תמונות בעמוד

These two things are brought together in the Epistle to the Philippians. There Paul saya to the whole Church— "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded." But immediately before he had said :—

"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; hut I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.'5

Here we see, that, while conscious of possessing, with others, that perfectness which knowledge, faith, and experience give, Paul was not at all conscious of perfection. Nor can we be.

We refer the reader to the 17 Scriptures quoted on p. 248 of our last, and also to the one quoted from John i.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his


"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, became thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." (Rev. ii.)

A dear brother takes exception to a recent exposition put forth in this journal on the letter to the Church of Ephesus. We have again proved the matter prayerfully before the Lord.

The thought has been generally held that the emblem of candlestick sets forth the fact that each church is to be regarded as, corporately, presenting spiritual light around it, in the locality in which it assembles.

We doubt very much whether this is a Scriptural thought. The Lord sees believers in any city as one, as a body, or corporation; but if believers walk by Scriptural rule, the world should only know of the existence of the Church through contact with its individual members, "Among whom ye shine as lights,"—not a light (candlestick) corporately.

The fact is, these emblems—stars, angels, candlesticks, set forth invisible facts which come under the cognisance of the Lord only.

While the Church in a city is the Zord's candlestick—seen to be such by Him, and not by the world, the Church itself in that place may have a visible candlestick of its own, as the expression used by the Lord indicates—

"Thy Candlestick."

A Candlestick, or Lamp, is that which is looked to as affording light.

Now it is an indisputable fact that one of the earliest, and one of the most injurious snares into which the Church was led by Satan,—and a snare most easily fallen into,—is that of unduly honouring instruments of blessing, and coming gradually to look to the often-used members of the body—for light. Wherever this is the case, such so-called gifted ones become the church's lamp. Where this has come to pass, the Lord sees it needful (both for correction and instruction) to come in and remove—

"Thy Candlestick out of his place,"

the "place" which he (or they) have received at the hands

of others, in an assembly, or associated assemblies.

This removing, which the Lord does occasionally in His providential dealings with churches, will be done completely, and for ever, at His Coming : as he says—

"Or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove" &c.

And not until His Coming will very many discover* to their shame, that they were going on (through ignorance, perhaps) with their own candlesticks. "Surely, I come quickly." (Rev. xxii.)

This exposition is in harmony with the offence indicated by the words—

"Thou hast left thy first love."

Surely the Lord is the " first love." Some have said this

means "love to the brethren." This makes the Church's

"first love " to be herself! A woman's first love—herself! Surely the first love of the Church the Woman is the Lord Jesus! What can leaving the first love be, if it does not mean leaving the Lord by faith, to lean on the arm of flesh ?—that which the Church did so early, has continued to do so generally, and, we fear, will continue to do, in a measure, till He come and remove them all from their man-given places.

"Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." But, oh, that dear ones all, in every place, may receive the warning to "repent," and that all others will walk with watchfulness.

Light in us, or /ramus, as individuals, dies out if we do not hold fast grace. This is true too, of an assembly or church in any city. Supposing, for a moment, that the " candlestick " does express a corporate spiritual light shed by it around and in its locality. We can only conceive of that light or candlestick being removed by its ceasing to be spiritual. This would be a natural result.

But with regard to the "candlestick" of Ephesus. its removal is caused—not by internal decadence—but by power acting from without the church.

Now, the common thought is that power came in and disbanded the Church of Ephesus, so that it no longer shone there.

But this would be rather a misfortune to the World, than a punishment to the Church. It is no punishment to have to shine elsewherel

We feel, therefore, convinced that while the Lord's candlestick is the Church, the expression, " Thy candlestick," means that which the Church has come to look to for light, and which will be removed " out of his place" at His Coming.


(I Johniii. 3.)»

0 Lord, Thou hast declared,
"Behold! I quickly come!
Hold fast my Word, that I may say
My Servant true,—Well done!"

O Lord, Thou bast declared,
"Behold! I quickly come!
Thy garments keep unspotted clean,
That I may say: Well done!"

O Lord, Thy Word it is—
"Behold! I quickly come!
Go, help the poor and fatherless;
And soon I'll say: Well done."

O Lord, Thou hast declared,
"Behold! I quickly come!
Watch thou and pray, for saints most dear,
That I may say: Well done!"

O Lord, 'tis Thine own Word—
"Behold! I quickly come!
Tour brethren freely each forgive,
And soon I'll say: Well done."

O Lord, we wait for Thee;
For Thou wilt quickly come,
And Satan fall, bruised 'neath our feet;
All things by Thee—Well done!

* "Every man that hath this hope in him purificth himself, even as he is pure."


It was a sweet reply a woman once made upon her death-bed to a friend that asked whether she were more willing to live or die? she answered, "I am pleased with what God pleases." "Yea," said the friend, "but if God should refer it to you, which Would you choose?" "Truly," said she, "if God would refer it tome, I would refer it to him again." Ah, blessed life, when the will is swallowed up in the will of God, and the heart at rest in his care and love, and pleased with all his appointments!

I have seemed to see a need of every thing God gives me, and want nothing that he denies me; there is no dispensation, though afflictive, but either in it, or after it, I find I could not have done without it. Whether it be taken from me, or not given to me, sooner or later God quiets me in himself without it. I cast all my concerns on the Lord, and live securely on the care and wisdom of my heavenly Father. My ways are in a sense hedged up with thorns, and grow darker and darker daily; but yet I distrust not my good God in the least, and live more quietly in the absence of all, by faith, than I should do, I am persuaded, if I possessed them all.

I think the Lord deals kindly with me to make me believe for my mercies before I have them. The less reason hath to work on, the more freely faith casts itself on the faithfulness of God. I find that while faith is steady, nothing can disquiet me, and when faith totters, nothing can establish me. If I tumble out amongst means and creatures, I am presently lost, and can come to no end; but if I stay myself on God, and leave him to work in his own way and time, I am at rest, and can sit down and sleep in a promise, when a thousand rise up against me; therefore, my way is not to cast before hand, but to uorh with God by the day. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." I find so much to do continually with my calling and my heart, that I have no time to puzzle myself with peradventures and futurities.

OUR CORRESPONDENTS AND OURSELVES. Address Letters for the Proprietor, to Mas, Strand, London, W.C.

B. C.—Read Eph. i. 22, 23, in which you will see that the true church is the One Invisible Body of Christ, into which all believers are baptized by the Spirit. Members of tho One Body, or true church, are therefore to be found in and out of all the Denominations.

W. C. B.—I am not led further into that subject just now; but shall keep your note at hand.

J. H.—Faith exercised in the statements of the Word of God apprehends the Church as the Bride. Many other facts yet future are held by faith, and are spoken of as realities, though not yet true to sight. Thus faith is the substance of things hoped for. By it we substantially realise and enjoy what is not yet possessed.

And so we say the Church is the Bride mentioned in Scripture, though, to speak exactly, we might say, The Church will be the Bride. I do not think it is Scriptural to say "We are one by one married to Jesus when we are brought to believe." b there any mention of marriage,or of bride or bridegroom, in the "Song of Solomon?" The Church may not be contemplated there at all: but the Jewisbmation in Millennial times. It seems to me rather a prophetic celebration of the attach

ment of the King of Israel to His beloved Zion, in the day to

come. The rest of your letter, dear brother, may be inserted

in our next.

J. C. A.—I have no light as to the spiritual reason for tho prohibition of swine's flesh to the Israelites, and think that that prohibition was removed at tho introduction of Christianity. See Rom. xiv. 11. But the command in Acts xv. 20, to abstain from things strangled, and from blood, is yet in force, because given to Noah, father of the Gentiles, before the Law of Moses, (Gen. ix. 4,) and confirmed by the Apostles in Acts xv.

F. J. B.—You think, dear brother, that the passage in Eph. v. " For we are members of His body, His flesh, and His bones; for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh,"—does not teach that our blessed Lord left the Father in glory and the Mother [the people of Israel],^to cleave unto the Church.

You think this passage is, primarily, a re-affirmation of the law given in the beginning; which was, that as Adam and Eve were one flesh, so a man on marrying was to be willing to leave father and mother. So, now, because believers are members of Christ's body, of his flesh, and of his bones; therefore, a Christian man is to see a reason why, on marrying, he should leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife.

We quite agree with you, dear brother, that the re-affirmation of the law given at the beginning is the primary bearing of this passage. But still we do see that, in a very interesting sense, this ordinance holds good with regard to Christ and the Church. The Lord Jesus said—

"I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; Again, I leave the world, and go unto the Father."

The manifestation of the Church being in abeyance, the marriage is only apprehended by faith, and the Lord is again with the Father. But we think we may allowably apprehend that the Heavenly union will be similar to the Earthly, in regard to this Divine requirement, twice insisted on—viz. "leaving," in a sense, "father and mother."

Aeblphos.—Expect to give our readers the former part of your letter in our next.

In a recent number, (June.) a remark was made that "in consequence of Paul's faithfulness in obeying the command to go to all nations, he received the highest revelations," 4c. It would have been more correct to have said "foreseeing his faithfulness," as it would seem from 2 Cor. xii. 2 that he must have received those higher revelations before ho was sent forth from Antioch.

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"Unto the Angel of tho Church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his Eyes like unto a Flame of Fire, and his feet like fine brass [copper]." * (Rev. ii.)

"Eyes like unto a Flame of Fire " are on us, and on all. "Our God is a consuming fire."

Israel, as a nation, knew God in firo: at Sinai, at the Dedication of tho Temple, and on Caruiel. Individuals, also, have so known God—Adam, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Elijah.

Now, we are called to realize, by faith, that " Our God is a consuming fire."

God was known to Israel as Jehovah, and as Jehovah only. We know God as the Father, whom Jesus hath "declared,"—and we know God in Jesus, "God manifest in the flesh."

Now, as all power in heaven and in earth is committed unto the Son, Ho being the executive of Divine Justice, we know Him to be "a consuming fire."

In remembering His graciousness, as Jesus our Saviour, let us not forget His gloriousness as the Son of God.


To the Apostles' care, the Lord Jesus Christ had committed His believing ones. Peter, as representing the rest, had received the command, thrice repeated, "Feed my sheep," being assured, at the sometime, that lie would have to suffer for the glory of God. In due time, he did suffer and pass away. And the others also.

But in the case of Jolin, a special exception was made—he was to glorify God in another way.

"If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee':"

John was still tarrying, when, lo! the Lord came —came to His servant in the sea-girt prison. Though John was on the earth, yet he was cut off and isolated from it. (In such a position, spiritually—"in the world, but not of the world "—may wo all be found, by the Lord, at His coming.)

"With the last apostle so shut up, the churches were bereft, then, of apostolic care and authoritative supervision, and being called to walk by faith in the Son of God, they needed being assured that His eyes as "a flame of fire" were on them. Human authority in the Church had come to an end, which made it all the more needful that the Lord's own authority

* Brett is a mixed metal, of comparatively modern invention, and in all probability unknown to the anciente.—Calhbt'sdict.

should be specially enforced upon faith. Hence John is directed to write in a book what he sees and hears, for our faith to be exercised upon. To him it was all true to sense; it was verily the Lord. He saw Him, and heard Him—yea, felt His right hand laid upon him.

In a bodily sense, this was the last visit of the Lord to the earth given us in the Scriptures. But John's testimony is received by faith, so that though the Lord is bodily far away in the third heavens, yet—as God—

"All things are naked and opened unto the
Eyes of Him with whom we have to do."

"In Him we live, and move, and have our being."

"Without Him was not anything made that was made."

"He that formed tho Eye, shall He not see?"

Faith says—" Yes, He who came down toPatmos, and was seen by John, is closely regarding His churches — having 'eyes like unto a flame of fire.' We realize Him walking in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks."

The remembrance of this fact does us good. It increases reverence: when we aro gathered together in His name, with Himself in tho midst, we realize that we are, like Moses, on holy ground. It represses tho flesh and the fleshly mind, in ourselves and others. And one most useful and necessary result of it should be—to direct our attention to the Lord's thoughts about the Church—to what He must, and does, see going on among us, as churches.

It had. this effect on John. Spiritually, he was absorbed in "the day of the Lord "—tho Lord's day of coming glory—that which Abraham saw, "and was glad." John being imprisoned for testimony—shut up far away from the haunts of men—there seemed little then for "our brother and companion in tribulation," except to look for the Lord from heaven. (May this be the effect of all our trials.)

"I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos [deadly] for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.'

Jul in saw death < m all that was of earth, and his face was forwards and away to the day when the Lord would reign in righteousness, and His dear ones be no longer the victims of brutal persecution. But a great voice behind him called to him, and looking back to earth, he beholds—not a coming Saviour —but a present Lord.

And Bo, beloved, while we cherish thoughts of deliverance by the coming of the Lord, let tie also

realize* by faith an ever-present One, who hath eyes "like unto a flame of fire."

"And I turned to see the voico that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks ; and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to tho foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire ; and hia feet like unto fino brass, as if they burned in a furnace ; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged Bword: and his countenanco was as the sun shineth in his strength."

In John's case, it was a perianal manifestation to him, and as he was yet in the body, it withered him up. "I fell ut his feet as dead."

But tho Lord drew near to John, and bowed Himself in graciousness to His dear servant, prostrate at His foot, and laid His right hand—(that hand in which ho had seen the emblem of the Comforter)—in comforting sympathy upon him. (Ah, He is "the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.")

"Fear not ; I am tho first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have tho keys of hell and of death."

John receives no command to stand, or to look up at Him whoso eyes wore as a flame of fire. No; but in lowly attitude, with eyes cast down, (like Moses at tho burning bush, receiving a commission to Israel,) John receives tho messages of the Son of God to the churches. It is not till the Lord has finished delivering His messages that John looks up, and then—tho Lord has vanished away. (See Rev. iv. 1.)

Oh, how lowly it becomes us to be before the Son of God! May we all know the withering-up of the Lord's presonco; and, getting very low like John, He may graciously bow to our weakness and use us to His glory. "Ho that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Lot us not be afraid of tho feet that burn like fine copper; they will not hurt anything but the old Adam, with its "lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and tho pride of life."

And what is the Son of God noting? Any "bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, malice "? —Sectarianism, lust of spiritual power, fellowship of believers with unbelievers, ignorance of the simple Word, confidence in man, worldliness, selfishness, pride? Ah, He knows. "The Lord will judge his people."


But what is the special evil which the Son of God notes at Thyatira?

"I havo a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her spaco to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works."

We sought light from the Lord on this passage, and on the eve of closing up for the press were made happy with the following:—

Jezebel was—A Woman—a Princess—a Gentile.

As a Gentile, she clearly sets forth some who are of the world, as distinct from the Church.

Now, what part of the world is the most attractive—most like a woman?

Is it not tho Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished ?— Here, then, is tho Woman.

2. Are not the same classes Powerful, Influential, Admired, Rich, proudly holding rule by right ?— Here, then, is the Princess, becoming (when united) a Queen.

3. Again, though so attractive and amiable, Buch are still outside the Church—aliens from the commonwealth of spiritual Israel, not being "born again." Therefore, notwithstanding all that they have,—they are Gentile.

Therefore, the Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished of the world are Jezebel—the Gentile Queenly Woman.

Now, as, of old, "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and took them wives of all which they chose," so Jezebel, being fair to tho eye, had won upon the desires of tho Church at Thyatira, and, neglecting the exhortation, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers," they had pressed into fellowship with them some of the world's Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished ones.

And here we note a difference between the evil in Thyatira and that which the Lord sees in the previous churches—Ephesus and Pergamos. It is a difference in degree. Ephesus had left its First Love; in Pergamos there were those who were desirous of the favours of the World, and holding the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (or the doctrine of the need of menteachers); but in Thyatira, these doctrinal evils have developed into positive alliance with the World and the admission of unregenerate men to the place of Teachers!! And the rest of the Church had "suffered" it.

This class of persons who were allowed by the Church to bring in the worldly are those against whom Jude's epistle was directed :—

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness . . . Woo unto thera! for they havo gone in tho way of Cain, and run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward—[The very same evil as was seen in the Church at Pergamos.]—These are spots in your feasts of love when they feast with yon . . . These are murmurers, . . . having men's persons in admiration because of advantage."

The Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished among the World (that is, Jezebel) mere admired "because of advantage." There wore no princesses in Israel, so Ahab looked abroad. These " false brethren " were not satisfied with going on without tho world's good and fair ones. How much would the "cause" prosper if thoy Avero brought in, with their cleverness and winning ways ? And so they were brought in, treated as Christians, everybody hoped for the best, and birth was given to a numerous progeny of "professing Christians," who havo Jezebel's image and likeness.

The Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished, having had power and honour in the world, naturally desire, and think they ought to have'the same place of pre-eminence in the church. So we find the Lord says of Jezebel,

"Who calleth herself a Prophetess."

The thought of the natural man is—that his intellect is equal to dealing with spiritual things—that the mind of man can master the things of God. Jezebel having intellect, took the place of a prophetess—a revealer of the mind of God, and so she does to this day.

In heart she dislikes true prophets, and if there were any, she would persecute them, as did Jezebel in Israel. But the prophets of the church having all passed away, the Lord does not number persecution among her sins. In passing, we may note, that no divine order of ministry is referred to in these epistles to the churches—save that of the Spirit.


But now, it was not primarily Jezebel's act and deed when she became the queen in Israel. It was Ahab's act. Yes, but the guilt must be carried still farther back; it was one result of Israel's folly in desiring a king. That was Israel's leaving " the first love."

So, with regard to the Jezebel in the Church—she was not so much to blame as the Aliab who brought her in. But, then, there ought not to have been any worldly, influential Christians in the assembly or assemblies at Thyatira—men who, having got away with the brethren, acted like Ahab. If the saints there had not have left their "first love "—if they had not have exalted man in some way, we may be confident Jezebel would not have been brought in. Oh, how ought churches "to cleave unto the Lord withpurpose of heart!" He can keep us from falling. Then will it be with little assemblies beginning afresh on simple Scriptural ground, as it was with "the church which was at Jerusalem,"—

*' Of the rest durst no man join himself to them." (Acts v.)

And if they do "join," the Ahab-ones will soon go out—not stop to introduce others who have Morality, Intellect, and Accomplishments for their only recommendation.

"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (not at all of us]." (1 John ii.)

The Church, not Jezebel, being primarily to blame, the Son of God, gracious as well as glorious, had given her time to repent, "and she repented not." She did not—she has not—awoke to the folly of professing and calling herself a prophetess. But more especially has she not repented of the mischief she has wrought. But still persists in doing the same!


"Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to tat things sacrificed to idols."

And what is this mischief? Why, truly converted men have been taught by her to admire her, and to look to her, as a prophetess, for light and knowledge! Practically, she (Jezebel) has displaced the Holy Spirit, the only spiritual light-giver!! No wonder the Lord should be wroth with her, with a great indignation, for teaching believers (practically) to dishonour His gracious long-suffering Representative. Mow many who have believed unto life are attending on the ministry of Unconverted Men!! men who are accepted teachers in the churches simply because they are men of moral character, having an acquaintance with Greek and Hebrew, of good education generally, and able to put matters together! Thus we still recognise the features of "that woman Jezebel"—viz. Morality, Intellect, AccompUshments. Her places of special power—colleges, universities; her more prominent servants—professors, theologians; at her disposal are—degrees, titles, academic honours, livings, stipends. She can boast of a tower of learned works, as high as Babel reaching unto heaven. She receives from her children ("professing Christians ") a show of much affection—a natural affection, for "the world will love its own."

Thus she seduces souls, on their conversion, to trust her, to be fascinated with her, and to enter in sinful union with her. They are taught by her to do this, whereas they should continue to rejoice in Him who has saved them and is present in the midst of any_ "two three gathered together" in His Name, to bless them by the Holy Spirit through the Word.

Oh, this dreadful thing—adultery, believers uniting themselves with, and finding pleasure in, Moral, Intellectual, Accomplished men who have got into the place of teachers !" Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils." Don't "deny the Lord that bought you,"—bought you with his own precious blood! Jezebel may be fair to look upon; "but favour is deceitful and beauty is vain;"—and oh, her heart!" deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!" Such, however fair, learned, and clever, is every unregenerate man.

Dreadful! to be deluded to think that it is proper and needful to be united unto such an one as Jezebel—Proper, because of her apparent goodness, power, and beauty; Needful, because of her supposed fruitfulness in adding unto the church! Oh, this is, indeed, doing "evil that good might come."

Whatever your sect or denomination—if your arrangements admit of unregenerate men getting into the place of teachers, you are "committing adultery with that woman Jezebel." And what arrangements can possibly be free and safe in which a mental standard and mental abilities are more or less regarded?

Ye adulterers!

"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God f whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God!" (James iv.)

Jezebel's sin, the Son of God calls "fornication"— that is her sin, as one unmarried. But the sin of. being united unto Jezebel is, adultery, because each church should regard itself betrothed or espoused "as a pure virgin" to Christ. (2 Cor. xi. 2.) And, | betrothal should be felt to be as sacred as marriage.

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