« הקודםהמשך »
nection with every sect; let them look to the Spirit to open the word to them; let them bow their souls down in obedience to it, and then there will be some hope of their becoming of one mind; for then will those who are wrong be brought into such fellowship with those who are right, as may, with God's blessing, be the means of bringing them out of error. If christians, instead of making sects out of their differences, would stand together simply as saints around their common Lord, who has said, ""Where two or three are gathered together in my name, theream I in the midst of them," and there wait upon Him to be taught by the Spirit; and together in all faithfulness would diligently and prayerfully search His mind in His word, and would, with one heart and one soul, earnestly seek to be brought into the mind of Jesus, they would be taking the most likely way to be made of one mind. I believe nothing is a greater instrument in Satan's hand of keeping up division, and preventing oneness of mind, than sects.
D.—But, supposing some of the saints were to separate from the different sects, and come together on such principles, would not this be just forming another sect?
J.—Where there are any human rules which would exclude from full communion any acknowledged disciple of Jesus, even the weakest, the body of Jesus is rent, and a teet is produced. And this, I believe, is what all the denominations do; and, therefore, they are all more or less sectarian in character. But where there are no such rules—where all manifested disciples are received simply in the name of disciples; and where, in all church-meetings, no hindrance is placed to the Lord nourishing, cherishing, and sanctifying, by the Spirit, through the Written Word, in His own gracious way (Eph. v.),—I see nothing to exclude one disciple of Jesus—nothing to rend His body; and, therefore, nothing sectarian. Into this blessed attitude may all believers be brought, to the glory of Jesus the Head of the One Body. Amen.
[The above Paper, along with two others on the same subject, niay be obtained, in tho form of a little book, of our Brother Batenian, price 2d.]
"THE ANOELS of the SEVEN CHURCHES," (Further considered.')
Glasgow, Dec. 12, '67.
"My Dear Brotkjsr,—I have read with much interest tho articlo on the "Seven 8tars." Whore there is among dear brethren so much diversity of opinion, I judge wc are individually responsible to seek to be led by the Holy_ Spirit, our only Teacher, into all truth. Truly, the Spirit is our only Light through the Word.
"What I wish to draw your thoughts to is this—With regard to the Angels of tho Seven churches, what was the thought (immediately) in the prophet's mind? There were real assemblies at Ephesus, &c. to whom the epistles were addressed. And there had been real messengers to carry this word from the Apostle, who acted therefore, in the character of apostolic delegation, such as none can lay claim to now. My conviction, therefore, is that these "messengers" were those that carried the letters to the Beveral churches, who had an especial responsibility in that apostolic day."
[To tho recoption of this hypothesis, dear brother, we
havo various difficulties—
[1. Apostolic delegates, like Timothy and Titus, were not (according to the Word) set permanently over any one church. Their authority was temporary, representative, and diffusive (rather than local). What they did was really done for the apostles, and when their special missions were ended they returned to head-quarters (as it were) for further orders. Thus Titus was left by Paul in the island of Crete *' to ordain elders in every city, and set in order the things that" were wanting. But Paul, writing to him, does not style him " messenger of the churches in Crete," nor does he regard him as permanently settled there. On the contrary, he receives directions to return to Macedonia: "When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis." Still later, Titus leaves Paul, and goes to Dalmatia. So with Timothy. They were ambassadors of the apostle, not located permanent authorities. Paul may write to them, for their personal guidance and exhortation, but he never addresses churches through them as their " angels."
[2. Again, your hypothesis requires seven manuscripts and seven apostolic delegates. But what do we read ?" What thou seest, write in A book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia—unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna," &c. From this we see that the epistles to these churches were to go to them, one after the other, in one great manuscript, that all might read what was sent to the rest. Whether one, two, or more, apostolic delegates or messengers carried it, does not appear. "Seven" would have been a large number. But we cannot speculate.
[3. If these delegates were merely John's messengers, does it not strike you as highly improbable (to say the least) that tho Lord should address these seven epistles to the persons chosen by John to carry them? Do we, in common life, address our letters to those wlw carry them (!)?
[4. If your thought is that they were paramount ministers, located over tho various churches—then we say, there is nothing in the Word to justify it. But this is not your thought. You know, as well as we do, that elders were appointed in every church — not a single elder over any one church. A Diotrephes—loving to have the pre-eminence —might atsume the predominance, but only at tho expense of the condemnation of God. But you further say—] "You have not, dear brother, taken up two special difficulties. 1. It is the Spirit speaking to the churches—does the Spirit speak to the Spirit!1"
[Now, we have no difficulty here. John was in the Spirit ana tho Spirit in Aim—that gracious One who is ever-present. But the Seven epistles were not, primarily, from tho Spirit They were not simply inspired, like other prophecies, in writing which " holy men of old spake as thoy were moved by the Holy Ghost." They were given direct from the Lord to John, as much so as His worda from the cross—" Behold thy mother!"
[John's having tho Spirit does not make it the Spirit writing to the Spirit. No: it is the Lord who sends—sends by His servant John—but associates the messages with Him who had graciously taken the office of leading the saints by the Written Word into all truth—the Perfect Messenger possessed by each and every church. Your next difficulty is—] "The angel seems to be responsible for the failure as well as the success: * I know thy works,' " &o.
[Now it is true that the first person singular is used, but that does not show that it is the Angel who is addressed. It is the church which is addressed through the Spirit. And tho church is addressed in the singular number because, in tho Word, beliovers in any one place are regarded as one—One church, body, candlestick. If the Lord were to write to the church of God in your city of Glasgow, surely He might say " Thou," or Thy," seeing it is one in His sight. That the church is contemplated and addressed (through tho angel) in each epistle, is evident from the plural form of speech breaking eut, now and then, when needful, as, for instance—" I will give to every one of you," &c. "May the Lord advanco His own precious truth, and may we sit as children at His own once-wounded feet. Your brother in Him, K, L." [To this we eay, Amen.]
•SAVED" and "SALVATION.
These words in the Scriptures not only apply to deliverance from wrath to come, but to deliverance from the dominion of sin and Satan now. If we practically take up that which lias been done for us —it is salvation. And what has been done for us who believe in Jesus? We have been translated "from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son." "We are not of the world," even as He is not of the world. While I walk inthepowerof this fact—realizing it, availing myself of all the blessings of it—it is present salvation; sin has no dominion over me, I am not in bondage to the world and its ways, I am delivered from the fear of death and from the power (for the time) of him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil.
In this present sense, the word frequently occurs—
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (ITim.iv.)
As having received eternal life, through faith in Christ Jesus, our brother Timothy was already saved, in the sense of deliverance from the wrath to come. But Paul here speaks of his saving himself and those who heard him. Save from what ? Save from sinning, from mistakes, from falling and failing in many ways, and from going on in error.
This saving efficacy of the Word of God is again set forth in the second epistle to Timothy.
"But continuo thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. iii.)
So, boloved, we have the Scriptures in order that we may be "wise unto salvation "—not as fools, but as "tvise, knowing what the will of the Lord is," seeking to go on with nothing but what is according to His mind and Word.
"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is ablo to save your souls." (James i.)
Most certainly we must know the will of God (from the Word of God) before we can doit.
This state of salvation—that which we hnvc been saved from and saved to—is enlarged upon in the epistle to Titus—
"Put them in mind to bo subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to bo no brawlers, but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also ucre sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another (!). But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his merry he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified liy his grace, we should be
made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful Baying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." (Titus iii.)
The "bath" of regeneration is one thing—even a new and eternal life, the gift of God through faith in Jesus. But besides that, there is the "renewing of the Holy Ghost." Is not this the daily working of the Spirit to conform us more and more to the image of Christ?
"Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (2 Cor. iv.)
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncloanness with greediness. But ye have not to learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put of concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the ti*v> man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.' (Eph. iv.)
"Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put ofl" the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.r (Col. iii.)
Thus, there is a "salvation" which, by the grace of Christ Jesus the Head, we can—have to—and are called to—" work out," a"salvation" which we can "receive," hold, and (by the same all-sufficient grace, enabling us to keep the body under) enjoy now.
"Wherefore, my beloved, as yo have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil, ii.)
He it is who (being our life) works in us to save us from our sins, and to keep us in sanctification—body, soul, and spirit.
The One Body (the Church) while down here, (associated with the old body of sin and death,) needs a Saviour to energise or "work," in each and all, to " will and to do His good pleasure." Thus—
*' He is the Saviour of the body." (Eph. v.) "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil," (1 John, iii.)—
—the works of the Devil in us—the tempers, principles, habits, "of the old tnan, which is corrupt."
Thus is fulfilled the word—" He shall save Hie people from their sins,"—as well as future punishment, for their sins.
"Whom having not seen, ye lovo; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving tho end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter, i.)
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is tho day of salvation." (2 Cor. vi )
Thus we see the Lord and the Spirit work in us by the Word, to this end—our practical present salvation or sanctification. Then, beloved-—
"How shall we [Paul, and the Hebrew converts, and you, and /] escape, if we—Neglect So great Salvation P" Solemn question for us, beloved. But, by the grace of Christ— "Let us go on unto perfection." (Heb. vi. 1.) "Perject holiness in the fear of the Lord." (2 Cor. vii.)
II. As further showing that these words " Saved" and "Salvation" have a present bearing, let us look at Scriptures which speak of other things, as having a saving usefulness.
Hope, truly, is exceedingly useful, as an anchor, in saving us from being driven hither and thither by fears and doubts, persecutions, and strange doctrines.
"For we are saved by hope if we hope for that we see
not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Rom. viii.)
The hope that takes hold of the coming of the Lord saves or protects:
"And for an helmet, the hope [or expectancy] of salvation." This living hope also saves continually from sin—
"Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John, iii.)
Godly sorrow, too, as well as hope, has a practically saving effect—
"Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but tho sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Cor. vii.)
This is said to, and of, believers who had been led into wrongdoing.
It will be important, in the next place, to consider the usefulness of Confession in furthering this practical salvation.
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with tho heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans x.)
"Justification " is through faith, and faith only.
"Being justified by faith we have peace with God." "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith ■without the deeds of the law," (Rom.)
That is the state in which God sees the sinner ■who is brought to trust in Jesus.
But suppose such an one, through various causes, does not come forward and confess Christ with the mouth. In this case, though "baptized by the One Spirit into the One Body," he is not visibly added to the Body. Consequently, he loses the benefits of fellowship ; saints cannot pray for him in the name of Jesus, or visit him ; he is sure soon to fall into doubts and difficulties, with no kindly hands to "loose him and let him go." Aak him, and you will find he is not saved—(neither in his consciousness, nor saved from his old thoughts, principles, sins.)
This end and object of church-fellowship seems to be intimated in that clause in Acts ii. which has caused so much discussion—
"And tho Lord added unto the church daily such as should be Mud."
—That is—from living in sin.
Again, after we become believers, the saving tendency of confession is very great. In overy new sphere, when brought into contact with eveiy new acquaintance, the wisest—safest course is to take an early opportunity of confessing Christ. Satan will hinder it, if he can. He will insinuate— "Don't be too fast; you may do or say something "afterwards which will bring discredit on that name; "so be silent."
The answer to this is—" If I am known to be a "Christian, I shall feel bound to be more watchful, "and therefore less likely to fall. I take sides with "Him who is able to keep me from falling, and who, "for His own glory, will do so."
Thus "confession is made unto salvation," or it furthers our " walk in newness of life."
Peter's thrice-dreadful fall in the high priest's house, is for ever a warning not to shrink from "confession."
Baptism, as a species of "confession," also operates in this way. An unbaptized christian is one who has not confessed Christ in Christ's own appointed way!!
"Go yo into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark xvi.)
In the next place, let us consider that, while the Holy Ghost has thus associated "confession" with salvation—the Lord Jesus Christ has associated Baptism with salvation. We would therefore say, most earnestly,—Dear one, behoving in Jesus, have you been baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost "? If the dear Lord has said—
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," —depend upon it that it is of very great practical importance—not in saving you from wrath to come, for "the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth us from all sin "—but in saving you now.
Saving you from wilfulness.—Oh, if wilfulness—selfwill—our having our own way—begin upon a matter so simple, where may it not end? How many who are wilful on this subject are wilful on others also! Alas! yes; who has not known such?
Baptism, as associated with Belief, — (" He that bclieveth-and-is-baptized")—is a representative word. Representative of what? Of Obedience in toto. As though the Lord said—He that believeth and obeyeth.
He that Believeth shall be saved from the wrath to come.
He that Obeyeth shall be saved on the road— saved from all the dangers which arise from SelfWill—saved from preferring Self to Christ!
It is true a believer after baptism may yield to Self. But, in Baptism, he professed (more or less publicly), to bo dead to Self, and so desired that Self should be buried and got rid of.
When Self, therefore, works in us after Baptism, RTE) should be able to say—No, I buried you in baptism; I must reckon myself dead to self and alive to Christ.
Now, unbaptized believer (!) you have not this means of grace — this great practical means of salvation from the Old Nature. You cannot say—
"We are buried with him by baptism into death: that like at Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Romans vi.)
Thus Baptism means—A complete practical surrender of the body, soul, and spirit up to Christ.
He who so walks—is saved.
Then, again, we need to be saved—not only from Self, but also from man and his reasonings on the Scriptures—or, rather his reasonings away of Scripture. How many who begin by receiving for commandments the doctrines of men on this subject, receive men's doctrines on other subjects also! It is a great test for every young believer—Whether he will be guided by the simple Word of God or not. If the simple Word prevails, then and thereafter, it is (practically) salvation.
Men's traditions are defiling. Like cobwebs, they are filthy to look upon. Dear one, unbaptized, May you, "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,"—sweep them away.
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor. vii.)
"The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blame less unto tho coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.'' (1 Thess. v )
"Glorify God with your body and with your spirit, which are God's."
Perhaps you are doing other things to glorify God?
"This ought ye to have done, and not have left the other undone." (Matt. xxiii.)
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel xv.)
Obey, therefore, dear one, and "go on your way rejoicing," being saved from an uneasy conscience. "For he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him
IT IS SIN."
"Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (1 Sam.)
Let no man sneer you out of it.
"I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded; but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be." (Gal. v.)
The dear Lord is very gracious towards those who sin in ignorance. Nevertheless, sins of ignorance entail loss—yes, great loss.
A dear youth (baptized a week ago) has just said that before baptism he found his thoughts going into the world, but that after baptism he felt different! Another, a believer of some years, but only just baptized, regrets exceedingly he was not baptized before; ho assures us, he has had special joy in tho Holy Ghost, and much increased light in
the Word of God. The Lord be praised! "He hath done all things well!"
And this felt blessing upon obeying the Lord in Baptism, is the experience of all we know—our own, too.
Satan knows full well the loss believers sustain, and as long as he can lead them to turn from Baptismal Burial he will; he will strive hard to do it; he will quote Scripture to do it. "But we are not ignorant of his devices." He hates us and our dear Master, and works to do us mischief and to do our Lord's dishonour; for we dishonour—yea, grieve—Him, if we follow our own wills :—
"Why call ye me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not the things that
I say?" (Luke vi.)
Wherefore, beloved, "Cease to do evil, and learn to do well."
Oh, the folly of some who say—" I was baptized when I was an infant."
Foolish one and slow of heart to believe!
Did Jesus say—He that is baptized and believeth? is it not—" He that believeth and is baptized?"
God is the God of order. You would turn God's order upside down, and make disorder. As a child of God, this is, surely, a "superfluity of naughtiness."
"Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness [spiritual defilements, such as men's reasonings and traditions) and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls,"—from going on with things naughty.
Will any one say—" Oh, Baptism is not needful."
True, it is not needful to salvation from wrath to come—we have said that.
As to what is needful as a saving means of grace— what does a poor silly sheep know about what is needful? Your Shepherd —tho Great Shepherd of the sheep—knows better than you, you wilful one. And lie has said—"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
Will you argue the matter when the Lord comes?
Ah, you know you won't.
"Behold, I come quickly." "licinembei; therefore, how thou hast received, and heard, and holdfast, and REPENT." (Rev.)
So be it, to the glory of God. Does anyone think the foregoing severe? Well, well—listen to a few words from the dear Lord himself (to whom be glory for ever!)
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me shall bo loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John xiv.)
In the light of those many Scriptures, may wo not apprehend the meaning of the following passage in James's Epistle ?—
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he that converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins," (James v.)
Surely, those here addressed as "brethren" were Hebrew Christians. The epistle, from beginning to end, can only be understood on this supposition.
Now, as Christians, James's brethren had received "the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord," and (as an eternal life) it could never come to an end, being " hid with Christ in God."
But remembering that death means suspension of the believer's conscious spiritual union with God (as shown us in our last), if we "convert," or turn, a sinning brother "from the error of his way" (as a pilgrim), "we save a soul from death "—from going on with that which works death, or soul-injury, souldarkness, soul-loss, separation from fellowship with God, spiritual decay.
Moreover, says James, a brother who is enabled to turn another to conformity to the Word of God "will hide a multitude of sine." A believer whose spirituality is dead must be continually sinning in the sight of both God and man. But if he be induced to obey the Word of God in practice, and receive it in principle, his course will be (so far) improved, and sins previously seen will be hidden— and no longer perceived upon him.
"Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth." "Ye also ought to wash one another's feet."
May we ourselves be more and more sanctified unto the Lord; then will the Lord graciously use us to theturning of brethren "from errors of their way," and "saving souls from death."
Trouble in the world proves that there is «in in the world, as certainly as the shadow follows the substance. From all points of view, trouble is fraught with mercy. When it is the direct result of individual transgression, it is a hindrance to further sin, and calls aloud, "Cease to do evil; be sure your sin will find you out."
But trouble is not only a consequence of sin—it is also a corrective of it. Therefore, the more the trouble, the better ought we to be and the more thankful.
Trouble is early needful, and "he who spareth the rod spoils the child."
It is often needful, in severe degree, to plough up a sinner's heart and break down his wilfulness. And who has not seen God's strokes come heavier and heavier, till the foolish one is prostrate?
And blessed is it when, with softened heart, he begins to be troubled about his sinsl This is a trouble that we may heartily pray that others may be brought into, that they may be saved from that greater trouble—Hell.
And when converted, fresh troubles begin, from within and without, so that, if "in this life only we had hope we should be of all men most miserable."
For our encouragement in bearing troubles that come upon us as disciples, we may well remember the list of worthies given in Heb. xi., and those who are not given—
"Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to
flight the armies of the aliens They were stoned, they
were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy :) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (Heb. xi.)
These are "witnesses "—a "great cloud;" they witness that, as they overcame, so may we: Therefore—
"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Heb. xii.)
These "witnesses" of old kept the end in view. Thus Abraham saw the day of the Lord's glory and was glad; and so Job knew that his Redeemer lived, and that he would stand at the latter day upon the earth. Even the Lord Jesus, at his dreadful hour, kept the end in view.
"Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, 'Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, 'I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, 'What need we any further witnesses P Yo have heard the blasphemy: what think ye f And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands." (Mark xiv.)
But He despised the shame. Let us, therefore—
"Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
"There is One Body." 10 copies for 5 stamps. Dixon: Stephen's Green, Dublin. The following extract indicates the character of this 8 pp. tract:—" If, as is true, the Holy Ghost dwells in each member and in the whole body, how must He be grieved by these divisions? And ought not wo, as dwelt in by Him, be grieved also, whether we think ourselves to be right or wrong in tho position we hold? If I am bound, in accordance with scripture, to 'receive to the glory of God,' those whom Christ receives, if there be weak ones in the body, I should seek to strengthen them. 'When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' If there be those that are sick, I should not cast them out, but should rather seek to restore them by the suited medicine. (Ezekiel. xxxiv, 15, 16.) If I know more than others, let me know this, that I am thereby responsible, in patient love, to teach them, as Christ's members, the way of God more perfectly. If I say,' I will not receive you, because you do not agree with me about the body,' then I deny the one body of Christ, making the recognition of membership in it dependent upon agreement with me. If I reject them without Scripture, I supersede its authority by my own will and judgment, and displace the Holy Ghost, the power that enforces the authority of Christ over his own house. If we frame coercive rules, saying that none are to be recognised as the body of Christ but those who conform to laws which we have ordained, we intentionally form an enclosure which shuts out that which God has brought in—a proceeding which is not at all on the principle of the One Body and One Spirit."
"hints for The FormAtion Of Private MEETINGS FOR PRAYER.
A copy of these Hints may be had on application to J. G., 9, Camden Hill Villas, Upper Norwood, London, S.
We think our brother would do well to advise that dear ones seek to be led of the Lord to a portion of the Word, at every meeting for prayer. It will greatly tend to spirituality, and to raise the thoughts to God. It is very needful to draw near,