Imágenes de páginas



think, however, the Lord refers in this passage to

the "twos or threes” of verse 20 in the same chapter, (TO THE UNCONVERTED.)

who were gathering, or about to gather, in Christ's Oh, reader, say not thou—“Such splendid means

We receive it, therefore, as a broad com“Of justifying man, were very well

mand, having force in that day, in this day, and in " For sinners great; for mo 'tis needed not."

the day to come. Evil is evil still, in sight of God, Whether, in sight of man, 'tis great or small.

This passage cannot be taken as giving any judicial In view of Him with whom thou hast to do

power to assemblies, for the following reasonsNothing is great, nor anything is small.

1. The Church is called upon to judge, but the In water-drop he can create a world :

sentence, which is fixed by the Lord himself, is to be Or hang and roll one in a firmament. Man's finite mind doth rest on strange distinctions,

executed by the aggrieved complainant: “Let him Finding a balm for conscience in the sins

be unto thee as a heathen man," &c. Other members Of others being greater! Stop! who says they are ? of the church might so treat the offender, but it Art thou thy judge ? Have others had the means

would be in their individual capacity, as before the Of knowledge and of good which thou hast had ?

Master. There is not a word here to justify corporate Oh, let the sentence of the Judge, ere yet He takes his awful seat, impress thee deep

action. This position is strengthened by considering “ All, all have sinn'd, and short have come of glory." 2. What was the nature of the punishment which Then thou, and I, by nature, have no hope.

was to be inflicted ? To this we answer-Avoidance

in private life. This is proved thusThou mayst have heard—"Ye must be born again !” Satan insinuated (watchful foe)

“Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with “You see, 'tis something God alone can do."

them.” (Acts. xi. 3.) “ Before that certain came from James, Notice- These words were spoke to Pharisee,

he (Peter) did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, Trusting his works and lineage as ground

he withdrew and separated himself fearing them which were Of hope and expectation from the Lord.

of the circumcision." (Gal. ii. 12.) If thou, like him, art resting on those things This word's for thee-"Ye must be born again."

Peter thus treated his Gentile brethren in a way That this new life the sinner Jew might have,

which only justified by the grossest contumacy. To him the Lord then spoke (and speaks to thee)

3. Thus the passage merely means: Not to invite Of faith in Him, as Son of God and Man,

to As lifted up, like serpent made of brass,

my table and not to go to his. It is a grievous misThat whoso looks to Him might perish not.

interpretation to take it as giving power to put from Oh, blessed, gracious word, fulfilled twice :

the Lord's table! If an assembly exerts power over For Him, Faith first sees lifted on the Cross,

the table, it becomes practically their table. For the Then, rais'd to Heav'n, with all things 'neath His feet.

church to put from the Lord's Table an obstinate All hindrance is on thy side; none on God's.

offender, who will not, in the matter of a private Hath Satan (subtlest of the subtle, bad)

grievance, bow to their judgment, is really to remove Whisper'd, that_“If ordain'd thou art to life

him from the solemn place of self-judgment. 1 Cor. xi. Eternal, well: if not, then nought avails.” ?

4. If it be said that being treated as a heathen In hell, no doomed soul able will be to say “I never could believe and have eternal life."

man and a publican meant being put out of the synaThou canst believe thy father, mother, friend :

gogue, we reply that we know of no Scripture to Oh, then, believe what God and Christ have said, justify the thought. On the contrary, in Luke xviii. And Holy Spirit permanently writ:

we see a publican in the Temple itself. It does not That all the world before God guilty is ; And consequently thou: but having laid

appear that the Jews considered it defiling to sit in Sin's heavy load on Jesus Christ, God can

the same building with sinners, and listen to the Be just, and yet the sinner justify.

Scriptures or exhortation ; for the sinner-woman had As proof-Behold, the Lamb of God on high !

no difficulty in getting into the Pharisee's house to Sin borne away, the Saviour lives again.

hear Jesus, nor does Simon think of putting her out. Whom thus the Judge Himself shall justify, Who shall condemn? No one; in heav'n, or earth, or hell.

Heathen men even, as such, though prohibited from the Temple, seem, from Acts xiii. 42–44, to have been under no such disability with regard to the


The one was man's house—the other, was God's.

I press, therefore, that there is nothing in this passage to justify the claim of power to

put away individuals, and how much less the same “ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and power to put away whole assemblies ? tell him his fault . . . if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” (Matt. xviii. 16-17.)

FAITHFULNESS TO "BBETHREN." The word "church” means “ assembly, congregation of called-out ones,” and is applied in the Word

[The following is copied from the opening address of a to assemblies Jewish, Christian, and Gentile. The pamphlet issued by Mr W. Spure, West Street, Sheffield, (to character of the assembly must, therefore, be deter- be had of him, price 4d.)

This little book is written in the same spirit of Christian mined by the context. Some have thought the

love and meekness as that by Mr Dorman, to which we have " congregation ” in the above text must be the syna- previously referred. Though the

theme is that of the persistent gogue-a word which also means " assembly'. We I wilfulness of Mr Darby's party, the wrong-doers are dealt with






in the language of entreaty and forbearance, rather than that of do you occupy this antagonistic position to your denunciation, notwithstanding the heinousness of the offences brethren through the “wiles of the devil,” or have pointed out. In fact, as in the case of Mr Dorman, the

you been guided into it as you profess, and as probacorrespondence quoted by the writer tells its own tale. On one side is seen, in the series of letters, the spirit of bigotry and in- bly most of you believe, by the Spirit of God? Do tolerance, and on the other, the manifestations of grace and you excommunicate assemblies of saints in obedience gentleness.

to any direction of the Word of God, or have you “: Brethren” are solemnly responsible to weigh well these been led to it (unwittingly) by the "commandments serious remonstrances, and to remember that—" The Lord will of men ?" judge his people."]

Many voices have been raised against you of late. Abundant evidence has been offered to show that you maintain a wrong position, which Scripture con

demns—that you misjudge your brethren whom, Your practice of excommunicating Assemblies of instead of loving, as the Lord enjoins, you practically Saints began with Bethesda.* When is it to end ? shun and despise—and that you are governed by You were led to it not by any Scripture direction or " principles that are opposed both to grace and example, but by a circular signed J.N.D. Many in righteousness, and that are not in accordance with fellowship with you at the time would not join in the truth of God. Voices from without have been this course, because they saw it to be contrary to the raised in loving and earnest remonstrance. And now Lord's will. Failing to obey J.N.D.'s requirements, from within, from among yourselves, from those you they were counted unfaithful to the Lord, and were love and honour, and who have loved and served you alső peremptorily and summarily "cut off.” You in the Lord for thirty years, there arise voices, are solemnly asked—Was this right in the sight of voices of solemn warning, of affectionate entreaty, of the Lord ?

unflinching and faithful testimony, as to your wrong Satan seeks to bring about that which is an abom-position and procedure to your brethren, and as to ination to the Lord, “discord among brethren.” | the evil, corrupting, Christ-dishonouring doctrine Thus he mars their testimony, and makes them to like Newton's, but worse), that is in your midsthinder, instead of helping ane another. He prevents, propounded by J.N.D., and consented to and defendtoo, by the same means, that which is so beautifully ed now by some of your chief leaders. Since the set forth in Psalm 133. And the "wiles of the devil

letter last in the following series to J.N.D. was writare still effective. Saints now-as of old—are cor- ten, the pamphlets of W. H. Dorman and P. F. Hall rupted and seduced by his subtleties, and turned have appeared. A momentous responsibility rests from the simplicity that is in Christ.”. Ho can still upon you in regard to all that they set forth. How present himself as an angel of light,” and his ser

will you treat it ? Surely and solemnly, but in a vants as “ministers of righteousness. Faithfulness clearer and louder tone, it echoes the Lord's oftto Christ was the plea urged by J.N.D. to induce repeated word to you, "Consider your ways !" It is brethren to pursue the course he pointed out for them. now a question of Christ and of the Cross with you, He was greatly and rightly honoured for the service and not of your brethren only. Surely, beloved he had rendered to the Saints, and for his devotedness brethren, you will not, for consistency's sake even, be to Christ. This led to over-confidence, and his direc- careless any longer. tion was followed without testing it by Scripture. All will admit that Peter, the servant and apostle, was as devoted and as much to be honoured as J.N.D. But

THE WORD "DEVOUT." the Lord had to say to Peter--"Get thee behind me, Satan; thou savourest not the things that be of God, difficulties in receiving the interpretation (put forth in our but the things that be of men.” And Paul had to last) that the foreign Jews gathered into the One Body on “ withstand him to the face," because he “walked the day of Pentecost were really spiritual men. For myself

, not uprightly," and the “ truth of the Gospel” was

I have no doubt they were, because they are said by the Holy

Ghost to have been "Devout.” Our brother's first difficulties in danger. In those things Peter was to be blamed, arise from certain expressions in Acts ii. though greatly honoured and loved and delighted in 1. Is it not said — "Whom ye have taken, and by wicked for his many excellences, by his Lord and by the hands have crucified and slain” ?— Truly, but this must be saints. Satan could have him, and sift him, and use regarded in a national and general sense, as Pilate said "Thine him. It need not be thought therefore that J.N.D. Surely Pilate did not mean that every Jew in the land had laid was out of the reach of Satan. Desiring to mar their violent hands on our Lord. It was national, inasmuch as indipeculiar testimony against sectarianism and division, viduals in numbers from all classes had engaged in it, and no voice and to lead a multitude astray, would he not seek to was raised against it, not even the apostles', till endued with turn aside a "chief standard-bearer” ? Eighteen years up to Jerusalem, have heard of Jesus of Nazareth, and what

power from on high. That “devout men ” should have come have passed since the course he prescribed was had been done to Him, without perceiving in Him the Messiah, entered upon, my brethren ; and the sad fruits of it is a crowning proof of the necessity of the descent of the are around you on every side ; and every day you are Holy Ghost. more and more loudly challenged as to the position his

audience, he alludes to the Divine action in the matter:

As Peter is addressing more especially the spiritual part of of antagonism to the “ holy and beloved " saints of

“ Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreGod in which you find yourselves. The question is- knowledge of God.” This has reference to the act of Judas, who

said to the chief priests, “What will ye give me, and I will * The name of a meeting-place of “Brethren" at Bristol.

deliver him unto you ?" They had sought how they might take

[ocr errors]

A dear brother in the Lord has furnished me with his

[ocr errors]

Him, but could not find how to do so; then Judas appeared

“LO! I AM WITH YOU,” before them. This act of the traitor was shown before, both in the Psalms and by our Lord, which is the sense, I judge, of

The following letter has been perused by us with the expression determinate counsel and foreknowledge," deep interest, as an illustration of the Lord's words, (primarily, in this passage.)

My strength is made perfect in weakness." The The apostle Peter then says, “ Ye have taken;" this was Lord Jesus bless it to your soul, dear reader. the national part, done under the authority of the nation's representatives, and in acquiescence with the solemn declara

St. - 's-road, Aug. 14, 1866. tion of the nation's high priest that it was needful for the My Dear BROTHER IN OUR RISEN LORD,safety of the nation. Having taken Him by the aid of Judas,

I was so pleased to have a letter from you. Many, the Jews then slew the Lord by substitute, as Peter says- many thanks for it; and now,


a poor broken pitcher, would “And by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” This is look to the Lord for grace to write, as a self-emptied one, to the Gentile part. Your applying these words " wicked hands' the praise and glory of my God. (2 Cor. iii. 5.) to the “ devout men in common with the rest of the Jews, This day I have been for four years and 10 months always is a very natural mistake. A better translation is—"By the lying on my back, stretched upon a bed of languishing, softly hands of sinners," that is, of Pilate and his soldiers. Those -oh, so softly!-pillowed on my loving Lord's breast. My whom the Holy Ghost says were “devout,” depend upon Gentle Shepherd has taken me by the hand, and made me to it, were really so.

lie down in green pastures. He has led me by still waters. 2. But, you say, may not "devout” simply express zeal, Exquisitely tender and loving have been His dealings with me, and be applicable to a zealous heathen, as in Acts xvii. where his weak, sick child. With sweet, unwearied patience and Paul says to the Athenians, “ As I passed by, and beheld your forbearance, He has, in changeless and unchangeable love, devotions."? Here, again, dear brother, is a mis-translation. borne with me, sweetly upholding and strengthening me, fondly The margin reads, “ The gods that ye worship.” A still better whispering unto me-My child, rest in my love. rendering is" And beheld the things connected with your Oh! how unsearchablo are the riches of grace treasured up worship,” as ta sabasmata include shrines, images, altars, &c. in Christ! All ours richly to enjoy. It is the Holy Spirit's Thus you will see the wrongness of the word "devotions." blessed office and delight to reveal Jesus--His work and person

3. Now let us look at the various places where the word to our hearts—what He has done for us, and what He is still occurs. I find the word "devout” used nine times in the New doing, and is for us now in the presence of God, and also what Testament, and all occur in the writings by Luke; also that we are in Him, as accepted in Him-the Beloved-our standing this evangelist uses three different Greek words thus translated in Him, as “quickened and raised together with Him, and made by our one word "devout.” It may greatly help us, therefore, sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” “Of God are to look at the different instances where the Holy Spirit has used ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us Wisdom and the very word in Acts ii. The word here translated “ devout" Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption.” Precious is Eulabees, and occurs three times. (A) " And, behold, there was beyond measure are these blessed truths when they are known a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon ; and the same in a practical and experimental way. How sweet to faith is man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel : the glorious fact of our oneness with Christ in resurrection life! and the Holy Ghost was upon him." (B) “There were dwelling It was, as I have told you before, the seeing this by the revelaat Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under tion of the Holy Spirit, through the Word, that I, who for heaven." (c)"And dovout men carried Stephen to his burial, and years had been in sad bondage and spiritual darkness of soul, made great lamentation over him.” Now, dear brother, was in one moment brought to rest in perfect peace in Jesus. if the word “ devout,” in two of these cases, is applied to I was black in myself, so black I could not be worse ; but oh, spiritual men, ought we not so to regard it in the third ? glorious discovery, in Christ, in Him, I was fair and comely; Webster's definition of the English word may well be ac- and I, dear brother, in the desperate pride and foolish ignorance cepted—“Yielding a solemn and reverential attention to God of my heart, had dared to think that in myself I might be in religious exercises, particularly in prayer ; pious, sincere, otherwise than black! What a sad mistake! solemn."

It was with deepfelt joy and humility of heart that I 4. In three other instances the word translated “devout looked off from self-vile, hateful self-adoringly to gaze on is Eusebees,—a word equally denoting true spirituality, as will the matchless person of my precious Jesus. be seen from the following. (A) “There was a certain man in Very fondly did He press His wearied wayward child to His Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the heart of love. No word of upbraiding fell on my ears; but Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all deep was my anguish at the thought of those wretched years his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to of unbelief. He has wiped away, oh, so gently, the tears from God alway.” (B) “ A devout soldier." (c) And one Ananias, a my eyes, and hushed me to sweetest rest in Him-in his own devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the loving presence. His smile of love is upon me, and he fondly Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said bids me rest in His unquenchable love! My dear brother, how unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight."

inexpressively blessed it is to be basking in the sweet unclouded 5. We now come to the third term translated “devout.” sunshine of our Heavenly Father's countenance, in Christ, It is Sebomenos, and is also used in three places. (A) “But the the Son of God's love. It is in Christ the Father rests Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the with infinite delight, and complacency, and he would chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and have us, in communion with him, do the sams—be occuBarnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.” (B) “ There- pied only with Him; our affections and thoughts centred on fore Paul disputed in the synagogue with the Jews, and Him. "He is the chiefest among ten thousand. His mouth is with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them most sweet; yea, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved that met with him.” (c) “And some of them believed, and con- and this is my Friend." sorted with Paul and Silas ; and of the devout Greeks a great I deeply feel for the beloved children of God in London at multitude, and of the chief women not a few.”

the present moment*, and for you, my Brother, beloved in the This latter word means simply a "proselyte, a worshipper of Lord, and I pray our dear Lord to keep you and them in perthe true God,” but born a heathen. Although I think, in all fect peace. "Thou wilt keep them in perfect peace whose these three last cases, they were truly spiritual persons, yet it hearts are stayed on Thee, because they trusted in Thee." "My is not needful to my position to contend for it, seeing the word grace is sufficient for thee,” saith the Lord, "for my strength is is essentially different from the word used in Acts ii. But I made perfect in weakness.” The Lord, in the riches of His may say, in answer to your special objection-"Would truly grace, keep us both and all His loved ones closely abiding in spiritual women help to raise persecution ?"-— first, it does not Him looking off unto Jesus. appear that these devout women ever heard Paul preach; and, If you see dear Mrs C

thank her for kindly writing secondly, have we not known of “weaker vessels among the to me. I hope to write to her soon. Please give her my regenerate, being ill-informed, carried into wrong movements by zealous ones of the other sex ?

[* The time referred to was the last distress through Cholera.]

[ocr errors]



warmest Christian love. Accept the same for yourself and than communion in “ Breaking of Bread." Those in recognised your dear sister and nieco.

fellowship ought to be faithful to the Lord's plain commands. Your Sister in the changeless love of the Coming One, Happily there is no practical difficulty about it. If a little

MARY L- company of Christians are agreed to act in conformity with the

words of their Lord, the least that can be expected of anyone

wishing to company with them is, that he or she should con. TO CORRESPONDENTS.

form to the first act of obedience required in the Christian walk Address Letters for the Editor, care of Printer, 335, Strand, W.C. of faith! Yet, if a believer were to thrust himself, unrecognia

sed upon such a fellowship at the breaking of bread, and claimed R. R., BREWER STREET.-Many thanks for your communica- his right to participate, he must act as he will the responsition, and the encouragement contained therein. Respecting Mr. bility is his. The Lord's Table is pre-eminently the place Baxter's Book about Louis Napoleon-We consider the writer of self-judgment, in contra-distinction to the thought of recritotally mistaken. The Antichrist foreshadowed in Scripture is mination and exclusion. If the brother will not judge himself, not likely to be found in an European Monarch. Analogy the Lord will judge him. I Cor. xi. 31-32. would certainly lead us to look for the rising of the man of Sin

W. P.-Accept our sincere thanks for your encouraging in the midst of the Jews, and in their own land. There must communication. May the Lord bless and prosper your efforts first be a gathering back of some of the people, and the erection in spreading the knowledge of his truth. The price of Mr of a Temple at Jerusalem. We do not think that any prophecy Dorman's pamphlet is one shilling--that by Mr Hall six-pence. can be found to favour the idea of Antichrist arising as one (Houlston and Wright, Paternoster Row.) We consider the already possessing power, or apart from the Jewish people. Is it former by far the most profitable reading, and are sorry it not evident that Antichrist, to be successful, must needs have the

was not produced at a smaller cost. apparent surroundings of the true Christ? -We think the

J. C., jun., KENSINGTON.- In the extract we gave from Mr. book in question is calculated to do much harm. Such attempted explanations of the prophetic Scriptures invariably of heresy against Mr N—, nor have we any such purpose

Dorman's book there was no intention of reiterating the charge bring shame upon their authors, and lead men to discredit prophecy altogether, when the predictions of commentators

now. Yet, according to your own showing, he did circulate

tracts which created feelings of anxiety and alarm, and which prove fallacious, as they invariably do. The order of truth pre. sented in 2 Thess. ii. shows that “the coming of our Lord Jesus whether that course resulted in a positive denial of the doctrines

he in consequence withdrew for reconsideration. May we ask Christ, and our gathering unto him," in the air (according to 1 Thess. iv. 17) must precede the manifestation of the Man of attributed to him ? And if so, in what pamphlet is such denial

-Our remark that “ Mr N.'s doctrines are not Sin. It is therefore utterly wrong for Christians to be occupied all to be defended," was induced, not by any extracts from his with earthly signs. The Lord's purposes respecting the Church writings quoted by others, but by the pamphlets which you must be fulfilled, before the accomplishment of prophecy on earth, as to Israel and the nations. At least this is according what we have read has produced an unfavourable impression of

yourself sent us. We have no desire to say more than that to the light we have upon the Word of God.

Mr N's soundness as a teacher. However the Lord alone is W. B. S.-Your very lengthy communication has been perused by us on two separate occasions, that we might not his judge and ours, and the day will declare the counsels of ou

hearts. hastily decide upon our answer. We cannot however accept the views you press upon us. It would entail the necessity of

W. S.--We acknowledge, with thankfulness, your very our repeating the contents of papers which have already

It affords us much comfort to

acceptable communication. appeared in " Precious Truth,” if we undertook to answer you Lord's grace, many loving correspondents now. favour us.

receive the words of encouragement with which, through the in detail. The point at issue is capable of being settled very Your letter, written with such evident spiritual intelligence, briefly. You think an assembly ought to excommunicate a

causes from our heart another note of praise to your Father brother for teaching heretical doctrine. We say that to do so is to assume a power which the Lord has not committed to the through Jesus Christ our Lord. We have the same desire

and ours, who has wrought so wondrously for us and in us Church. You adopt the usual arguments of “the exclusires” in support of your views, and they appear very feasable until consideration of “The books of the Bible.”

with yourself to devote some space in our little serial to a

It is only they are thoroughly sifted. Then they fail utterly. Christians ought never to submit to any assumption of authority which through having had our time much taken up in various ways cannot be established by direct appeal to Scripture. This should

that we have not already commenced a series of papers on the be accepted as a principle . If the Lord has given power to the subject. If the Lord shall tarry, we trust soon to do so

. assembly to put away a brother for teaching or holding false

You are mistaken in supposing the Editor to be a Reverend. doctrine, let the passage of Scripture be cited, and we will bow

He follows an avocation which in social rank is not much

above that of Paul and his companions. [See Acts. xviii. 3.] to it. If however, as we maintain, the Master has retained all power whose standing is altogether unscriptural. To accept such a

Moreover, the above title specially pertains to the clergy, respecting such cases in his own hands, every effort to amalga- position would be to destroy the testimony of "Precious mate the directions of the Word in 1 Cor. v. with the teaching

As to a place of meeting for reading the scripbrother, the Church has sadly failed in the non-recognition of tyres, &c., if you will furnish your name and address, we the Active power of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the shall be happy to name one or two in your neighbourhood. assemblies. Let us endeavour, in faithfulness and love, to do

TRUTH." of Gal. v. must prove worse than futile. Depend upon it, dear

[Letters received from J. H. Jun., A. G., and J. W. L.] whatever he has commanded us. But let us be equally careful to refrain from encroaching upon his own sacred prerogatives. COUNTRY AGENTS.-Hull, A. O. Akester, Albert House, Hessle-road. You say there is unholiness in the thoughts expressed in our

Edinburgh, Taylor, South-Castle-street; Crewe, J. Robertson ; Plymouth, article on “ The Brethren.” We believe you misapprehend us.

J. V. Luxmoore; Swansea, Wm. Gwynne, 35, Gam-street, Though Christians have not power to execute judgment upon a

To facilitate the obtaining of PRECIOUS TRUTH, packets will be sent

post free to any part of the United Kingdom, by remitting, in advance, as Brother who may be found teaching heresy, we would none

Two copies for 2d., Five for 3d., len for 5d. Send Stamps the less maintain the holiness of God's house, and refuse to F Wherever possible, we advise friends to procure "Precious tolerate evil. If need he, we must withdraw from fellowship Truth" through a bookseller, as the safest course. with those who defile. It may be a partial, or an entire separ- through the Post, address-"Proprietor of Precious Truth, 335a, ation in walk, just as the case may require. There is, however, Strand, London, WC." or the Publisher. all the difference between permission to withdraw oneself from

Published for the Proprietor, bya house and power entrusted to us to turn another person out. J. F. BATEMAN, 22, Paternoster-row, entrance in Ivy-lane, You are mistaken in supposing we would exclude from “The West End-JOB CAUDWELL, 335, Strand, London, wo. Table" an unbaptized believer. We have no power to exclude. City Agents---Arthur Hall, 25, Paternoster-row, London, EC. Scripture does not speak of receiving to, or excluding from the

Smart & Allen, 2, Londonhouse-yard, Paternoster Row. Lord's Table. Receiving into Christian fellowship implies more

Joun Evans, Printer, 335A, Strand, London, W.c.


When ordered

[blocks in formation]


No. 25.]
APRIL 1, 1867.

[One Halfpenny, added those memorable words, Of whom, I am chief.(1 Tim. i. 5.) This matured servant had had the

very highest honours conferred upon him. He had DEAR Child of God,—Once again I take up my received special revelations which were not made pen, to address to you personally, a few words of known though the other apostles. He had seen the divine love. I think of you as a child—always a Lord in his glory. Yea, he had been up in the third child. How sweetly had " John the beloved” learnt heaven. But now that he was tarrying down here on the lesson of perpetual childhood! He himself wrote the earth, he was still “ the chief of sinners!" Paul in the spirit of a little child. His language, though was, indeed, great in the estimate of all who are able full of deep truth, has yet the stamp of childhood’s to judge according to the mind of the

Divine Master. plainess and simplicity, and those for whom he furnished And the reason was

, that through grace,, he was his epistles are always “ children,” “dear children,” enabled to humble himself. “ little children." As to continuance and progress

“Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as a little in the knowledge of God, he could address himself to child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” some by the title of fathers, and others were young (Matt. xviii. 4.) men and strong. (1 John ii. 13-14.) But he speaks

Beloved,-Do you pray for a spirit of meekness, to all these, in company with those who were babes in Christ; and they are all " dear children," " little and the robe of humility. Those only who cultivate

these qualities, the Lord delighteth to honour. Nor children.' Ah, beloved, we want to know more of this spirit do such look for exaltation on earth, they are content

The lowly of childhood; the happy, confident, yet humble to wait for an incorruptible crown.

christian walk in the world ends in eternal honour spirit of a " little one, neither knowing how to pro- and glory. While, on the other hand, every manivide for self, nor seeking to do so. happy, in the provisions of the Father's house, what: festation of pride must of necessity terminate, sooner ever they may be. And as to felt needs, just asking and or later, in humiliation and shame.

Wisdom declares there are seven things which are having

abomination to the Lord ; and the first in the list is, Thus it is, in measure, with


" A proud look! (Prov. vi. 17.) Thus it ought to be always.

First and last then, the distinguishing walk of a It is the simple basis of discipleship, this childlike mind. The word spoken by our Lord to those about true christian is the spirit which characterises a dear

child. him was-

Moreover, we see that a believer can always thus “ Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye be addressed by a brother in Christ, on the ground shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. xviii. 3.) of the “ common salvation."

And having entered the kingdom by faith, as “I write unto you, dear children, because your sins are forchildren, we are to walk in the same spirit. In this given you for his name's sake.” (1 John ii. 12.) character of humility alone, are we able to follow our

This is the basis of fellowship or communion with Lord upon earth. In our fallen Adam nature, pride saints. I who write to you, am a sinner saved by springs up long before we have attained to years of Jesus. And I address myself to you as one who, but discretion. And in the world, pride is considered a for the lovingkindness of the same Saviour, would bo very proper quality. So that if a person were to without hope and without God in the world.” arrive at maturity without it, such a one would be looked upon contemptible

“I write unto you because your sins are forgiven you for his

name's sake." That is the order of things where Satan reigns. But in “the kingdom of God's dear Son," it is far That which I write, just now, is an epitome of the

Holy Spirit's message by John the beloved, in the There the new born (or regenerate) person begins 1st and 2nd chapters of his general epistle. in childlike docility, and the stages of youth and

The disciples had seen God manifest in the flesh, they fatherhood, so far from being periods for the growth had heard and touched him. They have declared of pride, should be marked by even a deeper humility. Him to us, that we may have fellowship with them, When Paul declared, “ This is a faithful saying, and and consequently with the Father and with his Son worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into Jesus Christ

. We are to know God as having come the world to save sinners,” in meekness of spirit he to us in perfect love. The Son came to seek, and


and me,





« AnteriorContinuar »