earthly, there must be a part of the earth as the theatre of it, and so there was. Jerusalem for one short moment was the scene of this visible unity, but earth being lost, the sort of unity here contemplated as visible ceases, and necessarily so; for to be visible it must be material and not spiritual. When the unity became only spiritual, it was not less unity, but morally greater, inasmuch as spirit always exceeds matter, and here the Spirit was the Holy Spirit. No doubt that for a moment He was demonstrating this unity by men's acts; but the scene of it - Jerusalem - being lost, the moral unity is not lost, it could not be lost, but it is no longer visible on earth. I believe it is from not seeing this that such confusion has arisen among brethren as to visible unity. Spiritual unity is not visible to man - material unity is. The unity enjoined in this passage could not exist but by the Holy Spirit. But its display in the 'lighting up before death' of the earthly dispensation at Jerusalem, like the breaking of a new day upon a dark night, was only a sample of what the world will yet see, namely, the fullest and most perfectly organised material unity of the whole household of faith; but from a new heaven to a new earth. Peace and contentment be with you - the habit is a good one.


When we know what Christ is for us as above everything on this side Canaan we are delivered from sin and death, in which are comprised all the misery and cause of misery down here. But when we

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dwell on what He is for us on the Canaan side, the effect of our knowing Him in heaven is twofold - one is that because He is in heaven we have a place in heaven, and this makes us strangers here; the other is that we are expecting not only to be in the place where He is, but that we are to have bodies suited to that place. In John 14 the Lord tells us what a true heart most needs; that He is not leaving us alone in misery and He Himself getting out of it, but that He is going to prepare a place for us, that we may be with Him where He is. In Ephesians 2 I find how I am to reach that place now in spirit because I am quickened together with Him, hence my conversation is in heaven. As I realise this I am first relieved from the misery here (John 14), and next I am in strength here because of it; and thirdly, I endure provocation and loss here because I have in heaven an enduring substance; Hebrews 10.

It is my heart that leads me out of this place in John. My life does so in Ephesians, and my losses in Hebrews. It is that which essentially makes one a stranger here - this is not my place. Daniel had no heavenly place, he uses what he can lay his hand on because the earth was his place, and he sighed truly and divinely after Jerusalem. But one may be a stranger here, and have the feeling of a stranger, and yet not be apart from selfishness down here; hence the importance of the other truth - our conversation is in heaven - and I look for the Lord Jesus Christ to change my vile body like unto His own body of glory. Now this has a wonderful effect. I feel I am not only a stranger for having a place in heaven, but I shall have a glorious body, a resurrection body; the effect of this is to make me superior to the many wants and infirmities of my body, and not only this, but to make me 'chaste' from the world. I might be a stranger, as I should be in Turkey, and yet put up at the best hotel, take the best care of myself. Now if I

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am really expecting to have a glorious body, I am enjoying the power of resurrection in myself and carrying my bed, an illustration of the practical power of resurrection, and I am purified or "chaste" from this evil world. I connect my body with another, and the highest order of things. The Lord lead us more into it.


We cannot but conclude that the Lord in complying with His disciples' request - "Teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1) - did so with full consideration of their state of intelligence at the time, and therefore the prayer was in accordance with that state; so that we may understand their state from the prayer which the Lord taught them. If suitable for their state at that time, before the death of Christ, and before the gift of the Holy Spirit, it must be evident that it could not be suitable after they had known the blessings of redemption and their union with the risen Christ. In this prayer there is a knowledge of the Father, because Christ was declaring Him on earth, but His will had not been yet done. Christ came to do His will, and now He has done it; so that we could not now pray for it to be done though it was right for the disciples to pray that it might be done. Besides, there is no knowledge of forgiveness of sins; it is looking for forgiveness on the ground of work rather than rejoicing in it. It is a prayer regarding man in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. Christ and the Spirit are in no way referred to in this prayer, and this is consistent, for Christ had not yet finished His work, and therefore does not lead their souls into it, and as the Holy Spirit had not come He finds no place in it. The prayer suited the disciples, and shows us where they were. If a soul now goes back to their state, then the prayer will suit it; but the soul using

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it intelligently must feel that he has neither forgiveness of sins nor the life of Christ, in which through the Spirit he is free from the law of sin and death. Instead of growing up into Christ and reaching unto 'perfection', this prayer is to get daily bread, to escape from temptation, and for deliverance from evil - all necessary in their place, but not occupying the soul with the higher subjects of christianity. And if these, in a word, if christianity, had a place in their prayer, it would manifestly have been unsuited to the disciples; and inasmuch as christianity is left out, it cannot be a prayer suitable for christians. True prayer is the desire of my heart corresponding to God's desires for me; those desires finding expression in my soul, and I looking unto God to accomplish them.

I might use the prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10), but I could not say that it was a model prayer for christians.


I was speaking on Sunday on the passage, Mark 10 - the young man following the Lord; concluding with our Lord's answer to Peter. I was pressing two things that no one who has anything here to trust in, however anxious he may be to do so, really trusts in Christ so as to follow Him, really able to say, 'I long to depart and be with Him'. Riches and everything else must be found to be a "husk", as the prodigal found, and then he found the open door to the father's house. God will not take me while I have any regrets. But He will take me when He finds that I cannot delight in anything but Himself. This is His grace, to receive me when I have exhausted every human resource. I have thus in reality sold all. If one longs to depart and be with Christ, one has not resource in riches or in anything here. But another truth - everything that I surrender for the sake of Christ, for the

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sake of following Him, will be returned to me by Him a hundredfold, so that in fact I lose nothing by giving up for the Lord, but the contrary! Tell me what you have as a christian, the affection of brethren, acceptance or anything else, and then deducting ninety-nine parts from it will give me the amount you would have had had you not followed Christ, though with His gifts there be persecution.

I am sure, for instance, that I have more love from the saints than I ever surrendered by following the Lord.


There is a difference between exercise of soul and self-occupation. With the reception of every gift of God to me, that is everything proposed by Him as His mind and way for me, as set forth in Scripture, there is the sense that I have received from Him; light has come in about it. I see my position, standing, gain and walk in accordance with it. I am exercised as to the maintenance and enjoyment of these as conferred and appointed of God. It is exercise to comprehend and maintain what He confers and calls me to. I am pressing on to the measure revealed to me in His word; I do not wait to see how far I have reached to the measure, but I keep nothing else before me. It is the greatness of the measure, the height of it, which is ever before me in my exercise, and, as a high mountain, which appears inaccessible when I am at a great distance from it, becomes greater and higher and apparently unreachable as I get to its base, so is the divine measure. As I am exercised to reach up to it, I am like the child who surveys with delight his father's height, and in his efforts or exercise to reach up to it, jumps on to the table that he may for a moment in a supposititious way reach it! He is

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evidently occupied with the measure he desires to attain to; he has the measure before him. It is in fact the way every one learns - you see something done or attained, and then you labour to reach it. The head copy line is the best copper plate, and the young student labours, is exercised, to write as well as the head line. As he tries, he finds that there is a measure of skill in him, and the more he tries or is exercised the more is the skill developed. If he were to say, I see the head line, it is easily done, and never attempt to write it, he would have no exercise, and I need hardly say, he would never know how to write! On the contrary, it is the one who has taken the most pains (taking into account his natural skill) who writes best. With the saint there is the new nature, the skill; but it is a creature and needs development. The head line is Christ, I must be occupied with Him to be like Him. I make a great many attempts, like children at the head line of their copy-books, but I am not occupied with any line except the head line, and the nearer I come, after repeated exercise, to the symmetry and perfection of the head line, the more I see the perfectness of its execution; and the more does my eye rest on it as unparalleled and unique. Now it is plain that if there be no exercise, there is really no pressing on, no real delight in the standard, and no sense of the responsibility to be like the head line, or to do things in the symmetry and order in which Christ does them. Exercise takes place always because of the standard and the desire and labour to reach to it; and hence the occupation is with, and the eye is on, the standard. But with self-occupation the eye is on oneself. The child that is self-occupied sits in the corner pining and whining that he is not as tall as his father. The young student is always saying that it is no good for him to write, that he never will be able, he sees he is very far away from the head line, but instead of being occupied with it and devoting

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himself to attain to it, he watches his own performance in order to derive comfort and pleasure from what he is in himself. Thus would it be for a christian who looks at himself instead of seeing simply that he possesses in Christ what is altogether beautiful and perfect; and that He is his delight always, and not any likeness to Him that through grace may be produced in himself. Surely the exercised one values every likeness to Christ in himself, not so much that it is in himself as that it is of Christ, on whom the eye of the true heart always rests; and nothing short of it could satisfy him; whereas progress satisfies the self-occupied one. The soul that is without exercise has not his eye on Christ. Paul sees the mark, Christ in glory, and he presses towards it, he forgets the things which are behind - take him on earth or going to glory - the measure is Christ; the head line is the one thing before his mind, on earth that he might die like Him; in glory, that he might be with Him and enjoy the prize. The rationalistic mind has no exercises, the ritualistic mind is self-occupied.


The real good in any ministry is in the measure in which it feeds the heart with Christ. He is the Sun, not only to give light and heat, but according to the growth, according to the surface presented to Him, so is there more conferred. As there is growth there is more capacity to take Him in, and this is increased as the heart is occupied with Him. The order is first 'won'; this deepens as the heart learns His love in humiliation, He "loved me, and gave himself for me". (Galatians 2:20) Second, 'satisfied', because you are in association with Him where He is. The heart that is captivated by an object could never be at rest until it was with the one who had won it; for satisfaction you must be

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where He is, there is no company otherwise. The first desire of a true heart, as in Luke 7, is to seek the presence of the Saviour - to be in personal nearness to Him. In the Canticles we find that whenever He is presented all is bright, but though there is true affection, and often deep delight, there cannot be satisfaction of heart until there is assured association and union. But when there is satisfaction, there comes a new occupation. All before related chiefly to oneself; but when the heart is satisfied, the occupation will be studying Him, and seeking to be suitable to Him. The loss is that many try to be suitable to Him, in order to satisfy their own hearts; then there is a legality about it, and it bears the mark of seeking to make oneself the object rather than another. Now when the heart is satisfied, it sits before the Lord and studies His mind, and adopts habits and ways, and enters on work just as it will please Him. All the previous activities of the heart are increased by each new one; that is, I feel the more won by Christ when I am satisfied by Him, and as I study Him, I am more won and more satisfied. And then, as I am suitable to Him, I have sanctification in His company. "For their sakes I sanctify myself". (John 17:19) As I am sanctified I am "furnished" (2 Timothy 3:17), and it is the adorned one that is only qualified to be the serving one. "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her", (Proverbs 31:11) is the principle of the serving one, and as he is more won, more satisfied, more suitable, so is he more serving. The action of love is always to seek the company, the presence of the loved one, as Jonathan to David, and to express the love by making little of oneself. The answer to the sinner is, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace" (Luke 7:50); this is the confirmation given to the sinner at his first personal acquaintance with the Saviour. The saint has that love deepened, and as he is led on to association and union, he is satisfied. Love really does not think of anyone but its Object until it

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is quite sure of its place with Him, and then when at rest about itself it studies the mind and heart of the Object. I find that Christ loved me, and gave Himself for me when I was in a most unattractive state; but He makes me suitable to Himself, and I am so assured of the permanency of His love and of my association with Him that my heart is free to study Him. The more I am in His company, the more I acquire the tastes and habits which answer to His mind.


Galatians 4:19 - 31. How simple it is if we accept the course of the Spirit! In the festive day Isaac got his right place, and the rival was found to be an intruder. I believe the practical difficulty with us all is to displace the man. Everyone likes to acquire what is good, and to be advancing in the good; but no one likes to exchange himself for another. The old man, his tastes, abilities, etc., all have to go, and the new man to come in in his place; not Adam in any form or quality, but Christ living in me. How blessed! We shall only know one another in the new man by-and-by.

It comes out to me more and more, the entire newness of the man in Christ. I think we have had but a very small idea of the great difference between the earthly man and the heavenly, and here, I am sure, all our difficulties arise. I find here, and indeed everywhere, there is not a faint idea of changing from Adam to Christ, and consequently there is little or no conception of the spiritual magnitude of His house "where thine honour dwelleth".


The Spirit of God always makes Christ His object, but His service is to man. If you make man your object, however much you may assume to acknowledge

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God or to do Him honour, you are not in the mind of the Spirit, for God's Spirit must glorify God first and foremost. He must uphold what alone is best.

The first temptation of Satan's was that man should make himself an object, by thinking how he could advance himself instead of obeying God and honouring His word. Therefore my question touching every demand made on me is 'Does it make God my object or man?' If God is my object, then His word and revelation - as He has made it known - is the subject impressed and solely adhered to. The highest blessing for man is to know God. The Spirit of God makes Him known and maintains the truth already declared. He blesses and saves man by revealing God, and God cannot be revealed without being glorified. The moment anyone commends a thing to me on the ground of the benefit which it will be to myself, even connecting it with the promise of making me more devoted to God, I have to reject it, because it is making my benefit my object and not God's glory.

Secondly, the Spirit of God, in every age and dispensation, abides by and insists on the revelation made; "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them", saith Isaiah, (Isaiah 8:20) when alluding to the false spirits in his day. The revelation given is the burden of the Spirit of God's teaching at all times, for He seeks to make known God.

The apostle John clearly apprehends the incursion of false spirits, and therefore gives a simple and distinct rule for testing them - every spirit, he writes, that confesseth not Jesus Christ come in flesh, is not of God. When flesh ceased to be under demand from God, the judgment of it having been borne by the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, the rule of the Spirit alone obtained place. That which was born of the Spirit was spirit. Every man in Christ Jesus was a

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new creation, and to be carnally minded, or minded in the flesh, was death; to be spiritually minded, life and peace. Now when the manner and means of all God's ways with us would be spiritual, it was to be expected that Satan, in his opposition, would try to contravene and to subvert the Spirit of God by imitating Him. Hence we read of many false prophets gone out into the world, from whose corrupting influences we can only be preserved by this one simple test: the confession of Jesus Christ come in flesh is the fullest revelation given of God, therefore the Holy Spirit maintains it jealously, and in so doing observes a line on which no imitation can enter. It is now, so to speak, a spiritual reign; man as man is set aside, but the testimony of the Spirit is of a Man in glory, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. Far from being occupied with improving man, His work is to develop in the souls of the saints the reality and expression of the last Adam. The only Man now before God is the One to whom all the saints will be conformed. For this we wait, for it is when we see Him that we shall be like Him; but before the eye of God as to His pleasure and blessing we are in Him now, as the Head of the new creation, the only Man that is recognised by God. Now the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit is to testify and to concentrate all testimony into this one great fact - as to Christ - and this work cannot be imitated by any other; because it is a truth which thoroughly sets aside man in nature, with his hopes and tastes and will. Therefore the world cannot bear this doctrine, the world will listen to any other truth but this, any other may be propounded by the false prophets, because all other truth may be so presented and adopted for the improvement and benefit of man.

But the testimony of the Holy Spirit that the rejected Christ now in glory is the Man in whom all God's purposes are centred - every vestige of the first

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man being swept away in judgment, is a line on which no imitation can enter, and which can only be maintained by the Spirit of God.


Since the rejection of Christ and His sitting down in glory, this whole world is proved to be unproductive of anything for the christian as such. During His life on earth, it was made to yield something under His hand, their wants and infirmities were met by Him. But since His rejection and His sitting down at God's right hand, a new scene of blessing is made known where He is, and in 2 Corinthians 12 the man in Christ is there with Him. I find now I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Him, and if I have all these, I am, of course, not to expect to find any here. This is quite a new and difficult lesson for the saint to learn, for if I can find no spiritual blessing here, this world must be spiritually a desert to me, and as true spiritual blessing is known to my soul I must accept this, that there is nothing of that order to be found down here, but that all is in heaven; this, in a very peculiar and distinct way, diverts the soul from this scene and turns it to heaven. With an Old Testament saint there was the power of God to produce from things here an expression of His thoughts and love for His people such as they could appreciate; now that expression of His love is made in heaven. It is all for acceptance on our part, and our enjoyment depends on the extent of our acceptance of it; there we are furnished, as Paul was, with strength and joy outside all of earth or of man; but down here he found everything the reverse. To come from heaven with power acquired in getting there (see Joshua 3:10) is the preliminary to being able to walk worthy of the vocation. Stephen saw it, and he could surmount

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everything here triumphantly, even death, and pass out of this scene a victor. But in Ephesians you have to remain down here, and to walk as a victor over every kind of force and down to the smallest detail of daily life! The Lord is absent, but He is above everything here. We should feel His absence, but we should walk in His power above everything in this world.


I pray that each one may be made to know, according to his need, what it is to be made to lie down in green pastures, and led beside still waters, It is the thing which tries us, in mind, or body, or estate, which we must first surmount in the power of Christ. There is no power for anything until His power is effective where it is most needed, and where it is most needed there it must act first.

Many earnest souls do not progress because they are seeking to enjoy Christ while they are not subject to Him where they need Him most. Like one who says, 'I want to have my room very warm', and at the same time insists on keeping his head out of the window, saying, 'I like to enjoy heat, but I will not allow my head to partake of it', not knowing that, as the heat increases, the head becomes especially addressed! The fact is that grace, like all the great agents of His mercy, such as light and heat, always directs itself first to our greatest need, and if that need has not been affected by grace, we may be sure that we are not in the healthy enjoyment of grace. I believe earnest souls are often detained here; they would like grace to minister to them in everything except in the trial which rules them; they are under the bondage of their own feelings as to it, and grace will do nothing for them while they are slaves to a foreign potentate! Grace loves those who utterly and entirely refuse to

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endure any bondage to any feeling or trial in mind or body or estate.

The more one is with Christ the less one's own failure occupies one. How graciously God has dealt with us! I feel I cannot praise too much for His goodness in giving my soul such rest in Himself. May we each know more of it! To be a free man and only Christ's servant is a wonderful mercy. How little we take into account the peculiar fact of being another man's servant!


The interesting thing in each day is the particular impression which the Lord makes on us - call it manna or what you will. He presents Himself to any one near Him in the way in which you will require Him for the day. I do not mean for the whole day, but for that which characterises the day. In a special way to Moses the bush burned with fire, but the bush was not consumed; and to Joshua a man with a drawn sword in his hand. It is His provision before the demand; some look for this from reading the Scriptures. I believe that one near the Lord would be specially impressed by Him, and at the time one could not tell why it was so, but you would find afterwards that it was of benefit to you, though you might not at the moment even remember it. I mean that if the Lord occupies your heart in some distinct way, this is more to Him and to you than anything you may do. There is a great difference between the way I find Him in the work and the way I find Him to myself. Stephen saw Jesus and the glory, but he spoke of that to the Jews as, "I behold.. . the Son of man standing at the right hand of God". (Acts 7:56) One thought about Christ Himself is ever helpful, If it rains, or I am lame, I can stay at home and enjoy Him fully. If it clears, and I

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am strong, I go to work with the feeling that His fruit is sweet to my taste, and His banner over me is love. His fruit is much better than any of mine, though glad that He seeks fruit from me.

I may seek Christ for my daily difficulties and my walk here, that is manna. I may have manna without the old corn of the land, but I could not have the latter without the former, and when I am eating of the old corn, I am beyond man's need, I am testifying of the heavenly Man, the highest service I can render.


I have been interested in seeing the difference between learning the Lord from the Scriptures and learning Him by being in His presence. The better we know Him in the latter the better we should comprehend Him in the former. You might know much of a person from hearing or reading of him, but if you had known him personally, how everything you heard or read of him would interest you! "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste". (Song of Songs 2:3) It is there you are transformed, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18. I believe there may be much faithfulness without personal acquaintance with Himself, as you see in the blind man; John 9. The one great secret of blessing is to keep your eye on Christ in glory - not on your duties, or your service, but on Himself. The sailor when asked how he got on in bad weather, replied, 'I do not mind what weather I get if I can see the sun!'


I enjoyed the thought that we might respond to the desires of the Lord's heart in asking us to remember Him in His death. I think communion in

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1 Corinthians is not partaking, but association. The Lord was going away; the night in which He is betrayed He calls His loved ones around Him and says, Eat this bread and drink this cup in remembrance of Me; find it happy and strengthening to your hearts to identify yourselves with Me in My death for you here; get into company with Me, not for sorrow but for life, as "eating" in John 6 indicates; the true heart finding its happiness and strength (food) in being identified on earth with Him in His last terrible service for us here. This is communion with His blood. It is to me a cup of blessing, of untold blessing. In calling Him to remembrance in His death, I place myself in company with Him there, I am engrossed with Him, and while abounding in thanksgiving because of my gain from His death, and the sense of all that He is so before me, I find and feel that no other place in this scene so suits my heart as that which sets me in identification and association with Him at the moment when He is pre-eminently before me.

I enjoyed the meeting or rather the place of meeting, feeling how near we were to the Lord, how enough He is for our hearts, how His presence refuses everything that is unfit for Him, and yet how perfectly happy, lacking nothing, we are there.

I said my desire for each one was that in His presence we might have deeper memories of His death. I feel that as we are to go out of this world in Christ's death, we ought to be identifying ourselves with it here. I spoke on enjoying His presence individually and collectively - the greatness of it. We should seek it, for by His presence alone can our information be moulded and effective, otherwise the truth has little power, it is like so much ore without a model for it.

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My subject this evening is the Spirit, the Holy Spirit come down here in consequence of Christ being glorified. He is here to fill up the blank of Christ's absence. The very thought of this is all-absorbing and interesting. He is in us and with us; sent by the Father in Christ's name, sent by Christ, proceeding from the Father to "testify of me", to dwell in the house, to form the body of Christ and to be to us individually life and relationship, power over the world, the flesh and the devil. Character, fruit of the Spirit, knowledge to reveal and expound, help and comfort, interceding in us. Satisfying our hearts as to association with Christ. Opening the heavenly door, feasting us with things above, so that out of us shall flow rivers of living water. We are in His fellowship, and He is the only One who can lead on the bride. The Lord fill our hearts with the vastness of the fact of the Spirit's presence on the earth.

I find I often see a beautiful thing, but I have to put the question to myself, Am I there in faith? We have no power beyond our faith.


I spoke from Genesis 12, the divine path. I feel that saints suffer very great loss from not being duly sensible of the course of life for which they are responsible and bound to maintain. The youngest christian should be made aware of the path to which he is called, and that it is the only one where he can be righteous or blessed. As Abram kept to the path he was greatly blessed. It depresses one at times to notice the little progress there is in things unseen. It requires a good growth in the new man to make much inroad on the old. The Lord give us to have more concert with Himself as to our path and as to

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His interests in this world. What an amazing thing to share in any measure His thoughts! Even a humble servant who is near the sovereign knows more about him than the greatest noble who was never near him. May this great favour abound to us!

The old man cannot go into the new place and therefore there has been always great reluctance to enter on the new place. You must be in new clothes for the new home.


We learn more and more daily that the Lord is necessary to us. Christ is our life, but we lose much if we limit Him only to our need of Him down here. Our need draws us to Him; we cannot do without Him if we would live to His pleasure - but the greatest gain is when we are so relieved by Him from our own things that we can give our attention freely to His concerns; to be in concert with Him. This latter is communion with Him, the former His sympathy with us. The former acquaints us with His grace to us under our pressure and helps us out of the pressure, for He who sympathises with us is out of it - but He has been sensibly in it, and He helps us out of it that we may join Him in His own interests, and this is the fellowship or communion to which we are called.

Oh, how much we lose in being engrossed with our own interests instead of His!

We love the Lord first for His services (she loved much because she was forgiven much). Then, when His love is perfected with us, we love for His love, that is for Himself; and then His company is the one desire of our hearts. In this love we keep His commandments, that is, His will is our will. We are controlled by Him.

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When we are in any measure dependent on the Lord we are cheered on by His gracious care and foresight for us, which we should not have noticed if we had not been dependent on Him. He helps us out of our infirmities that we may be in company with Him in the holy place. We are sometimes satisfied with His help down here, but He helps us in order that He may lift us up to where He is Himself. He was down here in our circumstances, He can and does help us through them, but He desires to have us in company with Himself outside them. Peter in Matthew 14 desired to be with Him, and the Lord said to him, "Come", that is His word now to us, as in Song of Songs 2:10.

Because of my infirmity I require His grace and mercy where I am . He is able to help me for He was once here; but He is above everything now and He would have me to know Him where there are no winds and waves and to enjoy Him there. May each of us answer to His love more and more as we apprehend by the Spirit what it is to be with Him where He is, and to set our affections there!


I am sure the more separate we are from the world and worldly ties the more we find in christians, and thus we are compensated in a manifold degree. It is an immense thing to be forming ties of eternal friendship here where everything is so fleeting; any nearness we have to the Lord now we shall retain for ever, and the divine link we have with one another we shall retain for ever. Nothing of Christ is or can be lost. I sometimes feel how little we cultivate, like the husbandman, for the future. The more I dwell on the calling of a christian the more wonderful it is to

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me. To live Christ here instead of Adam. The Holy Spirit in me connecting me with Christ gone to the Father. When I look to God's side this is ever true and as walking down here He leads me to walk as He walked. How this expands as we contemplate it! Christ my life where He is with the Father - and His grace enabling me to act here as He acted, until the journey is over, and then I shall be unhinderedly in His life. May we press on more to it!


The subject before me at present is worship. I think and feel that there is a great lack of worship, even when we are very happy in our place and portion in Christ; doubtless this is the first thing, to know the fulness of our portion in Him. How He fills us, through His love which passeth knowledge, with all the fulness of God. The vessel filled has no room for any more. This is the true satiety which a soul finds in Christ, and which is elementary in John 4, as the well springing up unto everlasting life. But there is beyond this a sense of adoration occupying the soul with regard to God, who is now made known to us. There is the ready ascribing all honour and glory to Him; there is: "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name!" (Psalm 29:2) The profound greatness and goodness of God, made known to us in His Son, comes before us and engages our hearts, and we worship.

We feel our hearts detained by Him who entirely, worthily, and deservedly controls them, and therefore demands it of us. It is not worship while we are recipients, though in the worship the portion received and also the sense of our place with God is intensified. But we do not worship in order to receive; we have received before we worship. We are filled into His fulness, and now it is, "Unto him be glory in the church .. . throughout all ages". (Ephesians 3:21)

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What is so interesting to me to see is the juncture at which worship begins and the character of it. It may spring up at the most ordinary blessing, provided your soul has drunk so deeply of it that self is lost sight of in it and therefore God in Himself comes before you. See David (1 Chronicles 29) all things being ready for the temple which typified what we are. Again - the angels in announcing the birth of Christ - "Glory to God in the highest!" (Luke 2:14) God commanded their adoration at the moment, though their adoration can never reach the depth and tenderness of ours, simply because we know more of His heart; and the worship must always be the deeper, according as the Object of it is known. Paul at the end of Romans 11 surveys the wisdom of the counsels of God. In Galatians 1:5 he worships again, when recounting the reach and purpose of the gospel; in Philippians 2:11 in stating the full elevation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in chapter 4, where he apprehends how God can supply all the need of the saints. Again, 1 Timothy 1:17, when he has detailed the grace of God in the gospel; as in chapter 6, when he alludes to Christ's appearing; in Hebrews 13, when he has gone over the keeping of God respecting us in this world.

In the Apocalypse you get it fully; for then there is no need, there is no waiting to be filled first. There is ever a readiness to worship and even now I think we know in ourselves, feebly no doubt, how the soul is carried up to bow down and adore God as He is made known apart from and beyond the very blessedness which one needs; the blessedness is enjoyed, and the heart passes its engagements to Another outside itself, and this One is God! He worthily and duly claims this adoration from us, because He has made known His heart to us, and called us into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. In worship, God is our occupation, and this is very different from what the highest blessings can confer.

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We have at one and the same moment the most perfect acceptance in Christ, and by Christ the most absolute judicial removal of the man under judgment. The great thing for us to learn and to maintain is, that we have the life that was "manifested". It is peculiar to the church, as the meat-offering was to the priestly family. The better we adhere to that which is special to the church, the body of Christ, the easier it will be for us to arrive at the order of life belonging to the other saints. The effort of the enemy is to merge all in one, in order to neutralise the speciality of the church. Satan will let a man do anything which will divert minds from this great truth, that Christ's body is on the earth. A man might preach or do anything good if he would only not insist on that great fact, that Christ's body is here in the scene of His rejection. This is the great testimony now, that God has so honoured Him in the place where man, through Satan, refused Him, and the tendency ever is to depart from it in principle and in practice.


In Psalm 73 we see the effect of going into the sanctuary for oneself individually, and John 20:19 the effect of being collectively in assembly in Christ's presence. We must know the individual thing before we can enjoy the collective. I have been interested in seeing that "the Christ", used so much in the epistle to the Ephesians, takes in the whole of Him, "the body" as well as "the head". What rest to the heart exalted to such close relationship to know that we have His life and nature! How could we bear to be so near Him if we had not? We should be always ill at ease in the sense of our great disparity.

I fear we very imperfectly apprehend how the

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church, as a whole, is in the eye of Christ. He has not swerved from His place in it for those who seek Him, but His authority and rights are so ignored generally that there is no safety nor escape but in association with Himself We must get beyond 2 Timothy 2; now we are in 2 Timothy 3. As we cleave to Him and learn His heart to us we find a door opened, and as we overcome we are so in heart drawn to Him that, led by the Spirit, we say, "Come". It is for His coming we are set, and not for the candlestick to be restored. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" It is interesting to see how the Lord will be received at the close. Every close was marked by a greater manifestation of God, but less of man, even instrumentally. We trace this in Jacob, in Samuel, Simeon and the woman who cast in all that she had, and in Stephen. But what is lacking in us is the separation which is connected with the enjoyment of the privileges of a man in Christ, and the consequent sensibility which would mark us here, in keeping with that separation. If it is only Christ up there, necessarily only Christ down here would be the desire of the renewed heart. I have still to count, and to go on counting, all things but dross that I may win Christ.


As to prayer and answers to it, it is evident that answers are not limited to promises, because it is written: "Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him", (1 John 3:22) and: "if we know that he hear us .. . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him". (1 John 5:15) We must first understand that we "know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us", etc., and God "that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit". (Romans 8:26,27) Now if I know myself as a child of God,

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saying, "Abba, Father", by the Spirit of His Son, I am entitled to make known everything concerning myself to God who knows the hairs of my head. If I know that He has heard me, I know that I have the petitions that I have desired of Him. If I am spiritually led, that is, if I have the Spirit's mind - and no christian would like to get what is not the mind of the Spirit - to know that He, so to speak, gives attention to my expressed desire, then I am assured that He will comply with it. There are two conditions of soul for a christian (in adoption) which necessarily are above the condition of soul of the disciples when the words, "After this manner .. . pray ye", (Matthew 6:9) were used. At that time the Spirit had not been given to dwell in them - Jesus had not yet risen. The disciples had much to learn. But I find these two conditions of soul spoken of in the epistles: one in Philippians 4, where without any reservation I am told to make known all my requests, and having done so I am to rest in peace. My Father knows it all now from myself!

The second in John's epistle, where it is, "if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us", (1 John 5: 14,15) and if I know that He hears me, I know that I have the petition. In the first condition I knew nothing of results, but my making known my anxieties to Him has been effective in garrisoning my heart and thoughts (not mind) in surpassing peace. In the second, if I know something of God, namely, His hearing me, I know, as the consequence of that, that I have the petitions I desired.

Now one word as to not getting exactly what I think I ask for. I believe here christians remarkably fulfil that word, "we know not what we should pray for as we ought". (Romans 8:26) For instance, Paul might have asked the Lord that he might serve Him in His church more extensively than ever (when in the shipwreck), and even if he knew God heard him, would he, I

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ask, have thought that his prayer was answered by his being incarcerated at Rome? Not unless the mind of the Spirit were answered by Paul's imprisonment. He was spiritual, he would naturally have thought that extended missionary apostolic labour would be the answer. But now we know that his imprisonment led to his most extensive services to the church, reaching down to this present time, for it was during that time most of his epistles were written.

Take another case; Habakkuk 3. He prays for the revival of Jerusalem. God heard him, but if you had asked the prophet, What revival do you count on? he would have answered, A present one! But what says the Spirit of God? Your prayer is answered, but the revival will be in the day of glory! With God, when we really depend on Him about anything, instead of giving a stone for a fish He gives, if I may so say, a salmon when only a trout is asked for. He always surpasses our suggestions or conceptions when we depend on Him.

We never yet got any gift from God which we had asked Him for and waited on Him for but it exceeded our ideas. We might mourn for quails and they might be given to teach us our folly, but if we look to the Lord for anything, such as the conversion of our friends or any other desire, we shall know Him in either of the two ways I have adduced.


Numbers 6. The Nazarite undertook the vow for a certain time; when he failed before the expiration of that time, he had to begin over again. The application of this to us is that there is no account taken of our course when we have departed from the Nazarite walk. It is not that all that was of God does not

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remain and that for ever, for God says, "I remember the kindness of thy youth" (Jeremiah 2:2); but however well a

Nazarite might act after he had defiled himself, his act would not be acknowledged because he was defiled; he had not a good conscience in his act, however intrinsically good it was. He has not a right sense of God. Conscience, as it is true, must respect God according to the light given him. A saint now defiled fails to please God in any act until he returns to the spot where the failure or defilement occurred; like Abram returning to where he had the altar at first, all the interval (some count fifteen years for Abram) was lost, and in that sense he had to begin again; he had at least to begin from the point of departure.

If I become defiled by any worldly association or church fellowship, the interval which is spent under this defilement does not count, however I may serve or preach, because I have retired from a separation which I had accepted as of God, and I cannot have a good conscience in my course, however good my conduct may be. I am not in integrity before God. I must go back to where I first became defiled. Peter had to go back to the root of his failure.

If you are dependent on God about anything and seeking His help, you cut off all confidence in yourself and your own efforts and actually fast, or refuse to minister to the desire of the flesh, in order to secure His strength. When I walk in faith I am like one walking on the water. It is my own weight which sinks me. When I am self-exhausted I do not sink. But in order to be self-exhausted I must not minister to that which feeds the flesh, or which calls out its peculiar fascination. The Lord's heart never changes towards us. He does change His manner when my condition or my associations oblige Him to do so.

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There is a difference between being worldly and being earthly. The world is what man according to his ability has made of the earth. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life are of the world. But the earth, even as God made it, is not now the scene or place of the christian's blessing. Hence if you are looking to the earth for earthly blessing you are looking for blessing in the wrong place, and you are earthly, and therefore you are not led of the Spirit of God. He carries you to another place and to another range of blessing, namely, to where Christ sits! Hence it is written: "set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth". (Colossians 3:2) The pious Jew was entitled to look for blessing on the earth, in his basket and his store; but if you do so you become earthly, you are not spiritual, for you are not led by the Spirit of Christ, and James puts "earthly" as the beginning of a downward course, "earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:15)!

In the Colossians you are stated to be "dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world". (Colossians 2:20) You must be dead to the world to get to heaven even now in Spirit. Jordan - death with Christ - is the only road to heaven. You entered the wilderness through the Red Sea; you left it through Jordan. It is not the bondage of Egypt that detains us, but the natural attractiveness of earth and earthly things, the things that suit man instead of the things that suit Christ. The rival to the "heavenly things" is "earthly things", the high art of Babylon and earthly beauty divert us from what is heavenly. The harm is that we are diverted from Christ, the heavenly One, by Babylon!

Now, deliverance places me at once at home with the One who has effected it. I thank God through Jesus Christ I am delivered from Adam - out of Adam

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and in Christ, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes me free, that is deliverance. My sins are gone because of Christ's work. I have deliverance because it is no longer I, but Christ. I do not believe anyone knows deliverance until he abhors himself.


It is a great thing to be like Martha, serving the Lord, and of highest privilege to be like Lazarus, sitting at table with Him; but to be in concert with Him, as Mary was, exceeds all. Jonathan could surrender his own honour to adorn a great conqueror. But Ruth could devote herself to death to Naomi when she was desolate and poor, and all because of the love she bore to Naomi - a love not for great services rendered, as in Jonathan's case, but because of what Naomi had been to her in the day of her sorrow. If we have learned the love of Christ in the twofold way, the one purpose of our hearts must be to be in concert with Him now. I have a sort of exhilaration in the conviction that He is showing us His mind in His word. I know Him in a way that no pencil could portray. I have my own secret portrait as of One pre-eminently dear to me. My heart reverts to where He is. I know Him, but I know that He is not here, and therefore seek Him in His own place; and if my love is true, I am careful that there may not be a shade of distance between Him and me. I join Him in spirit in a place altogether suited to Himself.

Paul speaks of knowing the power of Christ, John of the ministry of Christ.

Paul of the effect to be produced, John of the ministry that would produce it.

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The great question always is, Is the Lord exclusively prominent? Is He the magnet which controls the compass? When He is, everything will be in its right place.

The sure mark that you have been enjoying Christ in glory is that then He exclusively engrossed your attention, and as you are here for Him, everything that concerns Him claims your paramount attention. I could not say whether it were right to be at C-, but being at C- I should ally myself with everything of the Lord's there; though I should avoid association with any whom I could not influence by word or deed in the line of His interests. However feeble the meeting may be I should not turn away from it, though I should from those in it that tended to make it so.

Light offers itself wherever it will be accepted. Darkness dislikes light. The light both excludes and contributes. From the Lord, for the Lord. From the glory, eating of the corn of the land, you come down here to care for and help on everything that is of Himself in this scene of darkness and shadow of death.

The more I seek Christ's interests the more He invigorates me. We too constantly confine our desires to His care for us, and do not expand into caring to be here for His pleasure.


I was speaking last evening on 2 Corinthians 4. The effect of receiving the rose graft in chapter 3 is, that there must be no bud allowed on the briar, in order that the bloom, that is the life of Jesus, may be manifested in my body. Secondly, labour in chapter 5. I said a great deal on work, that it should be work, not

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merely standing up to speak in a meeting, but real labour; like the Kohathites who had to bear the holy things on their shoulders; the others were allowed waggons. I touched on separation and poverty giving, and finally that the revelation of heavenly truth resulted in your being smaller in the eyes of men. Are we ready to accept it on these terms? The great view in 2 Corinthians is being small. Be small and everything will be in divine power.

Paul was comforted because of his sufferings on account of his faithfulness, and he can comfort them in their suffering because of their unfaithfulness. They were small and hence the comfort. The gospel of the glory of Christ is grace quite outside man. Man is unrecognised there, but Christ written in the heart; not only the assurance of salvation, but we are His epistles, the treasure in an earthen vessel. If the outer man perish (small again) the inner man is renewed. Separation is making oneself small, but it is greatly rewarded. To give, be poor; if a poor person gives, it is the greater grace - ending with chapter 12, "when I am weak, then am I strong". (2 Corinthians 12:10)

The practical effect of being heavenly is that I am in the wilderness. I am in association with Christ in heaven, and in the power of the Holy Spirit down here, walking as He walked where He is not. In 2 Corinthians 3 I get my state because of knowing Christ in glory, and in 2 Corinthians 12 my place because I am in Christ in heaven. In the power of the former I come back here to live Christ; because of the latter, according as I am exalted, I have to be little among men and thus the power of Christ rests upon me.

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"The water" tests every one. It is beautiful to see a soul so heartily following Gideon that he refuses to bow down to drink, and if he takes a momentary draught, he quickly resumes his erect position to follow him, I think the state of everything at this moment is critical. But the scene of the greatest assertion of independence of God was the place where we find the greatest expression of dependence on Him, and also of the good of it, and that was at the court of the king of Babylon. So we need only to "be of good courage". Christianity humanised is very sad. Salvation for the sinner, and holiness for the saints, both presented in a human way is painful to a degree. The closing phase of the church as to its testimony is rapidly disclosing itself. There had not been doctrinally the knowledge of Christ as "the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14) for eighteen hundred years; that is, there was no demand in the church that Christ should be "all and in all"; of course He was believed in for remission of sins, but this truth that He is the beginning of the creation of God was not known. Now it is accepted and professed, but is there anything more of Christ in the life? or any less acknowledgment of the first man? I fear the very heralds of the gospel, while holding the truth of new creation, which is Christ - accredit and sanction the old creation by introducing the human element, even boasting in it, and this is the state of Laodicea. It is remarkable that Peter in Matthew 16 had the greatest light, and yet he attempted to rebuke the Lord for the cross in which the first man would be set aside! If you accept the truth and retain the first Adam you are tending to what the Lord will spue out of His mouth!

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Occupied with getting rid of the evil in oneself is but negative - occupied with Christ and getting filled from Him would leave no place for the evil, for He would feed your heart with the entrancing delight of His presence.

When the heart has an object - and that is Christ - He is also the Object of the Spirit, and the Spirit is the power to effect what the new man desires. He will displace everything of the first Adam and put every duty and service in its right place in reference to Christ. The Lord is One, and His name One.


It is strange how unwilling we are to accept the truth that we have to live of the Spirit of God. Though in a way it is not strange, because if it is accepted there is no place for man in the flesh. If we had a true sense of the utter wretchedness of man before God, there would be a known relief in judging oneself as apart in spirit from all that one is apart from when in the Spirit. People are often looking for the results of looking, instead of being occupied with Him who effects the results. Not watching for the Lord at your right hand, but setting the Lord always before you, and then He is sure to be at your right hand.

Others are trying to imitate the actions and ways of Christ, but if their eyes were on Him they would be empowered to act as He would act if He were in their place.

If I see Him only in His walk down here, I am like one surveying a beautiful property without the sense that it is mine, for there is no title to possession except in resurrection; and there the unentitled one gets no place but the entitled One is also my title, and my power to enter on and to possess. Then I devote myself to study all the beauties and gain of the property, in

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a way only known to a possessor. The possessor expresses naturally what he is possessor of. The spectator only admires to satisfy his conscience. But one who has reached his desired object is detained and controlled, no longer restless or dissatisfied - he 'dwells', 'possesses' the object of his desire.


It is always gratifying to see those we have long known in Christ still holding on, as we say, 'braving the battle and the breeze'.

And if those past and gone were a "cloud of witnesses" to encourage us, surely the living and triumphant ones must be still more so!

Marah told the true character of the wilderness, and that they were not to be without God there. He can make the bitter water sweet, and this becomes a statute and an ordinance in Israel.

When we are troubled by any set of circumstances we look about to see how we can alter them or escape from them. But this is not the statute; the statute is that there is nothing here but Marah. But God is able, in answer to His people's cry, to convert it into sweetness and blessing.

It is a great secret to keep the eye on God; expecting nothing down here but Marah, yet confident in God to sweeten it to us. We must never be discouraged because of the nature of the wilderness, for God is with us in it; and you will find that the bitterest cup to each servant of the Lord became the sweetest in the end. The prison to Joseph, Patmos to John, Rome to Paul. From the glory came the fiery law. From the glory came Jesus, the Son of God; the one, the unbending and terrific demand of God on man; the other, the fullest expression of the love of

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God for man. But Israel, like ourselves in minor things, could not look to the end of that which is abolished.

I believe if we desire an open door, and to silence our enemies, it must be by continued faithfulness, and not by discussion and argument. An open door is promised to the one with a little strength. If he had not a little strength, what use would a door be to him? and unless he has the right qualification for entering it, why should he be allowed to enter it? Therefore be must hold fast "my word", and not deny "my name", and the effect is, the enemies shall "know that I have loved thee". (Revelation 3:9) Concession or conference with self-will never ends well, for it is respecting that which ought in limine to be ignored! Like other things, we are tested in our work, as to how much is really for the Lord, and how much for the gratification of associating with congenial minds.

It is a great thing to get the mind detained by and occupied with Scripture. The difficulty in these days is that the mind is so engrossed with one's lawful calling that it takes time to loosen it from the waggon and the rough pavements and yoke it to a balloon! Your mind is but an instrument, and in reading Scripture you often skip over the shades of meaning that are grouped together in a passage. But writing it out and meditating on it fixes the mind and occupies it. It is a great thing to get coloured with the mind of God. The mind is a servant, and you have to keep it attentive and subject, Often a person thinks he knows a truth, but if you ask him to state it he cannot, because he has been contented with the outline, or the conviction of its beauty, without labouring to master its details. Take for instance 1 Peter 3:8. What is the distinction between these five qualities?

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I think we can always count on God's compassion, and I remark that some of us derive no benefit from the trials they are passing through, because they do not look to God in them. Neither His compassion, His mercy, nor the sympathy of Christ is known by them. You see different people passing through very similar sorrows; some are hardened by them, others are mellowed and helped on. Among men we see the same thing in another way. Those who suffer without anyone feeling for them grow hard and bitter; those who meet with kindness and sympathy are softened and subdued by their sorrows.

In Psalm 107 you will remark that, though the cause for the discipline was different in each case, there was no relief until they cried unto the Lord; then their souls were looking for mercy and compassion - they are heard and they are answered!

It is always God's purpose to exalt us; if night overtakes you here, it is only a prelude to the day, so that in principle it is always the "evening" and the "morning" are the day!

I wonder we are not more in prayer, seeing what relief and deliverance we get through it; not, as I may say, from the act of praying, but I believe what is in your heart to pray about indicates what God is preparing for you. Like Daniel, when he knew the seventy weeks were fulfilled, he began to pray. I suppose the more spiritual one is, the more one would get into the intercession of the Spirit, into what He is interceding for for us.

Holiness would be the 'unvarying rule', because in discipline we must be in God's separation, in order to see with God, and to walk with Him. And the more we see this, the more we enjoy it.

What could be comparable to a scene apart from every shade of defilement, and we in it with full

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intelligence and suitability to it? You could not conceive perfect beauty apart from purity, and our power now is according to the measure of our separation.

The reason we do not attract souls is that we are not separate enough.

Genesis 26, When Isaac separated from Gerar the king followed him, for he saw that God was with him.


There are two actions of the Spirit of God in John 4 and John 7. The one making me superior to all the cravings of nature: by the other I am independent of the best contributions of the earth, which were celebrated in the feast of tabernacles. "If any one thirst, let him come to me". (John 7:37) I connect this with 2 Corinthians 3 and 2 Corinthians 4. The more I look at Jesus on earth, the more I feel my disparity. But the more I look at Christ in the glory of God, the more the disparity disappears, because the Spirit is transforming me to the same image. This is very wonderful! There is an amazing effect of beholding the Lord's glory. You may be transformed from some old taste without even feeling it; but you are transformed! and you could not tell how. It is not the process that occupies you, but you are engrossed with the Lord, and though you do not know how, you are transformed by what engrossed you. We are united to the glorified Christ where He is at home, and, blessed be God, that is our home, our life is there. Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. We come near in Christ's blessedness. This would give power. I mourn that there is so little power. "Without me ye can do nothing". (John 15:5) So little of Christ asserting His place in one, so that the old garment is rent, and "the mantle of Elijah" is adopted instead.

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There is so little power that young converts have little to encourage them. The apostles could say: We were an "ensample unto you to follow us". (2 Thessalonians 3:9) It is an immense thing when one feels distinctly that one's great work now is to give Christ every place: to determine everything by Him as if He were the last Man and the only One.


What a time that year must have been to Noah! Shut into the ark he had to find his all there, and thus set forth in type to us that one could so walk here, finding all we need in our ark! There is a double line running parallel. Paul, in the Philippians going on, "this one thing I do", (Philippians 3:13) and in the Ephesians sitting down with Christ above and out of everything. Noah preparing the ark and Noah in the ark. During the first the "groaning" would occur. The difficulty of preparing keeps one in conflict with all the elements here, and we ought not to seek to be outside of pressure, for pressure, if we are in earnest, has only the effect of making us cautious and braced up; as a man walks more carefully on a craggy rock than on a smooth road. The church - that is the saints - is our sphere to love in, but we are in a world where we are hated, and though the world is often kind it is never to be trusted. Darius sacrificed Daniel; a Judas sold our Lord. They forget everything when self-interest leads against us. But what a thing it is to accept, and how unwilling we are to accept it. How often do we seek the countenance of a worldly relative or acquaintance?

In the church is the place to set out Christ. You can only offer Him as a Saviour to the world from the door within which you are yourself. But among His people you can unfold what you know of Him. You

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require His grace in you to serve the saints; all of Him is needed and can be used there. The world hates us; it is not only against us, but it has hatred towards us. The Holy Spirit is here to testify of our absent Lord; He is with us and for us, our only Friend in that sense, but the world is against us.


A great lack in souls is that they have not seen the nature of the distance between God and the sinner. All will admit a distance, as Cain did, but until the whole distance has been removed there cannot be reconciliation. If God has removed the distance from His own side and according to His own satisfaction, having thrown open heaven - the veil rent from top to bottom - it is not man's need alone that the gospel meets, but from the other end it unfolds what is in God's heart for the sinner!

He has so removed everything inconsistent with the light that He has given full opportunity for the love.

We should be wonderfully affected by it if we accepted the fact that we are brought to God.

If we do not see how the death of Christ has judicially terminated man before God we do not enjoy what is ours. The way to do so is by dying with Christ, and this is practical severance from the man that was terminated in the cross. For practical life the great thing is liberty. By faith we are in the righteousness of God through the resurrection of Christ, and it is in the spirit of His life that we are free from the law of sin and death. There is no freedom from the bondage of the old man but in the Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. If I walk in the flesh I am not in liberty. If you live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit. In liberty I am free of the graveclothes, therefore I have to sow to the Spirit, and of the Spirit I reap life everlasting. The only

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way to get on is to follow hard. "My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me". (Psalm 63:8)

How varied are the ways in which our God and Father bringeth down and bringeth up! We have to learn the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in the bright day as well as in the sorrowful day. I often say, If He is everything to me in my brightest day there is no fear but He will be my chief joy in the day of sorrow.


It is wonderful how fuller light reveals imperfections which were unseen before, and when it is God's light it has a double action. At one and the same time it engages me with itself, while it dissociates me from that which it exposes and repels. The word is the instrument by which light comes in and it has a wondrous action, symbolised in the hands of our Lord by the washing of the feet. And we shall find that the word applied according to the Lord's mind, and as His service now, has a most peculiar and priceless action on us. It separates us from the defilement unto Him who is above all defilement; and we are longing to get into retirement that our souls may expand in the peculiarity and blessedness of this divine action.

The Lord give us to be very conscious when any shade occurs between our soul and Him! He, blessed be His name, would always remove it. Read the end of Hebrews 4. What is the difference between relief and sympathy? The Lord effects relief by His power at any distance; but to express His sympathy He must be personally near to you. It is thus He endears Himself to your heart. You learn His power as He relieves you, but you learn Himself in His sympathy.

I believe the cause of decline amongst us is to be attributed to occupation with truth without a corresponding personal intercourse with the Lord.

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The Spirit and the bride say, "Come". Many in their thoughts limit the morning star to the rapture, whereas if you were travelling by night it would awaken great delight to see the morning star, because then you would be assured that the morning had come. And though the Lord, in His tender care for His own, first gathers all to Himself in the air, yet in the heart that loves Him there is the deep joy that the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ has come! And as we are devoted to Him for this we wait. The first wave of His power is to get His own for ever in company with Himself, and he that hath this hope in Christ purifies himself as Christ is pure. We are called to have an abundant entrance into His kingdom.

I find that the one obstacle to divine progress is that there is not an honest and full practical severance from Adam to Christ. Some have satisfied themselves that they have accepted this severance by faith; others would say that they accepted it in baptism. But the truth is that it is only by the Spirit you are made free from the law of sin and death.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. It is a glorious moment when we are in this liberty. Our acceptance with God cannot be greater, it cannot be improved, and it cannot be lost. This you lay hold of by faith; but to be free from the law of sin and death is by the Spirit, and as we walk in the Spirit we are in liberty and our joy is full.


Do you not sympathise with the sentiments of the one in Luke 14 who exclaimed: "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God"? (Luke 14:15) To eat and drink where everything is under divine control, could

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anything be conceived more gratifying to the new man than that the smallest details of daily life should be carried on, not amid the strivings of men, not merely in a quietude effected by restraint of evil, but where everything is under the sway of the blessed God? This, to me, was a beautiful sentiment.

But the kingdom has not come, and hence the Lord tells us that there is a great supper, a festive time now, prior to and surpassing the millennial day. The kingdom of God will be on the earth. The great supper to which we are called is where our Saviour dwells. This earth is now a scene of turmoil and misrule. Man knows not how to rule the earth; God's Son has been rejected here, He has been received up into heaven, and the great supper is where He is, where all is of God. It is Wisdom's feast. It is the climax of the grace which has rescued the sinner. The supper is the celebration of accomplished grace, as in Luke 15, "bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry". (Luke 15:23) It is in His house, and on His side of things, which God hath ordained to our glory. It is a display which wisdom only could adjust. Eye hath not seen it, ear hath not heard it, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit. The Spirit leads our hearts through the opened heavens to the place where Jesus is, and there we feast on joys beyond the feast of tabernacles.

We enjoy our Lord in the scene that suits Him, and as the queen of Sheba was lost to everything natural to her when she saw the wisdom of Solomon, so are we, much more, when we are sharing in the great supper. Natural advantages, such as land, oxen or domestic ties, divert us from this great festivity. The Lord delights that we should taste of this great joy now. "They began to be merry"! (Luke 15:24)

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The Lord grant that each of us may answer more and better to the desires of His heart, that we should largely and continually partake of this great festivity which His grace has provided for us.


The more I see what christianity is in the mind of God, the more I feel how little we have entered into the magnitude of it. In the consecration of Aaron and his sons we get a type of the church, and the difference between the altar where the sacrifices were offered and the door of the tabernacle. The altar is, in type, where Christ died. Many believers never get beyond the altar; that is, all that Christ accomplished here for us. They are occupied with the work done for them. But at the door of the tabernacle you are not occupied about yourself at all, you appropriate the perfection and blessedness of Christ as set forth there.

There are two ministries, one is the grace of God, the other the purpose of God for His children. Alas! how few are up to His purpose. But it is inconceivable blessing to be united by His Spirit to the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. If we were answering to His purpose, we should know His love and be filled into the fulness of God. The unfailing mark of union with Christ is that all His interests here are ours in His absence. We are called like the remnant to be characterised by the brightest trait of the original, that is, fidelity to Christ. We must begin at the beginning, and learn to come to Him as the living Stone, the Son of the living God. When we find that He is the centre of everything to us His interests engage our hearts.

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Trusting in the living God, known as the giving God - what God is and is to me, is the ground of all confidence. It is in knowing Him as the giving God that I get confidence, and then the revelation of the greatest and deepest things draws my heart more to Him, and not merely to the things revealed. The things revealed do not teach me confidence, but they show me the sphere where His love sets me, in order that I may fully enjoy His love. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us, but the things are only revealed to faith. When faith wanes, like a train without an engine, there is cessation to progress; hence, as faith is active, the whole journey is run, and progress is made, But the race is never resumed where we left off. Every time we stop the whole line is to be run over again. Faith carries us over it, and as the word expands and feeds my heart, there is more rail for the faith, and I am borne into deeper explorations of what He has provided for those who love Him. When people speak of their acquisitions it is generally from memory and not faith; a sail is not enough without steam; faith is the steam, as new and great today as it ever was.

Nothing has to be made ready; everything is on view, but you can only see it by faith. There is a remarkable difference between a person who is dwelling on the light he has had in the past, and one who is walking by faith in his light for the present moment. Where the Lord leads He is Himself, and fulness of joy is there.

The cloud and the manna are now found in one Person - the One who is Chief to me.

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Ephesians 6

It is plain that we do not want the armour except in battle, and though Satan opposes and hinders all the way through, we find that he puts forth his greatest force when we come to take our place with Christ in heaven, that is with Him who is above all principality and power. We no longer wrestle with flesh and blood, our natural equals, but with wicked spirits in heavenly places.

Thus the place of our highest blessing becomes the scene of our greatest conflict. It is therefore evident that we must have accepted by faith the heavenly places as ours before we could be assailed by the wicked spirits which, in satanic malice, aim at our chief and highest blessing. You will notice all through Scripture that Satan directs his assaults against the truth that covers the most important blessing. If I see myself merely as a saved soul destined for heaven in the future - I can go in the current of things herein the domain of Satan's power, and may seek to sustain them by good works, co-operating with men in supporting the world and its system - then there is little or no resistance from Satan.

But the moment I see by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit that my place is with Christ in glory, and I in spirit take my possession there, then all Satan's force, in every shape and form, is brought to bear on me. Glory is a condition, heaven is a place, and it is the power that has put me there which alone can keep me there. If the light which has reached my soul is not connected by faith and the Spirit with Him in glory, from whom it came, I shall fall into the order of things around me down here, and I am unhappy because I am not living my true life in Christ, while possessing a nature which is divine and belonging to Him. Everything in this world ("this time") is

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conspiring to turn me aside. The same word in Ephesians 1:19 is used in Ephesians 6:10, the might of His strength - Be strong in the Lord!

Thus I am in the power of His life - the Spirit has made known to me the power of it, this is my strength.

But my security and means of preservation from Satan is by the armour. I must be girt about with truth, or Satan will trip me up. Confirmed and braced up by truth in knowledge and in heart, I must have walked righteously (the breastplate of righteousness), or I shall fear Satan. It is not here a question of my standing before God; it is practical righteousness, my conscience unsullied, not afraid of any charge which Satan can bring against me, my feet shod with peace, no element of disturbance and so on; finishing up with the word, the sword of the Spirit. That is the power by which the enemy is to be suppressed.

The armour is for preservation, but by the word which the Lord always used against Satan, the enemy is cut down and silenced. Satan would use the smallest trifles to turn my eyes from heaven, and to make my garments trail in the world, so as to make me feel that I could not belong to heaven, and this is the very thing that I must maintain, with loins girt about with the truth, for He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.


As to this earth being "in mourning", that is just what it ought to appear to us, But we ought to come into it all brightness from the scene of light and life! We ought really to expect nothing bright in a scene where we remember the Lord in His death, and yet we are all brightness and joy, because we do not belong to the earth and all our expectations are outside it.

If I walk faithfully here, it is a desert where nothing

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contributes to me, and I must refuse everything in it. I am set here as Christ's witness to 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 everything from outside this desert island. But I must resist in it!

The Old Testament saint sought and received favours in this scene. 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 there is nothing here for the faithful one - his supplies are from above, and the power of Christ to make him strong in weakness, so that a sense of weakness is actual gain Thus he is looking to bring Christ from above into his circumstances, and to know His power in his weakness, so that his enjoyment is not from this earth, but outside it with Him in heaven.

The Old Testament saint had joy from God's gifts to him - God's power made things here contribute to him. But the christian's joy is in heaven and springs from what God has given him there. He demands nothing from this world, but in the power of Christ he contributes to it, of the grace that nourishes and comforts himself outside it. Not only is my blessing in heaven, but I need Christ's power to enable me to rise above the sense of my own infirmity down here, for this world, instead of contributing to me, makes me feel my weakness and need, and that I must rise out of it to find and enjoy my blessing. The very infirmity which this evil age makes me conscious of makes me draw upon the power of Christ, as the One outside it, passed into the heavens, so that I take pleasure in the very infirmity which is exposed here, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It is a difficult lesson to accept the fact that nothing here contributes to the life of Christ in you. In Old

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Testament times the power of God made things down here contribute to His own and infirmities were removed

But now it is: "When I am weak, then am I strong"! (2 Corinthians 12:10)


In John 21 the Lord deals with Peter as to how he had failed in following Him. He was the first apostle the Lord met after His resurrection: He had seen him, He had breathed on him, had sent him forth; chapter 20. Peter had no sense of fear of Him, but he was not in communion. A person may do a great deal without being in communion, but he has not the Lord's mind as to how to act. Moses did not get the Lord's mind for forty years. You may have got out of the path, but not out of grace, and you might have a great deal of blessing, and still not be in communion, not in accordance with the Lord's mind. This chapter (John 21) shows how the Lord brings Peter into communion. If we are true to the Lord, we shall desire to be brought into it. The Lord says, "Come and dine". (John 21:12)

It is interesting to mark that Peter is not restored yet, though he had been breathed on and commissioned. You will find that the sympathy of the Lord precedes communion. He shows the interest He takes in me, before He comes to effect the removal of the thing in me which is a barrier to communion. What barred communion to Peter was self-confidence. His heart was not restored, he was off the line. If we are in communion, we are going on the line. Peter had gone fishing.

It is important to see how a man may be receiving and learning the goodness and truth of the Lord, and still not be in His mind. How do I know when I am in His mind? When I follow Him. "Come and dine" is the sympathy side. Here, the Lord says, all

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is prepared; here is the fire of coals, and fish laid thereon, and bread; why do you go fishing? If you were in concert with Me, you would see that you had a line of things of your own, and had not consulted My line, like Martha.

Communion is, I know the mind of the Lord; I am in concert with it, though I may be very far from getting into the depths of it. You may say, I have His mind so far. Then act on it. The Lord says to Peter, I must touch the thing in your heart which bars you from communion: "Lovest thou me?" (John 21:15) And then He adds the true practice of communion: "Follow me". (John 21:19) There may be devotedness without communion. Jonathan was devoted, but not in communion. Ruth was in communion: "Whither thou goest I will go". (Ruth 1:16) When I get into communion my heart is called into fellowship with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ. There is nothing so cheering to our poor hearts down here. The Lord likes me to go on His own way in concert with His own mind, and He enables me to accomplish what His desires are.


"He .. . came by water and blood". (1 John 5:6) Our blessed Lord came by death. "For this cause came I into the world". (John 18:37) The death of Him who was the Son of God is the greatest thing that ever was accomplished.

There is nothing for us except through His death. It is through His death, feeding on it, that we enter into every blessing. Some look for blessing from His incarnation, but they are in error; they want to retain the first man. There is no blessing - no escape from judgment, except through His death. For every believer there is in His death a complete judicial removal of all that was between God and him, and he appropriates this by faith. I wish I could convey to

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you the deep sense I have of the moral necessity that Adam should die! That order of man is gone in the death of Christ. In Christ I am of the new order. Many a believer knows his sins forgiven who rests his faith on the promise of faith, rather than on the work of Christ. Therefore he has not deliverance from sin, or from the earth; and he knows nothing of circumcision. I find it a helpful question to ask, Is it the weight and burden on your own conscience that has been removed by the work of Christ? or, is it the weight and burden on you, as God sees it, which has been removed?

If only the former, there will be many removals, or, rather, there will be many burdens to be removed. While in the latter case the same faith which frees you from the burden on your conscience does the far greater thing, it frees you from all that you are in the sight of God. What a blessed deliverance!


"The depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head". (Jonah 2:5) It is a very real thing to enter into death. It is endlessly blessed to pass through it into life for evermore. If we be dead with Him, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Jonah did not learn life out of death for the salvation of his soul. He was saved, and he was a prophet, but he had to learn death as to himself and life through another, in order that he might be ready to do as his Lord bade him. My will goes when I die. A dead man has no will. I die with Christ, and His life is my life. Then His will is my pleasure. If Jonah had a very dark time, it was followed by a very bright time, and this I desire for you! To lose myself in His death and to find Him as my life for evermore is most blessed. The darkness is past, and eternal joy remains.

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Blessed moment! When death, with all that it entails, is behind you, when Christ is your life - when "in him" and "with him" is before you for evermore!


Nothing is of deeper importance at the commencement of our christian history than that we should accept, with some apprehension of its greatness, that the man that was under judgment is removed from the eye of God in judgment. We have to ponder, in order to realise the magnitude of it, and when we do believe it as a truth, another thing of equal importance is made known to us - that not only is the old man completely removed from the eye of God, but that by the Holy Spirit we are in Christ a new creation by the power of God; if we keep these two together we have a great start; one man is gone and Another is brought in, and this is established to us by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Now we enter on our new history. Properly, we are not occupied with the flesh; though the flesh is still in us, we "are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9) and our attention is largely given to walking in the Spirit. We have now a new exercise, even to sow to the Spirit and of the Spirit to reap life everlasting. "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh". (Galatians 5:16) This shows us how intent our eye must be on Christ; we have nothing to do with the man that is gone; and the more we realise this the happier we are - judicially freed of the one, and by the Spirit of God established in Christ. Everything we do now is done with reference to Christ; and not only is the body the Lord's, but "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:17); we have to act according to His pleasure in the very management of the body, just as a slave would use his body according to the wishes of his owner.

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Moses is an interesting case. It took forty years to break him down, though at the start he made a very great sacrifice for the Lord. He was brought up as Pharaoh's son, but he chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season". (Hebrews 11:25) You might say, That man will get no discipline; he does not want it. But no; he thinks he can do the work of the Lord in a human way, and he must get forty years of discipline in the wilderness, and after that he is quite timid about himself, too timid indeed to speak. Now the Lord starts him as His servant, and another kind of discipline comes in; for he is disciplined for a servant and as a servant; the discipline is in the service to fit him for the service; and it continues all through his course; his own family find fault with him; the people murmur against him; one thing after another until at last he dies on mount Pisgah, and does not go into the land at all.


Many among us are like Isaac, inheriting all that his father had acquired through faith, but with very little faith himself. There is more acquaintance with the word than with the Lord. They should go together, there is never power otherwise. The word should not be apart from the Person. I feel that many have begun wrongly. To get peace and to break bread seems the aim before them; and not that having found the Lord in glory, they are outside the world, their calling being heavenly. I believe the real difficulty is that there is a deep-seated reluctance to accept all that the death of Christ includes. The man in his perfect state in the Person of Christ has died . If now I live here by Christ, I live here by a man who

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is not living here as a man in the flesh. He was here, and as I live by Him I live here as He lived here; but He is not living here now. We through grace, by faith, are the continuation of the Man of God who was here. It is the unwillingness to part with the old man that really hinders our entering into the new. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you". (John 6:53)

Death must be entered into in one way or another. If we had perfectly died with Christ, we should be morally severed from everything here: yet we should carry out every duty better than ever, because we should be solely dependent on Christ.

No one can understand eternal life until he is in it, I mean, until he is enjoying it. With most christians what is sought is not to live with Christ where He is, but to obtain His help where we are. Both are true, but while the greater leads to the less, the less does not include the greater.

I remark that some do not accept in faith the death of Christ. They speak of His sufferings, suffering is not in itself death. Death is the termination of that being. "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more". (2 Corinthians 5:16) One who dwells on the "passion" of Christ does not really apprehend the great consequence of His death.


It is only as we enter into Christ's sufferings here that we desire, or apprehend, or are prepared for His glory. Everything connected with the old man is contrary to Christ, for on account of it He died. If I would enter into Christ's glory I must of necessity die to everything here which is contrary to Him. His life leads me into His glory, but if it does, it also puts me into the sense of moral death with regard to everything

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against it. So that in proportion as I am able to walk here in His sufferings, in the power of His life, the more I am enabled to apprehend and am prepared for His glory. Wherever or howsoever I am enjoying anything contrary to Him, so far must I debar myself from desiring or apprehending His glory.

If I find everything here as antagonistic as He felt it, the glory is my resource, and as I feel I am a co-sufferer with Him, I am also to be co-glorified with Him, and this light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us in surpassing measure an eternal weight of glory!

The beauty and the brightness of the glory in itself do not move those who are not suffering here with Christ, and this explains why many who feel their need of Christ, and use Him to a great degree, have very feeble desires or apprehension of His glory. If I am enjoying what Christ cannot enjoy, how can I truly enjoy what He enjoys? Therefore the school for the glory is suffering with Him - there I must learn, there I must graduate. It is only as I take up my cross daily to follow Him that I can either desire or be prepared to ascend with Him the holy mount. Hence it is that death comes on us in many ways. It is not the same way for all, but following Him will always disclose the nature of the death that each of us has to die.

Death is surrendering that in which I should like to live, and in which I could live humanly; but as I follow Him I find I must surrender it, and as I die to it accompanying Him I find my soul enlarged in desires, in apprehension, and in preparation for His glory. I feel that what I had to die to is against Him, but the glory where He is, is the joy and resource of my heart. When Moses felt the rebellion and hopelessness of Israel, his heart looked out for something beyond anything connected with man; his prayer was: "Shew me thy glory!" (Exodus 33:18)

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When Stephen reached the confines of testimony to Israel as a nation, the glory was presented to him as his home! How blessed! So with Paul in the prison at Rome and John in the island of Patmos. As each was partaker of the sufferings of Christ he rejoiced that when His glory should be revealed they should be glad with exceeding joy.


You get the best condition in the robe and the best place in the Father's house. One is actually given, the other is to faith, therefore anything that disturbs my faith robs me of present enjoyment in the great supper. If I am holding it in faith, I am walking here in faith, for I have God before me for my enjoyment or rest, and God before me for my strength. The Lord is always in the aspect that I need Him, for He is at my right hand. The other side is the Good Samaritan, but if we do not know God's side, we shall never understand His way of succouring us on our own side.

The inn is not a fine place, but the "care" that we get there is beyond all description Better is a meal of herbs where love is, than a fatted ox and hatred therewith.


I think we very little comprehend what Bethany was to the Lord. He was at home there because they rested in His love, but also He was understood there. Mary does the two things most pleasing to Him. She sits at His feet, hearing His word, and she anoints Him for His burial. The first shows she could appreciate His mind, what He would unfold to her; the other shows that the most precious thing in her possession goes into the tomb with Him.

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It is devotedness of a double kind: one to receive from Him alone, to have no thoughts, no mind but His; the other to declare plainly that what would most distinguish oneself in nature one has passed over to Him who went into death here. It fills the house of Bethany with fragrance. What living one was worthy of it if the One who has revealed the Father has died here?

No doubt the knowledge of His mind taught Mary and enabled her to confide in Him in the hour of her sorrow. She proves what He is to her when there is nothing to afford her one ray of light, and this prepares her for anointing His body for the burial. Thus the first part of devotedness, choosing the good part, leads to the proving of it all in His practical sympathy. I know His mind, Himself revealed to me; I know how He meets me and consoles me, in a scene of death; then follows the second part - devotedness, namely, that everything I valued here is surrendered to enhance the One who is dead as to this earth - known to us now as alive for evermore!

But it is the one who has sought Him for His own sake that knows Him in his need and sorrow. It is there you prove Him as the good part, and everything here loses its charm for you because He is not here. The wind and the waves test the house whether the foundation has been laid deep in the rock, and if the house does not stand the test it cannot fulfil the purpose of a devoted heart.

Mary's action filled the house with the odour of the ointment!


The Holy Spirit is sent from Christ where He is, testifies of Him in glory, in all the moral dearth of this world, and enables us to be Superior to the power of

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the prince of this world. The brightest light is in the darkest place. If you abide in Christ you are His friends, and you "love one another, as I have loved you", (John 13:34) and then you are empowered by the Spirit to be here a witness of Him. You are here in His power, however dark the day; you derive from Him. He is the source of every grace. The more you are exclusively shut up to Him, the more will He prove to you that He has the key of David. It is not to the church or to any ecclesiastical position that you turn, but to Himself. He Himself is your object and desire, and thus you will surmount every opposition and answer to the desire of His heart.


There is nothing to discourage or dishearten in all this agitation. The great thing for you is to buy the truth and sell it not. Every true-hearted soul will gain much in this time. I am quite certain that there is among us a low apprehension of the love of God, and that much of our self-seeking and independence is traceable to this. I feel it in myself - the small way I live in the simple fact, that all my blessing came from the love of God. I can understand a great kind man risking his life to save a poor wretched man from drowning, but do I take in that God so loved? Do I understand that motive - for one so unworthy of it as I am? I believe God's throne, or God's goodness is much more before people's minds, than that He had a peculiar satisfaction to Himself in saving us. I often say, While many can believe that a saint on earth can rise up to a Saviour in glory, very few can grasp that the blessed God can come from all His glory, down to a sinner on earth and receive him as a Father, glad to have him. I find always that the man who cannot

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rise to the height of God's grace cannot accept the distance to which the man in the flesh has been put before the eye of God. The one who cannot see fully on one side cannot see fully on the other. The one who cannot see the height to which His love has raised us cannot see the distance to which in righteousness He has removed from Himself the man in the flesh. Nothing must mar His love.


There is nothing more wonderful than the discipline to which we are subjected. I had not seen the trial of jealousy in the same light as I do now. I was struck at the remarks on it in the Synopsis. I had connected it till now with the Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11). Mr. D. intimates that one may be tested, and, if not unfaithful to the Lord, the test assures you that you have not been unfaithful to Him. This passage, I think, accounts for the sudden way that some really converted ones are cut off - one naturally would not think such to be the Lord's but the very severity of the blow indicates the reverse. Lot's wife suffers before anyone in Sodom - at least, so I read it.

The blessed God has a right to be jealous because there is no one who has a greater and fuller claim on our love. If we keep enjoying His love, He is well pleased. "I love them that love me". (Proverbs 8:17)

I have been lately very much interested in the simple fact that we belong to heaven, and that "such as the heavenly one, such also the heavenly ones". (1 Corinthians 15:48) We are only on a journey to our new place where the Object of our heart is, and where we shall be in full harmony with His pleasure. Everything there is in accordance with His will. Why do we not more seek the things which are above?

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I do not find that a death-wound is ever cured or forgotten. It is not intended to be, though the more the heart is in company with the Lord, the more His sympathy assuages the pain of it, and thus there is great present gain from it. We go through a double death here, in order that we may be fit for the Lord here. First that I am not only a sinner, but that I am lost like Jonah in the depths of the sea. Through grace, I am dead with Christ, but I must go through the sense of it, as much as Jonah did. Then I live in Christ. This is the first death - but I have for evermore the unchanging and deepening sense that I am by nature a lost, ruined thing. I abhor myself. The next death is symbolised by the gourd - something in natural things outside myself, which is a shelter and a comfort to me as the gourd was to Jonah. This dies, and I am a derelict. The Lord then becomes my only source of comfort, my only stay, and then I am not only devoted to Him, which the first death produces, but I surrender my will entirely to Him, for He is my all in all. It is very blessed when we come to this. Many, nay, every believer rejoices that he has passed through the first death on himself, but yet he may not accept cheerfully that everything here to him should die, and that he himself should survive, like a pelican in the wilderness, or as a sparrow on the housetop. It is very cheering the way the Lord proves every one of us "He stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind". (Isaiah 27:8) But He desires to have our hearts absolutely: "son, give me thine heart". (Proverbs 23:26)


It is very interesting and helpful to remember "all the way which the Lord thy God led thee". The

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initiative is always with Him. "What hast thou which thou hast not received?" (1 Corinthians 4:7) - as the Lord says, "I shall shew you plainly of the Father". (John 16:25) He shews me. Paul was to be a minister and a witness of the things that he had seen. He shows them to me as He showed the stars in the sky to Abraham. I am given grace to believe what He reveals to me of His favour to me, and as I believe, I act accordingly. The faith comes before the work of faith, as the revelation of His grace comes before faith; as faith comes before works, so works follow faith, or it would be dead, being alone. Faith carries you safe, then you are assured of what grace has made you, and then works are the results; you must have eyes before you can use them; you must have wings before you can fly. You must be over Jordan yourself, over death in the power of life, before you can consign everything here to death, before you can drive out the Canaanite.

As you advance on the up line, so you do on the down line. If you understand me, it is as you by faith apprehend where His grace has set you, the more you ascend, the more power you have to descend. The more you are enriched and captivated with His things, the more will you be loosened from natural attractions, and so be of the heavenly colour, expressive of your heavenly taste - increasing in the high and spiritual things, while correspondingly relinquishing, or dying to, the natural or earthly things.


My intention was to lead souls to see and find the divine sphere which Canaan represents for their rest and occupation, and not the wilderness and its necessities, to which we would too much confine God's love and care for us. Once we are really through the Red

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Sea - the death of Christ - we must be in dependence on God here, and this we are taught in the wilderness. But as a christian I have much more, I am dead with Christ, this is Jordan; and I am quickened and raised up with Him, and made to sit down together with Him in heavenly places, and that is Canaan.

Now the question is, and the point of my teaching, Where do I best learn the goodness of the love of God? In the wilderness from His care, thought and provision for me there, or in Canaan where cities I did not build, and vineyards I did not plant are given to me, where the whole heart of God is in its proper circle and sphere? I say, If I learn Him even a little in Canaan, I can easily reckon on Him in the wilderness if I know Him at all in the wide field of His love, and as it has secured a portion for me in the riches of the glory of His inheritance, I can easily and simply see how comparatively small it is for Him to care for me in my little field in the wilderness. If I am delivered from my enemies and out of myself, I must be in dependence, and nowhere else; but dependence is often lauded because of the gain which accrues from it in the wilderness, and this is not the highest thing, nay, on the contrary, it often makes a soul dry, and he is thinking of nothing else but of bringing God into his circumstances, and then rejoicing as he finds Him acting in them, instead of rising up and seeing God, as I may say, in His own circumstances, making known His love to me, so that in the knowledge of Him the eyes of my heart are enlightened to know the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in His saints. Of course, there can be nothing but dependence here, but I find that dependence is made the greatest good, because of the present gain derived from it in the wilderness, and not because it leads me into the wide domain of the Father's house and glory, certifying to me the depth and fulness of His love. So that people talk of their gains from

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dependence in the wilderness, as if that were the utmost of God's love for us. It is plain that in God's own sphere we shall ever be, and that all we learn of it now is for eternity. The wilderness which teaches me dependence must pass away.


The point of departure must be the point of recovery, and that invariably is the point most difficult to reach. One will admit and confess anything but the motive. The motive exposes the nature. Self-respect prevents me from allowing any eye to penetrate to my motive, simply because I know it will not bear the light, and if it were known, not my conduct or my ways (which might be considered, and often are, mere accident) but my nature would be exposed and condemned. No one is really humble unless he has lost self-respect. An honest man cares very little about the respect of others if he cannot accept it as his due. Hence there is really no humility until I am so entirely disappointed with myself before God that I can say with Job, "I abhor myself" (Job 42:6) - I am a burden to myself.

Now it is remarkable the various ways by which God in His faithfulness brings every one whom He leads into this experience. One in this experience never likes to refer to himself, and not only this, but he thinks everybody's nature is better than his own. Hence there is no rest or sense of escape from self-condemnation but in Christ, where there is no condemnation, and where this is the known region of the soul, everyone begins to be looked at from Christ's side and as they relate to Him. He - the rest and life of the heart, necessarily becomes the spring and standard of everything.

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If He be exclusively my life and joy, and if I have nothing outside of Him but a nature that I abhor and condemn, how must all my desires and tastes run in concert and keeping with His, and everything else which is contrary to Him is not only avoided because contrary to Him, but also because it claims kindred with me and addresses my nature, making me feel still more excruciatingly that I not only have a nature that I am ashamed of, but that everything which opposes Christ, who is now everything to my heart, finds an auxiliary in it.

The more thoroughly we see ourselves as God sees us, the more we turn from ourselves and rejoice in being in Christ, because there is a sense of clear distance from our nature; and the more through the Spirit we are conscious of this holy exclusion, the more susceptible we shall be of the little things which cause us to drop outside of this circle of life and peace. Reading a common-place book, listening to common conversation, will at times have the effect of connecting us sensibly with self, and in a way breaking open the closed doors of the chamber of horrors, calling up remembrances of selfishness and vanity, as traced in a landscape which has been hid from our view when in the sanctuary with Christ.

But this experience does not end with oneself. It demands not only the exclusion of oneself because one sees that the cross is the only answer of righteousness, but it requires that everything which has grieved the Spirit of Christ should be excluded from the assembly where He would be in the midst. I mean, that if I have learnt how precious the holiness of Christ is to myself, and how happy an answer it is to me that everything which would offend should be excluded, I cannot suffer in the assembly anything which would offend. I go from the inner circle to the outer circle. In the inner circle I deal with inner things; the

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exaction is sweeping and complete. In the outer I deal with what is apparent.

Now if I can tolerate the apparent and what is openly reprehensible, it is evident enough there can be no deeper separation within. This is to me the secret cause of the misapprehension of exclusiveness more than this, it indicates the true principle for exclusiveness. No point of doctrine on mere independency, is of itself the principle for exclusiveness. The principle for it is that it offends against Christ, that it intrudes on that holy ground where the soul knows deliverance from condemnation and enjoys Him - the Deliverer, in His own life and surroundings. I maintain this in the inner circle in my own soul for light and peace. Nothing is spared that is not of the Spirit. All my rest depends on exclusiveness, and God here insists on it as due to Christ. His will is essential to my own enjoyment of Him. Then I allow not a particle of root; I must, for everything, be absolute about it. Well, then, if I am such an one, how can I go into the assembly gathered to Christ's name and for His presence, and tolerate there, not roots, for I do not see them, but branches, which indicate that there are roots of the flesh which I could not suffer for a moment in the inner circle, growing and developing themselves in the outer one without check or condemnation. Now to me it is plain that if the visible - the branches, could be tolerated, there has not been a real conscious exclusion of the roots in the presence of God. The soul has not known as yet the sweetness and gain of holiness that allows no intrusion from the noxious roots of the flesh; for if it had known this great gain there would have been no toleration of the open tangible development of it. If, I repeat, I can tolerate in the outer sanctuary what is but a variety of unrepressed flesh, how can I have known the claims of Christ in the inner sanctuary where none of it is admitted?

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I write this because I think there is an attempt in many to reach the ground of exclusiveness by other ways than from the inner to the outer, and the consequence is that there is no hearty acceptance of it, though there be of the truth in keeping with it. The ground we are on is valued on account of the orthodox teaching rather than on account of the principle of exclusiveness which has cleared away everything to reach this ground.

And hence even when the ground is avowedly occupied, there is really no moral power in the soul to discover and trace the moral path by which it was reached. And there is none of the restful feeling that one enjoys when, having emerged from the thicket, one has the assurance of being at the place desired. The desired place is not enough; doubtless it confers benefits and advantages of its own, but there is not the exercise of the sense of grace conferred in buffeting all antagonisms until it was reached. And not only this, but there is a lack of the assurance of having passed from the valley of Achor, of having in true contrition of heart abnegated unto death everything, and oneself, in the point which first led one into practical indifference. That is, that I not only know the grace which has empowered me to escape from it, but I know also the humiliation in myself which such a process entails.

I believe the history of exclusiveness must be accepted and traversed as well as the ground of it occupied. If there be the latter without the former, you will be neither happily nor firmly there. When I know how to reach the favoured spot, I know how to find out whether I have lost sight of it. If I only know the spot, I may indeed adhere to it, even if there is departure from the principles which morally constitute it, but I cannot be there in power if I do not know how I have reached it.

I say all this because I fear that the ground of

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exclusiveness is more readily accepted than the history of it, which is the only true way to it. And when this is the case, there is not sufficient sense of Christ's sanctuary as His sanctuary, and hence there is no true sensibility as to His being Centre in the assembly.

It is not the furniture, the teaching, which makes it the sanctuary to me; it is that there is that which suits the presence of Christ, and nothing else is admitted; I get the true principle of this myself, and no ground could be assured to me as divine but one based on this principle.


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-half tribes and the nine-and-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 the 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 souls anew respecting it, and everyone

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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 the 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.


Deuteronomy 8: 3

As man is faulty and in everything imperfect, if God has to do with him, He must correct him, and the more He has to do with him in the scene he is in the more He must correct him. If God is ruling the earth He necessarily judgeth respecting every man's work impartially. If I am nearer to Him as Israel was, He, because of Himself, requires of me intelligent conformity to His will and in proportion to my nearness. Therefore now, as His children through Christ Jesus, His aim and purpose is that we should be partakers of His holiness. I could be no nearer to Him relationally and therefore He requires that I should be in the greatest moral nearness even to His own holiness.

Then there must be discipline, only more stringent and exacting according to the nearness of our relationship to God, which in itself testifies to us of the closeness and greatness of our relationship. I should

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not require from a servant what I should expect from a son, but the very fact of my expecting it from the latter, nay, even in insisting on having it, proves to him that I regarded him as my son.

Discipline must be, but there is a law, or principle, on which God teaches and leads on His people, and that is from the lower to the higher. The qualities for the higher are induced and discovered in the lower. God keeps the best in reserve, the good wine until now. You are prepared for the better; you will appreciate it more by learning to depend on God in the inferior. In difficulty you ascertain the amount and worth of your resources. As you have learned your resources in God you are prepared for deliverance - the good wine. One learns in the difficulty the necessity of looking to God, and the deliverance in blessing is not vouchsafed until we do cry to Him for help, and this is practically the difference between two in the same measure of sufferings. The one suffers and writhes under it, the other cries unto God and looks only to Him for deliverance.

We see in Psalm 17 four classes of deliverance, which I suppose may include all the varieties of deliverance vouchsafed to us, but the deliverance is always with a manifestation of His power in grace that the soul is brought into a higher place than it occupied before because of His deliverance, though the deliverance was needed because of chastening and discipline on account of failure. The discipline in each case had the desired effect; the soul felt its position and cried unto God, and then the deliverance was of such an order that through the discipline you are brought into a deeper knowledge of God; you attained a better position than you had previously known. If the law of discipline is so evident when failure called for the discipline, how much more shall we see it when it is more a preparation for a better state. Thus the witnesses of God were prepared in every age by the

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very trials they endured in their testimony. It was always the evening with them before the morning; they learned what it was to be dependent and then entered into the fruition of their dependence.

Enoch pleased God, but he walked here three hundred years before actual translation; so with Abraham and David, darkness precedes and ushers in their brighter scenes, Paul is in prison at Rome before his soul is so occupied with the heavenly position of the church that he writes about it. John is in Patmos before all the future history of the world is disclosed to him and Christ's future glory on earth. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. God's purpose is that the nearer we are to Him the nearer we should be in holiness, that is, morally; His heart desires to have us nearer Himself, and therefore He disciplines in order that we may pass over from the lower ground into the higher, because His discipline when effectual always puts us higher than we were before we needed it - morally higher even though reputedly lower.


When man had failed under every trial, Christ is born into the world. He begins at the weakest point - a Babe - as presented to the shepherds, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. He who made man has Himself become a Man. He does not begin at maturity like Adam; He begins at the lowest point of infancy. The Creator who gave man all the attributes and qualities which God desired for man, is now a Man Himself, to encounter all the trials and difficulties which would affect a man in the weakness of humanity.

His was a wonderful path; no trial, no vicissitude, no want, no opposition, nor the adverse circumstances

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to which man was reduced by his departure from God, ever diverted Him from His holy dependence on God, or evoked a thought of self-consideration - He was always the Holy One of God - a Nazarite from His birth. He never sought human pleasures and maintained this wonderful, unique path, with His resources only in God. He was the spotless One, as He must be to atone for fallen man. When of mature age, a voice from heaven declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight". (Matthew 3:17) Every contrariety which He encountered was only an opportunity to disclose His perfection, and the beauty of the grace of depending on God.


"We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities", Hebrews 4:15.

The subject is the infirmities, not your sins; weakness from any cause; the pressure of cares, or illness, or the greatest of all, bereavement; still, it is pressure you are weak, and ready to droop under it. Do not give up! Our Priest in heaven sympathises with us. He is outside of everything here; He has gone through every pressure. He knows what the circumstances are; He sympathises with us in them: He bears us company in the pressure.

Take the case of a person in bereavement; no pressure - severe illness or great pain - is equal to the agony of bereavement; there can be no alleviation of the blank, for no one can repair the blank, but the One who has caused it. Now the marvellous grace is, though it be little understood, that the Lord uses the blank as the opportunity for making Himself known in the tenderest way. As you see with Mary in John 11 He walked with her, and impressed her with the assurance, as He wept beside her, that if she had lost

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a brother, she had found "a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24) in Himself; that she had really gained. You may think it impossible; but the Lord is so much to you that you are borne up and drawn to Him, The word 'support' will not fully express it; He who is made higher than the heavens bears your company.

The sense of His nearness as One above it all, but having passed through it, endears Himself to you in a peculiar way. It is not that He removes the pressure, but He so supports you that you are raised above it by His sympathy, that instead of drooping under the pressure you come boldly to the throne of grace. But I would press on you, and I trust the Lord will lead you to apprehend, that whatever the pressure is, the Lord would come to you, that He would be more endeared to you than ever before. When He relieves you, things are easier for you here, but when He bears you up above the pressure, you will never forget it. The Lord can come close beside us in our sorrow, and share with us in it, and so lift us above the pressure to the height of Himself. It is to make the Lord, who is not here, so dear to your heart that you will be drawn away from this place to Him who has so endeared Himself to you that He is indispensable. Everyone can speak of a mercy; but can you speak of being lifted above the pressure in company with the Lord who sympathises with you?


It is interesting to meditate on the subjects which engaged the one about to die and the one about to be translated, and to see how practically we ought to combine the two.

Moses is occupied with a survey of Canaan, and when he has seen it he is to be gathered unto his people.

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He is told to look westward and northward and southward and eastward - a full survey. The vision of the glory to Stephen is the spiritual realisation of all this. To him also it was a preparation for death. How gracious and merciful that, before the dissolution of all nature's links here, there should be such unfolding and revelation of the future portion!

Now with Elijah I apprehend it was quite different. He knew that he was to be taken up, and therefore his last hours were rather occupied with service than with visions, which would have so amazingly compensated him for the trial of death. He is more in the spirit of the porter watching for the return of the goodman of the house. He is setting all things to rights or occupied with his Master's concerns to the very last.

I think we see these two lines combined in the apostle Paul. He had surveyed from a hill higher than Pisgah, and therefore longed to depart and be with Christ, and he still had his conversation in heaven, so that from there he looked for the Saviour to change his body of humiliation, and while he did so the Lord's interests here on earth were even more anxiously his care than ever. Personal consolation is necessary for the one (how else could I cheerfully meet the dissolution of nature?) and the non-intervention of dissolution as presenting itself is necessary for the other. Elijah went on as if he had no personal suffering, and no more had he. Stephen had personal suffering before him, but the vision rendered him, I doubt not, proof against it; otherwise he could not have so calmly prayed for his murderers. May we like Paul have taken with Moses a full survey of the glorious land, and like him also, as Elijah did, be able to occupy ourselves with our Master's interests to the very last with our lights burning, and watching, and waiting for His coming!

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I see many nowadays who are not entering the harbour fully freighted, and all because they are not walking in spiritual activities while in this death period, for the ruling passion is strong in death. If you have not died with Christ, death is before you, and the greatest death must necessarily be where you most like to live, and there the ruling passion is. No one has really died with Christ where the ruling passion is fostered, because it is there that death must begin, for there the tenacity of the life is greatest. Whatever of yourself you try most to spare, that is the stronghold of your natural will, and hence you will find in God's ways with you that He cuts at the root of that particular taste or prepossession and you can say, What I feared greatly has come upon me. One is mortified, disappointed, or bereaved. Why? Because the working of the natural will was most active in the quarter in which it was checked and there death is most felt. It is often admitted as a doctrine that we have died with Christ by those who are not willing at all to be so dead as to be only a vessel for Christ's use - to accept death to everything of the natural will. This is bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus. If anyone studies and reviews the history and manner of God's ways with him from the first, he will see that God has always been subjecting him to checks. Blisters rise most where they are most needed, and the blister is to draw the inflammation to the surface. What a life of disappointment Jacob had! But at last he worships God leaning on the top of his staff, loosened in heart from all here and thus he had an abundant entrance. If he had studied the ways of the Lord with him, he would have recalled the irritated feelings which he had indulged in when he was disappointed. Whenever you are vexed, mortified, there your will is active. You may have sorrow, at the same time, which

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is a very different exercise. If you are vexed, your self-love is touched. When you have sorrow, it is because you have lost what was dear to you. The discipline or mode of dying in each is widely different, as well as its effect. The discipline in the first exercise is to reduce your self-importance, and thus the blister was necessary - it removes the inflammation. The vexation or disappointment arises from wounded pride; you thought you were entitled to favour. In the other cases it is sorrow, because you have lost what your heart valued. In this discipline you learn that Christ has not been enough for you, and hence is disclosed the obstacle to your progress, the stone before the wheel, in order that you may be the more fully a vessel for Christ here. The end of the discipline in both is that you may so accept death that every hindrance may be removed and that you should be here wholly for Christ.


It is interesting to observe the suffering which each servant is passed through before he is fit to enter on God's purpose for him - be it an Abraham, a David, a Stephen or a Paul, their sufferings and exercises in a way indicated the goal, or their promotion. Each of them had a night before a morning. To David, Ziklag was his night; his morning was the throne of Israel. Paul's night was "All men forsook me", (2 Timothy 4:16) but his morning was "the Lord stood with me". To learn by suffering is God's way of fitting us for promotion, be it service or anything else. "We who live are always delivered unto death". (2 Corinthians 4:11)

I have often readily accepted a truth and in great joyfulness, yet it was not really known to me until, through suffering, its virtue possessed me; and surely no one is a witness of anything until he is possessed by

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it and then he not only sees it and can speak of it, but he is it. Paul says, "What ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, these things do". (Philippians 4:9) When the truth possesses me, it is not only the beauty of it which occupies me, but like the man who had been blind (John 9), I know now its virtue by all the exercise through which I have passed. In the long run that man not only had sight, but in solitude, apart from every man, he was in the light without any mixture, and there the Lord met him. That man could explain light, because he had learned it through suffering. Such an one is a true servant and witness.


What rest and satisfaction the heart finds when simply enjoying Christ! It is the sense of ease and rest that one feels when in the same room with a known and valued friend. It is not so much what passes, as the feeling of resource, and the absence of all fear or care as to anything around or within.

It is the consciousness of being under the shelter of His wing; not merely as sheltering one from what is outside, but still more as assuring one of what His love is.

The heart can only be taught by a heart, and the hand derives its exquisite touches from the heart. The heart learns in the home, and the hand goes out from it to act for the heart: hence, the more you are in your proper home, the larger will be your heart, and the better will your hand do whatever it findeth to do.

Go from the home, then, as the bee from the hive; and all you gather, gather with purpose to carry it back from every flower to the hive - the home of your heart; and thus you will grow in deeper rest and athomedness with Him who makes every place where He is a blessed home to your heart.

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The great comfort in a christian's life is that he has to be pre-eminently occupied with the present. A natural man, according to his ability and ambition, is working for a future; he has not acquired his goal. A christian has not reached his goal, but it is secured to him. "I go and prepare a place for you .. . and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also". (John 14:2,3) The past of our history cannot be altered; as to our sins, they are remembered no more; as to the peculiarities of our nature, some one way, and some another, not sinful, but personal, they have to be ruled by the Spirit of God, and not by our own will, which is evil. If I had no will, and the Spirit of God ruled me, then my body would be a living sacrifice, and I should be doing the right thing each moment.

God made man upright, and what we require for a true walk is to have the rule of the Spirit instead of the rule of our will. The rule of the Spirit is not severe, though it be far removed from the rule of our will. Everything conducive to my well-being as a creature of God the Spirit suggests and supports, when I am simply subject to Him, whereas the will is whimsical; at one time proposing great self-consideration, and at another, to attain some gratification, commending a wanton sacrifice of health. The christian's history is made up of acts, the deeds done in the body; and all these acts bear on his position in the kingdom. Hence every act is of importance, and each act is good or bad according to the author of it. The Spirit of God does not in principle sanction asceticism, neither does He sanction self-indulgence. The ways of wisdom are really the ways of pleasantness and peace. If I need anything, the Spirit could not be indifferent to it. For the Lord's service I may have to endure; for instance, I might get wet through when visiting some

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sick one; but my work over, the Spirit would lead me to seek and enjoy relief.

Sickness is properly a discipline, either to repress a natural faculty where the will has a more ready access, or to call out in me patience, which is a great mark of the Spirit's power in me. Thus the daily duties in a christian's life are most interesting, not that you should be so much thinking of what you are doing, as being assured that you are doing it to the Lord; for here really lies the difference; the will only thinks of your immediate gratification, the Spirit of your pleasing the Lord. The result is very marked; where you have pleased the Lord in the act, you have not only your own gain in the act, but you have increased your tie to Him; whereas when you please your will, your pleasure ends with yourself. In the latter you may feel that you have spent your money profitably; in the former you have invested it in the best way. The only way to arrive at this is by making the Lord your sole Object, and you will not do this but as He becomes necessary to you. Ruth cannot do without Naomi; and then she lives for her, goes out into the field to glean - a very laborious work, and proper only to the poor or strangers; but she pleased the object of her heart, as well as provided for her own need.


How beautiful and wondrous are the ways of our God with us when we once begin to see the purpose of His heart regarding us! We see a natural parent toiling and planning to get his children in the order and condition of life here which he thinks the best suited to his means and ability. Now, when we see that there is this purpose in the heart of God respecting us, His children, what may we not expect as to the order and condition of life which He thinks best?

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Who can describe or measure that? It is not what I think best. If I were to think most extravagantly, could I in any measure reach up to what He thinks the best? And when I see that He is leading me to the enjoyment of this His purpose, I have the key to every dealing and every movement of His hand. He has no doubt of being able to effect His purpose as a natural parent often has; but He wants to make us conscious of His purpose, and to lead us into the enjoyment of it. Our Father, as it were, longs to see us in His house, enjoying His purpose now accomplished in His Son our Saviour; and when He finds any unwillingness in our hearts to go there, He weans us from the things that stop the way. A child is not weaned in a minute, and it may go through a good deal of suffering before it is weaned, but it is all the healthier and stronger when the weaning is fully over. The desire of the Father's heart is that we should have such a sense of being with His Son in glory, that we should feel as if everything here for the moment had lost its claim and hold on us; and then, after this temporary death, this weaning, we should return again to the place of death, assured in heart and mind of the purpose of our God for us.

He is only conducting us through this world to the zenith of His own delight, and the purpose of His love for us; He passes us through all the seasons here; and the winter, the most trying one, is the most helpful, if we are really cast on Him in it. Then the real measure of our dependence on Him is ascertained, and also the extent of our resources in Him; and we make acquisitions in Him which we never make at any other time. All our growth and fruits depend on our winters, or rather on how we pass through them. The more we can rest in Him, the more we are independent of everything outside of Him at such a time, the more vigour we really possess; and the better we get over the winter, be it ever so severe.

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It is not so much what we suffer from, as how we suffer - the extent and amount of our sufferings - which declares the purpose of God in them. In every suffering, be it imaginary or otherwise, God purposes that a corresponding virtue of His grace should be displayed in me.

The suffering is to bring out a peculiar virtue from His own grace which no other suffering could bring out. Certain preparations (caustic often) bring out certain desired colours. It is through the tears of the firmament that the colours of the bow are obtained. But I mean more than this; the character of suffering indicates the nature of the contrast, or correlative which it is appointed to elicit. If the pressure be great and peculiar, some special characteristic of His grace within is thereby to be evoked. You thresh corn for the grain; you grind the grain to make flour. The produce is useful according to the severity and peculiarity of the process by which it is made available for use. We dry grapes for raisins - we bruise them for wine - who does not value the wine more than the raisins? And yet the same grapes which only made raisins, might have made wine if they had been subjected to a severer pressure. We can tell by the very sufferings we pass through the order of the virtues in the grace conferred on us; for we have nothing which we have not received. But we need especial pressure and discipline to set aside the flesh in us, which would hide the beauty of the grace given to us. Therefore "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations". (James 1:2) The light affliction worketh a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

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The history of a bird is the history of a believer. First, in the nest, served by parents; then when fledged, learning to do for others what has been done for oneself. First, served, and then, in the power and enjoyment of it, serving. There can be no question that it is the duty and calling of each to serve some way. But it may not be so easy to find out your specific and proper duty or mission; and this is often the excuse for doing nothing, or something worse than nothing. I do not believe it would be found to be so difficult if you were really fit in heart to enter on service. I believe you would find out your mission if you simply occupied yourself with whatever came to your hand for the Lord. It might begin by carrying food to a sick child, or making a dress for a poor one, or reading to an old saint. There is a serving of one's time; that is, you will not be entrusted with very great works until you have proved your competency in small ones. It is impossible but that a star must shine, and it is equally so, that if your eye were single, your whole body would be full of light. The cause of idleness, or ignorance of one's mission is either that one is not fit for it, or not free and humble in heart enough to begin at the little works appointed for one to do. It is a universal principle, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much". (Luke 16:10)


The proof of the real value and force of life - the life of Christ in us - is the way and manner in which it resists the opposition of the flesh, and not only how it resists, but how it expresses itself in place of that which it has resisted. I have a new nature; its instinct and standard is Christ. He is my life, and

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the only measure for my walk. The Spirit of God is the power to enable me to act according to my new nature, both as to its instinct and standard. Now if I were in heaven there would be no check to this new life; there would be perennial sunshine and everlasting verdure; but here, on the contrary, everything is adverse to it, because the flesh is enmity against God, and this is in myself and in everyone around me; I am here like a diver in a diving-bell - everything around me, the very element I am dwelling in, is fatal to me unless I can resist it; and I must not only resist it, but I must express an action in it - quite new and unknown to that which opposes me. It is not enough for the diver to exist under water, but he must also act there. A saint now has not only to know that he is safe in Christ, that his life is hid in Him and that he is at home with Him above, but he is set here to show forth the virtues of Him who has called him out of darkness into His marvellous light. And hence everything of the flesh in himself, and in everyone with whom he comes in contact, becomes a trying of his grace. If he meets flesh with flesh he is vanquished; if he overcomes it, he glorifies Christ. There may be great or little foes, but, whatever they be, they are the enemies to whom we are not to yield. And each of us has his own foes to resist, and not only so, but to set forth, in place of and in contrast to that which he has resisted, the way and manner of Christ.

Now the first opposition you meet is in yourself, and then in everyone else. It is the force of the flesh. You are called on to repel it, and if you cannot repel that force, you can repel none. Hence private life is the beginning of the campaign. If you cannot run with the footmen, what will you do with the horsemen? The contrarieties begin at home, or more properly they begin first within. If you cannot resist them in the inner circle, how can you face the outer one? But they are to be resisted, and they are the force

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which you are called on to resist, and to set Christ on the ground which they once occupied. It will not do for you to say, This is unreasonable. Doubtless it is; the enemy - the flesh in yourself or anyone else - can never do anything that is unreasonable to Christ. But you must meet it in quite another way; you must say, Here is one of the seven nations - the Canaanites - whom I have to expel. I must not give him any quarter; I must resist him and set up in his place the Israel of God. If you complain of your foes, either the inward or the outward ones, your strength is less than theirs; you are unwittingly making Christ inferior to them, or else you are thinking of yourself as still in the old man. I am not merely to find fault with my enemies - the carnality in myself and in others - I am simply to resist them in the grace of Christ, and to set up, on the ruins of the foe, the beauty and comeliness of Christ.


It is a privilege peculiar to the present period for us to be permitted by the Lord in His grace to earnestly contend for the faith and not to be ashamed of the testimony. This favour cannot be accorded to us in the world to come; no shame can be connected with display. We can therefore see what an immense loss it is, and irreparable, if through our folly we have become incapable of discerning the path the Lord is taking and of hearing His voice by the Spirit to the churches. In the case of Israel in the wilderness everything was material, and their journeyings simple, as indicated by the movements of the cloud from off the tent of testimony. In our day everything is difficult, by the fact that all is moral. In the case of Israel they were to be ceremonially clean. With us holiness must be the result of communion. We are

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then fitted to behold the glory of the Lord, we can interpret that glory (a kind of wisdom more excellent than that given to a Solomon or a David is given to us), and what is morally in accord with that glory. Hence we are kept in the path of the Lord's will. In the glory all the light and perfections of God are disclosed, so that no matter what the exercise or pressure upon the soul from the questionings of men, we can view things from the mountain-top, and say, "As for God, his way is perfect". (Psalm 18:30) Light and peace fill our souls and we move forward as overcomers having hearing ears and carrying healing and blessing.


When we ask for guidance about a matter in which we are too much engrossed, or which is in a way necessary to us, we are not free enough to receive His mind. The heart is like a sheet of paper, all written over with our own desires.

Nothing is really necessary for us but Christ; and when we are simply happy in Him we are ready for any counsel which He may give us. He orders us here in the wilderness, because it is a wilderness, and we are needy in it, but we best understand His orders when we are first satisfied in His fulness. When I am very happy in Him, outside of what I need here, I am sure, as I walk in faith, to be kept from what would be a hindrance to my communion with Him.

Coincidences buoy up the natural mind, and we must take care that they do not supersede faith, though they may sometimes confirm faith. Thus there are three things necessary for guidance. First, that you are obedient, prepared in heart to act as He would act; secondly, that you understand His present relation to things here; thirdly, that you acquire His

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mind from tine word as a whole, for it is the knowledge of His mind that imparts colour and beauty like His to our ways.


No one really holds the Head until he has died with Christ. Much of the current teaching 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 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 really what 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 there you "put on .. . bowels of mercies" (Colossians 3:12); 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.



Man in himself is born to die. He comes forth in bloom and freshens like a flower, to droop and wither away under the very influences which at first he successfully resists. Man in his history is like a ship

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at sea, at first riding triumphantly over the waters in which he at last (be the voyage long or short) sinks and disappears.

"Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned", Romans 5:12. "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27), and however brightly or usefully a man may pursue his course here, warding off the power under which eventually he will succumb, yet the time comes when he must bow to the power of death.

Man in his brightest day is but the ship in trim, with all her sails set; but sooner or later it must become a wreck; and the greater or grander the ship, the greater the wreck. The end of man must be wreck, for he is a sinner, and death is the wages of sin. Death is appointed unto men because of sin.

"But after this the judgment", Hebrews 9:27. "This is the second death", Revelation 20:14.


"God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life", John 3:16. He sent His Son, who was not a man until He came here. He enters on this earth, born of woman, in order to bear the judgment resting on man. He, who knew no sin, went under the sea of death and judgment - the very sea in which man is sinking; and, rising out of it in the power of His own life, He is now the Island for everyone to land on who believes on Him, the One "whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness .. . that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus", Romans 3:25, 26. And "through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things", Acts 13:38, 39. Believing

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on Him, I leave the wreck, or the ship which is doomed to be a wreck, for the Island, and then, in a new region, having received life in the power of the Holy Spirit, I am free; and for me there is "no condemnation", Romans 8:1. If you do not believe in the Island, you continue in the wreck; but if you do - if you believe in Christ, who has risen out of death and judgment - you will abandon the man who is under judgment, and, like the thief on the cross (Luke 23:41), you will say, I am justly condemned (I, the man - the wreck). I receive the due reward of my deeds, "but this man [Jesus Christ] hath done nothing amiss". You leave the wreck for the Island - yourself for the Saviour.

"This man" is the one for you, your life and your eternal portion.

"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord", Romans 6:23.

"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification", Romans 4:25.


In Exodus and Joshua we find the two great parts of the work of Christ typified; the one, by the Red Sea; the other, by the Jordan. In the one, we have Christ's dying for us; and in the other, we have our dying with Him.

Where does the crossing of Jordan bring us? Exodus 15:17 tells us. "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, the place that thou, Jehovah, hast made thy dwelling, the Sanctuary, Lord, that thy hands have prepared". In the epistle to the Colossians the Red Sea and the Jordan coalesce. We are brought to God, but there is another thing, and one which we have practically to learn, even that we have died with Him

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In Colossians 2:20, we have "died with Christ from the elements of the world". We have ended our history, and practically we have a new place. His death puts us outside everything. His death for us removes all between God and us; our death with Him removes all between us and God. At the Red Sea the enemy's power was completely broken. In Jordan I have died with Him, I am free of Satan and the flesh where they both are, and I am introduced into a new scene.

There is not a thing against me; all was ended in the cross of Christ. I am clear of every single thing that barred me from the presence of God. A person says, 'I do not feel it'; I am not asking you to feel it, but to believe it. The thief on the cross, a man who was a scandal to the Jew, an offscouring to society, was taken from the very lowest depths of shame and misery, and put into the brightest and most blessed place in company with Christ that day; he was in the new place that 'day'.

There is no question about there being a beautiful new place for the christian, but people limit it to its being theirs when they die. Scripture shows that it is ours now! People say, 'You get heaven when you die'. No such thing. You have it now. It is not your death that entitles you to it, but Christ's death. There is not a single shade that was between us and God, but Christ has removed it in His death. No person can be truly happy until he knows that he has a new place now, and that is where Christ is.


Philippians 4:6,7

Philippians is the experience of a heavenly man. What I get in this passage is how a man is freed of care. He goes into the presence of God to state all his cares.

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It is often quoted, but I have not seen many examples of it. A man goes in with his cares, perhaps about a sick child, or a sick cow; he comes out, but his child is as sick as ever, his cow is as sick as ever; what has happened? Is the thing altered? No, just the same as ever, but he has been to God; he is a changed man: he was perturbed, distressed because of the troubles; now he has the peace of God; I cannot explain it to you, it "surpasses every understanding". (Philippians 4:7) I think I have tasted a little of it, the edge of it.

Think of having the peace of God Himself! I come back, not untroubled, but unruffled. It is like the difference between a land-bird and a water-bird. A water-bird oils his feathers before he goes into the water; not a feather is disturbed. I come out unruffled. I have been with God, and the most marvellous alteration has taken place in me, not in the circumstances, but in me, thank God!

It was a simple verse that first gave me a taste of it; Exodus 15:25. The waters of Marah were bitter. That was what I felt, that everything was bitter in this poor world. I felt it would be a positive relief if I were to die. But I was struck with that verse. I saw there was something put into the bitter waters that made them sweet. Wood was put in. That was the beginning of a great deal to me. Here is more than the waters sweetened; God does not say, I will change everything for you, but I will change you by the glory of Christ. You will see how things look then.

I know the trouble, but instead of getting the trouble altered, I get altered myself. To what extent? To an inconceivable extent. It passes all understanding. What a condition! But it is within the reach of the poorest, most suffering person in this world.

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Deep sorrow and desolation confine you to your house. Friends may gather there and 'comfort' you, but the scene and retirement suits you; real sorrow likes and clings to associations which minister to it, therefore, like Mary, you "sat still in the house". (John 11:20) But while you are there it is your sorrow only which occupies you; your sorrow is your greatest thought, and your friends who comfort you only comfort you respecting your sorrow. No greater thing engages you; your sorrow is not relieved though you may be comforted. The sorrow is still the circle of your thoughts, and the comfort is only in connection with it. Nothing greater than the sorrow engages you. We never can have relief from anything which interests us, but by something greater than itself, and what is more interesting, even comforting, to sorrow than to minister to it, and according to its depth this is so. One seems never to get enough of it. The terrible blank is bitter, endured the more the desolations on account of it are reviewed by the soul. Like cures like in that sense.

Nothing soothes this terrible wrench but the view of the consequences of it. The heart craves to see, though hardly with strength to endure seeing it. Yet it says, 'Let me see it and survey, though I die in seeing it. I will know the worst, for now the worst suits me best'.

But this is all in the house while the sorrow is the controlling interest. But hear! "The Master is come, and calleth for thee". (John 11:28) Can you stay any longer in the house now? Your friends may think that if you leave the house you are only going to the grave to weep there. What your heart clings to they naturally connect together - your house, your own circle, and the grave, for one is your sorrow, and so it is, the widowed heart can only pass from itself to the grave.

But a new interest is awakening, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee". (John 11:28) This was something

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greater than the sorrow, and you arise hastily, and now your heart learns what He is to you in your sorrow. Before only the sorrow occupied you, and it was assuaged by ministering to itself, now you are with Him whom your soul knows has power to restore all in the blessedness and eternity of His own life. Do you see His tears for you? "Jesus wept". (John 11:35) You would never have known that in the house; you must come out to Him or you will never know this. Your friends comfort you in your sorrow, He comforts you in His sympathy, which will do for you all that He would do for Himself in your circumstances.

Oh! your heart is bereaved; you want Lazarus; then you must stay with your Lord and walk with Him to the resurrection. Do not go back to your house - go to the grave with Him, and the light of the resurrection will stream in when the darkness is thickest, at the very grave. But you are with your Lord, with the One who knows and enters into your bereavement beyond all others, and this you cannot know unless you are in company with Him, walking with Him, beside Him, learning His sympathy for you, and realising in yourself that He is beside, leading you to that bright hour when He shall establish to you the witness of His love. And if you learn Him here, and as the light of the resurrection by Him breaks in on your soul, so will your response to Him partake of the very precious ointment which will fill the house with its odour. That your soul may readily and fully enter all this blessing is my constant prayer.


The Lord says, "He shall testify of me". (John 15:26) The Holy Spirit has come down, not only for our comfort, but to testify of Christ. Now, do you ever consult the Holy Spirit about the testimony of Christ? It is

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the Holy Spirit who is the great source and leader of the testimony as to means, as to ways, as to persons. If you believe that He is present, do you consult Him as to all this? There is a prayer we very often make use of: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 13:14); thank God, we all know something of that; "and the love of God"; of that, too, we can say we are not strangers to it; "and the communion of the Holy Spirit"; how much do we know of that? A man would not have the unblushingness to state that he had walked down the street with a great sovereign, or that the sovereign had done so with him, if it were not true, but we talk quite lightly of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and how much do we know of it?


To walk in Christ's life down here, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, acting as He acted, rears up a monument for all eternity. One is so often endeavouring to do some great thing, instead of the greatest of great things, which is always at hand, namely, to live Christ here. Every act that is of His life will endure for all eternity. I feel it would at the same time abundantly occupy me and fit me for any service, were I simply set on living Christ here; beginning my day with storing up the manna, and finding not a moment of my time uninteresting or unoccupied, because I had still another, and a fresh step to learn. The same step is not set on the second time. Act the step before you for this moment like Christ, and if you do, it will be recalled and revived at the judgment seat; but if not, that particular brilliant is lost, and you will never wear it. You will have plenty to do all day; and the man most in His life and ways is always most fitted and prepared for special services. A slave can adorn the gospel of Christ in all things.

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I am more and more convinced each day that the check to our prosperity is that the Spirit's work in us is not conscientiously submitted to. Everything has been accomplished for us; every desire of God for us has been fulfilled; but the Spirit's work - God's work now - is to make true to us what is true for us. Many christians are like houses in the course of construction, with a pile of bricks or stones lying quite contiguous to each building, but the building making very little progress. It is comparatively easy and pleasant work to procure the bricks or stones - I mean to read the word and learn the unsearchable riches of Christ, and yet with this there may be very little of the old house pulled down, and therefore very little of the new one built up. I believe that if we were conscientiously walking with the Spirit, we should know the brick or stone - the special truth which He is adding, the one which we next require for His work in us.


Everyone has an object, let him conceal it as he may. The smallest acts of his life betray him. It is a saying in the world - a man's character is betrayed by his involuntary acts. So with the believer. If the smallest acts spring from devotedness to Christ, there is no fear but that the greatest ones will.

The next thing the soul learns after salvation is the great fact that Christ is not here, that He has been rejected in the world where we live.

The next thing the soul learns after salvation is the g fact that Christ is not here, that He has been rejected in the world where we live.

The next question is, What am I doing here? The true answer is that my heart is not here, my heart is in heaven, but I seek to be here for Him, who is all my delight, in this scene of His rejection where His 'treasure' is, for His heart is here, though He has

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left the place; and therefore the chief and real interest of a heart true to Him is the only place He comes to, that is, the midst of His own, His assembly.


It is of the deepest importance that you should be acquainted with the Lord in glory individually, otherwise you will not apprehend Him in the assembly. I do not say that you do not learn there, but unless you are acquainted with Him in glory, and know your acceptance there through Him, you cannot recognise Him as Son over God's house.

I am sure any true-hearted christian, young or old, would say, Well, I would like to know Christ in glory. It does not say in heaven - glory is a condition - glory is the expression of God's satisfaction, according to all His attributes resting upon the Man who glorified Him. Are you acquainted with Him there? If you are attached to Him where you are, you seek His company where He is.

Nothing satisfies love but company. He is not here, but you have received the Spirit from Him glorified, you can reach Him there.

The first effect of this acquaintance is that you are occupied with His things according to the glory of God, and the second - "are transformed". This is the effect of this acquaintance.

I trust each one of you will own the deep importance of being acquainted with Christ in glory in all its blessed effects.


In 'Notes of Readings on Hebrews' the expression, 'a child's book', is not intended to convey that we could by any means be independent of this most

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important truth. It was addressed to Jewish converts just emerging from the camp, and no part of the sacred writings conduces more to preserve the believer from the camp, or to separate him from it. The Hebrews pre-eminently sets and establishes the soul in grace. As 'fellows' of Christ we are succoured by Him down here from His height above as well as sustained in the holiest. Romans teaches me the christian state. Hebrews leads me into the true christian place, unfolding to me the ministry of Christ on earth and in heaven. When it is said, none of us ought to have needed Hebrews, it is not meant that we do not require this book, but that we should not be in the position of Jewish converts, to whom it was written. Their tardiness in leaving the camp was used of God to give us a wondrous unfolding of Christ, not only to help them out of the camp but to preserve every believer from slipping into the camp.


Philippians 1:20

What a wonderful triumph! The body that Satan had the dominion over at first through sin, this very body, brought back by grace to God, becomes the medium that is to set forth Christ. He says, I am possessor of it now; if it go into the grave, I will raise it up again; and whilst it is here, I will so work in it by power that, whatever be the character of this perilous world, it shall be in it a representation of Myself.

What could be a greater delight to you than to know that you are representing Him here where He is not? There can be no change as to what is mine up there where He is, but now, down here where He is not,

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I am called to be an exposition of Him whilst He is away. The Lord lead our hearts to understand what a wonderful calling is ours, and enable us to be more and more expressions of the grace and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ, for His name's sake.


I do not see that anyone could learn his mission but in nearness to the Lord. I see that in John 20:21 the Lord sent His disciples, they were sent by Him. I read in Ephesians 4:7, that "unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ". I am assured that there is a special grace given to each (as each christian is a member of Christ's body), but I find that very few christians have learned from Christ what his or her special mission definitely is. It is plain enough that every christian is called of God to something definite. The real difficulty is to ascertain the speciality, and this I do not think can be ascertained but in nearness to the Lord, and when you are interested in His interests. We first learn that He is interested in us, and then we gradually become interested in His interests.


Man's mind, however beautiful, never rises higher than man. Christ's mind always thinks first of God. It is the lack of this which creates all our difficulty in judging of things. Man can have beautiful conceptions and sensibility, but it does not rise above man. The mind of Christ always begins with God, and this is 'wisdom'. "She openeth her mouth with wisdom". (Proverbs 31:26) When one hears anyone's speech, one ought to be able to tell whether he speaks from man's intellect or

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from Christ's mind, which has been given to us. As the apostle says "But we have the mind of Christ", (1 Corinthians 2:16)


The christian's path on the earth is very wonderful. He begins with infirmities - weaknesses; he is borne above these as he is drawn to Christ's side, and apart from them with Him advances into the holiest - to the presence of God - His true place with God. He is now at the highest point, but he is still here; and now he enters the race. He is set on running to Christ, he encounters difficulties - obstacles of various kinds - but the blessed Lord has gone the road; He is the beginner and finisher of faith. As you have faith, you surmount the difficulty, and as it is surmounted, you are the nearer to Him.

You begin with infirmities, you rise to the highest place with God, and then you confront the obstacles here on the way to Christ - a wonderful path.


While this word affords us unbounded encouragement and the largest expectations, yet there is a condition attached to it. You are to stand still - not only stand - but stand still. The Israelites were in great straits at the moment. Pharaoh behind them and the Red Sea before them, but notwithstanding all they are required to be "still", to leave it all to God. We often turn to God in our difficulties, but we do not leave it implicitly to Him to act for us. Moses was not standing still when he smote the rock twice. Paul had to learn to stand still after he had prayed three times, and often and often we can detect in

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ourselves the desire, if not the act, to forestall God and do something to accomplish a desired end. But if you leave it to God, it is quite wonderful the way He will act for you. Little did Israel expect He would open a way for them through the sea. He delivered Paul at Philippi in the most unexpected and marvellous way, and thus, as we wait on Him, does He show to our own hearts that He is for us, and if God be for us, who can be against us?


The great end of the gospel is, that all the offence has been so removed by the death and resurrection of Christ, that the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. I stand consciously in the favour of God; I know that God loves me.

The good tidings of God's grace is that He can be "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus", (Romans 3:26) that He can receive the returning prodigal in the fulness of His love. Consequently, the first sense of the Spirit in our hearts is the love of God shed abroad there.

The great end of grace is that God can make known His great love to us.

Many souls are hindered and delayed by trying to feel happy and sure of their salvation, instead of first being assured of how God is towards them because of the sacrifice of Christ. The gospel is that God receives the returning sinner with the gladness of His heart.

Now comes our side - our enjoyment of God's grace. When the prodigal was kissed he must own that his father was in full love to him, but he could not enjoy it until he was made fit for his father's house. The Holy Spirit who first assures you of the heart of God towards you, which is the gospel, is the same Holy Spirit who assures your heart that you are free of

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all the distance between you and God; and you are free of the law of sin and death.

When you are assured by the Holy Spirit that you are personally free of all connected with sin and death, then you "joy in God", which is the full effect of the gospel.

In John 4 the blessed Lord in speaking to the woman of Samaria proposes the gift of a well of water within; because while the gospel, in terms, might be known, yet no one could really enjoy the grace of God but by the Spirit dwelling in him. One who has in him a well of living water will never thirst; he will know that he has passed out of death into life; that he is "in Christ" - and that, in the sense of heavenly festivity, he has begun to make merry.

When Jonathan was acquainted with David, he not only loved him as he loved his own soul for what he had done, but they made a covenant. They understand one another. Let me say to you, Have you and Christ an understanding? Have you, speaking figuratively, a covenant with Him? Jonathan and David understood one another; there was a bond between them, and Jonathan delighted to make much of David. For us the bond is that He gives us the Holy Spirit. I want you to get to Him, and not to be satisfied with merely having relief.

Have you made acquaintance with the One who shed His blood for you? Do you know Him now as risen from the dead? If you do, He gives you the Spirit of God, so that there is a bond between you and Him. You are established in grace.


Many think that because He was perfect in flesh and blood, that the christian is to come to the same perfect Man. He was in the likeness of flesh of sin, but He

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knew no sin. He was sui generis (of his own kind) and was made flesh in order to bear the judgment on man in flesh and blood.

He, the perfect One in the flesh, bore the judgment on man, and judicially terminated that order of man, in the eye of God, on the cross. There the end of all flesh has come, so that He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one, wherefore He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

He is of a new order - out of heaven - and though He was altogether lovely in the eye of God here as a Man in flesh and blood, He gave up His life. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and no one can walk here, as He walked, who is not in the power of His life.

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Papers written or dictated by J.B.S. during his last illness (February 1896 - April 29th, 1897)

Died May 1st, 1897.

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Glory is the goal and climax of everything. The glory righteously displays itself. In the history of this world good and evil began together; good has overcome the evil in such a way that the glory is displayed, 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 more known it would work wonderful advancement in the progress of souls and in the testimony down here.

In 2 Corinthians 3 you have the gospel of the glory; glory has come in; everyone who believes is to be conformed to it. Now you have to look for the history of the glorified Man; that is, the purpose of God. There are two classes, the Man in the glory, and the man not in the glory. Stephen's testimony is refused as to the Man gone up into glory, and the Lord now sets up His church on the earth as being of that glorious Man, as you see in Revelation 1 and 2.

Chapter 1

The Lord is walking through the churches in judgment.

Chapters 2 AND 3

The history of the church. He has an establishment on the earth. But the glorified Man is not accepted on earth; there is an outward acknowledgment given to Him by the Latin Kingdom, but it is not genuine; therefore, instead of being according to Revelation 2, this acknowledgment becomes the mustard tree of Matthew 13. The candlestick is taken away from the church. The candlestick is that which had the character of the glorified Man.

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Chapters 4 and 5

He is acknowledged in heaven (Revelation 4:3), as the One entitled to the kingdom. In Revelation we get Him in three positions. First, He is seen walking among the candlesticks. Second, the candlesticks are put out, and He is acknowledged as the glorified Man in heaven. Third, He is in heaven now ready to come for us. Satan was put out by the new Man on the cross. Now what follows is, that Satan is trying to put out what is of the glorified Man on earth.

Chapters 6 AND 7

The great company of believers, Jews and gentiles, on the earth. There will be an immense company.

Chapter 8

You now read of wars, and then comes the history of the Revelation - Satan trying to supersede the Man in glory. It begins with the Latin Kingdom, i.e. the Roman empire which had received Him nominally. Where the glorified Man is acknowledged, the effort is to set Him aside by another. The first man is set aside by Christ; the effort of Satan now is to bring in antichrist.

Chapter 9

The countries outside the Latin Kingdom are drawn in to help the Latin Kingdom in its object.

Chapters 10 AND 11

The Jew is involved: the history closes.

Chapter 12

The Man child is now seen as caught up (the rapture), and the glorified Man is completely refused; the intent is to destroy what is of Him on earth: no place for the glorified Man on earth, no acknowledgment of Him except in heaven.

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Chapter 13

Brings in antichrist. Now transpires Satan's object, viz., to make the man of the earth come out in great magnificence to monopolise the rights of the Man in glory. Antichrist is brought in to surpass Christ in the eyes of men.

Chapter 14

Warnings of the coming judgment.

Chapter 15

The shout of victory - of God's salvation.

Chapters 16 - 17

Man is set up in earthly magnificence to displace Christ, and to deny His rights, Babylon is destroyed, and the King - the Lord of glory comes.

Chapters 19, 20 AND 21: 8,9

The marriage of the Lamb, and all those who are in heaven preparing to come to earth, with the history of saints up to the final state.

Chapters 21: 9 - 27; 22: 1 - 5

The holy city, New Jerusalem on earth.

It is very striking to notice the difference between the present state, even of a Philadelphian saint, and the bridal state. In the former you have a "little power", (Revelation 3:8) have kept His word, and not denied His name, etc. But, as the bride, you come forth having the glory of God and a light most precious; that is her appearance; it is one of the marks of the bride. She is all glorious without and within. "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal". (Revelation 21:10,11) There is also moral superiority, holy exclusiveness, gates and high walls, no defilement can enter. Then the street of gold; your walk is in divine righteousness, and the gates for the admission of those who are

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entitled to enter. "The Lord God almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it", (Revelation 21:22) that suits the saints on earth in heavenly light. It is not the heavenly circle as such, but the heavenly circle in relation to earth that is described here; and therefore she is above everything that was offered to her here; she comes out in beautiful contrast to anything that had ever preceded on earth; no natural light - for the Lamb is the 'lamp', the same word as in chapters 1 and 2. The last characteristic is the Holy Spirit - the river in the midst - the wonderful power that is to come in on the earth, a beautiful contrast to even a Philadelphian saint. She appears in glory, clad in light.

Chapter 22

The Spirit and the bride bid Him come to reign, and He comes quickly!

February, 1896


I have been pondering many hours on Colossians and reproaching myself as to how little I have led others into the truth of union. The main point of christianity is union with Christ, yet how little it is known.

I see seven steps in it

(1) You are cleared of the old thing (Colossians 1:13) as in Romans 8.

(2) You get the new thing, "Christ in you" (verse 27)

(3) You use it "Set your affection on things above", chapter 3. Many are cleared of the old thing who do not see that they have got the new thing, and then that they have to use it. You are not conscious that it is your own, or that you have it, till you use it. It is not here exactly the place - but if united to Himself, His place must be your place.

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(4) His works, tastes and interests must be yours - and this you begin to enter on when you know Him.

(5)You know Him as Head, and the more you are with Him who is your Head, the more you get to understand what is His will and pleasure.

(6) The nearer you are to Him the more you know His love. You do not know His love unless you are near Him (Ephesians 3:18, 19), and that is the way you are "filled with all the fulness of God".

(7)You are above the power of Satan; (Ephesians 6:11, etc).

February, 1896


In John's gospel comes in distinctly the new order of the glorious Man.

In chapter 2 we find the utter ruin of the first man.

Chapter 3. He has to be born again, to be of a new order.

Chapter 4. He gets a new power upon earth, apart from, above and beyond anything that is on earth; he is made practically independent of everything on earth. "Shall never thirst". (John 4:14) There is the new order, new line of things, and starting with the new power.

Chapter 5. He has passed out of death into another life.

Chapter 6. He feeds upon the living bread, the bread that came down from heaven.

Chapter 7. He receives the Spirit of God from the glorified Man. "The Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified" (John 7:39) - until there was a glorified Man.

Chapter 8. The law supposed a certain amount of good in man. You cannot talk of good now; the new order is absolutely distinct from the old. The great thing to insist upon is the entire newness of it, no improvement of the old, though a man still. (This is

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a sort of preface to chapter 8.) Now in chapter 8 light draws the line, discloses what is of God and exposes what is merely of man, a very beautiful line. Light discloses that there is a new kind of man, a glorified man, not a fallen man; John 7:39. The fallen man is shut out and a new order of man brought in. The great point of the gospel is that the offending man is cleared away, not even improved; and a Man after a new order is now before God.

In chapter 9 you find that you cannot know light except in the solitude of light; the blind man is outside everything that is recognised by man on earth, and it is there he makes acquaintance with the Light; he is morally in a place outside of everything with the Light - the Son of God; and it is there he is made to understand the new place for the sheep, which chapter 10 opens out; so that what comes out is, that the same character of intimacy that exists between the Father and the Son is to be known by the sheep; John 10:14,15. It is a wonderful thought, that this is the common portion of all the sheep of the one flock looking at them here on earth. Though we have not yet a glorified body we are in association with Him who is the glorious One. In association with Him you appropriate the taste for glory, so that you would do a thing according to that taste even in the smallest duty down here. You are not improved, but your taste is altered. You like a thing that is according to the glorified Man better than the thing that is according to the most reformed or the best cultivated man. It is the difference between keeping the law and getting into the company of the glorious One; you imbibe the taste for what suits Him. (This prepares for chapter 12, our new place with Him.) I want to show the gain of glory for the present moment - it is from it we derive. As we look at it we are transformed into the same image; you first see that you belong to glory, the Spirit of God connects you with glory; and

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then you get the taste, and you act in correspondence with your tastes, which are new, and in one sense inconceivable. You ought to do everything according to the glorified Man - not that the old man is improved, but because you have the Spirit of God.

Chapter 11. The Son of God is glorified. Resurrection is come in. Lazarus is raised from the dead.

Chapter 12. He receives all the glory which is given to man - King of Israel and Son of man anticipatively, as the One raised from the dead by the glory of the Father (verse 28).

Chapters 13 to 17 anticipate that He is gone to glory, and that He administrates everything here through His own - from glory through the church.

Chapter 20. The first day of the week - the beginning of the new creation, He appears in the assembly; and in chapter 21 He comes Himself.

February, 1896


I have been thinking a good deal of what sort of person the servant would be if he were really here for Christ.

A solemn place the servant is called to; he is to stand for God first, and then to act towards men. It is not so much what he does, as what he is. "Be a model of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity", 1 Timothy 4:12. Like a star in the sky - he is here for God. He may have his peculiar mission besides, may help people; but what is the calling and portion of every servant of Christ - of one called out for His service on the earth where He has been refused; and where He has sent the Holy Spirit? His beginning is to stand for Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in the place where Christ has been rejected.

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The first great lesson he has to learn is what Christ is Himself in His own sphere. Hence he learns in the gospel of the glory that in Christ Himself are set forth all the attributes of God in a Man, that He is a Man in glory. It is there that the servant begins his acquaintance with Him, and as his acquaintance advances the servant enters into the greatness of His purpose; not only about everything of man, and this world, but to establish the glory of God everywhere. The Lord leads His servant, not only apart from this scene, where Christ is not, which is the wilderness, but he is made sensible of His absence, so that the world becomes a wilderness to him. Then the servant is conducted through Jordan into Christ's own sphere.

Now in Christ's own sphere he seeks the things above, and an entirely new day as Christ's servant opens before him. He not only knows Him in His own sphere, but the power and perfection of His grace are given to him from the Head of the church. The true servant is to express Christ here - to be the expression of his absent Lord.

When a man is first called out, he is often very earnest, but too often it is more for the truth than for the Lord Himself. This is where the weakness in all service has come in. The exposition of the subject of the grace of God, or of some truth, has been the aim, rather than the Person, and the consequence is, that practically, the servant is looking for supporters in his work, and counting his success by his followers, instead of having his heart as full as when he had only the Lord, and could say, No one stood with me, but I am standing here for Christ. When the servant has to do with people, he is affected by them in his private circumstances, etc. - he is not able to say he has set "his face like a flint". (Isaiah 50:7) The true servant ought to be able to stand alone, like Paul in the storm (Acts 27:21), and say, "Ye should have hearkened unto me".

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For a servant to be here for Christ fully, he must be a man come from heaven; he must come from Christ; he cannot be above the power of Satan otherwise (see Ephesians 6), and he is not fully for the Lord till then. "Stand therefore" (verse 14). You may say how few there are of such! There is plenty of excitement about praying for the work, and as to setting the gospel before souls, but this is not the Person, nor is it the ability to stand for the Lord in a crisis.

When you see a man occupied with his preaching, it is the effect of his preaching he is thinking of, instead of seeing whether he has presented Christ so that souls should be absorbed with Christ. In order to do this he must be in the power of the heavenly Man, and free from what affects a man naturally; he must come from Christ, and have Christ before him. Christ must be his object if he is to present Him here; he cannot go beyond what he knows of Him; the servant can only express Christ as he knows Him, and he can only know Him as he is with Him.

As the church declined many sought place and power in the church. Then those who had learning, and who commended themselves to man, were appointed by man, and the one or two sent of God, the really devoted ones, were not recognised, but lost sight of. Thus the church became the huge system which we now see prevails. But the true servant is sent of God; it is not place nor position that he seeks, but to do Christ's work; and therefore while the mass of appointed ministers have only the safety of souls before them, none of them is set for the purpose of God.

This accounts for the solemn fact, that what ought to be the great aim of every servant is so little known. The servant himself is not in full power to set forth the heavenly Man until he is himself in the purpose of God for every believer; that is, until he knows that he is united to Christ.

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Then he can stand for Christ above the whole force of this evil world; then he is practically a witness of Him, because he is superior to the power of the wicked one in the world.

The root of all failure in ministry is in overlooking the fact that you cannot set forth Christ but as you come from Him. The servant cannot express Him but as he knows Him, on the principle of "what hast thou which thou hast not received?" (1 Corinthians 4:7) You may know the words of the Bible and put them together well, but that is not the present ministry of Christ; it is not the real ministry of one who has come from Him. Putting thoughts together, making nice sermons, may be very instructive; but setting forth Christ is a different thing. To set forth the Person, as knowing His present mind, you must come from Him, you must know, not only what He was, but what He is. This is the reason that so much ministry wants definiteness. There is no aim, no line in it, because it has not been received as distinct instruction from Himself. A servant might explain a course of study of the word, or of doctrine, or of conduct - his own apprehension of the subject - and yet it might not be under the immediate direction of the Lord.

If a man comes from Christ he communicates something of Christ to the saints; any attempt at ministry apart from Himself only betrays that the servant does not know the great end of ministry - namely, God's purpose for every believer, that he should know that he is united to Christ. Therefore the great work of a servant is to lead souls into that. Until the soul realises that it is united to Christ, the servant's work is not done. Like Abraham's steward, he has to bring Rebekah to Isaac; then the believer moves about as a part of Christ down here, in His power and for His pleasure.

It is very beautiful to me that as He is endeared to you, and as you know Him, and are drawn nearer to

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Him, you value union with Him, and you find out that you are united to Him.

It is not His greatness putting you at a distance, but the more you know of it and the better you know Him, the more you are drawn to Him.

The servant who enunciates truth may instruct souls, but it is quite a different service so to present the Person of Christ to you, that He is endeared to you; so that you rejoice to be united to Him. The servant's work is not done till then, nor is he accomplishing the purpose of God in his service, which is to bring Christ Himself more distinctly and effectively before the souls of His people, who thus become practically part of the bride, which with the Spirit calls upon Him to "Come" and reign here!

February, 1896


Many truly desire to be in the assembly, but they have not found the only way to it.

The great work of God of late in the revival of truth has been to lead souls into a knowledge of acceptance with God - the greatness of God's acceptance of the believer. In fact, most christians of the present day do not get beyond assurance, and they who have found acceptance see that now they must be led by the Spirit and not by man; this has caused the separation from system in this century, and many think because they are separate from system that they are in the assembly: but this is very deceptive.

The first step for those who have reached acceptance is that they seek to enjoy it, and the more they do so, the more they find that they cannot, unless they know deliverance, for it is realised in the Spirit. Now deliverance is very little known; when deliverance is known you realise that you are in the Spirit, and not

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in the flesh, Christ is your life and you find that He is not here, that you are in a scene where He has been refused; this discovery makes quite a new era in the soul, because as He is your life, the more you seek Him the more you discover that He is not only not here, but that He is totally rejected and refused in this world. No one can explain what it is to a soul to realise fully that he is in a scene where the One who is his life is rejected; he must shrink from the place and everything connected with it.

The whole effort of the pretentious organisation figured in the mustard tree is to give the impression that Christ is honoured here; this only makes the scene more trying to the true heart. In ordinary life the absence of one in your circle on whom you are dependent is deeply felt, but if he is violently refused a place how different the whole order of things here must become to you!

How must it affect you at every turn to see that the Lord who is your life is rejected from this world, and now you cannot make anything of yourself in a place where He is unrighteously disowned; everything opens out to you in a new and forbidding way as He who is your life - eternal life - is not only refused here but He is gone to another place, sat down at God's right hand in heaven.

Now you begin to look for the assembly; then the assembly becomes a wonderful relief to the heart, to find He has a place here, not of the world or of its order: and being come to Him as the living Stone, you are built up as a stone in God's assembly. You have not only found a spot in divine contrast to all the contrariety and to all the assumption here, but a spot also apart from all here, and you spiritually are across the water on the other side of death and judgment.

Now you begin to know what the assembly is, and finally you learn what is only learned in the assembly as you form part of it - that you are of it; you form

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a constituent part of it, as a stone from the quarry formed part of Solomon's temple. There is no other way to the assembly.

February, 1896


Revelation 3:14 - 22

It must strike every careful reader that the Laodiceans are addressed as if they did not know the gospel. They are very boastful of their great acquisitions. "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"; but when they come to be inspected, they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked". Now where the gospel is truly known a man has "joy unspeakable and filled with the glory" (1 Peter 1:8); he is not "wretched, and miserable". It is very remarkable that of the last church it should be insisted on how little they had learned the gospel truly; for they are "miserable, and poor", and Christ is outside! The gospel is that the man under judgment has been removed in judgment in the death of Christ, while He, the Man of God's pleasure is "raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4); so it is clear that if you know the gospel you are out of the man in the flesh, and in Christ "all things are become new". (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is the first great point with Laodicea, they have not known the gospel, they have not changed the man in the flesh for the man in the glory; Christ is not formed in them, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20); there is no new creation.

It is deeply affecting that it is to the last of the churches the painful fact is divulged that after all the church is not established in the gospel! While assuming to have all the blessings bestowed on the church, it comes out that the source of all their blessing is not

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in their midst: He is outside the door! It is deplorable to see the assumption to which man can come in the church of God, to aspire to the highest position, and at the same time not to know the beginning and foundation of all, namely, the gospel of the glory of Christ.

In testimony he is lukewarm, no apparent vitality in his manner of life; on the contrary, to the eye of God, they were "wretched, and miserable". With all their boast of their great possessions they have nothing, they are not happy, their inside condition is "miserable"; their outside condition is that they are "blind", they cannot see what an ordinary christian sees; "and naked" - their blemishes and defects are conspicuous to those who can see. There could not be a more lamentable company assuming to be the church of God. But no one could know his place in the church who had not Christ formed in him. If Christ be formed in you He lives in you. Evidently this company does not know what it is to have Christ formed in them. If Christ be in me, it is not I but Christ; I know that Christ lives in me. It is a very different thing to know that Christ liveth in you and for Him to be outside, knocking at the door. It is really inconceivable the degree of incongruity to which the human mind can run, to suppose that such a company can be a part of Christ. In the first place they do not need Him, they are lukewarm in action, as those not interested about Him; and in the second place, they have not a single trait of Him! Those who speak the most of the greatness of their possessions have none of the energy or vigour of those who really possess.

The remedy the Lord proposes to them shows where they are; they must buy, they have nothing to give for it except themselves. It is plain they have not done so. There is no bargain made to give up oneself for another, no exchange; they have not sought the righteousness of God through conflict, "gold tried in

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the fire". In every way they disclose that they have never changed from Adam to Christ; they are not in the Spirit; they are in the flesh.

Those who say that everything is pure grace, limiting God's grace to all that He has done for us, and who overlook the working of His grace in us, correspond in a way to the Laodicean state; and they disclose the characteristic of men walking in the flesh, and not in the Spirit. You notice this very strikingly in what is called the objective school; they are very conscious of the greatness of their possessions but they never give you the idea of being possessed by them.

Early in this century in a very special way the Lord revived the knowledge of His grace, and exposed the folly and ignorance of the Arminian school; but those who are exclusively wedded to objective truth, betray that they do not understand the work of the Spirit in them. No one could be in company with either of these schools without seeing how each has suffered loss; but it is worse for a man to assume to have great possessions while having none of the virtues of them, which is to be too objective, than for one to be wishing for them, as if he by his own assiduity could acquire them, which is to be too subjective.

The Lord's remedy is most gracious, embracing the whole moral destitution in a way beyond all conception. He knocks, and if any man open the door He comes in to him to sup and be with Him. So that the reform of Laodicea is new in every particular, a reflex of the life and manner of the Lord Jesus Christ - He is inside with them. Wonderful change from the greatest moral distance to the greatest social nearness. The church of the Laodiceans describes the full blown and worst state of the apostasy - profession without principle, while those delivered from it are made, by association with Christ, an epitome of Himself. A beautiful triumph of the grace that "worketh in you".

March, 1896

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It is evident that you must be with Christ in His place before you can have communion with Him, and many miss the blessing because they are looking for it apart from being with Him where He is.

If we realise that He is not here, in no way could we reach Him now, but by the Spirit, leaving this place and going to His place. This is where the defect in saints is. People are ready to change from one place to another in this world if they can secure an improvement, but there is a great reluctance, even in saints, to leave it altogether for another region. The idea in christendom, founded on the supposition that Christ is here, is, that in going from one chapel or place of worship to another, you can get nearer to Him, whereas the fact is that He is not here, and you can only get to Him by the Spirit of God. It is on the principle of "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink". (John 7:37) This is not going from meeting to meeting, but going to Him in the place where He is, to which the Spirit of God always leads you. It is only where He is that you can behold His personal glory, and it is there you are transformed into the same image. There you have communion with Him. It is easy to see what a change it would make to us all if we realised that we can only reach Him in His own place by the Spirit. When He comes into our midst it is from His own place to administer to us, not to remain in this place with us. It is a great thing to ascertain what is before the heart. Is it the desire to find something, or is it simply the desire to reach the Person from whom everything comes? It is a new day to your soul when you realise that Christ is the source of everything, and that it is from Himself you must draw, and not from ministry about Him. Many can explain Scripture and even apply it, who are not under the power of it themselves. They have not

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come from Him, and are not themselves imbued with that which they are trying to convey. There is much wise counsel and good teaching which is not applicable to the moment. It does not effect what is the Lord's desire as the end of ministry, which is to lead the soul to Himself, because it is not spoken in communion with Himself. You must first get to where He is, and then you are brought into concert with the scene where He is.

The first thought of every true heart ought to be that Christ is not here, and no record of what He has said satisfies the one who wants to be in possession of His mind at this moment. We hear varied opinions about a given matter. If you really felt that the Lord is not here you would not venture to give an opinion until you had gone to Him. You might look at the Bible or go to the Synopsis to see how a thing ought to be done, but that is not getting under the influence and impress of His own presence. Doubtless He would send you to the scripture. You might go to it without His sending you, but then you would not be under the same impression, and you would miss the vigour and fervour of His presence. This is an immense cheer to me. In general we read Scripture, not looking for communion with Him, but looking to understand what He communicates. We are not looking to see how He entered on what He communicates, and what it was to Himself.

After this preface we may look at the subject as a whole. There are two kinds of communion; the one has to do with the circumstances in which Christ is, and the other with what His mind is in those circumstances. One is of Him, the other with Him.

Now there are three distinct orders of communion - the individual, the personal, and the general. I mean by individual, having Christ the centre of everything, His own individual connection with any given thing. We understand individual communion with the Lord

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when we are occupied with Him in some individual work. Moses is an example of it, when he was forty days with Him getting the pattern of the tabernacle. Secondly, communion is personal when Himself is the great object. It is all Himself - what He personally is when He comes to me, as in John 13 and 14; and the general is, what is open to the whole company, open to all through eternal life. It is evident the third includes the first two, and you could not know His mind fully unless you know the whole three.

We will now look at communion with God in His works from the beginning. The more anyone contemplates the Lord's mind at the beginning in the garden of Eden, and the final issue of it all, the more fully will he apprehend the greatness of God's counsel at the commencement. It would not be only taking a superficial glance at the great intention at Eden, but if he apprehended the greatness of God's counsel, he would be a living exponent of the solemnity of it. If a person were able to impart to another his acquaintance with realities which are beyond human vision, what a wonderful effect it would have! It would impart a weight which no human learning could supply.

Now, if we go on from Eden to the deluge, we are introduced to another range of thought. Man had become so intolerably bad that there was no remedy for him. How little a passing reader, however minutely he reads and studies it, can conceive the immense range that is opened out before the soul in the history of the deluge! Man made in the image of God is become so corrupt that there is no remedy for him, so God removes him, and then He brings in One who is able to bear the judgment resting on man and to rise out of it, so that God can not only remove the judgment resting on man, but He supplants him by Another! In removing the man that has offended, God substitutes the Man who has done His pleasure in every thing.

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If one thinks of what it is for a man to be made in the image of God, it is no wonder that he should be elated at the greatness of his origin; and therefore, man's intense unwillingness to part with the man of the first order. No one heartily parts with the first man - with himself, until he makes the painful discovery that in his flesh dwells no good thing; and that the Man who died for him is the One who has borne the judgment for him, and is the spotless Son of God. So that not only is the offending man brought to an end in the cross, but every believer has a new beginning of the order of Him who is risen from among the dead, and who is the Man of God's pleasure. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive". (1 Corinthians 15:22) After man is typically removed in the deluge, Noah is set up in favour and in power (in consequence of the offering up of the burnt-offering) on the same earth, where after the old order man is intolerable. Who can take in, or be in company in any measure with the mind of the Lord in this great work, and not take his place here on earth as one so deeply affected by it, that he looks at and regards everything in a divine light? He cannot be thoughtless or trivial in his connection with this world. No one could be in communion with God as to the scene of man's fall, and the greatness of his redemption out of it, who would not be affected in his life and conversation beyond what any learning could give. To be in communion with Him would give a light and intelligence beyond all creative knowledge, for it would be divine. We see in the final issue that those who are not redeemed will endeavour to seize upon the earth in simple usurpation, just as it was after the deluge, when Noah's descendants began to build a tower which was to reach to heaven, hoping to be in pure independence of God.

Up to this we have only looked at the effect of being in company with the Lord in the greatness of His

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works. We have not spoken yet of being in communion with His mind. When we come to see the work, fulfilled on the cross where our old man is crucified with Christ, and we, being born of God, live in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, we are conducted into the circle of His mind and purpose which affects ourselves. We have received the Holy Spirit and are united to Him who has effected this redemption. The more we are in communion with the Lord touching these infinities, the more we are absorbed with Him, and no exposition of the truth could have the same effect. When I am listening to the exposition of my part in this great purpose, I am occupied with the part, instead of with the whole range in the new creation, where all is of God, and where Christ's great activity is displayed in life - eternal life, which is knowing the Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent; John 17:3. That is eternal life. Christ's authority is displayed in giving it. When you get into the element of life you get into a region in which there never was any corruption. It is almost too wonderful to take in, that none of the old order is even to be feared when there. It is an element where not a shadow of impurity could enter; and therefore it is a contrast between one receiving the grace of life here, and being in the element of life - knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. Life is in its proper function as it were, and thoroughly exclusive. It is not only that we are saved and are happy, but we have eternal life in its proper activity - to "know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". (John 17:3) And this in the sphere of the most profound holiness. No extent of intimacy or sense of affection could awaken a shade of natural feeling; for we are in the divine element where we are above anything natural, or morally selfish. We are in the element where "of" and "with" are both fulfilled, and where there can be no departure from the purity of love.

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Once we get to understand the nature of communion, how it expresses the mind of the Lord, we see what an immense gain it is to us spiritually. The greatest thing is to have communion with the Father. The Son is always in communion with the Father, and as we get into communion with Him, we then share in His communion with the Father. We learn communion with the Father through the Son. Consequently we rise from our own distance to His height, and are not in communion until we are at that height. It is not a work, but the happy outflow of nearness. We may know many fine things, but we are not in communion with the Father until then.

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. He is always 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 this, and not the knowledge that is prominent with us. Not seeing this is the beginning of the mistakes so often made about communion. "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full". (1 John 1:4)

March, 1896


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 ("I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me",) Philippians 4:13. 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

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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 "Fear not", (Luke 5), 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". (Luke 5:8) 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 showing 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 Song of Solomon 1:4 began rightly when she said, "Draw me, 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 true in heart to Him, you can follow out what you get in chapter 2, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet

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to my taste". (Song of Songs 2:3) 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". (Song of Songs 2:4)

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 chapter 5. Sleeping is not doing anything actually wrong, but it is making oneself happy without the Lord, 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", (Song of Songs 6:3) 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

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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 in the purity and perfection of His work, so that she could have said: "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 here 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 would look at it, not as being in the trouble, but as living with Him out of it, marking His gracious way of freeing from it.


March 30th, 1896

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John 13

When Christ had risen and the Holy Spirit was given, one might have, supposed that everything would now be on the new line as it is with God - the Man in glory, the accepted Man, and the Holy Spirit the power, and the bond with Him. "He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit". (1 Corinthians 6:17)

But because the necessity of the feet washing is not seen, even by those who accept this truth in a broad way, there is much confusion and weakness in the saints everywhere. So that it becomes a question of great moment - What is neglected? The secret of it is that the necessity of the feet being washed is overlooked. The Lord is risen indeed, and the Holy Spirit has descended. These are established facts but where the great deception and loss prevail is in ignoring the solemn fact that you cannot now have part with Christ (though you admit that the Holy Spirit has come) while there is a shade of distance between you and Him. The distance on God's side has been removed on the cross; you are reconciled by His accomplished work; but you cannot have part with Christ or conscious association with Him on the new ground on which He has entered, unless you know His present service, in removing from you practically what is unsuitable to Himself on the new ground.

In John 13 the Lord opens out to His disciples the new ground, and how He gathers them to Himself on the ground that they are to share with Him where He is. When sitting at the supper table He rises and pours water into a basin, and begins "to wash the disciples' feet". (John 13:5) We learn from this scripture the all-importance of the washing - the removal of that which causes any shade between us and Christ. If this shade or distance, which is caused by the feet not

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being washed, did not occur, there could not be the confusion and weakness which now prevail. The Lord has entered on resurrection ground, and He would conduct His disciples to this same ground. But though they had known Him in an earthly way, they could not share with Him on this new ground while they were soiled by connection with the corruption which He had put away in His death and resurrection. Hence, it is deeply interesting to note that He introduced the water as a necessity to ensure conscious maintenance on the new ground; He had been intimate with them here on earth - the place of their sin, but now they are conducted outside of everything that once barred them from Him.

It is a deception of the worst kind to suppose that I can have part with Him in the scene where He is, while I am in a scene where everything defiled by sin has been removed by His death, except as I am free from it by the washing of the water, which is emblematic of His death. In Christ's death, that which caused the distance, or any sense of it, was removed before God. This is brought home to the soul through the word, and is what is so little practically accepted. It is not that the Scriptures are not read, and in christendom gospel work is insisted on, but there is no sense that, in association with Christ, we belong to a new place now, which we cannot enjoy while we are in any wise tainted with the things of this world, so that even in our daily life we should always be bearing about in our bodies the dying of Jesus.

It is of the deepest importance to see how the church began on earth. Though the Lord knew His disciples in the greatest nearness here, as we learn from John 10:14, 15, yet now that He was going to be with the Father they could not enjoy Him there, but as they were in the moral benefits of the cross. Hence the church, which began in communion with Himself, is now one great mass of worldliness. Great truths are

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not denied, but mere professors assume the most prominent places. How differently the church on earth would be seen if we were morally true to the virtue of His work!

He surrounds Himself with us on this ground: every element which might be brought in from the world which would cause distance or reserve He provides for the removal of, in washing the feet.

It is very simple if you look at their place of nearness to Him here on earth. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name". (John 17:12) It was necessary when He gathered them round Himself, in view of the new ground that He was about to enter on, that they should be perfectly clear of that which would cause any sense of reserve. Hence He poured water into a basin to wash their feet. No one is troubled by a sense of distance or reserve who has not known the intimacy of love. If each one of a company surrounding Him were exercised as to the removal of anything that would cause a shade of distance, how blessed it would be! Who can conceive what a different state the church would be in if every member lived in the sense of his susceptibility to contract defilement in the scene we are passing through, and that we thus require the present service of Christ, which is expressed by washing the feet - the entire removal of any sense of distance, before we can enjoy to our hearts' delight the intimacy of His love. The fact is that there could be no sense of distance unless there had been a sense of nearness. The exercise indicates simple truthfulness of heart that will not go on with any interruption of the sense of nearness.

The feet-washing is the Lord's own doing, not ours, We often know that there is distance, but do not know the cause of it. If everyone was in the solemn consciousness that only the washing of his feet could remove that which causes the distance, there would be more intimacy with Christ in the joy of the Holy

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Spirit. How different the whole church would be! If everyone realised what it is to be cleared by His present service from what is unsuitable to Him, what joy it would be to Him, and what unspeakable gain to us! He in His grace fits us for the enjoyment of Himself. If we are not with Him where He is, we cannot be for Him where He is not. We must be inside the veil to be outside the camp. Instead of the church being on this ground - association with Him in His own sphere, it has become a great system, with orderly appearance, and satisfied with character among men.


March 28th, 1896


A christian's life on earth is the most peculiar one. He is the object of the love of God, that from its immensity and power can secure everything good to its object, while on the other hand a christian is exposed to the most trying circumstances here. Until we distinctly understand that we are born of God, and also born of the flesh, we shall never understand this great contrariety.

If a christian would begin here, as simply a child of God, looking for nothing but what came from God, he would find how thoroughly he is the object of His infinite love.

As a rule, christians want God to minister to the man in the flesh; they judge of His love by their circumstances. For instance, if he is poor, he would like God to make him rich; but if he turns to God, He makes him happy in his poverty. If he cannot sleep, thoughts of God come with such freshness to his soul that he is better off than if he were asleep. Thus born of God and poor, you may be supremely

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happy; whereas, if you are seeking to be rich or to make yourself comfortable, it is not the love of God you are looking to, but that He should minister to your own selfish desires. If a man is very poor he has more occasion to look to God, whereas if he has means he has what may divert him from dependence on God.

The one thing for a christian is to find out the clear path in which to do God's pleasure. It is not whether he has the means, but whether it is God's pleasure for him to use the means. It is not our wants that cause our trials, but our using earthly means to alleviate our wants, instead of the heart turning to God for alleviation. It may be asked - why does God give means to some and not to others? I always find that means are a test to every christian. If you have the means in your hand, of course you are at liberty to use them; but the secret is whether you use them according to God's purpose for you, or according to your own tastes and desires. As a rule, I believe that any christian who judges himself will find, if he studies the course of things carefully, that it was his use of means that had got him into every trouble and disappointment, and in the end it was God that had to get him out of the trouble, as much as if he had not had the means to use.

I have found after a lengthened experience, that the very thing one has most desired, if attained by human means, actually ends in bringing about the very sorrow which one desired to avoid, and which one would probably not have had if one had not had the power to gratify one's desires. Hence I see that the use of means is the test as to whether one is cast on God or on human methods.

You have to begin with the fact that you are an object with God. If you do not begin with this, you become an object to yourself, and I believe the great value of having means in this world, is to show how one can waive present gratification in order to serve

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others, and thus to secure a reward hereafter. According to Luke 16, the steward had all the property under his control, but he expended it, not on himself, but for the benefit of others, and he had accordingly a future reward.

Judging of God by what He is, I should say a man dependent on Him without means would, in the long run, be as well cared for as a man with plenty of means. I believe there is no happier path for a man than to be dependent on the Lord from day to day for support through his daily work. It is right for him to have daily labour, and it is happy for him to be satisfied with it in dependence on the Lord. It is better than having private means, or being dependent on anyone but God. A missionary who could work with his own hands "the thing which is good" in dependence on the Lord would, I believe, have a happier time than one who was dependent on the gifts of others.

The "work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4:5) might be your duty, and you could look to the Lord for your remuneration; the whole secret is whether you are doing your duty - "If any man does not like to work, neither let him eat". (2 Thessalonians 3:10) The question is whether it is to the Lord you are looking for support and supply; your daily labour may be your duty, but if the demands of the Lord's service call for it, you certainly must give up daily labour; yet that man will surely come to sorrow, who does not work as hard in the Lord's service as he would in his secular calling.


March, 1896


I know that in christendom everyone who bears a christian profession is called a christian, but I desire to present the traits of one who is led by the Spirit of

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Christ ("If any one has not the Spirit of Christ he is not of him", Romans 8:9) and thus to expose that which assumes to be what it is not.

The first step in the soul after new birth has two parts: one, believing in the work of the cross, and the other, believing in Christ risen from the dead and now in glory (having borne the judgment of God upon man); and the Spirit is received, who assures him of God's reception in Christ. And next, by another action of the Spirit, he knows that he is in Christ, and that he is as to himself free of the flesh that cannot please God. There are many who believe in the work of Christ who do not know that they have received the Spirit of God, though through the grace of God they are perfectly safe, but they have no power until they have learned the twofold action of the Spirit of God in them. They have not consciously a bond with Christ personally. The one who has known this twofold action of the Spirit, can truly say, "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20) Until this is known and realised there is no true knowledge of Christ in you or power for walk. When you know that Christ is your life He is endeared to you in a new and peculiar way; already He is endeared to you by His work, but now by His life, and this is made known to you by the Spirit of God.

Now the light breaks in upon you that He who is everything to you is not here, and therefore the world is a wilderness to you - He has been refused in this world and has been called of God to His right hand. If you accept Him as your life, you must follow Him to where He is, and you will have the sense, because you have His life, that He is rejected here, but that you can enjoy Him where He is in His present exaltation.

In the first step you see that man has gone in the cross, and that you are in Christ before God, and clear

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in yourself as to the old man. In the second step (accepting Him as your life) you find that your place is determined by Christ's place, for he is your life. Now, if every believer knew these two steps, what a peculiar character they would present, how different would be the order and manner of their life down here, how different they would be from other men! But many who believe in the work of Christ have not consciously received the Spirit of Christ, and therefore have not practically accepted the crucifixion of the old man, and consequently they do not see that the earth is the place of Christ's rejection and heaven His place at present. Believers who have not consciously drunk the living water do not know the power of the Spirit - they may know that by the work of Christ they are clear before God, they have assurance, but they are really not in peace; they have not the sense of the absolute removal to the glory of God of the offender, + they do not rest in the fact that the old man is crucified with Christ in the sight of God, so that they are before Him in love, and that by another action of the Spirit of God they are in Christ, delivered from the flesh which could not please God; therefore not knowing that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death", (Romans 8:2) and that they have Christ for their life, they adopt the law for the rule of life here. All the systems are based upon the law for a rule of life, and every effort of devoted souls in system is to honour Christ on earth and to ignore His rejection from this world. With this idea they build churches and chapels. ++

To me it is inconceivable that a godly man with the Bible in his hand can fail to see that Christ is rejected

+If they return to it again, God judges them for that to which they have returned.

++Here the Romish ecclesiastic grasps every divine right on the earth, which will lead eventually to the usurpation of the earth by antichrist.

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here, and consequently that He is in the highest exaltation in heaven. Ignore the one and you ignore the other. If He is not rejected there is liberty for everyone to assert his rights on the earth. A politician, for instance, who believes in Christ's work, insists upon the rights of his country and his own rights where Christ who is his life is rejected, which is quite inconsistent. It is plain that it is not only faith in the work of Christ to the saving of the soul that constitutes a christian; to be a christian you must be a part of Christ, as a branch is part of a tree. You are not characteristic of Him unless you are in His life by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have not the Spirit of Christ you are not of Him.

Thirdly, when the christian knows that Christ is his life and that his life is not here, he comes to Him as the living Stone in the assembly, where he finds Him in His divine greatness in the holiest of all, above all the power of evil here. There, in that exclusive place, he learns His mind, and His present interest, and is enabled to "show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light". (1 Peter 2:9) Now the believer who has not advanced beyond the knowledge of Christ's work on the cross, though he is saved, has not found his place in the assembly, and consequently he has no knowledge of Christ's present mind and interests on the earth, but he is occupied with the official rule of the visible church. The more devoted anyone in system is, the more he seeks to maintain due order in the house of God from the bishop down to the curate, but you will remark that he has to do with office and not with gift. Gifts must come direct from the Head by the Spirit.

Finally, in the fourth step, which is knowing Christ in the assembly, you are led by Him into association with Himself into the highest scene, the holiest of all. Thus you rise above the wilderness and are across the Jordan in the sphere of His life; for there you know

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Him first as Head, and then that you are united to Him, so that you can carry out His pleasure here according to His will.


April, 1896


I have been struck lately, that, as far as I can judge, saints are not aware how much they lose by being diverted from the place where Christ is. One is very ready to say that Christ is one's treasure, but there is a positive proof that it is so, viz., that our heart is in the place where He is.

I desire to call attention to the importance of the place. It is not that the christian has no duties or engagements here, but when he is attracted by the natural beauties here his heart is diverted from Christ's place. One slowly learns this. If we look at ourselves historically, we are in the place where He is not, where He came to His own and His own refused Him. Now we all know that He is gone to another place, and while many a heart is fixed in turning to Him there, there is often great loss because it is attracted by some of the things in this present scene.

I see it is of great importance to get definitely before you that if your heart is much taken up with an object, the heart does not content itself with its affection merely, but it desires to be in the place where its object is. Ruth says, "Intreat me not to leave thee". (Ruth 1:16) We are in the place where Christ is not, and He who is our life is not here, and the more we realise that He is our life the more we enjoy Him when drawn to Him where He is. Hence, practically, this was the teaching of the wilderness. Nothing was to be found

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here to satisfy the heart, and thus the end of the wilderness is Jordan. You have accepted it as a privilege to be dead with Him to everything here - a blessed day for the heart because then it travels to the place where its treasure is. "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth". (Colossians 3:1,2) And now, in the sphere of His life, you know Him as Head, but I would that everyone would practically exercise himself as to this.

Anyone who truly judges himself when he is interested with fields or flowers must feel that he has been diverted from the place where his treasure is. If he has a garden he has to attend to it, but attention is a very different thing from attraction. One is a duty, but the other is the drawing away of the heart. Surely it is plain to everyone that if we were more occupied with the place where Christ is, we should be more weaned from the influence of present things. I have long insisted on heaven being our place, but I find now that you must get attraction there, and if He be your treasure, your heart will be there also. One cannot help remarking that as a rule those we meet with speak of something nice and to be admired here, instead of being able to refer to something where He is, as if their interests were here and not there.

I need hardly add more, but one thing in conclusion I must press, that union with Christ is realised only as you are led by the Spirit to Him where He is, and also that growth depends on your looking on the things that are not seen. Our inward man is renewed day by day, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.


April 17, 1896

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I desire to trace the way the work of grace is known. The work is the fruit of God's love, and therefore ever remains, but it is only in parts that we know it in the power of the Spirit.

First, after new birth we believe on Him and His death on the cross; then we believe on Him raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. Now a new day is opened to us, the Spirit of God assures us of God's reception, the Father's kiss to the prodigal. Next, we learn that there is no good in us, but that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 8:2)

Often a very long time may elapse, perhaps the forty years in the wilderness, between these two - acceptance and deliverance. The one, how God receives me in Christ; the other, how I can joy in God - set free from the flesh by the power of the Spirit. Now, I know that Christ is my life, and the more I enjoy Him the more I find that He is not here, and this makes the world a wilderness to me. And now the question arises - Where is He as to this world? We are taught in figure the true answer in Matthew 14, where He walks on the water. If He is known here He is known in an entirely new way, as supreme above all the power of evil - He was always superior to it, but now He is supreme above it all - and He teaches Peter in the step from the ship to Himself to take a place where His own life alone could maintain him, and thus John 6 and Matthew 14 occurred at the same time. He does not appear in the world again as He was here, but He that was here is made known in the world as He is now, Son of God over His own house. And Peter, though a stone already, has to come to the living Stone, the Son of God, to be built in, and to realise what it is to be with

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Him in the holiest of all, and from thence to come out to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.


April, 1896


There are three great eras in our walk on earth. First, we are brought to God. Second, the Holy Spirit is given, so that we not only know the acceptance of Christ, but our own deliverance. Then it is that our walk properly begins, and the end is to be here for Christ. "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20) That is the start, and that is the fruit of deliverance; the heart's settlement from that day out is -Where is Christ? Not I, but Christ - that He should be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. Christ is the Man to be manifested here. It is not a question whether a thing is good or pleasing, but is it Christ? "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof". (Romans 13:14) This simple rule, which is the sum of everything for walk, and necessarily most pleasing to the heart that is true, would not only make a reformation in all our ways, but would work in us a new way of doing everything here for God's pleasure, and serving Christ according to His mind. The constant tendency is to try to improve the manner of one's life here below by adopting christian principles, whereas you will never arrive at it unless you start from "crucified with Christ". Then it is not thinking of what I am, but of what He is, "Christ liveth in me".

The more you are in the power and ways of Christ, the more pleasing you are to God here on earth, and

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now you find your place in the assembly - God's house. There is no position which is so easily assumed in name as to be in the assembly, but none which it is of deeper importance for anyone true to Christ and desiring to be here for Him on earth, to be in by the Holy Spirit. There are certain great marks of His grace which cannot be known except in this new position: anyone conducted by Christ into this new position finds himself in a new scene, and the first effect of it is that he is absorbed with Christ. No one is really there who is not absorbed with Himself risen. Hence, if you see anyone in the assembly who is trifling or unsubdued, he is not morally in the new position. Saints coming into the room really drawing near the Lord, individually absorbed with Himself, would have a beautiful time. This is the first mark. If one thus individually absorbed offered a remark, it would be characterised by the place from which he comes. That which is of God must impress us. No one can be in this new position without being characterised by the things that are there, because you find them nowhere else. You come into the scene of Christ's joy, a scene of marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9), to a scene where He has been rejected and refused, and it must give a character to your deportment, which nothing else could.

When we remember that we are here for Christ, on the earth where He has been rejected, it is an immense favour that we should form part of the habitation of God by the Spirit, and that there we should see Him who is rejected here, acknowledged by God as outside of man and above all the winds and waves, above all the power here. What satisfaction this must give to any true heart that seeks to walk or to stand for Him. Not only have you part with Christ on the new ground, but you learn in company with Him what are His thoughts and interests in the church, what He is to you in it, and how He enables you to be for God

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through His effectual teaching there; so that each one is gifted according to His pleasure, and is able to serve souls according to His mind. He has given gifts for this purpose, and the nearer anyone is to Christ the better he understands His gift, and the better he can exercise it for the benefit of souls in true knowledge of their need. If a servant is thoroughly set to live Christ, the assembly becomes the especial interest of his heart, and the service of Christ necessarily follows. Possessions or earthly influence are no help to a servant. The more he is attached to the Lord, the more he relies on His grace alone.

It is very helpful to see that when the Lord rose from the dead, He gave gifts unto men. Now a gift, as far as I see, is some special impression of Himself to you, and the nearer you are to Him, the more you know Him, and the better you are able to minister of Him. We find prayer and ministry of the word go together. It is not by reading or study that you acquire a gift. A gift is from Himself. If it is a gift of the gospel, you receive it from Him. He gives you an impression of Himself, as He said to Saul of Tarsus, Thou shalt be a witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard: so with Moses in the burning bush. You have always before you through grace the impression He has given you of Himself as a basis for your service.

The third era is conscious union with Him. The one who has learned to be as Christ here, whose heart is set on being here as Christ, comes to the third era, that is, being united to Him in heaven, being led like Rebekah to Isaac, ready in heart and ways for this union before it can be enjoyed. No one can appreciate union, who does not know that the fullest place of blessing is the nearest association with Himself. This is the reason why so few know it. If one has not reached the first step - crucified with Christ, he will make no progress on the road to reach the third. No one can appreciate union until he is in suitability for it.

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Consequent on union the great scope of Christ's interest and power here can be manifested. Many think they are doing great service, and in a way they are, but they are not come to that absolute attachment to Christ that would part with everything that is not Christ, and therefore they are not competent to come out in everything for Christ.

When He comes to reign all will be under His own hands.


April 4th, 1896


The inestimable grace of praying is the peculiar privilege of the church on earth.

We see in the beginning of the new company in Luke 10:39; Luke 11:1, the first trait - the word of God and prayer - literally what God says to us, and what we say to Him. The disciples say, "Lord, teach us to pray" in chapter 11, and the Lord figuratively sets forth in the man who went to his friend at midnight how prayer begins, with the sense that my friend has what I want. It is not so much a question of what the want is, but I know my friend has what I want, and that he is my friend; and I repair to him to relieve me of my want, without taking into account the various things which might intervene. One thing is fixed in my mind - that he has what I want, and that I have nowhere else to get it; this is the first great sense of prayer - absolute dependence on God, and His infinite ability to meet what I require.

The sense so peculiar to real prayer is that the greater our need, and the more we need, the nearer we seek to get to Him as if the only chance and the only hope of relief is our being with Him. The circumstances we are in generally impart a character to our prayers; so you will find that if you begin with the troubles about

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you, and keep on praying, you are getting more free of the trouble, and really getting more occupied with Himself; just as in the parable in Luke 11, the man succeeds at last, and gets more than he asked for - an intimation of what the Lord says in the end, "How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him". (Luke 11:13)

If we were to hear the prayers which are uttered, we should have an idea of the circumstances which gave rise to them; but the nearer we get to the Lord, the more we feel dependent on Him, and the more we get occupied with Him, instead of with the circumstances.

We get an interesting illustration of this in 1 Corinthians 14:14, the man praying with his spirit; though he does not know what he is praying for, he is in spirit impressed by the association he is found in; in spirit he speaks mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2), because of his nearness to the Lord. The nearer we come to the Lord, the more spiritual our desires are; we can account for prayers which take in our circumstances, being suggested by the circumstances, and not by our association with the Lord. Here we learn a truth of deep importance (where many, wishing to be spiritual, have failed, not having entered into the magnitude of the truth) - that we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, and we cannot be in both at the same time. If you are in the Spirit you (by the Spirit) mortify the deeds of the body; you are not only preserved from the deeds, but you are dead to the desires of the flesh. The Spirit lusteth against the flesh, "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would". (Galatians 5:17) Hence we see the great advance in the character of prayer; the more you are apart from the flesh and from the natural man, the more you are occupied exclusively with and derive from Christ Himself. Anyone may notice in a prayer meeting the difference between the two; the prayer that is occupied with things suits the mass; but it is a

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happy day when one learns that the nearer he is to Christ, the less he wants anything but Christ; that though still in human circumstances, he can thank God that he is not only free from the man that is contrary to God, but that he is in the Spirit, and as he walks in the Spirit he is absolutely free from the old man. When Paul was severed from Jerusalem, he had to learn in the ship (Acts 27) that he was not to be directed by any providence or human influence, but by God Himself, outside everything here.

Another thing has to be noted, that when prayer reaches to this, your dependence on Christ becomes more and more necessary to you, like the infant that cannot bear to leave its mother, not only because its wants are met, but she is the source of its supply. Now He so absorbs your heart that it is true of you that to God you are beside yourself, and, like the queen of Sheba in the presence of Solomon, you have no more spirit left in you; and as to prayer, you have the double blessing - the peace of God in coming to Him as touching things here, as we read in Philippians 4:7; and you have also what we get in 1 John 5:14, the sense of what His present will is - the sense of His will, as one in constant intimacy with a friend gets his mind without being directly instructed in it. This necessarily gives a peculiar and intense spirituality, and as union is realised it deepens, so that the one great desire of the soul is the prayer in Ephesians 3. Like Rebekah, your one desire is that you might be a comfort to Him who has brought you to Himself.

I cannot conceive anything greater to a heart that knows union with Christ than to be ever seeking to be in keeping with His pleasure, and though occupied with His glory on the earth, you rise, as you see in Habakkuk 3, from "Shigionoth" (variable notes) to "Neginoth" (stringed instruments).


April 12th, 1896

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Before Christ came, God as the righteous Judge, was dealing in governmental mercy; after He came there was a Man here who could remove every pressure upon man; a time which the faithful before His day had looked for, as we see from the Psalms, and elsewhere in Scripture.

In the Old Testament relief came through simply trusting in God: He in His mercy relieved the faithful according as they turned to Him, as we see in Job.

Job was tried in the whole circle of affliction; in his family, in his circumstances, and in his health and evidently he was relieved in all, what he had lost was all restored.

Now in our Lord's day it was still more marked, because a Man had come who had power to relieve man of every grievance, even death. But now that He is risen, He relieves all who seek Him by drawing them to His side, to a place which is His place, where there is no pressure. In the case of Job, he is relieved of the pressure in the place where the pressure is, and he had a great sense of the goodness of God - he waited on Him and was not disappointed; but the removal of the pressure only made him more contented with the place where the pressure was. Now with us in the present day we are removed from the place where the pressure is to Christ, so that it is His interest in us, sharing all He has with us, and our learning what His heart is towards us, that really relieves us. We are drawn away from the place where the pressure is, and He is endeared to us in the place where no pressure is. If your heart clings to this world you find this is where the pressure is, and you must look for relief in it as Job did - and you can speak of the wonderful effect of being simply cast on God in a day of trial, how it has moulded you, and how it has corrected you. "Before I was afflicted I went astray" (Psalm 119:67)

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- but when you turn to the Lord you are drawn away to Him, everything here remains as it was, but you find yourself introduced through Christ's sympathy, into a new order of things where all is of God, and where there is no pressure, and your sorrows are all lost sight of. If you are in Job's case you are looking for improvement in the place where you are. In present grace you are drawn away to Christ who is rejected from this world, and you taste of His love in the scene of His exaltation. In the one you are never detached from this world, in the other you are drawn away entirely from it without any regret. May you insist more on the fact that your heart being where Christ is, proves that He is your treasure; nothing in this world connects you with Him; Colossians 3:1,2.

It is a great comfort to me that there is a Man in the glory, and that His Spirit is down here, connecting my soul with Him up there!

The whole work of the servant now is not to reform people, but to offer them salvation. The responsible man is not recognised before God now, he is gone in judgment in the cross, and everyone embracing Christ knows that He is clear before God from the responsible man.


May, 1896


There are seven dispensations: -

  1. Man left to himself, culminating in the deluge.
  2. Man in Noah, set up afresh upon the earth, culminating in Babel.
  3. Abram called out - election - walk by faith - culminating in Israel carried down into Egypt. The time of promises.
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  5. Israel led by Moses and Joshua into Canaan. David given in sovereign grace to be their king, ending in their subjection to the gentile (Roman) power. The time of law.
  6. Christ the Son of God come to earth, or the grace of God for us; man refused Him and hanged Him on the tree. The times of the gentiles.
  7. The Holy Spirit sent down as the witness of the rejected Christ now exalted to God's right hand, or the work of grace in us.
  8. The kingdom, the reign of Christ.

A dispensation is God's order for man at the time; the dispensation of the Spirit is God's order for this time, and you have no power to act for God on the earth, if you do not apprehend the dispensation you are placed in.

The first thing is to receive the Holy Spirit after you have believed. It is important to note that there may be a long interval between these two. The apostle said to the Ephesian disciples, "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye had believed?" (Acts 19:2) The Holy Spirit was not given until Christ was glorified, and no one receives the Holy Spirit till he believes on Christ, who has been raised up into glory. "In whom also, having believed, ye have been sealed". (Ephesians 1:13) The first effect of the Holy Spirit being received is that you can look up to God in confidence, even though you may be still unsettled about your state and other things, yet you feel you can turn to Him.

This is a new sense in your soul; but as far as I see, many who really believe in Christ risen and have thus received the Spirit of God, do not use Him except for relief for their own souls, and are slow to get established in Christ. Every person who is true to his own history knows how long he has been able to turn to God with confidence, while he is still much distressed about his own state, and the working of sin in him. Thus it is I account for the readiness to preach the gospel in so

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many young converts; they are glad to propound what they enjoy themselves. There is often a long and painful history between the beginning of Romans 5 and Romans 8. When you get to chapter 8 you have the sense of the Holy Spirit being the paramount power in your soul. In chapter 7 it is "what I would, that do I not", (Romans 7:16) there is no power there. If the Spirit were there as a paramount power you would do what He approves. I believe there is a known moment in the soul's history when the Spirit gets His place in you, and then you make some decided step which you may never have thought of before. The more I enjoy the fact that I am in Christ before God, the more I rejoice that the Spirit of God is in me, and that I 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) If I do not get to this I necessarily am like the Galatians, who, having begun in the Spirit, were trying to be made perfect in the flesh. The law is for the man who had departed from God; that man has been removed from God's sight in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I rejoice that now by the law of the Spirit of life I am free from the law of sin and death, so that I am not in the flesh - though the flesh is in me - but if I, "through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body", (Romans 8:13) I shall live.

Hence the only remedy for the Galatians was to put Christ in His right place. Ishmael must be cast out, and Isaac left master of the field. It is a great day in the soul when it can truly acknowledge that all of me is of Christ. The Lord has entire right to me and to direct everything in me. It is not only that He has accomplished my acceptance with God but that He owns me; therefore now my great exercise is to "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free". (Galatians 5:1) My first step in the christian walk is that, "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20); this is when Christ has got His true place. We can see from

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the case of the Galatians that a believer may have received the Spirit, and yet may not be walking in Spirit; therefore it is of the deepest importance that we not only live in the Spirit, but that we walk in Spirit, to have the clear consciousness that we are transferred by grace from Adam to Christ; and even in natural things here, the body is for the Lord; we are His bondmen, under His rule, and this is the hourly exercise of every true heart. It can only be happily known when Christ is the sole object of our hearts. I see the more a man walks in the Spirit, the more he knows that he is under the government Christ, and the more he realises his new place; he "that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting". (Galatians 6:8)

It is a great warning to us that such as the Corinthians and Galatians could have received the Spirit, and yet did not walk in the Spirit either at home or the church. It is almost impossible to conceive such a gift as the Holy Spirit being possessed, and that one could walk in indifference to Him. But so it is; hence the apostle says to the Corinthians, "And I, brethren could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as but carnal, even as unto babes in Christ". (1 Corinthians 3:1)

Thus we can understand how the spiritual have senses exercised to discern both good and evil; for it is a solemn fact that if you are not spiritual you are carnal. In the commonest detail of life here, you are ruled either by Christ or by your own will; but once you have begun the christian walk, and know the blessedness of it, you are not trying to correct yourself, for you know that all is removed from the eye of God; and you insist on the fact that it is gone in the cross of Christ, and that Christ is your life. Now you have started on the christian walk. It is to be borne in mind that the old man is crucified, and you cannot reform him, he is removed from the eye of God, and all the attempts of amiable people to reform him are

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only denying the fact that he has been removed in judgment. The responsible man is not before God now. It is now the day of grace. Everyone who receives His grace is set free from the man under judgment. The appeal to man now is not to do, but to look.

This is the first distinct assurance of the soul entering on the christian walk, "I am crucified with Christ". (Galatians 2:20) There may be a long time between receiving the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. When walking in the Spirit we are not trying to improve our manners; our manner and ways altogether are altered by the power and ways of acting of divine grace, not by any studied attempt of amiability. Now that Christ is formed in you, you enter on the christian path, and having learned what it is to walk in the Spirit, you begin to apprehend the wonderful place the Spirit has in you. He is interested in all that concerns you, making intercession for you "with groanings which cannot be uttered". (Romans 8:26) Now you are a man for God here, not ruled by your own will, but directed by the Spirit of God in every detail of your life according to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the manna - "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". Galatians 2:20)

Now as you walk in the Spirit you arc according to the dispensation, that is, God's rule for this day, and anything outside it is not His rule and He does not support it.

The 7th dispensation is, Christ reigns.

May, 1896


The above terms involve much in divine things; the first describes God's grace, what God has done for us; the second, the work of grace in us, how we

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answer to His purpose. There is a tendency in us all to be occupied with either of them to the exclusion the other, and this is a cause of great moral defect.

There are two systems of doctrine prevalent in christendom: the one taken from the objective side is called Calvinistic - the other taken from the subjective, called Arminian. It is of deep importance for us to understand how the objective and subjective are maintained together.

In Old Testament times we see certain blessings given by God to man. After the deluge man was set up in a new way on the earth, in favour and in power, and instead of using his power for God, his independence of God culminated in Babel. There was no answer in the heart of man to God's grace; the subjective was ignored.

When God gave promises to faith, while there was the obedience of faith, there was answer to the promise, so that the subjective state became the proof that the promise was of God, as we see remarkably in Abraham's case. He "believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3), and he proved experimentally his faith in God forty years afterwards when he offered up Isaac, a remarkable evidence of his dependence upon God, and of his obedience of faith. See James 2:21 - 23: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness", etc. He not only believed that the promise came from God, but he gave a most wonderful evidence of his faith in the God of promise by the experimental obedience in which he proved it. When Israel had lost faith, there was no answer in them to the promise of God. They had been carried down into Egypt (figuratively the world), and there became

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bondmen. But God delivered Israel out of Egypt. Moses fully responded to His grace; he conducted the people through the wilderness, and Joshua brought them into Canaan. There God looked for the obedience of faith; and He gave them a king after His own heart, so that the power to rule which God had given to man was now with Israel. But they forsook the Lord; there was no subjective answer to God's grace; and they were carried into Babylon, and eventually power was transferred to the gentile, and Israel came under the rule of Rome.

We see all through how God was for them, which is the objective; on the other hand, we see how few answered to His grace with experimental ability to enjoy it, which is the subjective. It may be reasoned here that man had not then received the Spirit, and therefore was not able to answer to God's purpose; still we see very plainly how God expected a practical course corresponding to His grace. If we study the prophets we see how Israel failed to answer to the grace of God; the objective was perfect, and continued, though at times there was no subjective, no answer to it in the people. The great plaint in the prophet Isaiah was, "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" (Isaiah 5:4). Again, in Jeremiah the Lord says, "my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water", Jeremiah 2:13.

When Christ came, both had their perfect place with Him. He knew the full purpose of God's heart, and He completely answered to it, so that He combined the two in Himself. He could say, "I do always those things that please him". (John 8:29) Now by the grace of God every believer is saved by what God has wrought; in this the believer has no hand nor part, all is of God's

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pure grace. When in faith His grace is accepted, having believed on Him who raised Christ from the dead, you receive the Spirit of God, that you may not only know that God is for you, but that you may have the nature and ability to be a witness of His grace through His Spirit dwelling in you; so that it is not by any attempt of your own, or by introspection, that you answer to His grace, but by His Spirit who makes it true to you, that it is, "not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20) The objective and the subjective should be combined in every believer, and thus he would be an imitator of God as a dear child of His; Ephesians 5:1.

But christendom has departed from the purpose of God, and having no true idea of His grace, there has been the attempt to be subjective according to human ideas, adopting the law as a rule of life; for where the objective is lost, the subjective must be imperfect. Hence we see the varied attempts in the godly to recover lost ground ending in confusion and extremes the one contenting themselves that all is done by God, and thus losing sight of the work of the Spirit in us - the subjective effect on our side; the other ignoring or limiting the objective, or God's purpose for us, and thinking that by persistent doing and religious exercises we may arrive at what will please God. Not knowing in themselves that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made them free from the law of sin and death, they try to improve themselves - to make themselves more fit for the eye of God, instead of seeing that they are before Him "in Christ".

When christendom departed from the truth that the grace of God had conferred all on us, and had become leavened by Judaism, some had zeal though not according to knowledge, in attempting to establish their own righteousness, but did not submit to the righteousness of God; hence the objective being little known (which is true of christendom to this day), the subjective must be unknown or imperfect.

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But I must add that when the knowledge of the objective - the fulness of God's purpose in grace, was restored to the church during this century, many received it gladly; but the effect on some was that because God had done all for them, there was no claim that they were to be in moral correspondence to it; the purpose of God in grace was accepted, but the work of the Spirit in them to enable them to answer to that purpose was overlooked; consequently instead of commending the greatness of God's grace which they knew objectively, they accepted this knowledge of His grace, without the experimental state that could enjoy it. This could only result in earthly-mindedness; and in union with Christ not being known and realised, so as to come from Him, and so to maintain His name in heavenly power on the earth.

No one can read the epistles and John's gospel in the light of the Spirit, without seeing that the great burden of them is that Christ should be formed in the saints, so that they might be able to enter experimentally into God's grace. If we look at the objective we have everything in Christ, but there is no fruit unless we abide in Him. In John's epistles the great point is, "now, little children, abide in him". (1 John 2:28) This has nothing to do with looking in on yourself, because the first experience on Christ being formed in you is that "our old man is crucified with him". (Romans 6:6) "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness .. . but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live". (Romans 8:13) This is all experimental, bringing us into personal acquaintance with the life and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Souls are deceived by separating the subjective from the objective. God bestows the gift of His grace, and by His Spirit He fits every believer for the enjoyment of His grace. It is impossible for a person walking in the Spirit not to be in a divine state to enjoy the grace given, just as the prodigal received

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the best robe - Christ, in order to enjoy the great supper.

No one can experimentally reach Christ where He is until he is conducted by the Spirit over Jordan, to the sphere of Christ's life; there He is known as Head, and there union is realised. I have never see anyone who confined himself to the objective (though he may be very clear as to what God has wrought) who seemed to have any acquaintance with Him as over Jordan, or of being in association with Christ in heaven. Each of us must remember that we are in presence of the Laodicean phase of the church's history, where they boast of their christian privileges and great acquisitions, without Christ, and without any practical benefit from them.

May, 1896


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 to see the purpose of God's grace, but I find there is a great deal more said about our state to enable us to receive it; for instance, in Ephesians 1 the prayer to give you "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17) before you have 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 expositions of truth and

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have contented ourselves that we had the truth, because we understood the exposition of it, instead of seeing that we require a divine state to enable us to apprehend the truth - the "best robe" is given to enjoy the "great supper"; this is most important as showing 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 to each heart had a very different effect; 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 I have too much overlooked the journey to heaven. Though Christ is the object there, we must remember that there is no way to heaven but through the wilderness and over Jordan. We have thought we 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 for it - the state for one risen with Christ is, having "put on the new man". (Ephesians 4:24) 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 then it is not what he has lost which occupies him, but the immensity of the gain wherewith he has been entranced!

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I think a great defect in souls is that they have not crossed the Jordan, and have not realised what it is to have died with Christ, and to be thereby severed from everything in this world; and if not in heart and experience practically over Jordan, you do not know the Lord as Head.


May 13th, 1896


I believe the great hindrance to divine joy in the soul arises from the imperfect way the crucifixion of the old man is apprehended. The believer at first, for full peace, believes that God has raised from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the judgment which lay on him, so that the man that was under judgment is really gone from the eye of God in judgment. The believer is now before God, not in the man who was under judgment, but in the Man who has glorified God in bearing the judgment; and consequently, there is not a cloud between his soul and God, because the man who caused the distance has been removed in judgment.

Often a believer, though tasting of peace with God when he finds the working of sin in him tries to correct it as if he could alter himself, overlooking the great and stupendous fact that God Himself has removed the man in judgment in the death of His own Son He has laid help upon One that is mighty - His own arm brought salvation - and if a believer is really at peace with God it is because his old man has been crucified with Christ, and altogether set aside in judgment on the cross. If he were clear as to the fact of our old man being crucified with Christ, instead of trying to correct himself, he would look to Christ to

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set him free from the intrusion of the flesh: "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 6:11) What becomes us now is to have Christ before us, and not the correction of the old man. The snare of trying to improve oneself is very common, and it is important to see, that however well meaning it may be, it is really a denial that our old man has been crucified, and a revival of that which has been set aside in the cross. It is plain that if you are clear of the old man you can have no man before you but Christ. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin"; (Romans 8:10) and the more sensible you are of how ready the flesh is to intrude, the more you are cast upon Him.

It is inconceivable that one could have any just apprehension of God's grace, and yet continue to expect anything from the flesh or in any way to deal with it. It shows how little the revelation of His grace is really accepted in its greatness; because if I know that God Himself has in the cross removed the man who offended, how gladly should I accept His grace! What fruitless sorrow has one known for months and years in the attempt to improve oneself, until wearied out we cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) Then we find there is only one relief, and that is found where we ought to have sought it at first: "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 7:25) Nothing can be more certain for the believer than that one man is gone in judgment, and that Christ alone remains. When I have put on Christ - the best robe - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Not only does the blessed God see me on this ground - one from which He never can change or be diverted, but I now, by the Spirit of God, see myself on that ground, and I can say, not only "our old man is crucified", but "I am crucified with Christ"; and if I am crucified how can I refer

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to myself in any sense? If we observe the history of christians, we see them trying to improve themselves - their tempers and their evil tendencies, plainly showing that they do not believe in the absolute and simple revelation that "our old man is crucified with him". (Romans 6:6)

Nothing is of deeper importance at the commencement of our christian history than that we should accept, with some apprehension of its greatness, that the man that was under judgment is removed from the eye of God in judgment. We have to ponder, in order to realise the magnitude of it, and when we do believe it as a truth, another thing of equal importance is made known to us - that not only is the old man completely removed from the eye of God, but that by the Holy Spirit we are in Christ a new creation by the power of God; if we keep these two together we have a great start; one man is gone and another is brought in, and this is established to us by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Now we enter on our new history. Properly, we are not occupied with the flesh; though the flesh is still in us we "are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9) and our attention is largely given to walking in the Spirit. We have now a new exercise, even to sow to the Spirit and of the Spirit to reap life everlasting. "Walk in the Spirit and ye shalt not fulfil the lust of the flesh". (Galatians 5:16) This shows us how intent our eye must be on Christ; we have nothing to do with the man that is gone, and the more we realise this the happier we are - judicially freed of the one, and by the Spirit of God established in Christ. Everything we do now is done with reference to Christ; and not only is the body the Lord's, but "he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit". (1 Corinthians 6:17) We have to act according to His pleasure in the very management of the body, just as a slave would use his body according to the wishes of his owner.

It is remarkable that Romans 12:1 refers to the

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body. "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, .. . be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". But in 2 Corinthians 3:18, we all beholding the glory of the Lord - are transformed; it is the same word (transformed) as in Romans 12, and is only used twice in Scripture in reference to us - once as to the body, and secondly as to what is imparted to us - what is received from Christ; we are "transformed according to the same image". This I might call the exercise of our daily life; our history here is not merely seeking to glorify Him in our bodies, but we should be growing in moral correspondence to Himself, and that by association with Himself; so that the two great truths we started with would be confirmed to us more and more every day - the old man gone from the eye of God completely and for ever, and we established in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.


May 19th, 1896


I begin by stating that no one is in power for Christ here who does not come from Him at the other side of Jordan.

I do not mean that each one really knows all that is involved in having crossed over, that is, that they have so fully entered into what it is to have died with Christ experimentally, that they are severed from everything in this scene by His death; but I say that when we are established in grace, and are not only in peace with God but in deliverance, knowing that we are in Christ before Him "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" making me "free from the law of sin and death", (Romans 8:2) we begin to realise that

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this world is a wilderness and that our life is not here. Now this is a great moment in our history. Nothing here can conduce to our life in Christ: it is only the Spirit we can enjoy it, or enjoy Him where He is. I admit it is very faintly and feebly we do so as a rule, but if it is so precious and valuable when we know it even a little, how much more so when we know it in its fulness. At any rate, I think it is of deep moment that each of us should experience that we have died to things here and that we are alive to His things in His life. There is no other road to heaven but through the wilderness, and when we have learned by the Spirit of God dwelling in us that He is our life in the sphere where He now is, it is our joy and strength to taste even a little that things here are closed to us, but being served by association with Himself from a scene where He is not, we enter a scene where everything is according to Him, and though we have to resume links here, we do so as knowing something of the scene beyond, which is properly ours through His grace.

First, as is typified in the Red Sea, we are freed from the judgment of God on us, and rejoice in the Saviour raised from the dead. Then we begin our journey according to God's appointment. There is nothing for us in the wilderness but Marah and manna; Marah - bitter water. We are free of the judgment of death, but we have to accept death, we are still in the mortal body, the body of death, and we have to learn in our connection with this world that we have no living link with it; but death becomes sweet to us because Christ has gone through it, and as we are dependent on Him, we receive of His grace and walk here according to His pleasure. But often it is a long and painful exercise before we learn (as in Numbers 21) that all is ruin here and in us also, but that as risen with Christ our life is with Him outside of it all, and the Holy Spirit is in us; then the one thought

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is not how to get on in the world which has become to us the wilderness, but how to live with Christ outside it. We learn, as in Colossians, that we have "died with Christ from the elements of the world", (Colossians 2:20) the reproach of Egypt is rolled off "in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of the Christ" (Colossians 2:11) - then as risen with Him we are over Jordan; and a new scene, the sphere of His life, opens before us; it is then we know Him as Head, and are able to carry out His pleasure in relation to His interests here. We do not enjoy union till we know Him as Head, hence as I said at the beginning, no one is in power until he knows that he is over Jordan with Christ: he has to return here, for he has to work here, but he gets his support and his direction from the Lord where he is.

Now, as we are in service for the Lord, we find it is only as we walk practically "bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus", (2 Corinthians 4:10) that the life of Jesus is manifested here. God in His discipline allows trials to help to cut us off from attractions here, that we might be efficient servants for Him. "We which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh". (2 Corinthians 4:11) This is more our daily path here; our enjoyment with Christ over Jordan is in the Spirit; the former is more connected with our walk.

The Lord give us all to realise more the blessedness of being with Him where He is! We lose nothing by being severed from present things, which only the mortal man could enjoy, for we are brought into the things which Christ enjoys, which "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God". (1 Corinthians 2:9)


May 21st, 1896

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In seeking light from the Lord on this important subject, we must first be absolutely clear of the thought which is so general in christendom, that God's Son became a Man in order to repair and rehabilitate the first man - the Adam race. Many years ago it was said that man was broken china, but that Christ was like perfect china. This was absolutely denied by the most godly man of the day. 'Christ was not china at all', but unique, a Man of His own order, and in His death the first man is clean set aside in judgment, and the new man is therefore according to God. Consequently we must not be deceived by thinking that the human mind can form an idea of any trait of the new man, or that it can imitate Christ, though many read the gospels with this object. Thus we start on this enquiry, looking entirely to God in order to understand the Man of His pleasure. "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35) - "the express image of his person" (Hebrews 1:3) - "the beginning of the creation of God". (Revelation 3:14) As another has said, the difference between Him and us is that with Christ all His springs were in God, whereas our springs are in ourselves.

We know from the types that in the meat-offering the fine flour was not only anointed with oil, but it was mingled with oil, the Spirit of God, for Christ the One typified was conceived by the Holy Spirit. "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". (Hebrews 2:14) He bore the judgment due to the first man and righteously removed him from the eye of God; so that it is not in Adam that the believer appears before God, but in Christ.

Now our enquiry is: What is the new man? We have seen what it is not; we have already seen that

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it cannot be learned by any effort of the human mind, that its structure and nature are entirely beyond the conception of man, and the next question is How do we learn it? I believe it is not by reading or by the mere study of Scripture that we learn it, but by association with Christ, by beholding the Lord's glory, and being "changed into the same image". (2 Corinthians 3:18) You could not explain what you get, but you get that which corresponds with Him; as you are with Him you acquire it. "That ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians. 4:24) is addressed to a believer who is in conscious union with Christ, seated in the heavenlies in Him. Now he comes out here in a new way, beginning with the mind: "renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Ephesians 4:23) - not making works prominent, but in the renewed mind which is able to judge of the works that suit Christ. As we read in 1 Corinthians 2:16, "We have the mind (nous) of Christ"; we "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness". (Ephesians 4:24) A believer realises the tastes of the new man by association with Christ. It is important to see that we derive from Him, we are in Him, and He lives in us, He is altogether (sui generis) of His own order, and it is only by association with Him that His nature and mind become experimentally known to us. It is so little known because association is so little sought.

'Yet sure if in Thy presence,
My soul still constant were,
Mine eye would more familiar,
Its brighter glories bear.
And thus, Thy deep perfections
Much better should I know.
And with adoring fervour,
In this Thy nature grow'. (Hymn 51)

We get an idea of what His grace is, in what He says to the church of Laodicea; He offers association with

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Himself for restoration: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me". (Revelation 3:20) No one can tell what he acquires by association; but he knows that he has acquired a taste for the company of Christ, and that when not in His company he has not that which suits his new taste; he finds it very partially here among His own, and he is glad to return to His presence, and he knows the benefit of it.

This draws the great line of difference between mere students of the word and those who enjoy His presence, beholding His glory; the latter can form a conception of what suits Him which the former cannot. We see from Colossians 3:10, "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" - that we cannot be with Him without getting enlightened; the word comes with more definiteness to our souls; we are "renewed in knowledge", etc. Thus we see that as we become like Him by being with Him, we also get more intelligent in His mind; we know Him as Head and put on bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, etc.

The Lord give us to seek His presence more. Moses could say in a comparatively dark day, after he had seen all the mighty works of the Lord: "Shew me thy glory". (Exodus 33:18)

May our hearts have the rich enjoyment of being in spirit with Him in glory. Everyone likes to think of Him as known in His great works, but how blessed the consummation of being partakers with Him in His glory!


June 15th, 1896

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It is a great favour of the blessed God through our Lord Jesus Christ, that we should each be individually a light in the world where we have been darkness and contributing to it: "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8), and this independently of the candlestick which is the corporate light. Now, when the candlestick is removed, our responsibility is, if anything, greater that we should answer individually to the grace which He has given us.

Light is a remarkable quality; it sets forth everything in its true colour according to God. It begins with each of us personally. "If ... thine eye be single", (Matthew 6:22) set on Christ, that is, if Christ is your object, having no part dark, the body is light; you come out personally in quite a new way. It is not merely what you say, but what you are. A man who has received light, by degrees finds out how little he has seen things according to God. As he walks in the light the things that he could admit of at one time he cannot admit now.

The first great action of the light as we see in John 9 is to separate us from man's ideas about God, until in the solitude of light we enjoy the Lord Himself as the source of it. Thus the first mark of light is in relation to God, and how we are here suitable to Him. We have to learn that mere religious associations which are not in the Spirit do not suit Him, and are not according to light; this is the first great action of the light - separation from everything that does not suit God in our approach to Him, and as this is arrived at, we come out in a new way in our natural and home circle. Things are avoided and separated from that at one time seemed harmless and allowable, but the more we understand the new position we are in, the greater

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the sense of our responsibility to maintain the distinctness of this great favour, and this we are encouraged to do in dependence on the Lord, that we may be according to the mind of God, not only in the assembly, but also in our own private circle. It is as we are true in the latter that we influence those around us.

It is remarkable how a person, looking for light, will be attracted by a person that has light; but the more he is attracted to him who has the light, the more he will scrutinise all his ways and everything about him, in order to see if he is walking up to his light. Many years ago, after speaking on Acts 16, a near friend of mine said to me afterwards: 'The address was liked; but', it was added, 'I wonder what sort of man he is at home?'

What I may call the third circle is that of the servant. If in any of his ways he indicates the corrupt tastes of the world, he is like a waster in a candle, he spoils the light and invalidates his influence, because he has a dark part - that is, a natural taste which he has not overcome in himself; it hinders him being an exponent of the light. This dark part is the real test to every christian, and is not removed by introspection, which is inspecting the old man and betrays ignorance of the beginning of the work of Christ. How can you inspect that which is removed from the eye of God? The dark part, the working of the flesh, is not removed by introspection, but by sowing to the Spirit. We all know what sowing to the flesh is, looking for some harvest to come from it. But it is important to bear in mind that souls, as they are set for the light, seek it, as we see if we look around that where there is light there is the separation that begins with God. I have heard a preacher say, who had a chapel of his own 'My converts do not stay with me more than a year or two; they go elsewhere to look for more light'. The Lord is pleased to give the light, and the light is here,

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and those who value it find it out, no matter how retired or unknown the person is.

The great characteristic of a servant who has light from God is, that he insists on positive truth, not that he overlooks the negative, but his great aim and object is the positive; for instance, he not only insists that the old man is removed from the eye of God, but he insists also on our acceptance with God, and that we are able to enjoy it by the Spirit. We are in Christ by the Spirit, able to enjoy our acceptance, as we see in the parable of the prodigal son.

It is to be borne in mind that it is not so much what a servant says as what he is; because if there is a dark part in him it is sure to affect him, and to weaken his ministry "Having no part dark". (Luke 11:36) No man's word is effective beyond the effect it has on himself; his own life testifies to the truth of what he ministers; a convert takes his colour from his spiritual father. A man might enunciate the truth from mere study, but one who is ruled by the truth himself becomes necessarily an effectual exponent of it; and if the light is opposed and refused, the resistance to it is always greatest where there is most need for it. "Every one that doeth evil hateth the light". (John 3:20)

It is true that one might assume to have the light when he has it not; the true and divine way of correcting him is not by merely opposing him, but by setting forth from Scripture what is the light, and this exposes his misapprehension, as Abel exposed Cain.

It is easy to say to another, You are wrong, but it is a great thing to show him what is right, and you cannot substantiate it unless you are light yourself. Let us rejoice that the Lord is the light, and that if we love the brethren we walk in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in us; we shall be as "the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to

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do", 1 Chronicles 12:32. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day". (Proverbs 4:18)


June, 1896


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.

With truest love,

Yours very affectionately in the Lord,

June 24th, 1896


It is important to understand the scriptural meaning of these two words. Every believer has, in some measure, apprehended the meaning of atonement; but very few, as far as I know, have entered into the light and fulness of reconciliation.

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Adam sinned and came under the judgment of God, with all his race. Cain thought he could be in favour with God by means of an offering unto God - as we might say, by 'religious services'; while Abel was so sensible of the judgment that he knew there must be atonement, that he must be sheltered from the eye of God by the blood of the victim. Now this we see all through the Old Testament. Exodus 12 gives us a very good illustration of it. Israel were all sheltered under the blood of the lamb, typical of that blood whose virtue is everlasting, and the smallest faith in the atonement now finds that the benefit is complete and everlasting. But, apart from reconciliation, there is no present enjoyment of the benefit; no service for Christ down here. Atonement does not go beyond shelter; as has been said by another, 'If you atone for a thing you keep it'.

All through the Old Testament we see that the man of faith was sheltered by the blood of atonement; but until we come to Christ, who terminated the man who offended in bearing his judgment on the cross, and in it glorified God where man had dishonoured Him, so that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, reconciliation had not fully come in. The word 'reconciliation' is used in the Old Testament incorrectly, whereas the word 'atonement' is never really used in the New Testament. Now many christians never get beyond the atonement; they have faith in the blood of Christ, and are thus sheltered in the eye of God; all the benefits of Christ's work are secured to them hereafter; that work has made their title sure to all the grace that has been secured by Him; but if they do not know reconciliation, they do not come out upon this earth in an entirely new way for Him. They may rejoice in their shelter but, like Israel in Egypt, they are still morally there, and they do not see that the power of death has been destroyed; they have not begun here on earth the heavenly journey

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across the wilderness to Christ in glory. Sheltered by the blood you are safe eternally; but unless you know reconciliation you cannot serve the Lord, and unless you serve Him here, there is no reward in the kingdom.

Now reconciliation is based on the fact that the man who dishonoured God is removed; but the Man who honoured Him in bearing the judgment of death has been raised from the dead to God's right hand in glory. If you only know atonement you do not get beyond Romans 3; but when you see Christ risen from the dead, you have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand" (Romans 5:1,2); this grace is summed up in Romans 5:11: "we are making our boast in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we have received the reconciliation". The scope of reconciliation is detailed very distinctly in 2 Corinthians 5:14 - 17: "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore 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. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". Not a vestige remains before the eye of God of the one who has offended Him; but the One who has glorified Him fills the whole scene, and every believer in Him knows that God's heart is toward him, as we see illustrated in the prodigal; the father runs and falls on his neck and kisses him - he is reconciled; and then as he enters into and enjoys this reconciliation, he begins to joy in God, he knows that he is in Christ before God, in the power and grace of Christ, as son of God and joint

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heir with Christ. There is not a cloud between him and God, and finally he learns that the Father loves him as He loves Christ.

I may add now, in conclusion, that no one will enter into the fulness of reconciliation who does not understand the gospel of the glory as set forth in 2 Corinthians 3. There we find the contrast between mount Sinai and what we have at the present time one is a demand for righteousness from the glory of God, the other is the ministration of righteousness from the glory of God through our Lord Jesus Christ; so that the nearer we approach to the glory, the more we are assured of His righteousness in having us there. We get a good illustration of this in the dream of an old divine when he was learning the gospel. He dreamed that he went to the gate of a palace, and was so well received that he went in, and as he passed through each succeeding suite of rooms, he was still better received, until he reached the presence chamber of the sovereign, where he was received with acclamation! So the nearer we approach, the more assured we arc of welcome. We are not repelled by the glory like Isaiah (Isaiah 6), but on the contrary, beholding the glory of the Lord we "are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory". (2 Corinthians 3:18) Now, when we are in the enjoyment of this wonderful grace, it is very blessed to perceive that not only is all the distance removed, but the nearer we approach the more we know how righteously God can accept us, for righteousness is the bulwark of love.

Hence it is an immense satisfaction that we, through His grace, are formed and adapted by new creation to this new and great position. "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:18); and the more we enter into the perfection of His love, "perfect love casteth out fear", (1 John 4:18)

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the more we are assured that "as he is, so are we in this world". (1 John 4:17) Blessed and happy portion! May our hearts enjoy it more.


June 28th, 1896


God had a purpose for His own from the flood. Man, though he accepted the purpose of God, became entirely diverted from it by making himself paramount, thinking of himself and of his own benefit. Thus it led to his ruin, instead of his blessing, as we see in the prodigal (Luke 15), who accepted the goods from his father, but went into the far country to enjoy himself.

God gave Noah power to rule "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth .. . into your hand are they delivered", Genesis 9:2. But he could not rule himself; he used his power for his own gratification; and eventually we see in Babel that man used his power to build a tower, to be independent of God. When God called Abram out, under the distinct condition that he was not to have as much as his foot would stand on of the land which he should hereafter inherit, we find Lot accepting, and remaining in the place, and seeking possession in it; and even Jacob, returning after twenty years to the land, as soon as he is settled in it, he buys a parcel of ground, from whence he is driven by the discipline of God.

Again, when Israel was brought with a high hand into the land, the simple condition which they were bound to fulfil was to cleave to Jehovah, and to drive out all the inhabitants of the land. This condition, which entailed incomparable blessing, they failed to fulfil; on the contrary, they made a league with the inhabitants. Thus they betrayed that their heart was

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more set upon the land, the gift of God, than on the blessed giver Himself, which is always an evidence of alienation from God; their moral condition was truly described by "Bochim": "And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim", Judges 2:1 - 5. Also in Joshua 23:12, 13, we read: "Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you". They were bound to cleave to Jehovah and to drive out all the inhabitants of the land; instead of that they did the very contrary, made terms with them, so that instead of a thousand fleeing before one of them, they became a snare to them. It is important to bear in mind that the moment we separate the word of God from the light of His presence, whence it comes, man's mind interprets it in absolute contravention of God's purpose, making himself the exclusive object of it. Thus Israel, corrupted by the inhabitants of the land, and eventually carried captive

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into Babylon, were under the Roman yoke when Christ came.

Now when Christ came, the purpose of God was opposed from the very outset. The nearer God comes to man, the more man shows his antagonism; and eventually he says, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours". (Mark 12:7) Man wants the earth without God. But here I must add the blessed fact, so fully corroborated in our Lord's time, that anyone who follows out the purpose of God according to God's mind is manifestly supported by Him, as we see from Abram down, be it a Gideon, or a Samuel, Elijah, or Ezra; and how manifestly more so now, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name", John 1:12.

Now when Christ's rejection was impending, He propounded the parable of the sower, setting forth the effect during His absence of the sowing of His word here on earth; Matthew 13. Six similitudes are used. In the first there was only the true thing; it was spoiled by profession. The second - the mustard-tree, is man's interpretation of the purpose, something conspicuous to the eye of man - a huge ecclesiastical system to disguise the rejection of the Lord. In the third, the leaven, all that is good is corrupted.

Now the last three similitudes are given inside with the Lord; He "sent the multitude away, and went into the house" (Matthew 13:36); and you cannot learn them unless you are inside with Him, apart from the influence of men. No passage in Scripture has been so misunderstood or misinterpreted as these three last similitudes. The first is what the word is to effect according to His mind and the purpose of God - to form a treasure here in the world for Him. It was not conspicuous to the eye of man like the imposing structures that we see now all over the kingdom, but it was hid as our life is hid with Christ in God. But He sells all that He has,

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and buys the field because His treasure is in it; that is what the church is to Christ.

The second simile is the pearl; that is what is apparent and beautiful for those who have an eye to see, like the gates of the new Jerusalem. Thirdly, the net, the import of which is altogether misunderstood. Many evangelists think that it is catching the fish, but the great object of the net is to bring them to shore to make selection, to select the good, those who are to form the treasure of Christ.

Now we learn from John 17 that His own have to come out as Himself here in this world, characterised by unity, altogether apart, separate from the world, waiting for His glory, learning down here the love of the Father, loved by the Father as Christ is loved. When John was beheaded (Matthew 14:10), the Lord's rejection being at hand, He went into "a desert place", apart from the haunts of men; the poor of the flock seek Him there, and He feeds them there as He does this day. Then He sends His disciples in the ship across the sea, to see how they can bear up in the storm, typically the power of evil in an earthly system, while He Himself takes a new position; He is not only superior to the power of evil, as He always was, but now He is supreme, He is above it, and when thus seen by His disciples, Peter desires to join Him. The only place where the saint can join Him now is on the other side of death. Peter learns his own weakness in coming to Him, but the hand of Christ draws him to Himself. This indicates how we are to join Christ now while we are in the world. This way is not visible to man; but coming to Him as the living Stone, we also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house for Him; (1 Peter 2:4,5).

We find the disciples came together in the opening of Acts, but they had no idea yet of the purpose of God, not even when the Holy Spirit was given in chapter 2. It was the fulfilment of the day of Pentecost

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when the wave-loaves were presented to God (Leviticus 23:17), but they knew nothing yet of His purpose, and many, even enlightened christians, never get beyond Acts 2, never get to the purpose of God. Now when the gospel was extended to the utmost parts, as in the case of the eunuch (Acts 8), God caused the light of His glory to shine out of heaven and to arrest the greatest opposer of the day (Acts 9). To him, Saul, is first revealed the present purpose of God in the few words: "Why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4) - the saints and He are one. This is the first intimation of the mystery which was kept secret from the foundation of the world. As far as I see, it does not come out any more in Acts. There is faith in Christ, they are zealous for the law, and expecting the Lord to return to reign, but they have no thought of the purpose of God, and many earnest men go no farther than that now. Evidently they knew it in Romans 12, and we get in the closing verses of Romans a distinct declaration of it, but we have to know Christ outside this world, as in Hebrews, before we can enter practically into the purpose of God.

We must begin, as in Hebrews 2, with, "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one". This is the most essential step, for until you enter into the reality of this you never advance; you cannot come to Him but as of Him. To this Abraham's steward was sworn. You must come in an entirely new order, and then you find, like Peter on the water, that though you meet trials on the road, He bears you up and carries you to His own side, and finally you have boldness to enter into the holiest, and are in company with Him in that bright scene in the presence of God. Now your heart being drawn away from the earth to Him personally in heaven, you are ready for the truth of Colossians. Dead and risen with Him, you know Him as Head in the sphere of His life, and you find, as in Ephesians 1, the purpose of God can

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be made known to you; but you begin with "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him", in order to comprehend it. The prayer in Ephesians 1 expresses the purpose of God, and you find out now that the church is the complement of Christ, not that we can add anything to Him, but we derive from Him, as Eve did from Adam. It is almost impossible to conceive how each member does in some measure express Him, and in the prayer of chapter 3 we learn how we are endowed in order to be for the glory of God, in fellowship with and by the Spirit as sent from the Father; John 15:26.

Then we come out as in Ephesians 6 in heavenly power to confront the whole force of the enemy in Christ's superiority, according to John 16. The prince of this world is judged, so that His interests here are fully maintained.

In conclusion, the church left its first love, like Israel caring more for God's blessings than to be in accordance with His pleasure. Love always degenerates when more occupied with the gift than with the giver. If I were really devoted to the Lord, I could not enjoy any gifts of His without Himself being paramount. The church from association with unbelievers had become a great house with vessels to dishonour, so that the first absolute duty was to separate from vessels to dishonour, following righteousness, faith, love, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. When all was failure around, the Lord was the resource of every true heart; therefore Paul's teaching was necessary for the servants in order to draw their hearts into the purpose of God, to be here on the earth as members of the body of Christ. Hence we find in Revelation 3:8 that those who cleave simply to the Lord will find how He will undertake for them, "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name", so that in

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the closing hour (Revelation 22) we find there is a remnant, like the wise virgins going forth to meet the bridegroom, with oil in their vessels, which is the Spirit of God; not merely speaking of the coming of the Lord as many do, but declaring plainly in their own life and ways that they are going forth to meet the Bridegroom as the object of their hearts.

Now we find that those who are set upon Christ, as the coming light, the bright and morning star, are of the bride, who with the Spirit say to Him, "Come", and finally we have in chapter 21 the bride coming down from heaven having the glory of God, and the purpose of God is fulfilled in the new Jerusalem. This is inconceivably blessed to ponder upon!

The Lord set our hearts more upon the blessed purpose of the blessed God, for His name's sake.


July, 1896


The love of God and the love of the Father are from the same blessed One. The love of God comes down to us in all our ruin, but the love of the Father connects us with Himself in all His own divine perfection. It is not easy at first to see the difference. The manna, the grace in which Christ walked on earth, and the old corn of the land, as He lives in heaven, are in a way an illustration of the difference. In the one case He was in a scene where all was incongruous to Him: nothing here was in accordance with Him, and He could say, "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved". (Psalm 16:8) But the old corn of the land is that which is indigenous to heaven, and is in a scene where all is in perfect accordance with Himself.

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Now in the Old Testament the name of Father was not revealed. He was known as God Almighty and as Jehovah. His love for His people was unbounded. He says, "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye". (Zechariah 2:8) Then the love came down to man in his low estate while man was under trial, and the judgment of death which was on him had not been removed. There was nothing then about drawing the believer to Himself as a son to a father.

Now when Christ came, "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". (Romans 5:8) He came down to us in our low estate, and removed in the cross the judgment that lay upon us; and until we know what the love of God has effected, and that He can receive us in love, as the parable of the prodigal prefigures, there can be no knowledge of the Father's love. It is only when we know Him as sons, as brought to the Father in Christ that we can enjoy the Father's love. He, as the Son in the bosom of the Father, has declared Him.

We must learn fully the love of God as come down to us, before we can rise to Him. The prodigal had not entered into the greatness of the reconciliation until he was fitted to enjoy his new relation to his father, as we read in Romans 5:11 "we are making our boast in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we have received the reconciliation".

I see in John's gospel that we do not come to the Father until our distance from God has been removed by the operation of His love. There is nothing about the Father in chapter 3, nor in chapter 4, till you come to worship. All that is required for our own relief from the ruin we are in, is spoken of before there is any reference made to the Father. The Father comes out prominently in chapter 5; there resurrection is

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the great subject; all the distance is removed, and we are seen in an entirely new condition before Him.

We get no allusion to the Father in Romans till we come to chapter 8; then every shade of distance has been removed; all that descending love could accomplish we enjoy; then we come to the great fact, that led by the Spirit of God we are the sons of God; we are now in a new relationship to Him and it is in the Spirit of the Son we can say, "Abba, Father". Many have supposed from the sermon on the mount and other references to the "Father which is in heaven", that that is the relation in which He is to us as to things down here; but it is only brought out there to show what ought to characterise us as belonging to God in His own place.

Our blessed Lord's great work was to declare the Father, not only to relieve man according to his own sense of want, but according to the fulness of the Father's heart. My need was not the measure of His grace; in all things His love superabounded, therefore His love is properly the measure of His grace. Until you know where His grace has set you, you cannot enjoy your new relationship, nor ascend to the love of the Father. You learn from the Hebrews, where the name of Father does not occur, that Christ's own were drawn away from the earth, to be in association with Himself in the holiest of all, outside of everything here; and there we know that by Him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Unless "his love is perfected in us", (1 John 4:12) and we know that "as he is, so are we in this world", (1 John 4:17) we cannot be consciously as Christ before the Father, nor can we know the Father's love, as Christ says, "The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me", (John 16:27)

There is nothing about the Father in the addresses to the seven churches, nor is the Father spoken of in the new Jerusalem, because it is God coming down to man. In order to enjoy the love of the Father, you

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must be in the place where He is. The Father is spoken of in the first three gospels in connection with His own place, "your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9); Christ was making Him known down here; and in the gospel of John He says, "I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it". (John 17:26)

John 17 opens out how we are led into the knowledge of the Father's love, not only by what has been declared when Christ was down here, but by what He declares of the Father from the glory: "Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee". (John 17:1) Eternal life is the start, and you are in the sphere of that life, as John says, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ", 1 John 1:3. Their fellowship was with the Father and the Son; they are characterised by unity here - sanctified by the word of the Father, kept apart from the evil here, therefore practically in the unity of the Spirit - as the apostle Paul says, "that ye all speak the same thing .. . that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment", 1 Corinthians 1: 10.

Christ Himself is sanctified and set apart from this world, that they also might be sanctified by the truth. Thus they are in the place where they can know the love of the Father.

No one can enjoy love but in the place where the person is. You can enjoy service when not near, but you must be near the person to enjoy love. Hence young men can be strong, the word of God abiding in them, and they have overcome the wicked one; yet they might love the world and the things that are in the world; but if they do, the love of the Father is not in them.

It is a great cheer and solace to the heart, when in company with Christ, we are brought into such nearness to the Father that we can know His love. The

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Lord lead our hearts into it more and more. When we are in this nearness, we are not thinking of anything down here; our hearts are drawn away in the blessedness of being loved by Him. There is no higher enjoyment than the sense of being loved by One inconceivably worthy. May we all know more of this!


July 19th, 1896


A 'believers' meeting' is a company of believers who rejoice in their salvation, and they come together without the intervention of any ordained ministry, praise the Lord for His grace to themselves. They neither expect nor think of the presence of the Lord in their midst; they are not gathered to His name.

Now, while I admit that they are earnest and true yet they do not rise much above the pious in christendom who go to a place of worship to record their thanks to God for their salvation: they do not get beyond their own blessing, and their love for the Lord does not go beyond the knowledge of His work. They are not drawn to Him personally. If they were, nothing could satisfy them but to get near Himself. Hence they are not really as far on in soul as a devoted saint under the old dispensation, before the grace of God that brings salvation had appeared, for in those times we find one saying, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple", (Psalm 27:4). How much more should it be so now that we are brought into such nearness as reconciled to God! Nothing could satisfy the heart which knows the love of Christ personally but the sense of His

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presence. Therefore He says when leaving His own, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you", John 16:22. This was fulfilled in John 20"Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord", and there (verse 20) we get the pattern of the church in its chief characteristics.

Now I turn to the church of God, and I see that what devoted hearts under the law desired, and which could then only be known in the cloud of glory (see Psalm 63:2; Psalm 132) is now through the Spirit known by the realised presence of a Person - the presence of the Lord Himself, for He says, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you". (John 14:18) It is there we learn our full nearness to Christ Himself: "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you", John 14:20.

Now the question is, how do we get to know His presence? In 1 Peter 2 I see that the one who has had a taste of His grace ("If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious") comes to Him as the living Stone, disallowed of men, and is thus a component part of the structure where He is found. "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ". 1 Peter 2:5.

Now in Matthew 14 we find in pattern how the step - coming to Him as the living Stone - is taken. Peter in leaving the ship and walking on the water to go to Jesus is taught the step by which we can reach the Lord at the other side of death; and this is really coming to Him as the living Stone. What we get in John 6 occurred at the same time as that in Matthew 14, showing the power by which this step is taken. To be with Him on the other side of death we must be in His life as we see in John 20, and for this we appropriate His death as in John 6.

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In the Hebrews where Christ is presented as the greater than Moses and the greater than Aaron, we are not only drawn away from the earth to Him because of His sympathy with our own infirmities, but we have boldness to enter into the holiest, and to be there in company with Him in all the blessedness of His own perfection in the presence of God. It is there we learn that He is greater than Moses and greater than Aaron, and then He declares the Father, as He says in Hebrews 2:12: "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee", so that we learn that the church is not merely the place to celebrate our own enjoyment, but it is the place where we know His present mind and His interest here on earth, as He is pleased to make them known to hearts delighting in His presence; and we are practically brought into moral correspondence with His mind because of nearness to Himself. This is the greatest favour which love can confer, as well as the proof of His confidence.

Matthew 18:20 shows how the Lord would vouchsafe His presence with even two or three who belong to the church (He says in verse 19 "If two of you") if gathered to His name. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst". (Matthew 18:20) His presence could not be known without transforming you into His mind. So that we see the truth of the church is not realised in a meeting of believers come together merely to record their own blessings, for the church is the house of God where God's present mind is to be known: as we see from the days of the tabernacle in the wilderness, where His presence was known in a cloud of glory: but how much more manifestly now by the Holy Spirit who glorifies the Lord.


August 2nd, 1896

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There are three lines of instruction connected with the past, present, and the future as they affect the believer, and to be occupied with one of these to the exclusion of the others must be a loss and privation; as we might say of three of our senses - seeing, hearing, and feeling, all of which should be in use.

The past is that which we learn first, and can never lose sight of. It refers to the expression of God's grace towards us, consequent now on the finished work of Christ. We find all through Scripture from the beginning, that the man who turned to God was the object of His love and care. We see this in the case of Abel, Enoch, Noah, and so on all along the line of faith until the fulness of grace came in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, when God's love shone out in all its magnitude on the returning sinner, and His righteousness in His past dealings of grace was fully declared. It is in this line that the believer is first deeply occupied, and it is most attractive and enjoyable; yet if we stop there, there is no progress in the soul. As long as we dwell exclusively on the fact of being an object with God, blessed as that is, we are more occupied with His loving kindness towards us in our own circumstances than with the love that is in His own heart; so that in a measure we judge of His love by His gifts, instead of seeing that no gift could be the measure of His love.

When His love is really before us, we are not thinking of what His love has done or will do for us, but He Himself is our object. We learn that "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) And it is undeniable that while we are occupied with what love can do for us, Christ Himself, who is the full expression of God's love, is not before us as the object of our hearts; we have not come to

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what we read of in Luke 5:11, "They forsook all, and followed him". This was after they had received a remarkable manifestation of His favour in the great multitude of fishes. They were not occupied with the greatness of the mercy, but with Him who conferred it, for "when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him".

There is a moment in the history of a soul that progressing, when Christ becomes its paramount object and when the one thought is like that of the two disciples in John 1, "Where dwellest thou?" or like that of Mary Magdalene, Where is He? "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27) He is then more to us than any of His services, great and precious as they are. The still small voice was more to Elijah than the special care shown for him feeding him by the ravens. Jerusalem, though waste, was more to Daniel than the fear of the lions' den. When Stephen beheld "Jesus standing on right hand of God", (Acts 7:55) he did not think of deliverance of receiving any earthly favour from Him, he was absorbed with Himself and the testimony concerning Him. Paul was consoled before the Roman tribunal not by any gift, but by the Lord Himself who stood with him and strengthened him.

God could, as we have seen, show such consideration for His own while the responsible man was still before His eye; so that an Enoch could walk with Him; or a Noah be set up here in favour and power; or Melchisedec could meet Abram when returning from the slaughter of the kings, and refresh him with bread and wine; or Moses could be forty days in the mount to receive the pattern of things in the heavens; or Israel be conducted from Egypt, the oppressor's power having been so broken that he has to relinquish his grasp, and a way be opened for them through the Red Sea, so that they passed with a high hand out Egypt, the house of bondage, and all their enemies

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sank like lead in the mighty waters. They can then sing: "The Lord ... hath triumphed gloriously". (Exodus 15:1) God's interests have become their interests, as expressed in Moses' song, and they look to be brought to His holy habitation; and eventually they were brought through the wilderness in a remarkable way, so that their foot did not swell, nor their garments wear out, until they were led across the Jordan into the land of Canaan. In the Psalms again we see how God met the need of individuals at the moment, and at the same time provided for what concerned His own name and glory. If all this could be done for His own before the responsible man was removed from His eye, what will He not do when that man who offended is removed; when reconciliation is brought in, and when His own are before Him in all the acceptance of His blessed Son, who not only bore the judgment that rested upon man, but perfectly glorified God in bearing and removing it!

We find in the gospels, Christ the Man of His pleasure manifested, and that He could not only remove all the pressure that lay upon man, but that He could turn the sufferer to Himself (see Mark 5:18). Finally, in His death He terminated judicially the old man before God, so that each of His own might be in His own acceptance with God; and that to everyone believing that Christ is raised from the dead, the Holy Spirit might be given by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.

What I have called the past, viz., what God has done for those who had faith from Abel down, finishes historically with the termination of Christ's life on the earth. He was here the blessed revelation of God's love, and we are thus assured of His boundless interest in us, arid that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

A new day opens with the Lord's resurrection and the present begins, being characterised by the coming of the Holy Spirit; and while we cannot lose sight of

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the past, there are many who from not rejoicing in the gift of the Holy Spirit, are occupied with the past alone, and do not know what it is to be in the Lord's present confidence. The moment we receive the Holy Spirit from Christ glorified, we have the One who can make known to us all that God's heart desires for the present. Many have the Spirit who are not in deliverance, and until they know that they are in Christ, that the Spirit is in them, the things of Christ are their chief joy.

If with Israel there was a manifestation palpable to the human senses of how God delivered them from the power of the enemy, and conducted them through the Red Sea to the joy of deliverance from all their enemies, eventually to plant them in Canaan on new ground, how much more now, when this wonderful type has been fulfilled by the work of Christ and a deliverance, not now visible to human senses, has been made known by the Spirit of God dwelling in us. A new day is opened to the soul when the Spirit is given to remain with the believer for ever. Thus we know the present. First, the believer has to learn the past in what Christ has wrought for him and in the fulness of the grace of God towards him; but having received the Spirit, a new range of truth is opened out to him, viz., that which "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God", 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.

We see from Matthew 14:10, when John the baptist was beheaded, that the Lord accepted it as an intimation of His own rejection, and retired into the desert. There He fed the multitude who followed Him; but now He has taken a new place which He set forth in figure by walking on the water above all the power of evil on the earth; He has opened out the

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way to Himself where no one could join Him but by the Spirit. The Lord set forth this in figure when He attracted Peter to join Him; He said to him, "Come", and Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus. Thus in pattern the Lord prepared Peter for the new structure, the only spot where now He can be found on earth, the house of God, the church of the living God. Hence in John 14 the disciples, inside with Himself, were first taught how they would be furnished by the Spirit with the knowledge of what Christ had been here on earth; they are then set up in His own peace to come forth for Him on the earth, receiving all supply from Him, as the branch would from the vine. This is a new divine path, one which the vulture's eye hath not seen. It is not then merely what is past that occupies us, but what is present, the Lord's present mind and interests, so that not only are there special gifts given by the Spirit to the servants for ministry, but as each one knows Christ as Head on the other side of death, he knows Him in His own sphere of life as the source of everything, and that He directs each for the present moment, and everyone who seeks Him and beholds His glory is transformed into the same image, according to His present mind, and is therefore enabled to "shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light". (1 Peter 2:9)

Finally, the Spirit of God, according to John 15:26, sent from Himself in heaven, demonstrates (John 16:8) what the world is in its true moral character: "of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged". Secondly, He was to guide them into all truth and to show them things to come. Thirdly, "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you". He was to bring out to them heavenly things. This is the highest point of your present, because you come from Him in heaven, as

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united to Him there, to represent Him on the earth at the present moment in the church, and in your own social circle.

No one can be in communion with Him without knowing how the church has been leavened by professors, so that it has become a "great house", where there are vessels to honour and to dishonour; and when anyone gets near Him he will first purge himself from vessels to dishonour, and then follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. If he walks in the Spirit he is in concert with the Lord's present mind, so that Paul's teaching, which refers to our union with Christ in heaven, is the great truth for the servant to present in the last days, and is the aim and end of his ministry to the saints. Thus he is led by the Lord to understand how the truth in John's gospel can alone awaken souls from the dead and formal state into which they have fallen, and revive the truth of union with Christ so that they are prepared for the future by being in present concert with the Lord.

The one who is in concert with the Lord would also know that His attitude towards the professing church is that He is walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks in judgment, and that in the last days those who cleave to Him, though they have but a little power, keep His word and do not deny His name. They are sustained and succoured by Him in a remarkable way, though apostasy will advance, and culminate in Babylon - which is man surrounded with all the luxuries of this world, but perfectly independent of God. Amidst all the confusion and darkness here the future is lighted up by the fact that you know Him as He is in the present, and that you are here for Him when He comes. So that at the close we find the Spirit and the bride inviting Him to come and take His rightful place on the earth; then the bride will be here for Him as the new Jerusalem.

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Now it is to be noted that while those are interesting, who speak of the Lord's walk and ways upon the earth as showing what He was in our circumstances, they do not get to the present until they know that they are in Christ, and that the Spirit is in them, so that they have full deliverance from themselves; and then, while it is still interesting to look at Him in connection with our circumstances, we have to do with a much greater thing, viz., with Himself in His own circumstances.

One remark more, the snare of those who are satisfied with the knowledge of what Christ has done for them and of God's favour towards them, is to become occupied with the future in the line of prophecy, and they are thus diverted from the great controlling interest of being in company with the Lord, in His present mind and purpose.

The Lord give us grace to apprehend our true place with Him now. The more we dwell upon the immense range of truth that belongs to the present, the more edified we shall be, and the more will He Himself personally be the enjoyment of our hearts, because we shall be in concert with Him; and the more truly we walk in the Spirit in the present, the more we enjoy the past and are prepared for the future, occupied for Him, while watching and waiting for Him to come.

To sum up. If you dwell on the past, historically fulfilled in Christ's life on earth, your heart will be filled with the goodness of God, manifested in what He has effected for us in Christ, and with the greatness of His interest in His own for ever. But when, having received the Spirit, you know that you are united to Christ in present grace, you realise the prayer in Ephesians 3, and you know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. Then Christ's interests are your interests. No matter how dark the day, you know that you are in His confidence and that He is unchanging, and He will instruct you as to how the dead and

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formal are to be aroused out of their slumbers; and if you are here when He comes, you are of the bride to welcome Him, and to rejoice in the brightness of His presence.


September, 1896


The end of God's discipline is "that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10); to make us as separate from everything of this world as He is. As born of God we are sanctified by the truth. The Lord says, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth" (John 17:19) - which sanctification (as has been said) is immeasurable. We are called to a new and singular position, not known or understood by men. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not". (1 John 3:1)

When you are established in grace you are called to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". (Romans 12:1,2) Now as born of God, your tastes are divine, and as the body is the Lord's it is subject to Him for direction in everything (as a horse would be subject to its owner). We are bought with a price, therefore there is a lack of integrity if we swerve in any degree from this; our simple duty is to glorify God in our body, which is His. If it be His will for us to have employment or relationships, or any such claims here, we have to glorify Him in them.

Now nothing diverts us from the perfection of our

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calling so much as the influence of unspiritual company. It is not only that a worldly or foolish idea is suggested to yourself, but you see it confirmed by another. Thus from childhood to old age we are affected by the company we keep - as the old saying goes, 'Tell me what company you keep, and I will tell you what you are'. It is only as we keep fresh and vigorous in the position in which we are set by grace, that we are able to detect the harm that comes to us from our company. One might say, But I have to do business with men. True, but in business you are not seeking company, and if you keep separate socially, though you may be regarded as silent and austere, you are genuine, and you will be respected in the consciences of those with whom you have to do. There is most danger for us with our relatives, because we are less on our guard with them; but if we are truly on our guard with them, they will have confidence in us, and will turn to us when in any serious difficulty.

The first thing is to get distinctly before us the danger of being soiled, and thus losing the devotedness which is in itself so enjoyable, and so honoured of God. Nothing can be more enjoyable than absolute devotedness to one whose goodness, love, and worth command your whole heart. As the Nazarite lost his separation by the touch of a dead bone, so in the sense of such a loss can we appreciate the better the Lord's present service in washing our feet, to keep us fit for His own holy presence.

We see all through Scripture how the man of God is separate from man's thoughts and ways. Abel is not influenced by Cain; he takes a new and distinct path, because he has faith in God. Faith makes God your object; man makes himself his object. The more man can understand his fellows, the more dangerous is the influence. When man at Babel betrayed his desire to be independent of God, confusion of tongues was sent as a check to man's confederacy.

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Now when God called out Abram, His word to him was: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee". (Genesis 12:1) No doubt he was detained in Charran by his father's influence, for we read in Acts 7, "when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell". Lot, his brother's son, went with him, but subsequently on his return from Egypt, he determined to be separate from Lot; and "after that Lot was separated from him", the Lord said to him, "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever", Genesis 13:14, 15.

Our subject is to see how we are influenced by those with whom we associate. Isaac was influenced by Esau "because he did eat of his venison" (Genesis 25:28) (even very small attentions can influence one), and he sought to confer on Esau the blessing which was for Jacob. He did not lose the truth, but under injurious influence he would misappropriate it; as has been said, 'we do not lose the truth, but when out of communion we misapply it'.

Jacob, after his return to the land, swerves from the path of faith, for he buys a parcel of a field from Shechem; Genesis 33:19. No doubt he had bad influence at home, for Rachel had idols (Genesis 31:19) and his altar (as is always the case) showed his true state, for he called it El-elohe-Israel; he was an object to God, but he had no sense of what was due to God. Hence in chapter 35, when God tells him to go up to Bethel, he remembers the holiness of God's presence (see Genesis 28:17), though it was twenty years since he was there, and he says to his household: "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Bethel". (Genesis 35:2) In responding to God's call he

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got a sense of the exacting nature of God's presence. I need hardly multiply examples for you. Moses is taught that it is a perilous thing to undertake the Lord's service without a pure conscience. God sought to slay him because he had not circumcised his sons, all through the influence, no doubt, of his Midianitish wife; Exodus 4:24 - 26. Solomon, the wisest of men, the most highly favoured of God, is turned to false worship by the influence of his wives; 1 Kings 11:1 - 5. Alas! that the man who dedicated the temple of God should disclose such alienation of heart from God.

Israel is warned not to allow any of the inhabitants of the land to remain lest they should become influenced by them (Exodus 34:12 - 16); but instead of driving them out they made a compromise with them (Judges 2:2, etc.), and learned their ways, and eventually fell under their influence.

When Balaam was not allowed to curse the children of Israel, he taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before them (Revelation 2:14); that was, to mingle with them, and thus to corrupt them. It is remarkable that of all the varied forms of Satan's opposition - Pharoah, Amalek, Balaam, and the seven nations - we are not warned against any of them in the addresses to the seven churches, except Balaam's, which sets forth the baneful influence of company, and was the one which was most successful in corrupting the church.

In the foregoing scriptures we are distinctly taught the baneful influence of worldly company. I do not mean having to do with men in business; company is when there is interchange of thought and social intercourse. If the saint does not at once refuse it, he is influenced by it and sinks to the level of his company, whatever that level may be; and the first evidence of it is, he loses his freshness and vigour, like a tree losing its top-shoot. The first result of Israel's declension was that they had no rain; Deuteronomy 11:16,17.

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It may be helpful to trace a little the serious nature of this snare, and the insidious way in which this device of Satan works. For instance, a christian marries and furnishes his house with the intention of declining the visits of his worldly relatives and acquaintances; this is his intention; but often while the front door is closed to them, they find admittance (so to speak) by the side entrance, and he is eventually swamped imperceptibly to himself by the worldly element, especially if he has means. The blessedness of the injunction to the bride in Psalm 45 is lost sight of, not only to leave, but to "forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him". (Psalm 45:10,11)

Those who know anything of the blessedness of communion with Christ, will soon detect that they have lost ground when they lend their ear to the worldly element in their company; talking of their relations and the like they are liable to fall into the snare of the enemy, and they will become unhappy like the bride in Song of Solomon 5, until their feet are washed and they are again in communion with the Lord.

It is right to think of our relations, but when talk of their progress or their interests the worldly element is uppermost. Many a one is turned aside by adopting a relation or undertaking a responsibility to which God has not appointed him. It is just the difference between a river and a canal. A river has its natural bed, while a canal is of man's construction and often has a dry dock. Whenever we see the worldly element in any of our company, especially in a christian, unless we immediately judge it in ourselves we are sure to become leavened by it.

Many a one goes on happily for years until his family is grown up, and then he gets so interested in their progress and advancement that he is leavened

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by it, and his worldly prepossession seems to have revived. Barnabas would not have separated from Paul (Acts 15:39), and would not have been carried away by the Jewish element in Peter (Galatians 2:13), if he had judged it in himself.

'When you are true to what is new,
You grow in beauteous grace;
When you decline, and drink old wine,
The fool is in your face'.

"A fool ... saith to every one that he is a fool", Ecclesiastes 10:3.

"No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better", Luke 5:39.

But the Corinthians are a warning to us: they not only lost sight of what was due to God in His own house, but they were a reproach in every circle, both at home and abroad. That highly gifted church became so diverted through association with unbelievers that the apostle has to say to them, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God", 2 Corinthians 6:14 - 18; 2 Corinthians 7:1..


September, 1896

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It is important for every christian to understand the relation between the gospel and the church.

Paul at his conversion was given the first intimation of the mystery of God, which had been kept secret from the foundation of the world. It is expressed in the words: "Why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4) So that not only is a believer saved by the work of Christ, but every christian is a part of Christ. Hence the first thing known must be the gospel; if the gospel is not clearly known, the mystery of the gospel cannot be known. We do not hear much in the New Testament of evangelists, but the gospel is referred to over sixty times in the epistles, from which we gather the grave importance of the subject, and the responsibility of the preacher who presents it.

Nowadays, when many earnest men give up their secular callings to preach the gospel, it is of deep importance that they should not only know the scope of the gospel, but that they should enter into the reality of what it is to be sent by Christ, the Head of the church. For "how shall they preach, except they be sent?" (Romans 10:15). From what one hears of evangelists generally, one is forced to conclude that they do not know more than forgiveness of sins, and, while their zeal and devotedness must be greatly commended, the desire and prayer of us all should be that they may be fitted for their work.

As far as I see, an evangelist ought not only to know his own acceptance with God, but he ought to so realise what it is to be "in Christ" that he 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) I daresay that as a rule all who have acceptance with God by faith would say that they were in Christ according to the word of God, but deliverance is only realised by

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the Spirit dwelling in you. The evangelist ought to know what his place is in the church as a member of the body of Christ, before he can be assured that he is gifted by the Lord, and sent forth to fulfil the service of an evangelist, to which he is commended by his spiritual elders, signified (when the church was in order) by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. In christendom (no doubt from giving a natural meaning to the spiritual idea) every one is supposed to prepare for the ministry - to study for orders, as they say. It is evidently the mind of the Lord that His servant should learn of Him in the assembly, not only that he has received a gift and is assured of it, but that as qualified he is sent by the Lord - as we read in John 20:21, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you".

It is unaccountable that while most earnest men seek to be evangelists, so few devote themselves to the care of souls; an unseen but most profitable service. Certainly there is even a greater want of pastors and teachers than there is of evangelists. I believe if everyone was quietly and devotedly occupied with Christ's interests in the assembly, the Lord would before long make known to each what his gift was.

I think we ought all to take it to heart that if the gospel is imperfectly presented there cannot be fruit according to the mind of Christ. If your beginning is imperfect you cannot reach to the finish. If you do not know God's gospel you cannot reach God's purpose. The apostle Paul can say, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2) - a living Person in glory, and that Person crucified here. He expected his converts to be according to his preaching. He could say afterwards, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase". (1 Corinthians 3:6)

As a rule, as far as I know, the evangelists faithfully present the value of the blood, but I question whether

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many of them have the gospel that was preached by the apostle Paul to the Corinthians - the living Person in glory, crucified here. I learn from 1 Corinthians 1:23 that Christ crucified is "unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness". Many would be glad to listen to atonement by the blood of Christ who are not ready to hear that man has been set aside in the cross so that to a Jew who looked to the law the cross was "a stumblingblock", for how could he keep the law if the man was set aside? and to the gentile it was "foolishness", for if man is set aside, where is there a place for human wisdom? Thus the apostle adds, "I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power", 1 Corinthians 2:3, 4. Whereas in our days, very often the more eloquent and stirring the preaching, the more it acts on human feelings, the more it is approved, and the greater number of those who profess to be converted, because by faith in the blood they are assured of eternal safety, can go on in natural things here, with the law as a rule of life. The burden of the evangelist's message is, that God has Himself removed the distance between Him and man, and that He receives the believer in all the nearness and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that Paul could say to the Philippian jailer in his distress "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved", (Acts 16:31) and we find him that very night rejoicing in God with all his house. Such a convert would be able to say, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ". (Philippians 3:8)

No one can read the early chapters of 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 without being struck with the grave and solemn responsibility of the evangelist, both as to himself and as to the tidings he announced, and the results were characterised by the

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tidings. But when we look at things in the present day, there is little of that solemn sense of divine responsibility as sent by the Lord to present the gospel in a given place. Earnest men are satisfied if they can by any means, or anywhere, collect a crowd, and deliver to them an impassioned appeal as to faith in the blood of Christ, and often seem to forget that God converts the soul: it is their duty to deliver the message of His grace. Consequently while there are many conversions, how seldom do we hear of one who breaks from the world, and honestly avows, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world". (Galatians 6:14) As far as I see, converts are characteristically like those who preach to them. Apollos was blessed in his work though he preached an imperfect gospel; and when we hear of him again he is fully on the Lord's side, but not as an evangelist; he refreshed the saints, he 'watered' them.

I may add in corroboration of what I have advanced, that no servant can be on the earth for the Lord, as in John 15, who has not come from the Lord inside, as in John 14. +

It is inside with Him that the servant is prepared and furnished; then he comes forth to be His disciple, to bring forth fruit, to be so in concert with His mind in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from Himself in heaven, that he is witness for Him here. No servant can be in His confidence or in His power who does not abide in Him. We see that the hindrance in Colossians 2 is the twofold working of the flesh, and

+It is interesting to note that in John 13 and 14 we learn the Lord as with Him in divine seclusion -- what He is to us. But in Hebrews we are drawn to Him, as Peter when sinking was drawn to Him. We turn to Him in our infirmities; He does not remove them, but He draws us away from the place where trouble is to His own side, and eventually we find ourselves in the holiest, in company with Him, where we learn Himself.

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these come out in 1 Corinthians 1, where the gospel is refused. Christ crucified is to the Jew a stumbling-block, and to the nations foolishness. These are the two great hindrances to the reception of the gospel; the Corinthians suffered from the one, the Galatians from the other; but with the Colossians the two combined to hinder the servant of Christ; we find these two snares full blown in christendom under the names of rationalism and ritualism. But no servant is free from this combined evil in some shape or form who has not entered into death with Christ, "from the rudiments of the world". If you be risen with Him, you are in the power of His life, you are under His direction as Head; then you truly abide in Him and you are His disciple.

I am afraid the tendency is to enter on the service of Christ very little apprehending the solemnity and blessedness of the calling. If you are not His disciple you cannot be His friend. It is only as you realise your union with Him in heaven that you are in His confidence. You then can come out here in heavenly power to glorify Him according to His pleasure, because you realise the power which wrought in Christ; that power is to usward who believe, according to the counsel of God. You know that you are raised up and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ, and then you begin to learn the prayer in Ephesians 3:16,17, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith". Many confound this with their own state, instead of seeing that it is His interests that now control your affections, so that you come out here from Him, according to John 16, to find the prince of this world is judged, and that you are made superior to all the power of evil; and it is then truly that you enter into the great fact that your gift is from the glorified Man. When Christ had overcome

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everything here, when He had "ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men". (Ephesians 4:8) It is plain that although the servant may be blessed in the exercise of his gift, he is not in full power with regard to it until he enjoys union with Christ in heaven; and this is not only that we look for the portion of the church as the bride of Christ hereafter, but being so in His confidence now, and so enjoying His place and His power, that as Rebecca was a comfort to Isaac when his mother died, so now when His earthly people are set aside, we are to be to the satisfaction of Christ's heart in the darkest day here.

Finally I would add that while our progress depends on the measure of the gospel we begin with, the aim and perfection of all ministry is to lead souls into present enjoyment and the purpose of God; this is the finish of His grace. We see from Ephesians 4 that the Spirit of God looks at the saints in their true calling, their normal place for Christ here, that is, in union with Him. But alas! we know that few of those servants who are most before the public really know it for themselves, and if they have not reached it for themselves, how can they minister the truth which would lead others to it? While on the other hand no one can know the gospel of the glory of Christ, and his nearness to Him in glory as Paul preached it, without entering into the reality of union with Him. Then it would be the natural outflow of his heart to preach it; such an one could truly say, "I believed, and therefore have I spoken". (Psalm 116:10)

Thus two things ought to be before the evangelist: firstly, the greatness of the subject of the gospel itself; and secondly, that it is by the gospel souls are prepared for the purpose of God; for as a rule everyone is detained or hindered by the imperfect gospel he has received, so that instead of realised union with Christ being the normal state of souls, it is a very rare exception when it is known.

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May we all be more interested in the Lord's servants. We have no right to dictate to them how they preach, but we ought to feel responsible for what they know, May we take it more to heart that it is unworthy of a servant of Christ to undertake to declare the good tidings of God of which he is himself imperfectly informed.


September, 1896


"The promise of the Spirit through faith" is the blessing now given in Jesus Christ to us gentiles in answer to the faith of Abraham, as we gather from Galatians 3:14. First we learn the greatness of this blessing, given to crown and to perpetuate all that had been wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ. "The Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified", John 7:39. When God had been fully glorified here by a Man - the Man Christ Jesus - that Man was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father: "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which ye behold and hear", Acts 2:33. There is a day coming when, as we read (Joel 2:28): "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh". That day has not come yet, but the promise of the Father has come, according to Christ's request in John 14, that the Father would give to His own another Comforter, who should remain here and dwell in them. It is important to bear in mind the difference between the word 'on' which will be fulfilled in the future day, and the word 'in' which belongs to the church period. 'On' signifies more an influence like wind upon a sail. Many do not see the Spirit to be more than an influence, whereas the word

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'in' implies identification. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered", Romans 8:26. I see that the first sense the soul has of the gift of the Spirit is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us. This is illustrated by the father kissing the returning prodigal; Luke 15:20. As far as I see, we do not know experimentally the power of the Spirit of God, until, according to Romans 7:25, we can say, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". As we see in the prodigal, he had to have the best robe put on him before he could make merry in his father's presence: so, as in Romans 8:2, we then know that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death". This is the great day to the believer, and you have not truly entered on your christian history until you know that you yourself are in Christ. It is not merely that you are not thinking of the flesh, but you are rejoicing that you are in Christ, and thus you meet every intrusion of the flesh. Here properly John 4 begins to be known. When Isaac gets his place, Ishmael has no place. You have a new personal identity when Christ is acknowledged in His true place, according to His rights: you are conscious of power, and you can "stand fast .. . in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free". (Galatians 5:1) It is not that Ishmael or the flesh is not there, but you are "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you". (Romans 8:9) And now you learn the great truth as to the old man being crucified with Christ so that you can say, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20)

Once you have acknowledged that Christ has the right to your whole being, you lose a good conscience if you do not walk accordingly; and here it is that

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even after having had the sense of liberty and the power of the Spirit, if you give way to some influence of the flesh, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, you are not only powerless, but you are like a bird with a wounded wing, you are depressed with a sense of loss, and in sowing to the flesh you have only reaped corruption; whereas if you walk in the Spirit, you daily enjoy more and more the wonderful nature of your new position, as set free from the religion and the desires of the flesh.

It is important to bear in mind that a snare often commences with something that seems simple and harmless - a snare may not be anything morally wrong, but is generally that which you naturally like best; when it becomes a ruling desire so that discontent ensues if you do not possess it, as with Eve, the carnal mischief has begun, you begin to "thirst"; and though you do not lose the assurance of God's grace in your soul, you are really asleep, that is inactive, and you will not be happy or in power until you have judged the desire which led you captive, and have turned to the Lord with a deeper sense of His love; for when Christ is in His right place the snare is broken and you are delivered; you are filled with thankfulness at the completeness of your deliverance, and the ease with which it is effected.

You are delivered from the snares of the mind in quite another way; we learn that the Corinthians were ensnared by human wisdom; the apostle addressed them as carnal, as babes in Christ; and having exposed their failure in the first epistle, he presses upon them in the second how he had presented Christ to them. From the law there was a ministration of condemnation, while from Christ there was a ministration of righteousness from the glory: "We all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord the Spirit". (2 Corinthians 3:18)

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The Galatians had to learn the power of the Spirit for deliverance, and to them the apostle shows that the flesh with all its pretension is to be supplanted by Christ Himself, the true Isaac. The Corinthians had to learn in the gospel of the glory of Christ their acceptance with God. When this is learned His wisdom and the rule of it become the joy of your heart; like the queen of Sheba, you are beside yourself under the sense of His wisdom; you not only see it in Him, but you are made through grace to share in it, so that you come from His presence controlled by His wisdom; your own mind is silenced, and you learn that you have the mind of Christ.

It must be borne in mind that the Spirit of God is occupied with each of us individually before He conducts us to the portion that is common to us as belonging to the bride of Christ. After a soul is settled as to his acceptance and deliverance, the next step is to know Christ in communion with His own in the assembly. Each individual has to be conducted like Peter to the Lord's side, and thus having come to the living Stone is a component part of His assembly, where His present mind and interest on the earth are to be known. I see many take this their true position without being in the reality of it, and this accounts for the want of concert there is in those who take part in the meetings, for we cannot truly be competent to enter into Christ's mind if we are not at rest as to our own state. If there had been no apostle to correct the Corinthians and Galatians, into what a fearful state of confusion they would have fallen; that is very much what we find generally in christendom now, and what we are all prone to, unless there be real guides, like Timothy, who know the path to lead in.

It is an era of great blessing to a soul when he realises that he has come to the presence of Christ as the living Stone. The Spirit then leads him into the present interest of Christ. Surely, if, as we find in the

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temple of old, God could be learned, in any measure, when there was only a cloud of glory, how much more now when we are in the presence of the Lord of glory, and the Spirit unhindered in glorifying Him to us. In the Colossians we find a devoted company commended for their faith in Christ Jesus and love to all the saints, but they did not know the mystery of God; they had not learned that they had died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, and so they could not be free from the two evil forces which now prevail in christendom - then in the bud, but now full blown - rationalism and ritualism. The apostle shows them that if risen with Christ they are in the sphere of His life, and the Spirit can then unhinderedly make known the Lord's pleasure to each. I refer to this because, though the Spirit has come down to us, His great aim is to carry us up to heavenly things, to make known to us the things of God; "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God". (1 Corinthians 2:11)

No one is truly built in who has not come to the living Stone, and known the Lord at the other side of death; I believe that one might enjoy this grace for a time in the assembly, and yet not have entered experimentally into the momentous fact of having crossed the Jordan, and of being in the sphere of Christ's life. There the Spirit of God is in His own sphere, and He conducts you to Christ as Eliezer conducted Rebecca to Isaac, and you enter into the knowledge of union with Christ, and thus is fulfilled to you what we read of in John 16:14 "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you". Thus we become acquainted with things that "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit". (1 Corinthians 2:10) You are then, so to speak, within the region where the Spirit is at home, and where you can drink of the fountain of

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living water (John 7), and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water, according to the measure of Christ's will.

In conclusion, I may add a word as to the leading of the Spirit in the assembly. Every christian who is at peace with God desires to break bread in remembrance of Christ in His death, though few know at first the solemnity of having communion with His death, but as each one is drawn to Him, and feeds on His death, by the Spirit, he is awakened to desire the Lord's presence, and to know what the disciples knew when that word was fulfilled to them: "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22) - "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord". (John 20:20) This can only be known by the Spirit, for Christ is only to be known at the other side of death, and when you know Him thus you have come to the living Stone. A new day is opened to you when you find yourself in His presence, and enter into the reality of what is typified in Leviticus 8. Having remembered Him in death, you are of the consecrated company feeding on the blessedness of His acceptance in the presence of God where He is known as the One greater than Moses; where not only you find your own rest, but where He, according to John 14, fits you for Himself in divine seclusion, so that you can come forth abiding in Him to bear fruit; and so answering to His mind, you learn that you are His friends; the Holy Spirit from Himself in heaven makes you superior to all the power of evil here, and at the same time makes known to you what eye hath not seen. You come to the range of His own delights.

One word more in the way of caution. Though the Spirit does not leave us, yet when we grieve Him by sowing to the flesh, indulging in our own thoughts or tastes, He does not help us to the next step until the evil is judged. It is then failure occurs, because the

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Spirit does not help; He makes us sensible that we have lost His support; so that in praying we have no assurance of being near the Lord. I say this because it is often an occasion of much loss to suppose that a good well-expressed prayer is really praying; you can have no sense of God or of having come to Him, or of His presence but by the Spirit of God; and if the Spirit is grieved you have not the sense of nearness to Him. Many derive a certain satisfaction from listening to prayers, because their wishes are expressed, but this is not really praying. When you pray you know that you have come to God, you know that you have told Him, made known to Him your requests, as in Philippians 4, and the proof is, that though you may not get answers to your petitions, you get His peace which passeth all understanding. But also we have this confidence "that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us and .. . whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him". (1 John 5:15) But this can only be known by the Spirit. If the Spirit is grieved, you really do not pray, though you may utter words and express yourself well.

The Lord lead us to walk before Him with the Spirit ungrieved, our only bond to Him now and for ever.


October, 1896


A servant of the Lord does not know the true character of his service, until he is so near the Lord that his heart has been deeply affected with the fact that the Lord is not here, that He is rejected by man, and that He is sitting down at the right hand of God. Thus while the servant has to do with the Lord outside of

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everything here, his service is addressed to those of His own who are here. So he begins with learning the Lord where He is in glory, and then conveying His mind with all diligence to His people down here. This is the servant's preparation for his work.

Next, the more he surveys and knows the state of the church, the more he is awakened to a sense of its grievous departure from the Lord, though his heart rejoices in finding here and there those who really are attached to Christ; the more also he is filled with zeal of heart to be a true help to His weak ones scattered amid the confusion. Like Nehemiah, he not merely sees the deplorable ruin, but he sets himself to strengthen the things that remain - to feed the sheep and lambs. In order to be equipped for his work, the servant's resources must be all in Christ; he must be like Elisha when Elijah was taken away; he must act as if everything depended on himself. The first thing is to be "strong in the Lord" (Ephesians 6:10) and "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1); not looking for any one to support him, but so helped by the Lord that his one thought is to care for the sheep and lambs of the flock.

Though the gentile power has cut off even the apostle, the servant for difficult times feels responsible to maintain what the apostle communicated, and as he maintains it, he is of real help and use. Among men, if a great general is cut off in battle every loyal soldier would be zealous in making up for the loss; but with the soldier of Christ, the Timothy, it is not only that he feels charged with the communications of the apostle, but he has this amazing comfort, that the Lord will give him "understanding in all things", 2 Timothy 2:7. Many are careful students of the word who are not effective in their ministry, because they trust more to their knowledge of the word than to the present help of the Lord, giving them "understanding in all things". It is a fact that those who are great

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students of the word often depend so much on their knowledge of it, that they have not the mind of the Lord for the time. Though the study of the word and the knowledge of it are most necessary, yet it is not the knowledge of the word that makes the servant a true help to the sheep, but the Lord Himself giving him the "understanding". Many are satisfied with the knowledge of the word, and unintentionally make it a substitute for the direction which can only come from the Head.

The guide then is not only strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, but he is independent of all human resources; and in maintaining God's word and counsel for His own to the end, he receives direct light from the Lord Himself as to what suits them for the time. The servant is called to war; he is in conflict with all the things around; therefore he must not be entangled with the affairs of this life, "that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier", (2 Timothy 2:4) but he has to go through severe drill before he is a soldier. His first conflict is with the world; I do not refer here to the conflict in his own soul before be has learned deliverance, because he cannot enter on the duty of a soldier at all until he is established in grace; hence his first public conflict is with the world as such, and his usefulness much depends on the completeness of his victory. Like Moses, he esteems "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward" (Hebrews 11:26); his heart is so deeply affected by the fact of Christ's rejection here that possessions or prospects have lost their hold upon him; he may not be called on to surrender his possessions, but he does not use them to maintain a position here.

His second great conflict is with the religious world, amidst all the systems and denominations for which religious men assume to have authority from Scripture.

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To investigate each would be profitless; the simple duty of the servant is to stand clear of them all, and to wait on the Lord for guidance as to the path. It is quite possible to quote Scripture in support of a human opinion which claims to be derived from Scripture; and this, backed up by the sayings and writings of pious men, has very general acceptance, whereas a spiritual judgment can only be apprehended by the spiritual, because while the human mind can take in a human opinion, the spiritual mind alone can understand the things of the Spirit of God, or form a spiritual judgment. "Which also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, communicating spiritual [things] by spiritual [means]", 1 Corinthians 2:13.

No soul with any sense of nearness to God could survey the fellowship of religious meetings around us, without being pained by the little sense there is of the holiness which belongs to the house of God - how, as we see in the Old Testament, that even touching a dead body defiled the tabernacle of God. In the sects, though people are not received into fellowship unless agreed on certain points, yet there is little or no discipline to keep the house of God even up to the light of a pious Jew; hence, the first result of enlightenment in a soul true to the Lord, is to purge himself from the vessels to dishonour, and to "pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart". (2 Timothy 2:22) The Scripture intimates that such are to be found. It is not to set up some new thing, but to follow righteousness, etc., with them who have already separated from the unholy mixture in the church.

Next, the servant or guide must be unfettered in his own house. If his wife is heart and soul with him, she is no hindrance but a help and solace to him. When she is not quite up to him, but is silent and prayerful, watching diligently that nothing in the house

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should disturb or hinder him, he is free for the Lord's concerns. When she is not in concert with him, he must stand firm and uninfluenced, though in all tenderness and consideration, giving honour unto her as unto the weaker vessel. It is when she assumes to be in concert with him, but without real exercise of heart before the Lord, that she breaks down in an emergency. But the great snare is when the wife has an ascendency over her husband, and, like the much-loved Rachel, who secretly pursued her own ways, she so leavens him, that though he does not give up the calling of God, yet he is powerless and without faith in it. Like Jacob (Genesis 33) his altar El-elohe-Israel, as is always the case, indicates the state of his soul with God; he can get no further than that he himself is an object with God. So there are many now who can speak much of the goodness of God to themselves, yet know very little of the blessedness of Himself. At length the voice of the Lord recalls the servant to His presence, and then he becomes clear of the leaven, and says to his household, "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments", Genesis 35:1 - 3.

As to his children, the servant's simple duty is to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. There is no entanglement while they are young; the danger is when they are grown up and start for themselves: then he is sure to be entangled, if he is either patron or partner in their interests. When he is so, he returns in heart to the world he had renounced, and his separation to God is more or less compromised. It has been said, You can refuse the world for yourself, but not for your children.

Now that you are a soldier, you must "strive lawfully", and you must fulfil every relation of life according to the will of God; there is nothing eccentric or extreme about you, you should be known as incomparable in your relationships as husband, father,

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and master. Finally, you have to labour as the husbandman before you can partake of the fruits. "He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully", 2 Corinthians 9:6. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him", Psalm 126:5,6.

Now that you are fitted to fulfil the responsibility of a guide, your beginning is of the greatest importance, hence the apostle writes: "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel", 2 Timothy 2:8. The risen Christ in glory is the only source of blessing to the Jew as well as to the gentile; hence it is most necessary that a servant who would lead on souls should see that they have begun according to God, that they are not only assured of their forgiveness and acceptance with God, but are so delivered from the old man that as "in Christ" the "best robe", they can joy in God. No soul is established in grace until he knows that he is received by God in Christ risen from the dead, and that in himself he is in practical deliverance, by the Spirit made free from the law of sin and death; Romans 8:2.

A guide is very dependent on the evangelist who has preceded him, for, if souls are not established in acceptance with God and in deliverance the guide must do the work of an evangelist; he can make no advance until this is effected.

I need not pursue the gradual way in which souls are led on, but I close with one remark: that while every true-hearted christian desires to partake of the Lord's supper in remembrance of Christ's death, very few are led into the gravity of fellowship with His death. If your heart really enters into the fact that the One who is so endeared to you has died out of this scene, what a sense of desolation must press upon your heart, as to everything in this world! The dearest one here may be removed, but no desolation

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can be so great as that of having fellowship with the Lord in His death here. Your sorrow would not be less because of the wrench death may make in your circle, because the one who knows the deepest sorrow is the one who feels every successive sorrow the most deeply.

I need not add more; thank God there are many devoted ones who can help a little, and though all cannot take the place of guides, yet every true-hearted man or woman can help, and it is a great thing to be able to contribute to those who are most in advance, and great responsibility attaches to him who is a guide or leader, not to make a false step. "Give heed to thyself and to the teaching; continue in them; for, doing this, thou shalt save both thyself and those that hear thee", 1 Timothy 4:16.


November, 1896


The blessed God in His goodness and love has given to us the holy Scriptures, that we may know His mind in relation to His people. Now, while acknowledging this great favour the question which should deeply occupy our hearts is - Do we truly understand His mind? It is evident, even with regard to human things, that you may have much knowledge without the ability to use it; and this is also the case in divine things. The greatest departure from the truth has been the result of a mere human knowledge of the Scriptures. Thus Rome, in carnal wisdom and fearing any interpretation of the Bible not authorised by the so-called church, has interdicted the reading of it.

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Now the Scriptures are, as we may say, in two volumes: the Old Testament which reaches from Adam to Christ; the New Testament which is from Christ's birth to His coming in glory. As far as I see, the Old Testament is for the individual saint, while in the New you are connected with the assembly. As to the Old Testament Scriptures, Timothy is told that they are able to make him "wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus", 2 Timothy 3:15. Now though he read and re-read them and might have a correct knowledge of what is recorded in them, yet if he had not faith in Christ Jesus, he is not made wise by them. We see in Hebrews 11, from Abel until the walls of Jericho fell down, the history of a soul walking in faith; and every believer now can ascertain the stage he has arrived at in that history. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is specially characterised by faith, so that it is not merely knowledge of the Lord's words that is sufficient, but having faith in Himself. Cain had the knowledge of His word, but he had not faith. Lot had the knowledge of His word, but he had not faith. The spies had the knowledge of His word, but only two of them had faith. Saul had the knowledge of His word, but he had not faith. Israel had the knowledge of His word, rehearsed over and over by the prophets, and yet they had not faith; so that eventually they made the word of God of none effect through their tradition, and used the law of God to crucify the Lord of glory.

I press this, because, from the first, the tendency of everyone is to be satisfied with the gift, without any exercise of soul as to whether he can turn the gift to right account. It betrays the ignorance and the littleness of the human mind to suppose that the blessed God could give to man, the object of His love, such a gift as the revelation of Himself, even the words of His mouth, which must be beyond the comprehension of the human mind, without giving him the ability to

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enjoy it fully. Even natural things, such as light and air, are beyond the comprehension of man, and yet the youngest child can fully enjoy them.

When the grace of God is made known to a soul, the work of God begins. When through the greatness of the work that has been done for him on the cross, that soul is assured by the Holy Spirit of his acceptance with God, he has not only the enjoyment of being on terms with God, but He is given a condition by the Spirit of God to enjoy the greatness of God's gift. It is impossible for the God of all goodness to place the prodigal in happy relations with Himself, without giving him the fitness to be near Himself. He would not give him a position without the condition to enjoy it, so he gets the best robe. The delay in souls is in entering on the new condition to enjoy this new position. We are unwilling to put off the old man. It is not God's side of the grace that is ever deficient; the deficiency is with us, in our slowness to accept the condition to enjoy the grace. The man who came to the marriage without a wedding garment was not asked why he came there, but why he had not on a garment suited to the place; Matthew 22.

I have been led into this digression in order to show the perversity of the human mind, which assumes to understand the word of God, without the divinely-given ability to enter into it. No natural man would give his child a watch without being assured that he had ability to appreciate and use it properly.

We have seen that the word of God, however plainly declared, is ineffectual without faith. Faith is as much the gift of God as the word itself. The soul that is more occupied with God than with any of His gifts finds that he receives faith from Him with regard to His gifts, for without faith it is impossible to please God. The one who has faith in God for one thing, has faith in Him for everything which His grace bestows. We see the history of faith in Hebrews 11;

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we begin with the true sacrifice to God set forth by Abel, and go on to possession of the land by the mighty power of God. And now, as the man with the drawn sword indicates (Joshua 5:13), we know that Christ is the leader and completer of faith, so that anyone in Christ has now the whole course open to him. Thus he can be wise indeed unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works", 2 Timothy 3:6. So much for the individual path.

Now we turn to the New Testament, where we shall find the Man of God's pleasure fulfilling all His will, He is the Head of the church which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. God is manifest in flesh, "made of a woman, made under the law", Galatians 4:4. Up to this every trait of grace in a man from Adam down was typical of the Lord Jesus Christ. When man had failed under every trial, He is born into the world. He begins at the weakest point - a babe, as presented to the shepherds, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. He who made man has Himself become a Man. He does not begin at maturity like Adam; He begins at the lowest point of infancy. The Creator who gave man all the attributes and qualities which God desired for man, is now a Man Himself, to encounter all the trials and difficulties which would affect a man in the weakness of humanity. His was a wonderful path; no trial, no vicissitude, no want, no opposition, nor the adverse circumstances to which man was reduced by his departure from God, ever diverted Him from His holy dependence on God or evoked a thought of self-consideration. He was always the Holy One of God - a Nazarite from His birth. He never sought human pleasures, and maintained this wonderful unique path, with His resources

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only in God. He never was tinged with the smallest shade of human frailty. He was the spotless One, as He must be, to atone for fallen man. When of mature age, a voice from heaven declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight". (Matthew 3:17) Every contrariety which He encountered was only an opportunity to disclose His perfection, and the beauty of the grace of depending on God. He is led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, forty days without food, or any succour on the human side; He utterly confounds Satan, and now He enters upon an entirely new course. He had shown out the beauty of grace in the weakness of humanity; He had maintained everything that was due to God from a man under the law; now He turns round to declare God to men; "the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him", John 1:18.

Eventually, when refused and rejected of man, He laid down His life according to the will of God. He suffered, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God", 1 Peter 3:18. He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit. All the divine beauty which shone out in Him in the feebleness of humanity, though no longer expressed in the flesh, remains in Him, "the second man" - the Man "out of heaven" (see 1 Corinthians 15:47). And now the secret of God is divulged; the collective company, the church, is the body of Christ. Every christian is a member of the body of Christ, so that all the grace which was displayed by Him here, might be perpetuated for ever in the members of His body.

When He was exalted to God's right hand, He received for the church the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended to His own who were gathered together. Then the first-fruits unto God began. We are all baptised by one Spirit into one body, and now,

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what was not known before Christ came is true for every believer; all the light and truth one gets from Christ is not for oneself alone, as in Old Testament times, but for the benefit of others: "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal", 1 Corinthians 12:7. So that everything one gets from the word has now a new responsibility connected with it - it is for the profit of all; as the bee that finds the honey miles off, carries it back to the hive. It is important to bear in mind that every member of the body affects us, and we affect them. If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. It is not enough for a person to receive light from the Lord, to enjoy it himself, and unless he has to do with Christ as Head, outside of everything here, he is not directed as to the effectual use of it for the saints.

Thus there is a peculiar interest now in knowing the Scriptures. The man who has received his knowledge from the Lord feels it incumbent on him to share it with his fellows. But however plainly truth is unfolded in words, we must ever bear in mind the saying of the Lord: "Why do ye not know my speech? Because ye cannot hear my word", John 8:43. Hence in Ephesians, where the truth of the mystery is plainly revealed in words, the apostle prays that they may have "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him". (Ephesians 1:17) Although they had the words, they required the Spirit of God in full power to make them acquainted with the mind of God. We find that many are well acquainted with the letter to the Ephesians who have not apprehended the greatness of the mystery.

The church had not long shone out in beauty and power before the whole force of the enemy was directed against it. Paul falls into the hands of the Romans; he writes to Timothy before his martyrdom, that all in Asia had turned away from him; and the church had become like a great house with vessels to

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honour and to dishonour. In the book of Revelation we find the Lord walking in judgment in the midst of the churches, and He first censures Ephesus, which was so bright, as having left her first love. He tells of the downfall of the church which He had brought so close to Himself; and eventually there are those in Laodicea who could boast that they were rich and had need of nothing, while He Himself was outside. That is the last phase, when all the light and truth which the church could boast of was practically ineffectual. When there was no repentance the church was spued out of His mouth as no longer a vessel of testimony. That which in its calling was nearest to Him, is so estranged from Him that it is called the harlot, and the beast, the power of the world, carries her. Nothing has helped to civilise the world like the Bible; no moral code propounded by man was ever equal to it, and the result of it is that the church, set as the pillar and ground of the truth, but having become apostate, is used by the power of the world to bring about a condition of things called Babylon, which can say, "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow", Revelation 18:7.

I need not add more. My desire has been to show how the word without the Spirit of God can be perverted and so used for man's benefit, that his one thought is to be independent of God, which is what Babylon expresses. If on the one hand the word of God leads us into the heights and blessedness of the Father's presence, and into the knowledge of Himself by the Spirit of God, on the other hand we see the depth of degradation and distance, which a knowledge of the word without the teaching of God leads to.


November 9th, 1896

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No one can read the Old Testament with any attention without being struck with the remarkable place given to the tabernacle and the temple, where the glory rests; Exodus 40:35; 2 Chronicles 5:14. If the type was so important and conferred so much blessing, how greatly is this surpassed in the assembly, where now the Lord of glory is found! Believers at peace with God, rejoicing in the risen Christ, feel that it is their first duty and privilege to come together in one place to break bread. When they know that they have come to Him, the living Stone, it is not only that they know that the Son of man is the Son of God, but they know Him as the Son of God, Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Then they are in their place as living stones of His building, a heavenly company; hence when they break bread, they necessarily, as has been said, turn back to the earth where Christ died; because in breaking of bread they have "the communion of the blood of Christ", (1 Corinthians 10:16) fellowship with His death. No one has entered into the solemn blessedness of the breaking of bread who has not truly fellowship with Christ in His death; he is pledged to it by the fact of breaking bread; so that once the light of this has entered into his soul, everything on the earth has a new aspect for him. Christ's death has occurred here, and this gives a character to everything where man is here, the golden bowl is broken, the silver cord is loosed; all the daughters of music are brought low. Though you know Him and rejoice in Him beyond death as Son over God's house, it is not merely the benefit of his death that is before your soul, but the moral effect of it on you as to everything in this place where He died. Man's day is over and there is no hope for him but in the death of Christ.

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Israel were idolaters because they could sit down "to eat and drink, and rose up to play", (Exodus 32:6) in the absence of Moses; how much worse for those who have professed communion with Christ's death, to be in levity, or seeking honour in the scene where He died! It is incongruous to the last degree for anyone to come to remember the Lord in His death while assuming or maintaining worldly position; and after partaking of the Lord's supper, to return to it is unbelieving and heartless, or to come from it conversing together, as if they came from a feast instead of from the Lord's supper. Henceforth the true heart must say, "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". (Galatians 2:20) All that is of man here is a vain show, a shadow that passes away, and the death of the Lord is man's only hope and only glory.

Christendom loses sight of the chief point in Scripture as to the remembrance of Christ in His death, because it adds, 'Take, eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee'. That is perfectly true; we have the remembrance that He died for us, but the prominent thought before us is, not that He died for us, but the affecting remembrance of the One who died for us. 'As risen and associated with Him in glory we look back to that blessed work of love and His love in it, which gives us a place there.. .. It is the remembrance of Christ Himself.. .. Impossible to find two words, the bringing together of which has so important a meaning, the death of the Lord. How many things are comprised in that He who is called the Lord has died! What love! What purposes! What efficacy! What results! The Lord gave Himself up for us. We celebrate His death. At the same time it is the end of God's relations with the world on the ground of man's responsibility - except the judgment. This death has broken every link - has proved the impossibility of any.. .. The object of the Spirit

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of God here (1 Corinthians 11), is to set before us, not the efficacy of the death of Christ, but that which attaches the heart to Him in remembering His death, and the meaning of the ordinance itself ... The shed blood of the Saviour claimed the affections of their hearts for Him. The Lord Himself fixed our thoughts there in this ordinance, and in the most affecting way, at the very moment of His betrayal'. +

We get it truly presented in the consecration-offering; Leviticus 8. The work of salvation is not only presented in the sin-offering and the burnt-offering, but the second ram, to all intents and purposes, is equal to the first ram. Christ gave Himself a sacrifice that we might be of the consecrated company, that we might pass from the altar where the remembrance of His death, and the virtue of it, were before our hearts, in company with Himself in the sanctuary, where we are in all the blessedness of His own acceptance before God.

As has been said, in the Lord's supper there is allusion to John 6, in that the way into life is through His death. But this christendom has reduced to the grossest fiction, namely, that eating a bit of bread at the hands of a priest could convey the deep spiritual meaning of "eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood", John 6:56. It is not my intention here to expose error, but to insist upon the truth of God. Now, being in the blessed sense of His presence, in the greatness of His acceptance, a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, we have come to the highest and brightest place, to joy in God, as companions of Him who is greater than Aaron, who has fulfilled all that was foreshadowed in the holiest of all. But we still have to learn from Him who is greater than Moses, like the disciples in divine seclusion with the Lord; John 13 and 14.

+See Synopsis, Volume 4, page 178; 1958 Edition.; 1 Corinthians 11.

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He drew them around Himself, and prepared them for all the trouble and trial in their midst, and concurrently opened out to them the vastness of the resources in Himself; so that not only was He in their midst, but He furnished the disciples with the ability to serve Him. The Holy Spirit was to come in His name to "bring all things to your remembrance". (John 14:26) This was special to the apostles, but we come in on their foundation. This is the great groundwork in the soul, which we now learn from the four gospels, but it is only in His presence that the light of them becomes available to our souls. We have been set in His presence to the satisfaction of our hearts, and now in seclusion with Himself we are fitted for His service we are in the sense that we are not left "orphans", for we are in His presence, and we are learning that "in that day" - the Spirit's day - He is in the Father, we in Him, and He in us; John 14:20. We are now at the oracle, where our hearts are instructed as well as delighted "There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee". (Exodus 25:22) We are arrived at the blessedness of the consecration. In the presence of the Son of God, Son over God's house, we receive instruction from Himself, for He says, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren". (Hebrews 2:12)

It is not so much what we have to give out as what we receive in His presence. It is only as we abide in Him that we bring forth much fruit; and our paramount interest is always with His own. "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you". (John 15:12)

It is only with the impression of this fresh upon our hearts that we are of any help in the assembly; and the nearer we are to Him, known where He is in glory, the better qualified we are by the power of the Spirit to be His witness here, both in the church and in our own house, and against all the force of the enemy.

Now, if anyone speaks or takes a part in the assembly

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he turns to the company, he comes fresh from the Lord. Each one ought to have faith that it is from the Lord he acts. The one who gives out a hymn is not thinking of what suits himself, but of that which is an expression of the heart of the company to the Lord. The one who prays should truly express the leading desires of the company; the one who speaks should come in confidence of heart that the Lord will support him in propounding his mind for the moment to his fellows.

In conclusion, I would add that in a day of ruin and declension, the one great object of each one gathered together is exclusively the Lord Himself. When the church was in power and freshness there were gifts of healing, gifts of tongues, to give the church a marked place among men, and the true ones were like the disciples at the beginning; but now, as has been said, we are like the Lord Himself when He was upon earth, not in power, but in weakness, and in unbounded faithfulness to God; so that those who follow the Lord to the close are not seeking to revive the candlestick, or to make an impression, or an appearance to obtain a place among men; but the Lord says to them, "Thou hast a little power, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name". (Revelation 3:8) They are not dwelling on the greatness of God's grace to themselves; of that they are assured; but they are set on following the Lord: "Follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart", 2 Timothy 2:22. They seek to recover that which the church first lost, namely, "first love", and like the disciples at the beginning, their one thought is the Lord Himself, and to have His company, which alone can satisfy true love. To this end they edify one another.

The Lord grant it may be true of each of us, more and more till He comes.

November 19th, 1896

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Let me ask you in true brotherly love, Do you understand that by the grace of God, there is in the gospel the setting aside of one man, Adam and all his race, and the bringing in of another Man, Jesus Christ the Son of God, risen from the dead?

In Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive; 1 Corinthians 15:22. The man who was under the judgment of God, the first man, was removed in judgment in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the believer in Christ is, to his ineffable joy, through God's grace and consistently with His righteousness, no longer in Adam before God, but in Christ; and on your side the Holy Spirit has been given as an indwelling Spirit, to make real to you that which is already true to God, i.e., that you are not in Adam but in Christ, that you have been turned from the old man, the wretched, fallen man - that is yourself, to the risen Man, Christ Jesus. So that in Christ there is now no condemnation, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death", Romans 8:1, 2.

The light of God's grace is often obstructed in souls, from reluctance to accept this truth of the change of man before God, and to see that the work of Christ was not to improve the first man, but to set him aside in judgment, to bring in a Man of a new order - that is Himself, "The second man, out of heaven" (see 1 Corinthians 15:47). The believer is of Him; "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren", Hebrews 2:11. They are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones; Ephesians 5:30. We are thus wholly His - our bodies are the Lord's,

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and are to be presented a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, our intelligent service; Romans 12:1.

In Leviticus 16 we get the earthly or millennial family represented by the congregation of Israel, for whom the two goats were offered (verse 8), and the heavenly family, the church, by Aaron and his sons, whose offering was a bullock (verses 6 - 14). In the one case, that of the earthly or millennial family, the law will be written in their hearts (see Jeremiah 37:33), the inclination to do evil will be superseded. In the other family, the heavenly, that is christians, Christ is written in their hearts by the Spirit of God; evidently a great and important distinction, and indicating that the christian blessings are in association with Christ who has gone within the veil.

December, 1896


Divine power necessarily transforms man to a new condition. If this be ceded, and it cannot be denied, we can understand the force of the apostle's words, "I .. . will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power". (1 Corinthians 4:19) Any condition or manner of life is easily adopted, when there is not only power for it, but when it is according to the ruling desire. A young bird enjoys flying, though it is new to him, and carries him to new scenes; because besides having the power to fly it is according to his taste to fly. Now an imitation is an imposition at once irksome and rigid, and always gives the impression that it is not according to your taste, because you discontinue it when you are in private or off your guard.

When a man is converted it is very evident that a new power has begun to rule him; he separates from his old associates, and seeks solitude in order to find God. This is the first step in the history of faith; the

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light of the gospel shines into his soul, and he knows that the God he seeks can be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Like Abel, he knows that Christ bore the judgment due to him. One not chargeable with the offence has borne the judgment of the offence; thus he obtains witness that he is righteous, and shall not come into judgment; and as far as I see in the history of faith, we must connect Enoch with Abel; for though everyone does not enjoy walking with God, it is there the work of Christ places you. You learn that you have passed out of death into life. No one can have truly entered on this first step without taking a very distinct path here, a path very different in life and manner, especially marked by the company such an one keeps (see Psalm 1) and by the way in which he breaks away from his old associations; so that his walk is in keeping with his ruling desire. "His delight is in the law of the Lord". (Psalm 1:2)

The second step in faith, as I may say, is how a man accepted of God is set up on the earth. This is typified by Noah in the ark. God says, "The end of all flesh is come before me" (Genesis 6:13) - not only this, but all the earth "having its subsistence out of water and in water ... deluged with water, perished", 2 Peter 3:5,6. Noah and his house are saved in the ark, saved from the judgment; and after being there more than a whole year, Noah is placed on the earth, and in offering a burnt-offering he finds that he is not only out of judgment, but that he is in the favour of God; so that through God's goodness he is here on the earth in favour, where once he was under judgment and the curse of God; he is now assured (Genesis 8:22) of the continuance of seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, etc., and further, he is given power to subdue everything here for his own benefit. But he cannot control himself, and is carried away by excess; and the descendants of the man so highly favoured, set on earth in such new and gracious terms, eventually

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conspired together to build Babel, and thus betray the inward corruption of the heart in independence of God.

Thus we see that the true place for everyone brought to God is to be here morally in the death of Christ, as set forth in the ark, which prefigured baptism. Many pious people think that because they have accepted the form of baptism, they are in the condition of it, but the condition can only be by the Spirit. It is by the Spirit of God alone that we can be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus. We all know how prone we are to seek and to rest in possessions here. Though we do not join the world in their Babel-combination, yet we like the feeling of independence, and often avail ourselves of the opportunities or resources which God's providence affords, to become so, instead of using them in dependence on Him. In the secret of man's heart he likes independence of God.

The manner of life of every christian should be characterised by being out of death through Christ's death, and in His life in Christ risen. Then by the power of the Spirit of God, he can use God's gracious provision for man on the earth without being carried away by excess. He learns how much better it is to be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but to be filled with the Spirit. While the world is seeking in one form or another to be independent of God, the christian's happy course is simple and continued dependence on Him.

This leads to the next step, a life of faith on the earth. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God". (Galatians 2:20) This is set forth in the history of Abraham; it is said to him, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee". (Genesis 12:1) And he went forth without a guide, depending on

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God. What a remarkable separation the call of God effects! He went forth not knowing whither he went; he broke every link with the place he left and sought a place appointed by God. To act or walk in faith you must have to do directly with God; neither providence nor the wisest man can direct you. We get an example of this in Acts 27. The master and the owner of the ship and the majority of the passengers gave advice contrary to Paul's; providence was in their favour; the south wind blew softly, but faith counted on God.

The history of Abraham gives us an example of the blessing of faith, and the trials and temptations connected with it. He had a happy assurance of being in the right way, at the altar (Genesis 12) when the Lord appeared unto him. Thus if we are walking in faith we are sure to get confirmation of our faith. Lot went with him; he represents those who imitate faith. Soon the test comes - a famine in the land - and Abraham gives up faith for Egypt: he drops from faith to man's resources, and there he is exposed to the danger of losing her who is nearest to him, and only escapes through God's gracious intervention. And now he returns to the path of faith, and then finds it absolutely necessary to separate from one who imitates faith. Lot soon betrays that he has not faith, for he seeks what suits him as a man - the green fields of Sodom.

Abraham's faith is still further assured after he had separated from Lot. God tells him to "Look ... northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth.. .. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee", Genesis 13:14 - 17. Before very long, Lot, with all his property, is carried away in worldly contention. Abraham, the man of faith, cares for the people of God, and suffers on their account;

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he puts his life in his hand, goes out by night and rescues Lot and his property; he receives no reward from the world, but has manifold more in this present time; for Melchisedec, King of Salem, meets him with bread and wine, and "he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand". So that Abraham can say to the king of Sodom, "I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet ... lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich", Genesis 14:18 - 23.

Now the time has come for the Lord to make known to Abraham, who was the great impersonation of faith, the great multitude which shall be his children - the children of faith (Galatians 3:7): "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham". For he believed God when as yet he had no child, and it was counted to him for righteousness. But no sooner does he believe God than the flesh begins to work, in the attempt by Sarah to obtain a family after the natural order. "These are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar", Galatians 4:24.

Eventually Isaac, the promised seed, is born, by the mighty power of God, and now the man of faith has to cleave wholly to Isaac; for when he was weaned he made a great feast for him: everyone in the house honoured him, except Ishmael, who mocked; and as we read in Galatians 4:29: "as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now". Then the word is: "Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman". The word of the Lord to the man of faith was: "Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman... for in Isaac shall thy seed be called", Genesis 21:12.

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It was about forty years from the time when Abraham had believed that his family should be as the stars, that his faith is tested again and he is told to offer up Isaac on mount Moriah - a wonderful test of faith. He must with his own hand remove that which was dearest to his heart (all his natural hopes), trusting in God who raiseth the dead. Who can understand the deeply anxious moments of that three days journey! - a journey by us often extended over a period of years before we are really ready to part with everything that the heart cherishes here, trusting in God. But faith triumphs, and Isaac is restored, "Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure", Hebrews 11:19. Abraham calls the place Jehovah-jireh; and now he is blessed with the assurance that his seed shall be as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the sea, but all flowing from the risen one.

Next comes the death of Sarah. In figure the hopes of Israel after the flesh are at an end; then we arrive at the consummation or crown of faith. Eliezer is sent to get a bride for Isaac, and Isaac loved her and brought her to his home and was comforted after his mother's death - a wonderful thing that the solace of the Lord for the loss of Israel is the church - His bride. The effect of Abraham's faith was that he lived as a stranger and pilgrim, looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Lastly, we have to look at the faith that is seen in the history of Moses, which surmounts all the difficulties and opposition on our own side. We have been looking at faith as set forth in Abraham, which rises up to the height of God's purpose; now we have to learn in the history of Moses how faith can surmount every obstruction on our side. Hence we see that Moses who personates this faith meets with opposition from his birth. By faith he is concealed from the hand

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of Pharaoh, and in the providence of God Pharaoh's daughter takes him in charge. He is thoroughly instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds. "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel", Acts 7:22,23. "He ... refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, .. . esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt", Hebrews 11:24 - 26. The first great obstruction to be surmounted is the greatness of the world. After this is overcome, a man must take an entirely new course on the earth. But Moses, like many another, thought he could deliver the people in his own strength; and after forty years in Midian, he learned at the burning bush what it was to have the power of God in the midst of weakness, so that eventually he could forsake Egypt "not fearing the wrath of the king".

The people of God are sheltered from the judgment on Egypt by the blood of the lamb. "Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them". (Hebrews 11:28) By faith they passed through the Red Sea, figuratively, the death and the resurrection of Christ. The song of faith first celebrates the greatness of His victory (Exodus 15): "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously". Secondly, God has become your object of interest. You are so clear of yourself that you prepare Him an habitation (verse 2), and thirdly, you know that He will bring you to His own dwelling place (verse 17).

We hear no more of Moses in the journey of faith in Hebrews 11, but we know from other scriptures, that a new and wonderful path is opened to the believer. According to God's appointment there is nothing here for us but Marah, the water of the Red Sea, the water of death, which Christ having passed through makes

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sweet to us. Then there is manna and the smitten rock. But the heart of man is exposed; he will not accept this appointed path: consequently the law is given to disclose his contrariety, "for by the law is the knowledge of sin". "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died", Romans 7:9. But in the unaccountable goodness of God, after He had given the law to make man conscious of the evil that was in him, He calls Moses up to be forty days in the Mount, receiving the patterns of things in the heavens; the tabernacle of God is set up, intimating that at the very time when all our evil comes out in the wilderness journey, we learn the goodness of His grace and the love of His heart, that He would make a way to approach Him, His presence being set forth in the cloud of glory filling the tabernacle.

Now when the generation that had murmured had died off, Israel begins to move onward, and Numbers 21 discloses the irremediable enmity of the heart to God they "spake against God, and against Moses .. . And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people". (Numbers 21:6) There is no improvement in man from the first; they return to their beginning and find that the serpent's power is undiminished. Then God tells Moses to put a brazen serpent upon a pole; and all who looked upon it lived. This is figurative of Christ made sin for us; "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh". (Romans 8:3) And we find in John 3:15, that everyone believing in Christ lifted up, lives. "Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". It is not a question of salvation in this passage, but of life, not so much what is done for us as the effect of power in us. Many preach the gospel from this passage as if it were the work done for us instead of the work done in us.

Then outside the wilderness Israel comes to the

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well of God; where the word is "I will give them water". This was in figure what we get in John 4:14, "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life". Now set up after a new way, they move onward, to Canaan, to the realisation of what faith had reached to in their song in Exodus 15. God comes in to help them, as we see in Psalms 135 and 136; to remove the kings, the powers that would obstruct the way onward, until finally the waters of Jordan are dried up, and they are across, and in the land. The walls of Jericho fall down and they are in possession, in the presence of the man with the drawn sword in his hand, figuratively the Lord of glory.

Thus we, having come to the place where Christ is, seated together in heavenly places in Him, are in company with the greater than Isaac, there to realise our new relationship to Him, now to come out as heavenly ones, in the church and in our own house by the power of the Spirit, to testify to Him in face of all the opposition and evil here. The answer of faith to all God's grace is not complete till then; faith is then perfected. "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (James 2:22).

Nothing is more painfully untrue and dishonouring to the Lord than for a man to be able to speak of the highest range of blessing to which God has called us, and at the same time not to be in any way descriptive in himself of a heavenly man. The human mind has reached the acme of alienation from God when it can suppose and propound that God could bestow the highest divine blessing upon a man to bring him near Himself, and yet that the man should not of necessity answer to it in his life and ways; and this not by introspection, but by the power of the Spirit. It has been said in public, If I am chided for not being over

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Jordan, I say Christ is over Jordan. But I retort, So much the greater loss to you that you are not over; for you are not where Christ is.

God surely makes good His grace to every believer, in rest and eternal happiness; but it is as we walk in answer to His grace now, and are in association with Him now that our place with Him in the kingdom will be determined. If you are not in association with Him now you do not know Him as Head and you are not His confidential servant. The great work of the Spirit now is, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". (Ephesians 4:13) So that Paul labours to present every man full grown in Christ Jesus. He commended Epaphras for labouring fervently in prayer that they might "stand perfect and complete in all the will of God", Colossians 4:12.

One word more, nothing can be so divinely beautiful on earth as a man so transformed by the mighty power of God, that he is in heavenly manners here on earth; so that he does not in any of his ways deny the Lord Jesus Christ; but in the most trying hour of his history upon earth the Lord can say of him, "thou hast a little power, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name". (Revelation 3:8)

December, 1896


Every believer knows something of the forgiveness of sins, but not many apprehend, in spiritual power, the great difference in Scripture between sin and sins. The latter is the fruit, the former the root. Every believer knows that his sins are forgiven through faith in the blood of Christ, but sin is not put away by being forgiven, but by being condemned.

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When Adam was set in the garden, he was without sin, and all the things in the earth were given to him to enjoy; when he fell, all that he had fell with him he became the servant of sin. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin", John 8:34. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey", Romans 6:16. And thus "the creature was made subject to vanity", Romans 8:20. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin", Romans 5:12. And we find "death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned". "Death reigned from Adam to Moses". All died, and death is the judgment upon man because of sin. "In Adam all die". A child is born in sin; death is upon the child before he has committed any sins. It is important thus to keep the idea of sin and death together, "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23); sin is the sting of death.

Now, in the offerings of the Old Testament, we find that there was no sin-offering until the law came. Abel's offering was acceptable to God; God testified of his gifts; it is more the burnt-offering; he obtained witness that he was righteous; death was necessarily connected with it, "without shedding of blood is no remission". (Hebrews 9:22)

It is important to see that souls learn the grace of God under the shelter of the blood, which His righteousness required as with Israel at the passover, and yet there was not the knowledge of sin put away. Now when we come to the offerings in Leviticus, we find that all those offerings which bring the offerer into present acceptance with God, are spoken of before the sin-offering is presented; and when the sin-offering is mentioned it is to be burned with fire; Leviticus 6:30.

We find it more distinctly detailed in Leviticus 16:27, where the carcase of the sin-offering, both that of the goat and of the bullock, is wholly burned without the camp. This is in type the absolute judicial condemnation

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of the state to which sin attached. It is interesting to note that while all the offerings for acceptance were connected with the death of the sacrifice (the fire of God consumed it on the altar, and it went up to God for a sweet savour), in the sin-offering alone there was the burning of the sacrifice without the camp. The apostle refers to this in Hebrews 13:12, "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate". Then it was that the veil was rent.

Now in the case of leprosy, which is a figure of innate sin, or sin in the flesh, the leper must be separated from his fellows (Leviticus 8); it was contaminating; and when he was healed (Leviticus 14) he was not only atoned for, but the bird, let loose in the open field, was the testimony that he was cleansed; he had to wash his flesh in water (Leviticus 14:8,9) which implies that the leper was absolutely removed; he was no longer the leper, for the type sets forth figuratively the old man removed from the eye of God, not merely atoned for or improved, but the washing implies the entire removal of the leprous man. This is seen in pattern in the gospel (Luke 17), where one of the ten lepers who were healed by the Lord's word returns to give glory to God, and fell down at His feet giving him thanks; he has left himself for the Lord. This greatly helps us to understand the removal of sin.

Again in Numbers 19, the ashes of the sacrifice of purification for sin were put in a vessel with running water, for a water of separation to be sprinkled on the unclean. This is a figure of the Spirit of God, calling to remembrance not only your sin, but the judgment of sin. So also in John 3 we read that not only must a man be born again to see the kingdom of God, but he must be born of water as well as of the Spirit. This shows that, connected with new birth, there is a divine separation from every taint of man. This is carried out practically in John 13, where the Lord

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washes His disciples' feet, not merely for offences, but for separation from all the taint and distance of fallen man, as we see in Hebrews 10:22; when we draw nigh to Him in the holiest, not only must the heart be sprinkled from an evil conscience, but also the body washed with pure water, that is purification by death.

And finally, we learn in 1 John 5:8 that there are three witnesses to the knowledge of eternal life: the Spirit, the water, and the blood. There must be purification by death in order to enjoy eternal life. No one can enjoy eternal life who has not the testimony of the water, the divine way of separation from the old man, every taint of sin removed. All this depends on the one statement - "But now once ... hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself". (Hebrews 9:26)

Every diligent student of the passages I have brought forward will see that the work of Christ is not only for the forgiveness of sins, but that He Himself bore the judgment of God for the sinner. He did not die, as has been said, the death of a hero; the three hours on the cross was the terrible moment when He bore the judgment of sin, and which our Lord designates as "your hour, and the power of darkness", (Luke 22:53) and the anticipation of this made His sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. When He had borne the judgment He gave up His life. In everything, even unto death, He was the perfect offering for sweet savour to God; but in death He bore the judgment on man, and took the distant place. There He bruised the serpent's head, destroyed "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil", Hebrews 2:14. "In that he died, he died unto sin once" (Romans 6:10); there He knew what it was to be forsaken of God, but He maintained what was due to God, and God's righteousness was established by Him in bearing the judgment due to man, and there He glorified God. Thus the righteousness of God was declared (Romans 3:26), so that God can

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"be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus".

Many christians are assured that their sins are forgiven, and even have the sense that they are justified by God's grace, but if they do not see that God has removed in judgment the man that was under judgment, they are liable to be distressed when sin works in them. When they truly apprehend that the man is gone in judgment, they know that He is just and the Justifier, and that even though sin works in them, it is all gone from God's eye in the judicial termination of the life to which sin attached. Thus far with regard to our acceptance.

Next, as we see in Romans 6, in order to have deliverance, we are to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus, of which baptism is the form. This was indicated at the deluge when God said, "The end of all flesh is come before me", (Genesis 6:13) and Noah and his house were saved by water. There can be no sense of deliverance, however assured you may be of your acceptance with God, unless you know by the Spirit in yourself, not only that you are forgiven your sins, but that you are delivered from sin, so that "if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness", Romans 8:10. In the paschal lamb Israel was sheltered by the blood, but in the Red Sea (in figure the death and resurrection of Christ), all their enemies were destroyed.

The soul is made conscious of having passed through His death on to new ground, a solemn moment for every soul! Jonah in the whale's belly was a type of this; and Paul in the three days when he neither ate nor drank was in the experience of it. Thus you learn, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20) Christ is formed in you; Isaac is in possession, and Ishmael is cast out. The distress of a believer (what makes a "wretched

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man", Romans 7:24) is when he finds sin working in him; and if sin is not removed, he cannot know deliverance from sin; but it has been removed, and "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts". (Galatians 5:24) Thus only can you understand that you cannot have part with Christ (John 13:8), unless you are in this divine separation from all that which is at the root of alienation from God. And again, when you draw near to the Lord as one of the consecrated company, not only is your heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, that is, you have no sense of wrong-doing, but your body is washed with pure water; there is absolute purification by death.

Finally, you are in the enjoyment of eternal life; the Spirit of God is witness to you, not only of the blood which puts your sins away, but to your inexpressible satisfaction, the testimony of the water is purification by death, so that untold is the blessing one knows as one enters into the solid blessed fact, not only of sins forgiven through His blood, but of sin put away by the sacrifice of Himself. Thus we are morally separated from every taint or tinge of the life to which sin is attached. And we see the necessity and blessedness of being dead with Christ, and of knowing Him as Head in the sphere of life. Thence He directs us according to His pleasure, leading our hearts into the fulness of God's purpose for us.

December 19th, 1896


The first work in the soul is new birth. It is altogether from God and of God. Then the light of His grace shines in, and, as there is faith in the blood of Christ, there is relief. God has set Him forth "a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his

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righteousness for the remission of sins .. . to declare ... his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus", Romans 3:25, 26. It is important to see that it is all from God, and as we rest in the fact that He is just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, we are assured of His grace; as Israel under the shelter of the blood in Exodus 12.

Next, when we believe that God has raised Christ from the dead, we know that not only is the power of death overcome, but the judgment that lay upon us has been removed. We pass in figure through the Red Sea, the death and resurrection of Christ; we are justified by faith; now we have peace with God, and can sing unto the Lord, "for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea". (Exodus 15:1) Great and glorious as His grace is up to this, the first great delight known to the heart, and which many are satisfied to stop in - the joy of their own salvation - there is still much more.

As we see in the type (Exodus 15:22), there was no water for Israel in the wilderness but Marah; so it is with us, this world is a scene of death. But God gave manna and the smitten rock. Now manna is the life of Jesus: the way in which He walked down here, encountering every difficulty where everything was unsuited to Him; and we cannot feed on manna or appropriate His grace to go through the wilderness until we know this life in its own sphere, where everything ministers to it and suits it. In order to be in the wilderness according to the mind of God, we must know that we are in the life of Christ in its own sphere; we first know we are in Christ's life when we have deliverance; there is no sense of life till then.

Many suppose, because by faith they see they are clear in the sight of God, and by the reckoning of faith are also clear in their own conscience, that they have deliverance, but this is spurious and misleading;

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they are not truly in deliverance from "the body of this death" (Romans 7:24) - the wretched man - until they know by the Spirit that they are in Christ, and that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death".

It is now that the subject of life comes in; John 3. You are not in deliverance until you are in life. The work of Christ gives you peace with God; that is, His work for us; this is the joy of salvation; but it is the work of the Spirit in us that sets us in deliverance this sets us consciously in life, and there is no step in the christian's history so slowly entered upon as this, but when it is entered on, Christ's life is known and wonderful effects follow.

Every believer is entitled to it by the grace of God, but every believer does not enjoy it, it is when he enjoys it that the effects follow. When a christian knows he is not in the flesh but in the Spirit, he walks here in a new state and a new manner of life. This is deliverance. When there is not deliverance, there is occupation with our tempers and failings, and a constant effort to correct them instead of seeing that we are clear of the flesh in which those tempers and failings are, and we are in Christ with new tempers and manners. + When Christ is formed in us, the old man is crucified, "and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". Galatians 2:20.

If I know His salvation, I am bound to Him as Jonathan was to David, and I surrender for Him; but when I enjoy His life, I know His love and nothing can separate me from it; Romans 8:39. The abounding of grace over sin is not reached otherwise. Where sin abounded grace superabounded, in order that even as sin has reigned unto death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus

+It is quite right to judge our tempers as part of the old man which God has set aside in judgment.

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Christ our Lord; Romans 5:20,21. Thus also we are clear from human wisdom by beholding the Lord's glory, and a marvellous effect is produced; we are brought into moral correspondence with Himself, first as to our own individual affairs, and collectively as to His interests down here; a matter surely for our wonder and praise, that being in the life of Christ can so affect us. Then it behoves us to be "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body". (2 Corinthians 4:10) While the old man is never altered, however it may be suppressed, it is a new day for the heart and conscience when we count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; then we can "worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh". (Philippians 3:3)

It is plain from Scripture that when you enjoy the life of Christ, you have believed in Him as the Son of God, and also that the old man has been set aside; in that the law "was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh". When we know that sin has been condemned, and believe in the Son of God, we enjoy life in Him, He lives in us.

Now, when we are really at rest about ourselves, not only rejoicing in our salvation, but in the love of Him who saved us, we necessarily seek Him in His assembly; we learn like Peter to leave the ship that was made for water, to join Him in the new place above all the power of evil, and as we come to Him there, we are living stones, "built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ". (1 Peter 2:5) We can only be there in His life, as we find in John 6, which is the divine side of it, while Matthew 14 is the way we reach it.

The effect of knowing the Lord in the assembly as Son over God's house is very marked. You come

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from it with your heart set upon His interests here. This is well illustrated by the two disciples going to Emmaus; their hearts burned within them at the wonderful unfolding of Scripture, but they were not diverted from their own interests to His, until they had seen Himself.

Here I may remark that many are greatly moved by a word in spiritual power, and get, as I may say, a glimpse of the truth, but they are not yet rooted and grounded in it. Nothing can establish you, but the word of God formed in you, as we read: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby". (1 Peter 2:2) Thus we grow up to Him in all things who is the Head.

But to resume; the more you are occupied with Christ's interests here, the more sensible you will be of the opposition of the world, and how opposed it is to His things; thus you are prepared for entering upon the great blessedness of being dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world. A wonderful new day opens to you as you realise that you have died with Him from the things here, and are risen with Him, so that you can seek the things that are above where He sits at the right hand of God. Then the new and heavenly home is become known to you, and you realise that you have put off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ. Bear in mind that this circumcision cannot be known save as you have died to the world, and thus, as in the type, have crossed the Jordan. Then you are in the sphere of Christ's life; you know Him as Head, so that you get counsel and direction from Him in relation to His interests here: and you fulfil the relative duties in a divine way when you can glory that you are not of the world; you are crucified to the world and the world to you. Its interests, plans and ways cease to be of interest to you, for you belong to a new world; you have the incomparable enjoyment of having come to the

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dwelling place of God in company with Christ. Now we begin to realise Ephesians 1:19. It is deeply affecting to see that when we know Christ as Head we are in the home above. We know Him there, and when we realise the power of the Spirit working in us, we know that we are raised up and made to "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus". It is not only that we get there, but that we know that we are united to Him there, and our home is where He is. It is here the grace of God culminates. Then we turn to the earth in quite a new way; we come out in divine power as heavenly men to carry out Christ's pleasure in the circle of His people and in our family circle, enabled to stand against all the wiles of the enemy, as witnesses for Christ in the scene of Satan's power. We are in the power and testimony of John 16. But who can describe these wonderful effects!

The Lord lead our hearts to realise our union with Christ, that we may be in the power and blessedness of it, walking in heavenly beauty in the scene of His rejection, for His name's sake.

January 2nd, 1897


Mark 4:24,25; Luke 8:18

It is inconceivably gracious of the blessed God, that He should so freely and fully give us His word, that we may understand His mind. On the other hand, it is deplorable to see the levity with which this great favour is accepted; and yet it is as we "hear", that we receive. "For he that hath, to him shall be given", The more fully and freely God has made know His mind, as we see in our own day, the more it

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is perverted by the ignorant and unbelieving, and even when truly accepted it is by many so qualified and humanised that it has neither edge nor weight in the soul.

In former days Aaron was "spokesman unto the people" (Exodus 4:16), and propounded the word of God at the dictation of Moses; yet we find, so little did it rule him, that while Moses was in the mount with God, Aaron was making a calf for the people.

If we look around us in christendom we see that man's imitation of divine work is that every candidate for the ministry must be prepared, and ordained for that sacred service. I refer to this only to show that religious man has a sense of the gravity of being a servant of God. Now, where there is more reality, and even true zeal, there is often a great lack of gravity in entering on the Lord's service. A young man of piety and zeal tries how he can preach, and if he can arrest souls, satisfies himself that he is called of God; but he may have no real idea of being "sent", or of the message. "How shall they preach, except they be sent?" (Romans 10:15).

There are, as far as I see, three classes of preachers, the first class like Ahimaaz (2 Samuel 18:22) is neither sure of being sent, nor of the message. In general the gospel of this class does not go beyond the superiority of Christ as a sacrifice to the Paschal lamb, or to any of the offerings under the law. Therefore the chief point of their preaching is pressing on the sinner the necessity of having Christ as a sacrifice for his sins before God; there is seldom any light as to how God has wrought from Himself. There is an idea of the atonement in the blood of Christ, but no idea of reconciliation. Reconciliation is not taught in the Old Testament and the word 'atonement' does not occur in the New Testament. Though souls get assurance of salvation from this preaching they do not get acceptance; it cannot lead them beyond trusting

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in the blood; they try to live conscientiously, but they have not full peace; if they have seasons of joy, they have also seasons of depression, and this often goes on to the end of their lives without their making any advance. With the preachers themselves there is seldom advance, for the measure they mete is measured to themselves; and instead of their path being as "the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day", (Proverbs 4:18) they seem to grow darker, and with really less enjoyment at the end.

With the second class of preachers, the main point is pressing on their hearers the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ. These know justification - they preach Christ risen as the receipt for the debt paid - that He was "delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification", Romans 4:25. Many of their converts being justified by faith and having received the Spirit, have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. They rightly press the work of God's grace, that it is all His own work. This is objective truth, and most important in its place. It is what we must begin with, but many do not get beyond it, and if they do not, they do not enjoy the deliverance which the Spirit of God would effect in their souls, if they truly sought it. But instead of seeking true deliverance they assume to have it by the reckoning of faith, and that because God sees them clear from the old man in the cross, that they are clear from him themselves. Thus by this delusion they lose practically the work of the Spirit in them, and unless awakened from it, they do not advance beyond the fact that God clears them by His own mighty grace, which is, of course, the beginning of all blessing. They read the word and find that all is theirs because they belong to Christ, hut they are not in the power and enjoyment of it; they see all the purposes of God's sovereign grace, and speak of them in that way; but as far as I know they are not in the enjoyment of

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the condition which His grace bestows. There is consistency in this, because if they have refused the first work of the Spirit, which is deliverance, by assuming that they have it already, they cannot advance in the work of the Spirit. They may cultivate everything that is good, and benevolent, and be very demonstrative in brotherly love, but they do not seem to increase in the enjoyment of the purpose of God for them. To know Christ as Head, is made a matter of knowledge and doctrine, instead of association with Him; and likewise the truth of union is spoken of as something to be learned, instead of being realised as led by the Spirit into union with Christ. Thus, though the start was good, they do not seem to advance; there is really no enjoyment beyond the gospel, because of the imperfect way they have apprehended the truth.

The third class begin from God: Christ, as we see in all the gospels, is the prominent object. In Luke we find, "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord". (Luke 2:10,11) In John's gospel, John the baptist proclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world .. . he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit". (John 1:29, 33) He not only removes all that is contrary to God, but He brings in everything according to God.

We see beautifully exemplified in the thief on the cross (though there was no preacher), that he has to do not only with the work, but with the One who did the work, and he is to be in company with Him in paradise. The apostle Paul could say to the Corinthians, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified". (1 Corinthians 2:2) We find afterwards when he explained himself that this was the gospel of the glory of Christ which was especially committed to him. The nearer you are to Him in glory the more you are assured of the righteousness that is ministered

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from glory. You are not only justified by faith and have peace with God, but you joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. "In whom .. . ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory". (1 Peter 1:8) This is all through the sovereign goodness of God to you, when you appropriate it in faith; He has accepted you in the Beloved. But now you have to learn, that not only has God removed everything from His own eye, but by the power of His Spirit He delivers you from the old man, and that you are in Christ, and that "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" makes you "free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 8:2) You have begun life in Christ, and you can say, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me", Galatians 2:20. If you are established in this grace you know that Christ is formed in you, and you are then ready to apprehend the great range of His grace for you. Except as you are free of the old man, you are not in the life of Christ, and never could know Him now as the living Stone, nor as Head; nor realise your union with Him in heaven.

The great difference between this last class, and the other two, is that not only is the work prominent, but Christ Himself is prominent. It is very plain that if Christ personally is before you, there must be an endless range for your heart, for you never can come to the end of Him. One portion of His grace could not satisfy; Himself alone can satisfy the heart. If you dwell on a passage of scripture only, you get only a partial apprehension of the truth, for Christ Himself is the truth; and according as Christ Himself is apprehended by the soul, so you impart to others; then it is true that "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you". (Matthew 7:2)

In our own day when God vouchsafed to give a restoration of the knowledge of His full purpose in grace, it was seen that the first part, the certainty of

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our salvation, was to be appropriated by faith, which is blessedly true; it was apprehended that God in His grace transferred a believer from Adam to Christ. But subsequently it was taught, and insisted on, that not only the first part, but all the purpose of His grace for us, could be appropriated and realised by faith, which is an imperfect apprehension of the truth, The truth is that our salvation must be appropriated by faith, but as the believer is on new ground in Christ, it is only by the Holy Spirit that we can appropriate and enjoy the range of God's purpose and grow up into the Head; the Spirit only can lead us into it. Thus, by the craft of the enemy, the great goodness of God to us in this latter day has been in a great measure lost sight of, and some are asserting that they know all the purpose of God in grace without having the great blessing which would result from being practically in each step. Surely this is enough to make the Lord's warning very emphatic to us in this day, "Take heed ... how ye hear". Luke 8:18.

In conclusion I press the great contrast between the two latter classes. They both begin aright. They believe that the whole range of God's purpose is to be first apprehended by faith, and that the first step, our salvation, is appropriated by faith; that salvation is that God in His grace transfers the believer from Adam to Christ; but the former class do not see that all the rest of the purpose of God is only known as you are in Christ by the Spirit of God. Their mistake is that they think that because salvation is appropriated by faith, all the other parts of His grace can be likewise appropriated. For example, they assert that you get deliverance by the reckoning of faith, and do not see that you start on new ground, and therefore that your deliverance can only be in the life of Christ, and if you do not take the first step you cannot enjoy any of the rest. Hence while those who say that all can be appropriated by faith are zealous as to doctrine, they

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really are not in the power and blessing of what is true for them. They believe in separation to God for all the children of God, and they gather together in the name of Christ, looking for His presence, refusing human ministry, and are correct in detail according to the letter of the word, but they have not got it vitally, they have not really learned Matthew 14; they have not crossed over to where Christ is, and they have not come to Him as the living Stone. They could not, because they are not practically in the life of Christ. They can speak clearly and interestingly of the Lord's presence in the assembly; of His being Head of the church and of our union with Him, but they are not in the enjoyment of this great position.

Now, on the other hand, those who believe that there is no deliverance, except in the life of Christ, have the unspeakable joy of being free from the law of sin and death. They can leave everything here to join Him in the assembly; they know Him as Son over God's house, in the holiest of all; untold blessing is theirs. When they learn what it is to be dead with Him from the rudiments of the world, they are with Him in His own home, where He directs and counsels them, and finally they are led by the Spirit of God to realise their union with Him in heaven; so that they come forth in full concert with His mind, and in the greatness of His power, to act for Him here in the church and in their own house. Thus we plainly see the importance of "Take heed ... how ye hear". Luke 8:18.

January, 1897


Devotedness to the Lord begins when you know His love. It is more than the knowledge of His work; you must be near Him to know His love, and as His love is known, He not only claims your heart, but the

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more you are drawn to Him the more you feel that He is worthy of all the devotion of your heart. Thus He becomes the one controlling object of your life, reaching upward and onward, until you know His love "which passeth knowledge". Ephesians 3:19.

The believer is first occupied with the greatness of His work, as Jonathan with David, or as the woman in the Pharisee's house (Luke 7), and the effect of knowing His work is, that like them, you openly and publicly honour Him. But Jonathan never fully followed David; David was not the exclusive object of his heart. The disciples, as we see in Luke 5, were very ready to wait on the Lord, and they had received a remarkable instance of divine favour in the abundant haul of fishes, but it was His word to them, "Fear not", which so touched their hearts as expressing his love for them, that when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him. Devotedness had begun, but devotedness to the Lord has to encounter many a difficulty, and it receives no succour from anything or anyone around.

As far as I see, the two women, Martha and Mary, at the end of Luke 10, set forth in miniature the two classes of the new company which is described from chapter 11 to chapter 18: 30. Martha desires to minister to Him, but Mary is devoted to Him, and wants to be in the secret of His mind.

The first great exercise of the devoted heart is when the light of God leads to the discovery that Christ is rejected on the earth. Though you believe on Him risen and glorified, yet it is slowly that you realise that He is never seen again upon the earth as He was, and that He is refused here. When you see that, you can enter into the desolation of Mary Magdalene (John 20); in her agony she says, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him". John 20:13.

It has been remarked that a woman brought in sin, and it was given to a woman to announce the blessed

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tidings, not only of Christ's ascension, but that He identifies us with Himself in His new position: "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God". John 20:17.

Now when this is realised by the heart devoted to Christ, its language is that of Ruth to Naomi: "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee". (Ruth 1:16) It was not only that Ruth had affection for her mother-in-law, as Orpah had who "kissed her", but "Ruth clave unto her". (Ruth 1:14) No place can suit her but the place where Naomi is. She says, "whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried". (Ruth 1:16,17) The devoted one may have had many things to interest him in the old country, in his native soil, but the object of his heart is gone to another place, and company is the only thing which satisfies love; it is no effort to follow our object.

Now let us look at some of the exercises to which the devoted heart is subjected. The first, as to moral magnitude, is when divine light shows you that Christ is rejected on the earth. This is in contradiction to the aim and effort of christendom which, in every circle of government, from the throne to the cemetery, is to persuade men that He is accepted and honoured; so that as a rule, everyone, with few exceptions, from men of the highest morality, intellect, and position, down to the unlearned peasant, is persuaded that He is acknowledged in His rightful place, and consequently that they can accept any honour in this place. This is a huge delusion! The exercise of the heart devoted to Christ is to refuse this, and to accept the place where He is accepted instead of the place where He is refused.

It is not easy to describe the immensity of the change, when in heart you leave your own place here for His place, the place which He has prepared for you; John 14:3. Things here, naturally beautiful and

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attractive, are surprisingly eclipsed, and you are a pilgrim here, not because of the troubles and trials of this place, but because your heart's object is in another place.

The next exercise is as to the world. The more you seek to serve it, the less you are liked by it; you might be living on the best of terms with your neighbour, but when you make use of an opportunity to speak to him about his soul, he becomes distant and reserved, as if you had grievously offended him; so you have to learn that for your love you have hatred, and we are reminded of the Lord's words: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you", John 15:18. This comes as a surprise and pain to you, for you are estranged even from your nearest relatives if you are faithful to them, and not ashamed of Christ and His words: and however kind they may be naturally, you are made conscious that there is a great distance between you and them. Though you seem to do them little good, you feel that their influence with you is injurious; they have the power, which those who are less intimate with you have not, to revive old tastes and old impressions. Thus you are taught that "a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matthew 10:36), and your heart is not at ease until you are in practical isolation from them, and till it answers to the word: "forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty", Psalm 45:10,11. At the same time you ever cultivate great readiness to render them any service, indeed, as it becomes us, to "do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith", Galatians 6:10.

Now you come to the next exercise, your own home and surroundings. If your heart has deeply entered into the two former exercises, it is evident that your own home must bear the marks of it. On the one hand you cannot accept the place or position where Christ

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is rejected, and on the other you cannot keep the society of your fellow men, when you know that they are adverse to that which is nearest to your heart. The more retired and simple your home is, according to your spiritual taste, the more unnoticed you are, the more you commend yourself to every man's conscience in the sight of God. If your means are small and only equal to your wants, you have less temptation to enlarge, or to indulge yourself or your family; but when your means are ample, if your heart is not kept truly devoted to the Lord, there is a temptation to surround yourself with the natural advantages of the earth.

It is humbling to see how many are not afraid to go forth to serve the Lord, like Gideon's army, who when tested by the water (the benefits of this life) fail in full devotedness, so that, as in that day, only a few, comparatively, remain to follow the Lord fully. These could accept the benefit (or earthly mercy) without being detained by it.

A sudden accession of property is always a test as to whether Christ is fully the object of the heart. One may wonder why God in His providence, allows increase of earthly means to those who seek to follow the Lord fully. He does so, not only for a test, but to give an opportunity of serving His own, and this at a loss and cost to yourself. Shall I offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing? The danger is that anyone should desire to be rich and so "fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts" (1 Timothy 6:9); and then you are unable to take the highest place of service, as our blessed Lord could say, "I am among you as he that serveth". (Luke 22:27) If we were more devoted, we should find a way of escape from the various things that tempt us.

Having said so much as to the exercises on our own side, I now turn to the exercise of a devoted heart with reference to the Lord. The chief desire of a heart

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devoted to Christ is to join Him in His new place on the earth, that is in His assembly. We learn, like Peter, what it is to leave the ship to walk on the water to go to Jesus, where He is supreme above all the power of evil here. It is in this journey, that one who is really set upon reaching the Lord, who is not here, finds how his own infirmity casts him upon Christ; and he learns, as in Hebrews 4:14, that "we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God". Thus the one who is seeking Christ outside of every thing here, finds that his own infirmities distress and distract him; but like Peter, who in the sense of his weakness cried out to the Lord to save him, so now with us: every infirmity casts us more upon the Lord, and while we really seek Him in order to be near Him, we also find that the only way we can he relieved of the pressure of our infirmities is by His present sympathy. This sympathy is not to remove the circumstances which cause the affliction, but to draw us into His own company; as Mary of Bethany learned when Jesus walked with her to the resurrection, and then (John 12) she could sacrifice what contributed to her own position naturally - she buried it with Him!

Thus in a double way you are drawn to Him, and the heart delighted in coming to Him, the living Stone, you find you are a component part of His assembly. To the one who is truly affected by the great fact of Christ's rejection from the earth, it is incomparable joy to find Him in His own assembly. It is not only that He draws you into His company in the holiest, in all the blessedness of His acceptance with God, but there you learn His pleasure as to His interests here on earth.

There is another exercise peculiar to the present state of things, when the church has become a great house in which there are not only vessels to honour but to dishonour: your desire is to separate from

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everyone who is unsuited to His presence. This is paramount to the devoted one, and he purges himself from the vessels to dishonour, that he may be "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work", 2 Timothy 2:21.

The next exercise is as to the state of those who are following the Lord. The more your heart is devoted to Him, the more you will care for the advancement and blessing of His own. If you do not show this care for those near you, with whom you are walking in fellowship, you will not do so for those who are unknown to you; not that you would not show coldness and reserve when it was necessary, for it is right to show reserve to one who is walking unfaithfully: "have no company with him, that he may be ashamed" (2 Thessalonians 3:14) - but you would not cease to care for him. There is no real service without suffering; "we who live are always delivered unto death on account of Jesus". 2 Corinthians 4:11.

Lastly, there is a deep and continued exercise as to the way the saints are waiting for His coming. It has a very peculiar effect on you when you realise that the Lord has bought the field for the treasure in it. While naturally you would look at the beauties of it for your own pleasure, it now presents itself to you in a new aspect. As you are devoted to Him, His treasure is your paramount interest here, and your great aim will then be to reach that which was lost when the ruin began - first love. The Lord says to Ephesus, "Thou hast left thy first love", (Revelation 2:4) and necessarily, that is to leave the place where the Lord is. Paul has to say, "all they which are in Asia be turned away from me". (2 Timothy 1:15) You cannot enjoy His love if you are not in company with Him, and to be in company with Him is what your heart is set on if you are devoted to Him. Thus practically you have a little power, you keep His word, and do not deny His name; you are in heart the bride, whose affections are set upon Him as the bright and

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morning star, and the Spirit and the bride say, "Come".

The Lord give each of us to be more thoroughly devoted to Him, that we may know the exceeding blessedness of it, and be in the path of the just which is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day; Proverbs 4:18.

January, 1897


The word 'transformed' occurs twice with reference to christians; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Every believer tries to be reformed, but, as far as I know, very few have apprehended the great moral difference between reformation and transformation. Believers as a rule rejoice that they are saved, and aim to be up to the language of Micah 6:8, "to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God". There are many who have accepted the truth, that by the grace of God the believer is transferred from Adam to Christ, and that they are clear of the old man in the sight of God, who do not think that they should give up their innocent pleasures and their natural interests; they have no true idea of what it is to be 'transformed'. If you analyse the two words, the meaning of each is plain enough. Reformation is improvement, and refers to what already exists; but transformation means a change of being. This, as far as I see, is little known.

In Romans 12:2, we are exhorted not to be "conformed to this world", but to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind". This means a new mind, something thoroughly new; so that you are not to behave in the sight of men according to the world, but according to the mind of Christ. Hence, at the end of his exhortation, the apostle says, "put ye on the

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Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof", Romans 13:14. It is not a question as to whether the order of this world is good or not, but you are not to be conformed to it any more: you are to be "transformed" according to a new mind, and thus be able to "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". You begin with your fellow christians, and as detailed in chapter 13, behave yourself among men in a new way.

It would take too much time to go fully into it; all I desire is to awaken souls to the solemn fact that transformation is not accepting the good and refusing the evil only, but it is coming out in quite a new way on the earth. Everyone who knows anything of his own heart must know that he has tastes and desires connected with this earthly scene, and the more they are gratified the stronger they become; but as he walks in the Spirit he finds that what he likes most in the natural order of things is the very thing he must avoid: "No man .. . having drunk old wine straight-way desireth new; for he saith, The old is better". (Luke 5:39)

It will not do to say, as Saul said of Amalek (1 Samuel 15), that the vile and refuse he utterly destroyed. We have to treat the old man as if we had done with him, as "crucified with Christ", and therefore what would awaken our ambition, or our natural desires, we must most dread. Very slowly do we learn to be altogether nonconformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind. I have heard a devoted servant of Christ, who had long been in His service, say that what he allowed himself last year he would not allow himself this year.

There are two lines to which the natural man cleaves with the greatest tenacity; the one is his individual rights, and the other his station in life, whether great or small. Both of these were provided for and insisted on under the law, and every civilised nation in great measure maintains them; but these

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are just what we have to relinquish. We see an instance in Acts 16 of how Paul at Philippi surrendered his rights as a Roman and he received manifold more, and was most highly honoured of God; but in Jerusalem (Acts 22), where he stood up for his rights as a Roman, it was only by human means that he was delivered. Natural men form clubs and societies to secure their rights; the natural man's resource is combination with his fellows, exemplified in Babel, culminating in the moral Babylon, which sets forth man enjoying himself in entire independence of God. Now as to station in life, everyone according to his ability jealously maintains it, whether he has acquired it, or whether it is his by birth; those who have acquired it, regard the position they have obtained as a testimonial to their personal ability, and hence they seek to preserve it scrupulously. But this is the world, and it is plain from John 16, that you cannot be a witness for Christ if you do not come out in the power of God's Spirit, apart from and beyond all that is of the world. The Spirit from Christ in heaven testifies not only that the world is sin, but that there is no righteousness here; therefore the witness for Christ cannot accept any position or distinction conferred by the world. He is here to glorify Christ, and Christ's things, which are the things of the Father, are made known to him by the Spirit; John 16. Literally he comes out here as a new man, to stand for Christ according to Ephesians 4, unhindered, because he finds that the prince of this world is judged; and according to Ephesians 6, he can withstand all the power of the enemy, and having done all he stands.

So far we have looked at the transforming of Romans. Now as to the transforming in 2 Corinthians 3:18, the blessedness of it is that it is by beholding the Lord's glory with unveiled face that we are transformed into the same image; that is, we are brought into moral correspondence with Himself. It is not

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merely a new course outside and apart from the world as in Romans, but here we are in conscious connection with Himself. In Romans we begin with being established in grace; chapter 12 is properly connected with the end of chapter 6: "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness". (Romans 6:22) This transforming begins with the gospel, but in 2 Corinthians 3 the contrast is between the demand for righteousness and the ministration of righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ having accomplished righteousness, is raised from the dead and received up into glory. In Him now, every attribute of God is expressed to God's entire satisfaction. What could not be shown to Moses (Exodus 33:20) is now the light of the gospel to everyone turned to God, as Saul of Tarsus found. He had seen the light and he had heard the voice of the Lord, and after three days he knows he has a Saviour in glory, and he receives the Holy Spirit.

It is true that every convert does not enjoy the light of His glory, because many are dwelling more upon the work than upon the Person who did the work. The fact is, the nearer you are to Him in glory the more assured you are of being in the righteousness of God, and that you are there without a cloud; and it is as you behold the Lord there, that you are transformed into moral correspondence to Himself. Many have been misled by thinking that by reading the Bible they get like Christ - transformed; but you will find diligent students of the word, who may never say anything incorrect in doctrine, yet who never seem to act in spiritual power. "He that is spiritual judgeth all things"; (1 Corinthians 2:15) he can distinguish between two points in which there is the least difference. I may illustrate study and spirituality by two classes of hounds; the greyhound hunts by sight, the foxhound by scent. The former sees, and is correct while he sees; but the latter scents; he goes through all kinds of difficulties

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to reach his object. It is not only a great thing to see what is stated in Scripture, but to have a divine susceptibility to know what suits Christ. It is like the difference between reading a biography and personal acquaintance. Transformation takes place by simply beholding the Lord's glory. On Him rests the glory of God, and in beholding it you are transformed. You have no presentiment as to what the effect on you will be; but whether it is beholding Him in the assembly as to His things on the earth, or as to your individual concerns, you are transformed into a line that you never thought of; you come from Him into your circumstances here, with the impression made on you by Himself.

In Psalm 73 we are instructed as to how a man of God was impressed when he came into the sanctuary, even though the Lord's presence was there only known in a cloud of glory. This typifies something much greater for us. It sets forth how you can individually, in your own room, come into the presence of Christ; but it is only by the Spirit of God that you can come into His presence, and if you are led by the Spirit you are apart from the flesh; you are practically in deliverance for the time being, and thus you get a sense of what deliverance is, though you are not fully in deliverance here, until you know that you are delivered from this "wretched man", and that you are in Christ by the Spirit; this you must know before you can "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing". (Colossians 1:10) I say this because I can quite understand a person being so in the Spirit for the moment, that he is free to enjoy the Lord; and yet when he returns to his circumstances here, he does not enjoy deliverance because he has not learned it experimentally.

But to return to Psalm 73. The first great impression made upon the psalmist is that of the presence of God. He had been looking at things around him with reference to himself, and judging of them; but when

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he goes into the sanctuary, the presence of God absorbs him, and he sees how God is above everything, and he himself is a dissolving view. Thirdly, he never was so sure of his place with God: "Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me". Psalm 73:23. Fourthly, he can say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee". Psalm 73:25. And he winds up with, "God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever". Psalm 73:26.

It is very interesting to find how each of us can be influenced individually by drawing near to the Lord. I know the case of a young man in college bent on going to the bar. He was suddenly taken ill, and when the servant left the room to go to the doctor, because he was fainting, he lay on his bed thinking within himself that he was going to Jesus. In a little while he revived, but he was completely transformed as to all his worldly aspirations, and without consulting anyone he decided to give up the bar, and with it all his natural expectations, in order to serve the Lord. I cite this to show how definitely the Lord transforms you to His own mind when you are really near Him, even for a moment. I remember when I knew but little of praying, saying to a dear man of God, I find when I am praying for some time I get lost, and he replied, That is the time to continue praying.

It is very encouraging to know that if you make known all your requests to God, if you are near enough to Him to know that you have told Him - have made them known to Him - though you may get no immediate answer, yet however perturbed you were on account of them before, you come away transformed to the peace of God which passeth all understanding. Still more do we see this in the case of Stephen; Acts 7. He, "being full of the Holy Spirit, having fixed his eyes on heaven, he saw the glory of God, and

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Jesus standing at the right hand of God.. .. And kneeling down, he cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge". Acts 7:55,56 & 60. If you are suffering for Christ here, the sight of Him in glory will so transform you, that you will be like Stephen, who was not occupied with his own sufferings, but with the glory of God, and the blessing of others.

Now when you behold Christ and His glory in the assembly, you are transformed into moral correspondence with His present mind, like the two disciples in Luke 24, when He manifested Himself to them. While going to Emmaus they were greatly interested by His unfolding of the scripture to them, but when their eyes were opened they knew Him; they were transformed, they were diverted from their own interests, and at a late hour they go to Jerusalem to the circle of His interests. Thus one who has sat under His shadow with great delight, comes forth from the assembly occupied with His interests. As you behold Him, there is an impression made upon you by the Spirit of God which you never lose. Here, I think, special gifts come in. A gift is some distinct impression made upon the soul by the Spirit of God - what the burning bush was to Moses.

But though you cannot lose what you are given by the Spirit of God, you may sleep. It was after a very happy time that the bride in Canticles retired to seek her own rest; chapter 5. 'Sleep' is seeking one's own ease - practical inactivity for Christ. It shows how naturally perverse we are, to find that after the brightest season we can be drawn away by reading or company - not to speak of lower things - to seek what suits ourselves. But the Lord is gracious. He awakens us from the sleep, and draws us nearer to Himself than even we were before. Nothing can convey a deeper impression of what the greatness of His grace is, than that we should be not only awakened from our selfishness, but, as we read: "Wake up, thou that sleepest,

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and arise up from among the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon thee".(Ephesians 5:14) We not only return to what we have left, but more is added to us. If a 'father' sleeps, he does not awake as a 'babe', but as a 'father', and with a deeper sense of his place with Christ. Thus it is in association with Him we become morally like Him, and as we advance we know Him in the sphere of His life; risen with Him we are outside and apart from everything here. And it is not merely that we are in correspondence with Him, but He instructs us as to His will and pleasure with relation to His own, with whom we are conversant; so that when we learn that we are united to Him who is in glory, we can come forth in the new man to express His beauty and grace here on the earth as His witnesses, able to stand against all the wiles of the devil. This is transformation of the highest order.

The Lord lead our hearts to apprehend the great contrast between the natural man, however reformed, and the new man growing up into the likeness of Christ.

February 2nd, 1897


Everyone according to his moral sense, if he is true to his conscience, refuses the evil and seeks the good; but as the conscience becomes enlightened, this is more definitely insisted on. This is the principle of the law; obedience was enjoined by the law however contrary to the natural man. Now when grace comes in, the believer rejoices in the assurance of his forgiveness, and, as he knows atonement, his conscience constrains him to live to please God; but this is often taken up on the principle of law, so that self-improvement becomes his great aim, and the law his standard of walk.

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Now it is plain to anyone who understands the gospel, that in the fulness of the grace of God, the man who offended against God is judicially terminated in the cross, and the one who believes that God has raised Christ from the dead is justified. Anyone who is clear and true as to this first step in the grace of God for us, knows that he is not now in Adam before God but in Christ, and that any attempt which he may make to improve his old man in conduct or in ways, is in reality a flagrant, though unintentional, denial of the greatness of God's grace. This is a snare by which many are captured and detained, as by a hostile power. Almost every believer is more or less caught in this snare, and many, alas! continue in it to the end of their course. The first thought of the one who has received God's grace must of necessity be as to how he stands with God, as we see in the ease of the prodigal son; after he was kissed by the father, he was troubled by his own unfitness for him. This is the crucial moment for every believer. Very few learn early in their history what it is to be in Christ, in the best robe, and thus fitted to enjoy God. Until this is known he is necessarily occupied with himself, and he sometimes subjects himself to much self-mortification in the effort to repress or improve the tendencies of the flesh, often losing much time in examining how certain failure came to pass, and longing for an opportunity to redeem his mistakes; and this goes on until the cry is not, Who will improve me? but "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) It is generally a long time before one arrives at this point; days and years are often spent in trying to improve, until one feels that all is hopelessly in vain. Then comes the agonising cry "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

No one looks truly at his own history, who does not know that he thinks he has achieved a great thing if

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he can repress an evil tendency or inclination - like a teetotaller - and no one so obdurate or hard to affect, as to his state before God, as a man who has thus improved himself, because he thinks there is some good in himself. Slowly one learns it, like the rich young man whom the Lord loved (Mark 10), and who kept all the law relating to his neighbour; yet the Lord's word to him was "take up the cross" (which meant execution) "and follow me". Beautiful as he was, he must die!

When the believer has thus come to the true sense as to himself, that "in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing", (Romans 7:18) he turns to God; and now after this exercise, he learns to say, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". Romans 7:25. This is the first great conflict. But as we see in type from Numbers 21, Israel was a long time in the wilderness before they were set for going to Canaan. It was in encountering the opposition to their moving onwards that they felt that the manna, typifying the grace of the humbled Christ, was not sufficient for them. I only refer to this to show that we may go on in the wilderness, regretting Egypt more than seeking Canaan. Now, the full enmity of the heart against God is disclosed, and God "sent fiery serpents .. . and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died". (Numbers 21:6) There can be no improvement in man from the first moment of his fall. In the agony of the serpent's bite they are glad to embrace the message of grace. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up". (John 3:14) Christ was lifted up from the earth; the One who knew no sin made sin for us, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life.

Now, deliverance is really sought; but here we must note what is very sad, and that is that one of the wiles of the devil is to divert the anxious soul from learning deliverance in the life of Christ, by the teaching that as God sees the believer without sin by

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the work of Christ, so the believer, by the reckoning of faith, is practically holy. This is a delusion, and has done much harm to souls; and from this has sprung the teaching called 'Holiness by faith', which has ensnared many, viz., that as God sees you in Christ without a spot, you can believe yourself to be holy. When you come to examine this teaching, you find that their idea of holiness is that you do not break the law by any overt act, quite overlooking the workings of the flesh within, and the immense amount of self-pleasing there may be without an open breach of the law. The effort to promote this produces a constraint like an affected manner. Affectation is the effort to be in manner after an order of things which is not natural to you. It is not the spontaneous expression of your nature, and an effort to imitate the divine nature is indeed hopeless work, and discloses that you have never learned the enormity of your own nature and have never said, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24.

It is very important to see that if a believer is really set for heaven, having a true idea of the character of the world as the wilderness, he must discover the innate enmity of his heart against God. Until this is known, one is liable to be carried away by one deceit or another; but when the cry for deliverance from the body of this death is really uttered, then comes the blessed deliverance, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 7:25) Then you realise that by the Spirit you are in Christ. "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, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. The mind of the Spirit is life and peace. The mind of the flesh is death. It is a new day to your soul when you are in the light and blessing of this great deliverance, and the more you walk in it the more established you are in it. We see that the Corinthians were diverted from it by one snare, and

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the Galatians by another; but for Christ to get His true place was the only way of restoration in both cases. If you are beholding the Lord in glory, your own wisdom is in abeyance, Himself is paramount. As in the figure, Isaac is fully acknowledged, Ishmael is cast out. Then Christ is formed in you, and you can say, "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". Galatians 2:20.

Now, a new history is open to you. It is not that you are never troubled by the flesh, but if you walk in the Spirit you will not fulfil the lusts of it. The Spirit is always in conflict with the flesh. "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh", (Galatians 5:17) but the Spirit always gains the day if you have not grieved Him; when you have, you are like a bird with a wounded wing. If you are walking in the Spirit, Christ is the object before you; when you are walking in the flesh, yourself is your object in some shape or form.

Thus the question is, not as to whether you are improved or not, but whether you are in Adam or in Christ; if in Christ you can say, I have "crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts", (Galatians 5:24) and you not only know that He lives in you, and that thus you are governed by a new Person, but as you behold His glory - the very beginning of the gospel - you are transformed into His image, and you are the expression of Him here, whether in your individual circumstances, or in the circle of His interests. I need hardly say that anyone who is at all sensible of the greatness of Christ's place in him, is always in his conscience watchful not to be diverted from this new and blessed path by any intrusion of the flesh; but this is a very different exercise from self-improvement. Be assured that the natural inclination of the flesh is to be recognised; even apart from Satan; therefore if you sow to the flesh you will of the flesh reap corruption. It is not looking within for improvement, however careful

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and anxious you may be as to your walk, but your watchfulness and desire to be led by Christ keeps you far more circumspect and separate from everything that would attract or influence the flesh. Therefore though the believer is not watching his steps for improvement, his heart is so turned to the Lord that he shrinks from everything that would divert him from Him. He so longs for His voice that he says, "Keep not thou silence, O God". (Psalm 83:1) He is so conscious of the blank of the Lord's absence that he can truly say with the apostle, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world". (Galatians 6:14) From his daily walk and work in his own circumstances, he can come fresh and happy into the Lord's service; and the more he walks according to this rule, the more he is drawn to the Lord and attracted to Him by the way He helps him, so that in everything he can do all things through Him who gives the power.

The Lord lead our hearts to see the contrast between self-improvement and growing up unto Him in His beauty and grace, nourished and cherished by Him. Thus instead of being elated at your own improvement, or cast down because you cannot effect it, you are occupied with the grace and beauty in Christ, in which you are made to share.

February, 1897


It must arrest every thoughtful soul in studying the New Testament, that there are two ministries - the ministry of the gospel, and the ministry of the church, which is the "mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6: 19) and as he is arrested by this fact, he must be deeply

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affected by the conviction that, however the former may be acknowledged, the latter is unknown in christendom, and the more he will marvel that devoted men of God can be zealous as to the one, and yet remain quite unawakened as to their entire ignorance of the other. I think of it as the most anomalous and unaccountable state of things.

I do not merely allude to Romanism where the gospel and the church are both in the bonds of priestcraft, which starts with the idea that the church was founded on Peter, as if he were the Rock. Where this idea prevails there could, of course, be no real idea of the church of God. But it is not of Romanism I speak. I confine my remarks to the Reformed churches and the Nonconformist bodies, and I do not believe that any ministers in either one or the other, however faithful they may be in preaching the gospel as far as they know it, have the least conception of "the mystery of the gospel", which is the church. The best corroboration I can give to this statement is that, if they had any true idea of what the church is, they must take new ground - a ground open and common to every believer.

It will hardly be credited, still the appalling fact remains true, that from the days of the early fathers in the first century, there is no reference made to "the mystery of the gospel", nor for centuries after. The first break of day after the long night of darkness was the Reformation, when Luther was led to set forth and insist upon justification by faith and not by works, which produced a separation from the Romish system.

Speaking historically, I do not remember any written or public statement as to the church, until God was pleased to give light to a clergyman of the Church of Ireland, in this century, to see that there is another ministry besides that of the gospel. This we find in Colossians 1:23 - 25, and for this Paul says (Colossians 2:1). he had great conflict, that the Colossians, who were

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well founded in the gospel, might know the mystery of God. This clergyman, though not as yet established in his soul as to the gospel, was so arrested by this light from God, that he devoted himself to the study of the subject; and as soon as he was established in grace, he saw clearly this great addition, that Christ is Head of His body, the church. "From which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God". (Colossians 2:19) And he sought the company of christians in order to make known to them what had been shown to him (in addition to a full salvation - acceptance in Christ risen - so that he could joy "in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we have received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:11) even the mystery, that believers are Christ's body here on the earth, and that Christ in heaven is the Head; and as surely as He died for us to effect salvation (which is what we first learn), so surely in the grace of God we have died with Him from the rudiments of the world; and now we can know Him in spirit, as every believer is privileged to know Him, in His own sphere, the sphere of life outside of death and of the world, typically, the other side of Jordan. Everyone who knows Him there, as risen with Him, seeks the things which are above where He sits, and learns what he could not learn elsewhere, that he has put off the body of the flesh, and then he is instructed by Him how to fulfil His pleasure here in His own circle.

In places remote one from another, earnest and devoted men became interested as to this great light, which had been given from God. But soon the enemy was at work against it. Concurrently with this, a clergyman, contemporary of the one I have referred to, propounded and inculcated the importance of ritualism, as a means of preserving the Established Church as a united body, and to prevent dissent. This was a distinct effort of the enemy to counteract the

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light which God had given, and which was arresting souls in different directions.

I need not refer to the varied ways in which the truth has been weakened since. It is a painful fact to contemplate, but generally it was weakened, and even by those who had at first accepted it. One of the most successful methods of the enemy's opposition was the avowal that it was a far happier and more useful path to preach the gospel than to be occupied as pastors and teachers with edifying the assembly. I note this especially because down to our own day, while gospel work is not avowedly in opposition, still it is often made a set off, and a pretext for not giving attention to the truth of the church, which is "the mystery of the gospel". Again perhaps nothing has tended more to hinder the truth of the mystery being got hold of in power by souls, than the clear and logical way in which the doctrine of it has been enunciated by those who have learned it from the letter of Scripture, but who have not been in the power and position of it themselves. This teaching, though instructive and interesting, appeals to the natural mind and lacks the point and force of practical enjoyment. It is more the report of an historian than of an eye witness, one who is really in the power of it himself. No one can borrow or acquire the peculiar force with which a person describes an important fact, at once of immense interest to himself and to his hearers. Thus, sad though it be to say it, some of those who have accepted the truth of the mystery have presented it without power and attractiveness to earnest souls, because not themselves the practical exponents of the truth they preached.

I may add that, as far as I know, no company gathered under the leading and supervision of the most devoted evangelist, were assured that they were built up a "spiritual house"; not even few of these know what it is to have come to the living Stone; for if even the few had known it they would have been a

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support and help to the others. The strongest confirmation I can give of this statement is that it was taught that every believer was on the Rock; whereas the simple truth in 1 Peter 2 is addressed to believers who have "tasted that the Lord is gracious"; and then, coming to Him, the living Stone, chosen of God and precious, they, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house. They have learned, like Peter in Matthew 14, to cross the water by Christ's own hand, to be with Him in His assembly.

Twenty-five years ago there was a great evangelical movement which originated with two preachers in America, who pressed in a very popular way upon everyone to accept Christ, as if anyone could do so of himself. Of course, where there was a real work of God they were blessed, but many were so attracted and carried away by this movement that their interest in "the mystery of the gospel" ceased, and it became quite overlooked; so much so, that in 1873 I called attention in public to the danger of the church being lost sight of now that the gospel for the benefit of souls was absorbing such exclusive attention, and that the "mystery of the gospel" was ignored. None of those who were carried away by that movement progressed in the line of God's purpose.

Now of late years, doubtless, the most insidious and effectual opposition to souls being led into the greatness of God's purpose has arisen from men of ability and intelligence in the Scriptures asserting that the whole range of God's purpose is the gift of His grace, which is true; but while they could speak of the great position to which God has called us, they ignored the subjective work of the Spirit, by which alone souls could be led into the power and enjoyment of it. It is quite true that all the range of God's purpose, from salvation to union with Christ, is the free gift of His grace, and to be apprehended by faith; so far, those to whom I refer were right in their statement; but

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the truth of God was neutralised and made ineffectual by the denial of the subjective work of the Spirit in the soul of the believer, so that all the great possessions spoken of were unavailable as to present appropriation. Now, while it is true that all is apprehended by faith, it is only the first link that is appropriated by faith; all the rest are to be appropriated by the Spirit. The first link is that God in His grace has removed the old man in judgment by the cross, and that everyone believing in Christ risen, is justified, and receives the Holy Spirit to assure him of the love of God. That is to be appropriated by faith; but the mistake is in supposing that the other links in this great chain can be appropriated, and consequently enjoyed by anyone (though through grace he has the right to all) except by the work of the Spirit of God in him; consequently as he by the Spirit enjoys each new position, he is in the power and blessing of it here.

No form of opposition could more effectually deprive the word of its point and virtue, than to say that great possessions are given to us of God, and that, while on earth, to apprehend by faith that they are ours is enough; for if that were the truth we should get no distinct advantage from them now.

In conclusion I would briefly call attention to the great advantage and blessing accruing to us as we enjoy the purpose of God for us, and the place of power and testimony in which it places us on earth. Every believer in Christ risen is, as we have seen, by God's grace transferred from Adam to Christ, and is assured by faith that he is a member of the body of Christ, even though he has not yet entered into the power and benefit which it confers. The second link is that if he is true to what baptism figuratively sets forth, he is "dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11); he has deliverance from himself, from this "wretched man"; he is in Christ; "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from

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the law of sin and death", (Romans 8:2) It is a wonderful new day to him when he can walk in superiority, in divine power, above the workings of the flesh.

Next, he not only beholds Christ in glory, but he comes to Him as the living Stone. All who are thus led are built up a "spiritual house", a wonderfully blessed time, and one of the deepest enjoyment. As of the consecrated company, companions of Christ, in the holiest of all, we not only enjoy the fulness of our acceptance with God, but there we learn from the Lord Himself, as the greater than Moses. Every one who knows this finds a new interest upon the earth; Christ's circle of interest is his chief circle; so that while we remember Him in His death here, we are furnished from Himself as to His pleasure to serve His own on the earth; and as we learn the contrariety and antagonism to Him of everything here, the more sensitive we are as to it, the more we shall rejoice in the grace which shows us that we have died with Him from the rudiments of the world, as part of the great calling of God, not only that we should know Him by and by, but that we should know that we can have part with Him now in the sphere of His life, where we learn that through His death the body of the flesh has been put off, and that we, risen with Him, can seek the things above, where He sitteth at the right hand of God. There we know Him as Head; we put on the new man, and come out in His grace and susceptibility here to fulfil His pleasure in the christian circle, and greatly advanced in grace in our own households.

And finally, we come to the consummation, when the mystery in all its magnitude is made known to our hearts. It is not only that we believe that we are by grace united to Christ, but even now we are brought into the realisation of this marvellous fact; and for this the apostle prays "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ... may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your

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understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints". (Ephesians 1:17,18) The profoundest human intellect could never form any just idea of the greatness of the mystery; no reading could impart it to you; no one can enter into it unless he has the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. Who can conceive this marvellous structure of the church, the body of Christ, formed down here, and composed of every individual believer? "No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body", Ephesians 5:29,30.

Now, as we learn the power of the Spirit which raised Christ from the dead, we are by the Spirit brought to His presence in heaven, as Rebekah was brought to Isaac; then we realise that we are united to Him, and the language of the prayer in Ephesians 3 is our true and blessed portion even now, "that he [the Father] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen", Ephesians 3:16 - 21. No greater or deeper enjoyment could be known! It is not only the greatness of the portion which is given, "the breadth, and length, and depth, and height", but the knowledge of His love, so that we are filled unto the fulness of God. Then we can come out for Him here upon this earth, according to Ephesians 6 and John 16, able to

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withstand all the power of the enemy, and to be above all the influences of the world, for we are in heavenly power, and know that the prince of this world is judged. Our one unbroken enjoyment is to glorify Him, and to learn of His things, which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man ... but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit". (1 Corinthians 2:10) This is a very brief and scanty setting forth of the greatness of our blessing, but surely no one can see the wondrous advantage of knowing the mystery, and how God's heart is set upon it for us, and what an interest it is to Christ Himself, without saying, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ". (Ephesians 1:3) He can then gladly anticipate the day when, as the new Jerusalem, we shall fully, each one of us, contribute without let or hindrance to His pleasure and glory.

May our hearts enter more into God's desire and purpose for us, and know the great interest it is to Christ Himself; that as Rebekah was a comfort to Isaac, so should we be a comfort to Christ now in the hour of His rejection; and may we all heartily enter into the desire of the apostle that to every faithful servant may be given utterance to open his mouth boldly, "to make known the mystery of the gospel". (Ephesians 6:19)

February, 1896


It is current among all christians that if you are saved you go to heaven when you die; but that heaven is our place now, and the earth where we are is not our place, is little known. "The earth hath he given to the children of men"; (Psalm 115:16) and perhaps there is nothing so difficult to inculcate on the believer as the fact that

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his title now is to heaven, to an entirely new place. Everyone naturally likes a place on the earth, and very often a person, though truly converted, thinks his claim to the earth is stronger, because he believes in God, and receives mercies from Him down here; hence the effect of being destined for an entirely new place is lost sight of, and practically the believer is much advanced in grace before he wholly breaks from the world and the things of it, and accepts the truth that the earth is not his place.

Let us trace the moral journey of the believer from the "far country" to that day when he can say

'And see, the Spirit's power
Has ope'd the heavenly door,
Has brought me to that favoured hour
When toil shall all be o'er'.

Every believer has been in the far country - away from God, using his substance - the natural gifts with which he was endowed - to minister to his own pleasure, his mind alienated from God by wicked works. When God by His sovereign grace, works in his soul, he is turned to God, and then the light of the gospel is unspeakable relief to him; he learns, like Israel in Exodus 12, that because God sees the blood of Christ, he is safe from the judgment which is on the world and in the exercise of his soul, however little he may know of it doctrinally, he eats of the lamb roast with fire, with loins girded, and staff in hand, ready to leave Egypt.

The grace of God is that Christ not only gave Himself for our sins, but that He has also delivered us from this present evil age; but many do not for a long time get beyond the assurance of safety, and thus they are still in the presence of the enemy, typified by Pharaoh and all his host. They have not peace with God, and though they move on in a way, there is, as has been said, a large company at Pihahiroth; Exodus 14:2.

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Now when the light of the resurrection of Christ dawns on the believer, he learns that there is a way for him through the death and resurrection of Christ, as typified in the Red Sea, and there all the enemies are sunk like lead in the mighty waters; then he can say, "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea". (Exodus 15:1). He can say, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God". (Romans 5:1) Now he learns that heaven is "the hope of the gospel", as stated in Colossians 1:5,23, and foreshadowed in the son (Exodus 15:17), "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established". In the bright joy of salvation, the believer enters upon his new course in the world. Like Israel, he finds that there is no water to drink but Marah, which is really the water of the Red Sea; he has been filled with divine joy because he has been delivered from the judgment of death, and now his only true place on the earth is, baptised unto Christ's death. Death is our portion here; of this, baptism was the expression, and we have to accept death here, so that through Him we may walk in newness of life. Generally it is a long time before anyone really enters on this divine path. But as the believer is in fellowship with Christ in His death, as expressed in the breaking of bread, the bitterness of death is removed, and the heart that is truly devoted to Christ in His rejection, could not seek to live where He died. The language of the true heart is "Whither thou goest, I will go ... where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried". (Ruth 1:16, 17)

This is the true beginning of a believer's walk, but it is slowly entered upon, and, as we shall see, all the

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weakness and all the failure to advance ensues from not accepting death at the beginning. When the believer can seek to enjoy himself where Christ died he has lost true heart for Christ, he is not really in fellowship with His death; Christ is not his exclusive object, he has another object before him, he is enjoying himself here in the absence of Christ, and hence he is really an idolater, like Israel, who in the absence of Moses, "sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play". (Exodus 32:6)

When the divine path is not accepted, the tendency is either to enjoy oneself like the Corinthians, or to seek to keep the law, and to be made perfect in the flesh, like the Galatians; hence the wilderness is the test. God gave Israel the law in the wilderness to disclose the evil of man's heart, for "by the law is the knowledge of sin". (Romans 3:20) At the same time He gave Moses a pattern of things in the heavens, to show the nearness in which He would bring man to Himself. The great falling away in christendom is that while they own that there is no salvation but by the blood of Christ, they make the law the rule of life, and the approach to God by carnal ordinances; so that even by true christians the Lord's supper is regarded as a means of grace, and of benefit to the soul, in remembering the work done for it, but the idea of fellowship with Christ in His death is wholly lost sight of.

It would be unprofitable, even if I were able, to expose all the effects which have ensued from man's mind attempting to imitate the Jewish ritual, when God and His grace are lost sight of. But to return to the divine path. There is, as I have said, nothing here for the believer but death, which is sweet to him as he has fellowship with Christ in His death. This is the path which the vulture's eye hath not seen, and deviation from it leads us into incongruities and moral darkness. Many have been ready to give up the things of the world, and even their position in it, and yet

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have missed this path because their soul is not anchored where Christ is. You may deviate from the divine path even though you have surrendered the world and worldly things, but then you are more like a monk or a nun. You are not in fellowship with Christ's death here, and you do not enjoy Him where He is. When the believer is true to this divine path, the more he realises that the earth is the place of Christ's death, the more he longs to know Him where He is. Though he reckons himself dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus, yet he has further to realise that he is dead to the law by the body of Christ, or he must face the evil in the flesh (see Romans 7). Here, many are a long time troubled, because they find that when they would do good, evil is present with them; they are not delivered from the body of this death, they are not freed from the claims of the law until, by entering into Christ's death, they are free from it, in order to be for another, even Him who is raised from the dead, to bring forth fruit unto God. This is a momentous step in the divine path, and one not entered on until there is purpose of heart to have part with Christ where He is. Hence, though the children of Israel had set out on the direct road to Canaan, they were "discouraged because of the way" (Numbers 21:4); their soul loathed the manna. "The carnal mind is enmity against God", (Romans 8:7) and there is in it an inveterate reluctance to walk as Christ walked. With Israel, in Numbers 21, the full enmity of their heart was disclosed, and as they felt the serpent's bite - the wretchedness of their condition - as they beheld the brazen serpent lifted up, they lived; so now often, as I have said, though being dead with Christ is accepted as descriptive of the true state, yet it is not until the wretchedness of the flesh is really felt that the cry comes "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24)

Now when deliverance is known, and the believer being in Christ, and by the Spirit of life in Christ

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Jesus, free from the law of sin and death, he is not only free from that wherein he was held, but he learns that by Christ there is a change of priesthood, that Christ is a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. This we see in Hebrews; and as we seek to reach Him, the Forerunner, we find that not only are we freed from the law by the death of Christ, but by Christ, the Priest, we are raised above all the weakness of humanity; He bears us above it all, and draws us to Himself, as Peter learned in Matthew 14. It was not there a question of his sins, but of entire superiority to himself, the human vessel, by being drawn to Christ; and as we know Christ at the other side of death, we not only know Him as Son over God's house, but we have boldness to enter into the holiest by Him, where we enjoy His acceptance in the presence of God.

But though the believer is thus in heavenly enjoyment, he still has to do with the difficulties and contrarieties of this scene. It is only when he learns the wonderful truth that he has died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, and that he is risen with Christ, and can heartily seek the things above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, that he has the sense that "the body of the flesh" has been removed in the death of Christ (Colossians 2:11), so that he can enjoy the sphere of Christ's life. He has now reached heaven where Christ is, and then he learns of Him to do His pleasure here in His own circle; he is not exactly heavenly yet, but he tastes what heaven is, he has touched heavenly ground, he has crossed the Jordan, and he knows Christ as Head of the church.

Finally, the heart really set on Christ and His place will now realise by the Spirit what it is to be raised up together with Christ, and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Him; he is in heavenly tastes and heavenly power, and comes out as the new man (Ephesians 4) to be for Christ a witness for Him here, in the power of the Spirit according to John 16, above all

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the power of Satan. I need not add more; the epistle to the Philippians sets forth the manner of life and the experience of a heavenly man on the earth.

March 14th, 1897


We read that all things are ours, and we have to grow up into them. "Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing", Philippians 3:16. For each step in grace there is a special power given, so that there need be no mistake as to how far one has advanced.

Salvation is the first step, and it is marked with very distinct power; you are turned "from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me", Acts 26:18. There is often a long time between our being [merely] assured of safety, and our [thus] entering into the joy of acceptance. You enjoy acceptance when you believe that God has raised Christ from the dead; then you have peace with God, and the Holy Spirit is given you to shed abroad in your heart the love of God. It is a never-to-be-forgotten day when you know the power belonging to this step. However alienated and estranged you have been from God, you are now turned to Him who is the strength of your heart and your portion for ever. The peculiar grace in this step is, that God is the One who is paramount to you. Your own state does not occupy you at first; it is the greatness of His grace that fills your heart, so that like the thief on the cross, you are absorbed with the blessedness of being with Christ, and your old natural tastes are in abeyance.

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The next step is deliverance. The believer who knows the gospel fully is, as I have said, at first so taken up with God's goodness to him, that his own state does not come prominently before him. There is a moral greatness about one who is enjoying the gospel, and who has received the Holy Spirit; so that he necessarily shrinks from what is not of the Spirit of God; he avoids the company of those who are not led by the Spirit. Now when his own state troubles his conscience, he at first finds great relief in confessing his sins, because he knows that God is faithful and just to forgive him his sins, and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9); and while he does not look at the law as the rule of life, yet he cultivates everything of which his conscience approves; so that his manners and bearing are often very attractive. Many earnest souls in their desire after holiness have recourse to prayer meetings and conventions in order to promote it, as the one thing to be desired. But this is not deliverance. Deliverance is when you are freed in your own conscience from the old man, "the body of this death", as much as you are freed before God, and you know that you are in Christ, and that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made you free from the law of sin and death, You have now quite another object of interest; it is not your behaviour, or answering to your conscience which is before you, but Christ. Isaac, according to the type (Galatians 4:30), is in his rightful place, and Ishmael is cast out; and as you walk in the Spirit, it is not what you do that you are thinking of, but what Christ would do; you seek to maintain that you are dead to the law by the body of Christ, and He lives in you; you can say, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". (Galatians 2:20) There is a spiritual power connected with this step which cannot be known otherwise, and which is so manifest that it is easy to recognise it. To the one who has deliverance

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and enjoys it, it is incomparable blessing; he knows that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord", Romans 5:20, 21. You not only delight in your wonderful acceptance with God, but Christ is in you; you enjoy nearness to Him, you know that you have joined Him on the other side of death, like Peter in Matthew 14. When you taste that, not only are you in His life above all the power of evil here, but by His priestly service He bears you above all the weakness of humanity; so that you do not look for any human power to aid you, for you are made conscious that Christ is Himself above all the winds and waves, above all the power of evil here.

Next is communion with Christ. "Part with me". When you are in deliverance you enjoy the love of Christ, as we see in Romans 8, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" and when you do, nothing but company with Him can really satisfy you, like the disciples in Luke 5 who forsook all and followed Him. You feel His absence like Mary Magdalene - that He is not here, He is risen - and, like Ruth, your heart says, "Whither thou goest, I will go" (Ruth 1:16); and you prove that His word remains true: "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me". (Proverbs 8:17) Your heart rejoices that it can behold Him in glory.

And as there is light there is the blessed step of coming to Him - the living Stone. You may be breaking bread for long without this being known. But when the believer knows it, and has come to the living Stone, he knows that he is part of the spiritual house, the holy priesthood, and the assembly is a great and blessed retreat for his heart. He not only knows Christ then as Son over God's house, but he has boldness to enter the holiest of all, in heavenly association with Him; not only in Christ's acceptance

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before God, but as empowered by Him to be here for Him, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. There is first deliverance from all that is on your side, you know Him individually as the joy of your heart, then you are free in heart to seek Him in company with His own in the assembly.

Now when you enter into the true meaning of the Lord's supper, that it is not remembering His death for yourself, but remembering Him in His death, you are in blessed freedom from all that is of yourself, you then truly remember Him in His death here, and your heart finds that your only true state in the place where He died is to be in fellowship with His death until He comes. But the more truly you are so, the more you rejoice to know Him in glory, exalted at the right hand of God; and though this experience may come after your knowing Him as the living Stone, yet you will find that fellowship with His death gives everything its true character to you here. And then you can turn undistractedly to Him who is Son of God over His house, and to the place where He is, and not only know the blessedness of your own association with Him as one of the consecrated company, but that in divine seclusion with Himself, with feet washed, separated from all the defilement here, you know what He is to His own on earth, as He sets it forth in John 14.

Then you can come from Himself to serve Him in the place of His rejection, setting forth what He wrought when here, as is expressed in John 14:26, and drawing from Him as the branch from the vine, His own in this world is the one great object of interest to you (the gifts of the Spirit come in here for this purpose). Finally, by the Holy Spirit sent from Himself in glory (John 15:26), you are a witness for Him on the earth. Then the future is made known to you, "he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13),

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so that service embraces past, present, and future. I need not dwell on this in detail, as my point at present is only to show the power which is conferred with each definite advance in His grace.

Next, the more true you are to Him in this dark and evil scene, the more you feel the contrariety in it to His mind, and pleasure; and then the light of the blessed fact that Christ is Head of the church and that in the mystery are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, is made known to you, and it is an unspeakable relief to you to know that you are dead with Him from the rudiments of the world, that you are not only clear of everything here, but that the body of the flesh is cut off in Christ's death. So that you are over Jordan, risen with Him, you are in the sphere of His life, and you know Him in His own place; you come forth as fitted by Himself, to make known His present mind and interests for His own circle. No one can describe the new and wonderful experience to be here in the scene where everything is contrary to the Lord, and to know that you are so with Him outside it all, that you return to everything in it (however beautiful it may seem naturally) as one in heart dissociated from it all. One must be in this experience to understand anything of the greatness of it, or to apprehend the superiority which you will enjoy when you come forth in the new man, replete with the divine sensibilities of Christ, and the knowledge of His word to His own here, so that you can say He is your life. When He shall appear we shall also appear with Him in glory.

Now you enjoy the Father's love, for you do not love the world nor the things in the world; 1 John 2:15. The great spiritual power that is given with this step, is that you have passed in with the Forerunner, not only in hope, but in present enjoyment to the spot where He is. You not only have an "anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast", (Hebrews 6:19) but you have

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passed in company with Himself in there; you have not only left earth for heaven, but you are clear of every influence here; the world is thoroughly a wilderness to you; you have nothing to seek nor to choose, and you return to it as dead to the things of earth to be here unhinderedly for Him.

The next step is one of inconceivable satisfaction, even surpassing the joy of salvation, when by the power which wrought in Christ and raised Him from the dead and set Him at His right hand in the heavenlies, you are conducted to Him in His own place, as Rebecca was conducted to Isaac; now you realise union with Him; the spiritual power with which you are endowed is fully detailed in Ephesians 3, "strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God".

Lastly, you come forth from Him in heaven, to be His witness here on earth, as we learn in Ephesians 4, a new man, to be for Him in the assembly - in His circle; and in your own private circle. It is a moment of blessedness when you are Christ's witness here, in such superiority to the world that you demonstrate what it is morally, and you can stand for the Lord against all the power of Satan; the prince of this world is judged. Then, learning of future things, glorifying Him, your heart rests in the things that eye hath not seen nor ear heard, but which God hath revealed unto us by His Spirit. Thus you are properly waiting for the appearing of Christ. The rapture relieves you from this scene of contrariety, that you may take your place in His kingdom.

To sum up, I will just recapitulate briefly the special power conferred in each definite advance in grace.

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When you enjoy the salvation of God, you are morally like Noah after the flood. You are saved in the place where you were under judgment and the love of God is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto you.

Next, as you know you are accepted by God in Christ, and that the old man is removed in judgment on the cross, so now by the Spirit of God you know that you are in Christ for your own comfort; you belong to Him and you are in liberty, freedom from the flesh, delivered from the old man. It is not yourself that is before you then, not Ishmael, but Isaac. "Christ liveth in me". When I am with Him above all the power of man He satisfies my love by drawing me to His side.

Next, I learn what it is to have part with Him, I behold Him in glory; as I am drawn to Him I find I am in association with Him in the holiest, and the place where He is has now that joy for my heart. There I learn how I belong to Him in the assembly; and in the breaking of bread I have fellowship with His death, and the more truly I enter into this here, the more I rejoice that I know Him and have part with Him, where He now is. From this I come forth to be occupied with His interests on earth.

Next, I learn to my unspeakable relief that I am dead with Him from the rudiments of the world, so that not only am I in the joy of company with Him, but I am in divine seclusion. As risen with Him I can seek the things above where He sits at the right hand of God, and be more efficiently in His service knowing Him as Head, abiding in Him.

Next, I realise union with Him in heaven; the immense portion I receive in consequence of this step is detailed in Ephesians 3. It is much more easily conceived than described.

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Finally, I am in the inconceivable blessing of being here as His witness in divine power awaiting His appearing.

April, 1897


The chief point to ascertain is Christ's present relation to this world; I suppose it would be admitted by all that He was rejected. The Jew used the law of God to condemn Him, and the Roman used the power which God gave man, to crucify the Son of God - to condemn the Holy One and the Just. Hence we read of the fulfilment of Psalm 110, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool". As He said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence". (John 18:36) Now it is evident to any honest mind that He was rejected by this world: "They have both seen and hated both me and my Father". (John 15:24) The scripture is fulfilled, "They hated me without a cause". (John 15:25) The world is in a different relation to God since the rejection of Christ from that in which it was before His rejection. Before, it was lawful for a servant of God to use what was available of the power of the world to carry out the service of God. But, as far as I see, God never used natural things in His own service, except in a miraculous way, such as the ravens feeding the prophet, or the ass speaking with man's voice to rebuke the madness of the prophet.

The next thing for us to be scripturally assured of, is that Christ has power fully to carry out His own work. Nothing can be more definite than this: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth"; and,

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"lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world", Matthew 28:18 - 20. Now if we see that Christ was rejected from this world, and that He can carry on His work by His own power, there is no plea for using worldly things in any way to contribute to His service. We might rest here; but we have to contend with the great attempt in christendom all around us, to show that Christ is not rejected, but fully owned. One fact, not to speak of others, establishes this statement. The ringing of bells for divine service is evidently an imitation of the trumpets of the Jewish ritual; but to any thoughtful mind what a jargon it represents! A bell of various denominations calling aloud, in the hearing of everyone, on souls to worship God, thus using worldly means for this avowedly good end. This practice has no doubt led many earnest men to make use of public notices, and even at times to resort to the town crier, avowedly with the good intention of gathering souls to hear the gospel. It is not easy to eradicate this impression from the minds of christians, because it assumes to be in accordance with God's appointment for Israel.

Now it must be plain to every godly soul, that according to Scripture, Christ has been rejected by the world, and that He has power in the fullest degree to maintain what is His own, altogether independent of the world.

Bear in mind that if there is a divine work of God in any soul, that soul is, by the reception of the Spirit, a member of the body of Christ. To this end the Lord commissioned the twelve who were the foundation of everything, to go forth and teach all nations, "baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". (Matthew 28:19) It does not say that they were all gifted as preachers, but the preachers came from that company. An evangelist is one of the special gifts which by the Spirit is given to the church.

Now we have to see what is the work of an evangelist.

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He is sent to preach good tidings - "By the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe". (1 Corinthians 1:21) The means bears no proportion to the result, simply because it is God's work. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth so is every one that is born of the Spirit". (John 3:8) God begins the work in every soul. The light of the gospel only divinely reaches the soul that is born again, the one whom God has turned to Himself. It begins with fear, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10) - like the thief on the cross, who says to his comrade, "Dost not thou fear God?" (Luke 23:40)

Once it is seen that the beginning of the work must be wholly with God, it must be evident that God will only use His own means to bring that soul into the light; therefore the simple duty of the evangelist is to be like Philip ready to be carried (Acts 8) or like Paul at Philippi to be in prison, to announce the glad tidings to one anxious soul. This is fully confirmed when we see that there is nothing owned of God on the earth that is not of Christ - a member of His body. It is not as in former times when there could be individual saints on the earth. Seeing this is the place of Christ's rejection God could not now support anything here that is not of the rejected One - part of Him.

This is an immense point to keep clearly before the soul, and thus it is plain that nothing can be acquired from the earth for any of His own. Every additional blessing must come direct from Himself. The evangelist is sent from the Lord with a message from Him with good tidings, and he must look to Him to guide him where he is to announce and make known the tidings. He should be always ready for it, whether in travelling or in the company of others, and he may be led to go to a house or a town to deliver the message; but he has no power unless he is consciously directed by the Lord. When he is so directed it may be that

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he may see no immediate result, but he has the comfort of knowing that he has done the Lord's will. I cannot see how in going to a town he is spiritually helped by announcing to the world - the public - his purpose in coming. It may be contended, how then could it be known? I reply, if the Lord has sent him, He will be sure to lead him to one and another, and when he has found acceptance with one like Cornelius, such an one will be glad to make it known to his neighbours and chief friends. It is happy for the evangelist to intimate his purpose in coming, as directed of the Lord, to his brethren, that they may have fellowship in his work by prayer; but as far as I see, the announcement of it to the public is in no way authorised by Scripture.

I quite believe that the gospel should come from the assembly, and therefore that where it meets, the gospel should be regularly preached; because we must bear in mind that we live among those who profess to be christians, and therefore the word to Timothy was, "Do the work of an evangelist", (2 Timothy 4:5) indicating that they did not know the gospel though they had the profession of it. This is very different from great public evangelistic efforts and demonstration; and, as far as my knowledge goes, I have never heard of a thoroughly devoted servant being the fruit of these demonstrations. We hear of converts from them, but I ask, Where are the souls devoted to Christ? I believe when you come to the history of souls it will be found that where the work was deep it has been effected in a very silent and unseen way. Many confess to a limited gospel who would fear to do so to a full one, but it is the duty of an evangelist to present a full gospel. There was no knowledge of God in my father's house till I was nine years old, when a pious clergyman came to stay with him, and I remember his speaking from Acts 9 one evening. The point that arrested me was that God would send a light out of

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heaven to convert a soul! I only adduce this to show how little we know the particular word that may lay a living hold on the soul.

The work of an evangelist must be a deeply interesting one to us, when we remember that he comes from God to a dark soul, to present divine light to him, which is the beginning of divine knowledge in the soul which has already been the subject of the work of God. Very often converts bear a moral resemblance to the evangelist who has presented light to them according to his measure. As a rule, the work of an evangelist in any place is not accomplished in a day or two. Paul had to be admonished when he was inclined to leave Corinth, "I have much people in this city". (Acts 18:10) I do not advocate periodical visits; that is more the province of the teacher; nor do I see that the evangelist is qualified, unless by a special gift, to take the place of a teacher, nor does he really understand the work of the Spirit in the assembly. It can be remarked that when an evangelist becomes a permanent resident in a place he loses his special power in his attempt to be a pastor or teacher. I have noticed that when an assembly is gathered by an evangelist, however earnest he may be, it does not understand what it is to be "built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5); and I have said to the evangelist, a very earnest, devoted man, that those whom he had gathered came together to be acted on, rather than to act - to be "the holy priesthood".

To sum up, it is plain that as the evangelist is sent of the Lord to accomplish a special work, he cannot solicit help or countenance from anything or anyone around him, except from those who are led of the Lord in prayer or otherwise. I would add - it is incongruous to ask for a public subscription for the circulation of the Bible. Such an appeal is devoid of a sense of the relation in which Christ stands to the world. Anyway, as to printing or otherwise, it should

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be at the evangelist's own expense and that of those who love the Lord.

I need not add more, but the evangelist should come as sent of the Lord to seek His own; and as His own must be of Christ Himself; he must be confined exclusively to Christ, to receive only from Him, that he may be of real service to souls.

April, 1897


April 16th, 1897

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 my 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 in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation", Exodus 15:13. Now if this is definitely before you, namely, that you have been delivered from this 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 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 get 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;

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whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec", Hebrews 6:18 - 20. Now, if you are diverted from His place, where Jesus is entered as Forerunner, by anything here, even the mercies of His hand, you have lost the anchor of your soul, and you drift 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, see Colossians 1:5, "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven"; also verse 23, "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel". 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, while you are living in the present 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 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.


"For there must be also heresies (i.e., opinions) among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you", 1 Corinthians 11:19.

It is deeply interesting and important to note the way by which truth is divested of its power over us through attaching our own opinion to it, though there be no open denial nor any intention to deny the truth.

In christendom, this has resulted in systematised error. I will only adduce two examples of it: one, that though the judgment of man on the cross is believed in, there is no acceptance of the fact, that for

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the believer, that man is removed from the eye of God, and that every believer is in Christ before God.

The other example is, that while every believer accepts the Lord's supper, they make it a means of grace to themselves and have no thought of its being a remembrance of Him.

If it is once seen that the power of the truth is lost by adding our own opinions to it, we can easily trace how we may lose the power of it.

When Lot separated from Abraham, he did not leave Canaan, but he chose a spot for himself, and thus he lost the effect of the truth without denying it: he had a sad life and a bitter end.

We see it also in the case of the twelve spies: they brought up a good report of the land, but the opinion of the ten who were afraid was: "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched" (Numbers 13:31,32), and therefore they fell under the judgment of God.

Moses was debarred from entering Canaan because he added to the words of God; Numbers 20:10.

We learn from the similitudes of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 13 that the meal was leavened; it was not refused but it was added to, and thus it was vitiated. This leavening of the truth is fully corroborated in the two examples I have adduced.

Every pious man in christendom believes that Christ bore the judgment of sin, but if you questioned him as to whether the man that sinned is removed and an entirely new man brought in, he will only admit that there is a moral change, that the bad is removed. Hence he can enjoy himself here as a man, satisfied with a good conscience and with a walk characterised by good conduct. Some would quote: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10); but this is millennial and does not apply to the present time. And in the other example

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I have given as to the Lord's supper, the remembrance of Christ's death is limited to our benefit, assuring us only of our gain but not calling upon us to be in fellowship with Christ's death here.

I think it is important to see in these two examples, the result of the human mind adding to the word of God; for if you do not see that the old man is completely removed and Christ brought in, you will never get a true idea of what the new man is, and still more, you will have no divine conception of Christ personally, and therefore you never could understand what the church is as members of His body: "he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one". (Hebrews 2:11) Hence, you must drop into the thought current in christendom, that Christ was made one of us, whereas the truth is that we are of Him.

I hope I have said enough to prove that the tendency, even of the believer, is, not to refuse the truth, but to qualify it and thus to vitiate it. Anyone who will carefully study the epistle to the Corinthians will see how the human mind engendered loss and failure in every circle from the house of God to our own house. But I must add that while in christendom every believer has faith in the blood of Christ, yet the one entangled therein does not reach the fulness of the gospel, because he sees only atonement - that is, the covering of sin - in the work of Christ. I corroborate this by stating that the word 'atonement' does not occur in the New Testament; the word for reconciliation is translated 'atonement' and thus by the intrusion of the human mind, the greatness of the truth of the gospel is lost.

But I turn now to those who profess to have a full gospel, who believe that the man under judgment is gone in the cross of Christ and see that believing in Christ risen they are justified and have peace with God, who rejoice in the perfectness of their salvation and have received the Holy Spirit as the seal, and

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therefore are associated together as members of the body of Christ.

Now there is great joy and often great devotedness in knowing this much and yet many who know it do not know deliverance; they can believe that the man is gone from the eye of God in judgment in the cross, but they do not know in themselves that by the Spirit they are in Christ and are delivered from the body of this death, so that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made them free from the law of sin and death. They have never really entered upon the new history that the old man is crucified and Christ liveth in them.

In confirmation of this I would state that however fervent and devoted they are in setting forth what Christ has done, and the blessing that has resulted from all He did in coming to our side, they never can speak of going to His side, or of having part in His things, and hence though they are separate from the world and cultivate amiability and graciousness of manner, they are not separate from the earth and things on the earth, as having fellowship with Christ's death here, and thus the place where He is, is not really the anchoring ground of their souls. They are deprived of all these great blessings of God's grace because of putting a human interpretation on Romans 6, that because God sees you clear of the old man in the cross, you, by the reckoning of faith, can see yourself clear.

Now let us trace God's way with souls. God begins the work; you are born again, you turn to God instead of being alienated from Him. You begin with fear, but you have a sense of His goodness and you are looking for light from Him, like the thief on the cross, who, counting on Christ's goodness says, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom". (Luke 23:42) Then the light of God's grace shines into his soul in the words of Christ: "Verily I say unto thee, Today

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shalt thou be with me in paradise". (Luke 23:43) Thus the newborn babe desires the sincere milk of the word that he may grow thereby: and you will remark that in reading the word, it is some particular passage that strikingly comes home to you. You are made conscious of the truth of the word: "My sheep hear my voice": and when this is known to you you look for it again and you feel depressed without it. Then your cry will be: "Keep not thou silence, O God". (Psalm 35:22)

I have often said to those who have been listening to an address, I do not ask you to tell me all you remember of it, but tell me the word that came home to yourself.

When I was in college, a divinity student, so-called, I went to hear Mr. Darby preach in a small room. He took up part of Ephesians 1. I do not remember the address, but one word fastened itself on me: "Accepted in the beloved". I had never before heard the word 'acceptance'; it was not known in our course of theology. We had the word 'assurance', but that refers to our own state, the other to how God is towards us.

You will remark that every man speaking with spiritual power, bases everything upon the word of God, he does not try to embellish it or to make it attractive to the hearers, he relies upon the greatness of the word itself. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple", Psalm 119:130.

If he quotes human authority he acquires credit for himself, but he really weakens the word of God on which he seemed to rely. You will find as a rule that every man speaking in power adheres to the very words of a passage, but many who have a general and extensive knowledge of the word, and are well up in the references, weaken the passage in hand by quoting passages that do not apply, and which, though having similar expressions, have an entirely different meaning.

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Every passage of Scripture, however similar it may be to another, has a meaning peculiar to itself.

Many years ago there was a meeting in London of young men desiring to be in Christ's service, and each had to write a sheet of note paper on one or two verses, not merely telling of the subject of the passage, but of the importance of every word, adverb or conjunction, and this in order to get a clear idea of the plenary inspiration of Scripture.

Every earnest soul expects, as he reads the word, not to remember all he has read, but to receive something specially from the Lord; and it is a well-known fact that everyone walking with the Lord receives from Him fresh light on the scriptures best known to him, while on the other hand we find that those who are declining can repeat old thoughts on Scripture, but have nothing fresh from it, as we read in Deuteronomy 11:17, the first mark of departure from the Lord was that they had "no rain".

Perhaps nothing is more derogatory to a servant than to give out as ministry what he has acquired by reading the best commentaries. We see it in our own day: those who read the Synopsis more than the Bible are never in power as to the present mind of the Lord. It is very easy to gather from the servant's words where he is himself, and no man has real power but according to the measure of the power the word has upon himself. Everyone can speak of the past as he reads it in the gospels, but he must be in communion with the Lord in order to give out the present mind of the Lord. I do not think I need add more on this point to prove the importance of adhering simply to the word of God, and not being led by authorities or references into any deviation from it.

In conclusion, I would add that the truth is often limited or lost by the human title given to it. I have already referred to man's idea of reconciliation being atonement; consequently, in the translation of the

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New Testament, where the word ought to be 'reconciliation', we read "atonement", and thus reconciliation is really limited to atonement, whereas it means a great deal more. It is said in one of the articles: 'Christ reconciles us to the Father', whereas even in the parable (Luke 15) the father was reconciled before he kissed the prodigal. In my own time I remember the title 'gospel of the glory' was refused as an innovation, whereas in truth the innovation is the limitation given to it by man. More than thirty years ago, a young man proposing at the monthly Bible reading to consider the gospel of the glory, it was objected to by two, who I am sure would not do so now; and at that time I have known an evangelist decline to go to a meeting, alleging that he did not know the gospel of the glory, and regarded it as something visionary. After some commotion about it, the most devoted servant of the day stood up to give an address, stating, 'I wish to speak this evening of the gospel of the glory, and rightly called the gospel of the glory'.

Thus we see that human interpretation of the truth naturally leads to resistance and opposition to the full meaning of it. As lately, the opposition as to the gift of eternal life arose from the general idea that it is given at new birth, instead of seeing that, as in John 20, it is given with the Spirit: "he breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit".

And still more seriously the last phase of the church (Laodicea) seems to have affected some who began well: they contended that all the purpose of God's grace was free gift and not attainment, and were so far right. They allowed they could see it by the Spirit, but they overlooked new creation and the subjective work of the Spirit in them, so that men could talk of title and great things without really knowing them practically. The prodigal son not only knew his father's favour to him, but he was made personally fit to enjoy his presence. It would have been vain for

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him to talk of his possessions, what he was given, when he was not capable of enjoying them. It is lamentable to see men holding the truth of God's full grace to us, without any practical benefit from it, because they deny the Spirit's subjective work, which is really new creation, and in their writings and in their ways they declare that they are poor and blind and are not in communion with the Lord.

April 29th, 1897

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A true minister of the word never speaks beyond what he knows. There is no ring in it unless he is in it himself. If you have to do with the Head you will get light on the spot, and though you may give it out feebly it will be telling.

A sailor said he did not mind any weather so long as he could see the sun. You must keep your eye on Christ. You will find that when you visit anyone with the Lord before you, you get on well.

The mark of a man walking in the Spirit is that his body is a living sacrifice.

When He comes to me in my room, it is to my circumstances; when I join Him in the assembly, I go to His. You do not get to heaven by attainment but by union with Christ.


The presence of Christ is different (from that of the Holy Spirit, of which he had been speaking). It is conditional; and therefore instead of being continual, it is, with regard to the assembly, occasional. His presence is not continual, as is the presence of the Holy Spirit, but occasional. I do not say it may not be continually repeated, but though it can only be

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known through the Holy Spirit, it is not the same as the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the church.

"Light is ... pleasant ... for the eyes" (Ecclesiastes 11:7); and what I find is that the smallest trace of that which is pleasant - the mere remnant of beauty - engages it. But this trace - this shred of the beautiful - has a very strange effect on us: it awakens us to an existence here - to a set of hopes here. We are like birds aroused at night from their nests by the blazing flambeau. Alas for the birds who see not the captor's hand holding the dazzling, attractive, but deadly torch! They are delighted with the light, and rush into it; but it is a mere net for their destruction.

How readily we are attracted by any flash that crosses our path! But the way to be proof against these delusions is to walk in the light. "In thy light shall we see light". (Psalm 36:9) In these flashes we do not see, hut we are seen by our enemies. We are dazzled, but not enlightened. It is a deception - an ignis fatuus which bewitches.

We know little of ourselves if we do not see that we are in danger to be a prey to these flashes. How often has the heart, like a bird, returned to its roost, prepared to remain and rest through a livelong stormy night. The wind howled, the rain pattered, but on its roost the lonely bird quietly and fearlessly braved all, until, when the darkness was deepest, and there was a lull in the storm, the enemy came with his torch. The bird is attracted - seized And the one who could have quietly sat out the force of the storm which shook the earth, sinks into the hand bearing a false light.

God will not allow nature to come out; He will not use it. It is not a question of who is the strong man in mind or body; the moment you attempt to do God's work with either you fail.

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Saints ought to be known as great peculiarities: "Thy... body ... full of light" (Matthew 6:22); like an apparition; something seen in the darkness; something so distinct that, though people might not be attracted by it, they should not be able to help noticing it. The world should see the saint walking in the power of Christ; knowing what Christ has done for him, he ought to be all brightness, and joy, and rest of heart, here upon earth showing forth the beauty and grace of Him who has set him in all the brightness and perfection of Himself before God.

A mouse entered a barrel of meal and had his fill, but found he could not get out by the only way, the hole he got in. He had to starve himself to escape.

Moral: 'If I myself deny, where I could gratify, I suffer bitterly, but sweet is liberty'.

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.


Four simple points of importance: -

1. The blood.These are on God's side.
2. The possession of the Spirit.
3. Growth, by beholding His glory.
4. Feet washing, being kept in His presence - association.

There are two opposing forces here: the world and the Holy Spirit; as one might say, the wind and the tide. But the wind is against the tide, and if you are going with the world you are going contrary to the Holy Spirit.

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I find it is not at all easy to lead brethren to see the difference between the past and the present. Many can speak nicely on the past instead of dwelling on the Lord in the assembly. Almost every speaker speaks of what has been done, not of 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 to Christ was only types and figures of what was to come, but any grace that anyone has now is grace that has come - the grace of Christ.

There is a difference between knowing Christ risen, and beholding Him in glory. In the one case it is all new ground to you; you know Him on new ground; but in the other, you are so absorbed with Himself that it is not the newness of your position that occupies you, but the greatness of your acquisition.

It is when we know His power that we are equal for difficulties, because, as we realise the height which is His and ours in Him, we are enabled to face the difficulties. We look up, to rise over, or rather to be able to face them. I have a feeling that every place is a moral swamp, except the opened heavens and the blessed One there.

There is a voice from heaven. One man is cleared away in judgment, another man has introduced something perfectly new. That is salvation and you cannot make it too simple.

The sense of God's favour is better than life itself. Be assured that the highest and brightest desire of your heart will be more than fulfilled, but it will be

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in the wilderness that He will "speak comfortably" (Hosea 2:14) to you, and then He will be more to you than your heart could ever have desired.

When we fully surrender ourselves to the position the Lord has ordered for us, serving Him therein, He makes the desert land (the place of discipline) to brighten up, and provides rest and solace in that on which we entered in sorrow and desolation of heart.

How simple and wonderful for a man to be led into the mind and resources of God, meeting every contingency in divine grace and strength; treating the servant with as much consideration and attention as the king; attaching as much importance to the loss of the borrowed axe head as to a city compassed about by armies; thus proving that the circle of God's power and grace embraces the smallest as well as the greatest contingency!


The peculiar power of a man of God - a true servant - is that he is not a mere channel, but he can impart, in measure at least, the feelings of his Master, the words of which are given him. Surely it is this which gives power and effect to an evangelist! His heart is touched with the love of God to sinners; his conception of it may be small, but it is real; and according as it affects him, so is he qualified for his service.


Do you ever get gloomy? I will tell you a cure for it. When you go out at night, what do you look for -

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the clouds? No, you say, I look for the moon. So I would say to the gloomy believer, look for Christ. He is the triumphant One; look for the Mediator between you and God! "The Lord ... hath triumphed gloriously". (Exodus 15:1) "He hath put a new song in my mouth". (Psalm 40:3) He hath "put gladness in my heart". (Psalm 4:7)

When the heart lays hold of truth, even though it knows not why, with a tenacity which will buy it and sell it not, we may rest assured it will be more fully unfolded, "For he that hath, to him shall be given". (Matthew 13:12)

The best way to correct a failing in your brother is to be in yourself the living expression of the virtue he lacks.


No. 1. To ascertain the one great subject of Scripture, to the expression and development of which the whole without interruption conspires.

No. 2. In reading it, to be convinced of its plenary inspiration, and because of this, to note down every word and ascertain its meaning, which is best done by writing the word and seeing then the use made of it.

No. 3. To read a distinct book at a time and seek the leading idea or aim of it, which is easy to do, but not so easy to sustain through all the parts of the book. To connect all these points like the parts of a map is very useful.

No. 4. To take a subject and see how it is exemplified in different parts by different aspects and different characters. This gives power in the practical application of Scripture.

No. 5. To read the Scripture ad libitum, by which the soul acquires a colour and tone. In trouble,

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sorrow, or conflict, it is wonderful the effect which reading Scripture will have on you - you are carried into its mind and current, almost unknown to yourself. It is change of air and scene, the best restorative power to the moral invalid. The better we understand No. 1, that is, the grand aim of Scripture, the more strength do we imbibe from reading it, even in a desultory way.

The aim of all discipline is to free me of everything which hinders Christ in me; so that, while the ministry of the word opens out to me the beauty and glory of my position in Christ, the discipline through circumstances detaches me from the weights which hinder me here. It is ever where a believer has most vanity or self-confidence that discipline makes its mark. If Jacob be a very active man he becomes lame. If Moses be a very muscular man he must learn by forty years in the wilderness not to trust in himself. And Paul is crippled where he feels most. God will stain

the pride of all men. The sanctified man is a body of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give its glow, every dark part driven out and Christ reigning in the heart, the body simply His vessel or medium for expressing His own will and pleasure.

I am about to utter a short sentence of only seven words; but if you understand it, you are well-taught christians. It is this: Where man was removed God was expressed.

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.

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He has given us the table as the place where past unspeakable love is to be recalled to mind, and present united affections reciprocated.

The moment you become mixed up with earthly things you lose your place of separation, the Spirit is grieved, and though the Lord loves you He cannot leave His line to express His love to you. He vouchsafes His care for you, but not His company with you.


Lameness was a blemish which debarred the sons of Aaron from entering within the veil. Anyone now engrossed with his sickness or his sorrow or his infirmity is lame, and cannot be in the holiest. If he had found sympathy he would be above infirmity, because in Christ's presence he had found complete relief.


  1. No cloud and a sense of accomplished redemption; John 20.
  2. The soul beside itself, like the queen of Sheba.
  3. Worship.
  4. Edification.

Some come in faith and enjoy His presence.

Some come in conviction and get blessing.

Some come from imitation.

Growth in truth is like a pyramid: the base must be enlarged as the height is raised.

You must have the antitype before having the type,

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or you will not understand the latter, which brings the antitype within our natural comprehension.

Light is come; it exposes and discloses. It repelled in Old Testament times; it now distresses, but attracts.

Balaam acted against the people just as they were going to enter on heavenly ground; so in Corinthians Satan acted. They, the Corinthians, were self-indulgent and boastful.

I am sure that the reading of the word and prayer are necessary, and that great help comes to us through ministry; yet there is another exercise which surpasses all the rest; indeed, the others are, I might say, invalid without it. I mean meditation. "Meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them". (1 Timothy 4:15) However much you may take in, and receive in an honest and good heart, there must be, like the grain of wheat, months underground, unseen by any mortal eye, a secret germination before there is the blade - anything to be seen. The deeper the truth I receive, the longer the time of meditation before it characterises me. Sitting before the Lord, one does not appear to be doing anything, and yet that is the very time in which the peculiar lines of His mind and pleasure for one are acquired.

Faith is dependence on God and independence of everything human to sustain it.

To walk in His life down here, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, acting as He acted, though apparently atomic, as all life is, rears up a monument for all eternity - a great coral reef. One is so often trying to do some great thing, instead of the greatest of things, which is always at hand, namely, to live here as Christ did; and this act endures for all eternity, as

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the power of it has existed from all eternity. Were I simply set on living Christ here, it would abundantly occupy me as well as fit me for any service.

Beginning my day with Christ, storing up the manna, and finding not a moment of my time uninteresting or unoccupied, because I have still another and a fresh step to learn. The same step is not set the second time. Act the step before you this moment like Christ, and if you do, it will be recalled and revived at the judgment-seat; but if not, that particular brilliant is lost, and you will never wear it. You will have plenty to do all day, and the man who lives Christ most in his daily life and ways is always the most fit and prepared for special services, for leading a forlorn hope. A slave can adorn the gospel of Christ in all things.

In John's baptism the Lord took His place with the godly ones here upon earth; He cut Himself off from that which connected Him with Judaism. There were three parts in His life. He lived a private life for thirty years; then for three years He was the servant of God, until His service culminated in the mount of transfiguration; then He comes down from this point, after He had been the perfect Man both in private life and in public life, to become the victim - to meet the judgment of God which we had incurred for ourselves; He sets His face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem. And now we are entitled to glory, because the Person who paid our debt has been raised by glory.


Prayer will never compensate for neglected action; it leads to action - seeks light and strength for action. But if I use not the light I already possess, no amount

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of prayer will obtain more for me; for if I believe not the revelation which I have received I am not prepared to receive more.

I notice the effect that heavenly scenery has on the soul. It is not only a revelation, it is something with which you feel yourself connected; and being connected with it necessarily has the effect of detaching you from the scene in which you are, and that in proportion as you realise your connection with the better thing.

I think that when near the Lord, you look at your mercies. When away from Him, at your troubles.

How God draws us off from things here by presenting to us visions and pictures, if I may so say, of the future glory! The more you mix with the refined and beautiful, the less you can feel yourself at home with the contrary; though if you were happily sensible of your right and title to what is elevated and were obliged to descend to the lower, you would always retain your sense of the contrast.

I assure you I have no confidence in transplanting - single trees suit the park but not saints in this world. I am all for solid squares. I date all my own sorrows and failures from living at a distance from the basin and towel of my brethren. We belong to the body, and for happiness, usefulness and strength the more we keep together corporately the better. 'I dwell in the midst of my own people' is my advice to every saint.

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The habit of contemplation is essential to a christian, because he is in a scene where all is assumption and counterfeit, and that which is real and blessed is all outside it. Prayer is of this order. The word for 'meditate' is used for roaring as a lion for his prey; for 'mourning' as a dove; for 'mutter' as wizards do; for 'studieth' as the righteous do, to answer, and for 'imagineth' as the deceitful do.

The more I dwell on divine things the more I am capacitated for them, because they are only grasped by the Spirit of God.

In the ark a whole year, and then a new history begins, not on the old earth, but on the new one in the favour of God. If we are not in the ark as to every day here, we cannot enter on the new history - the resurrection day. We must know that He was delivered for our offences before we can see Him risen for our justification.

If you walk in charity and justice, as in John's epistle, "love" and "righteousness", you will always have moral influence.

If the old man got no place Satan's wiles would not avail, and though in Egypt, in the wilderness, and after (Israel) had left the wilderness the foe could be seen, in the land, where he would be most unrelenting, there was hardly anything visible. We are then opposed by the rulers of the darkness of this world. They poison us before we feel it; our only safety is to exterminate the old man. I believe all our difficulties come from not being heavenly. Be anything less than heavenly, and you are sure to be defective on

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one side or another. Many have come to Marah - the bitter waters made sweet, who have never touched Gilgal - the reproach of Egypt rolled away.

Oh, to live for one minute outside one's old self!

May you know the deep blessing of sitting near Him and there hearing His word. I do not see that there is any real gain without meditation. Many are interested in reading (they say a fish lives on suction). I admit that a measure of help is derived from reading and hearing, but it is in meditation, in complete seclusion, that you are rooted and grounded. It is in the winter (a dreary time) that the growth of the summer becomes wood in any tree!

The Lord never changes His heart; He does His manner, when my condition or associations oblige Him to do so. When His hand appears to be most against us is often the moment in which He makes known His heart to us, a greater favour than His hand could render. It was to Joseph's brethren a very dark hour when they lost their father - a painful visitation from His hand. But then the heart of Joseph was known to them. This is something infinitely greater than anything His hand can do - it is Himself.

It is very remarkable and touching that we are enjoined to remember "all the way which the Lord thy God led thee", (Deuteronomy 8:2) and the result of it all is that we should be simply dependent on Him. Whenever we have made a wrong turn, it was because we were not dependent on Him. One false turn may involve us in years of trial before we are on the right road again. It is a great cheer to see that discipline by circumstances

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prepares us for the ministry of the word. The more ready you are to hear, the more will be given you to hear. The Lord satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

The keenest eye may not foresee that there will be a revival of imperial power in the old Roman kingdom. But this is foretold in Revelation 13:1 - 6, and the image of imperial power in Daniel 2:45 is standing when it is struck. Be assured armies will increase, and when the army is supreme there must be an imperator.

If you want to enrich a man, do not increase his riches, but diminish or alter his desires!

Prefer His company to every other. Accustom yourself to seclusion with Him, and the more you do so the more you will cultivate it, and be thus richly blessed. 'From Christ, by Christ, to Christ. Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end!'

Acts 2. The Holy Spirit limited Himself to the place where they were sitting, He connected Himself with the individuals, the living stones; these are built up a spiritual house. Go where I will I am part of that spiritual house, and the Spirit of God has charge of me as part of His own house.

May we live more as those who will meet one another in glory.

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I find that the flesh ever remains the flesh, and moreover that if you allow it in the smallest way, while refusing it all round, you are damaged even where you would honestly reckon it dead, you have allowed it to live and hence your whole system is poisoned by it. It is here that a man's foes are of his own house. I find it a most difficult thing to be dead to the natural mind, the way of looking at things after the natural mind. Some satisfy themselves that they are dead with Christ to their own state. If they confined it to the blessed fact that the believer is dead with Christ in God's sight, I should approve, for it is true and ever remains true, but you are not practically dead with Christ, but as you walk in the Spirit. Baptists as a rule console themselves that they have accepted death in baptism. Baptism is a figure of the only way you can be before God in a place of judgment, that is, in the confession of Christ's death.


When a soul is in power I think there are three actions. First, your eye is on the Lord, beholding His glory; secondly, you see what is yours in seeing Him; and, thirdly, you are getting rid of everything which would debar you from possessing or realising what is yours. Elisha first sees Elijah taken up, then he sees the mantle which fell from him, then he rends his own into two pieces to make room for Elijah's mantle. It was power to rend the old in order that the mantle might have its right place. Paul could say, "that the power of Christ may rest upon me". (2 Corinthians 12:9) I consider no one is in power but as he is able to make room for Christ. This is the power of His resurrection. I want power where there is opposition or difficulty, therefore faith is power.

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The great teaching of Hebrews is that we are His companions. And in John 10:14,15, it is declared that there is an intimacy between the Lord and His own of the same order as that which existed between the Father and the Son. This is, of course, by the Spirit; but it is important that we should enjoy this great intimacy. He sympathises with us in order that we may rise above our infirmities, such as sickness or sorrow or distress of any kind (not sin), and as supported by Him be able to run with patience the race set before us.

Infirmity is relieved first, then in faith looking out to Him we surmount the difficulties, we are in power. But John 6 is even a further step; we are running on to heaven, but we have actually reached it in spirit. We have possession there. Israel had to fight for possession, but now it is ours in Christ; we need the armour (Ephesians 6) to retain our possession. The moment you have the sense of possession, that the walls of Jericho are fallen down, that Christ is there, there is a peculiar joy known to the heart, there is the 'shout', you exult in the Lord's achievement for you. It is the peculiar joy of realised possession.

We have the title always, but we are often a long time before we can shout in the assured sense of possession.

It is very interesting and helpful to see the difference between the act of the woman in Luke 7 and of Mary in Mark 14. In Luke 7 the act of devotedness is to make much of Him here; many make sacrifices with this motive. The act in Mark 14 is devotedness that sacrifices what would lend distinction to oneself, because He is no longer here. Deep was her grief because of the death of Lazarus, but the abnegation of

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that which claims acknowledgment with regard to herself is the tribute of her heart to Christ, as rejected from the earth.

The Lord Jesus knows entirely and exactly the sensations of His Spirit in my trials and therefore His sympathy is perfect. Few human beings have much sympathy for one another, and fewer still are able, except in peculiar or isolated subjects, to enter into the emotions which another endures in a moment of trial, suffering or sorrow. Where it can be found the reliance must be complete and the confidence entirely unconstrained and unequivocal.

I do not see that anyone can recognise the direction of the Lord or anything spiritual but as he is spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:14 applies. A man who has eyesight can distinguish between darkness and light without any difficulty, and surely the spiritual man can distinguish that which is spiritual from that which is carnal.

The spiritual man discerneth all things. I can see that when one is carnal and mental one can approve of ministry which is not spiritual. I see that a very little word and very elementary is more effective when of the Spirit than an oration in which there is much truth and no unction, simply because the latter is beyond the speaker's own experience.

The great thing is to be "wise unto that which is good". (Romans 16:19)

Baptism is unto Christ's death, not 'into' it. Jordan is a type of my own death. When a man from among the heathen believes, the evangelist requires him to be baptised, and I believe "all his". Because Christ, by His death, opened out the only way of

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safety for Adam's children, and besides He obtained the right to every man, so that in baptising the child of a believer I am not thinking of the child's state, but of Christ's right over him. Christ is the Head of every man. Every child that is unbaptised is avowedly connected with Adam; but when baptised he is avowedly disconnected from Adam and placed unto Christ. When the children of a believer are not baptised they are in this anomalous position, that the parents bear the name of Christ, but their children still bear the name of Adam. Baptism is simply a change of place, and not a change of heart. When your heart is right your place is at the Lord's table, where you are in fellowship with His death.


There are two great subjects connected with christianity, viz., the gospel and the church. Paul speaks of himself as the minister of both; Colossians 1:23 - 29.

You may have nothing between you and God, but when you have really crossed the Jordan you have nothing down here.

You may enjoy being over Jordan - nothing between me and God - but that is not accepting Jordan.


Going through the valley of Baca makes it a well! As we are above with Christ, so are we here in every detail for Him. The air of His presence fits us for action - to be for Him where He is not.

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May you dwell at Hebron; to the faithful one on earth there is no possession there, but a burying place. But to one in the Spirit outside this scene Hebron is an inheritance! The difference between Abraham in Genesis 23 and Caleb in Joshua 14.

I fear many do not apprehend the full extent and effect of Christ's death. It comes constantly before me that I am called to live here (while in the old order) in quite a new order, with motives and principles contrary to those which are natural to me as a man.

Paul, a prisoner at Rome, no doubt brought under the universal lords of the darkness of this world, was under the power of man. But this wonderful thing came out in all its beauty - the whole sky of the darkness of that dungeon was illuminated with that which was the purpose of God to all ages. "Unto him be glory in the church ... throughout all ages"! (Ephesians 3:21) He had seen it before, but now he was free from all earthly embarrassments - Jerusalem and the like - and he sees this wonderful planet. You get Ephesians four times. The first is in Acts, very devoted; secondly, the epistle, very enlightened; thirdly (1 Timothy), the servant peculiarly interested in them; he warns Timothy of popery in 1 Timothy 4 and of radicalism in 1 Timothy 6; and fourthly, not more than three or four years after, all in Asia (Ephesus was in Asia) had turned away from him. It is not that people turn away because they do not like the teacher, it is the teaching they do not like!

The paramount thing ever is to please the Lord. There is a peculiar gladness of heart in pleasing Him. Enoch walked with God, or pleased God. It is not the greatness of my service, but that I please Him.

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The officious servant is not the one who pleases best. The one who does the desired thing at the desired time is the one who pleases.

I feel that when souls are hindered by the legal restrictions under which they are placed, the Lord causes the light of His grace to gleam through their prison bars; but when these are removed, I do feel it is very sad if the purpose of heart to walk with Him is not fully manifested.

One cannot get on without giving up (see Genesis 22).

If you find the Head in heaven, you will soon find His members here. If you know what belongs to Him, you will know where to be here.

The first sphere of interest that occupies every true-hearted person is the church, when it comes to a question of serving Christ. I do not find anyone clear as to judgment who does not make the church the first object of his attention. The church must be my object because it is Christ's object. Where shall I find Christ's heart? In John I read: "Love one another, as I have loved you". (John 13:34) In Ephesians, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit". (Ephesians 4:3) It comes before domestic relations. If you fail in the church you will surely fail at home.

We read "the Spirit and the bride say, Come". (Revelation 22:17) There I am looking simply at Christ, and my heart says to Him, 'Come'. Then I drop down and say, "let him that heareth say, Come" (Revelation 22:17); and then I go out to the utmost bounds of the earth as I say, "let him that is athirst" - not satisfied - "come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely". (Revelation 22:17) Where do I come from with these blessed invitations?

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I come from saluting the heart of Christ. I salute the Morning Star. I say first to Him, "Come". Then I turn round, and go out to the utmost bounds of the earth: I long that all should come: "whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely".


Hebrews equals the Lord's sympathy, succour, help, guidance for His own. We must go through Hebrews before we can be in Ephesians. We cannot jump into Ephesians.

In Hebrews 4 is the character of Christ's support to me down here on earth. It is no question of sin. Priesthood is for me as a poor feeble person down here. We are going on to the rest, and how are we to get on by the way? Chapter 4 tells us how Christ supplies us as we pass on through this world. The first thing is the word of God; the second, the sympathy of Christ. I could not be sustained here where Christ is not, save by the grace of Christ. I have His sympathy.

You ask, How would a person know his gift? I believe that in some distinct way the Lord makes it known to your heart. When Christ revealed Himself to Paul, He said, "for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee" (Acts 26:16); and in Colossians 1:23 - 25 he says that two ministries had been committed to him, a ministry of the gospel, and a ministry of the church. If the gifted one comes forth as Christ's minister, the ministry connects itself with Christ, whatever it is.

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Words that are inexplicable in any other connection, and upon any other level, will find their place in this group of chapters from John 13 to 17. Take as an instance: "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him". (John 13:31,32) It is into this circle of eternal glory and of divine love we are introduced in communion by the Holy Spirit, as between God alone in all that He is, and the Son of man, who when in this world could say that God had been glorified in Him; and, as a blessed result, and growing out of this, "God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him".

Jonathan gave all his things to David, but Ruth, a poor woman, outstrips him. Many would give up honours to a great conqueror, but Ruth follows Naomi when she is nothing at all. She says, I have learned a friend in my sorrow, and that friend shall be mine, though she herself has nothing; I will follow her unto death.

In Mary we find the same thing. In John 12 she is in concert with the Lord. She says, The most precious thing I have shall go down to the tomb with Him. A friend in sorrow who has known sorry, is the greatest friend of all. It is very interesting to see that Mary's suffering was not relieved by meeting with the Lord. In chapter 11 she discovered what was in the Lord.

It is very refreshing to be with those who accept the truth of the out-of-the-world condition of things and relationships into which we are introduced by the Spirit of Christ. How little we know of all that His life embraces! Paul tells us of the new creation, the new man; John dwells more on the life that we have

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in the Son; 1 John 5:20. I trust we shall all be much before the Lord in prayer, that as He has been pleased to open our eyes more fully to this truth we may be more in moral correspondence to Him here. It is a marvel to me that we are called to walk here, even as He walked here, to be witnesses of Him. To have the old clothes so absolutely superseded, that Christ should be magnified in our bodies whether by life or by death.

The word of God teaches me union, but the Person of Christ brings out all that I derive from union, The word is always my authority for my position, but acquaintance with the Person confirms my position. The heart of the bride is satisfied with nothing but to see Him! It is only the bride that says, "Come". It is not simply character but affection - bridal character and bridal affection in company with the Holy Spirit say, Come!

I am sure the great suffering for Christ, in the present day, is reproach and disparagement from those who profess His name, because one stands forth to maintain the truth in its integrity and fulness. It is a small thing to be cut off and despised by the world; but to be accounted heretical by christians when you are seeking to preserve, and to present the simple truth to them, is, to my mind, the bitterest suffering. On the other hand, I feel that it binds the heart of every true disciple the more to such suffering one, valiant for the truth. It could not be otherwise. What an eclipse it would be to the soul to surrender or be deprived of a particle of the truth which in mercy has been given to us. There is a desperate effort going forward to swamp and leaven the truth.

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The power of Christ working in me is a greater thing than a miracle, a poor feeble creature able to do all things! Souls that receive deliverance from their troubles never grow like those who get strengthened in the difficulties. Christ walked with God above things here, though He felt the misery of this scene, and to know what sustained Him we must walk as He walked, above the earth, where He walked with God.

As for the charms of society - I have that in the Lord - and if I fail to find it among His people, I am glad to retire, and find it abundantly alone with Him.

Every great truth is either questioned now or weakened. The glorified Christ sustains us through our sufferings here. I go to heaven now to get refreshed, not to stay there yet. It is our only resource for outside pressure, or for inside weakness. It must be His life manifested in me. I may have but a thread of gold, but it is gold, and it is the only thing that will stand.

"Spring up, O well!" (Numbers 21:17). The new springs in us going up to Him in whom every new desire is satisfied, every affection met. The new created man, finding his perfect joy in Christ, the glorified Man.

Separation and victory go together.

The peculiar power of a man of God - a true servant - is that he is not a mere channel like a gas-pipe, but he can impart, in measure at least, the feelings of his Master, the words of which are given him. Surely it is this that gives power and effect to an evangelist.

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His heart is touched with the love of God to sinners: his conception of it may be small, but it is real; and according as it sensibly affects him, so he is qualified for his service.

The servant must attract you to Christ, by making known the love of Christ to you; he must know it himself first; love wants to be felt, not seen. The more the servant attracts you to Christ, the more he leads you on to understand union with Him, and this is the great purpose of God for every believer now. Another point is that the servant must come from the Lord, thus he brings you something from Christ Himself.

If you complain of your foes either inwardly or from outside, your strength is less than theirs; you are unwittingly making Christ inferior to them.

The moment I see a man of great common sense in the church of God I say, That man will never act with spiritual sense unless he crucifies his common sense. But a man without common sense, he turns to God, and then he acts with spiritual sense.

People think that they will get rid of their besetment by being occupied with their besetment. Never was a greater mistake! Be occupied with Christ, and you will be surprised to see how attenuated your besetment is become.

Answer to G.W., New York. - 'The more heavenly your work, the less man will be able to see it, the less recognisable it will be. This is not opposed to the

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passage: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven". (Matthew 5:16) Because, while the works which men can see will not be overlooked, but will be diligently attended to, there will be, as one is heavenly, a class of works which men cannot recognise, and of which our Lord says: "I know thy works". (Revelation 2:2)'

'Many works of our blessed Lord were misconstrued, and He was accounted a deceiver of the people. And Paul was called a deceiver - though yet true. The light, too, must have reached the soul when any glorifies the Father on account of my works'.

To promote and maintain the rights of One only entitled where they are not owned, or only carelessly acknowledged, is not only the duty but the happiness of a righteous soul.

The church has failed in public testimony, so now the remnant must retire into private to promote the interest and progress of the family circle; like a man who failed in public, devoting himself to the care and education of his own.

The sealing of the Spirit is, I know that I am God's property. The earnest of the Spirit is that I have got property.

I cannot be right in the present without judging the past, but I cannot mend the past. And, if really humbled, I shall not think I would do it better if I had the opportunity over again; I would fear for myself.

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You never surrender anything to God that He does not take it; He is glad to accept every true offering.

There is nothing we meet with more commonly than two christians forming diverse judgments about the same thing. Is it man's mind looking at the thing, or God's? Instead of being very ready to give an opinion, first see whether you are with the Lord about it. Be in a right state, and then you will see His mind. When God wants to tell you anything, He must put you where there is nothing to interfere with His communications; He cannot communicate where there is interference with His dealings.

We can accept a previous revelation better than the present; we can accept a truth in the past better than one for the present time - the Lord's prayer, for example, because there is less exercise of faith, less demand for divine power, in going back to a thing that is past. If you are not right you are rejoicing in things that are past, and not in Christ's present things.

One set of things around us is going on to a city that suits man - Babylon; the other to a city that suits Christ - the new Jerusalem. Which are you going to? It is a great question. We get the picture of the future bride - how she will be adorned for her husband; and this is put before us when everything has failed in the church. The nuptial garments are brought out before the wedding-day in order that we may try them on. The bridal costume is shown us in order that we may acquire the characteristics of the bride. We are

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presented in Revelation 21 with all the beautiful features in which the Lord will have us stand before Him on the wedding-day.

In the epistle to the Romans the sinner is alone with God. It is like Jesus taking the blind man, or the palsied man, aside from the multitude, and then in solitude speaking to him, touching him, healing him, ere He sends him back to his companions.


Where man was removed - God was revealed.

"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord", Isaiah 54:13. It is interesting and important to apprehend the way in which we are taught. It is plainly by the Spirit. The light shines from God; this is the effect of the word. Light is given as you are ready for it, but you are not an independent being; you not only grow up into Christ who is Head, but you derive from Him. He is first formed in you; He lives in you. As His place in you advances, you advance in growth. Yet no one can come unto Him except the Father draw him. The beginning is with God, but the nurturing and cherishing is by Christ Himself through the Spirit to the members of His body. Christ is first formed in us, then we abide in Him, and "we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us". (1 John 3:24)

I have been very much interested lately in the difference between goodness and love. "There is

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none good but one, that is, God". (Matthew 19:17) But "God is love". (1 John 4:8) There is very little about love in the Old Testament. Goodness when there is unlimited power would do anything to serve me. Love likes my company. Goodness seeks to benefit me, love to share with me what it enjoys. Now, thank God, I can heartily own His goodness - proofs of it every day and hour - but to be hourly assured that He likes my company seems too much for me. I believe it, I rejoice in it. It is wonderful that He, the ever blessed God, should really care to share His enjoyments with me. Oh! how one is rebuked when one dwells on the nature of God as He is to us. See how the love of Christ culminates, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also". (John 14:3) I hope you may gain as much as I feel I have in dwelling on the love of God.

The Scriptures tell me what God gives me, but they do not give it to me. The Spirit applies the word to me in its divine meaning, and I then possess what Scripture tells me is mine through God's grace. For instance, Scripture tells me that if I behold the Lord's glory I shall be transformed; 2 Corinthians 3:18. It does not transform me, however clearly I may see what it states. It communicates to me a very great thing, but the communication is in order that a very great thing may happen to me, and this can be only by the Spirit.

What a great day when through grace one is born anew! This is a day we shall remember with joy every moment of eternity - that God by His Spirit should

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open the eye of the soul to see Jesus sent by Him to die for our sins. What a moment never to be forgotten!

The celebration of the marriage (of the Lamb) is the public avowal of what is true now by the Spirit.

It is a most blessed experience when one is sensibly where there is nothing, and no one, but Himself: and that you lack nothing there. One comes out from such an experience, in a way, surprised that old and approved interests here are not so indispensable to one, though they are better answered to.

If you are to keep in the Lord's path, you must walk in fellowship with His death here, and in association with Him in glory on the other side; thus you will be kept in true balance.

If we were more assured of the interest the Lord takes in us we should like to be more dependent on Him. How much more we dwell on our feelings about Him than on His feelings about us! Nothing gives perfect restfulness but a true sense of His love. The work is done, but the motive assures our hearts that the work must have placed us before Him according to His own standard, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the only standard. Love cannot have two standards.

I do not know anything which makes one feel more the helplessness of oneself than illness does. It is good for us to be taught dependence in any way. The more

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we know the blessing of dependence, the more we like it. Dependence on God and holiness go together.


I know no greater evidence of the prosperity of an assembly, than that the Lord should raise up gifted men from among them, to minister to them and feed them. I do not undervalue any gifted one whom He may send to them for help - the more the better - but as far as I know, where there is real prosperity every gift necessary is given.

Every new position requires a new kind of grace. The Lord has power for every position. As Mr. W. used to say, We have to learn life, not merely habits.

I divide the practical part of Ephesians into seven sections. The first (chapter 4: 1 - 16), the church. Second (verses 16 - 24), the new man. Third (chapter 4: 24 to 5: 21), in relation to one another. Fourth, husbands and wives. Fifth, parents and children. Sixth, servants. Seventh (chapter 6: 10, etc.), the enemy.... has a lonely life, speaking after the manner of men, but what may appear very dreary to human eyes is but an opportunity for the Lord to make known His worth. Oh, how little we enter into the resource to our hearts in His company!

We are going through the offerings at our readings. How much there is in Scripture that one has not learned, and though one may have heard the interpretation of the passage very often, yet it has not started

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into life in one's soul! It is only what you are ready for that you really appropriate - like a mason building; he may have plenty of stones, but it is the one that he gets in that adds to the building, and this is real edification to us.

Three great facts or events have occurred, and our faithfulness is proved as we are affected by them. The first, that Christ has come, has died for our sins, and has risen. The second, that He has gone to heaven. The third, that the Holy Spirit has come down to be with us, and in us. The fourth is our prospect, that He is coming again. The second and third test our faithfulness.

Many do not go beyond Christ's resurrection; they do not extend to His ascension. They do not know Christ in glory. They are occupied with Christ in relation to their own side. He was at my side and glorified God there both in His walk here and in His death; but He is now at His own side, and it is there I intelligently realise the vastness of my life, for He is my life. His death and resurrection translates the believer from his own side to Christ's side, so that "as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17); and as we are at full rest about ourselves, we are occupied with Him who set us free.

Man fell when he gave up faith, and when he is redeemed and accepted in Christ, every step and every blessing is by faith. When we are in heaven we shall be in unhindered blessing; we shall then understand wherefore we are apprehended.

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"To the chief singer on my stringed instruments" (verse 19). Compare Psalm 4:1 with margin 'Neginoth'. In verse 1 it is Shigionoth, signifying variableness. He uses the word on going into the presence of the Lord, but Neginoth expresses the state of the soul - stability - when leaving the sanctuary.

Habakkuk is aware of the confusion everything is in, for in chapter 2 he is on the watch-tower. Then in chapter 3 he prays. He leaves the scene of confusion and learns to rejoice in the Lord; the Lord makes him to know that he can have a stringed instrument in the midst of his sorrow.

There can be no service without sacrifice. In one form or another, when one chooses to suffer affliction with the people of God, the advantages of Egypt must be surrendered. The first act of Elisha on entering on or beginning service was to lay hold of his own cloak and rend it in two parts. The old order of things was at an end. The need of the saints must provoke you as it did Moses.

There are trials which everyone can see and sympathise with, while there are others which no one can see, and consequently cannot sympathise with. The latter must be borne in secret with the Lord. What it is to cross over Jordan - alone with Him, enjoying Him in the scene where He is, in the power of eternal life!


There is much misapprehension on the subject of fellowship in service. Saints give it a low place and often a wrong one. They think, for instance, that

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they, without question, may serve in fellowship with those with whom they have no communion at the table of the Lord. They do not see that our fellowship in Christ is the first thing to be owned, and that this is properly displayed at the Lord's table. If I am not agreed with one as to this, how can I consent to sink this vital ground of communion, to take up with him the lower ground of service?

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.


In every case of defection it is not the strait or the crisis which is the origin of it; the moral bankruptcy had occurred before, but the actual closing, the excuse for it, had not come. In every strait there must be a distinct advance or retrogression; you must rise by divine power, or sink to the carnal mind. It could not possibly be otherwise; and the constant excuse that you may hear, I am where I always was, is quite enough of itself to condemn the speaker.

When the Lord is with His own in any strait, there must be power, and with His power, a fuller maintenance of all His counsels. The glories of the sanctuary are better known, and the testimony brighter.


The presence of the Lord fashions me. He is the mould; I am changed. Many a man has a great deal of Bible knowledge, like a lot of ore, but he has not a

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mould and it is no use. Let him see the Lord, that will make all the difference; He will put it into shape, his ore is of use now.

Familiar passages always help much. The better you know a scripture the more it yields you.

The cause of the declension of the church is visible means - that is the hindrance. Where there is the most visible means, there God is showing that there is no power. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius had visible means, but neither the one nor the other had the power. The poor children of the captivity had the power. The one king had the fire, the most powerful of material forces, and the other the lions, the strongest of beasts, but neither the one nor the other could get the mastery of these poor captives.

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 from this place.

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

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.

Would you be glad to be severed from the old man - to be morally apart from that man in another Man - Christ risen? You will not seek this until you are

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sick of yourself. Then the Spirit wilt invest you with "the best robe", and set you in Christ, and in His life you are free. "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 very blessed that we can be free of the old man - the body of sin.

The Lord values more that one should have one thought in common with Him in the day than that one should do a hard day's work for Him.

If I were absolutely under the control of Christ, I should do everything in a beautiful way, because a divine way.

Ques. Will you explain again the difference between objective and subjective truth?

Objective is - everything is done for me, all is pure grace. Subjective is - the Spirit's work in me; you must not separate them. The Spirit effects in me what Christ has done for me. The Spirit makes it all good to me, He sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. No one will be happy till he is clear of the old man in his own eye as he is clear of him in God's eye. In the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, I am free from the law of sin and death. If you have gone the road you will know what it is.

You must turn Ishmael out. I studied the beautiful traits in man till I found that not a single trait in him would acknowledge Christ.

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Merely reading the Bible will not make you like Him. The two disciples going to Emmaus had a wonderful exposition of Scripture; it did not alter their course one bit. But when the Lord made Himself known to them all is changed. They leave their own course and take His. I may behold Him in my own room, and, if I do, I drop my own things by being brought into company with Him. But when I behold Him in the assembly, His things absorb me. Even with those two disciples we see how when they behold Him their own things are secondary; they go back to the hive, and with good honey, too. I am lost in delight of heart in beholding Him. And besides this, I have guidance - I get Scripture to corroborate it - fresh light.

Do you accept His rejection? That is the first step towards the assembly. There are many pious men in system who cannot find the assembly. Why? Because they do not start aright. They do not start with His rejection. The object and purpose of the assembly is to supply a place for Christ on earth where He has been rejected. How little is known of it!

The Lord goes away to the desert where the poor of the flock can find Him, and feeds them there. Then He sends His disciples on the sea, that they may realise the state of things on earth. He Himself goes to the mountain. They are in the midst of the sea, the winds, and the waves - the power of Satan and the world against them. And He goes to them. But He takes now a new position. He is not now, as in Matthew 8, quelling the storm - supreme now, not only superior. He was always superior; now He is supreme, outside of it all; Matthew 14.

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The Lord is rejected, disallowed of men. He is declared to be the Son of God with power. He is outside the whole thing. Has He any place on earth? Yes; He has His assembly; He comes into the assembly; He has no other spot here. He is there as Son of God. You come to meet Him there, not as your Saviour, but as the Son of God. He is Son over God's house. If we meet Him in the assembly it is as Son of God.

Ques. Explain the difference between 'believers' meetings' and the assembly.

J.B.S. In 'believers' meetings' believers come together to rejoice in the Saviour and salvation, but in the assembly you go to meet Him as Son over God's house. In the former you go for yourself; in the latter you go for Him. You form part of a building where He dwells. It is entirely new ground. You find yourself in a new position.