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who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?" Had we first rendered something to God, we might look for a return. But, on the contrary, we have received everything from Him-"for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things." And this is the reason why

we should render to Him all that we have. "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

One love demands another. If God has shown His love to us by giving His Son to die as a sacrifice for our sins, let us show our love by giving ourselves to live in daily sacrifice for Him. "By giving ourselves," we say. Self-sacrifice may be scanted in

two ways. We may give our possessions, instead of giving ourselves; or we may give ourselves to God's service instead of to God Himself. In either case our sacrifice is lame and our consecration lacking. There must be self-surrender to Him who surrendered Himself for us, before Christ can be "all, and in all." Have we not found persons giving their money to charity, under the idea that their gift would in some way sanctify the giver and make him acceptable to the Lord? But God requires our persons before He asks our purses. We are to present our bodies" unto Him, and that will carry our possessions. For the body is "the temple of the Holy Ghost," and Jesus tells us that it is the

temple that sanctifies the gold, and not the gold that sanctifies the temple. The devotement of self, therefore, must go before devotement of property and possessions. This is the divine order which the Apostle so thankfully recognizes in acknowledging the gifts of the Macedonian Christians. For making

mention of the riches of their liberality, he adds, "And this they did, not as we expected, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."* And for this cause he declares that he ministered the gospel of God to the Gentiles, that being renewed by the Spirit, they might be fitted to give in the Spirit, "that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." And the opposite idea is equally true that we must devote ourselves to the Lord, not merely to some work for the Lord, which may absorb in itself the interest and zeal which should be bestowed on His divine person.

Now nothing is clearer than the fact that a Christian gets power from God, just in proportion to the entireness of his self-surrender to God. If we ask how this is, the answer is easy. It is not that God keeps a strictly debt and credit account with the Christian, giving so much grace for so much sacrifice, so much power for so much humility. It is by the action of a necessary law that it comes to pass. We know that, in the human body, the privation of any one of the senses only intensifies.

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the power of those which remain. If, for example, the sight be lost, the touch and taste become thereby much more acute. Exactly so it is between the three factors of our human being-body, soul, and spirit; whatever either one surrenders is carried over to the credit of the others, and inures to their strength. That is why fasting helps communionthe carnal appetites being denied that the spiritual appetites may be awakened to a more hungry craving. Hence the significance of the plea that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. We should have said "bodies and spirits," and many so enlarge the exhortation. But no! Let the body be surrendered up for the enrichment of the soul, fleshly desires repressed, that spiritual desires may be enlarged the carnal man, in a word, sacrificed to the spiritual.

We have seen this significant device on an ancient seal the effigy of a burning candle, and underneath it the superscription, “I give light by being myself consumed." This is the true symbol of Christian devotedness-giving out light by giving up our lives to Him who loved us-the zeal of God's house consuming us while we furnish divine illumination to the world.

And this leads us to urge what we believe to be all-important to this whole subject—that we should make our consecration a definite, final, and irrevocable event in our spiritual history. It is not enough for us to hear one say that he believes in Jesus Christ;

we want a decisive and confessed act of acceptance. And likewise we are not satisfied to urge upon our readers a consecrated life merely; we wish to insist on the value and power of a solemn and definite and overshadowing act of consecration. Let it be made with the utmost deliberation, and after the most prayerful self-examination; let the seal of God's acceptance of it be most carefully sought; let it be final, in the sense of being irrevocable, but initiatory in the sense of being introductory to a new life-a life that belongs, henceforth, utterly to God, to be lived where He would have it lived, to be employed as He would have it employed, to be finished when He would have it finished. Oh, who is sufficient for such an engagement ! But many have made it, and we find in them a living demonstration of its value.

In the spiritual history of George Whitfield we have a striking example of such definite and wholehearted consecration. With the Wesleys in the "Holy Club" of Oxford, he had sought with prolonged prayer and self-mortification for a deeper work of the Spirit in his heart. Whole days he had spent in wrestling with God for the blessing. He found what he sought, and, at his ordination, was made ready to give himself unreservedly to God. He thus speaks of this experience :

"When the Bishop laid his hands upon my head, if my evil heart doth not deceive me, I offered up my whole spirit, soul, and body, to the service of God's sanctuary. Let come

what will, life or death, depth or height, I shall henceforth live like one who this day, in the presence of men and angels, took the holy sacrament upon the profession of being inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon me that ministration in the Church." "I can call heaven and earth to witness that, when the Bishop laid his hand upon me, gave myself up, to be a martyr for Him who hung upon the cross for me. Known unto Him are all future events and contingencies. I have thrown myself blindfolded, and I trust without reserve, into His almighty hands.”*

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Such was his vow of self-devotion to God, and it must be acknowledged that his whole subsequent life attested its sincerity. And in what life, we may ask, has the power of consecration been more signally displayed? We speak not merely of his seraphic eloquence, but of the immediate saving results of his preaching. We judge that other preachers have produced as powerful impression upon congregations-Bossuet, Robert Hall, Chalmers, and many more. But that lightning-like penetration of the spoken word which rives men's hearts, and lays bare their sins, and brings out the tears of penitence-here is the test of power. And from the very first sermon of Whitfield, when fifteen were driven to an agony of conviction, to the last, this was the uniform result of his ministry. John Newton records of him that in a single week he received no less than a thousand letters from those distressed in conscience under his preaching. Surely

* Stevens' "History of Methodism," Vol. I., p. 105.

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