Page images



vessels; the effect of this did not show itself in the beginning, but soon it became very manifest. The righteous call from the Lord in the day of declension, will prove the true condition of many to whom that call is made.

In all this, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal: the Lord knoweth them that are his; and let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."


[ocr errors]

ŞLESSED to be putting on by faith that one obedi

ence of my Head, which is without seam or spot.

Yes-putting on by faith, do I say? Legal as may be the sound in the ears of some, faith is not a dead or dormant grace, but is given for act and exercise, or wherefore these exhortations, “ Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. xiii. 14); "Put on bowels of mercies," &c. (Col. üi. 12); "Put off the old man--put on the new” (Eph. iv. 22, 24); “Put on the whole armour of God” (Eph. vi. 11); “Giving all diligence, add to your faith,” &c. (2 Peter i. 5); with others innumerable --all most desirable to trace out and receive in the full force as the soul is healthy, but avoided and neglected as it sinks into spiritual sloth and sickness.

Objection: But faith of itself can do nothing. Answer: Nor does it want it; it is content to act in Christ; live on Christ; be filled with Christ; and triumphantly exclaims, “I can do all things through Christ,” &c. (Phil. iv. 13); and thus, as the living soul finds the exhortations, and they find it, every one serves as a fresh errand to Christ, and laying them at his dear feet it reminds Him of his own words, “ Without me ye can do nothing" (John xv. 5); Kyages in


and says,

"Lord, I cannot do it, do it for me, fulfil it in me, and thine shall be the glory. I am exhorted to put thee on; oh clothe me with thyself, and in thee may I walk before men. Thy light is so shining through me, that poor little insignificant I may be hidden, obscured, and lost, and all the fruit be brought forth to God and not to myself. I resting by faith in thy fulfilment and obedience, and thus becoming dead to the law and alive to and in thee."

This is faith's activity, even to rest in and lean on Christ. This faith’s diligence, to enter into and be satisfied with the doing of another. This faith's triumph, to be victorious in a conquest already achieved, and to rejoice over enemies who have already received their death-blow from the hand of its Captain. This keeps the soul humble and dependent, glorifying that it has all in Christ, but feeling that it has nothing in self. Faith, however, is not hereby discouraged ; it learns how to be abased in self, and to abound in Christ; to be empty in self, full in Christ; poor in self, rich in Christ; weak in self, strong in Christ; and thus is self put off and Christ put on, and our (spiritual) senses are exercised to discern good and evil, we growing into spiritual strength and maturity in Christ; not needing milk as babes, but eating the strong and savoury meat, and walking in the way of our Father's commandments with an enlarged heart. Wherefore, oh! wherefore are we in this day such a baby race? Wherefore is there so little triumph of faith ? rejoicing in Christ, and abounding in hope ? Some would answer: “It is God's purpose it should be so." If it be, that altereth not the sinful part we take in procuring it. Let us not impiously think to shelter our guiltiness under God's decree. What He ordains shall surely come to pass, but the doers of evil are still amenable to his authority, and justly open to his righteous judgment and visitation, however He may over



[ocr errors]

rule the wrong to accomplish his purpose or promote his glory. The wicked He will punish as a judge; the righteous chastise as a father. So the Scripture teaches, or why are the churches there reproved for their low estate, and for the particular delusions into which they had fallen, as in Rev. ii. 4, “I have somewhat to say," &c. Heb. v. 12, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,” &c. Gal. iii. 6, “I marvel," &c. Gal. iv. 9, 10,"I am afraid," &c. 1 Cor. iii. 2, 4, “I have fed,” &c., in all which places the description of the state is in the language of reproof, although those states were certainly as much foreknown of God, as our present one, and He would thereby as much bring to pass his own designs.

It is evident, then, that God's decree excuseth not, either our sin, or the carnality or unhealthiness of our souls, or our little spirituality and great worldly-mindedness; and I do humbly believe from my soul that our present pining and sickly condition arises from the rejection of and dishonour done to the CHRIST of God, for “he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John v. 23), and we are now going about to establish our own righteousness, and are not, indeed we are not, submitting ourselves to the righteousness of God; and therefore we attain not what we seek, peace of conscience, because we seek it not by faith in what Christ has done, but by striving to do ourselves, which (striving not being lawful) is not crowned, but God does frustrate it; and we, looking for much, bring in little, and desiring peace, find disappointment, and then complain and murmur, and would say if we dare, “The Lord's ways are mot equal.” But it is our ways, O house of Israel, which are not equal, and it is the inequality of those ways which distresses. Oh, then, come and let us go up to the house of the Lord, that we may walk in his ways, which are equity and strict judgment, meeting in and falling upon



[ocr errors]

Christ. And as we see by faith that He has borne our judgment, we fear not the sword of justice, for in Him it hath found fulness of satisfaction. And as we see that He is our equity, we fear not the eye of justice, for in Him that too hath been satisfied, yea, "well pleased.” Oh that I had a voice like a trumpet, to sound in the Spirit's power to all the earth what is in Jesus, and to exhort all drooping saints to be seeking faith in Christ, instead of bitterness in self, or delight in creatures; and to be resting satisfied with his obedience and walking in it, instead of labouring in the vain work of trying to procure one of our own. Oh, thou Bridegroom of our souls, how art Thou dishonoured by the wanderings of thy betrothed one. Do make us chaste to Thee, and contented to be all fair in Thee alone ; then will our lives honour, and our lips praise Thee.

[Taken (by permission) from Meditations and Letters by Ruth Bryan, intended shortly (D.v.) to be published as a Sequel to IIandfuls of Purpose, 01 Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan. W. H. Collingridge.]




HE wars of the Lord” (Numb. xxi. 14) are of

two kinds; those which He conducted entirely

alone, and those in which He employed his people.

The battle at the Red Sea was of the first kind. The Lord was there all alone. Israel had nothing to do but to be still and see God's salvation. He looked forth from the cloudy pillar and troubled the host of Egypt. So in the controversy with Balaam. The Lord was again all alone, apart from Israel who did not know at the time what was going on, in the distant and high places of



Moab. The deliverance of Samaria in the time of Elisha (2 Kings vii.), and the destruction of Sennacherib's host (2 Kings xix.), are of the same character.

The battles with Amalek (Ex. xvii.), with Arad the Canaanite, Sihon the Amorite, and Og King of Bashan (Numb. xxi.) are of the second kind. The Lord employed his people in them. So, after they enter the land, the battles of Gideon, Jonathan, David, that at Jericho, and that at Ai, are generally of this class. In the one case Jehovah triumphed for Israel, in the other in Israel.

Each of these kinds of battle has its own proper moral or spiritual sense. Thus the great act of redemption, like the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, was entirely singlehanded as we know. The Lord drank the cup alone and to the dregs,

66 His be the Victor's name,

Who fought the fight alone,” But there is a class of battles, for the fighting of which we must enter the field ourselves. Our business is to fight, and nothing is done without us. Spiritual conflicts the believer goes through in his own person. In them he is deeply conscious of the fight. He may know that he has no strength equal to the occasion, but he knows that he must be in the field from first to last.

The Lord, it is true, brings the strength, but it is used in and through his saints. The in-dwelling Spirit meets the in-dwelling sin-or the new man in Christ mortifies the earthly members.--Short Meditations on the Psalms.


HE following objections to the doctrine of imputed

righteousness, ong with answers to the same, are

taken from the notes to Bishop O'Brien's sermons on Faith (second edition), a work which cannot be too highly

« EelmineJätka »