Imágenes de páginas

not that of evangelist, but of teacher, and in this office he greatly enriched all that sat under his instruction. His ministry, says a co-labourer, "like the precious stones on Aaron's breast-plate, sparkled with the varied beauties and glories of the person of the living and glorified Christ." And considering that this ministry, with its extraordinary consecration and light, dated from that single bedside experience when he knelt in tears before the Lord, it will not seem strange if we scrutinize that experience to discover, if possible, its true interpretation. However, let us say distinctly, and let us underscore the statement, that we have not brought forward any of these remarkable spiritual exercises as models for other Christians to copy. Only it is needful sometimes, in setting forth an obscure truth, to print our argument in illuminated text in order to win attention for it. Afterwards it will be easily read in common type. That is to say, it often requires the most vivid and powerful experiences to impress us with the reality of a certain doctrine, which, after we have once accepted, we can discover in its most ordinary manifestations. We believe that scores in our times have experienced the sealing of the Holy Spirit who can speak of no extraordinary emotion connected with the event. They have received the power from on high and the witness within, and yet they have hardly known when or where these came to them. What we would urge is that there is an anointing of the Spirit for service

to which many of us are strangers, and that it is our privilege to seek it with all the heart. How large

a proportion of professed Christians, if they were asked, would have to confess that they have never led a soul to Christ. And yet they are true believers, and will doubtless be saved at last-saved but unrewarded; fitted to "enter into life," but not to enter into the highest "joy of the Lord"; redeemed through the finished work of Christ, but having no finished work of their own, concerning which the Master can say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

In view of the fearful possibility of being found in such a condition, we trust that our readers, instead of turning aside from the teaching of this chapter, and perchance condemning it as high or mystical or visionary, may be moved to pray with an open and hungry heart that if there be any deeper work and any mightier communication of the Spirit than they have known, it may be granted unto them. And we are most deeply assured, that if in all humility and self-surrender such a blessing be sought, it will be found. Ecstacies and raptures the Lord may not choose to give us, nor are these needed. But His Holy Spirit's fulness and power He will give us, if we reverently and patiently seek for it.


"SONSHIP being founded on resurrection, stands connected with perfect justification-perfect righteousness— perfect freedom from everything that could in anywise be against us. God could not have us in His presence with sin upon us. The father could not have the prodigal at his table with the rags of the far country upon him. He could fall on his neck and kiss him in those rags. It was worthy and beautifully characteristic of his grace to do; but then to seat him at the table in rags would never do. The grace that brought the father out to the prodigal reigns through the righteousness which brought the prodigal in to his father. It would not have been grace, had the father waited for the son to deck himself in robes of his own providing; it would not have been righteousness to bring him in in his rags; but both grace and righteousness shone forth in all their respective brightness and beauty when the father went out and fell on the prodigal's neck, and yet did not give him a seat at the table until he was clad and decked in a manner suited to that happy position. God in Christ has stooped to the very lowest point of man's moral condition, that by stooping He might raise man to the very highest point of blessedness in fellowship with Himself."—C. H. M.



T is all-important that we should understand the


exact relationship of these two facts. Sonship is not acquired through communion with God; but communion with God is the issue and fruit of sonship. So many persons reverse the divine order, and think to secure a standing with the Father by the intensity of their spiritual exercises, and the consistency of their Christian walk, that it is needful to make this point very clear. "But as many as

received Him to them gave He

power to become

the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name?' "* "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Thus speaks the Scripture, and thus are we taught that it is faith in Christ, and not feeling in ourselves, that constitutes us the sons of God. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."+

This relation of sonship being once established, through our personal faith, it becomes a fixed fact. Communion varies; sonship is unchangeable; communion is a thing of degrees; sonship is absolute.


* John i. 14.

† Gal. iii. 26.

I John V. I.

« AnteriorContinuar »