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"If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ?"
Who is Jezebel of this dispensation? Is she not
the unconverted who have, by collegiate process, got (John, xxi. 22).
into the place of teachers ? Mark you, she is a person And so we are tarrying-not for death, but till He
-not a mere principle-because the Lord says, "I come, in bodily presence, from the highest heavens down into the air, the lower heavens, and, we are Åll
, who are going with academical machinery will
gave her space to repent, and she repented not.” “caught up to meet the Lord in the air ;'' wo are
have unconverted men (more or less) in the place of tarrying till Ho appear—appear to sight-who really theological professors and ministers. is always with us, blessed be His name!
some of the sects take more care than others to keep “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved unconverted men out. But an academical course catithem unto the end” (John. xiii. 7.)
not be held as of prime consequence without all being 4. This being so, beloved, may you and I know the exposed to the evil. We were recently shocked at place of nearness-like John, on Jesus' breast, as one hearing of the appointment to the position of a colwhom Jesus loves.
lege professor of a clever young tutor who was well Each of us, as individuals, oh, how dear to the known by his father, family, and friends to be not Lord! and all of us, as the Church-oh, how dear to in the faith!
in the faith! If you hold Hebrew, Greek, and
Mathematics as prime requisites, you cannot keep the Lord !
out of the (so-called) ministry naturally able, but “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it" (Eph. v.)
unregenerate men. Indeed, how many are destined Thus is the Church like John the Beloved-stamped, to it, and trained for it, as a living, without any or named, Grace-rejected—waiting-beloved. Even so question of a change of heart! Thus, the mere book
taught (i.e. Jezebel) have supplanted the Holy Spirit!
Remember, that sins against the Holy Ghost are THE “HOUR OF TRIAL" COMETH.
specially condemned in the Word. Hence this "I will cast them into great tribulation.” (Rev ii.)
Oh, that dear ones, everywhere, may become
enlightened as to this abomination of adultery with To the Editor of PRECIOUS TRUTH.. “Dear BROTHER,—While I can speak of the joy your
Jezebel, and turn unto the Lord, cleaving unto Him, journal has afforded me and others, I must also mention—not present in the midst, as their All-in-all! to teach for myself only, but for many of the Lord's dear people I am
them by the Holy Ghost, “whom God hath given acquainted with)—that there have been recently some state- unto all them that obey Him.” (Acts v.) ments hard to be understood in the light of Scripture. You It was not said-Adulterous Christians will be speak of adulterous Christians being cast into the TRIBULATION, while those who are found faithful and blameless at Christ's understood the tribulation of the Jewish Remnant,
cast into the tribulation;" by this term is usually coming will enter uninterrupted [unimpeded, unopposed) into the presence of the Lord.
referred to by our Lord (Mark xiii.19,20), and pictured "I cannot say you are wrong, but the Apostle Paul says, forth (further on in the Revelation) as the Woman We (which I understand to mean all) which are alive and whom the Dragon tries to overwhelm with a flood
" As the remarks you made are so searching almost alarm-[of persecution). (Rev. xii.) The Church will be ing-I pray that the Lord will guide you in the matter, so
with the Lord while that is going on upon the earth. that if your meaning has been mistaken, you may make it
Nevertheless, if the Lord Jesus Christ solemnly plainer, Yours in Him, even Jesus our Lord, W. J. C." threatens tribulation, let us receive, as little children,
what He says. But then the threat is uttered on a conDEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD,—The truth is indeed dition, and that condition is—"unless they repent.” "searching "-"quick and powerful, as any two- Lord's word by Jonah was
Now let us, dear brother, think of Nineveh. The edged sword.” We were startled, as much as you, by the truth which flashed from the sword in the Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown" (Jonah üi.) presence of the Lord. But woe to any of us, if we
Surely this was no unreal threat. Of course not. withhold the truth through fear of man!
But Nineveh repented, and God stayed His hand. Dear ones, alas! may shut their eyes and ears to the testimony of man, but none can wipe out the and was again threatened through the prophet
It is true, Nineveh relapsed into great iniquity; words of God.
Nahum, and subsequently destroyed, 300 years after “I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that Jonah's time. Nevertheless the first threatened woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach judgment was completely avoided by a timely and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat repentance, to the praise of the mercy of God. things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast
Now, shall the Church do less than Nineveh? her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great Shall She be impenitent in view of the Gentile City tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” (Rev. iii. 20—22). in sackcloth ? Nay! These last referred to are the Lord's "
"The times of this ignorance God winked at; and now comcalled so by Him, and therefore true believers en
mandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts xvii. 30). gaged, more or less, in work for Him. But they are Oh, that dear ones will search the Scriptures, and also living in adultery with Jezebel. In the January see—if these things are so! And oh! if it be so, may number we were much led out concerning Jezebel. we raise the Jonah-cry-yea, it has gone forth-and shrink not, for the Lord delighteth in mercy, and has may be changed in a moment, and yet, having to uttered this and similar threatenings that His people pass upward, through the Great Red Dragon and may be spared-the ordeal of fire !
his hosts, woe to us, if they find anything in us, “The fire shall try every man's work” (1 Cor. iii. 13). unrepented of, unconfessed down here! The truth ministered from the Scriptures by the Lord's presence that Satan is cast out from the
It is not till after the Church has arrived in the Lord Jesus now, before He comes, is water. Oh, what heavens; for he continifes to be the Accuser of the a shocking sign when the application of water is Jewish Remnant till overcome by Michael, tho uncomfortable and is repelled !) “Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that see Daniel x. 20 and Rev. xii. 10, 11.
"prince," or guardian angel of the Jewish nation. he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, “And there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his should be holy and without blemish” (Ephes. v. 25, 26, 27). angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any This is what He is doing continually—"cleansing serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old and sanctifying the church with the washing of world : he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast water by the word.” Now the words of a threat are out with him” (Rev. xii. 7, 8, 9). like a dash of cold water-startling, but not hurtful.
Then, consider, dear brother, the Lord's word to Being startled, shall we run from the water? Nay. Now, dear brother, "washing" can only be
Philadelphia-(precious assurance !)done with the will of the one washed. And suppose will keep thee from the hour of temptation [trials, which
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also some of us will not be washed ? or when we are
shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the washed, we turn again to the mire of men's traditions ? earth” (Rev. iii. 10). or worldliness ? or wilful adultery with Jesebel ? What
You and I are anxiously desirous, are we not, then ?
dear brother, that the Philadelphian state of things Fire !
Purged we must be by one process or the other ? shall prevail all around us,Why? That all dear Which shall it be? Water or Fire ?
ones may be “kept from the hour of trial.” Then
there is an hour of trial”-only, as it were, an “hour" The Water of the Word or the Fire of Tribulation? In the desperate wickedness of that old heart which simplicity and purity will be exposed! If not, where
-to which all who are not found in Philadelphian “is
deceitful above all things," we may choose the is the meaning of language ? 'We cannot be kept it uncomfortable to be deprived of our much-loved from.” something of which there is no danger! surroundings-creeds, systems of worship, religious His appearing! May we earnestly labour and pray
Oh, this is a sweet assurance of immediate joy at machinery, man-ministry, and, worst of all
, “ that for the whole Church of God! woman Jezebel” — painted syren ! But in God's
As to Satan and his hosts being used in the “hour sight these surroundings are—filth.
of trial,” to afflict any who are found in adultery “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with Jezebel at the Lord's coming -we would ask, in the sight of God.” (Luke xvi.)
Who have always been God's instruments of judgPurged off it must be. Then let it be by water-ment to His own people ?— The Wicked. the “washing of water by the word.” When we
“ The Wicked, which is Thy Sword.” (Ps. xvii.) are purged we are responsible to go on and keep so.
And so, when Jesus took our sin and was smitten “ Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy for our transgressions”—who was the Sword ? was crown.” (Rev. iii.)
it not the Wicked One and those who were “ of their But you have a difficulty, dear brother, in holding father the Devil ?" It was their "hour and the this Scripture concerning "tribulation" at the Lord's
of darkness." coming, because of 1st Thessalonians which says
“Awake, O Sword, against my Shepherd, against the Man “we which are alive and remain shall be caught
which is my fellow.” (Zech. xiii.) up to meet the Lord in the air.” Now when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians there was no such evil in doctrinally-as in Pergamos, the Lord does not
Now where evil is held not practically—but only their midst as there was at Thyatira ; on the con
threaten tribulation ; his word of warning is trary, he is full of praise and thankfulness at their
"Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will walk. He says they were “ ensamples unto all that fight against them (the individuals who hold the evil believe in Macedonia and Achaia." We do not hold doctrines) with the sword of my mouth"—the word of God used the rod over good children ; do we? Therefore is piercingly. (Rev. ii.) it that we do not read in this epistle of “tribulation" But where there is evil-this dreadful evil of concerning the Church. It is true, in the 1st epistle to the Corinthians adultery with Jezebel—then “the wicked is Thy sword."
Pray the Lord, dear brother, over this matter, and we are assured we shall be changed in a moment, search the Scriptures for yourself. Who am I? in the twinkling of an eye ;” but, then, Paul also only a "brother and companion in tribulation.” speaks of a sinful one, desiring that his "spirit may Let us abide in Jesus; then shall we find Ilim a be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Saved from "strong tower” through “ the hour of trial which what-if there is nothing to be saved from? We shall come upon all the world." Amen.
(The following letter has been addressed to a brother in London
You may say, dear brother,—But some brethren who a short time ago " accepted a call” to preside over a church, are more gifted for one thing than another, and does as its pastor. May the Lord accopt the effort as a labour of not this constitute them teachers, or preachers, or love to His dear Name.)
pastors, as the case may be ?
I cannot admit the assertion or the inference. I do “A GOOD MINISTER OF JESUS CHRIST."
recognise differences of natural ability; but I cannot (1 Tim. iv.) “ If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, limit the operation of the Spirit to the bounds of
call these differences spiritual gifts, and I dare not thou shalt be a good minister (Greek, deacon) of Jesus Christ
ability! (If you feel interested in this subject nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrino."
of “gifts," I would take the liberty of suggesting DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD,
From this passage we learn that if a believer is your perusal of the last seven numbers of a little "nourished
monthly periodical called “Precious Truth.” It is in the words of faith and of good up
The ordinary doctrine of doctrine," and "puts the brethren in remembrance of an important question.
does land us in discriminatible ministries; these things,” he is “a good minister of Jesus Christ.” that is, visibly-pastors, preachers, teachers; and I need not tell you, dear brother, that the word
if—if we have them, you and others might well " MINISTER” simply means
who serves another. DEACON, primarily, means the same the numbers mentioned the Scriptures are referred to
say—Why not call them 80 ? But, dear brother, in " minister," that is, servant;
as we read
to show that in this, “ the last time," the only in John ü.
ministry is that of the Spirit through the Word “His mother said unto the servants (deacons), Whatsoever he under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head.) saith unto you, do.”
Thus, in a general sense, all of us who believe may cherish the desire to be “ good deacons (that is, between you and me just now, dear brother, which
However, to resume the thread of the subject ministers, or servants] of Jesus Christ.” At home, is this—that all service is carried on in communion abroad ; in business, in the assembly; writing a letter, eating and drinking, speaking to sinners, and fulfilled by us, with His all-sufficient grace, and that
, lying down to rest—it is sweet to cherish the senti- the church has nothing to do with appointing or ment-Jesus my Master.
calling to His service. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do."
The acceptance of a position to preach or teach in That all of us are called to be servants, may be a certain place to a certain people, exposes “a good also evident from that other word
minister of Jesus Christ” to a second evil also. He “One is your Master, even Christ.” (Matt. xi.)
is not only limited to certain work when perhaps the From this it follows, that while we are all brethren Lord would have him doing other work-but he is with regard to each other, we may well feel that, as would send him to another! Now, if the angel of
also bound to a certain place when perhaps the Lord regards the one Master, we are all servants.
the Lord say to Philip, “ Arise, and go toward the “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so south,” how can he if he has engaged to meet the I am.” (John xiii.)
people of Samaria ? So, now-a-days, if a servant May you and I feel ourselves servants of the One have a sudden call, or perceive it to be his Lord's Master, and desire to be a good deacons of Jesus will that he should go somewhere, how can he, when Christ," prepared for every good work.
the people in the big building will be looking for Now if we be, all of us, at the Lord's disposal, him? He may call us at one time to one thing, and at another time to some other thing.
With regard to evangelist-work, or preaching the
Thus I may Gospel, the word of God simply says—" How shall be called at one time to preach the Gospel ;
he preach unless he be sent ?" If a brother among us another time, to visit saints; at another time, to is very frequently sent with a word from the Lord to speak in the assembly. In the first case, I shall be the unsaved, God be thanked ; let him have the special doing preaching-work (work of an evangelist); in the sympathy, presence, and prayers of his brethren. second, elder-work (or pastor-work); and in the third, But let him not feel wholly bound to a certain place, leading (in prayer or praise) or teaching (in the Word).
for then he will not be free to serve the Lord elseIt may be that I am more frequently called to one kind of work than another — say, for instance, a position to preach regularly, for if he do, the people
where on an hour's notice. And let him not accept preaching; but that does not make me an evangelist, will reckon on hearing him, and man-homage will be because the Lord may call me to other work to the result. But, on the contrary, let him be careful
But if I accept a position to preach the to leave the way clear for the Spirit to use other Gospel, I may be sometimes 80 engaged when the members of the body to the glory of God, remem. Lord would have me teach saints. We know many bering that “God hath chosen the foolish things of brethren, but we know of none who have not, or may the world to confound the wise; and God hath not, be taken up of the Lord, or called, at some time chosen the weak things of the world to confound the or other, to do each of the three different kinds of work referred to above-preaching, shepherding, world, and things which are despised, hath God
things which are mighty; and base things of the teaching or leading in worship.
chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to
nought things that are ; that no flesh should glory in souls to Jesus. Well, when they gather, as the His presence.”
CHURCH, to Him in the midst, what more have you to Those whose work has been most frequently that do? Cannot you leave the responsibility of the of preaching the Gospel, should be, of all servants, sheep to the Shepherd, yourself a sheep? Will He the most free. Now, this is the special work in which not care for His own? I hear, dear brother, the Lord has most frequently used you, to His own glory and the blessing of souls, cherisheth it, even as tho Lord the church : for we are members
“No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and praised be His name! Let my desire, therefore, that of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Eph. v.) you may be disentangled from all yokes of bondage be pleasing in your sight, beloved in the Lord, large. Never mind ; fear not. A brother tells us
The church with which you are connected may be though unknown in the flesh.
he knows a church numbering 450 which is walking “I would have you without carefulness. That you in this liberty with which God maketh His people may serve the Lord without distraction.” (1 Cor. vii.)
free, blessed be His Name! And this is the attitude No sooner has a servant been specially used in the into which He is bringing His dear ones everywhere work of preaching the
preaching the Gospel than Satan -because manoeuvres, through our carnal understandings, to
“He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." get such an one bound to a certain spot and a certain people! And what is the result ? * Inevitable hin
Oh, dear brother—to be “workers togother with God”! It must be som
-or the reverse ! drance to the Spirit and worship of man; and then, barrenness, haughtiness, and a fall. If bound at all, “He that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad !" let us be, like Paul, “the prisoner of the Lord;" 6 God forbid !" let not Satan bind us with cords of subtle and specious expediency ! Do not say, I beseech you—“Our church is such a
To return, then, I am convinced, the most Christsize, and composed of such a class of people, that they with the One Master, the upturned-eye of our spirit
honouring way is to go on in communion as servants must choose a human president.” ?
ever sayingAh, dear brother
“ Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do ?” “ That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke xvi).:
Then will He have all His work done-done by Shall we tie the children's hands lest they touch the His grace-done by whomsoever He will. And our fire? Is that God's way? Nay. Let them learn sweet experience will beto rightly behave and rule themselves in the
“Tuy SERVICE IS PERFECT FREEDOM." church of God—but there can be no self-rule where While we are to know and feel ourselves Christ's there is no liberty. Can there?
servants, it is quite clear that He must know the “ A human president !" Ought not He to work He wants done, and the servants by whom He preside who hath said—“Wherever two or three would do it. (or two or three hundred] are gathered together in Now if an assembly of believers choose some one my name, there am I in the midst of them.' If He to do certain work for them, he clearly becomes be with us, cannot we trust Him to order the meeting their servant-minister-deacon". There is only one for us? Yes, indeed, say Faith and Love.
species of work that is laid upon the church as a “Dear Lord, we would delight in thee,
body, and that is—" to care for the poor." Each And on thy care depend ;
church is therefore justified in selecting certain To thee in every trouble flee,
brethren, and requesting them to disburse its bounty Our safe unfailing friend.
to the poor. When human cisterns all are dried,
Let this be repeated. The church has power to Thy fulness is the same;
choose servants-ministers-deacons for temporal work; May we with this be satisfied, And glory in Thy name.
but it has no power to choose Christ's servants
ministers-deacons for spiritual work.
Neither the church (nor any one man) has power
to choose or appoint pastors, preachers, or teachersThrough Thy suficiency."
that is, “good ministers of Jesus Christ.” If it Oh, He will preside in heaven! why not on earth? does so, they become the servants of the church ; Faith apprehends the church now should be modelled it does not follow that they are the servants of Christ. like the church in the glory-Jesus in the midst, For how can one man make another man's servants ? and we, gathering around Him, fixing the eye of If one man cannot make another man's servants, faith on Him and the arms of love about one how much less should man make God's servants ? another.
The Church is as the Woman, the Spouse. Shall Oh, dear brother, that you may retrace your steps! She make servants unto her Lord, in the presence of Or rather--"Give Him the glory due unto Īlis her Lord, without her Lord's permission ? Surely
"-His name, as “Son over His own house, not. On the contrary, how graceful to leave all to whose house (or household) are we.” (Heb. iii.) her dear, dear Lord, who doeth all things well!
Suppose you have been used, with others, to bring If we call or regard certain brethren as elders, or
teachers, or evangelists—then shall we begin to The Holy Spirit has graciously taken the responsidepute to them certain duties, instead of looking to bility of " leading us into all truth." And He will the Lord to work by whomsoever He will. Our lead us, if we are really willing to be led of Him. attitude will no longer be
May we be preserved from leaning unto our own “ Here am I, send me.” (Isa. vi.)
understanding. That is a blessed assurance of the
Lord Jesus Christ -
“ He that will do His will shall know of the doctrine." And the effect upon brethren so regarded will be- That you and I may have (more and more) a will That they will be busy in certain work because the to do his will, as given to us in Ilis word, and not church (as much as the Master) expects it of them! our own will, to the glory of God, is the prayer of “ His servants ye are to whom ye obey.” (Rom. vi.)
Your fellow-" deacon of Jesus Christ,” If I do certain service at the church's call—then I am the church's servant.
“ BEATEN WITH RODS.” Of course, when there were higher servants in the
(2 Cor. xi.) Church, they could, and did, make lower servants. Thus apostles or their deputies could choose or THE following simple-hearted utterances of a appoint elders or pastors. But as there are no higher Chinese brother will refresh the souls of many, we servants, there can be no lower—that is, in the sense have no doubt. It forms a letter inserted with others of a visible rank, or order.
in the 11th Occasional Paper of the China Inland The general ministry of all believers was the ulti- Mission. (China is thought to be “the Land of mate thought and intention of the One Master Sinim” of Isaiah xlix. 12.) Certain brethren in concerning us. Consequently believers were early England hearing of our brother Tsiu Kyuo-Kwe's and continually exhorted to it, in order that so the scourging, sent him a consolatory letter, to which he Church might be prepared to walk by faith, and not sends the following answer by sight, when the time came that all visible minis
“ These words are to the disciples who are in Jesus tries should be dropped. (See 1 Thess. v. 11; Heb. Christ: My desire is that through the blessing of our X. 25; Col. ii. 16; Eph. v. 19, &c.)
heavenly Father, richly bestowing his great grace, There are those who say—“ According to your you may enjoy peace, and be preserved from sickness views, the Epistles to Timothy and Titus are no and calamity. longer of any special use.” Nay ; they are most useful to all as many as desire to be a good ministers Taylor, the salutation of his brothers and sisters in
"Your younger brother has heard, through Mr. of Jesus Christ." The great value of these epistles Jesus our Saviour, and their words of exhortation is—that they present to us
the inner life of a
and comfort. Your younger brother sends many servant as expressed to a servant. Do I desire to do thanks;
these words he will remember as if engraven elder-work and deacon-work, as unto the Lord and
on his bones, and written in his heart. For he feels not unto men, then I receive explicit directions, for that although many hills and seas may intervene, my private guidance, concerning the aged and and though personally unknown by sight, yet in very younger widows, the slothful who will not work, the truth we are as the hands and the feet of the selfservants, and the rich, &c. I am exhorted to blamelessness, hospitality, vigilance, to be quiet, peaceable, our heavenly Father may strengthen your faith, that
same body. Therefore, he ever prays for you, that “not given to wine, not greedy of filthy lucre," &c. Or to do preacher-work-then I read—“Endure you may be able to walk according to the Gospel;
Or to do preacher-work-then I read—“Endure while sojourning here may enjoy unspeakable grace, hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,” &c.
and hereafter the bliss of life everlasting: Or to do teacher-work-then I read~"If a man
" When formerly your younger brother, at the purge himself from these [profane and vain bab- direction of Mr. Taylor, went to Mr. Nicol and Mr. blings], he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, Williamson, at the city of Siao-sæn, in the prefecture and meet for the Master's use," &c.
of Ziao-hying, to preach the doctrine of truth, Now, “ of the things which we have spoken this is and unexpectedly, was ill-treated by the Mayor of the sum
Siao-sæn, and punished with beating, he thought
this truly is not real disgrace; though deeply painful, That the Lord, present in the midst, is our Shepherd or
there is joy in it. For he remembered the words of That the Holy Ghost is our Teacher, teaching that which the Holy Writ spoken by Jesus, "Blessed are they which Lord wills for the Church's nourishment, by the are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven ;' and likewise the Scripture, That (as regards work apart from the assembly) the Lord will lead His true servants to preach the Gospel and therefore, despise not thou the chastening of the
• Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; That the church (as a body) has nothing to do but to Almighty: for he maketh sore, and bindeth up; he
leave all to the Lord, by faith and prayer, with the woundeth, and his hands make whole.' These passingle exception of choosing deacons for the poor.
sages made him feel that, though weak, he must I need not excuse the length of this epistle, the bear all with patience. He likewise remembered subject is so very important, it being to the glory of the words, Wherefore, seeing we are compassed God.
about,' &c. (Heb. xii. 1-5.)
That all of us are called to service.