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giving, however, two precious words to faith ; first, accordingly proceeds to test her faith and knowconcerning the sick-
ledge, and to show that her statement“I know that he " This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, shall rise again at the resurrection of the last day," that the Son of God might be glorified thereby ;"
was a figment of tradition, and not founded on His and, secondly, concerning the departed
own blessed teaching. This is exactly the position
of many dear Christians now; they place the re“Our friend Lazarus sleepeth."
surrection of the saved and the unsaved at one and Bereaved ones! be comforted. They must sleep, in the last day! The Lord does not test Mary; she order that the Lord may have the special glory of fell at his feet, as a worshipping one and a listener,
How glorified, indeed, will He to quietly await what he would do. Oh, that this be, when He shall descend from heaven with a shout, may be our attitude of spirit. With such Jesus weeps; and that same “loud voice," which called Lazarus and though “our light affliction is but for a moment, forth, shall call us into His presence, (not, as in his as with Mary, yet during that moment the Lord case, "bound about with grave-clothes, and a napkin Jesus “weeps with them that weep,” for He is about his head,” showing that the trammels of “ touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Death were still about him, and he must fall asleep But Martha's is a most instructive case :again,) but we shall come forth as the Lord did,
“Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not diod. leaving the grave-clothes in the sepulchre, death But I know that, even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, having no more dominion over us. Glory for ever to God will give thee. the Lord !
“ Thy brother shall rise again. When the Lord Jesus arrived, he did not enter the
“ I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the
last day. town of Bethany; and we know, from 1 Thess. iv.,
"I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in that when the Lord comes for his Church, he will me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever not come down to the ground, but descend into the liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou air, and we shall be caught up, “to meet the Lord in this? the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
“Yea, Lord; I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of
God, which should come into the world.” Lazarus had been actually dead “four days;" this indicate the four thousand years that Death
Many Christians think that Christ is indeed may had already reigned from Adam; and his coming the "Resurrection and the Life” because He will forth “bound about with grave-clothes,” as we have raise the dead at His Coming. But the fact is, He said, indicates that all the power of Death was not is the Resurrection and Life now, because then actually abolished.
new creatures in Christ Jesus.” He was judged in The family at Bethany may well represent the our stead, died for us, and when He rose, we, virChurch of Christ on earth. The members of it tually, rose with Him-our Life, our Head—and are, are spoken of in John xi. 5 thus—"Now Jesus in the Divine view, sitting_“ together in heavenly loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." The places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. ii. 6.) Lord Jesus is emphatically said to have loved his
“ Your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, our Church.” The three loved ones are all of them be- Life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” lievers, and they constitute a family. The Church is “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet the "household of faith,” and believers are called his appear what we shall be ; but we know that when He shall brethren. They lived in Bethany (the House of Figs); appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” where his Beloved are is a place of sweet fruit to the Those who have got no further in the faith Lord. The three represent the Church as-by nature than Martha cannot grasp this blessed fact; -dead, depraved, and “cumbered" with trifles; such Christians are looking at death as
an inbut-by grace—as alive again and feasting with evitable necessity, and are continuing "all their lifeHim, as pouring the precious ointment of worship time subject to bondage”-the bondage of a shadow! upon Him, and as accepted servants. This is beau- the fear of something that has been abolished ! for tifully shown forth in the supper at Bethany, John the Scripture saith, He "hath abolished Death!” xii. 2, 3.
The believer may fall asleep in Jesus," and the But in the meanwhile, these three of Bethany Lord may descend from heaven at any moment, and vividly represent the characteristics of the Church at call us all, both those asleep and those awake, the Lord's coming. Lazarus prefigures those who have to himself. This rapturous event we should be fallen asleep in the Lord: Mary represents Christians looking for and patiently awaiting. who long for His arrival, who know that “He that If the Scriptures which teach the blessed fact t'iat shall come will come, and will not tarry,” and are “passed from death unto life” are quoted patiently waiting till He calls them. Martha seems and pressed upon many dear Christians, they will to be a type of those Christians who do not realize give an assent, because the passages referred to are themselves as already in resurrection-life, and who from the Bible; but it will not, through the bad are putting off the resurrection of those who are asleep teaching they have received, be an intelligent to an indefinitely distant day. It is pleasant to see
It will be like Martha's answer; the Martha's faith in Christ as the Son of God, and how Lord had said, “Believest thou this?” She anfree she is to confess it, but the Lord dicetus that swers “Yea," and proceeds to say she believes she is as much in want of teaching as sympathy, and in Him as the Christ! But that, though a blessed
PO ACCEPT FACTS.
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, fact, was not in question ; the Lord knew she
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John vi. 28-29.) believed in Him. We, therefore, repeat the question to the Christian reader-“ Believest thou this ?”
Again Jesus said
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine that you, living and believing in Jesus, can never whether it be of God.” (John vii. 17.) die ?
You must begin with confidence in the only Sariour, the Carrying the analogy a step further, we see that Lord Jesus Christ
; afterwards, the believer learns the ways of the raising of Lazarus leads many of the Jews to God experimentally, under the teaching of that Saviour, the believe on Jesus, and so, we think, the calling of the gracious Master in whom he trusts. Church out of the world will be one of those signs which will lead to faith in the elect-remnant of Israel in the latter days. And then follows, in beau
" YE ARE DEAD." tiful harmony with our previous analogy, First, the
Of all the wonderful and glorious declarations of triumphal entry into Jerusalem, after the raising of God, few, if any, are so little understood practically, Lazarus, and secondly, as we know, the Lord's
as that in Col. i. 5 : triumphal return to earth, as King in Zion, after he has raised the Church.
“Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” This is said to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, though they be yet moving about in corrup
tible bodies, like other men. Unbelievers have yet to (A DIALOGUE.)
die; and unless they turn, and put their trust in Sceptic.- It appears to me altogether unreasonable that Jesus, the only Saviour, they will die in their sins. people should be saved by what you call faith.
The true christian is, however, dead already, i.e. Evangelist.—Let me explain to you that it is a living
as respects the death pronounced upon him in conse. person, Jesus Christ, who saves. Faith, as a mere abstract principle, exists in many a soul without bringing salvation. quence of sin. He died by substitute before he was
born into the world. Many believe in God, as Creator, yet die in their sins.
Sceptic.—But have I not heard you say that sinners are “Our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin saved by faith ?
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Evangelist.-Yes. But it must be faith in Jesus Christ, (Rom. vi. 6.) the Saviour of sinpers. Sceptic.-I cannot see how that can save men's souls.
What a paradox, cries Reason! Amazing truth, Evangelist.—God does not demand of you that you should most precious to realise, exclaims Faith! But, alas see how." But He declares the fact, and calls upon you to
many christians persist in clinging to that old tradition, believe it. Though even belief of that fact will not save you. namely, that in death they have yet to pass through You must have faith in the Person.
the waters of Jordan. If christians with such ideas are Sceptic.—Your argument is then, if I understand you, called to lay down their earthly tabernacle, they lose that unless I have faith (as you call it) in Jesus Christ, I half the joy they would otherwise find in looking only cannot be saved. Evangelist .-That is not my argument, but it is the plain their thoughts to the river of death, on the banks of
at their glorified Redeemer, because they will turn declaration of God. “ The Father loveth the Son, (Jesus Christ) and hath given all
which they have been taught to stand and shiver. things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath But were the Israelites called upon to swim over the everlasting life : and he that believeth not the Son shall not Jordan? Nay. The same Almighty power which
see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John iii. brought them dryshod through the Red Sea into the Sceptic.--I cannot believe that God will deal with his wilderness, also opened a pathway through the River
Sceptic.--I cannot believe that God will deal with his which separated the chosen people from the Promised creatures in that way.
Evangelist.-Say rather, you will not believe. The word Land. cannot, as you use it, simply means will not. May I ask The truth is, many believers are but superficially you a question ?
acquainted with the work of the Cross. Happily, Sceptic.-I am pretty well tired of the subject ; but, most of God's children know that in those
hours of awful darkness, during which the “Holy Evangelist.-What trade do you follow ?
One of God” was suspended on the accursed tree, Sceptic.—That of a watch-finisher. I served my time to it.
the blood of Jesus became the shelter of Evanjelist.–Did you know how men made watches before all christians from the judgment of our righteous you were apprenticed to the business? Sceptic -No. How should I ?
God. Just as the angel of judgment passed over the Evangelist.—Yet you believed that watches were made houses of the Israelites in Egypt—so we, who beby men, and you had faith in the master who undertook to lieve, are passed over, are safe, for ever safe, through teach you the trade.
the precious blood of Jesus.
“ Christ, our passover Sceptic.— Yes, to all that.
is slain." « There is therefore now no condemnation Evangelist.—You believed and trusted first, and learned
to them which are in Christ Jesus." all the why and wherefore of the facts afterwards. So God has ordained, that if you would be saved, you must have
But this, unspeakably joyful though it be, is not
all-far from it. faith in the Lord Jesus Christ first, and he will give you Jesus endured, for us, the wrath of God he became,
In those solemn moments when the knowledge and understanding afterwards. The Jews enquired of Jesus
for us also, the conqueror of Death and Hades. The “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jordan overflowed his banks indeed—but our mighty
as a wall on the right hand and on the left”– It may be, that the coming of the Lord is so near,
deliverer and Lord, whom all the types and shadows, Christian ! Jesus has passed through death for you. given of old, are unable to pourtray, stepped into The finish of Calvary's work was death. The Jordan the rushing tide; himself endured, but, for us, rolled offers no obstacle now—will you entor the promised back, the waters of death, that we might follow him land ? The Lord Jesus is your leader, He is the true unscathed into the holy land. The deliverance Joshua. wrought for us (believers) by our blessed Lord, in- When the Israelites were driven back, to waste cludes the passage of the Red Sea, as well as that their carcases in the wilderness—the Jordan was not of the Jordan. As we have said-Faith in the Lord their hindrance, but unbelief was. The unfaithful Jesus Christ, does bring the efficacy of His atone- christian has a like portion on earth, see Romans ment to the christian as a perfect protection against viii. 6. judgment. The youngest believer who apprehends How is it with you ? In the consciousness of death this, knows also, in measure, that it brings him passed, and in the power of the new life, which is into separation from the world, as the Israelites, were Christ in you, you may experience now, much of the separated from Egypt. The world is, however, loth happiness of the heavenly country. Yet our spiritual to give up its former votary, and pursues after the enemies are still in the land ;-escaped one, fain to overwhelm, or bring him back
"For we wrestle (or contend] not against flesh and blood, but again. Many a timorous child of God has found against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the himself in like case with that of the Israelites who darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high marched out of Egypt-hemmed in with dangers. places." (Eph. vi. 12.) The surging billows before, relentless foes behind, This same scripture, however, furnishes us with and no way of escape on the right hand or the left. the whole armour of God. Fear not, then, the spiriAnd what has he done in such a case ? He has cried tual foe; neither in heart go back to the world, to the Lord. Then the answer has been given, "Fear (Egypt). These were the snares of the Israelites. ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord,” Be a Caleb. Have entire trust in God, through the (Exod. xiv. 13.) Afterwards some servant of God
Lord Jesus Christ. Then shall you know, indeed, has spoken the word of encouragement, “Go for- that the Jordan is not before you, but behind. ward," (Exod. xiv. 15;) and the child of faith has
“ Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and hath gone
forward and has found all that which seemed dark brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”—2 Tim. and fearful before him, like the waters of the Red | i. 10.) Sea, and all through that work of grace, wrought by the you will be translated, as was Enoch. Otherwise, Son of God on Calvary. The death of the cross has, you will sleep in Jesus until the resurrection morn. in the purpose of God, cut us off from the world for Whichever way you may be called from this world
the fact remains, that death is passed already. Much of this is understood, though perhaps but dimly, by the followers of Jesus. Then comes the
“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” journey across the wilderness, and the heavenly country. The joys of the beavenly Canaan may be entered upon as soon as seen, by faith. There are, how- W. C., Ashburton, writes,-ever, many enemies in “ the land,” great and mighty
“SIN, ---May I beg the favour of your giving an explanation [See Numbers xiii.] Yet there it is-and
of the latter part of Rev. i. 20,- Tho seven stars are the God offers it to the children of faith. It is a good angels of the seven churches.' 'I am aware that there is an land, a land flowing with milk and honey, a fruitful extensively prevailing thought that the clergy or ministry are land. Those who have tested it show you the fruits
the angels, but I do not think the passage is confined to that,
as there are numerous assemblies of Christians which meet for of it; they display before you the Grapes of Eshcol
breaking bread and edification without a 'minister.' In such (Num. xiii. 24.) But then there are enemies there, cases where can the angel be with them ?” even giants. Have you faith to go forward ? Have you faith to overcome ? Caleb and Joshua, having Our Lord's expression is
We need to ponder prayerfully the entire verse. full trust in the Lord, are ready to take possession as soon as they behold the land. Caleb says:
“ The MYSTERY of the seven stars which thou sawest in my
right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks." “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it,” (Numbers xiii. 30.)
It is a mystery still, notwithstanding the enlighten" If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this ment given in the succeeding sentence, which you" land and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey," have quoted. We may say, however, that it seems (Numbers xiv. 8.)
us a very poor and unwarranted thought to But the multitude who came up out of Egypt, who suppose any individual minister is intended by the had witnessed the mighty power of God, and had ex expression Angel. It is altogether contrary to the perienced many a deliverance at His hand, though tenor of the various epistles given to the churches, to they came in sight of Canaan, “could not enter in, recognise a paramount position in any one person, in because of UNBELIEF,” (Heb. iii. 19.) The Jordan any christian assembly. We cannot find an instance offered no impediment; for the succeeding genera- of a christian, however gifted, (not even the Apostle tion found, by faith, a passage through it waters, as Paul,) being recognised as the minister (exclusively) on dry land.
of any particular place or church. The Head of the
THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
Church, Our Lord Jesus Christ, gives as many ministers It may be asked, “Why then should not the word be to any one assembly as he will ; (i. e. where christians angels (plural) of each church, seeing there may be meet in faith, and in subjection to the mind of the many spiritually-minded christians in any one place ?" Lord.) Clergymen, in the ordinary acceptation of the This difficulty is easily answered. Our Lord ever term, have no SCRIPTURAL existence. We believe that presents to us the thought of perfect unity. Those whenever a few believers meet in the name of the who are heavenly-minded are (to the extent of their Lord Jesus, though none among them may have spirituality,) of one mind. All the members being special gifts for ministry, yet there will be an angel, united by One Spirit, those who are led of the Spirit in the sense in which each of the Seven Churches of are in unison of mind, as well as in union. They have Asia had one.
" the mind of Christ." Therefore, it is one spiritaWhat we have to suggest is, that the angel of a ality, one angel. church is the SPIRITUALITY of that church. The Lord We do not offer, however, the foregoing dogmatiholds that (mysteriously) in his right hand. He is cally. We pray, rather, that our thoughts may lead not said to hold seven men in his hand-nor is it the some, who are desirous of knowing the mind of the seven spirits. In the address to Sardis, He presents Lord, to search for themselves into this revealed himself as He that hath the seven spirits of God, truth, under the Holy Spirit's guidance. It is a AND the seven stars.” Completely distinct, though “mystery,” very wonderful, far above the range of beautifully brought together.
the carnal mind. Are not the stars frequently used to typify heavenly things, and does not our blessed Lord hold in his hand ALL THAT IS HEAVENLY in his churches? Do not we find these thoughts furthered by the repeated our little paper, and on reading your letter had the thought vi
H. L. H.-We were much struck with your plan for disseminatin. words of each of the seven epistles ? " He that printing it here, in order that, if your plan commended itself tu hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto others, some might be led to adopt it. But on prayerful considerathe churches !" Wherever there is a heavenly minded tion; we fear our motive might be so generally misunderstood, that christian, all the Lord's words are for him or her, the appearance of evil
. May we commend to your notice our new though such an one may not enjoy any recognised
“ Precious Truth Tracts and Leaflets"? We trust these may bu.
wide used to effect the object you have in view, in common withi ministry from men.
ourselves. Accept our Christian sympathy and thanks. Again, we find that the addresses are sent to the W. G., HEREFORD.-- We take the liberty of printing an extract Angels of the churches, as to those CAPABLE OF RECEIV
from your letter, containing, as it does, strong testimony to faci, But there is no word of instruction to is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." _“ I am
that the Word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword, and any one as to reading or expounding them to the sorry to say that the reason I have not increased the sale of your assemblies. It is not a question of man-ministry little work is that some subscribers have fallen off, and I have been (precious as that is, in its place,) but it is what the should say glad) that those which have discontinued to take your SPIRIT says direct to the churches. None but those paper have found the truth too powerful and too full of light, which who are spiritual, i.e. hearenly, can hear. Of course they were afraid to admit into dark consciences; but, thanks be * any may hear THE WORDS, but only those who are slightest doubt but that your paper has awakened the sleepers to walking in communion with the Head, can receive sense of their own deadness, and I hope will result
in their gainin; or understand His remonstrances, reproofs, approvals, from the Word itself. The Lord's blessing is on those who strive and rewards. So he always concludes with “He lawfully (that is, in accordance with God's word]." that hath an ear, let him HEAR.” It may be the Letters for the Editor to be addressed to 335, Strand, W.C. least gifted in the assembly, but if one has a heart for Christ, the Master's words, and all his choice rewards Tufgendy desires an engagement as Light Porter, &e that
, 18, wb are for such. Now consider the style of the Lord's messages. He made handwriting. His present employment is unacceptable, bi
cause it requires much of his attention on the Lord's Day. says, “I know thy works,” &c. Whose works?
Address-J. Evans, 335a, Strand, W.C, Those of a minister? Nay. All the details taken up by the Master show that it is the entire Church PRECIONS' Wupper: The Nine Numbers for 1865 can now lhortations always turn off to individuals—" To him TRACKS to Single leat, 3s per 1,000. ""Half-size, 1s. per son that overcometh,” &c. In short, ministry is not con
One Shilling's-worth sent post free. templated at all, save the ministry of the Spirit. He gives the written words to all the churches. But the Baseriptureton ly! question is, Who can receive them spiritually? Who can enter into the mind of the Lord ?
The answer T"
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"WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE?'-(Rom. iv. 3.) Job Caudwell, 335, Strand, London, W.C.)
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TO A TRUE-HEARTED CHRISTIAN.
[One Halfpenny. suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven.".
(Acts ix. 3.) BELOVED :-“The darkness is past, and the true Jesus was that shining light whose brightness was light now shineth.”
"above the brightness of the sun.” I closed my last letter in this journal with Beloved, -"The darkness is past, and the true the earnest desire that you would ponder these light now shineth." We who believe ought therefore few words. They are pregnant with meaning. Un- to be no longer in darknesstil the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ there was
“For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, spiritual darkness on every hand. It is true that hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge God in ages past spake at sundry times and in divers of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. iv. 6.)
But we must remember, dear brother, dear sister, manners to the Fathers by the propheti. 1. 1,) thus giving new spiritual light, according to the needs ours is a derived light. ' Jesus Christ is our light; of his people. He is "the Father of lights" (James we are reflectors of Him. Is it so with us practically, i. 17).* All that could instruct the soul of man in daily, constantly ? - He has said to ustruth, or heavenly light, came from him. He was
“ Let your light so shine before men that they may see your pleased to reveal it from time to time in earthern ves- good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." sels. But after many of these had been used, deep By what good works can we glorify God our spiritual darkness still characterised mankind. So Father? The answer is very simple ; – just such when, in the fulness of time, God sent his only-be- good works as Jesus himself did. We must imitate gotten Son, Jesus Christ, the true Light, it was proved Him. In vain do Christians invent good works that men “ loved darkness rather than light.” His (so-called). The life of Christ on earth is the test of own chosen people deliberately preferred Barabbas everything. Let me learn whether He acted thus to Jesus ; unbelief blinded them, so that they could or thus, and that decides at once whether I should do not see light in the Son of God. “The light shineth it or not. Christians, like other men, are prone to in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” imitate one another; but that will not do. We must While our Lord was carrying on his personal min- copy
Jesus. God has ordained good works that we istry on earth, (in wondrous patience, meekness, and should walk in them, and He sent his beloved Son to love, )darkness prevailed. The people did not comprehend work his works, and thus put his divine stamp upon him. No, not even his chosen apostles. "Are ye them. We get perfect light on this, as on all other alsoʻyet without understanding,” (Matt. xv. 16) were subjects, in the face of Jesus Christ. He is our the words of the Master even to them. Indeed, it is Great Exemplar. This is not mere theory, but pracwonderful to notice in the evangelist's narratives of tical truth. By faith I see Jesus feeding the hungry, our Saviour's walk on earth that the darkness of visiting the sick, and preaching the gospel to the men's souls deepened as he drew near to the cross : till poor. I see Him doing these things Himself; and I at length his uisciples forsook him and fled." Then accept the inevitable sequence that, as a disciple of the malice of our fallen race was suffered to have its that gracious Master, I must do such things myself. full course-"and there was darkness over all the Moreover I not only seek to do the right things, but, land until the ninth hour.' (Matt. xxviii. 45.) because the darkness is past and the true light now
Buch was the condition of the world when Jesus sbineth, I see how to do them in the right way. When hung on the cross Men had involved themselves in Jesus went about doing good, He was wont to say to the darkness of rebellion and death, and now they those He relieved, “See thou tell no man.” Alas ! were about to consign him, who came from God to for the many professors of the name of Christ, who enlighten them, to the dark and silent tomb!
But themselves proclaim their works, and say practiwhen man had steeped himself in this “horror of cally, “See thou tell all men.” great darkness," a crisis had been reached in which I have need to ponder this, and think often of my. God could alone display himself as the mighty de- Saviour's words, liverer.
When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what "He brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great thy right hand douth; that thine alms may be in secret ; and Shepherd of the sheep." (Heb. xiii
thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thes He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the openly." " Father."
How infinitely better this than the praise of men. Henceforth, the Light was to shine in His fulness But we cannot have both of those who crave after and brightness. Thus
applause down here, the Lord has said “ As Saul (Paul) journeyed, he came near Damascus, and
“Verily, they have their reward!"